ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar here on Thursday said that Pakhtun culture had undergone tremendous changes, manifested in folklore, art and literature, over the past one decade. The seminar titled “Extremism and radicalisation in Fata: impacts on culture” was organised by Fata Research Centre (FRC). Participants appreciated the role of Pakhtun poets and writers, saying that they were raising their voices against violence and supporting peace. “Our poets condemn drone attacks as well as suicide bombings because innocent people are being killed in such acts of violence,” said Prof Hanif Khalil. For restoration of peace in the region, Prof Khalil suggested, Pakhtuns should advise their new generation to get modern education and excel in science and technology, instead of glorifying the adventures of their “warrior” forefathers. Speaking on the occasion, FRC president Dr Ashraf Ali said that the consequences of 9/11 affected the entire world but Pakhtuns were the worst hit. “This war has affected every sphere of life of Pakhtuns, including their politics, economy, culture and literature,” he said. Dawn, FRC, Lahore Times, Pakistan Observer, The Kooza, The Express Tribune, BBC News.
ISLAMABAD/PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban have outlined conditions for a ceasefire, including the adoption of Islamic law and a break with the United States, a spokesman said Thursday, an offer dismissed out of hand by the interior minister. The Taliban, in a letter, also demanded that Pakistan stop its involvement in the war pitting Afghan insurgents against the Kabul government and refocus on a war of “revenge” against India. The letter from Taliban spokesman Amir Muawiya comes as the focus in Afghanistan shifts from a military push by NATO troops to potential peace talks, and amid speculation of a rift between top Pakistan Taliban leaders. Military officials told Reuters last month that Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud had lost operational command to his deputy, Waliur Rehman, considered to be more open to reconciliation with the Pakistani government. Daily Times.
PESHAWAR: Around 200 heavily-armed militants stormed two government paramilitary camps in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing two security personnel and kidnapping at least 22, officials said. The attackers armed with heavy weapons including mortars and rocket launchers struck before dawn at the two militia posts outside Peshawar, close to the restive tribal areas that border Afghanistan. “The exchange of gunfire lasted about one hour in which they killed two soldiers, wounded one and took away 22 others,” local administration official Naveed Akbar told AFP. He said security forces had barricaded some roads and launched search operations in certain areas but no success had been reported so far. A security official confirmed 22 members of the tribal militia were missing from the camps, which lie in a mountainous area about three kilometres apart. Daily Times, Dawn, The News.
LANDIKOTAL: Unidentified persons tortured thirty Afghan nationals near the Michni post on Thursday, whereas two Khasadar Force personnel who came to the rescue of the Afghans were injured in cross-firing with the assailants. According to reports, the Khasadar Force personnel rushed to the site to control the situation when they came to know that some unidentified people were torturing the Afghan nationals. “We were tortured physically and our clothes and some Afghan passports were also torn,” an Afghan national said. Another Afghan national quoted their attackers as saying that “we are taking revenge for those twenty-nine Pakistani nationals who had been tortured in Afghanistan and whose Pakistani passports had been torn and thrown into River Kabul.” Daily Times, Dawn.
CHARSADDA: Seven persons were injured, two among them critically, when an explosive device went off in Omarzai area in Charsadda on Thursday. Local sources said that the explosive device was planted along a road leading to Hajiabad locality in Omarzai area. Two real brothers were among the injured, they added. The injured were identified as Anwar Shah, Sajjad Ali and his brother Nowsher Ali, Aizaz, Fazl Rabi, Syed Mudassar Shah and Mohammad.
In another incident, a gas pipeline was blown up in Sardaryab area, resulting in suspension of gas supply to a number of areas in Charsadda district.
In Kurram Agency, three bullet-riddled bodies were found in Kakary Bagh area on Thursday, officials said.
In Khyber Agency, a woman was killed and two others were injured when mortar shells fell on two different houses in Bara on Thursday. It could not be established as to who fired the mortar but local people said that forces targeted militant positions in different parts of Bara after a roadside blast three days ago. Two more women were injured in Dro Adda area of Akkakhel in a similar incident. Dawn.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY