Eight persons including four militants were killed in two separate incidents in different areas of Khyber Agency on Thursday. Officials said that four tribesmen, affiliated with a militant group, were killed when their vehicle was targeted by a roadside explosive device in Bhukarh area of Bazaar-Zakhakhel on Thursday morning. The blast destroyed the vehicle completely. Two of the killed tribesmen were identified as Khair Mohammad and Meera Khan while names of the remaining two deceased could not be ascertained. In Akkakhel, four members of a family were killed and two others received critical injuries when a mortar shell fired from an unspecified direction fell on the house of Haji Said Karim. The injured were shifted to Peshawar for treatment. Also in Akkakhel, unidentified militants blew up the house of Noman Afridi, who was said to be associated with the local peace committee. Dawn, The Nation, The News, The Frontier Post, Daily Times.
The political administration Thursday established three more check-posts in Khwezai tehsil in Mohmand Agency, an official said. Political Agent Adil Sadiq announced the establishment of the checkposts in three villages at a Jirga in Khwezai tehsil. It was attended by tribal elders and Commandant Mohmand Rifles, Colonel Mushtaq Hussain. Speaking at the jirga, the peace committee chief, Malik Muhammad Fayyaz, said that 200 volunteers of the peace body would perform duty with the security forces at the checkposts in Halki Kuway, Mazarina and Kong villages.He asked the administration to reopen schools and health facilities in these areas and launch development projects.He vowed to continue supporting the security forces in the war against militancy and terrorism in their areas. He said that peace committees would be established at village level to keep vigilant eye on the suspects. The News.
The administration has banned use of motorcycles for travel in Salarzai tehsil of Bajaur Agency, while tribesmen say the decision is unjustified and would create more problems for them. The residents said that the political administration on Thursday imposed ban on motorcycle rides in Salarzai area. “The announcement was made by levies officials at different trade centres,” a resident Habib Khan told Dawn. Justifying the decision, the administration officials said that the step was taken for security reasons. He added that the decision was taken in the larger interest of people, as militants could use motorcycles for anti-social activities in the area. Dawn.
Protracted military operation in Khyber Agency and other parts of Fata may put thousands of children in a precarious situation as relief organisations, according to their representatives, are struggling to get funds to save around 400,000 displaced children from malnutrition and various deadly diseases. Like displaced persons, donor agencies and international non-governmental organisations, too, are stated to be upset by the lingering military action in the volatile region, because there was no indication as to when the conflict will reach its logical end. “Donors and relief bodies are very much concerned about the prolonged army action in Fata. We have been asking the relevant quarters at high level meetings that how long, these IDPs would stay in tents and with host families. But we didn’t receive clear answer so far,” said a representative of a donor agency, who is not authorised to speak to media. Dawn.
The display of Taliban’s posters at prominent places in Matani Bazaar on the outskirts of Peshawar has panicked local people, especially traders, who have demanded beefing up security in the suburban areas. The residents of the area told Dawn that three posters ostensibly pasted by Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan in the bazaar remained displayed for two days till Wednesday’s night. “The display of intimidating posters in the bazaar is a direct threat to the lives and properties of the people. It shows that militants are active in the area without any check on them by the law enforcement agencies,” said shopkeepers in the bazaar on condition of anonymity. They said that a blast in the bazaar on Aug 31 had already frightened people. They expected that administration would take effective steps for protection of people but again threatening posters started appearing in the area, they added. A frightened shopkeeper said that most of the people avoided talking about the posters because they looked upon each other as informers of militants. That’s why they could not devise a plan to protect themselves from militants, he added. Dawn.
Police on Thursday arrested two persons in connection with the murder of police inspector Ghani Khan in Hangu district. Mr Khan was kidnapped by unknown men from Hangu a few days ago and 24 hours later his bullet-riddled body was found from Katgar area in Togh Sarai village of Hangu. The police said that during investigation of the case they learnt about the alleged culprits and in a raid arrested accused Mohammad Hassan and Gul Shahzad along with the pistol used in the incident and two mobile phone sets. The police registered a case against the accused and have secured their two-day remand. Dawn.
The prospects to hold a meeting of the US- Pakistan Working Group on Counterterrorism hit a snag Thursday, when the Pakistani delegation did not show up for the annual gathering. Sources privy to the situation told The News that heads of various Pakistani security agencies were expected to arrive on Thursday to participate in a long awaited meeting with their American counterparts scheduled for early Friday. The reason told to the State Department was that the Pakistani delegation “did not have enough time to travel or prepare”. The Pakistani delegation included the director of the Federal Investigation Agency, and was supposed to be headed by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The ill planning can be gauged by the fact that the Pakistani Embassy here was informed about the delegation’s travel by Islamabad but hours later the decision was reversed. The News.
Military authorities Thursday claimed to have busted a group of around 21 militants in Swat district. A senior military official, requesting anonymity, said the group was involved in target killing of members of the peace committees in Swat. Pleading anonymity, the official said the group had planned terrorist acts across the valley and would have caused heavy human losses had it succeeded in its designs. The official said the military did not suffer any losses during the crackdown and successfully busted the group of “hardcore terrorists” and saved many precious lives.“After the military operation against the militants in 2009, it is the highest number of terrorists taken into custody in a single day,” the military official said. The News.
Militants from Afghanistan attacked a border village in Lower Dir district and attempted to hold local population hostage but villagers repulsed the attack, locals said on Thursday. They said security forces had also reached the troubled Bosta village in Kharkai while the local lashkar had also been reinforced. There was no word about casualties from both sides. The attack took place on Thursday evening and the militants and armed villagers exchanged fire for sometime. “The militants attempted to capture houses and hold people hostage but our people made them flee,” a resident told The News by phone, requesting anonymity. Military officials did not offer comment. The News.
The bullet-riddled body of a kidnapped person was found here on Thursday, police sources said. They said that one Kabil Khan was kidnapped by unknown persons from Hayatabad area in Hangu a week ago and his body was found in the mountainous Gohisar area. They said the slain person had connections with the militants. The News.
President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday emphasized that reforms process in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) should be undertaken in consultation with all the stakeholders and in accordance with the wishes and customs of the people, respecting their traditions. The President was chairing a briefing meeting held here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, to review progress on various developmental projects in FATA and the ongoing reforms process to bring the people of the area into the mainstream of national life. The Frontier Post.
The National Youth Assembly of Pakistan (NYA) has assigned Mehreen Afridi as Fata Youth Governor, said a notification issued from its office on Thursday. The National Youth Assembly President Hanan Ali Abbasi took the decision after consultation and recommendation of NYA members hailing from Fata. Mehreen Afridi who is doing her MS in Environmental Sciences from University of Peshawar, is an active student activist of the rights of Fata students. Mehreen Afridi said NYA has provided an opportunity to the youth of Fata to polish their hidden potential of leadership, adding, she would strive her best to create positive and healthy activities for the members. She hoped that NYA Fata chapter would actively participate in the events that would be organized by the National Youth Assembly. The Frontier Post.
SIRAJ UDDIN, NAWAF KHAN