ABU DHABI: Pakistan planned to release all Afghan Taliban prisoners still in its detention, including the group’s former second-in-command, an official said on Friday, in the clearest signal yet that it backed reconciliation efforts. Pakistan is seen as critical to the success of the US and Afghan efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan, a task gaining urgency as the end of the US combat mission in 2014 draws closer. Afghanistan has been pressing its neighbour, home to an allied Taliban movement of its own, to free Taliban members who could help promote its tentative reconciliation efforts. “The remaining detainees, we are coordinating, and they will be released subsequently,” Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s foreign secretary, the foreign ministry’s top bureaucrat, told a news conference in Abu Dhabi. Asked if the former Taliban deputy leader, Mullah Baradar, would be among those released, he said “the aim is to release all”, but did not elaborate further. Dawn, The News, The Nation, Daily Times.
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday pushed the federal government to conduct independent inquiry into the killing of 18 people, including children in Alamgoder area of Khyber Agency. The lawmakers also condemned Peshawar police action against the dead people’s families, who placed coffins outside Governor’s House on Wednesday night to demand justice. Treasury and opposition benches held security forces responsible for killing people inside their houses in retaliatory action in Alamgoder area of Bara sub division on Tuesday. They said the government should conduct judicial inquiry into the incident through a judge of Supreme Court or Peshawar High Court. Awami National Party MPA Saqibullah Khan Chamkani, who raised the matter through a point of order, said attackers were in the military uniform had entered the premises early in the morning and killed people, including children, indiscriminately. Dawn, Daily Times.
MIRANSHAH: Hundreds of tribesmen Friday took to the streets and blocked the Bannu-Miranshah Road in protest against the killing of five people, including a woman and two children, in shelling by the gunship helicopters in Mir Ali subdivision on Thursday. Also, schools, colleges, shops and markets remained closed in Mir Ali, the second major town in North Waziristan after its headquarters Miranshah.The protesting tribesmen condemned the killing of four people, a woman, two children and an elderly man, in the shelling and asked the government to constitute a high-level independent judicial commission to probe the killings. The tribesmen came from nearby villages including Hasukhel, Khushali, Khaisura, Eenzar Kalley, Mosaki, Eedak, Hurmaz, Haiderkhel, and Tapi, and gathered in Mir Ali bazaar and started protest against the shelling on residential areas. The News.
PESHAWAR: Governor Masood Kausar on Friday agreed to a proposal to create a Grievances Mitigation Cell at the Governor’s House.A handout said the creation of the cell would assist the people in dealing with any eventuality and provide help and compensation to them. The cell will also identify the people, who had not been given any compensation or left out in the process. The cell will collect information on the damage to the life and property of the people. The governor was talking to a parliamentary delegation from Fata comprising Engineer Shaukatullah Khan, Minister Safron, Abbas Khan Afridi, Minister of State for Trade, Members of the National Assembly Munir Khan Orakzai and Pir Noorul Haq Qadri at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad. The governor said that an inquiry commission had been asked to fix responsibility for the recent killings of the 18 tribespersons in Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency. The News, The Nation.
NOWSHERA: The internally displaced persons (IDPs) on Friday announced ban on the entry of employees of the non-government organizations into the Jalozai Camp. The protesters, led by Gulbat Khan, Malik Baz Khan, Didar Khan and others, chanted slogans against the government and NGOs for not providing sufficient assistance to the displaced families. The protesting IDPs said they would neither send their children to schools nor allow vaccination if they were not given enough food. “It is of no use to send our children to schools or get them vaccinated when they have no food to eat,” Gulbat Khan said. The News.
PESHAWAR: A delegation of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistani (TTP) led by its head Hakimullah Mahsud and Swat Taliban Chief Maulana Fazlullah negotiated between the two militant groups in Bajaur Agency and resolved their differences. The two Taliban factions in Bajaur, one led by Maulana Faqir Mohammad and the other by Maulana Abu Bakar, had some differences for the past few years. The TTP leadership was seriously worried about rivalry between the groups and made several attempts to resolve the differences. “Hakimullah Mahsud and Maulana Fazlullah held several rounds of talks between the two groups and finally resolved the differences,” stated Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman for the Malakand chapter of the TTP. Talking to The News from somewhere in Afghanistan, he said Maulana Abu Bakar would serve as the TTP Bajaur head while Maulana Faqir Mohammad would work as a fighter of the militant group.However, the Taliban spokesman said Maulana Faqir Mohammad would soon get an important position in the militant network. The News.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY