NOWSHERA: Three militants and a cop were killed in a clash near the Karnel Sher Khan Interchange on the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway on Saturday. According to Head Constable Fazil Khan, he along with three policemen was patrolling the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway in a van when three men riding a motorcycle hurled a hand-grenade and opened fire on the vehicle. He said the grenade didn’t explode, but the cops sustained injuries in the attack. He said Constable Abdul Nasir sustained critical injuries and died on the spot. The News, The Frontier Post.
ISLAMABAD: The government will soon approach Interpol to seek repatriation of senior commander of the Tehrik-iTaliban Pakistan, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, now under detention in Afghanistan. Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters here on Saturday that Maulvi Fagir was involved in a series of terror attacks in the country. The government wanted his deportation from Afghanistan so that legal action could be initiated against him, he added. The minister claimed that the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), which has claimed responsibility for recent sectarian carnage in Quetta, had safe havens in Punjab, and asked the provincial government to act against the banned outfit. To a question about the Taliban`s talks offer, Mr Malik said they should lay down their arms to demonstrate seriousness. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban Saturday directed their central spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan to personally approach Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rahman and Syed Munawar Hassan to become guarantors in the proposed peace talks with the government. “The decision to personally approach these leaders was taken by our shura on Saturday. We had earlier urged these three leaders to become guarantors between us and the government in peace talks but they were telling the media that the Taliban had not contacted them personally”, a senior commander of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told The News on phone from somewhere in the tribal areas. The News.
PESHAWAR: Governor Engineer Shaukatullah on Saturday announced provision of laptop computers to all the three top position holders of the recent matric and higher secondary examinations from each tribal agency and increase in the amount of merit scholarship for the students hailing from Fata region. Addressing a tribal jirga from Kurram Agency, which called on him here, the governor said that 2600 additional posts of teachers have been created for the entire Fata to overcome shortage of staff in educational institutions. Led by MNA Sajid Hussain Turi, the jirga members congratulated Shaukatullah on his appointment as governor and invited him to visit the Kurram Agency. The News.
LAHORE: Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the JUI-F chief, said on Saturday that a grand jirga constituted by tribes of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas wanted to meet national leaders in order to have their support for peace efforts in Fata. `During (the proposed) meeting with the political leadership, the jirga will discuss proposals for bringing peace to Fata,` the JUI-F leader told newsmen after meeting the Jamaat-i-Islami leadership at Mansoora. He visited Mansoora to condole the death of former Jamaat chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad. He invited the JI leadership to an all-party conference (APC) being organised by his party in Islamabad on Feb 28 to discuss ways for restoring peace in Fata. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: A fast-changing political scenario, changes in the political and military command due this year and dithering by both tiers of state in the face of an existential threat to the country may already have closed the option to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, senior government and security officials acknowledge. In retrospect, say officials interviewed for this report, the political and military leadership should have seized the opportunity to launch a decisive military operation against local and foreign militants, following back-to-back victories against Tehrik-iTaliban Pakistan, Swat, and its parent organisation in South Waziristan in May and October of 2009 respectively. Dawn.
LAHORE: Police have so far detained 50 members of defunct Lashkar-i-Jhangvi in a crackdown across the province in the last few days. The arrests have been made in the wake of recent Quetta suicide blast and a direction issued by the interior ministry. A senior police officer told Dawn that the members, including leaders, had been put under arrest for a month under 3Maintenance of Public Order. He said the crackdown would continue. Nine members who taken into custody by Lahore police have been identified as Abdur Rau Moawaia, Muhammad Shafique, Asif Moawia, Mirza Masood Baig, Hafiz Ahsan Saeed, Irfan Moawia, Muhammad Shafique, Rustam Khan Moawia and Aamir Ali Malik. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: An explosion of minor intensity occurred outside Wapda office in Fagirabad locality on Saturday night, police said. The explosion didn`t cause any human loss but damaged walls of the office and one vehicle parked there, an official at Faqirabad police station said. The low intensity blast was heard by the local residents, majority of whom were asleep, said the police official, adding that the incident was being investigated. Dawn.
WASHINGTON: In Pakistan, the United States was dealing with a government that was not always able to deliver, said a former US ambassador, Cameron Munter. In an interview to CNN, Mr Munter also urged the US administration to consider how their policies would affect the people in Pakistan while making policies for that country. Mr Munter is believed to have left his job because of differences with the Obama administration over its policies towards Islamabad, particularly its decision to increase drone attacks on targets in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). While responding to a question about a $7.5 billion US aid package for Pakistan, the former envoy conceded that the programme did not achieve its targets. Dawn.
WITH emerging different media outlets both print and electronic, and online websites, Pashtun poets and writers and readers have got access to a wider spectrum and global stage where they could express, highlight and give vent to issues of heart and head in a befitting manner without any restriction. In a sharp contrast to the early 80s and 90s during Russian aggression in Afghanistan, last year witnessed more than 1,000 new titles in Pashto, both fiction and poetry, but not a single writer has had glorified Jihad culture, mullah or any tablib commander in his/her writings. Dawn.
WANA (INP): Security forces on Saturday foiled a major terror bid by seizing three explosives loaded trucks from Sadgai check post of South Waziristan Agency. According to security forces, three trucks were carrying explosive materials to South Waziristan Agency. The security forces stopped them at the check post for searching and upon search, the security personnel recovered explosive material. A driver was arrested while two others managed to flee the scene. The security forces launched search operation to detain them. The Frontier Post.
LAHORE: Jamaat e Islami (JI) leadership agreed to participate in the All Parties Conference (APC) being hosted by Jamiat e Ulema e Islam (F) on February 28 in Islamabad, to discuss the situation in Fata. The conference is being held in the wake of military operations, the resulting insurgency and the recent offer of talks by the Pakistani Taliban to find ways and means for restoring peace. JI ameer Syed Munawar Hasan announced the decision at a joint press talk with the JUI-F ameer Maulana Fazlur Rahman, who visited Mansoora Saturday to invite the JI leadership to the APC. JUI-F delegation, including Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Maulana Attaur Rahman, Maulana Amjad Khan and Riaz Durrani, was welcomed by Syed Munawar Hasan while other leaders Dr Muhammad Kamal, Sirajul Haq, JI Secretary General, Liaqat Baloch and KP ameer Prof. Muhammad Ibrahim Khan were also present. The News.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY