Fourteen people were killed and around 40 others, including children, were injured, some of them seriously, when a suicide bomber rammed his car into a market in the semi-autonomous tribal region of Darra Adamkhel on Saturday. Local residents and government officials said the suicide bomber targeted Firdous Market in Darra bazaar where shops selling different items, including small arms, clothes and shoes, were located. There were also reports that offices of the Amn Lashkar or volunteers were situated in a nearby market but a spokesman for the leader of the peace committee said all their people remained unhurt in the blast. He said 15 shops and eight vehicles were destroyed in the blast. The News, Dawn, The Frontier Post, Daily Times, The Nation.
The law-enforcement agencies during a raid on Saturday arrested three suspects from Akbarpura area of the Nowshera district for alleged links in the attack on Malala Yousazai in Swat. The official sources said a joint team of the security forces and local police raided a house in Bara Ghara near Kandar Kooruna in Akbarpura town and took the suspects in custody. They were stated to be brothers and were identified as Abdul Hadi, Inam and Irfan. The suspects were shifted to an unknown location for interrogation. According to the sources, those arrested belonged to the Mingora city in the Swat district. They had moved to Akbarpura when the Pakistan Army launched the military operation against Taliban militants led by Maulana Fazlullah in 2009.
The sources said a brother of the suspects was a senior militant commander of Maulana Fazlullah-led Taliban and who died in fighting against the security forces in Swat. The News.
Spokesperson for the US State Department Victoria Nuland said that the degree to which the Pakistani people turned against the Taliban after the attack on Malala Yousafzai helped their government go after them which would perhaps be a silver lining to this horrible tragedy. She was asked during the briefing on Friday whether the condemnation by cross-sections of Pakistani society of the Taliban and militancy after the attack on Malala in Swat could be termed a turning point in the fight against extremism in the country, she said this was indeed the silver lining in the tragic incident. She said that it would help the Pakistani government in going after the extremists with popular support, “obviously.”
“We have seen in the past in Pakistan when the Taliban commit truly heinous and outrageous acts like this, it galvanises popular opinion against them not only in cities, but also in those towns and neighborhoods where they plot and hide,” she recalled while referring to other terrorist activities in Pakistan during the last few years. The News, Dawn, The Nation.
Militants blew up the abandoned house of a peace activist in Bara tehsil on Friday night. Sources said explosives were planted inside the house of Haji Shah Mohammad in Spin Qabar area before militants detonated them by remote control. They said the explosion destroyed a major portion of the house. Sources said militants seized doors, windows, ceiling fans and other things before blowing up the house. Dawn.
The ISPR said on Saturday that the injured Malala Yousafzai, under treatment at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), moved her fore-limbs, showing positive signs of recovery. “The medical specialists treating Malala on Saturday reduced her sedition to know about her condition. Subsequently she moved her forelimbs, which is a positive sign,” Director General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said at a media briefing. “She is in a stable condition as her all vital organs are working normally but she is still on a ventilator,” Bajwa said. To a question, he said that the decision to remove Malala from the ventilator would only be taken by the panel of doctors. He said the ventilator may be removed today (Sunday). The News.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai invited Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to jointly launch a fight against US-sponsored drone attacks and Taliban-led extremism in the region. He said that he shared the worries of Imran Khan over the war against extremism. “We should jointly make efforts for peace in the region and sustained progress,” the Afghan president maintained. In a letter to Imran Khan, the Afghan president asked him what steps were being taken for wiping out terrorism and Khan was expected to reply after his return from the current Turkey tour, said a handout issued here by the Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI). The News, The Nation.
The army put the ball in the political leadership’s court on Saturday on the question of whether or not to launch an operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). “It is going to be a political decision,” ISPR chief Lt Gen Asim Bajwa told Dawn. A similar sense was conveyed at a press briefing at ISPR. Speculations about an impending operation had grown after a strong reaction by the military and civilian leaders over the attack on teenaged activist Malala Yousufzai. The attack swung public opinion in favour of a decisive operation against a militancy that has long haunted the country. Dawn, The Frontier Post.
The government has issued directives to step up security outside the offices of national and international media outlets in fear of a backlash from the activists of the defunct Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). A responsible functionary of the Interior Ministry told an international media outlet on condition of anonymity that the secret agencies had recorded a telephonic conversation of Hakim Ullah Mehsud, chief of TTP with one of his activists Nadim Abbas alias Inteqami whereby he was directing him to take action against the media. The Interior Ministry said Hakimullah Mehsud asked Nadim Abbas to target offices of national and international media located in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and other cities as they were hitting the TTP hard following the attack on Malala. The News, Daily Times, The Nation.
Authorities have recovered a satellite phone from the custody of Dr Shakil Afridi in Central Prison Peshawar, a source said Saturday. The source said the phone was in the custody of Dr Shakil Afridi for long and 58 foreign calls were made on the device. The authorities of the Central Prison, however, did not confirm the number of foreign calls and recovery of the device. A campaign was recently carried out in the jail to recover cellular phones from the inmates to block their communication with their networks and other people outside prison. Investigations were ordered after suspending five officials of the jail. The News, The Frontier Post, Daily Times, The Nation.
Four militants were killed and six others injured when two groups of militants exchanged gunfire in Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency on Saturday, tribal sources said. The sources said the militants of Mulla Toofan group and Gul Zaman group exchanged harsh words over a petty issue and then opened indiscriminate fire on each other. They used heavy arms in the clash and as a result two hideouts and as many vehicles were destroyed in the clash. The News, The Frontier Post, The Nation.
A man was injured in a hand-grenade attack in Qazi Pump area here Saturday, sources said. The sources said that Naseeb Jan, brother of Maulana Akbar Jan, was inspecting his under-construction house near the District Prison when unidentified motorcyclists arrived there and hurled a hand-grenade at him, leaving him injured. He was shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital where his condition was stated to be stable. The News.
A minor girl was killed and 29 persons including women and children sustained injuries when unidentified persons hurled a hand-grenade into a house in Domail tehsil the other day, local sources said. The sources said there was an engagement ceremony in the house of Malik Liaqat Ali in Pirbakhel village when the grenade was lobbed into the house. A three-year-old Ujala, daughter of Faridullah, was killed and 29 persons including women and children were wounded. The injured were shifted to the Khalifa Gul Nawaz Memorial Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital. Some of the injured were identified as Amina Bibi, Dilpari Jana, Shazia Bibi, Farhana Bibi, Noreen Bibi, Dishad Bibi, Shamim Bibi, Fozia and Faryal Bibi. The News, Daily Times, The Nation.
Three university students were critically hurt when unidentified extremists threw acid at their faces while they were on their way to home on a Parachinar-bound passenger vehicle after taking their MA, MSc examinations in Kohat. Other passengers present in the vehicle also suffered minor burn injuries. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the responsibility for the attack. The injured girls and other wounded people were shifted to Kurram Agency Headquarters Hospital. Local people, civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for women rights condemned the attack and termed it a cowardly act. They demanded the government and law-enforcement agencies to arrest the attackers and award them exemplary punishment. The Nation.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY