Jamrud/Hangu: As many as 17 insurgents were killed and many others injured in military airstrikes in Khyber and Orakzai tribal agencies, official sources said on Wednesday. According to security sources, jet fighters pounded militant bases in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency as security forces hit the positions of banned terror outfits in Dwa Toai area of tehsil Jamrud. Official sources claimed that 9 militants were killed and several others injured in the operation. They said that a number of militant hideouts were also busted and huge cache of arms and ammunition, besides depots of ration, was destroyed. Local sources confirmed killing of six suspected militants. On the other hand, eight militants were killed their three hideouts were destroyed in the airstrikes near Hangu in upper Orakzai Agency. The Nation, Daily Times.
BARA: Deputy head of the Tirah-based Ansarul Islam (AI) Maulana Ezatullah Hamkhial said on Wednesday that peace lashkars formed by the government in Khyber Agency had failed and offered AI’s services to the government for maintenance of peace. Talking to reporters by phone from Maidan in Tirah valley, Ezatullah said tribal people and elders were being assassinated by anti-state elements under a conspiracy to eliminate tribal culture and identity but the AI would thwart such attempts. He said that like the past, the tribal people were prepared to sacrifice their lives for the defence of the country and anti-state elements would be defeated in war on terror. The News.
TANK: Unidentified motorcyclists shot dead two persons, including a former member of a peace committee, and injured another here on Wednesday. Police and local people said that Gul Mohammad Shah, former member of a peace committee, was standing with a vender at Tank Bazaar when two motorcyclists opened indiscriminate firing on him. He was killed on the spot while the vender identified as Tariq and a passerby Zar Janan sustained critical injuries, they added. The injured were shifted to district headquarters hospital in Dera Ismail Khan where Tariq succumbed to his injuries. Dawn, Daily Times.
TRIBESMEN FREED: The political administration of South Waziristan Agency set free on Wednesday 24 Mehsud tribesmen, who were arrested under collective responsibility clause of FCR in connection with kidnapping of eight employees of Gomal Zam Dam. Political Agent Shahidullah issued their release order after a jirga of Mehsud elders held meeting with him in Tank. Malik Masud, Malik Rapa Khan, Maulana Jamaluddin, Malik Hanan, Malik Javed, Malik Ayub and other tribal elders attended the meeting. Sources said that the tribal elder told the political authorities that the arrested men were not responsible for kidnapping of the Gomal Zam Dam employees. The employees were kidnapped on August 15 last year when they were going to their homes on leave. Dawn.
KOHAT: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader and former chief minister Akram Khan Durrani said on Wednesday that his party was ready to play role in holding talks between the government and militants. Addressing a public gathering in Mangal Bibi area here, he said the JUI-F had always preferred talks for resolving disputes and would continue efforts for peaceful resolution of issues being confronted by the nation. “There was no terrorism in the country during the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the flawed policies of [ex-president] Musharraf and the subsequent coalition government of the Pakistan People’s Party and the Awami National Party pushed the country into the so-called war on terror,” he claimed. The News, The Nation.
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor to step in to ensure early, safe recovery of the eight Gomal Zam Dam Project employees kidnapped by militants. While issuing these directions, the court also gave last opportunity to the relevant officials for the recovery of the abductees, saying if that didn’t happen, then it would issue an ‘adverse order’ against them all. The relatives of the kidnapped people had sent an application to the chief justice a few weeks ago that was converted into a writ petition. During the hearing into the case, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth expressed dissatisfaction with the efforts made by the administrations of North and South Waziristan agencies and Wapda authorities for the recovery of the kidnapped persons and observed that it was left with no option but to ask the governor to intervene in the matter to do the needful. Dawn.
KHAR: The Bajaur Agency administration has beefed up security of its offices after the Monday’s suicide attack on the office of Khyber Agency political agent in Peshawar. According to officials, authorities have issued orders to beef up security in and around the Civil Colony in Khar that houses offices of the political administration. “For the first time, we have seen such security arrangements in place in the Civil Colony that create difficulties for the people want to visit the offices of local administration,” said Yaqub Khan, a resident of Khar. The local people have complained about the insulting behaviour of the personnel of Levies Force. Standing at the main gate of the colony, the tribesmen said that they were disappointed with the misbehavior of the security officials. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: The Punjab government has gifted about two dozen animals and birds for mini zoo in Hayatabad, Peshawar, and directed its wildlife department to deliver the gift within three days. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had allocated Rs20 million for the zoo after two years of bureaucratic rigmaroles, but the amount proved too small to procure animals and birds for it. The zoo is being set up by Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) in Shalman Park in Phase-VII of Hayatabad. Owing to lack of resources, the PDA had approached the Wildlife Department of Punjab in Lahore, requesting for provision of 24 animals and birds as a gift. Dawn.
GHALANAI: Six people were injured when rival tribes clashed over a land dispute in Haleemzai tehsil of Mohmand Agency on Wednesday. According to the political administration, the clash started when members of one of the tribes tried to construct a wall in the disputed land. The clash left six tribesmen injured. They were identified as Abdul Haq, Noorul Haq, Shafiaul Haq, Raj Wali, Ijaz and Farooq. They were shifted to the agency headquarters hospital Ghalanai. One of the injured men was referred to Peshawar in critical condition. The local administration arrested seven people from both sides and convened a jirga to settle the dispute. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court on Wednesday summoned the capital city police’s top bosses over slackness in probe into the dumping of bodies in gunnysacks in the city. While fixing the next hearing into the case for Feb 27, a bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth asked the capital city police officer, deputy inspector general (investigation) of police and senior superintendent of police (investigation) to appear in person and explain why contempt of the court proceedings should not be initiated against them.The bench expressed annoyance at absence of senior polio officials and presence of a sub-inspector with little knowledge of investigation into the matter. Dawn.
NOWSHERA: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah has said that internally displaced persons (IDPs) of tribal areas would soon return to their homes as writ of the state has been restored in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. “The writ of the state is intact in tribal areas and there is no room for no-go area,” he said this while addressing the teachers and students of Cadet College, Razmak, at its temporary campus in Nowshera on Wednesday. He said that effective military operation against militants had been paving the way for IDPs’ return to their areas. “The military operation is continuing in Khyber Agency and the IDPs would be sent back immediately after the situation is normal,” he said. Dawn.
LAKKI MARWAT: A senior local leader of Pakistan People’s Party on Wednesday demanded of the government to restrict Afghan nationals to refugee camps and speed up their repatriation. Speaking at a party meeting here, PPP Lakki city president Haji Tarik Sikandary said Afghan refugees should be stopped from moving freely in the country in view of the current delicate security situation. He said their presence outside specified refugee camps had adversely affected the business of local residents. Mr Sikandary said Afghan refugees were a constant threat to the country’s security and therefore, the international community should help Pakistan repatriate Afghan refugees at the earliest. Dawn.
ISLAMABAD: The growing anti-terrorism cooperation between the Pakistani and the Afghan security establishments contributed to the arrest of a most wanted commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan – Maulvi Faqir Mohammad – in Nangarhar province on February 19. He was captured by an elite unit of the Afghan intelligence agency, especially flown from Kabul by the Karzai administration to conduct the raid.The ‘get-Faqir’ operation was jointly conducted by the highly skilled and equally equipped commandos of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) as well as the Afghan police. The NDS is Afghanistan’s domestic intelligence agency, which reports directly to the Afghan president. Interestingly, when NDS chief Assadullah Khaled had survived a suicide attack in Kabul in December 2012, President Hamid Karzai had described the attempt as the work of “a professional intelligence service”, adding that he would seek a clarification from Pakistan. The News.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY