PESHAWAR: A lawyer on Wednesday challenged the appointment of Justice (r) Tariq Pervez Khan as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker chief minister in the Peshawar High Court, saying the provincial governor`s said act was unconstitutional. Justice (r) Tariq was appointed the caretaker chief minister by the governor after consultation with the outgoing chief minister AmeerHaider Hoti and leader of the opposition Akram Khan Durrani. In the petition, Mian Mohibullah Kakakhel said the appointment was against Article 207 of the Constitution that stated no retired judge of the Supreme Court should take any executive appointment or any other appointment mentioned therein unless a period of two years had lapsed. Dawn, The Express Tribune.
WASHINGTON: Pakistan shares the US goal of restoring stability to Afghanistan, says an American expert while a former US envoy urges Washington to strengthen its trade and investment ties with Islamabad. But Pakistan`s former ambassador Husain Haqqani has urged the United States to break up ties with his country so that it `can find out whether its regional policy objectives of competing with and containing India are attainable without US support`. In a testimony before a sub-committee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Peter Bergen also warned the United States against over-reliance on unpopular drone strikes in Fata. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: Speakers at a seminar on Wednesday demanded ban on the sale of ammonium nitrate through proper legislation because of the chemical`s use in preparation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The seminar titled `engaging stakeholders of peace` was organised by Awareness Movement for an Alert Nation here at a local hotel. Shaukat Ali Ashraf, Col (retired) Shamim, Col (retired) Akhtar, students and farmers spoke on the occasion. They stressed called for proper legislation to ban ni-trate (fertilisers) to stop its misuse in IEDs the cause of casualties in terrorist attacks. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: A three-day anti-polio drive will be launched from March 25 in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of the country. An official of the Directorate of Health Services FATA said on Wednesday that around 700,000 children would be administered polio drops during the campaign. As many as 200,000 children in South and North Waziristan agencies would be deprived of the immunization against the crippling disease due to the ban imposed on polio campaign by militants in the two agencies. Militants have linked launching of polio campaign in North and South Waziristan agencies with the halt in drone attacks. The News, The Frontier Post.
PESHAWAR: Tens of thousands of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Tirah valley of the Khyber Agency have moved to the adjacent tribal agencies and settled districts following fierce fighting between local tribesmen and militants in the remote valley. Authorities have feared that the number of the IDPs could go up as several thousand more displaced persons are on the way to Orakzai and Kurram agencies as well as nearby districts of Hangu, Kohat and Peshawar. They are riding ponies and donkeys, traveling on foot or boarding vehicles provided by the authorities. The News.
PESHAWAR: The military is reportedly stepping up an offensive to dislodge the Taliban from a key stronghold in an effort to safeguard May’s general election and crack down on militants behind a wave of attacks. The Tirah Valley, hemmed in by steep mountains and replete with numerous caves, has offered the Tehreek-e-Taliban a new base in the Khyber Agency beyond the reach of ground troops. Long linked to the drugs trade and militia activities, with an influx of militants evicted from elsewhere, it poses a new threat to nearby Nato supply lines and to Peshawar, a city of 2.5 million and a key electoral battleground. The Express Tribune.
PESHAWAR: Taliban militants attacked a house in Khalilabad, Mattani and kidnapped two men on Tuesday night. Police officials said the kidnappers entered a house and abducted two brothers. Militants then planted an explosive device which damaged the building. According to the officials, three men who were kidnapped by militants from the same house around three months ago are still in custody. The culprits have demanded Rs20 million for their release. Now, two more people of the same family have been abducted. The Express Tribune.
PESHAWAR: At least 46 TTP militants are told to have been killed in three consecutive suicide attacks by the activists of Ansarul Islam (AI) after their strongholds were occupied by the TTP militants in Bagh Markaz of Tirah valley in the midnight of Wednesday and Tuesday. A local of Tirah valley told The Frontier Post on reaching Peshawar that not only the TTP militants rather a good number of civilians’ dead bodies could be seen all around. The Frontier Post.
KABUL: The United States and Kabul appeared on Wednesday to reach an agreement on withdrawing coalition forces from part of a strategic province, after an ultimatum from Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Karzai on Feb 24 ordered American special forces to leave Wardak, a hotbed of Taliban activity on the doorstep of Kabul, within two weeks. The Afghan government accused Afghans working alongside the US troops of torture and murder, and said that this has incited local hatred. In recent weeks Karzai has staked out increasingly nationalist ground, deepening a war of words that threatens to derail Nato attempts to ensure a smooth security transition before most western troops leave next year. Dawn, The Frontier Post.
BAJAUR AGENCY: Bajaur Agency Political Agent Syed Abdul Jabar Shah on Wednesday urged the Non- Government organizations (NGO) to speed up the rehabilitation activities in the militancy hit areas of the region, FRC Field Reporter told. He said this while addressing the distribution ceremony of solar limps among the tribesmen held at Khar. Tribal elders, members of local peace committees, senior officials of the administration and the FATA secretariat attended the ceremony. The political agent added that many areas of the agency had suffered the most in the militancy and badly affected the basic facilities beside infrastructure.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY