PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti called upon the political leadership and the military on Monday to immediately put their heads together to find a permanent solution to the problem of militancy. “Time has come that the military and political leadership take a quick decision and guide the nation. Otherwise, it will be criminal negligence,” he told lawmakers in the provincial assembly amid a sombre mood over the assassination of Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour in a suicide attack on Saturday. When the assembly’s proceedings began, Chief Minister Hoti, along with ministers and legislators, placed a wreath of red and white roses in the chair of the slain ANP leader. Mr Bilour’s portrait, red cap and shawl were put on his seat and lawmakers lit candles on his desk as a mark of respect and to pay tribute to their colleague. Women members wore black shawls and men black armbands. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: The number of Frontier Constabulary personnel, manning check posts in the suburban areas of Peshawar, has been increased to counter terrorists’ attacks, according to sources. Fasih Khan, an official at Sarband police station, said that security was further beefed up and policemen on leave were called back on emergency basis after attacks on the airbase and senior minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour. “We have all kinds of light and heavy weapons to counter the attacks. Movement of suspected elements is thoroughly checked on the link roads and pathways,” he claimed. The official said that militants used to fire rockets at nighttime but they could not come close to the check posts, manned by police and FC. PROBE: The investigators are yet to get any clue about the facilitators of the suicide bomber, who attacked Bashir Bilour at Dhaki Naalbandi in Qissa Khwani Bazaar. “We have started recording statements of people in the area but none of them are ready to give any concrete information,” Fazl Rehman Khan, the investigation officer, told Dawn. He said that the investigators were also thoroughly monitoring the press statements of the eyewitness but it seemed that there was no accuracy in the statements. Dawn.
KALAYA: Seven labourers were killed in a coalmine explosion in Doli area of Orakzai tribal region in the small hours on Monday. Local sources said that all the deceased miners belonged to Shangla district. The blast was caused by methane gas at 2:45am at the well No.2 of Abul Hassan colliery in Doli area of lower Orakzai Agency, they added. There are more than 4,000 coalmines in Orakzai tribal agency. Over 3,000 labourers work in these mines. Most of the coalmines in Orakzai are notorious for poor safety standards and facilities, according to local sources. Dawn, The News, The Frontier Post, The Nation.
LANDI KOTAL: The administration of Khyber Agency has refused to reinstate on legal grounds more than 70 Levies personnel, who had resigned en bloc along with hundreds of khasadars in September 2009 after receiving threats from militants. The administration on November 18 announced reinstatement of over 500 khasadars after persistent appeals and requests by the local elders and members of the parliament. All the khasadars and Levies personnel were sacked by the administration three days after their resignation en bloc. Sources at the Khyber House, office of political agent, said that 277 sacked khasadars joined their official duty so far. They were sent to Levies centre in Shahkas area of Jamrud, they added. “We are still awaiting nearly 200 khasadars to join their duty. We have also reports that about 12 to 15 of the sacked khasadars have died during their suspension,” sources said, adding that the administration decided to recruit sons, brothers or other near relatives of the deceased khasadars. Dawn.
NOWSHERA: Two bodies, including a beheaded one, were found in different parts of Nowshera district on Monday. Police said Aziz Gul, a farmer from Mashq village in Akora Khattak, was found dead alongside a road in Mian Iyesa locality. They said the autopsy at District Headquarters Hospital, Nowshera showed that the deceased, who had mysteriously gone missing a day ago, died of multiple bullet injuries. Police said Khalil Gul, father of the deceased, had claimed that neither his son nor his family had enmity with anyone. They later registered a case against unidentified killers and began investigation.
Also in the day, the people found a beheaded body on the bank of the Kabul River along Charsadda-Nowshera Road in Basho village. Later, police seized the body of the unidentified man and shifted it to District Headquarters Hospital, Nowshera. The autopsy showed that the man was tortured before being killed by a sharp-edged object.
BOYCOTT: The lady health workers in Nowshera district on Monday announced to boycott the future anti-polio campaigns without proper security. The announcement was made during a rally outside Nowshera Press Club. Lady Health Workers Association, district president Zakia Khan led protesters, who condemned the recent nationwide attacks and killing of polio workers. “We will not participate in anti-polio campaigns until full security is provided to us,” Ms Zakia said. She demanded proper compensation for slain polio workers. Dawn.
PARACHINAR: Body of a kidnapped man was recovered, while a young boy was shot dead by unknown assailants in Bagan area of Lower Kurram on Monday. The body of Farooq, who was kidnapped few days ago, was recovered from fields in Bagan area. He was brutally killed by unknown assailants and his body was thrown at the nearby fields. Marks of torture were visible on his body, local people said.
In the second incident, unknown miscreants entered a house in the same locality and opened indiscriminate fire, killing 12-year-old Azizullah and critically injuring wife of Gul Bahadar and her 18-year-old son Fazal Haq. The attackers managed to escape after the incident. Dawn.
KARAK: Unidentified persons fired a rocket at the dehydration plant of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) in Alwargi Banda area of Karak on the night between Sunday and Monday. Police said that the rocket, fired at the plant by unidentified attackers, hit an oil tanker that was parked inside the facility at the time of attack. It caused a huge fire as the tanker was full of crude oil, they added. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has decided to continue the anti-polio drive at all costs in order to save the children from the dangerous disease. In a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary KP Ghulam Dastagir Khan and member National Task Force MNA Asma Alamgir on Monday it was also decided that the government will observe a special campaign by the end of December in order to administer polio drops to those children who were not vaccinated in the recent campaign. Senator Robina Khalid, Home Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Azam Khan, Inspector General of KP Police Akbar Khan Hoti, all commissioners of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, armed forces representatives, Secretary Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Additional Secretary Fata and World Health Organization officials were also present during the meeting. The Frontier Post, The Nation.
KABUL: Pakistan is genuine about backing a nascent Afghan peace process and shares the Kabul government’s goal of transforming the Taliban insurgency into a political movement, a senior Afghan government official told Reuters.Pakistan is seen as critical to US and Afghan efforts to promote peace in Afghanistan, a task that is gaining urgency as Nato troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014 and hand over security responsibilities to government forces.“They have told us that they share the vision contained in our roadmap which is basically to transform the Taliban from a military entity into a political entity to enable them to take part in the Afghan political process and peacefully seek power like any other political entity in Afghanistan,” the official said, referring to Pakistan. “This is the vision that they share.” The Nation.
SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: This Christmas, pastor Nazir Alam will stoke up a fire, lay a fresh cloth on the altar and welcome parishioners as they arrive at his church in Waziristan. “The lights are all up, and the choir boys are ready. The church is looking its best,” said 60-year-old Alam, a former missionary who has celebrated his last ten Christmases there. “There’s not much left to do but to pray and rejoice.” Alam’s church and the homes of most of his 200 parishioners are nestled inside an army base in South Waziristan, a mountainous region that was a hotbed of militancy until a military offensive in 2009. “When the US went into Kabul, things became bad for everyone. But we are safe here. The army protects us,” says Shaan Masih, who helps clean the church and likes to play the drums and sing carols. The Nation.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY