D.I.KHAN: The Bhittani tribe is exasperated over the political administration’s decision to close Jandola Bazaar following an attack on the head of a peace committee. On January 8, unidentified men targeted peace committee head Nasrullah Bhittani in a remote-controlled blast in Jandola Bazaar. Nasrullah escaped unhurt, but since then the Political Administration has sealed the market under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR). The tribe has been tasked with producing the accused behind. In a jirga held by the tribe in FR Tank on Monday, tribesmen said the closure was unfair. Jirga member Malik Kamran Khan said they have told the political administration that they are not in a position to catch the accused. “There are bomb blasts everywhere in Pakistan, but no markets are closed because of it. This is unjust,” he said, adding that it is the responsibility of the government and law enforcement agencies to arrest criminals. The Express Tribune.
LANDI KOTAL: Three paramilitary troops captured by militants during a gunfight in Bara on Monday were beheaded, official sources said. At least seven khasadar personnel were injured during clashes, they said. The fighting erupted on Monday evening after militants attacked three security posts in Kohikhel area of Shalobar. The attackers reportedly forced security personnel to retreat from two posts and seized arms and ammunition. The sources said that three personnel were beheaded about an hour after they were captured by militants. Fierce gunbattle continued till late into night. It was learnt that additional force had been called to ward off an attack on Kohikhel check-posts. Shalobar area is under curfew for a long time and security forces patrol the area on a regular basis. Dawn.
SWABI: Members of Turlandi jirga on Monday complained of the growing lawlessness in Razaar tehsil and urged law-enforcement agencies to do their duty diligently for the safety of public life and property. The complaint was conveyed to superintendent of police Abdul Rashid by jirga member Mumtaz Khan, Swabi District Bar Association president Arshad Khan and others during a meeting here. Mr Mumtaz said law and order situation in Razaar tehsil had worsened over the last two months with a sharp increase in kidnappings for ransom, armed robberies and burglaries. He said around 12 families were looted at home during the said period causing a sense of insecurity among the people. The jirga member said law-enforcement agencies should take tangible steps for controlling crime. Mr Arshad said police had arrested nine people for looting houses and they were being quizzed for a clampdown on crime. Dawn, The News.
MIRANSHAH: Taking exception to Sunday’s attack on the security forces in North Waziristan, the government has given one-day deadline to the tribal jirga and local Taliban headed by Hafiz Gul Bahadur to stop attacks on armed forces and government installations or else the military would use force to prevent such acts. Seventeen Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and 22 others injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack on a military convoy on Miranshah-Razmak Road on Sunday. The military convoy was on its way to Bannu garrison from Razmak subdivision in North Waziristan when came under attack from unidentified attackers. Miranshah subdivision Assistant Political Officer (APO) Mohammad Tahir Khan had called a meeting of the Grand Amn Jirga and lodged strong protest over the attack on Pakistani troops.The APO told the jirga members that they did not expect the attack on Pakistani forces and government installations after signing a peace accord with the tribesmen and local Taliban. The News.
BARA: Ten personnel of security forces and two militants were injured in an exchange of heavy fire in Harjalin Aday area in Bara subdivision of Khyber Agency on Monday, sources said. The sources said the militants of the Lashkar-e-Islam attacked three checkposts of security forces in Harjalin Aday area and injured 10 personnel of security forces. Besides, two LI militants were also injured in the clash. The News.
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has said elements opposed to peace, development and humanity had unleashed attacks on welfare organisations, female teachers and polio teams. Mr Hoti was speaking at a ceremony held at the CM house here on Monday to distribute compensation cheques among the relatives of deceased female teachers who died in an incident of firing on January 1 in Swabi. Relatives of seven victims were given Rs300,000 each while one injured was given Rs100,000. The CM directed for employment to a member of the each affected family. Commissioner Mardan Mohammad Adil, Deputy Commissioner Swabi Mohammad Shah and ANP Swabi president Haji Rehmanullah were also present on the occasion. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: The personnel of Levies Force have refused to perform duty in Frontier Region of Peshawar till fulfillment of their demands regarding provision of arms and compensation to the families of their killed colleagues. A reliable source in the force, pleading anonymity, told Dawn on Monday that 22 Levies men were killed by Taliban but government did not take any action in that regard. Criticising the government, he said that none of the senior officials bothered to participate in the funeral prayers of the killed Levies personnel nor offered fateha for them at their homes. “The administration had announced to compensate the affected families. We are still waiting for the compensation,” the source said and added that even sufficient arms and ammunition were not provided to Levies personnel. He said that out of 230 Levies personnel in the area only 45 had been given official weapons while the rest of them were using their personal arms against militants. He said that it was impossible for them to perform duty in such condition any longer. Dawn, The News.
BARA: A woman was killed and four others, including three women, were injured when mortar shells hit three houses in the Akakhel area in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency on Monday, sources said. The sources said that mortar shells fired from an undisclosed location fell on the houses of Shehzad, Ayub and another person whose identity could not be ascertained in Akakhel area. A woman was killed while three women and a minor were injured in the incidents. The injured were rushed to a hospital in Peshawar where their condition was stated to be critical. The News.
CHARSADDA: Hidayatullah Umarzai, brother of former MPA Alamzeb Umarzai, has termed nomination of his two brothers in FIR concerning attack on Awami National Party’s former provincial minister Bashir Khan Umarzai political victimisation. Addressing a press conference at his residence, Mr Hidayatullah stated on oath that his brothers – Khurshid Umarzai and Arshad Umarzai – had no connection with the remote-controlled blast on motorcade of the former ANP minister. He appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan, president and prime minister to intervene in the matter and save his family from the wrath of the influential family. He demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident through a judge of the Supreme Court. He said that they had enmity with Mr Umarzai, but added that they had no links with the bomb attack. Dawn.
CHARSADDA: The traffic police post in Tehsil Bazaar was partially damaged in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion on Monday but no casualty was reported, official sources said.The device planted by unidentified persons near the boundary wall of the police post went off early in morning. Following the blast, the police reached the spot and collected pieces of evidence. The News, The Nation.
KABUL: Afghan elders would decide on the key issue of whether American soldiers remaining in the country after 2014 should be granted immunity from prosecution, President Hamid Karzai said on Monday. US President Barack Obama warned last week that no American troops would remain behind in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Nato forces in 2014 unless they were granted immunity from prosecution in local courts. “The US is standing firm by its demand for immunity for its soldiers,” Mr Karzai told a news conference on his return from Washington where he held talks with Mr Obama on Friday. “The Afghan government can’t decide on this. This is up to the Afghan nation to decide. The Loya Jirga will decide,” he said, referring to the national assembly of tribal elders. President Karzai said that on the completion of the US-Nato withdrawal of most of their 100,000 troops, Afghanistan would be “safer and better”. “I’m fully confident that the situation in Afghanis-tan will be improved — very, very improved.” Dawn, The Nation.
WASHINGTON: “As the frequency of drone strikes spikes again, some questions must be asked: How many of those targeted were terrorists? Were any children harmed? And what is the standard of evidence to carry out these attacks?” says US Congressman Keith Ellison. “The United States has to provide answers and Congress has a critical role to play,” he argues. Mr Ellison, the only Muslim member of the US Congress, is a Democrat from Minnesota and has been a member of the House of Representatives since January 2007. In a piece he wrote in Monday’s Washington Post, Mr Ellison notes that unmanned US aerial vehicles — or drones — reportedly killed eight people in rural Pakistan last week, bringing the estimated death toll from drone strikes in Pakistan this year to 35. Highlighting his main differences with the drone programme, the Congressman says: “The heart of the problem is that our technological capability has far surpassed our policy.” Dawn, The Nation.
BAJAJUR AGENCY: Director General Health services Fata. Dr Fawad Khan on Monday said that government is committed to provide basic health facilities to the people of federally administered tribal area ( FATA), adding that free mobile hospitals are playing important role in the provision of essential health services to the tribesmen of militants hit area. He said this while addressing the closing ceremony of the eleven days long free medical camps activities here at Khar. A serial of free medical camps that were arranged by the health services Fata in collaboration with the Security forces held at the different militants smashed areas of the agency. Senior officials of the security forces, health department and the local administration including Sector commander North, Brigadier Ghulam Haidar , Commandant Bajaur scouts, Col shakeel janjua Political agent Bajaur Abdul Jabar Shah and coordinator Mobile hospitals Dr Niaz were attend the ceremony .
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY