LANDI KOTAL: The negotiations between Khyber Agency political administration and a tribal jirga remained inconclusive on Monday as tribal elders refused to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring peace in Bara Bazaar in case it was reopened. Malik Waris Khan, a jirga member and former MNA from Bara, told Dawn that they were not in a position to guarantee peace in Bara under the collective territorial responsibility clause of Frontier Crimes Regulation. “If the government with all its resources and military might could not restore peace in Bara during the last three and a half years of military operation, how could tribal elders shoulder such a big responsibility,” he said after the conclusion of the jirga’s meeting with political agent at his office in Peshawar. A 50-member jirga comprising tribal elders, members of various political parties and representatives of local traders held a three-hour long meeting with the administration in the aftermaths of the killings of 18 tribesmen in Alamgudar area of Bara on January 15. The jirga demanded of the political administration to reopen Bara Bazaar along with some important link roads, stop artillery shelling, release all innocent persons held during the military operations, announce compensation for the victims of Alamgudar incident and form a judicial commission to investigate independently the killings of the 18 tribesmen. Dawn, The News.
PESHAWAR: Residents of Bara Sheikhan village have asked the government to lift the curfew in the area to ease their misery. Addressing at a news conference along with the area residents at Peshawar Press Club on Monday, activists of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf from Bara Sheikhan said that a large number of people were affected owing to imposition of curfew in the village situated along the border with Khyber Agency. A PTI activist said that the movement of local people had strictly been restricted. “People are facing shortage of daily use items, while education and health facilities are also closed in the area.” He said that the villagers were also badly affected due to the continuing military operation in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency. “We are very peaceful and patriotic citizens and have no link with any anti-state group,” he added. He said the imposition of curfew was totally unjustified and unconstitutional. Dawn.
LANDI KOTAL: A security man was killed and another received injuries when militants fired at their vehicle in Bazaar-Zakhakhel area in Khyber Agency on Monday. Officials said that a group of security men was attacked by militants when they were fetching water from a natural spring in the area. One of them was killed on the spot while another injured. The injured security man was shifted to a hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, unidentified persons blew up a government school in Bara on Monday, officials said. They said that the incident took place in Merikhel village of Akkakhel when a group of militants planted explosives inside the government high school Gul Zameer Kallay in the wee hours of Monday. Dawn, The Nation, Daily Times.
PESHAWAR – Elders of a ‘grand shura’ consisting of the Internally Displaced Persons from Khyber Agency on Monday threatened the government that they would hold a long march towards Islamabad and besiege the Parliament House, if it failed to stop the ongoing security forces military operation in tehsil Bara. They demand of the government to ensure provision of basic amenities at their makeshift camps in Jalozai. Addressing a news conference here at press club, the head of their Grand Shura, Haji Gulbat Afridi said that the law and order situations were getting worst after each passing day due to the ongoing military action in tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency. “A large number of innocent tribal people including women, children and aged were killed in the indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment on the houses of the innocent people, he alleged. The Nation.
GHALANAI: Two security personnel were killed and 11 others injured when a landmine exploded during a search operation in a militant-infested area of Mohmand Agency on Monday, official sources said. Security forces with the help of Khasadars (tribal police) and volunteers of a peace Lashkar were conducting the search operation in Kanra village, Pandyali tehsil, when the landmine planted by militants went off, the sources said. Lance Naik Abdul Mehmood and Ziaullah were killed and five security personnel, four Khasadars and two volunteers were injured who were airlifted to a hospital. Dawn, The News, The Nation, Daily Times.
KHAR: The political administration in Bajaur Agency on Monday claimed there was no no-go area as peace had been restored all over the militancy-affected tribal region after the security forces’ operation. Briefing reporters of the national and foreign media outlets, Deputy Director of the Fata Secretariat Media Cell, Fazlullah, said the government had deployed a large number of Levies forces and members of the pro-government peace committee at the 52 kilometres long Pak-Afghan border in Bajaur Agency. The official added life was fast coming to normalcy in Bajaur Agency as effective measures had been taken to stop infiltration of militants across the Pak-Afghan border. He said due to the activities of the militants, a major portion of the infrastructure and other facilities, including schools and hospitals, had been adversely affected in Bajaur. Fazlullah pointed out that more than 9,000 houses and 6,000 shops and business outlets were destroyed in militancy related violence in Bajaur. He added 49 levies personnel lost lives during fighting against militants while 65 others sustained injuries. Political Agent Syed Abdul Jabbar Shah said 146 village defence committees were working in various parts of Bajaur to keep militants at bay. He added there were 1,740 members of the defence committees. The News.
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court sought on Monday complete record relating to seven former prisoners accused of terrorism and asked why they were still being detained without any trial in internment centres in Parachinar. A bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed will inquire on Tuesday how many times the review board for extending detention has approved further custody of the prisoners in the detention centres. The bench had taken up applications regarding the health conditions of the prisoners who had been traced on the directive of the court. Eleven prisoners had mysteriously gone missing from the gate of Rawalpindi’s Adiyala jail on May 29, 2010, the day they had been acquitted of terrorism charges over their alleged involvement in the audacious October 2009 attacks on the army General Headquarters and the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) Hamza Camp in Rawalpindi. Dawn.
PESHAWAR: Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali on Monday said terrorism was not the problem of his party only and rather, it was a national issue for whose resolution through a consensus among political forces, efforts were underway. During a function held at Nishtar Hall to mark the 25th death anniversary of Bacha Khan and seventh of Abdul Wali Khan, Mr Wali said of the country’s political groups, only ANP had a clear stand against terrorism. He asked if terrorists had killed ANP workers in Quetta and attacked the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and Mehran Airbase in Karachi to kill ANP workers. “We have to find a permanent solution to the continued violence because it had stalled our national progress and development. Tell me will anyone be willing to invest money in the country with terrorist activities everywhere,” he said. Dawn, The Nation.
PARACHINAR: The tribal elders hailing from the Kurram Agency on Monday asked President Asif Ali Zardari and Primer Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to take up the issue of the deportation of the Pakistanis with the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Speaking at a press conference, tribal elders, including Malik Hamid Hussain, Malik Wazir Ali, Jaffar Ali, Rajab Ali and Asghar Hussain, said the people belonging to tribal areas were being deported by the UAE authorities without any reason and it had caused distress among the tribesmen and their families. They said the deportation of overseas Pakistanis would multiply their miseries and also raise unemployment in the area. They said the overseas Pakistanis had always respected the UAE laws and regulations and played significant role in the development of that country. They also appealed to the UAE authorities to withdraw the decision. The News.
HANGU: The internally displaced persons (IDPs) dislocated from the upper and central parts of Orakzai Agency on Monday asked the government to send them home. A protest demonstration was held in this regard led by former Member National Assembly (MNA) Malik Spin Gul, Abdul Aziz, Fazal Muhammad, Khyal Akbar, Seen Akbar, Fazal Gul and others. The IDPs belonging to eight tribes of Orakzai Agency criticised the government and international humanitarian organisations for leaving them in the lurch.They said the people belonging to upper and central Orakzai Agency had been living a miserable life for the last four years as they were forced to abandon homes due to ragging conflict. The News.
PESHAWAR: Security has been beefed in rural areas of the provincial capital near its boundary with Khyber Agency after threats of more attacks on security posts and other targets in Peshawar. A number of posts of the police and Frontier Constabulary (FC) have been strengthened by deploying more cops and heavy weapons after an attack on a post in the Sheikhan village on Sunday. Heavy contingents of police and FC are deployed in Matani, Hassankhel, Sheikhan, Mashogagar, Mashokhel, Badaber and Sarband areas in Peshawar located near the boundary with the Khyber Agency. The militants operating from Khyber Agency and Darra Adamkhel have intensified attacks on these areas. The News.
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Barrister Masood Kausar has asked the private sector educational institutions to actively contribute to fulfilling the responsibilities of promoting higher education, especially in Fata. He urged the institutions to educate the youth to make them an asset not only for the respective area but also for the province and the country as well. The present government is committed to providing maximum possible facilities of quality higher education to our youth. However, he added, like everywhere else in the world, it need help of the society to develop educational institutions and the well-to-do, the philanthropists and the missionaries should come forward and augment government’s efforts for establishment of institutions of higher learning and research facilities in the private sector. The Nation.
PESHAWAR: There were conflicting reports in the government circles about the killing of Swat Taliban head Maulana Fazlullah in a US drone attack in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province early Sunday, but militants close to the fugitive leader said he was alive as he was away from the site of the drone strike. Some media outlets reported on Monday that Maulana Fazlullah had died along with his eight other fighters when a US drone fired missiles at his hideout in Kunar. Other reports suggested the Taliban leader died when the drone fired two missiles at his double-cabin pick-up truck. The government officials in Peshawar said rumours about Fazlullah’s killing first originated in Upper Dir, which is close to Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan, where most of the Pakistani Taliban belonging to the Malakand Division as well as Bajaur and Mohmand tribal regions have been hiding. They said Pakistani officials in Upper Dir district were informed by their Afghan informers in Kunar about the drone strike and killing of the Swat Taliban chief. However, they said despite their day-long efforts, they could not verify the report about his death in the drone strike. The News.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHARY