Despite widespread outrage over the Taliban shooting of a female teenage activist, Pakistani leaders and opinion makers are divided over whether the government should respond by targeting the militants’ last major sanctuary along the Afghan border. The US has long pressed Pakistan to launch an operation in the remote and mountainous North Waziristan tribal area, home to enemies of Islamabad as well as to militants fighting US troops in Afghanistan. The recent attack on 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai has given new momentum to the debate. One side argues the government should harness anger over the shooting to build public support for a push into North Waziristan. The other claims more fighting isn’t the answer and would trigger a violent backlash. They recommend peace negotiations and ending Pakistani support for the US war in Afghanistan. A Taliban gunman shot and critically wounded Malala on Oct. 9 as she was returning home from school in Pakistan’s northwest. Dawn.
Amid confusing signals over the possibility of a military operation against Taliban bases in North Waziristan in the wake of the shooting of Swat’s schoolgirl activist Malala Yosufzai, the Pakistan Muslim League-N aborted on Tuesday a new government-backed resolution in the National Assembly calling for action against militants. But before fiery and passionate exchanges on the move, the house saw a period of comparative cordiality when the PML-N conceded to the deletion of a single word from a government bill seeking the establishment of a new drug regulatory authority, leading to its unanimous adoption, after government support enabled a similar passage of a PML-N member’s private bill seeking to abolish discretionary quotas in public sector housing schemes in Islamabad. Dawn, The News, Daily Times.
Taliban insurgents said on Tuesday that Malala deserved to die because she had spoken out against the group and praised US President Barack Obama.“For this espionage, infidels gave her awards and rewards. And Islam orders killing of those who are spying for enemies,” the group said in a statement. “She used to propagate against the Mujahideen to defame (the) Taliban. The News, Daily Times.
More than 18,000 children could not be vaccinated against polio in the ongoing drive due to violence in upper and central Orakzai Agency. The health officials in Orakzai Tuesday said they had immunised so far 33,550 children in other parts of Orakzai Agency in the three-day campaign that would end today (Wednesday).They said 112 teams had been constituted to administer anti-polio drops to children in the Orakzai Agency. However, the upper parts of the tribal region, including Mamozai, Arghanjo, Buttakhel, Jandari Killay, Mirqalamkhel, Naeka Ziarat Killay, Audokhel, Jabba and Zafar Garhi, remained inaccessible for polio teams due to violence.They added the polio teams also failed to visit parts of central Orakzai Agency owing to volatile situation. The News.
The Frontier Works Organisation (FWO), a subsidiary of the armed forces, has issued a notice to Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) informing it that it is terminating construction of Rs13 billion Gomal Zam Dam project immediately for its failure to clear over Rs4 billion outstanding dues. Sources in the FWO told Dawn that the organisation had been using its own resources to ensure uninterrupted progress on the strategic project in the militancy-hit Waziristan region. “Despite repeated assurances Wapda has failed to meet its commitment to ensure orderly payments.” The FWO, therefore, was left with no option but to withdraw its workforce from the project site, the sources said. The contract of the project was given to the organisation in April 2007 following suspension of construction work by a foreign firm after kidnapping and then killing of a Chinese engineer that led to termination of the contract by China. Dawn.
The Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf has called for finding a political solution of the ongoing war against the Taliban, saying that military operation would aggravate the already volatile situation. Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, PTI chairman Imran Khan said that about 140,000 troops were engaged in the fight against the Taliban for the last eight years, but instead of easing the crisis was deepening. He appealed to all Pakistanis to play their role in finding a political solution to the problem and save the country from further death and destruction. Mr Khan tried to dispel a perception that the PTI had any affiliation with the Taliban or was supporting terrorists. “My only purpose is to establish peace and save the country from further destruction,” he added. Dawn, The Frontier Post.
Security forces arrested two militant commanders in a crackdown in Banda Nabi village near Pabbi tehsil on Tuesday, said security forces. Sources said, on tip-off they came to know that two suspected persons were involved in illegal activities there. The Frontier Post, Daily Times.
The All Pakistan Newspapers Society has expressed concern over a statement by a spokesman of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan threatening media persons and establishments of dire consequences. According to a press release, a meeting of the APNS executive committee said such threats to the media were aimed at curbing the freedom of press and suppressing the voice of the people and to force it to accept the dictates of different political and militant groups. The committee resolved that such threats or any militant action would not stop the media from discharging its professional duties to disseminate news and views to the public. Dawn.
The bullet-riddled bodies of four Afghan soldiers were found in Tor Darra locality of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency on Tuesday. Sources said that the four Afghan soldiers were kidnapped from Afghanistan some time ago by unidentified militants. They were killed and their bodies were dumped on the Pakistan’s side of the border, they added.
Meanwhile, security forces arrested 39 more suspected militants, including two Afghans, during a search operation in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency. The search operation was launched in Bakarabad locality of Ghundi and a daylong curfew was imposed in the area. The suspected militants, arrested during house-to-house search, were shifted to army camp in Landi Kotal for interrogation.
In Nowshera, two suspected militants were arrested in a joint operation by security forces and police on the night between Monday and Tuesday. Officials said that two suspected militants Qari Mohammad Saeed and Mohammad Karim were arrested during the operation in Banda Nabi village in Pabbi area. They said that illegal weapons were also recovered from the possession of arrested persons. Police sources, when contacted, confirmed arrest of the suspected militants and said that both of the arrested persons belonged to Orakzai Agency.
In Lakki Marwat, police thwarted a sabotage bid by defusing two explosive devices near Matora village on Bannu-D.I. Khan Road on Tuesday. Police received information about presence of suspicious material near a petrol pump on Bannu-D.I. Khan Road. A police party was sent to the spot that found a ghee canister and a cement bag lying there unclaimed. Dawn.
US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has urged Pakistan to take steps against extremism.
In her remarks to an American news channel during an interview Tuesday, Secretary Clinton – who is on an official trip to Peru – said that the response of Pakistani public, condemning the terrorist attack on 14 year old Malala Yousafzai at every level, was very appropriate. “The people of Pakistan are saying what needs to be said so eloquently now – that children, boys and girls, deserve to go to school; they deserve to have the chance to make the best of their God-given potential, to make a contribution to their society”, she pointed out. “Any country that doesn’t stand up against extremism in order to protect its children has to really take a hard look, and I think that’s what’s happening in Pakistan. And I certainly hope so because there are so many thousands of young girls who deserve to go to school, who deserve to have an education, and those who are committing these terrible acts of violence need to be brought to justice”, she stressed. Secretary Clinton said that al-Qaida was being defeated in Afghanistan. “I think it’s absolutely fair to say that the major leadership of al-Qaida, including bin Ladin, has been decimated. The Frontier Post.
To release twenty-five abducted persons Kaki tribes on Tuesday in a Grand Jirga announced to constitute an armed force against kidnappers. Grand Jirga held last day in the Kaki area of Bannu presided by Malik Sher Khan that was attended by hundreds of local residents and elders of the area.
Malik Sheer Khan, Nisar khan, Ashraf Khan, Ayurangzaib Khan, Noor Ali Shah, Hafiz Zar Ali Shah and other local leaders addressed the Jirga. Speakers said 25 persons were kidnapped from Mandan Gate of Bannu two days earlier and were kept as hostages in North Waziristan Agency. They said that the abducted persons were forced to inform the relatives via phones that they were kidnapped as the abductors had enmity with Abdul Qadir resident of Degan area. Leaders of the Jirga said that persons having enmity with kidnappers were not belonging to their tribe. Therefore, they added that kidnapping theirs tribesmen was meaning the opponent tribe wanted enmity with their tribe. The Frontier Post.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kausar said that Government was committed to eradicate polio from Fata which resulted in a great decline in the ratio of polio increase in tribal areas.
This he said in connection with the launching ceremony of All Pakistan Polio Campaign at Governor’s house Peshawar on Tuesday. The ceremony was also attended by Secretary Social Sector Fata, Director Fata Secretariat and members from WHO besides many other people from different quarters of life.
The Governor on the occasion distributed ten thousand rupees each and wheel chairs to a number of disabled people. The Frontier Post.
At least 45 suspected persons were arrested during the second day of search operation in Jamrud. Security forces around 6 am on Tuesday again imposed curfew in the areas of Ghundai, Bakarabad, Gharaiza Regilalma and started search operation against the suspected persons in these areas. As a result the security forces arrested 30 persons and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition.
Three Afghan nationals were also arrested in Ghudai from the house of Haji Aqal Jan while weapons were also recovered from their possession. Meanwhile, the elders of the area said the any action without the involvement of political administration would not be accepted. They demanded the security forces to conduct targeted operation instead of door-to-door search operation which was creating mental stress for the residence of the area. The Frontier Post.
The police defused explosive devices planted near the building of the Ghaznikhel Police Station on Indus Highway on Tuesday, sources said.The sources said that acting on a tip-off, the police reached the spot and defused 18 kilograms of explosive devices planted by unidentified persons near the building. An official of bomb disposal unit said the explosive devices were home-made. The News.
NAWAF KHAN, SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHRY