Oct 112017

ISLAMABAD: There is a need for new legislation to enable authorities to hold someone responsible for enforced disappearances. At the same time, the extent of the issue is being confused by activists such as Mama Qadeer, who could not back up his claims regarding the number of missing persons. These were among the comments made by Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances head Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal on Wednesday. He was sharing details of the committee’s performance before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights. Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM) Nasreen Jalil chaired the meeting. PHC seeks reports of 10 missing persons every week “Despite challenges, we have disposed of 2,899 cases out of a total of 4,329 cases received by the commission… We are currently processing 1,386 cases,” he said. A host of problems, he said, could be resolved if the parliament modified relevant sections the Criminal Procedures Code. Parliament, he said, should play a proactive role by empowering the committee. Nobody, he pointed out, had asked former president Pervez Musharraf when he extradited more than 2,000 Pakistanis to foreign countries despite the fact that the country had terrorism laws and regulations. “This is not a banana republic … Nobody has bothered to … hold him accountable for what he did,” he said. Missing persons details to be given in three days He also lamented that he was being blamed for not making the Abbottabad Commission Report public. “Only the government and the parliament can decide to make it public,” he [Read More…]

Sep 172017

Posters placed by Baloch separatists in Geneva, Switzerland have drawn the ire of Pakistan’s top diplomat at the UN. Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Farukh Amil has written to Swiss Permanent Representative Valentin Zellweger to draw his attention to the ‘Free Baluchistan’ posters placed along Rue de Ferney in the Grand Sacconex area. The letter – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, says that since Monday, Pakistani diplomats identified at least eight posters which list ‘Baluchistan House’ as its sponsor, along with one digital poster. They also identified a car with local plates that appeared to be guarding the posters. Ambassador Amil opines that the local authorities should be aware of who placed them as it would have to collect fees for the posters. While protesting the attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty that is constituted by the posters, the ambassador explains to his opposite number that ‘Baluchistan House’ is an affiliate of the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), which is recognised as a terrorist group by Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and other countries. Pakistan’s polio fight wins praise in Geneva The letter also notes that BH and BLA’s overlapping leadership have committed crimes ranging from assassination to mass murder and kidnappings against soldiers, government officials, and civilians, along with religiously motivated attacks against minorities. The Pakistani envoy moves on to urge the Swiss to address the issue. “The use of Swiss soil by terrorists and violent secessionists for nefarious designs against Pakistan…is totally unacceptable. [Read More…]

Sep 032017

The Pakistan Army will continue assisting for the security and development of Balochistan, said Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Gen Bajwa made these remarks during his visit to Turbat and Gwadar on the second day of Eid where he met and greeted the locals. “The armed forces fulfilling their responsibilities in far-flung areas is commendable. We will keep rendering our duties with vigour and zeal,” said COAS, according to a statement issued by the ISPR. Army chief spends Eid with troops at Pak-Afghan border “All development projects under way in Balochistan will be completed on time,” he added. Gen Bajwa also met the family of Major Jamal Sheran who embraced martyrdom when militants targeted the paramilitary Frontier Corps in Hayatabad on July 17. On Saturday, COAS spent the first day of Eid in Rajgal Valley with the troops securing Pak-Afghan border. The post Efforts for security, uplift in Balochistan to continue: COAS appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Aug 142017

QUETTA: At least six soldiers of the Frontier Corps Balochistan were martyred and two others injured in an explosion on Monday. According to a statement, the soldiers died after being hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) when it was on patrol from Shahrag to Khost area. The device was planted on an unmetalled part of the road, which resulted in the entire vehicle being destroyed. The martyred soldiers have been identified as Lance Naik Yousaf Imran, Sepoy Shahab-ud-din, Sepoy Fayyaz, Sepoy Umer, Sepoy Naeem and Civil Security Fazal Rehman. The country has been battling nationalist insurgencies in the province since 2004, with hundreds of soldiers and militants killed in the fighting.   The post Six FC soldiers martyred in Balochistan IED attack appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Aug 062017

Four terrorists were killed in Kohlu and Dera Bugti, Balochistan in intelligence-based operations conducted by the FC on terrorist hideouts during Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. According a statement by the ISPR, the terrorists tried to fight back and four were killed in the subsequent exchange of fire. A soldier sustained minor injuries in the shootout. 12 arrested in Radd-ul-Fasaad raids in Balochistan The statement added that the terrorists’ camps were dismantled, while IEDs, explosives and communication equipment was seized. The killed militants were involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom, attacks on security forces and other sabotage activities, it said. Earlier, the FC had also carried out an intelligence-based operation in Kuchmina, Zhob on August 3 and foiled a terrorism bid aimed to sabotage Independence Day celebrations. The post Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad: Four terrorists killed in Balochistan, hideouts destroyed appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jul 262017

QUETTA: Former Balochistan higher education secretary Abdullah Jan, who was abducted from Quetta, returned home safely on Wednesday after four months and 11 days. He was kidnapped from near his home on Brohi Road on 15 March along with his driver. Later abductors released the driver at some distance from the scene. Kidnappers gave Jan Rs1,000 and left him in district Noshki, some 96km away from Quetta. He reached the main road by taking a lift from a motorcyclist.  Subsequently, he travelled by a van to reach Quetta followed by riding a rickshaw to reunite with family in Wahdat Colony. Balochistan higher education secretary abducted from Quetta Talking to media his elder son Atique said that Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and Commander Southern Command Lt-Gen Aamir Riaz played key role in the release of his father. Chief of Army Staff also issued special instructions to Commander Southern Command in this regard, he added. According to some reports, ransom of Rs200 million was paid for the release. However, Jan’s son refuted the reports. While visiting Jan, DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema said police would investigate if foreign elements were involved in the abduction. The post Abducted ex-Balochistan higher education secretary returns home appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jul 142017
Sectarian killings witness ‘phenomenal reduction’ in Balochistan, COAS apprised

There has been a phenomenal reduction in sectarian killings, terrorists are targeting law enforcement agencies and are looking for soft targets, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was apprised on Friday. Gen Qamar visited Quetta Garrison where he was given a detailed briefing on the security situation of the province at the headquarters of Southern Command and Frontier Corps Balochistan (North), the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement. COAS visited Qta. Reduction in sectarian tgt. Ts in desperation now tgt LEAs/soft targets. Appreciated security forces & civ admn. (1of2) pic.twitter.com/HYL8PmMXfG — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 14, 2017 The army chief said bringing Balochistan at par with other provinces is his top priority. “Balochistan is in my prime focus and prosperity of people of the province at par with other provinces is the main objective.” "Baluchistan is in my prime focus and prosperity of people of Baluchistan at par with other provinces is the main objective" COAS. (2 of 2) pic.twitter.com/0moCJ29KnW — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) July 14, 2017 We’ll make CPEC a success, come what may: COAS The COAS appreciated the achievements of the army, FC, police and intelligence and other agencies, including provincial administration towards the improvement of security situation. He especially hailed the efforts in the socio-economic domain and the resultant considerable surrender of fararies (insurgents) willingly. Gen Qamar also interacted with officers and soldiers, and appreciated their morale and motivation. The post Sectarian killings witness ‘phenomenal reduction’ in Balochistan, COAS apprised appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for [Read More…]

Jul 052017

QUETTA: A court in Quetta granted bail to a journalist arrested by the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) for allegedly writing posts on Facebook against paramilitary forces. The FIA on Wednesday produced Zafar Achakzai, working for a local Urdu language newspaper Daily Qudrat, before Judicial Magistrate Ayesha Kakar who granted bail to him of Rs80,000. IHC restrains FIA from harassing journalist The arrest was made on June 25 under the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act (PECA) 2016. Achakzai posted anti-paramilitary posts on Facebook that violated PECA before Eidul Fitr. The post Journalist arrested by FIA for criticising state institutions on Facebook granted bail appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

Jul 052017

QUETTA: The presence of the crippling poliovirus was confirmed in an 18-month-old boy in Mehmoodabad area of Chaman, Balochistan on Wednesday, making it the first polio case for the year in the province and third in the country. According to sources within the health department, Ahmed Shah, the infant son of Agha Shah, is a resident of Rah Mohammad Mohalla in Killa Abdullah district. The child had received only two or three doses of the polio vaccine since birth, said health officials, adding that his mother and grandmother had repeatedly refused the vaccination drops. 11 doctors in Peshawar refuse polio drops According to the child’s family, he developed high fever and constipation and they first took him to a local dispensary and then the local children’s hospital where doctors suspected he had contracted polio. Health officials said the presence of the virus was confirmed after stool samples were tested and other medical tests conducted. Southern Afghanistan and the Quetta block is thought be an active region for poliovirus transmission in the world. The post Country’s third polio case confirmed in child from Balochistan appeared first on The Express Tribune. Click for detailed story

May 232017

ISLAMABAD: Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa warned on Tuesday that Pakistan would give a ‘befitting’ response to any hostile action ‘anywhere along the border’, notwithstanding the country’s desire for enduring peace with its neighbours. His statement came during the annual Formation Commanders conference held at the GHQ in Rawalpindi. The statement appears to be aimed at conveying a clear message to Pakistan’s immediate neighbours, including Afghanistan, India and Iran. Tensions with India and Afghanistan have escalated, with recent incidents of border clashes along our eastern and western frontiers. Iran also threatened to target alleged militant hideouts inside Pakistan. Without naming any country, the army chief, speaking at the Formation Commanders’ conference, said: “Notwithstanding our desire for enduring peace with our neighbours, any hostile action anywhere along our frontiers shall be responded to most befittingly.” PR276/17Fmn Comds Conf.Notwithstanding our desire for peace, hostile action anywhere along our frontiers shall be responded befittingly 1/2 pic.twitter.com/kSacQob8iR — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) May 23, 2017 Referring to his recent visits to frontline field formations along the country’s eastern and western frontiers, Gen Qamar appreciated the high state of operational readiness and morale of troops especially displayed in response to recent border/ceasefire violations. A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the participants were briefed on the geostrategic environment, progress of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, operational preparedness against conventional threat and other matters concerning national security. The army chief said: “[The] budding state of stability achieved after countless sacrifices by security forces, law enforcement [Read More…]

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