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Pakistan Timeline - 2017



January 1

Police arrested at least three terrorists and seized explosives from their custody during an action in SITE Town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The SSP of West Zone, Nasir Aftab said in a joint action, launched by Police and personnel of an intelligence agency, three terrorists affiliated to a banned outfit were apprehended and recovered explosive material and detonators from their possession.

Pakistan lashed out at India, saying that New Delhi had “deployed” terrorism as an instrument of state policy in the garb of denouncing terrorism. India, it added, was involved in perpetrating, sponsoring, supporting and financing terrorism. The remarks came in a statement that Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria issued in response to queries regarding reports about the failure of an Indian move in the United Nations sanctions committee.

The number of target killings in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, have significantly decreased by 253 percent during 2016, as compared to 2015, while the menace of extortions have slashed by 36 percent during the same period, the annual report of Sindh Police said. However, Police in the report have claimed that the number of target killings has reduced because of the good performance of the Police while the report has not mentioned the achievement of Sindh Rangers' Karachi operation continued for the past three years.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Police’s Counter-Terrorism Department is planning to deradicalise and rehabilitate an estimated 300 militants held in different jails of the province with the help of qualified psychologists, said Additional Inspector General of the CTD, Dr Sanaullah Abbasi. Under the proposed initiative, the CTD would conduct psychological profiling of the arrested militants to ascertain the possible factors, leading to militancy as a move to rehabilitate them. “The CTD Sindh has taken an initiative to create psychological profiles of arrested militants in the province,” said Dr Sanaullah Abbasi. He said a unit of the CTD Sindh had been deputed to go to jails to create such profiles along the lines of a proforma created by the NACTA to better identify the factors that lead to radicalisation of young men. The CTD chief said the unit concerned had around 15 police personnel, who would collect data about the imprisoned militants in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. Dr Abbasi said that there were 250 to 300 militants in different prisons of the province.

January 2

Six FCB officials were injured after their vehicle came under attack near Western Bypass in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The personnel were en route to firing range of the training camp when terrorists attacked the van with a remote-controlled bomb. The injured officials are Subedar Muhammad Shafi, Hawaldar Awalur Rehman, Naik Latif, Sepoys Saif, Raza Rehman and Qaim Khan. According to the Bomb Disposal Squad, eight to ten Kg explosives were used in the bombing.

January 3

The CTD officials of Hazara Division arrested two TTP terrorists, Muhammad Nawaz alias Abrash and Azizullah alias Hazaza, from Batagaram District of KP. Both the terrorists are said to have received militant training in Kunar area in Afghanistan. Nawaz and Azizullah were involved in a number of terrorism incidents in the past and were also found plotting an attack in the Batagaram region at the time of their arrest. CTD officials said the two men revealed major terrorism plots in Batagaram District during their initial interrogation. A video clip of DPO Batagaram was also recovered from their possession. 

Deaths linked to violence in the country decreased significantly in 2016, dropping 45 percent compared with the previous year, CRSS report said. Some 2,610 people lost their lives due to violence during the period compared with 4,647 in 2015. "There was nearly a 45 percent reduction in the number of violence-related fatalities in 2016, which continued the trend of reduction from 2014," the report said. "In fact, since 2014, there has been an overall reduction of nearly 66 percent." December was the least violent month for the country during the year. Two provinces - Punjab and Balochistan - had a marginal increase in violence during 2016. Balochistan suffered the most fatalities as violence-related deaths rose from 719 in 2015 to 798 last year, an upsurge of nearly 10 percent, followed by Punjab, which lost 424 people during 2016 - the highest number of fatalities in the province during the last four years. Both provinces were the targets of suicide attacks that increased the casualty count. Balochistan had three suicide attacks, leaving 186 dead, while Punjab had one suicide attack at a park crowded with families on Easter Sunday, killing 75, including many children.

January 4

Three persons, including a Sub-Inspector, were killed in firing incidents at various parts of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A SI of Police Iqbal Mehmood, probing some targeted killing cases was shot dead and two others injured in the night when unidentified assailants opened fire at them on main Rashid Minhas Road in Gulistan-i-Jauhar Town of Karachi. DSP Shara-i-Faisal Ali Anwar Soomro said that assailants were chasing SI Iqbal Mehmood who was riding a bike along with his friend Waseem. "As they disembarked from their motorbike to purchase some items from a vendor near Lal Flats, gunmen travelling in a car opened fire on them and fled," he said. Mahmood's friend Waseem and a passerby teenager Hafeez Ullah sustained bullet wounds in the incident. The deceased SI Iqbal Mehmood was posted at investigation section of Ferozabad Police Station. Investigators collected three spent bullet casings fired from a 9mm pistol from the crime scene.

One person, identified as Rizwan, who worked as a Police informer against drug peddlers, was shot dead in a firing incident in Korangi Industrial Area under Korangi Town of Karachi. SSP Nauman Siddiqui said that the Police had arrested the killer and recovered weapons from him.

A civilian was shot dead in a target-killing incident at Jamshed Road near Pardah Park in Jamshed Town area of Karachi. 

January 5

Unidentified militants shot dead two people in Jinnah Town of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. According to Police, both victims were going somewhere when the assailants riding a motorcycle opened fire on them. Both the men died on the spot.

FCB neutralised a 10 kilograms bomb in the Chithar area of Nasirabad District.

January 6

At least four suspected militants were killed during an exchange of fire with SFs in Uch and other areas of Naseerabad District in Balochistan. A security officer said that SFs conducted a search operation in Uch and other areas of Naseerabad District. Five militants were also arrested. Moreover, nine sanctuaries of militants were demolished by security personnel.

Unidentified assailants shot and injured five Hazara Shias in a suspected sectarian attack community on Spiny Road in the Qila Mubarak area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. DIG, Quetta, Razzak Cheema said that the incident is a targeted attack when five individuals were travelling in a taxi

At least one civilian was killed and two Policemen injured in two separate attacks in North Nazimabad area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police constable Muhammad Iqbal was injured when unidentified assailants lobbed a hand grenade at Taimuria Police Station in North Nazimabad. Later, 25-year-old Ali Imran was shot dead when unidentified assailants opened fire at Five Star Chowrangi in the same area. Bashir, a traffic police official, was also injured in the firing incident.

The Military Courts - to try civilians on terrorism charges - will expire today at midnight (Night between Friday & Saturday) after which all the terrorism cases against civilian suspects will be transferred to the ATC. The 21st Constitutional Amendment, which had paved the way for setting up the military courts for two years, will become ineffective on January 07. Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, “The military courts were set up for two years with the consensus of all the political parties. Any extension in these courts is not being considered.” He said ATCs will take up all such cases after expiry of the military courts after January 07.

January 7

The CTD killed six suspected terrorists during an encounter on Faisalabad Bypass Road in Faisalabad District of Punjab. According to CTD Sheikhupura sources, the CTD Lahore on January 6 arrested two terrorists identified as Saadullah Khan and Jahanzeb Khan - allegedly involved in Gulshan Iqbal Park Lahore suicide blast. As per the details, the CTD Lahore team was taking the arrested terrorists to Kot Pindi Daas to arrest other terrorists when their alleged accomplices attacked the team and got released Saadullah Khan and Jahanzeb Khan. The incident led to a cross firing between Police party and suspected terrorists. Resultantly, six terrorists were killed while three others managed to escape. The CTD also recovered three motorcycles, Kalashnikovs, pistol, bullets and a huge cache of explosives and hand grenades from them.

A human rights activist, Civil Progressive Alliance Pakistan (CPAP) president Samar Abbas (40) has gone missing from the federal capital Islamabad. Mr. Abbas is an activist based in Karachi who belongs to various forums that have been raising their voice voicing against atrocities committed against minority groups in the country.

Earlier, Social media activists Waqas Goraya and Asim Saeed disappeared from Lahore on January 4, Ahmed Raza Naseer went missing from Sheikhupura on January 7 while Salman Haider vanished from Islamabad’s Bani Gala area on January 6.

January 8

The Sindh CTD Transnational Terrorism Intelligence Group in-charge Raja Umer Khattab said that there might be surge in sectarian violence in city if LEAs don’t chalk out a strategy to clamp down on sleeper cells. The sleeper cells of AQIS and the LeJ are believed to be involved in the recent attacks on Policemen and there might be a surge in sectarian violence in the coming days, Raja Umer Khattab said. “In the past AQIS has used homemade bombs containing ball bearings in the Taimuria Police Station a Russian-made grenade was used, something that is new,” Raja Umer Khattab added. “AQIS primarily used handmade bombs. They had started off by making ball bombs and IEDs. The use of a grenade now suggests that sleeper cells of these terrorist outfits are now active and their members possess new kinds of weapons and explosives,” Raja Umer Khattab added further.

January 9

The BDU neutralised a 10 kilograms bomb in Karkhano Market of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Police said it was a remote-controlled device.

Bannu Special Police Unit arrested three suspected TTP terrorists from the Chando Khel area of Lakki Marwat District. Police recovered a Kalashnikov rifle, three grenades, an anti-personnel mine, explosives and 30 bore pistols. The terrorists were identified as Waliullah, Amanullah and Ravib. The arrested militants were involved in target killing, extortion and attacking law enforcers. The arrested persons also stole the rifle of police official Ali Badshah after killing him.

The Balochistan High Court issued bailable arrest warrants for former President General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf in JWP leader Nawab Akbar Bugti's murder case. A divisional bench of BHC passed this order during hearing of a review petition challenging acquittal of the former president by Anti-Terrorism Court. Former Balochistan chief minister and governor Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in Dera Bugti District on August 26, 2006.

The CPLC in its report has identified sixty 'hot spots' in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, where the street criminals operate the most and incidents of snatchings take place. These areas including PIDC, Tariq Road, Sakhi Hassan, Hassan Square, Bahadurabad, Aisha Manzil and the NIPA Chowrangi which are high-risk areas and even some areas in city's posh localities such as Defence and Clifton make it to the list. The CPLC report further states that in 2016, 19,336 incidents of mobile snatching were reported which is an increase of 38 percent as compared to 2015. "Besides mobile snatching, around 22,358 motorcycles were snatched, which is 24 percent more as compared to 2015," stated the report. However, CPLC has claimed that car theft and its snatching incidents have reduced substantially in Karachi during 2016. All this is despite the passage of more than three years of Karachi operation, which is claimed to be successful by the Rangers and the provincial government adds the news report.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stunned the entire opposition in the Senate by stating that “banned sectarian organisations could not be equated with other banned terrorist organisations”. The Interior Minister gave the remarks to justify his meeting with Ahmed Ludhianvi, the chief of banned sectarian organisation ASWJ.

January 10

Unidentified assailants killed a Police constable, Khalid Shaikh (30), near his house on Jamshed Road in the Soldier Bazaar area of Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh.

January 11

JI ameer (chief), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mushtaq Ahmad called for merger of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and also stated that the people of the FATA were deprived of basic and democratic rights for the last seven decades, reports The News. Mushtaq Ahmed also rejected the FCR, saying it was a black law. “If no solid steps were taken for the merger of the FATA with KP and uplift of the tribal areas, we will have no other option but to march on Islamabad,” he said. Mushtaq Ahmad asked the Government to announce PKR 1,000 billion uplift package for the tribal areas.

Earlier, JUI-F leaders on January 8 rejected the federal government’s plan to merge FATA with KP and threatened to launch a protest movement if any changes were ‘imposed’ on the tribal people. “We request the federal government, especially the prime minister, to stop implementation of the reforms until every stockholder is taken on board, otherwise the JUI-F would start an agitation campaign across FATA,” threatened Abdul Shakoor, head (FATA) JUI-F.

January 12

Unidentified assailants shot dead a journalist, Muhammad Jan (37), in Kalat town of same District in Balochistan. Muhammad Jan, who worked for local Urdu language daily newspaper ‘Qudrat’, was shot dead while he was on his way home on a motorcycle. “Two attackers on motorcycle opened fire on him, using a pistol and killing him on the spot,” Senior Police Officer Muhammad Ali said.

January 13

The FO rejected allegations of terrorist safe havens in the FATA, saying Pakistan does not allow its territory to be used for attacks against any other country. Responding to queries during the weekly news briefing, FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Afghanistan was infested with a number of terrorist organisations due to its instability. This, he added, created space for terrorist elements such as Haqqani network's leadership, TTP, Daesh, and al Qaeda, among other terrorist organisations. "It is, therefore, not appropriate to blame others for the adversities due to the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. The oft repeated claims regarding safe havens are, therefore, more of a rhetoric than anything else," the spokesperson maintained.

The Federal Government claimed that it has been spending an additional PKR 250 billion annually on security since the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and that it cannot sustain the burden alone, but the two big provinces have already refused to share the cost. In a position paper it has sent to the four federating units to convince them to pay for security, the NFC Secretariat claimed that security-related additional spending stood at PKR 732.4 billion since June 2014. This includes PKR 283 billion allocations for the financial year 2016-17. “Since 2014-15 alone, when new security operations started, the federal government has been spending some PKR 300 billion specifically for meeting the expenditures related to security, rehabilitation and capacity-building of security forces to meet the challenges of law and order,” the finance ministry note stated.

January 15

Three Policemen were injured when unidentified militants attacked the convoy of a Qatari prince in Musakhel District of Balochistan in the evening. Security sources said that the militants opened indiscriminate fire on the convoy, as a result of which District Police Officer Majeed Dasti and two other security officials received bullet wounds. The Qatari prince remained unharmed in the attack, said Senior District Administration official Mohammad Yasir.

Army and LEAs carried out joint combing operations in Shaheen town, Warsak Road, Dalazak and Pakka Ghulam areas of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, in the evening. According to ISPR, during the combing operation 58 suspects were apprehended including five Afghan nationals. Huge cache of arms, ammunition and drugs were recovered during the operation.

January 16

Unidentified militants killed two Police officials in different areas of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Militants opened fire at a Police constable in the Killi Deba area of Quetta, killing him on the spot. In another incident, militants opened fire near the Passport Office area and killed another Police official on duty. The attackers managed to escape from the scene in both cases, with Police officials terming the incidents as acts of target killings.

The special policing powers granted to Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, by the Provincial Government under Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 to carry out raids and arrest suspects ended. The Government had extended the Rangers' Policing powers on October 18, 2016, for 90 days thus entitling them to carry out raids, snap checking and arresting the people in the provincial capital only. Sindh Government, however, had not issued any official statement in connection with extension of the powers by the end of the day.

January 17

The CTD personnel shot dead four suspected militants belonging to a banned outfit near the Sheikhupura Bypass in Sheikhupura District of Punjab in the wee hours. CTD officials claimed that they had been tipped off by intelligence sources regarding the presence of the suspected terrorists. Upon reaching the place, an armed conflict initiated between the CTD officials and the suspected militants. Four alleged terrorists were gunned down by CTD while three managed to flee. Police managed to recover arms, ammunition and explosive material from the suspected militants.

January 18

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah approved the summary extending Rangers' special powers in Karachi for 90 days. The special powers will grant Rangers special Policing powers in the metropolis. The summary to extend the powers of the paramilitary force had been sent to Syed Murad Ali Shah by the Home Minister.

The Rangers were given extension last on October 16, 2016 by Murad Ali Shah. Under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, Rangers have been granted special powers to raid and take into custody suspects.

JuD has filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court seeking the removal of its name from the watch list under Schedule 2 of the ATA 1997. Raja Rizwan Abbasi filed JuD’s petition before the IHC. JuD is alleged to be an incarnation of the banned LeT and was placed on the watchlist in December 2008.

January 19

Police recovered four dead bodies from an empty plot in Steel Town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Malir Town SSP Rao Anwar claimed that the four victims had been shot to death adding that the corpses bore torture marks. 

Two SF personnel were killed after unidentified militants opened fire on them in Kohlu area of Balochistan. The deceased were identified as constable Shero and Khawand Bukhsh. The militants managed to flee the scene.

The Senate (The upper house of Parliament) was told that certain foreign intelligence agencies funded [militant] groups in Pakistan to destabilise it. Answering a question about major sources of funding being used in acts of terrorism in the country, Minister of State for Interior Baleeghur Rahman said it was difficult to pinpoint with 100 per cent accuracy the sources of terrorism funding. But some of the generally perceived sources include extortion and funding by foreign intelligence agencies. He said that militants were known to extort money from drug dealers and producers operating in the areas straddling the Pakistan-Afghan border. Giving details of the investigations being conducted to collect information about terrorism funding, he said 844 such cases were under investigation, including 498 registered under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 230 under anti-money laundering law and 116 cases of suspicious transactions reported by the financial monitoring unit of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The CoAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa met leaders from the business and trader communities and assured them of continuation of the security operation in Karachi, the statement released by the ISPR said. "The Karachi operation will continue till the elimination of crime in the city," said Army chief. He added that all possible measures will be taken to restore peace in Karachi, and said that the strategy for Karachi would remain the same and there would be no change in policy.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that his Government would never allow terrorists and religious fanatics to play with the lives of innocent people even if the Federal Government refuses to cooperate with it. This he said while presiding over the Sindh cabinet meeting here at the Sindh Secretariat. Briefing the cabinet on the response of Ministry of Interior to ban 94 madrassa's allegedly involved in promoting terrorism, the Chief Minister said that in the Apex committee the list of the madrassa's was presented. The Committee was told that 94 madrassa's were involved in terrorist activities. They had presented solid evidences gathered from the terrorists arrested by Law Enforcement Agencies and they had revealed startling disclosures against the said madrassa's.

January 21

At least 25 people were killed and more than 87 others were injured in a bomb blast at the Sabzi Mandi (vegetable market) area of Parachinar in Kurram Agency of FATA in the morning. A statement issued by the ISPR said IED blast took place at 08:50am. Government official Shahid Khan said the explosion took place when the market was crowded with retailers buying fruits and vegetables. In a text message sent to journalists, the al-Alami (International) faction of LeJ claimed that it, along with the TTP splinter Shehryar Mehsud group, carried out the attack. The Shehryar Mehsud group did not independently claim the bombing.  

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Engr Iqbal Zafar Jhagra strongly condemned the bomb blast and said "We will continue our struggle till eliminating the last terrorist from FATA". The terrorist, he added, could never deter our courage, since we are determined to follow them to the extreme extent. He further directed the political administration to expeditiously complete relief activities and no effort should be spared in ensuring best ever treatment facilities to the injured.

The number of Pakistanis under detention in Saudi Arab jails on terror charges reached 69 with the arrest of a woman in Jeddah’s Al-Naseem District during a security operation. According to a report in Saudi newspaper Arab News, Fatima Ramadan Balochi Murad was arrested along with her Saudi husband from an apartment in Al-Naseem District by security agencies after a tip-off. A recent statement issued by the Interior Ministry through its Tawasul (communications) portal said that 5,085 terror suspects from 40 countries are in detention in five intelligence prisons in the Kingdom.

January 22

Unidentified assailants opened fire and killed two persons in Satellite Town area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Police officials said the gunmen were on a motorcycle when they opened fire and critically injured two tribal locals. The injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital in Quetta but they succumbed to their injuries. The motive behind the attack remains to be ascertained. The assailants escaped unhurt from the crime scene.

The COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa said terrorists would not be allowed to derail the stability of FATA. According to a statement issued by ISPR Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor, General Qamar Javed Bajwa said this during his visit to Parachinar and Peshawar. The COAS was given a detailed briefing on January 21’s bombing in Parachinar. General Bajwa lauded the support of tribal people in combating terrorism and acknowledged their sacrifices for peace. He said that with their support the Army, FC and other law enforcers have done a great job in stabilising the area and terrorists will fail to derail it. The COAS lauded their efforts in maintaining tribal and sectarian harmony which is source of national integration. He said, "Pakistan belongs to all of us without any religious, provincial, tribal, linguistic, ethnic, sectarian or any other discrimination."

January 23

At least eight security personnel were injured when their convoy comes under militant ambush in Gichak area of Panjgur District in Balochistan. "The security personnel were moving through the district's mountainous Gichak area to conduct a raid against miscreants when they were fired upon," said a security official. No arrests were reported after the incident. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Police recovered two suicide jackets from Abu Bakar mosque under the Paharipura Police Station, on the outskirt of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, no arrests were made. An official at the Paharipura Police Station said that acting on a tip-off Police personnel checked Abu Bakar mosque near Benazir Hospital along the motorway. He said the cops recovered two suicide jackets containing about five kilogramme explosives from the room of the prayer leader of the mosque. However, the prayer leader was not present in the room at the time of the raid.

The CTD arrested two LeJ militants during raided on a house on Airport Road near railway line in Bahawalpur District of Punjab around 3pm. A CTD spokesman said they received information about the presence of ‘terrorists’ planning to attack some installation in Bahawalpur. A CTD team raided the house on Airport Road and arrested two LeJ militants, identified as Khalid Mahmood and Sajjad. Explosive material and two live grenades were recovered from their possession.

January 24

A Shia man, Mohammed Kazim Raza (39), was gunned down in suspected sectarian attack in Gulistan-i-Jauhar area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, in the night. “It appeared to be a targeted killing incident linked with sectarianism,” said Superintendent Police Dr. Fahad Ahmed.

January 28

Authorities arrested eight more suspects in connection with the Parachinar market bomb blast in Kurram Agency of FATA on January 21, as the number of detained persons reached 15. Officials said that investigations were underway from different angles to arrest the elements involved in the blast. After the explosion, the administration took into custody seven people who were being interrogated. Sources said most of the arrested persons were daily wagers who were present at the spot during auction of vegetables in the morning.

The CTD claimed to have arrested a would-be suicide bomber and another militant, associated with a banned outfit, who were allegedly involved in major terrorist acts in urban and rural Sindh and operating their networks in four major cities of the province besides Jaffarabad District of Balochistan. In a targeted raid conducted in the Manghopir area of Karachi, the CTD team detained the two suspects, Shaukat (would-be suicide bomber) and Abdul Ghani, and seized explosive material, a suicide jacket, a hand grenade and two pistols from their custody. “The held militants, who belonged to the Brohi tribe and were trained in Balochistan, were operating terror networks in Sukkur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Sanghar districts in Sindh and Jaffarabad district in Balochistan,” said Sindh CTD chief Dr Sanaullah Abbasi.

An ATC of Bahawalpur District in Punjab jailed two militant for 45 years for carrying explosives and illegal weapons. According to details, Riaz and Peerakh were found guilty of carrying explosives and illegal in the Kot Sabzal Police Station in 2014. After hearing arguments, ATC Judge Khalid Arshad sentenced them to 45 years. The court also ordered to confiscate their property and imposed Rs 500,000 fine each.

The Punjab Home Department issued a warning against possible terrorist attacks in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab. According to the notification, TTP trained boys aged about 10 to 12 years are currently in and around major cities of the country including Punjab. Upon investigation an arrested little boy revealed that he was tasked to attack an educational institute close to Abdali Chowk in Lahore. The warning also instructed further security for important installations and called for an immediate meeting of the District Intelligence Committee.

Two Policemen, including an inspector, were shot dead while another official received bullet injuries in Wapda road area of Dera Murad Jamali District in Balochistan in the evening. Police officials said that unidentified militants opened fire at a Police mobile in Wapda road area, killing Inspector Hidayatullah Kolachi on the spot. His gunman succumbed to his injuries on the way to a nearby hospital. The assailants escaped unhurt from the spot.

January 30

A Pakistan Army soldier, Waqas, who was critically injured in a cross-border terrorist attack in Khyber Agency of FATA, succumbed to his injuries. "Terrorists fired from across the border on a Pakistani post in Khyber Agency critically injuring Sepoy Waqas performing duty at the border post," read a statement issued by the ISPR.

At least nine people, including three FC personnel, were injured in a blast on Charsadda road of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A contingent of FC personnel was on its way from Mohmand Agency to Peshawar when their vehicle was targeted through a bomb planted on the roadside on Charsadda road, SSP Operations Sajjad Khan said. As a result of the explosion, six civilians and three security men sustained injuries. There has been no claim of responsibility for the blast.

The Punjab Government issued orders to place JuD chief Hafiz Saeed under house arrest. The Government launched a crackdown against JuD and a heavy contingent of Police was deployed around the JuD headquarter and offices in Muridke and Lahore. “A large police team arrived (at JuD headquarters) and told us that Hafiz would be placed under house arrest,” said the secretary of information for JuD, Nadeem Awan. Awan said the Police told them they had an arrest warrant for Saeed and five others at JuD headquarters.

Hafiz Saeed was reportedly present at the Qudsia Mosque located in Chauburji area of Lahore. Contingents of Police and other law-enforcing agencies reached the area and surrounded the premises, sources said.  Police sources further informed that Saeed will be shifted to his residence in the Johar Town area of the provincial capital, Lahore, which will then be declared as a sub-jail. Saeed has been detained under Section 11-EEE (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977, a notification issued by the Interior Ministry said. Meanwhile, the District intelligence committee has suggested it to the Government to put the JuD chief’s name in fourth schedule. Moreover, national flags have been hoisted at the JuD offices in Lahore, instead of party flags, on the directives of provincial home department, it added. The provincial authorities have also started to remove the banners of JuD from the roads of Lahore.

January 31

The ISPR Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor said JuD chief Hafiz Saeed's house arrest is a State decision in the best national interest. Sending a clear message to India, he said whether it is cold start or any other doctrine, Pakistan is ready to respond with full strength. Major General Asif Ghafoor said the successes of Army and other law enforcers in the war on terror has made Pakistan safer than 2008. To a question about the JuD chief's house arrest, he said that the state took this policy decision in national interest. He denied any foreign pressure behind the move.

February 1

Sindh Rangers claimed to have killed notorious Lyari gang war commander Noor Muhammad alias Baba Ladla in a shootout in Lyari Town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Two of Baba Ladla’s close associates, Sikandar alias Sikko and Mohammad Yaseen alias Mama, were also killed in the encounter. During the operation, Head Constable Fayyaz and Constable Tufail were also killed. One Kalashnikov, a 9mm pistol, a 9mm mouser and a hand grenade were also recovered from their possession. The “most wanted” suspects were involved in numerous terrorist incidents, said Rangers in a press release. “Baba Ladla was wanted in more than 74 crimes by police,” added the press release further. The Sindh government had placed a head money of PKR Three million on Baba Ladla in 2012.

The press release also revealed that Baba Ladla had, with the help of Uzair Baloch, committed the murders of Shera Pathan, Arshad Pappu and Yasir Arafat. It also stated that in March 2013, Baba Ladla had kidnapped a group of Muhajirs and murdered them. The Rangers press release also claimed the other gangster gunned down in the operation, Sikander alias Siku, was wanted in more than 15 crimes by Police. Sikander was described by Rangers as a close aide of Baba Ladla and also his facilitator. In April 2012, Sikander had committed the murder of Station House Officer (SHO) Fawad Khan while in the same year he had also killed Constable Asif, according to the press release. In 2013, he had tortured and subsequently killed two other men.  Sikander had also been involved in the sale and purchase of illegal weapons.

Security Forces killed a TTP militant and arrested eight other suspects during an exchange of fire in the Luni Jungle area under Kulachi tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Three Army personnel - Major Abbas, Captain Omer and Naik Adnan - were injured during a 'routine sanitisation operation', the ISPR said in a statement.

The Federal Ministry of Interior placed names of JuD Chief Hafiz Saeed Ahmed and 37 other individuals on the ECL. All 30 people who are put on ECL are affiliated with JuD or LeT. The decision to place Hafiz Saeed on ECL was taken two days after JuD chief and four others were put under house arrest. The Interior Ministry has forwarded a letter to all Provincial Governments and the Federal Investigation Agency, which included names of Hafiz Saeed and 37 other individuals placed on the ECL. On January 31, the Federal Ministry of Interior placed FIF and JUD on the Watch List and listed these organizations in the Second Schedule of the ATA 1997 (as amended).

February 2

Police arrested a man, Kashif Hanif (29), whose name appears on the Fourth Schedule of the ATA and is said to have links to the so-called 'Tehreek-e-Taliban Kashmir' (TTK) from Datot village on the outskirts of Rawalakot in PoK. Hanif is suspected of involvement in nine acts of terrorism, the SSP in Poonch Mir Abid said. These acts included a suicide attack on an Army vehicle near Dothan village in January 2010, in which some Army soldiers were injured. He is also suspected of being involved in the planting of a bomb outside a hotel in Rawalakot in September 2010 which killed the bomber was killed and injured a citizen. Hanif has also allegedly been involved in other attacks on military vehicles and installations. SSP Abid said that the accused was wanted since 2010 by five Police Stations of Bagh, Poonch and Sudhnoti Districts for masterminding and executing different subversive activities. The SSP said that the accused belonged to the group of Nazirul Islam alias Shamil Khan who was the first head of the so-called 'TTK' after defecting from Asmatullah Muavia.

February 3

Police stopped JuD from holding a ‘multiparty conference’ (MPC) on Kashmir issue at the press club in Hyderabad city of Sindh reportedly after receiving ‘orders’ from high-ups in the wake of house arrest of JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. JuD leaders decided to cancel the conference and disperse peacefully. Later, they informed media persons through an SMS that the MPC had to be cancelled because of some ‘unavoidable circumstances’. A heavy contingent of Police had sealed the road with barbed wire outside the press club. JuD Sindh emir Faisal Nadeem said the MPC was not organised by JuD only, it was held by Tehreek-i-Azadi Kashmir, a platform founded by JuD and other parties to discuss Kashmir’s freedom movement.

February 6

A grand jirga of elders from Khyber Agency was held in Jamrud town, opposing the proposed merger of the FATA with KP. Jirga participants urged the Government instead to form an independent FATA Legislative Council or announce a separate province status for the tribal areas. Malik Ghaffar Khan Afridi, a tribal elder, said that the merger of FATA with KP was unacceptable to tribal people. He said the proposed legislative council should be formed to legislate for the tribal region in line with the local social, political and traditions. The elder believed that the FATA reforms proposed by the government committee went against tribal customs and traditions. He said legislation and policies on Fata should be made in light of local traditions and customs. Malik Ghaffar Khan Afridi opposed the extension of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and high courts to FATA, saying local residents knew very well how to resolve their issues through a jirga system. 

February 7

At least two Policemen were injured, in an explosion, at the main gate of Mandan Police Station in Bannu District of KP. The blast was caused when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the entrance gate of the Police Station. The main gate of the Police Station was completely destroyed due to explosion while the building was partially damaged. The injured Policemen were shifted to a nearby hospital. 

Pakistan handed over four suspected cadres of Afghanistan chapter of IS to Kabul as ‘a gesture of goodwill’. The four were paraded before journalists at the Michni checkpoint before being handed over to Afghan officials at the Torkham border crossing in Khyber Agency of FATA. Landi Kotal Assistant Political Agent Niaz Mohammad told reporters that Javed Khan, Safiullah, Talmeen Khan and Niamatullah, all hailing from Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, had been arrested by intelligence agencies in Peshawar after they received information about the militants’ presence in the city.

The Punjab Government giving a clean chit to all educational institutes - including 15,000 madrassas - has declared that no seminary or public and private institute is involved in teaching hate material to students. During the Punjab Assembly session, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah while commenting on a resolution moved by a treasury member Ms Hina Pervez Butt informed the House that the PML-N-led Punjab Government had registered all 15,000 madrassas, including 532 existing in 'Gray Areas' of the province. Rana Sanaullah confirmed that as many as 1.1 million students were enrolled in madrassas in which around 0.4 million students are enjoying boarding facilities, while 1300 students belong to foreign countries.

February 8

AJK Police announced the arrest of three men suspected of facilitating a suicide attack on a Muharram procession in Mirpura village of Neelum Valley in Muzaffarabad in December 27, 2009. The arrests were made from three different places in Muzaffarabad in the evening of February 7. The men arrested have been identified as Malik Mohammad Ashfaq from Sarriyan District, Muhammad Khaqan Awan from Hattian Bala District and Umer Farooq Shah from Athmuqam District in Neelum Valley. The attack left at 15 parsons, including two Policemen, dead and more than 100 injured. ASP Asif Durrani said that the men were suspected of providing accommodation and transportation to the attackers.

Almost 248 Police officials who took part in 1992 and 1996 Karachi operations were killed however, so far only six killers of these cops have been convicted. A total of 378 accused were arrested. Challans submitted in 121 cases out of which in six cases killers have been convicted whereas a total of 55 accused acquitted and the remaining 60 are still under trial. Official statistics show that from 1995 till 2016, almost 1,488 Policemen were killed in the Karachi Range. Although, the most number of Police officials – 261 — were killed in 1995 yet otherwise 2012, 2013 and 2014 were the worst years for the Karachi Police with 123, 165 and 136 killings respectively.

The ongoing Rangers’ led operation appears to have been a blessing even for the Karachi Police as killings of Police officials in the city had drastically reduced in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, only 29 Policemen were killed whereas this figure was 67 in 2015. The official data shows that a total of 261 Policemen were killed in 1995 58 were murdered in 1996 74 in 1997 97 in 1998 59 in 1999 49 in 2000 58 in 2001 14 in 2002 19 in 2003 23 in 2004 24 in 2005 40 in 2006 51 in 2007 48 in 2008 41 in 2009 49 in 2010 53 in 2011 123 in 2012 165 in 2013 136 in 2014 67 in 2015 and 29 in 2016.

Outside Karachi in Sindh, Larkana appears to be the most dangerous place for Policemen from 2001 till 2016. Each year’s number of Policemen killed in Larkana District during the period (from 2001 till 2016) is 8 7 17 1 6 4 11 21 13 13 13 8 13 20 10 9 and 5 respectively. These figures show that the most difficult time for the Larkana Police has been from 2007 to 2014 — the period during which the killing of policemen remained high. Otherwise, in the Hyderabad District, the Police had a bad time really in 2014 when a total of 27 Police officials got killed. 

February 9

Six militants were killed in a shoot out with Police during a raid on a chicken farm off Superhighway near the Baqai Medical University in Gadap town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. SSP Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed said that the six militants belonged to AQIS and TTP, and were involved in targeting law enforcement personnel. One of the militant was also involved in the Peshawar Army Public School attack. An ID card was found from his pocket, but the investigators are trying to verify his identity as the card he was carrying may have been faked. Another militant Ibrahim Haydri had allegedly been wanted by Police for his involvement in grenade attacks and firing on various Police officials in different areas of Karachi. "Haydri and the other militants were responsible for the death of around 25 Police personnel," the Rao Anwar Ahmed alleged.

Five persons, including four children, were injured in a roadside bomb blast in Arang tehsil of Bajaur Agency in FATA. The bomb was detonated through a remote control device.

February 10

Two militants killed and three others injured when Army repulsed militant attack from Afghanistan on two Pakistan Army checkposts in the Ulai area of Baizai tehsil in Mohmand Agency of FATA in the night. The Army’s media wing, ISPR said that Pakistan Army effectively responded to the fire, rendering it ineffective. Soon after the incident, militants fled back to Afghanistan, ISPR added. The JuA faction of TTP stated that it lost two cadres while three others were injured after they launched an overnight attack on a Pakistani checkpost.

Iranian forces fired four mortar shells across the border into Balochistan's Panjgur District. Deputy Commissioner Panjgur Habibur Rehman claimed Iranian forces fired four mortar shells into Parom area 'without any justification and provocation'. "We have not received any report about any human loss", he added.

February 11

Provincial Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti stated that India was using Afghanistan’s soil to destabilise Balochistan. Speaking at a seminar at University of Karachi, Sarfraz Bugti said, Security Forces and the youth of Balochistan brought peace in the province, adding that rate of crime in Balochistan is much lower as compared to Karachi and Faisalabad. A handful (100-200) of miscreants are trying to sabotage CPEC, he added.

February 12

Two children were killed and another critically wounded in an accidental grenade explosion in Buner of Swat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The children of a shepherd family were playing when they found the hand grenade and accidentally set it off, local government official Zariful Maani. The two brothers, aged nine and 10, died, while their seven-year-old female cousin is in critical condition. 

An employee of Samaa TV was killed evening when unidentified assailants opened fire on a Samaa TV DSNG van at KDA Chowrangi near Dolmen Mall in North Nazimabad of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. An assistant cameraman, Taimur, received a bullet wound to the head and was rushed to the nearby Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The media van was in the area to cover an earlier incident, a cracker attack on a Police vehicle, when it was attacked. “Our team members along with the DSNG had gone there to cover the cracker attack on the police vehicle when they came under attack,” said Samaa TV's Director News, Farhan Malik. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Central, Muqaddas Haider said the same suspects might be involved in both the incidents and added the cracker attack on the police vehicle did not cause any damage. “It appears that the suspects attacked the Police mobile with a cracker to attract media's attention and when the Samaa team arrived, they chased and attacked it,” added Haider.

In an effort to promote its ideology and update supporters about its latest actions in the country, the TTP has brought out a high gloss, Vogue-style magazine. The first issue of ‘Mujjallah’ magazine was published in November 2016 and reportedly distributed in Pakistan sometime in December 2016. The inaugural issue had 56 pages. The second issue printed a couple of weeks ago is slicker and thicker and has more pages than the first one. The paper quality of the magazine is at par with that of Vogue, besides having fine printing quality. The cover carries bulletins of the banned outfit’s activities in Pakistan and also features reports on how to make bombs and other explosives. Some experts who have known about the operations of organisation like TTP stated that the magazine has been modeled after ISIS publications which were available in Arabic and Urdu among other languages.

While declining to be named, they said, the magazine is being printed in Afghanistan, most likely in Jalalabad, and allegedly distributed throughout Pakistan amongst hardcore followers and also has a limited circulation in Afghanistan. Judging from the kind of language used in the magazine, the articles and features were probably written by non-native Urdu speakers, possibly Arabic-speaking people. The articles have not been attributed to anyone. Since TTP has lost ground in Pakistan, the magazine is most likely an attempt to spread its propaganda.  It may also be an effort to defame the country, they added. To illustrate their point, they said that when TTP held a strong position in Pakistan it had never attempted to bring out such a magazine but now after it had lost ground such a publication was released.

The ISAF Commander General John Nicholson (Jr.) said TTP provides the core fighting group for the militant IS group as TTP militants in Orakzai Agency of FATA en masse joined the relatively new terrorist group. General John Nicholson (Jr.) appeared before the US Senate Armed Services Committee this week to brief American lawmakers on the current situation in Afghanistan. He told the panel that the IS, which in Afghanistan was called the Islam State Khorasan Province, comprised fighters mainly from existing militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Primarily, their membership had come from the TTP, which was a Pakistan-based opponent of the Pakistan regime, he said. The general said TTP militants in Orakzai Agency had, en masse, joined the IS-Khorasan and formed the initial group of fighters who then moved into Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, spreading out to about 11 Districts initially. “So, the majority of the fighters in the IS right now came from the TTP and joined the banner of the IS,” he added.

February 13

At least 14 persons were killed and 85 injured when a suicide bomber struck around 6pm outside the Punjab Assembly on Mall Road of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, during a protest. IGP Punjab Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera confirmed that six Police officials were among the dead, including two senior officers. DIG, Traffic, Lahore Captain (retd) Ahmad Mobin and SSP, Operations, Zahid Gondal of Punjab Police were among those killed in the attack. Hours earlier, DIG Mobin had been seen on television, mediating with the protesters gathered at the site. A large group of chemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers were gathered in front of the provincial assembly to protest a Government crackdown against the sale of illegal drugs. There was a significant presence of law enforcers in the area while the protest was ongoing. "The suicide attacker was on foot," CTD Chief Dr Mohammad Iqbal said. The JuA faction of TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.

Three FCB personnel were killed in an IED blast in Khan Kot Zarmina area of Toe Khula tehsil in SWA of FATA. The FCB personnel were on a cordon and search operation on motorbikes in Khan Kot Zarmina area when the planted IED went off.

Two BDS officials were killed and 11 others injured in a roadside blast near the Sariab Bridge of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Police said that explosives were found planted near the Sariab Bridge after which BDS was called in. However, the blast occurred while BDS personnel were defusing explosives.

Two BDS officials were killed and 11 others injured in a roadside blast near the Sariab Bridge of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Police said that explosives were found planted near the Sariab Bridge after which BDS was called in. However, the blast occurred while BDS personnel were defusing explosives.

The TTP-JuA claimed that the previous Operation Saut-al-Raad (Sound of Thunder), which was aimed at hit and run tactics, had achieved its targets and that now it was time to launch big operations. TTP-JuA has already started this by launching big scale attacks on three Pakistan Army check posts in Baizai (border area with Afghanistan) simultaneously claiming to have inflicted heavy losses onto the Pakistan Army, while conceding that two of its fighters were killed and three injured. Police sources, talking to Pakistan Today, revealed that law enforcement agencies are now expecting some large scale attacks in Mohmand Agency, Bajaur Agency and Peshawar on the LEAs while sectarian minorities will be targeted too. Shia community-dominated areas in KP/FATA and Quetta in Balochistan will be likely targets of these attacks.

February 14

Following the suicide attack on the Mall road of Lahore, Punjab's law enforcement agencies have launched a province-wide crackdown on militant outfits. The Provincial Intelligence Centre of the Punjab Home Department has issued a letter directing police high-ups to beef up security in different cities of the province. The letter has been circulated among the Divisional Commissioners, RPOs, CCPO of Lahore, Deputy Commissioners, CPO and District Police officers. An officer privy to the development told Dawn that the crackdown was ordered on the basis of intelligence reports suggesting that militants might have planned similar attacks in other cities. The Home Department has directed law enforcement agencies to ensure extreme vigilance and heightened security.

February 15

The CTD killed at least six suspected JuA militants in an operation in Chak 10-R 98 area of Khanewal District in Punjab. Four suspects managed to flee during the operation. The operation was carried out on a tip off regarding presence of militants in the area. JuA is an offshoot of TTP, which is responsible for the suicide blast in Lahore that killed 14 persons including two senior police officials on February 13.

Three Levies personnel and two civilians were killed while eight others injured in twin suicide attacks in Ghalanai Tehsil of Mohmand Agency in FATA. Two suicide bombers tried to enter a compound of the local political administration. When stopped, one of the attackers blew himself up outside the entrance, a senior official said. "The other attacker was shot down by Levies officials who were on guard," the official added.

Following suicide attack, FC launched search operation in Sheikh Banda area and killed five militants. An encounter took place between militants and FC personnel during the search raid, the FC spokesman said. As a consequence, five militants were gunned down. The deceases could not be immediately identified.

The Driver of the civil judge vehicle was killed when a motorcycle bourne suicide bomber rammed his bike into the vehicle in Hayatabad area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Civil Judge Asif Jadoon and three female judges of the lower judiciary were travelling in an official car in Phase 5 area when an attacker on a motorcycle struck the front of the vehicle and exploded, killing the driver and injuring the four judges. A total of six persons were injured in the explosion. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack. "About 15 kg of explosive was used in the suicide bomb," said Peshawar Police Chief Tahir Khan.

An official from the MoFA met Afghan Deputy Head of Mission Syed Abdul Nasir Yousafi in Islamabad to address militant attacks in Pakistan by JuA, an offshoot of TTP, operating in Afghanistan, said the press release of MoFA. UN&EC Additional Secretary Tasnim Aslam raised the "grave concern [Pakistan has] about the continuing terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil by the terrorist outfit JuA [operating] from its sanctuaries inside Afghanistan," the release read. Aslam also informed Yousafi that Afghan authorities had been informed "earlier" about "actionable intelligence" where Pakistan pressed Afghanistan "to take urgent measures to eliminate the terrorists and their sanctuaries, financiers and [facilitators] operating from its territory," the statement read.

February 16

At least 88 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the crowded Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan Sharif town of Jamshoro District in Sindh, injuring at least 343 others. The blast took place inside the premises of the shrine as a dhamaal was taking place, with a large number of women and children said to be among the casualties. Devotees throng the shrine of the revered Sufi saint every Thursday to participate in a dhamaal and prayers. The Assistant Superintendent of Police in Sehwan said a suicide bomber entered the shrine through its Golden gate. The attacker blew himself up after throwing a grenade, which failed to explode, he added. The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack through Amaq, the group's affiliated news agency.

Four Policemen and a passerby were killed when their vehicle was attacked by unidentified militants in Mission Mor area of Dera Ismail Khan town in the same District of KP. The van was stationed at a filling station as part of its normal patrol duty when it was attacked by unidentified militants, said District Emergency Officer Imran Khan. The victims were identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector Rehmatullah, Constable Iqbal, Constable Irshad and a passerby Fazal. The driver of the vehicle sustained serious bullet wounds and was rushed to hospital by rescue officials, but he later succumbed to his injuries during treatment.

Three Army personnel were killed when an IED, targeting an Army convoy, exploded in Awaran town of same District in Balochistan. The killed were identified as Captain Taha, Sepoy Kamran Satti and Sepoy Mehtar Jan. Two other soldiers were also injured in the attack.

Two personnel of the FC were injured when suspected militants attacked a post along the Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency of FATA. Troops "effectively responded" to the attack carried out by militants from the Afghan side of the border, the ISPR statement said. According to the ISPR, there are reports of a "few" militants killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.

Pakistan summoned officials of the Afghanistan embassy to the GHQ in Rawalpindi to lodge protest against the use of Afghan soil by terrorists to carry out attacks in Pakistan. The Afghan officials were handed over a list of 76 "most wanted" terrorists by the Pakistan Army, ISPR DG Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a Tweet. Afghanistan was asked to either take "immediate action" against the named terrorists or hand them over to Pakistan, he said. The move comes two days after a senior Afghan diplomat was summoned to the Foreign Office in Islamabad to receive protest over the use of territory of his country for launching terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The Afghan diplomat was given a demarche containing details of the recent terrorist attacks and supporting information.

The Government has sought a three-year extension in the term of military courts, read a document obtained by Dawn. The Government has formulated a draft to carry out legal amendments that aim to extend the tenure of military courts - they had ceased to function after expiry of tenure earlier this year. A meeting of parliamentary leaders was convened by the Government in which it distributed the copy of draft among the attendees a copy of the draft is also available with Dawn. According to the new definition of 'terrorist', revealed in the new draft, now anyone can be termed a terrorist regardless of the matter that whether he is motivated by religion or not.

February 17

Around 100 terrorists were killed while a sizeable number of others were apprehended during last 24 hours in intelligence-based and combing operations by security agencies in parts of the country including Punjab. As per orders of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, response to recent terror incidents is in progress across country, ISPR said in a press release. "IBOs and combing operations are in progress across the country including Punjab. No cross border/unauthorised entry will be allowed to Pakistan from Afghanistan. Security forces have been given special orders in this regard to have strict watch all along the border," it read.

At least 18 alleged terrorists were killed in a raid carried out in Ziarat Mai Garhi, Manghopir area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, said a spokesman of Pakistan Rangers Sindh. Arms and ammunition was also seized from the possession of the alleged terrorists said to be affiliated with a proscribed organisation.

At least 17 terrorists including four key militant commanders were killed in various search operations in Peshawar, Hangu, Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram Agencies. SFs sources said four key militant commanders were killed in Mumazo area of Lower Orakzai Agency where a search and strike operation was conducted. The forces seized suicide jackets and arms from the location. In another encounter in Lower Kurram Agency, security forces intercepted two terrorists who were planting an IED on roadside and after exchange of firing, both were killed. In Tora Wari area of Hangu, the forces killed two terrorists while their accomplices fled.

Six terrorists were killed and 10 of their hideouts were destroyed during airstrikes near Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency. At least 10 hideouts of the terrorists were also destroyed.

In Peshawar, the security forces conducted a search operation in Regi area of Peshawar and killed three terrorists, said local police said.

The FC arrested 20 suspects during a search operation in the Nushki area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

While the ISPR press release gives details about the killing of above 35 militants, rest of the killing remains in ambiguity.

Police killed nine TTP militants including would-be suicide bombers during exchange of fire near Super Highway in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. SSP Malir Rao Anwar said the terrorists were planning to attack Rangers Headquarters in Karachi. He said Police carried out raid at the alleged residence of father-in-law of TTP Karachi chapter Amir, where the militants resorted to fire on the arriving police party. In retaliatory fire, nine militants including suicide bombers were killed.

The Pakistan Army targeted militant hideouts across the Afghan border, killing several militants including a top commander of JuA, an offshoot of the TTP. Nature of the attacks and areas targeted by the Pakistani military were not immediately known. However, the TV channel said the terrorist sanctuaries were located across the Mohmand Agency and Khyber Agency of FATA. The strikes were carried out hours after the Army summoned Afghan diplomats to GQH in Rawalpindi and handed over a list of terrorists involved in staging attacks inside Pakistan.

The Punjab Government has included names of JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and one of his close aides, Qazi Kashif, in the fourth schedule of the ATA. Hafiz Saeed's name has also been put on the exit control list. A senior police officer privy to the development told Dawn that the CTD had added their names to the list of the 1,450 'fourth schedulers' on an order of the Federal Interior Ministry.

Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing a press conference in Lahore, claimed that the suspects involved in planning and carrying out the February 13 suicide bombing on a protest at Mall road of Lahore. During the conference, CM Sharif also announced the arrest of an alleged facilitator of the attacker, who he said belonged to Bajaur Agency of FATA. The suspect's confessional statement was aired during the briefing. The suspect introduced himself as Anwar-ul-Haq, and said he hailed from a remote village in Bajaur Agency. "I was associated with Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and they trained me," said the suspect, adding that he has visited Afghanistan around 15 to 20 times.

As many as 26000 combing operations were conducted and 198 hardcore terrorists and 217 facilitators nabbed while 2.3 million persons were questioned since December 17, 2014 to February 14, 2017 under NAP introduced with consensus among all the political parties of the country. According to a comprehensive report presented to PM Nawaz Sharif about implementation of NAP to curb terrorism in Pakistan, some 20467 operations were conducted in Lahore where 1.3 million persons were asked questions during investigation. Similarly, 5784 operations were carried out in Sheikhupura during this period and 151825 persons were questioned on the basis of suspicion and intelligence reports. In all, 1275 cases were registered on alleged involvement in terror related activities.

In Gujranwala division a total of 6865 operations were conducted and 88815 persons were subjected to questioning while 1514 cases were registered on various counts. Some 1305 cases were registered under Foreign Act and lethal weapons were recovered from 9662 persons during general hold-ups. A total of 7437 cases were registered on display of weapons and licenses of 38 Kalashnikovs, 63 rifles, 71 guns and 83 pistols were suspended. The Police have registered 13975 cases for violation of Sound System Regulation Ordinance and 260 under MPO 1960.

NACTA has made considerable progress in drafting a robust national narrative on terrorism and extremism. The first ever NISP has been formulated to protect Pakistan's national interests by addressing critical security issues. Initially, the combing operations were thoroughly conducted in various districts including Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Multan, Bahawalpur, Jhang, Rahim Yar Khan, Bhakkar, Bahawalnagar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Okara, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad, Dera Bugti, Qila Abdullah, Kohlu, Khuzdar, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Kashmore, Jacobabad, Naushehro Feroze, Karachi, Kohat, Karak, Tank, Kohistan and FATA. There is a marked and undeniable reduction in sectarian violence across Pakistan while not completely eliminated this level of mitigation is a positive sign.

February 19

Eleven suspected militants allegedly attempting to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan were killed in a clash with SFs in Sapperkot and Para Chamkani area of Kurram Agency in FATA. Two Kurram militia members were also injured in the gun battle between SFs and the militants. The terrorists were trying to enter Kurram Agency via Khyber Agency from Afghanistan when they were intercepted by the security forces and heavy exchange of fire took place.

ISPR claimed that numerous militants were killed when Pakistan Air Force fighter jets pounded militants hideouts who were regrouping in Wucha Bibi area, an Afghan bordering strip in North Waziristan Agency. However, the ISPR press release did not mention the number of militants killed in the arial bombardment.

Seven militants were killed and one rangers personnel received injuries during a targeted operation between Pakistan Rangers Sindh and militants in Shah Latif Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. A spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers Sindh revealed that the rangers launched a targeted operation after receiving intelligence reports about the possible presence of terrorists in the area. The forces were shot at by the terrorists and returned fire resulting in the death of seven members of the banned terrorist outfit, some of the terrorists managed to flee from their hideout using the dark as cover, while Police called in backup and cordoned off the area until the terrorists were found. One ranger's personnel also received injuries in this incident. A large number of arms and ammunitions were also recovered from the hideout and it was revealed that the terrorists were planning a terrorist activity of substantial scale in the area.

A cracker blast injured 24 persons in the jurisdiction of Makki Shah Police Station in Hyderabad District, ahead of a strike called by the banned JSMM against the CPEC. Initial reports suggested that the cracker was lobbed from Sakhi Abdul Wahab Shah Jillani flyover on a road where shops of second-hand clothes and shoes are located.

SFs arrested the alleged facilitator of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar suicide bomber from the outskirts of Khairpur town in the same District. Sources said the alleged facilitator, during initial interrogation, has revealed that Hafeez Birohi group of Shikarpur is involved in Sehwan Sharif bombing. Hafeez Birohi group, who was previously affiliated to LeJ, has been associated with ISIS now. The same group was also involved in Shikarpur bombings. The suicide bomber was Afghan national and the suicide vest was also prepared in Shikarpur, the investigation further revealed. Sources said the car used to target ISI headquarters in Sukkur was also prepared in Shikarpur.

Sindh security establishment has proposed to the Government that a dedicated force be raised to keep an eye on its border with Balochistan after it was found that the suspects involved in the recent terrorist attacks here had come from the neighbouring province, said officials. This proposal was discussed at multiple meetings held between the security officials and top administrative authorities, including Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, after the suicide attack on Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's shrine in Sehwan.

Investigations into the recent terrorism activities convinced the relevant authorities that their planners, handlers and perpetrators had come from the neighbouring province. "A similar thought or proposal emerged in October last year as well after it was found that the suspects involved in two terrorists attacks in Shikarpur in September 2015 had come from Balochistan," said a senior official. "The findings pushed the Sindh authorities to take up the matter with their Balochistan counterparts and tighten security along the border and as the first step they deployed policemen at key border points," he said, adding that the Sindh government then had deployed a total of 400 policemen on its side of the border.

The CTD killed five JuA militants in a shootout in Dera Sami Patti area of Chubara tehsil in Layyah District of Punjab. Three suspects managed to flee during the operation that was carried out on a tip off. Arms, ammunition and maps were recovered from the possession of the suspects.

The CTD in an operation arrested an alleged terrorist, Muhammad Jafar, belonging to a defunct organisation and recovered two kilogrammes of explosive material from a house near Sufi Mor on Jhang-Chiniot Road in Muzaffargarh District of Punjab.

Police arrested 21 suspects during house-to-house search operation, launched in Muzaffargarh. Accompanying law enforcers, the Police team encircled various areas of the District early morning and blocked traffic on road passing through the area. Police combed the areas and made biometric verifications of 1,200 people with the arrest of 21 suspects.

12 suspects were arrested after Police conducted search operations in separate areas of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab. The operations were conducted in Sher Shah Colony, Chong and Raiwind road and nearby areas, and resident's identities were scrutinised.

Punjab Government during a provincial apex committee meeting chaired by Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif decided to seek support from the Rangers to combat terrorism in Punjab days after the Mall Road suicide attack in Lahore that killed at least 15 people and wounded 85 others. The details regarding the nature and extent of support to be provided by the Rangers will be finalised later, according to a statement released by the Punjab Government.

SFs killed a militant in an encounter and seized arms during a search operation at Darakhshan near Eastern Bypass area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. According to a spokesman of SFs, following a tip off, security forces carried out a search operation in the area while suspect opened fire on them. The suspect was killed in retaliation by SFs. Arms were also recovered from his hideout.

Balochistan Government has prepared a new security plan for Quetta in the wake of recent wave of terrorism in the country. Official sources said on February 19 that under the security plan jointly prepared by Police, Frontier Corps and other security agencies, profiling of houses in the provincial capital will be carried out to track down the elements working as facilitators of banned outfits. There will be a ban on residing in mosques, seminaries, schools and Government buildings which are required to get themselves registered with the Police Station concerned. Registration of tenants has been made mandatory. Legal action will be taken if they fail to do so. Under the plan, the hosts will have to inform a committee to be formed by the area police station about the visit of guests.

A special task force has been constituted to provide better security to judges of the superior courts in the wake of successive attacks against judicial officers during the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country. The task force was recently notified by the Federal Ministry of Interior, which also constituted a three-member committee that will provide recommendations on how to better protect judges. NPB Director Syed Kaleem Imam will head the three-member committee, formed by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to give recommendations on how to improve the security of judges. Islamabad Inspector General Tariq Masood Yasin and NACTA Director General Umar Sheikh are also members of the body, which has been given 15 days to complete its task.

February 20

Army claimed to have conducted and intelligence based operation in Frontier Region Tank of FATA, killing four suspected militants. The ISPR released a statement in this regard, saying the operation was reportedly carried out against Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani Group of TTP. The ISPR claimed that the suspects killed in the military operation were allegedly high-profile terrorists including the son of former TTP shura member Asmatullah Shaheen. The identities of those killed in the military operation, as provided by the ISPR, are Commander Zaman alias Toofan, Naib Commander Umar s/o Asmatullah Shaheen, Commander Wasiullah and Commander Zulam alias Zulmat. Asmatullah Shaheen was killed by another TTP faction due to an internal rift during 2014. The group was allegedly involved in target killings, extortion and kidnapping for ransom in Dera Ismail Khan, Tank and surrounding areas.+

CoAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that Pakistan and Afghanistan will fight their "common enemy" of terrorism together, the ISPR statement said. Chairing a high-level security meeting at the GHQ, he said enhanced security measures taken along the Pak-Afghan border are to fight the common enemy, which includes "terrorists of all hues and colour". The Army Chief issued directions for more effective coordination between Pakistani and Afghan officials to curb cross-border movement of terrorists. General Bajwa "also welcomed proposals from Afghan authorities to take forward the mutual coordination for result oriented efforts against terrorism".

The Finance Minister Ishaq Dar informed the Senate that the Army had been empowered to act against terrorists across the border after obtaining concrete evidence that Afghanistan soil had been used to launch recent acts of terrorism in the country. February 20's session focused on several important issues including the current law and order situation and the exclusion of senators from consultations on the revival of powers of military courts to try civilians. While responding to various points of public importance, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the prime minister had authorised the Army to take out terrorists wherever they might be.

February 21

At least seven persons, including a lawyer and an eight-year-old boy, were killed and as many as 25 others were injured when three terrorists wearing suicide vests attacked the session's court in Tangi tehsil of Charsadda District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The attack begun at around 11:40am when the terrorists opened indiscriminate fire, using automatic weapons and hurled grenades at the security officials, in an attempt to enter the court. The gunfire was immediately followed by explosions of hand grenades, one of which exploded at the entrance, while another went off near the bar room where a number of lawyers were reportedly present at that time. However, timely action by Policemen stationed at the session's court prevented the attackers from entering the premises, as they gunned down two attackers and the third one blew himself up after failing to enter the building. Charsadda DPO Sohail Khalid informed the media that all the three attackers had been killed in retaliatory fire. Charsadda Assistant Commissioner Inayatullah Khan said that the injured included six Policemen who confronted the terrorists in a gun battle that lasted for at least 14 minutes.

In a statement, JuA, the offshoot of TTP claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was a continuation of Operation Ghazi, which they had initiated against Pakistan. The group released details of two of the attackers - Abdul Basit of Mohmand Agency in FATA and Khairullah of Kunduz province of Afghanistan.

Unidentified assailants lobbed a hand grenade at a residential building in Lyari town of Karachi, leaving one woman injured. Police said 30-year-old Gul Nisa was injured when two men riding a motorbike hurled a hand grenade at the entrance of a building in Afshani Gali and sped away.

Pakistan Rangers Sindh recovered a cache of arms from Landhi area Karachi. A Rangers communication said that a raid was conducted on an intelligence tip off that some miscreants belonging to MQM-London had hidden arms and ammunition with the intention of committing sabotage. It said that Rangers took prompt action and during search recovered arms and ammunition hidden on the rooftop. This consisted of weapons and ammunition including six Kalashnikovs, five magazines, one rifle of 8 mm, two 7mm rifles, one repeater, five pistols of 30 bore, and 554 rounds.

The FCB and the FATA political administration razed the house of the suspected facilitator of the Lahore blast and arrested his father and two brothers from Bajaur Agency. The measures were taken in accordance with the FCR territorial responsibility clause, which states that for any mishap, the administration can take the community or family members of the perpetrator to task and punish them under a collective responsibility clause. The suspect was arrested after video evidence placed him in the area of the blast, walking along with the suspected suicide bomber that blew himself on Mall Road near the Punjab Assembly amid a protest. In his confessional statement, shared by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a media briefing on February 17, the suspect had said he hailed from a remote village in the Bajaur Agency.

The Government has released an amount of PKR 1.4 billion for NACTA, State Minister for Interior Baligh-ur-Rehman told a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control. He claimed that serious steps were being taken to strengthen NACTA in order to effectively counter the challenge of terrorism. He added that the government has released PKR 1.4 billion out of the PKR 1.8 billion allocated for NACTA and two buildings have been provided for its use.

February 22

Police shot dead eight terrorists including a key militant figure affiliated with a banned organization during a raid on Bakrapeeri Road in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. According to SSP Malir Rao Anwar, the suspected terrorists were killed during the raid on a tip off regarding presence of Gul Zaman, Amir of a proscribed outfit. He said the terrorists were planning to carry out an act of terrorism in Karachi.

Five militants were killed when Air Force targeted their hideouts along Pak-Afghan border in the Rajgal area of Khyber Agency in FATA.

A tribesman, identified as Bahadur Khan, was killed in a roadside bomb blast in Dawizai area of Pandyali tehsil in Mohmand Agency.

Police neutralised 14 bombs, weighing 50 kilograms, placed in ghee tins planted in a park on University Road of Loralai town of same District in Balochistan. Locals discovered the bombs and informed Police. BDS personnel later neutralised al the bombs.

Pakistan Army launched 'Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad' across the country, said ISPR. Radd-ul-Fasaad - which translates roughly to 'elimination of discord' - will aim at indiscriminately eliminating the "residual/latent threat of terrorism", consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan's borders, read the statement. The announcement followed a meeting in Lahore between Chief of Armed Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa, the corps commanders of Punjab, the Director General of Pakistan Rangers Punjab, and the heads of intelligence agencies. Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces and other security and LEAs will actively participate in and 'intimately support' the armed forces' efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country, the statement added. "The effort entails conduct of Broad Spectrum Security / Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country, and focus on more effective border security management," the ISPR said. "Countrywide de-weaponisation and explosive control are additional cardinals of the effort. Pursuance of National Action Plan will be the hallmark of this operation," it added.

The Federal Government had approved a request forwarded by the Government of Punjab for the deployment of Rangers personnel in the province. The decision was taken by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during a high-level meeting attended by National Security Adviser Nasir Khan Janjua, Federal Secretary Interior Arif Ahmad Khan, Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Saeed and other officials of the Punjab Government. Punjab had requested the Federal Government to deploy over 2,000 Rangers personnel in the province, who would be given policing powers to conduct IBOs against militants, wherever required and with full authority. The Rangers will 'assist' Punjab Police and law enforcement agencies in their fight against terror for a period of 60 days, initial reports suggested.

According to report compiled by the Inspector General of Sindh Police, a significant decline in the number of targeted killings in Karachi has been witnessed in 2016 as compared to 2015 showing 72 per cent drop. The report said that the Police recorded 45 targeted killings in the city last year, which it described as a huge as compared to 159 such killings in 2015. The report discussing crime and militancy in Sindh, however, does not show any visible improvement vis-a-vis incidents of terrorism. It shows six terrorist incidents last year while seven such incidents occurred in 2015. Some 188 cases of extortion were registered last year which were 27pc less than 256 such cases in 2015.

February 23

Police shot dead two IS militants, identified as Saifullah and Haneef, in Manghopir area Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. According to sources, Police came under attack when it raided their hideout. One policeman received injuries during the gun battle while both the militants were killed and their accomplices managed to flee the scene. SSP, West Zone, Nasir Aftab said they found a hit list that included names of Police officers and other Government officials on the laptop.

The Sindh Home Department issued a notification that contained certain areas of Karachi which could be on the terrorists' agenda next. According to details, a notification by the Sindh Home Department stated that Sindh High Court, Empress Market, Sindh Assembly, Zainab Market, markets located at M.A. Jinnah Road and the restaurants located at Do Darya, could next be targeted by militants.

SFs in Balochistan claimed to killed 470 suspected militants, associated with various militant outfits, in the previous two years under the NAP. During the time period, over 100 militants were also injured in exchange of fire with SFs in Quetta and other parts of the province. "Most of miscreants were killed during IBOs belonged to sectarian outfits," said Anwarul Haq Kakar, the spokesperson for the Provincial Government. The FC, Police, Levies and intelligence agencies conducted a total of 5,640 IBOs in the Province, added the spokesperson. More than 20,000 suspected militants were arrested in the Province.

February 24

The CTD conducted an operation in which six militants were killed in the Patti Sultan Mahmood area of Muzaffargarh District of Punjab. During the operation, three militants managed to escape. Five hand grenades, four rifles, three pistols and other weapons were recovered from the slain militants.

The CTD claimed thwarting a terrorism bid after arresting an Afghan national named Naimatullah from the Achini Khwar area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. "This man, Naimatullah alias Fidai alias Umair is an Afghan national, currently residing in the Yakatoot area. He was arrested in Achini Khwar area … He was trying to enter the city with explosives," a CTD official said.

A cache of arms and ammunition was recovered during a raid on a house in the New City Homes locality by a team of Chamkani Police. SSP Sajjad Khan said that the house of Ayub, who is a resident of Lakki Marwat, was raided after an informant forwarded the information, adding that 24 shotguns, 21 pistols and 7,100 cartridges were seized.

25 kilogrammes of explosives, 34 hand-grenades and prima cord were seized during a raid jointly conducted by personnel of Police and intelligence agencies on a house in Shahpoor. SSP (Operations) Sajjad Khan told reporters at Chamkani police station that the seized material was going to be used in an attack on Peshawar.

110 suspects were arrested by law enforcement agencies late in the night as Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad (elimination of discord) continued at Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot and Peshawar. Reports suggest that Islamabad Police apprehended 43 suspects which included four Afghan nationals from various bus stops and stations. While search operations in Lahore's Punjab University hostels and other areas of the city resulted in the arrests of seven. An operation in Sialkot's Hajipura area resulted in the detention of ten 10 suspects while Peshawar police have claimed to have arrested 50 people from various parts of the city.

Investigators probing the attack on the shrine of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, detained four people suspected of facilitating the attack during raids conducted in different parts of Sindh, including Shikarpur. Source said that the suspects were affiliated with Hafeez Brohi and Abdullah Brohi, who were part of a banned sectarian outfit and were involved in various terrorist activities, particularly facilitating terrorists and suicide bombers. "Hafeez and Abdullah Brohi are on the wanted list since they have been involved in terror activities including bombings in Shikarpur and Sukkur," said CTD in-charge Raja Omar Khattab.

A suspected terrorist was arrested and weapons were seized during an intelligence-based operation carried out by the FC in Garhi and Kandi Mashti areas of Kurram Agency in FATA. As many as 10 Rocket Propelled Grenade-7 gun along with six chargers, one grenade launcher, a heavy machinegun with 115 rounds, a spare barrel of heavy machinegun, one 12-bore rifle along with 18 rounds, three .303 rifles along with 520 rounds, six submachine guns, magazines along with 120 rounds and two binoculars were seized during the operation.

February 26

Three persons belonging to the Shia community were gunned downed under Paroa Police Station area in Dera Ismail Khan District of KP.

A soldier was injured as terrorists from across the border opened fire at a check post in Mangrotai area of South Waziristan Agency in the evening.

A soldier was injured as terrorists from across the border opened fire at a check post in Mangrotai area of South Waziristan Agency in the evening.

Balochistan's Minister for Home and Tribal Affairs, Sarfaraz Bugti, said that thousands of Afghan Taliban were still studying in seminaries across the province. "There are many seminaries where Afghan Taliban are studying, and many are owned by the Afghan Taliban group," Bugti said. Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah, the Minister of State for Religious Affairs, said that funds for most of these Madrassas originate abroad, mostly in Arab countries. "The government is monitoring the money trail and how this money is spent and utilised by the Madrassas. We want to ensure that these funds are not used for any suspicious activity or to promote extremism through Islamic seminaries in Pakistan." Shah said the Government "has pledged to reform these Madrassas through registration and change of syllabus" and it was determined to "keep an eye on any extremism-related activities or links in these Madrassas."

February 28

At least three FC personnel and one civilian were injured in an IED blast on Sariab Road of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The bomb, which was planted on the roadside, targeted an FC vehicle while it was on patrol. The explosion left the vehicle partially damaged.

Army said that recently launched Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad (elimination of discord) also envisages a countrywide 'de-weaponisation' campaign. But no timeline can be given for the completion of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, said Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of the ISPR. Speaking in a television interview, Major General Ghafoor said the very name of the operation was self-explanatory. "It is aimed at eliminating the elements creating disorder and mischief, whether they are in or outside the country," he added.

About the objectives of Radd-ul-Fasaad, he said all previous operations were primarily aimed at decimating hideouts of terrorists in different areas and restoring the writ of the state there. "And the main objective of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is to consolidate the gains of the previous operations," he added. "This operation seeks to smoke out facilitators of terrorists inside the country." "The operation also envisages a de-weaponisation campaign," he said but refused to give a timeline for its completion.

The CTD of both Sindh and Balochistan Police decided to launch a "joint operation" in parts of the country's largest province where the intelligence wings of the law-enforcement agency had identified "hideouts" of suspects allegedly involved in recent terrorist attacks in Sindh. High officials flew from Karachi to Quetta, where a meeting of the CTD from both provinces was scheduled. After hours of deliberations and presentations, the Sindh Police authorities finally convinced their counterparts about the presence of the hideouts of some banned militant outfits in Balochistan which were used by terrorists for the recent attacks in Sindh. "It was a formal meeting after our earlier correspondence and intelligence-sharing," said Chief of the Sindh Police's CTD Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi. "We showed them not only the findings of a JIT (joint interrogation team) report about high-profile militants but also data and reports of our intelligence units that strengthened our case. The Balochistan authorities agreed to cooperate with us and move with Sindh police in pursuit of these hideouts," he added.

March 1

The cadres of Islamic State or Daesh hide among the general population, using small businesses as a cover, said a Police official under the condition of anonymity. The official under the condition of anonymity said that their approach differs from the TTP, whose cadres used to openly establish camps in parts of FATA and even in the settled areas of KP. They are highly experienced in sabotage and concealment" since most cadres had previously belonged to the TTP, he added. "These people hide among the (general) population and we have solid evidence suggesting that they engage in small businesses such as fruit vendors, plying pushcarts, using it as a cover, avoiding suspicion … Their strategy is mostly successful," he said, adding that these people rent houses and move frequently to avoid detection. "All new recruits are sent to Afghanistan … Once people know that you are fighting in Afghanistan, chances are that no policeman or anyone else will touch you simply because you are (among) 'good Taliban'," he maintained.

March 2

Four militants and two Army personnel, Lieutenant Khawar and Naik Shehzad, were killed in an exchange of fire during an intelligence-based operation conducted by SFs in the Jani Khel area of FR Bannu in FATA, ISPR statement said.

A US drone strike killed two suspected militants in a border village along Pak-Afghan border in Kurram Agency. One official from local Administration said that the missile struck two men riding a motorcycle. It was not clear who was being targeted. There had been no drone strike by the US in Pakistan since May 21, 2016.This was one of the longest periods that no US drone attack had taken place in Pakistan.

One militant was killed and 12 others arrested during a search operation by FC and intelligence Agencies in Andoor area of Ketch District in Balochistan. One FC soldier was injured due to exchange of fire with terrorists and a cache of arms and ammunition was recovered during the operations.

March 4

Unidentified gunmen killed a lawyer, identified as Mohammed Jan Gigyani apparently in a targeted shooting near the Afghanistan border in Shabqadar in Charsadda District in the KP. According to a Police officer, two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Mohammed Jan Gigyani while he was driving his car. He said Gigyani was critically wounded and died en route to a hospital. He added that Gigyani was a prominent lawyer affiliated with Aftab Ahmed Khan's Qaumi QWP.

One inspector was killed and a DSP was injured in an encounter with terrorists in Harrapa village of Sahiwal District in Punjab. According to CTD officials, in the shoot-out two terrorists were also injured, around four others were arrested and explosive material was recovered. The two other terrorists escaped from the site.

One inspector was killed and a DSP was injured in an encounter with terrorists in Harrapa village of Sahiwal District in Punjab. According to CTD officials, in the shoot-out two terrorists were also injured, around four others were arrested and explosive material was recovered. The two other terrorists escaped from the site.

March 5

At least 10 militants and five soldiers were killed during a clash when militants lunched a cross-border attack on three Pakistani border posts along the Pak-Afghan border area in Mohmand Agency of FATA in the night. The ISPR press release said that five soldiers of the Pakistan Army and more than 10 suspected militants were reportedly killed in the attack. The slain soldiers were identified as Naik Sanaullah, Naik Safdar, Sepoy Altaf, Sepoy Nek Mohammad and Sepoy Anwar.

One militant was killed and four others arrested during a raid by CTD personnel in Korangi Town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. According to CTD official, Raja Umar Khattab, the terrorist killed by forces was identified as Dildaar alias Chacha, who was reportedly an expert in making explosives. He said that the detainees had been planning a terrorist attack when their hideout was raided. A large amount of explosive material, detonators and weapons were recovered from the site.

March 6

An attempt to blow up the Quetta-bound Jaffar Express was foiled when security personnel defused a bomb planted at a railway track near the Mangoli area in Nasirabad District of Balochistan. According to official sources, all train services were suspended between Quetta and Sukkur as the BDS was not available in Dera Murad Jamali. The BDS team was summoned to the site from Sibi. Police said the saboteurs had planned to blow up the train by remote control. The Jaffar Express coming from Rawalpindi was the target as it was scheduled to reach Mangoli after 15 minutes, said a senior Police Officer, adding that the train was stopped at the Dera Allah Yar station.

March 7

Five militants and two Army personnel, including one Captain Junaid, were killed during an intelligence-based operation against suspected terrorists in Malikabad area of Swabi District KP. "[The] five terrorists who were killed [...] were planning to target educational institutions and judicial complexes," Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. Three of the terrorists had been identified, while the remaining two were "probably Afghans". At least one of the identified militants was a cadre of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), added ISPR.

A soldier was killed when a patrol vehicle hit an IED planted on a roadside in Awaran area of same District in Balochistan. Sources said that unidentified militants had planted an IED on the roadside which they detonated with a remote control device while targeting the security vehicle.

March 8

10 militants were killed when SFs stormed a compound in a nearby village of Malikabad area in Swabi District of KP. Earlier the day, five militants and two Army personnel, including one Captain Junaid, were killed during an intelligence-based operation against suspected terrorists in Malikabad area.

Five hardcore terrorists were executed at District jail of Kohat, the statement issued by the ISPR said. The convicts were tried by military courts, the ISPR said. These terrorists include Shoukat Ali s/o Abdul Jabbar, Imdad Ullah s/o Abdul Wajid, Sabir Shah s/o Syed Ahmed Shah, Khandan s/o Dost Muhammad Khan and Anwar Ali s/o Fazal Ghani, ISPR added.

Police recovered an anti-tank mine and arrested six suspected persons during a search operation in Injeer Khwar area of Hangu District. DPO Ihsanullah Khan said that the Police was informed about an explosive device planted in Injeer Khwar area. He said that they called in the officials of the BDS who recovered and defused the explosive device weighing up to three kilogram. He said that the police conducted a search operation in Doaba and surrounding localities and arrested six suspected persons. He said the Police also recovered a Kalashnikov, a rifle, two pistols and several cartridges from the arrested suspects.

March 9

Unnamed Officials involved in anti terrorist operations have revealed that LeJ, a proscribed organization, particularly active in the port city of Karachi (provincial capital of Sindh) and Quetta (provincial capital of Baluchistan). The Organization is still the prime target of LEA for its close liaison with banned JuA. Most of the organization's activists have gone underground to escape arrests. The officials claim that LeJ's almost 90 percent network has been disabled by eliminating its top leadership. According to the officials, LeJ ties with ISIS surfaced last year when terrorists attacked the Police academy in Quetta in October. The group is active in Karachi and Quetta with two deferent off-shoot groups namely the Naeem Bukhari Group in Karachi and LeJ Al-Alami in Quetta.

March 11

PM Nawaz Sharif, during his visit to the Lahore based Jamia Naeemia, asked Islamic clerics to reject in forceful terms all the religious decrees that incite violence in the name of Islam. "Hate is being spread in the name of religion and it is the duty of the Ulema to free it from hate and violence. One way of doing that is to reject all those fatwas that incite violence, [and] only the Ulema can do it," said the PM Nawaz Sharif. He promised that the "few remaining militants" would not be spared. The government, he said, had brought the political leadership, the army, the police and other law enforcement agencies on the same page as far as dealing with terrorism and terrorists was concerned. "Peace is not far off, especially if the Ulema extend a helping hand," PM Nawaz Sharif said, adding that religious scholars should play a proactive role in building an alternative narrative of Islam that promoted peace and harmony. The religion has been held hostage by hate-mongers, he said.

March 13

Three personnel of Punjab CIA were injured in a drive-by shooting incident near Lady Willingdon Hospital in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab. The assailants managed to flee after targeting Police officers. Police sources said that all three Police officers who are posted at Ghaziabad CIA were dressed in plain clothes and were returning home after performing their duty.

March 14

Suspected militants abducted three Government schoolteachers in Giskhor area of Awaran District in Balochistan in the evening. Levis official Muhammad Jan said that militants abducted three teachers as they were returning from a training session facilitated by the PBS for the upcoming national census in Giskhor area. Jan identified the abducted teachers as Rashid Ali, Elahi Bakhsh and Rasool Bakhsh. The men are part of a team in the District that will collect data for the census.

Balochistan higher education secretary Abdullah Jan was abducted from Wahdat Colony of Brewery Road area in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Jan's son Mohammad Attiuqe said his father was on his way to work when unidentified assailants in a white Toyota Vitz kidnapped him near his house in Wahdat Colony. Jan was kidnapped along with his driver. However, the abductors released the driver near Sabzal Road area and drove off an unknown location, said DIG Quetta Abdul Razzaq Chema. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction so far.

March 15

Three militants convicted by military courts were executed in the wee hour at Sahiwal District prison of Punjab, ISPR press release. According to the ISPR, the militants were involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, including attacks on armed forces and law enforcement agencies. Sharing details of the executed convicts, ISPR said that two of the convicts - Said Zaman Khan and Muhammad Zeeshan - were cadres of HuJI. While the third convict was cadres of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP. During its two-year constitutional life, the military courts, set up to try civilians charged with terrorism after the carnage at the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 16, 2014, have convicted 274 accused. Of them 161 were awarded death sentence and 113 prison terms, mostly life imprisonment. Out of 161 death sentences, 21 have been executed so far.

March 17

At least six militants were killed during a search operation in the Mosal Kor village of Michini area in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. FC spokesperson said that the SFs carried out a search operation in the Mosal Kor area when terrorists opened fire on the personnel. Six militants were killed in the retaliatory fire. SFs recovered a cache of arms and explosive from the possession of slain militants.

One FCB soldier was killed and another injured in a suicide attack on an FC training centre in Shabqadar area town of Charsadda District. The ISPR said the attack was "foiled" and two suicide bombers were killed in retaliatory fire. FCB Commandant Liaqat Ali Khan said that the attackers tried to sneak into the training facility in the wee hours to cause maximum casualties but the guards quickly responded and neutralised the attackers. One attacker was killed by FCB personnel while the other died after his jacket exploded when it was hit by gunfire.

Two personnel of the FC were killed when suspected militants from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border reportedly attempted to attack a check post in Khyber Agency in the FATA. Pakistani troops "effectively responded", as a result of which six militants were killed during the exchange of fire, the ISPR was quoted as saying.

March 18

SFs foiled a terror bid by seizing a significant quantity of arms and explosives in Kohlu District of Balochistan Province. "The FC and personnel of intelligence agency conducted a raid and recovered 28 kilograms of explosives, six rockets and other weapons," said a security official. The official added that the compound which was raided belonged to "miscreants of an outlawed militant organisation". No arrest was made during the raid.

FC forces and personnel of an intelligence agency arrested four suspected militants during a raid in Smungli area of Quetta. SFs claimed to have recovered five SMGs, three rockets and other weapons from their possession.

BNP-M said that Baloch are neither traitors nor Indian agents and urged media to bring to light the woes of Balochistan. BNP-M Vice President Abdul Wali Kakar asked the media to visit interior parts of Balochistan. He regretted that a wrong image of Balochistan was being portrayed, and media was barred on the pretext of security issues. As a result, Balochistan does not get its due rights in the country's media, he added. He was speaking to the Biennial Delegates Meeting of Pakistan Union of Journalists. He stressed upon the media to help the Baloch get their due rights. Balochistan was craving for its basic human rights, including the availability of pure drinking water, health and education, he added. It was best opportunity to discuss the issues of Balochistan in front of journalists, hailing from various parts of the country.

March 19

At least 19 suspects were arrested during joint search operations in various parts of Punjab. According to ISPR, the joint search and intelligence based operations were conducted by Punjab Rangers, Police and intelligence agencies in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Attock, Sialkot, Lahore and Kasur as part of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. At least 19 suspects were apprehended. Weapons, ammunition, laptops, currency, sectarian hate material and foreign passports were also seized.

March 20

Qari Yaseen, wanted for involvement in attacks on GHQ in Rawalpindi and Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, was killed in a US drone strike in Barmal District of Paktika province in Afghanistan. The drone strike carried out in Barmal targeted Yaseen and three of his accomplices who were travelling in a vehicle. Yaseen belonged to the Lodhran District of Punjab and was part of various terrorist attacks carried out in Pakistan. The other attacks included those on ISI offices in Lahore and Multan, Data Darbar, Marriott Hotel and the one in RA Bazaar, Rawalpindi. He was also said to be a facilitator for al Qaeda and Jundhulla in Pakistan, an expert at making bombs, including IEDs, and a trainer for terrorists.

The Pakistan Rangers Sindh recovered a cache of arms and ammunition during an intelligence based operation from the storeroom of the Safari Park on the University Road in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Pakistan Rangers Sindh spokesman said weapons recovered include rifles, SMGs, LMGs, hand grenades, snipers and large number of bullets.

March 21

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is successfully continuing across the country as at least 20 insurgents including a Ferrari commander surrendered to Pakistan Rangers Punjab, ISPR statement said. The erstwhile militants said they were funded by Indian spy agency RAW through Brahamdagh Bugti who leads the BRP. Apologising for their past which was awash with terror activities in Balochistan, the surrendering insurgents said they were kept misinformed and fed with negative narrative over the decades, the ISPR statement added.

Violence-related incidents declined in 2016 as compared to the year before, and casualties from violence were half the number of casualties in 2015, the CRSS annual security report said. The report recorded a 66 per cent fall in violence-related incidents since 2014, but noted that terrorist groups have changed their strategy for suicide attacks and instead of sending in one suicide bomber to a location, sent two. It said militants, facing military operations and law enforcement, had begun to flee the county and had devised new strategies. The report said the targeting of geographical areas and population centres that were less protected was unprecedented, and militants also begun deploying a wider array of improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers despite strong resistance from security personnel. "Karachi has seen the most improvement, with urban crime and target killings on the decline. Compared to 1,671 people killed in target killing incidents in 2013, 183 people lost their lives in 2016," report states.

March 22

Five militants, including a high-profile TTP militant, identified as Duran, were killed in an intelligence-based operation carried out by SFs in Mirak village of Kalaya tehsil in Orakzai Agency of FATA. An ISPR press release said two FC personnel also laid down their lives in the exchange of fire that ensued during the operation. The deceased were identified as Major Mudassar and Sepoy Mateeullah.

Two Levies personnel were killed and three others injured when a roadside bomb struck their vehicle at Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan Agency. The vehicle was also badly damaged in the explosion.

A portion of railway tracks damaged when an IED went off at Misri Shah area near Rohri Railway Station in Sukkur District of Sindh in the evening. SP Special Branch Mansoor Mughal said that the service of Karachi-bound Shalimar Express that passes through Rohri has been halted until the track is repaired. According to the Bomb Disposal Squad, some 2.5 kilogrammes of explosive material was used in the blast.

A cracker blast at the Mehrabpur Railway Station in Naushahro Firoz District damaged a foot-long part of the track, interrupting trains travelling up and down the tracks.

A government girl's school in Qila Abdulla town of same District in Balochistan was damaged when an IED placed near its wall went off. Levies officials said that unidentified men had planted the remote-controlled device along the school's wall which exploded with a big bang. The blast shattered windowpanes of the institution, nearby houses and shops. No casualty was reported.

The Airport Security Force (ASF) foiled a suspected terror bid at the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, by confiscating a cache of weapons and ammunition. A vehicle was stopped and searched by the ASF personnel at the airport check post and during a routine inspection a weapon and a large cache of ammunition was found in the vehicle, the ASF officials said. The ASF confiscated a .223 bore rifle, seven magazines, and dozens of bullets from the vehicle.

The US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson warned that the militant IS group wants to recruit young people from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq and has stepped up its efforts in those places. Speaking at the 10th Global Coalition ministerial meeting on IS in Washington, Tillerson also hinted at establishing a safe zone in the Middle East for sheltering Syrian refugees. "The United States will increase pressure on ISIS and al Qaeda and will work to establish interim zones of stability, through ceasefires, to allow refugees to return home," he said. Tillerson said that since the United States and its allies had broken their back in the Middle East, IS militants were moving to other regions to recruit fighters. "Today, … Daesh (IS) is resorting to many terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and many other places in Europe in order to send a message that they are still standing and they want for those young people to go fight in its ranks," he added.

March 23

Pakistani officials have hosted seven Taliban leaders in Islamabad to try and press them into peace talks ahead of a multination meeting in April in Moscow, two Taliban officials said under the condition of anonymity. The two officials, who were familiar with the Islamabad meeting, spoke to AP on condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals by Pakistani authorities who have not confirmed the meeting. The Two Taliban officials said the militant leaders used the Islamabad gathering, which took place last week, to press their own demands, including that Pakistan free Taliban figures from its jails. Islamabad has been under international pressure to try and bring Taliban leaders, who have lived in Pakistan since their rule in Afghanistan was overthrown in the 2001 US invasion, to some form of negotiations with Kabul. However, successive attempts have faltered and failed. Last year Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the United States met to jumpstart the peace process but that effort faltered after a series of deadly Kabul attacks that Afghanistan blamed on militants hiding in Pakistan. China, Russia and Pakistan are behind the initiative of the April meeting in Moscow. Afghanistan will attend the meeting as will Iran and India. Washington has not said whether it would attend.

March 26

SFs recovered a cache of arms and ammunition during a raid on a house in Karram village in Mizer Valley area of NWA in FATA. The recovered arms included rockets of various types, seven rocket-propelled grenades launchers, and anti-tank bullets. The security source, however, declined to say if anyone was arrested during the raid.

FC personnel averted a possible terrorist attack by diffusing an IED on Turbat-Dasht road in Turbat District of Balochistan. The ISPR said that the FC, as part of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, recovered and defused an IED planted on Turbat-Dasht road.

March 27

The Islamabad High Court stayed the extradition of an American citizen of Pakistani origin Talha Haroon to United States of America for allegedly planning an attack on New York in connivance with the IS. Islamabad High Court was hearing a petition filed by Haroon Rashid, father of the suspect.

March 28

Ahmed Ludhianvi, leader of the proscribed ASWJ, expressed confidence that his party would be taken off the list of banned organisations. Mr. Ludhianvi said he had held meetings with officials and the political leadership in this regard. He said that meeting officials or political leaders from the centre or Punjab was a routine matter for all politicians, including him. "I have one bone to pick with the system - whenever there is a need to pacify enraged ASWJ workers or to negotiate with militants, I am called in for the sake of Pakistan. But, legally, I am a proscribed person and my party is still a banned group," he told journalists. He was referring to negotiations with the militants who had attacked the GHQ in 2009. The ASWJ leader said: "The decision-makers of the state have acknowledged my grievances, but if they are not ready to allow us to work as a legal entity in the country, I will not cooperate with them in the future."

The rivalry between Afghanistan and Pakistan has created room for terrorists of the militant IS group to build a foothold in the region, recent US reports on the issue point out. Last week, the United States hosted a 68-nation conference in Washington to formulate a joint strategy for combating the IS terrorists. In his address to the conference, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not only noted the group's presence in the Pak-Afghan region but also pointed out that the group had carried out "many terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan". In the region, the group is known as the Islamic State of Khorasan (ISK) and operates from its bases in the Afghan areas along the Pak-Afghan border. In a recent report on ISK, the Congress-funded US Institute of Peace underlines the link between this group and Pakistani militant organisations to show how the Afghan-Pakistan rivalry benefited the terrorists. The USIP report quotes from a July 2016 report by the Afghanistan Analysts Network, which claims that Afgh­anistan's intelligence agency, "the National Direc­to­rate of Security, has supported the militant organisation Lashkar-i-Islam and elements of TTP since 2014 "with the aim of playing these militants against Pakistan in retaliation for Pakistan's long-time support of the Afghan Taliban." Fighters from both groups later joined ISK.

March 29

Five militants, affiliated to al Qaeda and TTP outfits, were killed by the CTD during an encounter in Kanja area of Gujrat District in Punjab. The CTD sources said the militants were planning to target secret installations in Gujrat and Kharian. Weapons and explosives were recovered from the possession of slain militants.

At least six Ahmadis were killed in Pakistan in 2016 because of their religious beliefs, a recent report issued by the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya said. Saleemuddin, the spokesperson for the group, cited Ordinance XX which later came to be known as the Blasphemy Law as the main reason behind targeted killings of Ahmadis. "Since its [Ordinance XX] imposition in 1984, so far 250 Ahmadis have been killed," he complained. Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya said the promulgation of the ordinance endorsed political, social and legal discrimination against Ahmadis. While news reports of the Ahmadi community being targeted appear regularly, the group accused the local media of holding its own biases against Ahmadis. It also accused state institutions of not properly investigating their killings.

March 30

A prominent local leader of the Ahmadi community and a relative of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam was shot dead in Nankana Sahib town of Punjab in the morning in an attack claimed by the banned LeJ. Advocate Malik Saleem Latif, a leader of the Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya in Nankana Sahib, was on his way to a local court on a motorbike along with his son, Advocate Farhan, when Latif was targeted and shot at by "unidentified attackers". "Saleem Latif was spreading Ahmadi beliefs in the region," the LeJ said in a statement claiming the attack. "Around 1,700 advertisements were published against the Ahmadiyya community in local and national newspapers in 2016," said Saleem Uddin, a spokesman for the community. "There is no check on hate mongering and if the situation remains the same then the killing of Ahmadis will also continue," he added.

ISPR stated that, Tahir, a 'hardcore terrorist' belonging to TTP and involved in the 2012 Bannu jailbreak was executed in Kohat jail. The terrorist was tried and convicted by a military court. In April 2012, over 200 terrorists attacked the Central Jail in Bannu, freeing 384 prisoners in the pre-dawn assault. The execution came two days after Senate approved the 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill, consummating the parliamentary process to revive military courts for another two years.

A minor girl was killed and a young man wounded in a bomb blast in Gandi Khankhel area of Lakki Marwat. A Police official said that a girl identified as Naila Moeen (8), was playing outside her house in the fields when she mistook a grenade for a toy. They said that as the girl lifted the grenade it exploded killing her on the spot. He said that a young man, Sifatullah, was wounded in the explosion. Police later cordoned off the area and during search found nine hand grenades from the place of incident which were defused by officials of bomb disposal squad.

The Federal Government appointed Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police chief. A notification issued by the establishment division said that Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, a BS-21 officer of the PSP, presently serving under the KP Government, was transferred and posted as PPO, KP, in his own pay and scale with immediate effect till further order.

March 31

At least 24 persons were killed and another 100 injured in a suicide attack on an Imambargah in the Noor market area of Parachinar town in Kurram Agency of FATA. Sources said the explosion took place as people gathered for Friday prayers near the women´s entrance of Imambargah. A witness said security personnel at the Imambargah were checking devotees when an unidentified person parked a car next to the building, which then exploded. TTP's faction JuA claimed responsibility for the attack. The blast was part of its operation Ghazi and Shias were the targets, the outfit said in a statement sent to the media.

A high-value terrorist Mehmoodul Hassan alias Khwaja Madni and his accomplice from the TTP' Sajna group were killed in an operation by SFs in Jandola area of SWA, the ISPR statement said. The SFs personnel recovered weapons and ammunitions from the terrorists' hideout.

President Mamnoon Hussain gave his formal assent to the Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill ? the two pieces of legislation aimed at granting legal cover to military courts. When it was tabled the 28th Constitutional Amendment Bill was titled the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill. However, it will now be called the 28th amendment bill. It was presented along with the Army Act 1952 before the Senate earlier this week. Military courts were disbanded on January 7, 2017, after a sunset clause included in the legal provisions under which the tribunals were established, expired.

April 2

Unidentified militants fired four missiles from Afghanistan into Kurram Agency of FATA. A spokesperson for the local administration said that the missiles had been fired from Afghanistan's Paktia province and did not cause any loss of life. One missile struck a shop in the Shingak area, another landed near a mosque, and two others in a graveyard at Kachkina.

April 4

The ISPR claimed that eight JuA militants had surrendered before the Army in Mohmand Agency of FATA. In a statement issued by the ISPR, the Army said the militants who surrendered include Akbar, Gull, Siraj and five of their accomplices.

April 5

Six people, including four Army soldiers and an off-duty Air Force airman, lost their lives after a suicide bomber targeted a census team in Bedian Road area of Lahore in Punjab. At least 19 others were injured in the attack, according to the provincial Government. The TTP claimed the attack. The injured were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) and General Hospital. At least three of the injured were said to be in critical condition. One, identified as Lance Naik Irshad, lost his life while undergoing treatment.

Unidentified gunmen shot dead four laborers in Kharan District of Balochistan. Police and paramilitary personnel reached the area and took the bodies to DHQ Hospital. The deceased were identified as Ghulam Mustafa, Naizi Sohrab Shah and Sajid, who hailed from Sindh. The men were working on a road project under the CPEC.

April 7

The CTD of Punjab killed 10 JuA militants in the night at Manawan area of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab. The CTD said the terrorists killed in the ‘encounter’ were involved in Mall Road suicide attack. Days after the attack, CTD personnel had apprehended alleged facilitator Anwarul Haq. The law enforcers, on Haq's pointation, had also arrested his other accomplices. The sources said the CTD was taking the arrested facilitators to Manawan for recovery of explosives when their accomplices ambushed the team. In the retaliatory fire, 10 militants were killed including the facilitators of the attack.

One veterinary doctor Prof. Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed (68) who belongs to Ahmadi community was shot dead in a sectarian target killing in the Sabzazar area of Lahore. The doctor was being driven by his grandson when a motorcyclist pulled up next to their car and fired at point-blank range, killing him on the spot. His grandson, Shahzeb, remained unhurt, while the attacker, who was wearing a helmet, fled the scene. Prof Dr Ashfaq Ahmed had retired as a professor from Lahore University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. Salim Uddin, a spokesperson for the Jamaat-i-Ahmadiyya Pakistan, condemned the attack and protested that the doctor was targeted because of his faith. "In a span of 10 days, this has been the second killing of an Ahmadi. There is a campaign of hate against the Ahmadiyya community and as a cost, innocent people are killed. On the one hand, the government boasts about the Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and on the other, people are being killed along religious lines in broad daylight," read an excerpt from a press release issued by the Anjum-i-Ahmadiyya Pakistan.

April 9

Five terrorists and Pakistan Ranger Punjab personnel killed during an IBO in Chhera Thal area of Dera Ghazi Khan District of Punjab. According to the ISPR, in sequel to Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, Pakistan Rangers Punjab started special IBO in the area of Chhera Thal, 40 kilometres South West of Fort Manro, in the early hours and was continuing till the mid day. During trade of fire, Sepoy Kamran was killed while Deputy Superintendent Rangers Haroon got injured.

The CTD personnel shot dead a terrorist during snap checking at Sukkur-Shikarpur link road in Sukkur District of Sindh in the evening. According to SP Irfan Samo, CTD personnel, during snap checking signalled three men riding on a motorcycle to pull over. The militants opened fire on CTD personnel that was retaliated. One terrorist was killed, while two others managed to flee during the encounter.

The Army seized an explosive laden vehicle near Chaman town of Killa Abdullah District in Balochistan and arrested two suspected persons, a statement issued by the ISPR said. According to the ISPR, 80 kilograms explosive material was fitted in the vehicle that was prepared in Kandahar and brought in Pakistan to use it in a terror attack. The ISPR said the vehicle was seized in an operation that was carried on the basis of intelligence reports.

April 9

The CTD personnel shot dead a terrorist during snap checking at Sukkur-Shikarpur link road in Sukkur District of Sindh in the evening. According to SP Irfan Samo, CTD personnel, during snap checking signalled three men riding on a motorcycle to pull over. The militants opened fire on CTD personnel that was retaliated. One terrorist was killed, while two others managed to flee during the encounter.

April 11

Two "hardcore terrorists" tried by Military Courts were hanged in a high security prison in Sahiwal District of Punjab. The ISPR statement said the two convicts were awarded the capital punishment for offences related to terrorism, including the killing of civilians, attacking armed forces and law enforcement agencies, and assaults on polio vaccination teams and employees of an NGO. The hanged militants were identified as Muhammad Shahid Omar, who was an active member of TTP, and Fazl-i-Haq, an active member of the TTP, who was also accused of kidnapping and amputating the hands of four Police officials.

Seven JuA militants were arrested by the CTD at Severra Chowk in Multan town of same District in Punjab. According to the CTD spokesperson, the militants were stationed at Severra Chowk and were caught with hand grenades and heavy explosives in their possession. The CTD had received information that the militants were planning to attack vital installations within the city, after which they conducted a raid near Severra Chowk, the spokesperson added.

 A raid conducted by CTD officials in Gujranwala town resulted in the arrest of two suspected terrorists who belong to proscribed organisations. The raid was conducted after the law enforcement agency received information that the pair was planning to attack sensitive installations within the vicinity of Sialkot. During the raid, the CTD team recovered explosive material and detonation equipment from their possession.

April 12

Two Pakistan Rangers Sindh personnel were killed during a raid to arrest militants trained in Syria and Afghanistan and working for foreign intelligence agencies were arrested from Mawaach Goth area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Briefing media on the raid, Rangers spokesperson Colonel Qaisar said that they raided a militant hideout in Mawaach Goth area on a tipoff that militants of AQIS have entered in the metropolis for subversive activities. ‘Eight KG explosives, one suicide vest, four ball bearing bombs and four SMGs were seized from the suspects,’ Colonel Qaiser explained, further adding that ‘two Rangers personnel were martyred during the raid.’ The LEAs also recovered 360-degree images of a site were from their possession, he said. Tahir Zaman aka Boxer Mota was trained in Afghanistan. IED expert Nawaz joined the AQIS group in 2012, he also provided medical services to another terrorist, Javed Swati. The third suspect, Bilal, was a close associate of main suspect Tahir who was involved in the Safoora attack.

Police arrested a target killer affiliated to MQM-L, identified as Kamran s/o Jumma Khan, from Joharabad area of Karachi. Police said Kamran is involved in two murder cases in Orangi Town.

At least three persons were injured in a blast on Airport road in Gwadar town in same district of Balochistan. Police sources said that the IED was planted in a motorcycle parked on the side of a road.

April 13

A doctor, identified as Dr Zulfiqar, was killed when two unidentified assailants called out him from his house and opened fire in Kharadar area of Saddar Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Dr. Zulfiqar used to run a clinic in Khadda Market.

A journalism student was lynched at AWKU in Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in broad daylight after being accused of blasphemy. The deceased was identified as Mashal Khan, a resident of Swabi and a student at AWKU’s Journalism and Mass Communication department. A friend of the deceased student said that a mob attacked him before shooting him in the head and chest. He added that the mob then continued to beat his body with sticks.

US said that the safe havens still exist in Pakistan for terrorist groups to operate from and carry strikes out on Afghanistan. US State Department acting spokesperson Mark Toner, in daily press briefing said, “We’ve been very clear, while we understand that Pakistan has made efforts to confront terrorism and terrorist organizations on its own soil, that there are still what we call safe havens that exist for terrorist groups to operate from and carry strikes out on Afghanistan.” The spokesperson went on to say, again, it’s in Pakistan’s interest to work with – constructively with Afghanistan to address those security concerns.

April 14

One militant was killed and three of his accomplices apprehended during combing operation in Factory Area of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab. According to Police, the terrorists opened fire on the security personnel during joint combing operation in the area and in the ensuing gunfight, a terrorist was killed and three security personnel sustained injuries. Three militants were arrested by the law enforcers. A suicide vest, detonators and weapons were seized from the site where exchange of fire took place

A suspected gangster, identified as Ghulam Nabi alias Gull, was shot dead in an ‘encounter’ in Kalakot area of Lyari town in Karachi, reports Dawn. The Police have seized a TT pistol and a hand grenade from his custody. The deceased was associated with the Uzair Baloch-led Lyari gang, the Police said. “He looked after drug business in Lyari,” an unnamed officer added.

April 15

At least nine militants and three Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) personnel were killed during an exchange of fire in Basti Dadwani near Choti Zareen area of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab. The ISPR said "9-10 hardcore terrorists" affiliated with the TTP were killed during the joint security operation launched by Rangers, intelligence agencies and CTD personnel near Choti Zareen area. Among the slain militants included Muhammad Asghar Dadwani alias Ustad Gorchani and Muhammad Naeem alias Waqas Dadwani. The Punjab Rangers personnel slain in the shootout were identified as Havildar Asif, Sepoy Aftab and Sepoy Azizullah. Two soldiers also sustained injuries.

April 16

Two suspects, identified as Ramzan Khan and an Afghan national, were taken into custody from Cantonment area of Lahore city. The arrested due is suspected to be involved in Bedian Road, Lahore terror incident.

The LEA apprehended two suspects from Bhatta Chowk of Lahore city. The duo was arrested for their involvement in Charing Cross incident

LEA arrested a terrorist, identified as Omar alias Sufiyan, at Saddar area of Ghazi Road in Lahore city. He is said to be close aide of militant and proclaimed offender Azeem aka Fauji.

US NSA Lt-Gen HR McMaster said the best way for the Pakistani leaders to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy and not through the use of proxies that engage in violence. Gen McMaster said: "As all of us have hoped for many, many years that the Pakistani leaders will understand that it is in their interest to go after these groups less selectively than they have in the past and the best way to pursue their interest in Afghanistan and elsewhere is through diplomacy not through the use of proxies that engage in violence."

April 17

The DG of ISPR, Major General Asif Ghafoor, announced that Ehsanullah Ehsan, former ‘spokesperson’ of the TTP and a senior leader of the JuA, had turned himself in to Pakistan's security agencies. "…I want to take this opportunity to announce that Ehsanullah Ehsan, the former spokesperson of the TTP and a leader of the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, has turned himself into our security agencies," he stated. In 2014, after a split in the TTP, Ehsan had become a ‘spokesperson’ for the JuA — what was then a newly-formed splinter group of the TTP. Ehsan had said at the time that 70 to 80 per cent of the TTP ‘commanders’ and fighters had also joined the splinter group.

April 18

Naureen Leghari, the wife of militant Ali Tariq who was killed in an encounter in Lahore in Punjab in the night of April 14, had allegedly joined the militant IS in Syria, reports Dawn on April 18. According to sources, the woman had physically taken part in the encounter and had engaged police personnel for about an hour. Naureen Leghari, who was arrested during the encounter, had married her husband after leaving her home and joining the militants. Sources said that Leghari had allegedly visited Syria to join IS after leaving her home in February. She had also received training in Syria for using weapons, they said. She returned home to Lahore three weeks ago and was being tracked by security personnel.

Naureen Leghari was a medical student of the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences in Jamshoro, Sindh. She had reportedly been contacted by militants through social media.

Lahore Police also arrested Hafeez, the owner of the house where the encounter took place, and a property dealer, Ayub, and were conducting raids to arrest Azeem, a facilitator of the militants who is said to be a leader of the IS. The law enforcement agencies had announced PKR 1 million head money for his arrest.

The Security Forces in Lahore also arrested four people suspected of being linked with the IS network in the city.

The JI has launched a mass contact campaign in accordance with its annual action plan. A high-level meeting to review the preparations in this regard will be held at Mansoora on April 19, with JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch in the chair. The meeting will chalk out plans to mobilise the masses through mass contact in all parts of the country to support the JI in the next elections.

In a recent study carried out by Sindh CTD about educated ‘hardcore militants’ in the province’s jails, revealed that out of 500 surveyed militants, at least 64 have a Masters degree or higher,. As many as 70 militants have a Bachelors degree and 63 have completed their matriculate and intermediate.

Once thriving, adventure tourism in PoK has seen a sharp decline over the past four years. Since 2013, an additional challenge has been staring the mountaineers attracted to the largest cluster of daunting peaks in the region. That year terrorists killed 11 climbers at their base camp at the foot of the mighty Nanga Parbat. According to the ACP, the number of mountaineering expeditions daring to come for climbing the five highest peaks - K2, Nanga Parbat, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum I and II – has been declining. “Sadly, the disturbing trend continues,” regrets the APC president, retired Colonel Manzoor Hussain. “Last year some 34 expeditions came to Pakistan, compared to nearly 70 plus groups before the incident.

The SF seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition during an operation in Kurram Agency of FATA, officials. Political Officer Shahid Ali Khan and Commandant, Kurram Militia, Colonel Umar Malik told reporters that seven rocket launchers, 24 rocket shells, two anti-aircraft guns, 50 hand-grenades and 400 mortar shells were also seized in the operation. The officials said that the densely populated area of the town had been declared 'red zone' on the requests of tribal elders and traders. About 24 kilometer trench had been dug around the town, they said, adding, the trench had disrupted movement through unfrequented routes. The officials said that the trench would be made a ring road in future. They also announced that motorcycles and other vehicles' entry into 'red zone' had been banned.

Police claimed to have arrested a target killer belonging to MQM-L from Gulberg Town in Karachi. According to Gulberg SP Bashir Brohi, Jauharabad police arrested Umar Farooque alias Rashid Charya alias Rashid Kalla. Charya has been involved in at least 12 cases of target killing and terrorism. A pistol with five bullets has been recovered from him. "He joined Unit 131 of MQM in 1995. During the course of interrogation he has revealed multiple terrorist activities in Karachi," the SP said. He said further Charya attacked Baloch Goth in 1995-96 in which five people were killed, including his own accomplice Jameel.

An ATC in Karachi awarded 17 years’ imprisonment to two MQM-L activists each for attacking a police mobile and possessing illegal arms. After the prosecution proved the charges against Mohsin alias Peter and Raees alias Kala, the court sentenced them to 17 years in prison and imposed a fine of PKR 80,000 on each convict, observing that they had not only targeted the police but also possessed illegal arms. According to the prosecution, the MQM-L workers had attacked the police mobile in Pirabad police jurisdiction in 2011. Both were arrested after an encounter with a police team and illegal arms were found on them.

April 19

The ISPR, press wing of Pakistani Armed Forces, informed that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa signed the death warrants for 30 "hardcore terrorists" with links to the 2014 Army Public School attack. The suspected terrorists were involved in "heinous offences," which included the "kidnapping and slaughtering" of soldiers of the Frontier Constabulary and an attack on Saidu Sharif Airport, the military's media wing said. The 'terrorists' were also responsible for killing innocent civilians, attacking the armed forces of Pakistan and law enforcement agencies, ISPR said.

April 20

The Government is planning to extend ‘Super Tax’ for yet another year, generating PKR 30 billion for partially meeting security establishment’s expenditures although more than 90 per cent of the population affected by the Operation Zarb-e-Azb have returned to their homes,. The authorities are clearly not in a mood to withdraw the Super Tax from next financial year 2017-18, set to start from July this year, said officials in the FBR. They said that the FBR proposed that in addition to extending the tax into its third year, the government should also increase the rate of super tax to 5 per cent for banking companies.

April 21

A child was killed and two persons were injured in a roadside bomb blast in Shinkoot area of Bajaur Agency in the FATA on. Officials said Gul Mast Khan, a local resident, along with his children was coming home from a nearby mosque after offering Friday prayers when a remote-controlled bomb placed along the link road went off. A child identified as Marwan died on the spot while his father and other child, Farmanullah, received serious injuries in the blast. No one claimed responsibility for the blast.

Around 500 militants belonging to different banned Baloch militant organisations including 12 ‘commanders’ and 16 ‘sub-commanders’ surrendered themselves at a ceremony held on the lawns of the Balochistan Assembly in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The militants announced that they had abandoned the armed struggle against the Government and would join mainstream politics. The militants belonged to the Baloch Republican Army BRA, BLA, Lashkar-i-Balochistan and some other Baloch militant groups.

April 22

16 people including women and children were injured in Lyari Jhatpat Market of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, when a hand grenade blast took place on. Shakir alias Shakkar, a Gang War commander from the Baba Ladla group is reportedly behind the attack, a source from Lyari informed.

President Mamnoon Hussain said education is essential to address political, economic, social and psychological factors behind terrorism and extremism. The President said it was an important national activity that would prove to be a message of hope, life and light, not just for Pakistani nation, but for the entire humanity.

April 23

A khasadar, local Policeman, was killed while another was seriously injured when an IED planted along a road hit their motorcycle in Alingar area of Mohmand Agency in FATA. An official said that the deceased, Iqbal Khan, along with another khasadar was patrolling the area when their motorbike was hit by an IED. He died on the spot while his colleague received injuries.

A man was shot dead in Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Abdul Sattar was on his way to Balakot from Boi area when a group of unidentified people intercepted him near Garhihabibullah and fired at him, killing him on the spot. Police said that assailants tortured had tortured his brother before opening fire at him.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.





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