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Pakistan Timeline - 2014

Date

Incidents

January 01

At least three people were killed and 30 injured in a suicide attack targeting Shia pilgrims in Akhtarabad area of Balochistan's provincial capital Quetta. Police said a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the bus carrying Shia pilgrims who were coming from Iran to Quetta.

PTI protests that had blocked the NATO supplies has almost come to an unannounced end. The party has wound up four out of five protest camps set up in Nowshera, Dera Ismail Khan and Kohat Districts and at Peshawar Motorway Toll Plaza. The Imran Khan's party officially denies it and insists it is as committed as it was in disallowing NATO supplies through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. However, ground reality at the site of the lone sit-in is not what Khan claims.

The Special Court constituted to try former President General Pervez Musharraf for treason ordered him to appear for the hearing of the case on January 3, 2013. The bench initiated the hearing without Musharraf's presence and while ordering for his production in court also warned of issuing a ruling in case he failed to appear in the court for the next hearing.

The authorities concerned decided to further enhance security for Musharraf as he could not appear before the Special Court after a kilogram of explosive material was recovered and defused near his Chak Shahzad farmhouse residence in Islamabad. Around 1600 police and Rangers personnel would provide security to him from his farmhouse resident to Special Court on January 2, 2013.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan asked 'some' TTP factions opposing the peace process to grow out of their mindset and respond positively to the gestures of both the Government and the entire political leadership of the country. Expressing the Government's resolve to establish peace in the affected areas through talks with the TTP during a meeting with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who called on him, the Minister said that the Government was sincerely pursuing the path of dialogue. "It is incumbent upon the other side to react positively," Nisar said.

MWM and SIC opposed the proposed talks between the Government and TTP. SIC Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza, MWM Secretary for Political Affairs Syed Nasir Abbas Sherazi and Voice of Shuhada-e-Pakistan spokesperson Senator Faisal Raza Abidi expressed their opposition to the talks while addressing a joint press conference at the MWM office. The MWM and SIC central leadership claimed that they would not allow the Government to hold talks with the terrorists at the cost of the Constitution.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that he planned to strengthen the NSC and make it an institutionalised forum with the power to take relevant decisions. In the past, he said, stakeholders spoke differently, but now everyone should come and speak at this forum and then implement decisions taken there. He said that the Government was moving in accordance with decisions taken by an all-party conference about a peace initiative. The best option is to achieve peace through talks. But "when we start dialogue, drones derail everything", he added.

January 2

Three alleged gangsters, identified as Attaullah (35), Adil Khattak (30) and Hamid alias Mota (36), were shot dead during an ambush by a rival group in Ibrahim Hyderi's Ilyas Goth area in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Two alleged militants of the TTP were killed in an encounter with the Rangers in Manghopir. An unnamed Rangers official claimed that both the suspects were affiliated with the Wali-ur-Rehman group of the TTP. "One of them was their explosives expert."

Two dead bodies were found near the Tonga stand on Tannery Road in Lyari Town.

One person identified as Tahir Siddiqui (28), was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Naseerabad on Sharea Pakistan.

A Policeman, identified as Azizul Allah, was killed and three others were injured in a remote-controlled blast in the Tank town of Tank District.

A girl's school was partially damaged in an explosion in the Dhub Banda area of Charsadda city in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A doctor, identified as Dr Ahmad Zia, was abducted by unidentified militants in the Peshawar.

SFs foiled a terrorism bid by recovering and defusing an anti-tank mine concealed in a handcart in the Sakarosare area of Taal tehsil in the Hangu city of Hangu District.

Pakistan Army carried out search operation for more than 16 hours in the Peshawar Central Prison after receiving information that some militants had passed on suicide jackets to TTP prisoners in the jail.

January 3

Two ASWJ cadres, including Secretary General Mufti Muneer Muavia and his colleague Qari Asad Mehmood were killed in an attack in Islamabad.

IHC directed the Government to provide a bulletproof car to former SC Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, saying even those who violated the Constitution were being given foolproof security. Justice Shoukat Siddiqui of the IHC issued the directive while hearing a plea filed by former Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association President Sheikh Ahsanuddin for providing security to justice Chaudhry.

IGFC Balochistan Major General Mohammad Ejaz Shahid said that 60 to 70 Farari camps, or insurgent camps, were operating in the province. However, he added that it was difficult to crack down on these camps because they keep changing location according to the weather.

January 4

At least three Shia men were killed and four others were injured in an incident of firing by armed assailants Maskan Chowrangi in Gulshan-i-Iqbal area of Karachi.

Two brothers, also seminary students, identified as Abid Mavia (25) and Sajid Mavia (28), were shot dead by unidentified assailants on Rashid Minhas Road within the jurisdiction of Jauharabad Police Station.

Two Policemen were killed and another was injured in an armed attack within the precincts of Peerabad locality in Orangi Town.

A Policeman, identified as Mohsin (37), was shot dead in Shahnawaz Shar Goth area within the precincts of Sacchal Police Station in Gulshan Town.

An unidentified person was killed by unidentified assailants in Pak Colony area of SITE Town.

A peanut seller, identified as Syed (40) was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Hyderi area of North Nazimabad Town.

An unidentified dead body of was found dead from Link Road of Gulshan-e-Hadeed within the remits of Shah Latif Police Station.

Two persons were killed and nine others were injured in a blast in Bakhtiarabad area of Sibi town of the same District. The bomb was attached to a motorcycle and detonated by remote control.

Four persons, including the advisor to the Balochistan Chief Minister Majid Abro, were injured in bomb attacks in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

Quetta Police Chief Abdul Razaq Cheema claimed that Police has arrested four UBA militants and seized a huge cache of bomb-making material from their possession in Bakra Mandi area of Quetta. CCPO Cheema said that the accused have confessed of carrying out 15 terrorists acts in 2012-13 in which 12 persons were killed and dozens others were injured.

January 5

Unidentified armed assailants hurled a hand grenade at the shop of ANP leader Abdul Razzak Buneri and also opened fire in Madina Colony of Baldia Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, killing two Policemen identified as Abdul Raheem and Khan Muhammad.

Two persons, identified as Ameer Bukhsh (65) and Shafi Muhammad (60), were shot dead and another was injured in Mawach Goth in the precincts of Mochko Police Station.

A senior worker of the PTI, identified as Qari Jaffar, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in SITE Town.

A worker of the PML-F, identified as Nazar Shaikh, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Surjani area of Gadap Town.

A prayer leader of Masjid-e-Khizrul Islam was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Baldia Town.

A factory owner, Muhammad Iqbal, was shot dead while he was on his way on a car in Qasba Colony of SITE Town.

A person, identified as Muneeb Ahmad was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Ashfaq Colony of Kiamari Town.

One Asif, who had sustained injuries during an attack on a police van in Pirabad locality, succumbed to the injuries.

Rangers and Police claimed to have arrested over two and a half dozen suspects during separate targeted raids and operation across the Karachi.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that the targeted operation in Karachi will continue till the elimination of criminals and terrorists.

LEAs recovered three dead bodies from Killi Maryam in Qamarud Din Karez area of Zhob District in Balochistan.

The house of a Policeman was partially damaged when it was targeted with an IED in the limits of Kaki Police Station of Bannu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Police recovered explosives in the limits of Mandani Police Station of Charsadda District.

According to PIPS Security Report 2013, A downward trend in the number of overall incidents of violence, which had started in 2010 and continued in the two subsequent years, could not persist in 2013. According to the report, militant, nationalist insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out a total of 1,717 terrorist attacks across Pakistan in 2013, claiming the lives of 2,451 people and causing injuries to another 5,438.

The President of the MWM Rajanpur District, identified as Doctor Azhar Hussain (59), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in a sectarian attack at his residence in the District. Hussain was a doctor by profession.

January 6

At least nine persons, including three suspected militants and three children, were killed and several others were wounded in a bomb blast targeting the house of tribal elder Hakeem Khan Akakhel in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA.

A passerby, identified as Hussain Turi, was injured in roadside bomb explosion in Pewar area of Kurram Agency. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two people, including a woman, were killed while Police constable Farzand Ali and FC official Gula Khan were injured when unidentified militants opened fire at them in a market in Matani area of Peshawar in KP.

Frontier Constabulary official, identified as Wahid Mir, was killed and three other FC personnel were injured during a routine patrol in a roadside bomb explosion in Regi Lalma Housing Scheme area in Peshawar. “Being close to Khyber Agency, the area provides militants a golden opportunity to escape to the tribal areas safely after such attacks,” said a Police official.

A Police constable, identified as Manfarullah, was shot dead outside City Hospital on Kohat Road in Peshawar.

A teenage boy, identified as Aitazaz Hassan (14), was killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Government school Ibrahimzai area of Hangu District.

An activist of the MQM, identified as Shahid Sheikh, was killed in a targeted attack on M.A. Jinnah Road near Jama Masjid in Jamshed Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Unidentified militants attacked the office of LDA at Civic Centre in Gulshan Town and set the office furniture on fire.

Law enforces during their ongoing drive against criminals and gangsters claimed to have arrested 94 suspects during separate targeted raids and operations across Karachi. In the first incident, Karachi Police claimed to have detained around 69 suspects during 73 raids and three encounters in different parts of the city.  In addition, Pakistan Rangers Sindh claimed to have arrested 25 criminals during separate targeted raids conducted in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, Korangi Town, Landhi Town, New Karachi Town, Gadap Town, North Nazimabad Town and other areas.

Pakistan Rangers, Sindh prepared an elaborate security plan to meet any eventuality during the forthcoming Chup Tazia and 12th Rabi-ul-Awal celebrations.  

Security Agencies claimed that they have arrested a key suspect, identified as Rahim Khan, from Federal Capital Islamabad for his involvement in the June 22, 2013 Nanga Parbat attack on 10 foreigners in Diamer District of Gilgit Baltistan.

A Policeman was injured when armed assailants hurled a hand grenade at Satellite Town Police Station in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.  

Terming reports about presence of Afghan Taliban as baseless and far from reality, Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that there is no Taliban Shura in Quetta. “No sign of Afghan Taliban factor in the province,” he said, adding that foreign hands were involved in the prevailing unrest in Balochistan. The Home Minister’s statement has come two days after the foreign press reported the killing of two Taliban leaders in Quetta.  “I have no information about the killing of Taliban leaders,” Bugti said.

The Special Court trying Pervez Musharraf again exempted him from personal appearance for a day and summoned a medical certificate from the AFIC. Pervez Musharraf failed to appear before the special court for the fourth time in a row.  Special Prosecutor Muhammad Akram Sheikh, stressing the court to issue non-bailable arrest warrants, said the accused was flouting the orders of the august court.PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain presented himself for trial under Article 6 of the constitution for having supported Musharraf’s decision to proclaim the state of emergency on November 3, 2007.

January 7

At least six dead bodies were found near the Sufi shrine of shrine of Ayub Shah Bukhari in Gulshan-e-Maymar area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.  Two of the victims were beheaded, while the rest had their throats slit, said a Policeman. The Police found a bloodstained knife and note, written by TTP, which read, “Stop visiting shrines — from the Pakistani Taliban”. “People visiting shrines will meet the same fate,” the note read.  

Two security guards, identified as Muhammad Shafiq (40) and Dilshad Ansari (27), posted at United Bank Limited in Korangi Town were killed, while three people, including Branch Manager, cashier and another employee sustained injuries when six masked robbers opened fire at them and looted around PKR 1.7 million.

An unidentified Police Officer was killed in firing incident in Pak Colony area of SITE Town.

Another unidentified man was shot dead in Quaidabad area of Bin Qasim Town.

An unidentified dead body was recovered near Malir checkpost in Malir Town.

Police arrested a target killer from Musharraf Colony in Baldia Town and recovered two Kalashnikovs, two hand-grenades and two home-made bombs from his possession. Police alleged that the arrested suspect was wanted in the killings of 28 people and that he hailed from a political party.

A FC official and a Policeman were killed while one FC sustained injuries during an exchange of fire in Chatkan Bazaar of Panjgur District.

Unidentified militants shot dead a former Naib Nazim of Union Council Shahdara, identified as Shah Zaman, at his shop in Mingora city of Swat District in KP.

A proclaimed offender, identified as Aalam Khan, was killed in Musazai village while 45 suspects were arrested in a search operation conducted within the jurisdiction of Badhaber and Bhanamari Police Stations in Peshawar.

A grocery shop was destroyed in an explosion near the house of levies official Major Rekhmeen at Bahadur Bandha in Hangu District. However, no casualties were reported.  Rekhmeen said that he had not been threatened by anyone, but militant groups kept on issuing warnings to Security Force officials to quit their jobs immediately or face the consequences.  

A low-intensity bomb blast occurred in front of the house of Dr Razaullah in Saro Village of Shabqadar tehsil in Charsadda District. However, no casualty was reported.

The NAB got 14 days physical remand of two accused after arresting them for alleged involvement in the multi-billion scam concerning the procurement of weapons and vehicles for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police.  The NAB officials produced Raza Ali Khan, said to be related to former Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti, and the latter’s un-notified special adviser on police affairs Niaz Ali Shah, and sought their 14 days physical remand.   The NAB special prosecutor Lajbar Khan informed the bench that the accused had played a vital role in the scam.

At least seven people were injured in an explosion in Sadda Bazaar of lower Kurram Agency in FATA.

Saudi Arabia made it clear that it has nothing to do with former President General Pervez Musharraf’s high treason case and Riyadh does not want to interfere in internal matters of Pakistan. Saudi Foeign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal denied he had brought any message for the Pakistan Government with regard to Musharraf’s trial. “Musharraf’s trial is an internal matter of Pakistan,” Prince Saud said.

The US Department of State declared Qari Saifullah, a Quetta-based Taliban ‘commander’, a specially designated global terrorist. Qari Saifullah is the Taliban’s shadow ‘deputy governor’ and an operational ‘commander’ in Zabul province of Afghanistan, but the designation identifies him as a resident of Quetta.

Pakistan is planning to enlist Saudi Arabia’s help in brokering a peace deal with the TTP in its quest for peace in the long term. According to the initial report,  when Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal meets Pakistani officials during his two-day visit beginning on January 6, 2013, one of the key agenda items would be to explore the possibility of Riyadh’s role in the Government’s peacemaking efforts. Both JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as well as Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who is known as the father of the Afghan Taliban, are considered close to the Saudi rulers, and are intensifying efforts to bring the TTP to the negotiating table as most of the militants have studied at their seminaries.

January 8

At least 10 militants and three SFs were killed when militants attacked Green Ridge check post in Ladha subdivision South Waziristan Agency of FATA. The military claimed “inflicting heavy casualties to the militants.”

Lyari remained tensed as Lyari gangster Abdul Jabbar alias Jabbar Jhengu and his companion Abdul Ghani were killed in a road accident in the Bella area of Balochistan on January 7, 2014. However, Jhengu’s comrades claimed that they do not believe he was killed in a road accident. “Jhengu’s killing was pre-planned,” one of his associates said, adding, “The law enforcers are behind his killing. They abducted him and then killed them in this way.”

Police released sketches of two suspects it believes were involved in the January 7, 2014 slaughter of six men at a shrine in Gulshan-e-Maymar area of Gadap Town.

HRCP strongly condemned the killing of six men at a shrine in Karachi and demanded meaningful steps to put an end to killing of citizens by the extremists. HRCP Chairperson Zohra Yusuf said in a statement that the brutal killing of six young devotees in Karachi apparently for visiting a shrine was a proof that staying alive in Pakistan today was a privilege reserved for those who unthinkingly and without question comply with the whims of cold-blooded killers who are religious fanatics.            

At least one Policeman was killed and another was injured when unidentified militants opened fire on two Policemen deputed at a checkpost on Canal Road in University Town of provincial capital Peshawar.

SHO of Bhana Mari Police Station, identified as Hameed Khan, and two of his bodyguards were injured when unidentified militants opened fire on their vehicle within the limit of Paharipura Police Station in Peshawar.

LeJ claimed responsibility for the January 6, 2014 suicide blast in Ibrahimzai area of Hangu District. Ibrahimzai is a Shia-dominated area of Hangu District.

A College Professor and a Shia religious leader, identified as Nazir Hussain Imrani, was shot at and critically injured by unidentified assailants in a targeted sectarian attack in Dhoke Kashmirian area of Rawalpindi District. Imrani was an imam of Qasr-e-Sajjad Imambargah in Iqbal Town and a Professor at Government Hashmat Ali College.

A source in Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Department said that the Commission on enforced disappearances has received 209 cases of missing Baloch political workers from Balochistan. He said that 61 missing persons have been recovered and 24 mutilated dead bodies found in different parts of Balochistan up till now.  He said 44 cases of missing persons were disposed off following lack of required documents. Apart from this, 144 cases of missing persons were under trial before Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz during a book launch at the Institute of Strategic Study in Islamabad said that America is fighting the “wrong war with wrong methods against the wrong people”. Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan has been protesting against the drone attacks at all levels, as these are un-productive and violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.

January 9

CID of Karachi Police claimed killing a trio of TTP militants in Manghopir area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. "The Policemen, who busted a terrorist hideout in Manghopir area, following a promising lead, were met with heavy armed resistance", said Chaudhry Aslam, a senior CID official.  

Three Policemen, CID SP Chaudhry Aslam Khan was killed and 10 others were injured when a suicide bomber smashed his car into Aslam’s convoy near Essa Nagri at the Lyari Expressway. Two others were identified as Farhan (27) and Kamran (34). TTP claimed responsibility for the attack. TTP Mohmand Chapter ‘spokesperson’, Sajjad Mohmand said that the group has carried out a “successful” attack to take revenge for several Taliban members killed by the Police.

AIG of Police Sindh Shahid Hayat said that targeted operation against the anti-social elements would continue to maintain peace in Karachi.

PTI Chief Imran Khan reiterated his stance of negotiating with TTP following the killing of SP CID Chaudhry Aslam Khan in Karachi, which was claimed by the terrorist group. While condemning the attack he said that prevailing violence and killings in the country would not end without pulling out from ‘someone else’s war’. “Dialogue is a better option than fighting against Taliban.” “At least those (Taliban) groups which are ready to negotiate peace should be contacted for talks,” he said.

The three-judge Special Court led by Justice Faisal Arab in a hard-hitting order summoned former President General Pervez Musharraf on January 16, 2014. Musharraf had been excused from court three times for health reasons.

January 10

Three TTP militants were killed in an alleged Police encounter within the jurisdiction of Mauripur Police Station in Musharraf Colony of Baldia Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The dead were identified as Mirza Ali (45), allegedly the TTP Amir for Ittehad Town; Sher Muhammad (35), allegedly the TTP Amir for Landhi Town, and Amanullah (22).

Three people, including prayer leader Maulana Iqrar and two students of the seminary, identified as Salahuddin (16), and Naseer (17), were injured in a bomb blast at the rooftop of Jannat Masjid (mosque) in Gulshan-e-Ghazi area of Al-Falah Society in Malir Town.  

Two people, including ANP leader Aziz Khan, was injured when his house in Future Colony of Quaidabad area in Bin Qasim Town was attacked with a hand grenade. Quaidabad Police said that Khan blamed extortionists for the attack as he failed to pay an amount of PKR 5 million. 

Two Police Officers were injured when unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade at a Police mobile in Karachi. The Police retaliated and injure done of the attackers.

An alleged suicide bomber who detonated his explosive-laden vehicle to target SP CID Chauhdry Aslam on January 9, 2013, was identified as Naeemullah (26), a resident of Banaras Colony in SITE Town.

Unidentified militants shot dead two workers at Ghazi Shah Baba Shrine in Mardan District of KP.

One militant was killed when unidentified militants attacked the Manzoor Shaheed checkpost in the limits of Badbher Police Station near Matani area in Peshawar. The militant was killed in retaliatory firing by the Security Forces.

Two passengers were killed when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at a passenger van in the Dukki tehsil of Loralai District of Balochistan.  No outfit claimed of responsibility for the attack.

Unidentified militants blew up a gas pipeline in Dera Murad Jamali area of Naseerabad District suspending gas supply to many districts.

Abductors released the eight coalminers abducted from Harnai District on December 25, 2013. Sajjad Gul Kakar, a levies official, said, "Miners are back and they are safe.” He, however, declined to comment on the ransom amount paid to the kidnappers for release of the coal miners.

Hearing the high treason case against former President General Pervez Musharraf, the Special Court stated that the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is applicable in this matter. The applicability of CrPC will allow the court to issue an arrest warrant against the accused (Musharraf) over his non-appearance before it. One member of the defence team said that Musharraf would not appear before the court on January 16, 2014 and another medical report might be furnished regarding his inability to appear before the court.  

The Government’s non-compliance of its December 10, 2013 order to produce 35 missing persons, led the Supreme Court to order the Secretary to the Prime Minister Javed Aslam to bring the matter into the notice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.   In its December 10 order, the apex court said the army authorities had taken away 35 internees from the Malakand internment centre, but only seven of them were produced before the court. It ordered action against the authorities concerned in the case involving non-compliance of the verdict.  The court directed the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister to submit by January 17, 2014 their replies explaining reasons why the December 10, 2013 judgment had not been complied with.

January 11

Anti-Terrorism Court-II adjourned the hearing of March 16, 2014, Arshad Pappu murder case till January 29, 2014 after investigation officer failed to produce witnesses in the court. All accused nominated in the murder cases of Arshad Pappu were produced in an APC before ATC-II Judge under tight security.

January 12

Five persons, including three Policemen and two security guards were killed in an IED blast targeting the convoy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s senior aide Amir Muqam in Shangla District of KP. Muqam was unhurt.

Unidentified militants opened fire on ANP leader Mian Mushtaq’s vehicle in Badhpir area of Peshawar, killing three people including him.

Unidentified militants opened fire in Dashti Bazaar area of Turbat District in Balochistan and killed two people.  Imam Bakhsh, a police officer said, "Both victims were dead on the spot".  

Unidentified militants shot dead a levies constable, identified as Murad Bakhsh, in Mand Soro area of Kech District. The militants took away the weapon of the constable after killing him.

Armed militants snatched weapons from levies personnel in Panjgur District.  A levies official, on condition of anonymity, said that more than two dozen armed militants stormed a check post and snatched weapons from levies men.  "I have no information about the exact number of levies men," he said, adding that the levies men did not resist the attackers.  The militants managed to escape after the attack and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Police and ATF conducted a raid at the private jail of JUI-F member and former Provincial Minister Education and Member of Balochistan Assembly, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran and rescued seven abducted people, including two women and three children in Barkhan District.  Police also arrested six suspects and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.

A gangster, identified as Mulla Nisar, was killed in clashes between rival groups and hand grenade attack in Jhat Pat market, Rangewara and Kalakot areas of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified dead body was recovered from Mewashah graveyard in SITE Town. The victim was subjected to torture before killed.

Law enforcers arrested 160 suspects, including members of banned outfit, target killers and gangsters in the ongoing-targeted operation across the city.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan stated that negotiations with the TTP were the Government’s top priority and serious efforts are being made in this regard, but warned that the militants unwilling to hold talks will be dealt with sternly. The Interior Minister called upon the Taliban factions opposing the peace process to grow out of their mindset and respond positively to the gestures of the Government. “I urge Taliban groups who are refusing to hold dialogue that the path of Islam is the path of welfare and peace, and not of bullet,” Nisar said. He said that both talks and military operation against the Taliban are difficult tasks, as they are not a party or force which is in front of us.

A tortured and bullet-riddled dead body of a boy (10) was found in Turbat District. According to sources, the victim’s elder brother is a campaigner for the Baloch separatist movement. A BSO-A spokesperson accused Security Agencies of being behind the incident. However, Security Agencies denied charges of their involvement in any illegal detention or dumping of bodies.

January 13

Two suspected gangsters were shot dead and four others were wounded when unidentified militants opened fire at two gangsters near Zonal office within the jurisdiction of Chakiwara Police Station in Lyari Town. Tension prevailed in Lyari Town.

A woman, identified as Gulshan Bibi, was shot dead for her alleged links with Baba Ladla group in Shah Baig Lane within the precincts of Baghdadi Police Station in Lyari Town. She is accused of being an informer for Baba Ladla group.     

A Police Inspector, identified as Mohammad Iqbal alias Bijju, was shot dead at his son's hardware shop in MPR Colony within the limits of Orangi Town Police Station in Orangi Town. According to officials, the Iqbal was involved in investigating extortion cases.

Four people were injured at Jumma Shah Plot when gangsters of two rival groups fired RPGs in Lyari Town. Routine and commercial activities were suspended in Lyari following the cross firing. The Rangers were unable to curtail firing. 

Police arrested 29 suspects during raids in different areas of the city and confiscated weapons, stolen goods and drugs. Under the supervision of Superintendent of Police Kiamari, 29 suspected criminals were arrested in Shershah, Mauripur, Machchar Colony, Sultanabad, Mawach Goth areas of Karachi. 

A large quantity of anti-Pakistan literature as well as maps of a separate Balochistan were recovered during a raid of Attashad Degree College in Turbat District. A Baloch student had reportedly taken over a hostel in the college and a FC spokesperson claimed he was brainwashing students to conduct acts of terrorism in the country.

The recovered material included separatist leaflets, banners and posters. The books include Nehru and Gandhi’s biographies as well as books about Baloch separation. The books were printed in Karachi and neighbouring countries. The FC had conducted the raid after receiving a tip about the operation. No arrests were made and the student in question fled before the FC arrived.

In Swabi District, an official of the intelligence agencies, Amjad, was shot dead in Swabi bus stand area where he was on duty.

BDS thwarted an attempt of terrorism by defusing a 20kg bomb planted in congested Bana Mari area of Peshawar. According to BDS official Shafqat Malik, passers-by spotted the explosive device in Bana Mari area and informed Police.

A remote-controlled explosion occurred in Sulemankhel area of Badbher area in Peshawar where the funeral prayer of slain ANP leader Mian Mushtaq Ahmed was scheduled to be held, leaving one Policeman injured. 

The BDU thwarted an attempt of terrorism by defusing a 20 kilogram of bomb planted in the Bana Mari area of Peshawar.

The NASC on Interior and Narcotics Control approved a draft of the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2013, with some members expressing reservations and writing dissenting notes. The Committee, however, did not approve the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance 2013 which was termed by some members ‘a black law’ and similar to the Indian law called Protection of Terrorism Act (POTA) 2002.

Some members of the committee, including Arif Alvi of the PTI and Nabeel Gabol of MQM, strongly opposed the PPO 2013 and wrote dissenting notes on the ATO 2013. “Under the proposed PPO bill presented by the Government no-one can raise his/her voice against any act of the Government,” said Mr Gabol. 

“The main objective of discussing the Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013, bill was to take effective measures to protect life and property of the people in the face of increasing acts of terrorism in the country,” the head of the committee MNA Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan said.

The KP Assembly unanimously passed a resolution asking the Federal Government to direct the Federal Minister of Interior to give the assembly a briefing about measures and progress on policy aimed at eradication of terrorism in the country. The resolution was jointly moved by MPA both from treasury and opposition benches.

According to a report, titled, ‘Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis,’  compiled by the think tank New America Foundation, at least 370 US drone strikes have occurred in Pakistan since 2004. The report also gives a breakdown of the number of casualties of the drone strikes. The year in which the most number of people who were killed in the strikes is 2010. There is a downward trend of the drone strikes since 2010. The total number of people who were killed in these strikes is between 2,080-3,428 people. Of these, 1,623-2,787 are reportedly militants and 258 – 307 civilians. The highest number of drone strikes occurred in North Waziristan Agency (267 out of the 370).

The report further states that there were fewer number of drone strikes during former US President George W Bush’s term, as compared to the current administration of President Barack Obama. The number of strikes for 2013 is 26.

January 14

Police found four unidentified men's bodies near a riverbank in the Amagarh area of Nowshera District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Unidentified militants shot the four and dumped their bodies in the Amagarh area, Police said.

One Policeman was killed whereas another sustained injury when an explosion took place in Regi Model Town area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP.

A bomb explosion took place near a Police van, injuring seven Policemen on Rohri road near the Kolachi tehsil area of Dera Ismail Khan District. The bomb was remotely detonated. The SHO of Kolachi Police Station was among those injured in the blast.

The Federal Ministry of Interior informed Sindh Government that MQM leaders are on the hit list of terrorists and, therefore, appropriate security measures should be made. A special communiqué sent to Sindh Government, the Federal Ministry of Interior has expressed fear that extremist might target MQM leaders.

The Director General Rangers Major General Rizwan Akhter expressed concern over the news circulating in the media regarding high-level postings in the Police department, and said that the Rangers wanted that present Police setup in the city should continue for a year.

January 15

Two Policemen were shot dead in a firing incident near Police post situated at Gulberg area within the limits of Yousuf Plaza Police Station in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh. Police said the incident took place when unidentified armed riders arrived at the Police post and opened fire on the cops.

The law enforcement personnel also killed two alleged gangsters during an encounter in Lyari area.

A traffic police warden was gunned down near Matric Board office within the jurisdiction of North Nazimabad Police Station. Police said that unidentified armed men riding on two motorbikes waylaid their target, Mehmood Raza, son of Manaan halaak and shot him dead.

Lyari remain tensed as an armed clash occurred between rival groups of gangsters of the area. Two gangsters were killed in a joint encounter of police and rangers in the same locality. Police sources said that the clash started at Jhat Phat Market, Lyari between the members of Baba Ladla Group and defunct PAC over the dispute of extortion money collection from vendors of the area.

Police and Rangers conducted a targeted operation against criminals involved in the clash, where gangsters group resorted to fire on the law enforcers’ vans near Khada Market area. In retaliation by the LEAs, two gangsters were killed in the alleged joint encounter while three were apprehended in the operation.

Police conducted another raid at the CHK and arrested injured gangsters and shifted them to an undisclosed location.

The decomposed bodies of a young boy and a girl were found from a water tank of empty plot Sector 16-A, Orangi Town within the vicinity of Pakistan Bazaar Police Station.

A bullet-riddled body of a man was found from garbage dump in Gulistan Society within the limits of Chakiwara Police Station in Lyari Town.

The Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar vowed to continue the targeted operation in Karachi against criminals. At a meeting with members of the KCCI, he shrugged off the rumours about halting the operation in Karachi.

Three suspected militants were killed while five others arrested by the SFs during a search operation in Zaidi area of Khuzdar District in Balochistan. Deputy Commissioner Syed Abdul Waheed Shah said that the security forces and Levies force had been conducting a joint search operation in Zaidi area when armed men opened fire on them.

Supreme Court directed the Government of Balochistan to ensure security to the doctors’ community in the province. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Nasir ul Mulk and comprising Justice Saqib Nisar and Justice Ameer Hani Muslim heard the Balochistan law and order situation and missing persons’ case. The court directed Nasruallah Baloch, Chairman Voice of Missing Persons, Balochistan to appear before the court on the next date of hearing, stating as to whether he wanted to proceed further with the instant case or not. 

The Balochistan Government has approached all political forces in the province for an all parties’ conference which is likely to be held at the end of January in Quetta, a provincial Government spokesperson said. The APC was scheduled to be held in December, 2013 but could not take place due to the local Government elections in the province.

At least two volunteers of Amn committee lost their lives in a bomb blast in Zakhakhel Bazaar of Landi Kotal tehsil in Khyber Agency of FATA.

The PM Nawaz Sharif said it was not imperative that only the Government will hold talks with the TTP, and it will welcome Imran Khan, Maulana Samiul Haq, Munawar Hassan and others if they can make progress in this regard. Speaking to Saleem Safi, the host of the Geo News programme ‘Jirga’, which is to be telecast today (January 16), the PM said he will contact other leaders, including Imran Khan, over the issue of talks with the TTP.

PM Nawaz Sharif, during his visit to Swat, approved in principle and announced a brigade-level cantonment for Swat and Malakand. The PM gave the approval during a briefing given to him. He also lauded the role played by the Pakistan Army in restoring peace and stability in the area.

January 16

At least ten people were killed and more than 60 others were injured in the evening when a bomb exploded at a Tablighi Markaz (religious centre) on Pajaggi Road in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Eyewitnesses said the bomb exploded at Tablighi Markaz run by the Tableeghi Jamaat, just before Maghrib prayers.

Bomb disposal experts defused a bomb planted outside a Tablighi Markaz mosque in Nowshera, around the same time the bomb exploded in the Peshawar.

Eight Policemen sustained injuries in two blasts in Daowat area of Chakisar tehsil in Shangla District.

Police defused four hand-grenades in Mustaffaabad forests area under Gomal University Police Station in Dera Ismail Khan town of same District. Sources said unidentified persons had planted four hand grenades in bucket in Mustaffaabad forests area.

Two Policemen, identified as Head Constable Mohammad Javed (40), and Constable Asif Khan (30), were killed and two persons, including Constable Saleem (28), and a passerby, identified as Khano Ada (40), were injured in an armed attacked on the Police van near Shafiq Mor within the jurisdiction of New Karachi Police Station in Gulberg Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A man, identified as Syed Junaid Akhtar (43), was shot dead on Manghopir Road within the precincts of SITE-A Police Station in SITE Town.

An officer of a spy agency, identified as Captain Ehtesham Haider, was injured in a targeted armed attack near Jauhar roundabout within the limits of Shahrah-e-Faisal Police Station in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.                                     

Police claimed to have arrested around 85 suspects during 94 separate targeted raids and seven encounters conducted across the city. According to Sindh Police spokesman, those detained include 25 absconders, 19 drug peddlers, four robbers, one terrorist, two target killers and two extortionists, while 27 have been arrested for possession of illicit weapons.

A Khasadar Force personnel killed while two others injured in a bomb blast near the vehicle of Khasadar Force in Zakhakhel area of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency of FATA.

PM Nawaz Sharif directed the authorities that the Karachi operation should continue at all costs till the restoration of peace in the city. While talking to the Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at the PM House, Nawaz Sharif observed that the targeted operation in Karachi was fruitful in restoring peace in Karachi.

The Government will provide resources needed for continuation of the operation and next phase would be conducted in accordance to the plan. It is understood that the two have also discussed the situation arising due to difference of opinion between the civil administration and authorities carrying out the operation.

Pakistani media professionals are vowing to maintain a free press in the face of the TTP's recent threats against them, and the country is calling for broad support of the media, given their key role in the war against terrorism. "Several journalists have lost their lives for the truth," KP Inspector General of Police Nasir Khan Durrani said.

"The media have to convey a true picture to the masses," Peshawar-based senior journalist and Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) President Nisar Mehmood told Central Asia Online. "No doubt journalists, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [KP] and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas [FATA], are facing death threats, but still we have to depict a true picture of society and convey the truth," he said.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while addressing 170 senior civil and military officers participating in the National Security and War Course at the National Defence University in Islamabad said that the National Security Policy was in final stages of formation which will help the Government in effectively combating militancy and eradicating extremism in Pakistan.

The Minister said that enemy of the country was vague and divided, adding that the security policy is proactive in nature which will address the problems being faced by Pakistan. He said the new security policy will have three components covert, strategic, and operational.

The Interior Minister said that the Government has again started the process of dialogue with the militants. He said the Government wants a durable solution to eradicate terrorism from the country and the use of force will only be the last resort.

January 17

Three people, including Mufti Usman Yar, the Secretary General of JUI-S, were killed when unidentified militants opened fire on a car near Awami Markaz in Shahra-e-Faisal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The other two killed were his driver and a personal guard.

TTP militants killed three Express News staffers, including a technician, guard and driver, by opening fire on a DSNG vehicle near Matric Board Office in North Nazimabad Town. TTP Karachi Chapter ‘spokesman’ Sajjad Mohmand claimed responsibility for the attack.

A roadside vendor, identified as Shafi Muhammad (50), was shot dead in a targeted attack near Fancy Bakery on Tannery Road in Lyari Town.

A “wanted criminal”, identified as Ashraf Khan, was shot dead near the Paposh Nagar graveyard in Nazimabad Town. Investigators claimed Khan was affiliated with a political party and was wanted by the police in a number of cases. 

Security was put on high alert at Central Jail in view of the risk of terrorist attack. According to the Police, heavy contingent of Police and Rangers have been deployed at the jail while the roads around the jail have been closed for traffic.

A report by the HRCP stated that the year 2013 was the deadliest one for Karachi so far with as many as 3,251 fatalities. The city has seen a sharp increase in killings in the past few years with 1,981 people killed in 2010, 2,382 killed in 2011 and 3,105 killed in 2012. Of the entire year, August was the bloodiest month with 334 killings or deaths.

Four people were killed and 65 others were injured when Khushaal Khan Khattak Express passenger train carrying around 400 passengers derailed following a bomb explosion on its tracks in Omar Kot area of Rojhan sub-district in Rajanpur District. The train was en route to Karachi in Sindh from Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. BRA claimed responsibility for the attack.

PTI chief Imran Khan expressed his reluctance to hold peace talks with TTP saying he lacks authority to do so. Speaking at a press conference, Khan said he cannot hold talks with TTP as neither his party is in power at the centre nor he has any authority over the services.

January 18

Three persons were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on a car carrying ASWJ leader at Noori Gate in Sargodha area of same District. According to Police, the incident occurred at Noori Gate in Sargodha when ASWJ Deputy Chief of Punjab chapter Maulana Abdul Hameed Khalid along with others was on his way from Bhakkar District to attend the hearing at an anti-terrorism court in Sargodha.

A man who was injured during a shooting incident in the Gulbahar area of Liaquatabad Town succumbed to his injuries.

Six people were injured in a hand grenade attack in the Khadda market area of Lyari Town.

Two persons were killed and another was injured when unidentified assailants opened fire at a car showroom on GT Road in Shaidu area of Nowshera District.

A bomb planted by unidentified militants at an unpaved road to target FC troopers supplying rations at check posts went off in the Landikotal tehsil of Khyber Agency. No loss of life was reported.

The Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan said that despite the complexity of missing person’s cases, the Government, through court orders, has ensured at least 1,270 of them reached their homes. Another 1,086 have been identified at notified internment centres in KP and the FATA. Some 3,033 people have been traced to various locations in the region.

Justice Khan said that the Human Rights Directorate set up by him for those who cannot afford to hire a lawyer, has received more than 9,000 cases so far. Of these 7,000 were decided instantly, with the aggrieved getting justice in less than 72 hours.

January 19

At least 20 soldiers were killed and another 30 were injured when a bomb ripped through a military convoy in the Bannu Town (Bannu District) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at 8:45 am. “A vehicle-borne improvised explosive device caused the blast,” a senior military official said. The convoy was about to leave for the Razmak town in North Waziristan Agency of FATA when the blast hit one of the civilian vehicles hired to move troops. The TTP ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid claiming responsibility, said, “It was part of our fight against a secular system. We will carry out more such attacks in future.” He added that the TTP were seeking revenge for the deaths of their former ‘chief’ Hakimullah Mehsud and ‘deputy chief’ Waliur Rehman – both killed in US drone attacks.

A Police Constable, identified as Noman Ahmed (26), was killed while two passers-by and an ASI, identified as Sohail, were injured in an armed attack targeting the Police van near Dow Medical College in the Arambagh area of Saddar Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified dead body of an old man was found from Mureed Jhokiyo Goth, within the jurisdiction of Steel Town Police Station area in Malir Town.

Rangers claimed to have detained at least 20 suspects belonging to TTP during a targeted raid conducted at Kunwari Colony area of Manghopir in the Gadap Town. The third phase of the operation is against banned outfits' militants, target killers, terrorists, extortionists and others criminals. Kunwari Colony area of Manghopir is said to be a stronghold of TTP, and a number of TTP militants operate from there to carry out terror activities across the city.

Two FC officials were injured when an IED went off at a roadside in the Ghari Gal area of Mamond tehsil in the Bajaur Agency of FATA. Political administration official from Mamond, Abdul Haseeb Khan, said he was informed by a tribesman around 12:30pm about a canister spotted on the roadside in Ghari Gal area of Mamond.

Two people, including the driver and cleaner of a NATO container carrying equipment for troops in Afghanistan, were injured when unidentified militants opened fire at the NATO container in the Choto area of Mastung District. No outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.

TTP ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid said that TTP were ready for a “meaningful dialogue”. However, the militant group asked the Government to “prove its authority and sincerity with dialogue process”. In a letter issued to the media on January 19 the TTP also said, “TTP wants to give clear-cut message to people of Pakistan that our war is for implementation of Sharia’h and we will never give up principles of Sharia’h.”

Chairman of PTI, Imran Khan, held Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, responsible for the terrorist attacks on Security Forces of Pakistan, and said, "Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman or Sami-ul-Haq alone cannot get the Taliban peace talks off the ground. The Prime Minister should take the lead in this regard”. He said that if he were the Prime Minister he would be spearheading the peace talks. "Had I been Nawaz Sharif, I would have taken the charge long ago", said Khan.

January 20

Army helicopters pounded several militant hideouts in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA killing at least 24 persons and injuring 15 others. Fear and panic gripped the area after the overnight blitz after which locals began to migrate out of the volatile area to safer places.

A TTP suicide bomber killed 13 persons, including eight soldiers and three children, and wounded 29 others in Royal Artillery Bazaar close to General Headquarters in Rawalpindi District. An Army statement said, "13 persons including eight security forces personnel, three schoolchildren and two civilians embraced shahadat while 29 were injured in this cowardly act of terror." TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the attack as payback for a deadly military raid on the Lal Masjid in Islamabad in 2007. "It was carried by one of our suicide bombers to take revenge for the Red Mosque massacre," he said, adding, "We will continue our struggle against the secular system."

Police arrested four suspected TTP militants during a raid in a house located in Tarnol area of Islamabad and seized a huge quantity of explosives from them. Police also seized more than 130 kilogram of explosives. The terrorists were shifted them to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

At least two persons were killed when a roadside remote-controlled explosion occurred in Loni area of Kolachi tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan District of KP. The deceased persons were identified as Zainullah and Shamsur Rahman. Following the explosion, a tip-off was received regarding more bombs in the area. The BDS team personnel reached the site of explosion and defused four bombs. Meanwhile, security personnel cordoned off the area and a probe into the incident went underway.

Unidentified assailants killed a Shia Muslim scholar Allama Alim Al-Musvi who was walking to the mosque in Kissa Khwani market of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. "Two gunmen opened fire on the scholar and escaped in the narrow streets when he came out of his house and walked towards the mosque," local Police official Fazal Jan said. Al-Musvi was a locally respected scholar and used to deliver sermons at special Shia gatherings, he added.

The death toll in January 19's attack on a military convoy in the Bannu Town (Bannu District) at 8:45 am rose to 26 as six more soldiers succumbed to their injuries at hospitals. 20 soldiers were killed and another 30 were injured when a bomb ripped through a military convoy as their convoy was about to leave for the Razmak town in North Waziristan Agency of FATA.

At least two persons were reportedly injured when an explosion took place in Kala Dher area of Charsadda District. According to the police, explosive materials were concealed in a pile of gravel at a roadside on Mardan Road which blew up, creating a loud explosion. Police said two cars were passing by at the time of explosion and the intensity of the blast smashed their windows.

Two persons, identified as Aqil Shah and Kamil Khan, were arrested by Anti-Terrorist Squad from Mattani area of Peshawar and taken to an undisclosed location for further investigation. Official sources said that they were detained because of their alleged links with militants. "These people have been arrested for their alleged links with militants and it is not the first time members from their families were picked up," said an official. "Previously, Shah's father and brother were arrested by Security Forces. They were released after eight months of captivity."

A house was partially damaged when a rocket was fired in its direction in Masho Khel village of Peshawar in the night. Police said the artillery rocket was fired from several kilometers away near Khyber Agency in FATA. It struck Murad Khan's house and damaged the boundary wall. Police said no loss of life was reported.

Three unidentified dead bodies were found near Baba Wilayat Shah Shrine located within the vicinity of Sharafi Goth Police Station in Baldia Town. Police said the victims were first kidnapped.

A worker of PPP, identified as Noor Khan (32), was shot dead in MPR Colony of Orangi Town.

A man, identified as Mohammad Saleem (35), was shot dead in Daryabad area within the precincts of Kalri Police Station in Lyari Town. Police said the deceased had no affiliation with any political party or gang.

An ASI, identified as Kamran Naqvi (40), was shot dead in Chakra within the jurisdiction of Zaman Town Police Station in Korangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One official was wounded when unidentified militants hurled a cracker on a Ranger's vehicle in Nusrat Bhutto Colony of Manghopir in North Nazimabad Town. Later, Rangers launched a grand targeted operation in Manghopir locality and detained around 20 suspects, which included four TTP militants.

At least three armed bandits robbed PKR 270,000 from a branch of private bank in Gol Market area of North Nazimabad Town. Police, while quoting initial investigation, said that they suspect the involvement of security guards and a cashier in the bank heist. "We are sure the guards and one of the cashiers helped robbers to loot the booty from the bank," claimed SHO Ejaz Lodhi.

Unidentified militants blew up a 16-inch diameter gas pipeline in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti District.

A clear divide between the liberal and conservative elements was witnessed in the Senate during a debate on two major attacks on SFs by the TTP over the past two days and functioning of the Council of Islamic Ideology. Senators from the PPP, ANP and the MQM lashed out at the Government for its inaction and asked it to order an Army operation against TTP in the wake of terror attacks on SFs in Bannu and Rawalpindi.

Pakistan expressed disappointment over the Consolidated Appropriations Bill 2014 approved by the US Congress, which links USD 33 million in assistance to Doctor Shakil Afridi's detention. According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Government said that Dr Afridi's case was sub-judice and that he remains entitled to due process under the law.

The Consolidated Appropriations Bill 2014, approved by US Congress, was signed into law by US President Barack Obama on January 17, 2014. As an omnibus legislation, it contains respective Appropriation Bills for all Government Departments, including the Department of Defence and the Department of State. The State Department will now undertake the process of making allocations, including those for Pakistan.

January 21

At least 24 Shia pilgrims returning from Iran were killed and 40 others were injured in a bomb attack targeting their bus in the Khusak area of Kanak in Mastung District. Local Government official Shafqat Shahwani said that 51 passengers had been on board at the time of the blast and that nine passengers were still unaccounted for.

Three abductors were killed while three people, including a Police Official, one ATF official and one passerby, were injured in an operation near Sariab Road in Quetta. CCPO Abdul Razzak Cheema said, "We don't know who the kidnappers are as yet, investigation is still ongoing on."

At least 12 suspected militants were killed when fighter jets bombed their hideouts in the Inzar Kor area of Kukikhel in Khyber Agency of FATA. A security official claimed that four militant hideouts were flattened in the blitz.

Six Police officers and a 13-year-old student were killed and nine others injured in a bomb blast near a police mobile in Sardheri Bazaar of Charsadda Town (Charsadda District) in KP. There were eight police officers in the mobile at the time of the blast. The Police officers were on their way to provide security to a polio team. The explosive material was planted in a bicycle which exploded when the Police mobile passed by it.

One polio campaigner was killed when unidentified motorcycle-bourne assailants opened fire in Sher Garh area of Mansehra (Mansehra District).

Feeling the growing pressure from the sympathisers of those affected by the crippling polio disease, the TTP has officially distanced itself from some of the recent attacks on polio vaccinators in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Karachi, saying it has nothing to do with these killings. TTP 'spokesperson' Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the militant outfit was "in principle" not targeting polio workers.

Three anti-polio workers were shot dead when unidentified militants opened fire on them in Qayyumabad area of Korangi Town. The attacks came just days after the World Health Organisation warned that Peshawar was the world's "largest reservoir" of the polio virus.

Two alleged gangsters, identified as Jan Mohammad alias Janu and Jawad alias Current, were killed during an encounter with the Police near Phool Chowk area of Kharadar in Saddar Town.

ASWJ leader Maulana Zarin escaped an attack by unidentified militants in Labour Colony of Landhi Town.

Rangers recovered a hostage, identified as Qamar Mehmood, during a raid in Kunwari Colony of Manghopir area in Gadap Town and arrested at least nine suspects. Qamar was abducted on January 20, 2014 from Kati Pahari area in Orangi Town.

Law enforcers claimed to have arrested around 126 criminals during separate targeted raids and operations conducted across Karachi. In the first raid, Pakistan Rangers Sindh arrested around 19 suspects, including gangsters and militants, during separate targeted raids conducted in Kunwari Colony, Sherpao Colony, Federal B Area, Rozi Goth, Mehmodabad, Manghopir, Kalakot, Gul Goth, Khokrapar and Bahadarabad. Weapons of different calibres were also recovered from their custody.

On the direction of military officials the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board decided to permanently close the RA Bazaar Road, where several military installations, including GHQ, National Logistics Cell (NLC), Canteen Stores Department (CSD) head office, Military Intelligence office and residences of military officers, are located, while security was also put on high alert in the twin cities.

In 2012 on the direction of military authorities RCB had closed this link road for public traffic but due to resistance it was compelled to take back its decision. RCB Cantonment Executive Officer Rana Manzoor Ahmad Khan said that due to the prevailing law and order situation and threat of terror attacks the road has been closed. He said public would not have to face any inconvenience as there are alternative roads for traffic.

SFs are also trying to ensure the safety of various installations in Islamabad, like the Diplomatic Enclave, Parliament House, and have sought the assistance of other Law Enforcement Agencies in this regard. SSP Islamabad Muhammad Rizwan directed all SPs, SDPOs and SHOs to ensure strict checking at all entry and exit points and keep a close watch on suspicious persons.

The National Assembly's Standing Committee on Interior approved the PPO Bill. A meeting of the Committee, presided over by its chairman Rana Shamin Ahmed, approved the bill with majority votes. Some of the members gave dissenting notes, saying the bill, presented by the Government to enable it to effectively tackle the issue of terrorism, could be misused against innocent people and political parties.

The ordinance empowers Police and Security Agencies to arrest anybody on the basis of 'credible' information that he/she is involved in anti-state activities, terrorism and treason. However, the term 'credible information' has not been defined in the bill. The PPO allows anybody to file an appeal in the Supreme Court within 15 days of his arrest.

The PPO protects victims of terrorism, assault, kidnapping-for-ransom, personnel of armed forces and law enforcement agencies, parliamentarians, media persons, members of judiciary and executives, important personalities, foreign officials and visitors, official guests, tourists, internationally protected persons, social welfare workers, health personnel, aid workers and volunteers but it does not provide protection to witnesses in terrorism cases.

January 22

SFs claimed to have killed about 32 militants in Tora Waila, Darota area of Kukikhel in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. Unconfirmed reports said that the 'chief' of the TTP Orakzai Chapter, Hafiz Saeed, was among those killed in the strikes.

Security officials on January 22 confirmed that the leader of the TTP's Supreme Shura, Asmat Shaheen Bittani, and 'master trainer' of suicide bombers, Wali Mohammad, as well as dozens of foreign fighters were amongst those killed in air strikes in NWA on the night of January 20, 2014. A senior security official said that that most of those killed in the offensive were foreign fighters, including 33 Uzbeks and 3 Germans.

Soon after the military operation Maulana Sami-ul-Haq who has close ties to the Taliban said that he would no longer act as a government-backed peace broker with the militants after airstrikes killed 40 people in a tribal District.

At least five people, including a woman, identified as Raquiya (35), her son and a relative, were killed and several others were injured in a grenade attack during a clash between gangsters near Juna Masjid in Zikri Mohalla of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Four unidentified dead bodies were found an empty plot near Link Road, within the jurisdiction of Memon Goth Police Station in Bin Qasim Town. SHO Naeem Khan said all the four victims were clad in shalwar kameez, and appeared to be young while one of them was believed to be in his 50s, he added.

SI of Police, identified as Nazeer Khaskheli, was killed in a targeted attack near Shama Shopping Centre in Shah Faisal Colony of Shah Faisal Town.

An unidentified man was shot dead and several people, including women and children were reportedly injured because of firing in Lyari Town.

A man, identified Bashir Ishaq (40), was shot dead in Rabbani Mohalla in Frontier Colony within the precincts of Peerabad Police Station in SITE Town. Police said the deceased was hailing from Swat and had arrived in a city a couple of days ago.

A old man, identified as Azad Gul (60), was killed and a rickshaw driver, identified as Hameed Gul (24), was injured in an armed attack in Gulshan-e-Bunair area within the vicinity of Quaidabad Police Station in Landhi Town. Police said the deceased hailed from Bajaur Agency and lived in Gulshan-e-Buner area.

A man, identified as Zar Lal (30), was shot dead in Siddiq-e-Akbar Colony within the limits of Iqbal Market Police Station in Orangi Town.

A suspected gangster was killed in an incident of firing within the limits of Chakiwara Police Station in Jhat Pat market of Lyari Town. An extra contingent of law enforcers including Police and Rangers was unable to control the situation and to take any reliable action against the gangster groups.

A Lyari gangster, identified as Behram, affiliated with Waliullah Lakho group was killed in an alleged encounter during a targeted operation conducted by Police and Rangers at Super Highway. Police officer said that the encounter took place when they along with the Rangers conducted a joint raid on a tip-off about criminal's hideout.

In the same area, SIU Police claimed to have killed an alleged criminal, identified as Gulab Jatoi, during an encounter. According to SIU officials, the raid was conducted on a tip-off at the criminals' hideaway near Super Highway.

At least eight persons, including seven Levies personnel and one militant were killed, while ten others, including a Spanish tourist, were injured when a militant kidnapping bid was foiled in Darin Garh area of Koshak in Mastung District.

A militant and a Levies official were killed during an operation launched by SFs, including Police, Levies and Frontier Corps in Darin Garh area.

Armed militants torched one NATO container carrying equipment in the Western Bypass area of Quetta. A police official who requested anonymity said that the militants opened fire at the NATO container which was on its way from Kandahar in Afghanistan to Port Qasim in Karachi (Sindh). However, the driver and cleaner managed to escape unhurt.

Unidentified militants opened fire at an anti-polio team in Bukhari Muhalla area of Sibi District. However, no casualties were reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either of the attacks.

A cleric, identified as Maulana Qazi Azizullah Athar, was shot dead in front of Committee Bagh near DHQ Hospital in FR Tank.

A Sikh, identified as Bhagwan Singh, was shot dead by unidentified militants while he was on his way home in Tangi Bazaar area of Charsadda District. Tangi Police Official Noorullah said that Singh owned a medicine shop in the bazaar for many years and had no dispute with anyone.

Two people, including an anti-polio lady health supervisor and her driver were injured when unidentified militants attacked the anti-polio team in Bahal area of Bhakkar District.

The Sabzi Mandi Police claimed to have arrested two extortionists, identified as Asif Khan and Dost Muhammad, and recovered extorted money from them. A police team headed by Industrial Area SP Muhammad Hassan Iqbal arrested both of them for extorting money from traders.

FC IG Major General Ejaz Shahid while briefing the Senate's Standing Committee said that 360 paramilitary personnel were martyred in Balochistan since 2007. IG FC said those fighting with Security Forces should not be called as 'enraged elements' but as 'militants'. Major General Ejaz Shahid said the FC arrested a politician from Quetta and recovered 1.5 tones of explosive material.

He further warned the Government that lack of equipment and scarcity of funds may deal a devastating blow to his force's fight against separatists in Balochistan. "We are struggling to establish the writ of the government along Balochistan's western border. We are quite far away from even playing the national anthem in state-run schools in Panjgur, Turbat [Kech] and adjacent cities in Makran Division," he said.

January 23

At least six persons were killed and eight injured when a bomb exploded in a vehicle at a car workshop near Scheme Chowk area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP.

BDS defused a five-kilogram bomb planted near an under-construction flyover on Charsadda road of Peshawar. A Police source said that the BDS was called in after information of a bomb was received.

The driver of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre ambulance service, identified as Muhammad Ali (30), was killed and the patient in the ambulance, identified as Waseem Abbas, suffered gunshots in a targeted attack near the Federal Urdu University in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town campus in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A Bohra community member, identified as Mufasil Zohaib (35), was shot dead at his stationery shop at Jhatpat Market in Lyari Town.

Two Policemen, identified as Constables Rab Nawaz (35), and Abdul Hafeez (28), were injured when an IED exploded near a mobile van of the Jamshed Quarters Police Station in Lasbela Morr of Jamshed Town. BDS officials said that the IED had been hidden in the ground.

Two Policemen, identified as Constables Rab Nawaz (35), and Abdul Hafeez (28), were injured when an IED exploded near a mobile van of the Jamshed Quarters Police Station in Lasbela Morr of Jamshed Town. BDS officials said that the IED had been hidden in the ground.

Karachi Police and personnel from the CID arrested 93 suspects during raids conducted in different areas of the city on June 23. According to a statement issued, Police arrested 93 suspects, including 25 absconders and three robbers, during 104 raids and eight encounters.

A court in Rawalpindi sentenced a self-proclaimed prophet to death on January 23 after convicting him of blasphemy. Additional District and Sessions judge Naveed Iqbal also imposed a fine of PKR 1 million on Mohammad Asghar, a 65-year-old British national.

The section reads: "Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine."

After killing thousands of members of various state organs, as well as others, the violent TTP has decided to extend its war by declaring the country's media as "party" to the conflict. For the first time since its inception in 2005, the outfit has not only issued a fatwa (religious edict) against the media but has also prepared a media hit-list - a copy of which is available with Dawn.

"Murjif is someone who engages in propaganda against Muslims during a war between Islam and disbelief," explains Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, 'deputy chief' of the TTP and one of the main authors of this fatwa. "Muqatil is someone who incites disbelievers and their allies to act against Muslims while the third category includes those who corrupt Muslim society through different means such as replacing the Islamic ideology with secular ideologies." "The media has continuously been lying about us and about our objectives," Haqqani added.

The Government has decided in principle to launch a military operation against anti-State groups and the PM will announce the operation in the next session of parliament. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting, chaired by PM Nawaz Sharif, on internal security following a wave of deadly bombings in the country.

President Mamnoon Hussain has summoned the National Assembly's eighth session on January 27. According to officials, the Government is likely to promulgate the Protection of Pakistan (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 and debate options for dealing with the threat of militancy.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson said that United States will be supportive of Pakistan whatever course of action it takes against the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Olson said it was the internal matter of Pakistan whether to take military action against the Taliban or to hold peace talks with them.

Officials used a secret counterterrorism fund to buy wedding gifts, luxury carpets and gold jewellery for relatives of Ministers and visiting dignitaries, according to documents seen by AFP. The revelations cast a spotlight on high-level corruption in Pakistan as the impoverished but nuclear-armed country battles a surge in Taliban violence. The NCMC received some 425 million rupees (USD 4.3 million) from Government coffers from 2009-2013, according to files obtained by Umar Cheema, an investigative journalist for Daily News, and seen by AFP. During that time the Federal Minister of Interior was headed by Rehman Malik, a flamboyant loyalist of former President Asif Ali Zardari's PPP.

Many of the documents deal with payments to intelligence sources, routine maintenance of vehicles and overtime for employees. But the files also include receipts for gifts for US and British embassy officials, as well as flowers and sweets for journalists. One receipt for 70,000 rupees (USD 700) is itemized as a "Pair of wrist watches for marriage of nephew of minister for interior".

Islamabad ATC, hearing the case of seven men, including LeT 'commander' Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the Mumbai attacks has adjourned the hearing till January 29. According to court sources, a banker of Muslim Commercial Bank Gujranwala District, some 80 km from Lahore, testified in the Islamabad anti-terrorism court on January 22 declaring that one of the accused had made transactions.

A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja suggested setting up of a fund for assisting the needy whose near and dear ones have gone missing and they appear in courts regularly to pursue their cases.

The suggestion came during the proceedings of a missing person's case instituted on the application of one Saadia Bibi whose husband Khawar Mehmood went missing from Fort Abbas in Bahawalnagar District of Punjab on June 26, 2013.

Pakistan ruled out the possibility of releasing Doctor Shakil Afridi, who had helped the CIA in tracking down slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at the request of the US. "There is no possibility of Dr Shakil Afridi's release at the US' request. The matter is sub judice," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam. Her reaction came in response to a recent move by US Congress withholding USD33 million aid for Pakistan until the release of Afridi. "If the courts exonerate him, that would be a different matter. But he has been convicted and the review process is taking place," she said.

In response to a question, Tasnim said that Pakistan might raise the issue of linking aid with Afridi's release at the upcoming ministerial level strategic dialogue scheduled to take place in Washington next week. "This issue [of Afridi] could be taken up in the context of the linkage that has been made between the allocation of USD33 million with Dr Shakil Afridi's detention," she said.

A spokesman of the Government said that Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, the head of JUI-S, had not been given any "specific mission" by the Government regarding measures to address the issue of terrorism. He said, "Instead, he was asked in general to use his good offices and cooperation in this regard". He dispelled the impression created by the Maulana that the Government had not paid heed to him. "Even three weeks after the meeting, he did not inform (the Government) about any progress," the spokesman added.

The Prime Minister's House also clarified that the Government had not tasked the JUI-S chief with initiating dialogue process with TTP. The statement issued by the Prime Minister's House denied that the prime minister had assigned the Maulana any task to initiate dialogue with Taliban militants.

Sami-ul-Haq on January 22, 2014 announced that he was dissociating himself from the proposed peace talks between TTP and the Government, saying the Centre was not serious in holding dialogue. He said that the Prime Minister had assigned him the task of initiating talks with Taliban and the process of dialogue had begun on January 1, 2014.

January 24

District President of PPP, identified as Mujeebur Rehman (50), was shot dead in a targeted attack near Banaras Chowk in Peerabad locality of Orangi Town in provincial capital Karachi.

A torture-marked unidentified dead body of a man was found from Supper Highway within the limits of Gadap City Police Station in Gadap Town. Police while quoting initial investigation said that unidentified assailants kidnapped the victim and later threw his body after torturing him to death.

Lyari gangster, identified as Akbar Baloch alias Dada, was killed in retaliatory firing during encounter with law enforcers in Nawlane area of Kalakot in Lyari Town. However, the remaining suspects managed to escape. Police claimed to have recovered a Kalashnikov and hand grenade from his possession. According to SHO Shahjahan Baloch the gangster was wanted in 26 cases including target killings of Policemen, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom.

A Policeman, identified as Kashif, and three passersby were injured when unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade at Civic Centre within the vicinity of Aziz Bhatti Police Station in Guslahn-e-Iqbal Town.

At least 23 crackers attacks were reported in different parts of the province, including Hyderabad, Dadu, Larkana, Jamshoro and Karachi Districts soon after the Sindh's nationalist party, JSMM, gave a strike call across Sindh for January 25, 2014 (today) against the recent statement of MQM Chief Altaf Hussain over partition of Sindh. At least seven attacks were carried out in Hyderabad, eight in Jamshoro, three in Dadu, two in Matiari District and three in Karachi. However, no injuries were reported in any of the attacks.

The Hyderabad and Jamshoro Police claimed to have arrested four suspects of JSMM. According to Hyderabad SSP Syed Irfan Bahadur, a party activist Kamran Bughio was arrested along with a cracker and a pamphlet. Jamshoro SSP Syed Wasee Hyder also claimed that three suspects had been arrested - two from Jamshoro's Kotri town and the third one, Mukhtiar laghari, from Sehwan.

A District Security Branch official, identified as Muhammad Sabir, was shot dead by unidentified assailants while he was travelling on Swabi-Mardan Road in Swabi District.

A Medical Officer at Gandaf Basic Health Unit, identified as Doctor Yar Muhammad, was shot dead by unidentified militants at his private clinic in Topi Bazaar of Swabi District.

The office of the Expanded Programme for Immunisation and three rooms of a dental block in the District Headquarters Hospital were destroyed in a bomb explosion in Swabi District. The Police believe that unidentified militants detonated the bomb which was kept inside the DHQ hospital.

PDMA chief Tahir Orakzai said that at least six thousand families have moved out of North Waziristan Agency of FATA after the Government forces began retaliating to the recent militant attacks on national security installations.

At least six people were injured when a bomb targeting the van of FC exploded near a petrol pump on Sariab Road in Quetta, provincial capital of Balochistan. According to the sources, the SFs vehicle remained undamaged while glasses of nearby shops smashed as a result of the blast.

SFs detained at least 25 suspects during a full scale operation in Kanak and Derringer areas of Mastung District. The operation was by SFs, which included personnel from the FC, Police, the ATF, Levies and recruits from Balochistan Constabulary.

Officials said that Pakistan suspended buses carrying Shia Muslim pilgrims from travelling through Balochistan Province to neighbouring Iran due to security concerns. "We have temporarily suspended the movement of buses on the highway until the security situation improves," a senior official of the Provincial Government said.

A high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and other senior officials discussed and decided that the Government is all set to launch a ground offensive in North Waziristan Agency in FATA.

One official, who asked to remain anonymous, disclosed that there was a 'greater realisation' among all stakeholders that certain groups will never enter into dialogue and will have to be dealt with the use of force. Sources said the decision to initiate a ground offensive in March is believed to be taken on account of the challenge posed by the harsh winter in North Waziristan to security personnel operating in the Agency.

"We [the army] have the capacity and the will to eliminate all such groups which are not willing to reconcile," said the official. One retired officer, who is still closely connected with the security establishment, said the Haqqanis by now probably understand that the operation in North Waziristan is inevitable. "The Haqqanis have strongholds in Afghanistan's three provinces and they will definitely move out of North Waziristan before the start of any operation," the retired Army Officer said.

The US Secretary of Defence signed an authorisation for the payment of USD 352 million to Pakistan under Coalition Support Fund.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson‚ during his meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Islamabad‚ said the Congress has been notified and the amount is expected to be released to Pakistan by February 6, 2014.

January 25

At least 12 persons were killed in separate incidents in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh. Unidentified assailants, riding motorcycles, attacked a Police van near Afaq House in Landhi town with a hand grenade and opened fire on the other. The attacks left six Policemen injured who later succumbed to the injuries at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre.

A worker of the PPP and a boy were shot dead near Sindhi Hotel in the Liaquatabad Police Station.

An ASI, identified as Sabir Ali, was shot dead in Taiser Town in the jurisdiction of Surjani Town Police Station.

An activist of MQM was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Orangi Town.

Two dead bodies were found from near Rasbella Bridge in the Gulbahar Police Station.

Four militants were killed and seven others arrested by the Balochistan FC during a search operation in Shabood area of Panjgur District. A huge cache of weapons, abducted children and weapons were also recovered from the custody of militants.

January 26

Around 25 dead bodies were found buried in the Totak area of Khuzdar District in Balochistan. Digging is under way to locate more bodies, according to Deputy Commissioner Abdul Waheed Shah. He said that the bodies were dumped in different areas.

Two bullet-riddled bodies of two men were found in Basima area of Washuk District. Bodies were shifted to the hospital for autopsy and identification," Levies officials said, adding that the victims were 25 to 30 years old.

A gas pipeline was blown up in Dera Bugti District disrupting the gas-supply to the Sui plant from well number 15 in Pir Koh gas field. A Levies official said that unidentified miscreants had planted an explosive device on the 16 inch-diameter pipeline in Pir Koh gas field.

Six children were killed and one injured while playing with a hand grenade in Babar Mela area of Hangu town (Hangu District) in KP. The children, aged seven to 12, were playing near their house in the town of Hangu when the grenade exploded, local Police Chief Iftikhar Ahmed said.

Unidentified assailants shot dead a member of the peace body at Rang Mohalla area of Swat District. The sources said the member, Salman Khan, was on his way home when unidentified assailants opened fire on him at Rang Mohalla, killing him on the spot.

Also in the Swat District, Police arrested three militants and recovered arms from them in the Barikot tehsil. Sources said that after receiving information, a Police party of the Barikot Police Station raided some houses at Kota Abuha village and arrested three militants identified as Asghar Khan, Fazal Rabi and Akbar Ali.

Two unidentified militants shot dead a Policeman standing guard outside a Hindu temple in Jhanda Bazar area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, and fled the scene on a motorcycle.

Unidentified assailants hurled a hand-grenade into a house at Wanda Khaliq Shah in the limits of Bandkoorai Police Station in Dera Ismail Khan town of same District. However, it caused no casualty.

The Police arrested 11 suspected persons in a search operation in Dera Ismail Khan town. The sources said a Police team led by Assistant Superintendent of Police Sadiq Hussain Baloch launched a search operation at Dera town and arrested 11 suspected persons, whose identity could not be ascertained. The Police recovered arms, including two guns, pistol and several cartridges, from their possession.

The anti-polio campaign in KP has been postponed due to security concerns, officials said. According to reports, the campaign, which was postponed after attacks on polio worker, will start from next Sunday (February 2).

Following serious threats to the immunisation workers, around 3,500 Policemen will be deployed during coming campaign in Peshawar as part of unprecedented security to be provided to the volunteers. "There will be 3,000 to 3,500 Policemen deployed during each immunisation campaign," CCPO Ijaz Ahmad said.

Two suspected persons were shot dead by Kotwali CIA in an alleged encounter in the Shadbagh area of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab.

At least 82 suspects were arrested during the continuing targeted action in Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh. According to officials, Police conducted a raid in different parts of Landhi after the killing of six police officials in the area and arrested 26 suspects.

The Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Pakistan Protection Ordinance is to curb the terrorists and to control the miscreants who believe in creating chaos and fear among the masses through crackers and hand grenades.

The TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said that it once again offers 'serious' and 'meaningful' dialogue to the Government. The TTP, however, demanded that the Government ensure a "conducive environment" for talks. In a statement, TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid expressed TTP's desire to hold "serious and meaningful talks" with the Government.

The President Mamnoon Hussain said the Army is fully ready for an operation against the terrorists, and only awaiting a green signal from the Government. Talking to a senior journalist, the President regretted obduracy on TTP's part which, he said, had hampered the Government's sincere efforts for dialogue.

KP CM Pervez Khattak said his party would oppose a military operation if the Government failed to implement the resolution of the All-Party Conference regarding talks with militants.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has called upon the Government to stop using force against militants and hold negotiations for restoring peace in the country. Addressing a large public meeting in Hashtnagri on the G.T. Road on January 26, the Maulana said his party set up a Fata jirga which could play an effective role if all other efforts for peace in KP and the tribal region failed.

Thousands of people have fled their homes in North Waziristan Agency of FATA fearing a military offensive against Taliban insurgents is imminent, residents and officials said. Residents said some 1,500 families or about 13,000 people left their villages around the towns of Mir Ali and Miranshah, to migrate to relatively safe areas outside the tribal areas in Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar.

January 27

A Policeman was killed and four others were injured when an explosion targeted a Police vehicle in the Gomal area of Tank District in KP. Tank Police Control said the Police mobile van was targeted with a remote controlled IED and the vehicle was badly damaged. SHO Gomal Police Station Jameel Khan was killed by the explosion, officials said. Police said the injured Policemen were Shafiullah, Asmatullah, Irfan, and driver Allauddin.

Unidentified militants attacked the house of Senator Saleh Shah Qureshi of the JUI-F in Gomal area. However, there was no loss of life.

The bodies of three persons were found in Badhaber area on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of KP. Police officials said the victims were affiliated with Mian Mushtaq, an ANP leader who was gunned down in the same locality a couple of weeks ago.

The officials warned that the TTP may be planning attacks on tourists in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. "The Interior Ministry has officially informed Gilgit-Baltistan that the Pakistani Taliban can strike the region," a senior official of the Gilgit Baltistan administration said on condition of anonymity.

Two brothers affiliated with PTI, identified as Mohammad Ibrahim and Mohammad Riaz, were shot dead during a robbery in Qasba Colony within the precincts of Peerabad Police Station in SITE Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An alleged criminal, identified as Tahir Mehmood Khokhar alias Pappu, was killed while two Rangers personnel, identified as Rashid and Zaheer, and two passersby, Abu Zar and Altaf were wounded during an encounter in their hideout in Karnal Basti area of Old Sabzi Mandi within the limits of PIB Colony Police Station in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

A former assistant producer at Samaa TV, identified as Syed Mohammad Arif Rizvi, was picked up by Rangers on January 20, 2014, and his family is still looking for his whereabouts.

Law enforcers claimed to have detained around 101 criminals during 98 raids and eleven encounters across Karachi. According to the officials nine dacoits, 36 suspects under Arm Ordinance, seven under Narcotics Act, 12 absconders and 35 others criminals were among the detainees. Weapons and drugs were also recovered from their possession.

A Policeman was killed and four others were injured when an explosion targeted a Police vehicle in the Gomal area of Tank District in KP. Tank Police Control said the Police mobile van was targeted with a remote controlled IED and the vehicle was badly damaged. SHO Gomal Police Station Jameel Khan was killed by the explosion, officials said. Police said the injured Policemen were Shafiullah, Asmatullah, Irfan, and driver Allauddin.

Unidentified militants attacked the house of Senator Saleh Shah Qureshi of the JUI-F in Gomal area. However, there was no loss of life.

The bodies of three persons were found in Badhaber area on the outskirts of Peshawar, the capital of KP. Police officials said the victims were affiliated with Mian Mushtaq, an ANP leader who was gunned down in the same locality a couple of weeks ago. Sources said that some unidentified persons, dressed up in security personnel uniforms, had picked the three men from their homes. The men were later found shot dead with their hands and feet tied with ropes.

The Rawalpindi Police claimed to have arrested 34 Afghan nationals under Section 14 of the Foreign Act during search operations, while 12 other suspects were also arrested. According to a Rawalpindi Police Spokesman, the search operations were conducted on the special directives of RPO, Akhtar Umar Hayat against Afghan nationals residing illegally in the city. The operations were conducted in different areas of the city under the supervision of Senior Superintendent Police (operations).

The officials warned that the TTP may be planning attacks on tourists in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. "The Interior Ministry has officially informed Gilgit-Baltistan that the Pakistani Taliban can strike the region," a senior official of the Gilgit Baltistan administration said on condition of anonymity. "The Interior Ministry has warned of suicide bombings and attacks on tourists in the region." Another official, also speaking anonymously, confirmed the warning. Police in Gilgit Baltistan said they were not aware of any specific threat by the Pakistani Taliban but were remaining vigilant. "We have enhanced security as part of a routine exercise, keeping in mind the latest bout of violence throughout the country," the Deputy Chief of Gilgit Baltistan Police, Sher Ali said.

In the trial of former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, the prosecution rejected Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology's medical report as hypothetical, inconclusive and unsatisfactory. "The report contains conjectures and hypothetical situations, which are inapplicable to the accused and as such do not deserve a serious consideration," said the prosecution in its written objection.

It said the Special Court had directed the constitution of a medical board comprising senior doctors of the AFIC to verify Musharraf's state of health in light of his continuous non-appearance before this Special court. "The instant medical report, with respect to any outcomes, is virtually a duplication of the previous medical report dated January 7, 2014. The findings of the medical report are inconclusive and deliberately vague," it said.

It further said that the court did not gain anything from this second medical report. "Rather the time of the court had recklessly been wasted at the cost of the reputation of a premier institution of cardiac disease," it added. "Even if the accused needs medical supervision that does not render him unable to make attendance before this Special Court and it is now manifest that the accused is prolonging stay in hospital in order to evade the judicial process," it added.

Federal Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan apprised the National Assembly that the Government was decisively consulting all stakeholders including the politicians and security agencies to heed afresh offer of dialogue from TTP. "As the nation seemed to be forging unity on the issue of terrorism, they once again showed willingness for dialogue. We will have to decide as how to move forward. But for this, we should set aside our political motives and associations," he said.

The PTI Chief Imran Khan extended support to the Government on countering terrorism but demanded repeatedly to take all political forces in the country into confidence on the progress. "I second the stance of Chaudhry Nisar. His sincerity to resolve the issue is above board. Terrorism has been swelling over last nine years and it is a complicated issue," he said in National Assembly in response to the Interior Minister's speech.

TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid stressed the need for taking serious steps instead of indulging in politics of allegations and deceit. In a statement, the TTP spokesman warned that the country could descend into severe chaos in case wars continued to be waged against tribes. He regretted that similar to the previous regimes the incumbent Government also used the option of negotiations as a weapon for war.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that we have to rebuild the image of Pakistan as a peace-loving country and this can be achieved only through hard work and combined efforts of all the stakeholders, including parliamentarians, civil society, executive, judiciary and defence forces. Prime Minister Nawaz said that the Government would take every possible step to bring peace and stability in the country to save the future generations. "Without eliminating terrorism and extremism, we cannot place Pakistan on fast track of development," the PM said.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that we have to rebuild the image of Pakistan as a peace-loving country and this can be achieved only through hard work and combined efforts of all the stakeholders, including parliamentarians, civil society, executive, judiciary and defence forces. Prime Minister Nawaz said that the Government would take every possible step to bring peace and stability in the country to save the future generations. "Without eliminating terrorism and extremism, we cannot place Pakistan on fast track of development," the PM said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry told Pakistan it had the potential to become a future economic tiger as he backed reforms and inclusion of women and minorities. The US and Pakistan were meeting for the first time since October 2010 for their "strategic dialogue."

January 28

Police defused a half-kilogram bomb in the Bhana Mari area of Peshawar, provincial capital of KP. According to the Police, the bomb was installed near the Ghazi Baba shrine next to a house. The BDS said a timer was fitted with the bomb.

A woman was killed and her two daughters were injured when two landmine explosions occurred in the Sarsarang area of Upper Kurram Agency of FATA.

Thousands of villagers have fled their homes in North Waziristan Agency, fearing a major military operation by armed forces after they said dozens of people had been killed in air strikes targeting Taliban militants on January 21, 2014. Fearing another offensive by armed forces, a wave of refugees left the region to take shelter in schools, private homes and veterinary clinics in areas FR Bannu and FR Dera Ismail Khan on the edge of the tribal belt.

Police killed a suspect, who was allegedly involved in murders and extortion, during an encounter at Sukhia Ground in Old Sabzi mandi area of Jamshed Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Rangers' personnel conducted a targeted operation in different areas of Karachi and arrested 29 suspects, including Lyari gang-war elements and criminals affiliated with political groups as well as members of defunct groups involved in heinous crimes.

Police defused a half-kilogram bomb in the Bhana Mari area of Peshawar, provincial capital of KP. According to the Police, the bomb was installed near the Ghazi Baba shrine next to a house. The BDS said a timer was fitted with the bomb.

Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani said that it was clear from the Supreme Court's July 31, 2009, verdict that the constitution was violated by imposition of emergency on November 3, 2007. A 14-member larger Supreme Court bench, headed by the Chief Justice, was hearing the review petition filed by former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf against the Supreme Court verdict which maintained the sacking of superior court judges and other actions taken by him, under imposition of emergency, null and void.

People like the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden do not die but stay alive in the hearts of people, stated JeI Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan in Islamabad. Hasan added that death of the al Qaeda leader was considered a big victory for 60 per cent of the countries around the world, but the US is afraid that bin Laden will come back alive after the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan.

PM Nawaz Sharif during a meeting with COAS General Raheel Sharif said that no decision on launching an offensive in NWA FATA would be taken without consensus of all stakeholders and any such decision would be taken in the best national interest. Sources said the Prime Minister exchanged views with the COAS on matters of national security, future course of action over dialogue with the Taliban, Karachi operation, missing persons and other issues. Nawaz Sharif said, "Cancer of terrorism needs to be treated before it eats up our country". He said that no concession would be given to those who challenge the writ of the state and are creating lawlessness in the country.

JUI-S chief Maulana Sami-ul-Haq opposed a military operation against the Taliban and said the government "does not seem serious for dialogue with the Taliban". A military operation never resolves problems but it multiplies them, he said. He said that dialogue with the Taliban was the only way to restore peace in the country, adding that Nawaz Sharif has apparently been stopped from holding talks with the TTP.

January 29

Unidentified militants killed a journalist, Bakht Taj Yousafzai, affiliated with a Mardan District Newspaper, in Bakhshali village of Mardan District. Yousafzai was abducted while he was travelling to a pharmacy. Police found his body dumped near a canal in the village.

Unidentified persons fired two rockets at the Miran Sugar Mills in Dera Ismail Khan town (Dera Ismail Khan District) in the night. Sources said that unidentified persons had been demanding extortion money from the owner. It was reportedly the second attack at the sugar mills.

The KP Government approved two draft ordinances to check the movement of suspected militants, according to an official statement. In view of the repeated incidents of terrorism in the province, the provincial Government has laid down certain rules for guests in hotels and in private residences, the statement said.

Five persons were killed in simultaneous attacks in the North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Two Rangers and the security guard of a nearby telephone exchange were killed while two passersby were wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the main entrance of the Headquarters of Pakistan Rangers Sacchal Wing.

A bomb, planted by the roadside under the Nazimabad No 7 flyover, exploded but resulted in no casualties. However, 15 minutes later, as Rangers and Police personnel were collecting evidence from the site, the second bomb exploded. One Ranger was killed while four other Rangers, a Policeman, rescue worker and bystander were injured in the blast.

TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid claimed responsibility for the attacks.

At least 16 people, including a local leader of the ANP, were injured in a series of three explosions that took place in the Mohammadpur area of Qasba Colony in SITE Town. Police sources said that Mohammad Ali, a local ANP, appeared to have been the target of the attack and that the incident seemed to be a result of personal enmity. However, other angles are to be investigated.

Orangi Town Pilot Project's head on research and training, Saleem Alimuddin, was injured after his car came under a bomb attack in the Peerabad area of Orangi Town. He was returning home from his office when unidentified militants hurled a low intensity IED at his car near Pashtun Bazaar in Peerabad. This was the third attack on officials associated with the OPP.

Shia leader and a member of the Jamia Ali Akbar Trust, identified as Ghulam Mustafa, was shot dead by unidentified militants near his house in the Khanpur area of Rahim Yar Khan District. He was accompanied by his friend Kafayatullah, who remained unharmed. The incident was followed by several protest rallies organised by members of the Shia community.

Unidentified militants killed a journalist, Bakht Taj Yousafzai, affiliated with a Mardan District Newspaper, in Bakhshali village of Mardan District. Yousafzai was abducted while he was travelling to a pharmacy. Police found his body dumped near a canal in the village.

Unidentified persons fired two rockets at the Miran Sugar Mills in Dera Ismail Khan town (Dera Ismail Khan District) in the night. Sources said that unidentified persons had been demanding extortion money from the owner. It was reportedly the second attack at the sugar mills.

The KP Government approved two draft ordinances to check the movement of suspected militants, according to an official statement. In view of the repeated incidents of terrorism in the province, the provincial Government has laid down certain rules for guests in hotels and in private residences, the statement said. Chief Minister Pervez Khattak signed the KP Hotel Restriction (security) Ordinance 2014 and KP Rent Restriction (security) Ordinance 2014 and sent them to Governor Shaukatullah Khan for formal issuance and promulgation.

Militants blew up two gas pipelines in the Pir Koh area and near the Loti gas field in Dera Bugti District, suspending gas supply from well no 41 and 3 respectively. BRA claimed responsibilities for the attacks.

Balochistan High Court gave an order allowing JWP's provincial chief Shahzain Bugti to go to Dera Bugti. "The Government of Dr Abdul Malik Baloch had ordered law-enforcement agencies to provide foolproof security to the convoy and allow it to enter Dera Bugti safely," a senior official said.

The administration of an oil refinery in Rawalpindi District of Punjab has received a threatening letter from terrorist outfit demanding USD five million as Bhatta, the intelligence agency sources said. The terrorists asked the administration of the oil refinery to pay the amount within three days otherwise the refinery would be blown up, the sources maintained.

Sharifuddin Pirzada, former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf's leading counsel in the review petition against the Supreme Court's July 31, 2009, judgment, said that ex-Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry's hostility towards Musharraf influenced July 31, 2009, judgment against Musharraf. "There was hostility between General Musharraf and former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The judge who influenced others was chief justice Chaudhry," he added.

PM Nawaz Sharif announced a new four-member non-political team to help Government in its efforts for peace with TTP. "Entire nation will stand by Government if it decides to eliminate terrorists by force, I know it. However, we want to give peace another chance since offer of talks has come from the other side," the PM told the National Assembly. The committee announced by the PM comprises his Adviser on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (retired) Aamir, senior journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai and former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand - two journalists, one former intelligence man and a former diplomat.

Welcoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's decision to form a four-member committee for talks, TTP 'spokesperson' Shahidullah Shahid said that the peace can be achieved if dialogue is carried out in every sense of the word, avoiding blame games and politics of deception. He reiterated that the TTP had always wanted to resolve disputes through dialogue.

US President Barack Obama has declared that he has imposed "prudent limits" on the use of drones that target militants in Pakistan's tribal areas. Obama linked the use of drones to America's efforts to "actively and aggressively pursue terrorist networks" but said that the time had come for reviewing the policies that began after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US soil. He also outlined his plan to wind down the war in Afghanistan by removing most troops and completing the mission by the end of this year.

A BBC report named two men allegedly involved in senior MQM leader Imran Farooq's murder on September 16, 2010. The report revealed information about their stay in the UK. The British media also claimed that the UK prosecutors have demanded of the Pakistani Government to trace the men. However, later, news channels reported that Karachi City Police Chief Shahid Hayat said the Police do not have any record of the arrest of the two suspects.

January 30

Two persons, Rashid (11) and Tufail (20), were shot dead at Urmar area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. Police said unknown motorcyclists opened fire on Rashid and Tufail, when they were going for treatment to a private clinic at Urmar area.

A Policeman, Head Constable Muhammad Tahir, who had sustained injuries in an attack in Khazana area of Peshawar on January 29, succumbed to his injuries.

Two unidentified men were killed in an incident of firing on Superhighway in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Caretaker, identified as Akbar Hussain (30) of an Imambargah, was shot dead when unidentified militants opened fire at him in Ajmer Nagri area of North Karachi in New Karachi Town.

One Mansoor Ali, was killed when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at him in Gulshan-e-Bihar Colony area of Orangi Town.

Unidentified assailants shot dead an unidentified man at Northern Bypass in Manghopir area of Gadap Town.

Two children were killed when a toy bomb they were playing with accidently exploded in the Zakhakhel Bazaar area of Landikotal tehsil in Khyber Agency of FATA.

Two persons, Rashid (11) and Tufail (20), were shot dead at Urmar area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. Police said unknown motorcyclists opened fire on Rashid and Tufail, when they were going for treatment to a private clinic at Urmar area.

A Policeman, Head Constable Muhammad Tahir, who had sustained injuries in an attack in Khazana area of Peshawar on January 29, succumbed to his injuries.

A house was partially damaged in an explosion at Mohallah Sakligaranwali in Dera Ismail Khan town. However, it caused no loss of life. Lodging a case with the City Police Station, owner of the house, Yasir Abbas said unidentified persons were demanding PKR three million through telephone. "I flatly refused to pay the extortion and the accused triggered an explosion beside my house when I woke up for Fajr (Morning) prayer," he added.

A person was killed and 12 others were injured when a bomb explosion occurred destroying a pickup truck at a petrol pump in Naseerabad District. "A pickup was waiting in a queue for its turn to fill petrol at a pump when suddenly a bomb exploded in it," local Police Official Jan Muhammad said.

Unidentified militants shot dead a worker, identified as Bakht Muhammad of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, while he was on his way to home with his colleague on the Bypass Road area of Qilla Abdullah District. However, his friend remained unhurt.

Geo News received a video of January 22, 2014 attack on Levies force, escorting Spanish cyclist in Darin Garh area of Mastung District. The video shows Levies personnel engaged in firing with militants. It also shows occurring of the blast during the attack.

PM Nawaz Sharif directed the authorities to form a committee for initiating reconciliation process and negotiations with disgruntled Baloch nationalists. He said the committee should be constituted in consultation with the political leadership of Balochistan to initiate peace dialogue with the nationalists as part of the reconciliation process. He said that both civil and military leadership would play a joint role and evolve a comprehensive strategy to restore peace in Balochistan. He also underlined the need for offering job opportunities to angry Baloch youth, besides launching mega development projects to remove the sense of deprivation among people.

The Supreme Court rejected former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf's review petition against its July 31, 2009 judgment which had declared the November 3, 2007 emergency and Provisional Constitutional Order unconstitutional. Dismissing Musharraf's review petition, a 14-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, said that the reasons of the short order would be recorded later as the court finds that the review petition filed by Musharraf is time-barred and the precedents extinguishable.

The Government told the National Assembly that Pakistan's armed forces would not lower their guard against terrorism and would continue their "high alert" despite a new move for dialogue with Taliban militants. The assurance came from Minister of State for Interior Mohammad Balighur Rehman who said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's announcement of giving the militants "another chance" to a peaceful settlement did not mean that "our forces will become negligent of their mission" and "move back". "That will not happen" and the forces would maintain their "high alert", he said.

Nawaz Sharif gave guidelines for holding negotiations to the four-member committee formed to facilitate talks with TTP militants. The first meeting of the committee, chaired by Sharif, discussed in detail the framework and strategy for the talks. Nawaz Sharif had only one precondition for talks, that there should be no terrorist attacks during negotiations.

TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said that their objective is enforcement of Sharia'h in the country. He said what mattered was enforcement of Sharia'h, "whether through peace or war". He expressed satisfaction over the formation of a four-member team by the Government for talks. He said that a session of the central Shura of the TTP had been in progress since January 29, 2014, on the Government's offer.

PM Nawaz Sharif urged the civil and military leadership to devise a joint strategy to ensure durable peace in Balochistan. During his visit to Corps Headquarters in Quetta Cantonment, he said SFs were playing a commendable role for securing peace and tranquility in the province. He called upon the military and civil leadership to adopt a collective approach in this regard.

CoAS, General Raheel Sharif, Balochistan CM Abdul Malik Baloch, Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai, Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Federal Minister for SAFRON General (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch were present on the occasion. Southern Command Commander Lieutenant General Nasser Khan Janjua gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the overall law and order situation in Balochistan.

Nawaz laid a wreath at the Yadgaar-e-Shuhada to acknowledge the contribution of the martyrs of Army, FC and Police. Addressing the provincial assembly members, he said, "The federal government has already allocated funds amounting to PKR 8 billion for completion of Gwadar-Rato Dero and Khuzdar-Naag highways," he said, adding that work on these projects would be launched soon and completed within a year.

CoAS General Raheel Sharif said that the Pakistan Army would provide maximum assistance in enhancing the capacity of Balochistan Police to ensure peace in the province. General Sharif said another three courses would be run by the Pakistan Army this year for Police and Balochistan Constabulary. Southern Command Commander Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.

Earlier in 2013, Pakistan Army provided 5,000 weapons and 500,000 rounds of ammunition to Balochistan Police besides imparting training to 200 policemen to enhance their capacity in anti-terrorism. The trained force now comprises Anti-Terrorist Force Balochistan, which has displayed good performance in the last few months after the training.

Newly appointed British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton described terrorism a big challenge for Pakistan and pledged to work jointly with the militancy-torn country to cope with the challenge. The British envoy also pointed at 'weak' judicial system in Pakistan which is often exploited by the terrorist elements to skip the clutches of law. "We are helping Pakistan to make its judicial system effective so that arrested terrorists get convicted," Barton commented. He also outlined his agenda during the expected three-year stay in Pakistan.

January 31

Unidentified assailants killed one person, identified as Professor Azhar Ali Zaidi and injured his wife near the Aysha Manzil area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Unknown persons fatally shot ASI, Manzoor in Orangi Town.

Assailants also killed Maulana Akbar Hussain, a prayer leader, in the Manghopir area, and Ikram, a rickshaw driver, near in Orangi Town-12.

The driver of a NATO oil tanker, Syed Nabi Shah, was shot dead by unidentified assailants riding on motorcycles at Bhirya on the Indus Highway in Sukkur town (Sukkur District).

A local leader of ANP, Noor Mohammad, survived a bomb attack in SITE area.

Two people were injured when unidentified persons threw explosives on a Police mobile, busy near Sohrab Goth within the limits of Federal B Industrial Area.

Two people were injured when unidentified persons threw explosives on a Police mobile, busy near Sohrab Goth within the limits of Federal B Industrial Area.

Around 150 people lost their lives in Karachi, due to violence in January, 2014. Karachi remained unstable due to targeted operation with political and religious killings of different people and bomb attacks by extremists and extortionists.

Three FC personnel were killed and four others sustained injuries in a roadside IED explosion near Awaran town (Awaran District) of Balochistan. "The FC vehicle was on a routine patrol from Awaran to Lasbela on the national highway when it was hit by an IED planted by miscreants," Frontier Corps Spokesperson Mohammed Wasay said. The BLF claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two children were killed when a mortar shell went off in Tabay area of Zakhakhel Bazaar in Landikotal tehsil of Khyber Agency in FATA.

The political administration during a search operation recovered four abducted persons, identified as Haji Sabz Ali, Syed Zaman, Rogh Muhammad and Qari Shad and arrested two alleged abductors in Prang Ghar area in Mohmand Agency.

February 1

Four militants were killed in an encounter with the Police during a search operation in Yar Hussain area of Swabi District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Police also claimed to have recovered weapons and explosives after the encounter.

Two Policemen were injured when unidentified motorcycle-mounted attackers hurled a hand grenade at the main gate of Peerabad Police Station located in Orangi Town of Karachi (Karachi District). According to officials, unknown miscreants riding on two motorbikes lobbed a hand grenade at the gate of the Police Station and fled the scene after abandoning their vehicles and weapons.

Police officials in the Federal Capital Islamabad confirmed to have received a bailable arrest warrant for former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf and said the warrant might be served on February 3. A Special Court constituted to try Musharraf for high treason had issued a warrant on January 31, 2014. The court had also ordered the Islamabad Police to submit a compliance report to the court on February 7, 2014. Since the start of the trial, Musharraf has not appeared before the court. The proceedings against him started in December 2013.

Inspector General of Islamabad Police Sikandar Hayat said that Police have received the bailable arrest warrant from the court. Hayat said a Police officer from the force will now serve the warrant to Musharraf. "He will be given two options: either to be arrested or to submit a surety bond for his bail," the Police Chief said. The bond set by the Special Court for Musharraf's pre-arrest bail is PKR 2.5 million.

February 2

At least five persons were killed and 30 others injured in the night when unidentified attackers hurled two grenades at Picture House cinema on Cinema Road near Qissa Khwani Bazaar in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. Police said the attack on the Picture House cinema took place as some 90 people were watching a late night show of the film 'Ziddi Pakhtun'. "At least four people have been killed and 31 injured.

SFs arrested two militants, Zakirullah and Faiz, during a raid in Mardan town (Mardan District). The officials said the raid was conducted on confirmed intelligence reports that the suspected terrorists were planning suicide attacks inside Mardan. Suicide jackets and explosives were recovered from the possession of arrested militants.

A woman, identified as Zulekha (25r), was killed and a man, identified as Sohail (30), was injured during an armed clash between two rival groups in Moosa Lane area of Baghdadi in Lyari Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A man, identified Mohammad Tanveer (26), was shot dead within the jurisdiction of Mominabad Police Station in Orangi Town. SHO Ahmed Butt said that the victim was a factory worker and hailed from Mansehra District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistan Rangers Sindh claimed to have detained around 23 suspects including suspected militants and gangsters during a targeted operation in Gulshan-e-Ghazi area of Baldia Town. Rangers also recovered weapons from their possession.

The 18-inch-diameter pipeline, supplying gas to Uch power plant, was blown up in Allawariya village of Dera Murad Jamali in Naseerabad District, suspending gas supply to Uch power plant.

Thousands of IDPs, including women and children, who had migrated to Sindh and Punjab because of a military operation in Dera Bugti nine years ago, are waiting at Doli check post and Kashmore District for the Government permission to return home. Having started their journey back home on January 17, 2014 they were stopped at Kashmore District on January 18, 2014. Security officials said they could move ahead only after getting themselves registered.

A massive rally organised in PoK by the banned outfit JeM led by Masood Azhar "raises questions about the state's policy towards militancy", a media report said. About 10,000 people attended the rally organised in PoK capital Muzaffarabad by JeM to launch a book authored by Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was executed on February 9, 2013, for his role in the December 31, 2001, attack on the Indian parliament.

TTP offered to provide security and protection to members of the negotiating committees in areas under its control. In a statement issued to the media TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said the political Shura of Taliban would guide the five-member committee nominated by it. He said that Taliban sincerely wanted peace talks with the Government.

The committee comprises Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, PTI chairman Imran Khan, Lal Masjid Khateeb Maulana Abdul Aziz, Jama'at-e-Islami's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief Prof Muhammad Ibrahim and former MPA Mufti Kifayatullah of the JUI-F.

Federal Minister for Interior Nisar Ali Khan termed Taliban's announcement of dialogue committee a positive development, but said it still needs to be explained what is the mandate and powers of the committee and to what extent the Taliban would follow its decisions. In a statement, the Minister said that there were still some issues which needed to be explained before the dialogue starts formally.

A soldier of the FC, identified as Shana Gul, was shot dead by unidentified motorcyclists in Ghundi area in the Jamrud tehsil of the Khyber Agency in FATA in the night. The sources said that Shana Gul was going home after buying grocery from a local shop when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire on him, leaving him dead.

A four-year-old boy was reported abducted from Samanabad area of Lahore District. Police said that the kidnappers have demanded PKR 500,000 from the family of the child. The father of the abducted boy Shakeel Siddiqui said that his son was playing in front of the house when he was kidnapped.

February 3

Four Police Officers were killed when unidentified militants attacked their vehicle in Ibrahim Hyderi area of Bin Qasim Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Two suspected TTP militants were shot dead in an encounter in Allahu Akbar Colony of Baldia Town. 

The Anti-Terrorist Wing of CID arrested LeJ militant, identified as Nadeem Iqbal, from North Karachi Town. ATW Chief Mohammed Fayyaz Khan said that the CID Police came under fire in North Karachi and after a shootout Iqbal was arrested.

CID published the picture of the most wanted TTP militant, Azizullah alias Shamzai. According to CID officials, Azizullah is involved in more than 30 cases of target killings of Policemen and bomb attacks. The officials also said that they have been raiding different areas for the arrest of Shamzai and his companions Qari Shakir and Waqeel. CID has also appealed to the Provincial Government to set reward money for the arrest of Shamzai.

Three soldiers were injured in a roadside blast at Kharsar area in Ladha subdivision in South Waziristan Agency. The sources said that a convoy of the SFs was on its way to Asman Manza when an explosive device planted by unidentified militants on the roadside at Kharsar went off and caused injuries to three soldiers.

No loss of life was reported in two roadside bomb attacks on the SFs’ convoys in different parts of North Waziristan Agency. The sources said that unidentified miscreants had planted explosives along the roadside in Khar Qamar area in Dattakhel tehsil and another on the Miranshah-Dattakhel road.

The SFs also defused a roadside bomb in Mir Ali tehsil of North Waziristan Agency.

The political administration of Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency placed a ban on display of weapons in Jamrud Bazaar and directed tribesmen to form a committee to curb law and order. Addressing Kokikhel, Mullagori and Jhandakhel tribesmen at Jamrud Jirga Hall, Khyber Agency Political Agent Shahab Ali Shah said the ban is unprecedented in the tribal areas, but was a necessity as Government officials were relentlessly being targeted in the sub-division despite tribes’ assurances of ensuring peace in their areas.

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf was served with an arrest warrant at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi District of Punjab, two days after they were issued by a Special Court, formed for his trial. A Special Court constituted to try Musharraf for high treason had issued a warrant, carrying a bail bond of PKR 2.5 million.

The expenditure on his security has crossed the PKR100 million thresholds in just nine months. Over 400 Police and Rangers personnel are guarding him. Police sources say that the extraordinary security given to a single person has taken a heavy toll on the overall performance of the Islamabad Police, which is facing an acute shortage of security staff.

PTI Chairperson Imran Khan will not formally be a part of the TTP peace talks, the party’s Core Committee decided.  However, Rustam Shah Mohmand will represent PTI in the talks. Though Imran Khan won’t be a part of the talks, it was announced that the KP Government will provide full cooperation in carrying out the talks peacefully.

JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that JUI-F will not be part of negotiations with the TTP. JUI-F will support the Government’s effort to establish peace, and if the Government wants the party’s cooperation they will cooperate depending on the need and the situation, he said in his press conference. 

TTP regretted the decision of Imran Khan and JUI-F leader Mufti Kifayatullah to disassociate themselves from the five-member committee it had nominated for talks with the Government. TTP ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid said over phone from an unspecified location, “We regret the decision of PTI and JUI leaderships about distancing their representatives from the proposed peace talks.”

TTP ‘spokesman’ said that two more names of senior journalist Orya Maqbool Jan and Investigation Editor, The News International, Ansar Abbasi are likely to be finalized soon for its committee tasked to hold talks with the four-member Government-appointed panel, reported The News. He said the names are still being reviewed for nomination.                                            

To this, Ansar Abbasi said he had never had any contact with the Taliban over his becoming part of the talk process. However, he said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had sought his advice in connection with the dialogue and also offered him to join the Government-appointed panel.

PM Nawaz Sharif expressed optimism about the outcome of peace talks with the TTP. “I will personally supervise the talks process, while Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali will assist me,” said the. He added, “It is my utmost desire that the committees formed by the government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan make headway in the talks.”

President Mamnoon Hussain expressed the hope that dialogue with TTP would start soon as the entire nation was looking towards holding of successful and meaningful talks to ensure lasting peace and security in the country.

Federal Minister of Information Pervaiz Rasheed said that no conditions have so far been set by TTP. Rasheed said both sides have expressed good intentions about talks and hoped that as a result of this Pakistan would become a safe and secure place. He said the PM was overseeing the process of peace and dialogue himself.

The PM Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif exchanged views on the security situation and peace talks with militants. The meeting took place as the teams nominated by the Government and the TTP prepared for the talks.

Federal Minister of Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the American Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson that Pakistan’s interests in regional security in the post-2014 scenario must be respected. In a statement the Minister and the American Ambassador discussed issues pertaining to bilateral relations with particular reference to the security situation in the region and review of the recently concluded strategic dialogue.

February 4

At least nine people were killed and over 40, including children and women, were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a restaurant in the Koocha Risaldar area of Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. 

Unidentified militants shot dead the Provincial President of a Shia organization, Tehreek-Nifaz-e-Fiqah Jafria (TNFJ-Mousavi Group), Syed Asghar Ali Shah (75), in a targeted attack in the Donga Gali near Kohati locality Peshawar.

Two unidentified militants shot dead one Kashif Ali Shah near a local market in the limits of the Cantonment Area in Bannu District.

Unidentified militants shot dead one Naseem Gul in the limits of Domail Police Station in Bannu District.

Two blasts were carried out near Miran Sugar Mills in the Dera Ismail Khan District. However, no casualties were reported.   

Government Primary School in Kanr Colony in the Shabqadar tehsil (revenue unit) of Charsadda District was blown up. However, no casualties were reported.

A Government Girls Primary School at Norar village in the limits of Miryan Police Station in Bannu District was blown up. However, no casualties were reported.

Three unidentified armed assailants opened fire at a Police check post in the Juhi area of Dadu in Sukkur District, killing one Police Officer, identified as Younus Shahani, and injuring another. The incident took place when there were three Police officers on duty at the checkpoint.

A bomb blast on a railway track, ten kilometers outside Ghagar Phatak of provincial capital Sind, Karachi (Karachi District), derailed at least 10 bogeys of the Shalimar Night Coach Express leaving one child dead and at least 20 people injured. A passenger said that they were travelling to Lahore (Punjab) from Karachi.

In an exchange of fire, Rangers killed a suspect in the Mujahid Colony area of North Nazimabad Town in Karachi District. According to officials, two suspects on a motorcycle, who were signalled to stop by Rangers personnel positioned at a nearby check post, started firing at the check post. In retaliation, Rangers personnel also fired, killing one suspect on the spot while his companion managed to escape.

A man, identified as Zulfiqar Jafer, was injured in a ball bomb hurled by unidentified militants on Manghopir Road within the precincts of Orangi Town Police Station. The injured person was receiving threats from extortionists, said Police, adding that assailants attacked on him over refusal to pay the extortion money.

Unidentified militants lobbed a cracker bomb at an oil shop in Qasba Colony area within the jurisdiction of Peerabad Police Station in Orangi Town. However, no casualties were reported in the attack. Police said that the incident occurred over refusal to pay extortion money, however further investigations are underway.

Two persons, identified as Syed Wajid Hussain and Syed Iftikhar Hussain, sustained injuries in a bomb blast in Ali Shari area of Kurram Agency in FATA.

A 12-year-old boy, identified as Syed Razi Shah, was injured in an explosion in Ali Shari area of Kurram Agency.

Pakistan’s former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf “intends” to appear before a Special Court set to try him for high treason, his spokesman Raza Bukhari said, after speculation he could escape trial by going abroad for medical treatment.

According to the press statement, Musharraf wrote on the bail bond “I do not recognize the authority of this special treason court, but I am complying for the greater good of the rule of law.” He said, “It is extremely relevant to note the formation, composition, jurisdiction, impartiality, independence and lawful authority of the special treason court is itself under question and under review in superior courts of Pakistan.”

Former United Kingdom Independence Party Commonwealth spokesperson Mujeebur Rehman Bhutto (35) admitted to being the leader of a kidnapping gang in Pakistan. He confessed to being the ‘boss’ of the gang in order to avoid the risk of being deported to Pakistan and being given the death penalty. He made his confession in 2005 at a UK court and was given a seven-year-sentence.

The planned peace talks with TTP stumbled as they began, with Government negotiators missing a preliminary meeting citing doubts over the militants’ team. Teams representing the Taliban and Government had been due to gather in Islamabad at 2:00 p.m. on February 4 to chart a “roadmap” for talks. But the Government delegation did not show up.

The head of the TTP team, Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, accused the Government of not taking the talks seriously. “Today it has been exposed how serious the Government is about talks,” Haq said, adding, “They are making a joke of talks and joking with the nation. On one side they are saying they are talking to the Taliban and on the other side they are making joke of these talks.”

The TTP’s ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid said that Haq and his two colleagues had their blessing. “The three-member committee is final now and we have our full confidence in it to hold talks,” he said.

February 5

A local Taliban ‘commander’, Shafiq, and three of his bodyguards were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on their vehicle on Miranshah-Mir Ali road in the Pir Kallay area of NWA in FATA. Further details regarding the incident were not available as the access of media in the region is restricted due to security worries and Government restrictions.

Four tribesmen were killed by unidentified militants in the Norak area of Mir Ali tehsil in NWA. An official of the political administration said the incident occurred around 6:30pm when four tribesmen, whose identity could not be ascertained, were sitting at a roadside near their houses in Norak.

A JeM militant, identified as Mast Gul, who escaped after Charari Sharief gunfight near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995, was seen with TTP militant at a press conference in North Waziristan Agency of FATA, according to The Hindu. Not long after JeM ‘chief’ Maulana Masood Azhar addressed a rally in Muzaffarabad (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) by telephone, Mast Gul, surfaced at the press conference.

Police claimed to have killed an alleged criminal, identified as Javed alias Bakri, during an encounter in New Karachi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police also claimed to have recovered a TT pistol and motorbike from his possession.

ASWJ President of District Malir Mohyuddin Shah was injured in a firing incident in the Landhi area of Landhi Town. 

Police claimed to have recovered weapons from Taiser Town near Northern Bypass within the limits of Surjani Police Station in Malir Town. According to Police officials the recovery was made when locals informed Police about some abandoned bags in the area.

BRA claimed responsibility for the February 4, 2014, bomb explosion targeting Lahore-bound Shalimar Express at the main railway track near Karachi. BRA ‘spokesman’ Sarbaz Baloch informed the media in Quetta, “It was a reaction to the killing of political activists and dumping their bodies in Tootak area of Khuzdar District.”

A suspected TTP ‘commander’, identified as Shakir Bhittani along with an Aman committee member, Wahid Jan, were killed during a clash in Kari Hyder Khel village of Tank District in KP in the night. A SF official was also injured in the incident. SFs and Aman committee members carried out a joint raid on the house of Bhittani, who opened fire after seeing his house surrounded. A firefight ensued in which Bhittani and Wahid Jan, were killed. Bhittani was said to be associated with the Bahawal Khan Bhittani faction of TTP, linked with the Haqqani network.

A revenue official, Sohail Ahmad, was allegedly abducted by unidentified militants in Rodi Khel area of Tank District in the night.

A TTP militant, Mufti Hasaan Swati, claiming to be the Peshawar District ‘chief’ of the outfit has accepted responsibility for February 4-evening’s suicide attack at a restaurant in the Koocha Risaldar area of Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Mufti Hasaan Swati said that the bombing had been carried out to avenge an attack on a seminary in Rawalpindi in November 2013.

The TTP’s ‘central spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid had earlier stated that his group had nothing to do with the attack. Nine people were killed and over 40, including children and women, were injured in this sectarian attack.

There is no chance of peace in Pakistan until the Government embraces Sharia and US-led forces withdraw completely from Afghanistan, said negotiators representing TTP. Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, the head of the TTP’s three-man talks team, said there could be “no peace” in the region while there were still US troops across the border.

Another TTP negotiator Maulana Abdul Aziz, said, “Without Sharia law, the Taliban won’t accept (the talks) even one percent. If some factions accept it, then the others won’t accept it. Their real agenda is Sharia. All secular courts based on the common law system be abolished. I don’t think the Government will accept this but they should, because war isn’t the way forward.” 

The head of the caretaker committee of the TTP, Qari Shakil, said that the roads were too hazardous and a helicopter should be used to protect the dialogue committee from any danger. "I do not want any force to harm them on their way or any kind of delay to take place in the holding of dialogue", he said.

The committees constituted by the Government and Taliban agreed to hold talks within 72 hours in Islamabad and the clauses for the talks would be finalized. The Government sources revealed that both sides would give a written guarantee that they would not resort to any kind of violence against each other until something conclusive comes out of the peace process.

PM Nawaz Sharif reiterated Pakistan’s firm support to the people of J&K in their ‘legitimate struggle’ for their inalienable right to self-determination. Addressing the legislative assembly of Pakistan occupied Kashmir on Kashmir Solidarity Day, he stated, “The peaceful people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to suffer. Not only the right to self-determination is being denied to them but they are also being subjected to the worst kind of human rights abuses, violence and suppression.

The United States has cut back sharply on drone strikes in Pakistan after the Islamabad Government asked for restraint while it seeks peace talks with the TTP. The Washington Post quoted a US official as saying, “That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no.”

February 6

A man, identified as Anwar Ali, was shot dead in Frontier Colony within the jurisdiction of Peerabad Police Station in SITE Town. 

One unidentified bullet-riddled dead body was found within the vicinity of Zaman Town Police Station. 

Another bullet-riddled dead body was found from within the limits of Jackson Police Station.                         

BDS defused a bomb at the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Head Office in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town. 

BDS defused a bomb in the SITE area. The SITE area bomb was found in a bottle on a footpath near Habib Bank Chowrangi. According to BDS, 10 kilograms of explosives were used in the bomb.                       

Pakistan Rangers Sindh during search operation in Garden East Lyari Nazimabad Usmanabad Quaidabad and Paposh Nagar areas arrested 12 suspects. According to the Rangers sources a criminal identified as Irfan Baloch was also arrested from Lyari Town.

A gas pipeline was blown in Dera Allahyar area of Jaffarabad District, disrupting gas supply to Sohbatpur.

The Obama administration, under pressure from Congress to act against Pakistan-based insurgents blamed for fuelling violence in Afghanistan, moved on January 5 to freeze the assets of three suspected members linked to the Haqqani Network.

US citizens are also barred from doing business with the three men. “Today’s action underscores our resolve to continue targeting any potential means of support for the Haqqanis,” David Cohen, a senior Treasury official, said in the statement.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam, said Pakistan wants complete halt of US drone attacks instead decrease in the frequency. She said Pakistan’s stance on drone attacks is they are unacceptable, kill innocent people and violate the country’s sovereignty.

The Government and TTP committees, in their first meeting, expressed the resolve to continue dialogue and vowed that the violent acts of the recent past would not hamper the peace process. The Government-nominated committee consists of Irfan Siddiqui, Rahimullah Yousafzai, Rustam Shah Mohmand and Major (retired) Amir, while Maulana Samiul Haq-chief of JUI-S Maulana Abdul Aziz-chief cleric of Lal Masjid and Ibrahim are members of the committee announced by the TTP.

Addressing a joint press conference at KP House, Irfan Siddiqui and Maulana Samiul Haq said the committees agreed that both sides should stop giving statements against each other and the process of talks should not be long, as the nation is hoping for good news.

The US designated LeJ ‘chief’ Malik Ishaq in its list of most wanted international terrorists. “The Department of State has designated Malik Ishaq as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224,” said a statement issued by the US State Department. The US Government also decided to keep his outfit on the international terrorist organisation list.

American citizens and companies are now prohibited for engaging in transactions with Ishaq after the announcement. The US authorities can now act in freezing all his financial assets and properties in the US as well, said the statement. “The Department took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury,” the press release added.

February 7

At least 15 persons were injured when unidentified militants opened fire at two passenger buses in Kashmore District. According to details, the militants had attacked the buses with the intention of looting the passengers.

BDS defused a two kilogram bomb planted outside the house of a local leader of the ANP in the Baldia Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Four hundred Rangers personnel of the ATS during a targeted operation arrested many suspects from the Hasan Noman Colony in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town. According to the Rangers spokesman, in the operation the entry and exit routes were sealed off. The spokesman added that during the operation, a huge quantity of arms and drugs were also recovered from the possession of the suspects.

Five officials were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a search operation jointly launched by Police and Intelligence Agencies in Khanewal District. Two of his accomplices were also arrested. According to reports, three alleged militants opened fire and hurled a hand grenade as law enforcers tried to stop a car. One of them traveling in the car blew himself up, injuring five officials.

The Special Court trying former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf for treason has given him until February 18, 2014 to appear before the court or a non-bailable arrest warrant could be issued against him. On January 31, 2014 the three-judge court headed by Justice Faisal Arab had issued a bailable warrant for Musharraf’s arrest due to his persistent reluctance to face the treason charges and ordered him to appear on February 7, 2014.

Justice Faisal granted Musharraf 10 more days on the personal assurance of Anwar Mansoor, one of the members of the defence team, who assured the bench that his client would appear on February 18.

TTP said that the negotiations with the Government will be aimed at imposing Sharia in the country. Shahidullah Shahid, the central ‘spokesman’ for the TTP, told media from an undisclosed location that they had fought for Sharia. He said that had any other law except Sharia been acceptable to TTP, they would not have waged war.

Maulana Abdul Aziz, one of the TTP intermediaries, has refused to attend future meetings with Government negotiators until the implementation of Sharia law is on the agenda. “I’ll remain part of this [Taliban intermediary] committee — but, yes, I will not sit for future talks until my demands are met,” Aziz told journalists in Islamabad on February 7 after a meeting of his Shura in Lal Masjid.

PTI Chairperson Imran Khan told Bloomberg that the peace negotiations between the Government and the TTP will probably fail and a resulting military operation would lead to more violence.

The Sindh Assembly passed the Sindh Emergency Procurement Bill, 2014 on a temporary basis for the period of one year, allowing law enforcers to bypass normal authorities in emergency situations. The Sindh Emergency Procurement Bill, 2014 was not on the order of the day however; during the proceedings Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Sikandar Mandhro moved supplementary agenda and sought permission from the chair to table the Sindh Emergency Procurement Bill, 2014 for urgent introduction and consideration.

MQM lawmakers supported the spirit of the bill, but they also demanded some means of ensuring transparency in emergency procurement for Police and other law enforcing agencies. It was also suggested to form a committee of MPAs to ensure transparency and fair deal in this regard.

February 8

Three persons were killed and several others injured in a fresh spate of violence in different areas of Karachi city. Police said unidentified gunmen shot dead a person in Baghdadi area of Lyari. Further, a body, wrapped in a gunny bag, was also recovered from Lee Market. Police said that the deceased was kidnapped and then killed, adding that his body was dumped in Lee Market. In a separate incident, rescue personnel also found the body of a newborn in Korangi area. Security personnel also arrested 23 suspects, including two foreigners, during a search operation and recovered weapons and drugs.

Firing incidents continued across Karachi resulting in injuries to more than 10 persons. Rangers arrested eight suspects, including two foreigners, and recovered weapons from them during a search operation in Patel Para. The arrested suspects included six members of Lyari gang war.

The shrine of a popular Sufi poet of Balochistan, Mast Twakali, was set on fire by unidentified militants in Mawand area of Kohlu District. However, no casualties were reported. Kohlu’s Deputy Commissioner Ejaz Haider said that after the incident Levies personnel launched a search operation in Tomboo tehsil of Kohlu District and took five suspects into custody.

As many as 79 Police Officers and troopers were killed in the wake of the ongoing operation against criminals and terrorists in Karachi. In September 2013, when the operation was launched, 15 Police men were killed and further 12 were killed in October, 11 each in November and December, 25 in January 2014 while during February until now, 5 died at the hands of the outlaws and terrorists. In a report, submitted by the Police Department to Inspector General of Police, Sindh, Shahid Nadeem Baloch, on the performance of Karachi District Police and CID, it was said that during this period 10,254 raids and 804 encounters, a total of 131 miscreants were killed while 15,671 were arrested.

February 9

Unidentified armed militants attacked the house of a pro-government tribal elder, Gazeen Khan Bugti, killing him and eight members of his family, including three women, three children and two adult males, in Dera Bugti District. Provincial Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said that the members of the peace committee retaliated and killed two of the attackers and wounded three others. The Minister said that it was BRA that had attacked Khan’s house.

Unidentified militants set a NATO container-carrying truck on fire while it was on its way from Karachi (Sindh) to Chaman town in Qilla Abdullah District, killing two persons, including the driver of the vehicle in Sibi District. The firing also caused the truck to catch fire which partially damaged the container.

Unidentified militants opened fire on a Quetta-bound private container in Dhadar area of Bolan District, killing two people, including the driver Shamsullah and another man, identified as Lal Muhammad.

At least nine people, including an infant, were killed and 10 others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire on a shrine of Meharban Ali Shah alias Jalali Baba in Saeedabad area of Baldia Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police said the attackers also hurled a grenade before firing at the people with automatic weapons.

A prayer leader, identified as Nadeem Qadri (38), was shot dead in a targeted attack while he was returning after evening prayer at a mosque in Raees Amrohi Colony in Orangi Town.

BRA militant outfit bombed three main gas pipelines in Rahim Yar Khan District, killing a woman. "In a major terror hit, BLA blew up three major gas arteries late on Sunday night in Yousafabad area, which sparked so big a fire that it engulfed the populated area located nearby", officials said.

According to sources, the pipelines, carrying highly inflammable methane also called natural gas, burst into a massive ball of fire after the blasts. "The blasts triggered an inferno that covered the nearby fields, while Basti Afzal Hamid Khumbara was evacuated immediately", the sources added. The rescue sources say a woman was killed in the blaze.

The BDS defused a remote-controlled IED planted near Chatochok in Pishtakhara village in Sarband area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. AIG of Peshawar's BDS, Shafqat Malik, said that information was received of a suspicious item on the roadside in Chatochok.

The “political Shura” and negotiations committee of the TTP met at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan Agency for the second consecutive day and produced as many as fifteen demands to be put forward to the Government’s negotiation committee. TTP Shura had been meeting since February 8 under its Deputy Ameer, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani. Professor Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and Maulana Yousuf Shah who are in Waziristan for a meeting with the TTP Shura are likely to convey these points to the committee formed by the Government for mediation.

The TTP commanders and the members of their committee formed to holds talks with the Government kept changing the venue of their meeting amid continued flights of unmanned US drones in the tribal area. The committee members had reached North Waziristan in a military helicopter to apprise the TTP’s political Shura of the demands put forth by the committee representing the Government.

The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that any external attempt to sabotage the dialogue process will be considered as hostility against Pakistan. According to sources, the Interior Minister was speaking to Maulana Samiul Haq, leader of the TTP committee for peace talks.

Amidst the ongoing unrest in the country, the Government is all set to place administrative control of the premier counter-terrorism body under its newly established National Security Division (NSD) in an effort to stem the tide of violence. Senior officials familiar with the development told The Express Tribune that the counter-terrorism Rapid Deployment Force will also function along with the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) under the NSD.

February 10

Four women were killed and three others were injured in a suicide blast near a house in the Essa Khel Garhi area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP.

Unidentified motorcyclists shot dead three school teachers in the Kach Banda area of Hangu District when they were on their way home following school duty. 

Unidentified assailants shot dead a former US consulate employee, Faisal Saeed, in Peshawar.

Three people were killed in the Malir Town of Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh.  Police said that two extortionists came to the meat market at Malir 15 and demanded money from a shopkeeper, who refused to pay and instead opened fire on the extortionists. During the exchange of fire from both sides, an extortionist died on the spot while two passers-by, identified as Karim and Haji Noor Mohammad, were also killed in the incident. The other extortionist fled from the incident site.  

One Abdul Samad Tabani (35) was killed when unidentified armed extortionists opened fire at a rickshaw at the mobile market in Saddar Town. 

Unidentified armed assailants opened fire in Khada Market of Lyari Town, killing one Raheel (25). 

Unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade in the Sher Shah area of Kiamari Town, injuring two people, identified as Fahim and Jan Mohammad.

A man, identified as Ali (35), was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town. 

Police claimed to have arrested 61 accused, including eight absconders and an extortionist, and recovered arms and drugs from their possession during 82 raids.

At least 19 FC personnel were injured when a bomb exploded while their vehicles passed through the Sibi and Tali areas of Sibi District. “An IED was used to target the convoy and it was detonated with remote control,” the sources said. Azad Baloch, a spokesman for BLA claiming responsibility for the attack said that 10 security personnel had been killed and 17 injured in the attack, but FC and Provincial Government sources denied the BLA claim.

Six soldiers and one officer were injured in two acts of terrorism in the Dattakhel area of NWA in FATA. Sources said that an improvised explosive device exploded near a military truck in Dattakhel near Afghan border, injuring six soldiers. The truck, part of a convoy, was destroyed in the blast. 

Three personnel of Khasadar Force escorting polio workers were injured when an improvised explosive device planted by suspected militants along a road went off in the Khugakhel area of Landi Kotal tehsil (revenue unit) in Khyber Agency. The Khasadar team later defused an explosive device in the same area. 

Militants opened fire at a security picket in the Khar Kamar area of Dattakhel subdivision. One officer was injured. 

An anti-drone campaigner, Kareem Khan, from North Waziristan Agency of FATA, has “disappeared” from Rawalpindi District in Punjab on February 5, 2014, days before he was due to testify before European Parliaments, his lawyer Shahzad Akbar said, accusing the country's Intelligence Agencies of illegal kidnapping.

Kareem Khan’s brother and teenage son were killed in a drone attack in December 2009.

The TTP sees no urgency to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government, Maulana Abdul Aziz, one of the three negotiators representing the TTP, said. In an interview at his Islamabad seminary, where some 1,300 female students are studying, Aziz said, “You should know that at the moment they (TTP) have at least 400 to 500 female suicide bombers in Waziristan and other tribal areas”.

The political Shura of the TTP said that it gave a “positive response” to the Government’s list of demands, which had been handed over to it by the Taliban team during a meeting at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan Agency of FATA.

Parliamentarians in the Senate strongly reacted to the TTP’s stance of not holding peace talks under the constitution of Pakistan. Opposition senators claimed that it was decided that there would be no terrorist activities during peace negotiations but the recent incidents clearly revealed that “third forces” are involved in such acts.

February 11

At least 13 persons were killed and 19 others injured when three back-to-back explosions occurred inside Shama Cinema in Bacha Khan Chowk area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. CCPO, Ejaz Ahmed said three grenades were used and up to 80 people were in the cinema at the time of the explosions. The blast at the cinema came 11 days after a similar attack at Picture House Cinema situated in Kabuli Bazaar area of Peshawar.

Nine persons were killed after unidentified assailants attacked a house by opening fire and hurling hand grenades in Badhaber area of Peshawar. 

Three suspected militants were killed in an explosion in the Bacha Khan locality of Kolachi area in Dera Ismail Khan District. The suspects were reportedly planting explosive material on the side of a road when the explosives accidentally detonated, killing all of them on the spot.

A Policeman was killed and another was injured when a polio immunisation team was attacked in Purwa tehsil of Dera Ismail Khan District. The two Policemen were assigned to provide security to the vaccination team working in Purwa tehsil. 

SFs arrested key local militant ‘commander’ Umarzada alias Dildar from the Galiga area of Matta tehsil in Swat District. 13 detonators and 15 cartridges were recovered from Dildar’s possession. The militant commander’s father Bacha Gul was already in Police custody.

SFs arrested 27 suspects and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession along with a vehicle with forged documents from Sarband area of Peshawar.

Two alleged criminals, identified as Atif (20), and Akram (25), were shot dead in an encounter with Rangers in Nawa Lane area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man was killed by unidentified armed assailants near Gazi Town graveyard in Malir Town.

Unidentified militants opened fire in Bihar Colony area of Lyari Town.

MQM accused Police of extra-judicial killings. MQM’s Haider Abbas Rizvi claimed that a party worker, Muhammad Adil, died of Police torture on February 10, 2014, adding that 45 other workers are still missing. “We don’t know where are they, no one knows about them. Police is involved in torturing and disappearance of our workers,” he accused.

The Islamabad High Court referred to the District and Sessions judge of Islamabad a case relating to registration of a FIR against CIA Station Chief Jonathan Banks over the death of two tribesmen in a US drone attack in 2009.  The directive was issued by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC on a petition filed by Karim Khan, a native of NWA in FATA.

Khan has been allegedly picked up by security agencies from Rawalpindi District of Punjab. He was making preparations to go to Brussels (Belgium) to narrate his ordeal before the European Parliament on February 15, 2014. A petition against the disappearance of Khan has been filed by his brother-in-law in the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench. Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan will take up the petition on February 12.

The committees, formed by the Government and the TTP to broker a peace pact between the two sides, held an informal meeting at an undisclosed location in Islamabad. During the meeting, agenda for February 12, 2014’s formal meeting was discussed, said a press release issued after the meeting. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs, Irfan Siddqui, who is coordinator of the Government committee, said that response from the TTP Political Shura over the Government’s conditions was ‘satisfactory.’

JUI-S Chief Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who is a member of the committee nominated by the TTP, said that Taliban’s demands were placed in front of Government negotiators, adding that attempts at a ceasefire would be made in the first stage of dialogue. The meeting was held after Professor Ibrahim and Maulana Yousuf Shah returned from North Waziristan Agency after meeting with the TTP’s political Shura and receiving their response regarding the demands of the Government.

US Ambassador Richard Olson in a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar revealed that the US has released second tranche of USD 352 million out of a total of USD 1.4 billion CSF that Pakistan is budgeted to receive during the current fiscal year. According to Finance Ministry, the Ambassador assured the Financial Minister that the remaining amount will be disbursed soon. The money that the country spends on defense and logistics while rendering services in global war against terrorism is later on disbursed by the US under the CSF.

US released the second tranche after Pakistan repaid 27th installment of USD147 million to IMF as per the arranged programme. The releases were on account of expenses that Pakistan incurred during the period of January-March 2013. For the current fiscal year, Pakistan has budgeted USD 1.4 billion on account of CSF disbursements.

February 12

Two unidentified dead bodies bearing torture marks were recovered from Memon Goth area of Malir Town.

Two suspects were killed in an exchange of fire between Police personnel and Lyari gangsters in Salar Goth area of Malir Town. Police also recovered two hand grenades from their possession.

Rangers arrested 41 suspects during a targeted operation in Pathan Colony area of SITE Town.

At least 40 medical practitioners of Karachi have received threatening emails from certain extortion mafias demanding hefty protection money, claimed Dr. Idrees Adhi, President of the Pakistan Medical Association Karachi Chapter. “Our community is under immense pressure. We are frightened because of threats against the backdrop of the killing of some of our colleagues in the recent past,” said Dr. Adhi.

TTP announced an ‘armed struggle’ against an indigenous tribe-Kalash and Ismaili Shias in Chitral Valley of Chitral District, calling on Sunnis to support their cause in a video released. A charitable organisation headed by the Aga Khan, the Ismailis’ spiritual leader, is singled out for condemnation. “The Aga Khan Foundation is running 16 schools and 16 colleges and hostels where young men and women are given free education and brainwashed to keep them away from Islam,” the narrator says.

The narrator warns the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3,500, to convert to Islam or face death. “By the grace of Allah, an increasing number of people from the Kalash tribe are embracing Islam and we want to make it clear to the Kalash tribe that they will be eliminated along with their protectors, the Western agents if they don’t embrace Islam,” he says. The video also accuses international NGOs of creating an “Israel” like state in Chitral by attempting to protect the Kalash culture and take people away from Islam, and vows to foil their plans.

A report by the Committee to Protect Journalists said that at least five journalists were reported to be killed for their work in Pakistan in 2013. According to the report, Pakistan was ranked as the fourth most dangerous country, behind countries such as Syria, Iraq and Egypt in terms of journalists killed. Earlier in 2012, seven journalists were killed for their work in Pakistan.

February 13

At least 13 Policemen were killed and 58 others were injured in a suicide blast targeting a bus carrying 50 Police officers near the gate of Razzakabad Police Training Center in Shah Latif Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. TTP claimed responsibility for the suicide attack Claiming responsibility for the “revenge” attack, the TTP said the suicide bombing was in retaliation for the killing of their militants by Law-Enforcement Agencies in Karachi, Swabi (Swabi District of KP) and Peshawar (provincial capital of KP).

TTP ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid said, “We carried out the attack against the Police because they are killing our people”. “Our defensive war will continue until an agreement is reached on a ceasefire” between negotiation teams representing the Government and the Taliban.

At least four suspected militants were killed during an operation conducted by SFs in Chap Garh area of Dera Bugti District. Moreover, weapons, ammunition and bombs to blow up railway tracks were also recovered from their possession.

Gunmen in Tump town of Kech District snatched the Deputy Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner of Kech District after overpowering their subordinates. According to Provincial Home Secretary, Adil Gilani, gunmen overpowered at least 18 staff and security personnel accompanying the two officials and ordered the convoy to follow them. No group has so far claimed responsibility of the incident.

The Police claimed to have foiled a major terror bid and arrested two suspected militants, identified as Daud Khan of Mardan District (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Hassan Khan alias Lehsan of Bajaur Agency (FATA) during a raid at a house in Ittefaq Colony in Tarnol area of Islamabad. The Police team also recovered explosives, detonators and detonating cord from them.

Irfan Siddiqui, coordinator of the committee formed by the Government to hold talks with the TTP, said that they had told the Taliban committee through a letter that terror activities will adversely affect the atmosphere needed for negotiations. Earlier, the Taliban committee complained that they had not received the letter sent by the Government committee. However, the letter was faxed to the Taliban committee and Maulana Yousuf Shah had received it.

TTP’s political Shura agreed to directly meet the Government talks committee in Islamabad on February 14, 2014. Sources said the Government negotiators would meet the Shura either at the end of this week or at the start of next week. The meeting will most likely be held in North Waziristan Agency of FATA but the exact location is not known as yet. The main agenda will likely be regarding a ceasefire which the TTP and Government Committees said was important as any activity from either side could potentially harm peace efforts.

February 14

Four people were injured when a suicide bomber attacked the patrolling vehicle of Rangers’ Sector Commander, Brigadier Basit, in Qayyumabad area of Korangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

CID arrested three suspects, identified as Junaid Alam, Armaan and Hassan, belonging to of al Qaeda affiliated outfit Ashaab. The CID also recovered explosive material and a large quantity of ammunition from their possession. CID anti-terrorism cell in-charge, Raja Umar Khattab said that the suspects were active at the University of Karachi and other private universities of Karachi from where the group recruits religiously-inclined students. The group, whose chief is currently in Waziristan, carries out its activities in Karachi, Khattab said, adding that the arrested men did not employ mobile phones in their operations.

The team of six persons that went for the rescue of two senior government officials, who were earlier kidnapped on February 13, 2014 by unidentified militants from Tump town of Kech District, were also abducted from Gomazai in Turbat District. The recovery team was headed by Assistant Commissioner, Dasht Naeem Ghichki and comprised two Tehsildar and three Levies’ personnel. BLF had claimed responsibility for the February 13 incident.

The Balochistan Government contacted BLF to secure the release of its abducted officers. “Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch wants to avoid an operation by Security Forces,” Provincial Government Spokesperson Jan Buledi said. “Our priority is to secure the release of the kidnapped officials through peaceful negotiations,” he said, adding, “The use of force will be the last option.”

Pakistan anti-drone campaigner, Karim Khan, who had disappeared from Rawalpindi District on February 5, 2014 was rescued. Karim Khan whose brother and teenage son were killed in a December 2009 drone attack had disappeared days before he was due to testify before European parliamentarians.

The Government and TTP negotiators, expressed concern over a wave of deadly attacks in the country, agreeing that both militants and SFs should refrain from actions which undermine ongoing peace efforts. “Both the committees expressed deep grief and regret over anti-peace activities and declared that such incidents would have a negative impact on the peace efforts,” a joint statement said after Government and Taliban committees meeting.

“Referring to the recent incident in Karachi, the Government committee adopted the stance that it would become difficult to continue the peace talks when anti-peace activities continue,” it said. “Therefore the Taliban must be asked to make an announcement that they are stopping all kinds of anti-peace activities and implementation of this announcement should be ensured,” the statement quoted the Government side as saying. It said that the Taliban committee “agreed” to the demand and asked the Government to also make an announcement that it will not take any action which would create unrest. “For lasting peace no side should use force,” the statement quoted the Taliban side as saying.

The Taliban committee and TTP ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid made telephonic contact during the meeting of committees. According to reports, the Taliban committee apprised Shahidullah of the demand of Government committee for ceasefire.  Shahidullah also said he would apprise the Taliban Shura (council) of this demand and would get back to the committee.

February 15

Five persons were killed when unidentified militants opened fire at a van near Dattakhel town in North Waziristan Agency in the night. According to reports, the five persons whose identity could not be ascertained were going to Shawal from Dattakhel when gunmen opened fire on their van near Dattakhel bazaar.

Four persons, including a supporter of the MQM, were killed in different parts of Karachi city (Karachi District). A young man identified as Arif Hanif (30), who had gone missing a couple of days back, was found shot dead in Manghopir. He was blindfolded and trussed up before being killed. The MQM, in a statement issued to the media later, claimed that he was their supporter. Meanwhile, two unidentified young men who looked Pashtuns were found shot dead in Memon Goth. Four spent bullet casings fired from 9mm pistol were also found at the crime-scene. The Memon Goth Police said the victims, in their mid-20s, had long beards. Separately, a vendor identified as Tanveer (50) was gunned down by assailants in Ranchhore Line Area. Police said that Tanveer was returning home with a pushcart when assailants attacked him and fled.

At least five people were injured in two successive bomb blasts near Mominabad Police Station in Orangi Town. According to Police sources, the first attack was by a hand grenade hurled at a street vendor near the police station while the second explosion which occurred within a few minutes was by a bomb planted at a taxi-stand.

Unidentified militants blew up a Government high school in Tora Warai area of Hangu District. According to Police, explosive material was planted in three classrooms of the school which went off with a loud noise.  The attack also left the school's watchman injured.

Unidentified persons attacked an Imambargah in Kuchi bazaar area of old Peshawar city with a hand grenade, damaging the place. No loss of life was reported, but caretaker of the Imambargah was wounded in the attack.

February 16

The TTP claimed to have killed 23 FC personnel kidnapped in June 14, 2010 from Shoonkri Post of Mohmand Agency in FATA. According to reports, the TTP Mohmand Agency ‘spokesman’, Omar Khurasani said that the kidnapped FC personnel were killed as revenge because the Government was continuously killing their men in different parts of the country, including Karachi, Peshawar and Swabi. He said if the Government does not stop killing the TTP supporters, they would also continue to kill Security Forces’ personnel.

After the TTP claim, it was decided that the Government committee and TTP negotiators will not be meeting on February 17. Senior journalist Rahimullah Yousafzai, who is one of the members of the Government committee, said it was necessary to discuss the killings with the Government before the state committee meets TTP negotiators. TTP also confirmed that the meeting, which was scheduled to take place at 11am today, will not be held.

At least six people, including four children, were killed and more than 35 were injured when two coaches of the Peshawar-bound Khushhal Khan Khattak Express derailed after a bomb attack on the tracks near a canal in Thull town of Jacobabad District.

Rangers shot dead five alleged terrorists in shootouts near Afghan Basti in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town and in Ittehad Town of Baldia Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. A Rangers spokesperson said that two terrorists attacked a vehicle of the Paramilitary Force on Super Highway near Afghan Basti. In the ensuing gun battle, Rangers killed the two militants.

The Paramilitary Force conducted a search operation in Mohammad Khan Colony, Ittehad Town, during which they were attacked. The terrorist fired gunshots at the soldiers and also attacked with a grenade injuring one of them. Three terrorists were killed in the encounter.

Baba Ladla group gangsters shot dead gangster Anees Memon (24), who was affiliated with the Uzair Baloch gang in the Kameela stop locality in Lyari Town.

An unidentified Uzair Balcoh gangster was found in the bushes near the Mewa Shah graveyard in Pak Colony area of SITE Town. According to residents of the locality, gangsters from the Baba Ladla group had brought the victim to the locality on a motorcycle and then shot him dead.

One Kamran Baloch (34), was shot dead by unidentified gangsters while he was passing through Jhat Pat Market in Lyari Town. Police said the victim was affiliated with the Uzair Baloch gang and was also related to notorious gangster Rehman Dakait.

One Taj Muhammad (60), was shot dead outside his house in Umer Marvi Goth area of Shah Latif Town. 

An unidentified dead body of a man was found in Gulshan-e-Buner area of Landhi Town.

Rangers arrested 21 suspected criminals in raids conducted in several parts of the city, including Baghdadi, Chakiwara and Noor Muhammad Goth.  The paramilitary force seized 54 weapons in the raids.

A local tribal elder, identified as Bashir Ahmed Zarakzai, and a minor girl, identified as Robina, were killed and six others were injured in an exchange of fire at the house of Sardar Inayatullah Zehri in Zehri Ghat village in Khuzdar District.  According to the FC sources, the raid was carried out to capture some criminals. A tribal elder of Zehri, Mir Batay Khan Zarakzai, alleged that Security Forces, supported by some tribal elders, had attacked the house of Sardar Inayatullah Zehri, adding that innocent people were killed and injured in the firing.

A bomb killed at least one Policeman and wounded another during a vaccination campaign for polio and other diseases among children in Budhni area on the outskirts of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The police team was being deployed in Budhni area before the start of the campaign when a remote controlled bomb exploded near their van, killing one police official and wounding another one,” local senior administration official Zaheerul Islam said. According to the World Health Organisation, Pakistan recorded 91 cases of polio last year, up from 58 in 2012. The World Health Organisation has warned that Peshawar was the world’s “largest reservoir” of polio.

The TTP sought written assurances from the Government regarding end to actions against the Taliban, prior to any ceasefire. Sources close to the official committee have disclosed that the TTP has serious reservations over Government’s actions against the TTP in all major cities of the country. The group has sought written guarantees from the Pakistan Army, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Federal Minister Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and has warned that it would not stop its actions unless actions against it are stopped.

TTP political shura has decided in principle to hold a ceasefire and the announcement in this regard is expected in the next 24 hours. According to sources, TTP political shura held a meeting on February 16 to deliberate on the Government’s demand for the ceasefire. In the meeting, sources said, the Taliban shura agreed to observe a ceasefire, which is expected to be declared within the next 24 hours. The sources further said that the TTP Shura has demanded withdrawal of Army from North Waziristan besides release of their non-combatant companions.

Terrorist outfits in Pakistan like the TTP are increasingly using social media networks, including Twitter and Facebook to spread their propaganda and as a means of intimidation.  A number of Twitter accounts allegedly managed by members of the banned TTP have emerged, on which they post messages and engage in dialogue with their followers. Facebook pages are used to upload statements and videos. 

February 17

A former Minister of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Abdul Raqeeb, who was in favour of peace talks with the Kabul Government, was shot dead in Nasir Bagh Road of Tehkal in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. He was a commander during the Afghan jihad against the Soviets and a minister for refugee affairs during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In Peshawar, he taught at his own seminary, Madrassa Munbahul Uloom located on Nasir Bagh Road in Tehkal.

13 children were among 15 persons injured in an explosion outside a private school in Dhab area of Karak District. Police said the explosive material was placed outside the private school's gate in Dhab.

An explosion in a three-star hotel in Namak Mandi area of Karak Town left its guard, Allah Baksh injured. The blast occurred on the first floor of hotel near the lobby.

An alleged militant, Jalat Khan was arrested in Kurrum Par area in the limits of Dadiwala Police Station in Lakki Marwat District. The Police had been after the militant for various cases since 1988.

Two employees of a media house, identified as driver Abdus Sattar and guard Rasool Bux, were injured Nawa-e-Waqt Group when two unidentified militants hurled a hand-made bomb at the gate of The Business Recorder office near Guru Mandir Chowrangi in Jamshed Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Another home-made bomb was hurled at the office of the Nawa-e-Waqt Group on M.A Jinnah Road in Jamshed Town.

A soldier, Mehrab, was killed in an attack by unidentified militants on a SFs checkpost in Ladha area of South Waziristan Agency in the night around 11:00pm.

Six members of an anti-polio team were abducted by unidentified militants in the Pang area of the FR Tank in FATA. Assistant Political Agent, FR Tank, Khalid Mehmood Marwat, said the team, including Dr Khandad, in-charge of the Union Council Siddiqullah, driver Kalim, three Levies personnel, Lance Naik Daulat Khan, Sepoy Amanullah and Sepoy Minhas. He said the team members were kidnapped at 3 pm when they were on their way back after finishing the task.

The peace talks with TTP broke down following execution of 23 FC soldiers by Mohmand Agency Chapter of TTP. The four-member government negotiating committee cancelled a scheduled visit to Akora Khattak for a meeting with the TTP committee.

The 'spokesman' of the TTP Shahidullah Shahid said that the Taliban in Mohmand Agency might have avenged the killing of their colleagues. Shahid said custodial killings could further complicate the dialogue process. He alleged that 23 people who were in Government custody had been killed over the past three days 16 in Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and seven in Karachi (Sindh).

A letter posted on the social media, by 'chief' of Mohmand Agency chapter of TTP, Umar Khalid Khurasani claimed that the soldiers had been slain to avenge what he called killing of their fighters in custody in several parts of the country. The security official rejected the claim by TTP, termed the allegation unfounded and baseless.

Umar Khalid Khurasani, is a journalist-turned-jihadi 'commander' whose declared objectives as a staunch follower of Osama bin Laden are to overthrow the Government of Pakistan, impose Sharia, seize nuclear weapons and wage jihad until the Caliphate is established, reported The News quoting journalist Amir Mir.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the killing of FC by terrorists and termed it a "heinous and brutal" act. He said the incident would have a negative impact on the talks process, initiated for a peaceful resolution of the issue.

Army described the killing of 23 FC soldiers, a "blatant" and "highly provocative" act of terrorism. "The martyrdom of security officials is a blatant act of terrorism. It's highly condemnable and provocative," a security official said on condition of anonymity.

The Opposition leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on February 17 said it is high time to take a firm decision regarding the talks with the Taliban because they are continuously attacking citizens, civilians and damaging public installations. Shah criticised the Taliban for continuously attacking security personnel despite being in dialogue with the Government.

The Barrack Obama administration is making contingency plans to use air bases in Central Asia to conduct drone missile attacks in northwest Pakistan in case the US is forced to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan at the end of 2014. A report in the Los Angeles Times by Ken Dilanian said even if alternative bases are secured, the officials said, the CIA's capability to gather sufficient intelligence to find al Qaeda operatives and quickly launch drone missiles at specific targets in Pakistan's mountainous tribal region will be greatly diminished if the spy agency loses its drone bases in Afghanistan.

According to current and former officers, CIA analysts operating from fortified outposts near the Pakistani border evaluate electronic intelligence, while case officers meet sources who help them identify targets. They pay people to place GPS trackers on cars or buildings to help guide the drone-launched missiles.

February 18

Police recovered four dead bodies from Surjani Town area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Three of the victims were identified as Sami-ul-Haq, Hafeez, and Muhammad Faisal, while the fourth dead body could not be identified. All four were affiliated with an unspecified banned outfit.

Two people were shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Orangi Town.

A man was shot dead in Gulistan-e-Johar area of Gulshan Town.

An unidentified man was shot dead by militants in Mehran Town area of Korangi Town.

An unidentified bullet-riddled dead body was found in Shah Faisal Town.

Rangers and Police arrested 23 suspects during targeted operations in various areas, including Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Dhobi Ghat, Faqeer Goth, Kausar Town, Frontier Colony, Qayumabad, Gulshan-e-Buner, Shanti Nagar and Lyari Town. According to a Rangers spokesman, a large amount of arms and ammunition was also recovered from the suspects.

An ATC remanded in Police custody two TTP militants, identified as Muhammad Kashif and Muhammad Irfan, over charges of demanding extortion and issuing life threats. They were remanded in Police custody till March 4, 2014. The Taliban-linked accused face charges of demanding extortion of PKR 200,000 from a woman and threatening to kill her son in case she failed to pay the money.

An Army Major, Jahanzaib, and three militants were killed in an exchange of fire in FR Peshawar of FATA. "(The) exchange of fire continues," the ISPR said in a statement.

Unidentified militants on a motorcycle fired on a vehicle being used by French aid organisation Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development at Jarma near Kohat town of same District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, injuring the driver. There were two staff members, both Pakistanis, in the vehicle.

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf was not indicted despite his appearance in the Special Court for the hearing of treason case. Instead, the Special Court issued a short order stating that the former President would face indictment upon his second appearance in court and that he would soon be ordered to appear in court again. The hearing was postponed till February 19, 2014 (today). Musharraf's advocate Ahmed Raza Kasuri stated that a decision will be made on February 21, 2014, about whether Musharraf should be tried by a military court or a civil court.

The coordinator of TTP-appointed negotiation committee, Yousuf Shah, cautioned that there could be a surge in acts of violence in case peace negotiations were not held. "The Government committee does not appear to be serious in holding the talks," he said, adding, 'the violent acts may witness a surge in case the dialogue was not held'. "If the Government and Taliban committees remained at distance, it could lead to an increase in the acts of terror," he cautioned.

The TTP claimed that it is serious about peace talks with the Government. TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said the Taliban leadership was in constant contact with all factions on the issue of ceasefire and a decision in this respect would be taken soon. He said all Taliban factions unanimously backed the dialogue process and there would be no problem in implementing TTP's decisions, including the issue of ceasefire, claiming the TTP practised Sharia'h and any decision endorsed by the chief of the Tehreek was final and obligatory for all factions to abide by.

PM Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting of the Government's committee formed to hold talks with negotiators representing the TTP, during which the committee expressed its inability to carry forward peace talks. The committee said the talks could not progress without any solid steps and also asked the TTP to unconditionally cease all violent activities without any delay.

The Government mediators demanded a ceasefire from the Taliban before they resumed peace talks as another two soldiers were killed in separate attacks.

February 19

A bomb blast targeting the residence of former KP Minister Haji Javed in Javed Town in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, was reported. However, no casualty was reported.

Two people were killed and two others were injured when a 36-inch gas pipeline of the Qadirpur gas field exploded in the Mir Kosh area of Ghotki District. The deceased were identified as security guards of the gas pipeline.

An IED bomb was defused by the BDS near Naurus Chowrangi in SITE Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Police claimed to have arrested 93 suspects in 81 raids and recovered arms and narcotics from their possession. According to a Karachi Police report, a total of 93 criminals were arrested during raids and six encounters in various areas of the city. One accused was held in a murder case, one in extortion case, three in kidnapping-for-ransom cases, four for their involvement in robberies, 15 under the Arms Ordinance, 19 under the Narcotics Act, and 34 in miscellaneous cases, said a Police spokesman.

The VMBP head, Mama Qadeer Baloch, and his Long March from Quetta (Balochistan) to Islamabad (Punjab) has been threatened. Mama Qadeer has received a threatening telephone call from an unlisted number informing him of the decision to prevent the marchers from entering Rawalpindi and Islamabad and warning them that they will not be allowed to present their demands to the UN.

The march was undertaken to demand accountability for the 18000 missing persons from Balochistan, which VMBP organisation has documented.

Islamabad is under severe threat of terrorism from TTP, LeJ and al Qaeda, a report of the Interior Ministry presented in the Standing Committee of National Assembly on Interior revealed. According to the report, Islamabad is the most dangerous city as the "sleeper cell" of banned TTP, LeJ and al Qaeda are posing a grave threat to the security of the city. In Punjab, LeJ and TTP were the most dangerous groups and in Sindh, the presence of LeJ, al Qaeda militants and target killers was reported.

About the security situation in PoK, the Interior Ministry said certain evidences have 'proved' that India was involved in the deteriorating law and order situation in the region. It revealed that illegal weapons and terrorists were penetrating Pakistan through its western and eastern borders.

At least 460 people have been killed in terrorist attacks across the country since the Government held an APC on September 10, 2013, to mull ways and means to end bloodshed in the country, an unnamed security official said. "The dead include 308 civilians, 114 military personnel and 38 Policemen," the official said. He said that some 1,264 people were injured in the terrorist attacks by TTP in the same period. "The injured include 684 civilians, 531 military personnel and 49 Policemen," he added.

The TTP offered to observe a ceasefire to allow the resumption of stalled peace talks provided Security Forces stop killing and arresting them. "We are ready for the ceasefire if the government assures us that bodies of our colleagues will not be found in gunny bags and they will not be killed in encounters and arrested in raids," TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said. "The Government has killed more than 60 TTP cadres since the start of the peace talks, in Karachi and the rest of Pakistan, under a secret operation codenamed Operation Root Out," Shahid said. "The killings of soldiers in Mohmand were in response to the onslaught on TTP cadres by Security Forces during the talks between Government and TTP committees," he added.

Government mediators suspended negotiations on February 17 just weeks after they were announced following weekend claims by a TTP faction that it killed 23 kidnapped FC soldiers. The mediators set a ceasefire as a precondition for another round of talks. The reconciliation effort was launched on January 29.

Government mediators suspended negotiations on February 17 just weeks after they were announced following weekend claims by a TTP faction that it killed 23 kidnapped FC soldiers. The mediators set a ceasefire as a precondition for another round of talks. The reconciliation effort was launched on January 29.

The US said that it would continue its security assistance to Pakistan in order to keep bilateral relations on "solid footing". The commitment was conveyed by US CentCom Commander General Lloyd J. Austin III to his Pakistani interlocutors. The CentCom commander was quoted by the Defence Ministry as having told the defence secretary that "continued support in training, education and CSF will act as tools necessary to keep relations on solid footing".

According to the US Embassy, in his meetings General Austin "reaffirmed the importance of the US-Pakistani security relationship to regional stability and agreed to continue to work together in order to build a stronger partnership and further common objectives". He told the defence secretary that US viewed Pakistan as a "vital partner for regional security" and praised Pakistan's role in facilitating the drawdown of US and ISAF forces from Afghanistan.

February 20

At least 35 militants were killed as fighter jets targeted suspected insurgent hideouts in Dattakhel, Shawal and Mir Ali tehsils (revenue unit) of the North Waziristan Agency of FATA. The bombardment comes a day after TTP said a ceasefire can be negotiated upon if the Army stopped targeting its members. Other military sources said that the in second attack, militants involved in the Peshawar cinema blast (February 10) and killing of an Army officer (February 18) in frontier region Peshawar two days ago were targeted in their hideouts situated in Khyber Agency. Around seven militants were killed. IED making factories and prepared explosives were also destroyed in the strikes.

After being convinced by the top Army leadership, PM Nawaz Sharif gave a go ahead for the airstrikes. High level civil military consultations continued for three days which culminated on these strikes. Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif and intelligence heads briefed the PM over rapid developments in the tribal areas and also shared images of militant hideouts procured through their own spy drones. Authorisation of the PM was sought for more strikes at other locations, which according to the sources has been granted.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pervaiz Rasheed, on February 20 said the TTP in unequivocal terms commented "If you talk with us, we will respond with greater enthusiasm. But, if you would strike once, we would strike twice". Pervaiz Rasheed said in a statement, soon after the Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhary Nisar announced that PM Nawaz Sharif in consultation with the military leadership has linked the peace talks to a halt to the bloodshed.

Referring to the talks with the TTP, Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhary Nisar said, "Dialogue and violence cannot take place side by side. The military has been asked to retaliate in self-defence, which is their right. This [self-defence] is the right of the armed forces, which cannot be taken away from them," he said. Members of the government's peace committee were also consulted in this regard, the interior minister added. "We have burnt the midnight oil," he said, explaining how the Government had worked overtime on how to resolve the issue.

JeI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief and member of the TTP talks committee Mohammad Ibrahim on February 20 condemned the shelling in North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Agency and described it as an action against innocent citizens. In a statement issued by the JeI, he said that the air strikes would further complicate the situation, adding that the ultimate sufferers would be the innocent people because random firing and shelling could never prove useful for restoration of peace.

Earlier on February 19, TTP granted the authority to JUI-S Chief Maulana Samiul Haq decide on ceasefire between the Government and the TTP. Haq is heading the TTP intermediary committee. The JUI-S central information secretary said that if there was a consensus between the Government peace talks committee and Haq, then a ceasefire can be announced between the two sides.

Eight persons, including seven BLF militants and one pro-Government militia member belonging to Baloch Musala Difa Army were killed while two others were injured in a gun battle between the two in Bessema area of Washuk District. "Two armed groups opened fire at each other in the Bessema area of Washuk," Washuk Deputy Commissioner Qadir Baksh Purkani said, confirming the fatalities.

Two women were killed and another injured by militants on suspicion of indulging in immoral activity at Loralai Bazaar in Loralai town of Loralai District. The incident follows the stoning of a couple in the same area on February 15, 2014 after a cleric issued a fatwa against them on suspicion of having illicit relations.

A boy was killed in an IED blast during the preparation of the Sibi Mela near the Mir Chakar-e-Azam Stadium in Sibi District. Sibi Deputy Commissioner, Sohailur Rehman Baloch said it was an IED blast and refuted media reports that it was a suicide bombing. However, DSP Ali Nawaz said that the boy was a suicide bomber who entered into the Sibi festival hall and blew himself up missing his intended target. "The strength of blast blew body pieces of suicide bomber into the air", the DSP said.

A railway track was blown up in an IED attack in Mangoli area of Dera Murad Jamali in Naseerabad District.

A 220kV power pylon supplying electricity to districts in Punjab was blown up in Sohbatpur District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the blasts.

Unidentified militants opened indiscriminate fire on the car of Israr, a doctor, killing him and four others in the car on the spot in MPR Colony of Orangi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The other four victims were identified as, Razimullah (40), Jamsheed Khan (30), Iqbal Hussain (37), and Sajjad (12). ANP spokesman Abdul Malik said that Israr, Razimullah and Jamsheed were his party workers and belonged to ANP MPR Colony ward. Following the incident, at least 67 suspects, including foreigners, were arrested by the Police during a targeted operation in different areas of Karachi on February 21 (today), reported Dawn.

Two unidentified tortured dead bodies of were found from Northern Bypass on Link Road in Baldia Town.

An unidentified man was shot dead in Qaimkhani Colony of Baldia Town.

Acting on tip of a Federal Intelligence Agency and the CID Sindh Police foiled a terror attack by arresting three suspects, identified as Humayun, Saeed Ayub and Umar Farooq alias Faridullah from Mauripur area of Kiamari Town. CID officials claimed Faridullah was an expert in preparing explosive laden vehicles for carrying out terror activities. Police also seized a 100 kilogram explosion-laden vehicle from the area reportedly prepared for targeting a key political or Police figure.

28 suspects were arrested during an operation in the Sharafi Goth area of Bin Qasim Town.

Five suspects were arrested by the Police after raids in Clifton area of Saddar Town and Azizabad area of Gulberg Town.

Police arrested an alleged target killer, extortionist and gang-war suspect Amir arf Marchi from the Malir Town. He belonged to the Wasiullah Lakho group.

A survey by Geo News team has revealed that many Government-run schools in Karachi face illegal occupation of mafias. These mafias have not only occupied the school premises but converted them into retail shops, factories or razed the school buildings and built new residential apartments. The land of these schools is worth billions of rupees. The Provincial Department of Education colluded with the land grabbers and put many schools under the control of illegal occupiers.

The Police claimed the arrest of the alleged mastermind of the blasts at the Shama Cinema in the Bacha Khan Chowk area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, on February 11, 2013, which killed 14 people. SSP (Operations), Najeebur Rehman said they arrested Hasan alias Israr, resident of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency in FATA, who was presently living at a place near the Bakhsho Bridge on Charsadda Road in Peshawar. He said Hasan was the mastermind of the attack on Shama Cinema and was injured in the incident.

The Police claimed the arrest of the alleged mastermind of the blasts at the Shama Cinema in the Bacha Khan Chowk area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, on February 11, 2013, which killed 14 people. SSP (Operations), Najeebur Rehman said they arrested Hasan alias Israr, resident of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency in FATA, who was presently living at a place near the Bakhsho Bridge on Charsadda Road in Peshawar. He said Hasan was the mastermind of the attack on Shama Cinema and was injured in the incident.

Security has been increased at the Charsadda Sub-Jail (Charsadda District) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa amid fears of militant attacks on the detention facility. According to the reports, 97 Police and FC personnel equipped with automatic weapons have been deployed for the security while APCs have also been called in. The local administration has also made security arrangements at the Government buildings near the prison.

AAG Tariq Khokhar told the Supreme Court that another missing man Khawar Mehmood had reached home. Three others have been found detained in different internment centres, the Supreme Court was informed. The total number of people whose whereabouts have been traced during the week stands at five. According to a Punjab Police investigation report, Mehmood was allegedly picked up by the personnel of Intelligence Agencies on June 26, 2013 from a distribution company in Fortabbas area of Bahawalnagar District. The ISI and the MI had rejected the allegation and said he had never been in their custody.

His younger brother Amir Mehmood, an activist of LeT, was earlier arrested by intelligence agencies, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. Later the Peshawar High Court acquitted Amir and since then he and his wife have been missing.

The Special Court, constituted to try former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf on high treason charges, will announce on February 21 whether it will hear the case or will he be tried by a military court under Army Act. Musharraf who appeared before the Special Court in the last hearing on February 18, 2014 avoided indictment on the request of his legal team, pleading that the jurisdiction of the Special Court should be decided first and the case be referred to a military court.

The court in its order ruled that they will first decide the application challenging the jurisdiction of this court before further proceedings. The court adjourned the hearing till February 21, ruling that the decision on the two applications, including jurisdiction of the court as well as transferring the trial to a military court, will be announced on February 21, 2014.

Sartaj Aziz, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's adviser on foreign affairs, assured India that Islamabad was looking at expediting the November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai (Maharashtra) terror attacks trial and that the whole process could be brought to an end in the next two months. Sartaj, who met Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid during the SAARC Foreign Ministers' conference in Male (Maldives), also discussed various aspects of India-Pakistan ties, including NDMA for Indian goods, cross-LoC trade, the visa regime and observations of the Judicial Commission for Prisoners were also discussed during the meeting, sources said.

India in 2013 handed over five key documents running into nearly 600 pages for use in the trial so that prosecutors could proceed against the accused. The documents include a certified copy of the Indian Supreme Court's judgement on the case, depositions by two doctors -who conducted the autopsy of the nine slain terrorists- and the chief investigating officer who probed the case.

February 21

Unidentified militants hurled two cracker bombs near a house located in Jamshed Colony area of Jamshed Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. However, no casualties were reported.

The BDS defused a ten-kilogramme bomb on a railway track near Kot Mithun in Rajanpur District. Reportedly the target of the attack was a Khushal Khan Khattak Express train that was due to pass over this track.

The Special Court, constituted for trial of former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf under Article 6 (the High Treason Act) of the Constitution, summoned him on March 11, 2014 and rejected his counsel's appeal to shift the case to military court. The court also rejected the plea regarding jurisdiction of the Special Court, saying that it had complete authority to try Musharraf for high treason. The three-member bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab, resumed hearing of the case and remarked that only the Special Court was entitled to hear the treason case, on the grounds that Musharraf retired in 2007 and he is not part of the army now so the case could not be proceeded under the Army Act. The court also observed that the Army Act of 1977 was declared null and void in 1981 by the courts therefore, under the law only the Special Court is subjected to hear the case of high treason against Musharraf, under Article 6.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made it clear that the Government is ready to hold dialogue only with those who have respect for the Constitution and integrity of the country. "We are ready for talks for stability and peace in Pakistan but let me make it clear we are willing to hold a dialogue only with those who have regard for the Constitution and integrity of the country..." he said.

Rahimullah Yousafzai, a member of Government's committee, said that the Taliban, during the talks, did not abnegate the Constitution and had agreed to hold talks within the framework of the Constitution. He said that the Taliban later changed their view and expressed will to hold negotiation in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah. However, Yousafzai said that talks were not halted over the issue of the constitution or Quran and Sharia'h.

The TTP refused to announce a ceasefire, calling on the Government to do so first. TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said a ceasefire cannot be announced as the Government has been fighting against the Taliban. "We have been waging war for several years," Shahid said. "If the Government cannot negotiate a ceasefire, how can talks be held with a handful of people" Shahid questioned.

He said, "Our doors are open for talks… [but] the government needs to stop killing our comrades," the TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a joint news conference, alongside TTP South Waziristan Chapter leader Azam Tariq Mehsud, adding, "Since the Government started the war against us, it should declare ceasefire before asking us to do so."

A Grand jirga was organised in the wake of TTP threats to Ismaili and Kalash tribe at Bumborat in Kalash Valley of Chitral District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The meeting was presided over by Commandant Chitral Scouts Colonel Naeem Iqbal and was attended by Deputy Commissioner Chitral, Muhammad Shoaib Jadoon, District Police Officer Ghulam Hussain and Major Murtaza as well as elites from Kalash, Ismaili and Sunni Muslim communities.

In a 50-minute long video released on February 2 on the TTP media wing's website, the militants had announced an "armed struggle" against the Kalash and Ismaili Muslims. The narrator warned the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3,500, to convert to Islam or face death.

The CoAS General Raheel Sharif maintained his force was ready to counter any internal or external threat. "Let there be no doubt that Pakistan's armed force are battle hardened and fully capable to counter any internal or external threat posed to the integrity and sovereignty of our beloved country," the Army commented.

General Raheel recounted successes of the security forces in various operations against Taliban wherein several affected areas were cleared of the terrorists. "With the help of local population and support of the entire nation, security forces cleared vast areas," the Army chief said, and added that efforts and determination of all troops and law enforcement agencies were commendable. "We are fully prepared to confront any challenge in future as well," the Army chief reaffirmed.

February 22

At least nine suspected militants were killed when SFs carried out shelling on their hideouts in Thall tehsil (revenue unit) of Hangu District. "Gunship helicopters engaged the hideouts after confirmed reports of the terrorists' presence," a security official said.

Three people, including local QWP leader Adalat Khan, were killed and two others were injured in a remote-controlled explosion targeting his car in Gokand area of Buner District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack. A local intelligence official said that Khan had supported an anti-Taliban village militia in 2009.

Unidentified gunman shot dead a Shia leader and administrator of an Imambargah, Sher Muhammad Tori, at Gari Nawaz Khan in Kohat.

A militant was killed in Juma Khan Village of Nasir Bagh area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP, when the explosive device he was planting at a nullah accidentally went off in the morning. Police said the man was initially mistaken to be a suicide bomber because his body was reduced to pieces. However, upon inspection of the site by the BDU, no evidence of a suicide vest was found.

The main gate of a contractor's house was damaged in a low-intensity blast in Garhi Qamaruddin on Kohat Road of Peshawar. Fortunately, no loss of life was reported in the attack.

Police have arrested 10 suspects during a targeted operation in Kanwari Colony area of Manghopir, in Gadap Town. SSP West Irfan Baloch said the operation was being carried out on a tip off about presence of criminal elements in the area. As many 100 policemen were taking part in the operation. Entry and exit points of the locality were sealed during the search.

The ISPR dismissed TTP's allegations of Security forces having the custody of women and children of TTP members. Rejecting the allegations levelled by the TTP, ISPR spokesperson said that these allegations against security forces are unsubstantiated and false, further stating that it was a baseless propaganda by the TTP.

February 23

At least 38 militants, including key commanders, were killed in early morning air strikes the Ghaibi Nika area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. Six hideouts were also destroyed. Security sources said that fighter jets bombed the hideouts as well as landmine-making factories in the Ghaibi Nika area where mostly militants from LI group are based. Factories and several stockpiles of explosives were also destroyed in the blitz.

A Government official, Sadif Hussain Tori, a technician at a Government veterinary hospital, was abducted by unidentified militants from Alizai tehsil of Kurram Agency. Sadif Hussain Tori was on his way home when militants intercepted his vehicle and abducted him.

The residents near the Pak-Afghan border have started migrating to safer places in fear of a possible military operation in NWA. People from Seegi, Ghulam Khan, Mandi and Datta Khel tehsil are leaving their homes. People belonging to Mir Ali are also shifting to Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Karak and Peshawar of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to persisting fears of a widespread bloodshed between militants and Pakistan Army.

Amidst growing chatter of a military operation in NWA, security sources on February said the task of purging the area of all violent groups could be over in a "matter of weeks." "It would take the military four to six weeks to clear the agency of fighters," security sources said, insisting that it was not difficult for Pakistan Army to re-establish the writ of the Government in NWA. The officials also quashed the impression that the operation had only 40% chance of success, as claimed by some politicians in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

At least 13 persons - among them a woman and a child - were killed and 14 others wounded in a bomb blast at the main gate of Usterzai Suzuki Stand on Hangu Road near Peshawar Chowk of Kohat town (Kohat District) in KP. The bomb which was remotely triggered was concealed in an empty crate placed near a passenger van with six persons on board. BDS official Akbar Khan told journalists that it was an improvised explosive device and weighed around five kilogrammes. Several vehicles were also damaged in the blast which took place near where key Government buildings, including Police Club, Cantonment Police Station, Girls Degree College and C&W Office, are situated.

Three unidentified men were killed and two others were injured in a firing incident in Jhatpat Market area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A man, identified as Ali Yar (50),was killed and two others, identified as Ishaq (8) and Muhammad Shahid (35), were injured in a firing incident at a mosque in Peerabad area of Orangi Town. According to Police, a suspect, Waheed, was arrested after the shootout.

A man, identified as Ameer Khan (50), was found dead in Gulshan-e-Hadeed area of Bin Qasim Town.

An unidentified man was killed in a firing incident on Super Highway near New Vegetable Market.

A man, identified as Naseer (28), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Banaras area of SITE Town.

One Nasir (35), was shot and injured by unidentified militants on Jamshed Road in Jamshed Town.

One Shah Nawaz (40), was injured in a firing incident by unidentified armed assailants in Nusrat Bhutto Colony of North Nazimabad Town.

One Zia (36), was injured in a firing incident in Baldia Town.

Rangers arrested 25 suspects during targeted operations in different parts of the city and recovered 42 weapons. The suspects were arrested from Bhittaiabad, Mehran Town, Bilal Colony, Gulzar Colony, Model Town, Baloch Goth, Mianwali Colony, Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Shah Faisal Town.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan will resume hearing of Karachi law and order case on February 24. The Sindh Government, the Rangers, Police and Intelligence Agencies, the PTA and the FBR will present their reports about their performance in improving the law and order situation in the metropolis in the light of Supreme Court orders issued in the last hearing on November 29, 2013.

At least five alleged militants were killed during an exchange of fire with SFs in Turbat District. A police officer, who requested anonymity, said that armed militants attacked the convoy of FC in Chah-e-Sar area of Turbat. He said the FC personnel quickly retaliated and five militants were killed on the spot. The officer stated that the FC recovered weapons from the possession of militants. He said that there were no reports of fatalities on the part of the FC.

A landmine blast killed one woman and injured seven others in Dera Bugti District. A Levies Official said on the condition of anonymity that a pick up carrying eight people, including seven women and a male, for a wedding party hit a landmine Zain Koh area of in Dera Bugti. "When the vehicle hit the land mine, there was huge blast, killing one woman on the spot", he said. No outfit claimed responsibility for the blast.

Journalists threatened to lay siege of the National Assembly and all Provincial Assemblies, if political parties failed to put forward legislation protecting the lives and jobs of media men in Pakistan before March 20, 2014. The announcement was made by PFUJ, Afzal Butt while addressing a seminar with regard to threats made against the media. According to Balochistan Union of Journalists more than 30 journalists were killed in the insurgency-hit province during the last seven years. "We will mount pressure on the rulers to protect the media in Balochistan."

February 24

Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, a senior 'commander' of TTP and supporter of peace talks with the Government, was killed along with his three colleagues in Darga Mandi village near Miranshah in North Waziristan Agency. TTP sources said Asmatullah Shaheen was coming to Miranshah in a car along with three other militants when another vehicle coming from the border area with Afghanistan overtook them and armed men sitting in it opened fire from AK-47 (Kalashnikov) assault rifles at them.

Two unidentified dead bodies bearing torture marks were recovered from Pak Colony near Rexer Bridge in SITE Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man, associated with an unspecified religious party, was killed in firing incident in Chishti Nagar of Orangi Town.

An unidentified man succumbed to his injuries after being shot by unidentified armed assailants in Orangi Town.

The Karachi ATC sentenced three accused, identified as Shujaat Ali, Shehzad Memon and Mohammad Farhan, to death for the kidnapping and murder of trader Muhammad Nawaz in 2010. They had demanded PKR 10 million in ransom and killed Nawaz despite receiving the ransom from the Nawaz's family.

A suicide bomb attack outside the Iranian consulate in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, killed two FC soldiers and injured ten others. The bombing took place in the upmarket University Town area of the city, where many non-government organisations are also based.

BLF militants abducted a polio worker and three Levies personnel after an armed attack on the convoy of the Deputy Commissioner of Awaran Rasheed Baloch while he was returning home after supervising an anti-polio campaign in Gishik area of Awaran District.

The SC while hearing a case related to the implementation of Supreme Court's earlier order (in 2013) over Karachi's law and order situation expressed its dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the Karachi Police and chided jail officials for installing jammers around the Central jail premises which has caused inconvenience to residents of the surrounding areas. The bench also sought a report from revenue officials by February 26, 2014 pertaining to the recovery of encroached lands in the city.

During the hearing held at the Supreme Court's Karachi Registry, AIG Karachi, Shahid Hayat, submitted before the bench a report over the performance of Police, according to which 13,000 suspects were arrested since September, 2013. The report further said that charge-sheets against 175 accused were filed in Anti-Terrorism Courts whereas charge-sheets against more than 7,000 arrested persons had been filed in Sessions Courts.

February 25

Pakistani fighter jets and gunship helicopters bombarded hideouts of TTP militants in the North and South Waziristan Agencies of FATA killing at least 30 militants. "The death toll from the air strikes has risen to 30," a security official told, updating the earlier death toll of 27. "Fifteen were killed in the South Waziristan side of the border, while 15 were killed in North Waziristan." The attacks were the fourth in a series of air strikes by the PAF since February 20.

Two unidentified men were shot dead in the Mominabad area of Iqbal Market Orangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man was killed in a shooting incident near Ath Chowk in Lyari Town.

An unidentified dead body of a man bearing torture marks was found in the Alam Pride area of North Karachi Town.

The ATC-III remanded two TTP militants, identified as Sajid Hussain and Meraj, until March 4, 2014 to Police custody in extortion case. According to the prosecution, the suspects demanded PKR 1500,000 protection money from Mohammad Akram, a trader, and extended him threats of killing in case of non-payment. The accused were arrested during a raid conducted by the Police on February 24, 2014.

The Sindh Rangers arrested 11 suspects during targeted raids in MPR Colony of Orangi Town. The Rangers also recovered 43 types of weapons including, submachine guns and mixed ammunition.

Unidentified armed assailants shot dead a man, identified as Saleh Mohammad, in the precincts of Satellite Town Police Station in Eastern Bypass area of Quetta.

Three Levies personnel and a polio worker who were abducted on February 24, 2014, from Gishik area in Awaran District were set free on the night.

Five rockets were fired in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, around midnight, from an undisclosed location. Police said two rockets landed inside Bacha Khan International Airport, but no damage was reported. The three other rockets hit Tehkal, Regi Model Town and University Town. However, no casualty was reported.

Three militants were arrested near Swabi Interchange in Swabi District who were attempting to target Security Forces' personnel. Official sources said three militants were preparing to launch an ambush on a Police official.

An explosion was reported at KP Chief Minister House in the Cantonment area of Peshawar, capital of the provincial, in the evening. The exact nature of the explosion has not been determined. BDS has been called to the scene. So far there have been no reports of injury or death.

Official sources disclosed that a major attack on Central Jail at Peshawar was planned to free key TTP prisoners kept there. Sources have confirmed that a group of five suicide bombers with an explosive-laden Toyota Corolla Car were dispatched to Peshawar to target Central Jail Peshawar in order to free TTP inmates held in captivity.

February 26

A man, identified as Sajawal, sustained injuries when an explosive device detonated outside the house of one Jahangir Khan, in the Ratta Amral area of Rawalpindi District. Ratta Amral Police SHO Chaudhry Zulfiaqar said that between 100 and 150 grams of explosives was used in the blast, which was later confirmed by the BDS.

An un-named security official said that Iranian border guards fired mortar shells in the Peshak area of Panjgur District. However, no casualties were reported.

Bannu, Kohat, Peshawar, Swabi and Mardan could face terrorist attacks the Police is now on high alert, said IGP Nasir Khan Durrani. According to a handout issued from the CPO, the IGP shared that KP's Police lost 79 personnel to terrorism in last six months and remains to be the most vulnerable target due to the nature of its duty.

The former administrator of Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Mir Ali was abducted from North Waziristan Agency of FATA while he was heading home in Hisokhel from work in the evening.

DIG Police, Hyderabad Sanaullah Abbasi suspended 23 Police officials in Hyderabad District, working within jurisdictions of various SHOs and SDPOs, because of their suspected involvement in extortion-related activities. The 23 Police officials were previously posted in AVCC Hyderabad.

They were allegedly involved in extortion in their respective remits in entire Hyderabad Range and were directed to report to SSP, Matiari Amjad Shaikh with immediate effect. The order said that they should remain confined to Police Lines till finalisation of the inquiry pending against them.

The TTP claimed that its popularity is on the rise in Pakistan. "An ever increasing number of Pakistanis are joining hands with us adding more and more firepower to our jihadist capabilities. The graph of our popularity is going north", Shahidullah Shahid, the TTP 'spokesman' said in a statement.

TTP 'committee member' Maulana Sami-ul-Haq conveyed some of the committee's requests to TTP's political Shura, the coordinator of the Taliban committee Maulana Yousaf Shah said. A member of the Government's four-member negotiating committee Rustam Shah Mohmand confirmed that on February 24, 2014 Government negotiators had an 'informal' meeting with the TTP intermediaries in the presence of Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

At least 50 Barelvi school of thought groups at a multi-party conference held under the banner of Tahaffuz Namoos-i-Risalat Mahaz in Lahore District in Punjab demanded the Government to declare extremists as well as their supporters, whether political or religious, as enemies of the state and traitors.

The Government presented National Security Policy in the National Assembly with the aim of military retaliation against any violence and attack from the TTP militants in the future. Federal Minister of Interior Nisar Ali Khan, however, did not announce a full-fledged military operation against the militants.

The country's top civil and military leadership met to discuss the possibility of a military operation in the North Waziristan Agency of FATA. An official statement said that "they discussed matters relating to national defence and security". However, sources familiar with the high-level huddle disclosed that discussions were focused on 'evaluating' various aspects of a possible military operation against militants in North Waziristan, following the breakdown of the Government's peace initiative.

The Washington Post reports that the Pakistani Government is on the verge of launching a major military offensive in the North Waziristan. The Washington Post noted that recent brutal TTP attacks and the apparent failure of peace talks with the militants forced Pakistan to opt for the operation. "It could be any day," a senior Pakistani official told the newspaper, adding that the plans had been shared with senior US officials.

February 27

Two persons, including the administrator of a seminary Qari Ali Hassan and his son were shot dead outside a seminary located at Abul Hassan Isphahani Road in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Two unidentified people were killed when unidentified armed assailants opened fire on a car in Hussainabad area of Malir Town.

A Shia scholar, identified as Allama Taqi Hadi Naqvi, was shot dead in an incident of target killing near board office located in North Nazimabad Town.

An unidentified man was killed and another injured when militants opened fire on a vehicle near Gharibabad Underpass in Malir Town.

Police arrested three accused during an operation in Garden area of Saddar Town. Police also recovered arms and hashish from their possession.

Police arrested 20 suspects during targeted operation in Saeedabad, Gulshan-e-Ghazi and Ittehad Town areas of Baldia Town.

An Afghan Government official, identified as Sardar Mohammad, was shot dead on Roghani Road area of Chamant town in Qilla Abdullah District. According to sources, Mohammad was an important official and was considered a close associate of Afghan commander Abdul Raziq Khan, the in-charge of Spin Buldak District, the first Afghan District after zero point at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Unidentified armed assailants barged into the house one Kahir Mohammad in Etihad Colony of Quetta and killed his son Abdul Zahir.

Unidentified militants killed a man, identified as Ghulam Nabi, in Mastung District.

At least three militants were killed and three others were injured in an exchange of fire between security officials and militants in Shalobar area of Khyber Agency of FATA.

Several suspected militants were feared dead on morning when helicopter gunships attacked their hideouts in the mountainous area of Zarkani Luni and adjoining areas in FR Dera Ismail Khan bordering South Waziristan Agency. However, there was no formal confirmation of the shelling from the administration.

Three BLA militants were arrested from the Rojhan sub-District of Rajanpur District. It was reported that the militants admitted to being involved in February 16, 2014 Khushal Khan Khattak Express blast in Jacobabad District of Sindh. Six kilogrammes of explosive material were also recovered from their possession.

The PTI, which has been staging sit-ins to block the NATO supply to Afghanistan in protest against covert US drone strikes in the country, announced an end to its campaign. The decision of the PTI came after a local court ruled on February 25, 2013 that no private individual has a right to block or check vehicles on roads. "Given PTI's commitment to rule of law and respect for the senior judiciary, the Party will end its blockade of NATO supplies," said a statement issued by the party.

"The Core Committee felt that the pressure of the blockade had already resulted in a shift in the Obama Administration's drone policy and as a result drones had been stopped for the present," it added.

Pakistan expressed the hope that Afghanistan, as per international understanding and bilateral understanding, would not allow any terrorists fleeing from tribal areas to take refuge on its territory. Foreign Office Spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam said military action against terrorists is in progress on this side and Pakistan expects the Afghan Government and those managing security in Afghanistan to fulfil their responsibility in this regard.

About terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan, he said, "We have raised our concern with the countries concerned and hope they would take it seriously." The spokesperson said Pakistan has repeatedly emphasised the need for better border management.

Federal Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that if the peace dialogue with the TTP fails the Government will use other options to establish durable peace. Nisar said that the Government was in contact with some militant groups, as talks with the main TTP faction remained stalled.

Three officials of the FIA presented evidence in an ATC of financial transactions done by LeT operative Younus Anjum, one of the seven suspects charged with planning and financing the Mumbai (Maharashtra) November 26, 2008 (26/11) attacks. Anjum was arrested in Lahore District of Punjab in 2009.

February 28

Two senior workers of the MQM, identified as Khalid Matin (45), and Hamid Ayub (55), were shot dead when they walked out of a mosque after offering Friday prayers at Gol Market in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. A beggar, identified as Abdul Aziz, was also injured in the incident.

In a sectarian attack, a salesman, identified as Manzar Ahmed (55), working at a sanitary shop was killed while another salesman Imran was wounded within the limits of Rizvia Police Station in Petal Wali Gali in Liaquatabad Town. SHO Hassan Haider said that the victims were attacked on sectarian grounds.

Unidentified militants blew up an 18-inch diameter gas pipeline in Abdal Raheem Bajarani village in Kandhkot city of Kashmore District, suspending gas supply to Karachi and other cities of Sindh.

Police claimed to have arrested three gangsters and recovered arms from their possession during an operation in SITE Town.

Nine persons, including six Policemen and one ASI Muhammad Anwar Ali, were injured when an unidentified militant hurled a hand grenade at their van in Sanawan area of Kot Addu area in Muzaffargarh District.

According to the details given by DPO Ghazi Salahuddin, a Police team from the Chobara Police Station in Layyah District had come to the rural area of Kot Addu to arrest a kidnapper Qayyum. He along with his accomplice was arrested and was being taken by the Police in their van when it came under attack.

The relatives of Balochistan's missing persons, led by Abdul Qadeer Baloch (72) under the banner of VBMP, reached the end of their protest march from Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan to Islamabad. Qadeer started his long march with some families of missing persons from Quetta on October 27, 2013. He is to present a petition to UN officials in Islamabad and meet foreign diplomats to raise awareness of their cause.

Promising minimum possible collateral damage, the Government said that surgical airstrikes against hideouts of militants will continue in FATA. No military operation was going on in FATA and only targeted action was being carried out.

About 20,000 people, mostly women and children, have been displaced during the Army operation against the TTP in North Waziristan Agency of FATA and the United Nations is ready to help them. UN Secretary General's Spokesman Martin Nesriky told reporters at a briefing.

March 1

12 Security Force personals (Khyber Khasadar Force), who were providing security to a polio team, were killed in two separate blasts in the Lashora area of Jamrud tehsil in Khyber Agency of FATA. A child was also killed in the firing by the militants after the blasts.

Three FC personnel were killed and six others wounded in a remotely controlled IED blast along RCD Highway in Sorab area of Kalat District.

Officials said that they had rescued 11 kidnapped foreigners including eight Iranians, two Tunisians and one Yemeni national from Turbat District. Iranian security officials confirmed that their kidnapped border guards were among those recovered. They had been abducted on February 5, 2013 from Sistan-Balochistan border.

March 2

At least 10 militants were killed during an exchange of fire in Darinjan and Rustam Bazar areas of Sui tehsil in Dera Bugti District. FC Spokesman Khan Wasay said "Forces quickly responded and 10 militants were killed on the spot." He said that the forces also recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from their possession.

Unidentified militant blew up an 18-inch Sui gas pipeline in Dera Murad Jamali area of Naseerabad District, disrupting gas supply to Quetta and various other areas of the province.

In response to the militant attack on a polio team in the Lashora area of Jamrud tehsil in FATA which left at least 13 persons dead on March 1, Security Forces launched an assault on March 2-morning on militant hideouts in Kalanga and surrounding areas of Bara tehsil and killed five militants. Security sources confirmed that gunship helicopters struck the Ayubi Markaz of Mullah Tamanchey involved in the attack on polio workers.

At least two people were killed and two others were injured in an incident of firing between two rival Lyari gangsters in Ali Muhammad area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Markets and business outlets were also reportedly closed. As soon as the Rangers personnel reached the area, the assailants hurled grenades on the forces. The Rangers arrested three injured criminals after retaliating to their firing.

An unidentified man was shot dead in Maripur area of Kiamari Town.

Another unidentified dead body of a man was found from Maripur.

An unidentified dead body of a man was found from Khuda Ki Basti in Surjani Town area of Gadap Town.

Police claimed to have arrested three gangsters and recovered arms from their possession during an operation in SITE Town.

ATC in Shikarpur District convicted six suspects of murdering Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar on January 13, 2011, and handed out death sentences to two and life imprisonment to four others. Faisal Mehmood, Mohammed Ali Rizvi, Mohammad Shahrukh Khan, Syed Tahir Naveed Shah were sentenced to life imprisonment. Mohammed Shakeel was acquitted. Two of the accused were sentenced to death in absentia as they were never caught.

ATC in Shikarpur District convicted six suspects of murdering Geo News reporter Wali Khan Babar on January 13, 2011, and handed out death sentences to two and life imprisonment to four others. Faisal Mehmood, Mohammed Ali Rizvi, Mohammad Shahrukh Khan, Syed Tahir Naveed Shah were sentenced to life imprisonment. Mohammed Shakeel was acquitted. Two of the accused were sentenced to death in absentia as they were never caught.

The TTP announced a month-long 'unconditional' ceasefire, a move that would help resumption of suspended peace dialogue. "Following a positive response from the Government, an appeal from religious scholars, in honour of the representative committee and in the greater interest of Islam and Pakistan, we have decided not to carry out any activities for one month," TTP 'central spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement.

Federal Government announced to suspend airstrikes in the tribal areas that have left more than 100 terrorists dead so far. The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan said Government considered TTP's announcement of ceasefire as a positive development.

Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant leader of Gul Bahadur Faction based in NWA, distanced himself from peace talks. His 'spokesman' Ahmadullah Ahmadi said in a statement that the peace agreement signed in 2006 by the Government and local TTP was still intact, although its certain clauses had been violated. The deal was renewed in 2008.

March 3

At least 11 people, including Additional District and Sessions Judge Rafaqat Awan, a woman lawyer, and a Policeman, were killed and 25 others were injured when militants attacked the courthouse complex in Islamabad. According to details, the militants sprayed bullets at everyone, hurled hand grenades and later exploded their suicide vests. TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid while distancing itself from the attack said, "We have already declared a ceasefire and we strictly adhere to our deal with the Government. Our colleagues in the organisation also cannot violate this agreement". He further suggested that some Mujahideen groups or agencies could be involved in the terrorist activity.

The 'spokesman' of Ahrar-ul-Hind (AH), a splinter group of TTP, Asad Mansoor claiming responsibility for the attack alleged that judicial system in the country was 'un-Islamic' and that they would continue their 'struggle' till enforcement of Sharia'h law. He further said, "We we are an independent group and have no links with TTP. We were a part of TTP earlier but now we operate independently".+

Two SF personnel were killed and seven others were injured when a remote-controlled IED targeted a SFs' vehicle at Sadukhel area of Landi Kotal tehsil in Khyber Agency of FATA. According to sources, a convoy of FC personnel was travelling from Landi Kotal tehsil to Jamrud.

The members of eight tribes from Orakzai Agency held a Grand Jirga to welcome the announcement of a ceasefire from the TTP. They demanded the TTP should also include tribal elders in its negotiation committee. The jirga was led by tribal elder Malik Hafiz Habib Noor, Malik Jan and Malik Muhammad Rahman.

The HRCP expressed concern over Government's refusal to allow right activists and media personnel to visit Totak area where human bodies were found in unconventional graves. "Concerns and apprehensions of human rights organisations and civil society have increased after the discovery of mass graves in Totak and denial to these institutions to visit Totak and quake-hit areas of Awaran," the meeting of the HRCP Presided over by its Balochistan Chapter Chairman Tahir Hussain Khan observed.

The VBMP long march participants reached the UN country office in Islamabad to present a memorandum. VBMP leader Mama Qadeer Baloch said they now planned to return home after presenting their plea to UN. "... This is our last resort," he said, adding, "Where are these missing people? We fail to believe the Government. We have failed to get answers from them. The positive response from the UN gave us hope."

The senior officials briefed Parliamentary party leaders about the law and order situation and said 39 militant outfits were operating in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while 20 other groups functioning in the garb of TTP were involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities. IGP Nasir Durrani and Home and Tribal Affairs Secretary Akhtar Ali Shah briefed political leadership about the Provincial Government's counter terrorism strategy.

The US Principal Deputy Special Representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan Beth Jones said that however Pakistan chooses to deal with the issue of militancy - through negotiations or the use of force - it remains an 'internal' issue and the United States is primarily concerned with curbing the menace of terrorism in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Jones, who is also her country's ambassador to Pakistan, said Washington is 'supportive of the Pakistani Government's efforts in counter-terrorism'. When asked how Washington views the dialogue with the TTP, Jones said the US 'does not take sides'. Jones said, "We are very much in support of counter-terrorism."

March 4

Two persons were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked four vehicles carrying NATO supplies for Afghanistan in the Jamrud area of Khyber Agency in FATA. "The four containers were on their way to Afghanistan when four gunmen riding two motorbikes opened fire at them in Jamrud, killing two helpers and wounding one driver and one helper," a senior local administration official, Jehangir Azam Wazir, said.

Balochistan Union of Journalists staged protest demonstration against the killing of Ibrar Tanoli, a photographer of Reuters, and demanded of the Government to nominate a judge for heading the Judicial Commission to probe into the murder of more than 30 newsmen in the Province.

An explosion occurred on a railway track near Maachi Goth area in Rahim Yar Khan District. However, no casualties were reported.

Police released sketches of two accused involved in the March 3, 2014 attack on the Court Complex in F-8 area of Islamabad. According to the details given by the Police, both the attackers, who are 18 to 22 years of age, had beard. One attacker had curly hair while another was wearing a cap, Police said.

A terror alert was issued in Rawalpindi District on March 4 after intelligence report warned that there was a possibility of a massive attack in the city within 48 hours. The sources said that the Intelligence Agencies have warned Law Enforcement Agencies against potential terrorist strikes in Rawalpindi in the next 48 hours. They further said that intelligence reports have stated that a terrorist group is expected to launch a massive terrorist attack at Rawalpindi within two days. It is feared that groups linked to defunct organisations have devised a plan to carry out terror strikes in parts of Rawalpindi after Islamabad.

Police arrested a suspected target killer, identified as Roshan alias Bengali, from Ibrahim Hyderi area of Bin Qasim Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. According to Police, the suspect has political links. The Sukhan Police Station DSP said the suspect has confessed to five instances of target killing and about 20 extortion and robbery cases.

Police authorities admitted that no clue has been found so far in the high-profile murder case of Perween Rehman and no arrests had been made in the murder cases of the Orangi Pilot Project Director and PTI Sindh Chapter Vice President Zahra Shahid Hussain. Perween Rehman was killed in Qasba Colony area of SITE Town on March 13, 2013, while Zahra Hussain was shot dead in Defence area of Saddar Town on May 18, 2013.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that a durable and permanent peace was the top priority of the Government for which all-out efforts would be continued. The PM stated this while talking to members of the Government's negotiating committee, which called on him at the PM's House. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Major (retd) Mohammad Amir, Rustum Shah Mohmand and Rahimullah Yusufzai. Earlier, a meeting of the Government negotiating committee was held. The committee reviewed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's ceasefire announcement and attacks in Khyber Agency and Islamabad.

The TTP invited Government peace negotiators to visit the Waziristan Agency for a 'direct sitting' with them, a TTP member said. A member of the Government's four-member negotiating team also confirmed the invitation, saying the trip would materialise if 'progress' was made in talks with the TTP intermediaries. "We've formally invited the government negotiators and will welcome them whenever they want to meet us," a TTP member said.

March 5

Six FC soldiers were killed and eight others sustained injuries when an IED detonated through a remote control targeted a SF's convoy near Warmagal area in Hangu District of KP. Military sources confirmed that a SFs' convoy was travelling from Hangu to Kurram Agency in FATA when it was targeted near Warmagal area. The sources said the vehicle was also damaged in the attack.

A Policeman was killed by firing of unknown motorcyclists in Yakatoot area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP.

A person was killed in a grenade attack in Prang area of Charsadda town (Charsadda District). Police said the victim was collecting sand when a grenade concealed in a pile of sand went off and killed him.

District West and Central DIG Javed Odho revealed that the two suspected target killers who were killed in an encounter with the Police on March 3, 2014, were also involved in the attacks on the office of Express Media Group. "The cross-matching of ballistics reports has confirmed the two suspects were involved in the first two attacks on Express Media group last year," he said. The suspects were identified as members of SMP, an outfit believed to be involved in over 300 target killings. DIG Odho said that Police investigators had confirmed that the suspects were involved in 17 target killing cases and the majority of their targets had been Policemen.

Two bullet riddle dead bodies in gunny sacks were recovered from the Shah Kas area in Jamrud tehsil.

Two Sui gas pipelines were blown up, suspending gas supply to the plant from the wells, in Loti and Pirkoh area of Dera Bugti District.

During a discussion jointly organised by SDP) and IHI in Islamabad, the participants of the long march from Balochistan made the demand for the recovery of missing persons, expressing disappointment over the response of the Government and the Courts.

Mama Qadeer Baloch, who started the long march under the VBMP banner from Quetta on October 27, 2013 and reached Islamabad on February 28, 2014, revealed that they were being threatened to end their campaign. However, they have decided to continue their journey. The march also included people from Karachi and Hyderabad Districts of Sindh Province in search of their missing relatives.

Special Court lawyers representing former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf in the high-treason case claimed that they have been threatened with beheading and have called for a new venue for the trial. Musharraf's counsel Ahmed Raza Kasuri while presenting the threatening letter, allegedly sent by the TTP, to the Special Court, said that the defence team feared for its safety and wanted the trial to be shifted to another location. "We cannot go ahead with this case in these conditions," he said, before reading out aloud from the letter.

The two-page handwritten letter, addressed to lawyers Kasuri, Sharifuddin Pirzada and Anwar Mansoor Khan, read: "Dear Sirs, we request that the three of you stop representing Musharraf otherwise we will destroy your children and behead all of you." It accused Musharraf of handing over hundreds of Muslims to the United States, "earning billions of dollars and becoming the richest person in the world". "You should stop representing him or be prepared for war…He is an infidel, hypocrite, and… he must be hanged," the letter added. The letter was signed by the 'people of South and North Waziristan' but its authenticity could not be verified.

The Government and TTP negotiators resumed peace talks and said they were ready to move to a decisive "second phase" even as a militant attack killed six military personnel in Hangu District of KP. A joint statement read out after the meeting in Akora Khattak, 50 kilometers east of Peshawar that the talks had entered a "crucial stage". Lead Government negotiator Irfan Siddiqui told they had made "satisfactory" progress. "We are now launching the second phase of the dialogue after completion of the first one, which focused on mutual consultations," he said. "The second phase will be of decision-making and we have to make important and far-reaching decisions."

The Chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, Hafiz Mohammad Tahir Ashrafi, asked the TTP leadership to identify the renegade groups. Ashrafi said the suggestion would help Government differentiate between those who want to negotiate and those who didn't. "The simple policy should be to talk with those who want to hold talks and go for operation against those who do not want to talk with the government," Hafiz Ashrafi said.

The leader of Opposition, Khursheed Shah while addressing the National Assembly said that it was dangerous to include a serving Army official in the peace negotiations. He stated that the inclusion of such an official in the peace talks will have serious consequences if the negotiations failed. The Government was considering reconstituting its four-member negotiating committee in a bid to make the nascent peace process more 'effective and result-oriented'.

The 'Chief' of the PAC, Uzair Jan Baloch reached Europe to take up Lyari issues during his meetings with different delegations. Uzair is worried about the current state of Lyari and wants to go back to his people, said Habib Jan, the convenor of Friends of Lyari International, after he met Uzair. "I advised him not to go to Pakistan now," Habib added. Habib had managed to escape Pakistan during the launch of the April 2012 operation in Lyari. Uzair fled the country in July 2013 soon after the court issued arrest warrants against him for being involved in the murder of Lyari gangster Arshad Pappu.

Habib was reluctant to share whether or not Uzair was in London. "We met outside of London," he said, denying that Uzair was living with him. Habib explained that Uzair was in Europe to meet human rights organisations in different countries, adding that the issue in Lyari was very critical. "We are going to decide very soon the future of the Pakistan People's Party in Lyari," he said. "We will ask Javed Nagori, Sania Baloch and Shah Jahan Baloch to resign as the voters are not satisfied with their representatives. Lyari is burning again," he said. A close aide of Uzair, back in Pakistan, said, "Uzair will be in London soon and is in a comfortable position now". "It is better for him to be in a safer country. I hope Habib and Uzair will do something for the people of Lyari."

March 6

An ASI, identified as Naseer Ahmed, was shot dead in a targeted attack at Nushki bazaar in Nushki District.

An unidentified man was shot dead in firing incident in Haji Camp area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Three people were injured when unidentified assailants hurled hand grenade near Lyari General Hospital area in Lyari Town.

The Rangers arrested five suspected militants during operations in Atta-u-Rehman Goth area of Landhi.

The death toll in the terrorist attack on an Islamabad District court on March 3 rose after a survivor died from his injuries, bringing the death toll to 12. Chaudhry Maqsood Ahmed (50) was among 29 injured victims died at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences.

Kurram Agency Political Agent, Riaz Khan Mehsud and three other officers sustained injuries when their vehicle was hit by an IED near Torghar in Thall area of Hangu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hangu District Police Officer Iftikhar Khan said that the condition of the political agent and other officers is out of danger and they are stable. Police said Mehsud, Alizai Assistant Political Agent Akbar Khan and Tehsildar Fazal Qadar and Naeem Khan were coming from Parachinar to Hangu when their vehicle was targeted.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan revealed that Additional Sessions Judge Rafaqat Ahmed Awan, who was believed to be killed by terrorists in the gun-and-suicide attack at the Islamabad District Courts premises on March 3, 2014, was accidentally hit by the bullets of his own guard. The guard himself confessed to the incident and witnesses also recorded their statement.

Talking about the Government's counterterrorism strategy, the Interior Minister said that specialised counterterrorism equipment worth USD 12 million is being imported from China. Similarly‚ 65 vehicles to defuse IEDs are being imported and 1,600 security cameras are also being installed in Islamabad.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced that direct peace negotiations would be held with TTP to make the process result-oriented. He said the Government's target is to start direct negotiations from next week. He said a new Government negotiating team is being constituted which will also have one representative of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government, as the province has been bearing the brunt of terrorism. The Minister said the Committee would contact the other side to make parameters of the dialogue absolutely clear so as to remove the misconception that the talks are taking place at the expense of the constitution or from a weaker position.

The Interior Minister said that the desired objectives were achieved through precision strikes and the Government position would continue to be the same in case any terrorism activity by the militants. He told the House that the Government has asked the TTP to condemn the Islamabad attack and help identify the perpetrators. Nisar said that majority of the militant groups have supported negotiations as the only way to maintain peace in the country. He said Parliament would be taken into confidence as and when a positive development takes place with regards to the talks with the TTP.

Al Qaeda continues to operate from FATA, Commander of the USCentral Command General Lloyd J. Austin said on March 6 in his testimony before House Armed Services Committee while adding that the long-lasting tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir are a threat to regional stability. "Long-standing tensions between Pakistan and India also threaten regional stability as both states have substantial military forces arrayed along their borders and the disputed Kashmir LoC," General Austin said.

He said that the US faced a host of challenges in Pakistan that have long hindered the efforts of the Pakistan Government to fight terrorism and America's ability to provide needed assistance. "Central to Pakistan's struggles is its poor economy and burgeoning 'youth bulge'. Given these conditions, radicalism is on the rise in settled areas and threatens increased militant activity and insurgency in parts of Pakistan where the sway of the state traditionally has been the strongest," he said, adding, "At the same time, terrorist attacks and ethno-sectarian violence threaten the Government's tenuous control over some areas. Further compounding these internal challenges are Pakistan's strained relationships with its neighbours".

Pakistan said that while it would facilitate reconciliatory talks in Afghanistan, it clarified that it was playing no role behind the scenes. The Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam Khan said that the reconciliation process has to be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. "We will give whatever assistance Afghanistan requests us for and whatever we can possibly do," he said.

She pointed out that Pakistan was not involved behind the scenes. "Behind the scene, we are not involved," she clarified. Asked about securing the Western border with Afghanistan about the post-2014 scenario, the spokesperson said it is not clear what will happen beyond 2014 but Pakistan hoped to see reconciliation efforts that would stabilise the country. "Whether there will be a draw down or complete withdrawal. Elections are going to take place, hopefully peaceful elections," she said.

She further added, "We do not want to see and it is our hope as well there will be no civil war in Afghanistan which would have very serious impact on Pakistan. We are in contact with the Afghan authorities as well for better management of our border. Our Secretary Interior was in Afghanistan and he had very useful discussions and both are working on initiatives that would ensure that our border is managed and monitored better."

March 7

Four persons, two of them brothers, were shot dead in Lyari area of Karachi (Karachi District), the provincial capital of Sindh, in the night. Kalakot Police said Rizwan alias Sunni was gunned down in Gul Mohammed Lane. Later, a body stuffed in a gunny bag was found in Sarbazi Mohalla. The deceased was identified as Waqas Baloch, brother of Rizwan. A Police official said there were reports that Rizwan had 'sympathies' with the Uzair Baloch group. Subsequently, gunmen resorted to heavy firing on Mirza Adam Khan Road, leaving two people dead and injuring two others, including a passerby Policeman, Imran Beg.

The BDS prevented a terrorist attack by defusing a two kilogramme bomb planted alongside the road in Orangi Town.

The Model Town Police of Lahore and personnel of an intelligence agency arrested a terrorist from a house near Soay Aasil and seized explosives from his custody. Police raided a house in cooperation with the officials of intelligence and arrested the alleged terrorist, Sarfraz. Police seized six bags of detonators, 10 rolls of detonator wire and seven bags of TNT.

The Supreme Court directed the Balochistan Government to submit a reply with explanation about prosecution and trial of arrested FC officials in a civil or a military court. The two-member bench comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Athar Saeed resumed hearing of the case about law and order situation in the province and mass graves found in Khuzdar Disrict. During the course of proceedings, the court was informed that Shahid Hamid, the counsel for the Balochistan Government, could not appear because of illness.

A full-scale military operation against the TTP in the tribal areas near the Afghanistan border can be launched as early as this month in case of violation of ceasefire by the militants, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif said. The Minister told "It will not take months now. We'll have to march in the month of March. If there is a ceasefire, it has to be complete. Without that, we just can't afford to have talks with the Taliban. We won't just take this lying down." "If we are attacked, the state is attacked, civilians are attacked, military personnel are attacked, we will retaliate. We will retaliate in kind", he added.

Asif said that dialogue would be held only with the factions of the TTP who wanted peace in the country. He said the Government would hold consultation with all political parties and stakeholders before taking any "hard step" against the elements disturbing the peace process.

The joint opposition in the Senate accused the Federal Minister of Interior for defending the TTP and calling them 'not anti-state' elements. The matter became intensive when PPP's Raza Rabbani pointed out that the autopsy report of the judge martyred in Islamabad court massacre had indicated the bullets entering and exiting his body were either of a Kalashnikov or SMG Ironically, the guard had a pistol in his hands, he said. He said the statement of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that the judge was hit by bullets of his guard came when the joint investigation team was busy in probing the incident.

The Army nullified the talk of its involvement in peace talks with militants as its top brass reportedly observed that holding the dialogue was a Government initiative. The 170th corps commanders' conference took place as the Government prepared for the second stage of the dialogue with militants in which it is planning to open a direct channel with the TTP from next week. The conference took a comprehensive review of the prevalent internal and external security situation of the country and weighed options in the peace talks with the TTP. Media had speculated that the Government wanted Army representation in the team that would negotiate with leaders of TTP.

A total of 1,710 people have been killed in sectarian strife across the country since 2008, the Federal Interior Ministry said in a written reply to a question in the Senate. The figures covering all provinces and collated year-wise from 2008 to February 15, 2014 seem to be missing a number of high profile killings, according to opposition members in the upper house. Pakistan People's Party's Senator, Sughra Imam, who had filed the question and other members from opposition benches protested against what they called 'misleading and incomplete' reply.

According to government's figures, Balochistan remained the worst hit province with 675 sectarian killings, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 431, Sindh 204, Punjab 146 and FATA with 194 sectarian killings recorded during the mentioned period. Around 100 people became victims of sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan while five in the national capital territory Islamabad.

March 9

Unidentified militants opened fire near Vita Chowrangi and shot dead two unidentified people and injured two others in Korangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Police and Rangers conducted targeted operations in several areas of the city during which police claimed to have arrested 66 suspects whereas Rangers officials claimed the arrest of 15 suspects. A large number of weapons and ammunition was recovered from their possession.

More than PKR15 million were looted from 10 banks across the city during three months of 2014. According to a data available from police sources, four bank robberies were reported in January, three in February and three in first nine days of March. On January 7, armed men looted PKR 1.8 million from a bank in Awami Colony, Korangi and killed two guards on resistance. A bank heist was reported on February 20, 2014, in North Karachi. The armed men looted PKR 350,000 from that bank. March proved to be a more fruitful month for the looters as three banks were looted within a span of nine days in the month. The first incident was reported within the limits of Garden Police Station where PKR 1.5 million was looted in a day light bank heist.

Two people, including a local leader of the BNP, who was also the chief of the trader's community, Attaullah Muhammadzai, and his bodyguard, were shot dead on Chakar Khan Road in Khuzdar District.

An unidentified man was shot dead on in Fatima Jinnah Road in Quetta.

A seven year old girl was killed and two others were injured in a landmine blast in Koh area of Dera Bugti District.

Unidentified militants blew up a bridge on National Highway near Mach area of Bolan District, cutting off the land-link between Punjab and Balochistan.

Provincial Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti said that Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch is in contact with some of the 'angry Baloch leaders' for initiating a process of dialogue to resolve issues faced by the Province. He said that the Federal Government and Balochistan Assembly had empowered the Chief Minister to approach Baloch insurgent leaders and work out a process of dialogue for reconciliation. He said the Chief Minister had contacted some of the leaders and was trying to bring them to the negotiating table.

Worried over perceived threat posed by the national security policy to seminaries, the secretary general of Wifaq-ul-Madaris Al-Arabia, Maulana Hanif Jalandhari, has said no compromise will be made over the independence of madrassas. He announced that rallies would be organised across the country to protect the independence of madrassas and spread awareness about the syllabus being taught there. Maulana Jalandhari said that the syllabus met the requirements of modern age and had nothing to do with extremism and terrorism. Announcing the schedule of the rallies, he said the first public meeting would be held in Multan on March 20, the second in Karachi on March 23, the third in Quetta on March 25 and the fourth in Peshawar on March 27. These would be followed by rallies in Muzaffarabad and Gilgit whose dates would be announced later. "The final public gathering will be held in Islamabad on April 24.

The Federal Government is quietly pushing for peace deals with individual militant groups after some members of its peace committee have concluded that reaching an 'all inclusive agreement' with the TTP may not be possible. At least two members of the committee, who wished not to be named, told The Express Tribune that they expect the Government to reach an understanding only with parts of the TTP.

March 10

Five people were found dead in the Brohi Mohalla area of Mawach Goth area in Baldia Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The victims were relatives of a suspected gangster, Lala Orangi-wala, one of the main characters of a gang led by Noor Mohammed alias Baba Ladla, said City SSP Faisal Bashir Memon. They were allegedly killed by the Sheraz Comrade Group, which was supposed to be a rival gang of the Ladla group, he added. The SSP said that so far they had not found any criminal record of the victims. The complainant Munir told the Police that his brothers, Ismail and Shoaib, as well as their maternal uncle, Taj Mohammed, were boxers who played for different Government and non-governmental organisations in the city. The Police investigators linked the five killings with the ongoing gang warfare in Lyari.

Lyari, which is the hub of footballers in the country, is losing of its athletes to the Government’s inability to control the unrest. “We are losing our best sportsmen to violence,” complained Ali Akbar Shah, a national boxer, adding, “The Government should have to play its role to safeguard the country’s future.”

With the increase in weapons and crime in Karachi, the concerned citizens took to the streets, demanding de-weaponisation and the depoliticising of the Police. The protest was organised by the Citizens Trust against Crime (CTAC) in which members of varying segments of society, including retired army officials, members of human rights organisations, politicians and students urged action against the deteriorating law and order situation.

Daily Times in its six months report on crime in Karachi stated that despite the claims of arresting over 17,000 criminals during six months in the ongoing targeted operations of paramilitary force, security agencies were unable to stop the proportional increase in terrorism, where some 928 people were killed during September 5, 2013 to March 4, 2014. In a recent issued crime statistics, law enforcement agencies in last couple of months conducted 1,002 raids excluding 848 encounters held, whereas, the security agencies claimed to arrest 17,743 criminals while killed 135 in encounters. Police conducted 11,002 raids in various localities of the city.

Head Constable, identified as Manzoor Ahmed, was shot dead on Sariab Road in Quetta (Quetta District). SP Imran Qureshi said that unidentified militants opened fire at the vehicle of head constable Manzoor Ahmed on Sariab Road, killing him on the spot. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Information Secretary of the ASWJ Rawalpindi Chapter, Mohammad Sohail Muavia, was killed and two of his companions, identified as Ammanullah and Nasir, were injured when unidentified militants opened fire at the car of Mufti Tanveer, Rawalpindi President of ASWJ, near Zia mosque in Sharkial area of Islamabad.

A woman, identified as Palwasha Khan, and claiming to be the mother of a suicide bomber who blew himself up during the attack on Islamabad District Court on March 3, 2014, revealed on March 10 that her son Fidaullah went missing on January 9, 2014, and was involved in the attack. A report was also lodged with the Iqbal Town Police Station in Lahore District about Fidaullah’s disappearance. She further revealed that the mastermind of the court attack owned a restaurant. 

A three-day anti-polio drive started across the FATA except in North and South Waziristan Agencies and parts of adjoining FR Bannu due to a TTP ban. The drive targets about 713,051 children below five years of age. Meanwhile, in Mohmand Agency, the campaign will begin on March 11, while it was deferred till March 17 in Khyber Agency due to an ongoing Army action against militants there.  Secretary social sector FATA Captain (retired) Sardar Mohammad Abbas inaugurated the campaign by administering oral polio vaccine to children at the FATA Secretariat.

According to a press release, the vaccinators will not visit the areas where militants had banned drops due to threats. A total of 2,324 mobile, 245 fixed and 72 transit teams comprising volunteers and vaccinators would administer drops to targeted children in the tribal areas under strict security arrangements, said the press release. FATA recorded 24 polio cases of the nationwide 27 cases in 2014. Of them, 21 are from North Waziristan and one from South Waziristan while three children are from whole of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In 2013, FATA accounted for 67 polio cases of the total 93 recorded in Pakistan. North Waziristan again recorded the highest number of 36 cases followed by Khyber with 20 and South Waziristan one, as children couldn’t be vaccinated due to a ban slapped by TTP in June 2012.

TTP and al Qaeda terrorists have planned an assassination attempt on former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, the Interior Ministry said in a letter sent to the Home Secretary Punjab, the Islamabad Police Chief, the Chief Commissioner and other officials. In the letter, the Interior Ministry warns that terrorists affiliated with the TTP and al Qaeda have planned to target Pervez Musharraf in the near future. According to the letter, the ministry warns that the attackers have planned to assassinate Musharraf inside or outside the Court.

The Special Court formed to conduct treason trial against Musharraf is likely to indict him on March 11. Musharraf’s lawyer Ahmed Raza Kasuri said that his client will not appear before the Court. However, prosecution said that a request would be moved for issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants against the accused if he didn’t appear before the Court.

The two member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk gave the Federal Government time until March 14, 2014, to present suspected HM militant Tasif Ali and adjourned the hearing of the case to the said date. The bench heard the case relating to the disappearance of Tasif, believed to be a HM activist who went missing on November 23, 2012. AAG Shah Khawar said the accused was present in the ‘operational’ area.

The Supreme Court bench had taken up the case on the application of Abida Malik, wife of Tasif Ali alias Danish. Her application had accused a serving Military Intelligence officer, Major Ali Ahsan, earlier known as Major Haider, for allegedly being behind the enforced disappearance of her husband whose immediate production before the court has been sought.

Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on March 10 that no Army representative will be included in the new committee for talks with the TTP. He, however, added that the armed force backed the panel, which he said would be announced within two to three days. He said that the committee will consist of three or four bureaucrats to hold direct talks with the TTP. The minister clarified that the Army at no stage had expressed concerns over the talk committee or negotiation process. “Army’s behaviour has always been positive,” he said and added that Maulana Samiul Haq’s committee will move forward the process.

March 11

A MQM activist, identified as Itrat Hussain Rizvi, succumbed to his injuries after he was shot at by unidentified armed assailants at a video shop in North Karachi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. He was injured on March 9, 2014, and was a member of MQM Unit 173.

Unidentified armed assailants killed one person, identified as Manir (30) on March 11 in Lasbela Colony of Baldia Town.

A man, identified as Nisar Ahmed (30), was shot dead by unidentified militants in Rehri Goth area of Landhi Town.

Two alleged gangsters associated with the Shakeel Badhshah group of the Uzair Baloch gang, identified as Saddam and Faisal Baloch, were killed in a joint raid by the Police and Rangers in Lyari Town.

A gangster, identified as Nasir Baloch, allegedly involved in the abduction and murder of three Lyari boxers and two of their family members on March 10, 2014, was killed in an alleged encounter with the Police.

Another gangster, identified as Nazeer, was killed during a Police raid at Ali Mohammad Mohalla of Lyari Town. Though Police officials believe Sheraz Comrade to be the mastermind behind the killings, they have no evidence to link him directly to the incident as he has not been seen in the area for the last six months. “Two of the nominated suspects have been killed so far by Police in separate encounters while the remaining will be killed or arrested soon,” said DSP Sohail Afzal.

At least eight suspects were arrested during targeted raids conducted by Rangers.

Two persons, including one FC soldier, were killed as a result of firing by unknown motorcyclists within the limit of the Hoyad Police Station in Janikhel area of Bannu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to Police, the two persons, who were brothers, sustained severe injuries when they were fired. The victims were shifted to the District Headquarters Hospital in a critical condition where they succumbed to their injuries.

Two Policemen escorting a polio vaccination team for security, were shot dead in Garo Ahmed area of Dera Ismail Khan District. The two cops were returning to their homes after performing their duties when they were targeted by unknown assailants in Garo Ahmed area, killing the two on the spot.

Two people were killed and three others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire in Pedrak area of Turbat District.

The Army assured the Government its full support on the talks with the TTP. This assurance was held out in a meeting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired to review national security. According to sources, the dialogue process with the TTP was discussed during the meeting. The military leadership provided assurance that the decisions of the government would be implemented. The meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and ISI Director General Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam. Earlier, the Prime Minister held a one-on-one meeting with the Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and Nisar Ali Khan briefed the prime minister during the meeting.  

TTP’s Mohmand Agency chapter 'chief' Umar Khalid Khurasani vowed to abide by the ceasefire negotiated between the Government and TTP despite the outfit’s claim of killing 23 FC soldiers. Peace talks had reached a deadlock after the killing of the soldiers. In a written statement to the media, Khurasani said the outfit did not have any plan to attack former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf or anyone else for that instance. He also said the militant outfit was obeying ceasefire as negotiated by the central leadership of the TTP. He said security and intelligence agencies were misguiding people. “We abide by ceasefire and have no plan to attack Musharraf or anyone else,” said Khurasani.

March 12

At least 19 civilians, including 10 women and four children, were killed and more than 50 others were injured in gang war clashes among rival gangsters, Uzair Baloch, Ghaffar Zikri and Baba Ladla in Gahribshah locality of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Violence triggered after the March 10, 2014, killing of five relatives of Baba Ladla. However, violence continued on March 12 after the killing of a brother of Ghaffar Zikri, the head honcho of another powerful gang allied with the Baba Ladla group, in an alleged encounter with the law enforcers. According to details, the two gangs suspected that their rival, Uzair Baloch, the head of the PAC, was behind these killings.

Gangsters from Baba Ladla and Ghaffar Zikri groups, armed with RPGs and automatic weapons, decided to avenge the deaths of their cadres, said the insiders. “They mounted the attack after reaching the Rangiwara locality, the stronghold of Baba Ladla group, on Gahribshah, the bastion of the Uzair Baloch group,” said one of the insiders. “However, stiff resistance checked their march and the two sides rained bullets and rockets on each other from a distance.” Most of the casualties were caused when shoppers in the busy Jhatpat Market, which serves as a buffer between Rangiwara and Gahribshah, were caught up in the cross-fire. “Jhatpat Market is a Line of Control between the two gangs,” said another insider. “Innocent shoppers and traders in Jhatpat Market had fell victim to the gang war,” he added.

The Rangers claimed to have killed at least nine suspects and arrested 56 others in Lyari after the clash. According to sources the suspects killed by Rangers were affiliated with Baba Ladla group.

Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah during a meeting with members of KCCI and Karachi SITE Association said that the Sindh Government was successfully heading towards strengthening the Sindh Police with latest weapons, vehicles and equipments and controlling the crime rate in Karachi. He said during the target operation Karachi Police killed 180 harden criminals in encounters. Shah said the Sindh government was working on the plan to strengthen the Sindh Police more and it was engaged in negotiations with the companies in America and other European countries to get the explosive/metal detecting latest equipment in addition to 100 APC vehicles more than 500 Police mobile and other deterrence for Sindh Police.

Unidentified assailants shot dead four people, including three militants, in Miranshah Bazaar of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. “Several gunmen opened fire on a vehicle in Miranshah Bazaar, killing four people,” a senior security official said. He said the gunmen also fired rockets at the vehicle, adding “those killed in the attack included three militants and a passerby”.

Balochistan FC arrested nine suspects and recovered a cache of arms and ammunition, including four sub machine guns, two MMGs, 10 hand grenades, 10 magazines and a large number of rounds, during a raid at Kirani Road area in Quetta.

Islamabad Police claimed to have arrested three Afghan nationals who were residing illegally in Islamabad. Police recovered parts of stolen bikes and weapons from their possession, a Police Spokesman said.  Following orders from senior officials of the Islamabad Police, patrolling and security measures have been enhanced in the city.

The three-member Special Court bench, headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court, that is trying former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf for high treason, summoned the head of the Intelligence Agency that reportedly informed the Interior Ministry about the possibility of an attack on him. The bench remarked that Justice Arab had witnessed some documents which stated that not only the accused but the courtroom and the lawyers were also under threat of an attack. He said that some documents were presented to him in which the Interior Ministry was the complainant.

Justice Arab said that the courtroom, prosecution head and the defence counsel were also threatened. Tariq Hassan, a member of the prosecution team said that the TTP has denied a plan to attack Musharraf and said it has not threatened him. The court directed the intelligence agency’s head to appear before the court on the next hearing and adjourned the proceedings till March 13, 2014.

The KP Government informed the Supreme Court that any Afghan Taliban incursion into Pakistani territory from the Afghan Province of Nuristan to force the Kalash in Chitral District to convert to Islam was almost impossible because the Pakistan Army was regularly patrolling the border. In reply to a suo motu notice taken by the Supreme Court on February 20, 2014, KP Advocate General Abdul Latif Yousafzai submitted a two-page report explaining that the army and other Law Enforcement Agencies were regularly keeping a strict vigil through 16 check posts from Arandu to Lutkoh areas. They were ready to counter any attempt by the Taliban, the report said. Moreover, the border with Nuristan is inaccessible and presently snowbound.

The Malakand Commissioner visited Chitral District on February 21, 2014, and held a meeting with the Kalash community in Bumburet Valley, the report said, adding that the threat issued by the Taliban was nothing new. The video clip issuing warning to the Kalash to convert to Islam, which was cited by the local and international media, had not been circulated among the people of Chitral, the report claimed.  It said the administration and the army had taken steps to beef up security in the area.

Funding will not be an issue if the Government decides to go for a military operation because terrorism has to be eradicated from the country, regardless of the cost, says Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar. “Funding is no issue to get this nation, this country and the people out of this menace but we want to give peace a last chance. We cannot tolerate this (terrorism) to continue,” he said. He said all institutions of the state, military or civilian agreed with the Prime Minister that they would have to work hard to cope with the security challenge and to solve economic and energy problems. He said the Government had not yet taken a decision about a military operation in Waziristan because it wanted to give peace process a chance before opting for an operation, the cost of which would depend on its extent and scope.

The Government announced its four-member reconstituted committee for holding negotiations with the TTP. According to official sources the committee’s members are: Ports and Shipping Secretary Habibullah Khattak, who will head the committee, while the other three members are FATA Additional Secretary Arbab Arif, Rustam Shah Mohmand and Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister Fawwad Hassan Fawwad. The sources further said that the Government committee will hold direct talks with the TTP and it will also visit North Waziristan Agency for this purpose. The newly formed committee will resume the negotiations process in the next few days. 

TTP negotiating committee met Federal Minister of Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and discussed progress in the peace talks and the future strategy. Chaudhry Nisar said the Government was seriously pursuing the dialogue process with the TTP and it had already taken a decision to set up a new committee for the purpose. He said the Government would welcome those militants who desired peace, but action would be taken against those who wanted to sabotage the peace process.

In a meeting between Maulana Samiul Haq and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, it was decided that TTP committee, during its visit, will pave way for a visit by the newly formed Government panel to hold formal talks with the militants. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the Government will provide helicopter to the TTP committee.

The Government and the Army both saw the TTP as an existential threat to their State and were committed to dealing with it, the commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan informed Congress. General Joseph Dunford also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was committed to talks with the TTP but it’s not clear if conditions were right for a constructive engagement with the TTP.

At a hearing on the current situation in Afghanistan, General Dunford said the US military could wait till August for a bilateral security agreement with Kabul after which it would start preparing for a withdrawal from that country, if a pact was not signed. During the hearing, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen asked the general to explain how the situation in Pakistan could affect what happens in Afghanistan. “I find it difficult to envision success in the region without cooperation of Pakistan and without an effective relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” General Dunford said.

“I believe that Pakistan also recognises the existential threat of extremism to their own security, and they also recognise that it’s not in their best interest to have anything other than a stable, secure and unified Afghanistan.” He noted that since August, Pakistani and Afghan rulers had met four times, indicating that Prime Minister Sharif had “come to a new resolve” to improve the relationship with the neighbouring country. This cooperation focused on two areas: to have a common definition of extremism and cooperate on dealing with it and to come up with a broader border management framework that would address the political, economic and security issues between the two countries, he added.

No Pakistani civilians were killed by US drones in 2013, said UN Investigator Ben Emmerson while presenting his latest report on drone strikes to the UNHRC in Geneva. “I am pleased to be able to report a very significant de-escalation in the use of armed drones by the United States in… Pakistan,” said Ben. The total number of recorded strikes in 2013 was down to 27 from a peak of 128 in 2010, he said, adding, “But perhaps most significantly, for the first time in nine years there were no reports of civilian casualties during 2013 in the FATA area of Pakistan,” he added.

Last May, US President Barack Obama raised the bar for launching attacks. But despite the change of tack in Pakistan, Emmerson said that the picture in Afghanistan and Yemen was “much bleaker”. Citing a report by the UN Mission in Afghanistan, he said that there was a threefold increase in drone-related civilian casualties between 2012 and 2013. A total of 45 Afghan civilians died in drone strikes in 2013, he said, adding, “And the picture in Yemen remains cause for serious concern. The frequency of armed drone strikes appears to have intensified, particularly during the closing months of 2013, with a sharp escalation in the number of reported civilian casualties,” Emmerson informed.

March 13

Two gangsters affiliated with Baba Ladla group, identified as Asif Niazi and Imran Niazi, were killed in an exchange of fire with the Rangers in Lyari Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The Police said that Asif Niazi was brother-in-law of Baba Ladla and was booked for his involvement in a grenade attack in Jhat Pat Market on March 12, 2014.

Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah directed the heads of Sindh Police and Rangers to prepare a comprehensive contingency plan for conducting a specific surgical operation with full force to root out gangsters from Lyari. He said that any delay in this action would cause a negative impact on the achievements made during the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi. “Enough is enough! The government will not tolerate killing of innocent people,” the Chief Minister said.

Five people, including four children and a woman, were wounded in a bomb blast outside their house at Ghandi village near Jamrud town in Khyber Agency of FATA.

The ISI confirmed the seriousness of the threats that former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf’s lawyers claim he is facing. A representative of the ISI said that it had intercepted a phone call on the night of March 12, 2014, which confirmed that Musharraf was susceptible to attack. They cautioned that there was a clear and present danger from militants who were looking to target Musharraf’s convoy somewhere along the route between the AFIC and the court’s premises. According to sources, “an official informed the judges about phone calls, reports and technical analysis which revealed that al Qaeda is planning to target Musharraf”.

A three-member bench of the Special Court headed by Justice Faisal Arab upheld its order to produce Musharraf before the court so that the Court can indict him in the high treason case for abrogating the Constitution while issuing proclamation of emergency on November 3, 2007, reports The News. Justice Fisal Arab ruled that the order pertaining to production of the accused on March 14, 2014 remained intact.

A member of Musharraf’s legal team Chaudhry Faisal Hussain said, “We fail to understand why the court is in hurry to indict our client, even after security agencies have admitted that he is facing a serious security threat from within and outside”.

Adviser to Prime Minister on National Affairs, Irfan Siddiqui said that the talks had entered a crucial stage and the-two member Taliban talks committee would give a report about its talks with the Taliban leadership after its return from Miranshah in North Waziristan Agency of FATA within two days. He said that after the report from the Taliban committee, a decision would be taken on how to take forward the talks process. Irfan Siddiqui said after the report it would be clear whether the Taliban would hold direct or indirect talks. The Taliban would make some demands and some demands would come from the Government, he explained.

Before arriving in Miranshah, the TTP negotiating committee met Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali on March 12, 2014, to discuss the future strategy for peace talks. Irfan Siddiqui said the first stage of establishing contact with the Taliban had been completed despite various hurdles.

US Marine Corps and current Commander of the ISAF and U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), Major General Joseph Dunford said that allied and Afghan forces are putting a greater focus on the Haqqani Network, which has threatened to disrupt Afghanistan’s Presidential elections scheduled for April 2014. He said that the effort includes a move by the US to "crank up the heat" on the group’s financing and freedom of movement.

Dunford said that Haqqani militants have been more active in the past few months. The US has repeatedly pressed Pakistani authorities to move more aggressively against the militants, who are based in North Waziristan Agency of FATA and routinely conduct attacks against US and coalition troops.

March 14

At least 11 persons were killed and 45 others injured in a suicide attack targeting Police in Sarband area of Peshawar (Peshawar Disrict), the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. DSP-city Banaras Khan said the blast appeared to have targeted Police mobile van and was carried out by a suicide bomber. Superintendent of Police Faisal Kamran said that due to the sensitive nature of the area, which is situated on the border of the tribal areas, Police personnel were using APC to conduct routine patrolling when they were targeted by the suicide bomber who was on foot. According to Shafqat Malik, AIG of the BDS, at least eight kilograms of explosives were used in the blast. According to Reuters, TTP splinter group Ahrar- ul-Hind (AH) claimed responsibility for the attack. “We claim both Peshawar and Quetta attacks," said its 'chief' Umar Qasmi. “We don't abide by these talks and will continue to stage attacks", he added.

The TTP negotiators said that the TTP leadership was ready to hold direct talks with the Government and condemned the terrorist incidents in Quetta (Balochistan) and Peshawar calling them a conspiracy being hatched to derail the peace process. “The TTP strongly condemns the Peshawar and Quetta blasts,” said TTP ‘central spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid. “We have no connection to these attacks because we are observing a ceasefire.”

At least 10 persons, including nine civilians and one SF, were killed and 35 others were injured in a bomb explosion targeting FC vehicle at Science College Chowk area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. A Police Official, who requested anonymity, said that target of the blast was FC vehicle that narrowly escaped the attack. 

TTP distanced itself from the attack. However, its splinter group Ahrar-ul-Hind (AH) claimed responsibility for the attack. “We claim both Peshawar and Quetta attacks,” AH ‘chief’ Umar Qasmi said, adding, “We don't abide by these talks and will continue to stage attacks.”

A part of the 16-inch diameter pipeline was blown up in Pir Koh gas field area of Dera Bugti District, suspending supply to the purification plant. BLA claimed responsibility for the blast.

An unidentified man was killed when armed assailants opened fire at Yusuf Goth in Saeedabad area of Baldia Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified dead body was found from Garden area of Saddar Town.

Unidentified dead body was found at Rheri Goth area in Landhi Town.

One person was injured when unidentified assailants opened fire at Shah Faisal Colony of Shah Faisal Town.

An unidentified man was injured when militants opened fire in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town.

Five suspects, including a Lyari gangster, identified as Saddam Shahikh, were arrested from Bukhari Muhalla area of Thatta District. According to SSP Haseeb Baig, they were all wanted for committing crimes in Karachi.

Rangers personnel produced a suspect, identified as Abdul Razzaq, before an ATC-III Judge amid tight security. The paramilitary force had information about his alleged involvement in target killing, extortion and other criminal activities. According to Rangers, Razzaq belonged to a political party and was arrested during a raid from Garden area of Saddar Town.

A Special Court hearing the treason case against former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf ordered him to appear in person on March 31, 2014 or face arrest. “It is further directed that the (arrest) warrant would be executed early in the morning of March 31, if the accused refuses to appear before this court on his own volition,” the three member panel headed by Justice Faisal Arab said. The Court was due to indict Musharraf on March 14, 2014 over his 2007 imposition of emergency rule, but Musharraf’s lawyers said he was unable to appear because of the threats to his life.

‘Missing’ suspected HM militant Tasif Ali has now been traced. AAG Shah Khawar told a three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, “I am directed to refer the pending adjudication in the Supreme Court and to submit that Tasif Ali was apprehended on March 5, 2014, and has been interned at Internment Centre, Lakki Marwat, under Action (in Aid of Civil Powers) Regulations 2011.” The letter was written by legal director of the defence ministry and addressed to the AAG.

The custody of Tasif Ali alias Danish was not being acknowledged by any of the Intelligence Agencies. The court ordered the authorities concerned to make arrangements for a meeting between Ali, his wife Abida Malik and father-in-law within a week. The case will be taken up again on March 20, 2014. “Now that his whereabouts have been traced, we will pursue his case in the relevant court of law,” retired Colonel Inam-ur-Rahiem, the counsel for Abida Malik said.  He also wondered how a man of Kashmiri origin arrested in Rawalpindi District of Punjab could be detained in an internment centre in Lakki Marwat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

Ali went missing on November 23, 2012, and was allegedly picked up by Major Ahsan, who was then Captain and posted at the MI-918, Mangla Cantonment in Punjab Province. The matter was reported to the Sadiqabad Police Station on December 5, 2012, and later was heard by the Lahore High Court on March 19, 2013.

While chairing a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation in Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the operation in Karachi will continue and that he would himself monitor it. “Karachi operation will continue. The sacrifices rendered by our security agencies are invaluable. Karachi operation is not a routine issue for the government and I will regularly monitor and supervise operation and will help the provincial government in resolving their issues,” the Prime Minister said. He directed that the ban on recruitment in the Civil Armed Forces be lifted. On the recommendation of Rangers Director General, Prime Minister Nawaz directed that in order to ensure merit and transparency, army recruitment centres be engaged to facilitate recruitment in Police. “Recruitment should be purely on merit, without any favouritism,” he said.

He directed the Sindh Government to expedite the establishment of isolated high security prisons in Sindh for internment of terrorists. The meeting agreed in principle that additional Police Stations would be established in Lyari Town of Karachi. The Prime Minister directed the Interior Ministry to expedite the blocking of illegal mobile phone SIMs and use of biometrics system for issuance of SIMs in the future. He also asked the Sindh Government and Rangers to take action against land mafia, which is illegal occupation of state lands. He said Police and Rangers should use new anti-terrorism laws to combat terrorism, extortion and land-grabbing.

Prime Minister’s Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the US had not stopped drone attacks in tribal areas as part of any reconciliation between the two countries. He said that the US had not stopped the drone attacks as a facility for Pakistan to hold talks with TTP. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to US had told President Barack Obama about ineffectiveness of drone attacks. “Although the US has not announced formally to stop drone attacks and it will not do so, it seems Barrack Obama has understood Pakistan views on use of unmanned aircraft”, he added.

The US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher called on the Government to stop Pakistan’s aid as “Islamabad is not a US ally”. In his address at the US House of Representatives, the Congressman said that Pakistan’s aid should immediately be stopped as the US funds were used against Washington or its friends in Afghanistan. Reacting to Secretary of State John Kerry’s appeal for financial aid for Islamabad, Rohrabacher dubbed Pakistan’s war against militants as bogus and a ploy to receive US dollars. He was quoted by US media as saying that behaviour of Pakistan’s military establishment had not been friendly with regard to US interests.

Uighur militants hiding in Pakistan are gearing up for retribution against China to avenge the deaths of their comrades in Beijing’s crackdown on a separatist movement. In an interview to Reuters, Abdullah Mansour, leader of the rebel Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), said it was his holy duty to fight the Chinese. “The fight against China is our Islamic responsibility and we have to fulfil it,” he said from an undisclosed location. “China is not only our enemy, but it is the enemy of all Muslims … We have plans for many attacks in China,” he said, adding. “We have a message to China that East Turkestan people and other Muslims have woken up. They cannot suppress us and Islam any more. Muslims will take revenge.”

According to Afghan Taliban sources, there are reports of about 250 Uighur militants in Afghanistan’s Nuristan and Kunar Provinces. “They live here with us but are always concerned about their people and mission in China. They are nice people, good Muslims and the best fighters,” a senior Taliban ‘commander’ said. He added that Uighur militants were not fond of guns and resorted mostly to knives and daggers. “The Chinese militants in the tribal areas are mostly clerics and fighters. They have their families here and are mostly focused on Afghanistan,” said one TTP 'commander'.

March 15

Karachi ATC-III extended remand of an accused, identified as Shahid Bikik, to Police custody till 18 March 2014 for his involvement in a bomb attack case on former President Asif Ali Zardari’s security guard on July 10, 2013. Police had arrested Bikik from on February 11, 2014.

SFs arrested two suspected militant ‘commanders’ on Grand Trunk Road in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. The arrested militants belong to a Khyber Agency (FATA) terror outfit.

March 16

The Federal Interior Ministry approved a new security plan for Islamabad, giving Rangers the responsibility for providing additional security. The plan, which calls for the Rangers and Police to conduct joint patrols, should be visible by April 15, 2014 said Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. Nisar ordered various reforms to implement the strategy, such as recruiting retired army veterans to join the Police and giving Police better training.

March 17

A Policeman and his father were shot dead by unidentified assailants at Gara Mehraban in the limits of Chodwan Police Station in Dera Ismail Khan District of KP. Sources said that Constable Delawar Gandapur along with his father Rehmatullah Gandapur was on his way home on his bike when unidentified assailants opened fire on them in Gara Mehrban.

Two unidentified dead bodies bearing torture marks were recovered from two different locations in the Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti District. According to Levies personnel, the victims had been subjected to torture before being killed.

An ATC Judge, Justice Tariq Anwer Kasi, issued arrest warrants for former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf’s guarantors, Mumtaz Hussain and Nazeer Ahmed, during the hearing of the August 26, 2006, murder case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. However, Musharraf, the prime accused, remained absent during the hearing. “Prime accused Musharraf had never appeared before the court,” court observed while issuing the arrest warrants. The hearing was adjourned till April 7, 2014.

The TTP asked the Government to earmark a “free peace zone” where militant leaders could come without any fear for holding peace talks with the Government committee. Talking to BBC Urdu in Akora Khattak, head of TTP negotiators’ committee Maulana Samiul Haq said FCB and other law-enforcement agencies had set up checkposts in many areas, leaving the TTP unable to move about freely.

TTP negotiating committee member Professor Muhammad Ibrahim said that the TTP’s list of 300 women and children prisoners has been given to Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. He cautioned that the release of women and child prisoners can be the biggest issue in the dialogue process. He said the TTP have provided a 300-person list of women and children of TTP members who are assumed to be in the custody of law enforcement agencies. Prof Ibrahim said that most of these women and children belong to the tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The spokesman of the TTP, Shahidullah Shahid, said that the Security Forces had established hundreds of secret detention cells in FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. He said that they had handed over a list of their non-combatant prisoners to the TTP negotiation committee. Shahidullah Shahid said that confirming the names in the list was the responsibility of the government. He said that the TTP would give another list with more names of the detainees once progress was made in the peace talks.

Shahidullah Shahid said that Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif was unaware of the persons held in detention by security agencies. He said that if the Defence Minister was unaware about the location of detention centres in the country, then how he could be informed about the number of people being held at such facilities. Khawaja Asif earlier on March 16 had rejected a major demand of the TTP — release of non-combatants – saying there were no women and children in the custody of Security Forces.

The Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah called on the TTP to provide evidence of incarceration of women and children. Sanaullah says if there are any prisoners they will be released, and that this issue will not be allowed to become the reason for a deadlock in the talks.

KP CM Pervez Khattak announced a raise in the salaries of the provincial Police. The CM said he is proud of provincial police, as hundreds of Policemen have sacrificed their lives for the security of the people, and they remain steadfast. He announced incentives and measures for improvement in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police. The CM affirmed that recruitments in the Police department would be done on merit. He said that all the Police system will be computerised. CM Khattak said that to make patrolling and vigilance better, PKR 50 million have released for the purchase of sniffer dogs. He stressed upon making model Police stations and asked Policemen to serve the masses well.

The Washington Post report said that with the war in Afghanistan winding down the US may dispose USD 7 billion in military equipment by handing it over to Pakistan. According to WP, the potential move could be, "part of an effort by the Pentagon to unload excess military supplies to US allies at no cost". Pentagon leaders have said it would potentially cost more than USD100, 000 per vehicle to ship MRAP vehicles back to the US. The report said that discussions on this issue have been taking place over several months between American and Pakistani officials.

One motive for this potential transaction is that the US does not want to pay to ship out leftover military hardware from the conflict in neighboring Afghanistan. The Washington Post report states that although a final decision on this issue has not been taken, Pakistan has particular interest in acquiring the US Army’s MRAP vehicles. The MRAP vehicles could be used by Pakistan's military in its fight against TTP militants within its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. The Washington Post report describes the MRAP as, "the backbone of the US military’s vehicle fleet in Afghanistan...designed to protect American troops from explosive devices".

March 18

11 villagers who were abducted earlier on March 15 from Mashokhel village, on the outskirt of Peshawar, were released by the captors following the intervention of a local jirga (tribal council of elders). Nasir Khan, the Khyber Agency assistant political agent, confirmed the tribesmen’s release. “They have been handed over to the jirga,” he said.

Bajaur Levies Force defused an IED planted along a road in Kharyan area of Nawagai tehsil in Bajaur Agency. The officials said that the personnel of the BDS rushed to the site after receiving information from the locals, and the bomb was safely defused.

The Balochistan Government extended special powers granted to the FC for another two months. According to an announcement by the Provincial Home Secretary Syed Asadur Rehman Gilani, the paramilitary force will continue to exercise police powers for two more months to maintain law and order in the province. The FC was first given the powers to carry out raids and detain and interrogate suspects in January 2012 after the provincial coalition Government led by Nawab Aslam Raisani was sent home and Governor rule was imposed in Balochistan on the demand of Hazara Shia community.

The Registrar Office of the Islamabad High Court returned the petition of former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf that he had filed before the court, seeking his trial in high treason case under Army Act. The registrar office held that since the Special Court, seized with his high treason trial, has rejected the identical petition for transferring the high treason case to the military court therefore being the appellate forum such petition could only be filed in the Supreme Court.  The three member bench of the Special Court headed by Justice Faisal Arab of Sindh High Court had rejected the plea for transferring the high treason case to the military court on February 21, 2014. In its ruling, the Special Court said: “the offences under the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973 are exclusively triable by the Special Court established under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) Act, 1976 as its Section 3 (2) ousts the jurisdiction of all other courts.”

The Supreme Court gave the deadline until March 19 to the Federal and KP Governments for the recovery of missing persons, failing which notices will be issued to the Prime Minister, KP Governor and Chief Minister for the recovery of 35 missing persons. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, heard the case of 35 missing persons of the Malakand Interment Centre. During the hearing, the court observed that 34 hearings had been conducted in the case but the authorities concerned had made no progress. Attorney General Salman Butt sought an adjournment in the case, saying that they would show some progress in the matter. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing till today. The Attorney General informed the court the Government had constituted a one-man commission, headed by Justice (retired) Mian Muhammad Ajmal, to trace out the missing persons. He appraised the court that the inquiry would be completed within a month, while funds would be provided to the families of missing persons.

Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the political and military leadership has held a detailed discussion on the Internal Security Policy. The Minister said the leadership was informed about the dialogue with the TTP and the participants expressed their confidence in the process. He said that the political and military leadership are on the same page on issues of national security. He added that the Internal Security Policy would be implemented according to the set timelines. Nisar said the leadership focused on issues of capacity building of Security Forces and increasing coordination among 26 intelligence agencies working in the country. A joint intelligence directorate would be set up to coordinate activities of the intelligence agencies, he added. The minister said the objective of all the efforts was to make Pakistan secure.

PM Nawaz Sharif has directed immediate establishment of a National Intelligence Directorate (NID) under the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to pool national and provincial intelligence resources. The PM also approved establishment of a Rapid Response Force at the Federal and Provincial levels, having highly trained and skilled manpower. Sharif also directed fast-track establishment of high security prisons in all provinces. He directed the provinces to utilise the options available in the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, saying this law had made electronic evidence admissible, allowed video link trial with provision for transfer of trials and prisoners to other provinces, and preventive detention of enemy aliens.

Nawaz Sharif asked the TTP to deal with the militant groups opposing the Federal Government’s peace dialogue with them.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said the Government committee will contact the agencies concerned about the list of prisoners given by the TTP and then a reply would come up about their fate. He said the committee would collect information on the list of prisoners handed over by the TTP and then the TTP and the media would be informed about the response. To another query about the possibility of action against the TTP in the Punjab, Rashid said this issue was being confronted by the entire Pakistan and not a particular province.

Head of the TTP dialogue committee Maulana Samiul Haq said the Army is with us for the success of talks and the TTP have not yet put up their demands. He said both TTP and Government committees are in contact to mark out a “peace zone” for the sake of continuation of talks. “Both committees are likely to reach an agreement on a peaceful location for continuation of talks,” Haq said. He added both committees are likely to meet in the next 48 hours to discuss certain things.

He expressed concern over statement of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif that no women and children are in custody of the country’s armed forces, as claimed by TTP. Haq urged both sides to avoid such statements which may vitiate conducive atmosphere for talks. He said there is no formal announcement from the Government to reject any demand of TTP. “We are hearing a lot through media that TTP demands have been rejected but it’s not true,” he said. Asked should military operation be carried out against militants if talks fail, he strongly opposed the option of military operation and said it should never be launched and efforts should be made to revive the dialogue.

March 19

At least six persons were killed in the morning when a mortar shell exploded in a house in the Shawal tehsil of the North Waziristan Agency in FATA. The dead in the incident included four women, a man and a child.

A NATO container was destroyed in rocket attack by unidentified militants in Shagai area of the Khyber Agency in FATA. No casualties were reported in the incident.

Three mutilated dead bodies which were recovered 20 days ago from Nooriabad area near Super Highway that lies between Karachi and Hyderabad Districts were identified as that of the workers of the MQM. The victims who were abducted from different parts of Karachi were identified as Yawar Abbas, Shamshad Haider and Farooq. According to details, Abbas was kidnapped from PIB Colony in Gulshan Town in November 2013, followed by Shamshad, and Farooq who went missing since January 2014.

Senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that the Government must fulfil its responsibility of recovering missing workers of the party. He said that the writ of the state and Government was not visible in Karachi. The senior MQM leader mentioned the recovery of three MQM workers' mutilated dead bodies from Nooriabad and Hyderabad.

An ATC-III ordered to release a suspect, Shahid Bikik, for his involvement in a bomb attack case on former President Asif Ali Zardari’s security guard Bilal Sheikh and three others on July 10, 2013. The Police produced the suspect in court and also submitted a report that the suspect may be released under Section 169 (release of accused when evidence deficient) of the CrPC as no evidence was found against him. In addition, the JIT report also declared him clear which forced the Police to file report under section 169 of the CrPC, said the court sources.

An IED planted by unidentified assailants killed a man and injured two others in Gul Bacha Mohala near Sirki gate in Shah Qabool area of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A bomb was neutralised outside Express News Peshawar Bureau Chief Jamshed Baghwan’s house in Murshidabad area of Peshawar, in the night. Bhagwan had travelled out of the city and when returned home around 11 pm he found a suspicious bag placed outside his house. Bhagwan called Police and BDS. Police said that the device weighed around two kilogram and it had been placed just outside the main gate of the house in ghee tin.

A cement factory van was blown up in a remote controlled bomb attack and a Police mobile passing nearby was also damaged in Nowshera town of same District. No casualties were reported in the incident.

The Federal Government decided to register a case against Army officials allegedly involved in the illegal removal of 35 undeclared inmates from an internment centre in Malakand Agency of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. When a three-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja resumed the hearing, AGP Salman Aslam Butt came to the rostrum and said that he wanted to make one submission. “It was the KP Government’s responsibility to lodge an FIR – but since it hasn’t done that, the Federal Government has decided to register the FIR today (March 19) in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment,” AGP Butt submitted. “This is a significant development. Now, there will be no immunity for anyone,” Justice Khawaja said in his remarks.

On November 26, 2013, the Malakand jail superintendent had submitted before the Supreme Court that army authorities, through Naib Subedar Amanullah Baig, had taken away 35 internees on February 4, 2012.

The Government and TTP shortlisted two venues for face-to-face talks. The possible venues for the maiden meeting between Government negotiators and the TTP include the little-known Shaktu area in South Waziristan Agency and FR Bannu. But given the TTP’s reservations over the Government-suggested venue, the first meeting is likely to take place in the Shaktu area, said a source privy to the development. The venues were shortlisted during a meeting of the Government’s reconfigured negotiating committee chaired by Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who also consulted the TTP’s chief intermediary Maulana Samiul Haq.

The KP Government launched a project to provide digital arms licences to overcome the use of fake licences. KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak inaugurated the project at the Home and Tribal Affairs Department in Peshawar (provincial capital of KP). Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khattak expressed the hope that the computerised arms licences would help check corruption and use of fake licences. “Now the people instead of waiting for months will receive arms’ licences in a few days, while sale and purchase of both arms and cartridges will also be simplified and legalised,” he said. 

According to The New York Times, ISI Chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha knew where the slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was hiding. The Newspaper states that a Pakistani official stated that US had direct evidence about the ISI Chief knowing Bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad at the time. “He knew of Osama’s whereabouts, yes,” the official said. According to an inside source of the paper, there was a special desk for the Bin Laden case at the ISI. The desk worked independently and was led by an officer who did not report to any higher authorities.

The New York Times also reported that the Pakistan Government was providing a haven to the Taliban. Further, it alleged that former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf was involved in the conspiracy to remove former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto from power.

Slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for masterminding September 11, 2001 (also known as 9/11) attacks on the night of the incident, his son-in-law Suleiman Abu Ghaith (48) said as he testified at his federal trial in New York city on terror charges. Abu Ghaith, who married bin Laden's daughter Fatima, recounted a meeting with Laden in an Afghanistan cave complex on the night of September 11, 2001. “Did you learn what happened? We are the ones who did it,” Bin Laden declared, according to Abu Ghaith.

Abu Ghaith also denied trying to recruit people for al Qaeda, as prosecutors have alleged. “There is no one recruiting, but Osama Bin Laden. My intention was not recruiting anyone,” he said. And, asked by his lawyer if he ever wanted to kill Americans, he responded “No.” “My intention was to deliver a message I believed in,” he said.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while meeting United Kingdom High Commissioner to Afghanistan Richard Stagg said that the international community should come up with an integrated and coherent policy regarding Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario. The Minister added that the situation in Afghanistan is complex and calls for thorough debate among members of the international community. Nisar said Afghanistan will be undergoing massive transformation during 2014, adding that the solutions to the problems being faced by the country must come from within. He reiterated that Pakistan is maintaining a non-partisan policy in regional matters.

March 20

A former SHO Anwar Jaffri was killed and his driver was injured, in an incident of firing in Korangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A Policeman, identified as Mehboob, was killed and another Policeman Farooq was injured when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at them at the signal stop in Orangi Town.

A man, identified as Mushtaq, was killed in firing by unidentified armed assailants in Korangi Town.

An unidentified dead body of a man was found from bushes in Jam Goth area of Malir Town.

Two persons, identified as Saqib and Adnan, were injured in an alleged retaliatory firing by Rangers in SITE Town. According to Rangers official, both the men opened fire on Rangers personnel first. DG Rangers formed a committee to probe the incident. The committee will submit a report by March 21, 2014. A Rangers Spokesman said that those personnel who were involved in the shooting would remain in detention until completion of the inquiry.

Five robbers looted a bank in Federal B area near Gul Plaza in Gulberg Town. According to Police, robbers entered Habib Bank Limited, Gul Plaza branch after its closing time. They looted PKR eight million and decamped with booty to unknown destination after swift operation. DIG West, Javed Alam Odho said that security guards were involved in the robbery.

A Lahore High Court division bench headed by Justice Shahid Hameed Dar granted bail to Malik Ishaq, the leader of LeJ, in two cases where he is accused of delivering provocative speeches. The division bench granted the bail subject to furnishing two bail bonds of PKR 200,000 each. Ishaq’s counsel said such FIRs were registered on applications of aggrieved parties, but in this case the Police registered FIRs on its own to victimise him over his religious views. He said Ishaq was detained in April 2013 under the Maintenance of Public Order and arrested in June under these FIRs. He asked the court to grant him bail.

Investigation Police Officer said that they had lodged two cases against Ishaq, who was accused on August 8, 2012 and February 2, 2013 for making provocative speeches at public gatherings. He added the petitioner had tried to spread hatred and to create unrest in the area.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered federal authorities to appoint permanent IGP Sindh within 24 hours. Three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jilani showed grave concern over non-appointment of permanent IGP Sindh and said that they were shocked that Province had no permanent IGP since February 20, 2014. The bench directed secretary establishment division to appoint a regular IG in Province and issue notification in this regard within 24 hours.

The DG Rangers Sindh Major General Rizwan Akhtar on March 18 said that the power granted to the Rangers was a mere ‘piece of paper’. He said that the power of the paramilitary force, granted after a suo moto notice of the Supreme Court on August 24, 2011 does not hold any significance due to lack of proper proceedings, the criminals held in raids by the force are handed over to the Police who later let them go. He further said that Lyari was not the only area rife with criminal elements, adding that Karachi has various areas where the law and order situation resembled that of Lyari.

Tassaduq Hussain Jilani said that he was shocked that DG Rangers Sindh had complained that he had limited powers. He said that DG Rangers statement gave an impression that Law Enforcement Agencies were not on same page. Major Ishfaq, Law Officer of the Rangers told the court that Rangers had no power of investigation. He said that it was proposed to set up five stations in each District of Karachi for investigating the criminals but neither station was set up nor they were provided with investigation powers. He added that during the past six month, 517 people arrested by the Rangers were released by local courts. The bench directed DG Rangers to submit a report within 3 days, highlighting their reservations regarding their limited powers. 

An appellate forum under the FCR directed the Political Agent of Khyber Agency in FATA to prepare a case against Shakil Afridi over his involvement in anti-state activities in collusion with CIA, for further proceedings before the competent court. The direction has been issued in the detailed verdict on the appeal of Shakil against his conviction for involvement in anti-state activities by supporting the Bara-based LI. The details of the verdict given by the FCR Commissioner, who upheld Shakil’s conviction by an APA over links with a proscribed organisation in Bara, Khyber Agency, were released on March 20.

“(The) Political Agent Khyber (Agency) is directed to further adduce the evidence in consultation with the concerned Intelligence Agencies and prepare a case against the appellant, both under Federal and Provincial laws, for further proceedings in the competent court of law,” Commissioner Captain (retired) Munir Azam wrote in the verdict.

Earlier on March 15, Munir Azam announced his decision to reduce Afridi’s sentence by 10 years. “The tribunal has reduced the 33 year imprisonment to 23 years and also reduced the fine of PKR 320,000 to PKR 220,000” defence lawyer Samiullah Afridi said. However, Samiullah said that he would appeal against the decision as he wanted to have a new trial, as stipulated by the authorities in August 2013. “We will appeal against this decision, because it is unjust,” Samiullah said.

Political parties of Balochistan demanded of the Federal Government to include the name of the abducted ANP leader Arabab Zahir Kasi in exchange of prisoners' list with the TTP. They urged upon Islamabad to help the Provincial Government in an unhurt recovery of Kasi. “Arbab Zahir Kasi has been shifted to a region where Balochistan Government has no writ,” Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, the PML-N Provincial President said. He hinted that abductors might have shifted the ANP leader to Waziristan area bordering Afghanistan after kidnapping him from Quetta. “We have also formed a committee, which will seek TTP's help to release Arbab Kasi,” said Zehri.  Kasi was abducted on October 23, 2013, from Patel Road area of Quetta. His family has received telephone calls of kidnappers demanding heavy ransom for his release.

The CM of Balochistan Malik Baloch announced the formation of a STF to arrest culprits involved in the murder of journalists in the Province. Over 30 journalists were killed in the Province during the last seven years, according to the Balochistan Union of Journalists. “I order the formation of a task force to bring the killers of journalists to the book,” the Chief Minister assured the protesting journalists outside the Assembly. However, the President of Balochistan Union of Journalists Irfan Saeed said “Despite repeated assurances, the killers of journalists are still at large”.

The Balochistan Assembly, chaired by the Deputy Speaker Mir Qaddus Bizenjo, adopted four resolutions with its members discussing issues like job quota for locals in private companies. Of these, a joint resolution seeking allocation of 70 per cent job quota for local youths in private industrial units and other companies was tabled by Sardar Saleh Muhammad Bhootani. The quota would serve to ease the unemployment crisis in the Province, said the resolution. 

The venue for face-to-face talks between the Government and the TTP will be finalised within the next 24 hours, the coordinator of the TTP intermediary committee Maulana Yousaf Shah said. “The [Government and TTP] committees have achieved their goal of persuading the sides to meet at a jointly-agreed venue, which will be announced within the next 24 hours,” he said. Shah also said the TTP was still awaiting a reply from the Federal Ministry of Interior over the list of ‘non-combatant’ TTP prisoners it had handed to the Government. Terming their release a crucial step for moving the peace process forward, he said the move would help build the TTP’s confidence.

Responding to a question, he rejected the impression that the TTP were demanding the enforcement of Shariah (Islamic Law) all over Pakistan. “The Taliban have made no such demand… it has been constructed by the media,” he said, adding that the ‘demands’ moved by the militant group were ‘suggestions, not conditions’. At the same time, however, the TTP intermediary said the enforcement of Shariah in the country was already mandated by the Constitution and was a part of several political parties’ manifestos.

The Foreign Office revealed that there were at least five Pakistanis who were being detained at US’ Guantanamo Base in Cuba. During the weekly briefing, the Foreign Office Spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam Khan revealed that a two member delegation that had visited the facility in August 2006, had found six Pakistanis among the 164 people detained at the facility. Khan added that the Pakistani mission in Washington had in 2011 sought consular access to these detainees. One of the six detainees had been released, but five still remain in detention. The five Pakistanis detained in Guantanamo Bay include Saifullah Piracha, Majid Khan, Ghulam Ahmed Rabban, Muhammad Ahmed Rabbani and Ammar Ali Balochi.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was not sending its military troops to other countries. The PM dismissed the impression that some countries have asked Pakistan’s Armed Forces for operations on their land. PM said the recent visits of the leadership of brotherly countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait, were testimony of their friendship and must not be linked with such assumptions. 

March 21

Two JSQM leaders, identified as spokesperson Maqsood Qureshi and Salman Wadho, were killed in a targeted attack near Bhiria city in Naushehro Feroze District. Wadho was the Secretary General of Latif Sangat - the literary wing of JSQM. After the attack, the assailants set the vehicle on fire and escaped from the scene. The killing has triggered widespread unrest in many towns and cities of Sindh, with business activity coming to a halt.

Sources said that the MQM has decided to join the PPP Government in Sindh. The sources said that the Government had offered five Ministries to the MQM. They said that both the parties had agreed four days ago that two Advisors will also be appointed from MQM besides five Ministers.

An Afghan doctor, Haji Daud Jan, was abducted by four armed persons from Phase IV area of Hayatabad in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. Local Police said that Haji Daud Jan had locked himself in his car after armed men intercepted him. The gunmen, however, broke the car window before hauling the doctor into their own vehicle. This is the second kidnapping incident of the week as an Afghan paediatrician disappeared from Board Bazaar, except an FIR was not lodged in the latter case because Police wrote it off as a ‘disappearance’.

Senior bureaucrat Dr Amjad Shahid Afridi was feared to have been abducted after his car was found abandoned at the Chach interchange that lies between the Swabi and Burhan interchanges on the motorway in Peshawar. Police said Dr Afridi was staying at the shahi mehman khana, a government-run guest house in Peshawar, following his transfer from Islamabad to Peshawar. Dr Afridi has held the positions of KP’s Secretary Education and Provincial Secretary for Information Technology.

A resolution moved by the ruling PTI for creating a new Hazara Province was adopted with majority vote by the KP Assembly. However, opposition MPAs belonging to PPP, ANP and QWP opposed the resolution calling it a conspiracy to divide the Province. Sardar Idrees of PTI tabled the resolution which was subsequently adopted by the house by majority vote. The resolution read that the Provincial Assembly should request federal government to pass a bill for National Assembly for creation of new units including Hazara within the ambit of Constitution with the objective of easing administrative affairs.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, directed relevant authorities to submit a report within 30 days on the Malakand missing persons’ case which concerns the disappearance of 35 people from an internment centre in Malakand division of KP.  During the hearing of the case, Advocate General KP, Abdul Latif Yousafzai submitted a copy of the FIR registered against Naib Subedar Amanullah in the Supreme Court.

The bench was due to rule on the case concerning the unaccounted persons from the list of 35 missing men on March 21 but it postponed the order to March 22, 2014 (today) following a disclosure by the KP Government that no formal FIR had been registered. The court had then directed the Provincial Government to ascertain the situation on the ground and inform the court. The bench directed authorities to submit a copy of the charge sheet to the apex court once the investigation was completed. 

Lawyers for former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf called for his treason trial to be suspended because they claim the Government is colluding with elements of the judiciary to “fix and manipulate” the proceedings. The legal team said it based its claim on “leaked secret communication” from an unnamed source in the office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In a statement issued in London, the lawyers called for an “immediate and unconditional suspension of the Special Court and a comprehensive investigation” into their claims.

The lawyers said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has “manipulated the Pakistani legal process and used unlawful influence on the... judiciary to bring a barrage of unsubstantiated charges” against Musharraf, his long-time political rival. They gave no specific details of their new claims, but said they had submitted them to the office of UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay. Musharraf's lawyers have already written to the UN urging it to intervene to stop what they call a “show trial”, claiming Sharif has handpicked the three judges hearing the case.

Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that preliminary but formal direct talks between the Government committee and the TTP would take place during the next few days. “All initial homework and consultations have been completed for the first direct contact with the TTP,” he informed, adding “some forces still want to sabotage the dialogue process by way of terrorist activities”. Addressing a news conference after chairing a meeting of NADRA board, the Interior Minister said that there had been progress in the TTP-Government talks, which have entered a sensitive stage. Direct mediation between the two sides would take place shortly.

One of the members of the Government’s first committee formed to negotiate peace with the TTP, Major (retired) Amir said that Army are the real stakeholders on the matter and their leadership should decide the future course of the dialogue for achieving better results. He added that the Army should be on the driving seat in the peace process because they are not only “affected but also capable.” Amir said that after the formation of new Government committee, the previous one has been dissolved as it was an uphill task to keep it going due to continuous attention of the media on its members.

March 22

Three gangsters associated with the Faisal Pathan group of Lyari were killed in an encounter with Police and Rangers in Aath Chowk area within the remits of Kalakot Police Station in Lyari Town. The gangsters were identified as Bilal, alias Bilawal, Abid and Akbar, alias Seti. Officials claimed they had recovered radio sets, hand grenades and weapons from their possession.

DSP Agha Jameel, who was active during the infamous 1992 Operation Clean-up and also nominated in the Murtaza Bhutto murder case, was at a restaurant near Sharfabad Chowrangi when he was shot at, said the New Town Police official. He was taken to a private hospital, where he expired. Police said a passerby, Faizan (10), was also killed and his mother injured in the incident.

A Police Constable, identified as Naeemuddin (40), was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Korangi town.

A Shopkeeper, identified as Shujaat Hussain (24), was shot dead and his friend Taufiq was injured in Rizvia Society of Liaquatabad Town.

A person, identified as Haroon Raees (30), was shot dead in Sector 11-L in North Karachi.

A person, identified as Ghulam Shabir (31), was shot dead on Mirza Adam Khan Road in Gulistan Colony of Lyari town.

Three dead bodies were found in different parts of the Karachi. A body was found in the Mewa Shah graveyard of Pak Colony another in Slaughter House of Lyari area and a person, identified as Jawad Hassan’s body in Lyari River of Sher Shah area.

Police arrested a gangster belonging to Uzair Jan Baloch gang, identified as Hussain, alias Abuzar, after an exchange of fire with the Police on Mirza Adam Khan Road within the limits of Chakiwarha Police Station in Lyari Town.

The MQM and the PPP announced a formation of a coalition Government in Sindh as five ministries are likely to be handed over to the MQM. According to sources, the Ministries of Health, Information Technology, Auqaf, Industries and Commerce are likely to be offered to the MQM. Two advisers will also be appointed from the MQM. The names of the potential ministers have been sent to MQM chief Altaf Hussain for approval.

March 23

At least five militants were killed and eight others were arrested during a search operation by SFs in Turbat District. An un-named official said that SFs launched a search operation in the Pidrak area of Turbat that led to an exchange of fire between militants and SFs. "The forces quickly responded and killed five militants during the exchange of fire,” he added. He further stated that eight suspects were arrested up from the same area and are being interrogated by the security personnel. 

Two dead bodies of ASI of Police who had been abducted on an unspecified date were found from two different areas of Sanda and Chow-Burji in Lahore District.  According to Police sources, both the Policemen were associated with the Anti Car Lifting Cell (ACLC).

Two members of Sikh community, Savendar Singh and Anand Singh, who were abducted from Dera Ismail Khan on February 11, have been released and have reached their home in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Anand Singh said he and Savender were running their herbal medicine business in Dera Ismail Khan when they were abducted on gunpoint by masked gunmen riding motorbikes. He said the kidnappers shifted them to an unknown place later.

National Assembly opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah demanded Altaf Hussain to withdraw his statement in which he invited the Army to take over the reign of power and said that Altaf’s statement was unconstitutional and PPP, which is a democratic party, would not take MQM in the Government of Sindh because of the MQM’s track record of inviting Army to run the affairs of the country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that his Government is working day and night for peace and would be holding direct talks with the TTP, and the process would kick-start in a day or two. “The country needs peace to put economy on the right track,” he stressed. Nawaz opined terrorism in the country was a result of wrong policies of the past. “Even those countries who were lagging behind Pakistan in development have taken a lead, as we are engulfed in terrorism,” he added. “For the last 10-15 years not a single considerable developmental project was launched in any part of the country,” he regretted. Sharif noted that the economy has lately shown signs of improvement, and exports are on the rise.

The Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) during the celebration of Pakistan Day at the Tahaffuz-e-Pakistan (Security of Pakistan) Convention in Nishtar Park of Jamshed Town in Karachi demanded for an ‘Islamic Pakistan’. “Despite a myriad of experiments involving democracy and dictatorships during the last 65 years, we have failed to honour our pledge to God and the people for the creation of an Islamic state,” said JeI Chief Syed Munawar Hasan as he addressed the participants.

Chief of the party’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and a key player in the Taliban negotiating team, Muhammad Ibrahim said that those calling for a military operation against the Taliban wanted to destabilise the country. “Their demands are against the national consensus and all political parties want to initiate peace talks with the Taliban,” he said.

Number of civilian’s deaths from US drone attacks in Pakistan is far bigger than Washington admits, Russian media said. In a documentary on US drones, the Russian media said over 3000 people half of them civilians have been killed in 350 aerial strikes in Pakistan. The Russian media called US term ‘Signature Strikes’ as worrying since in this procedure suspects are killed in US drone attacks without any substantial evidence. They said the US drone attacks are tantamount to war crimes and sheer violation of international laws.

March 24

A female polio vaccinator, Salma Farooqui (30), who was abducted from her house in Gulozai village in the suburbs of Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP in the night of March 23 had been killed. Her bullet-riddled and severely tortured body was found in a field in the morning of March 24. Salma Farooqui played an active role in the ‘Sehat Ka Insaf’ anti-polio campaign recently launched by the KP Government despite having been threatened by some callers for doing so. 

The bullet riddled body of a man, Faisal Imran Masih (60), who had been abducted by unidentified assailants from Akora Khattak on March 21, was found in Kaka Sahib area of Nowshera District in the evening.

Peshawar has topped the list with respect to cases of kidnapping for ransom in the province. In 2013, alone, more than 70 people were reportedly kidnapped for ransom from the city, according to Police records. After the abduction of Federal Secretary Amjad Shahid Afridi from Peshawar on March 21 it’s clear that this is the city of choice for kidnappers, said a high-ranking Police official. Out of the 70 abducted, 48 were recovered. It is not clear, however, if they were recovered by the Police or released by their captors after ransom was exchanged.

At least three persons were injured in a blast in the Landi Kotal Bazaar of the Khyber Agency in FATA. According to Khasadar officials, the injured in the attack were the members of a religious group named as Tawheed ul Islam.

The Islamabad High Court summoned the DG of the ISI, Lieutenant General Zaheerul Islam, in a missing person case. Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan directed the ISI chief to appear before the court next week in response to a petition filed by Parveen Bibi, the spouse of Mohammad Arif, who went missing in February 2014.

According to details, Arif, who owned two branches of ‘Dar-i-Arqam’ School in Iqbal Town and Dhamial Camp of Rawalpindi, was a resident of Peshawar Road in Rawalpindi Cantonment, and went to Khushab District (in Punjab) along with three others, Ishtiaq Ahmed Aasi, the Secretary General of the Pakistan Railways Mazdoor Union, Dr Uzair and Hafiz Rauf to condole the death of a friend.

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf filed a petition challenging the Special Court’s February 21, 2014 decision of going ahead with the high treason trial against him instead of referring it to a military court.  The Special Court, headed by Justice Faisal Arab of the Sindh High Court, had dismissed Musharraf’s application seeking trial by a military court under the Pakistan Army Act 1952. 

The petition in the Supreme Court was filed by Musharraf’s lawyers Sharifuddin Pirzada, Dr Khalid Ranjha, Anwar Mansoor Khan and Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif.  The court has been asked to accept the plea and declare the February 21 judgment of the Special Court constituted under the Criminal Law Amendment (Special Courts) Act, 1976 as illegal and unlawful. The Special Court should be directed not to proceed with the trial, it said.

In his petition, Musharraf contended that at the time of proclaiming the emergency on November 3, 2007, he was serving as a regular member of the armed forces and that the alleged offense of high treason attributed to him was to be tried only under the PAA 1952, a law also framed by Parliament as much as the High Treason Punishment Act 1973 and the Special Courts Act 1976.

The Government negotiators and the TTP Political Shura (Advisory Council) will not meet face-to-face on March 25, 2014 due to bad weather conditions. TTP intermediary Mohammad Ibrahim confirmed that the meeting was delayed. Officials had said on March 24, 2014 that the first face-to-face meeting between the committee and TTP members was expected to take place on March 25 at an undisclosed location.

Afghanistan accused ISI of staging the attack, adds Reuters. The NSC, which is chaired by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, also alleged that a Pakistani diplomat was seen scoping out the corridors of the Serena Hotel ahead of the March 20, 2014 night raid. “Another information of the NDS shows that earlier when one Pakistani diplomat entered the Kabul-Serena hotel to use its sport club, he filmed the corridors of the hotel which the hotel staff raised objections to,” it added.

March 25

A man, identified as Abdul Aziz (35), was shot dead in Photo Lane area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Unidentified armed assailants shot dead another man, identified as Yaseen (44), in Korangi Crossing of Korangi Town.

A man, identified as Younis (60), was shot dead near Electronics Market in Baldia Town.

Two abductees kidnapped by a Policeman, who was deployed at Special Investigation Unit, were released and the accused Policeman was arrested near Jinnah Mausoleum in Jamshed Town. The abductees were kidnapped on March 24, 2014. The Police mobile and weapons used in the kidnapping were also recovered from his possession.

At least 13 suspects were arrested and weapons were recovered from their possession during raids conducted by Rangers personnel in Mohammad Khan Colony and Ittehad Town of Baldia Town.

Police booked seven suspects, including MQM Zonal Committee member Farhan Ali Shaikh, for killing JSQM cadre, Manzoor Channa on March 21, 2014. However, the MQM District Chapter strongly condemned the registration of the FIR against Shaikh.

AIGP, Karachi range, Shahid Hayat said “1,500 more phones were snatched in the city when compared with the corresponding period before the operation”. He said that mobile snatching is on the rise in Karachi and the situation could improve if supply was curtailed and those individuals selling the phones were arrested. He further said that the targeted operation had brought the number of homicides in the city down, which would further decrease by 50 per cent at the end of 2014.

Police arrested two extortionists from the limit of Pishtakhara Police Station in Peshawar, provincial capital of KP. They hailed from Hangu District of the Province. Police said that both of them were brothers and the SIM used for demanding extortion money was also recovered from their possession.

The Supreme Court was informed that the Federal Government wanted two serving military officers, Major Moheen and Major Saif, tried under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 for their alleged involvement in enforced disappearances of Baloch people.

An unnamed ISI Brigadier, during a session of the National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on Defence on March 25, briefed the Parliamentarians on NISP and asked lawmakers to formulate strong laws to defeat terrorism. The official said that sectarian terrorist organisations were posing a renewed threat to the country’s peace.

The MNA and PML-N member Shaikh Rohail Asghar said that the briefing was satisfactory. “Problems and grey areas have been pinpointed in the meeting, which is a good sign. We hope this would be a productive addition in our efforts for the elimination of terrorism,” he said.

The unnamed sources in the National Assembly Defence Committee said that the ISI official said strong laws were required so that the missing persons’ issue was resolved. “Missing persons are those people who are involved in heinous kinds of terror activities,” sources quoted the Brigadier as saying.

The Pakistan Education Atlas (PEA) 2013, launched by State Minister for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Balighur Rehman, reported that for the last few years Pakistan’s adult literacy rate has stagnated at 58 per cent as almost half the country’s adult population is unable to read or write.

During the launch, Rehman reiterated the Government’s pledge to improve education in the country. He said that even though education has been devolved to Provinces, they ‘have agreed to the Constitution of a National Curriculum Commission to bring the education system on the same page across Pakistan’. In addition, the WFP Representative and Country Director in Pakistan Lola Castro said that the WFP had contributed to the report as it wished to ‘support and promote this important educational undertaking’ in the country.

Members of the State-Committee for peace talks with the TTP have left for NWA in FATA. The Government’s representatives include Habibullah Khan Khattak, Arbab Muhammad Arif, Fawad Hassan Fawad and Rustam Shah. However, the location of the meeting with the Taliban Shura has been kept a secret. 

March 26

A two-member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justice Amir Hani Muslim and Justice Mushir Alam, while hearing the cases on the law and order situation in Balochistan, missing persons and the Khuzdar mass grave case observed that Balochistan Chief Secretary was visiting the US while people in the province were dying.

The court directed the Balochistan Chief Secretary to hold a meeting on his return from the US and adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

Direct peace talks were held between the Government and the TTP in Orakzai Agency of FATA. The talks were mainly focused on an extension in the ceasefire and release of non-combatant detainees. The face-to-face meeting lasting seven hours was held in the Bilandkhel area in Spin Thall in the Orakzai Agency near the boundary with North Waziristan and the Kurram Agencies.

The four Government negotiators led by Secretary Ports and Shipping Habibullah Khan Khattak and the three TTP negotiations committee members headed by Maulana Samiul Haq were first flown in two separate helicopters to Thall town in Hangu District and then driven in vehicles to Bilandkhel in Orakzai Agency.

The TTP-nominated negotiators Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, who is provincial head of the Jamaat-e-Islami, and Maulana Yousaf Shah, who is an aide to Maulana Samiul Haq and is coordinator of the committee, also attended the talks. The TTP Shura was represented in the talks by Qari Shakil, who belongs to Mohmand Agency, Azam Tariq, who is from the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan, Qari Bashir, Hussain, who is a pharmacist and cleric, and a fifth person whose name could not be ascertained. Maulana Yousaf Shah and Prof Ibrahim had earlier said that Maulana Zakir too would be representing the TTP Shura, but it wasn’t clear if he attended the meeting.

Dozens of militants, including some mid-level planners, have travelled to Syria from Pakistan in recent months in what American intelligence and counterterrorism officials’ fear is an effort to lay the foundation for future strikes against Europe and the United States. “We are concerned about the use of Syrian territory by the al Qaeda organisation to recruit individuals and develop the capability to be able not just to carry out attacks inside of Syria, but also to use Syria as a launching pad,” John O Brennan, the CIA Director.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, on March 26 announced that in order to ensure safety of Policemen in Karachi, the Karachi Police, according to the Sindh Emergency Procurement Bill, 2014, will purchase security related equipments, including 300 bombproof APCs, bullet-proof vans and jackets, worth PKR 8 billion.

The Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on March 26 informed the National Assembly that Punjab recorded the highest number of kidnapping-for-ransom cases that were registered over the past one year among all Provinces and territories.

Referring to the abduction and killing of one of the five Iranian guards the Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam on March 26 said, “Our investigations have neither corroborated nor established the entry into or presence within Pakistani territory of the Iranian border guards”. Her comments followed remarks by Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Marzieh Afkham that her Government considered Pakistani Government responsible for the safety of the kidnapped guards.

According to details, five Iranian border guards were abducted on February 6, 2014 from Pakistan-Iran border by an Iranian militant group Jaish al-Adl which is accused of having sanctuaries in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. The outfit claimed to have killed one of the guards, identified as Jamshid Danaeefar. The Iranian Foreign Ministry called for immediate capture of the terrorists and their extradition to Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and demanded “serious and swift action” by Pakistan to secure the release of the soldiers. “We expect to hear good news in this regard,” he said, while calling for “joint action by both countries against terrorists.” To this, Nawaz Sharif said the issue was of “utmost importance” to his Government and that he was “prepared to boost action to free the soldiers.

March 27

A Policeman guarding the polio team workers was killed when unidentified militants attacked the team in Nasirabad area of Loralai District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sardar Sanaullah Zehrion, PML-N Parliamentary leader made an announcement that the Balochistan Government is setting up the Shuhada Foundation to assist the families of security personnel killed in the war against terror.

NDS personnel of Afghanistan arrested a key 'commander' of the TTP in Kamdish District of Nuristan Province. TTP ‘commander’ Muftauddin alias Mansoor, a resident of Chitral District, Pakistan, was sent to target the April 5, 2014 Afghanistan polls.

The KP Police Department blacklisted an arms supply firm, M/S Majeed and Sons for its involvement in a major scam concerning supply of substandard weapons, ammunition and other gadgets to the Police force. Through the tender, he said, the firm had got the contract. Later, allegations of embezzlement in the procurement of different items started surfacing in media and thus the NAB KP, conducted investigation into the matter. The major supplier during procurement in 2008-09, he said, was Arshad Majeed, the owner of the firm. He was arrested by NAB and during investigation he not only admitted to his involvement in malpractices, but also entered into an agreement for voluntary return of the embezzled amount.

The talks between Government and the TTP have hit a stalemate and unless some quick decisions are taken, it will be difficult to prolong the ceasefire. The ceasefire is to expire on March 31. According to an insider, the TTP has set two conditions for continuation of the peace talks. One is the creation of a demilitarised peace zone in mountainous Shaktoi in South Waziristan Agency of FATA, to allow freedom of movement and two, the release of non-combatants.

The insider said the five-member militants’ committee sought written guarantees before they could commit to an extension in the month-long ceasefire. “For nearly seven hours, we talked to them about the destruction wrought by over a decade of violence, the loss of lives and property and displacement of people. We said ‘let bygones be bygones, let’s bury the hatchet and make a new beginning’,” the insider said.

He described the situation as a stalemate, adding it was now for the federal government to reply.  He said that militants had handed them over a list of 250 non-combatants. The list includes names of women, children and the elderly. The military has already denied they have women, children and the elderly in their custody. “We told them we will investigate the matter,” the insider said. The militants’ committee also handed the committee representing the state a list of some seven hundred combatants for a possible release.

The Chairman of PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a message on the micro blogging site Twitter, said that he had received a threat letter from LeJ and would hold Punjab Government responsible in case of an attack on him. He further said that the threat was not just for him but for all PPP leaders, the Government of Sindh and officers of Police and Rangers.

Taking notice of the tweet, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed the IG Punjab Police to contact Bilawal and launch a swift probe into the incident.

Justice Faisal Arab of the Special Court trying former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf for high treason case ‘quit’ the trial over accusations of bias by the defence team. Justice Arab remarked, “If someone thinks that we are demonstrating partiality then we too are not interested in hearing of the case,” adding, “I did not say that Pervez Musharraf does not intend to come to court. I had said Musharraf could not appear in the court due to security concerns. The court also accepted security threats being faced by the accused. He was granted exemption after his plea for security threats was accepted. Issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants is not matter of joke.”

He further said, “If there is any objection over the court’s order then it can be rectified. If you think the court is not neutral then we too don’t have any interest in the case.” He announced, “There is no shortage of judges in the country and I cannot hear the case further.”

A Lahore High Court division bench adjourned the hearing of an appeal moved by a Christian woman, Asia Bibi (45), against her death sentence on blasphemy charges till April 14, 2014, due to unavailability of complainant Mullah Qari Muhammad Salam’s counsel. According to details, Salam accused Bibi of speaking against Prophet Muhammmad on June 14, 2009 and subsequently the Nankana Police registered a blasphemy case against her.  Later, a Sessions Court had handed down death penalty to her on November 8, 2010. Her appeal was filed with the LHC on November 11, 2010.

March 28

Two alleged gangsters, identified as Arshad and Abdullah, were killed in a joint encounter by Rangers and Police in Baghdadi area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Two unidentified dead bodies were found packed in gunny bags near Bagh-e-Korangi in Korangi Town.

A member of an unspecified political party, identified as Anwar (40), was killed in firing incident near Allah Wala Town in North Karachi Town.

A man, identified as Abdul Waheed (30), was killed in an incident of firing by unidentified armed assailants in North Nazimabad Town.

An attempt by unidentified criminals to run away with the pulled out ATM machine of a private bank was foiled near NIPA Chowrangi in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Gulshan Town. According to details, the accused successfully pulled out an ATM machine of a private bank and were about run away with the machine, when the guard of the bank foiled their attempt by switching on the siren causing panic among the accused who threw the machine on the road and fled away.

Three armed assailants entered the temple belonging to the Hindu scheduled-caste community and desecrated it in Latifabad area of Hyderabad District. The men prayed for two minutes and then broke Hanuman’s idol before setting the temple on fire. This temple is located in the same compound as the more popular temple of Kali Mata. “They asked me to let them in because they wanted to pray,” said Darshan, a student of class five, who has been looking after the temple for the last five months. “But, once they entered, they broke the idol, sprayed kerosene oil and set everything ablaze.”

MQM’s senior leader Saleem Shahzad, soon after his suspension from the party for an indefinite period, said that that several elements within the party were involved in extortion, killings and smuggling.  “The party leadership knew I have decided to resign from the basic membership,” Shahzad said while reacting to news of his suspension in London. “There is a corrupt lobby in the Muttahida which is against the ideological workers…These elements are involved in extortion, murder, smuggling and other illegal activities,” he said.

The driver of NATO oil container was killed and his companion was injured when unidentified militants set ablaze the tanker in Bypass area of Dhadar tehsil in Bolan District. An un-named levies official said that the militants escaped from the spot after torching the container.  No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

The driver of Express News anchor Raza Rumi was killed while he was injured in a targeted attack on his car near the Express News office in Raja Market of Lahore District. Soon after the incident Rumi said that although he had not received any direct threats, he was reportedly on the hit-list of some extremist groups. Eleven bullet casings were recovered from the crime scene, the CCPO said.

The Punjab Union of Journalists announced that it would hold a protest in front of the Punjab Assembly on March 29, 2014 (today).  “We [journalists] will continue to speak the truth and not back down,” Rumi said, adding “Politicians will not benefit from remaining quiet while journalists are muzzled…these bullets will target them tomorrow if they do not take notice today.” He further said, “There will be no security or governance left in Pakistan.”

The Supreme Court Registrar returned a petition of Shah Jan Khan, saying the petitioner was not an aggrieved party in the proceedings of the Special Court set up for treason trial of former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf.  “The petitioner (Shah Jan Khan) is not an aggrieved party and, therefore, cannot file the petition in the matter,” the Supreme Court Registrar said while rejecting the petition. Shah Jan Khan, the petitioner, had requested the Supreme Court to summon judges of the Special Court, Musharraf’s lawyers and the media to clear their position about proceedings on Musharraf’s treason case.

On March 27, 2014, unusual rising of the three-judge Special Court sparked rumours that the court had been dissolved and it’s Chief Judge, Justice Faisal Arab, had refused to proceed with the case.  But the court later clarified in its order that it had risen only for the day and said it would take up the case on March 31, 2014 as scheduled to frame charges against Musharraf for imposing the 2007 emergency.

TTP negotiating committee member and JeI Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Muhammad Ibrahim said that there was no deadlock in the dialogue process. He said that the TTP and Government had not refused demands put forward by each side, adding that confidence will increase if prisoners were released. 

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan convened a meeting of the committees representing the Government and the TTP. Informed sources said the meeting would discuss the future course of action and was expected to be followed soon by another round of direct talks between the Government Committee and the TTP Shura.

An un-named official source said that the first round of direct talks was held at an undisclosed location in FATA and the second might take place at some other place. He said ‘reasonable’ demands of the TTP would be considered and efforts would be made to take the peace process to its logical conclusion. Sources confirmed that the TTP had sought release of hundreds of their prisoners and said “they will be asked to soften their position”, indicating that a rigid position on the issue would not be acceptable.

Police force of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is ready to respond to any security threat in case peace negotiations with the TTP fail, said KP IGP, Nasir Durrani. He said that the Police force in the Province possessed the capabilities to spring to action if needed and face any sudden blowback if peace talks were to fail.

Highlighting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s security concerns compared to the rest of the country, Durrani said that his Police force knew how to tackle militancy and ensure the safety of its people. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is different from the rest of the country when it comes to law and order. According to him, the Province faced three major security threats – militancy, kidnapping-for-ransom and extortion, which were “interlinked”.

Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said that the US has not formally announced to stop drone attacks in Pakistan. He said that Nawaz Shahrif had told President Barack Obama that the drones were causing damage instead of any benefit. However, the US officials had not informed Pakistan about as to how long the drone attacks would not be launched, he said.

The UN called on all states to ensure that the use of armed drones complies with international law, backing a proposal from Pakistan seen as taking aim at the US. The Council "urges all states to ensure that any measures employed to counter terrorism, including the use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones, comply with their obligations under international law...in particular the principles of precaution, distinction and proportionality".

Pakistan’s Ambassador Zamir Akram while talking to the UNHRC said, "The purpose of this resolution is not to shame or name anyone, as we are against this approach,” adding, "It is about supporting a principle." The Resolution was adopted by a vote of 27 states in favour to six against, with 14 abstentions. The United States, Britain and France voted against.

KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak inaugurated the Provincial headquarters of Rescue 1122 Emergency Service situated on Sher Shah Suri Road in Cantonment area of Provincial capital Peshawar. Spokesperson of the emergency service said the building was completed by the C&W Department at the cost of PKR150 million, which was taken from the funds of Rescue 1122 allotted to it by the Provincial Government. The project was approved by the ANP Government in 2011.

“The emergency service has become one of the exemplary service providers of the Province,” said the Chief Minister, adding, the service will be expanded to other areas of the Province like Dera Ismail Khan, Swat and Abbottabad Districts. Currently, Rescue 1122 is active in Peshawar and Mardan Districts.

The IMF, while reviewing Pakistan’s performance under a USD 6.7 billion bailout loan package, on March 28 said in its report that Pakistan’s key economic indicators were showing modest improvement but warned that militancy and crime could threaten growth and investment. “For the fiscal year 2014-15, growth is forecast to accelerate to about 3.7 percent, and will continue to accelerate in the medium term,” the report said, adding, “Security conditions in Pakistan remain difficult with significant terrorist activity, as well as sectarian violence and urban criminal activity, which could depress investment and growth.”

The report was prepared after the IMF team met Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other officials in Dubai during a meeting from February 1 to 9, 2014, to discuss the economic performance, approval and release of the USD 550 million third installment of the loan. The meeting was held outside Pakistan because of security worries, the fund said. The State Bank of Pakistan spokesman confirmed that USD 550 million had been transferred from the IMF to bring foreign exchange reserves USD 9.1 billion.

The IMF confirmed its recent forecast of 3.1 percent growth this year, which was revised up from an earlier 2.8 percent. “The overall economic situation in Pakistan is gradually improving,” said Jeffrey Franks, the IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, adding, “That 3.1 percent may still be a bit on the conservative side, so we see indicators of growth that are relatively strong considering the fiscal adjustment that has taken place.”

March 29

A bomb blast targeting a vehicle carrying SFs killed a minor girl and injured 15 others on the outskirts of Quetta city in Balochistan province. Militants targeted the vehicle of FC through an IED on Quetta's Sariab road area. The militants planted the IED in a rickshaw parked on the road. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. However, Police suspect that Baloch militants operating in the area carried out the attack.

Unidentified militants disguised in SFs’ uniforms attacked the Pasni radar-post in Mekran Belt near Gwadar town (Gwadar District), killing a Balochistan Constabulary official and injuring another. An official in the province’s home and tribal affairs department, who requested anonymity owing to sensitivity of the matter, told a private television channel that eight militants stormed inside the Pasni radar post and killed personnel deployed there. “The militants took eight security personnel hostage,” he said, adding that the insurgents killed one of them for offering resistance.

The Police have arrested a suspected suicide bomber during search operation in Kohat District of the KP. Police officials were searching vehicles at a check point in Nasrat Khel area of Kohat District when they arrested a suspected suicide bomber, Amjad Ali and recovered explosive material and a suicide vest from him. The bomb disposal unit was called in which successfully defused the suicide jacket containing 13 kg of explosives, ball bearings, prima-card and two MV2 fuses.

March 30

Three more dead bodies were recovered from a mass grave in Totak area of Khuzdar District. The mass grave was discovered on January 25. So far, 16 dead bodies have been recovered from the grave. Two dead bodies were identified by their relatives, whereas the remaining corpses are yet to be identified.

At least two persons, identified as Zafar Ali and Liaquat Ali were killed and three sustained injuries as some unidentified assailants opened fire in the morning at Gomal Bazar Sekotkhadaq in Tank District of KP.  Police said that five persons were on way back to their home located at Gomal Bazar Sekotkhadaq after attending a wedding ceremony, when unidentified assailants targeting them opened fire.

A suspected militant was killed in an encounter with the Police in the limits of Ghauriwala Police Station in Bannu District. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarters) Sanaullah Khan said that the encounter took place in the limits of Ghauriwala Police Station, where the cops had put up barricade for checking vehicles and people. He said the cops manning the barrier signalled a motorcyclist to stop, but he opened fire on the Policemen and sped away. He said the cops from the Ghauriwala and Mandan police stations chased the fleeing militant, who fell from the bike during the mayhem. “The attacker sustained injuries during the fall, but hurled two hand-grenades at the approaching cops, who remained unhurt,” the official said, adding that the militant then blew himself up.

12 persons sustained injuries when unidentified persons hurled a hand-grenade at a workshop in Bara Qadeem in the limits of Sarband Police Station in Peshawar (Peshawar District), the provincial capital of KP. The condition of one of them was stated to be critical.

Unidentified militants hurled a hand-grenade at a shrine in Kulachi tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan District. The people were preparing meal at the langar or free food in connection with the Urs in Atal Sharif when the incident happened. Unidentified motorcyclists lobbed a hand-grenade into the building. However, no loss of life occurred in the blast.

A house suffered partial damage in an explosion in Bagota area of Hangu District. The sources said unidentified persons had planted an explosive device near the house of Sajidullah in Bagota, which went off early in the day causing partial damage to the building. However, it caused no loss of life.

A convoy of SFs escaped two explosions caused by remote-controlled devices on the Miranshah-Dattakhel Road in NWA of FATA. However, the blasts caused no human or property losses as the convoy of the SFs had passed the targeted area shortly before the explosions.

PM Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said the talks with the TTP are moving forward in the right direction and the nation will soon be given good news. The PM hoped that the dialogue process with the TTP would bring about the desired results. He said that development of the country was connected with peace, which would be restored at all costs. The PM directed the Punjab Chief Minister to improve the law and order situation of the province, adding that it was the first priority of the Government.

Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, claimed that the TTP had suggested to the Government to set up a judicial commission to ascertain facts about detention of what it called non-combatants. “This is one of the recommendations of TTP that there should be a judicial commission on the issue of TTP prisoners,” Maulana Ashrafi said. He said the TTP had made the suggestion during their first meeting with Government negotiators in tribal areas last week.

TTP’s negotiating committee member, Mohammad Ibrahim, said on March 30 that the TTP had expressed willingness to release some high-profile people as a goodwill gesture. Ibrahim did not rule out release of Ali Musa, Shahbaz Taseer and Ajmal Khan, the former vice-chancellor of Islamia College University, Peshawar. He criticised the PPP, MQM and ANP for their stance on the ongoing talks between the Government and the TTP and claimed that these parties did not want the process to succeed so that a situation arose for a military operation in North Waziristan. He said these parties advocated use of force to solve problems in tribal areas, though such actions had always proved to be an exercise in futility in the past.

The rising incidents of cross-border terrorism by some Pakistan-based militant groups not only in Afghanistan and India but also in Iran and China, are increasingly bringing Islamabad into conflict with most of its neighbouring states. Pakistan’s Tribal Areas are being blamed for harbouring non-state actors by almost all its neighbours, with Delhi, Kabul, Tehran and Beijing expressing concern about the links between global terrorism and sanctuaries located in the lawless regions of the FATA.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.

 

 

 

 

 
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