Pakistan Timeline 2018



January 1

Eight persons, including three Security Officials, were injured in two separate explosions in Chaman District of Balochistan. The first explosion took place near an under-construction building on Chaman's Mall Road injuring two persons. Second explosion targeted a Police Check Post in the same area and injured six persons, including three Security Officials.

SECP prohibited the collection of donations by all organisations affiliated with Hafiz Saeed led JuD and that are banned by UNSC. A notification issued by the commission read that "The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan hereby prohibits all companies from donating cash to the entities and individuals listed under the UNSC sanctions committee's consolidated list". The Hafeez Saeed related prohibited outfits include FIF, LeT and JuD the charity wing of LeT. Other banned outfits include the Paasban-i-Ahle-Hadith and Pasban-i-Kashmir.

Pakistan's Government plans to seize control of charities and financial assets linked to JuD 'chief' Hafiz Saeed. The Government detailed its plans in a 'secret' order to various Provincial and Federal Government departments on December 19, 2017. The December 19 document, which refers to "Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issues", names Saeed's two charities JuD and FIF, and "actions to be taken" against them. JuD spokesman Yahya Mujahid said the organization would go to Court if the Government decides to take over JuD and FIF.

US President Donald Trump tweeted that Pakistan had given Washington "nothing but lies and deceit". "The US has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools" he tweeted.

MFA Pakistan summoned US Ambassador David Hale lodged its protest against President Donald Trump's tweet wherein he accused Pakistan of 'lies and deceit'.

The White House said that it will continue to withhold $255 million in military aid to Pakistan out of frustration over what it has characterized as Islamabad's abstinence in confronting terrorist networks, reports CNN. "The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 foreign military financing for Pakistan at this time," an unnamed NSC spokesman said. "The President has made clear that the United States expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan's actions in support of the South Asia strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance," he added. The administration first said in August 2017 it was temporarily withholding the $255 million, which was part of a $1.1 billion aid package authorized in 2016 by Congress. The money was put on hold until Pakistan agreed to do more to combat terrorist networks. The National Security Council official said the administration would continue to review Pakistan's level of cooperation in security areas.

The report compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) shows that terrorists carried out 23 suicide attacks in different parts of the country in 2017, whereas 2016 and 2015 had witnessed 17 and 18 such incidents, respectively.

1,387 people, including 585 civilians, 555 militants and 247 SFs Personnel, were killed and 1,965 people, including 1,580 civilians, were injured in militancy-related incidents, including militant attacks and SFs actions. Militants carried out at least 420 attacks in which 912 people, including 584 civilians, 225 SFs personnel and 103 militants, were killed and 1,877 injured. SFs conducted 522 operations in which left 475 people, including 452 militants and 22 SFs personnel, dead and 88 people injured. SFs also arrested 1,760 suspected militants during 2017.

The year 2017 saw the highest number of militant attacks in Balochistan where 183 militant attacks took place in which 308 people, including 208 civilians and 84 SFs personnel, were killed and 572 people suffered injuries. The province remained target of a variety of militant groups, including sub-nationalist militants, sectarian and international militant groups. Overall 43pc of the total militant attacks in the country were recorded in Balochistan and 10 out of 23 suicide attacks (43pc) took place in the province. SFs conducted 134 operations against militants in Balochistan in which 112 militants were killed and 657 arrested.

102 militant attacks were recorded in FATA in which 339 people, including 206 civilians, 65 SFs and 68 militants, were killed and 858 people, including 629 civilians, suffered injuries. As many as 58 security operations were reported from FATA in which 84 militants and five SFs were killed. SFs also arrested at least 79 suspects from FATA.

SFs conducted at least four actions in Azad Kashmir in which 12 suspected militants were arrested. Fourteen suspected militants were arrested from Gilgit-Baltistan region in two SFs actions while four suspects were arrested in three actions in Islamabad.

KP witnessed significant improvement in security situation as all indicators saw negative trends. There was 40pc decline in the number of militant attacks and 47pc decline in the number of deaths in the province. A total of 75 militant attacks were recorded in KP in which 92 people, including 43 civilians, 34 SFs personnel and 15 militants, were killed while 175 people, including 136 civilians, were injured. KP saw the second highest number of suicide attacks during the year as at least six suicide attacks were reported from the province. In 2016, five suicide attacks took place in the province. SFs conducted at least 103 actions against militants in which 543 suspects were arrested and 41 killed during 2017.

Sindh saw a 40pc decrease in militant attacks, but with 84pc increase in the number of deaths during 2017. Militants carried out 40 attacks in the province killing 112 people, including 92 civilians and 17 SFs personnel. Another 303 people were injured in these attacks. The province saw one suicide attack during 2017. SFs conducted at least 98 actions against militants in which 110 suspects were killed and 153 arrested.

Punjab witnessed seven per cent increase in militant attacks, but there was 37pc decline in deaths. During the year, 15 militant attacks took place in the province in which 59 people, including 34 civilians and 24 SFs personnel, were killed and 208 people, all of them civilians, suffered injuries. The province also witnessed three suicide bombings one more than 2016. SFs conducted 119 operations against militants in the province in which 105 militants were killed and 298 arrested.

Two militant attacks were reported from Azad Jammu and Kashmir in which one civilian died and five were injured. Three violent militant activities of low intensity were reported from Islamabad in which one person lost his life. No violent militant activity was reported from Gilgit-Baltistan region.

January 2

LEAs including Sindh Rangers' Anti-Terrorist Wing and the CTD acting on prior intelligence killed three TTP militants in Kaimkhani Colony area of Baldia Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. An unspecified number of militants managed to escape the encounter while two Rangers and one CTD Personnel received bullet injuries.

Two militants were killed and twelve FC Personnel injured in a suicide attack involving explosion followed by firing near an FC check post in the Baleli area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

Government of Pakistan in a tweeted that Pakistan had sustained over 50000 casualties and $123 billion losses in the 'war against terrorism'. For the period 2003-2017 Pakistan suffered 62,421 casualties. In 2013, 5, 379 Pakistanis were killed in terrorist attacks followed by 5,496 in 2014; 3,682 in 2015; 1,830 in 2016 and 924 in 2017. According to Watson Institute 6000 Pakistan Security Personnel, 1582 United States (US) Contractors, 2357 US Military, 1130 Allied Troops and 14200 Afghan Troopers were killed in combat (period not specified).

FATA Law and Order Officials confirmed that 6,112 civilians were killed and another 6,707 others have been injured in the 'war against terrorism' since 2001 (period not specified during a meeting of the standing committee on the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) in Islamabad. Families of the killed have been paid 3.7 billion rupees in compensation so far. Families of 244 Levies and 178 Khasadar Personnel were among the 5,690 civilians, who had received the compensation amount.

January 3

Karachi Police released a year-end report detailing its performance for the year 2017. The report detailed that 184 criminals and 7,373 militants were killed in 480 encounters in Karachi in 2017.

A FIR was launched against Hafeez Saeed's organisation JuD and its subsidiary FIF for display of banners requesting donations in Koral Police station in Ghouri Town in Islamabad. Two other FIRs were registered against the foundation at Golra and Shahzad Town police stations, respectively.

DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said that any 'misunderstandings' between US and Pakistan could negatively impact security situation in Afghanistan. He added that India played a destabilising role in the region and encouraged terrorism in Pakistan through Afghanistan territory. "Pakistan received only $15-20 billion in terms of CSF, while the national exchequer incurred $123 billion in losses in monetary terms besides other sacrifices to support US operations in its war against terror", he said.

A two member bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa said that that the sit-in staged by the TLYRA was an "attack on Muslims by Muslims". AG Ashtar Ausuf told the Court that nine people in Punjab and three in Sindh were killed during the protests while 194 Police Officers were injured. AG confirmed that an estimated damage of PKR 139.5 million was incurred. The Court also questioned the employment status of TLYRA chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who was heading the protest.

January 4

Two TTP were killed and four militants were arrested in an IBO in the Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan District of KP. The deceased militants, included wanted Zahir Shah and his unidentified accomplice, who were responsible for the killing of Army Major Ishaq during an encounter initiated by the SFs on November 22, 2017, in the same area.

Eight militants among fifteen suspects were arrested by FC Balochistan from Districts of Zhob, Sibbi, Nasirabad (Dera Murad Jamali), Bolan (Mach), and Quetta (Killi Ismail). 70 kilograms of explosive, weapons and ammunition and communication equipment were also recovered.

Four missiles were fired near sub-division complex Bahai Daag in Mamad Kore area of Khewazai Biazai in Mohmand agency of FATA from across the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border. No casualties or injuries were reported.

An IED planted near the residence of Malik Hayat Gul of Masood Adamzai in Safi Tehsil in Mohmand Agency in FATA went off early. No casualties or injuries were reported.

An IED recovered and defused by the BDU of Mohmand Rifles at Olai Top Border area in Biazai sub-division in Mohmand Agency in FATA.

MFA Pakistan Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal in response to a question on Pakistani response to potential US strikes in settled areas of Pakistani territory said that the Military had already stated that "any such actions would get a befitting response".

The US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert had said that it had placed Pakistan on a special watch list for 'severe violations of religious freedom'.

January 5

A FC Personal was injured in IED explosion in Ainger area of Mohmand Agency in FATA.

Sixteen TTP militants of the Ustad Aslam faction were arrested in a joint operation by CTD of Sindh Police and Sindh Rangers in Sohrab Goth and Mominabad areas of Karachi the provincial capital of Sindh. Firing took place during the Sohrab Goth raid. The militants were identified as Rafiullah Arif alias Qari, Abdul Majid alias Mufti, Mohammad Younis Arif Ans alias Yousuf Saleem, Mohammad Razaq, Shams Alhuda alias Maulvi, Umar Khaliq alias Hussain, Mohammad Junaid alias Abdul Manan, Junaid Ahmed, Khan Bahadur, Abdul Gaffar alias Abu Huraira, Mohammad Zainul Abideen alias Siddiqui Arif Saifullah, Saifullah, Mohammad Asif, Sanaullah, Abdulaziz and Umar Ali. Arms and ammunition including hand grenades and explosives were also recovered.

CTD recovered ten 'block bombs' and several suicide vests near Guru Mandir neighbourhood of Karachi the provincial capital of Sindh.

More Pakistanis died in incidents described by LEA as encounters than in gun violence or in suicide attacks in 2017, according to the findings of a research conducted by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). In 2017, 495 people were reported killed in what the law enforcement agencies said were shootouts. The number of those killed in gun violence was 399, those in suicide attacks 298, and in bomb explosions 144. The corresponding numbers for 2016 were 645 in alleged encounters, 485 in gun violence, and 376 in suicide attacks. The study finds that sectarian violence escalated drastically in 2017, with a 32 percent increase from 241 fatalities in 2016 to 319 in 2017. Overall, the report maintains that the country witnessed a 21 percent decline in violence-related deaths in 2017. Except Punjab, all other provinces or regions registered a decline in violence. 4,131 casualties were reported in violent incidents in 2017, including 2,057 deaths and 2,074 injuries. In contrast, there were 2,613 deaths in 2016 and 4,647 in 2015.

TLYRA Chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi said that TLYRA will fight upcoming 2018 elections in Pakistan. Speaking at Liaquat Bagh in ceremony to honour people killed during the Faizabad protests he said that "In Faizabad, we sacrificed only eight lives fighting the blasphemy, but if circumstances demand, we will be ready to sacrifice millions of lives". A top leader Pir Afzal Qadri released a 12-point manifesto promising an equitable distribution of wealth and inclusion of Islamic teachings in the curriculum.

Afghan Deputy Ambassador to Pakistan Zardasht Shams said that the Deputy Governor of Afghanistan's Kunar province, Qazi Mohammad Nabi Ahmadi, abducted from Peshawar in KP in October 27 2017, has been released. Ahmadi's brother, Habibullah, who was also abducted, has not yet been freed.

NACTA will conduct research on the footprints of IS group in Pakistan and its linkage with TTP, Al Qaeda and other militant networks confirmed Senate Standing Committee on Internal Security under the chairmanship of Rehman Malik. Rehman Malik also asked NACTA to take steps for capacity-building of the FIA to effectively combat cyber terrorism and crimes. NACTA's National Coordinator Ihsan Ghani presented a report on implementation of the NAP over the last three years covering 20 salient points of the anti-terrorism plan confirmed that 483 militants had been convicted since partial lifting of moratorium on death penalty in March 2015 (period not specified).

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said that US will suspend all security aid to Pakistan starting from January 5 until Islamabad acts against terrorist groups.  The suspension includes USD 255 million in FMF for the fiscal year 2016 as mandated by the US Congress and USD 900 million of the CSF money to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2017. "It has been more than four months since the President's speech and despite a sustained high-level engagement by this administration with the Government of Pakistan, the Taliban and the Haqqani Network continue to find sanctuary inside Pakistan as they plot to destabilise Afghanistan and also attack US and allied personnel," Nauert said. She added that the cut is not permanent. However the suspension of FMF for 2016 was announced back in September 2017 and the State Department could not confirm the exact figure of what extra amount of aid had been suspended beyond $255 million in FMF for 2016 during the press briefing.

US Republican Senator Rand Paul said that he would introduce a bill that would stop all US aid to Pakistan. "US should not give one penny to countries that burn our flag and chant Death to America. Countries like Pakistan that stonewall access to key information in fighting terrorism don't deserve our money," he said.

MFA Pakistan Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that Pakistan had fought war against terrorism largely from its own resources and it cost the country $120 billion in last 15 years. "[The] impact of US' decision on pursuit of common objectives is also likely to emerge more clearly in due course of time. It, however, needs to be appreciated that Pakistan has fought the war against terrorism largely from its own resources. We are determined to continue to do all it takes to secure the lives of our citizens and broader stability in the region," he said in a statement.

January 6

Two militants were killed by SFs in Nawa Killi near Quetta, provincial capital of Balochistan. Police said that they were attempting to arrest the accomplices of an arrested suspect who was in the vehicle with the SFs in order to help in identifying the suspects. Security officials (unnamed) said, "However, the suspect's accomplices opened fire in a bid to help their detained friend escape. In the resulting exchange, one of the attackers, as well as the under-arrest suspect, were killed. Two terrorists, however, escaped from the scene".

Armed assailants killed a Policeman belonging to the Rapid Response Group (RRG) and injured another near Sariab Flyover in Quetta. The deceased was identified as RRG Constable Muhammad Alam.

355 suspected persons were arrested by Police during search operations in various areas of Kohat District in KP. According to DPO Kohat, thirty-three proclaimed offenders and a number of Afghan citizens living in the area without valid travelling documents were among the arrested people. Arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

FC Balochistan recovered IEDs, arms and ammunition during an IBO in Mastung District of Balochistan. "Through an IBO [intelligence based operation] in Mastung based on lead from apprehended suspects, [FC] recovered cache of arms, ammunition and explosives including sniper rifles, grenade and IEDs hidden in caves for a major terrorist activity," the ISPR said in a statement.

One suspect, identified as Gul Qayum s/o Akhtar Qayum, was arrested and arms and ammunition were recovered by Khasdar Force in the Zergraan area of Landi Kotal tehsil in Khyber agency. The recovery included 55 SMGs and 1150 rounds.

TTP and its associated outfits remain the most potent threat followed by nationalist insurgent groups despite a 16 per cent decline in militant attacks in 2017, said a security report issued by PIPS. The report mentioned that IS footprint was increasing in Balochistan, FATA and Northern Sindh, and were carrying out deadly attacks. The report said that militant, nationalist and violent sectarian groups carried out, in all, 370 terrorist attacks in 64 districts of Pakistan during the year 2017, including 24 suicide and gun-and-suicide coordinated attacks, killing 815 people, besides injuring 1,736. These attacks posted a 16 per cent decrease from the total in 2016; and the number of people killed also dropped by 10 per cent.

Of these attacks, as many as 213, or 58 per cent, were perpetrated by TTP , its splinter groups, mainly JuA and other militant groups with similar objectives such as local Taliban groups, killing 186 people. Nationalist insurgent groups, mostly in Balochistan and a few in Sindh, carried out 138 attacks, or 37 per cent of the total, killing 140 people. As many as 19 terrorist attacks were sectarian, which killed 71 people and inflicted injuries on 97 others, according to the report. It also noted that compared to 2016, a significant surge of 131 per cent was witnessed during 2017 in cross-border attacks from Pakistan's borders with Afghanistan, India and Iran. A total of 171 cross-border attacks claimed 188 lives and injured 348 others.

SFs and LEA killed a total of 524 militants in 2017, as against 809 in 2016, in 75 military operations as well as 68 armed clashes and encounters with the militants reported from across the four provinces and FATA. According to the report, some new challenges raised their heads, including emergence of self-radicalised individuals and small terrorist cells, growing incidence of religious extremism including on educational campuses, and, most importantly, increasing footprints of IS in parts of the country and convergence of its fighters in Afghanistan near Pakistani border. In 2017, IS and its local affiliates claimed 6 major attacks, killing 153 people.

IM of Pakistan issued a notice in several newspapers urging the public not to donate to organisations involved in terrorism. The advertisement named 72 organisations including JuD and FIF associated with LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, which are banned or under observation for involvement in terrorism, barring them from collecting donations. The notice cautioned against making donations, giving financial assistance or serving outfits that were banned or under observation under the ATA 1997, and UN Act 1948, was a crime.

Police in a meeting decided to reinvestigate labourers working on the Karot Power Project of CPEC in the case of a Chinese engineer Pingzhi Liu who went missing in Kahuta Tehsil in Rawalpindi District of Punjab on Dec 20, 2017. The decision was made by Regional Police Officer (RPO) Mohammad Sultan Raja at a meeting on the site of the project.

January 8

Three militants were arrested by FC Balochistan during IBOs conducted under Operation Radd-ul-Fassad in Dhadar and Mastung Districts of Balochistan, states ISPR. Cache of arms and ammunition including IEDs, hand grenade, detonators and communication equipment were also recovered.

The Peshawar High Court granted bail to the father-in-law of Maulana Fazlullah 'chief' of TTP and founder of TNSM Sufi Mohammad. As a pro-Taliban cleric he was the architect of a violent movement for the enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan´s north-western Malakand District of KP.

PAT Chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri announced a countrywide protest movement against the PML-N Government from January 17 as the deadline, given for the resignation of Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah given by him had ended.

Pentagon Spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said that US had conveyed "specific and concrete steps" Pakistan must take for resumption of aid. "Taliban and Haqqani leadership and attack planners should no longer be able to find safe haven or conduct operations from Pakistani soil" he said. Pentagon Officials are watching to see if Pakistan is going to retaliate against the US by cutting supply lines to US troops from its port at Karachi into Afghanistan. Manning said that so far there were no signs that Pakistan was preparing to take that course of action. He stressed that the suspension of funding was not permanent "at this time" and that the money was not being diverted elsewhere.

January 9

Seven people, including five Policemen, were killed and 16 others, including eight Policemen, injured in a suicide blast by a TTP militant near GPO Chowk on Zarghoon Road of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The suicide bomber targeted the Police contingent returning from duty at the Provincial Assembly building and rammed into the parked Police truck. IG of Balochistan Police Moazzam Jah Ansari said that he could "tell in advance" that the suicide bomber must have come from across the Afghanistan border.

ATC granted bail to two suspects Wasihullah and Hamid Khan charged by the CTD with possessing explosive material and a hand grenade in Mardan District in KP on October 18, 2017. In the petition, both the suspects had claimed that they were taken into custody by LEAs and that after remaining in illegal confinement for many weeks; they were implicated in a concocted case, which was registered by the CTD.

Sindh Rangers Karachi Division powers conferred under the provision of clause (i) of sub-section-3 of section 4 of ATA, 1997 due to expire on January 10, 2018, have been extended by Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah. Extended period of 90 days commences from January 1, 2018 to April 10, 2018.

Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir said that military and intelligence cooperation with US had been suspended. "You see the facilities that we have extended to them (Americans) are still in operation. We have not suspended them. But there is also a wide field of intelligence cooperation and defence cooperation which we have suspended," Dastagir said at a public talk on "Contours of Security Environment of Pakistan", organised by the Government-run Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI). US Embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire, however, said that no formal notification had been sent.

January 10

Muhammad Bakhsh alias Jaggo a former militant 'commander' belonging to BLF was killed by militants in the Nasirabad area of Turbat town in Kech District of Balochistan. According to (unnamed) Levies Officials, Jaggo was an important 'commander 'of BLF, however, differences cropped up between him and the BLF leadership after the killing of National Party leader Mola Bakhsh Dashti in an attack. Jaggo then left the BLF and formed his own militant group. Three years ago, he abandoned militancy and surrendered to the Government.

US State Department updated its threat assessment for Pakistan Balochistan, KP, FATA and PoK were placed in the "do not travel" category due to militancy.

January 11

One soldier was killed while two others were injured in a landmine explosion in the Sarobai area of the North Waziristan agency of FATA.

Steven Goldstein, the US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs said that US was hopeful that "Pakistan will do the right thing and turn over the terrorists and honour their commitment".

MFA Pakistan spokesperson Mohammed Faisal said that US understands the importance of lines of communication. "Pakistan's support to the US has been critical in dealing with the challenges of terrorism in the region. Both sides understand the importance of the lines of communication," he said. He also said that Pakistan and the US continued to communicate with each other on various issues of mutual interest at different levels. "Since, it is being done outside media glare, I cannot share further details with you," Faisal replied when asked to share details of such contacts.

January 12

Police Constable identified as Shakir posted in the anti-street crime squad was killed in a targeted attack by TTP militants on his way to report for duty at Gulberg Police Station near North Nazimabad area of Karachi the provincial capital of Sindh.

General Joseph L. Votel Commander US CENTCOM apprised COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa over a telephone call that US was not considering unilateral action inside Pakistan. A US Senator had also called the COAS to discuss Pakistan-US security cooperation post the US President Donald Trump's tweet.

The ECP delisted 284 political parties for failing to meet the requirements under the Elections Act 2017. Under the Elections Act 2017, the political parties were required to deposit a registration fee of Rs0.2 million with the ECP along with a list of 2,000 party workers with their national identity cards and signatures however these parties failed to comply. Prominent parties delisted by the ECP include Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, the JUI-Sami, the Sunni Tehreek, Qaumi Watan Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nazriati, Sindh National Front, Bahawalpur National Awami Party, Millat Party and Aam Aadmi Party. These parties could approach the SCP against the delisting.

The NA passed a bill extending the jurisdiction of the SCP and the PHC to FATA as one of the reforms paving the way for a merger of FATA with KP. The junior partners of the PML-N Government, the JUI-F and the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami (PMA) Party opposed the bill.

January 13

Four TTP militants were killed by the Police in an encounter after receiving prior intelligence near Shah Latif Town in Karachi the provincial capital of Sindh. According to SSP Malik Rao Anwar the militants were involved in target killings and militancy related incidents.

MQM-L Convener Professor Hassan Zafar Arif was found dead in Ilyas Goth area of Karachi the provincial capital of Sindh. He had earlier gone missing on the same day and there were conflicting reports on whether there were torture marks on his body or not.

Police acting on information shared by the IA arrested two suspects and recovered 121 rifles and 16,000 cartridges in a truck near Sefan Square on Kohat Road in Peshawar in KP. The suspects were identified as Bilour and Raj Khan revealed that the weapons were being transported for smuggler identified as Parvez, a resident of Masho Khail in Peshawar in KP.

Another five suspects were arrested and weapons recovered in Barabhed area in Peshawar in KP. The recovery included 274 AK-47 riffles, one G3 rifle, 76 pistols, included seven 9mm, 20 pistols of 38 bore, 32 pistol of AK-47 style, 14 China riffle 7.62 mm, rifle Dangar bore 13,11 repeater and hundreds of cartridges of deferent bores.

Two suspects were arrested during search operation conducted in various areas of Tarnol Police Jurisdiction by Islamabad Police and Rangers.

January 14

One child was killed and another injured in an explosion in Bannu District of KP.

Police arrested 58 suspects including two facilitators of militants during search operations from Kohat district in KP. DPO Majeed Abbas said that the Police teams had conducted the operations in various areas of Kohat.

One health worker was killed by unidentified militants Alikhel area of Qilla Saifullah District in Balochistan.

Two children were injured in an explosion in Sarkokae area of SWA in FATA. The injured were identified as nine-year-old Kalsum and seven-year-old Rasheed.

A total of 324 violent incidents including 153 terrorism and 171 counter terrorism actions were recorded during 2017, which marked a 16 percent increase in militancy incidents, compared to the preceding year, says FATA Annual Security Report issued by FATA Research Centre, Islamabad. Out of the total 153 terrorist incidents in 2017, 73 terrorist attacks (48 percent) targeted the security forces, while 71 attacks (46 percent) were directed against civilians. Seven terrorist attacks (five percent) targeted members of civil militia or Amn Lashkar. Two incidents of infighting between terrorist groups were also report during the year 2017. The violent incidents both militants and counter-terrorists, resulted in a total of 1207 casualties 539 killed and 668 injured across FATA, marking an increase of 37 percent in overall casualties. Of the total casualties, 76O (138 Killed and 437 Injured) were that of civilians, accounting for 63 percent of the overall casualties. The report claimed that TTP, Islamic State of Khorasan (IS-K), Khan Said and Hakeemullah group of Mehsud Taliban, Wazir Taliban, Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Alami and TTP-Jamat-ul-Ahrar remained the major actor of instability during the year 2017.

January 15

Five FC Personnel were killed and six others injured in an ambush by militants in Shapok area of Kech District in Balochistan. According to (unnamed) Officials two FC vehicles, transporting Soldiers from Panjgur to Turban in Balochistan, were attacked with automatic weapons when they were crossing the mountainous area of Shapok. Turbat Assistant Commissioner Dr Jamil Baloch said that "as a result of the firing and overturning of the vehicles, five FC personnel got martyred and six others sustained injured". The deceased were identified as Havaldar Zakir, Lance Naik Masood, Sepoy Shahbaz Qasir, Sepoy Farmanullah and Sepoy Masood while the injured included Havaldar Qambar, Asadullah, Sohail, Muhammad Bilal, Muhammad Hanif and Shafqatullah.

A Police Constable was killed by unidentified assailants in Bharwal area of Hasanabdal Saddar Police Jurisdiction in Attock District of Punjab. The deceased was identified as Head constable Faizan.

Two TTP militants, Amjad Khan and Dawood Khan belonging to the JuA faction were arrested by CTD during a raid in Harbans Pura in Lahore the provincial capital of Punjab. Hand grenades and small-scale arms were recovered during the raid.

TTP 'commander' Asad Mansoor of the Hakimullah Mehsud group surrendered to the SFs in Dera Ismail Khan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The name of the surrendered 'commander' resembles that of the spokesperson of the TTP's breakaway faction JuA, Asad Mansoor, but he has sent an email to media outlets denying that he had laid down arms, while an (unnamed) official says that he had surrendered three weeks back.

Afghan Taliban delegation from the 'Qatar Office' led by Shahabuddin Dilawar has arrived in Pakistan according to two (unnamed) Taliban officials. However, Taliban 'spokesman' Zabihullah Mujahid said he was unaware of the visit when a query was posted on his WhatsApp and said he would check and respond.

US Acting Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells said that Pakistan's support was critical to the success of the US strategy for Afghanistan. She said that strengthening border management mechanisms between Pakistan and Afghanistan was vital to addressing concerns relating to cross border movements. She also called on Adviser on Finance Miftah Ismail in Islamabad and discussed current state of Pakistan-US ties with particular emphasis on economic cooperation.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said that military-to-military dialogue between the Pakistan and US was the right approach to improve strained relations.

January 16

Three militants were killed in an attempted suicide attack on SSP Malir Rao Anwar when his convoy comes under attack in Malir Cantt area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. SSP Anwar remained unhurt in the attack, Police said, adding that a suicide attacker blew himself up near the convoy while two other attackers were killed in retaliatory fire by Policemen. The convoy came under attack by militants when SSP Anwar was heading towards his home in Malir Cantt. At least four Policemen travelling in the convoy sustained bullet wounds. SSP Rao Anwar survived an attack earlier on May 1, 2015 during which assailants hurled grenades and opened fire on his convoy while he was returning home from the residence of slain DSP Fateh Muhammad Sangi.

More than 1,800 clerics have issued a fatwa forbidding suicide bombings, as part of a national counter-terrorism narrative 'Paigham-e-Pakistan' launched at the President's House in Islamabad. The 22-point decree signed by eminent religious scholars from different schools of thought and heads of major religious schools across Pakistan declared that suicide attacks were forbidden in the light of teachings of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah and were already adversely affecting the country and the society by causing disorder and mayhem to the advantage of the enemies of Islam as well as Pakistan. "We unanimously reject extremist ideology and extremism in all its forms and manifestations. Wherever exists, this is an evil ideology, therefore, shall be dealt with as a religious obligation through all means available, i.e. ideological, kinetic and non-kinetic," the decree said.

TTP claimed responsibility of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination in a book launched by the outfit's central leader Mufti Noor Wali alias Abu Mansoor Asim. 588-page book titled 'Inqilab-e-Mehsud South Waziristan - From British Raj to American Imperialism' states the Bhutto was assassinated because "She allegedly planned to collaborate with the US against the Mujahideen if she returned to power." Bhutto was killed in a suicide attack on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi. The book also claims that two bombers, Mohsin and Rehmatullah, were assigned the task to carry out the attack, one of whom succeeded in firing a shot at Benazir Bhutto before detonating his explosives jacket.

The book corroborates law enforcement and security agencies' claims of dismantling the banned organisation's network in Karachi by killing most of its militants. The author Mufti Noor Wali himself served as the chief for Karachi chapter from June 2013 to May 2015. The sections about Karachi describe how the Mehsud chapter started its subversive activities in Karachi after the crackdown on militant groups intensified in 2007, and also mentions their foiled attack in Kiamari where oil terminals are located. After the military's Operation Rah-e-Nijat was launched in 2009, a crackdown on Taliban militants also started in the city. In retaliation, the group began targeting law enforcement and security officials as well as political activists who were part of the coalition government, for which they joined forces with other jihadi groups operating in the metropolis.

The group claims to have attacked the Rangers' Nazimabad headquarters and checkpoints, martyring law enforcement officials, including the SSP Chaudhry Aslam, and attacking leaders and rallies of the ANP and the MQM. They also admit to committing robberies, extortion and other crimes to generate funds. Wali acknowledges that after the crackdown on violent groups was launched in the city in September 2013, law enforcement and security agencies had killed most of the key leaders in an "extrajudicial" manner. The book also lists the names of 104 people killed by law enforcement and security agencies. However, according to Mehsud tribesmen familiar with the TTP network in the city, most of the people on the list were active members of the outfit in the city's Pashtun-dominated areas, such as Sohrab Goth, Manghopir, Ittehad Town, Quarry Colony and Shah Latif Town.

Granting total immunity to the Mumbai terror attacks mastermind, Hafiz Saeed, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on a private news channel that no action can be taken against Hafiz Saeed since no case has been registered against him. "Action is taken when there is a case registered against someone. There is no case against Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, if there were a case, action would have been taken," Abbasi said in a TV interview, referring to Saeed as 'sahib', a form of address or title placed after a man's name or designation as a mark of respect. The LeT and JuD chief, who has a USD 10 million bounty on him by the US state department since 2012 for his role in several acts of terror, was set free on November 24, 2017 after the Lahore high court directed Pakistan Government to end his home detention. Incidentally, in one of his early interviews, Abbasi had asked India to prosecute Saeed on an international forum if it thinks there was substance in its allegations. "Prosecute him internationally if there is substance in charges against him. These are accusations only. No evidence has been provided by India," he had said.

January 17

Two Balochistan Constabulary personnel, identified as Ilyas and Shaukat, were shot dead while another one, identified as Javed, sustain injury when unidentified militants attacked them on Double Road area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. The personnel were reportedly deployed at a flyover in the area for security duty.

Unidentified militants shot dead a Police constable, identified as Naseer Ahmed, while was going to report for duty on the Raisani Road area of Quetta. However, the attackers managed to escape from the spot after the attack.

Two Policemen among three people were injured in a hand grenade attack on a vehicle in Chaman town of Killa Abdullah District. Police said that unidentified assailants hurled hand grenade at a vehicle near Edhi police picket in Chaman. The attack partially damaged the vehicle, besides injuring three people, including two Policemen. The assailants fled the scene after the attack.

Police foiled a major terror bid as it recovered two bomb planted by the roadside in Quetta, which were defused by the BDS. According to details, a remote control bomb, weighing four to five kilogrammes, was planted by some unidentified miscreants in a cycle in Shafi Colony near Sariab Road, which was defused.

A man was injured in a US drone strike in Badshah Kot area near the Pak-Afghan border in Kurram Agency of FATA. According to officials, the man severely injured in the strike was identified as Khalid, said to be an "Afghan militant".

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua informed the Senate's foreign affairs committee that the US would continue funding the aid components that support their national interest, including the IMET part. The IMET programme, which focuses on military education, is meant to establish a rapport between the US military and the recipient country's military for building alliances for the future. Under this programme, Pakistan Army officers have been trained in the US at a cost of USD 52 million over the past 15 years and an allocation of another USD 4 million has been made for the current year. While the IMET would continue, the US has frozen the aid provided under the programmes that are more important to Pakistan, particularly the FMF. The recipients of FMF can use the funds under this programme for procurement of defence hardware produced by the US.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while acknowledging Pakistan's efforts in eradicating terrorism, said during a press conference in Moscow that the terrorists spread inside Afghanistan along the area bordering Pakistan pose grave danger for Islamabad. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia will provide every possible support to Pakistan to make it a developed country. Sergei Lavrov said several agreements have been signed between Pakistan and Russia for the provision of helicopters and military equipments.

January 18

Two female polio vaccination workers were killed when their team comes under the fire of unidentified assailants in the Shalkot area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. "Sakina Bibi and her daughter Rizwana Bibi (12) were killed by unknown assailants," spokesman of Emergency Operation Centre for Polio Eradication Balochistan Muhammad Zafar said.

SFs apprehended eight terrorists and seized weapons from their possession in different areas of Balochistan. According to ISPR, FC Balochistan conducted IBOs in Gulistan, Pishin, Kanack, Dera Bugti, Uch, Sambaza Dera Murad Jamali and Sibbi and arrested eight terrorists including an illegal Afghan national. The FC personnel recovered weapons and ammunition including IEDs, rockets, fuses, grenades, mortars and explosives from their possession.

Following PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's remark that no action could be taken against the United Nations-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the US called for Hafiz Saeed's prosecution "to the fullest extent of the law". PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, during an interview to Geo TV on January 16, referred to Hafiz Saeed as 'sahib' (sir) and said "There is no case against Hafiz Saeed sahib in Pakistan. Only when there is a case, can there be action," he said when asked why there was no action against Saeed. Reacting strongly to the comments, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said the US believed that Saeed should be prosecuted and they have told Pakistan as much."We believe that he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. He is listed by the UNSC 1267, the al Qaeda Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with LeT, which is a designated foreign terror organisation," Ms. Nauert told reporters at her daily news conference. "We have made our points and concerns to the Pakistani government very clear. We believe that this individual should be prosecuted," she said.

Foreign Office spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal disclosed that Pakistan and the US were engaged in negotiations, which are "ongoing and outside public domain" and that cooperation with the US has remained unaffected despite recent developments. He did not go into details and only said that no demands were being made from the US in the negotiations.US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells this week visited Pakistan during which she renewed the demand for clearing Pakistani territory of alleged terror sanctuaries. Earlier US CENTCOM chief General Joseph Votel had reached out to Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa for calming the frayed nerves at GHQ. The information publicly shared by both sides about these interactions created the perception that the second attempt at salvaging the relationship after the US leadership's rhetoric against Pakistan following the announcement of the new policy on South Asia and Afghanistan was not going well.

January 19

SFs arrested eight suspected militants including three unregistered Afghans and seized weapons from their possession in Lahore and Dera Ghazi Khan of Punjab. According to ISPR, Pakistan Rangers Punjab along with Police and Intelligence Agencies carried out IBO in Lahore and Dera Ghazi Khan.

COAS, General Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed death sentence of another 10 hardcore terrorists, awarded by military courts. The convicts were involved in terrorist activities, killing of innocent civilians, attacks on educational institutions, slaughtering of soldiers, attacking Law Enforcement Agencies and Armed Forces of Pakistan. In total, these 10 terrorists were involved in killing of 41 personnel while injuring 33 others. Arms and explosives were also recovered from their possession. These convicts were tried by military courts. Besides these 10, another 3 convicts have been awarded imprisonment for varying period by military courts.

Pakistan said that it wanted to send Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network leaders back to Afghanistan to join the mainstream politics in their own country. In an interview to the BBC Urdu, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Aizaz Chaudhry rejected allegations of providing shelter to Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network operatives. "There are no terrorist safe havens in Pakistan. However, if US has any information [on the issue] then they must share it with us as we too want to eliminate them [Taliban and Haqqanis]," he said. Chaudhry said the Taliban and Haqqanis had a control over 43 per cent land in Afghanistan. "However, they have relations with the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and that's why we want them [refugees] to return to Afghanistan as well," he said. "Our position on the issue is very clear: we want them back to their country… we don't want Taliban and Haqqanis living with us. In fact, we are forcing them to go and live in Afghanistan and join the political mainstream there and they're not accepted here anymore," he asserted.

January 21

Two militants were killed during an intelligence-based operation by SFs in the suburbs of Dera Ghazi Khan town of same District in Punjab. ISPR statement said that the IBO was conducted under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad and two militants were involved in kidnapping and killing of SF personnel.

Former SHO of Airport Police Station Fazlur Rehman Kakar was shot dead in a targeted attack in Yat Road area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. According to Police, Fazlur Rehman Kakar was sitting outside his car showroom on Yat Road when unidentified assailants shot him dead. Kakar was dismissed as the Airport SHO after the May 17, 2011 Kharotabad incident in which four Russians and one Tajik nationals were killed. These five foreigners were shot dead after they allegedly failed to stop at a Police checkpoint. The victims included three women, including a pregnant one. Several high-profile inquiries were conducted into the incident to ascertain the role of the FC and Police. As a result of the judicial inquiry by Justice Hashim Khan Kakar, Quetta CCPO Daud Junejo, FC's Colonel Faisal Shehzad, SHO Fazlur Rehman Kakar and ASI Raza Khan were held responsible. In August 2013, unidentified assailants shot dead ASI Raza while he was standing outside his house in Quetta. On December 29, 2011, Police surgeon and key witness in the incident, Dr Baqir Shah, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Quetta. The doctor was previously roughed up by Police as his statement differed from the official version of security agencies.

January 22

A grade 12th student, Fahim Ashraf, at Islamia College in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shot his college principal, Sareer Khan, dead after being censured for skipping school to attend the November 2017 sit-in of religio-political parties in Faizabad area of Federal capital Islamabad. In a video acquired by Dawn, the student, while being arrested, appeared to justify the murder saying he believed the college principal had committed blasphemy. "I have been taught... to kill... to not be afraid. Don't be afraid of disrespecting the one who" commits blasphemy, the student can be heard saying in the video in Pashto. "You can kill me," he tells the arresting officers. Police said the principal Sareer Khan had earlier expressed his anger at Faheem over his being absent from college for three days. Fahim Ashraf had been angry that he was marked absent during the days he was attending the Faizabad sit-in.

The Supreme Court ordered authorities to halt the implementation of an order by a military court which sentenced to death three hardcore terrorists. A two-member bench of the top court under Justice Azamat Saeed conducted a hearing into appeals filed in the SC against the verdict by three terrorists, namely Shafaqat, Sabir Shah and Muhammad Liaquat. After hearing the arguments of the complainants, Justice Saeed ordered the suspension of the military court ruling until further orders, and adjourned proceedings indefinitely. Muhammad Liaquat had been charged with attacking a journalist, while Sabir Shah and Shafaqat are deemed involved in the murder of Advocate Arshad Ali in Lahore. Earlier, a military court had sentenced all three of them to death.

In the wake of January 20's attack on luxury Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul carried out by the Afghan Taliban, the US called on Pakistan to take action against the militant group's leaders. At least 18 people were killed when Afghan Taliban militants stormed the Hotel. The siege had continued overnight as Afghan security forces battled the terrorists. Addressing a press briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the attack against civilians would only serve to strengthen Washington's resolve in working with its Afghan partners. Commending the "swift action" taken by the Afghan security forces at the time of the attack, Sanders added: "Afghanistan forces, with our support, will continue to relentlessly pursue the enemies of Afghanistan who also seek to export terror around the world." "We call on Pakistan to immediately arrest or expel the Taliban's leaders," Sanders said, adding that Pakistan should "prevent the group from using Pakistani territory to support its operations".

Retracting from his earlier statement that no action can be taken against chief of JuD, the frontal organisation of LeT and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed since no case was registered against him in Pakistan, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that his Government will push ahead with its plans to seize control of charities run by the JuD chief Hafiz Saeed. Abbasi's assurance to act against Saeed-run entities comes ahead of a planned two-day visit of the UNSC's sanctions-monitoring team to Pakistan to assess the country's compliance with the world body's sanctions regime. "Yes, the government will take over the charities, which are sanctioned and not allowed to operate," PM Abbasi told Reuters in an interview. "Everybody is on board, everybody is on the same page, everybody is committed to the implementation of UN sanctions," he said.

January 23

At least three Haqqani network militants were killed in a drone strike at a house in Speen Thal area of Hangu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The deaths were also confirmed by SHO of Thal Police Station, Ameer Zaman.

The chief of JuD, the frontal organisation of LeT and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed requested the UN to send its officials to JuD's offices to check whether he was involved in terrorist or humanitarian activities, reports Times of India. Saeed also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking protection from arrest ahead of the UNSC team's arrival. He filed the petition through his counsel A K Dogar seeking the court's direction to the PML-N Government restraining it from arresting him and taking action against JuD and Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, which is included in the UNSC sanctions list. Saeed's request comes two days ahead of the visit of the UNSC's sanctions monitoring team to Pakistan on a two-day trip to assess the country's compliance with the world body's sanctions regime. The UNSC special team will arrive here on January 25. "Everyone can observe our humanitarian work and activities," Saeed said. "A malicious campaign has been launched in media against me and JuD in order to please America and India. The campaign aimed at banning JuD activities in Pakistan will not be fruitful for the country's sovereignty," Saeed added.

Federal Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal said that ex-militants are raising funds for welfare and they may join any terrorist outfit if stopped from carrying out such activities. Talking to journalists after attending the passing-out ceremony of the Counter-Terrorism Force at Police Lines Headquarters in Islamabad, he said that about 4,000 to 5,000 militants had quit militancy and were raising funds for welfare. "What would they do if they don't do the same [welfare works]; either we throw them into the sea or give them opportunity to join Daesh [Arabic acronym for the militant Islamic State group]," Ahsan Iqbal said without naming any individual or outfit. He said these people were not involved in militancy anymore, but engaged in welfare works, adding that they were under surveillance, their accounts were seized and there was a ban on their fund raising.

January 24

The Lahore High Court restrained the Pakistan Government from arresting Hafiz Saeed, the 2008 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and JuD chief, till further order. Saeed on January 23 moved the court seeking protection from arrest or action against JuD and FIF ahead of the visit of the monitoring team of the UNSC Sanctions Committee. In his plea, he had said that the government wants to arrest him at the behest of US and India, whose lobby for the last many years has been trying to prove that he was "somehow involved in Mumbai attacks". Justice Amin Aminuddin Khan heard Saeed's plea and refrained the Government from taking any adverse action against him. "The LHC today accepted JuD chief Hafiz Saeed's application and issued order restraining the federal government from arresting him till further order," a court official said adding that the court also issued notice to the Government to file its reply on March 17.

January 25

At least two hundred separatists' militants of the BRP, including 15 'commanders', laid down their weapons before Chief Minister, Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa at a ceremony held at FC Headquarters in Turbat town in Kech District in Balochistan. The separatists' militants announced submitting to the writ of the State and becoming part of the national mainstream, according to an official press release.

January 26

As many as 444 suspects were killed in 192 police encounters led by Rao Anwar after his appointment as the SSP in the Malir District of the Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, reveals the inquiry report submitted by the Sindh Police in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The report detailing 745 encounters involving former SSP Malir Rao Anwar, after his appointment seven years back, was submitted by the Police after Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took suo notice of the alleged extra judicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsood on January 13. According to the inquiry report, Rao Anwar led 192 police encounters in which 444 people were killed. Whereas, there were 553 cases that did not involve any killings. The report stated that Rao Anwar took some 891 suspects into custody during the last seven years as SPP of the Malir District. The first ten months of 2012 saw the most number of encounters, the report said. Two Police encounters took place in Jan 2018 that led to killing of eight people.

January 29

A civilian, identified as Bachayo Bheel, was killed in a low intensity blast caused by a hand grenade placed in garbage near the Mehran shopping centre in the Qasimabad town of Hyderabad. Another passerby Rajab Ali was injured in the incident. According to Hyderabad SSP Peer Muhammad Shah, "It seems that due to our ongoing search operation some miscreant threw the grenade in the garbage." The deceased was rummaging through the garbage when the grenade exploded.

Pakistani PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on inaugurated the Gwadar Economic Free Zone as part of the CPEC.

January 30

An IED explosion has killed eight people including three women and a child at Maqbal area of Kurram Agency in FATA. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Pakistan handed over 27 individuals suspected of having ties to the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani Network to Afghanistan in 2017. In a series of tweets, the FO spokesman Mohammad Faisal on January 30 said that Pakistan is continuing to push any suspected Afghan Taliban and Haqqani elements with a view to "prevent them from using our soil for any terrorist activity in Afghanistan". The suspected militants were handed over to Afghanistan in November 2017, he said.

January 31

Afghan Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak, NDS Chief Masoom Stanekzai and Afghanistan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal, held detailed talks on security cooperation with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Both sides also agreed to continue negotiations and a Pakistani delegation is likely to visit Kabul on February 3 for follow up talks and share "Pakistan's concerns about the presence of militants on the Afghan side of the border," a Pakistani source said. The surprise visit of the top Afghanistan delegation and talks follows a string of deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Government decided to extend the stay of over 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees in Pakistan for another two months. The decision to give the sixth extension to Afghan refugees was made in the federal cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, said the PM's spokesman. It was also agreed to extend the period for the proof of registration (PoR) cards for Afghan refugees living in Pakistan which automatically lost their legal status on Dec 31, 2017.

February 1

US Joint Staff Director Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie assured Islamabad that the United States is not planning to conduct military operations inside Pakistan. "We actually don't contemplate military operations inside Pakistan," Kenneth McKenzie said at a Pentagon news briefing. "On the other hand, we recognise - because the strategy is inherently regional and Pakistan is geographically located at a critical nexus of a lot of different things - Pakistan is a fundamental part of the strategy," he added. The assurances followed a White House statement on January 30, saying that the US military had been given authority to eliminate militant safe havens in both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

February 2

The Baloch militant organisations are no longer a threat to the CPEC, said Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, adding that members of banned outfits were "not true Pakistanis". In an interview to BBC Urdu, he sounded confident that Gwadar port would soon become one of the world's trading hubs as the security situation in Pakistan had improved to a large extent in the last few years. "If they [Baloch militants] are true Pakistanis, they should work in the interest of Pakistan," he said brushing aside their capacity of becoming a threat to China, Pakistan and their CPEC project. Yao Jing said he was satisfied with the security provided to about 10,000 Chinese nationals working on different CPEC projects in Pakistan which also has some 60,000 local people on different jobs.

The NACTA claims to have issued threat alert with a "very high degree of accuracy and precision" before the deadliest Army Public School, Peshawar terrorist attack on December 16, 2014. According to NACTA, it has been able to predict 80 terrorist attacks, out of which 24 were predicted with a high degree of accuracy and precision about the target, place, suspected perpetrators, modus operandi etc. It adds that 56 of these attacks were city specific. However, despite precise threat alerts they could not be prevented. Since the setting up of NACTA's Operation Wing in 2014, the authority has disseminated 4,700 threat alerts and information reports for pro-active measures by the provincial governments and the law enforcement agencies.

Blaming Pakistan for insurgency in Afghanistan is unfair as Afghanistan itself has large swathes of ungoverned spaces that are leaving a vacuum for safe havens and terrorist sanctuaries, FO Spokesperson Dr Faisal said. During weekly media briefing, the spokesman said endless cycle of violence is consistent enemy of Afghanistan and peace in the region cannot be achieved until ungoverned places in Afghanistan are dealt with properly. "These ungoverned areas are used to flourish and launch attacks on Pakistan", he said. He said peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned management. "It is totally up to Afghanistan to reckon how to tackle insurgent groups within its area", he added.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan of failing to move against the Taliban and pledged a new security plan for Kabul after hundreds of people were killed and wounded in two deadly attacks on the capital, Kabul, in January. "We are waiting for Pakistan to act," Ghani said in a televised address after weekly prayers, in which he accused Pakistan of being the 'Taliban centre'.

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed backtracked from his earlier statement about the alleged role of India and the US in his house arrest, claiming he was detained by the Pakistan Government to stop him from raising the Kashmir issue. "It was not the Modi government...but our own Pakistani Government that had detained me for 10 months. The Pakistani government wanted to stop me from raising the Kashmir issue," JuD chief Saeed said while speaking at the Nazria Pakistan Trust in Lahore. "I fail to understand as to why Islamabad is ignoring the sacrifices of Kashmiri people. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi should stage a sit-in along with at least five members of his Cabinet outside the office of the UN on February 5 to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people," he said.

February 3

Eleven Pakistani Army soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in a suicide bombing near a Pakistani Army camp in Kabal area in Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. TTP has claimed responsibility for the attack. According to reports, the suicide bomber blew himself up in a ground where soldiers were playing volleyball.

February 4

An accidental hand grenade explosion in a home in the Tusp area of Panjgur District in Balochistan killed a woman and her daughter and injured her son. Makran Division Commissioner Bashir Bangulzai said that the boy had found a hand grenade and taken it home. The grenade exploded while he was playing with it inside his house. The boy's mother and sister died in the blast, while the injured boy was shifted to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.

JI local leader Malik Tufail was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Mughalkhel area of Bannu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Tufail was killed when unidentified assailants on a motorcycle opened fire at him in Mughalkhel area. The suspects escaped from the site after the incident.

Source:Compiled from news reports and are provisional.