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Pakistan Timeline - 2015



January 1

A FC official was killed and three others injured after their vehicle was bombed at the Harnae Phatak close to Police Line in Sibi town of same District in Balochistan in the morning. According to police officials, unidentified militants attached an IED to a tree near a graveyard close to Police Line. The militants detonated the IED by a remote device when FC vehicle passed by the area. As a result of the explosion, FC solider Mohammed Luqman died on the spot while three other personnel sustained wounds.

A suspected TTP militant, involved in the attack on a Levies Thana in Zhob District, was killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces. Official sources said that a group of armed militants attacked the Levies Thana in Murgha Kibzai area of Zhob District and ransacked it before setting it on fire. The attackers were fleeing when FC troops reached there and opened fire on them. In the heavy exchange of fire, one attacker died.

FC personnel arrested a militant ‘commander’ and recovered arms and ammunition from his possession from Barkhan District.

The Sindh Rangers arrested 11 suspected persons during raids in Mianwali Colony, Jam Goth and Lyari areas of the provincial capital Karachi. According to a spokesman of Sindh Rangers, the members of banned outfits were also among the detainees. Four alleged gangster were arrested in Gulistan Colony area of Lyari. Arms were also recovered from their possession.

A local court sent LeT ‘commander’ Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks, on a 14-day judicial remand in a six-year-old ‘kidnapping’ case. The order came as Lakhvi’s two-day physical remand in the kidnapping case expired January 2.

Earlier in the morning, the Federal Government challenged the suspension of the detention order for Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in Supreme Court. Government pleaded the Supreme Court of Pakistan to set aside the Islamabad High Court (IHC) order.

Three special courts were formed in accordance with the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) to preside over cases relating to terrorism. Five special courts are to be formed in total. The three courts have been formed in Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Lahore (Punjab) and Quetta (Balochistan) in accordance with the PPA passed by parliament in order to curb rising militancy in the country. Judge Mukarrab Khan will head the special court in Lahore, Judge Zafar Khosa in Quetta and judge Anwar Ali Khan will preside over the court in Peshawar. As many as five special courts are to be formed whereas the next phase will focus on establishing special courts in Islamabad and Sindh.

PM Nawaz Sharif ordered the suspension of Senior Superintendent of Islamabad Police Asmatullah Junejo and another officer for showing leniency to the activists of ASWJ arrested on charges of displaying weapons. SSP Islamabad and Acting SHO of Shahzad Town Police Station, Anees Akbar, were suspended for not booking a leader of ASWJ Mufti Tanvir Alam and his eight accomplices for displaying weapons in violation of Section 144 imposed in the federal capital, Islamabad. Instead of booking all of the arrested persons for violating Section 144, the Police authorities booked them under Sections 13, 20 and 65 separately, showing leniency toward the activists of the religious outfit.

DIG, Operations, Dr Haider Ashraf awarded punishment including dismissal from service, suspension, demotion and censure to 39 officials including six SHOs and two ASIs during Orderly Room. The DIG dismissed two ASIs and one constable, suspended six SHOs, one constable and one clerk, censured six SHOs, two ASIs and one clerk, demoted an inspector and one sub-inspector, stopped increment of four SHOs, three ASIs, two constables, one clerk and one junior-clerk and fined two sub-inspectors, one TASI and one junior-clerk for corruption, misuse of their authority, misbehavior with citizens and indiscipline.

The CoAS, General Raheel Sharif, said the political consensus against terrorism should not be lost to petty differences. He said the entire nation was looking towards the political and military leadership of the country to take bold and meaningful decisions leading to stern action against the terrorists and their sympathisers. He was addressing the 178th Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that the entire national political class and military is united in the war against terrorism and extremism, and will achieve success by taking effective measures at the right time. The political leadership and military command once again came together for the speedy implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) for the eradication of terrorism.

PM said nobody could remain neutral in the war against terrorism and the NAP will eliminate terrorists for all times. Nawaz said the hideouts of hardcore terrorists would be completely smashed and they would be chased with courage and determination and eliminated while civilians would be protected by every means.

ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain declared Punjab a training centre for terrorists and their masterminds and demanded that the Government begin a decisive action against terrorist outfits in the province. He was speaking at the ‘Shuhada Amn Qaumi Conference’ here at Nishtar Hall in Peshawar.

He said there should be no distinction between good Taliban and bad Taliban and that state institutions should take an across-the-board action against terrorists.

Defending the role of madrassas and resenting the Prime Minister’s mention of religious schools in the context of terrorism, Qari Muhammad Hanif Jalandhari, general secretary of the Ittehad-i-Tanzeemat-i-Madaris-i-Deenia — an umbrella organisation of five main bodies representing seminaries from as many different schools of thought - demanded that the Government expose elements and organisations behind the Peshawar school carnage, saying that it was the worst incident of its kind in the world. He, however, alleged that under the cover of the tragedy a propaganda campaign sponsored by the west had been unleashed against the madrassas and Islam.

At least 824 people were killed and 2,339 others injured in 372 bomb attacks, including 26 suicide bombings that occurred across Pakistan during 2014, according to official statistics. According to the data, the suicide attacks killed 249 people and left 582 wounded in different areas of the country last year. In 2014, the number of suicide attacks dropped by 34 percent from the year of 2013 when 39 suicide blasts took place. Terrorists staged 21 suicide attacks during the first six months of the year, seven in January, six in February, one each in March and April, two in May and four in June, which killed 163 people and injured 348 others. But the number of suicide attacks dropped in the second part of the year after the launch of the military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” against militants in the country’s northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

During the second half of the year, terrorists carried out only five suicide attacks that killed 86 people and left 234 wounded. As the country’s military and law enforcement agencies started actions against terrorists, the number of total casualties in 2014 dopped by around 46 percent from the previous year, when 1,532 persons were killed in 324 bomb attacks. In terms of the number of deaths, January of 2014 was the deadliest month when 168 people lost their lives and 401 others sustained injuries in 42 bomb attacks. The month of August was second most deadliest, when 103 people were killed and 309 others injured in 53 attacks. The worst attack of the year occurred on November 2, when a suicide bomber exploded his jacket amid a crowd of over 200 people who were returning after attending a “lowering of the flags” ceremony and Rangers parade at the Wagah border crossing between Pakistan and India. The attack killed at least 62 people and left over 150 others injured.

January 2

The FC claimed to have killed four suspected militants in the Naal area of Khuzdar District. One FC trooper was also killed during an exchange of fire with suspected militants. FC’s spokesman (Balochistan) said several suspected militants were also arrested during the operation. The forces also seized weapons and arms from the possession of militants during the action.

The Ghizer Police defused an eight kilogram bomb planted on a road leading to the home of the Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Peer Karam Ali Shah. The bomb was planted on the Ghizer-Ashkoman road. A Police source said that Governor Peer Karam Shah usually used the road to go his home situated at Chatorgan in Ghizer District. The Police official said that the Ghizer District was a peaceful place and that the incident was first of its kind in the area.

PM Nawaz Sharif wrote a letter to President Mamnoon Hussain, urging him to reject the mercy petitions of five condemned prisoners who were convicted for their involvement in terrorism cases. The convicts include: Muhammad Ikramul Haq alias Lahori alias Farooq Haider (son of Bashir Ahmed), Ahmed Ali alias Asif alias Shish Naag (son of Ghulam Abbas), Mohammad Tayyab alias Sajjad (son of Nabi Ahmed), Ghulam Shabbir alias Doctor alias Nasir alias Zeeshan alias Sohail (son of Bashir Ahmed), and Zulfiqar Ali (son of Abdul Hameed). The five prisoners hailing from Karachi and convicted for target killings had been arrested in different instances.

On December 17, PM Nawaz Sharif had approved the removal of moratorium on the death penalty after the attack on Peshawar's Army Public School. In the wake of the removal of the moratorium on the death penalty, seven executions have been carried out. The moratorium on the death penalty was imposed by former President Asif Ali Zardari during the tenure of the Pakistan People’s Party government in 2008.

The APC convened by PM Nawaz Sharif decided to amend the Constitution to provide for trial of terror suspects by military courts for a period of two years. The amendment endorsed by the APC will be known as the 22nd Amendment. It will be tabled in the National Assembly on January 3 (today) and in Senate on (January 6). The proposed amendment bill calls for amending Article 175 of the Constitution (Establishment and Jurisdiction of Courts) and the First Schedule of the Constitution, which contains laws exempted from operation of Article 8 (1) and (2) – the clauses pertaining to fundamental rights.

January 3

Pakistani Rangers, in an operation, killed four criminals, identified as Sanaullah (25), Ameer (35), Hassan (28) and Liaqat (30), near Jumman Shah Road of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. “The criminals were involved in many cases of murder and extortion,” the Pakistan Rangers spokesperson said. Weapons were also recovered from their possession.

Unidentified gunman shot dead a man, identified as Ghulam Ali (25), near Gareeb Shah Shrine in Lyari Town in Karachi.

The polio worker's house was set ablaze by militants in Khattakmela area of Kurram Agency.  Official sources said that unidentified militants burned down the house of polio worker Muhammad Wazir, who performs duties as a polio worker.

Law Enforcement Agencies, including Police, FC, Balochistan Levies and Intelligence Agencies in a joint raid launched a crackdown against stores openly selling hate literature and materials allegedly promoting militancy in Kuchlak area of Quetta. At least 40 shopkeepers were detained in Quetta for interrogation, while dozens were arrested from other parts of the Province during the raids.

The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that action had been launched against the TTP, its supporters and sympathisers. Speaking at a press conference, he said it had been decided in the National Action Plan (NAP) that TTP operatives, their supporters, masterminds and financiers would be identified across the country. The Federal intelligence agencies would cooperate with provinces to accomplish the task, he added.

Chaudhry Nisar said there were around 60 banned outfits, but all were not involved in terrorism. Some were operating under new names and some quietly operating with the same old names, he added. The minister said funds of banned organisations would be blocked and legal action would be initiated against them. If they remain adamant, their cases would also be referred to military courts.

Expressing confidence that Pakistan is capable of replying to any aggression, Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif said that India wants to engage Pakistan in a “low-intensity war”. “It seems that India does not understand the language of love and peace,” the Defence Minister said outside the Parliament House after conclusion of the National Assembly session.

He said that the Prime Minister had expressed the desire for having peace with India and all other neighbouring countries with sincerity, but India had not reciprocated Islamabad’s goodwill gesture. “India wants to keep us busy in a low-intensity war or low-intensity engagement on our eastern border. They are pursuing the same tactics of keeping our forces busy on all fronts and the anti-Pakistan mentality of the Indian leadership is now fully exposed,” he added.

January 4

At least 31 militants have been killed and scores of others injured as jet fighters targeted militants hideouts in Koki Khel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. According to an ISPR statement, “Four terrorist hideouts and a suicide bomber training centre were destroyed. 31 terrorists including some suicide bombers were killed”.

A US drone strike at Wacha Basti village near Alwara Mandi in Dattakhel of NWA killed eight militants and injured two others. Sources said that the drone targeted a compound belonging to an Uzbek ‘commander’ of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's Hafiz Gul Bahadur group.

A bomb targeting Shias at a volleyball match killed at least four persons and injured eight at the Hussaini ground in the Kalaya area of Orakzai Agency. The Hussaini ground is owned by the local Shia community.

FC and paramilitary force foiled a major terror bid in Sibi District by defusing an IED planted in a motorcycle parked on the road where a procession in connection with Eid Milad-un-Nabi (Prophet's birth anniversary) was scheduled to pass. According to sources in FC, militants had planted four kilogram of explosives in the motorcycle to target the procession. “Major terror bid was foiled prior to the arrival of procession,” they said.

One FC soldier was injured during an exchange of fire with the militants in Ziarat District. Later, the SFs arrested two TTP militants and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from their possession. “The arrested militants belong to TTP,” sources claimed.

An ATC-III issued black warrants for the execution of seven prisoners, including four LeJ militants, identified as Mohammad Shahid Hanif alias Mufti Shahid, Mohammad Talha Hussain alias Noman, Khalil Ahmed alias Hassan Jan and Mohammad Saeed. They have been involved in two sectarian killing cases in July 2001 and April 2002.

The black warrants were also issued for al Qaeda’s Zulfikar Ali for killing two Policemen near the US Consulate General in Karachi in March 2004. Another accused, Behram Khan, for murdering a lawyer in a courtroom of the Sindh High Court in April 2003, and Shafqat Hussain for killing a minor boy after kidnapping him for ransom in Karachi in April 2004.

The court asked the jail authorities to hang Shahid, Talha, Khalil, Behram and Zulfiqar on January 13, 2014, Shafqat on January 14, 2015 and Saeed on January 15, 2015. Judge Saleem Raza Baloch of the ATC-III issued the black warrants directing the authorities to carry out the hanging under the supervision of the area magistrates after fulfilling legal formalities.

A report titled ‘Activities of Maulana Abdul Aziz’, forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Interior by the Security Agencies warned the Government that due to his links with militant outfits and his anti-government rhetoric the resurgence of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz poses security threat to the law and order situation in Islamabad.

The report also highlighted the links between the TTP and the Lal Masjid cleric, stressing the importance of the TTP choosing Maulana Abdul Aziz as a representative on the committee formed to negotiate with the Government on their behalf.

It also stressed the need for a check on the growing number of madras's in Rawalpindi and Islamabad who also have overt and covert links with militant groups. The report names “notorious land grabber” Taji Khokhar as someone who has been arranging land for the construction of seminaries, funded by the Lal Masjid administration, and also assists them with their court cases. The report also names property tycoon Malik Riaz and former MNA Shah Abdul Aziz of Karak as the controversial cleric’s “sympathizers”.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, TTP-JuA ‘spokesperson’, has been found using social networking site LinkedIn, listing his skills as "jihad and journalism". Ehsanullah Ehsan has 69 connections on LinkedIn, indicating a sizable network. Ehsan does not hide his associations and openly promotes himself on LinkedIn as 'spokesman' for TTP-JuA. He describes himself as "self-employed" and says he has been a spokesman since January 2010. Ehsan even lists his skills as "jihad and journalism" and provides details of his school, employment history and language skills. The account also includes his photograph.

After being approached by The Telegraph, LinkedIn took down Ehsan's account on the night of January 2, 2015. A spokesman of the company said that the company's security team had decided to "restrict it"; meaning it was no longer in operation. But she said it was not clear if the account belonged to Ehsan or was a fake account, established by another party. She said the IP address of the account, indicating where in the world it was set up, suggested it was fake. She said the "lack of Taliban recruiting messages" was another clue.

The spokesman said, "(I) Can't say for certain that it is someone else...But I can say that our security team has a high degree of confidence that it is a fake account, which is reason enough to restrict it. (I) Also can't say for certain who might have set it up if it is fake."

January 5

ANP’s District West President, identified as Haji Saifullah Afridi, was killed in a targeted attack while he was on his way home from the mosque in Ittehad Town of Baldia Town in provincial capital Karachi. The law enforcers believed that the militants from TTP-Swat Chapter, who were also involved in previous attacks and killings on the ANP leaders and workers in Karachi, were behind Afridi’s killing. DSP Javed Hussain Shah said that TTP militants were behind the incident.

A man, identified as Nazeer (30), alias Siraiki was shot dead in Mawach Goth within the jurisdiction of Mochko Police Station in Baldia Town. According to Police, three gangsters, identified as Imran, Yasir and Arafat, affiliated with Kamu group of Uzair Baloch group, called the victim outside his home, shot him multiple times and escaped from the scene.

An unidentified man was shot dead in Baghdadi area of Lyari Town.

An unidentified dead body of a man was found dead from Bhains Colony area in Lyari Town. Police officials said the victim was tortured to death after kidnapping.

A Policeman, identified as Naqeebullah (42), was shot dead in Mawach Goth area within the jurisdictions of Mochko Police Station in Baldia Town.

The senators belonging to the MQM and the ANP demanded a military operation against terrorists in Karachi. The demand came when ANP’s Shahi Syed drew the Senate’s attention to what he called the continued targeted killing of his party’s workers as well as Pakhtuns in the city. Supporting the ANP’s call for the military action, Nasreen Jalil of the MQM said it was her party which had been demanding an army operation against terrorists in Karachi where Taliban were strengthening their presence.

Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) warned all the mobile phone companies that their respective executives will be booked for terrorism if a phone connection sold in violation of set rules is found to have been used in any terror activity. In a letter sent to the regional headquarters of Mobilink, Ufone, Telenor, Warid and Zong, the Sindh Chief Minister and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Rangers came up with the strong measures to counter the flaws which they said were causing ‘deterioration of law and order situation’.

With a conviction rate of nearly 32 per cent, the ATCs in Sindh have disposed of 798 cases between September 2013 and November 2014 while around 2,700 cases are still pending. The statistics of 33 ATCs in the Province showed that of the 798 disposed of cases, accused were acquitted in 543 cases and convicted in 255 cases. Eight of the total ATCs had a cent per cent acquittal rate in the 15-month period. The ATCs were established under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, for speedy trial of cases pertaining to terrorism, sectarian killing, extortion and kidnapping for ransom.

An unidentified man was killed in a bomb blast in Musa Colony on Sariab Road in Quetta. Imran Qureshi, the SP Sariab said, "The blast has severely damaged the dead person’s face."

TTP militants abducted nine people, including four Government Officials, in two separate incidents from Zhob District. In the first incident, militants intercepted a Zhob-bound passenger bus coming from Quetta and took away five people with them. Sources said the kidnappers checked national identity cards of the passengers and separated five people, including four Government Officials and a student of Bolan Medical College, from the others. In the second incident of kidnapping, the militants abducted four other people, who were travelling to Quetta from Islamabad.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that eight militants, including a 'commander' of a banned outfit, were killed and 15 others were detained while two camps were busted in week-long operations launched in Panjgur and Kalat Districts of the province. Search is also in progress in Zhob and its adjoining areas to trace nine people who were kidnapped by unidentified armed assailants in Zhob District. “There is zero-tolerance towards terrorism, and stern action would be taken against all R&AW and NDS funded armed Lashkars,” said Mir Sarfaraz Bugti.

A polio worker, identified as Sanab Gul, was injured in a remote-controlled IED blast in Chamarkand area of Safi tehsil in Mohmand Agency of FATA.

A BDS was injured while defusing a bomb in Soran area of Bezai tehsil in Mohmand Agency. 

SFs launched a search operation in Shah Kas area of Khyber Agency after receiving reports regarding the presence of elements involved in terror activities. Local administration and SFs cordoned off the area and imposed a curfew during the operation.

Police claimed to have arrested three suspects, including two women, from Badbher area of Peshawar, who were smuggling arms and ammunition from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Punjab. SP (Rural) Shakir Bangash said that 25 pistols, 2 G3 rifles, 5 Kalashnikov/AK-47 rifles and 7,200 rounds were recovered from a vehicle. He added that the arrested suspects were part of a gun running ring.

Two convicted terrorists, identified as Ahmed Ali and Ghulam Shabir alias Fauji alias doctor, will be hanged at the New Central Jail in Multan District. Prison officials have received the death warrants issued by ATCs after mercy petitions of the two had been rejected by the President. The convicts belong to banned organisations.

The Lahore High Court's Rawalpindi Bench acquitted four death row convicts who were earlier handed the death penalty for their involvement in the suicide attack at Shah-e-Najaf Imambargah in Rawalpindi in 2002, which left 19 people dead and 35 others injured. The four convicts, identified as, Fazal Mohammad, Tahir Mehmood, Hafiz Naseer and Habibullah, were sentenced to death by an ATC in Rawalpindi in 2004, following which they had filed an intra-court appeal.

The military courts being set-up under 21st Constitutional Amendment would not try terror groups involved in ethnic killing of citizens in Karachi or insurgents attacking state installations in Balochistan as legislation moved in the NA specifically mentions religion and sect based terrorism as the intended targets of the amendments. The drafts of both the 21st constitutional amendment and Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 1952 specify that the changes will be applicable on people belonging to terrorist groups using the name of religion or sect.

The legal experts believe that the words of the two amendments means that if a terrorist kills Pakistani people or attacks state institutions and installation but he does not belong to any religious or sectarian group, he would not be tried in the military courts. “Any person who is or claims or is known to belong to any terrorist group or organization using the name of religion or a sect and raises arms or wages against Pakistan and law enforcement agencies or attacks any civilian or military installations in Pakistan or kidnap any person for ransom or causes death of any person or injury …...shall be punished under this Act” says the Amendment in Section 2 of the Pakistan Army Act 1952.

Similarly, according to draft of 21st Constitutional Amendment, Article 175 will have “no application on acts mentioned at serial no 6, 7, 8 and 9 or part I(III) of the First Schedule, who claims, or is known to belong to any terrorist group or organization using the name of religion or sect.” Also, a special explanation is included in the bill to amend Army Act 1952 which states. “In this Act, the expression ‘sect’ means a sect of religion and does not include any political party registered under any law for the time being in force.” The National Assembly is likely to conduct voting on these amendments on January 6, 2014.

The US said that no funds have been issued to Pakistan from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman provision since 2013. Earlier on December 29, 2014, the Ministry of Finance had announced in Islamabad that the US Congress had cleared an installment of USD 532 million of civilian aid to Pakistan from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill. “Congress has not been notified of a request, Congress has not approved a request,” said spokesperson for the United States Department of State Jen Psaki. She noted that some media reports had also suggested that an approval has been made in the past, which was incorrect, as no approval has been made from the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill since 2013.

The Indian media reported that Secretary of State John Kerry recently sent a certification to Congress, saying that Pakistan has “prevented al Qaeda, Taliban and associated terror groups such as LeT and JeM from operating” from its territory. The certification is a condition for the US to disburse aid to Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar Bill for civilian assistance. The report claimed that the certification allowed the Obama administration to release USD 532 million dollars in aid to Pakistan.

Later, the spokesman for the Indian Ministry for External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said, “How the Government of the United States of America decides to spend US Tax payers money is entirely its prerogative,” adding, “India does not believe that Pakistan is showing ‘sustained commitment’ or making ‘significant effort’ or ‘ceasing support’ or dismantling ‘bases of operations’ of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Haqqani Network and quite possibly the al Qaeda.”

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government announced a PKR 10 million reward for information leading to the arrest or death of the TTP 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah and LI 'chief' Mangal Bagh Afridi. The Provincial Government has prepared a list of 615 high-profile militants and proclaimed offenders and is offering a combined bounty of PKR 760 million, according to highly credible sources. The names of Fazlullah and Mangal Bagh feature on the list that includes high-profile militants and proclaimed offenders from 22 Districts of the Province and adjoining FATA.

According to official documents, at least 213 militants and proclaimed offenders wanted by the Police in various crimes belong to Peshawar District followed by 59 from Swat, 46 each from Kohat and DI Khan and 31 from Dir Upper District. Similarly, 26 militants hail from Mardan District, 25 from Charsadda, 20 each from Nowshera and Buner, 18 from Bannu, 15 each from Lakki Marwat, Hangu and Dir Lower, eight from Mansehra, seven from Kohistan, five from Haripur, four from Batagram, three from Abbottabad and two each from Shangla and Chitral Districts. The bounties for these militants and proclaimed offenders range between PKR 0.5 million and PKR 10 million, officials said.

January 6

Three bullet riddled bodies were found at a graveyard in Qandhari area of Safi tehsil in Mohmand Agency of FATA. The political administration shifted the bodies, which were yet to be identified, to Ghalanai Headquarters.

Two TI members were killed during a clash between LI and TI in Tirah valley area of Khyber Agency.

SFs razed the houses of suspected militants and their supporters in Damadaola area of Bajaur Agency. Sources say that during the pre-dawn operation was initiated by SFs after imposing a limited curfew in Damadola area. The sources further said that the miscreants who once had sheltered or been supporting local and al Qaeda-led militants are being targeted and added that the search operation was still underway.

Three suspected militants, identified as Gul Pir Khan, Noor Alam and Ameer Mohammad, were killed in a Police encounter led by CID’s Counter-Terrorism Unit on Northern Bypass, on the outskirts of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The militants are suspected to be affiliated with the TTP. CID further claims to have recovered three pistols, two grenades and Improvised Explosive Devices from their possession.

Two Rangers personnel were killed and a civilian was injured when unidentified militants opened fire at the Rangers' raiding team and also hurled a hand grenade during the encounter in Khurramabad area of Landhi Town.

Sindh Government directed all private schools to finalise their security arrangements before the end of the winter vacation as the Government is not in a position to ensure Police deployment. Home Secretary Dr Niaz Ali Abbasi said that the Government would ensure effective patrolling around the schools under threat.

Two convicted men, Ahmed Ali alias Sheshnag and Ghulam Shabbir alias Fauji alias doctor, were hanged till death at the New Central Jail in Multan District. The latest executions have brought the number of those hanged until death to nine. Prison officials had already received the death warrants for the two men a couple of days ago. The warrants were issued by Anti-Terrorism Courts as mercy petitions of the convicts had been rejected by the President. Ali and Shabbir belonged to a banned organisation.

Ahmed Ali was handed capital punishment for killing three men, Altaf Hussain, Mohammad Nasir and Mohammad Fiaz, and injuring Mohammad Pervez and Mohammad Siddique, on the Railway Road in 1998. Ghulam Shabbir had killed DSP Anwar Khan and his driver Ghulam Murtaza on the Bohar Gate Road on August 4, 2000.

Punjab Government is amending a set of laws through ordinances to tie up loose ends that are allowing or can facilitate terrorist activities in the Province. According to reliable sources, the Government had earlier decided to introduce bills in the Punjab Assembly to amend the laws. But it dropped the idea and was now going to amend these laws through ordinances in the next few days because of the prorogation of the Assembly Session, the sources said. The first law to be amended through an ordinance is the Punjab Arms Ordinance 1965. The government is going to enhance punishments for possessing, using, storing or displaying unlicensed or prohibited weapons and ammunition.

Supreme Court restrained a local magistrate from proceeding on the bail application of LeT 'chief' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 attack (also known as 26/11) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi until January 7,2014, when the apex court will take up the Government’s appeal against the suspension of his detention. Also, the Islamabad High Court issued notices to Lakhvi on the appeal filed by the FIA, seeking cancellation of bail granted to him by the ATC in the Mumbai attacks case.

A magistrate in Islamabad had to give a decision on the bail application, but a two-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, stopped the judicial officer from passing any order until January 7. The court also issued notices to Lakhvi to answer the contention in the Government’s appeal, to be served upon him through the Adiala Jail superintendent, where the accused is currently detained. The court issued the notice with the observation that since there was also an IHC order in favour of Lakhvi, the court was also cognizant of the requirements of the fundamental rights of its citizens. “We will be lost if we deviate from the constitution,” Justice Khawaja observed.

In a joint appeal, the Secretary Interior on behalf of the Federal Government, District Magistrate Islamabad Capital Territory and Islamabad SSP, had sought the annulment of the December 29, 2014 Islamabad High Court order, suspending Lakhvi’s detention orders. The Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt argued that High Court order was not sustainable in the light of earlier Supreme Court judgments and pointed out that Lakhvi was a member of the proscribed outfit LeT who was arrested in a terrorism case.

But the court observed that the allegations against Lakhvi regarding his involvement in the Mumbai attacks was not relevant to the present appeal, since the court was only concerned with the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) 1960, under which Lakhvi was currently detained.

According to the HRCP’s Annual Report for 2014, around 592 people were killed in alleged encounters with the Police and Rangers. In 2013, which the HRCP termed to be Karachi’s deadliest year with 3,251 deaths, around 184 were killed in encounters. The breakdown shows that nearly 457 people were shot dead in alleged encounters with the Police while roughly 135 were shot dead by the Rangers and two others died as a result of torture by law enforcers.

The report claims that around 2,914 people, including children, were killed in 2014 which is almost 300 less than the year before. HRCP’s chairperson Zohra Yusuf claimed that deaths in these Police encounters were a human rights violation. She said that anyone killed extra judicially, be it the Taliban, was illegal. Yusuf said that in most of these encounters, the Police were not harmed while they claimed that they had to open fire in response to the criminals firing at them. She added that the Policemen who died last year were killed in grenade or targeted attacks, not encounters. “The Police do not trust the judicial system,” she said, adding, “They believe that courts will let the prisoner off and so they indulge in ‘police encounters’, however, this is no way to justify them.”

The report further stated, In 2014, there was also an increase in sectarian attacks. The death toll went up to 120 as compared to 108 in 2013. The number of dead bodies found in 2014 was also slightly higher than the year before with 340.

Over 8,000 seminaries have neither been registered with the ITMP, an umbrella of five schools of thought, nor with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, raising a serious question over their curriculum’s legitimacy and their source of funding. Following NAP committee’s recommendations, officials associated with provinces’ Auqaf departments are gathering data about madaris/makatib which have never been registered with the ITMP, Ministry Of Religious Affairs or with the Provincial Auqaf Departments.

Around 8,249 seminaries which have enrolled 0.3 million students are not registered across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, revealed officials, who will brief Federal Ministry of Interior next week. “This non-registered madaris/makatib did not fulfil the basic criteria set by the ministry of religious affairs,” a senior official said. Around 4,135 madaris or makatib are operating without getting proper registration from the designated authorities in KP, the official said, adding that some 2,411 seminaries are unregistered in Punjab, 1,406 in Sindh and 266 in Balochistan, he explained. At least 31 madaris are not registered in Islamabad where all seminaries are built on encroached land, he revealed and went on to say that even Jamia Hafsa, adjacent to Lal Mosque, also failed to fulfill basic requirements of registration. The official claimed that “Madaris operating in KP did not cooperate with us.”

The ITMP officials also confirmed that some members of seminary boards – Barelvi, Ahle Hadith, Shia and Jamaat-e-Islami – affiliated with the Ittehad Tanzimat Madaris-e-Deeniya – had also refused to comply when it came to regulating their syllabus in the Pervez Musharraf era. The problem exists in non-registered seminaries where there is no check on literature being taught there, a cleric said on condition of anonymity. The Ministry of Religious Affairs registered 26,131 madaris by September 2014, according to official figures obtained by The Express Tribune. Around 14,768 seminaries are registered in Punjab, 7,118 in Sindh, 2,704 in Balochistan, 1,354 in KP and 187 in the Islamabad.

Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that around 605 students were studying in the Islamabad’s unregistered seminaries. The 27 madaris belong to the Deobandi school of thought, two to Barelvi school of thought and one is managed by the Ahle Hadith, he said. Seminaries, whose curriculum is provided by Waqaful Madaris, are registered with Islamabad Auqaf Department.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in a written reply to a question asked by Pakistan People’s Party’s Sughra Imam in the Senate that “Some madrassah are receiving financial support from Muslim countries. However, it is often difficult to trace the transaction of such money”, reports Dawn.

The Senate approved the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015 as well as the 21st Constitutional Amendment. The National Assembly had passed both the bills unopposed as 247 members voted in favour of the laws which would provide constitutional cover to special courts for the trial of terrorism suspects. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a speech at the start of the Senate session thanked the Leader of Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan as well as all political parties and their leaders who were present in Senate as well as the National Assembly session in the morning. The PM congratulated all members of parliament who voted in favour of both the bills in NA and passed it unanimously.

The chief of JUI-F Maulana Fazlur Rehman accused that the Government of “trying to link religion with terrorism” in reference to an amendment for madrassah reforms. “Terrorism does not differentiate between religion and secularism,” the JUI-F chief said, while addressing the media shortly after the approval of the 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill and Pakistan Army Act 1952 (Amendment) Bill 2015 in the National Assembly today.

January 7

Twelve militants were killed in shelling by gunship helicopters of the Army while four terrorist hideouts were also destroyed in Mama Ziarat and Khadarkhel areas of Datta Khel tehsil in NWA in FATA. Seven vehicles of militants were also destroyed in the action.

Unidentified assailants shot dead four labourers while leaving another injured on the Qambarani Road in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Several people including Afghan nationals were arrested in a search operation by law enforcing agencies in Quetta.

Two Levies personnel were killed and five others sustained injuries when unidentified assailants attack the paramilitary force vehicle in Jhao tehsil in Awaran District.

The bullet-riddled body of an officer of Pakistan Air Force, Liaquat Ali Khan, was found near a village in Qila Saifullah District. The officer was kidnapped along with four other people on January 4 from an area between Quetta and Zhob when they were coming from Islamabad in a rented car. The body with bullet wounds in the head was thrown on a road. The PAF officer Liaquat Ali Khan belongs to Talagang area in Punjab. The TTP claimed responsibility for killing the officer and kidnapping nine people in Qila Saifullah District.

Abdul Latif (30), the brother of the ASWJ District Central president, Abdul Rauf, was shot dead while another was injured when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire at a general store near Pahar Ganj within the limits of the Sharae Noor Jahan Police Station in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A factory worker was gunned down near his house in Qaimkhani Colony within the jurisdiction of the Ittehad Town Police Station. The deceased was identified as 50-year-old Zameen Gul, son of Abdul Hameed. He was on his way to work in Sher Shah when unidentified men shot him.

A man identified as Syed Shah (24), was shot dead near 4-K Chowrangi within the limits of the Surjani Police Station. The Police said that the deceased was a resident of Qasba Colony, Orangi Town and was on his way to do some errands in Surjani when he was killed.

A factory supervisor was killed inside his office located on the second floor of a clothing factory in Godhra Colony within the limits of the Gabol Town Police Station. Police officials said that the deceased was sitting in his office when unidentified men walked in and shot him in the head.

The body of a woman identified as 45-year-old Feroza was found in her house in Orangi Town within the limits of the Pakistan Bazaar Police Station. Police officials said that deceased was strangled to death while her husband was not at home.

An unidentified woman was found dead in the bushes near New Port Qasim within the limits of Shah Latif Police Station.

Two convicted cadres of SSP were hanged at the central jail in Multan, the latest in a string of executions after the Government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty. “The two terrorists, Ahmed Ali and Ghulam Shabbir, were executed early this morning. Both were involved in murder cases and both belonged to Sipah-e-Sahaba,” said Saeedullah Gondal, an official at the central jail in Multan. He said Ali had been in jail for killing three people in a religious dispute in 1998, while Shabbir had been convicted of killing a Police officer and his driver in the same year.

A blasphemy accused identified as 52-year-old Aabid Mehmood alias Aabid Kazzab, freed a few days ago, was shot dead in Ahatta area Taxila in Rawalpindi District of Punjab. Unidentified assailants took him from his house in Ahatta area on January 6 and his bullet-riddled body was found in deserted area near Usman Khattar Railway Station. He had been shot in the chest and head from a close range. Police said it appeared to be a case of target killing. Aabid Mehmood owned a hotel and lived in Kamra village. He reportedly had claimed ‘prophethood’ in October 2011 and a case was registered against him under Section 295-C of CrPC on a complaint lodged by his son-in-law Sadaqat Ali. Aabid was sent to jail after his mental condition had been examined by a board of doctors at the Rawalpindi District Headquarters Hospital. He was released from Adiyala jail after about two years because of his mental and physical condition.

The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the threat of war was hovering around persistently; however, the hangings of convicted terrorists would be carried out on fast-track basis without succumbing to any pressure whatsoever. He said that every individual should play his role in eliminating terrorism from the country. He said this while chairing a review meeting of the NAP convened at the Committee Room of the Interior Ministry. Interior Secretary Shahid Khan, NACTA national coordinator and other senior officials attended the meeting which was called to review the progress on the implementation of the 20-point NAP approved by the Prime Minister a few days ago.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that fighting terrorism was the Government’s top priority and the country remained committed to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The PM expressed these remarks during delegation-level talks with Bahrain Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa at the Gudabiya Palace. He said Pakistan was keen to work with Bahrain to further improve mutual economic relations that reflect the warmth existing in bilateral relations between the two countries.

The Supreme Court set aside the order of Islamabad High Court that suspended the detention order of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the LeT ‘commander’ and alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks. A two-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Jawwad S Khwaja heard the Federal Government’s appeal against the order of the Islamabad High Court suspending the detention order of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. During the hearing, Justice Jawwad S Khwaja remarked that prima facie, the Islamabad High Court passed the order in haste and without proper considerations. Attorney General Salman Butt informed the court that Lakhvi after the dismissal of his representation by the interior secretary filed the writ petition in the Islamabad High Court on December 25, 2014. The next day, which was January 9, he said, the Islamabad High Court fixed the petition and issued notices to the Federal Government and Senior Superintendent of Police, Islamabad.

The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that a clean-up operation has been launched against those banned outfits that have started operating under new names, and all such groups are under strict watch of security agencies. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that media should completely blackout coverage of terrorists, saying that they would “die their natural deaths” if not given any publicity. “The fight against terrorism is in the final round and all decisions would be taken in national interest,” he said while talking to media persons after chairing a high-level meeting at the Interior Ministry, which reviewed the implementation of the NAP.

Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the Federal Government, the provincial Governments, the Ministry of Defence and other relevant departments were establishing a strong mechanism of coordination for enforcement of the plan. He said that the apex committees have been establishment in all the four provinces, and three of them have already held meetings for building coordination.

Pakistan remained the world’s top host nation in 2014 with 1.6 million refugees, nearly all from Afghanistan, a report released by the UNHCR said. The data released by the UNHCR showed that Syrians, for the first time, have become the largest refugee population, overtaking the Afghans, who had held that position for more than three decades. At more than three million as of June 2014, the Syrian refugees now account for 23 percent of all refugees being helped by the UNHCR worldwide. Despite dropping to the second place, the 2.7 million Afghan refugees worldwide remain the largest protracted refugee largest protracted refugee population under the UNHCR care with the majority hosted by Pakistan. Thus, Pakistan is the largest protracted refugee situation globally, UNHCR reported.

The US supports efforts of Pakistan to counter terrorism and bring perpetrators to justice, the spokesperson of the US State Department, Jen Psaki said. Jen Psaki said that “We support efforts to counter terrorism and bring perpetrators to justice, believe – but we believe it’s important efforts be consistent with principles of due process.”

The Madaris (madrassah or religious seminaries) receive funding from different sources - overseas, regular contributions from their graduates working in big cities and local influential figures, a study said. A reading of the valuable study conducted by an officer of the district management group in a particular area of the southern Punjab some two decades ago shows its absolute relevance even in today’s scenario when the seminaries have grown manifold.

The study said that 71% such institutions were established after 1976. According to it, the real hard-core activists of different organisations are the ones, who graduate from these schools as residential students. Some 43 % students were residential. The study said that the seminaries belonging to two sects invariably indulged in sectarianism. They were in the control of the now banned outfits. Most of the managers of large and well-established schools said that some of their ‘outstanding’ former students have gone to a Muslim country and regularly finance their alma mater out of their personal income.

The study said that many institutions, as told by their managements, get regular subscriptions from the former students, who have settled in Karachi, Lahore and other big cities, and are working there as Imam Masjid (prayers leaders) or have their own seminaries over there. It said that local influential people also generously contribute to these schools. Many local landlords and businessmen regularly provide funding in order to lobby this strong and large group and do it for political and business purposes. By patronising these seminaries, they also try to create a clout for influencing the local administration and community.

President Mamnoon Hussain signed into law the 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2015 as well as the Pakistan Army Act 1952 Amendment. President signed into law the 21st Constitutional Amendment, making it applicable with immediate effect. The 21st Amendment to the constitution would provide constitutional cover to trial of offences relating to terrorism by military courts. The Senate on January 6 had approved the 21st Constitutional Amendment as well as the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015. Earlier on the same day, the National Assembly had passed both the bills unopposed as 247 members voted in favour of the laws.

Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said the military courts would start functioning within days. In an interview to a TV channel, he said the cases of terrorism were lingered on due to some legal complications but now speedy justice would be provided. The Minister said these courts would remain intact for a period of two years. He said the Government was standing besides Army against this menace, adding, whenever Army had taken a step while remaining within the constitution and system it had emerged victorious with the nation’s support.

As the Government reviews security measures following winter vacations, owners of private schools said the costs associated with the arrangements could result in a large number of the institutes winding up for good. Security arrangements at around 915 private and 1,600 Government schools were declared satisfactory by authorities led by District Commissioner Peshawar. Government officials visiting the schools in various districts checked the new arrangements, including increasing the height of boundary walls, installation of CCTV cameras, arrangement of walk-through gates and deployment of security guards at entry points. According to All Pakistan Private Schools Association, the total number of private schools in Peshawar is 2,027 of which 915 were checked and their security arrangements were declared satisfactory.

January 8

Four Al-Qaeda terrorists, including a ‘commander’, were killed in alleged encounter with Police in Qayyumabad area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. CID In-charge Raja Umer Khattab said the shootout with terrorists took place in sector D area of Qayyumabad. Police also recovered suicide jackets and weapons from the custody of terrorists. He said Al-Qaeda ‘commander’, identified as Sajjad, was among the dead.

Unidentified armed men shot and injured two Policemen in Nazimabad 3 area. Both the Policemen were rushed to a nearby hospital but they succumbed to their wounds on the way. The deceased Policemen were identified as Bughio Khan and Abdul Bari.

A man named Suleman Rizvi was killed when armed assailants opened fire on a mechanic shop in Paposh Nagar area.

Police claimed that the accused opened firing on patrolling Policeman in Jhatpat market, Kalakot and in retaliatory fire gang war accused identified as Ramzan was killed. Police said Ramzan belongs to Baba Ladla group and was involved in several cases.

In an exchange of fire, gang war accused Abid alias Abba was killed in Saifee Lane area within the limits of Baghdadi Police Station. Police said Abid was involved in more than 10 cases of murder. Five personnel of Baghdadi Police sustained injuries in exchange of fire with gang war accused.

One MQM activist was shot dead and two sympathizers were injured in a firing incident in Orangi town. Rescue sources said unknown gunmen opened fire at shop in Orangi town near Rehmat Chowk as a result MQM 119 unit worker, identified as Muhammad Nadeem was killed and two others sustained injuries.

Four SF personnel were killed and two others injured in an IED explosion apparently targeting the vehicle of SFs in Lower Kurram Agency of FATA. According to security officials, three FC personnel and one Levies Force personal lost their lives in the blast. The vehicle of the SFs struck the IED planted alongside a road in Shabak area of Lower Kurram Agency.

Akram Lahori, the Saalar-e-Aala (commander-in-chief) of the LeJ, executed at the Kot Lakhpat Jail. The jail has received death warrant of Lahori who was involved in the killing of an Iranian diplomat.

January 9

At least seven LI militants were killed and several others injured in explosions at a terrorist centre in the Sipah area of Khyber Agency in FATA. According to sources, a landmine detonated inside the militant camp in Sipah area, killing four suspected terrorists. As the insurgents were trying to move the bodies, security forces fired mortar shells at the building, killing another three militants.  

Six militants were killed in an exchange of fire with SFs in Dattakhel tehsil of NWA. Official sources said that the clash took place in Dattakhel where militants offered resistance during operation of the security forces. In cross-firing, which continued for more than an hour, six extremists were killed while others fled away.

Four soldiers were killed and two others sustained injuries in a roadside blast when the soldiers were on a routine patrol in the Bashak area Orakzai Agency.

One soldier was killed and five others injured in a rocket attack on a mosque of military centre in Kalaya area of Orakzai Agency. The militants fired two rockets at mosque in the Military Headquarters when Friday prayer was underway. Rockets were fired from mountains of Akkakhel side. The slain Orakzai Scouts soldier was identified as Munawar Shah and those injured as Naib Subedars Mehmood Khan, Azizur Rehman, Hawaldar Zawan Shah, sepoys Kashif Ahmed and Farmanullah sustained wounds.

Eight persons were killed and 25 others wounded in a bomb blast on Imambargah Aun Muhammad Rizvi at Chittian Hattian locality of Rawalpindi city of Punjab. The blast occurred at a time when a Mehfil-e-Milad to celebrate the birth of the holy Prophet was in progress at the Imambargah. The Police earlier claimed it was a suicide attack but later the CCPO Rawalpindi Akhtar Laleka said that blast was not a suicide attack. Around 4-5 kilo explosive were planted in a Nullah outside the Imambargah.

At least three soldiers of FC were killed and five others sustained injuries when their convoy came under gun and rocket attack in a remote hilly area of Santsar in Gwadar District of Balochistan. A security convoy was on its routine patrolling in Santsar area when unidentified militants, armed with rockets and sophisticated weapons, attacked the military vehicles.

Unidentified militants blew up railway track with explosive material in Jaffarabad town of same District, suspending the train services. According to FC sources, some unidentified militants planted explosive device at railway track which went off with big bang, due to which a deep crater was developed by destroying the tracked.

A former PAF chief technician Khalid Mehmood, convicted in the former President General Pervez Musharraf attack case, has been executed in the Central Jail Adiala in the night. Khalid Mehmood, along with four others, was awarded the death sentence on October 3, 2005 by the Field General Court Martial under the Army Act for his involvement in an assassination attempt on Pervez Musharraf on December 14, 2003 in Rawalpindi. He belonged to Chak No 372 Police Station of Dunyapur in the Lodhran District with the present address of Lava, near high school Talagang, Chakwal. Mehmood was shifted to Adiala Jail on October 27, 2010.

The Police claimed to have arrested two members of a banned religious outfit in Nankana Sahib town of same District. DPO Kamran Yousaf said that they got formation that suspicious people visited some houses at Chak 18. He said that a team headed by Sadar SHO Zulfiqar Ahmad Virk raided the houses and arrested Naeem and Zahid, while their three accomplices managed to escape. The DPO said that they had also recovered a huge quantity of weapons with hundreds of live bullets. He said that they had also seized Jehadi literature.

The anti-terrorism court No 2 has issued black warrants for Zahid Hussain alias Zahido of the LeJ. He will be hanged in Lahore Central Jail on January 15. Zahid Hussain had killed ASI Ghulam Rasool and injured constables Yousaf and Majid in Sital Marri on August 13, 2000.

A constitutional petition was filed in the Supreme Court praying for declaring the 21st Constitutional Amendment and the creation of military courts as ultra vires and against the basic structure of the Constitution. The petition was filed by Chairman Pakistan Justice Party Muhammad Munsif Malik through Muhammad Ikram Chaudhry under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the Federation through secretary law, secretary defence, speaker National Assembly and chairman Senate as respondents. The petitioner prayed the 21st Constitutional Amendment and creation of military courts on the touchstone of Article 8 of the Constitution denied the people their fundamental rights of fair trial and due process through independent and impartial courts. He said the amendment also affects the rights guaranteed to citizens under Article 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 10-A and 25 of the Constitution.

Pakistan Army announced establishment of nine military courts in all the four provinces, initially. Three military courts each would be set up in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two in Sindh and one in Balochistan, ISPR said in a statement. These courts would start functioning soon, the statement added. The Army’s statement on setting up the military courts follows parliament’s nod earlier this week.

The Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rasheed called for greater mobilisation among the countrymen to flush menace of terrorism and extremism from Pakistan. A seminar organised by SAFMA entitled “will Pakistan change”, saw the participation of Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid as the chief guest and other lawmakers including Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Hasil Bazinjo and members of civil society. The seminar stressed the need to draw lessons from Peshawar tragedy and create national unity against all forms of the terrorism.

The Ulema and religious scholars from different schools of thought underlined the need for public execution of convicted militants so that no one could dare to take lives of innocent people by carrying out subversive activities. They extended their complete support to the government initiatives taken to uproot extremism and terrorism from the country, saying that all religious sects were united against terrorism.

Pakistan faced a range of internal security issues in 2014, resulting in a wide range of violence, including terrorism, militant attacks, sectarian violence, crimes, target killings, security operations and drone strikes. Compared to 5,687 deaths in 2013, a total of 7,655 people died in 2014 as a direct result of violence, which is an average increase of about 35%, revealed a survey conducted by CRSS. The most significant increase in violence was in observed in the FATA, where fatalities more than doubled from 1,457 in 2013 to 3,399 in 2014. A big reason for this marked increase is the military-led operation Zarb-e-Azb in the North Waziristan Agency of the FATA region. The second largest increase was in Punjab, where death from violence rose from 120 in 2013 to 309 in 2014, a drastic increase of 158%.

Part of this increase in figures may be attributed to the November 2014 bombing of the Wagah border-closing ceremony, which left 60 dead. KP saw a decrease in violence-related deaths, with 945 deaths in 2014, as compared to the 1,031 deaths in 2013. Gilgit-Baltistan saw the largest decrease in violence-related casualties, at 3 in 2014, from 20 in 2013. The sudden spike from June 2014 onwards is clearly attributable to the start of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Deaths from violence accelerated towards the end of the year, pulling significantly ahead of the same month figures from 2013. The last three months in 2014 were especially bloody, with an alarming 258% increase from the same period in 2013.

January 10

The Jamaat al-Ahrar, faction of the TTP claimed responsibility for the bomb blast on Imambargah (Shia place of worship) Aun Muhammad Rizvi at Chittian Hattian locality of Rawalpindi city of Punjab on January 9, which killed eight persons and injured 25 others. “We claim responsibility of the attack on the Imambargah and vow to continue such attacks,” spokesman of Jamaat al-Ahrar, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in an email.

The Pentagon said that the “sanctuary” that some of the militant groups enjoy in Pakistan has long been an issue of concern. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said that it was for Pakistan to continue the fight against terrorism in its own interest, and noted that like the Paris victims, Pakistanis have been victims of terror. “It’s not about us putting pressure on the Pakistani government. It’s about the Pakistani government continuing to address this threat in keeping with their best interests and the interests of their people,” Kirby replied, when a journalist suggested that Washington pressurise Pakistan into doing more.

January 11

Dr Akbar Ali was shot dead when he was seeing patients in his Al-Syed Clinic of Paposh Nagar in Nazimabad town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Ten minutes after the killing of Dr Akbar Ali, a homoeopath Doctor, Yawar Hussain, was shot dead by unidentified assailants when he was pulling down the shutter of his clinic near Khilafat Chowk in Nazimabad town. 

One Abdul Rauf was shot dead while he was busy in his shop in Gulberg town.

A group of Pakistani and Afghan militants have beheaded a Pakistani soldier after pledging allegiance to Islamic State, a new video released online, copying execution tactics used by the Middle East militant group. It remains unclear whether IS-inspired militants allegedly hiding on the Pakistani-Afghan border are acting on their own or on direct orders from the IS leadership in the Middle East. In the latest Arabic-language video, whose authenticity could not immediately be confirmed, a large group of turbaned militants, many on horseback and holding rifles and black IS flags, are seen gathered in an undisclosed forested area.

A militant identified by the SITE intelligence group as former TTP ‘spokesman’ Shahidullah Shahid is then seen addressing the crowd to announce pledges of allegiance to IS from leaders of various groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We want to inform you that we have brought together the emirs of 10 groups who want to pledge their allegiance to the Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” he said, referring to the IS leader. At the end of the 16-minute video a man wearing a helmet, a T-shirt and combat trousers, identified as a Pakistani soldier, is seen being beheaded with a machete.

An employee of the FWO was injured in a blast in Tajaban area of Kech District in Balochistan. Security officials said the blast occurred near a vehicle of FWO personnel when they were working on the under-construction Gwadar-Turbat-Reto-Dero national highway.

One person sustained injuries in a landmine blast in Jori area of Dera Bugti District. As per details, the blast took place when one farmer, who was watering the fields, put unconsciously his foot on the landmine injuring him.

A remote-controlled bomb was planted to target a police mobile at Mustang Road in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. However, no human loss was reported as a result of the explosion.

Unidentified assailants abducted two trader brothers in Guldar Baghicha near Chaman area of Killa Saifullah District. According to Levies force, the victims were on way to their shop from house in a vehicle when some armed men intercepted them. They took away them along with their vehicle to an unidentified destination on gunpoint.

SFs detained at least nine suspects including one suicide attacker and three members of TTP Swat group in Quetta. According to the sources, SFs on a tip off, raided three different areas of Quetta and taken as many as nine suspects into custody.

Former President and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said that the military courts would save the future of the coming generations from terrorism. Zardari said that the situation prevailing in the country demands political wisdom from all political parties of the country. Addressing a meeting with PPP’s divisional coordinators and district presidents at the Bilawal House, Zardari said the current situation demands that “we act within our senses rather than losing our tempers”.

Former Federal Minister of Interior Rehman Malik said that ISIS is conspiring to spark violence between Shia and Sunni communities and emphasised that the Government and the law enforcement agencies would have to take coordinated and serious steps to foil this conspiracy. Rehman Malik said that military courts are necessary to punish the terrorists and these courts could not be termed as extra-constitutional.

The ISI chief Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar met Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in Kabul and discussed ways to boost anti-terror cooperation. It was Akhtar’s third visit to Afghanistan since he assumed office in November 2014. “The President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani received Pakistan intelligence ISI chief Lt General Rizwan Akhtar in his office on Sunday,” the Presidential Palace said. “In the meeting both sides discussed ways to further strengthen joint efforts against terrorism and extremism,” the statement added. They also talked about peace and security in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region, among other matters.

January 12

Seven personnel of the FC were killed and one injured when militants attacked a checkpost of the SFs in the Mekhtar area of Loralai District in Balochistan. The FC officials said that around 40 militants armed with automatic weapons attacked the FC checkpost. As a result, all the eight personnel of the force sustained multiple bullet injuries and seven of them died on the spot. The FC personnel launched a counter attack, killing one attacker and injuring many others.

SFs destroyed the house of an absconder terrorist in Malokabad area of Mingora town in Swat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The house was demolished by the forces with explosive materials. According to police sources, the accused was required to the security forces in a number of terror acts and was absconding since then.

The Supreme Court directed the Federal Government to come up with details in 10 days about the number of missing persons in the country. The directive was issued by a two-judge bench headed by Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja which had taken up an application of Nasrullah Baloch, Chairman of the Voice of Baloch Missing Persons, seeking an order for his protection. During the hearing, Mr Baloch alleged that the mutilated bodies found in different areas of Balochistan were buried within two or three days instead of handing them over to the families. The identity of these defaced bodies, he said, remained a mystery and even their relatives would not recognise them if handed over.

He regretted that there was no mortuary to preserve such bodies and said that earlier the Bolan Medical Complex in Quetta had such a facility but it had been closed down. The court asked the advocate general of Balochistan to submit a report on the procedure of handing over such bodies to the families and the number of hospitals and mortuaries functioning in the province. The other three provinces have also been directed to submit similar reports. Describing the enforced disappearances as a national issue, Justice Khawaja said the matter must be addressed amicably. The court directed Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt to submit comprehensive data about the number of missing persons in the country.

According to media reports, the CIED was seized with 1,265 cases as of Dec 31. But the Defence of Human Rights claims that the total number of cases of missing persons is 5,149 and 252 of them surfaced in 2014 alone.

Five more convicted terrorists would be executed in Sukkur and Faisalabad jails on January 13. Three terrorists belonging to banned outfits and lodged in central jail Sukkur in Sindh province and two convicts in District jail Faisalabad in Punjab province will be hanged. The three terrorists in Sukkur jail - Muhammad Shahid Haneef, Muhammad Talha and Khalil Ahmed - were involved in the murder of Defence Ministry Director Zafar Hussain Shah in the vicinity of Gulbahar jail in Karachi in 2001. All the three would be hanged at 6.30 am on January 13, said jail authorities. The two other terrorists - Nawazish Ali and Mushtaq Ahmed - convicted of orchestrating the murder attempt on former president general Pervez Musharraf will also be hanged at Faisalabad District Jail on January 13-morning.

To counter terrorism and improve security of the people and public property, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government has enacted three special laws within a short time. Under the new laws, people are being arrested during search and strike operations. Some political leaders have criticised the PTI-led provincial Government for introducing a law to absolve itself of the responsibility to protect the people. The passage of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Restriction of Rented Buildings Act 2014, KP Restriction of Hotel Businesses Act 2014 and KP Security of Sensitive and Vulnerable Establishments and Places Act 2014 took a long time. The opposition in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly gave a tough time to the Government to pass the KP Security of Sensitive and Vulnerable Establishments and Places Act 2014.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that terrorists were the common enemies of Pakistan and the United States. The visiting US Secretary of State met PM Nawaz Sharif here at the PM House and assured him that Washington would continue its support in the battle against terrorists. The PM conveyed Pakistan’s concern to the US about the unprovoked Indian aggression across the LoC and the Working Boundary in the recent months as aggressive Indian posturing could undermine Pakistan’s struggle to wipe out terrorism.

Building on recent accusatory statements by Government representatives, Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif claimed that India was helping terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out "heinous acts". In an interview on Dawn’s programme News Eye, the Minister alleged that India "has designs on Pakistan". “The Taliban have links with India. Also, India’s involvement in the insurgency in Balochistan cannot be ignored,” he said. When asked to provide evidence for his claim, the Minister dodged the question and proceeded to claim that a low intensity war was underway. He stated that his allegations were based as much on conviction as on experience.

The United States military command assured Pakistan’s security establishment that TTP ‘chief’ Fazlullah would not be ‘spared’ and efforts are underway to track him down. The reported development surfaced during the meeting of top military commanders from Pakistan and the US on Monday which reviewed the ongoing coordinated drive against TTP and its allied offshoots, with the commitment to continue the scaled-up counterterrorism drive at the respective sides of the Western border. General Lloyd J. Austin CENTCOM and Pakistan’s COAS General Raheel Sharif met at the General Headquarters.

In a disturbing development for Islamabad, a former commander of the TTP, Hafiz Saeed Khan, has replaced an Afghan national, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, as the Ameer of the Khorasan chapter (which includes Pakistan) of Daish or the IS, led by Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi. The previous Daish Ameer for the Khorasan chapter, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, was a former Guantanamo prisoner, who had earlier spent several years in a Pakistani prison after being freed by the Americans. He had been appointed for an interim period to organise the Khorasan chapter of the IS which includes Pakistani, India, Afghanistan, Iran and some Central Asian territories. Rahim was operating from the Zamindawar District of Afghanistan which is situated on the right bank of the Helmand River to the northwest of Kandahar. However, Maulvi Saeed Khan, the new Ameer of the Khorasan chapter of Daish, comes from the FATA of Pakistan and belongs to the Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency. Before discarding the TTP umbrella in mid-October 2014, Saeed was the Ameer of the Orakzai Agency chapter of the TTP. 

January 13

SSP Malir Rao Anwar claimed to have killed five alleged terrorists in an encounter at Gulshan-e-Bunair area of Karachi, the Provincial capital of Sindh. SSP raided the area of Quaidabad along with 500 Policemen on secret information about the presence of terrorists of the plotters of Karachi jailbreak attempt. When Police reached the scene terrorists opened fire on them, as a result a Police mobile was damaged. However, in retaliatory fire five alleged terrorists belonging to a banned outfit were killed. Police recovered weapons and explosive material from the possession of dead criminals. Later, two killed terrorists were identified as Sajid and Mateen. Police sources said that Sajid was the mastermind of Karachi jailbreak foiled bid.

Two MQM workers, identified as Mohammad Ashraf alias Guddu and Mohammad Abdul Rehman, were shot dead while they were sitting along the road outside their homes near Taqva mosque in Rizvia Society of Liaquatabad Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Unidentified armed assailants shot dead the joint in-charge of the MQM Balochistan Committee, identified as Ashraf Khan (35) in Farid Colony of Orangi Town. 

Seven terrorists were executed in different jails of Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sukkur.

Three militants of LeJ Shahid Hanif alias Mufti Shahid, Muhammad Talha and Khalil Ahmed alias Hassan Jan were executed in Central Prisons in Sukkur. They were condemned to death by an anti-terrorism court after they were found guilty of killing Syed Zafar Hussain Zaidi, director laboratories of MoD in Karachi in July 2001.

Two terrorists involved in former President General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf assassination bid case were executed at District Jail Faisalabad. The terrorists were identified as ex-employee of Pakistan Air Force Nawazish Ali and Mushtaq.

Zulfikar Ali was executed at the Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi. He was associated with Al-Qaeda. He was convicted for killing two Policemen near the US Consulate General in Karachi. He was convicted by Anti-terrorism Court in Karachi after being booked in 2003 in FIR no 35/03 registered in Karachi under Sections 353, 302, 324, 397 and 7-ATA.

Behram Khan, the killer of a lawyer, was hanged at Karachi Central Jail in the presence of judicial magistrate. Behram Khan, along with Police SI Pir Bux, had killed Advocate Ashraf in the courtroom of Sindh High Court in 2003 and they were arrested while trying to escape. Anti-terrorism Court in Karachi had sentenced Behram to death while SI Pir Bux was sentenced to life in prison for abetting the crime.

Two security personnel were killed and three others injured when the SFs vehicle hit a roadside land mine near the Nawab Shaheed check-post in Kurram Agency of FATA.

The anti-terrorism court Number 1 awarded death on 22 counts to four militants of LeJ for attacking the Multan ISI headquarters. Abdur Rahim, Hafiz Salman, Sajjad and Muhammad Afzal have been awarded death on 11 counts under section 302 of the PPC and the same sentence under section 7 of the ATA. The court also awarded life imprisonment twice to their accomplice Ijaz Ahmed. The convicts had rammed a mini-truck into the ISI Headquarters in December 2009, killing 11 people and injuring 76 others. Several houses and residential quarters were also collapsed in the attack.

Asking Pakistan to target all militant groups, US Secretary of State John Kerry said terror outfits like LeT, Taliban and the Haqqani Network pose a threat to regional countries like India and the world. Addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister’s adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Kerry said the terror groups like the “Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other groups continue to pose a threat to Pakistan, to its neighbours and to the US.” “We all have a responsibility to ensure that these extremists are no longer able to secure a foothold in this country or elsewhere. Make no mistake. The task is a difficult one and it is not done.”

January 14

Unidentified assailants shot dead one ASI and his two brothers and a passer-by in Mohallah Hayatkhel in the limits of City Police Station in Dera Ismail Khan town of same District in KP. The sources said that two assailants riding a motorcycle arrived at Mohallah Hayatkhel in the evening and opened fire and killed ASI Qaiser Jehan and his brothers Khurram Jehan and Ansar Jehan. A passer-by Alqab was also killed in the attack. It was learnt that the slain cop was posted as the in-charge of a Counter-Terrorism Unit in Peshawar and had come home on leave.

KP Government granted male teachers permission to carry licensed weapons in school. Acknowledging the Government's inability to station Police at all of KP's more than 30,000 schools, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak asked the schools to make some security arrangements on their own.

The Intelligence Agencies arrested nine suspected militants, including a couple linked with al Qaeda, during crackdowns in different areas of Faisalabad District. According to sources the al Qaeda-linked couple, identified as Rizwan and Maria, was involved in a hand grenade attack on a shrine in Gujranwala District on an unspecified date.

Afghan SFs arrested five men suspected of responsibility for the December 16 massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar. TTP suspects are key commanders, who allegedly coordinated the attack.

Quetta ATC, headed by judge Aftab Ahmed Lone, indicted former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf and two other nominated accused in the Nawab Akbar Bugti murder case of August 26, 2006. The other two indicted by the Court include former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao and Home Minister Mir Shoaib Nosherwani.

Ahmed Khan Sherpao and Shoaib Nosherwani were present in the court during the hearing while counsel for Pervez Musharraf presented an application for his exemption from appearance on health grounds. The judge remarked that the exemption from appearance before the court could only be granted after examination of the former president by a medical board. The court expressed resentment over the non-constitution of the medical board and summoned the Director General, health, Balochistan, at the next hearing of the case on February 4, 2015.

Pakistan has decided to ban the Haqqani Network, JuD and 10 more outfits. Confirming the development, senior officials said that a formal announcement to this effect would be made in ‘coming days’. The decision came a day after the US State Department declared the fugitive chief of the TTP Mullah Fazlullah as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’. Mullah Fazlullah had claimed responsibility for the December 16 massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar. “It’s our first step towards execution of the National Action Plan. The nation will see more positive steps towards dismantling militant groups. Both civilian and military leadership decided to ban the Haqqani Network and Jamaat-ud-Dawa,” an unnamed senior intelligence official confirmed to The Express Tribune.

The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the number of proscribed organisations actively engaged in terrorism and extremism in Punjab alone had reached 95. During the briefing on the status of implementation of the National Action Plan to counter terrorism and extremism, Chaudhry Nisar said that law-enforcement agencies were proactively monitoring madrassah to check the spread of terrorist ideology in the country.

January 15

At least seven militants were killed while four others were injured in a US drone strike near the Pak-Afghan border in Wacha Dara area of Ladha tehsil in South Waziristan Agency of FATA. Two of the dead militants are reported to be of Uzbek origin. Intelligence sources say that the US drone fired two missiles on a compound in Wacha Dara area located near the Pak-Afghan border between Makeen and Shawal.

An unidentified man was shot dead near Haider Chowk in Orangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Law Enforcement Agencies arrested two target killers affiliated with a political party, who were involved in several cases of target killing and other crimes, from an undisclosed area of Karachi. Weapons were also recovered from their possession.

An ATC declared the TTP 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah, his former spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid and six others as proclaimed offenders in the June 8, 2014, Karachi Airport attack case. Six others were identified as Malik Mumtaz Awan, Asim Sharif, Abdur Rasheed, Akhtar alias Plumber, Iqbal alias Thekedar and Abdullah Baloch. The Police submitted that Fazlullah and Shahid had addresses of Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town but they could not be traced. The court declared the suspects as proclaimed offenders, ordering confiscation of their properties. The hearing of the case was adjourned till January 26, 2015.

Sindh High Court directed the Provincial authorities to apprise it about what measures they have taken to secure the public and private educational institutions across the Province, excluding the government’s advisory regarding security arrangements in wake of December 16, 2014 attack on an Army Public School in Peshawar. A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar issued notice to Sindh Chief Secretary, Education and Literacy Department Secretary, Home Secretary to submit their response to the petition by January 21, 2015.

The CoAS General Raheel Sharif said the military courts had been established with the consent of the people of Pakistan. The General said Pakistan was in a state of war, and the government and the armed forces were determined to wipe out the terrorists as the recent [APS] incident had shown the extent to which they (the terrorists) could go. General Raheel was confident that Pakistan would overcome its problems soon.

The ISPR Director General Major General Asim Bajwa said that the justice system has not come under military domain, explaining that military courts are a stop gap arrangement due to the existing capacity issue of Pakistan’s judicial system. Bajwa addressed the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a leading think tank in London.

Chief of BNP-M, Sardar Akhtar Mengal said that extremism was being promoted in Baloch society to weaken Baloch nationalists. "Extremists are penetrating in a tolerant Baloch society," Mengal said. He said new shadowy extremist organisations were surfacing in the Province to undermine the Baloch political and democratic movement.

A Government school in Rajgarh area of Lahore District received a threat note pasted on its main entrance, creating panic among teachers, students and their parents. According to details, unidentified persons pasted a threat note on the main gate of Government Junior Model Girls School Rajgarh. Parents who were visiting school for dropping their children read the note and informed the school administration. Officials of District Administration and police reached the spot immediately. Police sent the letter to the forensic laboratory for further investigation. However, the classes began normally after the school was cleared.

Police traced the terrorist network involved in January 9, 2015, bomb attack on Chittian Hattian Imambargah in Rawalpindi District and arrested four suspects. Police sources said two of the suspects arrested were convicted of murdering PTV producer Aun Mohammad Rizvi in 1999 and were acquitted by the Supreme Court in October 2011. But the sources declined to disclose their names.  Police investigators, the Counterterrorism Department and Intelligence Agencies are now scouring for the suspects’ links to Hafiz Muhammad Nawaz facing death penalty for killing Rizvi.

In a major development linked to the trial of hardcore terrorists in military courts, Islamabad Police referred the murder case of former Minority Affairs Minister Dr Shahbaz Bhatti to a military court. Bhatti was killed outside his residence in Islamabad on March 3, 2011. Earlier, the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) had pointed out that the threats from extremists were adversely affecting the proceedings of the trial of Dr Shahbaz Bhatti murder trial. Threatening pamphlets claiming to be from TTP-Punjab Chapter (also known as Punjabi Taliban) had been found in the office of a key witness in the case.

Lahore High Court Division Bench dismissed a withdrawn petition of a condemned prisoner, Ikramul Haq, alias Lahori, challenging his death warrants. A Faisalabad ATC had reissued the warrants after the convict failed to prove reconciliation with the complainant party. The convict’s counsel pleaded in the petition that the complainant party wanted to record statement in the High Court. However, he said, the trial court reissued the death warrants of the convict and execution was fixed for January 17, 2015.

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue presided over by Senator Nasrin Jalil of the MQM was informed by the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank that the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010 needed to be amended to ward off international isolation and ease operational difficulties being faced by local Law-Enforcement Agencies. The meeting was.

Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood Khan said the definition of financing of terrorism for the purpose of starting investigation into Suspicious Transactions Reports would be amended to include “financing of terrorism including funds collected, provided, use or meant for, or otherwise linked or related to terrorism, terrorist act or organisations and individuals concerned with terrorism”.

An official explained that unless Pakistan met international standards in its laws and efforts to curb terror financing, the international community under the banner of Financial Action Task Force on Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing could declare it a high-risk and non-cooperative country, leading to international sanctions. The finance secretary said the amendment would ensure domestic and international cooperation among agencies for investigation into terror financing. The new law proposes due diligence of customers and the requirement of regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the SBP to maintain record of transactions that was not covered in the previous law.

The UNHCR country representative, Maya Ameratunga said that her organisation would not support Afghan refugees found involved in terror activities in Pakistan. She said that the UN Refugee Agency was aware of security challenges in Pakistan and supported measures being taking by the Government to improve law and order. She said some Afghan refugees, both registered and illegal, had been taken into custody by Pakistan’s law-enforcement agencies for their alleged involvement in terror activities. The UNHCR, she added, would provide legal assistance only to registered Afghan refugees. She said the UN Refugee Agency has been providing assistance to Afghan refugees for their voluntary repatriation to their home country.

She called upon the Pakistan Government not to use force for the repatriation of Afghans. The forced evacuation of refugees would affect a large number of Afghan families as security situation in Afghanistan was still not conducive, she added. She said efforts to improve security situation in Afghanistan were continued so that repatriation process of Afghan refugees from neighbouring countries could be carried out in a smooth way. She said the UNHCR kept a continuous vigil at the activities of Afghan refugees and would inform Pakistani authorities if anyone of them is found involved in suspicious activities.

January 16

Police rescued five abducted foreigners and arrested two kidnappers during search operations in Satellite Town and overseas colony area of Turbat District. Imran Qureshi, the DPO said that the foreigners include three Yemenis and two Tanzanian nationals. He further stated that weapons were also recovered from the possession of the kidnappers.

The Police and SFs in a joint search and strike operation arrested 434 suspects and 115 unregistered Afghan nationals from different parts of the Province, especially Peshawar. The SFs also seized a large quantity of arms and ammunition from their possession. A Police official of Tehkal Police Station said the operation was carried out by the Police and SFs around the Bacha Khan Airport and that all Police Stations of the city were told to carry such operations in their respective areas. He said the operation lasted several hours during which the Police and SFs cordoned off the areas and closed roads and pathways at their entry and exit points. According to spokesman for the Police Riaz Ahmad, a total of 434 suspicious people were arrested in the Province during the last two days. He added that 189 weapons, 5,516 rounds, and a large quantity of ammunition was also recovered.

Police and SFs also forcibly shut down several private hostels in different areas of Peshawar. The action led the students living there blocked the University Road and thus, causing traffic jam for around an hour. Shouting slogans against the Government, the protesters said they didn’t know why their hostels had been closed and that evicting them without prior notice was an injustice. They said they were members of poor families by and large and couldn’t afford to stay in expensive hotels.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan said that there has been 60 to 70 percent reduction in extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom cases and target killing incidents have reduced in Karachi. Khan said that after the Abbas Town blast in March 2, 2013, we focused on elimination of four heinous crimes with all available resources which include terrorism, extortions, target killings and kidnapping-for-ransom and we got success and today there is clear reduction in these crimes in the city.

Pakistan cannot ban the JuD led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed because it is a charitable and not terrorist organisation, said Pakistan’s Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain.  Hussain’s comments came a day after some media channels quoted unnamed Pakistani Interior Ministry sources as saying the Government was likely to outlaw several terrorist groups, including the JuD and the Haqqani Network.

“We are looking to ban terror organisations but the JuD is a charitable organisation and the Government of Pakistan has no evidence against Hafiz Saeed or the JuD,” Hussain said. Hussain drew a distinction between the LeT – banned as a terrorist organisation by Pakistan, India and the United States among other countries – and the JuD. Both India and the US say the LeT resurfaced as JuD after the ban. “Lashkar is banned in Pakistan and we have not found any linkages between JuD and LeT,’’ Hussain said, adding Saeed had the right to address rallies as he was “not involved in any terrorist activity”.

He further said, “India or the US should give us evidence and we will consider it. The JuD does not have a military wing and they are only involved in preaching Islam and working in the education field.” Hussain said he also supported the JuD chief’s call for liberating Kashmir. “Even I refer to Kashmir as our atoot ang (inalienable part). Tomorrow you will ask for a ban against me and against all Pakistanis who support the freedom struggle in Kashmir,” the Minister said.

CoAS, General Raheel Sharif while speaking at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London said that National Action Plan was a comprehensive long term strategy to address extremism, terrorism in the country with the Government doing best for its implementation, adding that the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists in North Waziristan Agency of FATA was making good progress and there were no favourites among terrorists as all terrorists of any kind were being hit in the operation.

General Sharif further said that the relations with Afghanistan were improving, adding, “We are working for stability in the region”. He said that longstanding Kashmir issue has to be resolved for long term peace, stability in South Asia, Pakistan wants peace, but with dignity and honour. He urged that negotiations between the two countries over Kashmir must be made on an equal basis. He said that the World needs to understand our environment. Our cooperation with UK in security, social sector is growing. About return of TDPs from NWA, he said the world should help in dignified resettlement of TDPs.

DG ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa while addressing a think-tank of the Royal United Services Institute (USI) in UK said that Security Forces have killed 2,000 militants in North Waziristan Agency of FATA in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He also said that 200 soldiers had been killed during the operation, and 800 others had sustained injuries. He reiterated the army’s resolve to ensure writ of the state in Bajaur and North Waziristan Agencies at all costs by wiping out militants. The DG ISPR said that effective military operations are under way to purge the areas of terrorists.

Referring to Islamabad and Afghan Security Forces' expected launch of coordinated operation against terrorists in their respective border regions, QWP chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said, “The Afghan Government has given its consent for launching a coordinated operation against terrorists”. Sherpao said the new Afghan Government was not only willing to cooperate in the war against terrorism but was also ready to enhance bilateral cooperation in other fields. The QWP chief also said that the new Afghan leadership desired close security cooperation with Pakistan in order to expedite action against terrorists and launch a coordinated offensive to wipe out terrorism from the region.

“Apart from a detailed meeting with President Ghani, we also met Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah and other Afghan leaders. Our discussions were focused on how to enhance bilateral cooperation between our two countries,” said Sherpao. Since Pakistan has assured Kabul that it would not allow anyone to use its soil against Afghanistan, Sherpao said the Afghan leadership also expressed its desire to resolve all issues with Pakistan through mutual understanding. They want to normalise relations bedeviled by distrust and embark on a new journey of mutual friendship, he added.

JI Chief Sirajul Haq while addressing a rally on Multan Road warned that the anti-Islam policies of the west could plunge the world into the third world war. He said that the respect of the Holy Prophet was an essential part of a Muslim’s faith. Thousand of faithful across the country came on roads to express their anguish over the fresh publication of blasphemous caricatures by a French Weekly and vowed to render every sacrifice to safeguard the sanctity of the Holy Prophet. The call for the protest had been given by Haq.

He announced million marches in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi on January 23, 205, in continuation of the protest. He also stressed upon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to call for an emergency meeting of the Muslim rulers to lodge protest with the French Government on this score and to stress upon the United Nations to frame laws ensuring respect for all the Prophets of Allah and all the revealed books.

Pakistan has outlawed the Haqqani Network, officials said, days after US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government to fight groups that threaten Afghan, Indian and US interests.

Senior Pakistani Government officials said that a formal announcement of the ban would be made “within weeks”. “We have decided to ban the Haqqani Network as a step in implementing the National Action Plan devised after the (Peshawar) school attack,” said a Cabinet Member.

The US said that Pakistan’s decision to ban the Haqqani Network and some other militant groups is an important step towards eliminating terrorism. “We welcome (the decision) to outlaw the Haqqani Network, Jama'at-ud-Dawa, and I think about 10 other organisations linked to violent extremism,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said at a news briefing in Washington. “It is an important step, certainly, towards eliminating terrorist activity in Pakistan,” she said.

The Government has put more than 5,400 suspected militants on a new terror watch list, in a fresh move to swiftly execute a crackdown against sympathisers, financiers and facilitators of banned outfits across the country. As part of implementation on the National Action Plan against terrorism, these suspected terrorists were included in the list under the Fourth Schedule of the ATA 1997, a legal tool that allows the Government to catalogue all those involved in terrorism. “The fresh crackdown is being conducted by civilian forces with cooperation of intelligence operatives,” an unnamed official monitoring progress on the NAP said on January 16.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home Department has put some 2,572 suspects on the list — most of them linked with banned organisations, he revealed, adding that more than 1,896 suspected terrorists have been placed on the list by the Punjab Home Department. The Sindh Home Department placed the names of 479 suspects on the terror watch list. Similarly, the Balochistan Government has identified 400 suspects, Islamabad police 50, and the Gilgit-Baltistan Government has named 23 militants, the official added.

The Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan directed all relevant departments to block bank accounts/financial transactions and all kinds of funding of proscribed organisations/NGOs or any other individuals or organisations having connection with militants or terrorist activities. A databank and monitoring network is being established for all the proscribed organisations so that all such organisations re-emerging secretly or under new names should be shut down, he said.

He also directed Ministry of Information Technology to work in close coordination with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the Intelligence Agencies and international monitors to close down all terrorism related websites/web based messaging services and other terrorism-related material on the internet and social media.

Pakistan’s military command has shared with the British authorities a list of more than 50 suspicious organisations that are headquartered in the UK and are operating in Pakistan, for strict scrutiny and surveillance over their finances and operations. These organisations not only include banned outfits but also include dozens of Islamic charities registered in the UK as social welfare and humanitarian organisations on the pretext of communities’ services.

The British authorities, in response, are said to have assured their complete support to Pakistan in its ongoing counterterrorism drive. According to informed security sources, the CoAS General Raheel Sharif conveyed to UK Government functionaries and security officials that majority of the organisations marked as suspicious by Pakistan’s security agencies (but were not banned here) were operating as charity organisations. These organisations are mainly registered in UK and some other Western countries including Canada, France and the United States. “The financial controls on dozens of 50 plus Islamic charities and other outfits are loose and they are freely moving millions of pounds from the UK to Pakistan each year,” an informed unnamed intelligence insider said, adding, “What do they do of this big amount of money is highly suspicious since social and humanitarian work they originally get the money for, is nowhere to be seen.”

Three Shia men, identified as lawyer Fayyaz Hussain Shah (40), and his two nephews Mir Ghazi Shah (20) and Mir Hamza Shah (22) were shot dead while they were returning home from a religious gathering in Rawalpindi District. TTP 'spokesperson' Muhammad Khorasani claimed responsibility for the attack. He said that Shah was active in his Shia community and was also a local leader of PTI.

January 17

Ikramul Haq, a convicted terrorist belonging to SSP, was hanged till death at Kot Lakhpat Central Jail in provincial capital Lahore. He was accused of killing a Shia man, identified as Nayyar Abbas, at an Imambargah in Shorkot area of Jhang District in 2001. Haq was scheduled to be hung earlier on January 8, 2014 but the execution was delayed at the eleventh hour after an agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant was produced before the magistrate. Later, the condemned prisoner and the plaintiff parties were asked to approach the Anti-Terrorism Court for confirmation of the agreement, pardoning Haq. Out of eight family members of the deceased Abbas, only his two brothers and a sister appeared before the judge, hence the court refused to accept the agreement and upheld its decision of death sentence to the convict.

So far, a total of 19 terrorists have been hanged. These include, a total of seven in the year 2014 (two on December 19, four on December 21, one on December 30). At least 12 terrorists have been hanged so far in 2015 (two on January 7, seven on January 13, two on January 15 and one on January 17).

January 18

Two officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), identified as Sohail Yusuf Bhatti (47), and Yusuf Talat Khan (56), were shot dead in a targeted attack near the Federal Urdu University on the main University Road in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Yusuf was the Deputy Director of Lyari Development Authority and Bhatti was the Detector Land LDA.

Two Policemen, identified as Abdul Ghafoor (50), and Muhammad Farooq, were shot dead in North Nazimabad Town.

A doctor, identified as Dr Farooq Ahmed Shaikh (55), was shot dead in a targeted attack in Federal B area of Gulberg Town. On his way home after work around 1:45am when he was shot dead in a target attack in Federal B Area.

A man, identified as Rehan (50), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Chhota Maidan area within the limits of Paposh Police Station in North Nazimabad Town.

Muttahida Qaumi Chief Altaf Hussain demanded the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to impose martial law in Sindh for the safety of life and property of people. He said the Sindh Government has failed in maintaining peace in the city as killing of innocent people in Karachi was on the rise. He demanded the Prime Minister to issue arm licenses to citizens if martial law couldn’t be enforced.

Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali of the Supreme Court, who is also the monitoring judge of the ATCs in Sindh, chaired a meeting that was informed of bifurcation of cases into “militancy-related” and “others” by the ATCs. Of the over 2,700 cases pending disposal before the 19 ATC across the Province, 192 cases of bomb blasts and militant attacks by militant organisations have been prioritized for hearing on a day-to-day basis as provided under the ATA of 1997.

SFs arrested two militants, identified as Maulavi Shah Wali and Hafiz Naimatullah, during a raid in Jangle Pir Alizai area in Qilla Abdullah District.

SFs arrested two suspected militants from Killi Tekhdar area of Chaman town and recovered weapons from their possession.

Police detained 31 suspects during various raids in Quetta. Police said hate materials and CDs were recovered from their possession.

Balochistan Chief Secretary Saifullah Chathha while presiding over a meeting in Quetta asked officials to ensure construction of boundary walls and foolproof security at all schools in the Province as part of the National Action Plan against terrorists. He ordered officials of Law-Enforcement Agencies and educational institutions to jointly evolve a security plan for safety and protection of schools, colleges and universities. The meeting decided that boundary walls would be built and protective wires installed at all schools, besides deploying security guards at every educational institution.

Five suspected militants belonging to Pakistan were arrested last week in Afghanistan, said officials from both the countries. The five were detained last week after Pakistan sent a list of suspects to security services in Afghanistan, said an unnamed official. “We are investigating whether the five detained are the ones wanted by Pakistan,” one of the Afghan officials said. A Pakistani official said that talks were underway with the Government for the transfer of the five prisoners in Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the Chief of JuD, and the founder of LeT, during a rally in Lahore while urging Muslims across the world to boycott French commodities in protest against the publication of sacrilegious caricatures by French magazine Charlie Hebdo said that the UN should declare blasphemy as terrorism and pass an international law against it. “If it fails to do so, Muslim countries should sever ties with it and form a Muslim Union.” “Blasphemy is the worst form of terrorism in the world. It is terrorism against 1.5 billion Muslims. There will be no peace if international laws are not made against blasphemy,” threatened Saeed.

The commander of The Resolute Support, the new mission of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell warned that the IS is making recruitment in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “We are seeing reports of some recruiting,” said General Campbell, adding, “There have been some night letter drops, there have been reports of people trying to recruit both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, quite frankly.”

General Campbell said the IS group, which had a “hard message to sell” in Afghanistan, but there were concerns that the group had the potential to spread its message in the country and in neighbouring Pakistan. “The Taliban have their allegiance to Mullah Omar and a different philosophy and ideology than ISIS, but, potentially, there are people who are disgruntled with the Taliban, they haven’t seen [Taliban 'commander'] Mullah Omar in years, or they want to go a different way,” he said.

Those disgruntled with the Taliban leadership could be “vulnerable to the ISIS message, and so we’re looking at it very hard”, he said, adding that the US and Afghan authorities had so far seen “only bits and pieces” of this group in Afghanistan. “We’re doing deep dives into it to make sure we’re seeing everything. I’ve made it a priority intelligence requirement for my staff, but I have not seen a whole bunch of it yet, to tell you the truth,” Campbell added.

January 19

At least seven militants and three soldiers were killed during a clash in Banda area of Salarzai town in Bajaur Agency of FATA. Security sources said heavy exchange of fire took place during an operation to clear suspected militants from the mountainous Banda area along the Afghan border.

The TTP 'spokesperson' Muhammad Khorasani claimed responsibility for attack. Khorasani said the TTP fighters “killed six soldiers including a captain,” adding, “We lost only one fighter.” “The fighting continued since morning until afternoon.” he added.

At least five militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles at a compound in Shahi Khel neighbourhood of Shawal in North Waziristan Agency.

An ASI, identified as Tabassum Ali, was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants while he was providing security to polio team in Banaras area of Orangi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Later, the anti-polio drive was suspended in Orangi Town and SITE Town.

An unidentified alleged target killer was killed in a retaliatory firing by the Police near Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) in Paposh Nagar of North Nazimabad Town.

As part of the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism, hate material seized by Rawalpindi District Police reveals that various schools of thought promote hatred against one another and stand divided over many issues. According to Police sources, in the seized books, sects attack one another and also disagree over the celebration of the birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while addressing the inaugural session of Balochistan Development Forum organised by the Balochistan Chief Minister’s Policy Reform Unit (CMPRU) in Islamabad said that the Government will cleanse Balochistan, KP and FATA of terrorists.

He said owing to neglect in the past, Balochistan lagged behind in socioeconomic development and stressed that both Federal and Provincial Governments were now taking measures to ensure growth and peaceful environment in the Province. He said that the development of Balochistan was close to his heart, and despite constraints, the Federal Government provided substantial resources to supplement the efforts of the Provincial Government to address the needs of its people.

The political leaders and experts at the forum were unanimous in seeking autonomy for Balochistan and ownership over resources of the Province. Speaker Balochistan Assembly Jan Jamali urged Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch to assert Provincial autonomy under the 18th Amendment to push the agenda for inclusive development of the Province and its inhabitant.

The Peshawar District administration has started issuing licences of non-prohibited bore weapons to the educational institutions. “The process of getting licence of non-prohibited bore weapons can be completed easily,” Deputy Commissioner Zahirul Islam said. When asked how many licences could be issued to a school, he said that he would issue even 10 licences to the administration of a school if it required the same number of licences for its security guards.

January 20

An activist of the MQM Unit-6, identified as Danish (30), was shot dead and another man, identified as Touseef (26), was shot at and injured in Malir Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man was shot dead and another unidentified man was injured near Kharadar in Lyari Town.

An unidentified dead body of a man was found near Hijrat Colony area of Lyari Town.

Police claimed to have killed a criminal in an encounter in Manghopir area of Gadap Town. However, the identity of the suspect could not be ascertained.

At least 10 people, including one woman and two children, were injured in a hand grenade attack carried out by Lyari gangsters in Bhimpura area of Saddar Town.

A man, identified as Wali Ahmed, was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants in Bhains Colony area of Lyari Town.

In an incident of firing, one Fahad (18) was injured near Usmanabad in Lyari Town.

One Shahid (30) was shot and injured by unidentified armed assailants near Mominabad in Orangi Town.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while presiding over a meeting on law and order directed the Law Enforcement Agencies to intensify and strengthen vigilance at entry and exit points of the Province. He added that the ongoing targeted operation had started producing encouraging results, but he wanted the law enforcers to intensify the operation to purge the Province of terrorist elements.

The IGP Ghulam Hyder Jamali briefed the Chief Minister on the targeted operation. He said the operation gave positive results. “If the 496 days of the targeted operation are compared with the corresponding 496 days [of the previous years], 337 per cent more criminals have been killed in encounters while 16 per cent more targeted killers arrested, 285 per cent more terrorists and 96 per cent more extortionists apprehended,” he said. A total of 766 criminals had been killed during the 496 days of the operation, while 175 criminals had been killed in encounters during the corresponding period, he said. Similarly, 1,399 criminals involved in targeted killings had been arrested, while 1,200 had been arrested earlier, he said. The number of militants and extortionists arrested increased from 124 to 478 and from 236 to 463, respectively, he said.

A Police constable, identified as Shahid, was injured when a terror bid was foiled by intercepting a suspected suicide bomber travelling in a bus on Main G.T. Road near Rawalpindi District. The bus that was en route to Rawalpindi from Peshawar was stopped and one of the bus passengers was taken into custody by Police on suspicion. Upon trying to escape, the suspect was fired at by Police in response to which he hurled a hand-grenade, injuring the Police. However, earlier reports said the suspect blew himself up after being intercepted at the Sardar checkpost in Wah Garden.

The CIA Police arrested a veiled woman, identified as Maria Sultan, from outside Kotwali CIA office in Lahore for her alleged links with al Qaeda. Police sources claimed the woman was a proclaimed offender and was involved in a suicide attack at Gujranwala Police Office.

Punjab Government promulgated an Ordinance which bans glorification of terrorists and their outfits at any forum and in the media. It regulates manufacture or sale of uniforms of law-enforcement agencies. The Punjab Maintenance of Public Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, which amends the identical law of 1960, is part of the legal reform measures the Government is taking to curb terrorism.

Pakistan denied reports that the UK and Washington had asked it to handover LeT 'operations commander' and 2008 Mumbai terror attack (also known as 26/11) accused Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi to India or to them for his "independent trial" to help improve ties with New Delhi. "No one has asked or sent any formal request to the (Pakistan) Government to handover the person (Lakhvi) to India or any other country," Pakistan's foreign office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said. Federal Investigation Agency's prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar had informed the Islamabad High Court on that two countries, whose citizens were killed in the Mumbai attacks, had asked Pakistan to hand over Lakhvi.

The teachers refused to keep arms at schools during duty hours, saying it is the responsibility of the state to provide security to teaching staff and students. The decision was taken at a meeting of the all primary schools teachers association held at the Government High School, Swari, on January 20, 2014. The meeting was told that the teaching community was not ready to accept the fresh security policy at the schools, adding that a teacher’s duty was to teach students and not to guard school. They said that provision of security to students and teachers was the prime responsibility of the Law Enforcement Agencies.

Earlier on January 19, the District Administration started issuing licences of non-prohibited bore weapons to the educational institutions.

January 21

A man, identified as Shoaib (30), was killed by unidentified armed assailants near Madni Masjid in Azizabad area of Gulberg Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Muhammad Ali was shot dead and another man, identified as Abdul Rasheed (35), was injured near Jhat Patt Market on Muhammad Ali Road in Lyari Town.

Unidentified militants shot dead an official of the Levies Force, Khaliq Jan, in Mamond tehsil of Bajaur Agency in FATA. Sources said that Khaliq Jan was on his way home in Sarki Joharh when unidentified militants opened fire on him, leaving him dead on the spot. The assailants managed to escape from the scene.

Operation Commander Hangu and Orakzai Agency Brigadier Muhammad Jilani said that the SFs had cleared 50 percent area of Orakzai Agency from militants. Brigadier Muhammad Jilani said the return process of the IDPs to their native areas would be started once the area was cleared of militants.

The Minister for State and Frontier Regions Lieutenant General (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch said a strategy was being formulated by the Government to create job opportunities for IDPs in North and South Waziristan agencies because until a few years ago most people there knew only about weapons’ manufacturing and related business activities.

The JI Amir Sirajul Haq has demanded of the Government to declare the FATA as a separate province so that its people could get their due rights. The JI chief said that nearly 10 million tribal Pakhtuns had still been living without basic facilities. He demanded of the Government to declare FATA as a separate province and Peshawar as a brave city, and elevate the status of Army Public School, Peshawar, to the university level.

A militant was killed and another two were arrested in a clash with the Police during a search operation in Malikabad area under Topi Police Station in Swabi District of KP. The slain militant was identified as Abu Saeed, a resident of Malikabad. He was wanted by the Police in a number of terrorism-related cases.

KP Government backtracked on its stand that teacher could carry small weapons into schools for own security after a representative body of primary schoolteachers rejected it. Minister for elementary and secondary education Atif Khan insisted his Department had never issued such instructions and that the Government would not encourage teachers or students to take firearms to classrooms.

A suicide bomber, identified as Mohammad Asif, denoted his vest when SFs arrested him while he was travelling in a bus on Main GT Road near Rawalpindi District. Earlier it was reported that a Police constable, identified as Shahid, was injured while foiling the terror bid. Officials of Law Enforcement Agencies and Police were trying to unscramble a code which was found scribbled on a piece of paper recovered from the pocket of the suicide bomber. The man got off a bus and blew himself up with a hand grenade when the bus was stopped at a Police picket on GT Road near Mughal Garden in Wah. The piece of paper with the number 21110 written on it was recovered from him along with PKR 7,000 in cash, a pair of sunglasses and two pieces of clothing.

A Police investigator said that officials from different agencies have joined hands with police to crack this code. They believe that this number could be a code for a possible target - a place or a person. The investigator said that the officials are trying to solve the mystery with the help of information which has already been gathered from terrorists in Police custody. Asif hailed from Fatehjang tehsil (revenue unit) of Attock District. Police sources said some of his family members had been picked up and shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation. Police are also interrogating the bus driver, a resident of Charsadda District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and his Afghan assistant.

According to Intelligence sources, the SFs arrested a local 'commander' of the IS, identified as Yousuf al-Salafi, as well as his two accomplices involved in recruiting and sending fighters to Syria from provincial capital Lahore. Three unnamed intelligence sources said the man, Yousaf al-Salafi, was arrested in the eastern city of Lahore and confessed during interrogation that he represented IS in Pakistan.

“Al-Salafi is a Pakistani Syrian who reached Pakistan through Turkey five months ago,” said one source. “He crossed into Turkey from Syria and was caught there. Somehow he managed to escape and reached Pakistan to establish IS.” The source said one of his accomplices, Hafiz Tayyab, was a prayer leader in Lahore and was involved in recruiting Pakistanis and sending them to fight alongside Islamic State in Syria, charging IS about USD 600 per person.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while chairing a meeting on reviewing progress of NAP said that the nation has to succeed in the war of terror at any cost, as there is no margin of error. He directed the Law Enforcement Agencies’ chiefs to improve mutual coordination in their ongoing counterterrorism drive in line with the NAP. The PM has also observed that steps are being taken for the effective implementation of NAP for complete elimination of terrorism.

He said implementation of NAP was the key to eradicate terrorism from the country. “We will do everything to achieve this objective even if this involves special allocation of funds,” he said.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that by cancelling dialogues, India has given rise to uncertainty and the threats from the Indian leadership points to a dangerous desire for war. He said that firing and shelling from across the LoC and the Working Boundary without provocation and efforts made by India to change the status of Kashmir all by themselves would further complicate an already volatile situation.

He said that Pakistan was willing to continue enduring, unconditional and fruitful negotiations with India but they were the ones to cancel the secretary level talks and now they will have to make the first move to revive the dialogue.

January 22

Two bullet-riddled bodies were found from Gulshan Rehman Colony on Kohat Road in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to police sources, the bodies belonged to Badhaber and Kamal Deen Gharri areas.

The Peshawar Police detained at least 150 suspects during a search operation carried out in the areas around the university campus. According to reports, the Police and SFs conducted a joint search operation in the adjoining areas of Regi Lalma, Malagori and university campus and sealed these areas. Identification of the citizens was carried out during home-to-home search. Police arrested more than 150 suspects including Afghanis who were living illegally in the country.

The Supreme Court directed the Federal Government to upload the details pertaining to terrorist outfits banned by the Government on websites, adding that there was no such record and friendly countries should also be informed in this regard. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, heard the suo moto case on the errors in legal books and journals. During the hearing, the court asked its staff to check the websites of the NACTA, the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Interior. However, after checking these websites, nothing was found pertaining to details of banned terrorist outfits. “How can we fight against terrorism when we don’t know about the amendments made in our laws?” Justice Jawwad remarked, adding that people don’t even know as to whether they are giving donations to organisations the Government has banned or not.

Justice Jawwad further observed that the Government was fighting against extremism so it should provide information so that the public could know about such terrorist outfits that were banned. “How we can we eliminate terrorism and extremism when we don’t know as to which organisations have been banned by the government?” Justice Khawaja remarked, adding that the people don’t know about these organisations and its figures. He observed that all the notifications were moved by the Law Ministry hence it should upload them on its website. He further said that the list of banned outfits should be uploaded in all languages so that the people in the country as well as abroad should know as to which outfits were banned.

The White House described the US-Pakistan relationship as “incredibly important” to shared security and emphasized that United States’ relations with Pakistan and India are not at expense of the other. “We don’t view these relationships as taking place at the expense of the other, that we can have a good relationship with India and we can have a good relationship with Pakistan,” Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor said.

The Government banned the JuD and the Haqqani Network and also froze the JUD’s bank accounts. It also placed foreign travel restrictions on Hafiz Saeed who heads the JuD. “Pakistan is taking these steps for its own sake, for the protection of its own people and to eradicate terrorism from the country once and for all. The JuD and some other organisations are listed (as terrorists) by the United Nations. Pakistan, as a member of the United Nations, is under obligation to proscribe the entities and individuals that are listed,” the Foreign Office spokesperson announced at a media briefing.

Immediately afterwards, the JuD announced that it would approach the Supreme Court to challenge the ban as it claims it is a charity. The ban comes just days before President Barrack Obama’s visit to New Delhi. For quite some time, both the US and India have asked Pakistan to ban the JuD and the Haqqani Network. In fact, Hafiz Saeed has been accused by both the countries of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

However, the FO spokesperson rejected the notion that Pakistan had taken these steps on the request of US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in Islamabad recently and who publicly criticised both these militant organisations. She said that the National Action Plan had been under discussion, and it had nothing to do with the visit by the US secretary of state.

“We take our obligations very seriously and try to meet these obligations scrupulously. Once any individuals and organisations are proscribed by the UN, we are required to freeze their assets and enforce travel restrictions. We take that action. Bank accounts of such entities and individuals are frozen after an SRO is issued,” she explained. While the Haqqani Network has also been banned, the organisation does not have bank accounts in Pakistan.

January 23

An unidentified man was shot dead in Manghopir area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

The CID Police claimed to have arrested three Lyari gangsters, identified as Sheeraz Faisal, Muhammad Zubair and Abdul Rehman, during a raid in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town. SSP CID Usman Bajwa said that three Lyari gangsters belonged to Sohail Ladla group and were involved in the killing of 14 Policemen and several other people. Police recovered massive weapons and hand grenades from their possession.

The CID Police also arrested a suspect, identified as Abdul Ghani alias Akram, and recovered proscribed electronic devices from his custody. These devices included mobile phone trackers, FM frequency tracker, hacking and transmitters and the instruments used in terrorism.

Unidentified miscreants blew up an 18-inch gas pipeline near Dera Murad Jamali in Naseerabad District.  The explosion caused suspension of gas supply from Sui to Uch Power Plant.

Unidentified militants blew up a 6-inch gas pipeline in Sohbatpur area of Jaffarabad District suspending gas supply to different villages. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Rawalpindi-bound Jaffar Express escaped a bomb blast in the 13 Mile area of provincial capital Quetta. However, no casualties were reported.

Kidnappers freed four people in Zarmilan area of South Waziristan Agency in FATA who were abducted along with 10 others from Killa Saifullah District of Balochistan on January 4. The captors had killed an official of the Pakistan Air Force who was among the kidnapped and had freed two hostages. Three people were still in the kidnappers' custody.

Three TTP militants were arrested from the Baghat area of Hangu District in KP. Official sources said Police carried out an operation in Baghat area and arrested three suspected Taliban militants. Four army uniforms, eight hand grenades, four Kalashnikovs, two bombs, detonators, explosives and hundreds of bullet rounds were also seized from the suspects' possession.

Official documents said that Law-enforcement agencies in KP have rounded up more than 8,000 suspects in a fresh crackdown against militants. According to the documents – which the KP Government submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office on January 22 – some 8,281 suspects have been arrested in 2,861 fresh operations. These include 22 clerics accused of delivering hateful speeches. The KP Government has also charged the representatives of some 222 seminaries with violating loudspeaker laws. In comparison, the Punjab Government has added the names of more than 2,000 suspects to the new list of terrorists, informed officials. They added the Sindh Government has placed the names of 500 suspects on the list, the Balochistan Government has identified 410 suspects, authorities in Islamabad have named 150 suspects and Gilgit-Baltistan has named 50 suspects.

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said that there is no ban on JuD but its accounts have been frozen and movement of its members restricted as per the UN resolution. “We are proceeding strictly in accordance with UN resolution and Jama'at’s bank accounts have been frozen, there is a ban on travel abroad of its leadership. We are moving in accordance with whatever is required under the UN resolution. I do not see much else needs to be done,’’ Basit said. He also stated that the facilities of JuD have been taken over by the Government of Pakistan.

“I will remind the audience that the resolution (UN) does not state that member states lock up such individuals,” Basit said, adding, "Pakistan is now moving ahead without any distinction when it comes to terrorism. We are moving against firmly on all organisations that come under the purview.”

The US Government said that it did not have confirmation on Pakistan banning the Haqqani Network or the JuD. “We recognise that Pakistan is working through the process of implementing measures to thwart violent extremism, including the National Action Plan. We don’t have any confirmation of specific steps,” said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

“The Pakistani Government has made clear in both private conversations and public statements that it is in Pakistan’s own interest to take steps against all militant groups in Pakistan, and explicitly to not differentiate between such group,” Psaki said, adding, “We support this commitment and believe that it is fundamental to addressing terrorism and ensuring attacks such as the horrific one that happened just weeks ago that impacted the Peshawar school children never occur again.”

The Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said the country had taken the decision under the UN obligation as opposed to being under pressure from elsewhere. “Pakistan took this decision under the UN obligation and not under pressure from any other quarter including John Kerry (US Secretary of State),” Aslam clarified.

Islamabad Police is likely to detain LeT 'operation commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 attacks (also known as 26/11) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi in another case. Lakhvi is scheduled to appear in the District and Sessions Court on February 24, 2015 in connection with the bail granted to him in a kidnapping case on December 29, 2014, Police officials said. Similarly, hearing of the new case is also scheduled in the same court. The case was registered with the Tarnol police on November 21, 2014, in response to a complaint filed by Noorul Rehman on November 10, 2014.

The complainant stated that on November 10 about two dozen people riding double-cabins raided his house. “I scaled the wall of the house and escaped and informed Rescue 15 at 5pm.” He said the raiders introduced themselves as Taliban and threatened his sister and mother with dire consequences. The attackers also asked his family to withdraw cases he had lodged against his rivals Farman and Farhat Nigar. He alleged that the attackers were sent by his rivals to kill him and his family. “They should be held responsible if anything happens to me or my family.” An unnamed senior Police Officer said that the investigation of the case had been transferred to the CID and was being supervised by AIG-Operations Dr Sultan Azam Temuri. He said the investigators had arrested two people in connection with the case filed by Noorul Rehman whose links were established with Lakhvi.

According to details of Lakhvi current status, he was arrested in 2009 in connection with the Mumbai attack case. He was granted bail by one Anti-Terrorism Court on December 18, 2014. However, shortly afterwards he was detained on the directives of the capital administration under the MPO which was suspended by the Islamabad High Court on December 26, 2014. Later, a kidnapping case was registered against Lakhvi at the Tarnol Police Station on December 29, 2014, and on December 30, 2014, the Police arrested him. Afterwards he was taken into custody on physical remand and sent to Adiala jail in Rawalpindi District. Again, on January 8, 2014, the lower court of Islamabad granted him bail in connection with the kidnapping case against a surety bond of PKR 200,000. But he was again detained under the MPO for a month which would end on February 18, 2015.

JuD 'chief' Hafiz Muhammad Saeed led Friday prayers and delivered a fiery sermon followed by a protest by hundreds of his supporters on Lake Road near Chauburji Chowk in provincial capita Lahore. Saeed delivered a speech against India, America, Israel and France. He also condemned the Government of Pakistan for freezing his bank account and for banning the JuD and the FIF. Instead of taking action against the protesters, the Police provided them security.

LEA arrested two terror suspects from the Manga Mandi area in Lahore District on the information of an arrested terror suspect Yousuf al-Salafi, who is directly linked with the Islamic State (Daish), and shifted them to an unidentified location for interrogation. One of the agencies engaged in the operation showed that the officials, who had taken IS 'commander' Yousuf into custody from the Shahdara area on January 21, 2015, along with his accomplices, Qari Tayyab and Dr Fahad, arrested his two more accomplices following information provided by him. The raids were conducted by the ISI, the IB and CIA Police to track down the suspects associated with Daish. A Police source said that hate literature, CDs and other material had been seized from their possessions.

The preliminary investigation revealed that Kosar Ali, the suicide bomber who blew himself up at a Police picket on Main GT Road near Rawalpindi District on January 20, 2014, had been a student at the Lal Masjid seminary. Police and other LEA's detained seven suspects, including the two brothers of the suicide bomber, on January 22, 2015 in connection with the incident. The detained suspects were taken to an undisclosed location for further investigation.

January 24

One person was killed and two others were injured in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Unidentified men gunned down an unknown person aged about 30 near Rangers check post in Mehmoodabad 2.

One person aged about 30 was shot and injured by unidentified armed men near Shah Latif town in Bhens Colony Landhi.

Arif Abbas (45) was shot and injured by unidentified gunmen in his house near Total Petrol Pump in Korangi.

Law enforcement agencies arrested seven TTP militants, including a ‘commander’, from different places. On a tip-off the SFs raided a house located in Bagatoo area of Hangu District in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province arresting four terrorists of the banned TTP. Heavy weapons including eight hand grenades, four Kalashnikovs, two remote-controlled bombs, eight detonators, two batteries and hundreds of bullets were recovered from the possession of the arrested militants.

On intelligence report about the presence of TTP militants in the area the SFs conducted a raid in Harnai District of Balochistan and arrested three TTP militants, including a ‘commander’. SFs also recovered arms and ammunition from the possession of militants.

January 25

At least 35 suspected militants, an unspecified number of foreigners among them, were killed when military planes shelled their hideouts in North Waziristan Agency. According to the ISPR, the air strikes were conducted in Dattakhel tehsil. Officials said that over 1,200 suspected militants had been killed since the Army launched Operation Zarb-i-Azb in North Waziristan in June 2014. The administration had lifted curfew from the area after 20 days on January 23.

January 26

Eight suspected militants, including key commanders of various outfits, were killed and several others sustained injuries when jet fighters of PAF blitzed their positions in various areas including Speen Drand, Tor Darra, Tarkhu Kas in Kukikhel, Nakai and other areas in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. Several hideouts of militants were also destroyed in the operation.

Five persons, including a retired Police SI Muhammad Salleh Shah, were killed and one sustained injuries when in a Chithar-bound pickup that was coming from Dera Murad Jamali stumbled over a landmine in the Soonwah area of Naseerabad District.

Quetta Police recovered 50,000 rounds of different caliber weapons, which had been stolen from the arsenal depot of Balochistan Constabulary, during raids in Shaldara and Pashtunabad areas of the provincial capital.

Balochistan Government during a high-level meeting of security officials finalised 54 terrorism cases for trial by military courts that have been set up under the 21st Cons­titution Amendment. Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said that of the 54 cases selected, 19 related to the banned TTP, 18 to LeJ and 17 to Sipah-e-Muhammad. The Provincial apex committee, which is responsible for implementation of the NAP against terrorism, will forward the cases to the Federal Government for a final decision. Balochistan IG Mohammad Amlish Khan said that 168 accused had been nominated in the 54 cases 88 of them were under arrest and 80 absconding.

One militant was killed and three others were arrested by the SFs during a search operation in Katlang tehsil and its adjoining villages in Mardan District in KP. A soldier was also injured in the exchange of with the militants in Matta village in Katlang.

KP Police, in the ongoing search and strike operation throughout the province against criminals and anti-social elements, have rounded 246 suspects and recovered huge quantity of arms and ammunition. The number of arrests and recovery of weapons were made during the last two days of the operation, according to a statement from Police spokesman. “Around 79 arms and ammunition of different kind and 1,132 rounds of different bore were recovered during the search operation,” the statement added.

The statement further said that during the operation 873 houses and 499 hotels were checked and 38 cases were registered against the violators. During the snap checking on 275 checkpoints, 285 suspects were held and 10 arms of different kind and 130 cartridges of different bore were recovered. During action against “illegal” Afghans a total of 192 persons were detained and 66 cases were registered against them.

An unidentified man was killed while nine others were injured in a bomb explosion in Dawood Goth area of Malir city in Malir Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. During investigation, it was found that armed gangsters riding a motorcycle had lobbed an RGD-1 grenade at a cattle pen of one Jawed alias Chotu. Initial investigations reveal that the criminals belonged to the Akber Maleri gang of Uzair Baloch group.

The FIF, the charity wing of JuD, launched a free ambulance service at the Markaz-e-Taqwa in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town. “This [welfare work] is our key area for which we are known across Pakistan,” JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said at the launching ceremony. “After launching several such projects in rural and disaster-hit areas of the country, we now plan to expand to facilitate the maximum number of people,” he said, adding, “We are neither a political party nor do we have an electoral agenda. So we are stick to our social welfare projects.”

He said that in the first phase, the FIF would operate a fleet of 15 ambulances in all city districts and the number of vehicles would be increased gradually. “We are operating an ambulance service in 118 cities across the country. From Tharparkar in Sindh to Turbat in Balochistan and from Sadiqabad in Punjab to Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, you would find footprints of our welfare projects in every corner of the country,” he said.

Military courts will start functioning shortly as the Prime Minister’s Office has given final go-ahead to the Federal Ministry of Interior to start referring terror cases to these special courts for trial. A PMO source said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a recent meeting, attended by civil and military officials, finalised the mechanism for selecting and referring the cases to military courts for trial.

It is said that nine military courts have been constituted in all the four Provinces, which are expected to start functioning in the next few days. Although, under the 21st Constitutional Amendment, the military courts have been given the power to try suspected civilian terrorists of a specified category, it would be the discretion of the Federal Government to decide which cases should be referred to these courts.

The Senate Standing Committee on Defence was informed that the US had assured Pakistan of killing the top TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah or arresting him alive. The Defence Secretary Lieutenant General (retd) Alam Khattak told the Senate committee that the US has assured Pakistan of full cooperation to arrest or kill Mullah Fazlullah.

January 27

At least 53 militants, including 12 foreigners, were killed when jet fighters of PAF conducted aerial strike on militants’ hideout in Kharh Tangi area of Dattakhel tehsil in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. Six hideouts, an ammunition dump and seven explosives-laden vehicles were destroyed,” said an ISPR statement. Most of the foreigners killed were Uzbeks, military sources said.

In another strike in the same area later, 23 militants were killed, the ISPR claimed. Since the area is off-limits to journalists, it is difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead. The jets continued shelling for about one hour, inflicting heavy losses on the militants, sources said.

16 militants were killed and 12 others injured when PAF planes pounded their hideouts in Therkho Kas, Wacha Wana, Sra Vella and Nakai areas of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency. The officials claimed that those killed belonged to the outlawed TTP and LI. Six militant hideouts were destroyed in the strikes. 

KP Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan said the repatriation of the people displaced from Bara of Khyber Agency would begin after February 15 as most parts of the tehsil had been cleared from militants. He also said PKR 850 million had been released for the restoration of electric supply and rehabilitation of schools, health units, roads and streets in Shalobar area ahead of the return of local displaced tribesmen.

Earlier, the IDPs of Khyber Agency on January 26 staged a sit-in outside the Governor’s House on Sher Shah Soori Road in Peshawar to demand end to military operation in their area, a comprehensive financial package, early repatriation, and the opening of Bara Bazaar. They warned they won’t return to their homes until security was provided to them, their destroyed houses were rebuilt, and local schools, hospitals, Government offices and Bara Bazaar were reopened.

At least six militants were killed and a security official was injured in an operation conducted by SFs in Kulachi area of Dera Ismail Khan District in KP. Three of those killed were suicide bombers and blew themselves when cordoned off by the SFs, official sources said. During the operation, 10 militants have been arrested following fire exchange between militants and the forces in Zar Kani, Gara Manda, Kot Sultan and Daraban area.

Hundreds of students protesting against a French magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of PBUH stormed a Christian boys’ school in Bannu town of Same District demanding it close. Four students were slightly hurt in the incident which happened as students from local colleges and schools demonstrated against the cartoons. “A group of some 200 to 300 protesting students entered Panel High School after jumping its outer walls and forcibly opened the gates,” school principal Fredrick Farhan Das said. He said the students who wanted the school to be shut damaged the property and smashed windows.

In an attempt to avert attacks like the one on APS on December 16, which left 154 people—mostly children—dead, the Police in the provincial capital are training teachers how to use weapons. Aside from offering to train male teachers, the KP Police have for the first time taken the task to train women teachers in how to wield a weapon. Lecturers from Frontier College for Women stepped into Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines for a purely voluntary training which will be undertaken over the period of a week.

Under the Provincial Government’s revised guidelines, only watchmen and security guards will be allowed to carry weapons in schools. After the carnage at APS, the Government had allowed schoolteachers and administration officials to keep licensed weapons in schools and had also decided to issue them permits. However, severe criticism from various quarters led the Government to rethink its stance. “Now, school administrations have been told only watchmen and guards will be allowed to have weapons,” the official added.

Unidentified militants shot dead a Policeman, identified as Shahmir Jhandir (22), deputed for the security of anti-polio volunteers near a bakery in Nazimabad No 3 area of North Nazimabad Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack. Authorities, however, termed the incident a targeted attack on Police and not on the polio team.

Principal of Iqra Rozatul Atfal School, identified as Fazl Urrhman (45), was shot dead by unidentified militants near Bhetak Hotel, Munawar Chowrangi in Gulistan-e-Johar area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

Unidentified armed assailants shot dead a man, identified as Israr (30), in Defense Housing Authority in Gadap Town.

An unidentified man was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Hawkesbay Scheme 42 in Hawke's Bay Town locality of Kiamari Town.

One Abdul Khair (28) was shot at and injured near Usmania Chowk in Garden area of Saddar Town.

The Sindh High Court directed the Home Secretary, Provincial Police Chief, Rangers Director General and others to submit their respective replies in the petitions against alleged detention of seven workers of the MQM by Law Enforcement Agencies. A division bench comprising Justices Ahmed Ali M. Sheikh and Syed Muhammad Farooq Shah also issued notices to the Federal and Provincial law officers to ensure the filing of comments on behalf of the official respondents. The hearing was adjourned till January 15, 2015.

According to details, on January 15, 2015, Shahzad Khan, a worker of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, was held in Orangi Town and on January 16, 2015, MQM worker Syed Tahir Ali, an employee of the education department, was arrested Later, on January 20, 2015 the paramilitary troops arrested Abrar, owner of a roadside tea stall, in Orangi Town within the jurisdiction of the Mominabad Police Station. He said that on the same day another worker of MQM, Umair Sharafat, an employee of Honda Atlas, was arrested from Sector 10 in Orangi Town. Also, the LEA personnel and Police raided the house of Naseer, an employee of a hospital, in Orangi Town and took away the victim. On January 21, 2015, he said, another worker of MQM, Bilal, was taken into custody in Hingorabad area of Lyari Town. The same day, Suleman, a factory worker, was also picked up by the Rangers and Police within the jurisdiction of the Kalri Police Station.

An Antiterrorism Court declared the 'chief' of the TTP, Mullah Fazlullah, its former 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid and six others as proclaimed offenders in the Karachi airport attack case of June 8, 2014. Earlier in October 2014, three suspects, identified as Sarmad Siddiqui, Asif Zaheer and Nadeem alias Burger alias Mullah, were arrested for providing logistic support, funds and weapons to the militants.

Unidentified militants abducted five Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation coal miners from Sorenge area in Quetta. According to Police sources, militants kidnapped seven miners belonging to the PMDC in Quetta's Sorenge area. The abductors later freed two coal miners and took the other abductees to nearby mountains. "Five coal miners are still with kidnappers," Police said. No outfit claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Lahore Police have so far arrested 329 suspects for violating three recently promulgated ordinances by the Punjab Government in January 2015 and booked 673 others for violating the Foreigners Act 1946 and Code of Criminal Procedures 1898 to implement the NAP against terrorism.  The Police are facing difficulties in judicial trials and conviction processes as people, arrested and booked in connection with Punjab Information of Temporary Residence Ordinance, Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Ordinance and Arms Ordinance (amendment) Ordinance, have secured their bails from local courts.

A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court, comprising of Justice Noor ul Haq Qureshi and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, granted one-week time to the prosecutors for arguments against Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and adjourned the hearing till next week. The Bench heard the appeal petition filed by Mumtaz Qadri’s counsel, Khawaja Sharif.

A highly influential convicted terrorist has made the Federal Government surrender its policy of executing convicted terrorists without discrimination. In a case of discrimination and violation of law and policy, the Nawaz Sharif Government has succumbed to pressure to block the execution of this unnamed highly influential convicted terrorist despite President Mamnoon Hussain’s final rejection of the condemned terrorist’s mercy appeal.

The Home Secretary was also told that the convicted terrorist should be imitated of the President’s decision. But just two days later on January 2, 2015, the Federal Ministry of Interior sent an “immediate” letter to the Home Secretary, directing the Province to “stay” the execution of the terrorist till further orders. The Home Secretary was also told that the Provincial Government should re-examine the case to ascertain if it fell within the parameters set by the Government. Sources said the Provincial Government, within a few days time, informed the Federal Government that the case fell within the Government’s policy. However, the Federal Government is yet to get the terrorist executed.

The advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that a new nuclear deal signed between the US and India during President Barak Obama’s recent trip to New Delhi will be detrimental to stability in South Asia. "The operationalisation of Indo-US nuclear deal for political and economic expediencies would have a detrimental impact on deterrence stability in South Asia," Sartaj Aziz said. Aziz described the new deal with India as “another country-specific exemption from Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) rules” that would undermine the credibility of the watchdog, weaken the non-proliferation regime and "further compound the already fragile strategic stability environment in South Asia". "Pakistan remains opposed to policies of selectivity and discrimination," he added.

Appreciating the tribal people for playing a significant role in expelling terrorists from their area, COAS General Raheel Sharif reiterated that Pakistan Army would not abandon the tribal areas without restoring functional normalcy. Speaking to officers and men during his visit to Mohmand Agency, the COAS appreciated their professionalism, dedication and sacrifices in fighting terrorism and bringing stability in Mohmand Agency. General Raheel emphasized on the need to follow a comprehensive and uniform reconstruction and rehabilitation policy across FATA after areas had been cleared of terrorists. He expressed the hope that such projects would help root out terrorism on long term basis by providing education and economic opportunities to the youth, according to an ISPR press release.

Asia Coordinator of the CPJ, Bob Dietz, while addressing the second International Conference on Combating Impunity and Securing Safety of Media Workers and Journalists in Pakistan, said that Pakistan ranks worryingly high when it comes to the number of attacks on journalists in democratic countries. He deplored that the authorities in Pakistan had failed to move forward in this regard and had not been able to provide an environment conducive for journalists so far. “Why can’t we make the situation better,” he asked, earnestly, adding that far too many journalists were getting caught in the crossfire between militants and the authorities.

 “A hit-list of journalists in Balochistan was floated by pro-establishment militants and this list was published in a report by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), but even then, five of the people on the list ended up dead,” said senior anchor Hamid Mir. He said that it was time the government passed a law for the protection of the media. “I do not say it will end the trouble, but it will be a first step towards a solution,” he added.

The local 'commander' of Islamic State, Yousuf al-Salafi, confessed during investigations that he has been receiving funds through the US. Law Enforcing Agencies had claimed on January 22, 2015, that they arrested al-Salafi, along with his two companions, during a joint raid in Lahore District. However, sources revealed that al-Salafi was arrested sometimes in December 2014 and it was only disclosed on January 22, 2015. “During the investigations, al-Salafi revealed that he was getting funding, routed through America, to run the organisation in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria,” said a source privy to the investigations. Al-Salafi also confessed that he along with a Pakistani accomplice, reportedly imam of a mosque, was recruiting people to send them to Syria and was getting around USD 600 per person from Syria.

“The US has been condemning the IS activities but unfortunately has not been able to stop funding of these organisations, which is being routed through the US,” a source said, adding, “The US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests and that is why it launched offensive against the organisation in Iraq but not in Syria.”

January 28

SSP Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed claimed to have killed five militants in Nawab Goth area within the limits of Steel Town Police Station in Bin Qasim Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The Police recovered weapons, explosives material and suicide vests from their possession. SSP Malir raided in Nawab Goth on spy information of the presence of terrorists and killed five alleged terrorists during the encounter. According to SSP Rao the militants belonged to TTP were planning to attack the Razzakabad Police Training Centre.

An activist of MQM, identified as Sohial Ahmed (46), was found dead near Machko in Mawach Goth area of Baldia Town. Ahmed was the MQM unit-64 in-charge. According to details, on December 15, 2014, PPP held an open house in Bahadurabad area of Gulshan Town. During the open house, Ahmed raised various questions regarding Sindh Government's performance where PPP activists and Police officials were also present. In the same open house, Suhail was threatened by PPP’s Saeed Chawla. The same night, Ahmed was arrested by the Police and on January 28, he was found death in Mawach Goth.

An unidentified man was shot dead near Yousuf General Store in Kamela Stop area of Lyari Town.

A man, identified as Sajjad Maqsood (30), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Chungi Naka on Surjani Road in Korangi Town.

A man, identified as Anwar Bux (25), was shot at and injured near Godown Chowrangi at Ding Dong Factory in Korangi Town.

AIG Sindh Police Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that Police had arrested one of the five suspects, identified as Mohammad Mansoor, involved in the murder of Karachi University Dean Islamic Studies Faculty Dr Shakeel Auj. In September 2014, Dr Shakeel Auj was shot dead in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

At least seven militants were killed and one other was injured in a US drone strike in the Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. Intelligence sources said the US drone fired two missiles on a compound and a vehicle on the border of North and South Waziristan Agency in Shawal valley. The identity of the militants is yet to be ascertained.

A senior official of the Balochistan Levies said that a group of 25-30 militants stormed a check post of the Levies force in Qila Saifullah District and fled with five official rifles, three motorbikes, five bulletproof jackets and a walkie-talkie.

A death row prisoner, identified as Rameez Raja, who had escaped during the Bannu jailbreak on April 15, 2012, was re-arrested during a raid by Hub Police in Lasbela District. Raja, originally a resident of Kohat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, was awarded death penalty in July 2012, for murdering his relative.

Five abducted coalminers, who had been kidnapped on January 27, 2015, from Sorenge area in Quetta, were rescued. The five abducted coalminers were identified as Lal Muhammad, Noor Muhammad, Sale Muhammad, Rahman Gul and Sanaullah.

The Islamabad High Court asked the Interior Secretary to submit details of all cases against the LeT 'operational commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 attack (also known as 26/11) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. According to details, when Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi resumed the hearing on January 28, Lakhvi's counsel Rizwan Abbasi said that the report submitted by the Inspector General of Police is not enough and requested complete details of cases from all Provinces. The judge adjourned the case.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while speaking to Islamabad's High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said that the country would like to have normal relations with India on basis of mutual respect and sovereign equality as “India is an important neighbour for us”. He said that it is important for both Pakistan and India to resolve all their outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute in order to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The Government admitted that close to 80 seminaries operating in Pakistan received financial support to the tune of PKR 300 million from a dozen countries during 2013-14. The Federal Ministry of Interior revealed that in Islamabad the Embassy of Netherlands donated PKR 2.5 million to Helping Hands Welfare Association Baltistan (HHWAB) for students of local seminaries and schools. The Australian High Commission provided PKR 3 million to Malik Welfare Association Baltistan in order to support seminaries in the northern areas of the country. A US-based organisation, Kashmir Family Aid, contributed PKR 0.7 million in 2014 to the HHWAB for local seminaries and schools.

“Financial assistance for religious or sectarian purposes is discouraged as this potentially threatens to violate law and order and sectarian harmony in the country,” stated the Federal Ministry of Interior, responding to a question by PPP Senator Sughra Imam. Senator Tahir Mashhadi said that almost all seminaries are being financed in one way or the other by someone. “Foreign funding to seminaries is very dangerous. It has triggered sectarian war in Pakistan. It [foreign funding] must be blocked on a now or never basis,” he said.

While the Punjab Home Department claimed that not a single madrassa in the Province received foreign funding, documents belonging to the Interior Ministry revealed that Madrassah Jama'at-ul-Islam Sargodha was the recipient of PKR 13.3 million from the Sheikh Eid Charitable Association the money was funneled through Qatar Islamic Bank and National Bank of Pakistan. The Jamiat-ul-Islam Sargodha also received PKR25.3 million through the same banks.

The Madrassa Aisha Siddiqa Trust of Gulistan-e-Jauhar Karachi received PKR 35,000 from an unknown source, the Sindh Home Department stated. Saudi Arabia is funding some madrassas in the Province, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home Department revealed. Also, Saudi Arabia is funding madrassas in Balochistan, according to official sources.  Madrassa Dar-ul-Uloom Baltistan received PKR12 million from Kuwait, Masjid Gulzar Ghoi was given PKR 2000 by Saudi Arabia and Jamia Khair Ul Madaris received PKR100,000 from Hong Kong.

A special force will be formed to guard educational institutes in KP and the rest of the country, a senior official of the Home Department said. “We have 64,000 educational institutions and the total number of policemen is just 75, 000,” he said. “If we deploy a single member of the force at every institution, Police Stations will be empty,” official added, stressing on the need for an additional force to guard schools.

The force will be managed on a federal level by a retired Major General. The country head will form teams for all the four provinces and a retired brigadier will lead each of them. Meanwhile, District-level teams are to be led by retired colonels. Each colonel would assess the situation in his respective district and recruit personnel according to security needs, size of area and population. The men who will take charge as the chief of the provincial and federal forces are yet to be decided as the plan is still under discussion.

January 29

Three unidentified bodies were found in Shero checkpoint area of Dera Ismail Khan City in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Witnesses reported that three bodies of persons shot to death were found along with Kalashnikov bullets near the bodies.

A considerable portion of the railway tracks were destroyed when a huge explosion took place near Thull, in Jacobabad District of Sindh. More than three feet of the tracks were blown off. The bomb went off as soon as Peshawar-bound Khushal Khan Khatak Express passed from the spot of the blast.

January 30

At least 61 Shias were killed and 50 others were injured in a bomb explosion at Karbala Maula Imambargah in Lakhi Dar area of Shikarpur District. Jundullah, a splinter group of TTP claimed responsibility for the attack. “Our target was the Shia community (mosque)… They are our enemies,” said Fahad Marwat, Jundullah 'spokesperson'.

An alleged suicide bomber was killed during an exchange of fire with SFs in Maikhtar area of Loralai District. According to sources, SFs conducted an operation in the area. The militants resisted the SFs and one alleged suicide bomber blew himself up during a shoot out that lasted for an hour. Another militant fled from the spot.

SFs foiled a major terror bid by seizing an explosive-laden vehicle in Panjpai area of Quetta. The SFs also apprehended an alleged suicide bomber along with the explosive-laden vehicle. He said 200 bombs were recovered from the explosive-laden vehicle during the raid.

Intelligence Agencies and Anti-Terrorist Forces personnel arrested a TTP 'commander' from Pishin District. The SFs recovered weapons from their possession.

FC personnel recovered arms and ammunition from an Alto car in Gulistan area of Killa Abdullah District.

The Police arrested an Afghan prayer leader for delivering hate speech during Friday sermon at Pabbi town of Nowshera District in KP. Pabbi Police arrested Afghan cleric, Maulvi Noorullah, after complaint by local people that he delivered a provocative speech during the Friday sermon. Maulvi Noorullah is prayer leader at the Jamia Masjid Tahirzai No 1, Pabbi main bazaar. Soon after receiving the information about hate speech, a Police party led by SHO Pabbi Shad Ali Khan reached the mosque and arrested the cleric under MPO 16.

On the directives of the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearances, the Mardan City Police Station has registered four separate kidnapping cases against unidentified people.

An anti-terrorism court in Lahore awarded death sentence on 47 counts to three terrorists involved in attacking buildings of the Police Emergency Service (15) and an intelligence agency. The court also awarded life imprisonment to each convict and imposed a collective fine of PKR 25.35 million. The Civil Lines police had registered a case against Abid Akram, Sarfraz and Shabbir for attacking the offices of the Police and intelligence agency on May 27, 2009. At least 26 personnel were killed and 337 injured in the attack.

Authorities in KP referred a list of terror suspects to the Federal Government for trial by military courts. The 45-page report contains 423 cases of terror suspects for trial by military courts, which also includes the name of TTP ‘Chief’ Mullah Fazlullah. Peshawar has the highest number of cases — 116 — to be tried by military courts, whereas the remaining 307 cases are from other areas of the province. Most of the terror suspects were charged for attacks on Security Forces, Government buildings, State installations and killing of civilians. TNSM chief Sufi Mohammad and Maulvi Faqeer are among other high profile suspects on the list. A few of the terror suspects are awaiting trial in jail, while many of them are absconders in Afghanistan.

The Government has quietly reversed its decision of setting up military courts in AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan. “We were today informed that the Government has no intention of extending 21st Amendment in the Constitution to AJK and GB,” said Chairman of National Assembly’s Special Committee on Kashmir Maulana Fazlur Rehman on January 30 after chairing an in-camera session of the committee. “Media reports about the planned move to establish military courts in AJK and GB had created concerns,” said Mr Rehman who initially agreed to support military courts in the country at the All Parties Conference, but later reneged on his decision.

The PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that cases of target killings in Karachi could be sent to the proposed military trial courts for speedy disposal. The PM stated this at the Sindh Governor House where he chaired a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation after reaching Karachi just one day after the city observed a strike called by the MQM against the extrajudicial killing of a party activist. The PM expressed the resolve at a meeting to eliminate the terrorists who had been responsible for causing lawlessness in the city while dubbing such criminals as enemies of the country.

Pakistan’s Government should ensure the security of the country’s religious minorities from judicial injustice and attacks by militants HRW has said in its World Report 2015. The HRW said violent attacks on religious minorities rose significantly in 2014 as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Government failed to ensure religious freedoms. The 25th edition of the report reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. “Pakistan’s Government did little in 2014 to stop the rising toll of killings and repression by extremist groups that target religious minorities,” said Phelim Kine, Deputy Asia Director at HRW.

The US has strong relationships with both Pakistan and India and going forward Washington would continue to have a close strategic partnership with Islamabad, the State Department said. “We have assured both countries that the United States relationship with India and United States relationship with Pakistan, those relationships are strong, they are vital for our strategic interest, and they stand on their own,” Spokesperson Jen Psaki said replying to a question at the daily briefing. “We work with Pakistan on a range of issues. We work with India on a range of issues,” she added, when asked about Washington’s ties in South Asia in the wake of President Barak Obama’s visit to New Delhi.

The Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that some elders are unwilling to accept lungies, or traditional souvenirs, from the Government due to threats from militants since the launch of the ongoing military operations in the tribal regions. Replying to a question in the Senate, Baloch said the Federal Government has conferred some 8,000 ‘lungies’ on tribal elders over the past five years in recognition of their services for maintaining peace in their respective tribal agencies.

The traditional souvenirs have come at a price for its recipients as according to FATA Senator Saleh Shah, about 1,400 such ‘mashran’ (elders) have been gunned down by the Taliban. “The government must recognise their sacrifices as well,” he said. Baloch said the government has all respect for those who rendered sacrifices for the country. He added that the recipients of ‘lungies’ were ed on the recommendations of the political agents, or top administrators in tribal agencies.

Senator Hidayat Ullah objected that the Government has increased the price of ‘lungies’ and tribal elders were reluctant to purchase these souvenirs. But Baloch argued that the Government has increased the price from PKR 25 to PKR 50 in 2014 which is a nominal increase. The Government had granted 750 lungies between 2009 and 2010 3,200 in 2012, 375 in 2013 and 2,100 in 2014. These lungies had been distributed in 13 regions, including Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai, North and South Waziristan agencies and Frontier Regions Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Tank, Lakki and Dera Ismail Khan.

January 31

Two Police personnel were killed and another was injured when a convoy of DPO Khuzdar came under gun and rocket attack by militants in Pasni area of Gwadar District. However, DPO Khuzdar Asghar Ali Yusufzai, who was traveling with his family, escaped unhurt in the attack and was safe.

As part of an ongoing crackdown against militants from banned organisations in Balochistan, Police and ATC personnel have arrested 260 suspects from different parts of Quetta. Police sources told that raids were conducted in Sariab Road, Brewery Road, Satellite Town and other parts of Quetta. Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the possession of the suspects who have been shifted to different Police Stations in Quetta for interrogation.

February 1

Rangers claimed to have killed five gangsters in an encounter in Salar Goth area of Malir Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. They were identified as Akber Maliri, Khalid Lashari, Sheraz Ibrahim alias Comrade of Malir, Gulab Hasan alias Peero, and Yousuf Pathan. Akbar Maliri, was stated to be the main character in the gang warfare in parts of Malir and belonged to the Uzair Baloch group.

CID of Sindh Police claimed to have killed four TTP militants in a shootout in Manghopir area of Gadap Town and recovered weapons and explosive material from their possession. The names of the killed terrorists were not released to the media yet. ATC In-charge Ali Raza said the action was conducted on secret information about the presence of terrorists in the area.

Two carders of the ASWJ, identified as Naseem Khan (28) and Mohammed Asif (24), were killed in a sectarian attack on the main National Highway near Malir Halt in Malir Town. The victims were office-bearers of the ASWJ in District Central, said a spokesperson for the ASWJ.

A shopkeeper and a cadre of ASWJ, identified as Akhtar Hussain (55), was shot dead while his son, Athar Hussain (26), was injured when unidentified militants opened fire at them at Islam Chowk near the Farooq-i-Azam mosque in Pakistan Bazaar area of Orangi Town. The victim was a worker of the ASWJ, said the party spokesperson.

A customs official, identified as Mohammed Salahuddin Khan (56), who was shot at and injured in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town on January 29, 2015, succumbed to his wounds. Salahuddin was parking his car near his house in Block 13-C when unidentified armed assailants attacked him and fled.

An extortionist was shot dead in the Kalakot area of Lyari Town. His identity could not be ascertained immediately. Initial report state that he had gone there to collect ‘protection money’ when he was attacked, claimed SHO Safdar Mashwani.

A landmine explosion killed a military officer and injured two personnel in Chathar area of Naseerabad District in Balochistan. Police sources said the military officer who was killed in the blast was identified as a FC captain. Police sources said FC personnel were on routine patrol when their vehicle hit by a landmine.

The bullet-riddled body of a missing man was found in the Sonari Mat area of Dera Bugti District. An official of Dera Bugti Levies said the body was dumped in a desolated place. The body was identified as Barfi, son of Noor Khan. “The victim had been missing for one-and-a-half years from Sui,” the Levies official said.

A 24-inch gas pipeline was blown up in the Dera Bugti District, disrupting gas supply to the Sui compressor plant from the Pir Koh purification plant. According to Levies official in Dera Bugti, militants placed explosive materials along the gas pipeline.

A dozen militants belonging to the Marri tribe laid down their arms and surrendered before Security Forces in Kohlu District. “Twelve militants laid down their arms in the presence of Provincial Minister for Energy and Irrigation Jangayz Marri and Commandant Mewand Rifles Masroorur Rehman,” a statement issued by FC Balochistan said. It added that all 12 of them had been involved in anti-state activities. According to the FC Balochistan spokesman, the militants, while laying down their arms, promised not to support any anti-state elements and vowed to live a peaceful life as law-abiding citizens of Pakistan.

The wife and children of Dr Shakil Afridi were seeking immediate evacuation from Pakistan. Dr Afridi, who helped the United States locate al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, has been jailed in Peshawar for his alleged links to various terrorist groups. In a report based on interviews with friends and relatives of Dr Afridi, the FOX news channel claimed that his wife and children were “in increasing fear for their lives and should be evacuated from Pakistan immediately.”

The report claimed that Dr Afridi was still in isolation in a Pakistani jail and his bid for a review of his 2012 conviction for “terrorism links” has been stalled since last March. Dr Afridi’s wife and his two sons and a daughter had left their native province and were now hiding in Punjab. They feared for their lives because the Taliban and other terrorist groups had vowed to avenge Bin Laden’s killing, the report said. “I am sorry to say that (the) US government is doing nothing for him,” Qamar Nadeem Afridi, the doctor’s lawyer and also a cousin, told Fox News.

The PM Nawaz Sharif has said that the Nation, Government and the Army are on the same page to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the country. He vowed to defeat the terrorists and make the country peaceful. He strongly condemned the Shikarpur incident where innocent people were made targets.

The CM Shahbaz Sharif said that the nation would emerge victorious in the war against terrorism. He was speaking to a delegation of PML-N activists. Sharif said victory was the only option in the war against terrorism. He said the nation agreed on the need to eradicate terrorism, religious extremism and sectarianism. Sharif said the nation would be rid of intolerance and religious extremism.

The Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said that a resolution of the Kashmir issue is imperative for long-lasting peace in South Asia. Addressing a function on Kashmir Solidarity Day, Pervaiz Rashid said the resolution would bring prosperity in the region, pulling people out of illiteracy and poverty. He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris in their just struggle for the right to self-determination.

The Chairman of Kashmir Committee and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that peace in South Asia is linked to good Pakistan-India ties, which is not possible without resolution of the Kashmir dispute. He said this at a seminar oraganised in connection with the Kashmir Day, which is held every year on February 5 to support the cause of resolving the Kashmir dispute. “If referendum can be held in Scotland then why a similar plebiscite can’t be held in Kashmir?” he questioned. He said that Kashmiris were sacrificing for their right of self determination, adding that Pakistan stands united with the people of Kashmir. He also criticized the international community for their discriminatory attitude towards the Kashmir dispute.

February 2

At least three peace volunteers were killed while two others were injured in a bomb blast in Nari Baba area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. Official sources say that the blast occurred in one of the pickets of the Tauheedul Islam Peace Committee members. The sources say that the casualties occurred in what is believed to have been a remote-controlled blast.

A man, identified as Sultan (26), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Chanesar Goth in Mehmoodabad area of Jamshed Town in the provincial capital Karachi.

One Iftikhar (35) was shot dead near Teen Hatti in Liaquatabad Town.

Two people identified as, Muhammad Farooq (19) and Ibrahim (18), were shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants near Raheem Shah Colony in Orangi Town.

A man, identified as Yousuf Masih (21), was injured near Double Road in Surjani Town of Gadap Town.

A man, identified as Imran Khan (30), was shot at and injured in Ranchor Line.

A man, identified as Shair Muhammad (40), was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants in Old Sabzi Mandi area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

The LeJ militants hurled a grenade near a private school in Block-7 area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town. However, no casualties were reported. The militants also left a threat letter before escaping from the scene.

The Sindh Government decided to set up a 1,000-strong Police force - ATF to be trained by the Army - and approved the creation of a Counterterrorism Department and three zonal committees each having top officials of military, Rangers and Police to execute a Provincial Action Plan. The committee meeting, which was jointly chaired by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah also decided to forward 57 terrorism cases to the newly-established military courts in the first phase.

"Brigadier Ahsan Gulrez of V Corps said that in order to ensure execution of the PAP across the Province, three zonal committees - Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur - would be constituted." The statement read, "The directives of the provincial action plan are action against proscribed organisations, dealing firmly with sectarian terrorists, action against armed militias, Karachi targeted operation, choking of financing for terrorists and their organisations and establishment and deployment of a dedicated counterterrorism force."

Two Policemen including an Additional SHO were killed in an explosion near Lorry Adda area of Mansehra District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to DPO Mansehra Ijaz Khan, the explosion took place when a Police van escorting a convoy of vehicles set off for Gilgit Baltistan. He said Additional SHO of City Police Station Fareed Khan was killed while three others injured. Another one succumbed to his injures at hospital.

An employee of the QESCO grid station was killed when unidentified opened fire at the grid station in Gwadar bazaar of Gwadar District.

Unidentified militants abducted five employees of irrigation department, including the sub-engineer, from Shadi Core area of Makran Division. Police said the employees were engaged in the construction of the dam when they were kidnapped by the militants. BRA 'spokesman' Sarbaz Baloch claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

A Hindu doctor, Dr Manoj Kumar, was released on February 2 by abductors in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta after the payment of PKR 14 million as ransom on February 1, 2015. Dr Kumar had been abducted from Industrial Police Station area of Quetta on December 2, 2014.

The Federal Government assured Provinces in the National Assembly that they would get aid to fight terrorism "beyond their expectations" after both its opponents and some allies accused it of indifference over January 30, 2015, attack on an Imambargah in Shikarpur District of Sindh. The Minister for States and Frontier Regions, Abdul Qadir Baloch, said that the Provinces would face no deficiency of resources in fighting terrorism, which he called "Pakistan's number one problem".

The US budget for the next fiscal year, released, includes assurance that Washington will continue to assist Pakistan's efforts for countering terrorism. "For Pakistan, the budget demonstrates our commitment to fostering stability and prosperity, and provides security assistance that promotes counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency capabilities," said a statement issued with the budget.

February 3

At least four soldiers were killed in an explosion targeting a convoy of Security Forces in Warmagai area of Kurram Agency in FATA. Following the blast, SF and militants also clashed in Warmagai area, killing two TTP militants, including one key 'commander', Gul, and his accomplice.

Five TI activists were killed in an IED in Naray Baba area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. LI claimed responsibility for the attack.

Unidentified militants shot dead five customs officials patrolling overnight in Kohat District. District Police Chief Kohat, Sohaib Ashraf said. "We are unaware of the identity of the attackers but it's an act of terrorism." A Customs Department Official said "all five members of the team were killed in this attack. They hailed from local areas of Kohat and Karak Districts."

A man, identified as Adil (30), was shot dead and another identified as Ayaz (27), was injured by unidentified armed assailants near Nadeem Clinic on Jamshed Road in Korangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Bilal (20) was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Madrasa Arabia in Mehfooz Road area of Malir Town.

An unidentified criminal was killed while tow of his accomplices managed to escape during a Police encounter near Ganna Mandi in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town. Police also recovered one TT pistol from his possession.

A man, identified as, Sadam Hussain (22), was shot at and injured by unidentified militants near Mochko in Baldia Town.

Two convicted terrorists affiliated with LeJ, identified as Attaullah alias Qasim and Mohammad Azam alias Sharif, were hanged till death in Karachi Central prison. Qasim and Sharif were sentenced to death for killing Dr Ali Raza Peerani in June 2001 in Soldier Bazaar area of Jamshed Town. An ATC had declared both of them guilty of the murder in July 2004. The convicts' appeals against capital punishment had been turned down by the Sindh High Court and later the Supreme Court. Black warrants for the execution of the two condemned prisoners were issued on January 24, 2015 on a request of jail authorities.

Unidentified militants killed the BNP-M member and newly elected Chairman of a Union Council, Nasir Hassan, in Gwadar District.

Police claimed to have seized 205 kilograms of explosive material and said that a major terror attack was prevented.

Unknown assailants set Ghausia Alia shrine on fire in Mach area of Bolan District. According to Police, two rooms of the shrine were destroyed and all religious books turned to ashes. The shrine was built in 1948 in memory of Pir Tahir Al Gilani al-Baghdadi, who migrated from Baghdad (Iraq) and settled in Mach.

The JASP condemned the incident and held demonstrations in Quetta and Mach. While addressing the protesters in Quetta, JASP leaders Mufti Mohammad Sajid Qadri, Qari Noor Mohammad and Allama Ghazi Kamal called for extending the Zarb-e-Azb military operation to entire country.

A Division Bench of the Lahore High Court, Multan Bench, rejected the appeals of two TTP convicts, identified as Behram Khan alias Sufi Baba and Omar Fidai, who were involved in the bomb blast at Darbar Hazrat Sakhi Sarwar in Dera Ghazi Khan District on April 3, 2011. The appellants had filed separate appeals against the ATC's decision to award death sentence on 105 counts to Behram Khan besides life imprisonment on three counts and 10-year jail on 73 counts. The court had also fined him PKR 129.6 million. Omar Fidai had been awarded life imprisonment on 106 counts and fined PR 129.6 million.

The ATC No-I, Rawalpindi, Judge Pervez Ismail Joya while addressing Benazir Bhutto murder case ordered FIA to produce Muhammad Ismail, an ISI official in court who recorded all telephonic conversations of the then TTP leader Baitullah Mehsud and terrorists on December 27, 2007. The court has summoned Muhammad Ismail and four other witnesses and directed the FIA to present them at any cost on February 4, 2015.

Hearing an appeal against the conviction of slain Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's killer Mumtaz Qadri, a Division Bench of the Islamabad High Court observed that the case could not be shifted to a military court, as it was an appeal and not trial. Qadri had assassinated Taseer on January 4, 2011 in the Kohsar Market, Islamabad, for opposing the blasphemy laws. The legal counsel for Mumtaz Qadri, Khawaja Mohammad Sharif, requested the Court for an early disposal of the case, saying that there were some media reports that the case could be shifted to a military court. "We are the appellate forum, and as per the constitutional amendment, cases can only be transferred from the trial courts," said Justice Siddiqui.

While the National Action Plan (NAP) is being implemented across the country since December 17, 2014, Islamabad Police, in association with Law Enforcement agencies, have so far arrested 1,999 people and booked them in 1,610 cases in connection with four recently promulgated ordinances in provincial capital Lahore. However, 1,163 cases in four categories are pending with the courts.

According to details, Police conducted 744 joint search (combing) operations in 1,050 localities, registered cases against 91 people and quizzed 93,421 others from December 17, 2014 to February 2, 2015. 52 cases have been registered under Foreign Act, Arms Act and Control of Narcotic Substance Act during the period. Official statistics further show Police arrested 688 people and registered 555 cases against them under the Punjab Sound Systems (Regulation) Ordinance 2015 with 458 cases pending with courts held 865 people in 601 cases under the Punjab Information of Temporary Resident Ordinance 2015 with 471 cases pending with courts and apprehended 446 people in 449 cases under the Punjab Arms (Amendments) Ordinance 2015 from January 9, 2015 to February 2, 2015 with 244 cases pending with courts.

February 4

At least 25 militants were killed in air strikes in the Sanzila area of South Waziristan Agency in FATA as part of a major offensive against the TTP and other insurgents. "In precise aerial strikes, 25 terrorists were killed and seven hideouts were destroyed", the ISPR said in a statement.

At least four militants were killed and one was injured in a clash between SFs and militants in Jani Khel area of Bannu District in KP.

The Peshawar High Court was told that the oversight board has declared six more missing persons as 'black' or hardcore militants. AAG Mujahid Ali Khan submitted the oversight board report in the division bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan. The report was about five missing persons who had been shifted to the internment centre in Ghallanai, headquarters of Mohmand Agency, of FATA. The oversight board headed by the FCR commissioner had declared four missing brothers - Zar Shah, Akbar Shah, Amir Shah and Zahir Shah - as hardcore militants. All the four missing brothers were active members of the Mohmand Agency chapter of TTP.

A Policeman, identified as Zaiullah, guarding polio volunteers was killed and one child was injured when unidentified militants opened fire at the polio team on Sirki Road in Quetta.

An ATC in Quetta accepted the application of former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf with regards to exemption from appearance in court in a case pertaining to the August 26, 2006, murder of former Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti. The court, however, expressed anger over the performance of Director General Balochistan Naseer Baloch with regards to his slow progress on submitting Musharraf's medical report. It subsequently adjourned the hearing of the case to February 25, 2015.

Advocate Sohail Rajput, counsel of Nawabzada Jamil Akbar Bugti, confronted Musharraf's lawyer Akhtar Shah outside the court and said that the latter was ready to fly to Saudi Arabia which required travelling for four hours, but he was reluctant to travel for one hour to arrive in Quetta. "Musharraf is deliberately not appearing in the court," Rajput said.

Two members of a polio team, Saifullah Jamali and Sikandar Jamali, were injured when unidentified assailants armed with hatchets and clubs attacked them in Bahadurpur village near Thull town in Jacobabad District of Sindh. Residents of Bahadurpur village said the polio workers were without any police escort.

Police still have no clues as to the whereabouts of two college students, Niaz Ali and Muhammad Habib, who disappeared on January 22, 2014, from a village of Skardu District. "My son had gone to a nearby mosque to offer prayers after having his lunch that day," Mohsin Ali, Niaz Ali's father said. "He was accompanied by his friend, Muhammad Habib, who also lives in our neighbourhood." "We have been searching for the boys for 12 days now," Ali said. "A police complaint has been registered and notices have been pasted on walls across the village. But there is still no trace of my son and his friend. We are deeply worried."

"We are still trying to examine the finer details of the matter and determine the whereabouts of the college students," an investigating officer said.

The only French al Qaeda plotter, Zacarias Moussaoui, convicted over the September11, 2001 (also known as 9/11) attacks told American lawyers that members of the Saudi royal family had donated millions to the terror group in the 1990s. Moussaoui, dubbed as the "20th hijacker," made the revelations in court papers filed in a New York Federal Court by lawyers for victims of the attacks who accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting al Qaeda.

He said he created a digital database of al Qaeda donors, including members of the royal family such as former intelligence chief Prince Turki al Faisal and Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was Saudi ambassador to United States for 22 years until 2005. Moussaoui said he met in Afghanistan an official from the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC to discuss al Qaeda's plots to attack the United States, and that he was supposed to meet the same man again in Washington for help on a plot to shoot down Air Force One. He also claimed there were direct dealings between senior Saudi officials and slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, saying he traveled to Saudi Arabia twice to deliver handwritten letters between the al Qaeda mastermind and senior Saudis, including Prince Turki.

However, the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC denied the allegations. "The September 11 attack has been the most intensely investigated crime in history and the findings show no involvement by the Saudi government or Saudi officials," it said in a statement. The embassy called Moussaoui "a deranged criminal whose own lawyers presented evidence that he was mentally incompetent," and said his words had no credibility.

The US Defence Intelligence Agency has informed Congress that Pakistani military and paramilitary forces have succeeded in driving militants out of most population centres in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. In his annual report to the House Armed Services Com­mittee, Director Defence Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart, also said "Army ground operations in North Waziristan Agency have cleared anti-state militants from most population centres, and we expect the military will continue targeting remaining militant strongholds in 2015".

Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed the National Assembly that Pakistan desired a meaningful and resulted oriented dialogue with India, however, the dialogue process minus the Kashmir issue would not be acceptable. The Advisor said that as per reports, US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to India stressed the need to resume the stalled dialogue process with Pakistan, however, he said that Pakistan had not yet received any positive indication in this regard.

The Upper House of the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the UN and the international community to play its role for the resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the resolutions of the UNSC and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

February 5

A man, identified as Faisal (30), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Soldier Bazaar area of Jamshed Town in provincial capital Karachi.

One Manzoor (40) and Altaf (50) were shot at and injured near 5-L Chingchi stop in North Karachi Town of Karachi District.

A man, identified as Muhammad Iqbal (40), was shot and injured near Native Jetty Bridge in Kiamari Town.

Unidentified armed assailants shot dead a man, identified as Paomir Khan Miani, in Kot Murtaza area of Tank District while he was returning home from market.

The BDU defused a mortar shell found in fields in Pishtakhara area of provincial capital Peshawar.

While addressing the PoK Legislative Assembly and Kashmir Council's joint session in Muzaffarabad District, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made it clear that Kashmir cannot be separated from Pakistan and expressed the resolve that Pakistan stands by Kashmiris in their struggle for independence from India. He said that no solution to the Kashmir issue exists but a plebiscite under the auspices of the UN as no agenda of dialogue with India would be complete excluding the Kashmiris. "Our hearts beat with those of the Kashmiris," he remarked. "Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan. Historically as well as geographically, both Kashmir and Pakistan are naturally like one soul and two hearts. We have been together for centuries and cannot be separated. We share our joys, sorrows, culture and festivals, which we celebrate together," he added.

LeT founder and JuD 'chief' Muhammad Hafiz Saeed while addressing a public meeting outside the Lahore High Court on the occasion of the Kashmir Solidarity Day demanded PM Nawaz Sharif to immediately call a meeting of the OIC in Islamabad to chalk out a unanimous strategy of the Muslim world for resolving the Kashmir issue. "We are Kashmiris and Kashmir is ours our religion binds us as one nation and we will always continue our moral support to our brothers oppressed by the brutality of Indian armed forces in Kashmir," he said.

Saeed demanded Nawaz Sharif to summon a conference of Islamic countries' heads in Islamabad on the issue of Kashmir. He suggested that Muslim countries should make their own Muslim United Nations and develop their joint army. America, India and Israel - they all are enemies of Islam and making conspiracies against Pakistan because they see its nuclear power as the "atom bomb of Islam".

Sindh Police reached Dubai to take into custody Lyari gangster and the chief of PAC Uzair Jan Baloch alias Sardar Uzair. Uzair Baloch was arrested on December 29, 2014 by the Interpol in Dubai, when he was attempting to cross into the UAE from Oman. According to sources, Baloch was travelling on a fake Iranian passport with his name listed as Abdul Ghani Khuda Bukhsh. "We are in constant contact with the Interpol for the extradition of Uzair Jan Baloch," said SSP Naveed Khawaja, who is heading the Police team.

Interpol had issued red warrants for two key figures of the Lyari gang-wars, Uzair Baloch and Noor Mohammad alias Baba Ladla, on June 11, 2014.

February 6

Rangers and Police killed a terrorist, identified as Aziz Afghani, during a joint raid in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town. A spokesman for the paramilitary force said that Afghani was involved in various crimes, including kidnapping-for-ransom.

Police killed a suspect, identified as Ubaidur Rehman, in Altaf Nagar area of Orangi Town when he tried to escape from custody after snatching a gun from a constable. The Police said that a constable was also injured in the exchange of fire. Rehman was involved in the killing of 22 people including four doctors and eight Policemen.

Unidentified militants blew up two power pylons of 220 KVA transmission lines in Chatter area of Dera Murad Jamali in Naseerabad District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Militants abducted six officials of PTCL from Gawal area of Killa Saifullah District. They abductees were identified as Engineer Haji Asad, SDO Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Nabi, Sajjad Beg and two others.

Five employees of a private company working on the reconstruction of Shadi Kour dam near Pasni in Gwadar District were released in Blangur area of the District. They were abducted on February 2, 2015. BRA had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

February 7

At least seven militants were killed in a clash with SFs in Mohmand Agency in the FATA. According to a statement by the ISPR, seven militants were killed by SFs in a clash that erupted after the militants were intercepted by the forces. The bodies were handed over to the administration for further investigation.

Six unidentified bodies were recovered from Yaka Ghund area in Mohmand Agency. According to tribal sources, the bodies were found in the Umar Banda area. Officials believe that the bodies might be of militants killed in clashes with SFs.

Unidentified militants blew up a railway track in the Bakhtiarabad area of Sibi District. Levies' sources said that a two-feet track was damaged when an IED was detonated, suspending train services between Balochistan and other parts of the country.

February 8

Three members of the pro-government peace committee, TI, were killed and five others sustained injuries in an explosion in Nari Baba area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. The LI militants had planted an explosive device in one of the abandoned houses and the explosion occurred in one of the rooms. The LI claimed responsibility for the blast.

Unidentified militants blew up Government Girls Middle School in Bezot area of Orakzai Agency. "Two rooms and verandah of the school were destroyed and the boundary wall was damaged in the explosion which took place at 6am," an official of the political administration said. Agency Education Officer Habibullah confirmed that the primary section of the school was destroyed by two remote-controlled blasts. Habibullah added that 141 schools had been destroyed in Orakzai Agency out of which 38 schools had been reconstructed while 106 needed reconstruction on emergency basis.

The JuA Chief Omar Khalid Khorasani has been injured in a joint operation by the Afghan and NATO forces on the Afghanistan side of the border, Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesman of JuA confirmed. "Omar Khalid Khorasani was injured in a joint operation by the Afghan and Nato forces in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province," spokesman for the group, Ehsanullah Ehsan said. "Khorasani has now been taken to a safe place and is improving," Ehsan added.

The Security Forces arrested three militants, including a foreign national, during a massive search operation launched in the Nowshera District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The sources said that the search operation was launched early in the day against the militants who had fled military actions in Khyber Agency, North Waziristan and Frontier Region Peshawar and hiding in Nowshera District.

Rangers arrested a target killer, Abdul Rafique alias Kaein, during a raid in the Mehmoodabad area of Jamshed Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Kaein is Mehmoodabad sector in-charge of the MQM. During the initial interrogation he confessed to his involvement in the May 12, 2007 massacre. Rafique disclosed to the interrogators that a team of target killers, headed by Amir alias Dawani of Manzoor Colony, used to take orders from him. He has also confessed to numerous killings and gun battles with Ashok and Kobra group in Chanesar Goth area of Jamshed Town.

An intense scrutiny of cases against terrorists, which were received from the Provincial Apex Committees, is being done at the Federal Ministry of Interior before referring them to the military courts. "Had such examination not been elaborate and severe, the Ministry would have inundated the Special Courts with hundreds of cases by now," said a senior unnamed official. He said that it was not necessary and mandatory for the Interior Ministry to forward each and every case, communicated to it by any Apex Committee, to the military courts. "We have developed a foolproof mechanism to closely study the cases to reach a conclusion," he said.

The official said that the Interior Ministry would keep handing over the cases to the Special Courts that it would find fit for trial. Thus far, more than 1,000 cases against alleged hardcore terrorists have been received by the Interior Ministry from the apex committees. The official said that these bodies have also been intimating to the Ministry the available evidence and proofs against the accused and their profiles. The Apex Committees consist of senior officials of the military and civil administration, including top officers of Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies.

"Even in the prevailing alarming situation, our utmost effort will be to meet the requirements of justice to the maximum possible extent so that complaints about miscarriage of justice don't arise," he added.

The Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that lack of economic opportunities breeds extremism and provides manpower to perpetrators of terrorist acts. He was addressing a seminar "Prosperous Pakistan - Strategies 2030" organized by a German Economic Forum on the sidelines of 51st Munich Security Conference in Munich. The Minister said for this reason, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was focusing much attention to improve the country's economy and create maximum job opportunities. Khawaja Asif said that despite security challenges, the Government had made remarkable progress on economic front, which had also been acknowledged by international organisations like IMF and World Bank.

According to joint surveillance carried out by civilian and military Intelligence Agencies over the past few weeks, South Punjab and parts of interior Sindh have been identified as the strongholds of groups and individuals supporting several militant outfits. In southern Punjab, both material and manpower support comes mainly from Rahim Yar Khan, Jhang, Chiniot, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur Districts, whereas in Sindh, Khairpur, Hyderabad, Shikarpur, Nawabshah and Larkana are the Districts from where militant outfits draw much of their support.

An unnamed security official said that both civilian and military intelligence outfits have identified individuals as well as groups that have been supporting militants. The official disclosed that supporters and abettors of terrorists, including banned outfits, had been under surveillance following the approval of the National Action Plan to deal with the growing threat of militancy. Security Agencies have launched a targeted operation against the 'supporters and abettors' of terror outfits in southern Punjab and interior of Sindh as part of the new counter-terrorism strategy.

February 9

At least 13 suspected militants were killed and their seven hideouts destroyed when the PAF fighter jets pounded Tor Darra, Sur Kas, Wachy Wanay, Dua Toey, Sra Khawra and Sra Wela areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA.

Four peace body members sustained injuries in a roadside blast in Shandara area of Baizai subdivision in Mohmand Agency. The sources said that militants had planted an IED at a roadside in Shandara area and triggered the explosion when the pro-government peace committee members were patrolling the area. “The militant triggered the explosion when a local peace body head Malik Sanobar Essakhel along with his brother and two volunteers were patrolling the area,” official sources said.

As part of the implementation of the NAP, the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan during a meeting chaired by interim Chief Minister Sher Jehan Mir decided to scrutinise both registered and unregistered madrassas operating in the region. According to a Government official, “Scrutinising madrassas was one of many decisions taken in the moot." He added clerics from outside G-B have been barred from entering the region for an indefinite period as intelligence reports have suggested their presence could incite hatred and lead to sectarian violence which has plagued the region in the recent past.

According to a statement issued from the Chief Minister’s office regarding the meeting, the regional Government will take steps to set up military courts soon to formally implement the NAP. The statement added collection of donations by any groups or parties has been banned, officials have been directed to ensure tinted glasses are removed from private and official vehicles and police have been directed to launch a crackdown against proclaimed offenders.

February 10

At least 15 BLF militants and a FC official were killed in a gun battle in Basima area of Kharan District. According to details SFs had launched a search operation in Khori village of Basima area when a group of militants hiding inside a bunker suddenly started firing at them.

Three unidentified militants were killed when the FC opened fire during an operation in Shadikor area of Gwadar District.

FC personnel arrested four suspects accused of having links with a banned organisation during search operations for the recovery of kidnapped employees of PTCL in Killi Sharna, Killi Ghat and Gawal Ismailzai areas of Zhob District. SFs recovered 24 rifles with bullets, an SMG with ammunition and other weapons from their possession.

Balochistan Interior Secretary said that 54 cases have been forwarded to Federal Ministry of Interior for hearing in the military courts. According to a statement issued here, Interior Secretary Balochistan Akbar Hussain Durrani said the Interior Ministry will forward the cases to military courts for hearing after carrying out scrutiny.

A man, identified as Anees Memon (50), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Hollywood Bakri in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man was shot dead near Munawar Chowrangi in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

One Nasir (27) was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants near Mirza Adam Khan Road in Lyari Town.

A government-run community health centre was blown up in the Shal Kor area of Yakaghund tehsil in Mohmand Agency of FATA. Agency Surgeon Dr Niaz Afridi confirmed the incident and said that total 17 health centres had been blown up by militants in Mohmand tribal region.

The two-judge bench of SC headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja during a hearing was told that 4,557 dead bodies were recovered from all over the country in the last five years and 266 of them were unidentified. After learning this the SC directed the Federal and Provincial Governments to launch coordinated efforts for the recovery of missing persons as well as addressing the issue of unidentified dead bodies found dumped in different parts of the country. “There should be an effective mechanism so that whenever a dead body is found, the relatives of the missing persons should be contacted to identify it,” observed SC's Bench.

The Bench had resumed hearing of the application filed by VBMP Chairman Nasrullah Baloch, who is pursuing cases of enforced disappearances in SC for many years. He also sought protection for self as he claimed that he too was receiving death threats. The petitioner requested the court to direct provincial government to allocate a site for burial of unclaimed bodies and also assign a number to each grave to facilitate recognition of the unidentified dead.

The applicant told the Bench that Balochistan’s Chief Minister had confessed before them that he was helpless in resolving the missing persons’ issue. “If they [civilian government] are helpless [in resolving this issue] then they should go home,” Justice Khawaja observed, adding, “We are creating difficulties for ourselves by not addressing such an important issue the Federal Government should take the lead in missing persons’ case.”

According to Province-wise details, Balochistan’s Assistant Advocate General Fareed Dogar told the Court that 153 dead bodies were recovered from seven Districts of the Province and 46 of them were unidentified. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmad Khan said 2,600 dead bodies were recovered in the Province and 43 bodies went unidentified. Punjab’s Additional AG Razaq A Mirza revealed that 1,299 dead bodies were recovered from the Province in the last two years. “Fifty-one of these dead bodies are unidentified,” he added. Sindh’s AG Adnan Karim informed the court that 437 dead bodies were recovered from the province. “Of these 398 were found in Karachi,” he said, adding that 304 bodies were handed over to the legal heirs while 94 of them were unidentified.

An ATC convicted an Afghan national, identified as Khalilullah, for possessing explosives and attacking a Police party on March 16, 2014, and sentenced him to 14 years rigorous imprisonment along with confiscation of his properties in Peshawar. The judge Salem Jan Khan observed that the prosecution had proved its case against him, and the evidence on record connected him with the commission of offence.

Police arrested 50 suspects during a search operation after threats were hurled by a banned militant outfit at the Police Training College in Hangu District. DPO Anwar Saeed Kundi said that a militant organisation had threatened to target the Police Training College, adding that a search operation was launched in Guli Bagh, Lakhti Bandai, Qazi Pump, Umarabad, Kurramy Walo Killay, Ibrahimzai and Shahu area in the District. During the search, 50 suspects were arrested and arms and ammunition was recovered from their possession.

There has been a 32 per cent rise in the number of people killed by LEAs in a single month of January in 2015 as compared to the number of people killed by the LEAs during the same month in 2014, though the overall number of people killed during both the corresponding periods decreased by 29 per cent in Karachi, stated HRCP report released.

The report states that the number of people killed by the LEAs in January 2015 was 52 in the city as compared to the 36 killings carried out by the LEAs during January 2014. The report further says that the total number of people killed in January 2014 was 273 as compared to 194 killings during January 2015.

Giving the breakdown of killings in January 2015, the report notes that 114 men were killed in January 2015. These included 33 targeted killing of non-political persons, political activists killed (11), sectarian killings (eight), abducted and killed (eight), dead bodies found (16), killed in bomb blasts (one), killed in Lyari gang warfare (seven) and killed by banned outfits (11).

Following the Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's directives, Islamabad Police have begun equipping key installations and important buildings – including media houses – with a panic button which can be activated in the case of any emergency to summon a quick response from rescue and law enforcement personnel. He met with representatives of media houses in Islamabad and said that there were threats to media personnel. Representatives from about 30 media houses participated in the consultation and were asked to follow the Government-developed SOPs for their security, including installation of panic button. So far, 10 media houses have been were provided the facility, officials said, adding that two representatives of each media house were provided the panic button facility.

A total of 78 important installations in the capital are considered possible targets for terrorists. These include educational institutions – schools, colleges and universities – which were provided the panic button system as part of the fresh security SOPs. So far, Police have successfully introduced the panic button facility at 422 Government and over 1,200 private educational institutions in the city.

During an important briefing by the NACTA and NCMC to Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on the progress of NAP, the Federal Ministry of Interior directed the Interior Secretary Shahid Khan to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and reconcile the national list of proscribed organisations under the recommendations set by the UNSC.

The Government arrested more than 2,065 clerics for misusing loudspeakers during the recent crackdown across the country as part of the NAP. During the meeting, Nisar was informed that 3,265 cases of misuse of loudspeakers have been registered and equipment seized in 1,281 instances. He was further told that 547 cases had been registered for hate speech. In total, as many as 218,220 suspects had been picked up in 16,344 operations by law enforcers. Of these, 12,462 people had been arrested. Despite the haul, officials found that only 140 of them had links with terrorists.

Nisar directed the Ministry of Interior to further fine-tune the procedure of proscription and ensure that any proscribed organisations must not be able re-emerge with new name and nomenclature. The NAP meeting was also told that a bill has been tabled in the National Assembly which, if passed, would make possession of illegal mobile phone SIMs a cognizable offence.

February 11

Nine militants involved in planning the attack on the APS in Peshawar in Pakistan (December 16, 2014) were killed and scores of others injured in a drone strike in the Nazyan area of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan. Official sources said that the drone fired two missiles on a compound in the Nazyan area near the Pak-Afghan border. According to security officials, militants based in the Nazyan had planned the attack on the Army Public School, Peshawar.

Two extortionists, affiliated with Lyari gang war group, were arrested after they were injured in exchange of fire with Police in Kalri area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. SSP Fida Hussain said the Police recovered arms and two hand grenades from their possession.

Police arrested 13 clerics of various defunct religious organisations, including SSP, LeJ, ST and MWM for fanning sectarianism in the Province.

Security Forces arrested some suspected militants and destroyed five of their sanctuaries during a search and strike operation in Janikhel area of Bannu District in KP. The sources said the SFs launched an operation in various areas in Janikhel and arrested some suspected militants and destroyed five of their sanctuaries, besides seizing heavy arms from their possession.

The CTD arrested two alleged terrorists from the Ring Road-Kohat Road bridge of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. A press release stated that the commandos of the CTD arrested Ramzan and Rasmal on a tip-off and recovered four hand-grenades and two pistols from them. The officials said the held militants were affiliated to the TTP, Tariq group, who were tasked by Commander Hazrat Ali to collect funds for the group through extortion.

The Police foiled a major bid to smuggle arms and ammunition to other parts of the country and arrested one alleged gunrunner in Badaber area of Peshawar. SSP Operations Mian Saeed Ahmad said “We have seized 50 Kalashnikovs, 600 rifles and 20,000 rounds of various bores from the secret cavities of the truck”. He added that an accused Abdul Amin belonging to Lakki Marwat District had been arrested.

A Pakistan-born man, Abid Naseer (28), went on trial on February 11 for allegedly taking part in an alleged al Qaeda plot to bomb targets in the US and Europe between 2008 and 2009. Jury selection began in Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, for the trial Naseer, who was extradited in 2013 from Britain to face US charges that he was involved in one of three al Qaeda cells planning attacks in England, Norway and the US. He was initially arrested in Britain in 2009 along with a dozen men, mostly students from Pakistan, on suspicion of plotting an attack in Manchester. Naseer was re-arrested by British authorities in 2010 after the US indicted him. He fought extradition, but his appeal was rejected in 2012 by the European Court of Human Rights and he was extradited in January 2013.

According to details, one of the cells that Naseer did not belong to, but was part of the conspiracy, had plotted to bomb the New York City subway system, prosecutors said. Two men, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the New York plot, and a third, Adis Medunjanin, was convicted at trial and sentenced in 2012 to life in prison. Prosecutors said Naseer and Zazi coordinated their plans through emails to the same Pakistan-based al Qaeda facilitator, “Ahmad,” using similar code words to discuss explosives and the timing of their respective plots.

Naseer has pleaded not guilty to the charges of providing and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to use a destructive device in a bombing plot in Manchester, England. He is representing himself at trial and faces life in prison if convicted.

The Government extended the purview of the recently amended Pakistan Army Act to the FATA for the setting up of military courts there. President Mamnoon Hussain approved a summary permitting the Government to establish military courts in FATA. An official statement issued by the Presidency said: “On a summary initiated by States and Frontier Regions Division, the president has approved the prime minister’s advice for extension of Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2015 (Act No-II of 2015) to FATA in terms of Article 247 of the Constitution of Pakistan.”

While briefing the National Assembly on the execution of the National Action Plan against terrorism Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan clarified that the Government has not outlawed any group after the December 16, 2014, APS Peshawar attack, and would not take such action under United States or Indian pressure. “Yes we are a signatory to the UN Charter and we will devise a policy on this topic [But] so far, we have only added 10 organisations – proscribed by the UN – to our watch list,” he said.

Nisar said there were 60 banned groups in Pakistan while the number of organisations proscribed by the UN is 177. “However, we will not declare any organisation unlawful under pressure from the US or India,” he added. Nisar, however, acknowledged that there was some confusion on the issue which would be removed in the coming days. “A cell is working on this issue in the Interior Ministry. We will bring all proscribed organisations in our schedule,” he added.

He further said that complete peace could, however, only be restored in the country once we eliminated the terrorist leadership. “These terrorist leaders have managed to escape from Pakistan’s border area adjacent to Afghanistan,” he said.

Lieutenant General (retired) Asad Durrani, who served as the ISI as Director-General from 1990-1992, in an interview with Al Jazeera on February 11 said that Pakistan probably knew about slain al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts leading up to his capture in Abbottabad on May 1-2, 2011. “I cannot say exactly what happened but my assessment […] was it is quite possible that they [the ISI] did not know but it was more probable that they did. And the idea was that at the right time, his location would be revealed,” Durrani said, implying that Pakistan would have only exchanged knowledge of his location in a quid pro quo deal.  “The right time would have been, when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States,” he added.

The Abbottabad Commission set up by the Government to investigate the raid, charged the military and the government with “gross incompetence” leading to “collective failures” that allowed Bin Laden to reside in Pakistan unnoticed. “The admission of incompetence was probably done on political reasons… As far as the people of Pakistan were concerned, it was going to be very uncomfortable for them that their Government, you know, is in cahoots now with the United States and gets hold of Osama bin Laden,” he stated.

February 12

Seven suspected militants were killed and 15 others were injured in PAF air strikes on militant hideouts in Dwa Thoe, Sarrai, Sheikh Kot, Tor Darra, Nangrosa and Speen Drand areas of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. 

At least two children, identified as Muhammad Moheed and Shabana Bibi, were killed while two others were injured when a toy bomb exploded at Kharal Maldialan near Bagh in Muzaffarabad District of PoK.

Two foreign gangsters, involved in kidnapping-for-ransom cases, were killed in an exchange of fire with Police during an encounter near Indus Plaza in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town in provincial capital Karachi. SSP Malir Rao Anwaar said that the gangsters after opening fire at Police party in the area tried to flee. The Police retaliated and two of them were killed on the spot.

At least 25 people were wounded after a remote controlled explosion on railway track derailed Khushhal Khan Khattak Express near the Dilmurad Railway Station in Jacobabad District. The train was heading towards Peshawar (KP) from Karachi.

Police claimed to have arrested two target killers, identified as Iqbal alias Shahzad and Ayaz, involved sectarian killings during a raid conducted in Korangi Town. SSP Korangi Junaid Shaikh that the accused were involved in sectarian killings and murders of doctors. He added that the targeted killers had killed 15 people in Landhi, Korangi and other areas, saying they were also involved in the multiple acts of extortion.

Intelligence Agencies and officials investigating the January 30, 2015 Shikarpur Imambargah attack during an apex committee meeting jointly chaired by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah identified a militant group operating in Sindh and Balochistan border areas. “The meeting discussed the progress made so far on the Shikarpur probe,” said the source, adding, “It was stated that the Imambargah was bombed by the TTP group operating in the Balochistan-Sindh border areas. The mastermind of the bombing is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the facilitators were in Shikarpur. The investigators picked up five suspects during the course of probe but later released two of them. Twelve people are under investigation.”

PM Nawaz Sharif has told US President Barack Obama that India doesn’t deserve to be a member of the UNSC since it has been violating the UN resolutions on Kashmir. These views were expressed by the PM when Obama called him. The two leaders discussed various issues for more than half an hour. Nawaz asked the US president to impress upon the Indian leaders to have a dialogue with Pakistan for the resolution of outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute, as per Indian Prime Minister Modi’s commitment made on May 2014. The PM reminded Obama of the need for maintaining strategic balance in South Asia.

Pakistan PML-Q leader and former Chief Minister of Punjab Pervez Elahi claimed that former chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, who was then the head of the ISI, had asked his party to attack the-then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry’s convoy. He said that he had received a letter from General Kayani to stop the convoy of Iftikhar Chaudhry near Jhelum District and ask the PML-Q activists to attack it at Kharian if it moved ahead. He said they refused to do so. He further said that he still had that letter with him.

Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin and Justice Chaudhry Mushtaq of two-member bench of the Lahore High Court upheld orders of the Anti-Terrorism Court which handed down death sentence to four militants for attacking the ISI’s Multan Office in 2009. The four militants were identified as Abdul Raheem, Hafiz Suleman, Sajjad and Muhammad Afzal on 11 counts each, and 25-year imprisonment to their fifth accomplice Ijaz.

Trial proceedings in 12 terrorism cases referred to military courts have started, a military spokesman said. The Government had handed over 39 cases for trial to military authorities last week, out of which 12 were transferred to military courts. This is the first batch of cases placed before the newly established courts for which the Government has amended the Constitution and the Army Act. The 12 cases being tried by military courts include six from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five from Punjab and one from Sindh, the spokesman said, adding that trial proceedings were being held in camera.

The ISPR DG Asim Bajwa said that most of the 27 militants who planned the attack on Army school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, were Pakistani. Revealing details about the attack, DG ISPR said that nine militants were killed, while 12 were arrested. Six of the 12 were arrested from Afghanistan. The remaining six militants are on the loose.

While addressing a press briefing in Islamabad, Bajwa said 176 ‘hardcore’ terrorists have been killed since December 16. According to him, 1,942 intelligence-based operations were carried out across the country, killing 176 hardcore terrorists. More than 5,000 of them were also apprehended. Bajwa also said the attack was planned across the border in Afghanistan. The planning was done by Mullah Fazlullah and Aurangzeb alias Omar Amin,” he said. “Both are hiding in Afghanistan. Asif and Haji Kamran were later given the charge of the entire operation later, and went on to form two separate groups to ute the attack, added Bajwa.

Responding to a question, DG IPSR said that there should be no hesitation in saying that there has been Indian involvement in Pakistan’s affairs, be it LoC violations, or support to the TTP in FATA or elements in Balochistan. It is time for the world to do more for Pakistan, he said, adding that external support to the militants should end. “Pakistani forces are determined to eliminate terrorism.”

Commenting on an interview of former ISI chief General (retd) Asad Durrani, during which he said Pakistan probably knew the whereabouts of al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, Bajwa said it has been established beyond doubt that Pakistan did not have any role in harbouring the Osama Bin Laden. “He (Asad Durrani) retired 30 years ago, and does not represent the agency… he does not have any intelligence or information,” Bajwa said.

February 13

At least 22 Shia persons were killed and another 50 were injured during a gun and bomb attack at an Imambargah in Phase-5 locality of Hayatabad area in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP when suicide attackers and gunmen —dressed in police uniform — attacked worshippers offering Friday prayers. Sources said that around 800 worshippers were present inside the Imambargah at the time of attack. The Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP, Operations) Dr. Mian Saeed said at least three suicide bombers attacked the Imambargah. He confirmed that one suicide bomber detonated his device, while another was shot dead. The third was arrested in an injured condition. The Police have launched a search operation for the third attacker. KP Police chief IG Nasir Khan Durrani said the entrance of the Imambargah is highly guarded and the attackers entered from the other side of the mosque. The attackers climbed a high wall and cut barbed wires in order to enter the Imambargah. They arrived in a car which they burnt. The BDU chief Shafqat Malik said the attackers looked like Uzbeks. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani called for the deployment of Frontier Corps personnel, saying the Imambargah is very close to tribal areas which allow easy access for terrorists. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.

A militant was killed while a soldier sustained injuries in a clash in Domanza village in the limits of Township Police Station in Bannu District. The source said that Security Forces were carrying out search and strike operation in the Domanza village when a militant identified as Noor Zaman opened fire on them. The forces returned the fire that continued for sometime during which the militant was killed while a soldier Abdul Khaliq sustained injuries.

SF demolished the houses of four militants, including Ghaniullah, Nazeerullah, Waliullah and Rab Nawaz, in Janikhel area.

A man, identified as Guddu (20), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Muhajir Chowk in Orangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man was shot dead near Mianwali Colony in Manghopir area of Gadap Town.

One Asif Ahmed (24) was shot at and injured in Orangi Town.

Two death row prisoners, identified as Muhammad Fayaz and Muhammad Riaz, were hanged till death in Central Jail of Mirpur District in PoK. They were convicted for the murder of Raja Moaaz Rabbani (22), the son of former President of Supreme Court Bar Association Raja Fazal Hussain Rabbani Advocate in 2004 during a robbery attempt at his residence. According to jail sources, Fayaz and Riaz, were residents of Saray-e-Alamgeer in Gujrat District of Punjab Province and were awarded capital punishment by the PoK Shariat Court in 2005.

Three polio workers and two Levies officials were abducted from Murgha Kibzai area in Zhob District. "The families lost contact with the polio workers since this morning," a levies official who requested anonymity said. It is feared that the missing persons were picked up by militants, he added.

An ATC rejected the bail plea of 2008 Mumbai terror attack (also known as 26/11) mastermind and LeT 'commander' Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, in a kidnapping case. Civil Judicial Magistrate Naveed Khan heard the case and dismissed the petition of his acquittal. The court made its decision after hearing the arguments of Lakhvi’s counsel Rizwan Abbasi and prosecutor Aamir Nadeem. Abbasi maintained that the case registered against Lakhvi was false.

While addressing a press conference at the Punjab Assembly the Provincial Home Minister Colonel (retired) Shuja Khanzada said that of the estimated 12,000 madrassas in Punjab, nearly half of them are unregistered. He said that over 170 teams were working to document unregistered seminaries, in collaboration between the Counter-Terrorism Department and the Punjab Information Technology Board. The government initiates a registration campaign along with biometric registration of Afghans in the Province. “About 2,000 madrassas were registered in the Province over the past few days,” he added. He said that “1, 000 systems will be commissioned in the next few days, and data will be directly transferred to the national database.” The government is working on bringing changes in the curriculum as well, Khanzada added.

Out of the 1,400 foreign students present in Punjab, the Home Minister said visas of 498 students had expired, and their cases will be taken up with the Federal Ministry of Interior and the Foreign Office, and that these students may be deported soon.

Further on the question of military courts he said that as many as 40 high profile cases have been referred to military courts by the Punjab Government, which are due to become functional within a month’s time. “Military courts would become operational soon,” he said, adding that he expected they will be functional within this month.

Pervez Musharraf in an interview published in The Guardian had said that the ISI had given birth to the Taliban after 2001 because the then Afghan Government led by ex-President Hamid Karzai had an overwhelming number of non-Pashtuns and officials who were said to favour India. "Obviously, we were looking for some groups to counter this Indian action against Pakistan. That is where the intelligence work comes in. Intelligence being in contact with Taliban groups. Definitely they were in contact, and they should be," he asserted.

He said that under his regime, Pakistan had tried to undermine the Karzai Government for helping "India stab Pakistan in the back." "In President Karzai's times, yes, indeed, he was damaging Pakistan and, therefore, we were working against his interest. Obviously, we had to protect our own interest," he said. Karzai infuriated both Musharraf and his successor Ashfaq Kayani by spurning offers to help train Afghanistan's embryonic army. Instead, Karzai sent cadets to India, where Musharraf believes they were "indoctrinated" against Pakistan.

"Pakistan had its own proxies, India had its proxies, which is unhealthy. I do admit this, it is most unhealthy. It is not in favour of Afghanistan, or Pakistan or India. It must stop. The R&AW of India, the ISI of Pakistan have always been fighting against each other since our independence. That is how it continued, it continues now also. It must stop, but it can only stop when leaderships on both sides show the will to resolve disputes and stop confrontation in favour of compromise and accommodation," he said.

February 14

15 militants were killed and a soldier sustained injuries in a clash near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the Kurram Agency of FATA. Afghan militants equipped with heavy weapons intruded into Pakistani territory close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and stormed the security post near the border in Kurram Agency. A soldier, whose identity could not be ascertained, sustained injuries in the attack, while 15 militants were killed in the retaliatory fire.

As many as 17 Districts of the Province, including parts of Quetta, plunged into darkness after militants blew up two pylons of a power transmission line in Chatter area of Naseerabad District. Sarbaz Baloch, a 'spokesman' for BRA claimed responsibility for the attack.

The death toll from February 13’s gun and suicide attack at the Imambargah in the Phase-5 locality of the Hayatabad area in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP, rose to 22. Police officials said the same TTP group which masterminded the December 16, 2014, Army Public School carnage carried out the mosque bombing.

A senior official from the CTD, which is investigating the case, said the three suicide bombers who drove to the upscale neighbourhood in a Toyota Corolla car had entered Peshawar through an unfrequented route. “Once you are inside Hayatabad and wearing paramilitary uniform, it is unlikely that anyone would stop you because the posh town is home to the headquarters of two paramilitary forces,” the official said. The Umar Mansoor group of the TTP claimed credit for the deadly bombing and released the purported pictures and names of the bombers. “The same Umar Mansoor group had also carried out the massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar. Both attacks are near identical,” the official said, adding that the group’s lynchpin, Aurangzeb alias Umar alias Naray, has been nominated in the FIR.

The Central President of ASWJ, Aurangzeb Farooqi, escaped an attack near Quaidabad bridge in Bin Qasim Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. However, three of his bodyguards sustained injuries in the attack.

February 15

At least two people were killed when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at a hotel on Mastung Road in Quetta. According to local Police, one of the victims has been identified as Ghulam Sarwar, while the identity of the other one is yet to be ascertained.

Two suspected militants blew themselves up during a search operation for the recovery of kidnapped polio workers and levies personnel in Margha Kibzai area of Zhob District. Three polio workers and two levies men went missing on February 13, 2015 from Zhob District.

A key 'commander' of LeJ, identified as Usman Saifullah Kurd, and his companion were killed while two FC personnel were injured in a raid conducted by FC in Sariab area of Quetta. A third of their accomplice was arrested unhurt. Kurd had been convicted by an Anti-Terror Court in 2003 for masterminding two sectarian attacks in Quetta. He had escaped from the high security Quetta cantonment jail in 2008, following which the Government imposed a bounty of PKR 2.5 million on him. According to security sources, Kurd was believed to be the mastermind of the January 31, 2015, Shikarpur Imambargah attack in Sindh.  Intelligence sources also said that he had close contacts to both al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.

Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai escaped an IED attack in Reko Sultan Golai area of Nushki District. “No one was hurt in the explosion nor was any damage reported,” said Nushki Deputy Commissioner Qudos Mengal. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

A senior PIMS doctor, Dr Shahid Nawaz, succumbed to his injuries after being shot in the head outside the VIP ward of the Institute in Islamabad. He was the head of the hospital’s cardiology unit. The two attackers escaped from the hospital unhindered. It was the second targeted attack at the hospital in three weeks. Earlier on January 23, 2015, a nursing student was shot on the premises.

A local leader and 'spokesperson' of ASWJ Rawalpindi Chapter, Maulana Mazhar Siddiqui, was killed in a targeted sectarian attack near Pirwadhai More within the precincts of the Rawalpindi's Golra Police Station in Rawalpindi District.

A woman was killed and 14 others, including children, were injured in a blast in Gula Jan area of Pir Qayyum village in Kurram Agency of FATA. Official sources said that the blast occurred when a toy-like bomb exploded in the house.

Unidentified militants opened fire at a vehicle carrying a team of polio workers in Lowi Shalman area of Landi Kotal tehsil Khyber Agency, killing the driver and leaving one polio volunteer injured. According to security officials, the polio workers were being driven to a session in the morning when they came under attack. Subsequently, the driver of the vehicle Ziarat Gul was killed and a polio worker was injured.

SFs have started preparations to launch a crackdown against militants in Akakhel and Qalanaga areas of Bara tehsil. The administration has ordered locals to vacate the area by 6 pm today (February 16). Action will be taken against those violating the orders.

Police arrested 34 suspected persons, including six proclaimed offenders, during search in Afghan Refugees’ camp and adjacent areas of Kohat Town of same District. Official sources said that the police launched search operation in Afghan Refugees’ camp and Sher Ali Banda and Muslimabad localities and arrested six proclaimed offenders identified as Tariq Mehmood, Tanveer Ahmad, Naeem, Ashraf and Anwarul Haq. Six rifles and several cartridges were also seized from them, an official said, adding that they were wanted by the law-enforcement agencies in cases of heinous nature.

Police arrested several suspects allegedly involved in graffiti favouring the Islamic State in different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. The first wall-chalking in the region, welcoming the self-proclaimed caliphate, was spotted in Gilgit back in November, 2014. Almost three months later, similar graffiti was seen on walls in Skardu District, stirring fear among locals and signaling the possible presence of the group in G-B.

“Skardu city Police arrested Zakaria, a resident of Shigar Valley, for spraying slogans in favour of the terror group,” read a statement issued by G-B’s Central Police Office. According to the statement, Zakaria was caught red-handed in Skardu. Moreover, Shamsuddin, Awais, Zahid Mir and Muhammad Yasin were also arrested in connection to the incident.

Four-member law enforcement team, comprising senior Police and Rangers officers and led by SSP Naveed Khwaja, that left for Dubai on February 5, 2015, to take custody of PAC leader Uzair Jan Baloch is waiting for the Federal Investigation Authority’s representative to hold talks with the authorities in Dubai since the latter has refused to entertain the team without an FIA representative.  According to official requirements, the FIA official was supposed to leave for Dubai in a day or two after the law enforcement team’s departure. As of now, this has not happened.

“As the process was initiated by the ministry of interior, it is their responsibility to send a representative to Dubai who can deal with further investigation. Police are a provincial authority, they are not authorised to deal with international authorities. The FIA needs to be there to take up the process with the Interpol as they won’t speak to us,” said additional inspector general Ghulam Qadir Thebo. On February 13, 2015, Thebo wrote to the Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs to extend the deadline for bringing back Uzair by at least a month so that the FIA official could reach Dubai and continue the documentation process.

An FIA officer explained that in such cases an FIA representative was sent from the Pakistan embassy’s link office in Muscat if an FIA official was not sent from Pakistan. “The process can work both ways, that is, an officer can be sent from Pakistan and extra help can also be taken from the Pakistan embassy’s link office in Muscat,” the officer added.

The Minister for SAFRON and Frontier Regions Lieutenant-General (retired) Abdul Qadir Baloch said that the Government believes that the operation Zarb-e-Azb operation will be completed by the end of the year and after that a ‘mini-Marshall plan’ will be launched for socio-economic progress of the people of the FATA. “The era of the Taliban or terrorists will end in Fata and there will be complete peace in the entire tribal areas by the end of this year,” Abdul Qadir Baloch said. Baloch said he could say this only about cleansing FATA of terrorists and not about other parts of the country.

Amid escalating pressure from opposition parties for speeding up action against proscribed religious groups, Government officials revealed that over 600 hardcore terrorists have been arrested since the approval of the NAP against terrorism. These terrorists were arrested in an ongoing countrywide crackdown over the past seven weeks, officials monitoring the NAP execution said. They have been categorised by military and civilian agencies as 'jet-black terrorists' and their cases are to be sent to the Federal Ministry of Interior with a recommendation for trials in military courts, the officials added.

Officials added that supporters and abettors of terrorists, including banned outfits, had been under surveillance in South Punjab and parts of interior Sindh which have been identified as the strongholds of groups and individuals supporting several militant outfits. Of these 600-plus terrorists, 320 belong to TTP, while 311 have links with LeT, JeM and HuT. "Cases of these terrorists who carry an aggregate bounty of PKR 271 million would be sent to the military courts," a senior official of the NACTA said.

However, he added that next week the Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will give the final word on whether the cases of these 600-plus terrorists would be sent to the military courts or to anti-terrorism courts set up under the Pakistan Protection Act. The NACTA official conceded that most of the special committees tasked to ensure swift execution of NAP have failed to meet the targets set for them.

February 16

A 24-inch diameter gas pipeline was blown up by unidentified militants in Peshbogi area of Dera Bugti District in Balochistan.

An IED was defused near a school in Wah cantonment of Taxila in Rawalpindi District. Students spotted a bag placed at a bus stop near their school. They informed their teacher who contacted local administration and Police. Later, the Bomb Disposal Squad reached the scene and defused the bomb.

The patron-in-chief of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, brought to the Supreme Court's notice repeated incidents of desecration of Hindu temples in the country. At the last hearing on February 11, 2015, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk had asked Mr Vankwani to submit in writing alleged excesses aimed at defiling the places of worship of Hindus. The court had taken up a matter relating to implementation of a set of guidelines handed down in a June 19, 2014 judgment on minority rights.

Dr Vankwani, a PML-N Member of National Assembly (MNA) from Tharparkar, submitted two applications, one requesting the court to take notice of desecration of temples and the other seeking an order for the Government to submit details about measures being taken to protect the premises sacred to the minority communities. In his application, he said that between January and February a number of incidents of desecration took place in Sindh. He said that authorities were reluctant to arrest those involved in attacking temples in Sindh.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while chairing a meeting of the Sindh Apex Committee held at Governor House in Karachi to review the progress on the implementation of NAP and discuss matters related to overall law and order situation in the Province said that the Government had no option but to win the war against terrorism and scourge would be eliminated from every nook and cranny of the country. He said following the December 16, 2014, Peshawar tragedy, the NAP was approved by the entire political leadership and the ultimate decision of the state was to eliminate terrorism from the country.

He said two of the 20 points of NAP were implemented immediately while rest of the measures had been left up to the Apex Committees formed in all Provinces. Sharif said under NAP, the 21st constitutional amendment was passed and Army Act was also amended adding the country's future and security were linked to NAP's implementation. The whole nation is eyeing the tangible results of NAP, he added. Nawaz Sharif reiterated that terrorism would be eliminated from every nook and corner of the country besides tribal areas.

The CoAS General Raheel Sharif during a meeting of the Sindh Apex Committee chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stressed the need to depoliticize the Police force in Karachi for permanent peace and said that action should be taken against all criminals without any distinctions based on political, religious or sectarian lines. He said that it was critical to depoliticize the Police force in Karachi, and that there should be no political interference in postings and transfers of Police officers. He also stressed that action should be taken against criminals above all kinds of political, religious and sectarian lines.

Acknowledging that Karachi plays an important role in the country's overall economy, he said that peace in Karachi means peace in the entire country, for which effective measures need to be taken. The Army chief said an atmosphere of peace was created because of the Rangers-led operation, and that political forces need to also play their role for permanent peace in Karachi. The consensus of all stakeholders is critical for peace, he said. He also stressed on the need for improved coordination between intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

The Government of Sindh, Home Department modified the nomenclature of CID of Sindh Police to "Counter Terrorism Department" (CID), with immediate effect.

Punjab Police during the meeting of the Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges, chaired by Senator Colonel (retired) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi disclosed that certain religious seminaries are receiving foreign funding in the Province but admitted its inability to collect the concrete evidence. A list of suspicious religious seminaries in the Province which receive foreign funding is with the department. The list is confidential, said Police officials.

February 17

At least eight persons, including two Policemen, were killed and 23 others were injured in a suicide attack on Police headquarters near the main gate of Police Lines in Qila Gujjar Singh area of Lahore. Tehreek-e-Taliban TTP-JuA 'spokesperson' Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility for the attack. IG Punjab Police Mushtaq Sukhera said that the target of the attack was Police Lines. He added, "Ever since operation Zarb-e-Azb began the army has been taking action against militants... and this was perhaps in reaction to that."

A polio team member, identified as Naseem Abbas, was injured in a knife attack by a resident of Imamia Colony within the jurisdiction of Ferozewala Police Station in Sheikhupura District. According to details, the polio vaccination members, including a lady health visitor Razia Batool and vaccinator Naseem Abbas, knocked at the door of one Ubaid to administer anti-polio drops to his children. Police said Ubaid first dubbed the polio drive against Islamic values and later lobbed a knife on Naseem who suffered injuries.

Police registered a case of suicide blast outside Qila Gujjar Singh Police Lines against three terrorists, including a suicide bomber. Police executed sections 302 and 324 of Pakistan Penal Code, ¾ of Explosive Act and 7 of Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) against the bomber and his two accomplices who allegedly dropped him at the site. Also, Police teams launched search operations in different areas of the city, including Qila Gujjar Singh, Lunda Bazaar, Shahdara, Misri Shah and Lorry Adda.

Four dead bodies, including that of two missing Levies personnel, were found in Zhob District. According to Levies sources, two bodies were identified as that of Levies officials and one was identified as the driver of the polio team. One dead body is yet to be identified, the sources added. Three polio workers and two Levies personnel were kidnapped on February 13, 2015, from Murgha Kibzai area of Zhob District.

Balochistan Government postponed the anti-polio campaign in Quetta, Zhob, Sherani and Sibi Districts of the Province due to looming security threats, according to an unnamed Health Department Officer.

A man, identified as Babu (24) was killed and a passer-by Navid (20) was injured in a firing incident near Lal Masjid in Paposh Nagar area of North Nazimabad Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Abdul Qadir (30) was shot dead near Janjal Goth in Gulshan-e-Maymar of Gadap Town.

A man, identified as Mohammad Sharif (25), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Azeem Plaza in Garden area of Saddar Town.

A militant 'commander', Bakhti Raj of Koz Shamnal Chagharzai, was killed in a clash with the SFs during a search operation in the Gagra tehsil of the Buner District in KP. One woman had also sustained bullet injuries in the incident. Sources said that Bakhti Raj was wanted by SF in militancy-related incidents.

The Lakki Marwat interment centre oversight board has found Shahid Khan, an eight-grader, a collaborator of militants and listed him in the black category (proven militant). The information was shared by Additional Advocate General Qaiser Ali Shah on behalf of the KP Home and Tribal Affairs Department during the hearing of 10 petitions on enforced disappearances on February 17. A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan heard the petitions.

Upon hearing the oversight board's findings, Shahid's father Sarbuland Khan erupted in rage and asked the court how a secondary school student could possibly be a collaborator of militants. "How can a schoolboy be involved in anti-state activities? I want to know the exact charges against my son," he said, adding he had taken Shahid to the police station on the request of police officials. "Is there a limit to injustice? You lock me up in a room and even I will confess to whatever you wish," the perturbed father yelled, adding he met his son twice and has not seen him for a long time. The court said the purpose of the hearing was to trace the whereabouts of his son and the case cannot be pursued further since he has been listed in the black category.

The oversight board found Asif Khan involved in anti-state activities and placed him in the black category while his counsel claimed the KP government issued an advertisement in newspapers on February 13, declaring Khan a proclaimed offender and offering Rs1 million as head money. Khan's mother Nazakat Bibi said he used to work at Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan as an office boy, from where SF picked him up four years ago. The family was allowed to see him at Lakki Marwat internment centre six months back. The court directed the Provincial Government to submit a detailed report regarding the detainee at the next date of hearing.

The KP ruling party PTI renewed its demand for redeploying paramilitary FC troops in the province and reassigning to KP soldiers serving in other parts of the country. "The FC's job is to guard the border between FATA and KP but this force is spread out across the country," said PTI chief Imran Khan in a statement. According to the PTI chairman, K-P has suffered the most at the hands of terrorists. "Therefore, the federal government should return the FC to the province that it belongs to," the statement said.

During his visit to Kabul, the CoAS General Raheel Sharif was informed by Afghan authorities that "they are tightening the noose around Fazlullah" the fugitive 'chief' of TTP. According to security sources, the visit took place following Intelligence reports that Fazlullah directly masterminded the February 13, 2015, Imambargah attack in Peshawar reportedly from Afghanistan's Kunar Province or its adjoining belt. "There was credible intel (intelligence) information that it was cross-border activity," said the unnamed sources.

A source disclosed that the Army Chief reiterated Pakistan's demand for action against the TTP chief. "They [Afghanistan] are after him [Fazlullah] and may be quite close," the source claimed. General Raheel told the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, "The enemies of Afghanistan are the enemies of Pakistan. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism." He assured Kabul that Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used against the neighbouring country.

The United States said that it will allow for the first time the widespread export of armed drones to some allied countries as part of its global counterterrorism fight. Armed drones are a cornerstone of Washington´s battle against extremists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, although they remain hugely controversial and opponents say they frequently kill or maim civilians.

February 18

At least four Shias were killed and six others were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during evening prayers at the mosque in Qasr-e-Sakina Imambargah located on Kurri Road in New Shakrial area of Rawalpindi District. The suicide attack was followed by gun and grenade attack. The blast occurred when suicide bomber blew himself up after security officials stopped him from entering the Imambargah.

Jundullah, a splinter group of TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack. Speaking from an unknown location, the 'spokesman' of the group Fagad said that the blast was a reaction to operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency.

The MWM leader Asghar Askari criticised the Government and alleged that it was colluding with militants. "This is the fourth attack [on the Shia community] this Government is a murderous and terrorist Government. We have been lifting bodies due to them," he said, adding that the Punjab Government has given support to these terrorists. In an appeal to Army chief General Raheel Sharif he said, "Zarb-e-Azb should be spread to the whole of Punjab."

The initial investigative report of the February 17, 2015 Police Line blast in Lahore District submitted by IG Punjab Mushtaq Sukhera and Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada to Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, revealed that "the bomber intended to attack a police van or a top police official". As per the investigative report, the bomber and his accomplices inspected the site of the blast hours before the explosion. The Provincial Police Chief confirmed the Police Lines was the intended target. "The bomber wanted to enter the Police Lines but exploded prematurely," IG Mushtaq said.

Two people, including an Ismaili Shia, identified as Karim Hashwani, and his driver, Nawaz (45), were shot dead in a sectarian attack at Ali Garden in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The militants belonged to SSP. Police arrested one of the militants, identified as Hashmi Ishaq, after an exchange of fire while his accomplice, identified as Khalid, managed to escape under the cover of fire.

At least two people, including a worker of MQM, identified as Amir (28), were killed when an unidentified target killer opened gunfire at him and his friend Naveed in North Nazimabad Town.

Police, in coordination with the District Intelligence Agency, arrested more than 50 Afghan nationals in Sukkur District under a security plan chalked out to implement the NAP. According a survey conducted recently, around 9,900 students were enrolled at 226 religious seminaries in the District, said District Intelligence bureau Manzoor Jamali, adding that 98 of them were unregistered institutions. Sukkur SSP Tanveer Tunio said that flags of banned outfits were being removed and graffiti likely to foment sectarian strife was being erased across the District.

Hyderabad Deputy Inspector-General of Police Dr Sanaullah Abbasi while speaking to journalists at the local press club in the District warned all banned outfits against organising any procession, saying that participants in such events would be apprehended. He said the Rangers and Army were partners of Police, who were in the front line. The DIG said that about 50,000 students were studying in religious seminaries functioning within the Hyderabad Police range.

According to a report, at least 116 accused were killed in 464 Police encounters and 330 accused were arrested read-handed during these encounters from January 1 to February 18, 2015. Sindh Police of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad Division arrested 5,428 accused in raids and encounters and recovered arms from their possessions. In addition 175 criminal gangs busted and 15 patharidars were arrested. Those arrested included 2,983 absconders, 450 proclaimed offenders, 11 extortionists, five kidnapers, 15 terrorists, three target killers, 1,609 other accused and robbers, including seven dacoits with head money. Police recovered one G3 rifle, three MP5, seven SMGs, 117 shotguns, 36 rifles, 5,556 rounds, three suicide jackets, two bombs, one rocket launcher, 67 hand grenades, and two detonators from the accused.

Three terrorists and one FC soldier were killed in an exchange of fire during an encounter in Panjgur District. One FC soldier was wounded.

Unidentified militants blew up a water pipeline in Toba Nokahai area of Zahein Loti in Dera Bugti District, suspending water supply to many areas.

SFs arrested 21 suspects from various areas of the Province.

LEAs recovered five PTCL employees during a search operation in Kanu area of Zhob District. Local LEA sources said that the recovered PTCL employees had been kidnapped a week ago from Murgha Kibzai area of Zhob district by unidentified armed militants. They were identified as Sajjad Baig, Muhammad Tahir, Muhammad Nabi, Asad Khan and Muhammad Abbas.

The SFs thwarted a terrorist attack and defused a 15 kilogram explosive device planted by unidentified militant along the main highway on Tank-Tatoor Road in Tank Town of same District.

The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the time had come to eliminate the menace of terrorism from Pakistan once and for all. "It is time to end this menace, and this is why we announced an all-out war against terrorism. We have formed a 20-point agenda to end this menace. Inshallah, we will not rest until terrorism is completely eliminated," he said. The PM strongly condemned the terrorist attack at the Qasr-e-Sakina Imambargah in Islamabad, and extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Referring to recent terrorist attacks in the country, Sharif said that this was a sign that the terrorists were losing strength. "This is a signal that they (the terrorists) are trying to mount a final attack, but we know how much force they have left in them," he said.

A US Congressional delegation was assured that Pakistan had no favourites and the Operation Zarb-e-Azb was against all the militant groups in the NWA of FATA. Talking to a visiting US Congressional delegation led by Senator Jack Reed - a ranking member of the Senate's Armed Services Committee - at the GHQ, CoAS General Raheel Sharif said that TTP's network and other militant groups had completely been dismantled in NWA and a large area had been cleared off the militants. During the meeting, security situation along the Pak-Afghan border also came under discussion and US delegation was told that Pak-Afghan forces were conducting coordinated operations against the militant hide-outs and significant progress had been made in such operations.

The ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa said that the recent spate of terrorist attacks across the country was an attempt to divide the nation. "The recent spates of terrorist attacks are highly condemnable. Our heart goes out to aggrieved brothers and sisters, we stand with them at time of grief," Asim Bajwa said in messages on Twitter. Bajwa's messages came hours after a suicide bomber attacked the Qasr-e-Sakina Imambargah in Islamabad, killing three people and wounding two others. The attacks are "an attempt to create divisiveness amongst nation, which only serves the interest of detractors of Islamic Republic of Pakistan", he said.

February 19

Four TTP militants were shot dead in a Police encounter near a graveyard in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Malir SSP Rao Anwar said that the SHO of Bin Qasim Town Police Station Azhar Iqbal had received secret information that chief of TTP- Sohrab Goth Chapter, Qari Alamgir, was staying in a house there along with his accomplices. "Qari Alamgir was wanted in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal cases," said SSP Anwar. The Police claimed to have seized explosive material, arms and ammunition from their possession. "Eight to 10 bags containing explosive material, a suicide jacket, pistols, submachine guns and hand grenades were seized," claimed SHO Iqbal.

MQM worker, identified as Danish Kaleem (24), was killed while he was sitting at a milk shop in Orangi Town. Iqbal Market Police said that the victim was the member of MQM's medico-legal aid committee. Meanwhile, condemning the killing of MQM worker Kalim in Orangi Town, party chief Altaf Hussain on February 19 said that the neighbourhood has become a hub of al Qaeda and IS terrorist activities, reports The News. In a statement issued in Karachi, Hussain said that thousands of MQM workers have been killed in Orangi Town area. "Orangi Town, Pakistan Bazaar and Chishti Nagar have become hubs of al Qaeda and Daish (IS)," he said.

A gangster, identified as Talha alias Gwadari (24), involved in the killing of three PPP workers, was shot dead in an encounter near Gabol Park in Lyari Town. Gwadari hailed from Gwadar District in Balochistan and was one of the key members of Uzair Baloch gang.

Unidentified gangsters shot dead a man, identified as Naseer Baloch, at Benazir University Road within Kalakot Police precincts in Lyari Town.

Three dead bodies of militants were found in Saran area under the jurisdiction of Mattani Police in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP.

Unidentified militants shot dead Jama'at Ahl-e-Sunnat (JAS) tehsil President, Maulana Mehmood Shah, in Oghi area of Mansehra District in a sectarian attack while he was on his way home after leading evening prayer at Masjid Rizwia.

A landmine explosion killed two people and injured two others in Chahtar area of Naseerabad District.

SFs conducted a raid and arrested eight suspected militants in Sibi District. According to FC spokesman, SFs recovered 24kgs explosives and other weapons from their possession.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced PKR 5 billion development package for Quetta and said that funds should be spent on building roads, improving sanitary system and cleaning the city. Funds to the tune PKR 30 billion would be given for the purpose and international donors would be asked for assistance, he added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while addressing the passing-out parade of first Special Combat Unit in Quetta said that the entire nation was united against terrorism and will definitely win this war as it was a matter of survival for Pakistan's future generations. He said that Pakistan was currently facing serious challenge of terrorism that need to be countered with patience, tolerance, courage and a high state of vigilance.

At least 234 madrassas in Balochistan are being funded by 'brotherly' Muslim countries, said Home Department officials tasked with investigating religious seminaries in Province. "We have collected enough evidence against 234 madrassas accused of receiving financial assistance from foreign countries," an unnamed senior official said, adding, "The list (of these seminaries) has been shared with relevant agencies and departments (the Federal Investigative Agency and State Bank of Pakistan) so that their accounts can be scrutinized and the sources of their funding traced." "But the list will go on," he added.

When contacted, Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Khan Durrani confirmed that various cases have been forwarded to agencies concerned for further investigation, but did not specify the number of madrassas against whom evidence of foreign funding has been collected. However, he revealed that more than 3,000 of the Province's 5,441 madrassas are not registered. "Some 5,330 of the 129, 997students that study in seminaries in Balochistan are foreigners, mostly of Afghan descent," said Durrani.

A member of the team conducting the surveillance of madrassas in Balochistan revealed the names of seminaries in Quetta and Nushki Districts which were receiving financial assistance from Saudi Arabia, Behrain and Iran. These, he said, include Mataul Uloom, Arbia Maftaul Uloom, Anwar-e-Sahaba, Gold Masjid, Dunya Arbia, Jamia Uloom and many others.

February 20

At least five militants and an Army Officer were killed and a soldier was injured when fighting erupted during a cordon-and-search operation in Dattakhel area in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. According to a statement by the ISPR two of the dead militants were foreigners.

Three militants were killed in a clash with Security Forces in Patala area of Kurram Agency.

A man, identified as Mohammad Qamar (30), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Quaid-e-Azam Colony of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in provincial capital Karachi.

An unidentified man was shot dead and a another man, identified as Raja Naeem (25), was injured by near Tipu Sultan signal within the limits of Bahadurabad Police Station in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

One Iqra University student, identified as Javed Haris, sustained injuries after he was set on fire by unidentified assailants in Akhtar Colony area of Jamshed Town. According to Police sources, Javed had been abducted four days ago from Baloch Colony in Orangi Town, but details surrounding his abduction are not yet known. A threatening letter was also recovered from his pocket, warning of similar actions if the military operation did not end.

A bomb weighing 1 kilogramme found outside the residence of local ANP leader, Gul Muhammad Khan, in Bhains Colony of Bin Qasim Town was successfully diffused by Bomb Disposal Squad. ANP Sindh's spokesperson said that Gul Muhammad Khan has been receiving continuous threats from militant outfits.

Shahbaz Rangers claimed to have arrested two TTP militants in a raid on a Karachi-bound coach coming from Peshawar (KP). Sindh Rangers Commander Colonel Abdul Ghaffar said in press briefing at the Shahbaz Rangers headquarters that the 60-Wing personnel on a tip-off carried out a raid on the coach while it was passing through an area near Mirpur Mathelo town of Ghotki District. They picked up two suspected passengers and during the subsequent interrogation it emerged that they belonged to the TTP, said Colonel Ghaffar. The Rangers commander said that they were fleeing to Karachi to escape death in the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb and intended to fly to a foreign country, probably the UAE. Col Ghaffar spoke of some startling disclosures by the suspects during the interrogation but declined to share them with the media at this juncture.

He further said that another TTP suspect was arrested in a separate raid and interrogation with him was under way. "At the moment, we can share the only information with the media that this man was tasked with opening a TTP unit in Shikarpur District to coordinate with the network of international terrorism," the Rangers commander said.

Cantonment Police claimed to have arrested a militant at Shaheen check post in Kohat District and recovered explosives and grenades from his possession. According to a Police official, they were checking vehicles passing through in Cantonment and signalled a van to stop. He added during the search, the militant lobbed a grenade at them and fled. There were no casualties because the grenade failed to explode. Policeman further said they chased and managed to arrest him.

Provincial Home Minister Colonel (retired) Shuja Khanzada said that the kidnapped sons of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and slain Punjab Governor Salman Taseer were being held in Afghanistan. Ali Gilani was abducted on May 2, 2013 during an election rally in Multan District. Shahbaz Taseer was abducted on August 26, 2011 from Lahore District.

Khanzada said the Government was doing its best to secure the safe release of both Gilani and Taseer. He informed the House that 95 per cent of cases of abduction for ransom were being conducted by suspects from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said that Pakistan was prepared for mediation between the Afghan Government and Taliban for peace in the region. The Foreign Office spokesperson said peace and stability in Afghanistan were of great importance. "We believe it is for the Afghan government to lead the efforts for reconciliation in Afghanistan. Any reconciliation process has to be Afghan led and Afghan owned. Pakistan, as a neighbour and as a country that has vital stakes in peace and stability in Afghanistan, is ready to provide whatever assistance we can. We are ready to facilitate the reconciliation process to the extent possible," she said. However, the spokesperson said the mechanisms available would not be made public through the media.

February 21

An abductor was killed while a Sikh trader, identified as Munish Singh, was recovered during a raid in Aamri area of the Chagai District. Three of his accomplices were arrested. Singh was kidnapped from Dalbandin area of Chagai District two months ago.

A 10th grade student of Peshawar's APS succumbed to his injuries at the Combined Military Hospital. The student, Ishaq Ameen was shot in the head and face during the deadly attack on the Peshawar school on December 16, and had been in critical condition since. The death toll of the carnage now stands at 144, with 132 students among the dead, the Deputy Commissioner's office said.

February 22

Two gangsters, affiliated with the Uzair Baloch group, were killed during an encounter with the Police in the mill area within the limits of the Kalakot Police Station in Lyari Town of provincial capital Karachi.

Two Baba Ladla gangsters, identified as Sohail alias Khoof and Shaheryar alias Sherry, were killed during another encounter in Bihar Colony of Lyari Town.

Uzair Baloch gangster, identified as Arsalan Baloch, was killed in Daryabad area of Kalri in Lyari Town.

Eight people were injured when two unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade near Tanga stand in Behar colony of Lyari Town.

Rangers claimed to have arrested a TTP Swat Chapter militants during a targeted raid conducted at the militants' hideout in Metroville area of SITE Town.

In an attempt to move forward to implement the National Action Plan at the Provincial level, the Sindh Government during a meeting chaired by Sindh Home Secretary Abdul Kabir Kazi on February 21 decided to ban establishment of new madrassas and mosques without a prior permission of the Home Department. The Government also decided to build a 'high-security prison' in Jamshoro District within a week for high-profile terror suspects. Other key decisions included repatriation of all Afghan refugees by the year end, proposing legislation for the regulation of mosques and seminaries, recruitment in the newly-established CTD of Police and expediting process of forensic lab facilities in major cities to improve investigation and prosecution.

A child was killed and nine others were injured in a bomb explosion on at Rush Bazaar located on Taj Road in Chaman town of Qilla Abdullah District. DPO Chaman Asad Khan said that a remote controlled bomb fixed to a vehicle parked near a temple exploded.

An eight-inch diameter gas pipeline was blown up by unidentified militants near the Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti District. According to Police, the terrorists had planted an IED near the gas pipeline which exploded, suspending the gas supply to the area.

A four-inch diameter water supply pipeline was also blown up in the Nokani area of Dera Bugti District.

The Nawab Bugti Express narrowly escaped a bomb blast targeting a railway track in Jaffarabad District.

Law Enforcement Agencies recovered arms, including three SMG, two Kalashnikovs, four pistols, two short guns and 250 magazines from Bonistan area of Panjgur District.

One militant was killed while three others were arrested during a clash with SFs near a gas station on the Bannu-Kohat Road in Bannu District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The sources said the personnel of SFs and intelligence agencies were patrolling the area when four militants attacked them with a hand-grenade near the gas station on the Kohat Road, but the soldiers escaped unhurt in the attack. The sources said the soldiers returned the fire in which one of the militants was killed on the spot. Following the attack, the SFs personnel arrested the three other militants during a search operation carried out in the locality.

The KP Police in the ongoing search and strike operation throughout the province against criminals and anti-social elements have rounded up 268 suspects and recovered huge quantity of arms and ammunition.

Two Khassadar personnel were injured when a bomb went off near a checkpost in the Jamrud tehsil of the Khyber Agency in FATA. Those injured were identified Shoaib and Abrar.

Sources in the security establishment said that around four dozen major intelligence-led anti-terror operations are in the pipeline across the country to take out or neutralise enemies of the state, and that these Special Units would lead these operations with the backup of civilian Anti-Terror Task Forces. They informed that normally the secret services provide only information to the law enforcing agencies and paramilitary forces to launch action against the terrorists but their Special Units lead or directly supervise anti-terror operations when high profile targets are involved.

When asked about the target areas of the major anti-terror operations, they declining to share the entire details informed that actions would be launched in parts of Punjab, Karachi, settled areas of KP, PATA of Khyber Agency and parts of Balochistan. They informed that security services have information concerning the movements of high profile targets in KP, Karachi and some of their high value facilitators in Punjab, besides some areas of Balochistan.

A 'spokesperson' for JuD told the media that JuD 'chief' Hafiz Muhammad Saeed's counsel pleading innocence and claiming that the JuD has no link with al Qaeda, Taliban or the Mumbai 26/11 attacks requested the UN chief Ban Ki-moon for lifting of the sanctions. He said attention of the UN was also sought towards some corrective measures which have been taken in light of the UN instructions. "We have also shown willingness for audit of our organisational activities," he added.

While referring to its relief activities across the country, the appeal reiterated that the JuD has no organisational or legal link with LeT, and it is a legal Pakistan-based charitable NGO and all of its institutes and projects are registered in the country. A letter, dispatched by the JuD chief, had already been pending with the office of Ban Ki-moon. The appeal was made through the letter in 2009 to the UN that it had taken a hasty decision in proscribing the JuD, its chief Hafiz Saeed and other members and termed the UN decision detrimental to the interests of Pakistan.

The purpose behind our fresh move is to win clearance or a no objection certificate from the UN while contesting the case on merit, the 'spokesperson' said.

The HRW demanded that the Pakistan Government should immediately order local authorities to stop pressuring registered refugees to return to Afghanistan. "The Pakistan government has an obligation to protect all Afghans in the country, including those not registered as refugees, from harassment and other abuses," HRW said. A recent increase in Afghans repatriating from Pakistan appears related to coercive pressure from local Governments on Afghans to return to their country since the December 16, 2014 Peshawar's APS attack. "Pakistani officials should not be scapegoating Afghans because of the Taliban's atrocities in Peshawar," said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "It is inhumane, not to mention unlawful, to return Afghans to places they may face harm and not protect them from harassment and abuse."

Nine times as many Afghan refugees were repatriated from Pakistan in January 2015 as in December 2014, according to the UNHCR. UNHCR analysis of the returns indicated that a significant percentage of these 3,829 returns were coercive. Nearly all of the refugees returned from three Pakistani provinces - KP, Azad Kashmir, and Punjab - where an increase in arrests, detentions, and evictions of Afghans were reported during the same period. Those registered as refugees possess PoR issued by the Pakistani Government, with the support of UNHCR.

February 23

SFs claimed to have arrested a key perpetrator of the December 16 Peshawar APS terrorist attack during an operation in the Pawaki village under Pishtakhara Police Station in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The ISPR confirmed the arrest of 27-year-old Taj Mohammad from Pawaki. It said that he was the commander of one of the two groups that carried out the APS attack. The militant is said to be a resident of the neighbouring Khyber Agency in FATA. He was living as an internally displaced person in Pawaki. Officials said the militant had confessed to his involvement in a number of terror attacks.

Military courts have been established in Sindh to hear the cases pertaining to terrorism. Two colonel rank officers have been nominated as head of the courts. It has been said that an officer of major's rank will be appointed as the prosecutor. After the process of appointment of officers is completed, the courts of Sindh will begin hearing cases. The Sindh Government and Police officials said that more than 65 cases of hardened criminals and those involved in terrorist activities would be sent to the military courts for trial.

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that operation Zarb- Azb was launched to flush out terrorists and maintain peace in the country. "Foreign elements are involved in spreading terrorism. Temperature on eastern border and working boundary had been increased with pre-plan mission. "We are raising voice at international forum about incidents of terrorism and involvement of a neighboring country in such activities", Khawaja Muhammad Asif said. Pakistan is fully capable to eliminate the menace of terrorism from this area, he added. "We cannot rule out India's involvement or support to Taliban who are spreading terrorism and disturbing peace of Pakistan", he added further.

Pakistan reiterated to show 'zero tolerance' towards terrorist organisations including the ISIS, saying Islamabad was fully cognisant of this looming terror threat. "The ISIS is a globally threatening phenomenon and we are fully cognisant of the situation," Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry told a National Assembly panel. "We would be unsparing if we find a shred of clue about the IS presence in Pakistan," Chaudhry briefed the NA Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that met under the chair of outgoing Senator Haji Adeel. Likewise, the secretary said the supporters, facilitators and abettors of the ISIS or Daish would be dealt with an iron hand.

The PM Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting on the implementation of NAP at the PM House. The PM appreciated the Punjab Government for taking lead in implementing the plan for targeting terrorism and extremism in the country. He asked the other provinces to speed up implementation of this important initiative that has the backing of the entire political spectrum of the country. He said that terrorists were enemies of stability and harmony and every possible step would be taken for ensuring their complete elimination.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs that Pakistan is determined to end terrorism following Peshawar tragedy while Washington is also cooperating with Islamabad in its efforts against militancy. He said that Washington was assisting Pakistan in different sectors, including development, energy, health and education. He said US intends to provide 3.40 billion USD aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

February 24

The District President of ASWJ Molana Sahbir Ahmed Haidri was shot dead in Korangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Waseem (33) was shot dead near Bihar Colony in Lyari Town.

A man, identified as Faizal (40), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Yousuf Plaza in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town

A man, identified as Shahabuddin (20), was shot at and injured near Azmeen Plaza at Shoe Market in Garden area of Saddar Town.

At least one person was killed and seven others injured in an explosion on the Mall Road in Chaman town of Qilla Abdullah District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Bodies of three persons recovered were identified as that of the perpetrators involved in the attack on Peshawar's Bacha Khan International Airport on December 15, 2012. According to sources, all three men belonged to a militant organisation of Khyber Agency in FATA and were among the militants who fired rockets at the Pakistan Air Force base inside Bacha Khan Airport. The bodies, which were found at a nullah in Peshawar's Mattani area, were recognised as that of 'commander' Noor Mohammad, 'commander' Kemya Gul and 'commander' Sher Muhammad - all of whom were wanted for being the masterminds of the fatal attack. The sources also added that the three men were also suspected to be involved in the rocket attacks on the Sheikh Muhammadi grid station near Peshawar which left seven people dead on April 2, 2013.

As Afghanistan moved closer to holding direct peace talks with Afghan Taliban, the US State Department acknowledged that Pakistan too has a stake in the outcome. "In terms of the role of Pakistan, we have long encouraged Pakistan to support (Afghan) President (Ashraf) Ghani's reconciliation efforts," said the Department's spokesperson Jen Psaki, adding "We, of course, remain in support and in contact with President Ghani on these matters as well as certainly countries like Pakistan who have a stake in the outcome."

She said the US continued to support "an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process" whereby the Taliban and the Afghans engaged in talks towards a settlement to resolve the conflict. Asked if the US found Pakistan's role in these talks encouraging, she noted that the Afghan President also had acknowledged this role in his recent statements and in his inaugural address. The United States too had "long encouraged" Pakistan to support a reconciliation process, said the US official, adding that both Afghanistan and Pakistan had "shown a commitment to try to move forward". She however, rejected the notion that the United States too was talking to the Taliban. "There are no direct or indirect talks," she added.

Afghanistan's chief executive Abdullah Abdullah on February 23, 2015 had said that peace talks with the Taliban would begin in the "near future".

The US State Department warned US citizens to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan due to dangers posed by foreign and local militants throughout the country. "The US Embassy in Islamabad and the US Consulate General in Karachi continue to provide consular services for all US citizens in Pakistan. The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar no longer offers consular services and the US Consulate General in Lahore remains temporarily closed for public services," said a statement.

The Commandant of the Khyber Rifles, Colonel Tariq Hafeez, said that Khyber-2 operation against TTP and other terrorist groups hiding in different parts of the Tirah valley of Khyber Agency in FATA would begin next month. Colonel Tariq Hafeez pledged that SFs would now reclaim all areas at present under the control of several outlawed militant groups in Khyber Agency and FATA. "We will not spare anyone and will go after them no matter where they are hiding and will smash their operational structure to reduce their striking capability," he said.

Col Hafeez said that with the arrest of 25 hardcore terrorists, SFs had achieved much of the objectives of the Khyber-1 operation. He said that SFs were now determined to annihilate all anti-state elements operating on Pakistan's soil. Referring to escape of some leaders of Bara-based outlawed groups to Afghanistan, he said that those who were not sincere to their own motherland could not be sincere to anyone.

The United States Embassy in Islamabad denied some media reports that US consulate offices in Peshawar (KP) and Lahore (Punjab) had been closed after a travel advisory was issued by the US State Department. "There have been inaccurate statements in the media characterising the operating status of the Consulates General of the United States in Lahore and Peshawar," said a press statement, adding, "For clarification, US Consulates General Lahore and Peshawar are open but have a limited operational status, which does not include provision of consular services, as has been the case for some time." The statement read, "US Consulate General Karachi continues to provide full consular services, as does the US embassy in Islamabad."

February 25

Anti-Terrorism Court sentenced four TTP militants to death for killing 10 prison staff during an attack on the residential quarters for prison staff in Ichra locality of Lahore District in July 2012. "The court has awarded death sentence to four militants for the 2012 attack on jail staff," special prosecutor Shaikh Saeed said. A court official confirmed the sentences. He added that the convicts were fined Rs1.8 million each.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that 400 foreign students studying in different madrassas across Punjab without local documentation will be deported soon. He added that a list of these students has been sent to the Federal Government. "It's a high-time to end terrorism. It's now or never. All those Afghan immigrants who don't have a permit will also be sent back," he said, adding, "We are importing 1,000 biometric machines which would be linked to the NADRA database and can verify if a person is a Pakistani citizen or not."

The Federal Ministry of Interior said that LeJ was carrying out terrorist activities across the country to get the hangings of its leaders and workers stopped and to secure their release or help them escape. According to the NCMC threat alert issued to the Provinces, militant groups like the LeJ and TTP may jointly carry out terrorist activities. According to a private television channel, the cell has dispatched a letter (threat alert) to the home secretaries of Sindh, Punjab, KP, Balochistan, Provincial Police Chiefs, the IG FC of KP and Balochistan and authorities in PoK and the Gilgit Baltistan region.

"The LeJ is infuriated over crackdown on its activists. LeJ had approached al Qaeda for help but it expressed its inability to do so citing its preoccupation in other areas like Syria and Iraq. LeJ then contacted TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah who not only provided finance to LeJ but also promised to extend further assistance. Now LeJ-Fazlullah nexus is at work in unleashing the wave of terrorism in the country," the letter read. In the letter, the cell claims that terrorists are planning to conduct terrorist activities in the Punjab, most likely in Lahore.

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published said that Kabul must share power with the extremist group Taliban and block Indian influence if it wants peace in the country. He said that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's September inauguration presented a new opportunity for reconciliation between the Government and Taliban and related insurgent groups. "Ashraf Ghani is a balanced man," he said, adding, "I think he's a great hope." Pakistan and India must stay away and avoid engaging in proxy war, he said. He further said that India had provided weapons, training and equipment to ethnic Baloch separatists inside Afghanistan. He said that US and its allies had consistently failed to consider Pakistan's concerns, forcing Islamabad to rely on other militant groups inside Afghanistan to prop up its interests.

He acknowledged that India and Pakistan had been engaged in a long-running proxy war on Afghan soil that fed the conflict. But, he said, his and Islamabad's role in nurturing the Taliban and allied militant groups operating in Afghanistan were a legitimate counterweight against its rival India there. "There are enemies of Pakistan that have to be countered," he said, adding, "Certainly if there's an enemy of mine, I will use somebody to counter him." "The world must realise that we may not like the face of Mullah Omar…but that is how life is, that is what Afghanistan is," said Musharraf. But he said those groups were an instrument to counter India's influence on the ground in Afghanistan and insisted that former US President George W. Bush "knew that I am not playing a double game" with Washington.

Sindh Police received a note from Intelligence Agencies warning a probable terror attack in Karachi. It stated that the terrorists might be in uniform. The number plates of two suspected trucks have also been mentioned. Police have started checking on check-posts.

Sindh Police Chief Ghulam Haider Jamali said that the leader of PAC Uzair Jan Baloch has not yet been produced in court in Dubai, while rejecting reports that he would be extradited to Pakistan within a day or two. "The Police team and a Rangers official have submitted the documents in court which include FIR against him and details of around 55 cases pending in Pakistani courts against him," he said. He added, "We are close to getting the custody of Uzair Baloch."

According to details, Uzair Baloch had fled Pakistan soon after the launch of the Rangers operation in Karachi in September 2013. The Sindh government had sent documents to the federal authorities in May 2014, seeking the issuance of red warrants against both Lyari gangsters Uzair Baloch and Baba Ladla who were said to have fled to Iran, Oman, the UAE or South Africa. The warrants were eventually issued against both Uzair and Baba on June 11 and 12, 2014, respectively. In December 2014, the Interpol arrested him in Muscat and brought him to Dubai. On February 5, 2015, the four-member law-enforcement team left for Dubai after the Federal Ministry of interior ministry directed the Provincial and Federal authorities to complete the PAC leader's extradition within a week.

The Home and Tribal Affairs Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ordered all commissioners and DIG's to expel Afghan clerics from the Province and submit a report over the implementation within seven days. A Home Department source said that there were 294 Afghan Peshimam (prayer leaders) in the Province and their documentation had been sent to relevant commissioners as part of the NAP. Currently, Pakistan hosts 1.6 million Afghan refugees, whom the Government has issued the Proof of Registration cards through the NADRA and thus, legalising their stay in the country until December 2015. The number of unregistered Afghan nationals is said to be between two and three million.

However, the HRW has spoken against the forceful return of Afghanistan refugees from Pakistan, reminding the government of their obligation to protect all Afghans in the country, including those not registered as refugees.

February 26

Two persons were killed and two others were injured in separate incidents of violence in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Bashir (40), a resident of Manghopir was shot dead by unidentified armed men near German School in Orangi Town. Separately, the body of Umer Gul (35) was found dead near Gulzar Masjid. The motive behind killing could not be ascertained. In another incident, Dawood (25) and Zakir (28) of Ghulam Rasool were shot and injured by unknown armed men near Sajjan Goth in Baldia Town.

Police said that 30 kg of explosive material was recovered in Ittehad Town. The Bomb Disposal Squad officials told that 160 rods of 50 gram each were also attached with the explosives.

One prisoner was killed and another was injured in an attempt to escape from Gilgit's District Jail. Police said that the two inmates were involved in 2013 deadly attack that killed 12 tourists at a mountain camp near Nanga Parbat. The dead and injured inmates were identified as Bilal and Dilbar respectively. Police launched an operation in search of two inmates who managed to escape from the detention the facility. Gilgit-Baltistan Home Secretary Sibtain Ahmed has offered cash reward of PKR two million for arrest of the prisoners.

Pakistan's provision of safe havens to LeT will continue to be a key irritant in relations with India, Director of US National Intelligence James Clapper claimed in his testimony on "World Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community" while presenting the report in a hearing of the United States Senate Armed Services Committee. Clapper said in 2015, the Pakistani government will probably focus on diminishing the capabilities of the TTP, which claimed the Peshawar's Army Public School attack on a December 16, 2014.

On relations with Afghanistan, the testimony said, "We judge that Pakistan will aim to establish positive rapport with the new Afghan Government, but longstanding distrust and unresolved disputes between the countries will prevent substantial progress."

A jirga of Sipah tribe of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency of FATA handed over 15 wanted tribesmen to political administration under the policy of the Government to clear the area of militants and restore lasting peace there. A similar number of wanted men out of the total 102 had surrendered to the administration few days ago. So far, 30 wanted men have surrendered to the administration. The Khasadar Force took the surrendered men into their custody and shifted them to an unspecified location for interrogation. The jirga was held at Khyber House.

Some participants of the jirga said that almost all the 15 persons, who offered voluntary arrest, were innocent and had no association with either LI or any other militant group. They said that the administration assured them of 'fair treatment' of the arrested suspects during the interrogation and said that they would be set free if charges against them were not proved.

February 27

Two Shia men, identified as the employees of Qatar Hospital, Saleem Akbar and Ali Haider Rizvi, were shot dead at Ghausia Chowk in Orangi Town of provincial capital Karachi, while they were returning home from their duties.

A leader of ASWJ and a Peshimam (prayer leader) of a mosque, identified as Yaseen, was killed in a sectarian attack at Safoora Chowk next to Johar Complex in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

The Shikarpur Police claimed to have arrested two alleged terrorists, Ghulam Rasool and Khalil Ahmed Brohi, who had given refuge to one of the suicide bombers who had blown himself up at a mosque in an Imambargah (Shia place of commemoration) of Shikarpur District on January 30, 2015. The police also claimed that the two suspects had also planned to attack a protest rally taken out against the mosque bombing incident in Shikarpur. The SSP of Shikarpur, Saqib Ismail Memon, said that Police also recovered a suicide jacket, explosive material and other things from their possession. He said that the suspects belonged to Dera Murad Jamali area of Naseerabad District in Balochistan and were affiliated with a banned religious organization.

A Shia man, identified as Qaisar Hussain, who was working at a pharmaceutical unit in Hayatabad Industrial Estate was shot dead in a targeted sectarian attack in Hayatabad area of Provincial capital Peshawar. A Police official said that Hussain hailed from Asterzai in Kohat District but was residing in Musharraf Labour Colony.

Police foiled separate attempts to smuggle weapons and recovered small arms from two vehicles in Chamkani and Mattani area of Peshawar. Officers tried to intercept a car on the service road near the motorway but the driver sped away, after which police chased it and found the vehicle abandoned by the roadside. One hundred and fifty repeaters and 12 rifles were found hidden inside the car. Police said the fire arms were being smuggled to Punjab.

According to Intelligence sources, of the total 294 Afghan prayer leaders, who are to be expelled from all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa within a week, up to 153 alone have been identified in Peshawar. Intelligence agencies identified the Afghan prayer leaders last month. Their names have been sent to the commissioners and RPOs concerned to expel them within a week. The report also identified those who have acquired Pakistani CNICs.

According to the list, 16 Afghan prayer leaders have been identified in Peshawar city, 40 each in town and rural, 31 in cantonment and 26 on Warsak Road. The areas that were reported clear in the provincial capital included Civil Secretariat, University campus and Hayatabad, where not a single Afghan prayer leader is staying. Among the other Districts, 17 were identified in Charsadda city and 32 in Shabqadar town of the Charsadda District. There were 46 prayer leaders identified in Mardan, 13 in Swabi and five in Nowshera, who are non-locals. Besides, there were eight Afghan prayer leaders identified in Lower Dir two in Malakand district, one in Abbottabad, two in Mansehra, nine in Kohat, two in Hangu and four in Bannu.

Some 53 suspects, among them 43 Afghan nationals, were arrested during a search operation carried out jointly by Police and Frontier Corps personnel in Killi Kheezi and Darwashabad areas of Quetta. Official sources said the FC and Police personnel raided various places on the outskirts of Quetta and rounded up 53 suspects. Afghan nationals were living without legal documents, police said.

February 28

The BDS defused two bombs planted near a girls' college in Yakatoot area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. A Bomb Disposal Squad official said the bombs weighed two kilograms each.

BDU defused a one-kg bomb concealed in cloth in Ganda Nallah of Yakatoot area.

Three terrorists were arrested after exchange of fire with Police in Badhaber area of Peshawar. Arms and hand grenades were seized from their possession. SSP Operations Mian Saeed said that Police launched search operation in Badhaber area. During action, the terrorists taking shelter in the area started firing at Police and tried to flee. Police after a brief exchange of fire arrested all three terrorists, stated to be affiliated with a defunct organisation.

Two TTP militants were arrested in a search operation in Kohat town of same District.

The FC recovered and diffused a 7- kg bomb installed near a gas pipeline in Peer Sehwari area of Dera Bugti District. According to the FC officials, SFs patrolling the area recovered bomb planted near an 8-inch gas pipeline and foiled a terror bid.

SFs arrested a key Jundullah militant, Abdul Salam Regi, from Lak Pass area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, on the morning. Security sources said Regi was planning to launch suicide attacks in Balochistan and Iran.

March 1

Two Afghan Police personnel were killed in a militant attack in Chaman area of Qilla Abdullah District in Balochistan. A senior administration officer in Chaman, who declined to be named, said that six militants on three motorcycles opened fire at the vehicle of Afghan Policemen in Chaman's Bypass area. The assailants sped away on their motorcycles after the strike. The Afghan cops, who belonged to Helmand province of Afghanistan, were en route to Quetta for medical treatment when the attack took place.

Two militants were killed during an exchange of fire with SFs in the Lehri tehsil near Sibi town of Same District. According to a FC spokesman, militants opened fire at the patrolling party of SFs, wounding four personnel. SFs resorted to retaliatory firing in which two militants were killed. Weapons were recovered from the possession of militants.

Unidentified militants blew up two gas pipelines in Pir Koh and Loti area of Dera Bugti District. Explosives placed under a pipeline supplying gas to a purification plant from well number 10 of Pir Koh gas field were detonated by remote control. A separate pipeline supplying gas to the Loti purification plant from well No 12 was also blown up by saboteurs.

The wall of a government-run girls' school and two vehicles were damaged in a bomb blast at Gul Mohammad Kalmati Goth near Murtaza Chowrangi area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Sources said that an explosive device weighing about half a kg was placed near the boundary wall of the School. Two cars parked near the school-building were also damaged when the device containing ball bearings exploded. The school was closed for the weekly holiday. No one was injured.

The KP Police, during the ongoing search and strike operation throughout the province, arrested 257 suspects. Police also recovered 58 weapons of different kind. During snap checking on 134 checkpoints, 200 suspects were held while a total of 46 unregistered Afghan nationals were also detained and 20 cases registered against them. Security inspections of 788 educational institutions were also carried out and various institutions were advised to beef up security arrangements further.

Police in the Federal Capital Islamabad foiled a terrorist attack that aimed to the strike Pakistan Day parade on 23 March. Police sources said that two suspected terrorists were arrested during recent raids and confessed to planning an attack. The terrorists were arrested from Ghouri Town in connection with the attack on the Qasar-e-Sakina Imambargah which occurred on February 19. Sources said the arrested terrorists confessed to planning an attack during their interrogation. A large cache of weapons was also seized from their possession.

Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said that the normalisation of Indo-Pakistan relations is urgently needed to reduce tension on the LoC. "It is premature to predict the outcome of foreign secretary level talks between Pakistan and India scheduled for next week but chances of a decision to resume a composite dialogue are likely either in the upcoming or the follow-up meetings," Mr Aziz said. Mr Aziz said all outstanding issues, including the Kashmir dispute, had been part of agenda for talks with India.

About the recent eight per cent increase in India's defence allocation, the PM's adviser said Pakistan had never been involved in arms race. However, he said, Pakistan would never compromise on availability of conventional weapons for its armed forces. Answering a question that foreign policy was being controlled by the army chief, the PM's adviser said: "Harmony between political and military leadership is essential for national security which is an integral part of country's foreign policy. It is not possible to implement the priorities on security issues without coordination with the armed forces." Mr Aziz said the time of blame game between Afghanistan and Pakistan was over.

At least six criminals were injured during a clash between Lyari-based gangsters associated with Sheraz Comrade group and the Jabbar Jhengu group at Aath Chowk in Lyari Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. 

March 2

A child, identified as Rasheeda (2), was killed and seven others were injured in a hand grenade attack on Mirza Adamkhail Road in Lyari Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a meeting with Ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan Janan Mosazai in Islaambad said that relations with Afghanistan had undergone qualitative transformation since the Government took over in 2014. He said Pakistan hopes that the process of peace talks within Afghanistan would speed up and reach a successful conclusion soon. He expressed satisfaction over the increased security cooperation between the two countries and said the recent visit of CoAS General Raheel Sharif proved quite helpful in streamlining important matters. He was also pleased over the first meeting of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Business Council that would be taking place in the next few weeks to attract international investors to both countries.

PM Nawaz approved of the appointment of a focal person for following up implementation on the decisions taken during inter-ministerial meetings with Afghanistan on daily basis. A similar focal person would be appointed from the Afghan side as well, a PM Office statement said.

Pakistan has deported around 2,000 unregistered Afghans after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, said an unnamed security official. According to the sources, “Pakistani authorities have clearly conveyed to the Afghan Government that around three million refugees are posing grave security risk and it is now working to send back non-registered Afghan refugees at the earliest to minimise these risks.” These sources said that after the approval of the NAP the Provincial Governments have been directed to arrest illegal Afghans and deport them immediately.

“It has been clearly conveyed to Afghan authorities that around all the three million refugees will be repatriated by December 2015, and meanwhile no action will be taken against the registered refugees,” the sources said, adding, “it has also been conveyed that action is only being taken against those Afghan refugees who have not got themselves registered properly.”  The sources said that Intelligence Agencies have proof which was handed over to the Afghan authorities that there are unregistered Afghans who are involved in terrorist activities and crimes, creating law and order problems in Pakistan which cannot be tolerated anymore.

The UAE Department of Justice issued three objections regarding the extradition of PAC leader Uzair Jan Baloch to Pakistan. The Pakistan Embassy is currently working on efforts to resolve the objections and progress with the process of extradition as soon as possible. Baloch will be presented in Dubai prosecution on March 5, 2015.

Pakistani officials were optimistic that they would get custody of Baloch following a local court decision, however, no decision was reached. Following the hearing, Baloch was taken back to prison under high security. Uzair Baloch was presented before the court under security of UAE Special Forces. The defendant has secured one of UAE’s top lawyers to argue his case and has reportedly paid AED 500,000 in fees.

A report compiled by the KP Provincial Government, titled 'District-wise details of Madaris', revealed that 145 madrassas in the Province fall in the 'highly sensitive' category. It states that of the 3,010 seminaries in the terror-hit province, 26 per cent are unregistered. It also reveals that in the KP region, 57 per cent of the Category B (highly sensitive) madrassas are in Tank District, which has a total of 123 madrassas.

KP Information Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani said the Government will not tolerate unregistered madrassas in the Province. Speaking of which, Ghani said that KP Home Department has already been notified to take action against such unregistered seminaries. The Provincial Information Minister further informed that only those foreigner students, whether Afghan or other nationals, will be allowed to study who possess proper legal documents. “Action will be taken against illegal foreign students,” he asserted.

The FATA FDMA decided to tentatively send back families of the IDPs from 29 villages of NWA and Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency by the end of this month. However, officials associated with the repatriation program are still skeptical about the dates announced. Moreover, the UN, one of the main stakeholders, has not yet been given permission by the UN Department of Safety and Security and has sought more time to seek a NoC from its headquarters in New York, as North Waziristan remains a “no-go area” for its staff.

The FDMA DG briefed officials about the situation in North Waziristan and March 31, 2015, was decided as a tentative date to send back people from 29 villages of Mir Ali subdivision of the Agency. Around 12,000 to 13,000 registered families from these villages will be sent back in Phase 1 of the repatriation process from an embarkation point set up at Mirzail check post in FR Bannu.

An unnamed senior official said, “The task seems to be a tough one, based mostly on wishes and prayers,” said the official, adding there will be difficulties during the process, mostly security-related. “There is a plan, but the situation is not entirely feasible for its implementation.” According to the official, the FDMA will provide transport grants of PKR 10,000 to each family through mobile SIMs as well as repatriation cash grant of PKR 25,000 through ATM cards. Moreover, UNICEF will hand out hygiene kits among the returning families and the World Food Program will provide six months of ration. However, what remains a major concern for the returning families is the destroyed infrastructure.

March 3

Unidentified militants opened indiscriminate fire at the DPO Sherani Muhammad Shakir's vehicle in Spira Ragha area of Loralai District, killing three Policemen and injuring the DPO. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

SF conducted a search operation and arrested eight suspected militants from Uch area of Naseerabad District. The SFs recovered arms and ammunition from their possession. The spokesman for FC said that the militants were involved in attacks on SFs and vital national installations in the area.

FC conducted a search operation and arrested four suspects from Mughtian area of Pishin District. SFs recovered four Kalashnikov’s from their possession.

SFs foiled a terror bid by defusing a landmine in Kohlu District.

Three dead bodies of suspected persons were found dumped on the road that linked Gulshan-e-Hadeed with the Superhighway in the Dhair Sharif area near Quaid-i-Azam Public School in Memon Goth area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Memon Goth SHO Jan Mohammed Ahmdani said, “Sporting long beards, the men looked like Pakhtuns or Afghans.” “The killing appeared to be very recent as fresh blood stains were found there,” said Sub-Inspector Wazir Ali Channa.

Security Forces arrested four TTP militants, including 'commander' Lal Sher, during a raid in the Chapri Naryab area of Hangu District. Weapons and bombs were also recovered from their hideout.

The Police arrested 46 suspects and seized weapons during search operation in Manglawar area in Swat District.

The US CENTCOM Chief General Lloyd Austin while testifying before the Congress’ House Armed Services Committee on US CENTCOM’s posture said that tensions between the two nuclear-tipped neighbours, India and Pakistan, affects regional stability and directly impacts Pakistan’s strategy in Afghanistan. General Austin said that “Tension between Pakistan and India also continue to threaten regional stability and largely drives Pakistan’s regional strategy, especially as it relates to Afghanistan,” adding, “Our desired end-state is a stable sub-region characterised by a low risk of conventional or nuclear war, with regional states committed to non-interference with respect to their neighbors’ internal affairs, the denial of sanctuary for Violent Extremist Organistaions (VEOs), and the non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).”

He said that they had made substantial progress in efforts to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan over the past year. “The US-Pakistan military-to-military relationship continues to improve. Key contributing factors are our Foreign Military Financing (FMF), international military education and training, and the Coalition Support Fund.” “We also prioritised our security cooperation at the Defense Consultative Group Conference with the goal to help Pakistan to build additional capacity in support of their counter-insurgency and CT operations and other common objectives.”

Further, he said that while militants were present in the border areas, Pakistan had been taking action against them. “Violent extremist organisations, to include the remnants of core al Qaeda, continue to operate in Pakistan’s FATA and, to a lesser extent, parts of eastern Afghanistan.” He added that these groups threaten regional stability, plan attacks against the US and partner interests, and pursue WMD with Taliban insurgency continuing to present a credible threat to the Afghan Government.

“We are encouraged by (Pakistan) leaderships’ commitment to counter-insurgency operations in the FATA and openness to improve relations with Afghanistan,” he said, adding, “The Pakistani military’s recent operations to clear militant strongholds in North Waziristan and other FATA regions and to prevent the militants’ return have achieved near-term successes. However, Pakistan will likely continue to face the threat of VEOs for the foreseeable future.”

During a roundtable organised by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani said that a formal announcement on outlawing the Haqqani Network it still under consideration. “These are the kind of issues that are in the works, I would say,” Jilani said, when asked on a timeline for a formal announcement on the subject.  Earlier in January 2015 Pakistani officials had said that Islamabad had decided to outlaw the militant group and that a formal announcement would come “within weeks."

Jilani told reporters that as US troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan’s eastern border, they had seen increased militant activity, adding that a slower drawdown “would be viewed very positively in Pakistan.”  He added that Pakistan has had to depute more soldiers on its Western border, boosting numbers from 145,000 to nearly 177,000 in a bid to control cross-border militancy. This has meant fewer troops were available for carrying out an offensive in North Waziristan Agency of FATA.

Former Federal Minister Lieutenant General (retired) Abdul Majeed Malik has disclosed in his book Ham Bhi Wahan Mojod Thay (I was also present there) that former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf kept former Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the dark while carrying out the Kargil Operation in 1999.

He has written that at the time of Kargil Operation, General Kayani was heading 12 Division that was responsible to guard Kashmir. However, General Musharraf did not keep Kayani in the loop, who later opposed the operation. He said Musharraf was entirely responsible for the operation and he did not even brief the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif about his plans. He has disclosed that General Musharraf called his Chief of General Staff from China to seek details of the briefing given to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Kargil Operation – a briefing that was tapped by Indian intelligence agencies. It was a grave breach of security to discuss such a sensitive issue on telephone call, Malik wrote.

Pakistan’s military leadership reviewed prevalent internal and external security situation of the country including progress of ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb at the 180th Corps Commanders' Conference, held at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and chaired by CoAS General Raheel Sharif. The meeting dwelt at length on various professional matters. The participants also under took a comprehensive review of operational preparedness besides prevalent internal and external security situation of the country including progress of ongoing operation Zarb-e- Azb.

Pakistan and India agreed to end the tension on the LoC and Working Boundary and narrow down the differences in “a spirit of friendship and cooperation”. Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi after one-on-one and delegation-level talks with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry. This was the first interaction between the two sides after 2012. The Indian foreign secretary handed over a letter from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Nawaz Sharif. Nawaz welcomed the meeting between the two foreign secretaries in Islamabad and hoped that the process would continue. He underlined the importance of enhanced cooperation among the SAARC member states.

Pakistan said when both the countries were ready, future meetings could be planned by remaining in contact. Bilateral and regional issues, including those of common concern like Jammu and Kashmir, Sir Creek, Siachen Glacier, water issues, tension at the LoC and Working Boundary and terrorism, found place in the discussions held at the Foreign Office. “Both sides raised concerns and this visit is an ice-breaking development,” commented the spokesperson at the Foreign Office. Jaishankar said that the talks were held in a constructive and positive atmosphere, where he reiterated India’s concerns on cross border terrorism, including on the Mumbai case and emphasised that ensuring peace and tranquility on the border was vital.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that it was important to establish good neighbourly and cooperative relations between India and Pakistan. Nawaz said this was consistent with his vision of a peaceful neighbourhood in South Asia. He expressed confidence that the talks between the foreign secretaries of the two countries would result in charting the way forward in their bilateral relations. The PM said both the countries needed to open a new chapter in their relationship by working towards resolving their outstanding issues through dialogue, said a press release issued by the PM Office.

March 4

Two persons, including the General Secretary of ASWJ, identified as Dr Muhammad Fayaz, and his driver, were killed when unidentified militants opened fire at his vehicle near Paracha Chowk in Sher Shah locality of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A senior Shia lawyer, who was also a counsel for several activists of the MQM, identified as Advocate Ali Hasnain Bukhari, was shot dead by two unidentified militants in Korangi Town. A MQM spokesperson said that Bukhari was a party worker and added that the killing was the fourth incident of its kind during the past week. The MQM Rabita Committee condemned the incident and said in a statement that the killing of party workers had become routine.

Lyari Town traders protested outside the Sindh Assembly against the deteriorating law and order situation in their neighbourhood, including extortion and threats from Lyari gangsters. Major markets and bazaars in the area remained shut as traders and residents held the protest. Shopkeepers from Jhat Pat Market, Gharib Shah Market, Chakiwara Market, Kumbharwara, Green Timber Market and goods transporters shut their business for the day to demonstrate against extortion and threats.

A gas pipeline was blown up in Zainkoh area of Loti in Dera Bugti District. According to Levies sources, an explosive device was detonated under the pipeline, suspending gas supply to a purification plant from well No-7. “A several feet long portion of the 18-inch diameter pipeline was destroyed,” the sources said.

The KP Police, during the ongoing search and strike operation throughout the province, arrested 425 suspects. According to a press release, during snap checking at 129 checkpoints, 314 suspects were held and 17 arms of different kind and 209 cartridges of different bore were also recovered. During action against unregistered Afghans, a total of 38 people were detained and 31 cases registered against them. Similarly, hate martial was also seized and one case registered against the accused.

A Pakistani national, identified as Abid Naseer (28), was convicted on US charges of conspiring with al Qaeda to bomb targets in Europe and the US. Naseer was found guilty by a Federal Jury in Brooklyn for providing material support to al Qaeda and conspiring to use a destructive device. Naseer remained expressionless as the jury returned the verdict after less than two days of deliberations. He faces life in prison.

US prosecutors said Naseer led an al Qaeda cell plotting to bomb a shopping center in Manchester, England, in April 2009. The proposed attack was one of three plots affiliated al Qaeda cells were working on, along with attacks against the New York City subway system and a Copenhagen newspaper, prosecutors said.

Naseer was convicted nearly six years after he was first arrested in a British anti-terrorism operation. While British authorities never charged Naseer, he was later indicted in the US and extradited in 2013. Naseer represented himself at trial. Representing himself in the trial, Naseer, a self-described semi-professional cricket player, denied any affiliation with al Qaeda or any plot. His court-appointed legal adviser said he would appeal.

Prosecutors said Naseer, who wrote in coded emails, using women’s names for bomb ingredients and describing the attack as a wedding. Prosecutors used never-before publicised documents seized from the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as part of their case against Naseer and testimony from British MI5 officers who conducted surveillance on him.

Security around the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in provincial capital Lahore was put on high alert by Police after the University received a threatening letter from the militant group Islamic State (IS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS). The letter threatened to attack the University with a suicide attack or a series of bombings, according to a Police Officer. UET public relations officer Dr Tanvir Qasim confirmed the letter had been received via posted mail from an unidentified source. However, he said the contents of the letter were unknown to him. UET sources claim the letter was received on March 4 from unknown sources claiming to be from IS, threatening to attack hotels and the university campus after which security within the UET campus was put on high alert.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Lahore Dr Haider Ashraf said security around the university has been increased with increased patrolling and checkpoints. However, he added that the letter could be a hoax, but this can only be ascertained after an investigation. Ashraf said till then, the threat would be taken seriously.

Four militants who escaped in the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) jailbreak on February 26, 2015, had brainwashed prison officials into helping them successfully escape, BBC Urdu that spoke with the investigation team said. During the jailbreak, one prisoner was shot dead while another was injured, whereas two managed to escape successfully.

Following the incident, authorities rounded up three head wardens, five wardens, one FC official, one Police Official and a dispensary in-charge. A member of the G-B jailbreak investigation team said that the prisoners had developed close ties with jail officials posted outside their barracks. They told them their reasons for taking arms against institutions and individuals who opposed their ideological viewpoint.

The officer said that the investigation also showed that the prisoner’s aides were also in contact with jail officials and “took care of their needs.” It was also learnt that jail officials who were taken into custody were on duty outside the prisoners’ barracks continuously for the past three months. It was therefore established that security arrangements were deliberately kept lax at the jail premises so that the prisoners could escape easily.

The investigators said on March 1 that it was the fear of being sentenced to death by a military court that spurred the four militants to risk a jailbreak. In his statement to the police, an injured Dilbar, who was among those attempting to escape from Gilgit District Jail, said he and his accomplices were certain of a death sentence. “This forced them to risk their lives,” said one of the unnamed investigators.

March 5

Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in Islamabad that the terrorism is a menace that any country alone cannot fight and required cooperation of all countries. The Spokesperson said menace of terrorism is a problem that affects everyone, particularly this region.  She said Pakistan has suffered the most and it has done more than any other country to counter terrorism and we expect similar role from other countries. She said there are reports and also investigations about the number of incidents took place in India.  She also added that it is not a good approach to immediately blame others, on terrorism incidents.  First investigations should be conducted.

March 6

Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti while addressing a press conference at Frontier Corps Madadgar Centre at Khoila Pathak said that SF foiled a bid to sabotage the Pakistan Day celebrations and arrested three suspects, recovering a huge cache of arms from their custody from Hazar Ganji area of Provincial capital Quetta and from Chaman area of Qilla Abdullah District. The Balochistan Home Minister said that following a tip-off the forces launched a search operation in the said areas and recovered the arms and explosive material. “We arrested three militants from Chaman, possibly having links with TTP, and some from Hazar Ganji area of the provincial capital, having links with the banned religious and nationalist organisations,” he said.

Bugti said militants are working for other countries and involved in the killing of innocent people. He said they were planning to execute an attack on March 23, 2015, but the SFs arrested them after successful operations. Many militants, he claimed, have moved to the tribal areas of Balochistan, especially the Pashtun belt after the operation Zarb-e-Azab against militants’ hideouts in North Waziristan, adding that however there would not be any place for them to hide.

According to  a statement issued by the ISPR, one TTP militant, identified as Sargana Rasool Khan, was arrested in an information-based operation (IBO) carried out by SFs near Sarai Naurang in Bannu District. The ISPR statement added that Rasool Khan was involved in terrorist activities across the Province and the FATA. The SFs also recovered three fake passports, 100 CNICs and a cache of arms from his possession.

The US State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said that US was encouraged by Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar’s visit to Pakistan on March 3, 2015, in a sign of thawing relations between the Islamabad and New Delhi. She said that the US welcomed the visit. “We certainly were encouraged that they (India and Pakistan) decided to resume dialogue,” Harf stated, adding, “Both India and Pakistan stand to benefit from practical cooperation and an improved relationship.” She added that better ties would be “good for regional peace and stability in South Asia” “In general, obviously, we (US) think cooperation is a good thing.”

The team of four law enforcers who have been in Dubai for the past one month for the extradition of PAC leader Uzair Jan Baloch might have to return quickly as their visas are about to expire, AIG Ghulam Qadir Thebo said. The team, led by SSP Naveed Khwaja, left for Dubai on February 5, 2015, after the Federal Ministry for Interior directed the Federal and Provincial authorities to conclude Uzair Baloch’s case within a week.

So far, the leader of the proscribed group has not appeared before a judge in Dubai, though the authorities sounded positive that the four-member team of law enforcers could “very soon” get his custody from the UAE court. “We have done everything on our part. And at the moment we fear that the Police team’s visa might expire soon that might delay the process,” the Karachi Police Chief said, adding that they were “well equipped” to deal with the PAC leader’s case in Dubai as they had submitted all the evidence and case details to the authorities and were awaiting his appearance in the court and a judgment.

The DIG Sanaullah Abbasi while speaking to journalists at the CPLC office in Hyderabad District of Sindh said that extrajudicial killings and other actions cannot be justified officially but society has come to accept this ‘modus operandi’ of Police to eradicate crimes and make streets safer. “It is not necessary for an encounter to be seen as genuine only if a Policeman loses his life in it. You can see Police have restored peace and order in the city (through this modus operandi)…,” he said.

Asked if ‘half fry and full fry formula’ used by policemen to refer to a particular treatment meted out to arrested suspects in proportion to severity of their crimes, did not amount to extrajudicial actions, the DIG said he could confidently say that society had come to accept the ‘formula’. The terms ‘half fry’ and ‘full fry’ are commonly used by police to mean if officers are convinced the arrested suspects are involved in crimes they will be shot in the leg to render them disabled before sending them to jail. It had gained notoriety during the tenure of SSP Farid Jan Sarhandi.

SSP Irfan Baloch who was also present at the briefing said that over the past three months, 73 suspects were arrested after they fell injured in encounters with Police. “Remember, none of them [suspects] can obtain bail. We have made a strong case to ensure they were denied any chance of getting bail,” he said.

The Government of Pakistan lifted an unannounced ban on executions in all cases other than terrorism since that has already been implemented in the aftermath of December 16, 2014, Peshawar school attack. The Federal Government has informed PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan and all four Provincial Governments in this regard. According to the order by the Federal Ministry of Interior, over 1,000 convicts would be hanged across the country.

March 7

Two TTP militants were killed in a Police encounter in the area behind the new Sabzimandi off the Superhighway in Sohrab Goth locality of Gadap Town. Malir SSP Rao Anwar identified one of the deceased TTP militants as Shahzad Ali. He had been arrested in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in murder and other cases and sent to the Dera Ismail Khan prison from where he had escaped along with 174 other inmates during July 30, 2013 jail break. The Police claimed to have recovered two pistols from their possession.

The Chief of Pakistan Army staff General Raheel Sharif visited the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar where he was briefed on progress made in the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb and Khyber-1 operations. The Army Chief was also briefed on the security situation in KP and FATA.

March 8

Three TTP militants were shot dead and one Policeman was injured in retaliatory firing in Manghopir area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. According to details, Police party on its routine patrol on Ijtimahgah road near Medina restaurant came under attack by suspected militants. ASI Imran got wounded in the attack, said Manghopir Police Station SHO Ghulam Hussain Korai. The police returned fire and killed three militants, while their three accomplices escaped. The Police claimed to have seized a Kalashnikov and two pistols from their possession.

Three Lyari-based gangsters, identified as Abdul Rehman, alias Lamba, alias Goinda Alishan, alias Shan and Subhan, alias Grenade, were killed during a targeted raid conducted by Police on a suspected hideout of gangsters in Jatoi Para in Baghdadi area of Lyari Town. “They were involved in 30 cases of killing, extortion and kidnapping,” said City SSP Fida Hussain. The dead belonged to the gang of Kamran, alias Kamo Laasi.

The paramilitary force killed two alleged abductors, identified as Ziarat Gul and Amir, during an intelligence-based targeted raid in Mussarat Colony of Liaquatabad Town. The raid was conducted on information about the presence of suspects allegedly involved in short-term kidnapping-for-ransom cases.

At least 200 suspected persons, including 40 Afghan nationals, were arrested in search and strike operation in the Kohat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The sources said the Police and other law-enforcement agencies launched door-to-door search operation in Jangalkhel, Oblan, Cantonment, Ghamkol, Refugees Camp and Rawalpindi Road. Arms, including two hand-grenades, eight pistols, 12 guns and hundreds of cartridges, were seized from them.

The FC Balochistan detained three suspected militants and recovered weapons from their possession during a search operation in parts of Dera Bugti District.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz while addressing the 6th Think Tanks Forum of Islamic Countries in Islamabad said that all the issues between India and Pakistan need a comprehensive dialogue process, as there is a lack of trust between the two countries. The Adviser said Pakistan wants to resolve all the issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachin, Sir Creek and other disputes with India through dialogue process.

He further stated that the Pakistan Government and the Army are on the same page on ties with China, India and Afghanistan, adds The News. He said the Muslim Ummah (community) needs to join hands to face the challenges of extremism and terrorism with a view to improve the perception of Islam and to settle political disputes.

The FDMA began registering about 3,000 displaced families to be sent back to parts of South Waziristan Agency. The authority’s coordinator, Omar Mehsud, said the return journeys of the families would begin on March 16 after completion of the registration process. A facilitation desk has been set up in the office of the political agent in Tank where those wishing to return are being registered. He said the registration process would continue for three days and families hailing from Sarwakai and Sararogha tehsils, adjacent to Frontier Region Tank, would be sent back to their homes.

The authority in collaboration with political administration has identified six villages in Sarwakai and 10 villages in Sararogha where these 3,000 families of Mehsud tribe would be rehabilitated. Around 70,000 families of Mehsud tribe were forced to leave their homes when Security Forces launched Operation Rah-e-Nijat against the TTP in June, 2009. However, a large part of the region dominated by the Mehsud tribe is still considered as a conflict zone, which is delaying the return of IDPs to those areas. Displaced families have been residing in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but a large number of them have also moved to Karachi and Hyderabad.

The Police arrested three Afghan nationals for extortion in Abbottabad town of same District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and recovered the money they had taken from a local trader. Ejaz Ahmed, in-charge of Counterterrorism Department of Abbottabad Police, said that Haji Sultan, a businessman, informed Mir Pur police that he had been receiving telephone calls from unknown miscreants demanding PKR 10 million as extortion from him. The official said the Police in a raid on a restaurant on Mansehra road arrested three Afghans identified as Shafiullah, Ibrahim and Amanullah presently residing in Afghan refugee camp in Haripur. PKR 300,000 extortion money and three pistols were recovered from them.

Iran announced it will send a delegation to Pakistan to seek the extradition of Jaish al-Nasr 'commander' Abdo-Sattar Rigi, who Tehran claims was arrested by Pakistani Security Forces last week. However, the officials in Islamabad said that it was Jaish al-Adl head Abdul Salam Rigi and not Abdo-Sattar who was arrested while travelling on Taftan-Quetta highway in Balochistan. “So far, a delegation has not been sent to Pakistan to pursue the case,” Iran’s Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaqari said. “[But] we have asked the Foreign Ministry to make the necessary arrangements,” he said. “If the Pakistani Government agrees, a delegation will be sent to pursue the case of Abdo-Sattar Rigi,” the Minister added.

Earlier on March 4, 2015, Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced Tehran was carrying out legal procedures to extradite Abdo-Sattar. “Based on laws, Pakistan should also cooperate with us in the extradition [of Abdo-Sattar],” he said. The statement came after the chief of the Interpol bureau in Iran, Brigadier General Massoud Rezvani, announced that Abdo-Sattar Rigi had been arrested in Pakistan. “Based on our information, he is [Abdolmalek] Rigi’s cousin, and a red alert has been issued for him,” Rezvani said. But officials in Islamabad said that the suspect arrested was Salam Rigi, a cousin of Jundullah 'chief' Abdolmalek Rigi, confirming reports circulated by Pakistan’s media. According to the reports, Salam was arrested after security forces intercepted the bus he was travelling in some 50 kilometers from Quetta. Iranian officials, however, maintained that it was Abdo-Sattar Rigi who was arrested. They claimed he was carrying Salam’s ID card at the time.

March 9

Four TTP militants, including 'chief' and deputy chief', were killed and three SFs were injured during an encounter conducted by Police and Rangers in Sector 10 of Surjani Town in Gadap Town of provincial capital Karachi. The injured included two Rangers personnel and one Police constable, identified as Usman. Police claimed to have seized a suicide jacket, two grenades and four pistols from their possession. According to officials, Tariq Khan alias Chota Abid, said to be the 'chief' of the TTP's Khan Sajna group in Karachi, was killed along with his 'deputy chief' Rehmanuddin alias Lala, Amjad Khan and Sardar Rab Khan.

An unidentified man shot dead near Madina Hotel in Manghopir area of Gadap Town.

One Mousa (50) was shot at and injured near Madina Bakri in Nai Abadi area of Baldia Town.

A man, identified as Abdullah (40) was shot and injured near Mezail Chowk in Ittehad Town of Baldia Town.

The IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali while speaking to journalists at a reception hosted by Shikarpur SSP Saqib Ismail Memon said that the Sindh Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies were making joint efforts to curb terrorism and other criminal activities including kidnapping for ransom and extortion across the province in general and Karachi in particular. He said action was being taken against all terrorists and criminals without considering their political or religious affiliation. He claimed that a remarkable reduction in heinous crimes was noted after launching of operations in Shikarpur, Karachi, Hyderabad, Jamshoro and other areas.

Sindh Police chief during a press conference held in the office of the Sukkur DIG said that the law and order situation in Karachi had registered a significant improvement due to the Rangers-led operation, which would continued until lasting peace was restored to that city.

Two Policemen, identified as ASI Sultan Muhammad and constable Ejaz Ahmed, were killed by unidentified militants while patrolling a neighourhood in Batao area of Nushki District.

A woman, identified as Shahari Sawali (70), was killed in IED explosion on main Oshab Road in Turbat District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Diamer local Police arrested 31 Afghan nationals, including women and children, for staying illegally in the District and sent them to Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Diamer Superintendent of Police Rauf Qaiserani said that the arrested Afghan nationals had been shifted to a refugee camp in Peshawar. Earlier, Gilgit-Baltistan Government had ordered all Afghan nationals living in Diamer District to leave the region voluntarily, or they would be shifted to refugee camps in KP.

He also said that Police accompanied by Diamer Deputy Commissioner Usman Ahmad also conducted search operation in Chilas District jail and recovered cell phones, knives and other instruments from prisoners. He said that jail officials had been directed to step up security at the jail.

The Islamabad High Court upheld the death sentence of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, and struck down terrorism charges. Qadri was a bodyguard of Taseer and was convicted of shooting him dead in Islamabad on January 4, 2011. Anti-Terrorism Court handed down double death sentences for murder and terrorism to Qadri in late 2011. He appealed the sentences, but IHC upheld the murder sentence - though it struck down the sentence for terrorism. Judges Noorul Haq Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui dismissed the appeal over the murder charge. But they also set aside Qadri’s conviction on terrorism charges, which means it is highly unlikely he will be sent to the gallows any time soon.

Qadri’s lawyer Mian Nazeer said they had not yet decided about appealing the Supreme Court, but were pleased with the ruling on the terrorism charges. “We have got relief by this decision. Charges against Qadri under provision seven of Anti-Terrorism Act have been dropped,” Nazeer said.

Several religious parties staged a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club in support of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, whose death sentence was upheld by the Islamabad High Court. Speaking to the protesters, ST leader Mohammed Shahid Ghori said they would be compelled to take an extreme action if the decree was implemented. He said that the support extended by some lawyers to him showed that the killing of the former Governor was correct. JUP leader Qazir Ahmed Noorani said that those who had called Qadri a terrorist would be taken to task.

A senior Afghan lawmaker warned President Ashraf Ghani about relying on Pakistan to help broker peace talks with the Taliban, citing what he said was Islamabad’s history of supporting the insurgents. “I am in support of peace and stability in Afghanistan, but I don’t have much faith in Pakistan’s honesty over peace talks,” said Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament Fazil Hadi Muslimyar, adding, “President Ashraf Ghani must have a guarantee from Pakistan that if the Taliban enter into negotiations, Pakistan will not use other militants as proxies [to fight against Afghanistan]."

A former National Security Adviser in the last Government, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, said that he supported the peace initiative, but also had concerns about Pakistan’s role in the process. “Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agency are the forces behind the Taliban, and that prevents me from being hopeful,” Spanta said.

According to authorities, the Islamic State (also known as Daish or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -ISIS/IS), has significant presence in Pakistan through a website managed by terrorist group TTP. Amid confusion and a struggle to remove a legal lacuna to deal with cyber crime-related issues, relevant authorities have been reluctant to block the terrorist groups’ propaganda website — which, according to security analysts, is being used as a launching pad for expansion into Pakistan by the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

At present, a cyber crime wing in the FIA and a vigilance cell in the PTA exclusively deal with such violations. However, officials in these wings are not ready to block the website, citing judicial and administrative hurdles. The website contains verses from the Holy Quran, jihadi songs, statements in support of sectarianism and propaganda material against the Security Forces. It also has pictures of slain TTP 'chief' Hakimullah Mehsud and 'incumbent chief' Mullah Fazlullah.

Referring to the controversy, a senior official in the PTA, Abdul Samad, said that a NGO, Bolo Bhi, which works for to protect rights of internet users, took the authority to the Islamabad High Court, which restrained the Inter-Ministerial Committee from functioning. The Committee decides if a website should be accessed or blocked in Pakistan. Bolo Bhi’s counsel Babar Sattar argued that the workings of the Committee had been non-transparent and dubious. He maintained that policy is not a law through which websites had been blocked.

State Minister for Information Technology Anusha Rehman said that the cyber crimes bill 2015 (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill) is being thoroughly reviewed in order to make it consistent with the NAP. This is so that it can cater to the growing needs of the drastically changing and challenging scenario in the wake of an increase in terrorism in the cyber space, said Rehman.

Islamic State (also known as Daish or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -ISIS/IS) supporters have launched their own version of Facebook, named ‘Khelafabook’. The homepage of the social networking site shows the map of world with an IS logo over all continents. However, Khelafabook, which resembles Facebook, is currently down. The message on the site’s main page reads that the site has been temporarily shut down to protect the identity and information of its members.  The site claimed that it is an independent organisation and is not sponsored by the Islamic State. The purpose of launching the website is to allow the group and its supporters to communicate after numerous pro-IS accounts were suspended on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, a message on the site read.

According to a study conducted by the Brookings Institution, at least 46,000 Twitter accounts are linked to supporters of the lS. The study found that even though many accounts were suspended by the messaging platform, the number remained high. “From September through December 2014, the authors estimate that at least 46,000 Twitter accounts were used by IS supporters, although not all of them were active at the same time,” the report said.

In order to step up action against hardcore criminals and militants, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police have established three zones of the CTD with an immediate effect to cover almost all areas of the province. The CTD was earlier known as the DCT, which would only gather intelligence information and pass it to the Districts and other units of Police force for further action.

According to a Police Department notification issued on March 8, the decision of establishment of three zones was taken to harness the activities of CTD and bring conformity in its action against outlaws in the province. Each zone will be supervised by an officer of the rank of SSP/SP. The zone-1, to be called northern zone, will consist of all Districts of Hazara and Malakand regions, while central zone (zone-II) will include the Peshawar and all Districts of Mardan region. All Districts of Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan regions will be part of the Southern Zone i.e zone-III.

It was stated that now coordinated efforts would be made against the militants, kidnappers, extortionists and target killers hiding in the far-off areas of the province. The statement added that the CTD personnel arrested 93 alleged hardcore criminals, which included 49 terrorists, eight kidnappers, 29 extortionists and seven target killers in operations conducted during the last fortnight in different parts of the province. It said that the terrorists also included a commander of an outlawed outfit involved in different bomb blast attacks. The CTD also recovered a big cache of arms and ammunition from the arrested outlaws.

March 10

Four TTP militants and a Policeman, identified as Constable Said Muhammad, were killed, while six Policemen, including a DSP, sustained injuries in an exchange of fire that continued for more than three hours in Shewa village of Razaar tehsil in Swabi District. The militants used hand-grenades in the clash. Heavy gunfire was also reported in the clash.  Two of the militants were identified as Salman and Bilal belonging to Shewa village while the identity of others was being confirmed. The Government had already fixed PKR 2 million head-money over 'commander' Salman.

Unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade at the residence of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Revenue Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur in Cantonment Police area of Dera Ismail Khan District. Gandapur belongs to the PTI. However, no casualties were reported. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

The CTD, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, officials said that they arrested two suspected militants, identified as Subhanullah and Rafiullah, from Peshawar. The two were shifted to an unknown place for an interrogation. He said that the militants were involved in the attack on the office of a Government Department at Torkham border and the other Rafiullah was the ringleader of a kidnapper’s gang.

Judge Saleem Jan Khan of a local ATC acquitted two suspected militants, Naeemullah Khan and Niaz Mohammad, arrested by local Police for possessing explosives and intending to carry out terrorist activities. He pronounced the order observing that the prosecution didn’t prove charges against Naeemullah Khan, a resident of Bajaur Agency of FATA and Niaz Mohammad, a resident of Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The prosecution alleged that the accused were arrested by the police on November 6, 2014 in Achini area in the jurisdiction of Sarband Police Station, Peshawar. It added that the Police recovered six hand grenades during the body search of the two. An FIR was registered against them by the CTD under Section 5 of Explosive Substance Act and Section 7 of the ATA. Shabir Hussain Gigyani, lawyer for the defence, said his clients were falsely implicated in the case and that the two were taken into custody by an Intelligence Agency few weeks before the registration of the case against them.

At least two Policemen, identified as ASI Riyasat Ali and head constable Saeed, were shot dead and another constable, identified as Jahangir, was injured when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at their van stationed near Rimpa Plaza on M.A Jinnah Road in Saddar Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The attackers shot both the victims in head using 9mm pistols, said Raja Umer Qatab, the head of the Anti-Terrorism Cell of the CID.

Head constable Shakeel was killed and another Mujahid was injured when unidentified militants opened fire on them near Pakistan Chowk in Aram Bagh area of Saddar Town. Officials said that initial investigation revealed that the suspected attacker waited for the Policemen to arrive before he opened fire on them. "From the initial investigation, it appears that both incidents were carried out by the same group," said DIG South Abdul Khaliq Sheikh.

Two persons, identified as Nasir Baloch and Saddam Sudeer Baloch, died in Police custody under mysterious circumstances in Turbat District. According to a senior official the suspects were arrested on the night of March 9, 2015 form Sangani Sar area of the District. They had been locked up inside the guard room, not the legal or authorized detention place. Nasir Baloch hailed from Panjgur District while Saddam Sudeer Baloch hailed from Turbat District.

Unidentified armed militants opened fire at an unidentified Levies official in Maizai Addah area of Quilla Abdullah District, killing him on the spot.

A Levies Constable, identified as Amanullah, was shot dead by unidentified militants in Sanjavi area of Ziarat District. The attackers managed to escape unhurt from the spot. No outfit claimed responsibility for the two attacks.

A District And Sessions Court in Islamabad issued a bailable arrest warrant for former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf in the 2007 murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Ghazi Abdul Rasheed. Rejecting all four applications of the suspect, Additional District and Sessions Judge Wajid Ali Khan issued a warrant for him because he had failed to appear in court for his hearing. Musharraf’s counsels have been trying to avoid a court appearance citing ill health and security fears. They had also challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter, maintaining that the case was pending in the Supreme Court and a hearing should not be conducted until the apex court’s verdict.

In the first application the counsels had said the Additional District and Sessions Judge had no jurisdiction to hear the case and it should be sent back to the judicial magistrate. In the second plea they had requested the Court to defer the case until the apex court’s verdict in the Lal Masjid case. The third application stated that the court could not summon Musharraf because the Police had placed his name in the second column of the charge sheet submitted in the court. In the final plea the legal team had maintained that Musharraf could not appear before the court because of security threats and ill health.

Issuing the warrant, the Court directed the Police not to arrest Musharraf if he assured through surety bonds that he would appear in court for the next hearing to take place on April 2, 2015.

According to a new interactive infographic unveiled by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that was founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists, Pakistan had about 120 atomic weapons, 10 more than India, in its nuclear arsenal in 2014. The Nuclear Notebook Interactive Infographic provides a visual representation of the Bulletin’s famed Nuclear Notebook, which since 1987 has tracked the number and type of the world’s nuclear arsenals. Having reached a peak of over 65,000 in the late 1980s, the number of nuclear warheads has dropped significantly to a little over 10,000, but more countries now possess them, it shows.

According to the infographic, the US and Russia both have about 5,000 weapons each. France has 300, China possesses 250, the UK, 225 and Israel 80. North Korea has only conducted nuclear tests in the years 2006, 2009 and 2013. “I don’t think people truly understand just how many of these weapons there are in the world,” said Rachel Bronson, Executive Director of the Bulletin.“The Interactive is a way to see, immediately, who has nuclear weapons and when they got them, and how those numbers relate to each other. It is a startling experience, looking at those comparisons.”

Files recovered from slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad (KP) reveal that the Prime Minister’s brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, sought to strike a peace deal with the TTP through al Qaeda. The files were revealed in terror convict Abid Naseer’s trial by a Brooklyn jury on March 4, 2015. One of the files is a letter written by Atiyah Abd al-Rahman (Mahmud), who was then the 'general manager' of al Qaeda, to Osama bin Laden (identified as Sheikh Abu Abdallah) in July 2010. The letter reveals a complicated nexus involving al Qaeda, TTP, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and the ISI.

According to one letter from Rahman, one of bin Laden’s top deputies, dated July 2010, Bin Laden was informed that Shahbaz Sharif wanted to cut a deal with the TTP, whose leadership was close to Bin Laden. The Government “was ready to reestablish normal relations as long as [the Pakistani Taliban] do not conduct operations in Punjab.” Attacks elsewhere in Pakistan were apparently acceptable under the terms of the alleged proposal.

Rahman’s letter stated that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif initiated negotiations with the militant group. In the letter, Rahman informed TTP commanders Hakeemullah Mehsud and Qari Husayn that Shahbaz Sharif “sent them a message indicating they [the government] wanted to negotiate with them, and they were ready to reestablish normal relations as long as they do no conduct operations in Punjab.” Rahman clarified that the deal was limited to the “governmental jurisdiction” of Punjab and did not include Islamabad. “The government said they were ready to pay any price…and so on,” the letter states.

According to a report, based on information available from December 24, 2014 to March 8, 2015, presented to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on March 10, the Government, since the launch of the NAP to rid the country of extremism and terrorism, has so for executed 24 criminals, while the Law Enforcement Agencies have arrested about 26,000 suspects on different charges across the country. The report states that 14 people have been executed in Punjab, seven in Sindh, one in KP and two in PoK.

The report states that the Security Agencies conducted 24,844 combing operations all over the country. Of these, 13,288 operations were conducted in Punjab, 4,252 in Sindh, 5,456 in KP, 66 in Balochistan, 393 in Islamabad, 1,252 in PoK, 54 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 83 in the FATA. The report states that under the NAP, security agencies arrested 2,519 criminals from Punjab, 4,854 from Sindh 14,165 from KP, 3,427 from Balochistan, 728 from the Islamabad Capital Territory and nine from PoK, 18 from GB and 176 from FATA and the remaining from some other areas.

According to the data, around 6,408 Afghan refugees have been deported, including 4,887 from KP, 798 from Balochistan, one from Islamabad, two from GB and 720 from FATA, whereas 328,034 have been registered.

March 11

SFs claimed to have killed seven militants during a search operation in the Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti District. FC spokesman said that seven militants involved in blowing up gas pipelines and targeting SF were killed during the operation. The SFs also recovered rocket launchers, IED, bombs and other weapons were from their possession.

One MQM worker, identified as Waqas Ali Shah, was killed during a Rangers led raid in at Nine-Zero, the headquarters of MQM in provincial capital Karachi. He was the member of the party's Central Information Committee. However, Karachi Police Chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo refuted the claims and said that Waqas was not killed by the Rangers. MQM leader Aminul Haque claimed dozens of party workers had been picked up by the Rangers. “Rangers opened fire killing one of our workers, Waqas Ali Shah, and wounding a cameraman from a private news channel,” he added.

Many towns in interior of Sindh shut abruptly after enraged workers of the MQM took to the streets in the wake of a predawn raid its headquarters. In Hyderabad, angry youths burnt tyres on roads in units No-8 and 10 of Latifabad. The party’s women workers also held a demonstration in unit-7 of Latifabad. A partial strike was observed in Sukkur against the Rangers’ raid. A complete shutter-down strike was observed in Mirpurkhas against the raid as all shops and shopping centers remained closed.

Two unidentified dead bodies were found from Link Road area near Super Highway in Bin Qasim Town.

A man, identified as Abdul Majeed (50), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Lyari General Hospital in Lyari Town.

A man, identified as Mueenuddin (40), was shot at and injured near Paracha Roundabout in Shershah area of Kiamari Town.

One Saeed (42) was injured in firing incident near Choona Depot in Liaquatabad Town.

A man, identified as Najeebullah (25), was shot at and injured near Banaras Chowk on Manghopir Road in SITE Town.

The CTD arrested two TTP militants after an exchange of fire near Hub River View Road Paracha Chowk in Kiamari Town. The terrorists are expert of laying landmines and they have been shifted to undisclosed destination for interrogation.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the raid on MQM headquarters was lawfully conducted by Rangers. In a statement, he said that the raid was carried out on intelligence report, adding that taking action within the ambit of law was the responsibility of Police and Rangers. The Minister said that the MQM itself demanded the ongoing targeted operation against criminals in Karachi. He said that the prime minister had granted the permission of carrying out the Karachi operation after the Cabinet’s approval. Chaudhry Nisar said all political parties were taken into confidence over the action, adding it was agreed upon that political affiliations would not come in the way of the operation.

An ATC issued the black warrants of death row prisoner Saulat Mirza. Mirza is an MQM activist and is expected to place at 5:30am on March 19, 2015. Mirza was sentenced to death by an ATC in May 1999 for murdering the managing director of then named Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Shahid Hamid, his driver Ashraf Brohi and guard Khan Akbar in July 1997.

Two extortionists allegedly demanding PKR1 million from a trader, identified as Muhammad Ali, in Charsadda District were arrested form Majoki area of the District. A security official is also said to be their accomplice. Ali, who runs a medicine business, told Prang Police some extortionists were calling him and demanding money. Ali also provided Police with the number from which calls were being made. After receiving the complaint, Police started investigating the case. Prang SHO Imran Khan said they conducted a raid in Majoki area and arrested two extortionists, Attaullah and Fahim. During initial investigation, the accused disclosed the name of their accomplice, Nadeem, who is a security official deputed in Mohmand Agency of FATA.

The TTP extremists in FATA have long exploited local grievances in order to sustain their activities, said US Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall during her presentation on the long-term US strategy for combating terrorism at the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. She argued that weak and unpopular Governments also create feelings that encourage terrorism.  She noted that over the past 13 years violent extremist movements had diffused and proliferated, despite continued efforts to eliminate them. “Increasingly, they have sprung from within conflicts worldwide. And they have exploited grievances and divided societies in order to further their own aims,” said Ms Sewall. “Weak, illegitimate, and repressive governments inadvertently created opportunities for terrorists to capitalise on popular resentment.”

She argues that in a repressive setup, extremists “make common cause” with local insurgents, the discontented and criminal networks, and operate in poorly governed territory. In the Pakistan-Afghanistan region, TTP has long exploited local grievances in the tribal belt in order to sustain itself, she said.

A Pakistani man, Jahanzeb Malik, was accused in a deportation hearing in Ottawa of plotting to bomb the United States consulate and financial buildings in Toronto. Jahanzeb Malik, who came to Canada as a student in 2004 and was granted permanent residency five years later, was arrested by a Federal Police Anti-Terror Squad on March 9, 2015. Rather than file charges, authorities took him before an Immigration and Refugee Board to seek his deportation to Pakistan, officials said.

At the hearing, the CBSA alleged that Malik planned “to build remote controlled bombs to blow up the US Consulate and other buildings in the financial district on Toronto.” He also was alleged to have hoped to make a video of the attack “to encourage others to do the same,” according to a summary of the case provided by the Immigration and Refugee Board. The CBSA told the board Malik confessed the plot to an undercover Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and tried to “radicalize” the officer who had befriended him “by showing him videos apparently of ISIL beheadings.” He also allegedly took weapons, combat and landmine training in Libya, and told the officer he was “a personal friend of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the slain al Qaeda leader in Yemen.” Public.

Police issued a list of 110 most wanted terrorists belonging to various banned outfits and the top ten terrorists on the list were allegedly involved in high-profile suicide attacks, besides sectarian violence. One of the most wanted terrorists, Matiur Rehman, was involved in the attacks on former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and suicide bombing on Sheraton Hotel, Karachi. He carried PKR 10 million head money.

Mansoor alias Choota Ibrahim Hasan and Qari Ehsanul Haq alias Shahid were also involved in the suicide attack on Pervez Musharraf on December 25, 2003, in Rawalpindi District of Punjab. PKR five million rewards had been announced for their arrest. The head money on Ikramullah, who was associated with Baitullah Mehsood group and involved in the suicide attack that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi, is PKR 2 million.

PKR five million rewards was announced for providing information leading to arrest of Rana Mohammad Afzal, who belonged to the Masood Azhar group of the TTP. He had close links with al Qaeda’s Arab 'commanders'. 

March 12

Six BRA terrorists were killed and a huge quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered on the second day of the operation carried out by the FC in Pir Koh area of Dera Bugti District. Around 1,000 troops backed by helicopters took part in the operation. “Security forces have killed at least 13 militants who were hiding in the gas field when they refused to surrender,” said a FC spokesman Manzoor Ahmed. There was no loss on security forces side, he added.

Provincial Home Minister Sarfraz Bugti said the militants were members of the BRA. “We have evidence that they were members of the BRA and were terrorists,” he said, adding, “We took this action for peace in the region and we will act against the miscreants wherever we get information about them.”

Two persons were killed and eight others were injured during firing at a checkpoint jointly manned by the Police and Army near Gora Qabristan on University Road of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the morning. Cantonment SP Rana Umar Farooq said that an attacker armed with a TT Pistol fired at a sentry manning the post. “It was rush hour and the check post was crowded with lots of vehicles so a passer-by was killed along with the attacker while eight others sustained injuries.” The SP said the identity of the deceased attacker was yet to be established as no ID card or any other document to identify him was found. “He walked to the check post and did not come in any vehicle,” Farooq informed.

A triple murder convict, Muhammad Siddique, was hanged till death in District Jail Toba Tek Singh. Siddique was convicted for killing three men who were hooting at a theater dance performance in 2004. The convict was a security guard at the theatre. It was the first ever hanging at the Toba Tek Singh District Jail, functional since 2007. ATC, Faisalabad had found him guilty of murders and awarded death sentence six times to the convict on May 16, 2005. The convict had submitted appeals before the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which were rejected subsequently. President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain had also rejected his mercy petition. Following the rejection of mercy appeal, the ATC had issued his death warrant.

The TTP splinter group JuA confirmed, that two of its key ‘commanders’, Maulana Shakeel Ahmed Haqqani, alias Qari Shakeel, and Dr Tariq Ali, alias Abu Obaidah al-Islamabadi, had been killed along with two other men in Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. In a statement released, the group’s ‘spokesperson’ Ehsanullah Ehsan blames the ISI for their deaths and he warned that the group will exact revenge. Maulana Haqqani was a key commander of JuA who the authorities blamed for high-profile attacks in Mohmand agency of FATA.

Islamabad High Court ordered the release of LeT 'commander' and alleged mastermind of November 26, 2008 (26/11) Mumbai (Maharashtra) terror attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, declaring his detention illegal. The notification which was issued by Islamabad’s District Administration was termed as null and void by Justice Noorul Haq. Lakhvi’s lawyer Rizwan Abbasi had put forth arguments pertaining to the case, objecting that all of the statements related to the case were in Hindi language.

The Islamabad Deputy Commissioner had issued Lakhvi’s detention orders under the Maintenance of Public Order on December 18, 2014 immediately after he was granted post-arrest bail by an ATC). Since then it has been extended thrice.

The PM Nawaz Sharif said that the terrorism is the common enemy of Pakistan and Afghanistan, requiring common endeavors to get it defeated. “Pakistan is determined to eliminate terrorism at the earliest by exploiting all available resources. Building stable and cooperative relations with all the countries in the region, including Afghanistan, is part of our vision of a peaceful neighborhood and region,” he said while talking to Afghan Minister for Refugees and Repatriation Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, who called on him at the PM House.

Nawaz said with the change of leadership in Afghanistan, the two countries had started a historic new phase in their bilateral relations, agreeing to overcome the past and building a forward-looking relationship based on mutual trust. “Our focus is on enhanced political engagement, security and counter-terrorism cooperation, trade and economic partnership, and regional cooperation. Both the countries have paid a very heavy price at the hands of terrorism and now we have launched the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, which has broken the backbone of terrorist network in the country,” he said. “We have a commitment not to allow territories to be used against each other,” he said, adding, “Pakistan is in favour of an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process.”

The COAS, General Raheel Sharif, said fleeing terrorists will be chased and eliminated as there was no place for them to hide now. The Army Chief reaffirmed the commitment to eliminate all terrorists and rid Pakistan of all types of terrorism. The COAS, who along with Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, visited the North Waziristan Agency in FATA and said that the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb would not stop till the job was finished.

They reviewed the progress of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb and future operational plans besides meeting troops, Director General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa tweeted on the social media. During the briefing, they were informed that a new level of unity had been achieved during the Operation Zarb-e-Azb while efficacy of air power with ground operations was appreciated. Terrorists are being chased and hit and there was no place for them to hide, they were told. The COAS directed all the commanders and civil agencies to prepare a plan for dignified return of IDPs. The return will commence on March 17 from the SWA and on March 31 from the NWA.

Appreciating the Sindh Rangers for their commitment to restore normality in Karachi, provincial capital of Sindh a day after they raided the MQM headquarters Nine-Zero, Corps Commander Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar said that  the ongoing targeted operation will continue till the elimination of the last criminal and target killer, reports The News. He said the operation should continue till the port city was purged of terrorists and criminals.

In a detailed briefing, Deputy General Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar informed the Corps Commander that the operation was conducted on March 11, 2015, after confirmed information about the presence of alleged criminals, target killers and anti-social elements along with a heavy cache of arms and ammunition. He said the Rangers, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s orders, arrested the absconding criminals sentenced to death for their involvement in targeted killings, while prohibited weapons were recovered from the Khursheed Begum Memorial Hall and surrounding offices and houses.

The statement further maintained that those arrested, including the 26 alleged target killers wanted for more than 50 killings, were presented before an ATC, while 27 others were designated in various FIRs. “Preventive detention as well as joint investigation of individuals is also being procured. The arrested individuals as well as the seized weapons would be handed over to the city police,” it said.

The LI led by Mangal Bagh has merged itself into the TTP under a reorganization planned by militants. According to a statement issued by JuA ‘spokesman’ Ehsanullah Ehsan, the reorganized TTP would consist of members of his group, LI and the remaining of the TTP. The head of the new set-up was yet to be named, he added.  The TTP disintegrated last year after a group led by Omar Khalid Khurasani based in Mohmand Agency revolted against Mullah Fazlullah and formed his own faction with the name of JuA.

Ehsanullah Ehsan congratulated what he called “Mujahideen of Pakistan” on the unification of militant groups. He said the decision was taken at a meeting attended by Mullah Fazlullah, Omar Khalid Khurasani and Mangal Bagh. Ehsan said an organising committee had been formed to constitute a central supreme Shura and an organising body. Militants announced the unification at a time when SFs are making significant gains against them in military operations in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency which were once considered their strong bastions.

March 13

At least 48 TTP and LI militants were killed and several others sustained injuries when PAF fighter aircraft targeted their hideouts in Kukikhel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. The sources said that Khajuri, Akakhel, Shalobar, Malikdinkhel, Kamarkhel, Qambarkhel and Sepah areas in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency had been cleared of militants.

At least three gangsters, linked with Baba Ladla group and identified as Mohammad Hassam, Azhar alias Buddha, and Waseem Ahmad, were killed in retaliatory fire after the suspects opened fire on the Rangers in Rexer Lane of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. A Rangers official was injured in the exchange of gunfire. They were involved in 23 different cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping-for-ransom. The criminals had been running their network for over four years, said a Rangers spokesman.

Rangers arrested 17 suspects as they carried out a search operation in residential apartments located in Gulistan-e-Jauhar Block 18 of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

Several religious parties staged a sit-in organized by Tanzeemat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat, an alliance of several parties representing the Barelvi School, at the Numaish traffic intersection on M.A. Jinnah Road in Jamshed Town against the Islamabad High Court decision to uphold the death sentence of Malik Mumtaz Qadri in the then Punjab Governor Salman Taseer murder case. The protesters demanded that the conviction of the self-confessed killer be reviewed.

At least 58 suspects belonging to the MQM arrested from Nine Zero on March 11, 2015, were presented in an ATC, which granted remand of 32. Faisal alias Faisal Mota, who was sentenced to death in the January 13, 2011, in the murder case of journalist Wali Khan Babar was also among the 58. Also, the ATC granted custody of Faisal Mota, Nadir Shah, Shabbir Mullah, and Amir Ali to Paposh Police on remand till 25 March, 2015. Additionally, Police have requested the remand of 26 suspects for 14 days.

Unnamed official sources stated that the Rangers’ raid on MQM's Nine-Zero headquarter is said to have seriously dented the alleged militant wing of the political party as the initial interrogations reveal that those arrested include head of the MQM's militant wing and a set of most dangerous target killers associated with the party. According to sources the ammunition seized from Nine-Zero include US and German weapon together with a M4 rifle that is clearly embossed “Property of the US government” and lots of bullets used by NATO. These sources claim that the MQM leader Amir Khan, arrested during the raid, faces serious charges and alleged to have strong connection with the target killers and others, involved in heinous crimes, but arrested during the raid.

MQM leader Wasay Jalil strongly denied that the MQM ever had any militant wing. He spoke high of Amir Khan and dubbed him as patriotic and law abiding citizen. About the weapons recovered, Jalil said the party did own weapon but all the arms and ammunitions were licensed.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while addressing the 87th passing-out parade of the Sindh Police Saeedabad Police Training College in Baldia Town said that the ongoing targeted operation was launched in consultation with the MQM and it had yielded positive results with regard to elimination of terrorism, targeted killing, kidnapping-for-ransom and extortion. He said the country was passing through a crucial period and routine life in Sindh, Karachi in particular, had been virtually paralysed due to terrorism and lawlessness. He said that targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom, extortion and terrorism had emerged as a big challenge for the government. He claimed that the result of the government’s effective strategy and coordinated performance of the police and Rangers was evident from the fact that now there was not a single case of kidnapping-for-ransom, traders were not receiving any extortion slips and targeted killing had become almost nonexistent.

Two more death row prisoners, identified as Akhtar and Muhammad Sajid, were executed in Faisalabad Central Jail. Akhtar and Sajid, had been found guilty in separate offences of murder. ATC, Faisalabad had awarded death sentence to Akhtar in 2001. He had intruded into a house on December 10, 1999 and attempted to rape a woman. The culprit also stabbed to death the father-in-law of the victim named Manzoor, who had offered resistance to the culprit. The appeals of the convict had already been rejected by the Lahore High Court and the Supreme Court. His mercy appeal was also turned down by the president.

The other death row convict, Muhammad Sajid, had killed a woman Khursheed Bibi and wounded her husband Azhar, on March 12, 2000, over a personal feud. He was awarded death sentence by an ATC court in Faisalabad, on March 30, 2001. Sajid's petitions were also turn downed by the superior courts and his mercy appeal had also been rejected by the President.

The Islamabad High Court cancelled a detention order against LeT 'commander' and alleged mastermind of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks (also known as 26/11) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, paving the way for his release. Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi ordered that the petitioner be released immediately if he was not required in any other case. According to details, an ATC granted post-arrest bail to Lakhvi against PKR one million sureties on December 18, 2014. Later, the Federal Government detained him under the Section 3 of MPO, which was extended on January 18 and February 18 to 30 days each. Lakhvi had challenged his detention orders, making the Federation of Pakistan as respondent through the Ministry of Interior and ICT administration. Justice Qureshi noted that the respondent’s apprehensions about the release of the petitioner were not substantive. “The allegations leveled have neither been substantiated by any material as required by the court nor the same have been appended to the reply submitted by the respondents,” said Justice Qureshi in the judgment.

Soon after the court’s decision, New Delhi summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit to lodge a strong protest against the release orders.  Abdul Basit informed India that the trial of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was continuing and the judicial process should be allowed to take its course. “He may have been granted bail but as you know the trial continues we are all working to complete the trial. Let the judicial process take its course,” Basit said.

On the other hand, Pakistan's Foreign Office also summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner to lodge protest for what it said unnecessarily highlighting the issue of release of Lakhvi, reports The News. A Government official said instead of creating hype and projecting the case in the media out of proportion India should behave diplomatically and express concern in diplomatic norms. The official while giving details of two important incidents, 2008 Mumbai terror attack and 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings, urged India to allow the judicial process to be completed.

The US said that it was closely monitoring developments in Pakistan related to the release orders of Lakhvi. “We are monitoring reports that an IHC judge suspended detention orders for the alleged Mumbai attack mastermind,” US State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki said, adding, “For now he remains in prison.” She said that the US hoped Pakistan would keep its commitment to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, but declined to speculate on the outcome of the ongoing legal process. “The Government of Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators – financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment,” said Psaki. “Pakistan is a critical partner in a fight against terrorism. We've certainly seen these reports (of a court granting bail to Lakhvi), but we can't speculate on the outcome of an ongoing legal process,” she added.

The authorities have decided to shift 20 high profile prisoners from Central Jail Gilgit to different prisons in Punjab in the wake of February 27, 2015, jailbreak in Gilgit-Baltistan. Sources said that three prisoners involved in June 22-23, 2013, Nanga Parbat massacre were also among the 20 inmates, who would be shifted to Punjab jails.

An unnamed official said that after the jailbreak incident Gilgit Police failed to arrest the runaway prisoners. “At least 900 security personnel are taking part in the search operation to trace the runaway prisoners,” he added. Currently 100 prisoners, including 20 sentenced to death by Anti-Terrorism Courts, are kept in the Gilgit jail.  He said that the administration feared another jailbreak incident. “Despite security threats and challenges in the region, it is difficult to shift under-trial cases of terrorism from Gilgit-Baltistan to other areas of the country as appearance of witnesses in the courts in these cases is not easy due to long distance and security issues along Karakorum Highway,” he said.

An unnamed Police Official of the investigation wing said that the Lahore Police has received the geo-fencing information of the suicide bomb blast outside Police headquarters at Qila Gujjar Singh in Lahore District on February 17, 2015, which revealed that attackers were receiving instructions from militants in Afghanistan. The official said that after the bomb blast the Joint Investigation Team carried out the geo-fencing of the crime scene which revealed that the terrorists had been in the Qila Gujjar Singh area for two days and were in contact with an outfit in Afghanistan from whom they were taking directions. “The target of the terrorist was the Police lines which they failed to target with perfection,” he added. He added that 11 alleged terrorists are in police detention and we are interrogating them.

The Provincial Police Chief confirmed that Police Lines was the intended target. “The bomber wanted to enter Police Lines but exploded prematurely,” IG Punjab Mushtaq Ahmad Sukehra said. After failing to get into the Police Lines, the bomber detonated the explosives strapped to his body in front of a nearby multi-storey building that had offices of travel agencies.

Almost 275 schools in KP are non-functional due to a lack of staff, land disputes and security issues, revealed a report compiled by Government and NGOs working for education in the Province. According to the report, 15 schools are closed or non-functional in KP’s Nowshera District, 17 schools in Mardan District, seven in Swabi District, seven, including five girls’ schools, in Peshawar, 40 in Mansehra, 37 in Swat and 14 in Buner District. Likewise, 23 schools are closed in Haripur, 20 in Upper and Lower Dir, eight in Bannu, four each in Dera Ismail Khan, Kohat, Shangrila, Tank and Karak, eleven in Hangu, two in Chitral, six in Battagram and three in Torghar.

According to the documents, as compared to the 115 boy’s schools, more than 160 girl’s schools, including primary, middle and high, are non-functional across the province. According to the Education Department, more than 3,000 educational institutions were destroyed in earthquakes, floods and acts of terrorism in the Province. It also said that majority of these schools have no boundary walls.

March 14

One person was killed and four others sustained injuries in an explosion in Orangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Rescue sources said the blast took place near Birohi Hotel, however, the nature of the explosion was not ascertained yet.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Abbasi unveiled a programme for the return of IDPs of three tribal agencies. The programme will be implemented from March 16. Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Abbasi said in the first phase 40,500 families would go back to SWA, Khyber Agency and NWA. The Government would pay Rs 25,000 in cash and Rs 10,000 as transportation cost to each household. He said payment of cash grant to over 300,000 displaced families and compensation for damaged houses required PKR 80 billion, adding that some foreign donors had shown willingness to contribute in this regard.

Sardar Mehtab termed the dislocation of a large number of people from FATA “a great human tragedy.” According to the breakdown, 2,500 families will return to Sarwakai and Sararogha tehsils of SWA, 20,000 to Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency and 18,000 to Mir Ali tehsil of NWA. Repatriation to SWA will start on March 16, to Khyber on March 20 and to NWA on March 31. Villages and tehsils, where displaced families would return, have been identified. The Governor said 29 such villages in Mir Ali and Akakhel tribe- dominated area in Bara tehsil had been identified for the return process.

The NADRA has verified 310,729 IDP families from FATA. After the launch of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, 101,788 families had left NWA and 86,107 had shifted from Khyber Agency in 2014. As many as 66,978 families had moved from SWA in 2009 and since then they are waiting for return to their homes. In reply to a question, the Governor said around 125,000 people of NWA had taken refuge in Afghanistan but most of them had returned to Pakistan via Kurram Agency. The authorities are facilitating tribal people coming back from Afghanistan.

The Corps Commander Lieutenant General Hidayat-ur-Rehman said that terrorist group Daish (also self-styled as the Islamic State) poses no threat to Pakistan. General Hidayat said that there was no need to fret about Daish or its potential emergence in the country. General Hidayat rejected the notion that the terrorist group was silently spreading across the country, saying that the Army and Security Forces were in control of the situation. “For us it’s just a change of name, and there is no need for Pakistanis to worry. There are several defections in the Taliban now, which are becoming part of Daish. But we’re well aware of the situation and are able to tackle them effectively,” he said.

March 15

At least 15 persons, including 13 Christians and two Policemen, were killed and more than 70 were injured when two suicide bombers attacked two churches near Youhanabad neighbourhood in Lahore, sparking mob violence in which two other militants were killed. Youhanabad is home to more than 100,000 Christians, said officials. TTP-JuA claimed responsibility for the attack.

Thirteen dead bodies of tribesmen were found in the deserted mountains of the Shaktai area of South Waziristan Agency in FATA. Sources said that the bodies were found by local people in the past couple of days. Malak Saeed Anwar Mahsud told Dawn by phone from Shaktai that the deceased hailed from Mandaw village and belonged to Abdalai and Jalalkhel clans of the Mahsud tribe. 17 tribesmen of Mandaw village had been missing after a search operation conducted by SFs from February 12-15 in the Shaktai area. Four of them were still missing. 

The Police recovered and defused a home-made bomb, which was stuffed in a gunnysack and placed on a roadside in Gomal area of Tank District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. A heavy contingent of Security Forces and Police reached the spot after the locals informed the Police about the gunnysack, which had been placed on Tank-South Waziristan Road. They said a home-made bomb, 7.5 kilogram, was recovered from the gunnysack, which was defused by the officials of the bomb disposal unit.

At least five Rangers officials were injured when 30 unidentified militants opened fire using automatic and semi-automatic weapons on the Basari check post on Karakoram Highway near Diamer-Bhasha Dam area on the border of KP and Gilgit-Baltistan. Rangers retaliated with return fire which forced the attackers to flee, an official of Kohistan Police said. The injured officials were identified as Hawaldar Liaquat, Lance Naik Abdul Razzaq, Lance Naik Muhammad Aslam, Lance Naik Akhtar Hussain, residents of Punjab, and Sub-Inspector Muhammad Mushtaq.

According to the official, the Federal Government had recently sent a threat alert to all Provinces as well as GB, stating militants might attack security forces or government installations before or on March 23, 2015. The Federal Government had deployed Punjab Rangers in the area in order to put an end to the long-standing armed territorial conflict between tribes of Diamer District of Gilgit and Kohistan District of KP.

A Rangers spokesperson said that ambulance services of certain welfare organisations, and their officials, were involved in the illicit trade of illegal weapons in the city. An official of the paramilitary force said that during investigation of arrested suspects, it has been uncovered that “officials and personnel of certain welfare services are involved in smuggling and hiding of illegal weapons across the city”. Through the statement, the paramilitary force warned that “direct or indirect involvement in smuggling of arms is a high level crime. All those involved in such illegal practices will be brought to book under the Sindh Arms Act”. The paramilitary force had claimed in a statement that one accused Umair Hassan Siddiqui, allegedly involved in killing of 120 people, was a key member of the target-killing racket and he became part of a team when the MQM decided to carry out killings on ethnic grounds in 2008.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid said that criminals belonging to any group would not get any relaxation on political basis. He said that the Law Enforcement Agencies, including Rangers, had no role in politics and were taking actions according to the unanimous decisions of the democratically elected Government. If anybody had complaint regarding the operation in Karachi, he could approach the independent judiciary, he said and added, “We do politics of reconciliation and not that of expediency.” He said if any criminal used the flag and office of any political party, then it was obligation of that political party to surrender the person to the law.

“Armed forces, security and intelligence agencies and police are chasing the terrorists,” he said, adding that the Government owned the operation in Karachi and indiscriminate action would be taken to establish peace in the city and arrest the criminals. “Nobody will be allowed to indulge in crime on the pretext of religion and politics,” he warned.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan ordered halt to implementation on the agreements with other countries for exchange of convicted criminals. An unnamed official of Interior Ministry said in a statement that it was revealed in the investigations conducted on the orders of the Interior Minister that in the last many years Pakistanis involved in dangerous crimes abroad were brought to Pakistan under these agreements. Then in connivance with the officers of Interior Ministry and Provincial Governments these convicts were released illegally. Before formulating any transparent policy, the interior minister has stopped the Interior Ministry and FIA from implementing the agreements.

The Minister ordered that the inquiry regarding the convicts released in the last several years should be completed in a week and strict action should be taken against all those persons involved in the illegal activity and they should be arrested.

March 16

Five alleged gang-war criminals belonging to the ‘Shiraz Comrade’ group were killed during a search operation by Police in the Lyari town area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Details reveal that around 200 Police officials were carrying out a targeted search operation in Lyari when they were fired at by gang-war criminals belonging to the ‘Shiraz Comrade’ group. Police’s retaliation left five members of the group dead, while two Policemen also received bullet wounds in the exchange of fire. According to SSP City Fida Hussain, the slain gangsters were involved in target killing, extortion, murdering police officials and kidnapping for ransom.

The Sindh Government banned pillion-riding in the city from March 17 to March 23, keeping in view the security situation during polio eradication campaign in Karachi. Officials of the Home Department said the provincial administration on the advice of the Karachi Police banned pillion-riding which would be effective from March 17. The ban shall not be applicable to women, children below the age of 12 years, senior citizens, journalists, personnel of law-enforcement agencies and security agencies in uniform and employees of the essential services.

The founder and leader of the MQM, Altaf Hussain, categorically declared that the party has no militant wing and it never patronised criminal elements In a statement issued from the party’s London Secretariat, the MQM chief said that the party does not believe in confronting the law enforcement agencies. He urged the party workers and office-bearers to follow the MQM’s peaceful and non-violent policy. He said that the MQM had hundreds of thousands of workers and if any of them was involved in any criminal activity, he did not do so as a party policy since the party had zero tolerance against criminals and crime.

Two persons, a father and his son, were shot dead by unidentified assailants on Kasi Road of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. According to Police, unidentified assailants barged into a home on Kasi Road and fired a volley of bullets which left two persons dead instantly. The deceased were identified as Muhammad Umar and Muhammad Jameel. The assailants managed to flee after the incident.

At least five kilograms of explosives were also recovered in Manglawar area of Swat by the SFs.

Peshawar Police arrested at least 604 suspected persons and seized arms and ammunition from them in search and strike operation continuing under the National Action Plan, an official communiqué said. It added that 421 houses and 225 hotels were checked and 25 cases were registered against the violators.

The Police arrested a terrorist during an early morning search operation conducted in Ghor Ghashi area of the Attock District in Punjab. According to officials, the arrested terrorist belonged to a banned organisation and wanted by police in various cases. The Police also claimed to have recovered three suicide jackets and eight hand grenades from his possession.

The Pakistan Army said that the writ of the Government has been established in Bara area of Khyber Agency in FATA and announced a successful conclusion of the Operation Khyber-I. Brigadier Zahid Khan, in-charge of the military operation in Bara, in a media briefing at the Bara Training Centre announced a successful end of the operation. He said that during the third phase of Operation Khyber-I, areas of Akakhel Jhansi, Dojangi and Gandawa have been cleared of militants. He said that over 100 militants were killed during the operation, while around 450 terrorists have been arrested for their involvement in anti-state activities.

The process of return of the IDPs of SWA started with giving a send-off to 200 families on the first day at Kor Qilla area of Tank District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The political administration and Army had made foolproof security arrangements on the occasion where media was briefed with regard to issues pertaining repatriation and rehabilitation of the displaced populace of SWA. Besides the Army, the political administration in collaboration with the FDMA is facilitating the TDPs on their return.

March 17

At least three people including two children were killed and two others wounded when a toy bomb exploded in a house at Bashigram area of Madyan tehsil of Swat District in KP. According to Police, the toy bomb killed Zor Muhammad and his two kids while two children of the same family were injured. The blast occurred when the child brought a ball-like shell at home and started playing with it, which exploded.

Two female anti-polio campaign workers and a Policeman were killed in the Danna area of the Mansehra District. Akhtar Hayat Khan Gandapur, DIG, Hazara Range, said that LHWs Sitara Gul and Kaneez Nargis and Policeman Muhammad Mushtaq, who was guarding them, came under attack by unidentified gunmen while administering oral anti-polio vaccine to the children in Danna.

Senior lawyer Samiullah Afridi, who represented the incarcerated Dr Shakil Afridi in court cases, was shot dead in the Mathra area on the outskirts of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. “We have recovered five empties of 30-bore pistol from the spot. The attackers came on a motorbike,” SSP, Operations, Dr Mian Saeed Ahmad said.

Militants hurled a grenade at a mosque in Orangi Town of Karachi in Sindh.

Pakistan hanged 12 male convicts, Federal Ministry of Interior spokesperson said, the largest number of people executed on the same day since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted. Three convicts were hanged in Jhang, two each in Multan, Mianwali, Karachi and Rawalpindi and one in Dera Ghazi Khan. Twenty-seven people have been hanged since then, most of them militants, but last week it emerged that officials had quietly widened the policy to include all prisoners on death row whose appeals had been rejected. “They were not only terrorists, they included the other crimes, some of them were murderers and some did other heinous crimes,” the Federal Ministry of Interior spokesman said of the 12 executed at various jails.

March 18

At least 44 militants were killed and several others sustained injuries when PAF fighter aircraft pounded their hideouts in Kukikhel, Kamarkhel and Sepah areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA.  Official sources said that fighter aircraft targeted the hideouts of TTP and LI militants.

A spokesman for the LI, Salahuddin Ayubi, admitted that there was a heavy bombardment by the air force in Tirah Valley. However, he maintained that the LI had taken protective measures and none of its fighters was harmed in the air strikes. He also claimed that the LI and its new allies from the TTP and Jamaatul Ahrar had sent their men to Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and other cities to carry out suicide bombings and other attacks to avenge the ongoing military operations in Khyber Agency and North Waziristan Agency.

An anti-polio worker was killed and another sustained injuries when gunmen opened fire on them in Kamangara area of Nawagai tehsil in Bajaur Agency. The source said that a worker identified as Roohullah was killed while Arifullah sustained injuries. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.

Unidentified assailants shot dead a District leader of the PML-N, Sardar Mohmand, in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. “Sardar Mohmand was on foot when armed men opened fire on him with a 9-mm pistol and escaped,” SSP Operations, Peshawar Dr Mian Saeed Ahmad said. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened to now target more members of the ruling party.

The Police arrested 11 militants and recovered huge cache of arms during a search operation in Buner District. District Police Officer, Buner, Syed Khalid Mehmud Hamdani, said the Police launched a search operation in the District after reports about the presence of militant’s supporters in Gokand, Jowar, Pir Baba and Elam Mountains. Nine Kalashnikov rifles, two RPG launchers, a sniper gun, 25 kilograms explosives, binoculars and several foreign-made rifles and pistols were recovered from the possession the arrested militants.

At least 11 more prisoners were hanged till death in various prisons of Punjab, taking the number of executions over the past two days to 23. Earlier it was reported that nine prisoners were executed. The latest round in Punjab executions brings the total number of convicts hanged since the Government resumed capital punishment in December 2014 to 50.

According to details, two prisoners, identified as Saeed Ahmad and Shafqat Ali were hanged at the District Jail in Faisalabad. They had been awarded the death penalty by a District Court over a double murder committed on March 23, 1998 in Nankana Sahib District of the Province.

Two more death row prisoners Ghulam Muhammad and Zakir Hussain, were executed at District Jail Jhang. Ghulam Muhammad had killed his brother-in-law, Mustafa, in 2000 over a family dispute, while Zakir Hussain killed Zulfiqar over the custodianship of a shrine in 1998. In Rawalpindi District, two death row inmates, identified as Shaukat and Muhammad Shabbir, were hanged for murdering a person over enmity.

A murder convict, Tahir Bashir, was also hanged till death at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore District. He had shot dead Arshad Ali in Sabzazar over a minor dispute in 2000. It was the first execution of a death row prisoner in Lahore in a case not involving terrorism charges. In addition, one Asad Khan, who shot dead three people including a woman in Khushab District over a marriage dispute in 2002, was executed in Attock District. Another killer, identified as Ahmed Nawaz of Chakrala was executed at Mianwali’s Central Jail. He had been sentenced to death for killing a person in 1998.

Execution of another convicted person, Shafqat Hussain, set to be executed on March 19 at Karachi jail, was delayed for an indefinite period after Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali appealed to the President to review the death penalty.

Four children were wounded in a grenade explosion near while they were bathing in Naubahar canal in Samijabad area of Multan District.

Unidentified militants hurled a hand grenade at a school near KDA roundabout in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. However, no casualties were reported. The attackers also dropped a threat letter in the school premises before escaping from the scene. The Bomb Disposal Squad personnel present at the scene said 500 grams of explosive material was used in the making of the bomb.

The FC Balochistan arrested six terrorists during search operation carried out in Eastern Bypass area of provincial capital Quetta. A spokesman for FC said that the FC recovered weapons and explosives from Sakran area. “Following a tip-off, FC conducted raid in Sakran area and recovered weapons and explosives including 10 automatic weapons, rifles and three kilogram of explosives,” he said.

He further said that FC defused IED in Sui area of Dera Bugti District and Loralai District. “Terrorists had planted IED weighing 12 kilogram in Sui and two IEDs in Loralai to carryout sabotage act,” he said, adding however, FC teams defused them.

Just hours before his execution, MQM’s convicted worker Saulat Mirza alleged in a supposed televised video confession shot in Mach Jail in Balochistan that he killed former Director of KESC Shahid Hamid on the directives of party chief Altaf Hussain on July 5, 1997, in Karachi. Mirza alleged that he received the order for the ‘hit’ from Altaf at MQM leader Babar Ghauri’s residence. Mirza revealed that orders were given on telephone by the party chief himself. Usually, the party chief would either give orders himself or through the likes of Babar Ghauri. He further revealed that people whom the party wanted to save from Police torture are provided protection in Police stations through Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan.

The video shows Mirza claiming that Altaf would not let anyone to rise in the party, adding that the MQM chief ordered the murder of Azeem Tariq when he started rising within the party ranks. Similarly, when former Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal started getting popular among masses, he was disgracefully thrown out of the party. Mirza in his video message appealed to the co-party workers to take heed from his fate, of how he was used and then later discarded like ‘used tissue paper’.

Altaf Hussain refuted allegations made by Saulat Mirza in his supposed confessional video, terming them as lies. He further claimed that the confessional video of Saulat Mirza had been released by ‘agencies’. “I have never met Saulat Mirza and have never spoken to him,” said Altaf, adding that it was the first time that he had seen a video of a convicted death row inmate being released.

Just minutes after his ‘confessional’ video was broadcast, his execution was stayed for 72 hours. The decision was reportedly taken by the President on the request of Federal Minister of Interior. “It is likely that Mirza’s execution is delayed for another 72 hours”, the said an official.

March 19

Twenty militants were killed and five others sustained injuries when the Army helicopters targeted their hideouts in Sandapal, Takhtakai and Nari Baba areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. The sources said gunship helicopters targeted the hideouts of the TTP and LI. The sources said SFs continued advancement to the Upper Tirah Valley and occupied the main Markaz of the militants in Shalobar and Zakhakhel areas. The sources added that SFs had also taken the control of Kamarkhel and Kukikhel areas.

The TTP said a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan had killed a senior commander who was a close associate of two of the group’s former chiefs. “Commander Khawery Mehsud embraced martyrdom in a US drone strike, along with two others, in Afghan territory” near the border with Kurram Agency of Pakistan, said TTP ‘spokesman’ Muhammad Khurasani. “Khawery Mehsud was the key battle commander of Baitullah Mehsud and was a close associate and personal bodyguard of Hakimullah Mehsud,” added the spokesman.

The Mansehra Police of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa claimed to have arrested the alleged killer of Naheed Parveen Rehman, Director Orangi Pilot Project. DSP Zulfiqar Khan Jadoon said that the Police took action on a tip-off about the presence of Ahmad Ali alias Papu Shah Kashmiri at a house in Kashmiri Bazaar. The target killer was wanted in many cases in Karachi and he had been living in a rented building in Mansehra for the last couple of years.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that operation against terrorists and miscreants in Karachi was launched after taking all political parties into confidence. He said peace and stability of the country’s commercial hub was in the interest of all. The situation in Karachi had considerably improved since the start of the operation and incidents of kidnapping for ransom, extortion of money and target killing had reduced, he said. Talking to the PML-N MNAs from Faisalabad Division, the PM said there was no space for terrorism in the country and criminals convicted in heinous crimes would be brought to justice. He said there was no justification for anyone in the country to keep illegal weapons.

Minister of State for Water and Power, Abid Sher Ali said that the ongoing Karachi operation was against the elements involved in target killings, terrorism and extortion. “It is not against any political party rather it is to cleanse the city of target killers, terrorists, extortionists as well as their collaborators and handlers,” he said. He said that there was law and order situation in Karachi for last 12 years, which forced the Government to launch the operation in consultation with political parties.

March 20

At least two Rangers personnel, identified as Yar Mohammad and Qasim, and passerby woman, identified as Saeeda, was killed and four others including two civilians were injured in a suicide blast targeted with VBIED near Shadman Town within the remits of the Sharae Noor Jehan Police Station in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police officials said that a patrolling vehicle of Rangers paramilitary force was the target of the attack.  During the search, they had gathered body parts that included the head and a foot of the bomber.

Two Shia Bohras were killed and several others were injured in a sectarian attack when an IED fixed to a motorcycle exploded outside Shia-Bohra community's Saleh Mosque in Saddar Town during the Friday prayer. The bomb exploded when worshippers were coming out of the mosque after the prayer,” said DIG South Abdul Khaliq Shaikh.

ASWJ militants killed two Shia Bohras and injured four others in a sectarian attack in Bahadurabad area of Gulshan Town. The militants left behind a handbill declaring open war against Pakistan army, media, Shia Muslims, Sunni-Sufi Muslims and Christians.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the Launch of the Civil Aviation Policy 2015 said that the Government was trying to control the law and order problem in Karachi, which is the business hub of the nation, adding that it was his objective to make Karachi a crime-free city. He said that the Government was taking active measures for multi-dimensional development of the country. He further said that PIA will have to make a distinction between its good and bad people if it has to move forward.

Four militants were killed while several others were injured in aerial operation by SFs in Singar post near Tirah valley area of Khyber Agency in FATA.

An official of the paramilitary forces was killed and 10 others sustained injuries in a remote controlled bomb blast in the Mangrosa area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. The sources said that the incident took place after suspected militants opened fire n a convoy of SFs heading towards the mountainous sanctuaries of militants. The SFs entered a house after firing wherein the already planted explosives went off.

The SFs and political administration demolished eight houses of militants and tribes people in Nawagai tehsil of Bajaur Agency. The sources said the action was taken under collective responsibility section of the FCR.

The repatriation of TDPs from Bara tehsil has started on March 20 as 56 families returned to their homes in the Akkakhel area of Khyber Agency. The decision of returning of Bara’s displaced population has been taken after better law and order situation in the area in the wake of ongoing military operation Khyber-I in the Agency, said Khyber Agency Political Agent Shahab Ali Shah. Shah said that about 86,000 affected families will be repatriated to their native lands after Khyber-I military operation in Khyber Agency.

Two officials of Balochistan Levies, identified as Athaur Rehman and Hazoor Baksh, were killed and four others were wounded after a convoy of Abdul Razzaq Dilwary, the Deputy Commissioner of Kharan, was attacked by unidentified militants in Racheel area of Kharan District. One of the militants was killed in retaliatory firing while others fled from the scene. According to an official of Balochistan Levies, Deputy Commissioner Abdul Razzaq Dilwary along his Levies guards was on their way to raid a criminal hideout in the Racheel area.

March 21

As many as 80 militants have been killed and 100 others injured in on-going Khyber Operation, said DG, ISPR, Major General Asim Bajwa. He said terrorists are being rooted out as the army continues its campaign “Operation Khyber-2” in Khyber Agency in FATA. ISPR DG Bajwa said seven security officials also lost their lives during the operation in which the forces are marching towards the areas located near Afghan border. The Major General expressed the army’s resolve to continue the operation until the terrorism is wiped out.

March 22

Twenty-four militants were killed and five others sustained injuries when Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft pounded the TTP and LI hideouts in Dars Jumaat, Sandana, Takhtakai and Khyber Sangar in Tirah Valley area of Khyber Agency in FATA. The sources said that five hideouts of the militants were destroyed in the bombardment.

Three persons of a family, including a minor, were killed when a mortar shell fell on a house in Malikdinkhel area of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency. Sources said that the SFs and militants were exchanging heavy fire in Tirah valley when a mortar shell fell on the house of Inzar Gul in Malikdinkhel area. Three persons, including Inzar Gul’s father, mother and his daughter, were killed on the spot.

At least three terrorists were killed when a Police team led by SSP Rao Anwar conducted a raid on a tip-off regarding presence of militants in Quetta Town area of Sohrab Goth in Gadap Town. The terrorists opened indiscriminate fire and heavy exchange of gunfire ensued. SSP Anwar said that the criminals were using modern weapons against the Police. “They fired rockets at the police party upon arrival in the area,” he claimed. He confirmed that three terrorists had been killed by the Police.

Acting on a tip-off, Police conducted a raid at Pathan Colony in Orangi Town, killing three suspects and arresting 15 others.

In a raid conducted by the CTD, two suspects were killed while 10 suspects were arrested and a large numbers of weapons were recovered from their possession during a raid in Farid Colony of Orangi Town. He said an exchange of fire also took place between the police and the armed men.

Police arrested four target killers after an encounter in Preedy area of Saddar Town who they claimed were affiliated with a political party, and reportedly involved in the killing of political rivals. Several weapons and ammunition were recovered from their possession.

Unidentified militants blew up a 14-inch-diameter gas pipeline in Dera Allah Yar city of Jaffarabad District.

Corps Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua while addressing a gathering on the inauguration of Balochistan Sports Festival urged the estranged Baloch youth to avoid taking up arms and adopt the path of peace. He added that the Baloch are already independent and asked which independence they were fighting for. He said we should say goodbye to a fight that has taken birth from sectarianism, and the menace of terrorism would be rooted out from Balochistan and the country.

Law Enforcing Agencies on a tip off raided the Rawalkot area of Poonch District in PoK and arrested TTP 'commander' Kashif Haneef.

The COAS, General Raheel Sharif, reiterated that military operations would continue at all costs to clear all the urban centres and rural areas of terrorists so as to ensure peace and prosperity in the country. The Army chief expressed this resolve during his visit to the corps headquarters where he was briefed on security in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/FATA, Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the ongoing military operation in the Khyber Agency, which is making a steady progress, said Director General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa in his tweet. General Raheel said the ongoing military operations will continue to their logical conclusion and the terrorists squeezed in isolated pockets would be targeted with precision. 

Unidentified militants set on fire five oil tankers in Kirdi Gap area of Mastung District and also kidnapped four drivers before fleeing from the scene. The sources added that the tankers were carrying fuel from Karachi for the Saindak Project in Chagai District of the Province. The tankers caught fire as the gunfire ignited the fuel payload, following which the militants picked up four drivers and fled to an undisclosed location in the mountainous region. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

March 23

Eleven militants were killed as SFs claimed more gains in Tirah Valley areas of Khyber Agency in FATA. Officials claimed that SFs took complete control of the Mazatal area and advanced into Toor Dara, Sandana and Khyber Sungar as fighting between militants and SFs continued. Sources said that military planes and helicopter gunships pounded suspected positions in the areas.

The Army took control of the Mastol Pass that links the Khyber Agency to Afghanistan and has been used by terrorists for movement to Afghanistan. The Director General ISPR, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, said that the Mastol Pass had been seized by the Pakistani forces and now our forces were tightening the noose against the terrorists. He said that significant effects were achieved by the air strikes on Sunday night targeting the terrorists in an area close to the Afghan border.

More than half of the nearly 6,000 suspected criminals arrested during the ongoing surgical operation in Karachi are affiliated with political parties, said an unnamed counterterrorism officials. “Civilian and Intelligence Agencies have rounded up 5,882 suspected criminals since the launch of the Karachi operation in September 2013. Of them, 55 per cent are associated with political parties,” a senior official of Federal Ministry of Interior said. He complained that lack of cooperation from major political players has long been undermining effective operations against criminals in the city. “We’ve sought cooperation from four political parties to purge Karachi of criminals,” he added. The political parties have, however, always denied existence of their militant wings and disowned criminals arrested by law enforcers.

The official said criminal elements in Karachi had been divided into three categories: anti-state elements workers of banned outfits and their facilitators. The Rangers in cooperation with IB and ISI have collected the data of all criminals, enlisting 913 militants involved in anti-state activities, he said, adding, “Their cases will be sent to the military courts for sure. It’s time to catch the big fish in Karachi.”

The official said around 1,700 suspected criminals were working for one political party while another 1,563 were associated with three other major parties of the city. “All of them are involved in murders, kidnapping, extortion and other criminal activities,” he claimed. Around 365 militants are working for the Taliban and al Qaeda, he added, and another 1,341 are working with other proscribed outfits.

The TTP rejected reports that its ‘chief’ Mullah Fazlullah was killed in airstrikes and ground raids in Tirah Valley area of Khyber Agency in FATA. “It is a complete lie” TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khorasani said hours after reports of TTP chief’s death arose in the media. “The reports concerning death of our chief are totally baseless and we reject all these claims,” Khorasani said in an email sent to The Express Tribune. Khorasani added that only just three members of the TTP were killed in the strikes. He also claimed inflicting losses on the security forces.

The Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan, said there were no confirmed reports of death of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah in the ongoing operation in Tirah Valley. “The factual position will emerge in a day or two,” he said while interacting with media persons.

March 24

At least 15 militants were killed and several others sustained injuries when PAF fighter aircraft bombed the sanctuaries of the TTP and LI militants in Wacha Wona, Surkas, Seekhkot and other areas in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. Sources said that five foreigners, including Uzbeks and Tajiks, were among the 15 militants who were killed in the air strikes. The sources claimed several militants were injured and five of their hideouts were destroyed in the attacks.

The FATA Secretariat began providing compensation to the people whose houses have been in use by the SFs for last several years. About 88 people of Khar tehsil in Bajaur Agency, whose houses have been occupied by SFs since 2010, received cheques of over PKR 6.3 million. Bajaur Assistant Political Agent Sohil Ahmed Khan distributed cheques among the house owners. Speaking on the occasion, he said that the administration was aware about the problems of the militancy affected people and was committed to providing financial support to them.

Some 203 IDPs returned in a convoy to their homes in Lower Madijan and Shin Warsak areas of South Waziristan Agency. According to the political administration, at least 1,300 families have so far resettled into their homes in Sarakai tehsil since a new phase of repatriation began on March 16, 2015.

A US drone strike in the Nasyan area of the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, killed nine militants linked to the TTP in an area near to the border with the Pakistan’s Khyber Agency. Pakistani security officials said the militants belonged to the LI, TTP and Abdullah Azzam Brigade group. A NATO spokesman in Kabul confirmed the strike and said it was carried out on March 23, but gave no details on the number of causalities. “We can confirm there was a US precision strike during an operation in Nasyan District, NANGARHAR province, on March 23,” the spokesman said.

Six militants and one FC soldier were killed while several others were injured in a an exchange of fire that occurred during a search operation in Mashkay area of Awaran District. FC spokesman said that the militants were involved in attacking Security Forces civilians and also kidnapping-for-ransom. He said that FC recovered arms and ammunition and communication devices from their possession.

Eight BRA militants, including their leader Shekh alias Chala Resh, surrendered in the presence of Commandant of Mawand Rifles Colonel Masroor-ur Rehman and tribal elders in Mawand area of Kohlu District.

A death row prisoner, Nasrullah, convicted of murdering a man in 1994 was hanged till death at the Multan Central Jail in Multan District.

A Division Bench of the Peshawar High Court, comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Abdul Latif Khan, disposed of cases of the eight missing persons, who were shifted to various internment centres located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, as they were declared to be hardcore militants. The decision was taken after receiving the reports about their alleged involvement in terror activities. During hearing of 13 missing person’s cases, Additional Advocate General Waqar Ahmad Khan submitted the oversight board’s reports about the eight missing persons. The law officer informed the bench that as per the reports, eight internees had been declared black or hardcore militants as they were found involved in the terrorist activities.

March 25

At least 30 militants were killed and several others sustained injuries when PAF fighter aircraft and helicopters pounded the bunkers of the TTP and LI militants in Kukikhel, Sepah, Kamarkhel and Shalobar areas in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. “Many hideouts of the militants and two arms depots also came under bombardment,” said the ISPR. According to some reports, the LI 'spokesman', Salahuddin Ayubi, was also killed in the air strikes.

16 militants were killed in military action after a soldier was killed in a roadside blast in the Shabak area of Kurram Agency. The sources said that the soldier, identified as Bilal Mohmand, was killed when a vehicle of SFs was targeted with an IED in Shabak area. SFs cordoned off the area after the incident and launched a massive search operation along the border with Afghanistan. 16 militants were killed in the artillery shelling on the hideouts of militants in the area.

A US drone strike killed 11 TTP militants in Kunar Province of Afghanistan, including six or seven senior 'commanders', intelligence officials said, hours after a strike killed at least nine militants in the same area. Earlier, a drone strike killed nine militants in the Nazyan area of Nangarhar Province, to the south of Kunar.

Two unidentified men were shot dead by unidentified armed assailants on Super Highway near Gana Mandi in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town in provincial capital Karachi.

Police killed two target killers during a raid on a hideout in an unspecified location. According to details, Police in a raid on a hideout along with an arrested criminal Noorullah faced fire from criminals. SFs retaliated killing two of the suspects, including Noorullah. SSP Malir said that the suspect was involved in target killings of several Police personnel and extortion.

A Policeman, identified as Muhammad Sajid (35), was shot dead near Navy Dewar in Korangi Town.

An anti-corruption officer, Iqbal Alam, was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants at Water Pump in Federal B Area of Gulberg Town.

Police arrested two criminals in injured condition after exchange of fire in Korangi Industrial area of Korangi Town.

Police arrested seven TTP militants in an operation in Shah Lateef Town of Bin Qasim Town. The Police seized two rifles, seven grenades and at least five pistols from their possession.

Police arrested another criminal in an operation in Baloch Colony of Orangi Town. At least two accomplices escaped the raid and fled.

Sindh DIG Police (training) Dr Jamil Ahmed while addressing the first passing-out parade of 1,085 policemen at the Recruitment Training Centre (RTC) in Hyderabad District said that the Sindh Police has chalked out a plan under which army personnel will impart anti-terrorism training to 350 Policemen of the Province. He said that the Police training department had proposed to the Sindh Government to allocate PKR150 per recruit for food in the mess of the centre and after the approval, free food would be provided to recruits. He said the Government was trying to impart quality training to policemen and added that they would be given counterterrorism training so that they could protect the life and property of people.

At least five murder convicts were hanged till death in different jails of Sindh and Punjab Province. Also, two executions were halted in jails of Sahiwal and Mianwali Districts of Punjab after they were pardoned by the victims’ families.

In Punjab, one Shahbaz, convicted of murdering another man in a land dispute in 1998, was taken to the gallows at the Sahiwal Central Jail in Sahiwal District. Another murder convict, Ghulam Yaseen, was hanged at the New Central Jail in Bahawalpur. He was convicted of murdering a woman in 2001. Sentenced for committing murder in 2000, convict Mohammad Khan was hanged at the Mianwali Central Jail.

In Sindh, two death row prisoners were hanged at the Central Jail in Sukkur. Convict Jalal Morejo was sentenced to death for murdering his cousin in 1997, while Abdul Razzaq Chauhan was convicted of committing murder in 2001.

Authorities in Pakistan have frozen a number of accounts used to funnel PKR 10.2 billion in cash to terror and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) suspects, officials overseeing the NAP said. Law Enforcement Agencies also recovered PKR 101.7 million either from clerics or workers of banned organisations, they said. These actions, taken with the assistance of the State Bank of Pakistan, are part of the overall efforts to throttle the flow of foreign funding to terrorists and proscribed organisations in the country. “To choke terror funding [in all shapes] is our top priority, this is our strategy to weaken foreign-funded militants,” said Hamid Ali Khan, National Coordinator of the NACTA.

Another unnamed senior official of the Federal Ministry of Interior said that UNSC Resolutions 1,267 and 1,373 bound member states not only to take measures against terrorists but also establish a global sanctions regime against designated individuals and entities associated with notorious global terror networks. He revealed that civilian and Intelligence Agencies have arrested 150 people, half of them clerics, in violation of laws dealing with hawala, hundi, suspicious transactions and AML by registering cases against 130 individuals who were getting money from foreign countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Australia, US, UK, Hong Kong, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait.

March 26

At least four Policemen, including the SHO of Rara Sham Police Station, identified as Tahir Shah, were killed when unidentified militants opened indiscriminate fire and also hurled a hand grenade at a Police check post in Mekhtar area of Loralai District.  No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

A member of the Levies force, Jalil Ahmed, was kidnapped in Nasarabad area of Kech District. Jalil was going home when unidentified militants took him away.

A Balochi poet, identified as Ali Kamshan, who was abducted from Pasni area of Gwadar District on March 3, 2015, returned home. It not clear yet whether Ali’s family has paid ransom for his release.

A schoolteacher, identified as Mohammad Shahdad, who was abducted on March 22, 2015, returned home in Turbat District. Shahdad had been missing for four days from Turbat.

A man, identified as Faiq (34), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Nazimabad 2 in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Asif (32) was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants near Noorani Kabab House in Shahrah-e-Qaideen area of Jamshed Town.

A man, identified as Akhtar (40), was shot and injured near a graveyard in Mominabad area of Orangi Town.

A convicted murderer, identified as Muhammad Afzal, was hanged till death in the Central Jail Faisalabad. Afzal, a resident of Sialkot, had been on death row for around two decades. He was found guilty of shooting a man, Muhammad Saleem, in 1995 over an old rivalry, and was awarded the death sentence by District and Session courts on May 25, 1995. The review petitions of the accused were turned down by the higher and superior courts. President of Pakistan had also rejected his mercy appeal.

The Lahore High Court ordered the Punjab Government to make a decision regarding the detention of LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror attack (also known as 26/11) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi within five days. Lakhvi had submitted an application in the LHC with two pleas, one which challenged his detention and the other regarding contempt of court against the Federal and Provincial Governments. He had adopted the stance that his detention was illegal and in contempt of Islamabad High Court's ruling. The application also said that the Punjab Home Secretary should be bound to end his detention. The petition sought the court's direction for the Punjab home secretary to decide the matter of Lakhvi's detention in the light of an order, earlier passed by IHC.

The IHC on March 13, 2015, had set aside third-time detention of Lakhvi and ordered the authorities to release him immediately. However, before his release, the Okara District Coordination Officer (DCO) on March 14, 2015, had issued a fresh detention order against Lakhvi.

March 27

Two Policemen were killed and 14 others, including two civilians were injured when a bomb exploded targeting a Police van of the Sindh Police's Special Security Unit near Murghi Khana bus stop in Quaidabad area of Bin Qasim Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. TTP 'spokesman' Muhammad Khorasani claimed responsibility for the attack. Karachi Police Chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that the officers belonged to the Special Service Unit, an elite squad that guards VIPs, and were on their way to guard Bilawal House, the residence of former President Asif Ali Zardari.

A man, identified as Irshad (50), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Manzoor Colony area near Akhtar Colony in Jamshed Town.

A man, identified as Danish (26), was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants near Federal Urdu University of Arts and Science and technology (FUUAST) in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

One Akbar (25), was shot and injured in Sherpao Colony of Landhi Town.

One Ghaffar (35) was shot and injured by unidentified armed assailants near Patel Para on Jahangir Road in Jamshed Town.

Unidentified assailants shot dead a known religious scholar and administrator of a seminary, Maulana Amir Hamza, in Madina Colony of Nowshera Town of same District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Sources said that the assailants opened fire on Maulana Amir Hamza when he was returning home from the Madrassa Jamia Masjid Taqwa in a car after offering the evening Maghrib prayer. He received several bullets in his body and died on the spot. The assailants escaped after committing the murder. Maulana Amir Hamza was a prominent religious scholar and had special attachment with the Darul Uloom Deoband and Darul Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak.

The CTD arrested a member of a terrorist group who provided shelter to a suicide bomber before sending him off to attack former Senior Minister Bashir Bilour in December 2012 in Peshawar. Addressing the media, DIG CTD Salahuddin said that Fazal Muhammad played a key role in the assassination of ANP leader Bashir Bilour as he housed the suicide bomber, Farouq Afridi, for two days before the attack.

Police arrested a terror suspect, identified as Saurat Khan Marri, accused of involving in several terrorism incidents in Quetta, including the November 11, 2014, bomb blast targeting the vehicle of an ATC judge Nazeer Ahmed Langove, from Hazar Ganji area in Quetta. “He belongs to a banned militant outfit,” said Quetta CCPO Razzaq Cheema. Police also recovered two mortar shells, hand grenades, land mines and other weapons from his possession.

According to sources in the Federal Ministry of Interior, TTP with the collaboration of some other banned outfits is planning to attack the country’s water reservoirs, dams and barrages. After receiving information regarding the probable attack by Taliban on the water reservoirs of country, security has been tightened at all dams and barrages. Following the threat, the Interior Ministry directed all the Law Enforcing Agencies and all the Provincial Home Departments for heightened security on water reservoirs.

The JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed while addressing a large demonstration at the Chauburji Chowk in Lahore announced to launch a countrywide movement for countering western conspiracies against Saudi Arabia and Muslim holy places, and said an all parties conference would be called soon to chalk out a joint course of action with suggestions of all political and religious parties, reports The News. He urged upon the Iranian leadership to distance themselves from the Zionist conspiracies against Saudi Arabia and join the Muslim coalition for protecting Harmain Sharifain (Two Holy Mosques).

A jirga of tribal elders expressed reservations over the draft of an agreement provided to them by the political administration in NWA of FATA, proposing several restrictions as well as responsibilities for them for maintaining peace in the once militants-dominated tribal Agency. The administration is seeking an undertaking from local tribes to ensure peace in the area. Sources said that the elders were told in categorical terms that return to their respective areas was condition to signing of the deal and furnishing the undertakings by them. The eight-page draft agreement handed over to all the tribes in NWA describes the roles of the Government and the people to put brake on resurgent of militancy in the region.

March 28

At least fifteen suspected militants were killed and four soldiers injured in a clash in Tirah Valley area in Khyber Agency of the FATA. According to the ISPR, approximately 30-35 militants attacked a SFs check post in Mastak area, but attack was foiled through "effective retaliation". Troops deployed at the post surrounded the attackers, in an intense gun battle, 15 terrorists were killed and the attack was repulsed, the ISPR said. It said the attackers left the bodies of 10 of their companions which the army took into its custody, along with their weapons.

March 29

SFs killed five militants and injured six others in Mastung District in Balochistan in the morning. Frontier Corps Spokesman Khan Wasey said that the terrorists were involved in attacks on SFs and had recently torched five oil tankers carrying fuel for the Saindak project in the Chaghai District. The terrorists belonged to a banned separatist outfit, he added.

Unidentified militants shot dead a Lieutenant Colonel Tahir Azeem, in Hayatabad Phase-III area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, when he came out of a mosque after offering the Zuhr prayer. Tahir Azeem, hailing from the Kaga Wala village on the outskirts of Peshawar, had come from Rawalpindi to attend the wedding of his sister in Hayatabad. “As he came out of the mosque in Hayatabad Phase-III after offering prayers, unidentified attackers opened fire on him. He received four bullets, including one in the head,” SSP Operations, Peshawar, Dr Mian Saeed Ahmad, said. A source said the attackers had come on a motorbike and escaped towards the Khyber Agency after the killing.

At least 60 shops were partially damaged in an explosion in a double storeyed market in the Jandola tehsil of Lower Dir District. The Station House Officer Bakht Jamal said that unidentified persons had fixed an explosive device weighing five kilograms in a double storeyed market that went off at about 3am.

Police foiled an attempt to blow up the main gas pipeline and shot at and injured two suspected militants in Gablo village of Kandhkot tehsil in Kashmore District of Sindh. According to details, the miscreants were planting explosives in Gablo village when Police reached and tried to stop them. The suspects, Karam Golu and Arz Muhammad Golu, were also arrested after half an hour of gunfight. Police also seized explosive material from their possession.

The Law enforcement agencies issued a red book containing profiles of most dangerous terrorists including two al Qaeda women militants. As per the red book, the militants belonging to LeJ, TTP, al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Harassa have been listed as the most dangerous terrorists. The agencies have also clearly informed the administration regarding these most wanted terrorists having a head money between PKR 500,000 and PKR 10 million.

At least 80,000 Pakistanis have been killed in the US-led war on terror, a study conducted by a group of international physicians’ organisations revealed. A report titled “Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror” was released by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, along with Physicians for Social Responsibility and Physicians for Global Survival. According to the study, at least 48,504 civilians were killed in Pakistan in the fight against terrorism from 2004 until the end of 2013. The reports puts number of journalists killed in the fight at 45, while number of civilians killed by US drone strikes in the tribal areas stands between 416 to 951. The report says that Pakistan’s Security Forces lost 5,498 personnel in these years of fighting while at least 26,862 militants were killed.

March 30

A tribal elder along with his guard was shot dead while his two other gunmen sustained injuries in a firing attack in the Kechi Baig area of Sariab in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. According to SHO of Kechi Baig, Ashiq Khattak, unidentified assailants riding on a motorbike opened indiscriminate firing on a vehicle in Kechi Baig and fled from the scene. “As result of the intense firing Mir Zahir Rind and his Levis guard Abdul Malik Rind were killed on the spot and his two other guards sustained serious bullet injuries,” the SHO added.

Unidentified assailants shot dead two persons, Muhammad Waleed and Wash Dil, in the Daramkol Baidarg area of the Turbat District. According to police sources, the victims were on their way when armed assailants riding a motorbike opened fire on them and fled. Both of them died on the spot.

A FC head clerk, Abdul Rasheed, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in village Kotla in Turbat District. According to the DSP, Sulman Khan, unidentified assailants entered Abdul Rasheed’s house, shot him dead and injured his son Faizan.

The Levies Force recovered the body of a man from the Spain Tangi area of Harnai District. According to Levies sources, on a tip off, a Levies force team reached the site and took the body into custody which was dumped after killing by unidentified men. The body was identified as Wazir Khan, s/o Yaar Muhammad.

A suspect, identified as Bilal alias Chingari, allegedly involved in over two dozen sectarian killings was arrested the Bilal Colony Police in New Karachi area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Bilal alias Chingari had allegedly killed 26 people including doctors belonging to the Shia community on sectarian grounds.

The Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the Karachi operation was a debt that the PML-N-led Government had paid off. Addressing a seminar at the WAPDA House, he said that the Government took major decisions like the Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan and also launched a targeted operation in Karachi to eliminate terrorism and crime.

The IGP of Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali presided over a meeting on security at Central Police Office in Karachi and said that the ongoing targeted operation should also be made effective and successful besides bring criminals to their logical end.

The meeting reviewed the performance of Police, Counter Terrorism Department, Crime Branch Sindh and National Action Plan. It was decided to smash drug and gambling dens in the city through effective Police crackdown. In this regard, IGP warned that if any drug and gambling den is seen opened, the relevant area’s DSP and SHO will be dismissed from their services. A report presented in the meeting said 81 drug and gambling dens had been smashed in the city so far, while lists of remaining dens had been handed over to DIGs Zonal Karachi for further action

IGP Sindh reviewed the police report about target killing cases and directed the Counter Terrorism Department to arrest culprits in association with Karachi Police as soon as possible. He also directed Additional IGP Karachi to devise effective strategy to control target killing of Policemen.

The TTP claimed responsibility for the killing of Lieutenant Colonel Tahir Azeem who was shot dead on March 29 at Abaseen Market in Hayatabad Phase-III area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. TTP ‘spokesman’ Mohammad Khorasani issued a statement claiming the responsibility.

March 31

Two Police constables were killed when three armed assailants ambushed a check post within the remit of Lea Market Police Station area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

In encounters with the Police that began late in the night of March 30, four criminals, including alleged gangsters and terrorists, were killed in different areas of Karachi. Police shot dead an alleged criminal at Swati Mohalla of Sherpao Colony in Quaidabad in Landhi Town when he refused to stop after he was signaled by personnel conducting snap checking. Also, the personnel of Kalakot and Napier Police raided a gangsters’ hideout near Kashti Chowk in Kalakot area of Lyari Town killing two armed gangsters. Police also found several weapons, hand grenades and ammunition from the hideout and a search was under way for those who had escaped. In another incident, the Kharadar Police killed an armed gangster in an ‘encounter’ in Katchi Gali No 3 in Saddar Town.

The CTD of the Sindh Police claimed to have killed two ‘militants’ affiliated with the Khan Zaman Mehsud gang in an encounter near Toori Bangash Chowk of Orangi Town. Police found heavy weapons, explosives, a motorcycle-borne improvised explosive device and live ammunition from the militants’ hideout.

An unidentified armed assailant who had been injured in a purported encounter with the Police in Khuda Ki Basti area of Surjani Town succumbed to his injuries.

Unidentified assailants shot dead a leader of a peace committee in Tank area of Tank District and injured two others. According to Police, peace committee leader Sherpao Mehsud was on his way from Kot Azam to Tank when the assailants attackers ambushed his vehicle in the limits of Gomal Police Station, killing him on the spot. Two of his associates also sustained injuries.

Four condemned prisoners were hanged in jails in Attock, Mianwali, Sargodha and Rawalpindi Districts. In Sargodha Central Jail prisoner Mohammad Riaz was hanged. Riaz He was convicted of killing a man in 2000 during a robbery. He was awarded death penalty by a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court. He had been sentenced under the Section 7 of the ATA.

Another death row prisoner, identified as Akramul Haq, who was convicted for kidnapping a three-year-old girl, was hanged till death in Attock Jail. Separate cases of kidnapping for ransom and terrorism were registered against Haq in Police Station of Fateh Jang tehsil (revenue unit) headquarters of Attock District.

One Mohammad Ameen, who was convicted for killing a person over personal enmity, was hanged in Rawalpindi Central Jail, also known as Adiala Jail.

Another convict, Hubdar Shah, was hanged till death in Mianwali Central Jail. He was awarded death sentence for killing two persons in 2000.

In the opening day of the repatriation process, some 219 IDPs, banded together in 62 families, returned to their homes in NWA from various parts of Bannu. Carrying ATM cards entitling them to PKR 10,000 for transportation and PKR 25,000 for repatriation costs, the families boarded 40 buses and trucks along with their belongings. All the IDPs belonged to the Shameeri area of NWA. Brisk arrangements on the part of civil and military administration were made for ensuring safe repatriation. A medical camp was established with Dr Hamidur Rahman as its chief whereas children below five years were given polio drops and some tribesmen were provided other medicines.

The 12th phase of repatriation of IDPs to SWA was completed. At least 630 families were sent back home in the final leg. Between March 16 and March 31, a total of 4,800 families were repatriated. The families have returned to 14 villages of Sarwakai and Sararogha tehsil of SWA. Kur Qila, the SFs check post where IDPs return from, was under strict monitoring by the law enforcement agencies. Political and military officials were also present on the occasion.

The JuD staged a rally, Harmain Sharifain March, from Safari Park to the NIPA traffic intersection in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi to express solidarity with Saudi Arabia and praised the Government as well as the armed forces for pledging support for the brother Islamic country. Speakers paid tribute to the Pakistan army and termed it the “army of Islam”. The chief of the JuD’s Karachi Chapter, Dr Muzammil Iqbal Hashmi, said on the occasion that Saudi Arabia was the spiritual centre of the Muslim world and every Muslim considered its protection his obligation. He said the uprising in Yemen was a conspiracy against Harmain Sharifain (Two Holy Mosques).

He recalled that Saudi Arabia had always sided with Pakistan and now the entire Pakistani nation was ready to sacrifice everything for their Islamic brethren. He suggested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif convene a summit of Muslim rulers in Islamabad to chalk out a strategy to deal with the situation. Other speakers observed that the present situation in Yemen was the outcome of the conspiracies of anti-Islam forces. Such forces were using Yemen to tighten the noose around Saudi Arabia to harm the spiritual centre of the Muslim world, they added.

April 1

Four bullet-riddled dead bodies were found in Goorbrath area along the border of Nushki and Kalat Districts. “The bodies bore multiple bullet injuries,” the Assistant Commissioner of Nushki said. He said one of the dead was identified as Amir Jamaldini of Gharibabad locality near Nushki town. The other bodies could not be identified.

At least two SFs personnel were killed when an IED went off in Narai Baba area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA.

Jamshoro Police arrested three TTP militants belonging to Shaharyar faction, identified as Gul Zareen, Bahauddin and Shahuddin, during a raid conducted in Sikandarabad area of Jamshoro District. Police claimed to have recovered five hand grenades, two TT pistols, 10 kilogram of explosives, 10 kilogram of chemicals and a bundle of detonating cords from their possession.

SSP Jamshoro Tariq Wilayat said that the raid was conducted in the area which is predominantly inhabited by the Pakhtun community and the militants had been living in the locality for the past two months. Gul Zareen was facilitating the other two, who had arrived from South Waziristan Agency in FATA, he disclosed. "Bahauddin and Shahuddin belong to South Waziristan's Kot Kai area and both are associated with TTP Shaharyar group," Wilayat said. He explained that Shahuddin is the TTP's 'deputy commander' of Kot Kai while Bahauddin has been allegedly involved in extortion activities as he used to distribute extortion chits in Kati Pahari and Sohrab Goth area of Karachi. “Shahuddin is also an expert in planting mines and preparing IEDs,” the SSP claimed.

According to a press release issued by the ISPR, the CoAS General Raheel Sharif said that the Pakistan Army would not stop short of accomplishing its mission to eliminate terrorism, irrespective of the cost. He said that the military is fully prepared to deter and defeat any form of aggression.

Though there was a decline in militant attacks in the wake of the operations in Karachi and North Waziristan Agency in March, 63 terror incidents were reported in different parts of the country which left 100 people dead and 162 injured. This was stated in a monthly report released by the PICSS. “In March, there was over 23 per cent decline in militant attacks, almost 12 per cent in deaths and more than 19 per cent in the number of injuries compared to February.” The report added that militant attacks had been decreasing since the start of the operations in FATA, particularly post-NAP after the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014. According to the report, security forces conducted 97 actions across the country in which 230 people (mostly suspected militants) were killed, 43 others injured and 667 arrested. Report says compared to February, there was over 23pc decline in militant attacks and 12pc in deaths.

April 2

At least four unidentified bullet-ridden dead bodies were recovered from the banks of the Lyari River near the Lyari expressway behind Old Vegetable Market area in Jamshed Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Two unidentified dead bodies bearing torture marks were found in Korangi Town.

Police claimed to have killed two suspects, who attacked a Police van in Pirabad area of Qasba Colony in SITE Town. Police sources said that the two suspects were involved in sectarian killings.

Liaquatabad Division Police claimed to have arrested 15 suspects, including five militants, from Liaquatabad Town. Police sources added that grenades, weapons and ammunition were recovered from their possession.

Unidentified assailants shot dead a cadre of a banned organisation near Sheikh Yusaf Zayarat in Dera Ismail Khan District of KP. According to the Police, 38-year-old Ghulam Shabir hailed from Din Pur village of Dera Ismail Khan and was affiliated with a banned organisation. 

The Peshawar Police carried out 72 search operations, rounded up 3,233 illegally staying Afghans and lodged 32 cases for spreading hate material and 161 for misuse of loudspeakers since January 1. The statistics show that the Police actions in Peshawar under the NAP are more than any other District of KP, and probably even in the country. The major reason is that the provincial capital of KP is more vulnerable as it is surrounded from three sides by the volatile tribal areas. According to the official statistics, 72 search and strike operations were carried out in Peshawar, including 32 in rural division, 25 in Cantonment and 15 in city division. During these operations, 146 small machineguns, 888 shotguns, 63 rifles and 851 pistols were recovered. The police authorities said action against hate material and the misuse of loudspeakers was also accelerated under the NAP. “We have lodged 161 cases for misuse of loudspeakers and 32 for spreading hate material under the NAP since January 1. As many as 33 accused were arrested for selling uniforms of security forces that can be misused in unlawful activities,” SSP Operations Mian Saeed Ahmad said. 

The family of a 19-year-old German boy, identified as Ali Mohammad Din, who had gone missing on February 7, 2015, in Faisalabad District negotiating with a group of militants based in Afghanistan to seek his return. The militants, affiliated with Amarat Islami in Afghanistan, conveyed to the family that Ali had joined them for jihad and would join the Islamic State (IS/also known as ISIS) in a couple of weeks. They said they had no affiliation with the TTP. Ali was born in Libya and he had been living with his family in Germany for 10 the last years. He came to Faisalabad on January 8, 2015, for the first time.

Some relatives of Ali said they had talked to a representative of the militants who identified himself as Qari Ibrahim a number of times with a request to send Ali home. But Qari said they had no such tradition. “How can we send Ali back if he wants to join IS,” the family quoted Qari as saying. The family is not ready to believe that Ali, who does not even know how to offer payers, can take such a step. “Handlers of the militants abducted Ali for money. He was carrying 500 Euros, PKR 20,000, a mobile phone and a visa card when he was kidnapped on February 7,” a relative of Ali said.

Director General ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a message on a micro-blogging site that the CoAS, General Raheel Sharif, confirmed the death sentence of the six hardcore terrorists. These terrorists were involved in heinous acts of terrorism, manslaughter, suicide bombings, loss of life and property. He said the convicted terrorists had the right to appeal in a court of appeal. The six convicts given death sentences were identified by a senior military official as Noor Saeed, Haider Ali, Murad Khan, Inayatullah, Israruddin and Qari Zahir. No further details were given on their individual cases, or when and where the trials were held.

The PoK is set to expel some 11,000 illegal Afghan refugees under the National Action Plan against terrorism, said senior Police official Faheem Abbasi during a press conference in Muzaffarabad District.

Pakistan plans to register the 1.4 million Afghan refugees currently living in the country illegally over the next four months, with a view to eventually repatriating them. Abbasi said the home department was also set to outlaw 64 militant outfits in Kashmir that are also banned in the rest of Pakistan, and create a new anti-terror force comprising 500 personnel.

April 3

Six militants were killed and two SF personnel were injured in an exchange of fire which took place during a search operation launched by SFs to rescue nine abducted Government officials in Ziarat District. The dead included two suicide bombers who blew themselves up when SFs surrounded them, said Frontier Corps spokesman Khan Wasey.

A DSP and his friend were shot dead by unidentified assailants near the Women and Children Hospital in Dera Ismail Khan town of same District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. DSP Headquarters, Bahawal Khan and his friend Haroon Khan were on their way when unidentified motorcyclists opened fire killing both of them on the spot.

A teenager girl died in an explosion of a toy bomb in Shamshikhel area of Bannu town in same District. Police said that 12-year-old girl while playing on the bank of canal in Shamshikhel found a toy bomb. She took the bomb to home where during playing it went off resulting in death of the girl.

April 4

The Helicopter gunships conducted several air sorties, as part of the ongoing Khyber-II operation, killing at least five suspected LeI militants and destroying hideouts in Nangrosa, Spin Drand and Thor Khel areas of Sipah of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency in FATA in the morning. The aerial attacks were aimed at flushing out militants from the valley.

At least two Pakistani soldiers were killed when an IED went off near a military vehicle in Nanno area of South Waziristan. A local 'spokesman' for the banned TTP, Azam Tariq Mahsud, claimed responsibility for the attack.

April 5

At least 16 people including 12 militants and four soldiers were killed during fierce fighting in Utmela area of the Orakzai Agency in FATA. Four SFs personnel also sustained injuries in the fight. According to details, a convoy of SFs was patrolling in Utmela area when clash erupted.

10 militants were killed and several others injured when fighter jets bombed their hideouts in Dwa Toi and Takhtakai areas of Kukikhel in Khyber Agency. 

According to the spokesman for FC Khan Wasey, SFs and Intelligence Agency personnel foiled a terror bid by arresting seven terrorists, including four suicide bombers, during a raid in Kuchlak area of provincial capital Quetta. "The terrorists were planning a major terror strike in Quetta," said Wasey adding that the arrested men belonged a banned militant outfit. The suspects were shifted to an unknown location for interrogation. Most of the terrorists belonged to the volatile tribal belt, the FC spokesman said. He added that four suicide jackets were also recovered from the possession of the suspects.

SFs arrested four militants from Kharotabad area and also recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.

The BRP said that the four bullet-riddled dead bodies found in Goorbrath area of Nushki District on April 1, 2015, were of missing persons allegedly killed by SFs. BRP spokesman Sher Mohammad Bugti said in a statement that the four had gone missing four months ago and the SFs after killing them left their bodies in a deserted place.

April 6

Two TTP militants, including commander Mullakhel, were killed in an inter-group clash with unidentified militants in Tor Thoot area of Kurram Agency in FATA. The attackers fled after killing the militants.

A Levies Official, identified as Sultan Bakht, was killed in a targeted IED blast while he was on his way to Government High School in Badan area of Mamond in Bajaur Agency. Later, the political administration searched the area and arrested nine suspects under the Frontier Crimes Regulation. TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, revealing that it had appointed a new head and 'deputy' head for its Bajaur Chapter.

The Rangers claimed to have killed an alleged 'financer' of target killers, identified as Saleem alias Dollar, affiliated with the MQM, along with two of his accomplices, identified as Nawaz alias Dada and Zubair alias Muhajir, in a targeted raid at his hideout on Khayaban-e-Rahat in DHA locality of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Saleem believed to be associated with a Lyari-based gang, was killed with two of his aides during an alleged encounter with the Rangers in an overnight. According to Rangers officials, the suspects opened fire upon them, provoking retaliation. In the resultant exchange of fire, Saleem and his two accomplices were killed while a Rangers personnel was wounded.

While the Rangers officials claimed that the suspects were connected to Lyari gangs, the spokesperson for the paramilitary force said that Saleem was also affiliated with MQM and had links with alleged target killer Saeed Barham and Lyari gangster Rauf Nagori. “He used to finance them to undertake criminal activities in the city and also ran a team of target killers who were often hired as assassins to carry out numerous high-profile murders,” claimed the spokesperson. The Rangers also seized a large cache of weapons and ammunition from the deceased, including 19 submachine guns, two light machine guns, three MP-5s and three Awan grenades.

Authorities in Pakistan launched on the FATA Sustainable Return and Rehabilitation Strategy amid pledges of financial support. It was jointly launched by the Federal Ministry for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) and FATA development authority in Islamabad. The strategy that the Government was launching refers to the PKR 75.4 billion that are to be spent on helping people affected by the Government’s war against the Taliban and other militants to return to their homes in the tribal areas.

The participants insisted that the government had developed a strategy that involved political, constitutional and administrative reforms in FATA to help ensure that the hard-fought peace is sustainable. However, they failed to present any actual strategy that involved such measures. “The state has to figure out a multi-pronged strategy for a sustainable development in the tribal areas,” said Governor Abbasi.

April 7

A ringleader of Lyari gangsters, identified as Hanif alias DJ alias Dishu, was killed in a joint encounter by the Police and Rangers in Singu Lane near Noorani mosque in Chakiwara area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. SSP-City Fida Hussain said, “He was one of the last remaining commanders of the Uzair Baloch gang.” Another Police Officer, Safdar Mashwani said that the suspect was wanted in 65 cases, including murders of Policemen. He said that the encounter lasted for about 45 minutes.

A convicted murderer, Jafar alias Kali, was hanged till death at Central Jail Sahiwal in Sahiwal District. Jafar was convicted of a dual murder in 1997. He had killed two siblings Khalil and Sadia over a land dispute. He was declared guilty and was awarded death sentence by an Additional Session Judge in 2000. His review petitions were rejected by the higher and superior courts, while his mercy appeal had also been turned down by the then President in May 2012.

Another convict, Tayyab Ghulam Nabi, was executed at the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore District. Tayyab was convicted by a District Court in a murder case in Toba Tek Singh District in 2002. He had killed one Abrar during a scuffle. The review petitions of the convict were rejected by the higher judiciary and his mercy appeal had also been turned down by the President.

The LHC directed the Punjab Government to produce sensitive reports regarding LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror attacks (also known as 26/11) Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. The court was hearing petition of Lakhvi challenging his fourth one-month detention ordered by the Okara DCO on March 14, 2015. Advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi argued that the petitioner, in light of court’s direction, had filed a representation with the Home Secretary against his detention. However, he said, the secretary dismissed the representation and upheld the 30-day detention order issued by the Okara DCO. The counsel pleaded that a person could not be detained beyond 90 days without obtaining an order from review board. A provincial review board comprises judges of the high court.

He pointed out that the trial court had released the petitioner on bail in December 2014, however, the Islamabad District Magistrate issued detention order against him. Later, he said, Islamabad High Court had set aside the petitioner’s detention and ordered the Government to release him. However, another detention order was issued by the Okara DCO and the petitioner was not released, the counsel added. He asked the court to strike down the impugned order and order the government to release the petitioner. The court directed the government’s counsel to submit record of secret documents about activities of Lakhvi on April 9, 2015.

The UNSC slapped sanctions on TTP 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah (40) for perpetrating and financing terror acts. Fazlullah was added to the UNSC al Qaeda Sanctions list and will now be subject to assets freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. The Security Council Committee approved Fazlullah's entry to its al Qaeda Sanctions List of individuals and entities for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan."

Earlier on January 14, 2015, United States had designated Fazlullah as a global terrorist and had slapped sanctions against him.

There was a considerable decrease in the incidents of terrorism all over the province during the first three months of 2015 as compared to 2014, revealed official statistics. During the current year, 60 incidents occurred as compared to 140 incidents in 2014. There has been a considerable decrease in the casualties in the first quarter of this year as 54 people were killed during the three months while 179 were killed in 2014.

The analysis has shown that only one incident of suicide bombing occurred as compared to five such incidents during the same period of last year. Similarly, nine attacks of rockets and hand grenades took place this year while 23 such incidents had taken place last year. There was a major decrease in the incidents of explosions through IED. About 22 IED explosions occurred this year as compared to 74 incidents last year. The overall incidents of terrorism have reduced by almost 60 per cent.

Calling Dr Aafia Siddiqui the most important political prisoner of the present world, US lawyer Stephen Downs during a press conference in Lahore said that a new study titled, ‘Inventing Terrorists: The Lawfare of Preemptive Prosecution’, carried out in the US and jointly released by SALAM and the NCPCF, found that 94 per cent of those held in connection with terrorism cases after September 11, 2001 (also known as 9/11)  attacks were unfairly prosecuted and Dr Aafia Siddiqui was at no. 2 in the list. The study is the first to directly examine and critique preemptive prosecution and its abuses. The study’s authors are Albany attorneys Stephen Downs and Kathy Manley.

Quoting from the study, Downs said “...the war on terror has been largely a charade designed to make the American public believe that a terrorist army is loose in the US, when the truth is that most of the people convicted of terrorism-related crimes posed no danger to the US and were entrapped by a preventive strategy known as preemptive prosecution.” He said Dr Aafia was the most well-known political prisoner in the world and the injustice and maltreatment she had received shocks the conscience. “We fail to understand why Pakistan has not asked for her repatriation. No political considerations could be strong enough to prolong her sufferings. We feel that this is not a difficult task if the political will is there. The world now knows that these preemptive prosecutions are actually a shameful fact and need to be rectified and there is no better place to start than with Dr Aafia.”

The US State Department approved Pakistan’s request for a billion dollars worth of military hardware and equipment, identifying Pakistan as a country of vital importance for US foreign policy and national interests. The US DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale. “This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia,” the certification said, adding, “This proposed sale of helicopters and weapon systems will provide Pakistan with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in South Asia.”

The DSCA informed US lawmakers that this proposed sale would provide Pakistan with “a precision strike, enhanced survivability aircraft” that it can operate at high-altitudes. “By acquiring this capability, Pakistan will enhance its ability to conduct operations in North Waziristan, FATA, and other remote and mountainous areas in all-weather, day-and-night environments. Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces,” the certification added. The agency also assured US lawmakers that the proposed sale “will not alter the basic military balance in the region”. It informed Congress that the State Department had approved this possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters and AGM-114R Hellfire II Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of USD 952 million.

April 8

At least five TTP militants of Ilyas Kahsmiri faction, including its Karachi 'chief', identified as Umar alias Moon, were killed and two Rangers personnel were injured in an encounter with Sindh Rangers in Tapo area of Kiamari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Four other accomplices killed were identified as Anas Ahmed alias Saqib, Abdul Rauf alias Bilal, Javed Hassan alias Yaseen and Talha Faisal alias Imran. According to Rangers, the group was responsible for the 2014 suicide attack on Rangers' sector commander, target killing and bank heists.

One Tariq was killed and his wife was when unidentified armed assailants opened fire on their car near Abdullah College in North Nazimabad Town.

Unidentified militants killed an unidentified man near Afshani Street in Lyari Town.

One Nasarullah (40) was killed and another man, identified as Akber (30), sustained injuries near Noor-ul-Aman Imambargah in North Nazimabad Town.

One Ameen (55) was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Metroville area of SITE Town.

One Mehdi Hasan (30) was shot at and injured near Khan Coach bus stop in Shireen Jinnah Colony of Kiamari Town.

One Muhammad Owais (26) was injured near Fatmia Hospital in Guru Mandir area of Saddar Town.

A TTP militant was killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces in Faridi area of FR Peshawar in FATA.

A death row convict, Amir Hamza, was hanged to death in Machh Jail of Bolan District, in the first execution carried out in the province in seven years. According to prison authorities, Amir murdered a person over a trivial matter in 1995. An Additional Sessions Judge in Sibi had issued the verdict of Hamza’z capital punishment in 2004. President Mamnoon Hussain on March 30, 2015, dismissed his plea for pardon.

Three hand grenade attacks were reported within the span of eight hours from Charsadda town of same District in KP. Although no casualties were reported, the attacks triggered a wave of panic and uncertainty. Unidentified militants lobbed hand grenades at the house of Dr Younas, a well-known psychiatrist. In a separate incident, militants lobbed a hand grenade at a CNG Station on Takht Bhai Road. Similarly, Faheem Haider’s house in Kangra village was also attacked by a hand grenade.

The CTD arrested a militant who was trying to transport explosives on his motorcycle at Custom Chowk in Pishtakhara area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Acting on intelligence reports, CTD officials arrested Shah Hussain. He was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Pashto actor Alamzeb Mujahid in 2009 and reportedly had a hand in the Army Public School attack which took the lives of over 150 people, most of them schoolchildren. According to CTD officials, Hussain was taken into custody while his accomplice Aziz Jamal managed to escape. CTD also recovered 1,250 grammes of explosives and a detonator from his possession.

Police took in custody eight seminary students, who were to be transported to Afghanistan purportedly for military training, from Sherkot town in Sargodha District. Nawankot Circle DSP Farhat Abbas and Sherakot SHO Raza Hasan raided a house in Sherakot and found the children, including a girl, aged between eight and 15 years, there. He said the children were identified as Rafiullh, Ghulam Sakhi, Muhammad Muslim, Sibghatullah, Abdul Majid, Muaz, Abdul Nazir and Fauzia, who had been residing in the area for a month. The spokesman said Muhammad Amin, who was to shift the children to Afghanistan, was also arrested. The facilitator during interrogation said he was taking the children to Afghanistan for military training.

Five suspected militants were arrested by FC personnel during a search operation in Karta area of Bolan District.

Two suspects were arrested during a search operation in Ghori area of Lehri District in Naseerabad Division. A large number of weapons and ammunition were also seized.

A spokesman for the FC, Balochistan, claimed that seven BRA militants surrendered and handed over their weapons to security personnel in Sui area of Dera Bugti District. He said the militants who handed over themselves to law enforcement agencies promised that they would not take up arms anymore and would live peacefully. FC Inspector General Major General Sher Afgun welcomed the decision of the militants who surrendered and said the Government and FC would help all those who would lay down their weapons.

In a series of tweets posted on his official Twitter account, Director General of ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa outlined Pakistan Army's successes in Operation Zarb-i-Azb, revealing that 263 terrorists have been killed so far in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency. The ISPR spokesman tweeted that the information was given in a briefing to Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif during his visit to frontline troops amidst the ongoing operation in Khyber Agency. He reviewed phenomenal progress so far made in eliminating terrorists. Bajwa said terrorist strongholds in the region have been reduced and no escapes have been allowed in this operation. The Army Chief was also informed that the area is infested with IEDs which are mostly foreign made. He was also told that 392 IEDs have been neutralised by special engineers, whereas 35 soldiers have embraced martyrdom since the start of Operation Khyber-2.

April 9

At least 16 suspected militants were killed and at least 10 others were injured when helicopter gunships pounded militant hideouts in Kandaw and Kandu Ghaibi areas of Kukikhel in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA.

Seven TTP militants were killed and two others were injured in other air strikes in Mehraban Kalley, Thor Darra and Wochay Wany areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. The air strikes destroyed four sanctuaries of TTP militants, officials said.

Seven unidentified robbers allegedly looted more than PKR 5 million from Summit Bank located at Furniture Market in Baloch Colony of Orangi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh at 9:00 am. The robbers also took the weapons from the security guards and the bank’s digital video recording system with them.  They held the two security guards and the staff hostage at gunpoint and took the money from the cash counter before they fled. Bank officials told the Police that more than PKR 5 million were robbed.

The CIA arrested a TTP militant and 'commander' of HuM, identified as Hafiz Sanaullah alias Qari Zarar, who is accused of abducting Colonel Imam, a retired officer of the ISI and squadron leader (retired) Khalid Khawaja in 2009 from Lorry area of provincial capital Lahore. An unnamed Police Official said that during interrogation Sanaullah had made startling revelations. He was allegedly involved in a number of kidnapping-for-ransom cases in Lahore and Rawalpindi Districts, adding that he often hurled hand grenades and other sophisticated weapons to pursue his criminal activities. According to Police, Sanaullah hails from Dera Ismail Khan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and had received militant training from North Waziristan Agency in FATA and Afghanistan.

The Lahore High Court dismissed the detention orders of LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror (also known as 26/11) attacks Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, and ordered his release. The court was hearing a petition of Lakhvi challenging his fourth one-month detention ordered by the Okara DCO on March 14, 2015. The Punjab Government had previously maintained the stance that Lakhvi has been detained based on 'sensitive information' provided by Intelligence Agencies. Justice Anwarul Haq had directed the government's counsel to submit records of the information to the court, which was also presented in the IHC on which the IHC had ordered Lakhvi's bail.

The court upheld the stance that if this sensitive information was reliable, the IHC would not have accepted Lakhvi's bail. Therefore, the LHC ordered Lakhvi's release based on the lack of reliability of the sensitive information provided and directed the accused to pay PKR 20 lakhs in surety bonds to Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi District.

The FO welcomed a proposed billion-dollar arms deal with the United States and hoped that congressional approval would come through soon. “Pakistan seeks to procure US military equipment to meet critical gaps in its defence capabilities the proposed equipment will also help our campaign against terrorism,” said FO spokesperson Tasnim Aslam.

The State Department on April 7, 2015, had approved the sale of attack helicopters, missiles and communications equipment worth USD 952 million and the Congress has been notified about the proposed sale. “By notifying the Congress of the proposed sale, the State Department is completing the US internal process in such cases. We hope the final clearance will come through soon. We welcome the notification by State Department,” the spokesperson said, adding, “This is recognition of Pakistan’s needs in counter-terrorism operation. The Congress would have one month to ask any additional questions and queries to the State Department. On the end of that the sale would be confirmed.”

April 10

At least 20 labourers, including 16 from Punjab and four from Hyderabad District in Sindh, were killed and three others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire on a labour camp in Gagdan area of Turbat District.

Spokesperson for FC Khan Wasey claimed that three BLA militants, including the alleged mastermind behind the on June 15, 2013, attack on Quaid-e-Azam’s Ziarat Residency in Ziarat District, identified as Mehmood alias Mama, was killed in a targeted raid carried out by the FC personnel in Mach area of Bolan District. The accused was also involved in ethnic killing in the province, he added. FC also recovered arms and ammunition from their possession.

The Quetta Police claimed to have foiled a terrorism bid by seizing 100 kilogram of explosives during a raid in Hazar Ganji area the provincial capital. "Terrorists had dumped explosive material at an empty place," said Razaq Cheema, the CCPO Quetta.

FC arrested a BLA militant with hate material in Panjgur District.

FC Balochistan on April 10 arrested a mastermind of weapon making and confiscated arms and ammunitions from a compound in Dera Murad Jamali area of Naseerabad District. “One Anti-Aircraft Gun, 22 SMGs, 2 G-3 rifles, 10 double barrel rifles, one rocket launcher with 7 rockets and 2500 different types of rounds have been seized,” said FC official.

Acting on a tip-off, FC raided a compound at Mir Ali area of Zhob District and seized heavy cache of arms and ammunitions. “During the raid 6 sophisticated weapons with 459 rounds and three pistols were recovered from inside the compound while no arrest was made during the raid,” said FC spokesperson.

Unidentified militants ambushed the election rally of JI at Al-Azam Square in Liaquatabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. JeI spokesman alleged that party’s NA-246 candidate Rashid Naseem was the prime target in the attack, launched from MQM camp. He said several party workers sustained injuries. However, Rashid remained unhurt in the ambush.

The CTD arrested a militant, Rashid Khan, carrying head money of PKR 500,000 million, during an action in the Shah Qabool area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the officials of the CTD, Rashid Khan was said to be involved in attacks on power pylons.

The Peshawar High Court refused bail to six terror suspects belonging to the TTP charged with attacks on Security Forces. A single bench of Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth dismissed the writ petition of the six terror suspects. Five of the accused were identified as Muhammad Nawaz, Muhammad Jaseem, Ishaq, Nosherawan and Umar Faraz. They hail from Hangu.

The Lahore University of Management Sciences issued a statement lamenting over the cancellation of  Baloch human rights activist Mama Qadeer's talk, ‘Un-silencing Balochistan’, scheduled for April 9 at LUMS, saying that the talk was cancelled on orders from the Government. “…Under the re-mapping justice series, an event scheduled at LUMS for the April 9, 2015, had to be cancelled on orders from the Government, which was most unfortunate indeed,” read the statement issued by LUMS. The statement adds that LUMS is committed to working with the Government to find a way to allow the university to hold analytical talks on various topics that need to be debated in an objective and unbiased manner. “We are proud that all such discussions have taken place in an academic environment that is collegial and respectful of all citizens, as well as diverging points of view,” said the University statement.

LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror (also known as 26/11) attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was released from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi District. The Lahore High Court (LHC) on April 9, 2015, suspended his detention and ordered his immediate release. JuD supporters were present outside the prison to receive Lakhvi.

Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi had said that the government was left with no other ‘legal option’ but to release his client after the LHC suspended his detention. “Neither the government nor the Adiala Jail authorities can violate the court’s order this time,” he said.  Sources said that Lakhvi was released overnight without any announcements from jail authorities or the JuD. Lakhvi was shifted to an unspecified location after his release, the sources added.

The COAS, General Raheel Sharif, called upon apprehending terrorists and their abettors from the urban areas of the country. He expressed these views while chairing the 181st Corps Commanders Conference held at the General Headquarters. The conference deliberated at length on the gravity of the situation in Yemen and stressed that continuation of the conflict would have serious implications for regional security.

Addressing the forum, General Raheel Sharif expressed his complete satisfaction with the major gains recently achieved in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb in Khyber Agency. He directed the commanders to maintain focus on achieving the end objective of total elimination of terrorism from across the country by coordinating with law enforcement and other Government agencies. “Intelligence based operations must be further intensified to unearth terrorist sleeper cells and apprehend the hiding terrorists and their abettors from urban centers as well,” COAS said.

The Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani said on April 10 that Pakistan has apprehended more than 18,000 people belonging to various extremist organisations in just the last three months. “Zarb-e-Azb focused on foreign militants, but to rid the country of the menace, the government has targeted various home grown organizations who were involved in extremism and violence,” the ambassador said.

One thousand and forty-five families of TDPs have returned to their native areas in Khyber and North Waziristan Agencies during the last five days. FATA Disaster Management Authority said all the families have been provided with cash assistance of PKR 35,000 and six months ration. According to the political administration, the rehabilitation in Bara was going on without any problem. Children below the age of five years were also administered anti-polio drops. The repatriation of the TDPs was launched on March 16.

April 11

At least 20 JuA militants were killed as SFs foiled their move to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan side in the Shunkrai area of Mohmand Agency in FATA in the night. According to sources, a group of terrorists tried to sneak into the Pakistani territory at about 01:30am. The Pakistani troops spotted the move and surrounded them. An intense exchange of fire took place for about an hour during which 20 terrorists were killed. The bodies of the killed terrorists are in the custody of SFs. Meanwhile, Ehsanullah Ehsan, the ‘spokesman’ for the militant group JuA, denied that any clash had taken place at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. “There was no such clash. We believe our colleagues in the custody of the Government were brought there and shot dead. It has happened in the past also but we would avenge the killings,” he stressed.

April 12

A US drone strike killed at least four TTP militants in Shawal valley of North Waziristan Agency in FATA.

A suspected Baloch militant was killed and another was injured in an exchange of fire with FC in Uch area of Sui in Dera Bugti District. According to details, militants attacked a convoy when it was passing through Uch on its way to Sui. The FC troops returned fire and the shootout continued for some time. “One militant of the banned Baloch outfit was killed and another was injured,” an FC spokesman said, adding that the injured militant fled. He said the attackers were on a motorcycle which had been seized along with some automatic weapons, including a rocket launcher.

Police registered a case against the 'chief' of BLF, Dr Allah Nazar, and its 'spokesman' Gohram Baloch for April 10, 2015, massacre of 20 construction workers Turbat in District. Police said the FIR had been registered against the BLF leaders on an application of a labourer, Allah Dina, who was injured in the gun attack.

Under the NAP, the KP Police have rounded up 659 suspects and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition in the ongoing search and strike operation being conducted throughout the province. The Police have recovered 30 arms and ammunition of different kinds and 738 rounds of different bore in different parts of the province. During the operation, 531 houses and 266 hotels were also checked and 33 cases registered against the violators. During snap checking at 147 checkpoints, 375 suspects were held and 14 arms of different kind and 180 cartridges of different bore were also seized, said an official communiqué. During action against unregistered Afghans, a total of 26 people were detained and 14 cases registered against them. Security inspections of 802 educational institutions were also carried out and various institutions were advised to beef up security.

United States warned Pakistan that there may be consequences for freeing LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008  terror attacks (also known as 26/11), Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. On April 11, 2015, the LHC set aside official orders to keep Lakhvi in prison and set him free.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam blamed India for the release, saying that New Delhi’s “inordinate delay” in providing evidence of Lakhvi’s involvement in the attack “weakened the prosecution’s case”. At the State Department, spokesperson Jeff Rathke indicated that such explanations were not enough to satisfy the US administration. “We are gravely concerned about the release on bail of alleged Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi,” he said, adding, “We have communicated that concern to senior Pakistani officials over the course of many months, and as recently as yesterday.” “We urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives,” he said.

Asked if the US could also take steps, such as cancelling the billion-dollar arms deal announced on April 7, 2015, to persuade Pakistan to re-arrest Lakhvi, the official said: “I’m not going to speculate about consequences or repercussions from the podium, but I think I’ve made clear that we’re gravely concerned about this development.”  The State Department official, however, refused to say how soon the United States would take measures, if any, to bring Lakhvi back in the prison. “I’m not going to put a timeline on it. But certainly, bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice is a key priority. And we stand by that. So we’ll continue working in that direction,” he said.

The AQIS said that a series of American drone strikes have killed nearly 50 of its members, including two senior leaders, over the past few months. Deputy head AQIS Ustad Ahmad Farooq and Qari Imran, the group’s central council member and in charge of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, were killed in separate US drone attacks in North Waziristan Agency of FATA on January 5 and 15 respectively, AQIS ‘spokesperson’ Usama Mehmood said in an audio message. The audio was emailed to the media on April 12. “Mujahideen al Qaeda had been the main target of the drone strikes since the security forces have launched military operation in North Waziristan in June last year. Taliban also came under attack but the real target was al Qaeda,” the AQIS spokesperson said. Mehmood said several senior al Qaeda leaders and members were killed in the strikes, adding the Americans specifically focused on the al Qaeda Subcontinent and 10 out of 11 drones hit AQIS. He confirmed the drone attacks have killed around 50 al Qaeda members and a similar number of their local supporters.

April 13

At least 13 BLF militants, including one key militant 'commander' Hayat, were killed in a joint raid by FC personnel and Intelligence Agencies, in Gogdan area of Turbat District. The dead militants were involved in April 10, 2015, massacre of 20 Punjabi and Sindhi construction workers.  Spokesperson FC Khan Wasey said that another key militant 'commander' Zareef was arrested during the operations. Wasey said several miscreants were injured in the operation.  According to security officials, Levies and Police personnel were also called over in wake of the encounter.

At least 10 militants were killed when military planes pounded their hideouts in Chappar Mushti, Toorsimth, Daran Shiekhan, Ovt Mela and Zaffar Ghari of Orakzai Agency in FATA. Five militant hideouts were destroyed.

Two soldiers lost their lives in a roadside blast in Spinwam area of NWA. The sources said that a convoy of soldiers was going from Spinwam to Mir Ali when an IED went off near one of the vehicles. Two soldiers received severe injuries and died on the spot.

A timely action by the political administration foiled a terrorism attempt in Mandori area of Kurram Agency. Sources said that two IEDs had been planted by unidentified people to blow up a suspension bridge in the area. After receiving information about the IEDs, officials of the political administration called the personnel of bomb disposal unit who defused the devices. According to the bomb disposal personnel, the IEDs carried 10kg of explosives.

Five AQIS militants, including its Karachi 'chief' and 'deputy chief’ were killed in an alleged encounter in Khairabad area of Orangi Town. The officials claimed to have unearthed a bomb-making factory and seized a huge quantity of explosive material, including three suicide jackets, laptop and some documents, during the raid. The Police said the suspects were planning attacks on Security Agencies. The documents, laptop and other material found at the hideout helped the Police in identification of the suicide bomber. The deceased were identified as Karachi AQIS head Noor-ul-Hasan alias Hashim alias Bhai Jan alias Babu Bhai, his 'deputy' Usman alias Irfan alias Abdullah, and Ibrahim alias Rafiq alias Awais. They had come from the Helmand Province of Afghanistan just two months ago, according to CTD official Raja Umer Khattab.

Three people, identified as Dilawar, Noor Islam and Din Muhammad, were shot dead by unidentified militants in Kashti Wali Building at Bengali Para in Korangi Town.

The Deputy Director of KMC, identified as Ashraf Abbas (50) alias Ashu, was shot dead and his daughter who was accompanying him in his car was injured in a targeted sectarian attack in Azizabad area of Gulberg Town. Ashraf was a Shia and was the trustee of Azizabad Imambargah Sakina. He was also the worker of Muttahida Qaumi Movement Unit 153 in Federal B. Area Sector

One Akber (45) was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Korangi Town.

Another man, identified as Abid Hussain, was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in North Nazimabad Town.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the ATC to conclude in two months a terrorism case against LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008  terror (also known as 26/11) attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi. A Division Bench, headed by Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi, also bound the defence lawyers to ensure their presence in every hearing otherwise the high court would be left with no choice but to accept the federal government’s plea to cancel the bail granted to Lakhvi.

ATC judge Syed Kausar Abbas Zaidi on December 18, 2014, granted post-arrest bail to Lakhvi. Later, the federal government issued Lakhvi’s detention orders that were further extended on January 18 and February 18 for 30 days each. Subsequently, the Government through the FIA challenged the ATC decision in the high court and maintained that the trial court had ignored the testimony available with it in the Mumbai attacks case. Special prosecutor Azhar Chaudhry and Abu Zar Pirzada appeared on behalf of the FIA and requested the high court to cancel the bail, arguing that the trial against Lakhvi would be concluded soon.

Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, has appealed to the Supreme Court against his death sentence, said lawyers. The High Court in Islamabad had upheld the death sentence on Mumtaz Qadri. Rao Abdul Rahim, a member of the legal team defending Qadri, said they have appealed to the SC to have the sentence commuted. “We have appealed that it was not an intentional murder and was a sudden act after provocation, so the SC should acquit him,” Rahim said.

April 14

Five militants were killed when gunship helicopters pounded their hideouts in Kasha, Shakar Tangi, Safial Darra and other areas of Orakzai Agency in FATA on the second consecutive day. “Five militants were killed and two of their hideouts destroyed on the second day of the offensive,” an official source said.

In what is seen as an effort to re-establish its writ, the Government is calling an end to peace militias along the Pak-Afghan border area of Mohmand Agency. Instead in a first, it will be deploying at least 200 levies and khasadar officers in Baizai subdivision, an important border area. A Grand Jirga of Khawazai and Baizai tribes was held on April 14 at the newly-established Baizai sub-divisional headquarters. Political Agent Waqar Ali Khan addressed the Jirga, which was also attended by high-ranking military officials stationed in the area as well as senior administration officials.

Two beheaded bodies, identified as that of Jameel (80) and Shakeel (45), were recovered from a house near Golden Bakery in Paposh Nagar of North Nazimabad Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A man, identified as Shakir (22), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants near Shah Baig Lane in Lyari Town.

One Bilal was injured with a stray bullet in Machar Colony area in Mauripur area of Kiamari Town.

One Zafar (38) was shot at and injured near Owais Park in Korangi Town.

A man, identified as Shafiullah (37) was shot and injured by near Star ground in Landhi Town.

Sindh Rangers declared that 53 out of 124 weapons, recovered from MQM office in Azizabad area of Gulberg Town on March 11, 2015, were unlicensed. According to Rangers Spokesman, 124 weapons were seized from MQM office. Licenses of 107 were submitted. The spokesman said licenses of 71 weapons were verified, however, 36 could not be verified and licenses of 17 weapons were not received thus far.

Convicted murderer Faisal Mehmood alias Faisal Mota, who was sentenced to death for murder of journalist Wali Khan Babar on January 13, 2011, submitted an appeal to challenge his death sentence in Sindh High Court (SHC). An ATC sentenced Faisal Mota to death in absentia on March 1, 2014. The convict’s counsel Advocate Aamir Masoob Qureshi has submitted an application in court and said since death sentence was awarded in absentia, court should declare it illegal. Qureshi said that according to Articles 21-L and 31-A of Anti Terrorism Act 1997, a death sentence cannot be awarded in absentia.

A murder convict, Looney Khan, was hanged till death at New Central Jail in Bahawalpur District. Khan had killed his brother-in-law in 2000.

Police foiled a terrorist bid by defusing a heavy IED, planted outside the residence of known lawyer and leader of Awami National Party Abdul Lateef Afridi in Hayatabad area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the night. An official of Hayatabad Police Station said that the remote controlled device, packed in a shopping bag, weighed about five kilograms.

A senior leader of JuD, Maulana Ameer Hamza, was barred from travelling to Saudi Arabia by FIA Immigration officials at Allama Iqbal Airport in Lahore as his name was on the Exit Control List (ECL). Hamza was traveling to the kingdom along with his wife Bushra for performing religious obligations. The name of Ameer Hamza was put on the ECL by the Federal Ministry of Interior on the request of Punjab Home Department.

Afterwards the JuD leader was brought to FIA headquarters for necessary legal actions. Although FIA officials have no clue when his name was put on the ECL and for what reasons, sources in the FIA claimed that his name was put on ECL sometime back. Sources said leaders of tier-I and tier-II of different religious parties were put on the ECL on the request of the Home Department Punjab and Ameer Hamza could be one of them. The passport of Hamza had also been confiscated, they maintained.

An unnamed Government official said that the Punjab Government will challenge in Supreme Court the release of LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror (also known as 26/11) attacks accused Zakiur Reham Lakhvi, by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on April 9, 2015. On April 9, a single judge of the LHC ordered Lakhvi’s release after suspending his detention under the MPO issued by Okara’s top administrator on March 12, 2015. Lakhvi had been in detention for over five years for his involvement in 26/11 attacks.

An insider in the Punjab Advocate General office said that the draft of the appeal has been prepared and it will be filed in the SC within a couple of days. It states that Lakhvi is the 'operational chief' of LeT. His release is against the UN resolutions, argues the appeal to be filed on behalf of the Punjab Home Secretary, Okara DCO and Adiala Jail superintendent. The Government, it says, is responsible for maintaining peace in the society and the courts have no authority to intervene in this matter.

April 15

Four unidentified militants abducted the MNCH Programme and Official Coordinator of the Balochistan Health Department Dr Amir Baksh at gunpoint from Sohrab Road in provincial capital Quetta while he was on his way to the health office from his home on Brewery Road. The doctor hails from Turbat District and had been working on child and maternal health in Balochistan.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met Army chief General Raheel Sharif to discuss national security and the law and order situation of Quetta. Sources privy to the development revealed that Operation Zarb-e-Azb might be expanded to Balochistan to fight against Baloch insurgents as well. The army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb against militants in North Waziristan Agency of FATA in June 2014.

Four armed robbers stormed Habib Bank Limited in Korangi 6 area of Korangi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, looting PKR 1 million after overpowering the two security guards posted there. Station House Officer of Awami Colony Police Station Ghazanfar said that the robbers snatched weapons from the two guards posted there and collected PKR1 million from the cash counter at gunpoint.

The HRCP in its latest report stated that killings in Karachi, in the last three months, have witnessed a 33.5 per cent decline as compared to last year. According to the HRCP report, from January to March 2015, around 532 people were killed or died in incidents of violence in the city. This includes men, women and children who were killed in sectarian attacks, personal enmities, robberies, police encounters and karo-kari. Last year in 2014, between January and March, nearly 800 people had been killed.

The HRCP’s vice-chairperson in Sindh Asad Iqbal Butt said that there was a decline in killings as compared to 2014 as Law Enforcement Agencies had become more active. “Political activists who were involved in criminal activities are being arrested by law enforcers,” he said, adding, “This has brought down the total number of killings and murders in the city.” He added that while numbers for targeted attacks and killings had gone down in Karachi, street crimes such as robberies had increased.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) was informed that 22 more missing persons shifted to internment centre in Lakki Marwat were declared black or hardcore militants) and five as grey (terror suspects). Additional Advocate General (AAG), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mian Arshad Jan, submitted to a division bench the list of 27 missing persons shifted to internment centre in Lakki Marwat. The bench comprised of Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Muhammad Daud Khan. As per the list issued by in-charge of the internment centre, Sabz Ali Khan, 22 missing persons shifted to internment centre had been declared hardcore militants.

The black declared internees were Akbar Ali, Mian Anwar, Abdullah, Mulazim Hussain, Muhammad Asif, Imdad Hussain, Asghar Shah, Qadir Shah, Yousaf Shah, Rahmat Zada, Idrees, Nisar Ali, Ashiquddin, Rasool Niaz, Rahmatullah, Akhtar Ali, Daulat Khan, Zakirullah, Asghar Hussain, Muhammad Ayub, Abdullah and Noor Muhammad. Five internees were also declared grey. They included Inamullah, Asghar Khan, Muhammad Hayat, Zamir Gul and Abdul Khaliq. It was stated in the report that the internees had been picked up in the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. They were shifted to the internment centre after one or two years under the special law called Action (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulation, 2011 for FATA and PATA.

Former US ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter claimed that “Pakistan probably didn’t know about Osama bin Laden as there is no evidence to suggest there was a link”. Giving a talk at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs on re-envisioning US-Pak relations, the former ambassador presented a prologue to the year 2011 which he says was “a terrible year if you happen to be an ambassador to Pakistan”. Mr Munter said Pakistan probably didn’t know about OBL’s presence. “Because everything was taken out during the raid and if there was a link it is hard to imagine there would have been no trace of that.” The raid and its implications made cooperation between the two countries difficult, the former ambassador said.

Forty-one percent of the Afghan refugees who returned to their homeland over the years cite fear of arrest or harassment as the leading reason for their return, UNHCR report said. This information was released by the UNHCR in its March 2015 Afghan Refugees Repatriation Fact Sheet for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the FATA. A total of 10,777 refugees have been repatriated between January and March of this year, the majority of whom were from host communities.

After the APS attack in December 16, 2014, the repatriation of Afghan refugees has spiked. Around 3,000 to 4,000 refugees left for Afghanistan each month from January to March this year during the same time period in 2014 (January to March), a total of 761 refugees had left Pakistan for Afghanistan. There are currently 965,301 Afghan refugees living in Pakistan─ 53pc of these live in host communities, while 47pc live in 64 refugee villages. UNHCR says repatriation of all refugees may not be possible by December 2015. The greatest influx of refugees occurred during the late 1970s and the 1980s.

According to the UNHCR report, a total of 2.3 million refugees have been repatriated since 2002, with the highest number ─ 811,299 ─ repatriated in 2002, and the lowest ─ 6,394 ─ in 2014. The most popular province of asylum for refugees is KP, with 52pc of refugees settling in both urban and rural areas of the province. AJK is the next popular option, followed by Punjab, with 25pc and 23pc of refugees settling in these regions, respectively.

The Police Department cancelled leaves of its staffers deputed at the Peshawar University campus and asked them to remain on duty in view of security threats to the campus. A high-level meeting attended by SSP-Operations Mian Mohammad Saeed, campus Police commandant Mohammad Hussain Khan and army officials took stock of the situation and decided to further strengthen the security. “We can’t take chances. We should be prepared to cope with any eventuality. We suffered due to terrorism and have to take appropriate measures,” said campus SHO Imran Khan. The sources said that there were fresh threats to various departments due to which security at the campus needed to be reinforced. They revealed that recently some phone calls had been intercepted that showed any untoward incident could happen at the campus.

Over 300 policemen deployed at the campus – which houses the University of Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology, Agriculture University and Islamia College University – have been asked to ensure presence on duty. The administrations at almost all educational institutions have raised boundary walls, installed barbed wire and increased the number of security guards to cope with the security situation.

April 16

At least 10 terrorists were killed and another six were arrested in a pre-dawn crackdown in Sheikhan area of Orakzai Agency in FATA. At least 12 hideouts of the militants were destroyed and a huge quantity of weapons and ammunition was seized.

Islamic State (IS, also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria / ISIS) ''commander-designate'' for Pakistan, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, was killed with two others in a bomb explosion in the Toor Dara area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. Khyber Agency officials said the militants were planting or manufacturing an IED when it exploded, killing the all three of them on the spot.  According to details, Saeed hailed from the Orakzai Agency and was among five leading TTP 'commanders' who announced their disassociation from the outfit in October 2014. Later, they swore allegiance to IS under the leadership of Shahidullah Shahid. The IS high-command through a message circulated by Shahid had declared Saeed as the IS 'chief' for Pakistan. However, Shahid is believed to be the real chief with Saeed serving as his dummy.

A key leader of Haqqani Network, identified as Farooq, was killed and nine militants were arrested during a clash with SFs in Sra Kanda area of Birmal tehsil near Wana in NWA. However, one suspect managed to escape. According to Intelligence sources, 11 Haqqani Network militants were going to Wana via Shawal in a pick-up. When the militants reached near a security check-post in Sra Kanda, an exchange of fire took place between them and security personnel, killing Farooq, a key figure of the Haqqani Network and brother of senior militant leaders Sangeen and Bilal Zadran. The arrested militants were identified as Israr Ahmed, Rahim Gul, Abid, Mohsin, Gul Mohammad, Amirullah, Azbullah and Khan Zali Khan. The sources said that a huge cache of arms was recovered from their possession and their pick-up was impounded.

SFs successfully repulsed a militant attack on Ghakhi, a Pakistani border post, in Bajaur Agency. An insider confirmed the attack, claiming that militants from the Kunar Province Afghanistan attacked with heavy weapons. The soldiers responded to the gunfire forcing the militants to flee.

Three persons, including two women, of the same family were killed when unidentified militants opened indiscriminate fire at a vehicle Qamaruddin Karez area of Zhob District.

A soldier, identified as Sepoy Mohammad Yousuf, was killed and two others were injured in a rocket attack on an under-construction check post of FC in the Tasp area of Panjgur District. “Three rockets were fired from an unknown location which landed and exploded near the check post in Tasp,” FC spokesman Khan Wassy said. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Acting on a tip-off, FC carried out a search operation on the outskirts of Sibi District and arrested 10 suspects and recovered six automatic weapons from their possession. The detained persons were accused of blowing up railway lines, planting IEDs and attacking security forces and public transport.

In another search operation in Harnai District, FC arrested four suspects involved in extortion from coalmine contractors and truck drivers.

The leader of the VBMP Abdul Qadeer Baloch, also known as Mama Qadeer, during a press conference at the Karachi Press Club in Karachi claimed that five of the 13 suspected militants killed by SFs on April 13, 2015, and accused of having been involved in the murder of 20 labourers in Turbat District on April 10, 2015, had been missing for the past few months. Mama Qadeer said it was not the first time that SFs had come up with such a claim after killing people in custody. “At least five of those 13 men killed were missing for the past few months,” he said, adding, “They all were picked up from different areas of Turbat District. Their families had reasons to believe that they were in custody of agencies.”

He said the names of the five young men were registered with his group as ‘missing Baloch persons’ and that institutions concerned as well as some human rights’ organisations were aware of their enforced disappearance.  He further said that for a couple of years security agencies had been killing people in their custody after every attack carried out by militant groups. He said the situation in Balochistan was constantly deteriorating and both the Federal and Provincial Governments were appeared helpless in resolving the issue of missing persons.

Two death row prisoners, Ejaz and Abdul Jabbar, were hanged till death in Central Jail Gujranwala in Gujranwala District. Ejaz had killed a man in 1995 and Abdul Jabbar in 2001.

Two more convicts, identified as Qaiser and Majid, were hanged till death in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. Qaiser was accused of murdering a colleague and was awarded sentence by a court. An anti terrorism court (ATC) had awarded death sentence to convict Majid for killing six people in Wah Cantt. Both convicts hailed from Rawalpindi Division.

Another condemned prisoner, Zafar Iqbal, was hanged till death in Faisalabad Central Jail in Faisalabad District. Zafar was convicted of killing a woman over resistance during a robbery bid in 2005.

Hangings of two convicts, Nizam Deen and Muhammad Hussain, were cancelled after their heirs managed to produce agreements between the plaintiffs and defending parties, before the jail authorities.

The Station House Officer of Preedy Police Station, identified das Khawaja Ajaz Ali, was killed by unidentified armed assailants on Korangi Road near Defence Morr in Saddar Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A woman, identified as Debra Lobo, a US national and the Vice-Principal of the Jinnah Medical and Dental College’s student affairs wing, was shot at and injured on Shaheed-e-Millat Road in Jamshed Town. According to Police sources, leaflets of Islamic State (IS, also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS) were found at the scene claiming responsibility for the attack. “Lobo was on her way to the college when her car came under attack by two armed assailants riding on a motorbike,” an unnamed Police Official said.

April 17

Eight militants were killed when gunship helicopters shelled their hideouts in Kasha, Babo Tang Killay, Drand Sheikhan and Ahat Mela area of Orakzai Agency in FATA. “The gunship helicopters targeted three militant hideouts in the central parts of the Orakzai Agency. Eight militants were killed in the shelling,” an official source said. Security Forces claimed that two commanders were among the dead. However, they didn’t disclose the identities of the slain commanders.

Masood Hamid, Marketing Director for Dawn and Pakistan Herald Publications Limited (PHPL), was killed in his car in Phase-8 area of DHA in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The unidentified militants also left the weapon used in the murder in his car before fleeing the incident site.

The LeT founder and JuD 'chief' Hafiz Muhammad Saeed held a rally in support of Kashmir separatist leader Masarat Alam in Lahore. This rally came right after Alam was arrested for raising pro-Pakistani slogans and waving Pakistani flag in Srinagar on Syed Ali Shah Geelani's return from Delhi. Despite the arrest, Alam remained defiant and said that the scheduled rally in Tral against the death of a youth in an encounter with Army will continue as planned. Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani though remains under house arrest. Both the Hurriyat hardliners were slated to hold a rally in Tral. The action comes after the Bharatiya Janata Party, an ally in the Jammu and Kashmir Government, threatened to skip the next Cabinet meeting if Masarat was not arrested. Masarat Alam has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The Director General of ISPR, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, tweeted quoting COAS General Raheel Sharif as saying that Pakistan and Afghanistan will continue targeting terrorists on the their respective sides of the border, ensuring total denial of space to terror elements. General Raheel Sharif expressed these views during his meeting with the Afghan National Army’s Chief of General Staff General Sher Mohammad Karimi, who called on him at the General Headquarters here on Friday, the ISPR press release said. During the meeting, the matters related to peace and stability in the region, especially in Afghanistan, Pak-Afghan border management and measures to further enhance defence and training cooperation between both the armies were discussed.

The HRCP issued its annual report titled “State of Human Rights in 2014” revealed that 1,723 Pakistanis lost their lives and 3,143 were injured during 2014 in 1,206 terrorist attacks, including 26 suicide hits. The report stated that Pakistan in 2014 witnessed surge in sectarian violence, attack on minorities, media censorship, and remained the worst polio-affected country. The report stated that no laws were made by the Federal Government to safeguard the interests of religious minorities.

According to the report a total of 144 incidents of sectarian violence were reported from across the country, out of which 144 were sectarian-related terrorist attacks and three sectarian clashes. On freedom of thought the report stated that 11 Hindu temples and churches were attacked in Sindh, two attacks were carried out against the Zikri sect in Balochistan. The HRCP annual report said that Shia pilgrims’ buses passing through Balochistan and passenger buses and vans plying between Gilgit-Baltistan and the rest of the country had to travel in convoys under security escorts.

Pakistan was termed the most dangerous country in the world for media, with 14 journalists and media workers killed in 2014 alone. The country recorded 627,116 cases of crimes against people and property during 2014 as against 634,404 in 2013 – a nominal fall. Sindh Police registered 1,261 cases of kidnapping of women for forced marriages in 2014. There were 114 cases of acid attacks in Pakistan, involving 159 victims, reports said. According to the report, 1,723 people were killed and 3,143 were injured during 2014 in 1,206 terrorist attacks – including 26 suicide hits. Sectarian violence killed 210 people, 45 members of polio teams — vaccinators and their facilitators —were killed.

No laws were made by the Federal Government to safeguard the interests of religious minorities and only two bills related to minorities were passed at the provincial level by KP, report said. According to the report under ‘Law and law-making’ section, parliament made 10 laws, less than half the previous year’s 22, nine presidential ordinances were promulgated. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa passed the highest number of provincial acts and ordinances followed by Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan in 2014, the provincial legislation amounting to 137, and provincial assemblies performance were better than national assembly.

There were 3,392 encounters in 2014 as against 2,616 in 2013 in Sindh. 925 suspects were killed in shootouts and 160 personnel of Police and Rangers fell in the line of duty in Karachi. KP Police killed 26 persons in encounters. Punjab Police killed 276 suspected criminals and arrested 322 while 27 Policemen died and 59 suspected criminals and 73 Policemen got injured in 283 encounters in 2014. While, 231 persons were sentenced to death by the courts.

April 18

Six TTP militants were killed in an encounter in the Afghan Basti near the Super Highway in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police said that they conducted a raid acting on a tip-off regarding terrorists hiding out in the Afghan settlement. Upon seeing the raiding party the terrorists opened fire upon them. In the ensuing gunfight six terrorists were killed belonging to TTP Maulvi Fazlullah group. Police identified two out of the six terrorists as Ahmed and Sarwat. Ahmed was a commander of the deceased former TTP Chief Hakimullah Mehsud and has been injured in a drone strike in Waziristan after which he relocated to Karachi to seek medical treatment.

The LeT founder and JuD 'chief' Hafiz Muhammad Saeed admitted that his organisation helps the Pakistan Army in supporting Kashmiris. Speaking during an interview with Pakistan's Channel 24, Saeed said, “There are lakhs of people in Kashmir who are demanding freedom. If the Indian government resorts to firing then we will also retaliate in a strong manner.” “We support Pakistan, Pakistan government and Pakistan Army in their effort to help the people of Kashmir who don't have freedom. And we call it jihad,” he added. Saeed said further, “Pakistan and its government have always maintained that people of Kashmir should get their rights. Whatever the Pakistani government does to achieve this is jihad for us and we support Pakistan, Pakistani government and Pakistani forces.”

April 19

One of the top commanders of the Haqqani Network was among six militants killed during clashes with the SFs in the Beermal area of South Waziristan Agency in FATA. The law enforcement personnel also arrested nine militants while one managed to escape in the hills. The commander of the Haqqani Network was identified as Farooq Zadran who was killed in Beermal, the border area between North and South Waziristan Agency.

At least five militants have been killed and three security personnel injured during clashes between SFs and militants in the area of Nangrosa Sipah of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency.

One person was killed while five others were injured in a hand grenade explosion during the cleansing of a canal in the Yasin Manjanwala locality of Lakki Marwat District in KP. The incident took place in the Yasin Manjanwala where the dwellers of the area were engaged in cleansing of the canal on self-help basis. During the cleansing work a hand grenade buried in the mud blasted, resulting in the death of one person and injuring five others.

Under the NAP, KP Police have rounded up 416 suspects and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition in the ongoing search and strike operation being conducted throughout the province. The Police have recovered 45 arms and ammunition of different kinds and 555 round of different bore in different parts of the province. Two kg explosive material was also recovered. During the operation, 532 houses and 242 hotels were also checked and 7 cases registered against the violators. During snap checking at 172 checkpoints, 234 suspects were held and 28 arms of different kind and 229 cartridges of different bore were also seized, said an official communiqué.

A local ATC cleared the chief of the TNSM, Sufi Muhammad, in 16 more terrorism cases. Sufi Muhammad was acquitted due to lack of evidence against him in the cases, all of which were registered under the anti-terrorism act. Judge Abdul Rauf of the ATC, who conducted proceedings inside the Peshawar Central Jail, also issued orders to transfer the remaining three cases against the TNSM chief to courts in Swat. The trial of Sufi Mohammad in different terrorism cases has been conducted inside the maximum-security Peshawar Central Jail for security reasons.

KP Home Department has issued around 161,441 prohibited bore licences during the past two years. According to statistics issued by the provincial Home Ministry, Bannu District has topped the list with around 66,000 licences issued in past two years. According to media reports, the District administrations have issued the following number of prohibited bore licences: 11,642 in Peshawar, 8,009 in Kohat and 7,721 in Mardan. Chitral was last in the list with around 123 licenses. Other areas in the list comprised of Swabi, Sahab, Karak, Lower Dir, Charsadda, Mansehra, Lakki Marwat, Abbottabad, Malakand, Buner, DI Khan, Nowshera, Hangu, Batgram, Torghar, Kohistan and Upper Dir. Deputy Commissioner Bannu Mohammad Ayaz Khan expressed his dismay over the issuance of 66,000 licences in the District and said that he would check the record in this regard.

A convicted prisoner on death row, identified as Manzoor Wasli was hanged in Vehari’s District Jail. Wasli killed a Policeman during a robbery attempt in 2001. A local ATC had convicted him and awarded him double death penalty.

Three people were injured when two unidentified militants hurled a grenade in Bolton Market on MA Jinnah Road in Lyari Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

April 20

Airport Security Force thwarted terrorists attack on Air Traffic Control Radar of Pasni airport in Gwadar District. ASF spokesman Abbas Memon said the terrorists launched attack on the radar in organized manner, however, the ASF personnel foiled the assault. He said, “All the installations of the Pasni radar were safe.” He further said no loss of life was reported. Deputy Commissioner Gwadar Abdul Hameed said terrorists shot fire on the radar 8 kilometers far from the location and managed to flee after exchange of fire with law enforcement agencies.

Pakistan’s former Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, strongly opposed the use of American military aid to fight extremists in Pakistan and said instead it will fuel conflict in South Asia. The Obama administration on April 7, 2015, announced to sell almost USD 1 billion worth of attack helicopters, missiles and other equipment to Pakistan. Haqqani said, “Pakistan’s failure to tackle its jihadist challenge is not the result of a lack of arms but reflects an absence of will," adding, "With nuclear weapons, Pakistan no longer has any reason to feel insecure about being overrun by a larger Indian conventional force. For the US to continue supplying a Pakistani military that is much larger than the country can afford, will only invigorate Pakistani militancy and militarism at the expense of its 200 million people, one-third of whom continue to live at less than a dollar a day per household.”

The former ambassador said that unless Pakistan changes its worldview, American weapons will end up being used to fight or menace India and perceived domestic enemies instead of being deployed against jihadists. “Competition with India remains the overriding consideration in Pakistan’s foreign and domestic policies. By aiding Pakistan over the years, some USD 40 billion since 1950, according to the Congressional Research Service, the US has fed Pakistan’s delusion of being India’s regional military equal. Seeking security against a much larger neighbour is a rational objective but seeking parity with it on a constant basis is not. Instead of selling more military equipment to Pakistan, US officials should convince Pakistan that its ambitions of rivaling India are akin to Belgium trying to rival France or Germany, he said.

April 21

A total of 17 condemned prisoners were hanged in different jails across the country. Three condemned prisoners each were executed in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Gujranwala, two convicts each were hanged in Lahore and Sialkot, while one condemned prisoner each faced the gallows in Gujrat, Sahiwal, Multan and Machh. Another six will be taken to the gallows on April 22, (Central Jail Lahore 2 Central Jail Sahiwal 3 and one in Central Jail Bahawalpur) whereas two other will be hanged on Thursday (one each in Central Jail Sahiwal and District Jail Sargodha). In Lahore, Allah Rakha and Ghulam Nabi were sent to the gallows in Kot Lakhpat Jail for committing murders in 1996 and 2003, respectively. Two death row prisoners were hanged in Sialkot jail for killing a woman after sexually assaulting her.

The Federal Government requested the Supreme Court to revoke its interim order of halting the executions of six terrorists who were awarded death sentences by the military courts established under the 21st Constitutional Amendment. The Federation contended that these six terrorists had waged a war against the State of Pakistan hence the interim order passed by the apex court had no basis. The Federation, in its reply, filed through the attorney general’s office submitted that the convicts and their organisations had declared and waged a war against the State of Pakistan by slaughtering Army/Frontier Corps personnel, preparing suicide bombers, attacking armed forces/civilians and installations, which resulted in causing deaths and injuries, abduction for ransom, possessing explosives and collection of funds for terrorist organisations. On April 16, the full court had halted the execution of six terrorists, Noor Saeed, Haider Ali, Murad Khan, Inayatullah, Israruddin and Qari Zahir under the Pakistan Army Act 1952.

Six suspected militants and two soldiers were killed in three clashes between Security Forces and militants in different areas of Balochistan. Three suspects were arrested and a huge quantity of arms and ammunition was seized by paramilitary troops.

Official sources said that a security convoy was going from Mashkay to Jahoo area of Awaran District when it came under fire. SFs fired back and the gun battle, which lasted for several hours, left four militants dead.

In a clash in Zarin Bug area in Kech District, two SFs personnel and a suspected militant were killed. A spokesman for the Frontier Corps said that troops chased the perpetrators of April 19’s rocket attack on an air traffic control station in the Pasni area of Gwadar and surrounded them in Zarin Bug, 80km from Gwadar. In a heavy exchange of fire between FC troops and militants in the mountainous area, one militant and two soldiers were killed and two militants were arrested, the FC spokesman said.

FC troops killed one militant and arrested another in an encounter in the mountainous area of Aghbarg in Ziarat District. “The troops launched a search operation for militants belonging to a banned religious extremist organisation who were involved in attacking the vehicle of the district police officer of Sherani in Loralai area and killing three policemen in March,” the spokesman said.

Four members of a family sustained injuries when an explosive device planted near a well went off in Bilyamina area of Bannu District in KP. Sources said that unidentified persons had placed explosive device near a well outside the house of Noor Saeed, a retired Subedar, in Bilyamina area. The explosive went off when his family members gathered near the well. The injured were identified as Zubair, Atif, Ziaullah and Ajmeer, sons of Noor Saeed.

The KP Police has trained 10,727 guards to provide security to the various educational institutions while 10,610 more are waiting for their turn to get training, officials said. In the backdrop of attack on the Army Public School and College in Peshawar in December 16, 2014, security arrangements of educational institutions across the province were reviewed. On the request of the administration of educational institutions, the KP Police has imparted training to 10,727 guards across the province so far. Of them, 3,973 guards were trained in Hazara Region, Bannu Region 2,192, Mardan Region 1,938, Malakand Region 1,306, Kohat 709, Dera Ismail Khan 516 and Peshawar 93. Those who received training included teachers, security guards, watchmen and retired personnel of different security forces.

A soldier sustained injuries in a roadside blast in the Ghongat Jowar area of Safi tehsil in Mohmand Agency of FATA. Sources said that militants had planted an IED on a roadside in the Ghongat Jowar area. The militants triggered the explosion when a patrolling vehicle of SFs was passing through the area. A soldier Izharullah sustained injuries in the blast.

A Khassadar Force official sustained injuries in a roadside blast in Mandato Koty area of Jamrud tehsil in Khyber Agency. Sources said that unidentified persons had planted a bomb in Mandato Koty, which went off when the Khassadar official, identified as Shakeel Khan, was on his way to Sakhipul checkpost for duty.

SFs repulsed an attack on the Nawa Pass security checkpost in Chamarkand tehsil of Bajaur Agency. Sources said the militants based in Kunar province of Afghanistan attacked the Nawa Pass security checkpost early in the day. They said that the personnel of the SFs returned the fire and forced the militants to escape. However, there were no reports about any casualty in the attack.

The TTP claimed to have successfully test fired its first ‘indigenously developed’ missile named as ‘Omar-1’. To justify its claim, the TTP has issued a statement and posted a video demonstrating the launch of missile.

In the video, different parts of the missile were assembled before its launch. The TTP said that special feature of ‘Omar-1’ is its design. "It can easily be assembled and dissembled in accordance to the situation," said Muhammad Khorasani, the TTP ‘spokesman’. Khorasani said the effectiveness of the specially-designed missile would certainly surprise the targeted enemy. "With the grace of God, you'll soon see our enemies on the run," he said. The spokesman further said that engineering unit of the TTP has the capability to develop modern lethal weapons. "We are training our fighters to get maximum results from the use of technology, including suicide vests, suicide vehicles, hand grenades, anti-jammer devices and so on,” he added.

April 22

Twenty-seven militants were killed in air strikes and a search operation in North and South Waziristan Agencies of FATA. The ISPR said 22 militants were killed and their sanctuaries destroyed when fighter aircraft pounded their positions in Khar Tangi and Lowra Mandi areas of Dattakhel area in NWA. In a cordon and search operation, five terrorists were killed by SFs in the Shakto area of SWA.

The border authorities recovered a huge cache of explosive material from a truck at Torkham border in Khyber Agency. An official said that a trailer truck (12481-KBL) was on the way to Afghanistan from Pakistan carrying cement bags. He said the Khasadars during routine checking recovered 720 pieces of detonators, 110 kilograms potassium and hundreds of metres of wire from the truck.

Four prisoners were executed in jails of Punjab. Two were hanged till death in Central Jail, Lahore, one in Central Jail, Sahiwal, and one in Central Jail, Bahawalpur. Executions of four prisoners two in Central Jail, Sahiwal, and two in Central Jail, Sialkot, have been postponed due to stay orders. Moreover, four more prisoners would be executed next week. Two prisoners one from Central Jail Sahiwal and one from Central Jail Sargodha, will be hanged on April 23 and two more, one from Central Jail, Lahore, and one from District Jail Vehari would be executed on April 28.

A bomb of moderate intensity went off at Afghan Colony in the limits of Faqirabad Police Station in Peshawar the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the morning. However no casualty was reported. According to police, the bomb was planted in front of the house of local trader Azam Khan at Afghan Colony that exploded with big bang. The windowpanes and door of the house were damaged as a result of the explosion. The blast also damaged five nearby shops and adjoining houses.

An ATC in Quetta declared 16 suspects of the Quaid-e-Azam residency attack case as fugitives. Quaid-e-Azam's residency in Ziarat was damaged by explosives and was set ablaze on June 15, 2013 whereas one Police official was also killed during the attack. According to reports, the hearing was headed by Judge Nauroz Khan in which the statement of the investigating officer was recorded. The court ordered to advertise the names of the suspects in three newspapers. The suspects include Herbiar Murree, Haleem Murree, Dar Muhammad Murree, Jamal Shah, Geo Murree, Abdul Pukar, Aslam alias Achu, Saifullah alias Saifu, Bairak, Rehman Gull, Abdul Sattar Murree, Ganbu Murree, Jabal Murree, Taio Murree, Umar Mannu and Baju Murree. The hearing of the case was adjourned till April 27.

Pakistan-based LeT 'technology chief' Zarrar Shah and his fellow militants continue to direct terrorist activity from behind bars under ISI watch, setting up in jail in Pakistan's Rawalpindi a control room like the one in Karachi to oversee the 26/11 (November 26, 2998) Mumbai (Maharashtra) attacks, a report said.

A report in Frontline titled 'The Hidden Intelligence Breakdowns Behind the Mumbai Attacks' says six years after the 26/11 attacks that brought Mumbai and India to a standstill, the masterminds are still "at large in Pakistan protected by the ISI, an intelligence service that is nominally a US ally." "Even the defendants behind bars are still a threat. Shah, Lashkar's technology and communications chief, and his fellow militants continue to direct terrorist activity from the prison," the report quoted current and former Western and Indian counter-terror officials as saying.

"They're able to continue operating unfettered there," former State Department intelligence analyst Tricia Bacon said in the report. "The control room that they once had in Karachi to oversee the Mumbai attacks they essentially now have in the prison in the middle of the military capital in Pakistan (Rawalpindi)," Bacon added.

Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Operation Zarb-e-Azb has proved very successful in eliminating terrorism from the country and the operation against militants will continue until the country is purged of the menace of terrorism. Addressing a ‘Police-Darbar’ gathering at the Police Lines headquarters in Islamabad, the Minister said the war against terrorism will continue till the elimination of the last terrorist. Over 500 operations have been launched against terrorists under National Action Plan but the war against terror has not ended yet, adding that though the enemies have run away but they are still planning attack and threats are still there.

April 23

Twenty terrorists, including three suicide bombers, were killed when PAF fighter aircrafts targeted their hideouts in Kukikhel, Sepah and Kamarkhel areas of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of FATA. The ISPR through a statement said that several hideouts, ammunition and ration depots were also destroyed in the aerial blitz.

One American and one Italian who had been held hostage by al Qaeda in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan were killed in a US counterterrorism operation in January, the White House said. The operation in which American doctor Warren Weinstein and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto were killed also resulted in the death of an American al Qaeda leader, Ahmed Farouq, the White House said. Another American al Qaeda member, Adam Gadahn, also was killed, likely in a separate operation, the White House added. In a written statement, the White House expressed “tremendous sorrow” over the hostage deaths and said the United States had no reason to believe hostages were at the al Qaeda related compound targeted in the operation.

Weinstein was abducted in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2011 while working for a US consulting firm. Al Qaeda had asked to trade him for members of the militant group being held by the United States. Weinstein was seen in videos released in May 2012 December 2013, asking for US president Barrack Obama to intervene on his behalf and saying he was suffering from heart problems and asthma. Italian aid worker Lo Porto has been missing in Pakistan since January 2012. Lo Porto, who was from Palermo, Sicily, was kidnapped three days after arriving in Pakistan on January 19, 2012, to work for a German organization building houses for victims of a 2010 flood. Another man was kidnapped with him but later separated and freed in October 2014 by German Special Forces.

An in-depth analysis by the London-based BIJ has revealed that 38 Westerners have been killed in the US drone strikes so far in different countries. These include an American and an Italian whose names were mentioned in an unprecedented announcement by US President Barack Obama. However, these were not the only Westerners killed by the US in its covert drone war in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The analysis by the BIJ and author Chris Woods has found that seven other US citizens have been killed since the White House launched its covert drone war on suspected terrorists in 2002. These findings are part of a major investigation into the nationalities of people killed by the US drone war. At least 38 Westerners in total have now been killed by US drones in the three target countries – Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The 38 Western deaths include 10 Americans, eight Britons, seven Germans, three Australians, two Spaniards, two Canadians, one Belgian or Swiss national, and now one Italian. There have also been four ‘Westerners’ of unidentified nationality.

April 24

Sabeen Mahmud, the director at T2F, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in the Phase-II area of DHA in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, in the night. According to reports, Sabeen, accompanied by her mother was returning home after hosting a seminar at the T2F premises in Phase-II area of DHA, when unidentified gunmen on a motorbike opened fire at her car. Both Sabeen and her mother were rushed to a nearby hospital where Sabeen succumbed to her wounds. Her mother is severely injured and still under treatment. Police said that Sabeen received five bullet wounds.

One Policeman was killed, six other cops and a civilian were injured when a vehicle of the QRF of the Peshawar Police was attacked with an IED at the Gulbahar Chowk in Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. The injured Policemen were identified as Rahatullah, Daud, Zulfiqar, Ilyas, Abdul Khaliq, Naik Mohammad and Mohammad Riaz. Later Daud succumbed to his injuries. The civilian couldn’t be identified. A Police official said around two kilos of explosives were planted on the roadside in Gulbahar Chowk where a vehicle of the QRF used to be positioned to respond in case of an emergency..

The Police in KP on April 24 rounded up 607 suspects and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition in the ongoing search operations in the province. The Police recovered 55 arms and ammunition of different kinds and 3,706 rounds of different bores in different parts of the province. During the operations, 770 houses and 240 hotels were also checked and 19 cases registered against the violators. During snap checking at 189 checkpoints, 379 suspects were held and 34 arms of different kind and 3,675 cartridges of different bores were also seized. During action against unregistered Afghans, a total of 45 people were detained and 27 cases registered against them.

As the president constituted the 9th NFC to distribute resources among the federating units, the Federal Government has proposed the provinces share the cost of counterterrorism efforts and disaster management. President Mamnoon Hussain constituted the 9th NFC on April 24 to determine the fresh award for distribution of Federal taxes between the Centre and the provinces for the next five years, according to an official handout. The Finance Ministry also issued the notification of the commission’s formation in addition to its terms of reference. For the first time, the Federal Government has raised the issue of its expenses on the fight against terrorism and management of natural disasters on the commission’s agenda, with the aim that the provinces share the growing burden with the Centre. The issue is likely to be the thorniest one the 10-member commission will be discussing in the months ahead.

April 25

Nine suspected militants were killed in air strikes in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. An ISPR statement said jets bombed hideouts of the TTP, and LI in Kanu Gharaibi, Pathai, Baagh, Rajgal, Jhrandy and Nakai areas of Kukikhel and Malakdin Khel. The ISPR claimed that nine militants affiliated with the TTP and LI were killed in the air strikes and five of their hideouts destroyed. However, LI spokesman Salahuddin Ayubi in a telephonic conversation with journalists rejected the ISPR’s claim.

SFs arrested 12 suspects during a house-to-house search in Ghundi area of Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency in FATA. Officials said the detainees were suspected of having links with some banned organisations.

April 26

Four persons were killed and 20 others were injured in a bomb blast near the vegetable market on the Chakkar Khan Road in Sibi town of same District in Balochistan. DPO Anwar Khetran said unidentified militants had attached an explosive device to a motorcycle which went off when the market was full of buyers. The blast left at least four people dead and 20 others injured. Shops and vehicles around the blast site sustained damage.

Highlighting the role of PAF in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb and its vision beyond 2025, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said that the PAF would play a lead role in rooting out terrorism from the country. Addressing fighter pilots and officers of the PAF at a ceremony held in Sargodha, he said the force would always live up to the expectations of the nation while safeguarding the aerial frontiers of the motherland. He said the indigenisation and procurement of sophisticated weapons systems would have been a distant dream without the unflinching dedication and visionary leadership of the PAF in the bygone years.

The TTP claimed that they are not involved in the brutal murder of rights activist Sabeen Mahmud on April 24 in the Phase-II area of DHA in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. “We categorically deny involvement in the murder of Sabeen Mahmud,” TTP spokesperson Mohammad Khorasani said. Khorasani alleged that “investigation by the TTP’s intelligence wing suggests Government agencies are behind the killing of Sabeen Mahmud.”

April 27

At least three Shia Hazaras were shot dead in a targeted attack at local bus stop in Satellite Town area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. SHO Raja Qayyum said that three people, belonging to the Hazara community were sitting beside a tree outside the bus stop when unidentified assailants, riding a motorcycle, opened fire at them. As a result, two of them were killed on the spot, another was seriously injured, and later died in the hospital. The deceased were identified as Mirza Hussain, Asadullah and Mohammad Ali. They were waiting to buy a ticket for Makran bound bus at the terminal.

At least five security personnel were injured in a roadside explosion in Loni Road area of Kulachi tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan District of KP. According to officials, the incident took place in Loni Road area where a bomb exploded near vehicle carrying security personnel.

The Counterterrorism Department and FIA arrested four suspected terrorists involved in the suicide attack (March 3, 2014) at F/8 Kutchery in Islamabad from Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. According to details, heavy cache of weapons, including pressure cooker bombs, grenades, arms and bullets were seized from them.

Police arrested four militants and 55 suspected persons during search operation in the hilly areas of Boraka and Qamar Dhand in Lachi tehsil of Kohat District. DPO Muhammad Saheeb Khan said that acting on a tip-off regarding the presence of the militants, a heavy contingent of Police launched operation and raided the hideouts of the militants in the mountainous areas of Qamar Dhand and Boraka which were considered as no-go areas and arrested four militants of Zari alias Daday group.

Police claimed to have arrested a suspected terrorist from outside a private school at Chungi No 9 in Multan town of same District in Punjab. According to sources, Police received information about a suspicious teen wandering near La-Salle Higher Secondary School. Police arrested him and started investigation. During interrogation, the boy named as Hassnain said that some criminals abducted him the other day from his house in Mian Channu. He said that they locked him in a mini-van over the night in Multan. The source said that they forced him to place explosive bags outside the school and General Bus stand. He said when he was placing the bag outside the school people held him. The terrorists, however, fled from the scene, source added.

Of the dozens of American nationals who had joined the jehadi front in Pakistan, five have so far been killed by the CIA-run US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan, including al Qaeda leaders, Adam Gadhn and Ahmed Farooq, who were droned in the January 15, 2015 attack in Shawal area of North Waziristan along with the now-slain American hostage, Dr Warren Weinstein, The News reports on April 28. According to information revealed by diplomatic circles in Islamabad, at least 125 Americans have gone or have attempted to go abroad to join jehadi fronts in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria. Forty (40) of these would-be jehadis were arrested before they left the US and 25 were killed while “waging jehad” abroad.

Six of them exploded themselves as suicide bombers while five of them were perished in the CIA-run drone campaign. Thirteen more Americans were arrested while abroad, three of whom were extradited and prosecuted in the US. Fifteen wanted American jehadis are still at large. Of those known to have returned to the US, 32 were arrested and one was killed. Thirty-seven went or tried to go to Pakistan 34 went or tried to go to Somalia 20 to Syria 18 to Afghanistan and 11 to Yemen. The remaining Americans went to other countries.

US President Barack Obama “secretly” approved a waiver to the rules for the US drone programme that gave the CIA more flexibility in Pakistan than anywhere else to strike suspected militants, The News quoting The Wall Street Journal reports on April 27. Citing current and former US officials, The Wall Street Journal said the rules tightened in 2013 were designed to reduce the risk of civilian casualties. “Mr. Obama also required that proposed targets pose an imminent threat to the US “but the waiver exempted the CIA from this standard in Pakistan,” the report said.

Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the Karachi operation will meet its logical end. He said harmony among the civil armed forces, intelligence and security agencies of the country will be created in order to overcome the security challenges. The Minister was expressing these views while chairing a meeting of the top hierarchy of civil armed forces at the Interior Ministry. He observed that the civil armed forces were playing a critical role in maintaining the security of the country. He paid tributes to the martyrs of the civil armed forces and said they were the real heroes of the nation. Pakistan is indebted to them and ‘we owe it forward their legacy but also to respect their memories and take care of their heirs’. He said at time when the country was faced with many challenges and there seems chaos at every level, there is still respect for uniform.

April 28

One person was killed and another injured as an IED exploded at Bagh-e-Naran Chowk in Hayatabad area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. According to Police, the explosion took place near a private school which was closed at that time. SSP Operations said a convoy of SFs was passing by when the explosion occurred. No security personnel were injured in the blast and the van also remained safe. However, two passers-by sustained injuries who later succumbed to their injuries at hospital.

One security official succumbed to his injuries in the roadside IED explosion in Loni Road area of Kulachi tehsil in Dera Ismail Khan District on April 27, in which five SF personnel were injured. The TTP claimed responsibility for IED blast. In a statement released by TTP ‘spokesman’ Muhammad Khorasani, claimed responsibility for the attack.

A convict, identified as Munir Hussain, was hanged till death in Vehari District Jail of Punjab. He was accused of killing his nephew and niece over a land dispute in 2000.

Two suspected gangsters, Mohammed Amir and Asif alias Qayamat, were shot dead in an encounter in Mithadar area of Saddar Town. DIG-South Dr Jamil Ahmed said that this month alone, 32 suspects allegedly involved in targeted killings, grenade attacks, and hijacking cargo vehicles were shot dead in Police encounters in Lyari Town. He said Lyari was the most sensitive area of the Police South Zone, as most complaints received in other areas pertained to street crime.

An extortionist, identified as Javed Brohi, was killed in a Police encounter in Sarjani Town area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. A passer-by injured in the incident. Police recovered a 9MM pistol and a stolen motorcycle from his possession.

Police arrested two suspects in injured condition and recovered arms and stolen goods from their possession during an operation in Baloch Colony of Orangi Town.

The COAS, General Raheel Sharif while addressing a gathering of army officers in the Bahawalpur Cantonment said that stability was returning to the country due to the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency and surrounding areas of FATA. “A peaceful environment in and around Pakistan is our top priority,” Director General ISPR quoted the army chief as saying on social networking site Twitter. The Army Chief said the enemy forces could not take Pakistan army’s focus away from targeting terrorism in the FATA, adding that Security Forces were breaking linkage of terrorists in the rest of the country. “No challenge is insurmountable. Let’s take Pakistan forward. Our greatest asset, the youth, must be encouraged and honed," he said.

Security Forces took control of the entire Sipah and Akkakhel areas in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA after flushing out LI from these areas. Official sources said that the control of Sipah and Akkakhel was so far the biggest achievement of SFs during the ongoing Khyber II military operation against joint forces of LI, TTP and JuA.

The forces also pressed their ground advance towards the TTP-controlled Kukikhel areas in the valley with fierce ground battles in Dwa Thoe and Zarmanza areas of Kukikhel, Garhai of Kamar Khel, Jabbar Mela of Qambar Khel and Nakai area of Malakdin Khel. “The fall of Kukikhel is a matter of time now because the area has been encircled from almost all sides and militants were seen fleeing the area,” security officials said.

LI 'spokesman' Salahuddin Ayoubi said over phone from an undisclosed location that the loss of Akkakhel and Sipah was a ‘tactical retreat’ and they would soon retake the area with support of TTP and JuA militants. He said the Lashkar had killed nine soldiers and injured 11 during ground battle in the Dwa Thoe area, but the claim could not be independently verified.

April 29

An Assistant Professor of the Department of Mass Communication of University of Karachi, identified as Dr Syed Wahidur Rehman (42), was shot dead by four unidentified armed assailants in a targeted attack in Federal B Area of Gulberg Town in provincial capital Karachi. Rehman received bullet wounds in the face, head and chest. Bullet casings recovered from the scene of the crime indicate that a 9mm pistol was used in the attack. Rehman was popularly known as Yasir Rizvi. Rizvi is a common surname among Shia families. But he was not a Shia. The Police, however, ruled out this possibility. “This is not a sectarian attack nor is this a case of mistaken identity,” said Yousuf Plaza Police SHO Akram Arain.

A suspected gangster, identified as Tahir, was killed by Police in Mochko area of Baldia Town. The suspect was allegedly involved in the Shershah carnage that left 14 shopkeepers dead over non-payment of extortion in October 2010.

A criminal carrying head money of PKR1 million and nominated in at least 31 FIRs in the Police Stations of various Districts was killed in an encounter with the Police in the limits of Hatri Police Station in Hyderabad District. The criminal was identified as Mohammad Ali Hothipoto. His three accomplices, including Iqbal Brohi, Mitho Machi and Mastu Ghalo, managed to escape. The CIA in-charge Aslam Langha claimed that Hothipoto was also involved in several high profile kidnappings.

In a latest update on Sabeen Mahmud's killing, DIG-South Dr Jamil Ahmed while addressing a press conference said that she might have been targeted by religious extremists. “A strong possibility is that Sabeen was targeted by a banned militant outfit,” he said. In reply to a question, the Police Officer told the media that two years ago, ‘tension’ had been created over Valentine’s Day. He said Sabeen had played a ‘leading role’ in support of observing Valentine’s Day by holding a demonstration on Mai Kolachi Road. Since then, she had been receiving threats from ‘unknown quarters’, he added.

One more death row convict, identified as Abdul Ghaffor, was hanged till death at the District Jail in Vehari of Punjab. Ghaffor was handed down death sentence after he was proven guilty of rape and murder of an eight year old girl in 1991. His appeal of clemency was rejected by the President of Pakistan on April 6, 2015.

FC arrested four suspects, including one "most wanted" terrorist during a search operation in Ghahi Khan Chowk near Sariab Road in provincial capital Quetta.

FC officials upon receiving intelligence reports arrested three suspected militants in Pasni area of Gwadar District. Further investigation is underway.

The Intelligence Agencies personnel arrested four militants belonging to Mohmand Agency Chapter of TTP, identified as Mir Khan, Abdul Rehman, Zarab Khan and Ameer Khan, and recovered suicide jackets, huge cache of modern weaponry and explosive material from their possession during a crackdown in Youhanabad area of provincial capital Lahore.

The CoAS General Raheel Sharif said that the recent pattern of target killings in Karachi indicates a design and needs to be checked, adding that all mafias will be eliminated.

General Raheel directed the Intelligence Agencies and Rangers to trace, apprehend and expose the perpetrators as peace in Karachi is a priority for the revival of the city’s economic vibrancy and the well-being of its residents. “The Karachi operation is bringing relief in terms of target killings and extortion. The operation will remain across the board, indiscriminate and will continue till its logical conclusion,” he said.

April 30

Five soldiers, a captain among them, and 27 militants were killed in clashes in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. According to security sources, soldiers were entering militants’ strongholds when an intense ground battle took place. The officer who had lost his life in the line of duty was identified as captain Ajmal. With ground offensives continuing in parts of Tirah valley for the fourth consecutive day, SFs entered Garhi Kamar Khel, Nakai Malikdin Khel, Zarmanza in Sikandar Khel and Dwa Thoe, Tangu, Mehraban Kalay, Khaeyst, Tharkho Kas, Mailu, Thor Darra and Malakabad localities in Kukikhel area. All these areas had been under the control of Tariq Afridi group of the banned TTP since 2010.

At least three persons, including two Police officials, were killed when former Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao’s convoy came under a suicide attack in the Umarzai town of Charsadda District of KP. The minister remained safe.  According to officials and eyewitnesses, Sherpao was attacked as soon as he left the venue of a public meeting. When the suicide bomber tried coming close to Sherpao, Police officials shot him dead. However, the explosives attached to his body detonated killing two Police officials. Three people were also injured in the attack. This is the fourth attack on Sherpao in recent years.

An ATC jailed 10 persons for 25 years each on April 30 for involvement in the October 9, 2012 shooting of teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, targeted for her campaign against TTP efforts to deny girls education. “Judge Amin Kundi in his verdict gave 25 years jail to all of these people,” said a court official in Swat, where the 10 were convicted by ATC. They were the first convictions for the attack.

An unnamed top security official said that the Federal Government is seeking to approach five countries and the UN for the extradition of top Baloch insurgents accused of fomenting unrest in Balochistan, as the security agencies have identified 161 training camps of insurgents, nearly two dozen of them are believed to be located in Afghanistan and two in Iran. “We are taking up the issue of Baloch insurgents with five countries [India, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Iran and Afghanistan],” said the official, adding that Dr Allah Nazar, Hyrbyair Marri, Brahamdagh Bugti, Javed Mengal and some other wanted insurgents are commanding their fighters in the province.

He further said, “The Afghan Government has assured Pakistan its full support to stop Baloch insurgents from operating from its soil,” adding, “Pakistan is considering taking up the issue of Indian involvement in Balochistan unrest at the United Nations.” The official also said that the Government has requested Iran through its Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Qashqavi to make maximum efforts to block the influence of some Baloch separatists operating from Iranian soil.

“We have expanded the military operation in Balochistan,” the official said, adding that the paramilitary Frontier Corps is assisting the military in targeted operations against separatists.

According to details, Hyrbyair Marri, the head of the BLA, has been living in self-exile in the UK where he has been granted political asylum. Brahamdagh Bugti, the founder of the BRA, has been living in Switzerland seeking political asylum.

While announcing the arrest of two terror suspects, Tahir alias Lamba and Mama Junaid, Malir-District SSP Rao Anwar claimed that they were both members of MQM and also worked for Indian spy agency R&AW. He further said that they were sent to India for training in the past. “MQM is a terrorist organization and it should be banned,” SSP Anwar said, while narrating that member of MQM went to India through Indian-held Kashmir where they were trained there by R&AW and to come back to Pakistan to spread terror.

"We have solid evidence to prove these allegations. The two people we arrested have confessed all of this and they are ashamed of their activities. We recovered a large amount of explosives, hand grenades, 9mm pistols from these suspects. We will investigate further during the remand," he said, adding, “MQM is spreading terror in the guise of a political party, and all the senior leaders of MQM including its chief Altaf Hussain are involved in spreading terror in the country.” He further alleged that Zulfiqar Haider and Nadeem Nusrat, the deputy convener of MQM, have been funding these terrorist activities from London.

Adding to the SSP's allegations, The News reported the statement of the death-row prisoner and former MQM worker Saulat Mirza, which was recorded a few days ago with the JIT, that MQM had links with India’s intelligence agency R&AW. According to the JIT report, Mirza said that funding to MQM came from R&AW. The report says that Mirza confessed to killing 13 people before the JIT and yet he was implicated in two murders only.

Soon after, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi, while addressing a press conference at MQM headquarters Nine Zero in Karachi, categorically denounced "baseless allegations" levelled against the party by SSP Malir Anwar Rao.

Later, hours after his allegations, SSP Malir Rao Anwar was suspended. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah took notice of this unusual press conference and abuse of authority, following which IG Sindh suspended SSP Rao and ordered him to report to the Central Police Office. Meanwhile, SSP East Peer Muhammad Shah has been given additional charge of District Malir.

May 1

Five militants were killed and several others injured in clashes in Tor Darra area of Jamrud tehsil in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in FATA. Official sources said the militants attacked a convoy of SFs when they were advancing in Tor Darra. The SFs retaliated, killing five militants and injuring several others.

A peace committee member was killed in an IED blast in Nawagai tehsil of Bajaur Agency. Khalid Khan, son of Nawagai Aman Committee Amir Guldad Khan, was hit by the IED planted on the roadside around 20 metres from his residence. The JuA a faction of the TTP claimed responsibility for the killing.

A DSP, Abdul Fateh Sanghri (55), and two constables, serving as his security guard and driver, were shot dead in Gulshan-e-Hadeed area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. DSP Abdul Fateh Sanghri who was a SDPO in Bin Qasim and lived in Steel Town, was heading towards the Gulshan-e-Hadeed market in his car when around five or six militants riding motorcycles fired gunshots at his vehicle. DSP died on the spot while his security guard Constable Mohammed Farooq and driver Constable Nazeer who were injured later succumbed to their injuries at hospital. The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two persons including a father and a son were killed in a bomb blast in Mangah area of Mardan District in KP. Police said that the blast took place in Mangah area where explosive material planted by unidentified militants in agricultural land suddenly blasted. As a result of the explosion, the motorcycle bourne father-son duo died on the spot.

Police foiled a major terror plan, recovered 320 kilograms of explosives and arrested at least two Afghan suspects from a house in Sethi Town area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Besides other material, recovered explosives included 70 electronic detonators, 72 bundles of prima card, 11 remote controls, two bags of urea nitrate and two bags of water gel along with various circuits and local detonators.

The ATF arrested three militants and recovered explosives from them during a search operation in Havelian tehsil of Abbottabad District.

A man has reportedly been killed in a landmine blast in Qamaruddin Karez area of Zhob District in Balochistan. Levies said that unidentified men had planted the landmine in Qamaruddin Karez area which exploded when a passer-by hit it, resulting in his instant death.

PM Nawaz Sharif said that the Karachi operation is part of the Government’s efforts to eliminate terrorism from the country, which is achieving good results. The PM said that “The people of Karachi are now more satisfied as the incidents of street crimes, terrorism, extortion and target killings have decreased. The lights of Karachi are being restored,” he remarked. Nawaz Sharif said it was the Government’s top priority to ensure the establishment of peace in the country. He said that the sanctuaries of terrorists had been destroyed and eliminated in North Waziristan and peace restored there. The Government, he added, was striving to establish peace across the country.

May 2

Military aircraft bombed militant hideouts in North Waziristan and Khyber agencies of FATA, killing 44 suspected militants, among them many foreigners. In a statement, the ISPR said that precision strikes were carried out in the Dattakhel area of North Waziristan and Tirah valley of the Khyber Agency. Sixteen militants were killed in strikes on hideouts in the Dattakhel area, it said. Many foreigners were among the dead. In air strikes carried out in Tirah valley by fighter jets and helicopter gunships, 28 suspected militants were killed and many others injured, the ISPR said. A number of militant sanctuaries in Rajgul and Kando Gharebi areas of Kukikhel territory, under the control of Taliban since 2009, were destroyed in the strikes.

Five attackers were killed, in retaliatory fire, when they attacked suspended SSP Malir Anwar’s convoy in the Malir area of Karachi city. The Policemen, however, escaped unhurt. The SSP said that he was returning from slain DSP Fateh Muhammad Sangi’s residence, who was killed on May 1, when unidentified assailants, in one car and three motorcycles, hurled hands grenades and opened fire at his convoy.

Akbar Nagori, the brother of PPP MPA and Provincial minister Javed Nagori, was killed and three others including a Policeman were injured in a grenade attack, targeting the PPP office in Lyari area of Karachi. The provincial minister remained safe in the grenade attack while four other people sustained injuries. The injured were taken to a hospital for treatment where Akbar Nagori succumbed to his injuries.

Unknown assailants killed a person, Nauman (30), near Bin Qasim Stadium of Sector 5G in New Karachi.

The dead body of an unidentified 40 year old man was recovered from Banoria Town area in the city.

Two Policemen, ASI Nawab Khan (45) and Ashraf Qureshi (45), were injured when unidentified armed men open fire on them in a restaurant in Gulshan-e-Ghazi, Baldia area.

Unknown gunmen shot at and injured a man, Ahmad Baksh (55), near Saba Cinema in New Karachi area.

Unknown gunmen opened fire and injured two youngsters including a girl, Shazia, (20) and Arshad (10), in Khamiso Goth of New Karachi.

Unidentified armed men shot at and injured a person, identified as Shafiq (45), at Abdullah Mor in Surjani Town of the city.

May 3

At least three suspected militants were killed and two Policemen were injured when Police retaliated an attack on one of its patrolling vehicles in Baldia Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. According to initial reports, unidentified militants attacked a Police mobile in Baldia’s Ittehad Town area, injuring at least two Policemen. The attackers also hurled a hand grenade at the Police mobile. Police then opened fire on the assailants in retaliation, killing at least three of them.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid while talking to the media after attending a literature conference at Arts Council in Karachi said that the military leadership is also a part of the Government and national security policies are made with its advice.

A security force official was killed and four others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire on the Sra Rogha check post in South Waziristan Agency of FATA.

At least four security force personnel were injured when a security vehicle hit a landmine in Spinwam area of North Waziristan Agency. The injured were identified as Shahzad, Naek Babar, Saifullah and Jamal Din.

A security official was injured when a rocket fired from an undisclosed location hit a check post in Khamrang area of Wana in South Waziristan Agency. SFs started a search operation in the area.

A security assessment report by the PICSS claims that SFs have been proactive during the January-March 2015 quarter, mounting 312 actions against insurgents, while the latter carried out 232 militant activities. Altogether 944 people were killed and another 619 wounded in the violent incidents. SFs arrested 1,646 suspected militants in the operations, while the militants kidnapped 49 people during the quarter.

Although officials claim that most areas of North Waziristan Agency have been cleared of the militants, yet return process of the IDPs to the conflict stricken tribal area is going at a snail’s pace. Officials said that only 230 displaced families had returned to their native area in some pockets of North Waziristan since the repatriation program was launched on March 31, 2015. An official dealing with the return process of IDPs in FATA said that the unregistered families had also gone back to their homes. He admitted that the return of IDPs to North Waziristan was going very slow as compared to that of Khyber Agency.

At least four Security Force personnel were injured when a roadside bomb exploded in Daryaba area of Bannu District.

Police arrested key 'commander' of a militant outfit, identified as Javed alias Gudd, during a raid in Peshawar. The arrested 'commander' was wanted in several criminal activities, including an attack on security officers.

A boy, identified as Awal Khan, who had been kidnapped-for-ransom on April 27, 2015, was rescued by the Police and two of the abductors were arrested in Nowshera District. Akbarpura Police Official Akhtar Naseer said that the Nowshera DPO and DSP issued special directives for the recovery of Khan. Evidence led the Police to the boy and the two accused abductors Maula Dad, Chamkani and Jehandir. During initial interrogation, the accused reportedly confessed to having kidnapped Khan for a ransom of PKR 1.2 million. Both the accused were later handed over to the CTD for further investigation.

A plan to attack a religious gathering organised by the Shias was foiled by the Police who seized 15 kilogram of explosive material from Dhoke Hayat Ali area of Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi District. The CTD also managed to trace and identify the suspected terrorists but no arrest could be made. According to details, Police officials patrolling the area spotted two suspicious men carrying a mysterious container. When the Police officials approached them, they got into a scuffle with the officials and managed to escape, abandoning their motorbike, parked nearby and the container they were carrying. Upon examination, the Police found 15 kilograms of explosive material in the container along with bolts, nails and a detonating device.

The RPO Mohammad Wasal Fakhar Sultan confirmed that the suspects have been traced and will soon be arrested. “We have identified the suspects and traced them to their hometown” he said.

May 4

A man, identified as Waseem (20), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants in Razi Goth area of Orangi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Abdul Waheed (38) was killed and one another, Ahmad Ali (55), was injured when unidentified militants opened fire at Sarafa Bazaar in Paposh Nagar of North Nazimabad Town.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police detained 320 suspects and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition in the ongoing search and strike operations being conducted throughout the province. A Police Department statement said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police recovered 35 arms and ammunition of different kinds and 359 rounds in the operation conducted in different parts of the province.

During the operation 476 houses and 227 hotels were checked. Two cases were registered against the violators. During snap checking on 166 check points, 248 suspects were held and 21 arms of different kinds and 969 cartridges of different bores were recovered from them. A total of 22 persons were detained in action against illegal Afghans and 13 cases were registered against them.

LeT 'commander' and mastermind of Mumbai 2008 terror (also known as 26/11) attacks, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, requested the ATC to exempt him from appearing in the court citing security reasons. The ATC is scheduled to resume trial in the case on May 6, 2015. ATC Judge Sohail Ikram issued notices to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) seeking reply on Lakhvi’s application by May 6, 2015.

Advocate Raja Rizwan Abbasi, counsel for Lakhvi, argued before the court that his client had been facing threats and might be assassinated while coming to or leaving the court. He pointed out that Lakhvi had been kept in tight security inside the jail as the law enforcement agency knew he might be targeted. Advocate Abbasi requested the court to exempt him from personal attendance during the course of hearing.

In an effort to control the flow of arms, the Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan decided to put a complete ban on the import of prohibited weapons in the country. “It was proposed that a complete ban on import of prohibited weapons should be put in place,” an official statement read. According to the decision, only the Ministry of Defence Production and security Agencies should be allowed to import such weapons. The Interior Minister also proposed that individuals and entities, who are qualified for such weapons, can procure them only through Pakistan Ordnance Factory in Wah.

The interior ministry declared that that all manual licences, which have not been verified, would be invalidated after December 31, 2015. The meeting also decided that “nobody under the age of 25 years should be issued arms license.”  The Minister observed that the NADRA is regulating all the existing arms licences. “But a comprehensive mechanism should be put in place to regulate and monitor the flow of arms into the country,” he added.

May 5

One Punjabi Taliban leader, Qari Matiur Rehman, closely linked to al Qaeda, held a meeting with the 'chief' of TTP Mullah Fazlullah and announced allegiance to him, an unnamed source revealed. The sources claim that Rehman remained a close aide and a logistics provider of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current 'chief' of al Qaeda, whenever he travels.

The 'spokesman' of Amjad Farooqi Group, Abid Kalia called from an Afghanistan number and confirmed the allegiance of his leader to TTP 'chief' Fazlullah. Asked about the place of meeting, he refused to answer. Kalia claimed that three militants initially had a meeting and Rehman's two close and trusted aides, Ehsanul Haq and Rana Ashfaq Ahmad, reiterated their confidence in Rehman. According to sources, Ehsanul Haq is childhood friend of Rehman as both of them hail from Bahawalpur District in southern Punjab from where they had started their militant activities.  Both Qari Ehsanul Haq and Rehman have PKR10 million head money.

Rehman has been at large and wanted by the Security Agencies for his role in attacks on former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf on December 25, 2003. Currently, he heads LeJ’s subsidiary group, Amjad Farooqi Group from Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The incidents of terror attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the first four months of the year are the lowest in the last four years mostly because of the military operations in FATA and the actions by police and Counter Terrorism Department in the province, the statistics of the Central Police Office said. During the first four months of the current year, 85 terrorist incidents took place compared to 183 in 2014, 173 in 2013 and 134 in 2012. “The modus operandi analysis shows that 37 incidents of IED took place during the year compared to 97 in 2014, 114 in 2013 and 83 in 2012. Similarly, during the current year two suicide attacks were carried out compared to six in 2014 and 10 in 2013,” said an official while quoting the statistics of the Central Police Office.

The officials said the hand-grenade attacks and target killings also recorded sharp decrease as 13 incidents of hurling grenades were registered compared to 26 last year. Also, the number of target killings reduced to 33 compared to 45 last year. “The casualties that took place during the current year are the lowest in the last four years. During the current year six persons have been killed and 104 injured compared to 194 killings while injuries to 511 others in 2014,” the official added. Inspector General of Police Nasir Khan Durrani appreciated the performance of the CTD particularly its head Salahuddin Khan as the force took proactive action against terrorists and hardened criminals all over KP.

May 6

One person lost his life while three others sustained injuries in a terrorist attack at a school ground when a football match was going on in Alizai area of Kurram Agency in FATA. Security Forces sprung to action and killed one suicide bomber while another bomber blew himself up. Where the incident happened is a Shia-dominated area. Two Police official were also among the injured. 

A grand jirga of the Bar Qambarkhel tribe in Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency formed a 50-member peace body called Amn Sharishta. MNA Nasir Khan Afridi presided over the jirga. A large number of tribal elders attended the event at Khyber House in Peshawar. Speaking on the occasion, the MNA said the peace body would strive to bring peace and cooperate with political administration and security forces in the restoration of peace in the area. “We want to curb militancy and rid the tribesmen of this menace,” the MNA added.

A murder convict, identified as Zulfiqar, was hanged till death in Kot Lakhpat Jail of Lahore District.  Zulfiqar was handed the death sentence following the murder of two persons almost 17 years ago, sources revealed. A mercy plea was put forward by President Mamnoon Hussain, however, this was dismissed by the court.

Lasbela Police arrested a militant belonging to LeJ, identified as Alam Ziab, during a raid in Lasbela University in Lasbela District. “Acting on a tip-off, the police raided a room at Lasbela University and arrested Alam Zaib — he was a student there,” DPO Bashir Ahmed said, adding, “The militant belong to a banned organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and was involved in the killing of eight Police personnel and bomb blasts.” The DSP added that the militant had a PKR 3 million bounty on his head.

An Iranian national, identified as Muhammad Ameer, kidnapped three years ago was recovered from Dalbandin area of Chagai District. “Muhammad Ameer had been missing for the past three years from his native town of Isfahan,” District Police Officer Chagai Mubarak Shah said, adding there were reports that the kidnappers had kept the Iranian somewhere in Chagai District. Police raided a place on the outskirts of Dalbandin town upon information about the presence of the Iranian national and recovered him. No arrest could be made as the abductors escaped before the raid.

The US has handed over 14 combat aircraft, 59 military trainer jets and 374 armoured personnel carriers to Pakistan from the weapons it is leaving behind in the region, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report said. The Agency, which prepares internal reports for the US Congress, reported that the weapons supplied to Pakistan were earlier used by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Technically, these weapons are classified as “Excessive Defence Articles”, that is, equipment used by the US forces, which can be supplied to allied nations at withdrawal instead of shipping them back to the US. The weapons include F-16 armaments including 500 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles 1,450 2,000-pound bombs 500 JDAM Tail Kits for gravity bombs and 1,600 Enhanced Paveway laser-guided kits. All this has cost Pakistan USD 629 million.

Under Coalition Support Funds (in the Pentagon budget), Pakistan received 26 Bell 412EP utility helicopters, along with related parts and maintenance, valued at USD 235 million. Pakistan is also receiving military equipment with a mix of its national funds and America’s foreign military funding.

Police investigating the April 29, 2015, murder of Karachi University Assistant Professor Waheed-ur-Rehman have formally conducted the forensic examination of the bullets used in the killing and found no past record of the weapon in any other case, said a senior Police Officer. “The investigators have received a forensic report that suggests that the weapon used in the killing of Assistant Professor Waheed-ur-Rehman of the Mass Communication Department last week had not been used in other murders in the past,” said Central SSP-Investigation Arab Mahar.

The investigating team held discussions with the faculty of the Karachi University Mass Communication Department, the slain professor’s students, his close friends and relatives. They all were of the opinion that Rehman alias Yasir Rizvi was a “thorough gentleman” and he had no enmity with anyone, the Police officer said. The police were probing the murder from different angles and it was not appropriate to share initial findings of the investigation with the media at this stage, said SSP Mahar.

May 7

A man, identified as Mian Syed Jalal (45), was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants at Qazzafi Town in Landhi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A dead body of a man, identified as that of Aamir (36), was recovered from Bashir Chowk in New Karachi Town.

A Policeman, identified as Shah Nawaz (38), was shot at and injured when unidentified armed assailants opened fire on him near FTC Bridge in Sharah-e-Faisal area of Shah Faisal Town.

One Habib (35) was injured at Pakistan Bazaar in Orangi Town.

A man, identified as Hazrat Gul (47), was shot at and injured near Siemens Chowrangi in SITE Town.

A peace committee member, Zawar Hussain, was killed as an improvised explosive device went off in Alingar area under Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency in FATA.

May 8

TTP militants claimed that they brought down the military’s MI-17 helicopter carrying diplomats to inspect a tourism project in Naltar area of Gilgit in Gilgit-Baltistan. Eight people, including Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen, Philippine Ambassador Domingo Lucenario and the wives of the ambassadors of Malaysia and Indonesia were killed, along with two pilots and crew members in the incident. Polish ambassador Andrzej Ananiczolish and Dutch ambassador Marcel de Vink sustained injuries. TTP 'spokesman' Mohammad Khorasani sent an email to journalists claiming the group brought down the helicopter with an anti-aircraft gun. “The target for this attack was the Prime Minister,” the statement said. Although the Taliban tried to claim responsibility for downing the helicopter, no witnesses on the ground and in other helicopters on the trip reported any firing at the aircraft. The exact cause was not immediately clear but the Ministry of Defense said that initial reports suggested it may have been because of a technical fault.

The Foreign Secretary also said that technical problems caused the crash. “Apparently its engine failed,” Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said. “It was not terrorism.”

FC conducted multiple raids in different areas of the Province and arrested a number of suspected militants, including three members of UBA. According to details, in one of these raids carried out in Mangochar area of Kalat District the FC personnel arrested three UBA militants and shifted them to an undisclosed location for further investigation.”

Elsewhere in Lehri area of Zhob District, the paramilitary force recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition while arresting two suspected terrorists. “At least seven rocket launchers, 14 improvised explosive devices, 12 anti-personnel mines, six bombs, two SMGs with 13 magazines, three hand-grenades, 80 detonator wires, a telescope and a Motorola cell phone were recovered,” said the FC official. He said the force also defused 26 bombs on the spot.

The FC also arrested four militants from Goth Hamzani, Goth Doda and Tibba areas of Sohbatpur District (earlier a town in Jaffarabad District).

In another raid, the law enforcing agency arrested two terrorists from Killi Thratta area of Pishin District.

The FC also took into custody two Iranian citizens, who were trying to enter into Pakistan in Panjgur District. “Both Iranians were trying to enter Pakistan without legal travel documents when FC soldiers spotted and arrested them,” said an official.

Shikarpur SSP Saqib Ismail Memon claimed to have arrested two militants belonging to SSP during a search operation near Jaghan area in Shikarpur District. The two terrorists were identified as Mir Hassan Rind and Waqar Mahar. During initial investigation he stated of getting training from a militant wing in Waziristan at Ustad Aslam’s Camp. SSP Memon said that the terrorists further revealed that they were the part of the sleeper cells of banned organisations that remained dormant till they were given directions to carry out terrorism.

May 9

Unidentified assailants opened fire at Shia Police officer, DSP Syed Zulfiqar Abbas, and his friend, identified as Shahzad, killing them on spot in a targeted sectarian attack at a restaurant near Eidgah Ground in Shah Faisal area of Shah Faisal Town in Karachi of Sindh.

A Shia homoeopathic doctor, Dr Anwar Ali Abidi, was shot dead while another person sustained injuries when unidentified militants opened fire at his clinic in Paposh Nagar area of North Nazimabad Town.

Unidentified militants opened fire at the convoy of Adviser to Balochistan Chief Minister of Finance, Khalid Langove, in Mangochar tehsil of Kalat District. However, Langove escaped unhurt. Langove's guards retaliated after which the assailants disappeared in the area, sources said.

The Federal Government submitted an amended appeal against Islamabad High Court’s decision to drop terrorism charges against Malik Mumtaz Qadri, a former police guard who murdered Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer in Islamabad in 2011. The Federal Ministry of Interior, through Advocate on Record (AoR) Siddique Khan Baloch, filed an eight-page appeal under Article 185(3) of the Constitution, contending that Qadri’s acquittal under Section 7 of the ATA 1997 was not in accordance with the law.

“The high court was not right to acquit the convict under Section 7(a) by not appropriately considering the peculiar features of the case, in which the governor of a province, holding constitutional office was murdered mercilessly in a busy commercial area in broad daylight by a person (deputed officially as a security guard) to save and secure the life of the governor,” reads the Interior Ministry’s appeal. It argues that Taseer had “particular views on national issues due to which different religious and political groups were propagating against him and threats to murder him were also issued.”

May 10

At least three suspects were killed in a Police encounter at Shah Faisal Colony in Shah Faisal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police official claimed that the alleged criminals were signaled to stop at a police checkpoint near the colony for security checking, on which the criminals opened fire at the personnel. The three criminals were shot dead after law-enforcing agencies retaliated in the clash. Weapons, ammunitions, hand grenades and repeater were recovered from the vehicle.

A suspected militant was killed and three others were arrested when Frontier Corps personnel launched a search operation in Biam Shai Nullah area of Sui in Dera Bugti District on suspicion of the presence of some militants involved in attacks on gas pipelines and Government installations. An exchange of fire took place when the security personnel raided a house. An FC spokesman said the suspected militant was killed and three men arrested at the house. They were involved in a number of subversive acts, he said, adding that illegal weapons and ammunition had also been seized.

FC personnel also conducted a raid near Sakran Road in Hub tehsil of Lasbela District and arrested four suspected militants. The FC spokesman claimed that automatic weapons had been seized from them.

An unnamed senior Army Officer said that the military has destroyed all the command and control centres of TTP in Darra Adamkhel in Kohat District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining Orakzai Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He said that the law and order situation had gradually improved during the last few years and it was much better these days. He said that there was negligible threat to the public and military now.

May 11

Six people, including a pro-government tribal elder, identified as Malak Muhammad Jan, was killed in a remote-controlled IED blast in Bar Kamar area of Mamond tehsil in Bajaur Agency of FATA. Muhammad Jan was on his way to the Har area when the IED exploded.

An unidentified man was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Mobina Town area of Gulzar-e-Hijri in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified tortured dead body was found on Abul Ispahani Road in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

Two boys, identified as Arsalan (19) and Waqas (17), were shot at and injured by in Rafah-e-Aam Society in Malir Town.

Ghotki Police failed to recover the Mirpur Mathelo- based reporter, Hakim Abro, who was kidnapped from the limits of Sarhad Police Station in Ghotki District on April 22, 2015. The Ghotki SSP Saqib Sultan Mehmood had promised the protesting journalists that the abductee will be recovered shortly but there has been no success despite the lapse of 20 days. The victim’s brother, Shafi Muhammad Abro, decried the derogatory attitude of the Police officials. He said that Sarhad Police SHO Ghulam Muhammad Mahar had been attempting to recover the abductee but the SSP had transferred him and appointed Muhammad Khan Abro in his stead. When the latter started investigating the kidnapping, he too was transferred and Rab Nawaz Rajpar was posted as the SHO. He claimed that the frequent transfer of SHOs was evidence of the Police’s apathy towards the issue.

Officials in the provincial Home Department said that they had received directive from the Federal Government strengthen legislation on hate speech and extremist material. In the directive, Islamabad had asked the Provinces, apart from making laws to curb rampant hate speech and heaps of extremist material within their remit, to make sure that there was no abuse of the loudspeaker, which most extremists, posing as religious scholars, employed as an effective tool to brainwash young minds.

The officials said that the West Pakistan Regulation and Control of Loudspeakers and Sound Amplifiers Ordinance, 1965, was being examined to use effectively or make drastic changes to complement existing circumstances. However, the Sindh Sound System Regulation Ordinance, 2015 has all the ingredients to conform to the given situations. Officials said hate speech and extremist material consisting of videos, audio and printed literature would be checked and confiscated at ‘every level’.

The White House flatly rejected claims that Pakistan was told in advance about Operation Geronimo that killed the then al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad hideout. Veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh claimed in London Review of Books that Pakistan’s security services not only knew about the raid, but had been holding bin Laden prisoner since 2006. That account was rejected by the White House.

"This was a US operation through and through," said Edward Price, a White House National Security Council spokesman. "The notion that the operation" which killed the 9/11 mastermind, "was anything but a unilateral US mission is patently false," he said, adding, "Knowledge of this operation was confined to a very small circle of senior US officials." "The President decided early on not to inform any other Government, including the Pakistani Government, which was not notified until after the raid had occurred."

Former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General (retired) Hamid Javed said that the army was not aware of the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Commenting on report of a US journalist, he said that nobody, including the army, was aware of Osama’s presence as long as he remained the Chief of Staff in the Presidency. The US vice president visited Pakistan in 2007 to raise issue of Osama’s presence in Pakistan but his talks with Musharraf was limited to two points. He told Musharraf that Osama is in Chitral, according to US intelligence report and Musharraf replied that Pakistan will check the information as they did not have any such information.

An advertisement, stating that close relatives of missing terrorists would be liable to prosecution, including death sentence and confiscation of properties if they failed to report their disappearance, which appeared in some national Urdu dailies in the form of a public notice, raised many eyebrows as legal experts believe that no such provision is available in any law available in the country.  The advertisement states, “In accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 and other laws related to terrorism, public at large are informed that if any member or members of their family including those non-relatives looked after by them are individually or being a member of an organisation involved, or there are apprehensions of their involvement, in any act of terrorism and are missing from their residences for that purpose, they should report it to the nearby Police Station or office of Assistant Political Agent along with picture of the missing person or persons.”

It further states, “In case of failure if any terrorist was arrested in connection with an act of terrorism, including suicide bombing, or is killed then legal action will be taken against his parents, brothers or the relative who had looked after him under provisions of the above mentioned laws in which that terrorist was found involved or killed including death penalty, life imprisonment and confiscation of movable and immovable properties.”

In response to this advertisement, Noor Alam Khan, advocate of the Supreme Court, said that no such provision was available in the CrPC, ATA and even in the Protection of Pakistan Act, which made a person liable to prosecution in case he failed to report disappearance of his missing relative suspected of planning to carry out any act of terrorism. He questioned how a father or a brother could be awarded the same sentence, including death penalty or life imprisonment, for an offence committed by his son or brother, respectively, merely on the ground that he had not informed the authorities about his disappearance. 

May 12

Four persons were killed in Deewan Shah Rourri area of Kalachi in Tank District of KP when unknown motorcyclists opened fire at them. Source said that two FC personnel and two workers from FWO were killed in the firing. The SF personnel were on duty at the Gomal Zam Dam road which is under construction.

According to SSP Sukkur Tanveer Husain Tunio, Police raided the Katcha area of Bagarji in Sukkur District and shot dead three kidnappers during the encounter. The three abductors were identified as Karam Sheikh, who carried head money of PKR 500,000, Najeeb and Haleem Buriro.

An activist of the MQM, identified as Khurram alias Pathan (35), was killed while his friend Sohail (47) was injured when unidentified armed assailants shot at their car near Hyderi Market located within the jurisdiction of the North Nazimabad Police Station in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi.

An unidentified man was shot dead near Gutter Baghicha within the jurisdiction of Pak Colony Police Station in SITE Town.

A man belonging to the Hazara community was killed and five others, including two Policemen, were injured, apparently in a targeted attack at Kasi Road of Quetta, the provincial capital of the Balochistan. Police said that the Hazara community members were busy in the maintenance of a rickshaw in a shop at Kasi Road when unidentified armed men, wearing masks on their faces, opened fire on them. As a result, a man was killed and five others sustained injures. The deceased was identified as Ali Raza and the injured as Constable Abbas Awan, Sadiq Ali, Essa Mohammad, Ashraf and Safar. The attackers managed to escape following the incident.

Convicted murderer Saulat Mirza was hanged till death at Machh Jail of Bolan District. Mirza had been on death row for nearly 17 years. Sentenced to death in 1999, Mirza was initially scheduled to be executed on March 19, 2015. But in a turn of events, video footage of Mirza hurling grave allegations at MQM chief Altaf Hussain and other leaders of complicity in crime was aired on television channels just few hours before his execution on March 19. The President immediately stayed his hanging for three days after the convict sought more time to give information regarding target killers and their alleged patrons.

A few days later, Mirza's hanging was put off again as authorities wished to interrogate him for crucial details in relation to his confession. A 10-member Joint-Investigation Team later questioned Mirza over his confession and eventually concluded that his disclosures did not constitute any ‘actionable intelligence or cogent evidence’ that could help the judicial process. On May 2, 2015, the trial court issued Mirza's black warrant for a third time, scheduling his hanging for May 12.

May 13

At least 45 Ismaili Shias were killed and 24 others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire on their Bus in Safora Chowrangi area near Dow Medical College in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.  Initial reports revealed that the motorcyclists used 9mm pistols in the attack. Sources confirmed that the bus was attacked from all sides and many were left injured. Further, reports revealed that leaflets containing militant content were found at the scene.

Three security personnel were killed when TTP militants attacked a security check post in Mashpangai area of Shakai tehsil in South Waziristan Agency of FATA. Five militants were also killed in retaliatory firing. However, TTP-Mehsud faction 'spokesman' Azam Tariq claimed that the bodies of the three security personnel killed in the clash were in their custody. Denying the SF claims, he said that only one Talib, identified as Abid, had been injured in the attack.

Four people, including three children and wife of Gul Toor Saidgai, were killed when a stray shell hit his house in Dabbar area of North Waziristan Agency.

At least 29 surrendered militants were set free after completing vocational training at Navi Saha, an internment centre, in Bajaur Agency. Commandant Bajaur Scouts Colonel Amir Ali said different vocational skills were imparted to the former militants during the 10-week-long training. He said peace and Government writ were fully restored across the Agency as the force had eliminated militants in the region.

Two kidnappers, identified as Sattar Sheikh and Latif Buriro alias Kana Buriro, were killed during Police encounter in bid to rescue abductees in Katcha area of Usta Muhammad in Jaffarabad District of Balochistan. During the encounter the Police faced resistance from the kidnappers and in the exchange of fire, two suspects were killed. The Police also arrested an injured suspect and seized two Kalashnikovs and a cache of ammunition from the possession of deceased and detained suspects.

The Islamic State (IS/ also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS) claimed responsibility for the May 13, 2015, bus attack that killed 43 Ismaili Shias in Safoora Chowrangi area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. Police officials said it that six to eight militants on motorbikes first opened fire on the bus.

A blood-stained pamphlet of IS was recovered from the scene, according to a Police official. "Thanks be to Allah, 43 apostates were killed and around 30 were wounded in an attack carried out by Islamic State soldiers on a bus transporting Shia Ismaili infidels in the city of Karachi," claimed the Islamic State said in an Arabic statement.

Another militant group, Jundullah also claimed responsibility for the attack. A rescue official quoted a victim as saying that the attackers were dressed in police uniforms.

A senior Police Official said the bus belonged to the Al-Azhar Garden welfare, a non-profit organisation for the Ismaili community which provided them low cost housing just near the site of the attack and free transport service. "Most of these people were going towards the city centre for jobs or were vendors or small traders," the official said.

May 14

Balochistan FC killed eight militants and arrested several others while carrying out search operations in Juhan area of Kalat District and Mastung District. Three FC personnel also received injuries during the exchange of firing. Weapons, including 12 SMGs, 20 hand grenades and 25 kilogram of explosive devices were recovered from their possession. The terrorists were involved in attacks on Security Forces and acts of sabotage in Nushki and other areas.

Two militants were killed in an encounter with the FC during a search operation in the Tasp area of Panjgur District. Two SMGs, two hand grenades, 12 magazines, a motorbike and a vehicle of FWO was recovered from their possession.

FC personnel arrested two militants following a tip off in the Saeedabad area of Ormara in Gwadar District. They also recovered arms from their possession.

Two militants, identified as Faizullah and Sanaullah, were killed in an encounter in Hayatabad area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. SSP Dr Mian Saeed said that Police had got information about presence of some terrorists in a house in the area. He said that Police raided the house but the terrorists opened fire on them. A Policeman identified as Tariq was injured in the firing, he added. The SSP said that two terrorists were killed in the encounter. They were wanted by police in different cases of extortion, kidnapping-for-ransom and street crimes, he added.

An ASI of Police, Shakirullah Khan, was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants when he was going to his office in Hayatabad area of provincial capital Peshawar. An official of Yakatoot Police Station said that 9mm pistol was used in the attack.

A day after the attack on Ismaili Shias on May 13, 2015, Rangers launched a crackdown in Karachi, arresting 145 suspects. According to a statement issued by the Sindh Rangers, the Law Enforcement Agency conducted targeted raids in Sohrab Goth area of Gadap Town, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, Shah Faisal Colony, Korangi Town, New Karachi Town, North Nazimabad Town and Orangi Town. During the raids, 145 suspects were taken into custody, while weapons including SMGs were also recovered.

The Special Apex Committee held at Corps Headquarters in Karachi to review progress of operations and intelligence efforts so far, directed the Intelligence Agencies to work together to exploit existing leads and continue across the board operations with increased momentum against the terrorists. According to DG The ISPR, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, the meeting decided to apprehend criminals and their abettors regardless of political, religious, ethnic, sectarian or any other affiliations, besides developing a system for strict checking at all entry and exit points. It directed the intelligence sub-committee to coordinate and synergies civil-military into effort for optimally effective Intelligence Based Operations.

May 15

Air Force aerial strikes killed at least 17 militants in the areas bordering Afghanistan in the Wareka Mandi area of Shawal tehsil in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. “The air force jets pounded the areas close to the Afghan border in thick forests and killed at least 17 militants. Three compounds and five vehicles were also destroyed in the action,” an unnamed security official said. The official said that the killed militants included Uzbek and Afghan nationals and cadres of the TTP.

TTP militants attacked a group of youths celebrating their victory in a cricket match in Karikote village near Wana town of South Waziristan Agency, killing one of them and injuring five. Witnesses said by phone that some of the youths were beating drums after winning a cricket match in Karikote when followers of TTP leader Ainullah arrived there and ordered them to stop their celebration. When the boys refused to obey them, a scuffle ensued, during which the militants opened fire at spectators. Marka (16) was killed and five other people were severely injured.

Two rooms of Ghazi Baba shrine in Arang in Uthmankhel tehsil of Bajaur Agency were destroyed when an explosive planted by unidentified militants went off in the morning. However, no casualties have been reported.

Three bullet riddled dead bodies, identified as that of identified as Asim Baloch, Shahjahan and Noshad Ahmed, were recovered from Tasp area of Panjgur District in Balochistan. “All the three were shot in the head and chest,” hospital sources said.

The FC continued the search operation into its second day in Johan area of Kalat District, killing three militants and injuring six others. So far 13 militants, including a 'commander' of BRA have been killed. Two militant hideouts, three explosive-laden vehicles and four motorcycles have also been destroyed.

A man, identified as Mohammad Amjad, was shot dead when unidentified armed assailants opened fire him in Buleda area of Kech District.

Balochistan Assembly Opposition Leader Maulana Abdul Wasey, who belongs to the JUI-F, narrowly escaped a remote-controlled blast in Pishin District. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Three suspected terrorists were killed in a Rangers encounter in Gulshan-e-Maymar area of Gadap Town in provincial capital Karachi. According to sources, a large cache of weapons was seized during the encounter.

Two children, identified as Fida Hussain (13) and Wakeel (9), were killed in a grenade explosion in Faisal Kolachi village of Ghotki District. According to Police sources, the two children were playing outside their home with a hand-grenade which they had perceived as a toy when it exploded.

A Shia SSP, Ejaz Haider, was killed in a sectarian targeted attack on May 15 when unidentified assailants opened fire his vehicle near Pehlwan Goth in Gulistan-e-Johar area of Karachi. Police said that one of the three women riding with Haider was also injured in the attack. The slain Police officer Ejaz Haider had formerly served as jail superintendent Hyderabad and recently transferred to Karachi. Haider was waiting for his posting.

Police conducted search operations in Shah Faisal Colony and Al Falah Society of Shah Faisal Town and Rizvia Society of Liaquatabad Town, arresting 38 suspects, including four terrorists.

Police investigators are slowly arriving at the conclusion that the militant group Islamic State (IS/ also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS) was behind the May 13, 2015, Safoora Goth carnage on Ismaili Shias that killed 43 people. The attackers left an IS pamphlet at the crime scene before fleeing on motorcycles. The death toll rose to 45 after two people succumbed to their injuries. “The shadow of Islamic State could be seen behind the Safoora Goth carnage,” said CTD official Raja Umer Khattab, who is assisting the team formed to investigate the incident. “The IS militants are not outsiders they are local militants motivated and inspired by the self-styled group,” the CTD official said, adding that they were ‘educated people’.

A student of class nine was injured when a bomb planted in a flask went off in Wanda Baghbanan area of Lakki Marwat District in KP. According to a Police officer, Abdullah was on his way to Kurram River to swim when he found a flask. “He picked it up and tried to open it,” he said. “The flask exploded, leaving the boy injured.”

The officials of the CTD arrested two suspected militants for attempting to plant a bomb near Lowara Pul (bridge) in Shahdev area of Bannu District. Two pistols, a canister filled with explosives, a detonator and a remote control were seized from the possession of arrested militants.

CTD arrested a militant in Hangu. CTD Hangu in-charge DSP Taj Malook said Noor Saeed, an alleged militant who hails from Orakzai Agency and lives in Hangu, was taken into custody. “Saeed was wanted by the police for his involvement in various attacks in Hangu and the tribal belt,” he added.

Police during a raid arrested two suspects allegedly circulating Daesh literature in Nauthia area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Police said, the CTD carried out the raid in Nauthia locality and arrested the suspects, Ghulam Muhammad and Lal Muhammad, on charges of distributing the IS leaflets in the area.

LeT founder and JuD Chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed while delivering Friday sermon at Jamia Qudsia mosque on Lytton Road in Lahore District warned that without eliminating the secret interference of United States and India in the country, neither the terrorism nor the Karachi-like killings could be controlled. It was the duty of Government and the Law Enforcing Agencies to trace and arrest the secret enemy agents and their operatives and expose their identities and patrons before the whole nation. Hafiz Saeed warned the rulers against taking heavy foreign loans on high interest rates for continuing their own luxuries at the expense of the poor who would have to pay those loans back in the shape of huge taxes and duties. Further he said, the rulers must abolish interest based economy to invite the mercy of Allah Almighty for bringing back the progress and prosperity as promised by Him. He said enemies were continuously hatching conspiracies against the Muslims and targeting the Ismaili community was also the part of the same plot to provoke different groups into fighting against each other in the country.

May 16

A US drone strike killed six suspected militants and injured another two in Shawal Valley of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. Sources said that the drone fired two missiles into a compound in the valley close to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, killing six militants, most of them were foreigners. The number of casualties was set to rise, sources added.

At least four suspected terrorists were killed and six others were arrested when Sindh Rangers conducted an intelligence-based operation in Old Golimar area in Karachi. According to Sindh Rangers, the suspects resorted to indiscriminate firing during the operation, which was met by retaliation from members of the Paramilitary Force.

May 17

At least 20 militants, including nine 'commanders', were killed during an operation by the security agencies in the Kalat District of Balochistan. Meanwhile, a private television channel’s sources have claimed that during the operation, Security Forces had found evidence of contacts between the terrorists and the Indian intelligence agency, R&AW. “Security Forces, engaged in an extensive operation in the rugged territory, neutralised these low and high profile targets in the last 48 hours,” sources said. The FC also recovered a sizeable stash of arms and explosives. Four camps of terrorists were also destroyed during the operation. 

Two men, identified as Muhammad Ali (25) and Danish (22), were shot dead by unidentified armed assailants at Tipu Sultan area in PECHS locality of Jamshed Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

A dead body, identified as that of Shehzor (13) was recovered from Qasba Colony in Orangi Town.

Two men, Uzair (35) and Zaheer (28), were shot at and injured at Five Star Chowrangi in North Nazimabad Town.

According to an official press release released, the Pakistan Rangers arrested 24 suspects during targeted raids conducted in various parts of Karachi. Those arrested include target killers, "sub-nationalist elements" and terrorists from banned outfits, the statement said. Weapons, walkie-talkies, hand grenades, laptops, and a large quantity of narcotics and locally-made liquor were recovered.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah while speaking at a press conference in Sukkur District said that banned organisations, including the TTP and the BLA, are fighting along with dacoits in the katcha area of Ghotki District with the Police who have launched an operation against criminals. He said that in the Ghotki operation, criminals were equipped with modern weapons while the Police were using old weapons. He said he had spoken to the army chief in that regard and the army chief had sought a list of required weapons and on receipt of such weapons and equipment, they would be provided to the police. He said that the Rangers and the police were carrying out the operation against criminals and the government needed the army’s help only for weapons.

Over 4,634 suspects and 4,695 unregistered Afghan national were arrested as more than 138 search and strike operations were carried out in Peshawar alone under the NAP, said SSP Operations Peshawar Dr Mian Saeed Ahmad. According to statistics compiled from January 1 to May 5, 2015, as many as 175 Afghan prayer leaders were removed, 42 people were arrested for spreading hate material and 238 were rounded up for misusing loudspeakers in Peshawar.

A number of search operations were carried out in Saddar and surrounding areas, Hayatabad and the suburban Peshawar during the last couple of days after reports emerged about serious threats of terror attacks. Security in the provincial capital has been put on high alert and over 80 suspects, including Afghan nationals were rounded up in actions during the last three days. “As many as 138 search and strike operations were carried out in Peshawar, including 51 in the rural division, 45 in cantonment division and 42 in city division. During these operations, 197 small machineguns, 910 shotguns, 106 rifles and 1,251 pistols were recovered,” said SSP Saeed Ahmad.

Germany’s foreign Intelligence Agency, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), had helped the CIA track down the then al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan where the US Special Forces killed him, said the German Bild am Sonntag news report. The BND spy service provided a tip-off that bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, with the knowledge of Pakistani security services.

The information came from a BND informant within Pakistan’s ISI Agency and confirmed CIA suspicions, said the newspaper report, which cited unnamed US intelligence sources. The American source was quoted as saying the German tip-off was of “fundamental importance” in the hunt for the architect of the September 11, 2001 (also known as 9/11) attacks.

The German newspaper said that ultimately US services tracked down bin Laden’s exact location by following one of his couriers, as Washington has said. The report also said the BND used its Bad Aibling listening post in Germany’s southern Bavaria state to monitor telephone and email traffic in northern Pakistan to ensure the secrecy of the planned US Navy SEALS operation.

May 18

At least six suspected militants were killed while two others were injured in a US drone strike on a militant hideout in the Zoye Narye area of Shawal tehsil in North Waziristan Agency of FATA.

An unidentified a man was shot dead by unidentified armed assailants at Manghopir Graveyard of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified dead body, with torture marks, was recovered from Orangi Town.

A man, identified as Abdullah (30), was shot at and injured in Korangi Town.

CoAS General Raheel Sharif while witnessing the concluding ceremony of the 4th Army Physical Agility and Combat Efficiency System (PACES) Championship at Kharian in Gujrat District of Punjab Province said, “Our performance in recent operations has been phenomenal and we have cleansed large remote areas of terrorists in the most treacherous terrain and in the most trying circumstances owing to fitness and professionalism of our officers and men".

Saudi Arabia has been in discussion with Pakistan over the acquisition of a nuclear weapon, according to an unnamed US defence official. “For the Saudis, the moment has come,” he said, adding, “There has been a longstanding agreement in place with the Pakistanis, and the House of Saud has now made the strategic decision to move forward.” He denied “any actual weaponry has been transferred yet”, but warned that “the Saudis mean what they say and they will do what they say”. 

England’s former Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen told The Sunday Times, “Nuclear weapons programs are extremely expensive and there’s no question that a lot of the funding of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program was provided by Saudi Arabia.” 

Another unnamed UK military official said that Western military leaders “all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear” and warned that this could spur on others. “The fear is that other Middle Eastern powers, Turkey and Egypt, may feel compelled to do the same and we will see a new, even more dangerous, arms race.”

Pakistan’s ISI and Afghanistan’s NDS signed a MoU. Director General ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa tweeted that the MoU includes intelligence sharing, as well as complimentary and coordinated operations on respective sides.

May 19

A man, identified as Fazal Khattak (50), was shot dead at Swati Muhallah in Sherpao Colony of Landhi Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

An unidentified man was killed in Ganna Mandi area of Janjal Goth in Gadap Town.

A three-day-old dead body of a man, identified as that of Qazi Hashmi (60), was found near Aqsa Masjid in Rasheedabad area of Baldia Town.

A man, identified as Muhammad Behroz (20), was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants in Altaf Nagar area of Orangi Town.

Another man, identified as Hasan (23), was shot at and injured near Kamela stop in Lyari Town.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah claimed that four key suspects in the May 13, 2015, Karachi bus attack on Ismaili Shias have been arrested. He said that the Police in a crackdown in different areas of Nawabshah city in Shaheed Benazir Abad District have arrested the four suspects involved in the attack. He said the detained persons have confessed to their crime during the preliminary investigation.

A militant, identified as Jehanzeb, was killed and a Police constable, identified as Habibullah, was injured during an attack on a polio vaccination team in the Tambulak area of Mardan District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to sources, the polio team was on duty to administer polio vaccine when a militant opened fire injuring a Policeman deputed for the vaccinators' security. Another Police Constable, who was also accompanying the team, resorted to retaliatory firing killing the militant on the spot.

A militant was killed and two SF personnel were injured during a search operation carried out by FC in Aspait area of Mashky in Awaran District of Balochistan. SFs also recovered weapons from their possession. According to the FC spokesman, SFs carried out the search operation against the BLF.

An ATC sentenced, Qari Abubakar, a prayer leader of Kasur District in Punjab to five years in jail for delivering a hate speech at a public gathering. However, the accused denied the charge and took the plea that he did not attend the gathering.

The slain al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had ‘advance’ knowledge of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks and he wanted to establish an al-Qaeda state in parts of Pakistan after the breakout of a possible war between India and Pakistan, according to new book titled The Secrets of Pakistan’s war on Al-Qaeda authored by Azaz Syed.  “Osama was thrilled to know about LeT’s plan to attack the Indian city of Mumbai. For long he had desired to set up his own state.

After the surfacing of a report on May 18, 2015, which claimed Saudi Arabia wanted to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan, a defense official of the Kingdom dismissed it as mere “speculation”. A Saudi Defense Ministry official, however, said that such reports were not new. “I don’t understand what the story is. This has been in the news for 18 years and will continue to be for the next 15 years.”

May 20

At least 13 suspected militants were killed during airstrikes conducted by Army fighter jets in the Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. According to a statement issued by the ISPR, five hideouts of the militants were also destroyed.

Bahadur Khan, the DSP belonging to the CTD of Peshawar Police, was shot dead by TTP militants near Anam Sanam chowk in Gulbahar area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. DSP Khan's daughter remained unhurt in the attack. Muhammad Khorasani, the TTP ‘spokesperson’, claimed the responsibility of the killing.

FC killed a militant in Mashkey area of Awaran District in Balochistan. According to the FC spokesman, on a tip-off the force carried out the search operation in the area when one of the militants opened fire on them. He was killed as FC retaliated the firing.  

A convict on death row, Muhammad Musa, was hanged till death at Mach Central Jail in Bolan District. Musa had committed a murder in 2005 in Quetta.

The FC on a tip-off conducted the search operation in an unspecified area of Turbat District and arrested two commanders of a banned outfit and recovered arms from their possession.

A death row prisoner, identified as Zulfiqar, was hanged till death in Faisalabad Central Jail of Faisalabad District of Punjab. Zulfiqar had murdered a taxi driver in 2000.

A Supreme Court Justice Qazi Faez Isa pointed out the dangers of upholding sectarianism if the court were to interpret legal issues in light of the Constitution as it exists today, as opposed to its original form, which did not contain the word ‘sect’. “Sectarianism is a curse,” said Justice Qazi Faez Isa, a member of the 17-judge full court of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk that is hearing challenges to the 18th and 21st amendment. “If we [institutionalise] sectarianism, we will die at the hands of our own. This is what we have been witnessing in the Muslim world today as well,” Justice Isa deplored.

KP IG Nasir Khan Durrani ruled out presence of militants in any religious seminary in the provincial capital and elsewhere in the province, saying that all the seminaries had been cleared of outlaws. “All the Afghan prayer leaders have been removed from mosques and seminaries across the province,” he said.

May 21

At least 16 militants, including four foreign militants, were killed during airstrikes by SFs in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. The SFs also destroyed their five hideouts.

Four terrorists involved in the November 2, 2014, Wagah border blast, were killed during an encounter by the CTD in Ittehad Town of Baldia Town in Karachi,  the provincial capital of Sindh. The terrorists belonged to Umar Khorasani group. A huge amount of ammunition and explosives were recovered from their possession.

Three persons, including a local leader of the ASWJ, identified as Syed Abdul Wahab (65), his two sons, identified as Farmanullah (35) and Asmatullah (30), were shot dead by unidentified armed assailants at Khyber Hotel in Bagh-e-Malir near Malir City in Malir Town. A 'spokesman' for ASWJ Umer Muavia claimed that Syed Wahab was their leader of Malir District and termed it an act of sectarian violence.

Two suspected militants were killed and two Police constables, identified as Arshad Hussain and Muhammad Ayaz, were injured in a Police encounter in Sultanabad locality of Manghopir in Gadap Town. Police recovered weapons and live ammunition from their possession.

An unidentified man was shot dead near Bab-e-Fatima Imambargah at Liaquatabad furniture market in Liaquatabad Town.

An ATC in Karachi handed over to Police four suspects involved in May 13, 2015, Safoora bus attack on 14-day physical remand. The four suspects were identified as Saad Aziz, Muhammad Azhar Ishrat, Haafiz Nasir, Tahir Hussain Minhas. The suspects were presented in court for clashing with Police and possession of explosive material and illegal weapons. According to Police, the four suspects confessed to their involvement in a string of terrorist attacks in Karachi, including the attack on the Ismaili community and the murder of T2F Director Sabeen Mahmud on April 24, 2015.

During a briefing to the Senate DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar said that the terrorists have formed separate cells to target Police Officers on one hand and scholars and vulnerable groups on the other hand. “One of the central issues related to law and order in Karachi is illegal weapons,” he said, adding, “A large number of weapons of prohibited bore have been issued to people.” “Even law enforcers don’t have such sophisticated weapons,” he said.

The officials of CTD arrested two militants, identified as Burhan and Noor Aslam, from Hangu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The CoAS General Raheel Sharif during a visit to the Command and Staff College in Quetta said that a ‘favourable political atmosphere’ is being built in the country following the launch of military offensive Zarb-e-Azb against terrorism in the tribal belt. He said the armed forces of the country have gained ‘magnificent achievements’ during Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He, however, said conventional methods of warfare and retaliation were no longer plausible for tackling threats being faced by the country.

May 22

Five militants and one soldier, Sepoy Waqas, were killed in a clash after militants attacked a military check post in the Garwaee area of Dattakhel tehsil in North Waziristan Agency of FATA. Security officials said five militants were also killed in the clash after the attack on the checkpoint.

At least one person was killed and four others were injured in a remote-controlled bomb blast targeting a FC vehicle on Qambarani Road in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. BDS officials said that 100 kilograms of explosives were used in the making of the bomb.

Balochistan Police arrested the main accused involved in the on June 15, 2013, attack on Quaid-e-Azam residency in Ziarat District after carrying out a successful raid in Hazar Ganji area of Quetta. Addressing a press conference, SSP-Operations Aitzaz Ahmed Goraya said that Police arrested suspect, identified as Pukar alias Pako, who was nominated for his involvement in carrying out the attack. 

FC during an operation on May 21, 2015, in Rahman Kahul area of Chaman tehsil in Qilla Abdullah District recovered explosive material, IEDs, and circuits in huge quantity, said Brigadier Tahir Mehmood while addressing a press conference in Quetta. He said that it was an achievement as the recovery pre-empted a wave of terrorism in the province. 

Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti and DIG FC Brigadier Mohammad Tahir a during a news briefing at the FC Help Center in Kholia Phattack said, “Frontier Corps killed 29 militants associated with the Baloch separatist groups and the TTP, including two suicide bombers, during the search operation in the Province.” They also destroyed eight insurgents’ hideouts during the month-long operation, he added.

One Shia was killed and two others injured when unidentified assailants opened fire at a vehicle in Hayatabad area Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the Police sources, Wali Ahmad Jan and his sons Ali Murtaza and Awais were travelling in a car when unknown motorcyclists opened fire at them. Ali Murtaza was killed on the spot while Wali Ahmed and Awais sustained injuries.

Two suspected militants who were arrested by the CTD, have confessed to planning the suicide attack on Imamia Imambargah in Hayatabad on February 13, 2015.. They also confessed to facilitating the suicide bombers who attacked the mosque.

A rocket, fired from an unknown location, struck the Hayatabad residence former Senator Abdur Razaq in Peshawar. There were no immediate reports of any injuries. The attack is the second of its kind on Razaq’s residence.

Karachi Police picked up Khalid Minhas, the younger brother of Tahir Minhas, the mastermind of the May 13, 2015, attack on Shia Ismailis. Police raided Khalid’s house at Gharibabad Colony in Karachi, the provincil capital of Sindh.

Saad Aziz (27), one of the militants arrested for involvement in T2F café Director Sabeen Mahmud’s murder on April 24, 2015, confessed to killing her. “We shot her for holding a Valentine’s Day rally,” Aziz reportedly said in his statement to the Police, adding, “My friend was riding the motorcycle but I was sitting at the back and I shot her.”

May 23

Three security personnel were killed in a blast in an IED explosion in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. According to a security source, the security troops were on a routine patrol when a roadside IED hit their vehicle.

A suspected suicide bomber, identified as Qari Naeem, who was also the prayer leader of the mosque, was killed and four civilians, identified as Saad Fazal Rahim, Ihsan, Subhanullah and Zabihullah were injured, when the bomber blew up his suicide vest in a mosque in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A death row convict, Arshad, was hanged till death in Kot Lakhpat Jail of Lahore District in Punjab. He was sentenced to death for committing murder of two people in 1991.

A death row prisoner, identified as Mohammad Wazir, was hanged till death in Central Jail of Sahiwal District for killing a man over enmity.

May 24

Three TTP militants were killed while others managed to escape after during an exchange of fire with SFs in South Waziristan Agency of FATA. Arms were recovered from their possession. The killed terrorists were stated to be hailing from Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

One FC soldier was killed when militants from Kunar Province in Afghanistan attacked a check post in Mamond tehsil of Bajaur Agency. The militants escaped after SFs returned fire.

Three people were killed and over a dozen persons, which include several police officials, were injured after an IED targeting President Mamnoon Hussain's son Salman Hussian's convoy exploded outside a local restaurant in Hub city of Lasbela District. However, Salman remained unhurt in the attack.

A militant video was released on May 24 showed that a Chinese tourist, Hong Xudong, kidnapped by TTP militants from Daraban town in Dera Ismail Khan District on May 19, 2014, asked his Government to help for his release. A Jaish al-Hadeed militant, a TTP splinter group, gave the video to the media.  Following Hong’s abduction, the leader of TTP splinter group, Shehryar Mehsud, Abdullah Bahar, had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Ali Haider Gilani (29), the kidnapped son of former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani phoned his father after two years in captivity and told him he was well. Ali Haider was abducted by TTP militants in a hail of gunfire in Multan District of Punjab on May 9, 2013. “My son Ali Haider Gilani told me that he is happy and safe at (an) unknown place,” said Yusuf Raza Gilani.”

ISIS is recruiting fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan, General John F Campbell, said the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, adding, “but they are not yet operational”. There have been fears of ISIS making inroads in Afghanistan since US-led NATO forces ended their combat mission in 2014. “There’s recruiting going on in Afghanistan, there is recruiting going on in Pakistan. There is money being passed back and forth,” General Campbell said.

Authoritative sources rubbished the recent ISIS claims that the terrorist entity could purchase a nuclear device from Pakistan. Earlier on May 23, 2015, it was reported that the propaganda magazine of ISIS, Dabiq, had suggested the group was expanding so rapidly it could buy its first nuclear weapon from Pakistan within a year. However, the official sources in Islamabad said that the idea to purchase a nuclear bomb from Pakistan by ISIS or some Middle Eastern state was not only far-fetched, it was rather impossible.

May 25

At least three Hazara Shias were killed and nine others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire at two separate buildings on M.A. Jinnah Road in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan.

A local trader, identified as Anwar Ali Hazara, was shot dead by unidentified militants on Fatima Jinnah Road in Quetta. Following the attack, members of the Hazara community staged a protest against the killing.

Rangers shot dead three militants during a pre-dawn raid in Surjani Town area of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital  of Sindh. One of the Ranger's personnel was wounded in the shootout. A huge cache of weapons was also recovered from their hideout.

Police arrested three suspects after an exchange of fire near Cantonment graveyard in Hyderabad District. Police spokesman identified the suspects as Maroof Langha, Mumtaz Mangi and Aftab Shah. Police also recovered unlicensed pistols from their possession.

Four people were injured when unidentified militants targeted the vehicle of former senator Malik Abdul Wahid with IEDs in Landi Jor area of Mohmand Agency in FATA. However, the senator escaped unhurt.

Two people were injured when unidentified militants targeted the vehicle of the former chief of Safi Amn Committee Malik Subedar Safi with a remote controlled device in Ziarat Khwar area in Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency. However, Safi escaped the blast while two of his companions Javed and Shoaib were injured. Ehsanullah Ehsan , the 'spokesperson' JuA, claimed responsibility for both the attacks.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a meeting with CoAS General Raheel Sharif in Islamabad gave the go-ahead to extend Operation Zarb-e-Azb into Shawal Valley of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. “All financial issues related to the new military offence in Shawal Valley will be incorporated in the upcoming budget,” an unnamed official source said.” Further the sources added that Pakistan Army has cleared Tirah Valley from terrorists through military operations and the next step is to clear Shawal Valley.

May 26

At least six terrorists were killed by paramilitary soldiers in a raid at a hideout in Pareshan Chowk area of Mominabad in Orangi Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

In another raid, one BLA militant was shot dead in Old Golimar area of Lyari Town. 

Paramilitary soldiers killed two Lyari gangsters, identified as Nawaz Ali Ismail Khan alias Raja Pathan, the 'commander' of Ghaffar Zikri group and Jehangir, in a raid on a hideout in Manghopir area of Gadap Town. Weapons were recovered from their possession.  

At least 10 accused were executed in Punjab.  According to details of hanging in Punjab, two prisoners, identified as Shakil and Sher Ali, were hanged till death in Kot Lakhpat jail of Lahore District. Both were accused of committing murder. Shakil had killed a person in 1998, while Sher Ali murdered a person in 2001.

In Central Jail Faisalabad, another two convicts, Iftikhar Ahmed and Asif Zeb, were hanged till death. Iftikhar had killed three people in 2001, while Asif killed a person in 1998.

In another execution, a death row prisoner, Ishaq, convicted of murder, was hanged till death in Sahiwal District, while one prisoner, Mohammad Nawaz was hanged in Gujranwala District.

In Central Jail Multan, one Rana Faryad was executed after being convicted of murder of his cousin over a minor argument.

Death row prisoner Mohammad Afzal was hanged till death in District Jail Jhelum.

Another convict, Amjad Ali, was hanged in Sargodha District, after being found guilty of rape and murder of his young niece, as well as killing two young witnesses of the incident.

A death row prisoner, Anwar Ahmed, was executed in District Jail Toba Tek Singh. He had killed six family members, including his father and brother, over a property matter.

At least five SF personnel were seriously injured in a blast that occurred while they attempted to defuse an IED in Babara Chaharmang area of Nawagai sub division in Bajaur Agency of FATA.

SFs foiled a terror bid by defusing 37 kilogram of explosives hidden in the fields in Manoska area of Shabqadar in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A death row convict Ibrahim was hanged till death in Central Jail Mach in Bolan District of Balochistan. Ibrahim was convicted of murdering a person in 2003.

Four BLA militants, involved in the attack on President Mamnoon Hussain’s son in Hub city of Lasbela District on May 24, 2015, were arrested.

Two suspected militants were arrested in the Dasht area of the Kech District. “The militants were involved in attacks on Frontier Corps and FWO construction,” FC spokesperson Khan Wassey said. He added that FC recovered automatic weapons from their possession.

Intelligence Agencies' personnel conducted a raid on Sariab Road area of Quetta and arrested a militant.

Federal Minister for Water and Power and Defence, Khawaja Asif alleged that TTP was fighting as India’s proxy against Pakistan. He said that there has been a nexus between Indian Intelligence Agencies and terrorists operating in Pakistan.

May 27

At least three Policemen, including a Sub-Inspector and two constables, were killed and another wounded when unidentified militants opened fire on a Police mobile van in Bhangoria Goth area of Azizabad locality in Gulberg Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

In Hyderabad District, a low-intensity blast occurred on a rail track passing through Bengali Colony on its one side and Autobhan Road on the other. The blast led to the suspension of the rail traffic for a few hours. However, no casualties were reported.

In another explosion in Nawabshah city of Shaheed Benazirabad District, the main railway line near near the Nawaz Dahiri station caused minor damage to the track and suspension of the rail traffic for about an hour.

Police detained a suspect, identified as Amanat Ali Jakhrani, who was found sitting suspiciously on the tracks in Kandhkot tehsil of Kasmore District.

Sindh Government during cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah decided to cancel 595,146 arms licences because the licence-holders failed to verify them with the relevant offices. Provincial Home Secretary Mukhtiar Soomro said that the verification process had been initiated for the 1,057,456 arms licences that had been issued in the Province since they started maintaining records.

Two Shia Hazaras, identified as Mohammad Arif and Mohammad Hussain, were shot dead, while another, Mohammad Essa, was injured,  when unidentified militants opened fire at their cloth shop in a shopping plaza in MeCongi road area in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Bugti said that the Government has decided to launch a grand targeted operation in the provincial capital to curb terrorism. He said that Frontier Corps, Police, Levies and other intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies would take part in the operation.

At least seven death row prisoners were executed in various jails across Punjab and Balochistan. According to details, two convicts were hanged till death in Kot Lakhpat jail of Lahore District. Prisoner Abdul Khaliq had been convicted of murdering a woman in factory area, while convict Shahzad was also found guilty of committing a murder.

Two prisoners were hanged till death in District Jail of Gujrat. Naseer Ahmed, a convict was executed in after he was found guilty of killing a person over an argument in 2002. Another prisoner, Faisal Mehmood was also hanged after having committed a murder in 1999.

In another hanging, two prisoners were executed in District Jail Vehari. Prisoner Abdul Sattar was found guilty of killing a 13-year-old girl after raping her in 1997. Convict Sanaullah had committed the same on an 11-year-old girl in 2001.

A death row convict, Khan Mohammad, was hanged in Mach Jail of Bolan District after he was found guilty of committing the murder of his brother as well as nephew in 2004.

At least eight SF personnel sustained injuries in an IED blast that occurred in Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency in FATA.

Another one security official was injured in second IED explosion in the same area. Two militant hideouts were destroyed in the Halemzai tehsil of Mohmand Agency during an operation in the area.

Highly placed sources claim that Ali Haider Gilani, the abducted son of former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, is in the custody of al Qaeda's Indian wing, al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which is demanding PKR 2 billion and release of two families of their killed activists that are in custody of the Security Forces. They claim that ustad Asim Umar, head of AQIS, is personally involved in this case and is reportedly monitoring every development on the issue. Asim Umar is an Indian national from the state of Uttar Pradesh. He spent most of his time in the Indian-held Kashmir and later secretly shifted to Pakistan.

According to unnamed Foreign Office sources, Pakistan and Britain have been cooperating with each other with exchange of information on dozens of “individuals of interest” to both countries. Authorities in Britain have passed detailed information about Baloch activists to Pakistan while Pakistan has handed over files of British nationals residing in Pakistan. It is believed that this exchange of information related to activists who are believed to hold “extremist views”.  Pakistani authorities have conveyed to the British Government their distress over Baloch militant leaders’ causing unrest in Pakistan from British soil and using their links inside Balochistan to support militants involved in violence against civilians and security forces.

May 28

Three death row convicts, accused of hijacking Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight 544 enroute from Turbat (Balochistan) to Karachi (Sindh) in May 1998, were hanged till death. Two of them identified as Shahsawar Baloch and Sabir Baloch were hanged in Central Jail Hyderabad (Hyderabad District of Sindh), while Shabbir Baloch was executed in Central Jail Karachi. Mercy pleas filed by the three had been rejected by the President. 

Another prisoner was executed in Karachi.

Two death row prisoners were executed in two Central Jails of Sahiwal and Sargodha Districts in Punjab.

Two Policemen were killed and two others were injured when unidentified militants opened fire and attacked a patrolling Police mobile van with rocket launcher in Daraban area of Dera Ismail Khan District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A prisoner was hanged till death in Haripur Jail.

An arrested terrorist, identified as Abdul Ghafoor alias Ahmad, on May 28 confessed his involvement in the March 18, 2013, suicide attack on Judicial Complex in Peshawar, before the Anti-Terrorism Court.

Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan while addressing the passing out parade of 2,340 recruits of Frontier Constabulary reports at FC Training Centre in Shabqadar tehsil (of Charsadda District said that ensuring peace in the country was prime responsibility of Frontier Constabulary. He said that elements involved in violence would be dealt with iron hand. He said that it was the prime responsibility of the force to play effective role in bringing peace to specific areas of the country.

The FO spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said that no footprints of ISIS have been found in the country. He said that Pakistan’s security agencies are alert to take any action against terrorists, if required. “The people of Pakistan have no ideological, ethnic or linguistic affinities with IS and its members,” he said. However, he added, some pamphlets and wall-chalking has been seen in some parts of the country. “There is no proof of presence of IS in Pakistan. Our security agencies are aware of the threat and will take appropriate measures if needed.”

Despite concerns surrounding collateral damage and wrongly identified targets being struck, which resulted in the deaths of two hostages, nearly 60 per cent of Americans still approve drone strikes on extremists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, a new poll by The Pew Research Center found. It said its national survey showed that 58 per cent of Americans approve of drone strikes against extremists in those countries with only 35 per cent expressing their disapproval.

May 29

At least 22 people were killed and several others injured when unidentified militants opened fire at kidnapped passengers in Khad Kucha area of Mastung District in Balochitan. Earlier in the evening, suspected militants had abducted two passenger buses en route Karachi (Sindh) from Pishin District (Balochistan). Soon after reports of abduction emerged, Police and Frontier Corps officials rushed to the area and there were reports of heavy exchange of fire between SFs and the kidnappers. DCO Mastung claimed that 15 to 20 militants had abducted around 35 passengers. Five passengers were released by militants, the Levies official said. UBA claimed responsibility for the killings. A UBA 'spokesman' Mureed Baloch said that it “is a revenge for killing of militants in Mastung and Kalat areas by security forces”.

Five militants and two SF personnel were killed, while one SF was injured in a clash in Ghulam Khan area of NWA in FATA. According to reports, a group of terrorists ambushed a SFs vehicle, opening fire on the patrolling party and killing two of them. Five militants were also killed in retaliation by the SFs.

Two PPP workers, identified as Mohammed Sharif Lashari (45) and Anwar Bhutto (30), were shot dead in a targeted attack near Bakra Piri area in Malir Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. 

Two unidentified dead bodies, aged between 20 and 25 years, were found from Manghopir near Muhammadi Mosque in Gadap Town.

An unidentified man was killed in a firing incident in Peela School area of New Karachi Town.

A man, identified as Asif, was injured in a firing incident in Orangi Town.

Police arrested two suspects belonging to a political party and seized a huge cache of Indian-made arms and ammunition in a raid at a house located in Orangi Town. During the search, the Police found one rocket propel grenade, an anti-aircraft gun, eight light machineguns with magazines and a fitting belt, eight sub-machineguns (SMGs), 12,000 LMG and SMG bullets, two bullet-proof jackets, eight boxes of bullets and other material. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) District West Azfar Mehshar said that the weapons were Indian-made (inscribed with SA-Local Rest Indian). 

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah announced a reward of PKR 3 million for the SSP-West and his team for conducting the raid in Orangi Town and seizing the arms and ammunition. He announced PKR 3 million for an ISI team that had provided information on which action was taken. Shah also announced PKR 3 million for a Rangers team that had raided a terrorist hideout in Orangi Town on May 24, 2015.

District West Police arrested three alleged terrorists in three raids belonging to different groups, who were involved in a number of killings, including murders of Police and Rangers personnel. SSP Mehshar said that acting on a tip-off a Police team conducted raids in Mominabad (Orangi Town), Surjani Town (Gadap Town) and Saeedabad (Baldia Town) areas and arrested Lyari gangster Abdul Hafeez, a suspected target killer, with a 9mm pistol.

At least two people, including a police SI, were killed and three Policemen were injured, in a suicide attack near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore District of Punjab. The blast took place when a day-night match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe was underway. Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid confirmed that the blast was a suicide attack.  

At least two activists of JI were killed and another injured when unidentified militants opened fire at them in Saleem Khan area of Swabi District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

May 30

At least seven militants were killed during a search operation launched on May 30 after the May 29, 2015, bus attack in Mastung District that killed 22 people. The Home Minister of Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti confirmed that at least seven militants allegedly involved in the incident had been killed in the operation. 

May 31

PML-N MPA Rana Shamshad, his son, Ahmed, and a party worker, Shakir, were shot dead, while his nephew, Ali Ashfaq, was injured in a targeted attack in Kamoki area of Gujranwala District. Eye witnesses said the attackers had covered their faces with cloth and fled the scene right after the attack.

Pakistan Rangers arrested eight suspects, including extortionists, during targeted actions from Hyderi market area in North Nazimabad Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The extortionists were distributing the slips in advance for collecting Zakat and Fitrana from the business community. The extortionists who belonged to a political party used the extortion money for their criminal activities, the sources said.

Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Nasir Khan Janjua, while expressing the resolve of the political and military leadership to end terrorism said that labourers and daily wagers were gunned down and terrorists would be dragged out of their dens and eliminated.

June 1

At least 13 militants were killed in a clash with SFs in Sawkai area of Dattakhel tehsil in North Waziristan Agency FATA. According to sources, militants attacked a bunker of SFs in the area. SFs returned fire and the exchange of fire killed 13 militants.

Six militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles and hit a double cabin pickup truck in Zwe Karba area of Shawal Valley in NWA. “The double cabin pickup truck carrying some militants had just entered the compound when it came under attack. Six militants in the pickup truck died on the spot,” an unnamed security official based said.

At least three political administration officials, including Farooq Wazir and his two associates, were killed in a remote-controlled bomb blast while they were travelling in Raghzai area of South Waziristan Agency.

Elsewhere in the Agency, two bullet-riddled dead bodies were found in Angor Adda bazaar. A note found on the bodies said they had been killed for spying against the Taliban.

Two SF personnel, identified as Naveed and Mukhtiar, were injured when a check post in Ziaratkai area of Shakai tehsil in SWA was attacked by rockets fired from an unspecified location.

At least nine militants were killed while two FC personnel were injured in exchange of fire in Morgan Harboi area of Kalat District in Balochistan. The FC spokesman said those killed in the shootout were involved in May 29, 2015, Mastung carnage and they were planning to attack FC post in Harboi.

FC killed four terrorists in Panjgur District. The FC also recovered weapons from their possession.

One terrorist was killed during exchange of fire and another detained in Kohlu District. Automatic weapons were recovered from their possession.

At least 25 suspects were detained during FC and Police search operation in Kharotabad and its adjoining areas in Quetta.

A man, identified as, Abdul Ghani (45), was shot dead by unidentified militants near Gutter Baghicha in Old Golimar area of SITE Town in Karachi,  the provincial capital of Sindh.

One Wazir (35), was shot at and injured by unidentified armed assailants in North Nazimabad Town.

TTP claimed responsibility for the killing of PML-N MPA Rana Shamshad and two others in Gujranwala District on May 31, 2015. “In Kamonki area of Gujranwala, our special force STF successfully targeted the PML-N MPA Rana Shamshad and his son and then managed to disappear. After the decision by three groups of Punjabi Taliban to join the TTP, it has become stronger in Punjab and has accelerated its activities there,” TTP 'spokesman' Mohammad Khurasani said.

A former ISI telephone operator and a key witness in the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder case, identified as Ismail, refused to testify before an ATC on grounds of threat to his life. Ismail told the court that his life was in danger after he left his job at the ISI. Ismail had confirmed to the investigation team that he had intercepted the communication between the suspects and the TTP terrorists involved in the murder. 

June 2

A death row convict, Muhammad Khan, was hanged till death in District Jail Sargodha in Punjab. He was convicted for killing two people over resistance during robbery bid in Karachi 13 years back.

Death row prisoner, Khizar Hayat, was executed in Central Jail Mianwali (Mianwali District). Hayat had killed his cousin in 1998.

PM Nawaz Sharif while addressing an all-party conference in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan said that foreign forces with the help of local elements have been promoting terrorism and violence in the country. He said “Pakistan had suffered USD110 billion losses in the war on terror over the past few years, but we are determined to eliminate terrorism and extremism from our country.”

Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said that India was fanning terrorism in Pakistan. Sartaj Aziz said “Peace is multi-dimensional process. When India keeps violating ceasefire at the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, indulges in worst human rights violations against helpless Kashmiris in Indian occupied Kashmir, and undertakes subversive activities in Pakistan, then asking Pakistan to create an environment free of violence only sounds ironical.

June 3

At least nine militants were killed and 13 others were injured in an air strike in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA.

Three militants and one SF were killed in an exchange of fire at a check post that was attacked by militants in FR Bannu. The security forces cordoned off the area after the assault and started a search operation.

Two unidentified dead bodies were recovered from Janjal Goth area of Gulshan-e-Maymar locality of Gadap Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Another unidentified dead body of a man was found dumped in Anaar Garden area near Safoora Goth in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town.

A death row prisoner, Javed alias Jeeda, was hanged till death in Kot Lakhpat Jail of Lahore District in Punjab. Javed had killed two persons, Qasim and Siddiqui, in Cantt Kechhri area of Lahore on 19 September, 1987. The trial court had awarded him death sentence twice in 1989.

HRCP in a statement issued on June 3 expressed concern over the number of executed death row prisoners in Pakistan this year reaching 135, the highest for any year in a decade. HRCP has called for halting executions and abolishing capital punishment.

Balochi language poet, writer and film actor, identified as Anwar Sahib Khan, was abducted along with his son, Wasim, from their home in Pasni area of Gwadar District in Balochistan. “Armed men on a pick-up abducted the two from their house,” Police Officer Chakar Khan said. No outfit claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Two BLA militants, including the alleged mastermind of May 24, 2015 bomb  attack on the convoy of President Mamnoon Hussain's son Salman Mamnoon, were detained by FC  after an exchange of fire in Hub tehsil of Lasbela District. The mastermind was identified as Surat Jan Marri. The FC also recovered arms from their possession.

The FC detained two alleged 'commanders' of BLF in the Pasni area of Gwadar District. Hand-grenades and other weapons were also recovered from their possession.

CoAS General Raheel Sharif while addressing a conference at the NDU said that Pakistan and Kashmir are inseparable, and that Kashmir is "an unfinished agenda of partition". He said, "While we wish for peace and stability in region, we want Kashmir's just resolution in the light of UN Resolutions and as per aspirations of the Kashmiri people to bring lasting peace in region."

June 4

A death row convict, identified as Shamsul Haq, was hanged till death in Kot Lakhpat Jial in Lahore District of Punjab. Haq had been accused of killing one Ali Imran on November 22, 1999.

A double murder convict, Fateh Muhammad, was executed in Central Jail Mianwali in Mianwali District. Fateh had killed two people in 1999.

UBA 'commander' for Kohlu, Kahan and Barkhan region, Wali Mohammad alias Haji Kalati, surrendered to authorities along with his 50 supporters in provincial capital Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. Kalati claimed that he had been fighting for independence of Balochistan since 1970 and spent 45 years on mountains.

According to a Police report, at least 94 incidents of terrorism have been reported in Peshawar District (the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in the first five months of 2015. According to the report, five Police Officials and an officer of the armed forces lost their lives in these attacks, while seven others were injured. Moreover, 31 civilians have been killed in these acts of terror. At least 24 people have been kidnapped-for-ransom from the provincial capital and two children have been abducted.

CoAS General Raheel Sharif on June 4 said that the country is capable of responding to all forms of aggression from India.  “We know how to respond befittingly to any aggression from India,” the army chief said, adding that there is no need to worry about anything that India says. He said that the law and order situation of the country would continue to improve.

Sindh Information Minister, Sharjeel Inam Memon on June 4 said that 48 madrassas have been found involved in ‘suspicious activities’. He said that the meeting of the Apex Committee held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in Karachi also decided to undertake steps towards stopping the lines of terrorists. A task force has also been constituted to check finance sources of terrorism, including protection money, ransom money, land grabbing, smuggling and collection of donations, hides and Fitra.

June 5

At least nine decomposed dead bodies of militants, who were killed in a clash with SFs in Saroon area of Morgand Shekhri mountain range in Kalat District, were found in the area. The FC had claimed that its personnel killed nine suspected militants who were allegedly involved in the May 29, 2015, Mastung massacre in an operation launched in Kalat.

An unnamed senior official in Balochistan Home Department said that a joint operation by FC, Police and Levies Force was still going on in Morgand, Saroon, Harboi, Johan, Nirmak, Khisar Takht and Gishak areas of Kalat and Mastung Districts.

At least eight terrorists were killed and five others were injured in an air strike by Security Forces in Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA.

Two Lyari gangsters, affiliated with Uzair Baloch group, were killed in an exchange of fire during Police raid in Baghdadi area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. 

Two suspects who were injured in exchange of fire with Police at Northern Bypass area in Malir Town on June 4, 2014, succumbed to injuries. Police seized arms, grenade and a truck loaded with several motorbikes from their custody.

An unidentified man was shot dead in s firing incident in North Nazimabad Town.

Police recovered an unidentified dead body from Garden area of Saddar Town.

Police said that they have arrested another suspect, identified as Asad-ur-Rahman, who is allegedly involved in the May 13, 2015, terrorist attack on Ismaili Shias, from Super Highway area. According to in-charge of the Sindh Police's CTD SSP Raja Umer Khatab, Police has also recovered a vehicle and a weapon used in the attack.

ATC extended the physical remand of four suspects, allegedly involved in May 13, 2015, attack on Ismaili Shias, to Police until June 15, 2015. Police produced accused Tahir Hussain, Saad Aziz, Mohammad Azhar and Hafiz Nasir before the ATC judge amid high security. The investigation officer requested the court to extend the physical remand of all the accused as they were required for more investigation. 

Eight of the 10 militants jailed for life over involvement in the October 9, 2012, attack on fourteen year old children’s rights activist and Pakistan’s first National Peace Prize winner Malala Yusufzai have been freed.   “It was the court’s decision to frame charges against two of the 10 accused and release eight others,” RPO Maland Division, Azad Khan said, refuting claims that attackers in Malala’s case were released as part of a deal. Confirming his statement, DPO Saleem Marwat said that the judiciary made its decision and there were no covert deals.

Presenting the budget in the National Assembly the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar reported an increase in the defence budget by 11.6 percent for the next financial year and said, “The defence budget is being increased from PKR 700 billion for the outgoing fiscal year to PKR 780 billion for 2015-16”.

June 6

At least nine suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike in Shawal Valley area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. According to sources, the drones fired two missiles, killing at least nine militants and all killed in the incident were associated with the Afghan Taliban

At least four Policemen were killed when unidentified militants opened fire at their vehicle while they were on a routine patrol on Mullah Salam Road in Pashtoonabad area of Quetta.  No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two suspected suicide bombers were killed when their suicide vests exploded at Khayam Chowk on University Road in Sargodha District of Punjab. According to eyewitnesses the blast occurred when the bombers were putting on their jackets.

At least eight passengers were injured in a blast on a railway track when Jaffer Express, which was taking passengers from Rawalpindi (Punjab) to Quetta (Balochistan), passed through Jacobabad District of Sindh.

June 7

At least five Hazara Shias were killed when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at them in Bacha Khan Chowk area Quetta, the  provincial capital of Balochistan. Police sources said that the assailants managed to escape from the scene. It was an act of targeted killing, said the Police.

Quetta Police claimed to have detained 33 suspects during a search operation in Satellite Town and Pashtoonabad areas in the wake Pashtoonabad firing of Jun 6, 2015, that left four Police officials dead. Police also seized computers and others digital gadgets from the detained suspects.

At least two Lyari gangsters, belonging to Uzair Baloch group, were killed in a Police encounter in Machhar Colony area of Kiamari Town in Karachi,  the provincial capital of Sindh.  SSP City Fida Hussain of the Docks Police Station claimed that the two were involved in different crimes of murder and extortion.

A Policeman, identified as Saifullah, was shot dead while another was injured when unidentified armed assailants opened fire at them in New Karachi Town. Saifullah was deployed on duty at the Karachi Industrial Area Police Station.

An unidentified man was killed and another injured in a firing incident in Qaimkhani Colony of Orangi Town.

A Policeman was shot at and injured in firing near Rabi Centre in Tariq Road area in Jamshed Town.

Police carried out search operations in different areas, including Shah Faisal Town, Orangi Town, Pakistan Bazaar (Jamshed Town) and Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town, arresting 11 suspects.

June 8

At least 19 militants, including five 'commanders', were killed in an encounter when SFs chased them after they attacked a checkpoint of the forces and killed seven soldiers in Dattakhel area of NWA in FATA. An unnamed tribal source said that one of the militants wearing an explosives-filled jacket blew himself up and caused destruction at the military checkpoint. He said SFs retaliated, started a search operation and reportedly clashed with the militants, killing 19 of them. “When being chased and cordoned off, one of the terrorists exploded his suicide jacket and killed seven soldiers,” said the ISPR statement. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.

At least three Lyari gangsters, affiliated with Baba Ladla group, were shot dead in inter-gang clash near Al-Falah Road in Bihar Colony area of Lyari Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The dead were identified as Shoaib (26), Nadeem (45), and Shani (26). The gang war has taken hold of Lyari again, said Chakiwara SHO Safdar Ali. He said that Lyari gangs have reorganized and were carrying out attacks on each other.  He further added that the reason behind the gangsters’ gaining a foothold in the town is recent large scale transfers and postings of policemen in the area.

Police on June 8 claimed to have arrested three suspects from their hideout in Eastern Bypass area of Quetta for their involvement in attacks on the Khalid and Samungli airbases in the provincial capital on August 15, 2014. The suspects were identified as Ali Gul alias Obaida Pathan, Rehman Wali and Zafarullah alias Muzaffar Jan. The Ghalib Mehsud faction of TTP had claimed responsibility for the attack on the two airbases.

Home Minister, Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti said that the three belonged to a banned militant organisation involved in terrorist attacks across the country. He said Ali Gul and Rehman Wali carried head money of PKR 1 million and PKR 500,000, respectively, and were wanted by Police for their involvement in heinous crimes, including the airbase attacks, bomb blasts at different places and targeted killings of Policemen. Zafarullah faces charges in nine cases of murder.

June 9

At least 12 suspected militants were killed during airstrikes in Khyber Agency of FATA.

Rangers killed two terrorists during a targeted operation in Ghagar Phatak area of Bin Qasim Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. The Rangers also seized weapons from their possession. During the action, exchange of fire took place between the terrorists and the paramilitary force as a result two terrorists were shot dead.

A Shia DSP Majeed Abbasi was killed when militants belonging to Swat Chapter of TTP opened fire at his vehicle in Shah Latif Town. According Police officials, the attackers belonged to the Swati group of TTP and were previously involved in targeting other senior Police Officials including Hyderabad jail official Ejaz Hyder who was shot dead on May 15, 2015. Initial reports had revealed that DSP Majeed Abbasi was shot several times by the militants.  Sources also added that DSP Abbasi was involved in search operations in the area.

Two death row prisoners, Abid Maqsood and Sanaullah were hanged in Sialkot’s District Jail of Sialkot District. The two criminals took life of a 12-year girl after a sexual assault in 1997.

A convicted killer, Muhammed Abid, was hanged till death in Central Jail of Faisalabad District. The criminal killed one Yasin over a longstanding feud in 1998.

Another death row prisoner, Nawaz alias Kaka was executed in Central Jail of Sahiwal District. The convict killed a man over a trifling dispute with him in 1995.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with US Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the International Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action Water for Life (2005-15) urged him to play a proactive role in promoting peace in the region, adding that it was incumbent on the UNSC to ensure early implementation of its commitment as reflected in the resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. Talking about India-Pakistan ties, Nawaz said there appeared to be no acknowledgement of the initiatives he had taken to promote a dialogue process between the two countries. In fact, recent statements by the Indian leadership had been deeply disappointing, he said.

June 10

A wanted terrorist by the name of Haji Ilyas Gul was killed during an intelligence based operation in the Spin Khawra area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. According to the ISPR, four of Gul’s accomplices, who were involved in various terrorist activities, were also killed in the operation.

The FC arrested five suspected militants including a would-be suicide bomber during raids in parts of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. A spokesman for FC here said that raids were conducted on tip-off by the intelligence organisation during which five suspected militants were arrested.

Pakistan said that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar as the armed forces of Pakistan could give a befitting reply to any Indian act of aggression. Responding to a statement issued by Indian Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar said that Pakistan wanted peace in the region yet its friendly overtures should not be confused as a sign of weakness. Chaudhry Nisar said that India should not mistake Pakistan for Myanmar as its armed forces possess the capability to give a befitting reply to any Indian act of aggression. Lambasting the norm of repeated aggressive statements from the other side of the border, Chaudhry Nisar said that the Indian leadership should stop day-dreaming and face reality.

The IG of Sindh Police, Ghulam Haider Jamali claimed that the group involved in the killings of Police officials in Malir and West Districts of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh, has been identified. Addressing a ceremony organized to distribute cheques among the families of Police martyrs, the IG Sindh said culprits involved in the killings of Policemen will be brought to justice, claiming that Karachi city has witnessed a decline in target killings in 2015 compared to 2014. "Fifty four target killers have been arrested and other 53 were killed in the first five months of current year", Jamali said. He disclosed that the same group was involved in the assassination of a SSP and three DSPs in Districts Malir and West. "Police had arrested the accused involved in Safoora Bus Carnage and Shikarpur Carnage after the hard-work of 15 days", the Sindh IG said.

June 11

At least 10 militants were killed during a search operation by SFs in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. According to statement issued by the ISPR, the operation was conducted in Dattakhel area close to Pak-Afghan border in North Waziristan. The information could not be independently verified since access to journalists is severely restricted in the region.

At least four Policemen, including ASI Mohammad Wazir, were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on the Police patrolling van at Manan Chowk of Pashtunabad area in provincial capital Quetta. The three other victims were identified as constable Zahir Khan, constable Mehmood Khan and driver Kalimullah. SSP-Operation Atizaz Goraya confirmed the incident. CCPO Abdul Razzaq Cheema said, “Around four attackers were riding two motorcycles... they attacked the Police van.” He added that two attacks on Police vans have been carried out in the same area within a week and with the same modus operandi.

Two unidentified mutilated dead bodies were found in Khud Kucha area of Mastung District. According to Levies officials, “The corpses were found in the mountainous area of Khud Kucha,” adding that the bodies were old and beyond recognition.

At least two Policemen were killed and six others were injured in the morning when a suicide blast targeting the vehicle of Deputy Commandant of FRP occurred in Hayatabad area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. SSP Mian Saeed confirmed that the attack was a suicide blast which took place near Deputy Commandant FRP Malik Tariq's vehicle when he was on his way to the FRP office. “The bomber was on a motorcycle and he rammed it into the vehicle of Malik Tariq who was on his way to the office,” Mian Saeed told reporters at the scene. The explosion left two Policemen dead and six others injured — including two Policemen, two passers-by, the driver of the vehicle and Deputy Commandant Malik Tariq. The vehicle was completely destroyed in the blast. Saeed added that it had yet to be determined whether the bomber was wearing a suicide vest or his motorcycle was packed with explosives. 

The IGP Nasir Khan Durrani said that the law and order situation has improved compared to the last five years, but the fight against terrorists would continue till elimination of the last terrorist. He said that terrorists had been denied shelters inside the city due to which they were adopting ‘hit-and-run’ tactic. IGP Nasir Khan Durrani said this while talking to media persons after offering funeral prayer for the two police constables, Ibrar from Mardan and Lal Bahader from Swabi, at Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Hayatabad of Peshawar. The two constables were killed in a suicide attack on deputy commandant FRP Tariq Malik.

A federal judge imposed the maximum possible prison sentences on two Pakistan-born brothers who admitted trying to pull off a terrorist bomb attack against New York City landmarks and later assaulted two deputy US marshals while in custody. District Judge Beth Bloom compared the plot, which never got past the planning stages, to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings in which the two attackers used commonplace pressure cookers. In the Florida case, evidence shows the younger brother, 22-year-old Raees Alam Qazi, researched how to make bombs on the Internet using readily available items such as Christmas tree lights and chemicals. “You are a terrorist. Evil in nature and evil in your deeds,” Mr Bloom said to Raees Qazi. “You chose to engage in conduct that can only be described as evil and reprehensible.” The judge sentenced Raees Qazi to 35 years in prison while his brother, 32-year-old Sheheryar Alam Qazi, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars. Both sentences were three years above those recommended by prosecutors and defence attorneys in a March plea deal.

Sheheryar got a lesser sentence because his main role was to back his brother financially as he sought to actively plan an attack, according to court documents. Mr Bloom said evidence showed Sheheryar was fully aware of and supported the plot. “Your assistance allowed your brother to continue with his evil plan,” he said, adding that the FBI investigation and arrests “prevented what could have been a tragic loss of many lives”.

The DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar during a briefing to the Sindh Apex Committee regarding the current Karachi situation said that over PKR 230 billion is collected illegally in Karachi annually and those millions of rupees are distributed amongst gang-war factions. He further revealed that this money is used for the purchase of arms and ammunition. It was also noted that money is coerced out in the form of alms for the same purpose. The briefing further said that most crime is committed by a large party in Karachi.

The DG Rangers went on to say that a large part of illegal businesses in the city is the distribution system of water, which also involved illegal means of making money – in millions of rupees. The briefing also noted that the money made from sale of sacrificial animal hides is used for funding terrorist activities. Regarding land grabbing in Karachi, the DG Rangers said that political parties, the City Government, District Administration, and Police personnel are all involved in the activity. He added that the amount made from land grabbing is used by political and religious parties to operate their armed wings.

He further said that an evil nexus of political leaders, civil servants and gang lords is involved in nurturing and sheltering organised crime and terrorism in Karachi. Billions of rupees collected from extortion, land grabbing, targeted killings and rackets are flowing in to the coffers of some top personalities of the Sindh Province, Major General Bilal Akbar said.

June 12

At least 25 militants, including their key 'commander', were killed in an exchange of fire with SFs after a check post attack in the Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency in FATA. According to media reports, militants attacked a check post of SFs in Shawal area, leading to an exchange of fire that killed 25 terrorists. SFs said key hideouts of militants have been captured and a huge cache of arms had been seized.

Two civilians, identified as Dinar Gul and Gul Abbas, were killed and four others, including two border security personnel, were injured in a bomb blast at Torkham border gate in Landikotal tehsil of Khyber Agency. The sources said a blast took place when an Afghan national along with a pushcart loaded with quilts entered Pakistan from across the border. According to an eyewitness that a bomb had been concealed under the quilts that were being smuggled from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Two persons were shot dead in targeted attack on Pajjagi Road area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of KP. Honey dealer Bashir Ahmed, a resident of Kurram Agency in FATA, was on his way to his shop on Paijagi Road when unidentified assailants near Tableeghi Markaz opened fire on him. Khazana resident Gohar, who was standing on the other side of the road, was also hit by bullets and died on the spot.

SFs and intelligence officials recovered a huge cache of explosives and other material from the fields in Mansoka area of Shabqadar tehsil in Charsadda District. DPO Shafiullah Khan said that the aw-enforcers recovered 50 kilograms of explosives, four IEDs, nine hand grenades, 60 detonators, 600 feet of prima cord, 20 battery cells, 16 remote controls and five receivers. The official said the militants were planning to shift the explosives and other material to somewhere else.

Authorities at the Karachi Airport arrested a French national, De Miscault, for allegedly carrying bullets. According to Airport Police Officials, Miscault was traveling from Karachi to Istanbul via Turkish Airline Tk-709 when he was intercepted by ASF. During manual checking, ASF staff recovered five bullets of .22 calibers from his possession. The accused was later handed over to Airport Police Station where police registered an FIR No. 90/15 Under Section 23 (1) while further investigation was underway.

Slamming India for ‘destablising’ Pakistan, former President General (retired) Pervez Musharraf said that the country’s nuclear weapons are for defence purposes and not for “celebratory” occasions. Musharraf claimed that India is planning a strategy to ultimately de-nuclearise Pakistan. “We do not want to use nuclear capability but if our existence comes under threat, who do we have these nuclear weapons for? If I say in Chaudhary Shujaat’s style, do we have nukes saved to be used on Shab-e-Baraat?” he said.

“Don’t attack us, don’t challenge our territorial integrity because we are not a small power, we’re a major and nuclear power. Don’t push us,” he said, adding, “We should have self-confidence that their (Indian) dream to denuclearise Pakistan is not possible. We won’t let their end game materialise.” 

Pakistan rejected the EU demand, seeking an immediate end to executions in the country. Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah defended the revocation of a moratorium on the death penalty, saying the punishment was well within the parameters of international law.  Referring to the ICCPR, Khalilullah said Article 6 of the covenant states that every human being has inherent right to life. “This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” But at the same time another clause of the ICCPR states that in the countries that have not abolished the death penalty, a sentence of death may be imposed only for most serious crimes in accordance with the law.

“Our Constitution and legal system contain the death penalty, and it is within the parameters of international law. It is the responsibility of the state to protect the life of its citizens and we are doing that,” Khalilullah said justifying capital punishment.

June 13

20 unidentified militants were killed in airstrikes conducted at a place near Dattakhel area in North Waziristan near Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Director General of the ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa issued a statement in which he said that so far 2,763 suspected terrorists have been killed in the Zarb-i-Azb operation in North Waziristan. It added that 837 hideouts have been destroyed and 253 tons of explosives have been recovered. In addition, 18,087 weapons including HMGs, LMGs, sniper rifles, rocket launchers and AK-47 rifles had been recovered during the past one year. He said that militant strongholds, communications infra-structure and sanctuaries were cleared on a large scale in the FATA, including North Waziristan and Khyber agencies. He said that thousands of suspected terrorists and their abettors had been apprehended whereas ‘218 hardcore terrorists’ were killed in around 9,000 intelligence-based-operations. Major General Bajwa added that 347 military personnel had also lost their lives during the operation. The press release further stated that Army is finalizing plans to launch the final phase of Operation Zarb-i-Azb in mid-July to flush out Taliban terrorists from their remaining strongholds along the border with Afghanistan.

Two men were killed when unidentified masked militants opened fire at a barber shop in Mano Jan area of provincial capital Quetta. Both of the victims were brothers, the source added.

Two unidentif