Archive | October 3rd, 2009

SAWAL YEH HAI with Dr. Danish: OCT 2

Provincial autonomy and Quaid’s views on it. Guests: Farooq Sattar (Fed. Minister MQM), Nawab Yousuf Talpur (PPP) and Barrister Shahida Jameel

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Military prepares to launch new offensive in the Waziristans. Guests: Fakhar Kaka Khail (Aaj News Peshawar), Imtiaz Gul (Chairman Center for Research and Security Studies) and Khalid Aziz (Former Chief Secy)

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Pakistan, New Zealand gear up for pace battle

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Pakistan probes suspected militant abuse video

The army in Pakistan has ordered an investigation into a video, posted on the internet, which appears to show soldiers abusing suspected militants.

The video begins with a man apparently being questioned by Pakistani troops.

When he says he does not know the whereabouts of a family member, the accused being part of the Taliban, the signal is given to begin the beating.

Soldiers surround the man, kicking him and beating him with sticks.

Through the 10-minute film, four men are shown being physically and verbally abused in this way.

They are threatened that if they do not cooperate, they will be cut into pieces.

In a statement, Pakistan’s army said it is now investigating the matter.

Anyone found to have done wrong, it says, will face strict disciplinary action.

{Source: BBC}

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Saudi drug scandal family returns

RAWALPINDI: Five Pakistanis arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges of drugs smuggling landed at Chaklala Airbase on Friday.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Chairman of Standing Committee for Interior Senator Talha Mehmood, Saudi Ambassador Abdul Aziz Al-Ghadeer and relatives of the released people received them. Eight Pakistanis were arrested in Saudi Arabia on June 1 for trying to smuggle narcotics, allegedly provided by a travel agent in Karachi. The narcotics were found concealed in their slippers. Three Pakistanis had confessed to their crime and five others, from the same family, were declared innocent by Saudi authorities.

The three who have confessed to smuggling drugs into Saudi Arabia now face the death sentence. Those who were arrested in Pakistan, including a travel agent and his wife, would be tried under Pakistani laws.

Muhammad Arif, a released Pakistani, said he was very thankful to the Saudi royal family, and the Pakistani president and prime minister for their release. Muhammad Anis, another member of the family, also expressed gratitude to President Asif Zardari and Interior Minister Rehman Malik for their untiring efforts to ensure their release. Senate’s Standing Committee for Interior Chairman Senator Talha Mehmood said, “We have performed our duty. We will also try our best to get Dr Aafia Siddiqui released,” he said.

{Source: The Nation}

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Wasim slams Dhoni’s lacklustre captaincy in Champions Trophy

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Newly named PTT chief Hakimullah dead: US

U.S. intelligence agencies believe the newly named leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, might have been killed in a firefight with a rival faction weeks ago, officials said on Friday.

Militants tapped Hakimullah to replace the group’s previous leader, Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed by a missile fired from a CIA-piloted drone aircraft in his South Waziristan stronghold on the Afghan border on Aug. 5.

Hakimullah’s death, which officials said has yet to be confirmed definitively, would be another setback for a group that has mostly been fighting against Pakistani security forces but also sends militants to join the battle against U.S. and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

“We’re pretty clear that we think he’s dead,” a U.S. defense official said of Hakimullah.

A counterterrorism official said: “While there’s no final confirmation of his death, it’s a distinct possibility.”

The officials, who spoke about the intelligence on condition of anonymity, said Hakimullah was believed to have been shot weeks ago during a clash with a rival group in South Waziristan.

U.S. intelligence agencies are still reviewing information to make a final call on his death.

Baitullah Mehsud, who led an alliance of 13 militant groups known as the Taliban Movement of Pakistan, was blamed for a series of suicide bombings in Pakistan, including the one that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Hakimullah had been described as even more aggressive than Baitullah.

Washington believes the Taliban has been weakened by infighting between factions vying to take command since Baitullah Mehsud’s death.

“The point is there is a succession crisis going on,” the defense official said, adding there were other contenders to lead the movement. “There are a variety of factions within the Mehsud tribe.”

Military aircraft and artillery have been hitting Taliban targets in Waziristan for months, and it is unclear if and when ground forces will move in force.

As part of its campaign to weaken the Taliban, U.S. officials said the Pakistani army has been trying to negotiate with various factions, trying to split them off from harder-line groups loyal to Baitullah.

Several top members of his group, including one of his aides and the spokesman from the Swat valley, have also been captured in recent months.

The Pakistani army believes it has cleared nearly the entire former Taliban bastion in Swat, 80 miles (120 km) northwest of Islamabad, with an offensive launched in April.

While largely forced out of Swat and Bajaur, there are still thousands of well-armed fighters in South Waziristan and other regions.

{Source: The News}

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Accused will be tried under anti-terror law

Showing his concern at the rising incidence of crime against women, especially acid throwing, molestation and rape-cum-murder, the Punjab government has decided to try the accused under anti-terrorism laws.

The government is also monitoring activities of the people believed to have got military training in Afghanistan.

‘All acid throwing, molestation and rape-cum-murder cases will be tried under ATA-7 that prescribes death penalty for the accused,’ Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan told Dawn here after a high-level meeting that reviewed the pace of trial in various cases of heinous nature.

He said police superintendents (SPs) had been told to arrest the accused in such cases within no time or be ready for suspension from service or transfer. He said police had been failing to arrest a man accused of throwing acid on a girl’s face in Samundari a couple of days ago, but he was nabbed when the SP and SHO were given a deadline of 24 hours.

Kasur police had also been told to act impartially against those accused of perpetrating violence against women at Phoolnagar, he added.

The minister said cooperation of other provinces was also being sought for curbing kidnap for ransom cases. ‘The home departments and IGs of Sindh, Balochistan and the NWFP have been asked to either allow the Punjab police to conduct raids for recovering the abducted and apprehending the accused or the province concerned should arrange force for the purpose.’

He said the need for making such high-level contacts was felt when a resident of Gujrat was kidnapped and taken to Bannu, the NWFP, while a girl of Shahdara was abducted and shifted to Hyderabad. In both cases the local police did not cooperate with their counterparts from Punjab.

He said the Punjab police had been told to ensure 100 per cent recovery in kidnap for ransom cases. Saying a committee was reviewing progress on cases of heinous nature on a weekly basis under his supervision, Rana Sana claimed active pursuit was bearing fruits.

‘The cases in which recording of evidences had been taking years are now being decided in months. Seventy per cent of the cases have been decided.’

The law minister said the people accused of getting training in Afghanistan were being monitored for the last six months. They had been told to keep their relevant police stations informed of their movement and in case of any terror incident immediately ensure their presence in the nearby police station.

‘Cases are being registered against those who are not following the procedure,’ he added.

He said a special anti-terrorism cell had been set up under Prosecution Secretary Rana Maqbool for speeding up legal process against the convicts in kidnap for ransom cases. But, many of them had obtained stay orders from courts, he added.

Rana Maqbool, along with the prosecutor general, would visit various districts to examine terrorism cases, while the chief public prosecutor would compile report on a daily basis about the progress on kidnap of ransom cases, he said.

Similarly, DIG (crimes) Ayub Qureshi had been directed to compile a detailed report about police encounters, the accused killed in these incidents and their history sheets, the police officials killed or injured in encounters, the action taken against policemen in bogus encounters, proclaimed offenders, terrorism cases being heard for more than three months, and details about the accused in acid throwing incidents, the minister said.

{Source: Dawn}

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JAWAB DEYH with Iftikhar Ahmed: OCT 2

Discussion on postponement of bye-polls by Punjab’s PMl-N Government. Guests: Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed (AML) and Rana Sana ullah (Provincial Law Min. PML-N)

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KAL TAK with Javed Choudhry: OCT 1

Passage of Kerry-Lugar Bill by the US Senate and the House of Representatives and future of Pakistan vis-a-vis conditions enumerated in the bill. Ahsan Iqbal (PML-N), Ilayas Ahmed Bilour (ANP), Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah (PPP)

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Discussion on detail judgement on NRO and Musharraf issed by Supreme Court. Guests:

Ansar Abbasi, Khalid Anwar, Brig. (R) Gulam M. Muhtaram and Khadim Hussain.

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