Pakistan Arrests 21 Members of Outlawed Pakistani Taliban Militant Group Linked to Deadly Attacks Published 6 minutes ago

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Jan 01, 2024

Pakistan's counterterrorism police said Monday they arrested 21 members of outlawed militant group the Pakistani Taliban, which has been behind several deadly attacks across the country.

Acting on intelligence information, the arrests were made in the eastern Punjab province over the past two weeks, the provincial Counterterrorism Department said in a statement.

The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, is a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout from the country after 20 years of war.

The Counterterrorism Department provided a list of the suspects, the cases against them and their alleged affiliation. But the list did not give details about the attacks the militants were allegedly involved in, including the number of casualties.

The statement said that Mohammad Arshad, an alleged chief commander of the banned Baluch Nationalist Army which mostly operates in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, was also arrested.

Baluchistan has been the scene of low-level insurgency by nationalists for more than two decades. They initially wanted a bigger share of provincial resources, but later initiated an insurgency for independence. The TTP and other domestic militant groups also operate in the province.

Source: News18
Related Posts: ARREST,PAKISTAN,TALIBAN

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Taliban Free Austrian National

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Feb 26, 2024

The Taliban have released an 84-year-old Austrian who was arrested in Afghanistan last May. Herbert Fritz arrived in Doha on Sunday after mediation by the Qatari government helped secure his release, according to a statement by the Austrian government.

After his arrest last year, Fritz had gone to Afghanistan and reported positively on life there. This helped fuel anti-immigration arguments that Afghanistan was a safe country to which refugees could return, Austria's Der Standard newspaper said. The Taliban arrested him on suspicion of spying, Der Standard said.

The Austrian foreign ministry said it had been working to secure Fritz's release since May, and thanked Qatar and the European Union representation in Kabul for assisting its efforts to bring about his return to Austria.

Fritz was a founding member of the country's National Democratic Party (NDP), an extreme right group banned in 1988, according to Der Standard and other media. Austria's far-right Freedom Party, which has been leading opinion polls ahead of parliamentary elections due later this year, had pressed for Fritz's release. The party has said he was researching a book in Afghanistan.

Qatar's foreign ministry expressed gratitude to Afghanistan's Taliban administration for its cooperation in releasing the Austrian, without naming him.

The Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, which monitors far-right activity, described Fritz as an active participant in extreme-right political circles.

(With agency inputs)

Source: News18
Related Posts: AFGHANISTAN,TALIBAN

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Ind vs Pak match over-subscribed by 200 times for tickets

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Feb 24, 2024
Bengaluru, Jan 14 (ANI): India's Virat Kohli along with captain Rohit Sharma and Rinku Singh celebrate the dismissal of Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran during the 3rd T20, at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (ANI Photo) (BCCI-X)

The organisers of the T20 World Cup games happening in June in the United States have noticed a massive demand for tickets. The India vs Pakistan match in New York is especially popular, with 200 times more people wanting tickets than available.

Even though the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on Long Island, which can hold 34,000 people, isn't finished yet, tickets are sold out for the June 9 cricket match. The US and the West Indies are co-hosting the sporting event.

Also Read: BCCI?s ultimatum for Ishan Kishan? ?Don?t ignore domestic cricket'

For the first time, an international cricket tournament will be held in the United States. There will be 16 games in the US, including matches in Lauderhill, South Florida and near Dallas at Grand Prairie Stadium.

"We had amazing ticket interest. The ballot process showed there's a really big demand," T20 World Cup USA, Inc. chief executive Brett Jones told AFP.

"India-Pakistan is obviously a game that at every World Cup carries great interest. I think it's really pleasing to see those two countries come to the USA," he added.

Watch: Rahul Dravid's viral speech for Akash Deep on dream debut at India vs England 4th Test

India and Pakistan will play their group matches in the USA, attracting large audiences from people of their countries living there. Organisers want to “convert" Americans but realise many immigrants already like it and plan to cater to those fans.

Cricket vs baseball

"I think, number one, we want to celebrate those that are already fanatical lovers of cricket. They deserve to see the best players in the world come into their backyard and have that chance," said Jones.

Watch: Rohit Sharma's reaction says it all on T20 World Cup captaincy

"So, number one, we want to make sure that happens and they get to feel like they're close to a game they love. Number two, I think it's about spiking curiosity in the game," he said.

Americans have always preferred baseball to cricket. But, the game, especially the T20 format, will get a big platform in the US. It will also be a part of the Los Angeles Olympics in four years.

(With AFP inputs)

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Pakistan ISI Gave Three Choices to Imran

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Feb 23, 2024

Imran Khan's wife Bushra Bibi is claiming that the Pakistani establishment wants to kill Imran Khan and his entire family. A close aide of the former Pakistan prime minister told CNN-News18 that the establishment is clamping down hard on Imran and those close to him.

The aforementioned people said the Pakistani spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) contacted him with a deal which he refused.

Imran Khan in a message to his wife Bushra Bibi said he was contacted by the ISI who put forward a deal that he refused. The deal had three options. The first option was to retire from politics. The second option was to propose three names of his choice for the role of the Pakistan prime minister and the third option was to remain under house arrest for the rest of his life at his Bani Gala residence in Lahore but Imran Khan refused all the options.

They also said that the establishment is trying to poison Bushra Bibi, the former first lady and the wife of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supremo to break his resolve. Referring to his sister Aleema Khan's conversations with foreign media outlets, the establishment accused Khan's sister of speaking to “foreigners”. They also referred to the arrest of journalist Imran Riaz Khan, a scribe sympathetic to Imran Khan, and said the journalist was abducted and tortured for months.

“In this dangerous climate, the danger to Imran Khan and his close family and relatives in Pakistan has exponentially grown. The ‘state' might try to harm Imran Khan to eliminate him,” the people mentioned above said.

Source: News18
Related Posts: IMRAN KHAN,NAWAZ SHARIF,NEWS18 SPECIALS,PAKISTAN ISI

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Pak PM Warns of

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Feb 20, 2024

Amid the political uncertainty plaguing Pakistan, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday warned that some elements were using different tricks, including the “weaponisation” of social media, to blackmail and pressurise civil servants to switch their loyalties from the State to the violent gang.

Kakar's warning came two days after Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaquat Ali Chattha, in a bombshell press conference on Saturday, alleged that he oversaw the rigging to deprive jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: party of 13 seats which were given to candidates who were “losing” the elections in the garrison city.

Before resigning from his post, Chattha also claimed that Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja were involved in the alleged rigging and resigned from his office after “accepting responsibility” for the manipulation of poll results.

Taking to his official X handle, the Kakar said: There should be no doubt about our commitment to these noble civil servants serving the state and the people of Pakistan.

He acknowledged that the people of Pakistan have “spoken with a clear voice on February 8 and have given a split mandate.”

Source: News18
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China Asks Pakistan's Political Parties to Work Together to Form Govt After Split Verdict in Polls Published 32 minutes ago

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Feb 19, 2024

China on Monday urged Pakistan's polarised political parties to work together to uphold solidarity, maintain social stability and properly handle relevant issues as they struggled to form a coalition government following a fractured mandate in the elections.

The February 8 general elections in cash-strapped Pakistan have been controversial with several serious allegations of widespread rigging to alter the results.

Over 10 days after the voting, there was still no clarity on which party would form the government at the Centre.

Though independent candidates backed by jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: party won the maximum number of seats in Parliament, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have announced that they will form a coalition government after the elections resulted in a hung Parliament.

Addressing a media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, “China noted that general elections in Pakistan are held in a generally steady and smooth manner and we offer our congratulations on this”.

“As a close and friendly neighbour, China fully respects the choice of the Pakistani people,” she said in response to questions on the outcome of the elections.

Asked whether China, Pakistan's all-weather ally, is concerned about the political instability in Pakistan as the parties there struggled to form the government Mao said, “We hope and believe that relevant parties of Pakistan will uphold solidarity, maintain stability and properly handle relevant issues to jointly open up a brighter future for the development of the country”.

The political instability in Pakistan remained a cause of concern for China, which is investing heavily in the strategic USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) overriding India's objections as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Beijing is also bankrolling Pakistan, which is in the throes of an economic crisis, to maintain the balance of payments with periodic loans to maintain the requisite forex reserves.

Mao said China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. China hopes to work with Pakistan to build on the traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation in various areas, and accelerate the building of an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era for the benefit of the people of the two countries.

Source: News18
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Pakistan Could Join BRICS in 2024 with Russia’s Backing

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Feb 19, 2024

Pakistani senator Mushahid Hussain who is visiting Moscow this week claimed that Pakistan could join the intergovernmental geopolitical bloc, BRICS, with Russian backing. He said that it could be possible because Russia is the current chair of BRICS 2024. He said Russia and Pakistan ties in the field of energy, connectivity, education, regional security including Afghanistan and cooperation at multilateral fora including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the UN has increased.

Mushahid, according to a report by The Dawn, said four Muslim states — Pakistan, Turkiye, Iran and Saudi Arabia — will play a decisive role in geo-political affairs. He also appreciated President Putin's stance on Islamophobia and welcomed Russian goodwill for Pakistan.

The report said Hussain visited Russia on the invitation of the ruling United Russia party. He held meetings with Russia's security council deputy chairman of and ex-president Dmitri Medvedev. He also held a meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

He attended the plenary session of International Forum for Freedom of Nations and he discussed Pakistan-Russia relations, the situation in Afghanistan and the war in Gaza. They also discussed the scope and state of Islamabad-Moscow collaboration in various sectors.

The Pakistani lawmaker warned Russians by saying that if Donald Trump wins the US presidential elections which will be held later this year, it would lead to a ‘qualitative change' in the region's geopolitical landscape.

He said there is no fundamental conflict of interest between Pakistan and Russia while delivering a lecture at the Russian Diplomatic Academy. He highlighted that Pakistan remained neutral on Ukraine and abstained from voting in the United Nations.

Senator Hussain met with Senator Chizhov, President of the Russia-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group, and key members of the Pakistani community in Moscow.

During his visit, Senator Hussain emphasised three main points: the opportunity for closer relations between Pakistan and Russia now that foreign intervention in Afghanistan has ceased, the importance of regional cooperation for enhanced connectivity with Russia and neighbouring countries, and the mutual benefit of cooperation with China, given the strong strategic ties both countries share with Beijing.

Source: News18
Related Posts: BRICS,PAKISTAN,VLADIMIR PUTIN

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Nawaz Sharif Party Leader's Call to 'Behead' Imran Khan Draws Backlash Published 3 minutes ago

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Feb 18, 2024

A viral remark by a leader of Nawaz Sharif's party has drawn condemnation, underlining the inflammatory rhetoric in Pakistan's political landscape after the controversial February 8 elections.

In a video whose date News18 could not verify, PML-N's Secretary of Information, Marriyum Aurangzeb, can be heard saying PTI chief founder Imran Khan and his party members should have been beheaded in 2014. “When the Chinese president was arriving in Pakistan, this fitna should have been addressed at that time. His head should have been beheaded,” the PML-N leader was quoted as saying by Pakistan's The Express Tribune.

In a statement on its social media handle, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) responded strongly and said, “Let the world know that Secretary Information for Nawaz Sharif's PMLN, Mariyum Aurangzeb has called for Imran Khan's beheading LIVE on state television channel. This is not the first time members of PMLN have brazenly advocated for Imran Khan's murder.”

“Imran Khan has already survived multiple assassination attempts since the conspiracy of regime change operation in April 2022, and is currently under illegal incarceration for 196 days. Despite unprecedented state fascism, oppression & rigging, Imran Khan's PTI-backed candidates won 180/266 National Assembly seats, securing a two-thirds majority, while PMLN only won 17 seats,” the party added.

Marriyum's comments in the video were also condemned by prominent civil society members. Pak journalist Kamran Yousaf urged everyone to express their opinions without resorting to such inflammatory language. Social media commentator Imran Afzal Raja went on to label PML-N a “terrorist party”. This row comes as the recently held polls did not return a clear majority for anyone, but independent candidates backed by Khan won 92 out of 264 seats.

Khan ruled out alliances with the three largest parties, which means his candidate currently lacks the numbers to form a government. Meanwhile, PMN-L and PPP are in talks to conjure the required numbers to form a government at the federal level.

Source: News18
Related Posts: IMRAN KHAN,PAKISTAN ELECTIONS

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PTI, PPP to Form Govt in Pakistan

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Feb 17, 2024

Former Pakistan prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif may not form government with former ally Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in centre, people familiar with the developments told CNN-News18, adding that Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif are unlikely to go ahead with coalition plans.

Nawaz Sharif on February 9 had tasked his younger brother and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif to conduct meetings with PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan and Jamaat-ul-Islami (Fazl) to form a coalition government during his ‘victory speech' to PML-N workers at party headquarters in Lahore's Model Town.

But Fazl-ur-Rehman, the JUI-F emir, in an interview with Pakistani media outlets claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan was handed a defeat in the elections by the Pakistan Army and told Nawaz Sharif to sit with JUI-F in opposition benches. The PML-N, according to people mentioned above, after the interview felt this is not appropriate to form a government at centre despite getting the largest number as a party.

The people mentioned above also told CNN-News18 that PML-N feels it is not going to be easy to negotiate with the Zardaris of the PPP and also handle the PTI-backed independents on a day-to-day basis.

They said that despite Nawaz Sharif nominating brother Shehbaz as PM earlier this week, the PML-N supremo is now realising it is better to sit in the opposition benches.

The people mentioned above also said that the Pakistan spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) met Imran Khan in Adiala jail and made a deal after which Imran nominated Omar Ayub Khan as his PM candidate. They further added that it will not be easy for any government or the establishment to handle the PTI-led opposition while also countering international pressure.

They said that the government feels it will be hard to handle daily demonstrations and long marches by the PTI cadres.

PPP's Zardaris are yet to comment on these developments but it looks like PML-N will be urged to withdraw in this situation from their plans, the aforementioned people said.

The JUI-F emir's interview to Pakistani media outlets created the current rift within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition which took over the government after ousting Imran Khan in a no-confidence motion vote. He said former ISI chief Faiz Hameed told him to support the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan and PPP was one of the key architects of the no-confidence motion which ousted Imran Khan in 2022.

He further added that General Qamar Javed Bajwa, then-Pakistan Army chief, along with Hameed directed political parties to oust Imran Khan.

“I was not in favour of it, but I supported it because then the PDM would have said that I saved Imran Khan,” Fazl said, adding that both 2018 and 2024 elections were rigged.

“We have decided to protest against this vote theft. Now the decisions would be taken on the ground rather than in the assembly. I don't see a future in the parliament, therefore, I invited PML-N to sit with us,” Fazl further added.

Indian officials familiar with the developments said the JUI-F emir could not make these statements without backing from the army. They said the developments suggest that the Pakistani establishment is in double mind and wants Imran Khan to form a government with PPP in alliance. They also said the establishment is afraid of Nawaz because of his ‘straight and outright approach'.

Source: News18
Related Posts: IMRAN KHAN,NAWAZ SHARIF,PAKISTAN MUSLIM LEAGUE-NAWAZ (PML-N)

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Zardari Calls for Reconciliation for Economic Reforms in Pakistan

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Feb 14, 2024

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said there is need for an all-in political reconciliation process with participation from Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to bring about economic reforms in Pakistan which is suffering from an economic crisis.

Zardari's comments came during a multi-party news conference in Islamabad on Tuesday which was also attended by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif, Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) convener Dr Khalid Maqool Siddiqui, Pakistan Muslim League – (Quaid) chief Chaudhry Shujaat as well as Istehkam-e-Party (IPP) president Abdul Aleem Khan. He invited PTI to become part of the process.

“Everyone has to be on board with the ‘economic agenda' for the broader interest of the nation,” Zardari was quoted as saying by The News. Zardari earlier on Tuesday pulled himself out of the candidacy for the prime minister's post stating his party would back PML-N's candidate.

It should be noted that neither the PML-N, nor the PPP or even the PTI managed to secure as many votes to form a government in the centre. PTI-backed independents managed to win most seats but did not have the required majority. PML-N and PPP as well as the IPP and MQM-P decided to come together to form the government.

“It is a fact that the PPP does not have a mandate to form the federal government and due to that I will not be putting myself forward for the candidacy of the prime minister of Pakistan. We have decided to form a coalition government [to] steer the country out of the [prevailing] crises. We don't want to see chaos in the country or perpetual crisis in the country. We want the process of government formation to move ahead. If the people of the country had given me the mandate, I would ask for the PM's post,” Zardari said.

Meanwhile, jailed PTI founder Imran Khan warned the parties against forming a government with a stolen mandate. “Such daylight robbery will not only be a disrespect to the citizens, but will also push the country's economy further into a downward spiral,” Khan said in a social media post.

Source: News18
Related Posts: BILAWAL BHUTTO ZARDARI,IMRAN KHAN,PAKISTAN PEOPLE'S PARTY

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Pakistan's PML

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Feb 13, 2024

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) are discussing the possibility of appointing prime ministers from their parties under a power-sharing framework for a three- and two-year term respectively, according to a report by GeoNews.

The PPP and the PML-N first discussed the idea of appointing a prime minister for half a term on Sunday as part of the efforts to form a coalition government in centre and provinces. The PML-N and the PPP agreed in principle to come together for Pakistan's political stability following the general election.

The report also said that major parties have agreed to form coalition governments in the centre, Punjab and Balochistan provinces.

PPP president Asif Ali Zardari, chairman Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari and former prime minister Shehbaz Sharif from the PML-N attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the PML-N leadership demanded that it would retain the slot of prime minister but then Asif Ali Zardari told the participants that the PPP's election committee has already nominated Bilawal for the post of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) also met with PML-N leaders and agreed on political cooperation for the formation of future governments. PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui from the MQM-P met along with other senior leaders of both parties and agreed in principle to work together for the benefit of Pakistan.

The leadership of the two parties explored the possibility of appointing the prime minister from their parties for half of the five-year term after listening to the PPP's proposal.

The PML-N leadership also told the PPP that it is in touch with the independents and the leadership of the MQM-P.

Meanwhile, the Lahore High Court turned down 18 petitions challenging the results of constituencies after the general elections on the basis of Form 47s. Justice Ali Baqar Najafi turned down petitions against the election victories of PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shehbaz, Khawaja Asif, Attaullah Tarar and IPP leader Awn Chaudhry, according to the Dawn.

The judge directed the aggrieved to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Source: News18
Related Posts: PAKISTAN ELECTIONS,PAKISTAN MUSLIM LEAGUE-NAWAZ (PML-N),PAKISTAN PEOPLE'S PARTY

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Latest News Pakistan has banned New Year's Eve celebrations to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the government said late Thursday, urging people to instead “observe simplicity”. Pakistan has banned New Year's Eve celebrations to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, the government said late Thursday, urging people to instead “observe simplicity”.
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Horoscope Aries: Today, you have a mix of insight and opportunity. It's time to reexamine your professional journey. Stop criticising yourself and let go of any doubts in your mind, as you are more than capable. Contacts made today can lead to unforeseen new career directions in the future. Work with others to open the door to success. When it comes to finances, take risks, but calculated ones. Diversify your portfolio.
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World There were no injuries or damage reported in the latest incident. (Representational) There were no injuries or damage reported in the latest incident. (Representational) There were no injuries or damage reported in the latest incident. (Representational)