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[skill percent=”18″ title=”APS Attack Anniversary”]
[skill percent=”14″ title=”Rangers in Sindh”]
[skill percent=”10″ title=”Islamic Military Alliance”]
[skill percent=”58″ title=”Other News”]
This week marked the first anniversary of deadly attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School that claimed more than 130 lives, most of them were children.
Day was marked all over the country with people from all walks of life held special prayers to show solidarity with victims’ families. Country’s top civil and military leadership honoured those who lost their lives in a sombre ceremony at the school. Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif termed the APS attack “an incident that shook the nation” and announced December 16 as the day of “national educational resolve”. He also announced the construction of APS Shuhada University.
He, along with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Rashad Mahmood distributed medals to the families of the APS victims, along with rights to plots of land. Army chief was also present at the event and himself received the families of the APS attack victims at gates of the venue.
Families of those who lost their lives in the event participated in a parade holding up photos of the victims. The chief ministers of Sindh, Punjab, KP, Balochistan, GB and premier of Azad Jammu and Kashmir were among those attending the ceremony. Ambassadors of several countries along with services chiefs and provincial and federal ministers also attended. A ‘Martyrs Monument’, installed at the school was also inaugurated at the event.
Issue of extension of Rangers’ special powers in Sindh, which had expired on December 6, was a prime focus this week. Sindh Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution asking for checks and conditions on Rangers’ special powers to raid and arrest suspects.
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial presented the resolution amid chants and slogans by opposition members. The resolution, which was approved by the House, was criticised by opposition members who claimed the government wanted to seriously curtail the paramilitary force’s powers. The resolution states that Rangers will only have powers with respect to the following: target killing, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, sectarian killing.
Federal and Sindh governments are at odd over this matter as earlier Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali in a press conference hinted at the possibility of imposing governor’s rule in Sindh to continue the Karachi operation. He said that the delay in extending Rangers’ powers was a message to embolden terrorists and extremists, adding that in case Sindh did not comply, the government had four to five different options within the “constitutional, legal and democratic framework”. In response, Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro said in a presser that it would not be a wise move to remove the democratic set-up in the province and replace it with governor’s rule
Saudi Arabia has announced to form a new “Islamic military alliance” to counter terrorism in the region. According to media reports Saudi Arabia announces that 34 nations have agreed to become a part of this alliance to fight terrorism. The announcement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the coalition is being established because terrorism “should be fought by all means and collaboration should be made to eliminate it. Pakistan confirmed joining Saudi Arabia’s 34-nation coalition against terrorism, however it said the extent of participation in counter-terrorism activities was yet to be decided.
Pakistan has also welcomed the formation of Saudi alliance. Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in a press conference said that Pakistan consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism. He said the focus of the alliance was on countering terrorism, and for this reason, Pakistan was supporting it. In a bid to form alliance Saudi Arabia is now making efforts to take opposition parties of allied countries into confidence. In this regard Saudi authorities invited former president Asif Ali Zardari on a special request to Jeddah, and he arrived there with family members.
Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan Abdullah Marzouk Al Zahrani also met Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Zardari House, Islamabad and discussed in detail many issues, including the coalition.
The new counterterrorism coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt as well as war-torn countries.
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