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Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari lashed out at army and law enforcement agencies following raids and arrests by rangers and allegations of corruption, land-grabbing, smuggling of Iranian oil and extortion. Rangers, who are carrying out operation against criminals, raided and arrested several criminals linked with Pakistan People’s Party and gave away information about party’s involvement in criminal activities. The PPP leadership has also decided to challenge Rangers and National Accountability Bureau actions in Sindh in courts.
Asif Ali Zardari, while addressing the oath-taking ceremony of PPP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chapter’s office-bearers warned army to stop victimising PPP and threatened the country’s military with dire consequences like “exposing” the corruption of former generals if the alleged defamation campaign against his party did not stop.
Asif Ali Zardari’s speech drew severe criticism from PML-N-led central government including the prime minister. The prime minister said the country was in a state of war and criticizing the armed forces at a time like this was unacceptable. He further said that the operation against terrorism was in its critical stage, adding that national unity was the need of hour. Nawaz Sharif, in reaction to Asif Ali Zardari’s statement, also excused himself from meeting the former president. According to sources, arrangements and protocol for the meeting had been finalized, but the prime minister excused himself due to other commitments.
The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), however, endorsed the statement of the party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. According to the media reports, the CEC has mandated chairman and co-chairman to hold talks with the government and decided to contact the political leadership of the country over the situation emerging after Zardari’s speech.
In a bid to diffuse recent tension between Pakistan and India, the Indian prime minister reached out to his counterpart in Pakistan earlier this week to greet him on the beginning of holy month of Ramazan. Indian premier also conveyed that his government had decided to release Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails, as a goodwill gesture. Modi’s call came days after parliament unanimously passed resolutions to condemn Narendra Modi’s remarks on his country’s involvement in the break-up of Pakistan in 1971,
Modi, according to the media reports, expressed his desire to have good relations with Pakistan. Nawaz, in response, said both countries should move forward towards peace and tranquility by leaving behind differences so that people in two countries remember their leaders in good words
Meanwhile US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and expressed his concerns about the recent increase in public tensions between Pakistan and India.
Meanwhile Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz maintained that Pakistan would not hold dialogue with India on its terms, adding that there can be no dialogue without discussion on the water and Kashmir issue.
In a report published by Islamabad-based think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) it is revealed that militant attacks countrywide has dropped to six-year low after one year since the launch of the military operation, Zarb-e-Azb. PICSS monitors militant activities in South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia.
Before the start of Operation Zarb-e-Azb, the think tank recorded average militant attacks gone up to historic high of 154 attacks per month which have now dropped more than 50 percent to 71 attacks per month.
The report also claims that the average of militant attacks, after one year from the launch of the operation, is lowest since 2008.
Meanwhile Commanders of two banned organizations, Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) and Tazeem Lashkar-e-Balochistan, laid down their arms before the government on Sunday along with a group of 57 insurgents. Militant leaders also vowed to be a part of the national mainstream.
Meanwhile Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, who was on official visit to Russia assured Russian leadership that Pakistan is fighting a decisive war against terrorists on its soil. Russian leadership also praised Pakistan’s efforts for stability in the region and ongoing military operation. Russian leadership also vowed to stand by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism, extremism for stability in the region.
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