Crackdown Against Terrorists Panama Case Pakistan Warns Afghanistan Other News
Crackdown Against Terrorists
Pakistan Warns Afghanistan
Following a series of terrorist attacks across the country, the Pakistan Army has announced the launch of a nationwide anti-terrorist operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ (elimination of violence). The announcement came after Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa chaired a high-level security meeting in Lahore.
According to ISPR Director General Asif Ghafoor the efforts entail operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of the ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management. The announcement of operation comes after last week’s wave of attacks, including one in Lahore and another on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh, which killed more than 100 people. After the attacks, law enforcement agencies launched a nation- wide crackdown and carried out strikes on militant hideouts that resulted in killing of dozens of terrorists.
Meanwhile the federal government has also approved a request of Punjab government for the deployment of Rangers in the province. According to media reports, the Rangers will ‘assist’ Punjab police and law enforcers in their fight against terror for a period of 60 days. Punjab had requested the federal government to deploy over 2,000 Rangers personnel in the province, who would be given policing powers to conduct intelligence-based operations (IBOs) against terrorists.
Meanwhile at least 10 people were killed and 28 injured in a blast in Defence Housing Authority in Lahore on Thursday. Initial reports regarding the nature of the blast were conflicting. However the reports later confirmed the blast was caused by gas cylinders. Over in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at least seven people were killed and 25 others were injured when three terrorists wearing suicide vests attacked the sessions court in Tangi tehsil of Charsadda.
The final verdict of corruption case against the Prime Minister and his family that has been under proceeding for a month has been reserved. The case to disqualify the prime minister was filed after documents, published in Panama papers that carried details of prime minister’s assets abroad. After a total of 26 hearings, The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reserved its judgement, wherein Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification as a member of the National Assembly is sought by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Awami Muslim League (AML).
A five-judge larger bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, has been hearing the Panamagate case since last month and a total of 26 hearings were conducted in which documents comprising more than 20,000 pages were produced before the court by petitioners and the Sharif family. After the conclusion of arguments from petitioners and respondents this week, the judges observed that this was not a case in which a short order could be passed and that the court will issue a detailed verdict on this case.
The judges also said that as around 25,000 pages were submitted so the judges would look into each and every aspect of those documents after which a judgement will be passed in accordance with the constitution and law.
Earlier the Supreme Court had observed that allegations of corruption against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were not frivolous, as they could be right or wrong. A five-judge larger bench also said that it’s a fundamental right of all citizens of the country to know whether the PM lacks qualification [competence] or not.
Following a series of terror attacks in Punjab and Sindh in which more than 100 people have been killed, Pakistan decided to seal its border with Afghanistan. Authorities had also issued shoot-at-sight orders for those found trying to cross over. Pakistan Army also targeted militant hideouts close to the Pak-Afghan border. The army reportedly targeted a training camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar – the banned terror outfit which claimed responsibility for the Feb 13 suicide bombing in Lahore and the Feb 15 suicide attack on the headquarters of Mohmand Agency’s political administration. Pakistan army had also asked Kabul to take action against 76 Pakistani terrorists operating from Afghan territory or hand them over to Pakistan. Afghan ambassador to Islamabad has also handed over a list of 85 Taliban and Haqani leaders and 32 terrorist training camps to Pakistan.
Meanwhile in a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa said that Pakistan and Afghanistan will fight their “common enemy” of terrorism together. The army chief also issued directions for more effective coordination between Pakistani and Afghan officials to curb cross-border movement of terrorists.
Meanwhile Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal has said the closure of the Pak-Afghan border is illegal under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade and Transit Agreement (APTTA).The security arrangements along Torkharm, Spin Boldak, Chaman, and other crossing points are heavily regulated.
Zakhilwal also said that he had written a letter to the Pakistan Army requesting the reopening these border crossings. On twitter, the Afghan Ambassador stated the closures of these crossing points, which are heavily regulated with full checking arrangements on both sides, serve no purpose other than to inflict hardship on ordinary people and hurt trade and transit. Pakistan shut the Pak-Afghan border last week for indefinite period of time due to security following the recent wave of terror.
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