Anti-Terror War Pak-India Relations Govt. vs Opposition Other News
Govt. vs Opposition
Military offense against terrorists continues in North Waziristan agency and other areas of Pakistan. In a recent offense 31 terrorists has been killed in air strikes carried out by security forces. While in Peshawar, militants killed three police officers when police raided a Taliban hideout. Meanwhile at least four people were killed in a suicide blast in Jamrud area of Khyber agency. Two militant groups, the Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar-e-Islam have claimed responsibility for the attack.
On a diplomatic front, Pakistan is trying to convince its neighbors and allies that military operation is going on successfully and is yielding desired results. In a recent visit to China, President Mamnoon Hussain assured that almost all members of the Uighur militant group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) have been eliminated from Pakistan. China blames unrest in its far western region of Xinjiang on Muslim separatist groups, which it says wants to have bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan has also assured US that the infrastructure of Haqqani network in North Waziristan has been disrupted. Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security Sartaj Aziz assured this while responding to US concerns that Pakistan remains a haven for the Haqqani network. US National Security Adviser Susan Rice had warned Islamabad that attacks in Afghanistan by militants based in Pakistani threaten regional security.
Ceasefire violations at the borders with India remain a cause of tension between Pakistan and India as military and political leadership of both countries continues to blame each other for violation. In a recent statement Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif warned India that incidents of firing along the Line of Control were a threat to international peace. He also said that Pakistan’s patience should not be taken as its weakness.
War of words started after the comments from Indian army chief that India is prepared to face offensive military action should the need arise, and that any future conflict was expected to be short and swift. Responding to the Indian army chief’s statement, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that Pakistan is ready for a small scale or prolonged war if Indian leadership proceeded with the same.
India also lashed out at Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations and rejected its call for a voting in Indian-held Kashmir. At the Fourth World Conference of Speakers, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, acting speaker for Pakistan’s National Assembly in his speech had demanded that Kashmiris should be given a right of self-determination which can only be done through referendum under the UN.
On political front, relationship between the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League with its opposition have come under strain. Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Peoples Party have shown their distrust over the government and blamed it for doing revenge politics. MQM had resigned from the parliament and Sindh assembly a month ago, with negotiations still underway but the talks between the Nawaz administration and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement collapsed this week with both sides sticking to their respective stance. On Thursday morning MQM leader Farooq Sattar held a news conference to announce the party’s decision of withdrawing from the dialogue. After the news conference, the MQM expected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to call the party back to the negotiating table, but the premier did not contact the party. Meanwhile, the government has once again asked Maulana Fazlur Rehman, of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, to act as mediator between the Nawaz administration and the MQM.
Pakistan Peoples Party is also upset with the prime minister over the arrests of high profile PPP members including Qasim Zia and Dr Asim. PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari claimed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has reverted to revenge politics of the 1990s. He said actions being taken by federal agencies in Sindh were clear violations of the Constitution.
In a response to Zardari’s statement, Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid assured on that the government has not indulged in politics of revenge and that all political parties, including the PPP, had agreed to an across-the-board operation in Karachi.
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