Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Asia The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Sun, 29 Mar 2015 18:19:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Yemen Caught Up In Regional Power Play Sun, 29 Mar 2015 04:42:20 +0000 Read the full article...]]> By Manish Rai

Yemen 1The ongoing conflict in Yemen is quickly devolving into a wider regional conflagration, pitting Shiite Iran and an allied Houthi militant group against Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states that came together to launch airstrikes on those Houthi militants. The airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against Iran-backed Shiite rebels in turbulent Yemen have added a regional dimension to the conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country. The country plunged further into chaos with Abed Raboo Mansour Hadi, its internationally recognized president, had fled the country. All of this violence and instabilityis occurring within a larger regional frame in which arch-rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia are sparring over their interests in the country. The regional brinksmanship, with all its inherent dangers, is being played out as Yemen disintegrates into a series of shifting power blocs split between duelling presidents and a trio of militant groups. After consolidated their gains in Sanaa, Houthi Shia militia is now advancing south in a bid to takeover the rest of the country. The Houthis, who are a Zaydi-Shi’a group and receive some support from Iran, have been aided in all of this by former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was forced to step down in February 2012 after 33 years in power. The Houthis decision to stage an offensive into the south is likely to further inflame tensions between the two regions north and south. There is high possibility that as soon as the Houthis declare victory, then the real fighting will start, which is guerrilla resistance across the south.Yemen 2

Iran’s government is widely believed to be providing support to the Houthi rebels, though the extent of that support is unclear. Yemeni and Western officials say their intelligence indicates Iran has been training the fighters as well as sending them weapons and cash. Reuters cited one senior Iranian official as admitting this was indeed the case, although the Houthis themselves deny they are receiving Iranian help. It is highly speculated that the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for the last four years have been smuggling weapons to the Houthis, as well as providing expert military training, with the result that the Shia Houthi militia finally succeeded in seizing control of the capital Sana’a last year, forcing the Western-backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to seek refuge in Aden. The prospect of growing Iranian influence in Yemen has deeply worried Saudi Arabia, Iran’s great regional rival and Yemen’s neighbour. So after realising that Iranian backed militia is closer to take full control of the country Saudis reacted with airstrikes against Houthis. The strikes were a startling turn of events that came as the Houthis, in control of Yemen’s capital for months, barreled south toward the coastal city of Aden, seizing an air base along the way that was evacuated by U.S. Special Operations forces­.

The Saudis have certainly proved adept at protecting their interests against Iranian incursions in the past as well. When Iran tried to provoke Shia dissidents in the tiny Gulf state of Bahrain to overthrow the kingdom’s Sunni monarchy, the Saudi military quickly intervened to crush the protest movement. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies fear that the Shiite advance in Yemen is putting that strategic country on the southern Saudi borders into the control of Iran. The Houthis and Iran both deny Tehran is arming the rebels. Still, a direct air route recently opened from Tehran to Sanaa, which has been held by the Houthis since September, officially to being aid and medical supplies. Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and his allies say the heavy air traffic along the route is delivering Iranian weapons. But with Hadi driven out, there isn’t a clear front line for international intervention to support. Any intervention would likely be in the name of restoring Hadi but doing so with airstrikes alone would be a difficult task. So Egypt and Saudi Arabia were considering an intervention on the ground, aimed at giving the president Hadi a secure foothold to return to the country, while backing Sunni tribesmen to fight against Shiite rebels and their allies. It is belived that ground deployment by troops from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other allies would come after airstrikes have weakened Houthi-Saleh forces sufficiently.

But there is no guarantee that the Saudi-led military alliance will win a quick and clean victory in Yemen or that its intervention will demonstrate the strength and competence that it hopes will deter Iran. A Saudi failure, stalemate or escalation could boost Arab anxieties over Iran or spark wider clashes across the region. Iran, for its part, may not sacrifice its Houthi chip quite so easily it may be tempted, instead, to suck the Saudis deeper into a costly Yemeni quagmire. We’re not going to be able to see any stabilization in Yemen unless the Saudis and the Iranians find a way to be able to talk to each other, rather than to fight each other through proxies. It should be clear to all major powers that they have to sit across the table in order to be able to find a new equilibrium in the region through diplomatic means, rather than thinking that it can be achieved through military means. Unless the Saudi-led intervention transitions rapidly from military strikes to inclusive diplomacy and governance, Yemen will face further destruction, decay and radicalization, adding to an already formidable array of challenges from the presence of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIL to impoverishment and environmental degradation. Even if the regional contest playing out in Yemen can ultimately be managed by the external stakeholders, it is likely to come at the expense of the long-suffering Yemeni people.

(Author is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency Views Around can be reached at

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Afghan students in India sought punishment for Farkhunda’s killers Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:04:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghan students studying at Jamia Millia Islamia University in India has asked the National Unity Government to drag those behind Farkhuna’s killing and punish them for their evil act.2

Students also performed the tragic incident in the University by copying the details of the brutally beating and killing of Farkhunda.

The drama made eyes of most of the audiences full of tears.1

Farkhunad, 27, an Afghan girl was cruelly beaten to death by angry mob after she was wrongfully accused of burning a copy of the holy Quran and her body was set ablaze.

The killing was largely condemned in Afghanistan and abroad which also sparked vast demonstrations in Afghanistan.

Thousands of Kabul residents took to the streets seeking “Justice for Farkhunda”.

Also, in Herat, Balkh, Kundoz and other parts of the country also people staged protests against the killing and asked government to punish those responsible.

More than 20 people have been arrested by the security agencies in connection to the killing.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer of the government Abdullah Abdullah have said that justice will be applied.

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10 Hindu pilgrims killed, dozens wounded in stampeded in Bangladesh Fri, 27 Mar 2015 07:50:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Astami snan-bg20130418094307Ten Hindu pilgrims were killed and dozens of others wounded when a stampede occurred during a religious gathering outside Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh on Friday.

Local police Chief Nazrul Islam told reporters that the stampede occurred on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims had converge for ritual bathing during an annual Hindu festival.

Police Inspector Nasir Ahmed said three men and seven women were among those killed in the stamplede.

“We are investigating what triggered the stampede, but it seems that the tragedy was due to an unusually high number of pilgrims,” he said.

Nasir Ahmed feared a rise in the number of those killing and wounded. He said “The stampede involved a huge number of people as thousands of shoes could still be seen on the road an hour after it happened,”

The cause of the stampede is still under investigation.

The bathing ritual resumed after the stampede was controlled by the security forces.

Astami Snan festival in Narayanganj district of Bangladesh which Hindus consider holy draws hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees from Bangladesh and neighboring India and Nepal every year.

Majority of Bangladesh’s 160 million people are Muslims but Hindus account 10 percent of the country’s population.

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7 Pakistani policemen killed, 13 wounded in separate attacks Fri, 27 Mar 2015 06:29:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani policeSeven policemen have been killed and 13 wounded in separate attacks in Pakistan.

According to reports two policemen were killed and 13 others wounded in explosion at a bus carrying policemen in Pakistan’s Karachi city on Friday morning.

Security officials said that the explosive materials were placed in a motorcycle which was parked at the side of the road.

All of the victims of the explosion belong to Sindh Police’s Special Security Unit (SSU).

A high ranking police officer Malir confirmed to reporters that the target of the blast was SSU bus.

Doctors in Jinnah hospital where the victims of Quaidabad area explosion have been taken for treatment say one wounded policeman is in critical condition.

Police have been targeted in this explosion in Karachi only a night after five policemen were killed during an armed attack in Baluchistan’s Loralai district.

A group of armed gunmen attacked a police vehicle in Loralai’s Chichloo area during patrol leaving five policemen killed.

Law enforcement officials arrived at the scene following the attack but attackers had already fled from the area.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the explosion in Karachi but there is no claim of responsibility for the attack in Baluchistan.

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Australia beat India by 95 runs in CWC 2015 2nd semi-final Thu, 26 Mar 2015 13:07:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Australia beat indiaAustralia beat India by 95 runs in Cricket World Cup 2015 second semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Australia won the toss and chose to bat first making 328 runs out of 50 Overs with seven players out.

Steve Smith made the highest score for Australia leading his team to play in final with New Zealand on Sunday.

He made 105 runs with two sixes and 11 fours.

India needed 329 runs to win the semi-final from Australia but it was unable to reach the target.

All players of the Indian cricket team were out by making 233 runs in 46 Overs.

The final is scheduled to be played between Australia and New Zealand the two host countries of the Cricket World Cup 2015 in Melbourne, Australia on March 29.

Both host countries have already played a match in this World Cup where Australia was defeated by just one wicket.

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Man killed, body burnt in Pakistan Thu, 26 Mar 2015 06:51:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani police at crime sceneA man was killed and his body was burned inside his house in Panjab province of Pakistan.

Police who discovered the body from a house in Pakpattan district in the morning say that more likely the incident has taken place the previous night.

Police investigation suggests that the person might have been sleeping when he is attacked and killed inside his house.

According to local residents Riaz did not have personal enmity but had suspected members of local council for a robbery at his shop.

The dead-body was sent for post-mortem examination and police are conducting further interrogation.

Pakpattan is one of the ancient cities in Panjab province of Pakistan. It is well-known by the shrine of Baba Fareed where people from long distance come to pray for health, solve problems and good fortune.

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80 terrorists, 7 Pakistani soldiers killed Sun, 22 Mar 2015 07:03:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan airstrike in North WaziristanPakistani forces have killed 80 terrorists in fresh military actions in the tribal area of Khayber agency.

Pakistan’s security officials say terrorist bases were also targeted in the Operation Khaber-2 and now terrorists are escaping to the borders areas.

Seven soldiers were also killed in the operation, authorities confirm.

Operation Khayber-2 was launched in October 2014 to clear targeted areas of militants in the tribal built.

Pakistani officials claim killing hundreds of militants during Operation Khayber-2 so far and say that it will continue until the elimination of all militants from these areas.

The operation was launch four months later from Operation Zarb-e-Azab which was launched mainly in Waziristan.

More than 2000 militants including foreign insurgents have been killed in Operation Zarb-e-Azb so far, according to Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations which provides information about the ongoing operations in Pakistan.

Pakistan began to take strict actions against insurgents in its territory after peace talks with them did not give a positive result and then terrorists attacked Karachi airport leaving at least 29 people killed.

The attack was claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Pakistan’s main armed opponent group who conducted other deadly attacks in Pakistan following the one on Karachi airport.

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34 people killed, 150 injured in Indian train derailment Fri, 20 Mar 2015 15:29:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????At least 34 people were killed and 150 others were injured after a train derailed in India on Friday.

The train was traveling from Dehradun, capital of Uttarakhand state, to Varanasi city of Uttar Pradesh when it derailed more than halfway along the route, near Bachhrawan village in Uttar Pradesh (UP) state.

UP Minister Manoj Kumar Pandey said that 34 persons were announced dead following the incident.

“The death toll has mounted to 34. While 30 persons died in Rae Bareli, four were declared brought dead in Lucknow,” he said.

Officials feared the death toll could rise as the health condition of some of the ones wounded was announced being critical.

The real cause for the derailment of the engine and two adjoining coaches of the Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express is still being investigated but officials believed it was caused by break failure as the train overshot an intended stop.

Indian Premier Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the incident.

“PM has expressed grief on the loss of lives in the train accident in UP and has wished the injured a speedy recovery,” the official twitter account handled by his office states.

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Yemen suicide bombings: Death toll reached to 77 Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:14:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> yemenThe death toll from today’s triple suicide bombings in Yemen has reached to 77 people and more than 150 others are wounded.

The suicide attackers were among the prayers and detonated their explosives during the Friday prayers in the areas controlled by Shia Huthies.

One attack was carried out at Al-Hashahush in the northern part of capital Sanaa while two others were carried out inside Al Badr mosque in the southern part of the capital Sanaa.

Eyewitnesses said one attack took place inside the mosque while the other one took place at the gate as people were running out of the mosque following the first attack.

No group has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks but Huthies are in fight with Hadi loyalists and Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch AQAP.

Today’s attacks were the deadliest at Huthies following the January car bombing in which at least 39 people were killed and dozen others wounded.

The attack took place at an academy in Sanaa where Huthies were lined up to register.
Al Qaeda’s Yemen branch AQAP was blamed for the attack.

Due to the raising clashes in Yemen the United States and some other countries, mainly European, have suspended their diplomatic operations.

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2 killed, 20 injured in explosion during Friday prayers in Pakistan Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:21:23 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Blast 2Two people were killed and twenty others were injured after an explosion took place during Friday prayers in Pakistan.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) police Abdul Khaliq Shaikh says that the bomb was placed on a motorbike which was parked at the gate of Saleh mosque in Arambagh area of Karachi city.

He said it was a time bomb which detonated during Friday prayers at the mosque of Bohra community-related to Shia Muslims.

Including children 20 people were injured in the explosion and two others were killed, officials and hospital sources confirmed.

At least two persons injured in the explosion are reportedly in critical condition.
No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed responsibility for last month’s attack at a Shia mosque in Peshawar that left 20 people killed and 65 others wounded.

Mohammad Khorasani, spokesman for TTP called it a revenge for one of their fighters who was executed by the government of Pakistan.

Mohammad Khorasani had threatened more attacks.

Pakistan in the wake of a TTP attack on a military-run school in Peshawar lifted the moratorium on death penalty and since then the government has executed at least 50 people.

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UN: Pakistan should immediately stop executions Fri, 20 Mar 2015 07:05:30 +0000 Read the full article...]]> UNThe United Nations has called on Pakistani authorities to immediately restore the moratorium on death penalty which is against the international law.

“The UN in Pakistan urges the Government to reinstate its moratorium as soon as possible. We stand ready to support it in doing so and to assist in strengthening the existing justice system if so requested,” The United Nations stated in a statement.

The statement adds the United Nations appreciate the need for effective counter-terrorism measures to protect people but such actions must be proportionate in a democratic way and in accordance with Human rights and international law.

“While we appreciate the need for effective counter- terrorism measures to protect people, including children, such action must strengthen human rights and be proportionate and necessary in a democratic society,”, the statement adds.

Pakistan has executed at least 50 people after reinstating the death penalty in the wake of deadly Peshawar attack last December.

The deadly Peshawar attack which left at least 150 people killed and more than 130 injure, most of them school children, emotionalized the government and civilians which resulted in reinstating the death row.

There are currently around 8, 000 people on death row in Pakistan.

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9 more executions in Pakistan Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:00:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> hangPakistan on Wednesday hang to death nine more terrorist convicts a day after executing 12 persons.

This is the largest number of people executed in a single day since the moratorium was lifted in last December in the wake of a deadly Peshawar school attack.

The execution took place in separate jails across the country.

Two convicts were executed in Jhang District Jail, one in Attock Jail, one in Kot Lkhpat Jail and five more in other jails.

There are currently more than 8, 000 people on death row in Pakistan among whom one is Shafaqat Hussain who was arrested at the age of 14 and sentenced to death by a court.

Shafaqat Hussain is allegedly for kidnapping and killing a seven years old boy but reports indicate that he was severely tortured in the custody to confess to the crime.

Shafaqat Hussain is scheduled to be executed tomorrow but his mother Makhni Begum and sister Samira Bibi on Wednesday appealed to the government, judiciary and Human Rights Organizations to save Shafaqat Hussain from execution.

They told a news conference that Shafaqat Hussain was innocent and he was tortured to confess to the crime that he had not committed.

His mother said that the court had sentenced him to death when he was minor but according to the law, a minor cannot be sentenced to death.

Human Rights Watch has asked Pakistan to immediately halt the execution but Pakistani authorities have not yet responded to the call.

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Alleged child offender’s execution tomorrow in Pakistan Wed, 18 Mar 2015 04:50:38 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Shafaqat HussainShafaqat Hussain was arrested when he was 14 years old, under Pakistan’s legal age of adulthood, for allegedly kidnapping and killing a seven years old boy, an allegation which reports indicate confessed by him after severe torture in the custody.

His family says police in Karachi tortured him for nine days; he was tied up, beaten, burnt with cigarettes, electrocuted, removed three of his finger nails during the interrogation and was told that he would never escape the torture until he confess to the crime.

Last December Hussain’s eldest brother, Manzoor, told reporters “When I asked him about torture in custody,” Shafqat “started shivering and wet his pants. He put both his hands on his head and starting crying, saying, ‘Don’t ask, I can’t tell you what they did.”

According to some media reports Shafaqat Hussain was given electric shorts to his genitals.

Shafaqat Hussain after spending ten years in prison is scheduled to be executed tomorrow  beside condemnation of the decision by Human Rights Organizations.

On March 14 Human Rights Watch issued a statement strictly asking Pakistan not to execute child offenders. The statement was subjected as “Pakistan: Don’t Execute Child Offender”

Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch Deputy for Asia had stated in the statement that executing child offender is violation of basic decency and international law.

The quote on the Human Rights Watch statement stated “Executing child offenders is a barbarous violation of basic decency and international law,”

“Sending someone to the gallows for an alleged crime committed as a child shows the Pakistani government’s disregard for children’s rights.” Second quote from Phelim Kine stated in the statement.

Kine asked Pakistani authorities to stay committed to the commitment of Human and Childern Rights. “Above all, Pakistan’s government should reaffirm its commitments to fundamental human rights and the rights of children by explicitly rejecting the odious practice of executing child offenders.” Kine stated in the statement.

Pakistan lifted the moratorium on death penalty after a deadly attack at a military-run school in Peshawar that left at least 150 people killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school children.

Since the moratorium is lifted Pakistan has executed at least 39 people and there are more than 8, 000 other people on death row.

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Toy bomb kills children in Pakistan Tue, 17 Mar 2015 07:45:00 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Toy bombA toy bomb has killed two children and wounded three others after it exploded inside a house in Khayber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan,

Security officials say that the toy bomb went off on Tuesday morning as a child was playing with it.

According to the officials two children and an older man were killed in the explosion and three other kids wounded.

A member of the family who survived told reporters that the toy bomb was brought from outside by a child which exploded as the child was playing with it.

He said that he lost three family members in the explosion and three others wounded who are now battling for their lives in the hospital.

He did not know who had brought the toy bomb and left it in front of the 1st door of his house but police have started an investigation into the case.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the most restive province within the four provinces of Pakistan.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter groups are active in parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

They have carried out several deadly attacks in the province. One attack that was carried out at a military-run school in the capital Peshawar in December last year, left at least 150 people killed and more that 130 wounded, most of them school children.

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Global Teacher Prize winner donates $1m Mon, 16 Mar 2015 04:41:42 +0000 Read the full article...]]> NancieYesterday Varkey Foundation announced Nancie Atwell, an American teacher, the winner of the $1m Global Teacher Prize but she said she is going to donate amount to a school she founded.

Sooner after the announcement came Nancie Atwell from the northeastern United States said “I’m honored to accept this award, especially so in the company of these extraordinary teachers,”

Nancie Atwell has been teaching since 1973. She says she is going to donate the $1m prize to  Center for Teaching and Learning.

Nancie Atwell has written numerous book with most of them on education methods. More than 500, 000 copies of her one book whish titled “In the Middle “ has been sold.

The book was released in 1987.

“I’ve learned, and I’m still learning, how to make a school a place of happiness and wisdom for my students and myself,” Atwell said during her acceptance speech. “I love the challenges. I love my teaching life.”

Varkey Foundation says she was recognized for her activities of teaching, reading and writing.

Sunny Varkey, founder of the Varkey Foundation said “not only about money, it’s also about unearthing thousands of stories of inspiration”

The Global Teacher Prize is supported by Varkey GEMS Foundation, a Dubai-based welfare organization that is training and funding teachers and also providing 140,000 students in more than 150 countries with private education.

Azizullah Royesh, an Afghan teacher made it to the top-10 teachers out of 5, 000 nominees for the award but he did not win the prize.

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Twin blasts rock Lahore city in Pakistan, 14 killed, 64 injured Sun, 15 Mar 2015 07:21:56 +0000 Read the full article...]]> PakistanTow simultaneous blasts rocked Lahor city of Pakistan on Sunday.

Local TV channels reported that 14 people have been killed and 64 others injured.

Initial investigation suggest that one of the two blasts was a suicide attack on a church in Youhanabad area of the city where hundreds of Christians had gathered for Sunday services.

Soldiers are also reportedly among the casualties.

Those wounded have been rushed to the General Hospital Lahore where some of them were announced to be in critical condition.

Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group Jamaatu-l-Aharar have claimed responsibility of the attack.

A spokesman of Jamaat-l-Ahrar group has messaged media and stated that “Aafia Siddiqui Brigade” was assigned for the attack. Aafia Seddqui is a Pakistani national is sentenced for 86 years in prison in the U.S.

TTP splinter group Jamaat-l-Ahrar spokesman has also said that the attack was a warning to the rulers that they have reached Lahore.

Following the explosions all the churches and mosques in Panjab province have been put on high alert in wake of possible threats.

Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, other government and political leaders have strongly condemned the attack.

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Immediately halt child execution: HRW to Pakistan Sun, 15 Mar 2015 05:18:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> HRWThe Human Rights Watch (HRW) says an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has approved the execution of a child which is barbaric.

HRW issuing a statement has sought Pakistan to immediately halt the execution of the child which according to the HWR is scheduled for March 19, 2015.

According to the statement Shafaqat Hussain has been charged by court of allegedly kidnapping and killing seven years old boy.

The statement states that there are allegations that security forces have tortured Shafaqat Hussain a 14 or 15 years old boy for confessing to the crime.

Phelim Kine, the deputy director in Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division says that executing children is barbaric and against the international law. “Executing child offenders is a barbarous violation of basic decency and international law,” he has stated in the statement.

Kine calls on Pakistan’s president Mamnoon Hussain to prevent the serious Human rights violation.

“Pakistan’s president should immediately commute Shafqat Hussein’s execution and prevent a serious human rights violation,” Kine is quoted in the statement.

Phelim Kine in anotherr quotes says that Pakistan should reaffirm its commitments for human right and children rights.

“Above all, Pakistan’s government should reaffirm its commitments to fundamental human rights and the rights of children by explicitly rejecting the odious practice of executing child offenders.”

After the deadly Peshawar attack on a military-run school in Warsak Road area that left nearly three hundred people killed or injured, most of them school children, Pakistan lifted the moratorium death penalty.

Pakistan has executed at least 24 convicts since lifting the moratorium in the wake of December 16, 2014 Peshawar attack that was claimed by Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

TTP in a message to the media said that the attack was carried out to revenge of the death of their people who have been killed in military operations.

Pakistani forces began Operation Zarb-i-Azab in Waziristan and adjourning areas against insurgent groups after the peace the failure of peace talks with Taliban and a deadly attack on Karachi air port which left nearly 30 people dead.

Pakistani officials claim killing dozens of insurgents during Operation Zarb-i-Azab since it began in June 2014.

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ISIS child carries out execution Wed, 11 Mar 2015 04:19:25 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A video has been published online purportedly showing an Islamic State child fighter executing a man they accused of being an infiltrated spy for Israel within their ranks.

In the video the child is seeing shooting the man in the head who was kneeling in front of him, after the man fell down, the boy shoot his dead body four more times.

The boy in the video does not look above 12 years of age. IS had previously released a video of a training camp purportedly showing children under training.

Islamic State claim Mohammad Said Ismail Musalam joined their ranks to spy for Israel but the man’s father says his son wanted to return home which was not acceptable for the Islamic State militants.

Islamic State states in their online message that Mohammad Said Ismail Musalam was spying on IS and other Palastanians within their ranks for the Israel intelligence.

But Musalam’s father had told AFP news agency last month that his son was innocent. “My son is innocent; IS accused him of working for Mossad because he tried to run away,” the father was quoted by AFP as saying.

The video went wire late yesterday but the authenticity of the video is not yet confirmed.

Islamic State has executed own fighters in the past who wanted to leave their ranks and rejoin with their families.

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More time requested for Afghan refugees in Pakistan: Pakistani media Tue, 10 Mar 2015 11:56:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> KPKThe Express Tribune, a Pakistani media outlet states that the Afghan delegation who is currently in Pakistan discussing the fate of Afghan refugees with Pakistani authorities has requested more time for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

The Express Tribune has quoted Maulvi Shahzada Shahid who is part of the Afghan delegation as saying that they have requested the extension of the time of the registered refugees and the allowance of the unregistered refugees in Pakistan.

“We are asking for an extension in the duration of the stay of the registered refugees whose PoR cards will be expired in 2015, and documentation of all unregistered Afghans,” Maulvi Shahzada Shahid was quoted as saying.

“The reality is that all refugees cannot return home, and if they stay in a vague status then it will be a matter of concern for the government of Pakistan and the refugees,” Shahid has told The Express Tribune.

During the visit Afghan delegation also met with the governor, chief minister and other high ranking officials of Khayber Pakhtunkhwa province where most of the Afghan refugees are based and discussed in details with them about the matter of the refugees.

The Express Tribune quotes Shahid as saying that both sides agreed on cooperation for a solution to the problem.

“Both sides agreed the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan jointly work for the solution to the problems of the refugees,” he told the paper.

On Sunday the Afghan delegation that is led by Sayed Husain Alemi Balkhi, Minister of Refugees and Repatriation arrived in Pakistan and currently busy with Pakistani authorities on the fate of nearly three million Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan.

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ISIS creates own version of facebook, Khelafabook Tue, 10 Mar 2015 10:29:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> khelafabook

The supporters of the Islamic State have created their own version of facebook which is named Khelafabook.

Khelafabook has looks similar to facebook with a blue background and photograph of the world in the background of the page and their logos on it.

Khelafabook also has a portion on the front of the page just like facebook. It has a place to log in as normal users and a form for new users to sign up.

Khelafabook is created by the Islamic State supporters to communicate with each other in face they are banned on other social networks like facebook and twitter.

Thousands of accounts suspected of having links to ISIS or other insurgent groups have already been blocked on facebook and twitter.

The site is registered by a person from the city of Musal, now in the hands of Islamic State, in Iraq but the person has registered his country as the Islamic State and home country Egypt.

Khelafabook reportedly had services in many languages.

The site is reportedly hosted by an American company GoDaddy, one of the larger companies of web hosting in the US.

Khelafabook is now not accessible and it is yet unknown who might have blocked it.

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Pakistan claims new missile can hit every corner of India Tue, 10 Mar 2015 07:32:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> PakMissilePakistan claims that Shaheen-III missile can hit every corner of India and also some other countries in the Middle East including Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhistan, Uzbekistan and Turkemistan.

Washington post has published a report in which a retired commander of Pakistan’s air force is quoted as saying that the missile test fire sends a loud message to India.

Shahid Latif is quoted as saying “Now, India doesn’t have its safe havens anymore,” another quote states “It’s all a reaction to India, which has now gone even for tests of extra-regional missiles. . . . It sends a loud message: If you hurt us, we are going to hurt you back.”

According to Pakistan’s military sources Shaheen-III missile can reach a range of 1, 700 miles when fired.

Pakistan before Shaheen-III had tried Shaheen-I and Shaheen-II but those can hit a shorter range than Shaheen-III.

The missile was test fired at Arabian Sea on Monday which according to Pakistan’s military sources was a successful test-fire.

Pakistan and India after their partition in 1947 have fought four wars with the main cause for three of the wars were the disputed area of Kashmir in which both sides suffered heavy casualties.

During the last few months, soldiers from both sides exchanged fire with each other at the Line of Control (LOC), drawn dividing Kashmir into two territories for Pakistan and India, where at least 20 people killed from both sides.

Both sides blamed each other for beginning the skirmishes along the LOC and threatened each other with heavy responses.

But the leaders of both countries are now evolved in talking to solve problems through dialogues.

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Afghan policemen martyred in Pakistan: Pakistani news agency Dawn Mon, 02 Mar 2015 04:08:48 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Afghan cops killed in Pakistan 02March2015Dawn, Pakistan’s reliable news agency, have published a report stating that two Afghan policemen have been martyred in Pakistan.

According to the news agency the incident took place in Qallah Abdullah District of Balochistan Province on Sunday.

Dawn states that a number of unidentified gunmen riding on a motorbike opened fired at the policemen in Chaman area, capital of Qallah Abdullah District, and fled the area after the attack.

Dawn adds that the policemen were on their way to Quetta, the capital of Balochistan Province, for treatment when the incident happened.

Dawn further states that no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to Dawn the Afghan policemen, originally from southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, were moved to District Headquarters Hospital for postmortem following the attack.

Afghan government has not commented on the report yet.

Pakistan which shares a long border with Afghanistan, compare to Afghanistan has better medical system.
Afghans usually go to Pakistan for treatment when there is a serious sickness. But usually they get harassed by the police in Pakistan or face security issues like the one happened on Sunday.

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ISIS kidnap 90 Christians in Syria Tue, 24 Feb 2015 11:38:24 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISISIslamic States militants have kidnapped at least 90 Syrian Christians from rural villages in north-eastern region of war-torn Syria.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday that the abduction took place west of Hasaka, the capital city of Al-Hasakah Governorate.

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that the abduction occurred after Islamic States militants attacked villages during predawn.

The area where the kidnapping took place is inhabited by Assyrian Christian minority, the area borders territory of Iraq that is controlled by Islamic States militants.

Islamic States militants killed at least 500 Yazidis including women and children across the border in Iraq in 2014.

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Iraq’s Human Rights Minister said some of the women and children were even buried alive.

The genocide took place in Sajr, an area inhabited by Yazidis, after it was seized by the Islamic States militants in 2014.

Soon after the genocide the United States formed an international coalition, comprised from around 40 countries, in September 2014 to fight the terrorist group.

The coalition is since then conducting air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria which has caused high casualties to the terrorist group.

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Reuters bureau chief dies in Islamabad Tue, 24 Feb 2015 06:42:44 +0000 Read the full article...]]> reutersMaria Golovanina, 34, who was the bureau chief of Reuters, an international news agency, for Afghanistan and Pakistan died in Islamabad on Monday.

Maria was taken to a hospital in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, after being found unconscious. Kulsum International Hospital announced her dead after doctors could not save her.

The real cause of her death is not announced yet but a report will be presented after her post mortem.

Originally from Russia, Maria could fluently speak Russian and Japanese beside English and worked with Reuters for more than a decade.

Maria joined Rueters news agency in Tokyo in 2001 and then served in London, Moscow, Iraq, a short period in Afghanistan in 2009 and other places before becoming bureau chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2013.

Katharine Houreld, correspondent of Reuters in Afghanistan and Pakistan said “She was a great boss; warm, with a big heart and someone who really care,”

“All of us at Reuters mourn the untimely death of our beloved colleague Maria. She was one of our finest journalists, combining fearlessness with an upbeat enthusiasm that inspired confidence, respect and affection from everyone around her. She will be deeply missed.” Said Reuters Editor In Chief Stephen Adler.

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10 people burnt alive as van caught fire in Pakistan Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:56:20 +0000 Read the full article...]]> van burned10 people have burnt alive after the van they were travelling in gutted fire due to an explosion in its gas cylinder in Pakistan.

The incident took place in Karachi, the business hub of Pakistan late last night where a number of other people also sustained injuries.

Officials said most of the bodies could not be identified as they are completely burned and the only way to identify them is through DNA tests.

Officials added that the driver of the van is among the ones killed.

Witnesses said that the only passengers who saved their lives were the ones setting close to the doors and windows but they also sustained injuries while jumping from the van.

Nine passengers injured in the incident were shifted to Jinnah Hospital in Karachi city for treatment, officials said.

The rescue operation was jointly conducted by locals and Pakistan’s motorway police.

Officials said that the van was converted to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), a more risky alternative for Petrol and Diesel.

In Pakistan and Afghanistan it is cheaper to use CNG for vehicles than Petrol and Diesel.

Such like incidents have also happened in Afghanistan.

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Mock funeral ceremony held for Pakistani cricket team Sun, 22 Feb 2015 17:25:45 +0000 Read the full article...]]> cricket cricket funeral PakistanA mock funeral was organized by fans of Pakistan’s national cricket team following a record-shattering World Cup defeat at the hands of the West Indies.

Replete with a coffin with several cricket bats placed over it the symbolic funeral procession was organized by the residents of Multan city which is the hometown of some of the top Pakistan cricketers including former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq.

The mock funeral participants also on fire an effigy of the former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board and presently on its board of governors, Najam Sethi.

One of the protesters said on a television channel “We have taken out this mock funeral because millions of cricket fans stayed up all night and prayed for success of the cricket team. But the team let us down so badly.”

Another participant Shama Bibi quoted by AFP said “This time we were really hoping for Pakistan to win. We don’t want to watch this anymore.”

The Pakistani national cricket team faced a defeat by 150 runs during their second match in ICC cricket World Cup.

Chasing a target of 310 runs Pakistan gave up its first four wickets for just one run – the worst start in one-day international history.

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Barack Obama – Road To 2016 Sun, 22 Feb 2015 05:56:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Obama and ModiAuthor: S.Mubashir Noor

Pakistan should start praying for a Republican win in the next US Presidential Elections. In his last year or so in charge, President Obama’s priorities are legacy building, and the 2016 Democratic defense of the White House. His snubbing Pakistan on this latest Southeast Asia trip is ominous.

From now till election day, whatever Obama says or does is less about him, and more about how his party wants to run the race. Hillary Clinton is the likely Democratic nominee, and Obama owes her husband Bill his second term in office.

Former President Clinton’s humdinger of a speech, at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, tore the Romney-Ryan ticket to shreds. Afterwards, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said on CNN, “This convention is done. This will be the moment that probably reelected Barack Obama.”

In an interview with India Today before his visit, Obama gushed about how “the stars are aligned” for both India and the US to become “true global partners.” His tone became solemn however when adding “safe havens within Pakistan are not acceptable and that those behind the Mumbai terrorist attack must face justice.”

Clearly the US now views India as a mature global player, while Pakistan remains the problem child. Obama even compared 9/11 New York to 26/11 Mumbai, citing the commitment of both countries to preserve their way of life. No hats were tipped to acknowledge the thousands of civilian and military casualties in Pakistan, for a war essentially concocted in the Pentagon.

Responding to a White House press conference question about Obama ignoring Pakistan, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes stated “frankly, that’s in the interest of all the three countries.” How is slighting the foot-soldiers in their global war on terror in their best interest, one wonders? That said, how do you ‘do more’ with the morale tank on empty?

Obama’s been on a roll since 2014. After five indifferent years as top dog, he finally got his act together. Oil prices dropped to $2 a gallon for the first time since the 2008 financial crises. Similarly unemployment figures fell below 6%, a full year faster than the GOP’s economic pontiff, Ronald Reagan.

The stock markets also rebounded to post all-time highs, boosting the working American’s nest-egg. With key economic indicators peaking at the right time, the Democrats look good for reelection.

On the foreign policy front, Obama worked two magic acts to help Hillary out. First, he ‘magically’ made Pakistan & Afghanistan start working together to route the Taliban. Two neighbors locked in an endless game of ‘chicken’ somehow saw the bigger picture. Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘big stick’ no doubt proved persuasive.

A Hillary Clinton seriously scarred by the Ben Ghazi blowback, can ill-afford another national security gaffe on her watch. To become President, she needs focus on the Clinton brand, not her failings as Secretary Of State.

Furthermore, Obama ‘magically’ undercut the 2016 Republican dream-ticket, by normalizing relations with Cuba. This firmly puts the Cuban-American voting bloc in the blue column. Coincidentally, 70% of these voters live in Florida, home to both Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. Both are the GOP’s pride and joy, and neither will have it easy carrying their home state, a litmus test for winning nationwide.

Goodwill from this act is also likely to solidify the national Latino vote. Traditionally Democrat, its the fastest growing demographic in the US due to high birth and migration rates. Hillary needs them to win or compete in three major races; California, Texas and Florida. Obama won Florida by a razor thin margin in 2012, he’s set Hillary up to do better.

If elected, Hillary Clinton, forced to resign as Secretary of State after Ben Ghazi, will be out for blood. Pakistan, accused of serial two-facedness, is the convenient whipping boy. Obama has set her narrative in motion, and a lot more admonishment is in store should she become President.

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Jundullah claim responsibility for recent Pakistan attack Thu, 19 Feb 2015 05:07:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ???????????????A spokesman Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group Jundullah called media and claimed responsibility for last night’s attack in Rawalpindi that left at least three people killed and ten others wounded, most of the wounded are reportedly in critical condition.

Jundullah spokesman has also said that the attack in a serious was to revenge the Pakistani military operation Zarb-e-Azab in North Waziristan tribal belt.

Asghar Askari, a religious leader in Pakistan who is also the leader of Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen blamed the government for supporting terrorism.

He said “This is a terrorist government. We have been collecting corpses because of them.”

The attack took place at the entrance of imambargah in Qasr-e-Sakeena area of Rawalpendi, located 14 kilometers south of Islamabad, capital of Pakistan.

According the security officials a suicide attacker planned to enter into the imambargah where Shia Muslims had gathered but detonated his explosive at the entrance after he was stopped.

This was 2nd attack on Shia Muslims in Pakistan since.

On Friday insurgents attacked an Imambargah in Hayatabad area of Peshawar and killed 21 people had gathered to offer Friday prayers.

55 others were also wounded in the attack, carried out by five-six insurgents from Jundullah group, the group who claimed responsibility for last night’s attack.

]]> 0 Eight people killed in explosion in Pakistan Tue, 17 Feb 2015 08:55:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> PakistanEight people have been killed and over a dozen others wounded in a powerful explosion in Lahor city of Pakistan.

The explosion took place near Police Lines in Qala Gujir Sing area of the city this afternoon.

Several vehicles parked at the site also gutted following the explosion.

Officials imposed emergency in the city hospitals following the explosion.

Inspector-general of Punjab Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhara told reporters that it was a suicide attack.

He added “Intelligence information was received that suicide attackers may carry out attacks in Lahore or elsewhere in Punjab”.

Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif have condemned the attack.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a militant group that separated from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in August 2014 has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This attack happens days after a deadly attack of Taliban in Peshawar city of Pakistan that left 21 people killed and over 50 others injured.

On Friday a group of five-six insurgents armed with weapons and bombs attacked an Imambargah in Hayatabad area of Peshawar city at the time hundreds of people had gathered to offer Friday prayers.

Officials said that 21 people were killed and 55 others injured during the arm and bomb attack.

The responsibility of the attack was claimed by Jundullah, a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group.

TTP splinter group Jundullah had threatened more attacks.

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India beats Pakistan in Cricket World Cup 2015 Sun, 15 Feb 2015 11:32:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ????????

Indian National Cricket Team beat Pakistan National Cricket Team in Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2015 by 76 runs in Adelaide, Australia on Sunday.

On coming to the ground both of the rivals tossed to start the Cricket World Cup 2015 4th match with India winning the toss and choosing to bat 1st.

Indian National Cricket team was able to make 300 scores in 50 overs with the loss of seven wickets.

India’s Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan made the highest scores for India.

Virat Kohli made 107 runs, Suresh Raina made 74 runs and Shikhar Dhawan made 73.

Virat Kohli was the only one who hit a century in this 4th Cricket World Cup 2015 match.

Pakistan was required to make 301 runs to win the match but failed to hit the target.

Pakistan made 224 runs with all players out in 47 overs.

In Pakistan side Msbah-ul-Haq and Ahmad Shehzad made the highest scores.

Msbah-ul-Haq made 76 and Ahmad Shehzad 47.

This was the 6th time Pakistan faced India in the Cricket World Cup since 1992. India has won all Cricket World Cup matches played with Pakistan since 1992.

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Imams forced to dance in the street in China Thu, 12 Feb 2015 08:37:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Imams forced to dance in ChinaThe government of China has reportedly forced Muslim imams to dance in the street in a move which is seen as yet another crackdown on religious freedoms.

According to a report published World Bulletin on Monday, the incident took place in Xinjiang district which is inhabited mostly by the Muslims.

The imams were also forced to swear to an oath that they will not teach religion to children as well telling them that prayer is harmful to the soul.

The newspaper citing reports by the statement media reportd that the imams were also forced to chant out slogans such as ‘peace of the country gives peace to the soul”.

In the meantime, the public servants are forced to brandish the slogan that “our income comes from the CKP not from Allah”.

Female teachers were instructed to teach children to stay away from religious education and made to swear an oath that they will keep children away from religion, the report added.

According to reports, around 13.4 million Muslims are residing in Xinjiang which has a population of around 22 million.

The province has witnessed a wave of deadly clashes that Beijing often describes as Islamic terrorism where Beijing launched a so-called “people’s war on terror” in May.

The operation was launched in the wake of a market bombing in Urumqi in which 31 people were killed.

However, the experts believe that violence in the province is often caused due to ethnic tensions boiling over between the two groups.

Xinjiang is home to the Uighurs, a largely Muslim, Turkic-speaking group as well as a growing number of Han Chinese migrants who have poured into the region which borders Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

In the meantime, human rights groups accuse the government of systematically violating the Uighurs’ right to freedom of worship and say the Communist Party’s hard-line policies on religion are only serving to further radicalise Muslim youth.

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Afghanistan face defeat in 2015 CWC warm-up match against India Tue, 10 Feb 2015 03:43:30 +0000 Read the full article...]]> crick

Afghanistan has faced defeat in the 2015 Cricket World Cup warm-up match against India.

The match started at about 08:00 AM (Afghanistan time) Tuesday morning in Australia.

India won the toss and chose to bat 1st.

Playing 50 overs, India made 364 runs with losing four wickets.

The target set by India to Afghanistan was 365 to win the friendly match.

Afghanistan could not reach the target and loss the match with the difference of 153 runs.

Afghanistan made 219 runs in 50 overs with the loss of eight wickets.

This match was played in Australia where Afghanistan’s National Cricket Team has gone to play in 2015 Cricket World Cup.

Afghanistan National Cricket Team had its 1st warm-up match with Australia where they were able to beat Australian team and win the friendly match.

Afghanistan before going to Australia played four friendly matches with Ireland and  Scotland in United Arab Emirates (UAE) where they won two matches but were defeated in two others.

Afghanistan National Cricket Team is scheduled to play their 1st match for 2015 Cricket Word Cup against Bangladesh on February 18.

This will be the 1st time Afghanistan is playing in the Cricket World Cup.

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Baby girl born ‘pregnant’ with twins in Hong Kong Tue, 10 Feb 2015 02:54:03 +0000 Read the full article...]]> baby girl born pregnant in Hong KongA newborn baby girl in Hong Kong was found to have been born ‘pregnant’ after doctors removed two fetuses from the abdomen of the baby, according to a newly released study report.

The report released in the Hong Kong Medical Journal earlier this month stated that tests were performed on the newborn when a pair of tumors were detected in her abdomen and doctors determined the growths were actually “absorbed” siblings.

Each of the two structures found in the girl contained intestines, an umbilical cord, a rib cage, a spine, and “primitive” brain matter which was between the girl’s liver and left kidney.

They are believed to have grown to between 8 and 10 weeks before being absorbed into the girl’s body, ABC news reported.

Dr. Yu Kai-man, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital said he condition is known as “fetus-in-fetu” and occurs about once in every 500,000 births, with fewer than 200 cases reported in literature.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the condition as a type of cancer known as a mature teratoma, according to the doctors but the cause is still unknown.

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Jordan in harsh response to ISIS Thu, 05 Feb 2015 06:03:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> King-Abdullah-II-of-Jorda-008Jordan’s king Abdullah II has vowed harsh response to Islamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after the killing of his pilot by the militant group.

King Abullah said the blood of Moaz al-Kassasbeh will not be in vain and the response of the government of Jordan and its army will be harsh.

Jordan is among the over 40 countries coalition that is being led by the US against ISIL.

King Abdullah II says his country will increase its role in the coalition against ISIL.

ISIL which is also known as ISIS or DAESH this week burned a Jordanian pilot alive after he was captured during air operations by the groups fighters close to Raqqa city in Syria.

Jordan in its first response yesterday hanged two of the ISIS prisoners including Sajida Al-Rishawi who was captured in November 2005 after a failed suicide attack in Amman.

Al-Rishawi along with her husband went to a hotel in Amman where a wedding party was organized.

Her husband was able to carry out the suicide attack which killed 38 people but her suicide vest failed to explode and she was arrested.

Four ISIS prisoners are still in jail in Jordan who the Jordanian government has pledged to execute.

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Imran Khan’s wife to join film industry in Pakistan Wed, 04 Feb 2015 12:05:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Imran KhanReham Khan who recently married Imran Khan Pakistan’s cricketer-turned politician has announced that she is going to join the film industry in Pakistan.

According to Pakistan’s Express News Reham Khan has decided to make and produce Pashto and Urdu movies.

Reham Khan born on 3 April 1973 was a BBC weather girl and after three children from ex-husband, who was also her 1st cousin, recently married Imran Khan.

Imran Khan also has two children from his previous wife.

Rumors went viral last month about the secret wedding of Imran Khan with Reham Khan but a week later they publicly announced to be Husband and wife.

They organized a Nikkah ceremony at Imran Khan’s resident in Bani Galal of Islamabad and later arranged a very low-key wedding due to the tragic incident of Peshawar.

On December 16, 2014 when Peshawar attack took place there was a vast sit-in by thousands of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) faction in Islamabad against the government in Pakistan.

But after Peshawar’s attack that left nearly 150 killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school children, Imran Khan announced the end of his sit-in to pay respect to the students killed in the attack.

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Jordan executed ISIS prisoners after ISIS burned Jordanian pilot alive Wed, 04 Feb 2015 04:20:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Al-Rishawi

Jordanian officials announced this morning that they have executed two Islamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) prisoners.

Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouli are the two ISIL prisoners who were announced to have been executed.

Thousands had gathered in Amman after Tuesday’s video in which a Jordanian pilot was shown burning alive by ISIL, asking government to immediately kill the arrested members of the militant group.

ISIL which also goes by ISIS or its Arabic name DAESH yesterday released a video showing a Jordanian pilot who was captured by them being burnt alive.

Lieutenant Moaz Al-Kasasbeh, 26, was detained by ISIS in December last year after the fighter jet he was flying went down near Raqqa city in Syria.

Jordanian officials said that the fighter jet crashed but ISIS claimed they had shot the fighter jet which was taking part in the air operations against the militant group.

As retaliation of the brutal killing of a Jordanian pilot by ISIS, the government of Jordan announced to execute six members of the terrorist group arrested.

Sajida Al-Rishawi who is among the two ISIS members executed was arrested for a failed suicide attack in November 2005.

Al-Rishawi along with her husband went to a hotel in Amman where a wedding party was organized.

Her husband was able to carry out the suicide attack which killed 38 people but her suicide vest failed to explode and she was arrested.

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Explosion in Pakistan leaves 4 soldiers killed Tue, 03 Feb 2015 10:16:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan Army convoyFour Pakistani soldiers were killed and two others wounded after their vehicle ran over a landmine in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s security officials say that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded in the Warmagai area of Lower Kuram agency as a security forces convoy was passing through the area this afternoon.

Security officials add that the vehicle was completely destroyed in the explosion leaving four soldiers dead and two others seriously wounded.

Pakistan’s armed opponent group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This explosion takes places as Pakistan has expanded its military operations against insurgents in its territory including Kurram agency where there is reportedly a vast presence of TTP and foreign fighters.

Pakistan enlarged its military operation against insurgents after a deadly attack at a military-run school in Peshawar that left at least 141 killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school children in December 2014.

Some of the wounded students and school staff later succumbed to injuries bringing up the death toll to at least 150 people.

TTP who claimed responsibility for the attack threatened to continue fighting against Pakistani military and the current government in Pakistan.

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NATO-Afghanistan commander discussing border security with Pakistan Tue, 03 Feb 2015 08:44:31 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Campbell and Raheel SharifNATO commander for Afghanistan General John F. Campbell is in Pakistan discussing Afghanistan-Pakistan border security.

General Campbell arrived in Pakistan’s Rawalpindi city yesterday and met with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and some other high ranking officials.

According to Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) both commanders had a meeting in Pakistan’s General Headquarters.

ISPR statement adds that General John F. Campbell and General Raheel met discussed regional security, specifically the security at the joint border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

After Peshawar’s deadly school attack on December 16 last year, this is the 2nd visit of General Campbell to Pakistan.

In his last visit Afghanistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Shir Mohammad Karimi also accompanied him where they had important meetings with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif in December 2014.

An agreement of sharing intelligence information along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan was reached during this visit.

In the meetings they also agreed that commanders from Afghanistan and Pakistan will begin meeting each other for coordination of border security.

Since General Campbell and General Karimi’s visit to Pakistan, commanders of Afghanistan and Pakistan have began meeting each other and the security at the joint border has also gotten better.


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Egypt Court announced death sentences to 183 Muslim Brotherhood devotees Mon, 02 Feb 2015 11:07:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> EgyptOn Monday a court in Egypt announced death sentences to 183 devotees of Muslim Brotherhood accused of playing a role in the killing of 16 policemen in 2013.

These policemen were killed during an attack at a police station in Kardasa area near Egypt’s capital Cairo in August 2013.

The attack took place while vast protests were ongoing in Egypt over the ousting of President Mohammad Morsi from power by the military.

In July 2013, Egyptians against the Presidency of Mohammad Morsi staged protests after which the military got involved and announced the end of Mohammad Morsi’s Presidency.

Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi who is now the President of Egypt was then the Army chief who led the coup against Mohammad Morsi.

After the topple of Mohammad Morsi the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Adly Mansour was announced as the intern president of Egypt who led the country until June 2014.

Following the topple Mohammad Morsi was under house arrest and then put in jail along with thousands of his Muslim Brotherhood supporters who staged vast protests following the topple of Mohammad Morsi.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters have received death sentences since then but none taken place yet.

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54 killed, over 60 injured as heavy explosion rocks Pakistan Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:54:27 +0000 Read the full article...]]> explosion in PakistanA heavy explosion rocked shikarpur district in Sindh province of Pakistan on Friday afternoon leaving at least 54 people dead and 60 others injured.

According to the local security officials the incident took place inside a central imambargah at Lakhi Dr area after Friday prayers.

Preliminary reports suggest a suicide bomber detonated his explosives among the prayers attendants.

The officials further added that several others have been trapped under the debris after the roof of the imambargah collapsed due to the explosion.

There are fears that the death toll could rise as a number of the injured individuals are in critical condition, the officials added.

According to reports the Jundullah militants group has claimed responsibility behind the incident.  Jundullah a splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which last year pledged support for the Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq.

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Pakistan kills 92 insurgents including foreign fighters Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:34:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan airstrike in North WaziristanInter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistani Army’s media information source says that they have killed 92 insurgents and destroyed their six hideouts in fresh air strikes in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.

ISPR states that 76 insurgents were killed in Datakhil area of North Waziristan and 16 others in Khyber Agency.

According to ISPR information, 12 foreign fighters were among the ones killed.

Pakistan widened its offensive against insurgents after a warning issued by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah of carrying out more attacks like the one on a school in Peshawar that left over 250 people killed or injured, most of them school children.

On December 16 2014 a group of 6-7 gunmen stormed a school in Warsak Road area of Peshawar and sprayed bullets on school children, leaving 141 killed and over 130 injured.

Few of the slain were school staff and the remaining were all school children.

Mullah Fazlullah after the attack issued a video justifying the attack.

He said the school was indeed a training camp for Pakistan Army where they were raising soldiers to fight with them.

He further said in his video message that his fighters only killed the ones over 18 who along the military could join the fight against Taliban. He warned to kill the sons of Pakistani military personnel who have turned eighteen where ever they find them.

Pakistan-Teachers receiving weapon trainingSince the school attack last month, Pakistan issued weapons to school teachers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which is a primary target for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Hundreds of teachers both male and female have received weapon training and more are either under the training or scheduled to be trained.

After the threats of more attacks on schools the daughter of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and some other high ranking government officials discharged their children from schools in Pakistan.

Reports surfaced that they were planning to send their kids abroad the country to study.

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35 insurgents including foreign fighters killed in North Waziristan Mon, 26 Jan 2015 04:18:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan airstrike in North WaziristanPakistan’s military officials say to have killed 35 insurgents in fresh air strikes in North Waziristan.

A statement issued by Pakistani military’s media office states their air force carried out several air strikes on militant centers and hide outs in Dadakhil area of North Waziristan late yesterday.

As a result of which 35 insurgents including several foreign fighters were killed and their centers and hide outs were destroyed, the statement adds.

The statement does not give details about the nationalities of the foreign fighters killed but foreign fighters hiding in North Waziristan are reportedly most of them Arabs, Uzbek and Chechens.

Pakistan started large scale operations against militants in North Waziristan and adjourning areas in June 2014 after their peace talks failed and then Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the assistance of Uzbek fighters carried out a massive attack on Karachi airport in Pakistan’s business hub Karachi.

The attack left at least 28 people dead.

Since June 2014 Pakistan claim to have killed more than 2, 000 militants and breaking back bone of terrorists hiding in Pakistan.

This operation was taken more serious after another deadly attack by TTP in Pakistan.

The attack in Peshawar left at least 141 people killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school children.

On 16 December 2014 a group of six-seven TTP fighters stormed a school in Warsak Road area of Peshawar and sprayed bullets on school children leaving 141 killed and over 130 others injured.

At least eight wounded people including school children and school staff died of wounds in the hospitals.

A TTP spokesman later contacted media and claimed responsibility for the attack.

The spokesman claimed that the attack was revenge for their people killed in North Waziristan in Pakistani military operations.

TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah in a video later said that children killed in Peshawar attack were of military personnel who were under training to join Pakistani military against them.

Mullah Fazlullah threatened will target sons of military personnel above eighteen years of old wherever they are found.

He also said that if military finds chance they can do the same to him.

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Pakistan fire shells on India ahead of Obama’s visit Sun, 25 Jan 2015 09:48:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Obama and PM ModiIndian officials say Pakistani forces fired shells on India hours before US President Barak Obama’s was scheduled to arrive.

Indian officials say their soldiers retaliated to the unprovoked fire and the exchange of fire continued for little while in Kashmir but there was no loss of life.

Pakistani officials confirmed the skirmish.

Pakistani forces say the fires were retaliation to the rounds received from across the border.

Although Pakistani and Indian forces occasionally exchange gunfire along the border in Kashmir but there were no reports of such an event in at least last two weeks.

US President Barak Obama on Sunday arrived in India for a three days visit to discuss terrorism, enhance economic cooperation and trade.

Reuters reports that US President Barak Obama ahead of his arrival to India supported India’s quest to have a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

President Barak Obama was given a warm welcome By India’s premier Narendra Modi in New Delhi upon his arrival.

President Obama is now busy in meetings with Indian officials.

He will leave India on Tuesday for Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to Saudi nation for the death of King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud.

King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al Saud passed away at the age of 90 on Friday.

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Barak Obama arrives in India for a three day visit Sun, 25 Jan 2015 05:26:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Barak Obama in India2US President Barak Obama landed in New Delhi, capital city of India on Sunday morning for a three days visit to meet Indian officials on various topics.

Indian media reports that both leaders will talk about the militant hide outs in India’s neighboring Pakistan and its threats.

Yesterday British based Telegraph reported US President Barak Obama giving a strait warning to Pakistan to close terrorist save havens.

Reuters reports that President Barak Obama has also supported India’s quest for a permanent seat on UN Security Council.

President Barak Obama is scheduled to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade tomorrow.

Both leaders are also expected to talk on various topics including nuclear deal, enhancing ties, economic cooperation, strengthening trade and climate changes.

Tight security measurements were taken in New Delhi ahead of Obama’s visit.

President Barak Obama will leave India on Tuesday for Saudi Arabia to pay tribute to Saudi nation for the death of late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who died at the age of 90 on Friday.

He will also meet Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who took office after the death of his half-brother King Abdullah.

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ISIS warns to kill Japanese hostages if ransom not paid Tue, 20 Jan 2015 07:10:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IS ThreatIslamic States of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/IS/DAESH) in a new video threatens to kill two Japanese hostages if ransom is not paid.

In the video the group has asked for $200 million in exchange for the release of these hostages.

Two men are shown standing on their knees in the video whom DAESH claims to be Japanese hostages in their custody.

A man is seen holding a knife in his hands who is standing behind the hostages and threatens to kill these hostages if ransom is not paid in three days.

Although IS have executed hostages in the past but a ransom demand for release of hostages seems to be a new trend in their strategies.

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Newborn baby mysteriously catches fire in India Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:25:46 +0000 Read the full article...]]> rahulbaby_660_081013061337A mysterious case has been reported in Viluppuram district at Tamil Nadu state of India a newborn baby who is mysteriously catching fire.

According to the local media reports, the 10-day-old baby boy is currently being tested by the doctors in Kilpauk Meical College and Hospital (KMCH) in Chennai.

The mother of the baby has said her child caught fire and his feet burst into flames last Thursday when he only six day old.

A four-member special committee headed by KMC dean Dr N Gunasekaran, and comprise chief pediatrician Dr Sathya Moorthy, chief plastic surgeon Dr Nirmala Ponnambalam and chief psychiatrist Dr Raja Rathinam was formed by the state governmnet to investigate the mysterious case.

The KMCH dean Dr Gunasekaran has said they have conducted blood, creatinine and electrolyte tests immediately after the infant was admitted, and the results were normal.

“The child suffered burns on the legs. Today morning, the wound swab culture was sent for tests to detect bacterial infection if any. The results will be known after 48 hours,” Gunasekaran quoted by The Indian Express said.

This comes as a 3-month-old baby belonging to the same family was also admitted to the hospital in August 2013 where doctors conducted a series of tests.

According to the results of the tests, the baby had not caught fire mysteriously which raised concerns at that time that the baby may have been abused by relatives or burnt in an accidental fire.

In the meantime, the doctors have said they will on Monday discuss about further investigations and study the latest case in-depth.

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4 insurgents killed in US drone strike in NW Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:31:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> DronePakistan’s local media reports that a US drone strike killed four suspected militants North Waziristan on Monday.

As per the information published by Pakistan’s local media the drone targeted a compound of suspected militants in Shahikhel area of North Waziristan leaving four suspected insurgents killed on the spot.

Previous reports published indicate that US drone strikes have killed several high ranking Al-Qaeda leaders and foreign fighters beside local insurgents in North Waziristan in the past.

However, these strikes are not largely popular in Pakistan.

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No terror attack during Obama’s visit to India, US warns Pakistan Mon, 19 Jan 2015 07:54:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> obama_modi_4The United States has asked Pakistan to make sure there is no cross-border terror incident during President Barack Obama’s visit to India later this month, according to local media reports.

Washington has also reportedly warned Islamabad of “consequences” if any such attack is traced.

Obama is expected to arrive in India on January 25 and will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

The local newspapers have also reported that New Delhi is also expected to hold crucial talks over Afghanistan with the US President.

According to the reports the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks on various issues with President Obama, including the possible rise of ISIS, the Al-Qaeda adn also the sudden surge in activity by Pakistan.

Sources told One India newspaper last week that Afghanistan will be a very vital issue during the talks between the two leaders.

Sources further added that the issue of Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammad Omar who is kept in a safe house by Pakistan is also in the agenda as the Prime Minister’s think tank is gearing itself up to discuss a host of issues.

Other issues included in the agenda are heightened Pakistan activity in Afghanistan as India has seen Pakistan increasing funding and providing weapons and also aiding the Taliban with strategic planning.

Enhancing trade relations specifically in energy sector and natural resources of Afghanistan, training the Afghan police and cooperation to curb drug trafficking would also be discussed, according to the paper.

]]> 3
Fierce fighting between Yemeni forces and Houthi rebels Mon, 19 Jan 2015 05:38:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> yemeni-shia-houthi-rebels-seize-the-control-arman-city-aFierce fighting erupted between the guards of Yemen’s presidential palace and Houthi fighters in the capital Sanaa on Monday.

A report about the casualties was not issued until the writing of this story.

Huthis who claim to be fighting for their rights are blamed for a proxy war in Yemen for Iran.

They seized most parts of the capital Sanaa in September.

They are also blamed for abduction of Chief of Army Staff of Yemen’s president in Hada area of the city which has a strong presence of Huthi fighters.

Ahmed Awab Bin Mubarak was kidnapped along with two of his guards on Saturday.

War engulfed in larger flames in Yemen after vast protests forced President Ali Abdull Saleh to step down in 2011.

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3 Muslims killed in Muslim-Hindu violence in India Mon, 19 Jan 2015 04:19:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Burned villageThree Muslims have been burned to death after Hindus burned their Houses in India.

The violence occurred in Muzaffarpur area of Bihar state on Sunday after Hindus found dead body of a Hindu boy who went missing over a week ago.

Hindus blamed Muslims for the killing as the boy was friendly with a Muslim girl in their village.

Security forces arrested 14 people in connection to the violence occurred in Azizpur village.

On Sunday after a crowd of angry Hindus attacked the village and started to burn huts, most of the villagers escaped.

A spokesman for Bihar police says at the time of the violence they were unable to enter the village for several hours but by the time they entered the village everything was burned.

He said that the situation is now under control.

]]> 0 Yemeni Chief of Army Staff kidnapped Sat, 17 Jan 2015 12:25:42 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Yemen's chief of Army StaffUnidentified gunmen have kidnapped the Chief of Army Staff of Yemen in Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

Officials say Ahmed Awab bin Mubarak and two of his guards were abducted at an insurgent check point in Hada area on Saturday.

Until writing this story, no group had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping but officials suspect Shia Houthi militiamen are behind the abduction.

Most of the capital Sanaa is in the hands of Shia Huthi militiamen.

Ahmed Awab bin Mubarak was nominated by the president for the post of prime minister in 2014 but was largely opposed by the Shia Huthis.

Yemen’s current instability occurred in 2011 following a large scale demonstrations that forced president Ali Abdulla Saleh to resign from his post.

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Pakistan arrest Afghan Taliban who opposed ISIS Sat, 17 Jan 2015 07:59:04 +0000 Read the full article...]]> paksitani police 9

Killid Radio reports that two Afghan Taliban commanders who had opposed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) or (DAESH) in Logar province have been arrested by Pakistan.

Killid Radio quotes the police chief of Logar province Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai as saying that after the Afghan Taliban commanders opposed DAESH flag in Charkh district they were called to go to Pakistan and put in jail upon their arrival.

Killid Radio further quotes the police chief as saying that these commanders had fought with the supporters of DAESH in their area.

Before Logar, officials in Helmand, Zabul and Farah provinces reported the existence of DAESH supporters in their provinces.

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Gunmen attack another school in Pakistan Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:49:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani Police

Reports suggest that gunmen have attacked another school in Swabi area of Khayber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan.

The attack took place this morning.

Police officer of Swabi area confirming the attack says gunmen opened fire at the school but escaped after a retaliation of fire by the watchmen.

According to the police officer no one was killed or injured in the attack.

Following the attack parents of the students arrived and took their children back home.

This comes after Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) threatened to carry out more attacks against Pakistani forces and their sons who are over eighteen wherever they find them even in schools.

Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah in a recent video claimed that they had told fighters to kill children of soldiers who are above eighteen in a recent attack at a military-run school in Peshawar.

The attack left at least 141 dead and over 130 injured, most of them school children.

Attackers who were wearing military uniform entered a military-run school in Warsak Road are of KPK’s main city of Peshawar and sprayed bullets on school children on December 16, 2014.

The responsibility of the attack was claimed by TTP.

A TTP spokesman told media that the attack was a revenge for their people killed in Pakistani Army operation in North Waziristan.

TTP leader Mullah Fazlullah by issuing a video recently threatened to continue his war against the current government of Pakistan and its forces.

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Drone strike kills 6 insurgents in North Waziristan Thu, 15 Jan 2015 06:48:39 +0000 Read the full article...]]> DroneA US drone strike killed six suspected militants in the North Waziristan on Thursday.

According to Pakistani Media, the drone targeted a militant position in North Waziristan’s Shawal area.

North Waziristan is reportedly a hideout to local and foreign fighters.

Pakistani forces have started a mass operation against the insurgent in North Waziristan and adjacent areas since June 2014.

Pakistan claim to have killed over 2, 000 local and foreign insurgents in this operation and have confiscated large amount of explosives, weapons and ammunition.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif says insurgents have been weakened due to the ongoing military offensive against them in North Waziristan.

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif also says that the military operation will continue until the elimination of terrorists.

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Pakistani premier’s granddaughter discharged from school in Pakistan Tue, 13 Jan 2015 09:52:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan-Maryam NawazPakistani premier Mohammad Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz has discharged her daughter from school in Pakistan.

According to Pakistan’s Express News, Maryam Nawaz has said that she is not afraid and she loves other kids like her own kids.

She said that her daughter will study in Pakistan like other kids but at this time discharging her from school was necessary for the security of other school children.

She rejected the reports that she is sending her daughter to London for study.

This comes after Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan vowed more Peshawar like attacks in Pakistan.

Peshawar attack that took place on 16 December 2014 left more than 140 killed most of them school kids.

A group of gunmen attacked a military-run school in Warsak Raod area of Peshawr on 16 December 2014 and sprayed bullets on school children.

After leaving more than 140 killed and around 130 injured, the attackers were killed in the explosions of their own explosives and by the security forces.

]]> 1
Military Operation in NW Significant: Kerry Tue, 13 Jan 2015 07:52:37 +0000 Read the full article...]]> John Kerry with PM Nawaz Sharif 2John Kerry, U.S Secretary of State, on his two days visit to Pakistan praised the military operation in North Waziristan.

John Kerry arrived in Pakistan on Monday and so far has met Pakistan’s premier Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister Sartaj Aziz and Army Chief General Rahil Sharif beside some other high ranking Pakistani officials.

Kerry asked Pakistani side to continue the fight against terrorism and extremism with no distinction.

Delegation accompanying Kerry to Pakistan has said that Washington wants more serious efforts against Taliban, Haqani Network and other armed militant groups in both the neighboring countries.

Delegation says these terrorist groups pose threat not only to Pakistan and Afghanistan but also to the interests of the United States.

Washington plans to provide $250 million assistance for those internally displaced due to the military operations in Pakistan.

Pakistan following the failure of peace talks with Taliban launched a military offensive against them in North Waziristan and adjacent areas in June 2014 causing heavy casualties to them.

According to Pakistani officials more than 2, 000 insurgents have been killed since the operation began.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also commended Pakistan for reopening of Peshawar school that was cloase after a deadly Taliban attack leaving more than 140 people killed most of them school children.

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Through Afghanistan, India involved in activities in Pakistan: Sartaj Aziz Mon, 12 Jan 2015 08:42:26 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ????????????Sartaj Aziz, National Security Advisor to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif says activities taking place in Pakistan from Afghanistan, India is involved in it.

Sartaj Aziz has told Dawn News, a Pakistani Media, in an interview that both the neighboring countries have promised not to let each other’s territory used against the other.

He has told Dawn News that the previous policies applied by Pakistan did not have a positive impact on the national security.

According to the paper Aziz has said that for the national interests, the current governments decided not interfere in other countries, rather than that, Pakistan will try to make good relationship with neighbors.

Sartaj Aziz according to the paper has said that when India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office he told Pakistan to forget Kashmir for good relations with India, he said but Pakistan rejected the call.

India wants negotiations with Pakistan based on their interest but Pakistan cannot accept that, Sartaj Aziz was quoted by the paper as saying.

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Pakistani man beheaded in a video released by Taliban and ISIS Sun, 11 Jan 2015 09:16:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani man beheadedThe former Pakistani Taliban leaders who have announced their allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISSI) on Saturday released a video purportedly showing the beheading of a man whom they identify as a Pakistani military soldier.

According to the SITE Inteligence Group, the video was released by ISIS on Twitter and Jihadi forums, showing the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP’s) former spokesman Shahidullah Shahid along with dozens of other militants in a wooded area.

SITE Intelligence Group is a US-based terrorism monitor which offers a variety of services to assist in monitoring and understanding jihadist news and trends.

The video released on Saturday also purports to show militant leaders who identify themselves as from Afghanistan and Pakistan pledging their support to the Islamic State group.

This comes as the residents of soutehrn Helmand province of Afghanistan have said that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has started operations in this province.

According to the local resients the group is led by a local commander identified as Abdul Rauf are operting in Zamin Dawar area of Sangin and also parts of Kajaki district.

The security institutions in Afghanistan have not independently confirmed the operations of ISIS in Afghanistan. However, insurgents belonging to a faction of the Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar said earlier in September last year that they consider to join the Islamic State militants who are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq.

This comes as a notorious anti-government armed militant commander who is believed to have links with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was also arrested by Afghan security forces in Paktia province earlier in December last year.

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57 killed in traffic accident in Pakistan Sun, 11 Jan 2015 05:49:36 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan Bus CrashA traffic accident has left 57 people killed and 10 others wounded in Pakistan.

The accident took place in Pakistan’s Sindh province between a passenger bus and a fuel tanker.

Officials say after the accident both vehicle gutted leaving 57 people dead on the spot and 10 others wounded.

Hospital sources say the wounded are also in critical condition.

Due to the heavy burns, it is difficult to identify many of the dead bodies.

The accident took place in Sindh province close to the provincial capital last night.

According to the officials the accident was the result of the negligence of the fuel tanker’s driver.

]]> 0 Pakistani father kills his 5 kids to gain magic powers Sat, 10 Jan 2015 05:50:58 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistani manA Pakistani father-of-six, practicing black magic, allegedly killed his five children by strangling them to death believing that it would endow him with magical powers.

According to the Pakisani police officials, the incident took place on Thursday overnight in the village of Saeed Khan, some 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the city of Karachi.

The victims included two girls and three boys, aged between three and 13.

Police officer Qamaruddin Rahimo told AFP that the perpetrator has been identified as Ali Nawaz Leghari who is around 40 year old.

“The man’s financial condition was bad but he was also learning black magic and it seems that he made the sacrifice to excel in the craft,” Rahimo added.

He also added that the Leghari had attempted to poison the family’s dinner but was spotted by his wife, resulting in a bitter quarrel.

The provincial police chief Amjad Sheikh confirmed that Leghari was undertaking a 40-day spiritual journey, known as a ‘Chilla’ prescribed to him by a pir (living saint) that he hoped would teach him the art of alchemy.

According to the police officials, the eldest of the six children survived as he had left the home with his mother who had gone to her parents house after the fight.

A search operation has also been launched to detain a a black magic practitioner whom Leghari used to visit frequently for help as he was in bad financial condition.

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Film star Jackie Chan’s son jailed for drug crime in China Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:35:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Jackie Chan's son jailedThe son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan has been sentenced to six months in jail in Beijing after he was convicted on a drug charge in a Beijing court on Friday.

Jaycee Chan, 32, was also found guilty of “hosting others to take drugs,” was fined 2,000 yuan ($320).

After the 90-minute trial at the Dongcheng District people’s Court, Chan bowed to the judge and prosecutor and said “I committed a crime and deserve to be punished.”

“It doesn’t mean I have received mercy and forgiveness – I hope to earn them with my future actions,” he was quoted as saying in a message by the court’s official microblog.

Chan was arrested during a police raid on his home in August 2014 amid a drug use crackdown in China after President Xi Jinping ordered police to use strong measures to stop drug use.

Police had found over 100g of cannabis and arrested Chan along with a Taiwanese film star Kai Ko. At least 10 locally known stars were detained following the crackdown last year.

Chan is expected to be released in mid-February, having already spent five months in jail.

]]> 0
Imran Khan got married to BBC weather girl Reham Khan Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:41:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 247461F900000578-2898260-image-m-3_1420558847836The prominent Pakistani political leader Imran Khan got married to a former BBC weather girl and presenter Reham Khan, a week after rumors went viral regarding their secret wedding.

According to Pakistani media reports, the couple’s nikkah ceremony took place on Thursday at the politician’s residence in Bani Gala.

The wedding was a low-key affair due to the Peshawar tragedy where over 140 people, mostly children were massacred by Taliban militants.

“The event was a low key affair because we did not want to celebrate due to the Peshawar school massacre,” a leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Imran Ismail said while speaking to the Express News.

Reports regarding the secret marriage of the 61-year-old cricketer-turned-politician surfaced late in December.

Reham Khan is a 41-year-old mother of three children and has lived in Britain for part of her previous marriage, when she was a presenter on a regional news program in BBC.

There had been a backlash on social media in Pakistan regarding the rumored marriage, with photos of Reham in revealing clothes and a video of her doing a tango while working for the BBC circulating online and the reactions have been mostly negative.

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Pakistan announced head prices of top Taliban commanders Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:06:18 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Maulana FazlullahPakistan announced head prices of top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commanders including the group’s leader Mullah Fazlullah.

A list of top 615 Taliban leaders and high ranking commanders has been issued with a total reward of 77 Crore Pakistani Rupees (7,621,470.65 USD), conversion rate of 05 January 2015.

According to the list the reward on Mullah Fazlulla, Mangal Bagh, Qari Bashir and Samiullah is one Crore (98,980.14 USD) each, conversion rate of 05 January 2015 .

Mullah Fazullah is TTP’s leader who has been fighting the government of Pakistan for years.

Mangal Bagh is reportedly leading a group of thousands of fighters under the name of Lashkar-e-Islam in Pakistan.

Qari Bashir and Samiullah are wanted to the government of Pakistan for a massive jailbreak in Pakistan’s tribal area of Dera Ismail Khan.

The jailbreak let 175 inmates go in 2013 after dozens of gunmen stormed the jail.

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Volleyball ground explosion leaves 5 killed, 10 injured in Pakistan Mon, 05 Jan 2015 06:54:49 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan policeA blast in a volleyball ground has left five civilians killed and ten injured in Pakistan.

Officials say the explosion took place in the tribal area Lower Orakzai agency of late Sunday after.

According to the eyewitnesses there was a volleyball match going on and a lot of people gathered in to watch when the explosion occurred.

Security officials believe the explosives were planted in the ground from before and were exploded with a remote control.

Orakzai agency, one of the semi- autonomous tribal areas of Pakistan is believed to be one of the hotspots of Pakistani Taliban.

]]> 1
Pak-India fire exchange leaves 2 killed, 10 injured Sat, 03 Jan 2015 09:07:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Indian border security forcesReports indicate that Pakistani and Indian forces late Friday night began exchanging fire which continued till Saturday afternoon.

Paktani officials say a 14 year-old girl was killed and another eight year-old injured due to the rounds of Indian forces which landed on civilian houses across the border.

On the other side, Indian Border Security Forces say Pakistani soldiers late last night started shooting their security check posts as well as nearby villages in Kashmir which left a villager killed and nine others wounded.

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) says that Indian soldiers responded accordingly and the exchange of fire took hours.

In past few situation has been tense on the joint border between the two neighboring countries.

Both sides have been shelling heavy and light weapons on each other.

Last week one Indian and two Pakistanis soldier were killed when the two sides exchanged fire.

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TTP reportedly released video of Mullah Fazlullah’s son justifying war in Pakistan Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:03:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Mullah Fazlullah's sonAfter about two weeks of Peshawar’s deadly attack, Pakistani Taliban known as Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP reportedly released a video of a child justifying their fight against the government of Pakistan.

The video has been received by the SITE Intel Group, a site which usually publishes stories about TTP.

According to the group the child says “Regarding our battle today with the tyrants, which include the Pakistani government and its apostate army, I will clarify for you their reality, it is an American army and it has no zeal or morals. Those bastards, hypocrites, polytheists and agents of the Jews and the Christians, those thieves, highway robbers and drunkards… Our war will continue with them until the war meets its end.”

The child in the video has been identified as the son of TTP’s leader Mullah Fazlullah, the SITE Intel Group says.

According to the SITE Intel Group the video was released at the end of December 2014 after a deadly attack at a military-run school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

The attack left around 141 killed and over 130 injured, most of them school children.

TTP later claimed responsibility of the attack stating that this was a revenge for the death of their people who were killed in the military operations of Pakistan’s Army in North Waziristan.

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Pakistani and Indian soldiers again exchange fire, 3 killed Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:38:08 +0000 Read the full article...]]> IndiaOne soldier from India and two from Pakistan were killed after the two sides exchanged fire with each other on the joint border on Wednesday.

Pakistani commanders say a commander of India requested a meeting with them.

The commanders add that when two of their representatives contacted Indians they were shot dead.

But defense ministry of India says a patrol of their soldiers was attack by Pakistani soldier where they lost one soldier.

The defense ministry adds that Indian soldiers retaliated accordingly.

According to the defense ministry of India, Indian soldiers stopped firing on Pakistani soldiers after Pakistan soldiers waved a white flag for removing their dead bodies.

India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar says Pakistan will face a double response if they fire at Indian soldiers.

Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchanged fire on the joint border in October and November which left at least twenty dead.

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Imran Khan secretly married a BBC weather girl and presenter Wed, 31 Dec 2014 09:50:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Imran KhanAccording to reports, a prominent Pakistani political leader Imran Khan has remarried in secret to a former BBC weather girl Reham Khan.

The 61-year-old cricketer-turned-politician has reportedly tied the knot at the weekend, sources close to the couple quoted in a report by Daily Mail have said.

Reham Khan is a 41-year-old mother of three children and has lived in Britain for part of her previous marriage, when she was a presenter on a regional news program in BBC.

The news of Khan’s remariage has neither been confirmed nor rejected so far. However, Farhat Javed Rabani, a well-known news anchor in Pakistan, twitted on Saturday “Ahmmm… an anchor has married a politician today… #WeddingBells <3 #HappinessAllAround ;)”.

In the meantime, Khan’s ex-wife Jemima Goldsmith had said in October that her ex-husband was about to remarry. “My ex-husband, Imran, recently announced that he intended to get remarried soon, which made me think it’s probably time to change my name back to Goldsmith,” she added.

There has been a backlash on social media in Pakistan regarding the rumored marriage, with photos of Reham in revealing clothes and a video of her doing a tango while working for the BBC circulating online and the reactions have been mostly negative.

]]> 1
2 year old kid kills mom in the US Wed, 31 Dec 2014 05:35:14 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ToddlerA two year old kid has accidentally discharged the pistol and killed his mom in the US state of Idaho.

According to the officials and witnesses the kid was setting in a shopping cart in Walmart and accidentally triggered the pistol after reaching his mom’s purse.

Veronica J. Rutledge, 29 had taken four kids to Walmart for shopping and left her son in the same cart where her purse with a pistol was.

Police say the surveillance cameras and witnesses statements helped proof that it was an accident.

The manager closed Walmart after the incident and Rutledge’s son and three nieces were taken to a relative’s home.

Weapon Rules vary in the US states. However, Idaho allows carrying licensed/permitted handguns in a concealed manner.

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45 Afghans arrested in Peshawar Tue, 30 Dec 2014 09:27:10 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Peshawar policePeshawar police have conducted fresh operations in different parts of Peshawar where they have arrested 45 Afghans.

Police say the arrested Afghans neither have Refugee Cards nor necessary travelling documents.

Beside unregistered Afghan Refugees there registered Afghan Refugees who are also issued a one month notice to leave the country.

Afghan government says they are in contact with the government of Pakistan to solve the problem.

UNHCR however, have asked the Pakistani government to house the registered refugees until the end of 2015.

The registered Afghan refugees have been issued Refugee Cards which legalize their stay in Pakistan until the end of 2015.

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Indonesian plane went missing with 162 on board Sun, 28 Dec 2014 04:56:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> An IndonesianAirAsia plane carrying 162 passengers and crew on board went missing Sunday morning.

AirAsia officials say they have lost contact with Airbus A320-200 after it took off.

AirAsia officials a Search operations was underway and as soon as they receive more information they will release it.

Airbus A320-200 with Flight number QZ8501 left Surabay for Singapore and was supposed to land at 08:30 am (local time).

Kabul is 2 hours and 30 minutes after Jakarta, Indonesia.

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35 insurgents killed in Pakistan Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:36:38 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan FightingPakistan’s military officials say to have killed 35 insurgents in separate actions in Khayber Pakhtunkhwa province of the country.

Twenty three insurgents were killed in fresh air strikes in Datakhil area of North Waziristan and 12 were killed after a group of unknown gunmen attacked a security check post in Orakzai agency of the province early Saturday morning.

Sources say insurgents were killed in the retaliatory action, adding that five soldiers also sustained injuries by insurgents fire.

Pakistan has begun a crackdown on the insurgents following the deadly Peshawar attack which left 149 people killed and more than 130 injured.

Last week security forces of Pakistan raided a house in the commercial hub of Karachi where they killed 13 insurgents with six of them having affiliation to Al-Qaeda.

Pakistanis are in alert in the wake of a statement from Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan that terrorists have planned another Peshawar like attack.

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Drone strikes kill 7 suspected militants in North Waziristan Fri, 26 Dec 2014 06:43:16 +0000 Read the full article...]]> DroneAs per the reports seven suspected militants were killed in two separate drone attacks in North Waziristan Friday morning.

In one strike a compound of the Panjabi Taliban commander Qari Imran was hit leaving four militants killed in the Kund area of Shawal in North Waziristan.

A second strike was carried out at Mangroti area of Shawal in North Waziristan where two missiles hit a compound killing three foreign fighters more likely Uzbek.

The compounds were also damaged in the strikes.

Although there is a heavy casualties to the insurgents in the drone strikes in North Waziristan but according to a survey conducted in Pakistan this year, 66 percent of the 188 million estimated populations oppose these strikes.

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Major Challenges For Pak Army Fri, 26 Dec 2014 05:35:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Peshawar school attackBy Manish Rai

The Peshawar school attack has shaken Pakistani society to the core. It also represents one of the most horrific incidents in a brutal insurgency against the Pakistani state and civil society by the Pakistani Taliban or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP is a loose coalition of militant groups, mainly comprised of tribal areas of Pakistan, particularly from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the extreme northwest, who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s. Soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, these groups crossed the border and started engaging Pakistani military units deployed in the Tribal Areas as part of Pakistan’s U.S. alliance obligations. After 2004, these engagements grew into a domestic insurgency, with heavy fighting and significant military losses in the Tribal Areas and the Swat Valley. The TTP coalition was formed in 2007 after red mosque incident. The Pakistani military, in response to both domestic and international pressure, recently launched large-scale multiservice offensive operations, Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber one in an effort to destroy all insurgent bases in North Waziristan and Khyber agency which are quiet effective in destroying TTP strongholds. The wide extent of militant cooperation in the tribal areas has complicated matters for the Pakistani military intelligence agency to gather information and partners. Still Pakistani security forces are doing well in the clearing operations.

The army has reacted very strongly after Peshawar attack. The Pakistani military carried out dozens of airstrikes and ground operations in a remote part of northwestern Pakistan. The Pakistani military claimed that in less than three days of the Peshawar incident, 119 militants were killed in the FATA– 62 in ground operations and 57 in air strikes. Upon pressures from the military forces, the civilian government of Nawaz Sharif has also lifted a moratorium on death penalty. It shows that Pak Army the most respected and powerful institution in the country is willing to finish out this domestic Taliban menace forever now. The army has been facing many difficulties in conducting effective counter-insurgency operations even though it has deployed more than 150,000 soldiers in the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA, and has suffered over 15,700 casualties, including over 5,000 dead since 2008. This is because of counterinsurgency campaigns of army have to overcome following challenges:-

Lack of Local Know How – The most soldiers deployed in the tribal areas know little about the demographic structures, topography, and local language, and thus are widely seen as an occupying force in the Pashtun society.

Inexperience in Fighting Guerilla War -The Pakistan army’s training and doctrine are largely informed by the country’s historical experience of fighting three wars with India in 1947, 1965, and 1971 and thus place a heavy emphasis on conventional war preparedness. This has made Islamabad largely incapable of fighting a protracted insurgency in the FATA – a tribal region where the central government has historically had minimal control, and thus delegated power to the tribal leaders.

Poor Command Structure – Pakistan army’s weak counterinsurgency campaigns are further compounded by the poor structure of its paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC). The FC soldiers are primarily drawn from the tribal areas, and thus are familiar with the local culture and terrain. This could make them an ideal counterinsurgent force. However, the FC is not a regular military force, and its training and preparedness focus on patrolling the frontiers and fighting cross-border smuggling. As a result, fighting insurgency and militancy have largely been alien to the FC personnel. When deployed for counterinsurgency purposes, along with Pakistani military forces, the FC has lacked the leadership and equipment, and demonstrated poor performance against the Taliban insurgents.

Lack of Credible Intelligence – Poor intelligence collection and coordination has added more challenges to Pakistan’s war on terrorism. Put simply, the army acquired strategic intelligence about the TTP’s possible intentions but it lacked any actionable intelligence on the potential targets. The problem of intelligence coordination is also evident in the overlapping responsibilities of the civilian-run Intelligence Bureau or the Federal Investigative Agency, and the military-controlled Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, widely known as the ISI. While each of the three agencies has some counterterrorism intelligence related tasks, there is no effective coordination among their collection and analytical efforts. The problem is further complicated as religious extremists in Pakistan operate with various names, making it hard for the agencies to monitor them.

Lack of Coordination among civil and military establishments – Another big problem in countering insurgency is Pakistan’s civil and military establishments are so divided over the issue. The politicians have a number of reasons for leaving the fight against the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) to the army alone. Privately, government ministers argue that the army’s total control of security policy means it is unreasonable for the generals to expect the civilians to take responsibility for what the army decides to do. The politicians are anyway deeply suspicious of an army that has frequently mounted coups to overthrow elected governments. The current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was kicked out of power, put in a dungeon and then exiled by the last military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Mr Sharif believes that despite his overwhelming popular mandate the army has never accepted his political comeback in 2013 and is once again plotting to remove him from power.

It would be a miracle if all political parties and the military, along with its intelligence services, end up on the same page in tackling the Taliban insurgency. All the stakeholders in Pakistan should understand that countering militancy and violent extremism will remain the country’s overriding security goal. Only concerted army operations launched with single-mindedness of purpose can stop the TTP juggernaut. Pakistan army has to rework on its strategy against Taliban in every aspect like- Intelligence gathering, finishing out the Taliban ideological base, dealing every militant outfit with the same way only then the desired results can be achieved.

(Author is a columnist for Middle-East and Af-Pak region and Editor of geo-political news agency can be reached at

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TTP threatened to target Media in Pakistan, 2nd Zarb-i-Azab will kick off Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:43:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> PakistanTehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) blamed Pakistani media for taking the military side in the ongoing conflict.

Mohammad Khurasani, TTP spokesman on Monday threatened strict actions against media.

He said 120 of his men were killed in past 2 days but media was ignoring them.

Media in Pakistan has been targeted in the past too.

Mohammad Khurasani who has threatened media in his new statement is the person who claimed responsibility of the Peshawar Attack on behalf of TTP.

In the meantime Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday announced that his military will soon start second Zar-i-Azab operations against the militants.

He said in 1st Zarb-i-Azab which still continues militants were targeted in the tribal areas but 2nd Zarb-i-Azab will target rebellious in cities and villages.

He added that without differences any outlawed group would come under strike.

Mohammad Nawaz Sharif reiterated that the military operation will continue until the eradication of the terrorists from Pakistan.

Pakistan is taking strict steps towards its armed opponents after past Tuesday’s attack that killed 141 people and injured more than 130 others, most of them school children.

Pakistan’s government since then is under severe internal pressure towards the militants.

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UNHCR: Afghan Refugees not be expelled forcefully Mon, 22 Dec 2014 06:31:11 +0000 Read the full article...]]> afghan-refugeesUnited Nations Humanitarian Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the government of Pakistan has granted legal stay to Afghan Refugees in their country and therefore they should not expel them forcefully.

Qaisar Afridi, spokesman for UNHCR in Pakistan says the Refugee Cards issued to Afghans do not expire until the end of 2015.

Afridi said Afghans should not be made to leave unless they want to.

The federal government of Khayber Pakhtunkhwa, following a deadly Peshawar attack, issued a one month deadline for Afghans to leave their territory.

The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said they can no longer house Afghan refugees in their territory since it is damaging the economy.

But some Afghan Refugees in Peshawar say Pakistan is making excuse to receive funds from international donars.

They say Pakistan in the past also has issued statements like this but after receiving fund they would not expel the refugees.

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Another Peshawar like attack planned for Pakistan Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:26:19 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Peshawar school attackInterior Minister of Pakistan says there is information indicating another Peshawar like attack designed to be carried out in Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on security agencies to be on high alert.

Khan ordered the mobile companies in Pakistan not to issue illegal SIM cards.

He ordered all the hotel owners to be strict in verification of the room renters and inform the security agencies regarding any suspected individuals.

Peshawar attack which was carried out past Tuesday left 141 people killed and more than 130 injured, most of them school kids.

Attackers targeted a military-run school in Warsak Road area of Peshawar.

The responsibility of the attack was claimed by the Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan also known as TTP, Pakistan’s armed opponent group.

Taliban’s spokesman told media that the attack was carried out as a revenge for Pakistan’s military operation in North Waziristan where they (TTP) has lost their people.

Taliban also emailed photos of some dead people to the media claiming to be the family members of their fighters killed in North Waziristan.

However, the minister of interior of Pakistan did not mention in the news conference that who is behind planning another attack.

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International Peace Conference to be held in Peshawar Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:26:01 +0000 Read the full article...]]> OICPakistan based Dawn news agency reports that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is mulling an International Peace Conference for Muslim countries in Peshawar.

According to the news agency the aim of the conference is to unite Islamic countries for a shared strategy for defeating terrorism.

The news agency adds that the promise was made by OIC Secretary General Iyad Amin Madani who is currently on a visit to Pakistan.

OIC is pondering international peace conference to bring Muslim countries together against terrorism after a deadly attack in Peshawar that killed at least 141 and injured more than 130 others.

In the meantime peace council of Afghanistan says until Pakistan is not honest to its commitment to fight against any terrorist group, the region will face insecurity.

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US airstrike leaves 5 militants dead in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Sat, 20 Dec 2014 07:33:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> MQ-9 reaperAt least five suspected militants were killed following a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan earlier today.

According to Pakistani security officials, the airstrike was carried out in DAtta Khel area, targeting a compound used by suspected militants.

A senior security official speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed that five militants were killed and that the death toll could rise.

In the meantime, another intelligence official has said a high-value target was likely among those killed but the identities of the militants yet to be ascertained.

North Waziristan is among the volatile districts in tribal region of Pakistan near the Afghan border where militants are actively opereting.

The area is alleged to be strongholds of Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, among others.

At least eight suspected militants were killed following a drone strike in North Waziristan late in the month of November.

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3 day countrywide mourning in Pakistan Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:48:47 +0000 Read the full article...]]> peshawar-650_121714120534Pakistan on Wednesday begin a 3 day countrywide mourning following a deadly attack at a military-run school in Peshawar that killed 141 and injured 124 others on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s flag was flown half all over the country as the funeral of the victims was offered in different parts of the city of Peshawar and later buried.

The attack prompted lifting ban on death penalty to convicted terrorists by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday.

Nawaz also vowed strict response to those responsible for the attack.

He said the operation will continue until the demolishment of the terrorists.

The attack was strongly condemned by world leaders including Afghanistan.

The death included at least 100 school children.

The responsibility was later claimed by Pakistani Taliban yesterday.

A Taliban spokesman has told media the attack was in the revenge for military operation in North Waziristan area where they also have lost their family members.

Pakistani Taliban have sent pictures of people they claim to be their people killed in Pakistan’s military operation in North Waziristan.

Pakistan military started a full-blown operation in North Waziristan in June which still continues. Pakistani officials say to have killed more than 1800 insurgents in these 6 months period.

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141 killed, 80 injured in Peshawar attack Tue, 16 Dec 2014 07:14:59 +0000 Read the full article...]]> peshawar attack   2The attack which started at around 11:00AM Tuesday in Warsak Road area of Peshawar and continued till late afternoon has left 141 killed and 80 injured on Tuesday.

Most of the victims are students of the military-run school stormed by gunmen.

The attack also included explosions in the school where around 500 students were thought to be inside by the time of the attack.

According to the officials attackers were  6 persons.

Eyewitnesses say the attackers were wearing military uniforms.

Pakistan prime minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif has declared a three-day country wide mourning.

Tahrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Taliban spokesman has said that the attack was carried out to revenge Pakistan’s military operation under way in North Waziristan where they lost their family members.

TTP in the past also have carried out attacks in different parts of Pakistan in an apparent response to the military operation in the tribal belt.

Pakistan’s military has initiated a large scale operation in North Waziristan since June this year with last Monday marking 6 months.

Pakistan’s military sources claim to have killed over 1800 terrorists in this operation including Al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters.

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Pakistan detained 50 Indian fishermen, seized boats Thu, 11 Dec 2014 08:24:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Indian fishermenPakistani officials say that 50 Indian fishermen along with their 10 boats were arrested on Thursday for unlawfully entering to Pakistan territorial water.

Pakistan and India frequently arrest and accuse each other’s fishermen of violating their respective zones in the Arabian Sea.

Recently the relationship between the two neighboring countries have been narrowed due to the exchange of fire between their soldier on the border where dozens of people have been killed and as much wounded.

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17 rebels killed in past 24 hours Thu, 11 Dec 2014 07:34:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> TalibanThe interior ministry of Afghanistan reports that the operations were conducted in in Nangarhar, Parwan, Baghlan, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Ghazni, Khost and Paktika provinces jointly by Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security personnel.

A statement issued by the ministry states that two insurgents were also wounded during the operations and another arrested.

The statement adds that 4 IDS were defused and admonitions were seized from the position of the terrorists.

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Pakistan in the hunt for Islamic State leader Wed, 10 Dec 2014 06:24:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]> ISIS in AfghanistanReports suggest that Pakistan is looking to recapture the fleeing leader of the Islamic States who has been designated for terrorist activities in the region.

Pakistan says Abdul Ghani Muslim Dost who an Afghan citizen is assigned by the terrorist group Islamic States to carry out terrorist activities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran and other countries in the Middle East.

It is understood that Afghanistan and USA are also assisting Pakistan in the look for Muslim Dost.

Abdul Ghani Muslim Dost was a prisoner of Pakistan and Guantanamo.

Previous report suggested that some key leaders of the Tahrik-i-Taliban-i-Pakistan (TTP) had announced their allegiance to Islamic States also known as DAESH.

Unconfirmed reports including the main city Kabul also shows the presence of DAESH supporters in parts of Afghanistan.

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Drone strike kills Al-Qaeda commander for Afghanistan and Pakistan Sun, 07 Dec 2014 10:18:54 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Drone

Umar Farooq, and four others were killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal belt on Sunday.

Sources say an American UAV fired two rockets on a compound in Khat Tangi area of Datakhil district in North Waziristan and where the militants were hiding, killing 5 including Umar Farooq and wounding 3 others.

Sources added that Umar Farooq was head of the operations of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Umar Farooq was believed to be the most high ranking Pakistani national within the leadership of Al-Qaeda.

Sunday’s strike comes a day after the Pakistan military killed wanted Al Qaeda leader Adnan Shukrijumah during a raid at a compound in Shin Warsak area of South Waziristan.

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Asia: people and governments are addicted to the deadly weed Fri, 05 Dec 2014 11:44:07 +0000 Read the full article...]]> cegAccording to reports around 700 million Asians, mostly men, cannot get through the day without puffing on a cigarette.

The habit is thought to kill around 2.3m Asians every year, almost half smoking’s global victims.

Cancer and other tobacco-related diseases are rising sharply.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and a major public health concern.

Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and cancer.

But health ministries are taking tougher action against smoking.

In Asia, Thailand, which banned it in most public buildings in 2003, is holding hearings on a plan to extend the ban to all places of entertainment.

China’s press said this month that cigarette makers would be told to put larger health warnings on their packets, including images of skulls, blackened teeth or diseased lungs.

In India import of cigarettes are band since several years but inside the country the domestic produce of cigarettes are booming meanwhile the price of cigarettes is also high.

In Afghanistan even the numbers of smokers are increasing day by day but still the central government do not have any clear agenda to control that social problem.

Cigarette consumption in China soared between 1970 and 1990 but has fallen slightly since.

There, as elsewhere in Asia, smoking among men is far more common than in the West.

The worry, says Burke Fishburn of the World Health Organization (WHO), is that Asia will follow the Western trend, with more women taking up smoking as men quit. In Vietnam, for example, cigarettes are being peddled to urban women as a “sophisticated” pursuit.

Western tobacco firms, their home markets shrinking, have turned their attention to developing Asia, drawing fire from anti-smoking groups. But, says Mr Fishburn, a bigger worry is the ambitious plan by China’s huge state tobacco monopoly to become a big exporter of cut-price smokes to the rest of the region. Thailand, while extending its smoking bans, also plans a giant new factory for its state tobacco firm.

Almost all Asian countries have signed the WHO’s tobacco-control treaty, committing themselves to restricting the marketing of cigarettes, curbing smoking in public and helping smokers to quit. But they will struggle to change entrenched social customs.

In our neighbor China, for example, cigarettes are a social lubricant, pressed on guests, whose attempts to decline them are often ignored, or on those from whom one wants a favour, whose acceptance of the cigarette implies the favour will be granted.

Tobacco firms are wriggling around the new restrictions. In India, most outdoor advertising has been taken down since it was banned in 2003 but firms are spending heavily on in-store promotional displays, which are still allowed.

Another big obstacle is that Asia’s governments are addicted to the huge revenues they earn from both tobacco taxes and the profits of state tobacco firms. Though Afghanistan’s government is promising to cap cigarette output by 2012.

Tobacco taxes provide a huge amount the Afghan economy a country which will face some economical problem after the international troops pull out by the end of this year.

However, both nicotine-addled countries may be wrong. In each, tobacco taxes are unusually low by world standards. Studies by the World Bank and others suggest that, though raising tobacco taxes succeeds in cutting smoking, it still increases government revenues.

Tougher curbs on cigarette smuggling can have the same effect.

Tobacco farmers could switch to growing, say, oilseeds, for which demand is booming. And Asia’s tobacco firms, in the short term, says Mr Fishburn, need fear neither higher taxes nor tougher advertising bans: they have so much scope to improve their efficiency that they could boost profits even in a shrinking market.

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Tobacco industry booming in Asia Mon, 01 Dec 2014 19:19:51 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pic of toboco userWhile much of the developed world has seen a big drop in the number of smokers, the opposite is true of many emerging and developing markets in Asia. Health officials are concerned.

Huge tobacco companies like big numbers, and they’re finding them in Asia, with the world’s largest and fastest growing population.

Take China with its estimated population of 1.3 billion people: More than 300 million Chinese already smoke. Or consider India with its 1.2 million people: Around 275 million people there are tobacco users, according to recent World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

But now the number of smokers  sagnefecntly increased in Afghanistan, a country with low income and huge number of people living under the poverty line.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that In Afghanistan, for instance, just over 2 percent of tobacco users are women and about 10 percent of teenagers smoke.

Afghanistan also has a smoking problem. Ahmad, a 33-year factory worker in Kabul, admits it’s sometimes tough not to smoke when everyone is smoking.

“People smoke because their parents smoke or their friends smoke or they’re stressed,” he told Khaama Press. “People smoke because it is also very cheap to smoke here. And they also like to copy movie stars.”

The WHO is acutely aware of Asia’s potentially dangerous demographics when it comes to having a puff.

“Countries with low numbers of people smoking are markets waiting to be tapped,” said Edouard Tursan D’Espaignet of WHO’s tobacco control program.

“In many Asian countries like China and India where men already smoke at an incredibly high rate, women and young people are now being targeted by the tobacco industry.”

Already, approximately 1 million smokers in China die each year from tobacco-related diseases and about 100,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

If current trends continue, the non-governmental organization expects the country’s smoke-related death toll to reach 2 million by 2020.

But there is no official numbers of tobacco related death in Afghanistan a country which producer more than 90 percent of poppy in the world.

Kicking the habit may not be so easy for China, however.

The country is both the largest consumer and producer of tobacco in the world. More than 20 million Chinese farmers produce nearly 40 percent of the global supply. Clearly, there’s money to be made.

China’s tobacco sales in the first half of this year rose 2.8 percent from a year ago to 1.31 trillion cigarettes, according to the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration. And for the same period, the sector remained one of the countries most profitable, with state-owned tobacco companies reporting a combined profit of 152.04 billion yuan (US$24.08 billion). The government collected 480.7 billion yuan in tax revenues for the period.

Singapore is seen as one of Asia’s most determined countries to curb tobacco usage. Smoking is banned in nearly every public area. Cigarettes are expensive, about US$9 per pack, and packages already contain graphics. Yet the government says smoking is on the rise.

Indonesia, by comparison, is the complete opposite. The country of 240 million is one of the last vestiges of laissez-faire tobacco controls in the world and is paying with the price of growing addiction.

Its problem is illustrated with a video circulating on the Internet, showing a toddler with a 40-cigarette-a-day habit.

Indonesia has no ban on advertising. Consumers see ads of well-known athletes promoting smoking and even sporting events named after sporting events.

Some 17.3 million smoke in the Philippines, one of Asia’s highest rates, and about 87,000 people die per year of tobacco-related disease, according to Philippine Health Undersecretary Paulyn Jean Ubial.

WHO claims that tobacco kills half of its users.

The agency warns in its recently published Global Adult Tobacco Survey that if the current trend continues, it will cause up to 1 billion deaths in the 21st century.

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Clashes over Valentine’s Day celebration in Pakistan leaves 4 injured Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:23:55 +0000 Read the full article...]]> 1392315659000-pakistan-valentinesAccording to reports, at least four university students were injured following clashes between two rival student groups in Pakistan.

Police officials in Pakistan said the incident took place in country’s northwest over celebration fo Valentine’s Day.

A local police official, Rahim Hussain, said clashes between the two groups started in University of Peshawar after a liberal group rallied in the favor of the romantic holiday.

Mr. Hussain further added that both members of the liberal group and conservative group started throwing stones at each other and used weapons to fire in the air.

He confirmed that four students were injured following the clashes which lasted for several minutes.

The young are increasingly using Valentine’s Day as a form of rebellion – some call it a silent revolution of sorts, despite conservatives in Pakistan every year call for people to boycott Valentine’s Day.

In a devout Muslim society where adultery is punishable by death and public displays of love are forbidden, celebrating on this day is a direct challenge to the rigid Islamic groups that hold sway in the country and who deem such displays as immoral.

However, the holiday is still widely celebrated in Pakistan where people buy flowers, pink teddy bears and heart-shaped balloons.

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Protesters denounce Valentine’s Day celebration in Pakistan Wed, 13 Feb 2013 06:54:15 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Pakistan Valentines DayHundreds of protesters in Peshwar city of Paksitan on Tuesday staged a noisy demonstration to denounce marking Valentine’s day in Pakistan.

The protesters urged for a “day of modesty” instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day which they believe is an un-Islamic act.

The demonstration was organized by Pakistan’s main religious party — Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and was attended by hundreds of students outside the press club in the northwestern city of Peshawar, chanting slogans against Valentine’s Day, saying it had “spread immodesty in the world”.

The younger generation of Pakistan is celebrating Valentines’s Day which is increasingly getting popular in this country. Many of the younger Pakistanis are marking the Valentine’s Day by giving cards, chocolates and gifts to their sweethearts to celebrate the occasion.

However Pakistan is an Islamic country with a conservative society where many Pakistanis disapprove and call it an import of Western tradition.

But the protesters on Tuesday said the tradition encourages the younger and unmarried men and women to live together in sin and urged that February 14 should be marked a “day of modesty” by carrying banners.

Shahzad Ahmed, the local head of the student organisation said, “We will not allow holding of any Valentine’s Day function.”

He said, “The law enforcing agencies must prevent such gatherings, otherwise we will stop in our own way.”

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Nepal ex-crown prince ‘fired gun in row’ at resort Tue, 14 Dec 2010 11:14:12 +0000 Read the full article...]]>

Paras Shah was unpopular among Nepalis for his drunken antics

(BBC) – The former Crown Prince of Nepal, Paras Shah, is to be questioned after firing his gun at a jungle resort, police say.

The former heir to the now abolished throne was reportedly drunk, and threatened relatives of the deputy prime minister who were staying there.

The 39-year-old son of ex-King Gyanendra was unpopular among Nepalis for his drunken playboy lifestyle.

His cousin shot dead nine family members – including the king and queen – before killing himself in 2001.

An official inquiry blamed Prince Dipendra for the royal massacre which shocked Nepal and the world.

The Himalayan nation’s 240-year-old Hindu monarchy was abolished in 2008 after former Maoist rebels who waged a 10-year insurgency against the state came to power.

Police in the resort town of Pokhara in western Nepal, where Mr Shah is currently staying, are preparing to question the former prince.

The chief of police, Keshap Adhikhari, told the BBC he was outside Mr Shah’s hotel room.

He said he would detain him and take him to Chitwan, where Sunday’s shooting incident happened.

‘Derogatory remarks’

Reports say that Mr Shah fired a gun in the air after an argument with the daughter and son-in-law of Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister, Sujata Koirala.

He had reportedly been drinking when the incident occurred at Chitwan national park, a popular tourist destination.

“I am sure the government will take appropriate action as nobody is above the law,” Kathmandu police chief Ramesh Kharel told the BBC earlier.

The Himalayan Times online quoted Mr Shah as admitting that he had fired the weapon.

“I fired a shot in the air from my pistol in a fit of anger as I could not bear the insult of myself and the country,” Mr Shah was quoted as saying.

He said the incident was prompted by “derogatory remarks” against him, his family and Nepal by “two foreign nationals”.

Mr Shah moved to Singapore with his family in 2008 after having a heart attack.

He was a controversial and unpopular figure who had been at the centre of a number of scandals.

Last year he spoke out on the 2001 royal massacre in which his cousin killed nine family members before killing himself.

He said his cousin Prince Dipendra was angry at a failed arms deal, and also unhappy at his family’s rejection of his choice of bride.

Mr Shah said a second motive for Prince Dipendra was his anger King Birendra’s decision to end absolute monarchy in Nepal.

He had also dismissed the notion that Prince Dipendra was drunk or that he had shot his family – his parents, the King and Queen of Nepal and seven other royals – on impulse.

Source: BBC News

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China leadership ‘orchestrated Google hacking’ Mon, 06 Dec 2010 06:00:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> BBC – Senior Chinese figures were behind the hacking of Google earlier this year which forced the search engine to quit the country, leaked US cables suggest.

One cable, released by whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, cites a “well-placed” contact as saying the action against Google was “100% political”.

A politburo member is said to have been angered after Googling his name and finding critical comments online.

The cable says it is unclear whether China’s top leaders were involved.

Other cables show Beijing has been “extremely concerned” about the use of high-resolution satellite imagery on Google’s mapping software, Google Earth.

In January, Google said it had been subjected to a “sophisticated cyber attack originating from China” – it said the e-mail accounts of human rights activists were among those hacked.

In the ensuing row over internet censorship, Google abandoned mainland China and moved its Chinese-language operations to Hong Kong.

The company did not say who it thought was responsible but the cables, released by Wikileaks and published on the Guardian website, show the company had repeatedly raised concerns about the issue.

‘Forbidden fruit’

The BBC’s Nick Childs says the allegations contained in the cables will reinforce both the perception that the Chinese government is highly sensitive about the internet and suspicions that it was behind the hacking attacks on Google.

One cable from the US embassy in Beijing cites a “well-placed contact” as claiming “that the Chinese government coordinated the recent intrusions of Google systems”.

“According to our contact, the closely held operations were directed at the Politburo Standing Committee level,” it says.

The source, whose name is deleted from the text, told the US that the operations against Google were “100%” political in nature, not an attempt to reduce Google’s influence in China in favour of domestic search engines, such as Baidu.

But the writer of the cable notes that it is “unclear whether President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao were aware of these actions” before Google publicly announced its concerns.

The cable also reports on alleged concern in the Chinese government that, by challenging official censorship of the internet, Google had made itself seem more appealing to Chinese net users and given the impression that the US and Google were working together “to undermine Chinese government controls of the internet”.

“All of a sudden, XXXXXXXXXXXX continued, Baidu looked like a boring state-owned enterprise while Google “seems very attractive, like the forbidden fruit,” it says.

In cable dated 18 May 2009, US diplomats quote a Chinese source as saying that “the root of the problem” was an unnamed member of the politburo standing committee who wanted Google to stop linking to its international site from its sanitised version,

The politician is said to have “recently discovered that Google’s worldwide site is uncensored, and is capable of Chinese language searches and search results”. He reportedly carried out a search for his own name and found sites personally critical of him.

Google consistently refused to remove the link, citing its own anti-censorship principles, and eventually left the Chinese mainland.

The cable says that while the US can neither confirm nor deny the allegations against Beijing, “the potential for continuing escalation by the Chinese, assuming Google sticks to its guns – and the likelihood of loud US Congressional and public outcry if it caves – suggest a high-level USG [US government] response may be in order”.

The following January, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to fully investigate the hacking allegations.

“Countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation,” she said.

Source: BBC

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India’s Ambani hosts party for ‘world’s priciest home’ Tue, 30 Nov 2010 04:21:21 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani has hosted a lavish house-warming for his new 27-storey residence, believed to be the world’s most expensive home.

About 80 people attended the party in Mumbai on Friday, reported the Times of India. One guest described the house as “the Taj Mahal of the 21st Century”.

Mr Ambani, said to be India’s richest man, moved into the house last month with his wife and three children.

Reports suggest the residence is worth more than $1bn (£630m).

The skyscraper in Mumbai (Bombay), which overlooks sprawling slums, is said to have a cinema, swimming pools and a helicopter pad, and is named “Antilia” after a mythical Atlantic island.

Local newspapers said the house would require 600 members of staff to maintain it, and according to the Times of India, the first electricity bill, for September, is costing Mr Ambani 7m rupees (£98,000).

The house has sparked some controversy, with anti-poverty campaigners underlining the contrast between the luxury of the house and the plight of those who live in Mumbai’s slums, which house about half of the city’s 18 million people.

‘Versailles rival’

Guests at the house-warming included Indian novelist Shobhaa De, Bollywood stars Preity Zinta and Aamir Khan, and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla.

Ms De said the 174m (570ft) building was the “Taj Mahal of the 21st Century”.

She described “what has got to be the biggest, glitziest ballroom in India – the Palace of Versailles is a poor cousin”.

“There is a lot of marble, there is a lot of mother of pearl. There are areas and gardens and lotus pools and an absolutely beautiful Krishna temple. There is art, there’s sculpture, there is a huge bar, there is a swimming pool,” she said.

“The Taj Mahal was considered one of the wonders of the world, this is…I’m sure it’s going to be one of the wonders of modern India,” she told the BBC.

She said the house was built to the personal taste of Mr Ambani, and that people should not “grudge him his indulgencies”.

“He generates a great amount of employment for those very poor and contributes to the economy,” she added.

The house, which has a temple on the ground floor and a library on the top, was designed according to Vaastu principles, an Indian tradition similar to Chinese feng shui.

According to Forbes magazine, Mr Ambani, 53, has amassed a $27bn (£17bn) fortune.

He is chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, one of the largest conglomerates in the world, and also owns the Indian Premier League team, the Mumbai Indians.

Mr Ambani’s brother, Anil, held a “parallel party” at the 14-storey residence which houses the rest of the family.

Relations between the brothers became strained during a dispute over the division of the conglomerate left by their father, Dhirubhai, who died in 2002 without a will.

Source: BBC

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China calls for emergency talks amid Korea crisis Sun, 28 Nov 2010 11:05:29 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – China has called for an emergency meeting of key nations amid tension in Korea over the North’s deadly shelling of a Southern island.

It proposed that members of the six nations that have been taking part in talks on North Korean nuclear disarmament should meet in December.

The two Koreas, the US, China, Japan and Russia are involved in the talks.

Correspondents say South Korea’s response has been non-committal and that it will consult other countries.

Tension remains high on the peninsula, with the US and South Korea undertaking joint military exercises the North has denounced as a provocation.

Angry protests

The six-party North Korea talks have been stalled since April 2009, and South Korea and the US say they should not resume until the North has made a genuine offer on halting its nuclear programme.

Some analysts think North Korea is trying to raise tensions in order to strengthen its negotiating position and force a resumption of the talks.

Wu Dawei, China’s representative to the talks, said on Sunday: “The Chinese side, after careful study, proposes to have emergency consultations among the heads of delegation to the six-party talks in early December in Beijing to exchange views on major issues of concern to the parties at present.”

He said this was not a proposal to resume formally the six-nation negotiations.

Mr Wu said “complicated factors” had arisen on the peninsula, adding: “The international community, particularly the members of the six-party talks, is deeply concerned.”

The BBC’s Chris Hogg in Seoul says the response of South Korea and its allies to China’s move has been less than enthusiastic.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said President Lee Myung-bak had told visiting senior Chinese foreign policy adviser Dai Bingguo that Seoul was not interested in the early resumption of the six-party nuclear talks themselves, as it was more urgent to deal with Pyongyang’s belligerence.

Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said that Tokyo would “deal with the issue cautiously while cooperating with South Korea and the United States”.

The Korea crisis began when the North launched a sudden barrage of shells at Yeonpyeong island, close to the maritime border between the two countries, on Tuesday.

Two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed, sparking the resignation of the South’s defence minister and angry protests in the South.

Pyongyang insists it was provoked into the shelling by military exercises, which were being carried out by the South close to Yeonpyeong.


The US and South Korea on Sunday began new, pre-arranged military exercises in the Yellow Sea, about 125km (77 miles) south of the disputed maritime border between the two Koreas.

The aircraft carrier the USS George Washington and four other US navy vessels are being joined by South Korean destroyers, patrol vessels, frigates, support ships and anti-submarine aircraft.

Shortly after the exercises began, North Korea again vowed to hit back if its waters were violated.

“We will deliver a brutal military blow on any provocation which violates our territorial waters,” the North’s state-controlled KCNA news agency said.

Yonhap reported that Pyongyang had placed surface-to-surface missiles on launch pads in the Yellow Sea and had also moved surface-to-air missiles to frontline areas, but the South’s defence ministry could not confirm the deployment.

Residents of Yeonpyeong were ordered to shelter in bunkers when artillery fire was heard on Sunday, but the order was lifted 40 minutes later. Only about 20 of the 1,700 residents remain on the island.

The South Korean defence ministry has also now instructed journalists to leave by the end of Sunday as it cannot guarantee their safety.

“At this stage, it is unpredictable what kind of a provocative action North Korea will take using the South Korean-US joint drills as a justification,” the ministry said.

Yonhap also reported that South Korean troops on Sunday accidentally fired an artillery round into the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that divides the nations. Seoul quickly sent the North a message saying it was an accident, the news agency said.

Earlier, Mr Dai had told President Lee that Beijing would try to prevent the situation deteriorating any further.

Mr Lee had urged China to take what he called a more fair and responsible position on the relationship between the two Koreas.

The chairman of North Korea’s parliament, an official known to be a close confidant of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, has been invited to visit Beijing next week.

Source: BBC News

Do you live on Yeonpyeong Island? What is your reaction to North Korea’s warning? Send us your comments using the form below.

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Plane from Karachi crashes with eight people on board Sun, 28 Nov 2010 10:47:33 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – A plane carrying eight people has crashed shortly after taking off from Karachi airport in Pakistan, killing all those on board.

They say it was a Russian-made cargo plane heading to Sudan’s capital Khartoum and the crew was Russian.

The jet crashed into buildings that were under construction inside a naval base, close to Jinnah airport.

TV footage showed rescuers fighting a large fire. Reports say there were also casualties on the ground.

There were also reports of explosions.

‘Engine on fire’

“It (the plane) took off from Karachi at 0145 (2045 GMT) and after one-and-a-half minutes it crashed,” Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Pervez George told the AFP news agency.

“It was an IL-76 cargo plane. It was going to Khartoum. It had eight people on board,” he said.

Unconfirmed reports say that two construction workers on the ground also died in the crash.

The BBC’s Shoaib Hasan in Karachi reports that another worker – who was sleeping near the premises – told how he ran for his life when he heard the plane coming. The worker spoke while being treated for injuries in a local hospital.

If the plane had crashed just 500 metres (560 yards) away, it would have hit a much more densely populated area, our correspondent adds.

Rescuers later recovered several bodies from the crash site, reports say.

Witnesses say they saw that one of the plane’s engines was on fire, which suggests that the cause of the crash may have been a mechanical failure.

“The plane crashed 800m away from my house. We heard the bang and we rushed out,” Ayas Peer Mohammed, a retired brigadier who lives in the naval residential area, told the BBC.

“My son wasn’t asleep and he saw the cockpit on fire and the crash. I went to the crash site immediately. Right now the fire vehicles are there and they are trying to extinguish the fire. The plane was in more than two parts. It’s totally burnt, it’s a wreck, there were many small pieces on fire,” he said.

“The plane crashed in an open area very close to the last inhabited building. I think the pilot tried to crash there on purpose,” Ayas Peer Mohammed added.

Our correspondent says that the blaze – which was fuelled by thousands of gallons of petrol – is now under control.

The explosion caused by the crash was so powerful that local residents thought it was triggered by a bomb, Karachi police chief Fayyas Leghari was quoted by the AFP as saying.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, and an investigation is now under way.

The plane was carrying relief aid to Sudan.

Earlier this month, a small passenger plane crashed soon after take-off from Karachi, killing all 21 people on board.

In July, Pakistan’s Airblue passenger plane crashed into hills overlooking the capital Islamabad, killing all 152 people on board.

Source: BBC

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Artillery fire on Korean border Tue, 23 Nov 2010 07:28:35 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – North Korea has fired artillery shells across its western maritime border, prompting return fire from South Korea, officials say.

Dozens of the shells landed on a South Korean island, from which plumes of smoke are rising. At least four soldiers are said to have been hurt.

South Korea has issued its highest non-wartime alert in response.

A BBC correspondent says this is one of the most serious incidents between the two Koreas since the end of the war.

Top leaders are meeting in an underground bunker in Seoul over the incident, Reuters news agency reported.

The incident comes days after North Korea revealed it had a modern uranium enrichment plant – potentially giving it a second route to a nuclear weapon.

Earlier, the US ruled out more denuclearisation talks while Pyongyang continued to work on the facility.

‘Illegal firing’

South Korean officials said artillery rounds landed on Yeonpyeong island, near the disputed inter-Korean maritime border to the west of the Korean Peninsula.

“A North Korean artillery unit staged an illegal firing provocation at 1434 PM (0534 GMT) and South Korean troops fired back immediately in self-defence,” a defence ministry spokesman told AFP.

A resident on the island told the agency that dozens of houses were damaged, while television pictures reportedly showed plumes of smoke rising above the island.

“Houses and mountains are on fire and people are evacuating. You can’t see very well because of plumes of smoke,” a witness on the island told YTN television station.

“People are frightened to death and shelling continues as we speak,” the witness said.

South Korea had deployed fighter jets to the island, Yonhap news agency said.

This western maritime border has been the scene of numerous clashes between the two Koreas in the past.

In March, a South Korean warship went down near the border with the loss of 46 lives.

International investigators say a North Korean torpedo sank the ship, although Pyongyang denies any role in the incident.

Since then relations between the two neighbours – who have not signed a peace treaty since the 1950-53 Korean War – have been very tense.

Source: BBC News

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Dozens die in new Mount Merapi eruption in Indonesia Fri, 05 Nov 2010 05:23:53 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (BBC) – At least 49 people have been killed in the latest eruption of Indonesia’s Mount Merapi volcano – more than doubling the death toll since it became active again last week.

Dozens are being treated for burns and respiratory problems after a gas cloud hit villages with even greater force than the previous eruptions.

More than 90 people are now said to have been killed.

An estimated 75,000 residents have been evacuated from the area.

Mount Merapi, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, is located in a densely populated area in central Java.

The latest eruption began late on Thursday, sending residents streaming down the mountain with ash-covered faces.

Rescue workers said villages in the area were in flames and bodies burnt beyond recognition.

‘Danger zone’

Many of the dead are believed to be children from Argomulyo village, 18km (11 miles) from the crater, the Associated Press news agency quoted emergency officials as saying.

The agency quoted hospital spokesman Heru Nugroho as saying that 48 bodies had been brought in after the inferno, and that 66 others had been injured – although these figures were not independently confirmed.

Earlier, government volcanologist Surono told AFP: “This is the biggest eruption so far. The heatclouds went down the slopes as far as 13km (eight miles) and the explosion was heard as far as 20 kilometres away.”

The authorities have decided to widen the “danger zone” around the crater from 15 km (9 miles) to 20km (12 miles).

A rescue official told the BBC some of the casualties could have been avoided if residents had stayed away from the danger zone.

Scientists are warning of further eruptions in the coming weeks.

Indonesia is also dealing with the aftermath of another natural disaster, after a tsunami hit the Mentawai islands last week, claiming more than 400 lives and sending thousands into emergency shelters.
Source: BBC

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Tajikistan Embassy Officially Opened in Kabul Wed, 27 Oct 2010 05:33:22 +0000 Read the full article...]]> (Tolo News) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai Tuesday termed the inauguration of Tajikistan’s embassy in Kabul a cornerstone for strengthening relations between the two countries

During the inauguration ceremony of Tajikistan’s embassy in the capital Kabul, Tajikistan’s President emphasised on the improvement of relations between the two neighbouring countries and said cooperation of the two countries could be unique in the region.

Imam Ali Rahman, Tajikistan’s President remarked that exchange of merchandise has increased 20 times in the past six years and acknowledged efforts are on the ground to boost the commerce relation between the two countries.

“Tajikistan and Afghanistan could be an example in cooperation and friendly mutual relationships in the region,” Tajikistan’s President said.

During the ceremony, President Karzai said: “in reality the inauguration of the magnificent embassy of Tajikistan in Kabul is to strengthen and improve ties between the two countries.”

Tajikistan’s President also said that his country will soon take his part in reconstruction of Afghanistan.

During his visit, Mr Rahman signed five agreements including trade, expansion of water of Amu River, transit, counter-terrorism, norm and standard, railway construction and hydro power.

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Tajik President Meets Afghan leader in Kabul Tue, 26 Oct 2010 10:58:34 +0000 Read the full article...]]> The president of Tajikistan in an unexpected visit to the Afghan capital Kabul on Monday morning met with the Afghan president and high-ranking government officials The president of Tajikistan, Imam Ali Rahman, after a meeting with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and other high-profile government officials, appeared in a press conference with president Karzai and emphasised on more trade relations between the two countries. During his visit to Afghanistan, five contracts were signed between the two countries in different areas including trade, energy and tourism. Mr Rahman also discussed border security issues, counter-terrorism and joint fight against drug trafficking. Mr Rahman also announced his support from the Afghan government peace talks. “Military option is not the only way to resolve Afghan issues. We back the Afghan government’s initiative and wish it success,” said Mr Rahman. “Enforcement of our joint 1400 km border is vital for both countries, so our joint fight against terrorism and drug smuggling that could be an example for others should be strengthened,” he said Addressing the joint press conference, President Karzai said: “during the past nine years, we have had good cultural, trade and educational improvements in our relationships.”

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Russell Brand and Katy Perry get married in India Sun, 24 Oct 2010 04:52:13 +0000 Read the full article...]]> Comedian Russell Brand has married US singer Katy Perry in a private ceremony in India.

The wedding was conducted by a Christian minister and both Brand, 35, and Perry, 25, wore traditional Indian clothes, with the bride in a sari.

The couple met at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2009, where Brand was host.

The ceremony took place at the Aman-e-Khas luxury resort outside the Ranthambhore tiger sanctuary.

Brand proposed to Perry in India outside the Taj Mahal last December.

A spokesman for the couple said the wedding service was carried out by a friend of the Perry family.

“The very private and spiritual ceremony, attended by the couple’s closest family and friends, was performed by a Christian minister and long time friend of the Hudson [Perry] Family.

“The backdrop was the inspirational and majestic countryside of northern India,” the spokesman said.

According to the news agency, Press Trust of India, 21 camels, elephants and horses formed part of Brand’s wedding procession from a nearby resort. He was also accompanied by traditional dancers and musicians.

Perry appealed for privacy on the social networking site Twitter while the couple got married.

She tweeted on Tuesday evening: “TWIT BREAK: Greatest gift you can give us is respect and love during this private time. No use wasting our time with STOLEN or FALSE info. Thank you for this.”

The National Park, which provided the backdrop for the wedding, is one of northern India’s largest sanctuaries.

In addition to stand-up comedy, Brand has established a Hollywood acting career after he appeared in the 2007 St Trinian’s film and Judd Apatow’s comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

His autobiography, My Booky Wook, was a best-seller and his second instalment has just recently been published.

Perry’s first hit was I Kissed A Girl in 2008, and her latest album is Teenage Dream.
Source : BBC

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US inquiry into China rare earth shipments Wed, 20 Oct 2010 07:40:25 +0000 Read the full article...]]> US trade officials say they are looking into a New York Times report that China is blocking shipments of rare earths to the US and Europe.

China mines 97% of the specialist metals crucial to green technology.

The report, citing anonymous industry sources, said Chinese customs officials had broadened export restrictions.

Meanwhile China’s commerce ministry has denied a report by the official China Daily that it will cut quotas by 30% next year to stop overmining.

“The report is completely false,” the ministry said in a statement.

“China will continue to supply rare earths to the world, and at the same time, to protect usable resources and sustainable development, China will also continue to impose restrictive measures on exploration, production and import and export of rare earths.”

Threat to economy

The US Geological Survey recognises 17 different rare earths.

They are used in everything from catalytic converters in cars to computer monitors, TVs and in pharmaceuticals.

Analysts say without these elements, much of the modern economy would shut down.

China accounts for about 97% of global rare-earth production. The BBC’s Paul Mason says the rare earth story goes to the heart of China’s relationship with the West.

The US, which is also a major buyer of rare earths, mined no rare earth elements last year.

US trade officials say they are now checking the New York Times report that China is blocking shipments to the US and Europe, following reports of a similar move against Japan.

The newspaper cited unnamed Chinese rare earths officials as saying that “the embargo is expanding”.

Nefeterius McPherson of the US Trade Representative’s office said: “We’re seeking more information in keeping with our recent announcement of an investigation into whether China’s actions and policies are consistent with WTO rules.”

Washington is investigating whether China is violating international trade rules by subsidising its clean energy industries.

Japan accused China of halting rare earth shipments last month amid a diplomatic row over Japan’s detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain whose trawler collided with two Japanese patrol boats.

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