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|Thousands rally in Lahore against US drone attacks|
|[Pak Daily Times] Thousands of people rallied in Lahore on Sunday in protest at continued US drone strikes in the country's troubled northwest.|
Around 5,000 protesters raised anti-US slogans and called for an immediate end to the drone strikes at the rally organised by the Defence of Pakistain Council (DPC), a coalition of around 40 religious and political parties.
The demonstrators calling for the blocking of supplies for Afghanistan which are transported through Pakistain.
DPC chief Maulana , in a televised address to the rally, said Prime Minister had come under US pressure and was not expected to play a positive role in getting the drone strikes stopped.
He appealed to all political parties, religious scholars and members of civil society to unite against the attacks.
, leader of the , also called for unity.
|Thousands rally in Pakistan after sectarian unrest|
|[Pak Daily Times] Thousands of religious activists held protest rallies on Friday following sectarian violence last week which killed at least 11 people, amid tight security across major cities.|
Clashes erupted in Rawalpindi a week ago when a procession of Shias marking Ashura coincided with a sermon at a nearby Sunni mosque. The groups attacked each other, TV cameramen and security forces, firing gunshots.
Schools, shops and restaurants were closed in the city on Friday while roads were deserted in both Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
A heavy contingent of police, paramilitary rangers and soldiers was deployed in major cities, including Lahore, , , Quetta and Multan.
In Rawalpindi, Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi, who leads (ASWJ) organization, said, "We know how to fight against enemies of Islam and we are fighting against them."
He said that the Raja Bazaar tragedy took place due to irresponsibility of the administration. He demanded that the Punjab government immediately arrest the culprits involved in the Rawalpindi incident.
Difa-e-Pakistain Council and traders bodies also carried out a peaceful rally.
In Islamabad, a rally was taken out from Lal Masjid to National Press Club on the call of Wafaqul Madaras and ASWJ. It was led by Maulana Masoodur Rehmani and attended by about 4,000 people, mostly students of seminaries of Islamabad and surrounding areas.
The rally was also attended by JI central leader Mian Aslam, Maulana Tayyab Mehmood, Maulana Zahoor Alvi, Maulana Nazir Ahmad Farooqi and other s.
Addressing the rally participants, ASWJ Deputy Secretary General Maulana Masoodur Rehman condemned the Rawalpindi incident.
He said Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi, Maulana , and others, during meetings with government officials, have presented their demands according to the aspirations of people.
He said that according to the decision of ASWJ, they would remain peaceful. He said the "government has deployed the army, which is a respectable institution, to hide its failures". He demanded arrest of those responsible for in Rawalpindi, imposition of ban on all mourning processions and compensation for the losses suffered by traders.
He warned that if the government did not fulfil their demands at the earliest, the s "would not care for the army and peaceful rallies will turn violent".
Police used shipping containers to block certain roads in the capital Islamabad and Rawalpindi, while the approaches to the diplomatic enclave, which houses foreign embassies, were sealed.
Umar Hayat Lalika, regional police chief for Rawalpindi, told s that gatherings in the city have been banned and police would stop any attempts to hold rallies.
He said police had 24 suspects including a few police officials, adding they were being interrogated.
In Quetta, up to 2,000 activists gathered to record protest. Local ASWJ leader Ramzan Mengal addressed the protesters on the occasion.
Similar scenes were seen in Peshawar, where some 4,000 people answered ASWJ's call at the city's Shobha Bazaar, while protests were also held in Lahore.
In Karachi, 15,000 people attended an ASWJ rally, shouting anti-Shia slogans.
All shops, restaurants and petrol stations in the city remained closed and roads were deserted amid a heavy deployment of police and paramilitary troops, an AFP said.
A curfew was imposed in Rawalpindi and army called in following between Shia mourners and students of a Sunni seminary during an Ashura procession on November 15.
Violence had also erupted in southern Punjab cities of Multan and Chishtian where civil authorities sought troops' help to maintain law and order.
|EDITORIAL : Sympathy for the Devil|
|[Pak Daily Times] Pakistain's two main rightwing religious parties (JI) and Fazl (JUI-F) have come under fire after their leaders issued controversial statements in praise of the Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) leader Hakeemullah Mehsud who was killed by a US drone strike. Although PTI and PML-N also lean towards the right in Pakistain's political spectrum, they have been more circumspect as they strongly condemned the US for disrupting the dialogue process that was allegedly about to take place between the Pak government and the TTP, but were cautious not to glorify TTP leader. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur-Rehman's statement started a row in religious circles and amongst the populace in general when he passed a ludicrous statement in which he mockingly said that he would consider even a dog to be a martyr if it was killed by the US. This statement was not received well as it not only denigrated the revered concept of martyrdom, but also showed Maulana's sympathy for Hakeemullah Mehsud and his banned outfit. This statement had not been fully digested when JI chief Munawar Hasan dropped an even bigger bombshell when he termed Hakeemullah Mehsud a martyr and went as far as to say that the young Pak soldiers who died fighting the TTP were not worthy of being granted the status of martyrdom as they were supporters of the US. This statement received condemnation from all corners as it undermines the sacrifices rendered by the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in protecting the Pak state against terrorists, a service that is worthy of the highest honour. The Pakistain military, which normally abstains from voicing its opinion on political matters, was so enraged by this statement that the ISPR issued a statement calling for an unconditional apology from Munawar Hasan. instead of showing remorse, the JI has rallied around its leader and has advised the army to refrain from passing political statements. The response from religious circles, voiced by the Sunni Ittehad Council and the , has also been unanimous in condemning the statements passed by the leaders of the two religious parties and in stating that Hakeemullah Mehsud was responsible for the murder of a multitude of innocent civilians and is in no way worthy of the exalted position of a martyr. |
As inappropriate as these statements were, in essence they are a manifestation of the anti-US sentiment amongst Pakistain's religious parties. It is ironic that these very religious parties greatly supported the US for decades after Pakistain's inception right uptil the downfall of the USSR. Back then the communists were portrayed as the greatest threat and the religious parties had no qualms in receiving aid from the US and lending their support in the struggle against communism. The end of the cold war saw a change in alignments and the religious parties found a new enemy in the form of their former benefactor, the US. There is no doubt that Pak society is divided about whether to support a faction of the Taliban, who were used as a proxy force against the Soviets, that went rogue and is now engaged in efforts to enforce its brand of Shariah in Pakistain, the TTP being a prime example. It seems as if the religious parties are fully trying to exploit this divide and their track record shows that they sympathize with these banned terrorist organizations that are not only a threat to Pakistain but also to the world . There are numerous examples of being captured in the residences of prominent JI leaders, such as the infamous Waheed brothers. This whole ruckus over whether Hakeemullah Mehsud is a martyr or not has rendered the service of exposing the JI and JUI-F. Their sympathy with enemies of the state is preposterous and highly unpatriotic. Moreover, it shows their retrogressive mindset. There can be no greater cause than to defend one's country from internal and external threats so that the lives of millions of innocent peace loving citizens can be protected. If any entity has a soft corner for terrorists, who are self-righteous delusional criminals who think they have an obligation to force their version of Shariah on others and to undermine the writ of the state in the process, then it is acting against the interests of the state. The need of the hour is to unite against the TTP and to back Pakistain's brave soldiers and their families who have rendered incalculable sacrifices to protect this country.
|Nato supplies to be blocked after Nov 20, Imran tells NA|
|[Dawn] Taking part in the National Assembly's debate over emerging situation in the aftermath of Pak Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud's killing, Monday threatened to cut the supply lines in KP after November 20 upon assessing the government's reaction on the issue.|
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) leader Mehsud, along with at least four other s, was killed when a US drone targeted his car in the North tribal area of Pakistain near the Afghan border on Friday evening.
The session of the lower house of Parliament, which commenced after a delay of two-and-a-half hour, was reserved for the debate, setting aside the routine agenda items.
Pakistain (PTI) chief Imran Khan's party rules the restive province, one of the two routes the NATO supplies move in and out of Afghanistan.
He warned the US to stop bombing Pak land through its unmanned planes' campaign and vowed to block the NATO supplies after Nov 20, "if government fail to pursue America to end drone strikes."
The cricket legend-turned politician, who is a strong opponent of US drone strikes in tribal areas of Pakistain, urged to unite on the matter "at the defining movements of country's history." He said the drone attack before initiation of peace talks was a proof that the US did not want peace in the country.
He lauded the efforts of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for initiating .
Despite all political differences, Khan said he was ready to reconcile with -Fazl (JUI-F) chief .
Earlier, Interior Minister Nisar updated the house of the government's efforts in holding peace talks with the Talibs and hurdles being created in doing so.
He again termed the US drone attack, that killed the TTP leader on Friday, "a conspiracy to derail ."
"Drone attacks are earning a bad name for a nuclear power. United States is not caring for Pakistain's protest and if sabotages due to United States then onus will not be on the government, the armed forces and Taliban."
The minister, however, vowed to continue with efforts for holding peace talks with Taliban. "This would only be possible after the outfit chooses a new chief," he added.
"Situation is more gruesome than the point from where we had initiated peace efforts in September this year," he said.
"But, we need to have consensus and proceed as success of dialogue will be success of all stakeholders," he called upon hip of the country.
the meeting of Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) is also underway to review overall situation in the wake of Hakimullah Mehsud's killing. The interior minister on Saturday said that bilateral cooperation and ties with the US will be reviewed in the meeting.
|Fatwa declares polio vaccine Islamic|
|[Pak Daily Times] The Darul Afta (fatwa council) of Pakistain Ulema Council (PUC) has issued a fatwa, saying that the administration ofdrops to children is not forbidden in Islam. It says prominent scholars and experts of the world are convinced that polio drops do not contain anything that is harmful to health or against sharia. The fatwa issued from the PUC's central office refers to Shaykh Al-Azhar of Jamia Al-Azhar Egypt, Maulana of Darul Uloom Haqqania, Mufti Rafi Usmani, Maulana Zahid Mahmood Qasmi, Mufti Muhammad Naeem, Maulana Abdul Bari of Qabail Ulema Council, Maulana Anwarul Haq Mujahid, PUC Central Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi and other Islamic leaders. The fatwa says that the holy Koran and Sunnah command us to provide proper medication to our children. It notes that polio is an incurable disease once infected. There are only three Islamic countries where polio still exists and one of them is Pakistain. Therefore, Islamic scholars have urged parents to administer polio drops to their children.|
|'Taliban are against confrontation.' Really.|
|[Dawn] Markazi Jamaat Ahle-e-Hadith (MJAH) Chief Senator Sajid Meer told s on Sunday that the government had prepared a framework to initiate talks with Talibs.|
The senator did not explain the framework.
"A majority of Taliban is against confrontation with the Pakistain army and the government," he claimed, adding "the talks with Taliban will remain successful if serious and wholehearted efforts from both sides are made."
Then his lips fell off.
He said those creating hurdles in government-Taliban talks were against Pakistain.
Also, -Fazal Chief sought talks between the government and the Taliban.
He told local party leaders the two parties (Taliban and the government) would have to be careful in dialogues. He criticised the government for raising power tariff.
|Malala and the TTP: A staggering contrast|
|[Dawn] IT is a year today since Malala Yousafzai was shot, and it is the country's good fortune that she not just survived but is doubly determined to continue to campaign for education. Given all that she has been through, it would not have been surprising perhaps had she displayed revanchist sentiments against the TTP which launched grievous harm on her person and under whose thrall she earlier spent time in Swat. But Ms Yousafzai is being quoted across the world's media for the best of reasons, saying that she wants to change Pakistain's future through political activity and compulsory education. And while some consider unexpected her remarks on Monday about talking to the Taliban, is that really the case? "The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue and ... through peaceful ways," she commented. Even in the context of people who almost killed her, there is recognition that hatred can produce no future.|
All of this throws into even starker relief the ugliness of those who consider her a target. Even as Ms Yousafzai spoke of peace, the TTP Shahidullah Shahid denounced her courageousness and said that his group would try to kill her again. The young girl's steadfastness of purpose and the ambassadorial role that has settled upon her has no doubt irked the TTP, but nothing can be more shameful than the contrast between the victim that wants peace and the perpetrators of violence that desire to peddle death. At the other end of this opprobrious spectrum, Maulana , chairman of his own faction of the , accused Ms Yousafzai of having been "hijacked" by Western and anti-Islam powers, even though the logic -- given that the West wants the TTP eliminated -- is tenuous at best.
This is far from the first time the TTP has taken a position that bodes ill for long-term success in the dialogue option. On Oct 5, its spokesperson shocked the nation by saying the TTP approved of the bombing of 's All Saints Church since it was in keeping with the Sharia. The Sept 10 resolution of the all parties' conference that offered talks to the TTP could have paved the way for the group to renounce violence, pledge loyalty to the Constitution and begin to integrate itself in the mainstream by joining the political process. But Shahidullah Shahid's statement appears to be a reaffirmation of the TTP leadership's hubris, and peace could be a long time coming.
|Fazl wants role for tribal jirga in govt-Taliban talks|
|[Dawn]chief said on Saturday that tribal jirga could play an important role in the government's talks with Taliban and it should be taken into confidence in this regard.|
|Imran, Fazl exchange barbs, vow to sweep by-polls in KP|
|[Dawn] Chairman Pakistain (PTI), and -Fazl (JUI-F) chief on Saturday, not for the first time, accused each other for being a Jewish agent.|
In an apparent reference to Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the PTI chief said that his candidate in Lakki Marwat was contesting against a person who had asked the American ambassador to appoint him as prime minister.
"Maulana said I am a Jewish agent, but I say in the presence of Maulana sahib there is no need of Jewish agent in the country," said Khan while addressing a public meeting to support his candidate for NA-27 Lakki Marwat by-elections, Amirullah Khan.
The PTI chief said that his party's candidates would win the by-elections in Lakki Marwat, Bannu and Tank and other part of the country despite the unjust behaviour of the 'umpires.'
He said the reflection of "new Pakistain" would soon emerge in KP as there would be a clear difference between the province and rest of the country. We are bringing new local body system in like other departments, he said.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, at a party meeting in Landi Kotal, responded by saying agenda of 'Goldsmith' would be buried on August 22 when the people will vote in favour of the JUI-F candidates.
He said that performance of the KP government was no hidden secret and the D I Khan jailbreak has proved their competence of governance, adding that there was every possibility of a similar kind of attack in the .
Fazlur Rehman predicted that the PTI government would not be able to survive for too long in the province due to its incompetence.
He said establishment of peace was essential for development of the province and added that recommendations of the 2008 parliament and proposals of the 2011 APC meetings have not been implemented.
|Imran to take Fazl to court|
|[Dawn] Pakistain (PTI) chairman has stated that he will take to court for calling him an agent of the Jews, DawnNews reported.|
Speaking at a in Islamabad, he said that Maulana Fazlur Rehman should tell the people as to who secretly met with the US Amabassador and expressed his wish to become the prime minister.
Imran Khan said that a legal notice will soon be sent to the (JUI-F) chief.
The JUI-F chief has made statements in the past attacking Imran Khan. Tensions between the two reached a new level after the May 11 General Elections.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman had denounced the PTI win in and stated that the polls were rigged.
He also said that he did not accept the PTI's mandate in the province.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman has also called Imran Khan a "western agent" and claimed that Khan wants to destroy Pak society by injecting his 'western thoughts' in it,
Imran Khan on the other hand has also returned criticism at the JUI-F chief stating that Fazlur Rehman had been using religion for political gains.
The PTI chief has also said that people like his JUI-F counterpart have given Islam a bad name.
|'Coward' police flayed over Dera jailbreak: Our heads hang in shame: minister|
|[Dawn] Provincial revenue minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur on Wednesday declared the jailbreak incident an act of cowardice on part of local police and said tough action would be taken against those responsible for the debacle.|
"Police officers and constables had hidden in sewer lines when attacked the Dera Ismail Khan central prison. Our head hangs in shame," Ali Amin Gandapur told a news conference.
The minister, who also belongs to Dera Ismail Khan, said and constable with the exception of a few had disappeared at the time of the jail attack and there was no one to defend the premises.
He said succeeded in carrying out their task without resistance for more than 45 minutes due to cowardice on part of police.
Mr Gandapur said the main gate of the prison had been built by the British and it was not something that could have been blown up.
"But the irony is that our own officials opened the gate to to welcome them. The entire force had disappeared instead of confronting s," he said.
The minister said instead of laying down their lives to protect the honour and property of the people, senior hid themselves in sewer lines.
"These officers act like tigers confronting ordinary citizens but chicken out when they see s," he said.
Mr Gandapur said the nation would have been proud of its police had they laid down their lives by defending the prison but instead, they (police) simply disappeared when one of the armoured personnel carriers was blown up by s.
He said the government did not have a magic wand to correct the mess caused by former rulers but it was committed to correcting the situation and restoring law and order in the province.
The minister said those found guilty of dereliction of duty and negligence over the jailbreak would be dealt with strictly.
He said he had spoken to the relevant authorities, so curfew would be lifted from Dera Ismail Khan city on Thursday.
Mr Gandapur said those killed in the attack would be properly compensated.
He criticised Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah and -Fazl leader for taking potshots at the PTI government. "They should look into their own conscience," he said. The minister said recruitments in police in the past were done in disregard of merit and that was one of the reasons for the current state of affairs in police.
JAILBREAK CASE REGISTERED: The Dera Ismail Khan police on Wednesday registered the case of the Dera Ismail Khan jailbreak against unidentified attackers under anti-terrorism act and different sections of other laws.
The case was registered at the cantonment .
Jail superintendent Ghulam Rabbani registered the case against 200 unidentified attackers at the cantonment under sections 302, 324, 353, 365, 427, 435, 224A, 225A, 120B-3/4EXP-7ATA-186/148-149PPC.
The report said attacked the prison at midnight, broke locks of cells by firing gunshots, killed prisoners and , took away wanted Talibs, women prisoners, and woman constable Gulab Bibi.
It said the room of the deputy jail superintendent was set on fire, the record destroyed and jail vehicles torched. Also in the day, curfew timing was relaxed.
Dera Ismail Khan commissioner Irfanullah on Wednesday said curfew had been relaxed from 10:00am to 12noon and for an hour from 4:00pm to 5:00pm in the city to facilitate the people to buy food items for Iftar and Sehri.
|VIEW: Drone attacks and peace --Mohammad Nafees|
|[Pak Daily Times] After one month's interval, in the dark night of May 29, a drone reappeared in the sovereign horizon of our country, zeroed in on its target, and kaboom, went into ashes the seven persons that were revered by their followers as leaders, despised by the perpetrators as terrorists, and treated by some sections of the people as annoyed citizens of the country. Reaction from media, political and religious parties was an expected outcome, which quickly surfaced after the incident, raising concerns and questions about the intent of such an action, especially when the newly elected political party that considered drone attacks unacceptable was about to form the government and its chances of fruitful negotiations with the Taliban were looking bright. The Pakistain Foreign Office and Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) were the first to strongly condemn this event and to follow them were Maulanaof Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam and of Jamaat-e-Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).|