Category: India/Pakistan


WASHINGTON: The United States (US) on Wednesday designated two Pakistan-based groups ‘with links to the Taliban’ as global terrorist threats.

As “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”, US citizens are forbidden from associating with the Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) and the Jamaat ul Dawa al-Qu’ran (JDQ), said a statement released by US State Department.

“Any assets owned by the groups in places under US jurisdiction will be frozen, and US law enforcement will be authorised to investigate their activity.”

According to the statement, the TGG is linked to the Tehreek-i-Taliban — the Pakistani Taliban — and is based in Darra Adam Khel.

The faction, US officials believe, was responsible for the December 2014 massacre at an army-run school in Peshawar that left more than 130 children dead.

The TGG is led by Umar Mansoor, who is said to also have ordered the January 2016 attack on a university in Charsadda that left more than 20 dead.

US State Department also says that the TGG was behind the 2008 kidnapping and beheading of Polish geologist Piotr Stanczak in Attock, in northern Pakistan.

The second group, the JDQ, is said to be based in Peshawar but has sworn allegiance to the late leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar.

In addition to this link to the Afghan movement, the State Department says JDQ has alliances with Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Washington blames the group for the 2010 kidnapping of British aid worker Linda Norgrove in Afghanistan.

Norgrove died after being wounded in the explosion of a grenade thrown by a US Navy SEAL commando during a failed rescue attempt.

Source: United States adds two Pakistan-based groups to terror blacklist – Pakistan – DAWN.COM

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday summoned the ambassador of United States, David Hale, to express concern over the US air strike inside Pakistani territory on Saturday, May 21 — which reportedly targeted Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour.

According to a statement released by the Foreign Office, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi pointed out to the US envoy “the drone strike was a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and a breach of the United Nation’s Charter that guarantees the inviolability of the territorial integrity of its member states”.

Fatemi also emphasised that “such actions could adversely impact the ongoing efforts by the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) for facilitating peace talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban”, read the statement.

Know more: With Mullah Mansour’s reported death, a new twist in Afghan peace

The special assistant further underlined that Pakistan and United States had been closely coordinating in the fight against the menace of terrorism and that this cooperation needed further strengthening.

US President Barack Obama had on Monday confirmed that Mullah Mansour was killed in a US air strike, hailing his death as an “important milestone” in efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.

“We have removed the leader of an organisation that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like Al Qaeda,” the US president said in a statement.

“We will work on shared objectives with Pakistan, where terrorists that threaten all our nations must be denied safe haven,” he said.

Source: Islamabad voices concern to US envoy over air strike inside Pakistani territory – World – DAWN.COM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, briefing the media on Tuesday after a meeting conducted by opposition parties to decide the Terms of Reference (ToR), said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family should be the first to be probed under an inquiry commission set-up to probe Panama Papers.

“The process of accountability needs to be initiated, and the prime minister and his family should be the first to be probed by the inquiry commission set-up to investigate the Panama Papers,” said Ahsan.

“In our earlier meeting, it was decided by all opposition parties that the ToRs presented earlier by the government were unacceptable.”

Regarding the formation of an inquiry commission, Ahsan said a special act would be drafted, the Panama Papers Inquiry and Trial Act, under which the inquiry commission would be formed ─ under the supervision of the chief justice ─ to investigate the prime minister and his family in three months.

The prime minister and his family should be probed in an international investigation in to the matter, stated the PPP leader.

He added that all foreign assets, how they were obtained, how much tax was paid, which year they were bought in and what funds were used in their purchase needs to be investigated.

All opposition parties have rejected the ToRs announced by the government, but only the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has threatened to resort to “street agitation” if ToRs were not finalised in consultation with opposition parties.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan had unilaterally announced holding a long march towards the Raiwind residence of the Sharifs, but later the party put the plan on hold after getting a cold response from other opposition parties.

Similarly, the PTI’s call for resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to face the inquiry into the allegations of money-laundering and tax evasion in the wake of Panama Papers leaks has also not been given serious consideration by a number of other opposition parties, including the PML-Q and ANP.

The PPP so far seems to be unclear on the resignation issue after the Saturday’s speech of its chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at a public meeting in Azad Kashmir in which he asked the prime minister to step down to face the inquiry.

The opposition parties oppose the constitution of the judicial commission under the 1956 Act and want a new legislation to empower the commission believing that all commissions set up under this act in the past have failed to meet expectations and their reports have never been made public or acted upon.

They also want the commission to first probe allegations of “money laundering and tax evasion” against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family before investigating over 200 other Pakistanis named in the Panama Papers.

Source: Panama Papers’ inquiry: Opposition leaders agree upon ToRs, Nawaz and family to be probed first – Pakistan – DAWN.COM

India and the United States are in talks to help each other track submarines in the Indian Ocean, military officials say, a move that could further tighten defence ties between New Delhi and Washington as China steps up its undersea activities.

Both the United States and India are growing concerned at the reach and ambition of the Chinese navy, which is taking an increasingly assertive stance in the South China Sea and is challenging India’s domination in the Indian Ocean.

New Delhi, shedding its decades-old reluctance to be drawn into America’s embrace, agreed last month to open up its military bases to the United States in exchange for access to weapons technology to help it narrow the gap with China.

The two sides also said their navies will hold talks on anti submarine warfare (ASW), an area of sensitive military technology and closely held tactics that only allies share.

“These types of basic engagements will be the building blocks for an enduring Navy-to-Navy relationship that we hope will grow over time into a shared ASW capability,” one U.S. official familiar with India-U.S. military cooperation said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Indian naval officials say Chinese submarines have been sighted on an average four times every three months. Some are seen near India’s Andamans and Nicobar islands that lie near the Malacca Straits, the entry to the South China Sea through which more than 80 percent of China’s fuel supplies pass.

India and the United States, which already conduct joint naval exercises, both fly the new version of the P-8 aircraft, making information sharing easier on highly sensitive submarine tracking activities.

The P-8 is Washington’s most advanced submarine hunting weapon, equipped with sensors that can track and identify submarines by sonar and other means.

Source: Wary of China’s Indian Ocean activities, U.S., India discuss anti-submarine warfare | Reuters

DHAKA: Bangladesh police on Sunday arrested three men, including a member of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami and a journalist, for the brutal murder of a Hindu tailor by machete-wielding ISIS militants in the latest attack on secular writers and minorities in the Muslim-majority nation.

Two cases have also been filed over the killing of 50-year-old Nikhil Chandra Joarder, who was hacked to death by three assailants who forcibly entered his house and slit his throat yesterday in central Bangladesh’s Tangail district.

One of the cases was filed over the murder of Joarder and another over bombs seized from a bag left by the assailants.

Police arrested Badsa Miah, Jamaat secretary of Gopalpur municipal unit, local BNP activist Jhantu Mia and a local journalist and Gopalpur Press Club’s vice-president Aminul Islam for the murder.

Source: 3 detained for murder of Hindu tailor in Bangladesh – Times of India

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