KARACHI – SINDH: Pakistan has ordered the release of all Indian fishermen imprisoned in the country. According to the Interior Ministry, all imprisoned fishermen in Pakistan will be released along with their ships, adding that the process will begin soon. …
By DECLAN WALSH
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The fate of a Pakistani Christian girl at the center of a contentious blasphemy case hung in the balance on Tuesday, as lawyers applied for her release from jail and an influential Muslim cleric offered his support.
The Pakistani authorities have held the girl, Rimsha Masih, in a high-security jail since Aug. 16, when hundreds of Muslim protesters, angered over claims that she had burned pages from an Islamic holy book, surrounded a police station here in Islamabad to demand that she face prosecution.
KARACHI, Aug 24: MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, who represents the Christian community in the Sindh Assembly, has called for the immediate release of a Christian girl arrested recently near Islamabad. She was accused of desecrating the Quran and charged under the blasphemy law.
Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Friday, Mr Khokhar appealed to the government to abolish the blasphemy law, claiming that it was being misused to settle personal scores and victimise the minorities.
By Bill Roggio
Warning: The content of this video is extremely graphic. The video shows the aftermath of the beheadings of 17 Pakistani soldiers.
The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan has released video showing the remains of 17 Pakistani soldiers who were beheaded after being captured and executed during fighting in the northwestern district of Dir just three days ago.
The graphic video, which was obtained by The Long War Journal, was sent to journalists by Ihsanullah Ihsan, a spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.
The videotape includes a statement by Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan. Hakeemullah promises that the Taliban will continue to fight the Pakistani military until the government enforces sharia, or Islamic law, and stops supporting the US in the region.
In the video, the Taliban show the heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers displayed on a white sheet; the Taliban claim that 18 soldiers were killed during the fighting. The Taliban fighters are standing around the gruesome display, holding weapons as the camera pans back and forth to show the soldiers’ remains. The Taliban then show the military identification cards of the slain soldiers.
The 17 soldiers were killed after more than 100 Taliban fighters crossed the border from Kunar province in Afghanistan and attacked the Pakistani troops. Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman for the Malakand Taliban, which operates under the command of Mullah Fazlullah, initially claimed credit for the attack and said 17 soldiers were killed.
“Our fight will continue until the establishment of sharia law in Pakistan …. We will fight whoever tries to stand in our way,” Ahmad told Reuters the day after the battle.
Videotape the latest of a Taliban execution of Pakistani security forces
The Pakistani Taliban routinely videotape executions of their captives. The most recent high-profile execution, which was recorded in a videotape that was later distributed, took place in June 2011, when the Taliban captured 16 Pakistani policemen in Dir, lined them up, and executed them via firing squad.
The policemen had been captured after the Taliban crossed the border from Kunar province in Afghanistan and attacked police outposts and villages in the Shaltalu area on June 1, 2011. The raid sparked a pitched battle that lasted for several days. Dozens of Pakistani policemen were taken hostage during the ensuing fighting. Although Pakistani officials claimed that 27 policemen and 45 Taliban fighters were killed during the raid, independent news reports put the number of policemen killed at more than 40. [See LWJ report, Video of brutal Taliban execution of Pakistani policemen emerges.]
In February 2011, Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, released a videotape of the execution of a former Pakistani military intelligence official known as Colonel Imam. Although Imam, a senior officer in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, was a favorite of the Afghan Taliban for his support of Mullah Omar, the Pakistani Taliban accused him spying against the terror group. [See LWJ report, Video: Pakistani Taliban execute Colonel Imam.]
Islamabad: Just hours after Pakistani scientist Dr Khalil Chishty walked out of the Ajmer Jail after being granted bail by the Supreme Court, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered the immediate release of an Indian fisherman.
Samat Lakshman Bambhaniya has been lodged at a jail in Karachi for over a year now and is suffering from cancer.
“I had taken up Bambhaniya’s case with the President and Prime Minister and would like to see that he gets home as quickly as possible,” leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney told PTI. Bambhaniya belongs to the Dandi village in Gujarat.
“Fishermen of both countries are frequently arrested because some times while fishing, they unintentionally enter each other’s territory and get caught,” Mr Burney said.
“These fishermen have to suffer for so many years in the jails of Pakistan or India. They are illiterate and innocent,” he added. ….
Read more » NDTV
Review board orders Malik Ishaq’s release
By Asad Kharal
LAHORE: A review board of the Lahore High Court (LHC), on Friday, denied an extension for the detention of Malik Ishaq, former leader of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, for one more month and issued orders for his release. ….
Read more » The Express Tribune
via – Twitter
– Warning: The video below is extremely graphic in nature.
Taliban executing “a police commander in Paktia province after kidnapping him.”The video begins by showing a bound man standing in a field. The cameraman then pans to a large group of Taliban standing along a road, with a 82mm recoilless rifle, a weapon designed to destroy armored vehicles, in the foreground. A Taliban is seen sighting the weapon, then another fighter kneels and fires at the man, who then disappears in an explosion.
Courtesy: → DailyMotion
via → Siasat.pk
– Bus attack: Can the Sindh police fight back? Yes, they say, but only criminals, not politics
SINDH – KARACHI: The killing of four policemen in Korangi on August 20 by suspected hitmen belonging to a political party has not only further dampened the morale of the force, but some senior officers went as far as to call it the final nail on the coffin of their independence.
(Read: The case continues: Man shot dead before bus attack)
“We always took care not to touch their [political party] people,” said a senior police officer, who did not want to be named. “But even then our personnel have been targeted and killed.”
The visibly depressed officer said that to add salt to fresh wounds, the force is being pressured to release the suspects in their custody. At least a dozen men, including four belonging to a political party, were caught.
The state of affairs is such that from a constable to the highest ranking officer, no one is prepared to take any action against the target killers even if they see the crime taking place in front of their very own eyes. “How can they do anything at all in this climate of fear?” asked the officer. “Even before the Chakra Goth incident, everyone in the force knew that all police officers who played an instrumental role in the 1990s were knocked off one by one.”
Another senior police officer admitted to feeling ashamed when he had to face his men. “The problem is simple,” he said. “The attackers not only belong to the parties currently in power in the Sindh government, but also among the undisputed rulers of this city.” He listed the numerous torture cells operating in the city under the banner of political parties. “Some even have proper lock-ups like the ones we have here, with space to accommodate a dozen hostages.” But when asked whether he would raid any such cells, he retorted, “Are you mad?”
The junior police officers, however, criticise their police leadership for lacking spine. “They fear being transferred and losing their perks if they work against the wishes of a political party,” said one head moharrar, whose job is to run a police station. A police inspector who was injured during an attack in the recent past, says that to date he hasn’t received the compensation promised by the government. “These senior police officials don’t even come to the funeral ceremonies of some of our men, so what can we expect from them?” he said. Police officials say the only option to save the Sindh police is to give them a ‘free hand’ and complete independence from the influence of political parties. But can this happen soon or anytime at all? A senior police officer put it plainly: “I don’t think so…I’ve lost all hope that things will improve.”
Courtesy: The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.
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By Daily Mail Reporter
Life can be lonely on the high seas and one pirate has decided enough is enough, it’s about time he got himself a wife.
But the Somali pirate chief has taken a fancy to his 13-year-old Danish hostage – and he is so besotted with her he’s willing to let the rest of her family go free, and even forget the $5 million dollar ransom his pirate colleagues demanded.
According to The Times, the pirate made the bizarre proposal during a conversation with a Danish reporter, who visited the African nation to track down the Johansen family who were taken hostage in the Indian Ocean more than a month ago.
Read more : Mail Online
Admiral Mullen’s Secret Deal
How the Pentagon Supervised Raymond Davis’ Release and How the CIA Took Its Revenge
By SHAUKAT QADIR
[Please note : The writer is a retired brigadier and a former president of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute.]
On February 23, at a beach resort, Gen Ashfaq Kiyani, Pakistan army’s chief assisted by a two star officer met with Admiral Mike Mullen, US Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, assisted by Gen. David Petraeus, and three other high ranking officials, to find a military-diplomatic solution to untangle this web that CIA operatives had spun around both governments. This has been a fairly consistent tradition. On every occasion when relations between Pakistan and the United States have soured (a not infrequent occurrence) the militaries have remained in contact and, invariably, have found a way forward.
The day after this meeting, a military officer posted at the US Embassy in Islamabad travelled to Lahore and met Davis in Kot Lakpat jail. Within 48 hours of this meeting, almost 50 individuals associated with the Tehreek-eTaliban Pakistan (TTP), including Pashtuns, Punjabis, and some foreigners (nationalities unknown, though one of them is said to be an Aryan) who had been in contact with Davis were arrested. Presumably, Davis ‘sang’, though probably to only a limited degree, on instructions.
Within the same period, a large number of Americans, estimated at between 30 to 45, who had been residing in rented accommodations (like Davis and his associates who had killed a motorcyclist while unsuccessfully attempting to rescue Davis) outside the Embassy/Consulate premises in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, and Quetta left for the US. It is safe to conclude that these were either CIA, Black ops, or associated personnel from security agencies like Xe.
The intelligence business is broadly divided into two categories: human intelligence, known as HUMINT and electronic intelligence, known as ELINT. The latter has numerous subdivisions: SIGINT (Signals intelligence, also known as COMINT; communication intelligence), Imagery intelligence etc. It appears, therefore, that the deal struck between the military leadership included a shut down of CIA’s HUMINT operations in Pakistan, retaining only ELINT, Davis would ‘sing’, within limits, of course, and only then could Blood Money be negotiated for his release. And the US would be bled in that final deal also so as to ensure the safety and the future of the immediate families of both Davis’s victims.
At the height of the debate on the question of Raymond Davis’ immunity from trial for murder, this writer emphasized that Pakistan could not release him without a trial. A trial took duly place and, in accordance with prevalent law in Pakistan, the next of kin of the deceased young men, pardoned Davis in return for ‘Blood Money’. However outlandish this law might seem to those peoples whose countries have their based on Anglo-Saxon principles, such is the law in Pakistan and so there was nothing underhand in what transpired.
Amongst analysts and journalists there were basically two opposing responses to his release, though there was (and is) an occasional sane voice to be heard, throughout the saga. One category of people had been arguing since Davis’ arrest that he should be granted immunity since Pakistan, given its precarious economy, weak government, and the prevalent security situation, could not afford to fall afoul of the US. For this factionhis release through the judicial system was the next best outcome of the disastrous mistake that had been committed in arresting him!
The opposing view was that it is time and more, that Pakistan asserts its sovereignty and national pride to ensure that Davis is awarded no less than his due: the death penalty. It is ironic that the bulk of those who held this view are all supporters of the imposition of Islamic laws including those on blasphemy, Blood Money (the law that ensured Davis’ pardon), and a host of other issues and, even after Davis’ release under these laws, any attempt to get rid of such laws would be opposed by them, tooth and nail.
While the accusations leveled by the prosecution that the families of Faizan and Faheem, the two men killed by Davis, were coerced into accepting the deal offered to them in exchange for their pardoning Davis, is a pack of nonsense, since the entire family was under the active protection of the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, there is absolutely no doubt that the ISI (and, therefore, GHQ) assisted in brokering the deal. In fact, I would be very surprised if both families had not been continuously advised by fairly senior-level representatives of the ISI as to what and how much they should ask for. ….
Read more : Counterpunch
Davis weeps after release, say reports
LAHORE: Raymond Davis was immediately taken to the US consulate after being released by a Pakistan court on Wednesday, DawnNews reported.
The CIA contractor who shot and killed two Pakistani men was freed from prison after the United States paid ”blood money” to the victims’ families, Pakistani officials said.
Sources in American Embassy told DawnNews that the US was in contact with all the stake holders and it followed rules and regulations for Davis’s release.
Davis started weeping after he was released from jail and seemed to be in a state of trauma, said sources.
He was also given medicines along with counseling and therapy sessions that were carried out in the consulate by the American doctors.
Davis afterwards left for the US because he wanted to reunite with his family and not stay in Pakistan any longer, said sources.
By MATTHEW COLE and NICK SCHIFRIN
Pakistani officials said President Obama’s national security advisor summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to the White House Monday evening to deliver a threat from the president: Release Raymond Davis, an American being held in Lahore for killing two Pakistanis, or face the consequences.
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told Ambassador Husain Haqqani, according to two Pakistani officials involved in negotiations about Davis, that the U.S. will kick Haqqani out of the U.S., close U.S. consulates in Pakistan, and cancel an upcoming visit by Pakistan’s president to Washington, if Davis, a U.S. embassy employee, is not released from custody by Friday.
The outlines of the threat were confirmed to ABC News by a senior U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. A White House spokesperson, Tommy Vietor, declined comment.
Ambassador Haqqani denied, via Twitter, that any “US official, incl the NSA, has conveyed any personal threats 2 me or spoken of extreme measures.”
Read more : ABCnews