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According to ISPR‚ forces took full control of heights on the central Derastani Ridge that overlooks the entire Maidan and Kuki Khel Valley.

Security forces have killed 35 and injured 15 terrorists during operations in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley and Kurram Agency.

According to ISPR‚ one soldier embraced martyrdom and five others sustained injuries during encounters.

After the clearance of Muhammadi Top in Kurram and Haider Kandao in Tirah Valley‚ security forces made significant gains on nights of the sixth‚ seventh‚ and eighth of this months‚ and cleared main areas of Maidan.

The forces took full control of heights on the central Derastani Ridge that overlooks the entire Maidan and Kuki Khel Valley.

The forces also flushed the terrorists out of heights of Darwazgai Kandao.

Source Link : Radio Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD – The broadcast of Capital TV, a private TV channel owned by former FIA deputy director general Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, was shut down across the country just now when a guest on a live talk show insulted Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani.

Sources in PEMRA told Pakistan Today on condition of anonymity that a guest on a talk show hosted by prominent journalist Ijaz Haider insulted the COAS using foul language live on air. The guests on the show were Marvi Sirmed and Amad Khalid, a former personal secretary to Zaid Hamid.

Soon after the episode, PEMRA officials decided to take the channel off air indefinitely.

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The Mail on Sunday today reveals shocking new evidence of the full horrific impact of US drone attacks in Pakistan.

A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into  the strikes’ targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones’ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.

The dossier has been assembled by human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who works for Pakistan’s Foundation for Fundamental Rights and the British human rights charity Reprieve.

Filed in two separate court cases, it is set to trigger a formal murder investigation by police into the roles of two US officials said to have ordered the strikes. They are Jonathan Banks, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Islamabad station, and John A. Rizzo, the CIA’s former chief lawyer. Mr Akbar and his staff have already gathered further testimony which has yet to be filed.

‘We have statements from a further 82 victims’ families relating to more than 30 drone strikes,’ he said. ‘This is their only hope of justice.’

In the first case, which has already been heard by a court in Islamabad, judgment is expected imminently. If the judge grants Mr Akbar’s petition,  an international arrest warrant will be issued via Interpol against the  two Americans.

The second case is being heard in the city of Peshawar. In it, Mr Akbar and the families of drone victims who are civilians are seeking a ruling that further strikes in Pakistani airspace should be viewed as ‘acts of war’.

They argue that means the Pakistan Air Force should try to shoot down the drones and that the government should sever diplomatic relations with the US and launch murder inquiries against those responsible.

According to a report last month by academics at Stanford and New York universities, between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed since the strikes in Pakistan began in 2004.

The report said of those, up to  881 were civilians, including 176  children. Only 41 people who had  died had been confirmed as ‘high-value’ terrorist targets.

Getting at the truth is difficult because the tribal regions along the frontier are closed to journalists. US security officials continue to claim that almost all those killed are militants who use bases in Pakistan to launch attacks on Western forces across the border in Afghanistan.

In his only acknowledgement that the US has ever launched such attacks at all, President Barack Obama said in January: ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans.’

But behind the dry legal papers seen by The Mail on Sunday lies the most detailed investigation into  individual strikes that has yet been  carried out. It suggests that the US President was mistaken.

Missile attacks in in Pakistan have had devastating affects, the dossier revealed

The plaintiff in the Islamabad case is Karim Khan, 45, a journalist and translator with two masters’ degrees, whose family comes from the village of Machi Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan.

His eldest son, Zahinullah, 18, and his brother, Asif Iqbal, 35, were killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone that struck the  family’s guest dining room at about 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve, 2009.

Asif had changed his surname because he loved to recite Iqbal,  Pakistan’s national poet, and Mr Khan said: ‘We are an educated family.  My uncle is a hospital doctor in  Islamabad, and we all work in professions such as teaching.

‘We have never had anything to do with militants or terrorists, and for that reason I always assumed we would be safe.’

Mr Khan said: ‘Zahinullah, who had been studying in Islamabad, had returned to the village to work his way through college, taking a part-time job as a school caretaker.

‘He was a quiet boy and studious – always in the top group of his class.’ Zahinullah also liked football, cricket and hunting partridges.

Asif, he added, was an English teacher and had spent several years taking further courses to improve his qualifications while already in work.

Mr Khan said: ‘He was my kid brother. We used to have a laugh, tell jokes.’ His first child was less than a year old when Asif was killed.

Included in the legal dossier are documents that corroborate Asif and Zahinulla’s educational and employment records, as well as their death certificates. Killed alongside them was Khaliq Dad, a stonemason who was staying with the family while he worked on a local mosque.

Mr Khan, who had been working for a TV station in Islamabad, said he was given the news of their deaths in a 2am phone call from a cousin.

Drones have caused untold damage, and the dossier reveals just how devastating they have been for families

‘I called a friend who had a car and we started driving through the night to get back to the village,’ he said. ‘It was a terrible journey. I was shocked,  grieving, angry, like anyone who had lost their loved ones.’

He got home soon after dawn and describes his return ‘like entering a village of the dead – it was so quiet.  There was a crowd gathered outside the compound but nowhere for them to sit because the guest rooms had been destroyed’.

Zahinullah, Mr Khan discovered, had been killed instantly, but despite his horrific injuries, Asif had survived long enough to be taken to a nearby hospital. However, he died during the night.

‘We always bury people quickly in our culture. The funeral was at three o’clock that afternoon, and more than 1,000 people came,’ Mr Khan said. ‘Zahinullah had a wound on the side of his face and his body was crushed and charred. I am told the people who push the buttons to  fire the missiles call these strikes “bug-splats”.

‘It is beyond my imagination how they can lack all mercy and compassion, and carry on doing this for years. They are not human beings.’

Mr Khan found Mr Akbar through a friend who had attended lectures he gave at an Islamabad university. In 2010, he filed a criminal complaint – known as a first information report – to police naming  Mr Banks. However, they took no action, therefore triggering the  lawsuit – a judicial review of that failure to act.

If the judge finds in favour of  Mr Khan, his decision cannot be appealed, thus making the full criminal inquiry and Interpol warrants inevitable.

According to the legal claim, someone from the Pakistan CIA network led by Mr Banks – who left Pakistan in 2010 – targeted the Khan family and guided the Hellfire missile by throwing a GPS homing device into their compound.

A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or  allegations against specific individuals.’

Mr Rizzo is named because of  an interview he gave to a US reporter after he retired as CIA General Counsel last year. In it, he boasted that he had personally authorised every drone strike in which America’s enemies were ‘hunted down and blown to bits’.

He added: ‘It’s basically a hit-list .  .  . The Predator is the weapon of choice, but it could also be someone putting a bullet in your head.’

Last night a senior Pakistani  security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Pakistan’s own intelligence agency, the ISI, has always been excluded by the CIA from choosing drone  targets.

‘They insist on using their own networks, paying their own informants. Dollars can be very persuasive,’ said the official.

He claimed the intelligence behind drone strikes was often seriously flawed. As a result, ‘they are causing the loss of innocent lives’.

But even this, he added, was not  as objectionable as the so-called ‘signature strikes’ – when a drone operator, sitting at a computer screen thousands of miles away in Nevada, selects a target because he thinks the drone camera has spotted something suspicious.

He said: ‘It could be a vehicle  containing armed men heading towards the border, and the operator thinks, “Let’s get them before they get there,” without any idea of who they are.

‘It could also just be people sitting together. In the frontier region, every male is armed but it doesn’t mean they are militants.’

One such signature strike killed more than 40 people in Datta Khel in North Waziristan on March 17 last year. The victims, Mr Akbar’s dossier makes clear, had gathered for a jirga – a tribal meeting – in order to discuss a dispute between two clans over the division of royalties from a chromite mine.

Some of the most horrifying testimony comes from Khalil Khan, the son of Malik Haji Babat, a tribal leader and police officer. ‘My father was not a terrorist. He was not an enemy of the United States,’ Khalil’s legal statement says. ‘He was a hard-working and upstanding citizen, the type of person others looked up to and aspired to be like.’

Khalil, 32, last saw his father three hours before his death, when he left for a business meeting in a nearby town. Informed his father had been killed, Khalil hurried to the scene.

‘What I saw when I got off the bus at Datta Khel was horrible,’ he said. ‘I immediately saw flames and women and children were saying there had been a drone strike. The fires spread after the strike.

‘I went to the location where the jirga had been held. The situation was really very bad. There were still people lying around injured.

‘The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.’

Khalil said that as a police officer, his father had earned a good salary, on which he supported his family. Khalil has considered returning to the Gulf, where he worked for 14 years, but ‘because of the frequency of drones I am concerned to leave my family’.

He added that schools in the area were empty because ‘parents are afraid their children will be hit by  a missile’.

In another statement – one of 13 taken by Mr Akbar concerning the Datta Khel strike – driver Ahmed Jan, 52, describes the moment the missile hit: ‘We were in the middle of our discussion and I was thrown about 24ft from where I was sitting. I was knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I saw many individuals who were injured or dead.

‘I have lost the use of one of my feet and have a rod inserted because of the injuries. It is so painful for me to walk. There are scars on my face because I had to have an operation on my nose when it would not stop bleeding.’

Mr Jan says he has spent £3,600 on medical treatment but ‘I have never been offered compensation of any kind .  .  . I do not know why this jirga was targeted. I am a malik [elder] of my tribe and therefore a government servant. We were not doing anything wrong or illegal.’

Another survivor was Mohammed Noor, 27, a stonemason, who attended the jirga with his uncle and his cousin, both of whom were killed. ‘The parts of their bodies had to be collected first. These parts were all we had of them,’ he said.

Mr Akbar said that fighting back through the courts was the only way ‘to solve the larger problem’ of the ongoing terrorist conflict.

‘It is the only way to break the cycle of violence,’ he said. ‘If we want to change the people of Waziristan, we first have to show them that we respect the rule of law.’

A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or  allegations against specific individuals.’ A White House source last night declined to comment.

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Pakistani officials accused up to 60 Afghan soldiers of crossing into Pakistani territory and sparking clashes that killed two tribesman.

PESHAWAR: Pakistani officials accused up to 60 Afghan soldiers on Monday of crossing into Pakistani territory and sparking clashes that killed two tribesman.

It was the latest in a series of escalating cross-border attacks reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan that are inflaming tensions along the porous border as NATO prepares to end its combat mission against the Taliban in 2014.

In Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, security officials said two tribesmen were killed in Upper Kurram district in clashes with 60 Afghan army soldiers.

Another tribesman was also wounded “after they traded fire with Afghan army soldiers on seeing them inside Pakistani territory,” a senior official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The clashes lasted for more than 90 minutes after which security forces were sent to the area on the Afghan border, he said.

Local residents said the Afghans were pursuing attackers fleeing Shehar-e-Nau village in Paktia province.

A spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security intelligence agency said cross-border fire had killed four people, including a woman and a child, and wounded six others, in the last week.

Both countries blame each other for harbouring Taliban fighters active on both sides of their 2,400 kilometre border, fanning distrust between Kabul and Islamabad, and complicating a peace process in Afghanistan.

Kabul threatened to report Islamabad to the UN Security Council over what it alleges is the shelling of villages, while Islamabad said it would protest formally to Kabul against the latest incursion.

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Peshawar: At least seven security men have been killed and four others injured in a blast in Khyber Agency, official sources said on Thursday.

 The sources said that the blast took place in Qambr Abad area of the Khyber Agency near Afghan border. They said a bomb planted along the roadside  targeted the soldiers.

The dead and injured were taken to a near by hospital. Heavy contingent of forces rushed to the sport and cordoned of the area.

Pakistan has lost more than lives of 5000 people, including security personnel and civilians during its efforts against extremists.

On the other hand the US and its allies keep squeezing the nuclear armed South Asian nation to do more.

Pakistan has suffered loss of live more than the US and its western allies fighting against the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

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South Waziristan: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has said that the Pakistan Army doesn’t want to fight with its own people but it was compelled to launch operation against terrorists in Waziristan.

Addressing  a ceremony during the inauguration of Cadet College, Kayani the college would be built with the cost of 500 million.

He said that infrastructure would be built in South and North Waziristan. Besides, a third rout would open through the are for trade with Afghanistan.

Kayani said army has started as many as 121 uplift projects in Malakand Division and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

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Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani (R) and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne.

ISLAMABAD, June 15: In the strongest response yet to American strong-arm tactics, the Pakistan military on Friday said it would not accept any pressure to abandon the stance taken in negotiations with the United States.

“We will accept no pressure for standing up for our principles,” said Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), at a graduation ceremony of National Security and War Course at the National Defence University.

The comments came amid intensifying tensions between Islamabad and Washington. While US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s ridiculing of Pakistani security forces in India and the remarks on presence of safe havens in tribal areas wasn’t helpful, what incensed the military top brass was his backing for restrictions on military aid for Pakistan.

Secretary Panetta had said that “We (US) are reaching the limits of our patience here” for what is said to be Pakistan’s tolerance for Haqqani network and other militant groups running insurgency from sanctuaries in tribal areas.

But Gen Wynne categorically denied this allegation in his speech at the defence university. “We are combating wholeheartedly the menace of extremism and terrorism so as to banish them from our society. The people and the armed forces of Pakistan have taken up this challenge and our soldiers as well as innocent civilians are sacrificing their lives for this cause. We seek nothing beyond secure frontiers and pose no threat to any country,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff committee underscored.

The general used the occasion to remind the Americans that there could be no peace without a resolution of the Kashmir issue.

“I must also point out that as long as regional disputes, especially Kashmir, remain unresolved, stability will remain a distant dream. We must therefore continue for a just solution of the Kashmir dispute as it is only fair to all the people who dwell in this region.”

Talks on a new transit agreement for Nato supplies, meanwhile, have been suspended since last week. Both Pakistan and the US have separately said that the negotiations stalled because of bigger issues in relationship and not just because of differences over transit fee.

Diplomatic sources in the United States now blame Pakistan for blocking the Nato supply route deal by raising afresh the apology issue, claiming that all issues had been settled during and after the Chicago summit.

The downward trajectory in bilateral relationship, which started in January last year, when CIA operative Raymond Davis shot dead two young men in Lahore, aggravated with the Osama bin Laden denouement and then the Salala border post attacks in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.

The US disregard of demands for an apology over the Salala incident and cessation of drone attacks has made matters worse.

The Americans, on the other side, are frustrated with Pakistan’s perceived failure to act against the Haqqani network and other Taliban-affiliated terror groups based in the tribal areas. Conviction of Dr Shakeel Afridi, who helped CIA hunt Osama bin Laden, has added to the fury in Washington. The government’s clarification that Dr Afridi had been sentenced to 33 years for collaborating with the outlawed Lashkar-i-Islam failed to pacify US leaders.

In the backdrop of a rift with Pakistan, the US has encouraged India to play a bigger role in Afghanistan and has also launched a trilateral mechanism involving Kabul.

Although the agenda is limited to development, unlike the trilateral process with Islamabad that covers peace and security, the new arrangement is set to anger the Pakistani military, which has been sceptical of Indian involvement in Afghanistan.

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