October 2009


Moderate earthquake hits northwest Pakistan

 

The tremors were felt in several northwestern Pakistani cities, including Peshawar, and the capital Islamabad, at 12:46 pm, chief of Pakistan’s meteorological department, Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, told AFP.

The quake’s epicentre was located near the northwestern town of Parachinar, some 160 kilometres west of Islamabad at a depth of 10 kilometres, he said.

A tribal administration official in Parachinar said residents rushed out of their homes but there were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties.

The US Geological Survey registered the quake at 5.1, and said it was centred 87 kilometres southeast of the Afghan capital Kabul.

It was the second earthquake to jolt Pakistan in less than 24 hours. Late Thursday a 6.1 magnitude earthquake was felt in several Pakistani cities, but caused no casualties.

Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan are frequently hit by earthquakes, especially around the Hindu Kush range near the collision of the Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates.

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake in northwest Pakistan and Kashmir in October 2005 killed 74,000 people and displaced 3.5 million.

 

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 briefs…
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Indefinite curfew imposed in Sadda

SADDA: The political authorities imposed curfew and established eight roadside checkposts in and around the city here Wednesday. Tribal sources said the political administration of Kurram Agency enforced curfew in Sadda for an indefinite time from 8 a.m.

Around eight checkposts were established in Ajab Khan Square, Dadu Market, Pir Qayyum, Saleh Khan Market, Kochi Road, Sadda Pul, Dogar Road and Sadda Bazar. Meanwhile, the tribal elders in Parachinar city imposed ban on display of arms and pledged to extend full cooperation to the government in its efforts to bring peace to the agency that has been hit by sectarian strife for years.

  source:  http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=205714

 

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Sadda placed under indefinite curfew

Thursday, 29 Oct, 2009

A curfew has been imposed after reports that militants fleeing S.Waziristan are moving towards Lower and Central Kurram. — Photo by AFP

PARACHINAR: The local administration imposed a curfew for an indefinite period in Sadda, the tehsil headquarters of Lower Kurram tribal region, on Wednesday.

An official said main roads linking the town with Central Kurram and other areas had been sealed. Apparently the action had been taken because of reports that militants fleeing South Waziristan were moving towards Lower and Central Kurram and in some areas they had enforced their own brand of Sharia.

Paramilitary forces and Levies Force have set up at least eight checkpoints around Sadda bazaar. Local people said that security forces rushed from Parachinar and besieged the area early in the morning.

Announcements were made on loudspeakers asking people to leave the town.

Sources said that militants wounded in clashes in South Waziristan were being brought to private clinics in Kurram. They were using unfrequented routes because the main Thall-Parachinar Road had remained closed for about two years.

It is learnt that paramilitary forces deployed in Sadda and suburbs on Tuesday faced resistance from militants.

Meanwhile, tribal elders in Parachinar have announced a ban on display of arms and vowed to support the action taken by the government to restore peace in the area.

 

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Perks, privileges of Malikhel tribe suspended

Sunday, October 25, 2009

SADDA: The political administration Saturday suspended perks and privileges of tribesmen belonging to Malikhel tribe and closed down their shops as punishment for kidnapping two boys along with their goats and sheep from Arawali area in Lower Kurram.

Tribal sources said that two boys were grazing a herd of goats and sheep at Arawali when some Malikhel tribesmen reportedly kidnapped them.

Following the kidnapping, the political administration sent a jirga of Turi elders to secure safe release of the boys, but the kidnappers opened fire on the jirga members.

Later, the administration detained 20 persons of Malikhel tribe in Parachinar Prison. However, the armed men of the tribe attacked the prison and got their tribesmen released forcibly.

After the incident, the Political Agent Baseer Khan Wazir ordered suspension of perks to the tribe and sealing of their shops, business centres in Parachinar city. The administration also stopped the salaries Kurram Levies personnel belonging to Malikhel tribe.

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Fata MPs want to leave ruling coalition
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

By Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: A thirteen-member legislators group from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and asked him to accept their ministers and parliamentary secretaries’ resignations while their ministers stayed away from Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

It was learnt neither Fata federal ministers Hameedullah Jan Afridi, who holds the Environment Ministry portfolio, and Noorul Haq Qadri, the Minister for Zakaat and Ushr, nor their two Parliamentary Secretaries Jawad Hussain and Shaukatullah were visiting their offices after they had submitted their resignations about a fortnight back.

On the sidelines of the recent briefing by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, MNA Munir Khan Orakzai, who leads the group as its parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, had a brief chat with Premier Gilani, who reassured of meeting their demands in due course of time. Orakzai was invited and he also attended the meeting prior to the launching of military action in the restive Waziristan.

Orakzai, who is from the Orakzai Agency, when contacted, confirmed to The News that they had been reassured by the prime minister that their demands would be fulfilled and hence their ministers and parliamentary secretaries’ resignations would not be accepted.

“The situation is the same with regard to our resignations, whereas we want Prime Minister Gilani to let us sit on the opposition benches,” he maintained. He said they had also requested Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza during the recently-prorogued session of the National Assembly that they should be allotted seats on the opposition benches. “However, we were told that it could be done only after their ministers and parliamentary secretaries’ resignations were accepted by the prime minister,” he pointed out.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has also been threatening to leave the ruling coalition, however, it continues to be part of the government despite having strong reservations on the ongoing military operation against terrorists in Waziristan and non-implementation of the Council of Islamic Ideology recommendations on Islamisation.

However, he conceded majority of their demands, including the release of development funds, had been accepted, but Fata lawmakers’ group would not budge on its stance to switch over to the opposition side unless NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani was replaced and the main Kurram Agency road was reopened.

The Fata group of lawmakers comprises as many as nine MNAs and four senators. He concluded by saying that the incumbent governor would have to go, as he had allegedly been impeding their efforts for Fata’s betterment. Likewise, he added, those displaced from Kurram nearly two years ago must be brought back and the main road should also be reopened.

Source: http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=25137

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 Fata MPs want to leave ruling coalition
Updated at  
Thursday, October 22, 2009

By Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: A thirteen-member legislators group from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and asked him to accept their ministers and parliamentary secretaries’ resignations while their ministers stayed away from Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

It was learnt neither Fata federal ministers Hameedullah Jan Afridi, who holds the Environment Ministry portfolio, and Noorul Haq Qadri, the Minister for Zakaat and Ushr, nor their two Parliamentary Secretaries Jawad Hussain and Shaukatullah were visiting their offices after they had submitted their resignations about a fortnight back.

On the sidelines of the recent briefing by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, MNA Munir Khan Orakzai, who leads the group as its parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, had a brief chat with Premier Gilani, who reassured of meeting their demands in due course of time. Orakzai was invited and he also attended the meeting prior to the launching of military action in the restive Waziristan.

Orakzai, who is from the Orakzai Agency, when contacted, confirmed to The News that they had been reassured by the prime minister that their demands would be fulfilled and hence their ministers and parliamentary secretaries’ resignations would not be accepted.

“The situation is the same with regard to our resignations, whereas we want Prime Minister Gilani to let us sit on the opposition benches,” he maintained. He said they had also requested Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza during the recently-prorogued session of the National Assembly that they should be allotted seats on the opposition benches. “However, we were told that it could be done only after their ministers and parliamentary secretaries’ resignations were accepted by the prime minister,” he pointed out.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has also been threatening to leave the ruling coalition, however, it continues to be part of the government despite having strong reservations on the ongoing military operation against terrorists in Waziristan and non-implementation of the Council of Islamic Ideology recommendations on Islamisation.

However, he conceded majority of their demands, including the release of development funds, had been accepted, but Fata lawmakers’ group would not budge on its stance to switch over to the opposition side unless NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani was replaced and the main Kurram Agency road was reopened.

The Fata group of lawmakers comprises as many as nine MNAs and four senators. He concluded by saying that the incumbent governor would have to go, as he had allegedly been impeding their efforts for Fata’s betterment. Likewise, he added, those displaced from Kurram nearly two years ago must be brought back and the main road should also be reopened.

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Taliban launch fund-raising campaign

Monday, 19 Oct, 2009

The Pakistani Taliban have made appeals to local tribesman for donations, stating that they are likely to be involved in a long-term fight. -File Photo

KOHAT: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has started a fund-raising campaign in the Orakzai Agency and parts of the Kurram Agency and Hangu. Sources said the TTP men were asking tribesmen to donate generously because the conflict in South Waziristan was likely to be a long one.
 
‘They are demanding cash for weapons, food and medicines because it is going to be a long offensive,’ said a local.

According to him, many politicians, businessmen, drug barons and jewellers in Kohat, Hangu, Thall, Kurram Agency, Darra Adamkhel and Bannu have been making periodic payments to the Taliban.
 
‘So these donations are in addition to the money routinely and regularly extorted by the militants.’

Taliban reportedly collect Rs15 million every year as ‘jazia’ from the Sikh community in Orakzai Agency. They have also amassed huge sums through kidnapping for ransom.

They kidnapped a local trader, Fayyaz Paracha, from the Kohat-Hangu highway three days ago and demanded Rs10 million for his release.

A kidnapped man, released from a TTP hideout on the outskirts of Kohat after a military operation, told Dawn some time ago that their captives termed ransom ‘a kind of jihad’.

SOURCE:  http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/06-taliban-launch-fund-raising-campaign-rs-05

 

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