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As many as 34 militants were killed in airstrikes and ground clashes in Khyber Agency and North Waziristan on Tuesday.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter planes pounded militant hideouts at Tordara, Kokikhel and Dotoya localities in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency, killing at least 23 terrorists and destroying their five hideouts completely. A huge cache of ammunition was also destroyed during the wee hours’ airstrikes, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistan Army, said.
Local tribesmen confirmed 23 militants were killed, five injured and their sanctuaries destroyed. They said the militants killed in the airstrikes belonged to the TTP and were allegedly involved in terror activities in Fata.
Similarly, at least 11 terrorists were killed and three Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers martyred as militants’ attack from across the border was thwarted by Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan Agency in the wee hours of Tuesday.
According to the ISPR, a group of terrorists from the Afghan side of the border attacked Dandi Kuch in the Spinwam area of NWA. Pakistani troops repulsed the attack, killing 11 terrorists and apprehending one. The dead bodies of three terrorists are with security forces, it said, adding that during the gun battle, at least three FC soldiers lost their lives. Pakistan and Afghanistan share a volatile and porous border that is often the scene of cross-border attacks.
The operation Zarb-e-Azb in the tribal region is successfully underway. Over 1,100 terrorists have so far been killed in the operation since its commencement on June 15 while their 200 sanctuaries destroyed.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan Army and Air Force are carrying out joint operation against militants in Khyber Agency like North Waziristan.
Following a brazen militant attack on Karachi’s international airport and failure of peace talks between the government and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) negotiators, the Pakistan Army launched the operation Zarb-e-Azb.
North Waziristan has been isolated by deploying troops along its border to block any move of terrorists in and out of the agency. Owing to the operation, over one million tribesmen have migrated to downtowns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
FO TERMS AFGHAN ALLEGATIONS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE
Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Pakistan on Tuesday expressed dismay over the latest allegations levelled in the statements of Afghanistan’s National Security Council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam in a statement said repeated attempts from the Afghan side to implicate Pakistan’s intelligence institutions in terrorist activities were unfounded and counterproductive.
The spokesperson said, “It has been stressed by us time and again that Pakistan remains committed to disallowing its territory to be used against any country. We would not allow anyone to breach Pakistan’s laws in this regard or to undermine our goals of fostering friendly and cooperative relations with neighbouring countries,” said the spokesperson. She said, “At the same time, we believe that the threat of terrorism is best addressed through mutual cooperation. Pakistan’s firm resolve to combat this menace, without any distinction or discrimination, is concretely manifested in the ongoing military operation, Zarb-e-Azb.”
The spokesperson said the Afghan authorities on their side of the border must take complementary actions. “Elimination of terrorist sanctuaries and handing over of TTP elements that have taken refuge in Afghanistan are the first important steps in that direction. We hope the Afghan side would respond positively by taking the requisite counterterrorism measures in the long-term interest of friendly, cooperative and good-neighbourly relations with Pakistan,” she said.
She said, “We are convinced that such a cooperative Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship is the best guarantee for durable peace, stability and prosperity in the region.”
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Hardline Hindu nationalists went on the rampage at a university in central India over an aid appeal for victims of devastating floods in Muslim-majority Occupied Kashmir, the vice chancellor said Tuesday.
The mob of young men stormed the Vikram University campus in Ujjain city on Monday, breaking windows, throwing furniture and trying to smash ceiling fans with wooden sticks, footage aired on national television showed.
Jawaharlal Kaul said the attack occurred after the university issued an appeal to help any Kashmiri students affected by the floods that have claimed several hundred lives and devastated the region’s main city of Srinagar.
“There was an appeal issued by us for helping Kashmiri boys who are studying here...there was an appeal by the state government as well,” the vice-chancellor told the NDTV network.
“They (the attackers) said they were from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal,” said Kaul, referring to right-wing militant outfits linked to India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to power in May over his centre-left rivals, sparking fears among religious minorities of a rise of hardline Hindu grassroots groups in officially secular but Hindu-majority India.
Kaul said he had appealed through a local newspaper in Madhya Pradesh state for help to aid students whose families were thought caught in Kashmir’s worst floods in a century. “Particularly the landlords (of the students) were requested by me not to ask for rent for a couple of months until the situation is over,” Kaul said.
The mob stormed Kaul’s office, demanding an explanation for wanting to help Kashmiri students, before the violence broke out, he said.
“In about 10-15 minutes they broke all the office furniture,” said Kaul who was taken to hospital after being shaken by the ordeal. The Hindu hardliners were apparently angry that such appeals had not been issued for victims of past deadly floods elsewhere in India, including in Uttarakhand last year, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
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Members of the Christian community on Monday staged a demonstration against occupation of graveyard area allegedly by land mafia.
Babu Shafiq Gill, the local in charge of the Church of Pakistan, told newsmen that the land located on Railway Road had been allocated to his community by the Britishers.
He claimed that according to the land revenue department’s record, the area belonged to the federal government and was in the possession of the Church of Pakistan.
He alleged that people enjoying clout with the ruling party were behind this unlawful exercise.
The newsmen also apprised the commissioner Rawalpindi division of the construction in the graveyard of the Christian but to no avail.
The assistant commissioner Gujar Khan Quratul Ain did not respond to various calls and messages left on her cellphone.
An official of the revenue department, on the condition of anonymity, said no land of the graveyard or worship place could be sold, transferred to any body or used for any other purpose.
Representatives of the Christian community have urged upon the prime minister and chief minister to intervene in the matter.