JuD among jihadi outfits openly involved in flood relief operations in Pak, finds survey

Islamabad, Sept 9 (ANI): Banned terrorist organisations such as Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Harkatul Islami have been actively involved in flood relief operations in Pakistan, a survey has found.

Banned Jihadi outfits have been collecting donations and goods for the flood victims in several regions of the country, the survey conducted by the Daily Times has revealed.

Whereas some quarters are lauding their relief activities and criticising the government’s failure to deal with the crisis, their involvement has left security agencies worried.

“They are going kinetic and collecting funds which probably would never reach the victims. All this is being done right in front of our eyes. We are helpless,” a senior Interior Ministry official said.

A top-ranked police official said that while there was no law to stop volunteers from doing humanitarian work, allowing the jihadists to work towards relief efforts “would be compromising whatever we did to counter terrorism in Pakistan.”

Ataur Rehman, who heads Jamaat ud Dawa (JuD), said, “We are strictly working for humanity and in true spirit of Islam. The government had failed in providing relief efforts so we came in to fill the void by providing ambulances, boats and shelter.”

“We pay the police to carry out our operations in Karachi since we are a banned organization,” said a JuD member, identifying himself as Muhammad.

Interior Ministry sources have expressed their anguish over the Punjab government for not acting against the terrorist organisations involved in relief operations. (ANI)

Bickering Afghans failing to lure Taliban defectors due to lack of money, leadership

Kabul, Sept.7 (ANI): With Afghans bickering over who should run a 250 million dollar program to lure low-level Taliban fighters away from the insurgency, international donors have decided to go slow on putting up the money they had promised.

According to the New York Times, the United States has spent only 200,000 dollars of the promised fund so far and donors have done little or nothing by way of contributions.

During this period, the flow of Taliban fighters seeking to reintegrate has slowed to a trickle — by the most optimistic estimates, a few hundred in the last six months.

It is not clear whether that is because of the lack of a program that would provide them with jobs, security guarantees and other incentives, or because most Taliban no longer see the insurgency as a losing proposition.

In the past five years, a poorly funded Afghan reintegration effort, the Peace and Reconciliation Commission, recorded 9,000 Taliban who sought to join the government side — compared with 100 since April, officials said.

“It’s almost dead,” said Muhammad Akram Khapalwak, a top official at the nearly moribund commission in Kabul.

He claimed that employees there had not been paid for three months.

He said: “The Taliban know the government doesn’t have a single policy for peace and reconciliation.”

This year, the US Congress earmarked 100 million dollars to support reintegration programs, while at the London Conference on Afghanistan in February, several countries, Britain, Germany and Japan among them, promised another 150 million dollars to go into a Peace and Reintegration Trust Fund, to be administered jointly by the Afghan government and foreign backers.

So far, Britain has put in about 2.6 million dollars, although officials said the nation was committed to about 7.5 million dollars. Money has yet to come from Germany, which pledged 64 million dollars, and Japan, which pledged 50 million dollars — although officials said both countries were expected to contribute this month.

Only Estonia has put in its full contribution of 64,000 dollars.

There is little or no pressure on the donors to meet their pledges more quickly. (ANI)

Recent terror attacks reaction to Pak Army’s success: Qureshi

Lisbon, Sept 7 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, has said that the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan are a reaction to the army’s success in anti-terror operations.

“It is a reaction to the successful operations we”ve had against the militants in Pakistan,” The News quoted Qureshi, as saying.

Qureshi, following a meeting with the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Luis Amado, said that the terrorists were “retaliating…and attacking innocent citizens to create panic and to break the resolve that exists in the country.”

At least 19 people were killed in a suicide strike against a police station in Pakistan on Monday, where terror strikes by the Taliban have claimed over 3,700 lives in three years.

Pakistan’s top diplomat is on a tour of European capitals to pitch for victims of the flood disaster in Pakistan, which has claimed over 1600 lives, while about eight million people are dependent on aid, for survival.

He wanted to thank European leaders for their contribution towards flood relief, so far, and talk over “measures that need to be taken for early recovery and the reconstruction phase,” he said.

He added that the government wanted to ensure transparency in the use of aid. (ANI)

Security personnel practice ”water meditation” to promote peace in Guwahati

Guwahati, Sep 7 (ANI): Amidst fear of militancy and terrorism, two policemen in Guwahati have discovered a unique way to find peace through meditation by floating on water.

Munin Sharma (41) and Hitesh Sharma (43) of the Assam Police have been practicing this unique form of yoga to restore peace to the troubled state.

“I started practicing this type of yoga from 1995. But we used to practice ”Pranayama” (Breathing exercises) on our own from many years. My father used practice this and I heard it from him that the ”Yogis” (practitioner of yoga) used meditate on and under the surface of water and they could even float in air,” said Munin Sharma.

This form of yoga involves certain rituals and worshipping before getting inside a pond. The duo ties their feet before starting the ceremony in water.

“We have two motives behind practicing this yoga. First is to get our names registered in Guinness Book, and the second is to successfully achieve our religious motive,” he added.

Hitesh said they devote as much time as they can spare to meditate in water.

According to eye witnesses, the duo can sleep on water for hours and the longest that they have done it is ten hours.

They have promoted this form of meditation in many states, including Orissa and West Bengal. (ANI)

Kashmir violence: Four killed, curfew imposed

Srinagar, Sep 7 (ANI): Jammu and Kashmir is tense again after four youths were killed and about seventeen injured in clashes with security forces on Monday.

Curfew has been clamped in eight police station areas of Srinagar city as violent protests continued till late last night.

Several police stations were attacked by angry protesters.

According to sources, several youths came out onto the streets after Taraweeh prayers (special night prayers offered in the month of Ramzan) and started pelting stones at police stations.

Among the four killed was a Class IX student.

The Kashmir Valley violence has led authorities to impose frequent curfew restrictions across the State.

Curfew was initially imposed on June 30 in parts of northern and southern Kashmir to stop demonstrations over the death of a couple of protestors.

It was lifted some days later, but was again imposed as fresh violence erupted. (ANI)

‘Waziristan terrorists hiding along unchecked national highways, motorways in Lahore’

Lahore, Sep 6(ANI): A large number of terrorists, who escaped from Waziristan, are reportedly hiding in “base camps” located along national highways and motorways in Lahore.

According to reports, the Punjab government has now issued directions for taking stern action in this regard.

Law enforcement agencies believe that some “big fish” and several suicide bombers are hiding in these areas, from where they are operating their networks and making plans to conduct various attacks, The Daily Times reports.

The agencies said that the terrorists enter provincial hubs by crossing checkposts at odd times, especially immediately after fajr prayers when the officials at checkposts have finished their duties.

They also claimed that anyone could easily bring any “item” without worrying of checking as the “base camps” are located in the province’s outskirts, and most of the police checkposts are set up in the provincial capital’s boundary.

Sources said that law enforcement agencies in the province were considering launching a well-coordinated large-scale operation to hunt down the possible terrorist hubs.

US drone attacks have reportedly forced militants to leave North and South Waziristan tribal districts, known hubs for Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

Over 1,000 people have been killed in over 100 drone strikes in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt since August 2008. (ANI)

Convicted terrorist throws tantrum after coming second in jail egg race

Melbourne, Sep 06 (ANI): A terrorist convicted for masterminding the failed London 21/7 suicide bombing attack threw a tantrum when he came second in a prison sports day egg and spoon race.

Terrorist Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 37, was competing at the high security Wakefield jail in northwestern England when Rangzieb Ahmed beat him to first place, 34.

Ahmed was jailed for masterminding attacks on the British capital, the report said.

Infuriated by Ahmed”s narrow victory, Asiedu kicked his hard-boiled egg around the exercise yard before stamping on it, according to the newspaper.

“He lost by a whisker, but couldn”t contain his anger, kicking the egg around the exercise yard in frustration then stamping on it. Both of them were very competitive and really wanted to win,” the Courier Mail quoted a source at the prison as telling Sunday Mirror.

“These two convicted terrorists are supposed to be serving long sentences, not messing around like kids. It would have been hilarious if it wasn”t so sickening,” the source added. (ANI)

Asian cricket betting rings directly funding al-Qaida terrorism

London, Sept.6 (ANI): Shady Asian cricket betting rings are reported to be directly funding al-Qaida terrorism.

The new accusations have alarmed Britain’s security services. Muslim extremists are deeply rooted in Pakistan’s shady underworld, with criminal activity bolstering their coffers.

“The case involving the three Pakistani players has initially been traced back to an Indian betting ring, but the tentacles of this operation extend into Pakistan and beyond. There are huge sums of money to be made terror groups like al-Qaida are always keen to get in on the act,” The Daily Express quoted a security source, as saying. (ANI)

Akshardham case: Supreme Court stays death sentence of three convicts

New Delhi, Sep 6 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the death sentence of three accused in connection with the Akshardham temple attack case of September 24, 2002 in which 34 persons, including two National Security Guard (NSG) commandos were killed.

An apex court bench of Justice B. Sudarshan Reddy and Justice S. Nijjar stayed the death sentence.

The court also issued notice to the Gujarat Government on their petition of seeking a quashing of the death sentences.

The court also stayed the life sentence of one convict and a 10-year-prison sentence given to an other convict in the same case.

The Akshardham Temple was stormed by terrorists in September 2002. Thirty-four people were killed and over 80 people were injured in the incident that lasted 14 hours.

The investigations, initially handled by the Gandhinagar Police, were passed on to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), and then to the Ahmedabad Crime Branch, which arrested six persons. (ANI)

‘Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan plans to target prominent politicians on Eid’

Peshawar, Sep 6(ANI): Pakistani intelligence agencies have reportedly warned that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is planning to target prominent politicians and important personalities on Eid.

According to sources, the intelligence agencies have collected information from intercepts of conversations among the TTP militants.

“Militants could make attempts to kill these politicians and other prominent personalities during Eidul Fitr prayers or Eid Milan parties in their respective hometowns,” The News quoted a report, as saying.

The report also said that most of the politicians on the hit list were from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Among those in the list reportedly include Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa senior minister and Awami National Party (ANP) leader Bashir Ahmad Bilour, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and provincial police chief Fiaz Ahmad Toru.

Sources said that the personalities have been informed about the potential threat to their lives and their families. (ANI)

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