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Found 213 results

  1. KARACHI: A security guard was shot dead during a robbery attempt Thursday night here in the city's Mehmoodabad area, Geo News reported citing police. Authorities said the guard was killed following resistance during the robbery. Two extortionists arrested On the other hand, two extortionists were arrested late night during an operation carried out in Pakistan Bazaar in the metropolis' Orangi Town area, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) said. According to the Superintendent of Police (SP) for Orangi Town, weapons were also recovered from the arrested extortionists.
  2. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/b6a7291f1a98c91449233de6597f08a7.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi8xNy8yMDE4IDU6NTE6NTEgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1RTnZyeTlLQW5DZGpUUGVJZG5ldkxRPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] MUNICH: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Saturday told a military conference in Munich that Pakistan defeated al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban and other outlawed militant groups, and they can proudly say that no organised militant camps exist on Pakistani soil today. The army chief said so while giving Pakistan?s perspective on global and regional security at Munich Security Conference in Germany. General Bajwa said that terrorists have sanctuaries in Afghanistan, from where attacks are being coordinated against Pakistan. He said that Pakistan is ready to cooperate for peace and stability in Afghanistan, however, stressed on joint efforts by all the countries to eradicate the menace of terrorism. Expressing concerns over terrorists' presence in Afghanistan, the COAS said that Pakistan has undertaken fencing of its border with Afghanistan and that elimination of terrorism requires global cooperation. "We can proudly say that there are no militant camps in Pakistan," he said, mentioning reports of Daesh (Islamic State) militants' regrouping in Afghanistan. He maintained that the territory of neither of Pakistan and Afghanistan should be used against the other. The COAS said that Pakistan has been implementing National Action Plan (NAP) in the war against terrorism. He said that Pakistan is not just conducting military offensives against terrorists, rather it has also taken action against the financiers. General Bajwa said the menace of terrorism was fought through joint efforts by the entire nation, noting that clerics from all schools of thought issued a decree against terrorism in the name of religion.
  3. Protesters during November 2017 demonstration. Photo: AFP/File ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry submitted details regarding expenditure on security for protests, sit-ins and rallies in the federal capital during the past five years, showing the most was spent on PTI?s sit-in of 2014. During a Senate session headed by Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi on Friday, the interior ministry submitted its written response stating Rs755.9 million were spent on security arrangements during Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf?s marathon sit-in in Islamabad in 2014. Rs755.9 million on 2014 sit-in The 2014 sit-in lasted for 126 days, which started on August 14 that year with a march from Lahore to Islamabad to protest the results of 2013 general elections. In the federal capital, the supporters and leadership of PTI camped in Aabpara, close to the city?s Red Zone. The protesters and PTI leadership demanded the then prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, resign from his position. During the sit-in, PTI was joined by Pakistan Awami Tehreek for some time. Both the parties and their workers also marched to the capital?s red zone. However, the sit-in was called off in December 2014 following the Army Public School, Peshawar attack. The expenditure on security arrangements for 2014 sit-in was parts of the total of Rs1.145 billion spent on the Islamabad police for major sit-ins, protests and rallies during the past five years. Rs210 million on 2016 lockdown The next big amount ? Rs210 million ? was spend on the security for PTI?s 2016 lockdown. The PTI Chairperson Imran Khan had announced of causing Islamabad to close down on November 2, 2016 if the Supreme Court did not start probe against the Sharif family for their name in the Panama Papers. The days leading to November 2 saw containers blocking roads in the federal capital. However, the decision was taken back following Supreme Court?s announcement of forming a judicial commission to probe the allegations against the Sharifs. Rs133.8 million on Faizabad sit-in In 2017, religious groups carried out a sit-in at Faizabad Interchange, which lies in the middle of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, against the controversial amendment to the Finality of Prohphethood clause in the declaration for elected candidates taking oath. The groups demanded resignation of the then law minister, Zahid Hamid, as they said it was him who make amendments to the declaration. However, the sit-in was called off following negotiations with the authorities in Islamabad. To avoid any untoward incident during the sit-in, the government spent Rs133.8 million. Rs33.2 million on PAT sit-in The demonstration on which Rs33.2 million were spend was led by PAT chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri. On January 14, 2013, Qadri and his supporters marched from Lahore to Islamabad and camped out at Jinnah Avenue for over four days. The protest was against corrupt politicians, demanding electoral reforms for the general elections that were coming up. Besides the political protests, Rs12.6 million were spend on rally by parties against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed in 2017 in a crackdown that started against them in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
  4. US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly news conference at the US Capitol in Washington, US, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis WASHINGTON: Congressional Democrats on Wednesday introduced legislation that would provide more than $1 billion to boost cyber security of US voting systems, and Vice President Mike Pence defended the administration?s efforts to protect polls from hackers. The measure followed warnings on Tuesday from US intelligence officials that midterm races in November are likely to see renewed meddling from Russia and possibly other foreign adversaries. ?We cannot let the Russians laugh about and take joy in the success they had in the last election,? Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, said at a news conference. ?Their goal is to undermine democracy.? Lawmakers have introduced several bills, some with bipartisan support, to bolster election security since the 2016 polls in which Republican Donald Trump was elected president. None have become law. The new bill is the most comprehensive to date and is aimed at bolstering protection for the midterms and subsequent elections. It has no Republican co-sponsors in the House, which the party controls, and is therefore unlikely to succeed. Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at an event hosted by the online news site Axios, said that Americans could trust the 2016 election results and that it was an ?ongoing effort? of Trump?s administration to protect election infrastructure. Pence also incorrectly said it was the ?universal conclusion? among intelligence agencies that Moscow?s efforts had no impact on the 2016 election outcome. The agencies said in a January 2017 report that no assessment was made about the impact of Russian meddling but that Russia used hacking and propaganda to try to tilt the election in Trump?s favor. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied this. A Pence representative did not immediately respond to a request to clarify the discrepancy between Pence?s comments and the intelligence assessment. The Democrats? Election Security Act would provide $1 billion for the US Election Assistance Commission to help states buy voting machines that incorporate backup paper ballots, hire security staff and conduct risk assessments. The measure would create a $20 million grant program for states to perform post-election audits. States would also get $1 for each voter in the most recent election for security purposes. The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security to expedite security clearances for state election officials and direct the president to develop a strategy to guard US institutions, including elections, from cyber attacks and influence operations. The department last year said 21 states had experienced initial probing of their systems from Russian hackers and a small number of networks were compromised. Virtually all 50 states have taken steps since the 2016 election to purchase more secure equipment, expand use of paper ballots, improve cyber training or seek federal assistance, according to groups that track election security. But Congress has not provided more money or support, and lawmakers have failed to allocate $400 million in leftover election improvement funds pledged 16 years ago.
  5. QUETTA: Four security personnel were martyred when their vehicle was attacked in Langovabad area of the city early Wednesday. Police officials said the site of the incident has been cordoned off and a search and rescue operation is under way. The identity of the officials is yet to be ascertained. This is a developing story and will be updated as reports come in.
  6. KARACHI: As many as two eyewitnesses in Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case on Thursday were provided security under Witness Protection Act, sources within Sindh Police informed Geo News. Five policemen are deployed for the security of the witnesses of the high-profile murder case. Naqeebullah Mehsud, a 27-year-old native of Waziristan was among three others who were accused of being terrorists and killed on the orders of Malir SSP Rao Anwar, in what was later termed a fake encounter. Naqeebullah killing case: Sindh IGP gets 10 days to nab Rao Anwar SC directs intelligence agencies to provide complete support to Sindh Police for Anwar's arrest Following claims of innocence from Naqeebullah?s family, an inquiry committee was formed which cleared the 27-year-old of any wrongdoing. An FIR was registered against Anwar and others in the case. Since then, Rao Anwar has been in hiding. However, the law enforcement authority has not yet provided safe and secret residence, neither new identity cards. According to the Act, the police is bound to provide full-proof security to eyewitnesses till their arrival at the court. Sources have informed that despite clear-cut court orders there is no availability of funds for complete implementation on Witness Protection Act. Meanwhile, the sit-in at Islamabad by protestors demanding immediate arrest of former Malir SSP Rao Anwar has entered its ninth day today.
  7. The United Nations Security Council votes to approve a resolution endorsing the planned halt in fighting in Syria at the United Nations Headquarters in New York February 26, 2016. Photo: AFP UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council will hold a closed-door meeting on Thursday to discuss an appeal from UN aid officials for a month-long humanitarian ceasefire in Syria, diplomats said. Sweden and Kuwait requested the meeting of the top UN body on Wednesday as Syrian government forces continued to shell militant-held Eastern Ghouta, killing scores in some of the worst bloodshed in years. The UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis, has called for a month-long ceasefire to allow aid convoys to reach civilians in Eastern Ghouta. "We are particularly concerned about attacks against civilians and civilian objects, such as hospitals. These attacks further compound civilian suffering, and are leading to large numbers of new displacements," said Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog. Senior UN aid official Ursula Mueller told the council last month that the Syrian government blocked all aid convoys to besieged areas in January. "There has been no progress on cross-line humanitarian access for the UN and its partners to besieged and hard to reach areas," said the Swedish ambassador. "A humanitarian ceasefire would enable the delivery of life-saving assistance and the evacuation of hundreds of critically ill patients urgently needing medical treatment" in Eastern Ghouta, he said. More than 13.1 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid including 6.1 million who have been displaced within the country.
  8. Officials of Pakistan Army. Photo: AFP/File TANK: Two armed forces personnel were martyred in a terrorist attack in North Waziristan Agency, sources informed on Wednesday. Sources said a vehicle of the Pakistan Army was targeted in a rocket attack in Mir Ali Tehsil of the agency, resulting in the deaths of two army officials. The Pakistan Army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014 to clear the agency, the only remaining stronghold of militants. Since then, the area has been cleared of militants except for sporadic terrorist and cross-border attacks.
  9. Journalists from South Waziristan visited the Inter-Services Public Relations office on February 4, 2018. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: Journalists from South Waziristan on Sunday thanked the Pakistan Army for restoring peace in Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Director General (DG) ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the journalists about the ground situation in South Waziristan during their visit to the office of the army's media wing. The briefing was followed by an interactive session. The journalists shared their feedback on the security situation in South Waziristan Agency and the development work undertaken by Pakistan Army in the region, according to a press release issued by ISPR.
  10. Journalists from South Waziristan visited the Inter-Services Public Relations office on February 4, 2018. Photo: ISPR RAWALPINDI: Journalists from South Waziristan on Sunday thanked the Pakistan Army for restoring peace in Waziristan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Director General (DG) ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the journalists about the ground situation in South Waziristan during their visit to the office of the army's media wing. The briefing was followed by an interactive session. The journalists shared their feedback on the security situation in South Waziristan Agency and the development work undertaken by Pakistan Army in the region, according to a press release issued by ISPR.
  11. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/86d821dc845cf2f42c3d2d4c2fe7be16.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi80LzIwMTggMTI6NTY6MDcgUE0maGFzaF92YWx1ZT1laSsvQ0JRRVJ1QWZtMHhlTkVTMzFRPT0mdmFsaWRtaW51dGVzPTYwJmlkPTE= style=center] RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff ( COAS ) General Qamar Javed Bajwa attended the funeral prayers of 11 security personnel, including an officer, martyred in a suicide attack on Saturday. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Commander Peshawar Corps and other senior civil and military officials were also present at the prayers held in Peshawar. General Bajwa later visited the CMH Hospital in the provincial capital to meet those injured in the incident. Swat suicide attack A suicide attack targetted at an Army unit in Swat's tehsil Kabal on Saturday evening claimed lives of 11 security personnel and left 13 others injured. The attacker had targetted the sports area of the armed forces' unit in the Shareefabad area of the tehsil. A large contingent of security personnel had secured the area after the attack and started an initial investigation into the blast. Government sources had said rescue teams reached the area and shifted the injured to a hospital in Saidu Sharif. Earlier in December, security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation in Swat's Jahan Abad area and killed two wanted terrorists. The operation was conducted after intelligence agencies received accurate information regarding movement of terrorists, who were crossing over from Afghanistan and entering Swat valley. Operations in the valley Swat in northwest Pakistan referred to by some as the ?Switzerland of Pakistan?, is known for its stunning natural beauty. The valley was briefly controlled by the Taliban between 2007 and 2009. The armed forces have carried a series of military operations against local and foreign terrorists in the scenic Swat valley. Operation Rah-e-Haq was launched thrice in the valley and Shangla district in 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively. The army advanced toward Mingora, the largest city in the valley after it launched the Swat Operation, also known as Operation Rah-e-Rast, in May 2009.
  12. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/dbe1af3c3be5b3b9c007a5721c470eef.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9Mi8zLzIwMTggNDo1ODo1NCBQTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPTcrY2dSRkxOVmxwdEFjTkRoVnBMd1E9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] SWAT: At least 11 security personnel, including an officer, were martyred in Swat's tehsil Kabal on Saturday evening when a suicide attacker targetted an Army unit, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Those martyred include seven personnel who were critically injured in the attack. The attack on the Army unit also injured 13 other security personnel. The Army's media wing added that the attacker targetted the sports area of the armed forces' unit. The explosion took place in the Shareefabad area of the tehsil. A large contingent of security personnel secured the area after the attack and started an initial investigation into the blast. Government sources said rescue teams reached the area and shifted the injured to a hospital in Saidu Sharif. Earlier in December, security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation in Swat's Jahan Abad area and killed two wanted terrorists. The operation was conducted after intelligence agencies received accurate information regarding movement of terrorists, who were crossing over from Afghanistan and entering Swat valley. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi strongly condemned the suicide attack in Swat. In a statement on Saturday, he prayed for martyrs and the early recovery of injured. He also commiserated with the bereaved families. He added that the coward enemy cannot fight with Pakistan's valiant soldiers and such cowardly acts cannot deter the country's resolve for the elimination of terrorism. Prime Minister Abbasi said the war against terrorism will continue till the elimination of the last terrorist from Pakistan. Swat in northwest Pakistan referred to by some as the ?Switzerland of Pakistan?, is known for its stunning natural beauty. The valley was briefly controlled by the Taliban between 2007 and 2009. The armed forces have carried a series of military operations against local and foreign terrorists in the scenic Swat valley. Operation Rah-e-Haq was launched thrice in the valley and Shangla district in 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively. The army advanced toward Mingora, the largest city in the valley after it launched the Swat Operation, also known as Operation Rah-e-Rast, in May 2009.
  13. Ambassador Lodhi said that reinforcing the undemocratic elements of the council was contrary to both democratic principles and values as well as the principle of sovereign equality of states that underpins the Charter of the United Nations Pakistan has called for reforms in the United Nations Security Council structure based on the principles of democracy, a press release said. Speaking in the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on SC reform, Pakistan?s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said that the prolonged stalemate in the reform process was due to a handful of countries who wanted to reinforce the Security Council as a preserve of the privileged and powerful. This, she said, was contrary to the democratic spirit and will not meet the interest of all member states of the UN in an equitable manner. The ambassador said that reinforcing the undemocratic elements of the council was contrary to both democratic principles and values as well as the principle of sovereign equality of states that underpins the Charter of the United Nations, according to the press release. Calling the reform of the Security Council a ?strategic endeavour?, Lodhi said that while we did not choose the structure created in 1945, member states now have a choice. ?This choice must be exercised judiciously and in consonance with the democratic spirit of our era.? She expressed Pakistan?s support to comprehensive reform of the council to make it a more representative, democratic, accountable, transparent and effective body. According to the press release, Lodhi told the UN that at a time when growing and complex challenges to global peace and security warrant firm and decisive action by the Security Council, anything less would not only erode the standing of the Council but ?would also undermine the ideal of the United Nations and the inspiring vision that it espouses for our collective humanity?. Emphasising the need for consensus building, Lodhi said that sidestepping it through quick fixes and procedural maneuvers has not helped move the reform process forward. ?Instead they have accentuated and even widened our divergences?, she added. ?What we require is flexibility and a spirit of compromise to find common ground, foster goodwill and mutual understanding, and identify new convergences and common approaches for a shared and consensual pathway to reform,? she said. The ambassador hoped that these negotiations would see the triumph of collective good over individual interests. ?After all, the UN was created for this very purpose and not for member states to rubber-stamp the will of the few?, she remarked.
  14. MANILA: Philippine security forces arrested the head of the communist movement?s armed wing following President Rodrigo Duterte?s order to target guerrilla leaders after peace talks collapsed, police and human rights activists said on Thursday. A police report seen by Reuters said Rafael Baylosis and a companion tried to flee from army and police intelligence agents who were following them but were cornered on Wednesday afternoon in the center of the capital, Manila. The arrests of Baylosis, 69, and Roque Guillermo was a product of intelligence and surveillance operations after a tip-off from residents in Quezon City, northeast of Manila, national police spokesman John Bulalacao said. ?Baylosis is believed to be the acting secretary of the New People?s Army,? Bulalacao said, referring to the 3,000-strong guerrilla force that has waged a war in rural areas for nearly 50 years. The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people and stunted growth in poor but resource-rich regions of the Philippines where mines and plantations are located. Baylosis was the first ranking rebel leader to be captured since the Philippines ended a peace process with communist rebels late last year. Human rights advocates and leftist activists are expected to protest in front of the national police headquarters on Thursday to condemn the arrests and demand Baylosis? release because they say he was covered by a state-issued immunity pass. ?The trumped-up charges must stop,? Renato Reyes, secretary-general of activist group Bayan (Nation), said in a statement. ?Rather than persecute peace consultants, Duterte should resume peace talks on the most important substantive agenda.? The rebels? political arm, the National Democratic Front, described the arrests as ?illegal? and a ?flagrant violation? of safety guarantees because Baylosis was a peace talks consultant. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the safety and immunity guarantees were no longer in effect after Duterte scrapped the peace talks, telling human rights activists to challenge the arrest order in court. ?The authorities are just doing their job. He has a warrant of arrest and our authorities may face dereliction of duties charges if they will not arrest him,? Roque told a news briefing. Baylosis was among 18 rebel leaders freed on bail in August 2016 and allowed to travel to The Netherlands to take part in peace negotiations. He is facing murder charges after the army discovered the mass grave of 15 suspected government spies in 2006 who were killed in the central Philippines. Duterte ended intermittent peace talks with Maoist-led rebels in November and declared them ?terrorists? because hostilities had continued during the negotiations, ordering security forces to go after guerrilla leaders.
  15. RAWALPINDI: Security forces on Tuesday evening cleared the portion of the damaged track near Magoli railway station in the province's Dera Murad Jamali area, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The track was damaged earlier in the day and around a four-foot portion was damaged in the cracker explosion. ISPR said all passengers were shifted from the incident site under security provided by the Frontier Corps. The statement added that the passengers of the affected train were provided the required administrative assistance during shifting from the train and subsequent movement towards Jacobabad. =
  16. China blames the violence in Xinjiang on extremists and separatists, some of whom it says have links to groups outside the country BEIJING: Unrelenting risks of ?terror? and separatist activity in China?s far western region of Xinjiang require a prolonged security crackdown, state media said late on Sunday, after a year-long campaign that saw increased police deployment and heightened surveillance. China says Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Muslim extremists and separatists who plot violent attacks and stir up tensions between the mostly Muslim Uighur minority who call the region home and the ethnic Han Chinese majority. In response, the government has organised mass police rallies and rolled out new surveillance and anti-terror measures throughout the region, including thousands of newly installed street-corner police stations in cities and towns. A report first read at a government meeting on Jan. 22 by governor Shohrat Zakir and published on the official Xinjiang Daily newspaper said that 2017?s campaign had made it clear that stabilizing society in Xinjiang would require more measures. ?There has been no fundamental change to the situation of Xinjiang being in a time of regular violent terror activities, an intense struggle against separatists and the painful throes of an intervention treatment,? Zakir said. He added that the long-term peace and stability of Xinjiang and its society must be the overall goal of the regional government for the ?critical period? of the next five years. To meet this goal, the government will continue to deepen severe specialist operations, such as guaranteeing absolute security of key areas and the ?normalization? of preventative measures in society, Zakir said. China blames the violence in Xinjiang on extremists and separatists, some of whom it says have links to groups outside the country. Rights groups and Uighur exiles say it is more a product of Uighur frustration at Chinese controls on their culture and religion. China denies any repression.
  17. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ have been leaked in a fresh round of renders that come straight from the desk of VentureBeat's Evan Blass. The images show that the upcoming phones will resemble the previous generation Galaxy S8 duo in terms of design. The Galaxy S9 is expected to sport the same 5.8-inch display, while the Galaxy S9+ is expected to sport a 6.2-inch display. Another report also suggests that the phones will incorporate 'Intelligent Scan' technology that combines the iris scanner and facial recognition to improve device unlocking in bad lighting conditions. The “Intelligent Scan” feature is said to improve accuracy and security and can be used in either extreme or low light settings. A video posted by SamCentral's Maxwell Weinbach further shows how the feature will work. The feature is expected to be present on the Galaxy S9 as well as roll out on last year's Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. © Samsung However, Samsung combining it with facial recognition technology means it'll hopefully be better at securing your phone, though we don't see it replacing fingerprint authentication just yet. Details are scarce at the moment, so questions like how will the feature work if the user isn't looking directly at the iris scanner remain unanswered. The only downside of an iris scanner is, the user needs to look directly at the sensor at an almost perfect angle so a combination of facial recognition can take precedence here and reduce this task making it faster and simpler for the user to unlock. © MensXP A VentureBeat report claims that this year will be merely a component upgrade for Samsung's flagship range. Borrowing design elements from last year, the S9 series is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 in US and China, and Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC in other markets (including India). A new 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant for the Galaxy S9+ might launch this year. Both phones are expected to sport QHD+ Super AMOLED displays with rounded edges. Samsung is planning to launch the Galaxy S9 and S9+ at the Mobile World Congress in late February. The launch will happen on February 25 in Barcelona, the day before the MWC officially opens. Source: YouTube
  18. QUETTA: Under the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, Frontier Corps along with intelligence agencies carried out Intelligence-based operations on terrorist hideouts in Balochistan, said the Inter-Services Public Relations statement on Sunday. The IBOs were carried out in Dera Bugti, Chattar and Lehri areas, said the army?s media cell. During the raids, weapons and ammunition including Improvised Explosive Devices, rocket launcher, sub-machine guns, anti-personnel mines, hand grenades, accessories of different weapons and large quantity of various caliber ammunition were recovered, said the ISPR. Pakistan had launched a nationwide military operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' in February 2017, which was based on broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, and continuation of ongoing operations across the country.
  19. A man walks past a poster of the Bollywood movie 'Padmavati' outside a theatre in Mumbai, India, November 21, 2017. REUTERS/ Danish Siddiqui/Files MUMBAI: A controversial Indian movie that has angered Hindu extremists finally opens on Thursday amid heightened security owing to fears of widespread riots. Police are on high alert across several states after protesters pledged to disrupt the release of Padmaavat ? a Bollywood epic about a mythical Hindu queen. Radical groups say the film will portray queen Padmavati falsely, a claim producers vehemently deny and have threatened to attack any cinema that shows it. Violent protests ? which have been going on for over a year ? escalated this week with hundreds of demonstrators rampaging through the streets of Ahmedabad. Several hundred people attacked shops, set alight dozens of motorbikes and damaged more than 150 cars across the city in Gujarat state, according to police. In Noida, near the capital New Delhi, activists burned toll booths on a highway after a rally, while, in Rajasthan state, women carrying swords marched against the movie. In Mumbai ? the home of India?s Hindi-language film industry known as Bollywood ? Hindu protesters set car tyres on fire during an angry demonstration late Tuesday. The following day Mumbai police rounded up 50 people affiliated to a hardline group that has been at the forefront of protests as they cracked down ahead of Thursday?s release. "We are providing security arrangements to all multiplexes and single screen theatres showing the movie," Mumbai police spokesman Deepak Deoraj told AFP. "We will be patrolling the entire city and will have reserve forces deployed to prevent any flare-ups until the issue is resolved," he added. Fanatical groups belonging to India?s Rajput caste ? who revere Padmavati ? have been leading the protests which have picked up supporters from other Hindu groups. Box office hit Opponents claim the movie will feature a romantic liaison between Padmavati and 14th-century Muslim ruler Alauddin Khilji despite repeated denials by filmmakers. The movie?s producers say the film celebrates Rajputs, who were traditionally warriors. The protesters insist the movie distorts history, even though experts say the queen is a mythical character and that her story is based on a poem written over a century later. Trouble first hit the movie in January last year when Rajput Karni Sena members attacked the film?s director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and vandalised the set during filming in Rajasthan. Members of the fringe group have threatened to attack cinemas, including with swords, on Thursday while hundreds of women have said they are ready to perform a mass self-immolation if screenings go ahead. Hardliners have also offered bounties of up to 50 million rupees ($769,000) to anyone who "beheaded" lead actress Deepika Padukone or Bhansali. Several states ? including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab ? tried to ban the film but India?s Supreme Court has ruled that this would violate creative freedoms. Padmaavat stars Shahid Kapoor as Maharawal Ratan Singh, the husband of Padmavati, and Ranveer Singh as Khilji who leads an invasion to try to capture the queen. It was initially due to hit screens on December 1 but filmmakers pushed back the release date and earlier this month India?s censor board cleared it with five changes. Many distributors are refusing to exhibit the film due to the threats of violence but industry watchers still expect it to be a hit at the box office. "The movie will make 1 billion rupees (15.7 million) over the long weekend from Thursday to Sunday despite the protests," trade analyst Akshaye Rathi told AFP, referring to India?s Republic Day holiday Friday.
  20. People attend an Anti-Trump demonstration to protest US President Donald Trump's coming to the World Economic Forum of Davos, in Geneva, Switzerland, January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy ZURICH/DAVOS: Anti-capitalists marched through Swiss cities on Tuesday to protest a planned visit by US President Donald Trump to the World Economic Forum (WEF) and broke through a security cordon in Davos. Leftists organizers called for the protests under the mottos ?Trump Not Welcome? and ?Smash WEF!? Trump is due to speak on Friday at the WEF in the Alpine town of Davos, an annual meeting of global business and political leaders where protests have been banned. About 20 demonstrators broke through security to reach the Davos Congress Centre, holding banners and shouting ?Wipe out WEF? before they were peacefully disbanded by police. ?Trump is just one of the other people we disagree with. We?ve been protesting every year now against the World Economic Forum and if Trump comes or not we don?t care. Trump is just, maybe he?s just the best symbol of this world,? protester Alex Hedinger told Reuters TV in Davos. More than 4,000 Swiss soldiers have deployed to guard Davos alongside 1,000 police and a no-fly zone is in place. Police estimated that there were 2,000 demonstrators in Zurich. They carried flags and anti-globalist and environmentalist placards such as ?No Trump, no coal, no gas, no fossil fuels? as they marched toward Zurich?s financial district, where bankers had been warned to stay clear of the approved demonstration. Swiss television RSR showed a sign that read ?Who was the shithole??, in reference to reported remarks by Trump about Haiti and African countries, which he has denied. Several hundred protesters also marched in public squares in Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg. Geneva signs read ?World Economic Fiasco?, ?racist sexist capitalist? and ?Don?t touch women?s rights?. Geneva demonstrator organizer Paolo Gilardi told Reuters TV: ?While the Swiss Federal Council (Swiss cabinet) is about to welcome and unroll the red carpet for Mister Trump, well we think that the population has something to say.? ?This policy is unacceptable because the goal ... is to reduce the planet to fire and blood and to assure the powerful people?s domination over the rest of the world.? Earlier in Geneva, protesters laid a wreath at the entrance of the US diplomatic mission in memory of Heather Heyer, who was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, amid clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters last August. After the rally, Trump inflamed tensions by saying there were ?very fine people? on both sides, drawing condemnation from some Republican leaders and praise from white supremacists. Earlier this month, demonstrators also protested against Trump?s visit in the Swiss capital of Bern. That march was peaceful, unlike violent anti-WEF protests in several Swiss cities in the early 2000s.
  21. Afghan security force keep watch near the site of an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan January 20, 2018. Photo: Reuters KABUL: Visitors to an upmarket Kabul hotel attacked by Taliban gunmen have described glaring security gaps immediately before assailants went on a bloody rampage targetting guests, in a city constantly under threat. Bags were not checked, scanners did not work, and body searches were nonexistent, according to witnesses, as the private company providing security to the state-owned Intercontinental Hotel comes under the spotlight after the 12-hour attack overnight Sunday killed at least 22 people, the majority foreigners. Authorities are still investigating how the six militants were able to slip past Kabul Balkh Safety & Security (KBSS) guards and launch the assault with guns and grenades. A witness and a security source told AFP that at least two of the gunmen were armed and inside the hotel before the attack began. An AFP reporter and driver visited the landmark 1960s building on a hilltop overlooking the Afghan capital on Saturday, hours before the assault. They described cursory security checks by KBSS in accounts confirmed by other recent visitors to the hotel. ?We were told the scanning machines were not working today,? said telecom executive Aziz Tayeb, who hid behind a pillar during the assault. ?I also didn?t see any armed guard in the scan room just before you enter the building or inside,? he said, adding his bags were not searched. ?In the past two weeks, I went to the hotel with my family twice. Out of the three or four checkpoints before the main entrance only one of them checked our car. We were not even body searched,? Ahmad Shafi, a frequent visitor, told AFP. An AFP driver said that when he arrived at the first checkpoint around 9:30 am Saturday, the hotel guard casually asked him: ?Do you have a gun?? The driver replied ?No?, and was waved through. At a second checkpoint, guards looked for magnetic bombs on the car using a mirror and sniffer dog, he said. A few metres from the hotel lobby the AFP reporter was checked with a handheld metal detector. It is unclear if the baggage scanning machine was working at the time. No armed guards were seen in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. KBSS declined a request for comment by AFP Tuesday. In a statement, the company said it would do ?everything in its power? to cooperate with the investigation. KBSS, which took over hotel security three weeks ago, was formed in 2004 and lists the United Nations and the European Union as among those it has provided services to. A security source told AFP Monday that KBBS has responsibility for protecting the complex only, with its guards not allowed inside the hotel under a contract he said had been signed by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. They were also not allowed to search VIPs, he said. Witnesses have told AFP that the guards fled during the attack, though the security source denied that to AFP. The attack followed security warnings in recent days to avoid locations frequented by foreigners in war-torn Kabul.
  22. Photo: File RAWALPINDI: A large number of weapons and ammunition were recovered during intelligence-based operations in Balochistan. According to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday, Frontier Corps Balochistan conducted the operations in Dera Bugti, Kohlu and Dera Murad Jamali. The recovered items include submachine guns, light machine guns, mortar rounds, grenades, detonators, explosives and communication equipment, the statement read. The forces have thwarted terrorism bids, nabbed suspects and recovered ammunitions in similar operations in the province earlier. A statement from January 12 stated that 16 suspects were arrested during intelligence-based operations in Sambaza, Sibi and Hazar Ganji areas of Balochistan.
  23. BACKGROUND: The original Bayeux Tapestry showing the Battle of Hastings. BBC via Shutterstock; SUPERIMPOSED: France's President Emmanuel Macron and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May inspect troops at Sandhurst Military Academy, Britain, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay SANDHURST: British Prime Minister Theresa May and her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed on a new border security deal on Thursday, through which the UK will pay more to France to stop migrants trying to reach British shores. May also confirmed the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry from France ? a historic work depicting the Norman conquest of England, which she said would come to Britain in 2022 for the first time in over 900 years. The two leaders ? who met for wide-ranging talks at the Sandhurst military academy near London ? agreed that the UK will pay an extra £44.5 million (50 million euros, $62 million) for fencing, CCTV, and detection technology in Calais and other Channel ports. "The further investment we have agreed today will make the UK's borders even more secure," May said during a joint press conference with Macron. While the two countries cooperate closely in numerous areas ? including intelligence and defence ? differences over migration have strained ties. The money will be on top of more than £100 million already paid by Britain, following a request by Macron to contribute more cash. The 35th UK-France summit came as Britain tries to strengthen bilateral ties before leaving the European Union in March 2019. May said she was "honoured" by the loan of the Bayeux Tapestry and Macron said he hoped it would open "a new chapter" for cultural and scientific co-operation. "We are somehow making a new tapestry together," Macron said, rejecting any suggestion that it was intended to remind Britain of a victorious France. The loan has been met with opposition by French experts who have warned about the delicate state of the 70-metre (230-foot) long embroidery. The tapestry, which shows how the English King Harold being killed by an arrow in the eye at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, is believed to have been created within years of the battle. Financial services warning The UK-France summit came as Britain tries to strengthen bilateral ties before leaving the European Union in March 2019. The French flag was raised over the military base and the French national anthem played out for the arrival of May and Macron, who were greeted by a guard honour and a flypast of two planes. They earlier visited the Michelin-star Royal Oak pub in May's Maidenhead constituency, where they had a "convivial" lunch together according to a British source. While Brexit was not scheduled for formal discussion, Macron said Britain's decision to leave the European Union would lead to some "short-term uncertainties". Macron also said that Britain could have "no differentiated access to financial services" if it decides to leave the European single market. Otherwise, Britain would have to pay into the EU budget. "There shall be no hypocrisy in this respect... otherwise we would destroy the single market," he said. The French president stressed that the new border agreement was a bilateral accord, separate from any EU divorce deal, aimed at managing the sensitive of immigration as hundreds of people continue to camp out in Calais. The two countries currently abide by the 15-year-old Treaty of Le Touquet, which permits immigration checks within each other's borders. The new treaty signed at Thursday's summit was intended to complement the 2003 deal, according to French officials. In addition to more funds from Britain, the two sides agreed to "improved treatment" of child refugees which Macron said would see their paperwork processed within 25 days. Helicopters to Africa The British prime minister also committed to sending Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopters to a key French counter-terrorism operation in Mali. The deployment of three RAF Chinook helicopters to provide logistic support to French troops tackling jihadis across Africa's Sahel region is part of broader counter-terrorism and military efforts there by the UN, the EU and the African Union. It is seen as particularly significant as France is lacking in such capabilities and Britain's commitment could mark the start of a longer-term deployment in the region. "Since the last UK-France summit we have seen appalling and cowardly terrorist attacks in both our countries, in which British and French citizens have died side-by-side," May said. France, in turn, has agreed to commit troops to the British-led NATO battlegroup in Estonia in 2019.
  24. RAWALPINDI: Frontier Corps (FC) on Thursday conducted various intelligence-based operation in Balochistan and arrested eight terrorists, including an illegal Afghan national. The operations were conducted in the Gulistan, Pishin, Kanack, Dera Bugti, Uch, Sambaza Dera Murad Jamali and Sibbi areas of the province. Weapons and ammunition including, IEDs, rockets, fuses, grenades, mortars and explosives were recovered. Pakistan had launched a nationwide military operation 'Radd-ul-Fasaad' in February 2017, which was based on broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab, and continuation of ongoing operations across the country.
  25. Dyed in the wool: Not happy to see ewe: A stubborn farmer is battling the US military over a flock of sheep near a military base in southern Romania. Photo: AFP file One of the most important strategic sites in Europe for the US military has come under threat from a rather unexpected enemy: a flock of sheep. It is their random meanderings near the Deveselu base in southern Romania that has triggered an unusual power struggle between US commanders and a stubborn local sheep farmer. Dumitru Bleja's 250 or so sheep "grazed without problem" in the area for years before the Americans arrived at the end of 2013, says Alexandru Damian, mayor of Stoenesti, a community on the vast Danubian plain 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of the border with Bulgaria. "Sheep are not like people. They don't respect the rules, they go into areas where security sensors are active, touching the fence and setting off alarm systems," he says. Photo: AFP But this is unthinkable for the US military, which chose the site as one of its two anti-missile defence systems to help defend NATO members against the threat of short and medium-range ballistic missiles, particularly from the Middle East. A security threat? In 2014, the top US official at Deveselu informed Romania's defence ministry that having a shelter for sheep some 10 metres (yards) from the fence "undermines the minimum security requirements and is incompatible" with the running of the base. The complaint has spiralled into a more than three-year legal saga between the Romanian defence ministry and the farmer that has now reached the country's highest court, which on Wednesday will rule on one of the aspects of the case. Photo: AFP According to the mayor, Bleja had in 2007 bought nearly a hectare (2.5 acres) of land adjacent to the area later taken over by the base, and a year later, he built a shelter for his sheep ? well before work began on the military site. But, the farmer never applied for planning permission to build, he says. With the ministry pursuing him for building without a permit, the shepherd has responded with his own claims ? for damages of up to 18,000 euros ($22,000) in the event of the demolition of his 132-square-metre (1,420-square-foot) sheep pen. For the mayor, the situation is "embarrassing". "We have signed a treaty with the Americans and we should respect it," he says. Contacted by AFP, the US military declined to comment "on a dispute between the Romanian government and a private citizen". "We sincerely appreciate the strong and continued partnership between the United States and our Romanian allies that allows for continued operations at Naval Support Facility Deveselu," said Lieutenant Tim Pietrack, spokesman for the US Navy's Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia region. The base at Deveselu, which is part of the NATO missile shield and was built at an estimated cost of $800 million, was inaugurated in May 2016, infuriating Russia which views it as a security threat right on its doorstep. 'Exaggerated' demands In Stoenesti, residents are largely reluctant to talk "to avoid getting into trouble" with Bleja, but some believe that he is the one at fault. "Even if we're talking about building a road, people should just accept the conditions laid out" by the authorities responsible for expropriations, said one bar owner. "You can't just dig in your heels and do things of your own accord. The landowner must reach an agreement with the military and with the local authorities," said a 69-year-old retiree, Nicoleta Nacu. "And the damages he is asking for are exaggerated because after all, the sheep pen is not all that big." One local councillor even accused the farmer of buying the land and building the shelter there "on purpose, to be able to demand significant compensation from the Americans." But the idea is dismissed out of hand by Bleja's lawyer Serban Dinu. "Out of the question," he says. "Back in 2007, nobody knew that Deveselu would be chosen" as the site for a US base, he told AFP. Ahead of Wednesday's verdict, the farmer ? who declined to be interviewed ? has gone with his sheep to his hometown of Caracal, which lies 15 km west of Stoenesti.