|US claim drone strike kills Mullah Fazlullah|
|(CNN) A US drone strike in Afghanistan's northeastern Kunar province has killed the leader of the Pakistan Taliban (TTP), according to a Afghan government official.|
Ministry of Defense spokesman Mohammad Radmanish confirmed to CNN that Mullah Fazlullah, who led the terror group from 2013, was killed in the strike Wednesday.
US forces had conducted the strike close to the border of Pakistan, targeting the "Emir" of the group, according US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O'Donnell.
Fazlullah had been a major figure in the TTP even before he became emir in late 2013, and once led a Pakistan Taliban militia in the country's Swat Valley.
The administrative district, in northwestern Pakistan, was where militants shot and wounded teen activist Malala Yousafzai in October 2012 as she was riding home from school in a van; the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility.
A statement from US Forces-Afghanistan claimed that the strike did not put an ongoing, unilateral ceasefire initiated by the Afghan government at risk.
|Police killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud angers Pakistanis|
|[Al Jazeera] The police killing of a man in Karachi has sparked a social media outcry, as his family members reject claims by authorities that he was a member of the Pakistan Taliban, saying he was an innocent aspiring male model.|
Police fatally shot Naqeebullah Mehsud, 27, during a raid on what they described as a "terrorist hideout" in eastern Karachi last week, according to a police statement.
He was buried in his native town of Makin, in the South Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, on Friday, family members told Al Jazeera.
So-called "encounter killings" are common in Pakistan. Rights groups say when police lack enough evidence for a court conviction, they extrajudicially kill suspects.
In 2016, police said they had killed at least 318 suspects during raids and shootouts in Karachi, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HCRP), an independent rights organisation.
"Some men in plainclothes came and abducted him from a restaurant in Karachi on January 3 [10 days before police said he was killed]," said Alamgir Mehsud, Naqeebullah's cousin. "Then on January 16, we were told that he had been killed by police. We got his body back the next day."
Naqeebullah, also known as Naseemullah, ran a popular Facebook page where he posted pictures of himself modelling clothes and hairstyles.
"He used to work in a garment mill in Karachi, and he used that money to fund his modelling," said Alamgir. "He was a sort of idol to young people from the Mehsud tribe in Karachi."
By late December, Naqeebullah's page had more than 14,000 followers, and he often posted light-hearted messages.
On September 16, he posted a warning to young people not to engage in the "Blue Whale Challenge", a reported social media campaign that encouraged self-harm.
|Israel Offers Humanitarian Aid|
|By Joel Leyden|
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem — December 16, 2014 … As Jewish children light candles, celebrating the first night of Hanukkah in Israel, the world turns it’s attention to a bloody massacre in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Over 130 children aged 10 to 18 were murdered by Islamic terrorists in an attack by the Taliban (formally known as Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP) on a Pakistan military-run school. Some seven suicide bombers charged the school with automatic weapons and explosives.
Israel and Pakistan, which do not share diplomatic relations, do communicate. Most of the communication takes places through their embassies in Turkey. In the past they have assisted one another with INTEL on terror groups which threaten both nations. But now the time has come for both nations to normalize relations.
If not for trade, then for their children.
Both nations are respected for their moderate values in a very tough Middle Eastern neighborhood. The people of both nations share much in common with an accent on agriculture, high-tech, education and love for family.
The days of Israel labeling Pakistan “an antisemitic state” and Pakistan counter-labeling Israel “a Zionist and racist state” must be replaced with the sharing of intelligence that will save lives and create bridges between the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities.
Islamic terror groups, ISIS, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Taliban, Hezbollah and al-Qaeda target Jews and Christians as “infidels” which they state need to be destroyed in a Jihad or Holy War. But the hatred shared by these terror groups is far greater for Muslims who embrace Western values. Democracy, equal rights for women and free speech is not tolerated by the Taliban in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Taliban are against Western-style education for children and the employment of women. Most famously, their terrorists shot schoolgirl education activist Malala Yousafzai in the head in 2012 as she traveled on a school bus. She survived to receive a Nobel Peace Prize last week.
As Israel quietly extends condolences and humanitarian aid to the families who lost loved ones in Peshawar, Pakistan must realize one thing.
The blood of Jewish and Muslim children is the same.
There is no reason on this good earth that these children should not be protected with any and all security assets available. Respect, understanding and tolerance must now transcend hate, propaganda and mistrust.
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the assault in Peshawar and rushed to the area to show his support for the victims.
The prime minister vowed that Pakistan would not be cowed by the violence and that the military would continue with an aggressive operation to neutralize terrorism.
“The fight will continue. No one should have any doubt about it,” Sharif said.
Sharif and his government should, without delay, include democratic Israel in this fight.
|Waiting to be Killed: Chickens/Roost|
|[WashingtonPost] Armored car sales have soared, and some new luxury apartments feature bulletproof glass. Local police officers, slain this year at an average rate of one per day, are demoralized. And now even the journalists are trying to arm themselves.|
Pakistan's biggest city has been plagued by crime and political violence for decades, with Urdu- and Pashto-speaking groups battling for influence. But the bloodshed is worsening as the domestic Taliban insurgency expands.
The monster is going to devour its' creator.
The militant group was largely responsible for a 90 percent spike in terrorist attacks in Karachi last year, according to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, which monitors violence. In the latest such attack, an explosion tore through a bus carrying police Thursday morning, killing a dozen officers. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility.
The mayhem is raising concerns that one of the world's most populous cities is teetering on the brink of lawlessness.
Concerns? Who's concerned? The U.N., perhaps?
"Something must be done soon, if Pakistan is to be saved," said Nasir Jamal, a deputy director of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), a major political party.
Hmmmmm.... saved.... maybe not....
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif insists that Karachi can be tamed through targeted security operations and peace talks launched last month with the Pak Taliban. But residents are deeply worried.
For all the unrest, Karachi hardly resembles Baghdad or Mogadishu. It is home to dozens of international corporations, the Pakistan stock exchange and two major ports. Streets remain busy well into the night as residents flock to upscale shopping malls and events such as a new dolphin show at the aquarium and Pakistan's first performance of the Broadway musical "Grease."
Yet, that semblance of normality is increasingly being tested by Islamist militants surging into the city from northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan, part of a larger migration that has caused the city's population to nearly double in just over a decade, to about 22 million.
The city has long suffered from violence linked to gangs, drug traffickers and political mobsters. But now, some areas of the city look increasingly militarized. In the Kati Pahari neighborhood, heavily armed officers man checkpoints, stopping cars in search of militants traveling from police no-go zones in the vast slums on the outskirts of town.
The influx began after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 caused al-Qaeda fighters and Afghan Taliban to flee that country. More recently, Karachi has become a haven for militants escaping U.S. drone strikes and Pakistani military operations in northwest Pakistan.
No wonder the locals don't like the drones.
The Pakistan Taliban, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), formed when various Pakistani militant groups coalesced in 2007 and early 2008. It claims to be independent of the Afghan Taliban. But the groups are believed to coordinate activities. Both are dominated by Pashtuns, the biggest ethnic group in southern and eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan.
For years, Karachi had been plagued by clashes between Mohajirs, Urdu speakers who long dominated this economic hub, and Pashtuns, who were newer arrivals. But now, even Pashtuns say they feel threatened.
Somebody bring me my Femtoviolin.
|Hakimullah Mehsud drone strike: 'Death of peace efforts'|
|[BBC.CO.UK] Pakistan's interior minister has said the death of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has destroyed the country's nascent peace process.|
Somehow my caremeter just isn't sparkin'...
The official Rantburg Sympathy Meter didn't budge so much as 0.1 givashits...
"This is not just the killing of one person, it's the death of all peace efforts," Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
it's the size of the poop we give about your peace process.
Pakistan's security forces have been put on high alert following the US drone strike on Friday.
Insert horse, barn door analogy...
It came a day before a government delegation had been due to fly to North Waziristan to meet Mehsud.
That meeting's cancelled...
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged to talk with the Taliban to try to end its campaign of violence, which has left thousands dead in bombings and shootings across the country.
Hakimullah's campaign of violence has ceased. Somebody else's campaign will now commence. Talk to him.
Militants have in the past carried out retaliatory attacks after the killings of other Taliban commanders.
They keep carrying out "retaliatory attacks" whether we've whacked anybody or not. It's their nature.
Mehsud was killed along with four other people - including two of his bodyguards - when four missiles struck their vehicle in the north-western region of North Waziristan, a senior Taliban official told the BBC.
Such is the destiny of all Pak Taliban leaders, though not, so far, of Afghan Taliban leaders. That fact raises a few interesting questions.
Pakistani media say Mehsud's funeral has taken place at an unknown location in the tribal area of North Waziristan.
"Is that his thumb?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"Toss it in."
The Taliban's ruling council met on Saturday to choose a new leader. Unconfirmed reports say regional commander Khan Said Sajna has been elected to the top job.
The premium on his life insurance policy just jumped dramatically.
As well as Mehsud, the previous Pakistan Taliban leader was killed in a drone strike, in 2009.
And the one before him.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the US president's National Security Council, would not comment on any US government involvement or confirm the death but said it would be a serious loss for the group.
"Coulda been anybody, y'know. We ain't the only ones that didn't like him..."
The Pakistan government has strongly condemned the drone attack as a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.
They always do, don't they? Like clockwork.
Mehsud's death is seen as another setback for the militant group after the recent capture of a senior commander by US forces in Afghanistan.
We concentrate on Wazoo because that's where the al-Qaeda leadership lives, and where the Haqqanis rule.
Mehsud, who led the insurgency from North Waziristan, had a $5m (£3.1m) FBI bounty on his head and was thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
I'm sure he only shot a few of them personally.
He came to prominence in 2007 as a commander under the militant group's founder Baitullah Mehsud, with the capture of 300 Pakistani soldiers adding to his prestige among the militants.
"Ugh! Hakimullah count many coup!"
His second-in-command, Waliur Rehman, was killed in a similar drone strike in May.
That was a violation of Pak sovereignty, too.
But BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says that however weakened the Taliban may be by this loss, they will fight on under a new leader.
Unless they don't, of course. Predicting the likely is easy money.
In a rare interview two weeks ago, Mehsud told the BBC he was open to "serious talks" with the government but said he had not yet been approached.
That's because the govt hadn't capitulated to all his demands yet...
Mehsud denied carrying out recent deadly attacks in public places, saying his targets were "America and its friends".
"Yeah. We're only after them danged infidels. And girls that go to school. And people who ain't devout enough..."
He had loose control over more than 30 militant groups in Pakistan's tribal areas.
Rather than maintaining lunatic asylums, Pakistain has militant groups. They have thirty of them to cater to various types of psychosis.
|In Pakistan, army adamant on fighting the other Taliban|
|ALAM: In the past few years, Swat valley has been occupied by insurgents, undergone a bruising counter-offensive by the army and then flooded by waters that washed away acres of fruit orchards and steeply terraced fields. |
In October last year, the valley which lies about 250 km north of Islamabad was again in the global spotlight when gunmen shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. Now, as villagers try to piece together shattered lives, the military is coming under pressure to talk peace with the Taliban, a ruthless Pakistani offshoot of the radical movement of the same name in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Civilian Pakistani leaders elected in May want to open a dialogue with the homegrown militants set on overthrowing the nuclear-armed state. They say the local people are fed up with the violence and that any talks will be legitimised by US efforts to promote peace with the Afghan Taliban. But the powerful military, which has spent years chasing the Pakistan Taliban into ever-more remote hideouts, is in no mood to negotiate with militants who have killed thousands of soldiers and who they say cannot be trusted. Some villagers back that stand.
(The Taliban) doesnt accept the governments writ, they are not faithful to the constitution, how can a political party talk to them? said Abdul Rehman, an elder in the village of Kalam, a former tourist hotspot high in the Swat valley and ringed by snow-capped peaks of the Hindu Kush. The village is famous for repelling Taliban attacks. We forced them away, first on our own, then with the help of the army, Rehman told Reuters during a visit organised by a UN organisation funding flood relief work in his village, which is set among pine forests and walnut orchards.
The debate over whether to open peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban has taken centrestage in the country as US troops withdraw from Afghanistan after a 12-year war against the Afghan Taliban. Pakistans military leaders are at pains to distinguish between the Afghan Taliban, to which Pakistan maintains ties and which they argue can be seen as fighting against occupation, and its local imitators who they see as domestic terrorists.
The Pakistani Taliban pledges allegiance to Mullah Mohammad Omar, the reclusive leader of the Afghan Taliban but Omar is careful not to be seen to attack the Pakistani state. The Pakistani Talibans suddenly sacked its spokesman on Tuesday amid signs of strained ties between the groups. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his prominent rival Imran Khan both offered to talk to the Pakistani militants while campaigning for Mays federal and provincial elections. While Nawaz won the federal elections, Imrans party emerged victorious in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province that includes Swat Valley and remains a hotbed of Pakistani Taliban activity.
The information minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told Reuters that the provincial government had called a meeting of other political parties and stakeholders to prepare for peace talks. The United States has opened up a Taliban office in Qatar and is holding negotiations with them, and we are being told to continue to fight and die, Khan said last month during a visit to Peshawar, the provinces violence-blighted capital. For the last nine years we have relied on the army to bring peace, but instead the situation got worse, he said. Its now time for politicians to resolve the issue.
Imrans party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), says the violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is a reaction to US drone strikes and pro-Washington policies by the army, and that talks are the only answer. But there is no easy solution. Most of the militants seek refuge in the neighbouring Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) - districts strung along Pakistans border with Afghanistan and run by central writ - and the provincial government cannot control the process.
FATA is used as a base by the Pakistani Taliban, members of the Afghan Taliban and groups linked to al Qaeda. Nawazs federal government can only do so much. Pakistans military largely has a free hand regarding internal security, and influences foreign policy, especially relations with neighbours. It is the army, its intelligence agencies and the Taliban itself who will decide whether to talk or fight.
The Pakistani Taliban has shown interest in talks, but has stepped up attacks after a series of drone strikes on its leaders and also because it doubts the ability of the civilian leadership to convince the military to allow negotiations. If we felt that the PTI government or the Nawaz Sharif government were in a position to take a serious step towards peace talks and can oppose the intelligence agencies, then we can seriously think about peace talks, the groups then spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in a video released in June.
So far, the military has shown no inclination to relax an offensive many officers feel they can win. We have to take the fight to them, said a regional commander flying a helicopter over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Just before the elections, army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani made it clear he would not talk to the militants unless they lay down arms and accept Pakistans laws. There is no room for doubts when it comes to dealing with rebellion against the state, he said in an April 30 speech.
|Home Front: WoT|
|Boston Marathon explosions: Pakistan Taliban says it was not behind bombs|
|[TELEGRAPH.CO.UK] The Pakistan Taliban has denied responsibility for the bomb attacks which killed three people and wounded more than 100 in Boston.|
|Northwest Pakistan Taliban attack kills 23|
|The Pakistan Taliban have attacked an army checkpoint, killing 13 soldiers and 10 civilians, officials say.|
The raid took place in the town of Serai Naurang in north-west Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province early on Saturday, and lasted several hours.
Twelve militants were killed in the attack, some of them suicide bombers, the officials said.
Pakistan Taliban say the attack was in response to the death of two commanders in a drone strike last month.
"Pakistan has been co-operating with the US in its drone strikes that killed our two senior commanders, Faisal Khan and Toofani, and the attack on military camp was the revenge of their killing," a Taliban spokesman said, quoted by Reuters news agency.
|Drone kills top Talibunny Mullah Nazir|
|An American drone strike killed a key Taliban commander, his deputy and eight others in northwest Pakistan, according to intelligence sources and tribal leaders on Thursday.|
Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah
His key commanders and his deputy, Ratta Khan, were also killed in the attack at Angoor Adda, near the provincial capital of Wana.
The military has a large base in Wana, where Nazir and his men were based. Nazir presided over an uneasy peace between the militants and the army there, but the truce was endangered by the military's alliance with the United States and drone strikes, a military officer said recently.
The only thing holding it together was the fact that if they split they couldn't use the PX anymore...
He said, "The (drone) program is making things very difficult for us. Nazir is the sole remaining major militant leader willing to be an ally. If he decides to side with (Pakistan Taliban leader) Hakimullah, thousands of fighters will come to the frontlines against the Pakistani military. It is in our interest to keep him neutral, if not on our side, because then we can direct our resources against anti-state militants with much greater efficiency."
|Drones Back at Work in Pakistan (after a month off)|
|A U.S. drone strike killed four suspected militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border on Sunday, intelligence officials and witnesses said, the first strike in almost a month. |
The controversial drone programme, a key element in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, is highly unpopular in Pakistan, where it is considered a violation of sovereignty which causes many civilian casualties.
The remotely piloted aircraft targeted an abandoned girls' high school building used by militants in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, the officials and witnesses said.
Three militants were wounded.
"We intercepted internal conversation of the militants asking for arranging four coffins for the slain men in the drone attack. We don't know about their identity and nationality but those living in the girls' school were mostly Arabs," a security official said.
A local resident, Haji Niamat Khan, said more than two dozen militants were living in the school when it was attacked.
Only 4 dead out of two dozen? Guess they're learning not to bunch up?
The last drone strike, on March 30,
Has it been that long? Faster, please.
killed four suspected militants and wounded three in the same town of Miranshah, a known hotbed for Pakistan Taliban and foreign militants.
|Nuggets from the Urdu press|
|Indus commissioner flees to Canada|
Reported in Jang, Pakistan's Indus Waters Commissioner for two decades - as opposed to four by India - fled to India after it was discovered that he had colluded with India in the building of dams on Pakistani rivers - especially the Nimo-Bazgo dam - against the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty. His office in the water ministry was attacked by teams of investigators led by army officers.
Dr Baqir was a drug addict
Reported in Jang, Dr Baqir Shah who was mysteriously shot to dearth in Quetta after, as police surgeon, he had reported that Chechen men and women were not killed by their own hand grenade as claimed by police but by bullets fired by Pakistani personnel, had been dubbed a drug addict by Balochistan government which has announced that his murder was owed to personal rivalries.
Wukla persons on the attack again
Reported in Mashriq, a group of lawyers attacked an employee of the banking court of judge Naseer Ahmad and rendered him senseless. After the thrashing by aroused wukla the court employees at once locked up the banking court to avoid further damage at the hands of the lawyers.
Jamaat Ali Shah denies he fled country
Quoted in daily Pakistan, former Indus Waters Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah said in Canada that he was surprised by news that he had run away to Canada after violating exit-control orders against him. He said he had come to Canada to look after his ill mother and despite retirement from his job he had informed the concerned authorities before departing Pakistan. He said he was available to answer any charges.
Democracy ill-suited to Pakistan
Famous columnist and TV personality and distinguished civil servant Oria Maqbul Jan was quoted by Express as saying that democracy was not suited to Pakistan and only an Islamic Shura system would bring order in Pakistan.
Hashmi attacks Nawaz
Quoted in daily Pakistan, Javed Hashmi who deserted PNLM to join Imran Khan's Tehreek Insaf said that Nawaz Sharif had made a deal with Musharraf before leaving his supporters for Saudi Arabia. He said he should apologise for the deal.
Give a billion dollars, take electricity!
Famous nuclear scientist Samar Mubarak Mand told Mashriq that if the government gave him a billion dollars he will give Pakistan the electricity it needs for the next many centuries. He said he was already producing electricity from coal in Thar and was prepared to make even diesel if the government allowed him the money to do so.
After Aila Malik, God safe Imran Khan!
Writing in his paper Jinnah, Chief Editor Khushnood Ali Khan stated that after the joining of Aila Malik of Q-League, Tehreek Insaf of Imran Khan had reached an extreme position. If Aila Malik and Samaira Malik are the support system of Tehreek Insaf then God support Imran Khan (Khuda hi hafiz).
PPP wants a weak Pak Army
Famous foreign minister and son of General Ayub Gohar Ayub told daily Pakistan that the PPP was always determined to weaken the Pakistan Army. He said Bhutto tried to do it by creating federal security force as a counter. In the shape of a memo Zardari had asked for help from the army of another country against the Pak Army.
Dr Safdar Mehmood's new history
Monthly Naya Zamana revealed that in a recent article that Pakistan's renowned historian Dr Safdar Mehmood had stated that late Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani had told him that a teacher of Usmani had appeared in his dream to ask him to repose trust in Jinnah. Dr Mehmood had written that former IG Police Balochistan Ch Fazlul Haq had told him that Maulana Usmani had told him that Jinnah had told him that Holy Prophet PBUH had appeared in Jinnah's dream and told him in the UK saying Jinnah go back to India and lead the Muslims. Usmani said that Jinnah has insisted that this dream of his should not be revealed to anyone.
Rehman Malik thanks Taliban too soon
Reported in daily Pakistan Mullah Umar spoke as a leader of all Taliban - Pakistani and Afghan - and ordered that the Taliban should stop attacking Pakistan Army and Pakistan Taliban to concentrate more on attacks on the Americans. Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik thanked the Talban but soon the attacks restarted in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; and Mullah Umar confirmed that he had not advised Taliban to stop attacks on Pakistani targets.
Pak Army attacks Pak Police
Columnist Hamid Mir wrote in Jang that an ASI was doing duty at Secretariat Chowk in Islamabad when the Army Chief was scheduled to pass through. He was told by am army officer to move his men away from the spot which he did. After 15 minutes the same army officer returned with a posse of men and held him from the throat and took him and his men away in a truck and held them as hostages at another place. After release the ASI tried to lodge a complaint with the police station but was not allowed to do so.
Jamaat Ali Shah helped Indian Army at Siachen
Reported in Jang Indus Waters ex-commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah facilitated the building of India's illegal Nimo-Bazgo dam so that Leh could get electricity which means that Indian soldiers at Siachen would get the benefit of more comfort through use of electricity.
Mengal warns Baloch rebels
Quoted in daily Pakistan great Baloch leader Sardar Ataullah Mengal stated in Karachi that the Baloch rebels should think twice before revolting against Pakistan because it was not certain that they will thus get independent Balochistan. He said if there was no Pakistan there would be no freedom for the Baloch.
Syeda Abida on warpath
Quoted in Jinnah PPP leader Syeda Abida Hussain said that to save Haqqani and the PPP Zardari had gambled away everything including the party tickets which were to be given to her and Fakhr Imam. The tickets for Jhang constituencies were to be given to Faisal Saleh Hayat and Raza Hayat. She said the decision to join Imran Khan had not yet been taken.
Akram Sheikh's male chauvinism
Reported in Mashriq Asma Jahangir said that after its independence and restoration of judges the Supreme Court had not come up to the expectation and hopes of the people. She said clash of state institutions was not good for the state but it was not against the law to criticise the decisions of the Court. The Court had become limited to just a few cases. Many senior lawyers reacted to lawyer Akram Sheik's article in a newspaper criticising Asama Jahangir as an example of Sheikh's male chauvinism. They said Akram Sheikh as lawyer of Mansoor Ijaz had attacked Asma who was a respected lawyer of the Bar.
Double Shah gets 14 years
Reported in Express, Double Shah the fraudster from Punjab who had defrauded hundreds of thousands of innocent people across the province of Rs 5 billion promising to double their deposits overnight has been sentenced to 14 years in jail. His victims still had faith in him. The Court also fined him Rs 5 billion.
|Pakistan Taliban's deputy Mohammad admits peace talks|
|The Pakistan Taliban is in peace talks with the country's government, the group's deputy commander has said.|
He said 145 Taliban prisoners had been freed as a goodwill gesture and the authorities wanted a ceasefire. It is the first time a top Taliban commander has confirmed negotiations. There has been no government comment.
"Our talks are going in the right direction," Reuters news agency quotes Mr Mohammad as saying.
The BBC's Orla Guerin in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, says that in the past such negotiations have backfired allowing the militants time to re-group. There are also doubts about whether or not any possible peace treaty would be observed by all of the factions in the Pakistan Taliban, which is an increasingly fractured alliance, she says.