|Security forces arrest 4 from Lahore in connection with Data Darbar bombing|
|[DAWN] Security forces in Lahore picked up four suspects during a late night raid on Thursday in Lahore's Garhi Shahu area soon after agencies investigating the Data Darbar bombing traced the alleged to the locality.|
Twelve individuals in what officials had described as a targeting an Elite Force van detailed to the security of the Data Darbar shrine on Wednesday.
Agencies investigating the bombing said they had identified the rickshaw used to transport the suspected bomber to the shrine.
The suspect took the rickshaw from near the railway station. Video footage obtained by the agencies reportedly shows that the rickshaw driver approached the bomber as the latter approached from Garhi Shahu.
law enforcement agencies said they had shifted their focus to three major terrorist networks of the outlawed Tehrik-e- Pakistain (TTP) in to uncover handlers/ s of the attack.
Talking about the ongoing investigation into the
|Pakistan’s effort to end terrorist financing remains uneven: US|
| [DAWN] As the new government in Islamabad starts work on addressing the concerns related to money laundering and terror financing, a US State Department report released on Thursday said that Pakistain criminalised terrorist financing through the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), but its implementation remained uneven.|
Pakistain is a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering ‐ a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. In June, the -based FATF placed Pakistain on its grey list of countries that could be marked out for economic sanctions if they failed to prevent from collecting funds within their domain.
The official US report ‐ released with the State Department’s country reports on terrorism ‐ also highlights FATF’s concerns about Pakistain.
"The FATF continued to note concern that Pakistain’s outstanding gaps in the implementation of the UN Security Council ( ) and Al Qaeda sanctions regime have not been resolved, and that UN-listed entities ‐ including (LeT) and its affiliates ‐ were not effectively prohibited from raising funds in Pakistain, nor being denied financial services," the report points out.
Last month, Finance Minister Asad Umar told the Senate that FATF had given Pakistain 15 months to comply with these requirements. The minister said FATF had identified 27 deficiencies in the Pak financial system, including "currency smuggling, hawala and terror financing of proscribed organizations".
The minister had told the house that the government would be addressing all the objections raised not only to satisfy the international community but also because it was in Pakistain’s own interest to get rid of terror financing and terrorism.
The US State Department in its report acknowledged that Pakistain’s laws technically comply with international anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism standards, but added that Pak authorities "failed to uniformly implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and individuals such as LeT and its affiliates, which continued to make use of economic resources and raise funds".
The report also refers to a Nov 2017 decision of the Lahore High Court which refused to extend the detention of LeT founder as it judged the government had not provided sufficient evidence against him nor had it charged Hafiz Saeed with a crime.
The US report also examines the National Action Plan that the PML-N government gave to FATF in June this year, noting that the plan contains efforts to prevent and counter terrorist financing, including by enhancing interagency coordination.
The law designates the use of unlicensed hundi and hawala systems as predicate offences to terrorism and also requires banks to report suspicious transactions to Pakistain’s financial intelligence unit, the State Bank’s Financial Monitoring Unit.
The US State Department, however, notes that throughout 2017 "these unlicensed money transfer systems persisted throughout the country and were open to abuse by terrorist financiers operating in the cross-border area".
The report also identifies several major terrorist groups focused on conducting attacks in Pakistain, including the Tehrik-e- Pakistain, , and the sectarian group al-Alami.
The report also mentions groups located in Pakistain, but focused on conducting attacks outside the country, included the Afghan Taliban, , Lashkar-e-Taiba and (JeM).
The reports notes that in 2017, the used a range of tactics ‐ stationary and vehicle-borne improvised s, s, targeted s, and rocket-propelled grenades ‐ to attack individuals, schools, markets, government institutions and places of worship.
The report also notes that the Pak government and military continued high-profile efforts to disrupt terrorist attacks and eliminate anti-state s. "Progress, however, remained slow on the government’s efforts to implement UN sanctions related to designated entities and enforce anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) controls."
|Mastung bomber studied in Karachi seminary|
|[DAWN] The man who blew himself up at a Mastung election rally on July 13 and killed nearly 150 people, including Balochistan Awami Party candidate Siraj Raisani, was a student at a seminary in Karachi before being shifted to Afghanistan along with his family, where he got militancy training, it emerged on Friday.|
The alleged suicide bomber has been identified by authorities as Hafeez Abbasi, a young man in his early 20s.
Sources in the Sindh police’s Counter-Terrorism Department told Dawn that their counterparts in Balochistan had shared with them a preliminary report of the suicide explosion and they carried out further work here.
The CTD-Quetta had provided fingerprints of an unclaimed body to the CTD-Sindh to match it with the record of the National Database and Registration Authority. It transpired that the alleged suicide bomber was a resident of Gharibabad Mohalla in Dhabeji, Thatta.
A special CTD team was immediately sent there on July 17 and to their utter surprise, his father, Mohammed Nawaz, without any hesitation told them that his son Hafeez had been shifted to Afghanistan’s Spin Boldak area.
Three sisters, two brothers living in Afghanistan
Mr Nawaz, who is living with another son, Haq Nawaz, in Thatta also told the CTD team that not only Hafeez but his wife, his two other sons and three daughters had also been shifted to Afghanistan.
The family originally hailed from Molia village in Abbottabad.
They said that Abbasi had studied at a seminary in Shah Faisal Colony for three years where he adopted the path toward militancy. His certain colleagues at the seminary were instrumental in motivating him towards militancy and they allegedly sent him to Afghanistan.
The sources disclosed that as per information provided by his father, his three daughters, who had been shifted to Afghanistan, were ‘Alima’ (religious scholars) and two of them had married IS militants there.
His two more sons, Abdul Aziz and Abdul Shakoor, were also living in Afghanistan, they said, adding that Shakoor recently told his father that now “it’s his turn” to become a suicide bomber, said the sources.
Abbasi’s eldest sister was married and lived with her family in their hometown in Abbottabad.
The suspected bomber’s father along with his son used to sell milk and vegetables in the Dhabeji area.
The CTD sources said that the father did not show any remorse or express any feeling of sadness when they informed him that his son had carried out a suicide attack in the Mastung rally.
Links with former Karachi TTP chief
The father told the CTD that Abbasi was working with Haji Daud there.
A CTD official told Dawn, on the condition of anonymity, that Haji Daud, also known as Daud Policewala, was a policeman in Karachi till mid-2000. He was also appointed as the city chief of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) by now slain Mullah Fazlullah.
The official said they got reports that Haji Daud had developed differences with Mullah Fazlullah as he joined the militant Islamic State group. He was also reportedly injured in a clash with TTP militants there.
The sources said that the CTD officials got the mobile phone number of Hafeez from his father and by using latest technology they came to know that he had arrived in Chaman from Afghanistan on June 29.
He was also in touch with at least nine persons, including three belonging to Sindh, they added.
The alleged bomber was later moved to Qila Abdullah and subsequently to Mastung, where he had carried out the suicide attack on Siraj Raisani’s election rally.
The CTD-Sindh informed their counterparts in Balochistan about Abbasi’s alleged handler in Qila Abdullah and his local facilitator in Mastung.
Important arrests made
In Karachi and Thatta, the sources added that law enforcement agencies conducted raids and made “some important arrests”.
A CTD official feared that Abbasi’s younger brother Shakoor, who is a teenager, might carry out a terrorist attack.
The official, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that they had arrested some members of the IS network in Karachi.
He added that concerted efforts were under way to ‘dismantle’ the group before it could strike again in the country.
The CTD official believed that IS was “actively flourishing and being patronised by foreign intelligence agencies” in Spin Boldak “to sabotage the election process, trigger destabilisation in the country and to mainly target CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor- related activities”.
|Suicide bomber kills 12 at anti-Taliban party rally in Pakistan|
|[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] A at an anti- political party’s rally in northwest Pakistain on Tuesday, killing 12 people, including a candidate in July 25 elections, police said.|
The attack on a meeting of the (ANP) in also injured nearly 50 others, city police chief Jamil Qazi said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the first major pre-election violence. Live TV footage showed volunteers and police rushing the to hospital.
The ANP was the main target of Taliban attacks in the 2013 election. Then, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour was killed in a . Tuesday’s attack killed his son Haroon Bilour, a candidate for the provincial assembly.
Peshawar city sits on the edge of a region bordering Afghanistan that has long been home to Islamist s.
The Pak Taliban, a loosely aligned umbrella group of several and sectarian bands, have been waging a war against the Pak state for over a decade, killing tens of thousands of people.
They want nuclear-armed Pakistain to be a state run under their harsh interpretation of Islamic law.
The violence has decreased in recent months after several military offensives against their strongholds in the region. But many have escaped to neighboring Afghanistan, from where Islamabad alleges they launch attacks inside Pakistain.
Last month, a US killed the Pak Taliban chief , who had for most of the attacks against the ANP in the 2013 election on the grounds that it had supported military operations against the s.
The army announced on Tuesday it would deploy over 371,000 troops to ensure peaceful and fair and free elections on July 25.
|TTP appoints Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud as chief after Fazlullah's killing|
|[DAWN] The banned Tehrik-e-Pakistain (TTP) announced it had appointed a new leader on Saturday after the group confirmed for the first time its former chief was killed in a US last week.|
|Malala Yousafzai lives to witness the killing of her Taliban assassin|
|[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Speculations are high on whether Pak - the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize since its founding in 1901- would consider receiving the news of the killing of Pakistain chief in a US in Afghanistan on Thursday night, as a gift on Eid al-Fitr, as this man was behind her attempted six years ago.|
Pakistain Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah, 44, was killed with five other when missiles slammed into the car they were driving, hours before Afghanistan’s Taliban began a three-day cease fire.
Fazlullah, who was famous for his nickname "Mullah Radio" for the abundance of broadcasted violent speeches on Voice of Valley radio in Pakistain, is known for extremism and imposing of Sharia by force there.
In 2014, he ordered an attack that killed 132 students at an army-run school in Pakistain’s Malala was 15 years old when Fazlullah ordered her when she was on a bus and was stopped by Talibs and called by her name, then with a gun directed to her face she was hit by three bullets, shattering her forehead. She stayed in a coma for a week before being trnsfered to the UK for intense treatment and rehabilitation.
Three days following this brutal attack, 50 s in Pakistain issued a fatwa (religious edict) denouncing the actions of those who ordered her killing due to her school education, while the Taliban continued to threaten her father for putting his daughter in school.
|Afghan president telephones Gen Bajwa to confirm killing of Mullah Fazlullah|
|[DAWN] on Friday telephoned Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to confirm the news regarding the killing of banned Tehrik-e- Pakistain (TTP) leader in a in Afghanistan Province Kunar, the military’s media wing said.|
According to Inter-Services Public Relations, Mullah Fazal Ullah was "hiding in Afghanistan since 2009".
The ISPR termed the killing of Mullah Fazlullah "a positive development", adding that the TTP leader's death "gives relief to scores of Pak families who fell victims to TTP terror including the APS massacre".
Earlier there were media reports that a US drone targeted and killed Mullah Fazlullah in the Afghan province of Kunar. The Voice of America radio reported that a US military official confirmed to its correspondents that a US had "targeted the TTP leader in an Afghan province near the border with Pakistain".
The official US radio also quoted unconfirmed reports from the target area as claiming that Mullah Fazlullah had been killed.
According to *Radio Pakistain*, the banned TTP chief was leaving a centre, known as Pachai Markaz, just before midnight after attending a dinner party along with several key commanders when he was killed. As soon as Fazlullah boarded the vehicle, missiles fired from an unmanned US aircraft hit them, it added.
Ashraf Ghani also made a telephone call to caretaker Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk and confirmed the death of Mullah Fazlullah. PM Mulk thanked the for sharing this information and termed it a significant development in the fight against terrorism, Radio Pakistain said.
The premier said, "Finally action has been taken against an enemy of the people and state of Pakistain."
President Ghani also informed PM Mulk about positive developments following the recent ceasefire announcement in Afghanistan which would help pave the way for the Afghan to consolidate.
|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.
|Musharraf suggests exchanging Afridi for Fazlullah|
|[DAWN] Pakistain’s former military ruler retired Gen has said had he been the president now, he would have released Dr Shakil Afridi in a "give and take" deal.|
In an interview to Voice of America’s Greta Van Susteren, Musharraf also noted that relations between the United States and Pakistain were at their "lowest ebb" now.
"Well, with a deal, yes. With a deal," said the retired general when asked if he was the president now, would he release Afridi. "A deal, is a give and take. Yes, indeed it can be resolved. I don’t think it is such a serious thing that it cannot be resolved," he added.
Dr Afridi, who helped the CIA locate in , has been in prison in Pakistain since 2011. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged before a congressional committee that he would continue to work "diligently" to get Afridi out of prison.
US s have urged the Trump administration to bring Afridi to the United States where he is considered a hero.
Defending Pakistain’s position on Afridi, Musharraf said every nation had to make policies in accordance with its interests.
He acknowledged that Pakistain’s policy in this case was an "irritant to the United States but Washington would have probably done the same if faced with a similar situation. "Purely on the merits of the case, ... would you allow... a US citizen dealing with the ISI on a very, very sensitive issue of national importance to the United States?" he asked.
One possibility Musharraf indicated in the interview was exchanging Afridi for . "We can resolve this irritant and exchange more accommodating stance from the United States... and Afghanistan because we have a terrorist sitting there, Fazlullah," he said.
"I suppose the United States also knows that he’s there."
Further exploring the possibilities for improving America’s relations with Pakistain, he urged Washington to listen to Islamabad’s grievances and advised Islamabad to pay attention to America’s complaints about the . "We need to sit down and resolve these issues," he said.
Washington claims that Pakistain has allowed the Haqqani network to use its territories for carrying out operations in Afghanistan and has greatly reduced its financial assistance to Pakistain over this issue.
|Afghan military confirm deadly airstrike on TTP militants in Kunar|
|[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Afghan military has confirmed the deadly on in eastern of Afghanistan amid reports the son of Tehrik-e- Pakistain Chief has also been killed.|
The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East said the airstrike was carried out in Chogam and Chinar Banda areas of Shiltan district.
Without disclosing further information regarding the identities of the killed in the airstrike, the Silab Corps confirmed the deaths of at least fifteen were killed.
This comes as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain had earlier confirmed that the son Mullah Fazlullah has been killed in an airstrike in eastern Kunar.
In a statement sent to the local media outlets, TTP has said at least nineteen s were also among killed in the airstrike.
TTP has blamed the Afghan Intelligence, (NDS), for providing information regarding the TTP hideout which was targeted by the US air forces.
The attack was reportedly carried out in Sultan Khel area of Kunar near tribal region of Pakistain.
The sources in Pakistain have said that a hideout of the group Ghaz was camp was targeted in the airstrike and the commander of Bajaur chapter of TTP Gul Mohammad was also killed in the raid.
|Mullah Fazlullah's kid killed in drone strike in Afghanistan|
|[DAWN] The son of proscribed Tehrik-e- Pakistain (TTP) chief , along with 19 other s, was killed in the US across the border in Afghanistan on Wednesday morning.|
The TTP confirmed the drone attack on its facility in Afghanistan’s and the killing of Abdullah, son of Mullah Fazlullah. In a text message sent to media in on Wednesday evening, the outfit said that 20 "Fidayeen" ( s) were killed and six others in the drone attack.
It blamed Afghan intelligence agency for providing a tip regarding the presence of in the area. Well-placed sources said that the US drone carried out attack in Sultankhel area of Kunar province adjacent to Bajaur Agency.
Unconfirmed reports suggested that 25 were killed in the attack.
They said that drone fired missiles at Ghazi Camp run by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain in Kunar near the Pak border.
They said that the TTP commander of Bajaur chapter, Gul Mohammad, who was head of Ghazi Camp, was also killed in the attack.
Another commander named Ustad Yaseen, who trained suicide bombers, was also among the dead.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain had shifted the camp to Kunar following military operations in Malakand and tribal area.
|TTP confirms commander Sajna killed in drone strike last week|
|[DAWN] A Tehrik-e- Pak (TTP) spokesperson has confirmed the death of TTP commander Khan Said Sajna in a recent US .|
Azam Tariq Mehsud said Commander Sajna was killed in last Thursday's strike in a village along the Pak-Afghan border. He said another commander, Mufti Noor Wali, has now been appointed in Sajna's place.
Tariq says Wali enjoys the backing of , the leader of the TTP who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.
Sajna, 36, was believed to be involved in an attack on a Naval base in and is also credited with ing a 2012 jailbreak in which the Taliban freed 400 inmates in the northwestern city of Bannu.
"Sajna had no basic education, conventional or religious, but he was battle-hardened and had experience of fighting in Afghanistan," an official had said earlier.