Vol. III Issue. 50
Pakistan Released 13 Taliban leaders
17 November 2012

Islamabad: Daily Khabrain, November 16, 2012. Pakistan released 13 Taliban leaders to promote peace in Afghanistan. The released Taliban leaders include former Afghan Minister for Justice Maulana Nuruddeen Turabi Uchakzai, Molvi Yunus Khalis, his son Anwarul Haq deployed at Tora-Bora, Mullah Abdu-Salam, ex-Governor of Baghram Har Mir Ahmad Gull, ex-Governor Nagar and Ex-Governor of Kabul Dawood Jalali is enlisted to release them. Turabi is a confidant of Taliban chief Mullah Omar. Sixty-year old Turabi was part of Harkat-i-Inqulab-i-Islami of Mullah Muhammadi and Ittihad-i-Islami of Abdur-Rasool Siyaf.

US Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan Richard Hoagland welcomed the release of Taliban leaders by Pakistan and expressed hope that the Taliban would work with other stakeholders to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Protest against naming Chowk Bhagat Singh

Lahore: Daily Jasarat, November 14, 2012. A radical group, associated with terrorist entity, Jamat ud-Dawa, has filed a petition in Lahore High Court challenging the proposal to rename a roundabout in Lahore as Bhagat Singh Chowk. The proposal to honour the famous freedom fighter of the undivided India was announced last month by a district official. Although there was wide public approval of the decision, the radical groups were angry and raised objections. With the district administration planning to implement the decision, a proxy group run by JuD, Tehrik-e-Hurmat-e-Rasool, has filed a writ petition in the high court challenging the decision. The petition was filed by Amir Hamza, a closed confidant of JuD and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba chief Hafiz Saeed. The radical groups argue that non-Muslim names cannot be given to locations and buildings in a Muslim country.

Afghan Peace Council in Islamabad

Islamabad: Daily Jasarat, November 12, 2012. A high-level delegation of Afghan Peace Council led by its leader, Salahuddin Rabbani, met with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in Islamabad to promote peaceful engagement on issues related to Afghanistan. The Council was set up in 2010 by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to work with different stakeholders within Afghanistan and in the immediate neighbourhood to bring about peace and stability in Afghanistan. The Council, however, suffered a big blow when its head, and former Afghan President, Burhanuddin Rabbani, was killed in a suicide attack in September 2011. The Council, without a chief, remained in limbo till April 2012 when senior Rabbani's son, Salahuddin Rabbani, was appointed as the head of the Peace Council. Salahuddin is also the country's Ambassador to Turkey.

4 Million Non Resident Pakistanis eligible to vote in Pakistan

Islamabad: Daily Khabrain, November 15, 2012. Secretary of the Pakistan Election Commission Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khan said 4 million Pakistanis living abroad were entitled to cast their votes in the next general elections. Such voters would have to use their electronic voting cards to exercise their voting rights. Mr Khan informed a special Senate Committee on Elections that since it was not possible to provide transportation facilities to voters living outside Pakistan, they would be entitled to cast their votes with the help of electronic voting cards issued to them.

Political parties remain feudal

Lahore: Daily Ausaf, November 14, 2012. All political parties in Pakistan are feudal in their outlook and functioning, says Dr Mohammad Wasim, Professor of Political Science at Lahore University, in a recent study. Dr Wasim examined the functioning of 24 political parties and came to the conclusion that most of the parties remain dynastic and feudal in their functioning. There is no internal democracy and dissent is not tolerated. He argues that the political parties have not had a conducive atmosphere to grow and evolve over the years, primarily because of the frequent martial rules. The Generals who took over the reigns of governance made it a point to undermine the political process. Dr Wasim said it was imperative for the political parties to review their internal functioning and bring about necessary changes.

Mobile ban and Order to Shoot at site for Muharram

Islamabad: Daily Khabrain / Ausaf, November 15, 2012. Interior Secretary Rahman Malik warned of possible terrorist attacks during the upcoming Muharram, especially in Karachi and Quetta. He ordered a ban on the use of mobiles during the period across Pakistan. Several other restrictions have also been imposed, including carrying of weapons and carrying more than one pillion rider on a bike. A shoot-at-sight order has also been issued in Karachi and Quetta as a measure of precaution. The provincial government in Sindh has extended the ban on mobiles and other restrictions in Hyderabad, Badeen and Kharirpur citie.

This is compiled and translated from Urdu by Shahid Raheem, Media Researcher, Observer Research Foundation