Saturday, January 31, 2009



The real Afghan problem

Peshawar police launch operation against militants

PESHAWAR: Backed by armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and artillery, the capital city police on Saturday kicked off an operation in areas bordering the troubled Mohmand Agency, arresting 15 militants.Also, unidentified miscreants fired 10 rockets at Adezai village near Darra Adamkhel.Encouraged by a change in strategy of the Army in Swat, large contingents of the police and the security forces moved forward in Bari Koroona, Bela, Mohmandan, Mathra and Qilla Shah Baig early on Saturday to push the militants back. Militants had sneaked into this part of the provincial capital from the Mohmand Agency and the area had become a “no-go zone”, with militants in large numbers operating there for the past many months.“During the operation, the forces arrested at least 15 militants, identified as Malik Shad, Naeem, Said, Lal Rahim, Riaz Khan, Abdul Wali, Tawab Sher, Fazal Rahim, Rahim Sher, Sultan Sher, Fazal Maula, Jamroz, Tahir, Javed and Obaidullah,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP-Operations) Abdul Ghafoor Afridi told reporters. The deputy city police chief said a crackdown would be launched in other areas against all those posing a threat to peace in the provincial metropolis. Earlier, militants fired 10 rockets at the residence of Abdul Malik, the Nazim of Adezai Union Council, located close to the turbulent Darra Adamkhel.


Richest and poorest senators: Country’s leaders divided between rich and poor
Swati appears to be richest senator with billions of rupees in assets * JUI-F senator among poorest leaders with Rs 30,000 in account......
ISLAMABAD: The returns filed before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) by the country’s senators have revealed a glaring contrast among the country’s leaders, as some have declared themselves in crippling debt, while others have declared assets worth billions of rupees.

Jamiat-e-Ulema-Fazl (JUI-F) Senator and Science and Technology Minister Azam Swati appears to be the richest with properties worth billions of rupees abroad. In his details, Swati has declared immovable assets of Rs 247.60 million in Pakistan and $1.640 million in the US. He also has two under-construction towers in the UAE that have been valued at 12 million dirhams and property worth 8 million UAE dirhams. He also owns millions of dollars and other foreign currency accounts in foreign and local banks. However, he has liabilities of $1.1 million payable to US banks as loans.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Ishaq Dar is also among the declared wealthy senators. His immovable property in Pakistan is estimated at Rs 49.50 million, while he owns a villa in the UAE valued at 7.04 million dirhams. His movable assets include four vehicles; two of them Mercedes. He also has millions in movable assets of investments and bank accounts. There is no liability on Dar.

Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Javed Ashraf Qazi has declared immovable properties worth Rs 19.1 million in addition to Rs 6.090 million movable properties. He also has deposits worth millions in local and foreign currency accounts. Senator Talha Mahmood of the JUI-F has declared immovable property, including three houses and a plot at Rs 500 million with Rs 114 million in movable assets. His liabilities stand at Rs 150 million. PML-Q Secretary General Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed has declared Rs 35,000 in his own assets while the remained of property, including 50 acres of agricultural land; 600 yards plot and a luxury house in Islamabad are either owned by his wife or shared by his two brothers. A Suzuki car worth 0.3 million is also owned by his wife.

JUI-F Secretary General Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri has a house and plot worth Rs 0.4 million and 0.15 million, respectively along with furniture valued at Rs 0.1 million only. He has declared no other assets.

Ratna Bhagwandas Chawla, a female senator elected on the minorities seat, has no immovable property. However, she has loans and advances worth Rs 147 million. She possesses Rs 2.409 million in her bank accounts and deposits.

Poorest: Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb is also amongst the poorer members, with only Rs 30,000 in his bank account. He has no other movable or immovable property

Karzai to visit Pakistan shortly

PESHAWAR: President Hamid Karzai will soon pay a visit to Pakistan, the Afghan foreign ministry spokesman said Saturday.The spokesman, Sultan Ahmad Baheen, told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that the Afghan president would soon visit Pakistan on the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari.Asked whether the visit of Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Rangin Dadfar Spanta to Islamabad had any link with President Karzai’s trip to Pakistan, Baheen said: “Mr Spanta visited Pakistan to work out modalities and set the agenda for President Karzai’s visit.” The spokesman said there were two important items on the agenda including the joint efforts against terrorism and enhancement of cooperation between the two countries at regional and international level.Meanwhile, a British soldier was killed during a Taliban attack in the Musa Qala district in Helmand province Saturday. This brought to 143 the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since deployment of the troops from Britain in the country. A total of 22 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan during the month of January in 2009.According to the AIP, a pro-government tribal elder Haji Payanda Khan was killed in a firing incident involving foreign troops in Urgun district in Paktika province. The Paktika governor’s spokesman, Hamidullah Zwak, said the foreign forces had regretted their mistake for killing the tribal elder. Meanwhile, the Governor of Wardak province, Abdul Halim Fidai, survived a bomb explosion in Ambukhak area in Chak district. He was travelling with members of the provincial council when his car was hit by a landmine. Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack and its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said occupants of the vehicle were killed and that the Governor had been injured.