No case against Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan

Pakistan Prime Minister,  Sahid Khaqan Abbasi, yesterday said there is no case registered against  26/11 terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan and so no action can be initiated against him.

 “Action is taken when there is a registered case against someone,” said Abbasi in an interview to Geo TV explaining Pakistan’s decision against detaining Saheed further.

Saeed was released from house arrest on November 24, after the Lahore High Court cited lack of evidence against him in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case. After his release, the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief,  has formed a party named Milli Muslim League (MML)  to contest for the 2018 general election in Pakistan. The party is yet to be registered in the Election commission. The election commission of Pakistan in September refused to recognize the Milli Muslim League as a political party, and also warned candidates from using the front’s name in election campaigns.

The US has designated Saeed as a global terrorist and has offered a bounty of $10 million on his head.  Saeed recently petitioned the global body asking his name to be removed from the terrorist list Stating that none of the allegations against him has been proved in the Pakistani courts.

Sources – NDTV, TOI

US Untroubled by growing Pakistan and China relationships

The suspension of security aid to Pakistan by the US would push Islamabad closer to China. The US has appeared untroubled with the ties and insisted that the two relationships are different.The source quoted “ Pakistan do want to build strong relations with both countries. But what China provides won’t be the same thing as the US had provided so far.”

The US government official said the government doesn’t have the authority to direct state banks and companies to invest in Pakistan, at the same time, China does not have the capacity either to supply the highest quality military equipment in the world.

The official also added that America does not have any problem with growing relation of Pakistan and China. They believe, China has invested a significant amount and has plans to invest more. Pakistan at current situation needs economic development and economic growth. In so, China’s ability to invest will contribute to Pakistan’s economic well-being, security, and stability.

The official proclaimed that the relationships are not due to US-Pak ties, and it is due to fact that China and Pakistan have had an age-old and convincing relationship.

“I think Pakistan needs to understand our relationship and what we offer to the table internationally is different than China. And it’s not necessary to choose relationships between China and the United States and they do want to build strong relations with both countries,” the state department official said.

Sources – NDTV, NewsOlive

US Untroubled by growing Pakistan and China relationships

The suspension of security aid to Pakistan by the US would push Islamabad closer to China. The US has appeared untroubled with the ties and insisted that the two relationships are different.

The source quoted “ Pakistan do want to build strong relations with both countries. But what they get from China is not necessarily going to be the same thing to get from the US and vice versa.”

The Us government official said the government doesn’t have the authority to direct state banks and companies to invest in Pakistan, at the same time, China does not have the capacity either to supply the highest quality military equipment in the world.

The official also added that America does not have any problem with growing relation of Pakistan and China. They believe, China has invested a significant amount and has plans to invest more. Pakistan at current situation needs economic development and economic growth. In so, China’s ability to invest will contribute to Pakistan’s economic well-being, security, and stability.

Noting the fact that Pakistan and China have had a longstanding and very strong relationship, the official proclaimed that the relationship has never arisen at the expense of US-Pak ties.

“I think Pakistan needs to understand our relationship and what we offer to the table internationally is different than China. And it’s not necessary to choose relationships between China and the United States and they do want to build strong relations with both countries,” the state department official said.

Sources – NDTV, NewsOlive

United States suspends its $ 1.15 billion security assistance to Pakistan

The United States has suspended its security assistance of more than $1.15 billion to Pakistan for failing to take decisive action against the terror groups within its border on Thursday.

The decision of suspending security assistance comes days after the US President Donald Trump tweeted on New Year, accusing Pakistan of lying and deceiving the United States and harboring terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. He also threated to cut off all the military aid to Pakistan.

According to US officials, two main categories of aid, Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and Coalition Support Funds (CSF) are affected by the suspension. FMS funds purchases of US military hardware, training and services and CSF reimburse Pakistan for counterterrorism operations. The officials also stated that the suspension did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the groups.

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told the reporters on Thursday that the national security assistance to Pakistan is suspended until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against the terrorist groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. “We consider them to be destabilizing the region and also targeting US personnel, “she said. “The US will not be delivering military equipment or transfer security-related funds to Pakistan unless it is required by law,” she added.

 

Sources – TOI, CNN

Pakistan releases new Kulbhushan Jadhav video, India says another coerced statement

After Pakistan released yet another video of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav on Thursday, January 4, 2018, India slammed it for putting out coerced statements as part of its exercise in state propaganda.

In the video, the 47-year-old was shown saying he had not been harmed in custody and that the Pakistan government was taking good care of him, not even touching him once. The issue is a bone of contention between Pakistan and India for more than a year now. It sparked off when Jadhav was arrested from Balochistan on March 3, 2016, and sentenced to death in a Field General Court Martial after three-and-a-half months of trial, on charges of espionage and working for Research and Analysis Wing. Post that, India repeatedly requested consular access, which was consistently denied by Pakistan.

The latest video was released days after India had held Pakistan accountable for mistreating Jadhav’s family when they visited him, interacting only through a glass screen in between.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “This does not come as a surprise. Pakistan is simply continuing its practice of putting out coerced statements on video. It is time for them to realize that such propagandistic exercises simply carry no credibility.”

 

Sources – NDTV, India Today

 

Pakistan issues visas to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife

According to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan has granted visas to Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife. Pakistan had earlier said that it had received the applications and they were being processed. 

Prior to this, Pakistan stated that it had allowed Jadhav’s family to visit Islamabad based on ”humanitarian grounds”. This was in adherence to the conditions laid down by India including ensuring security for the family and that they are accompanied by an official from the Indian High Commission. 

 External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had a personal conversation with Jadhav’s wife to convey the news. She had clarified the same in one of her tweets.  

On December 13, Pakistan had denied India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav, stating that India is looking for information gathered by it’s ”spy” 

Jadhav is a retired Indian Navy officer. He had been arrested by Pakistani counter-terrorism officials in March 2016.The Pakistani government suspected his involvement in subversive activities in Balochistan and Karachi. The Indian government believes that he had been abducted by Pakistani military from foreign soil. In 2017, a Pakistani military court held him guilty of ”espionage and sabotage’ ‘and ordered a death sentence.  

Source: Times of India, India Today

US warns its citizens against non-essential travel to Pakistan

The United States on Saturday issued an advisory warning its citizens against all non-essential travel to Pakistan, stating that foreign and indigenous group continue to pose a threat to them in the country.
In the warning issued after a gap of seven months, the Department of State stated the significant attacks occurred in Pakistan since May 2017 and said that terrorist organizations in the country have attacked both the government officials and civilians. Kidnapping and Assassination attempts are common in the country, it said.
The Travel Warning said that terrorists groups have frequently targeted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past and continue to do so. The terrorists have often fell back on kidnapping for ransom.
The Department also stated that if the citizens decide to travel to Pakistan despite the travel warning, they should take measures to minimize trips to public areas, vary travel routes, increase security awareness and strengthen internal precautions.
The new Travel Warning replaces the warning issued on May 22, 2017.
The warning comes after the Chinese Embassy through its website on Friday warned its citizens in Pakistan to be on alert after receiving intelligence reports of possible attacks targeting Chinese.
Sources: NDTV, Scroll