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FRC Daily Brief, Friday, June 22, 2012

Three people were killed and 31 others wounded in a powerful blast at the Pinza Piran shrine in Hazarkhwani here on Thursday. A police official said the bomb was planted in a donkey-cart that went off in the afternoon when a large number of people were visiting the popular shrine. Bomb disposal unit officials said the donkey-cart carried around 12 kilograms of explosives and the feet of the donkey were fastened so that it couldn’t move. The number of visitors to the shrine is higher on Thursday and most are females and children. A heavy police contingent cordoned off the area after the blast. Most of the victims were women and children. Those killed in the blast included 60-year-old Zahir Shah, 11-year-old Mozammil and his 16-year-old sister Sumbal. The News, Dawn, Daily Times.

Commissioner Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Tariq Jamil on Thursday directed the political authorities to submit record of Dr Shakil Afridi’s case before July 19, the date fixed for the next hearing. Dr Afridi, who had allegedly helped the CIA track down Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last year, challenged his conviction in the court of commissioner FCR.On May 23, Assistant Political Agent (APA) of Bara tehsil in Khyber Agency, Nasir Khan, convicted Dr Afridi oncharges of giving Rs2 million financial assistance to the banned Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) led by Mangal Bagh and extending treatment to its commanders. Dr Afridi was sentenced to 33 years in prison and fined Rs320, 000. A panel of Fata lawyers, including Samiullah Afridi, Ijaz Mohmand, Qamar Nadeem Afridi and Raza Khan Safi appeared on behalf of Dr Afridi in the court of Commissioner FCR. However, the commissioner could not resume hearing due to lack of the record of the case. The commissioner did not allow reporters into his office to cover the proceedings. The News, Dawn.

The United States has said that maintaining a cooperative relationship with Pakistan is in its interest, with Washington’s top diplomat acknowledging the fact that the US has been partly responsible for the challenging relationship it has had with the key South Asian country. Appearing jointly on popular Charlie Rose Show, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Secretary of State James Baker, who served from 1989-92, both underscored that despite differences on some important regional and international issues, severing ties with Pakistan would not be in Washington’s interests. “I think that our relationship with Pakistan has been challenging for a long time. Some of it is of our own making,” Clinton told the programme. Continuing, she said, “There’s a lot of concern looking back. We did a great job in getting rid of the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. But I think a lot of us — and Bob Gates (former Secretary of Defense) has said this — looking back now, perhaps we should have been more involved in the aftermath of what was going to happen to the Pakistanis.” The News.

The police arrested a militant in Darra Pezu town in Lakki Marwat district, official sources said on Thursday.The sources said that a party of the Darra Pezu Police Station was on routine patrol on Abdulkhel Road near Azerkhel village at night when three gunmen opened fire on them. The police returned the fire but there was no loss of life. The News.

Seventeen militants surrendered to the security force in Charmang valley of tehsil Nawagai on Thursday.A ceremony in this regard was held at Charmang and attended by senior officials of the administran. The News.

An army officer was killed and seven other security personnel were injured when militants attacked them during a search operation in Sharqi area of Laddha in South Waziristan Agency on Thursday. Sources in security forces, however, claimed that 10 militants were killed and three others received injuries when jetfighters pounded their positions in Sharqi and Janata areas of the tribal region. Sources said that Captain Faseeh was killed and seven other security personnel including another captain were injured in the militants` attack. The body of Captain Faseeh was flown to Rawalpindi in a helicopter. The injured were shifted to agency headquarters hospital in Wana. They said that security forces were conducting a search operation in the area when a group of militants attacked them. The area is a stronghold of militants that`s why internally displaced tribesmen have not returned to their homes in the region. In Bajaur Agency, 17 militants including some senior commanders surrendered to security forces in Charmang area of Nawagai tehsil on Thursday. Dawn.

Suspected militants blew up two high power transmission towers here at Surizai Mera area in the limits of Badhber police station in the small hours of Thursday, police said. A police official said that several blasts were heard in the area after midnight. Police tried to reach the spot but feared ambush and visited the area in the morning, he added. The official said that the area was located close to Khyber Agency where militants could easily carry out any sabotage act. To a query, he said that in-volvement of local residents in the blasts could not be ruled. Dawn.

he United States hopes that the current political transition in Pakistan will not affect the country`s efforts to fight terrorists, says the State Department. They`ve now announced plans of their own for their own political transition, so our hope and expectation is that we can continue to try to work through these issues,` the department`s spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a briefing in Washington. She noted that the US administration continued to work with the Pakistani government throughout this period. Dawn.

Tahir Amin

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