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DNA Morning Must Reads: 7 jawans killed in Nagrota terror attack; latest on demonetization & Sheena Bora murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorists kill 7 Army men in Nagrota, 16 hostages rescuedOn a day General Qamar Javed Bajwa took over as Pakistan Army Chief from General Raheel Sharif, who sent out a warning to India over its “aggressive stance”, terrorists attacked security forces in two separate strikes in Nagrota and Chamliyal in the Ramgarh sector of the Samba district in Jammu. The attack killed seven Army personnel and left eight security men wounded. In retaliation, the Forces killed six terrorists. Read detailsDemonetization: For Modi, probity begins at home, asks BJP lawmakers to submit bank a/c detailsPrime Minister Narendra Modi took his battle against black money to his own party on Tuesday by asking BJP MPs, including ministers, to submit their bank account details from November 8 to December 31 to party president Amit Shah. The details have to be submitted by January 1. Read moreNote ban sees 30 lakh new bank accounts, SBI alone opened 11.8 lakh accountsDemonetization is forcing banks to open savings accounts at a breakneck speed. It is estimated that banks have opened about 30 lakh (and still counting) new accounts since the demonetization drive began on November 8. Read more Nevada man pleads guilty to conspiring to carry out attacks in IndiaA Nevada man who prosecutors say conspired to provide materials and support to co-conspirators to carry out terrorist attacks in India aimed at creating an independent Sikh state pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal charges. Read moreCBI’s ‘secret witness’ blows lid off Mukerjeas’ dealingsA Nevada man who prosecutors say conspired to provide materials and support to co-conspirators to carry out terrorist attacks in India aimed at creating an independent Sikh state pleaded guilty on Tuesday to federal charges. Read details

Don’t mistake Pakistan’s ‘restraint’ for weakness: Raheel Sharif to India

Islamabad: Pakistan’s outgoing military chief warned India Tuesday it would be dangerous to mistake his country’s “restraint” over recent tensions in disputed Kashmir for weakness, as he handed over power to his successor.

The hugely popular General Raheel Sharif spoke at a colourful ceremony welcoming the incoming chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at a stadium at army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, adjacent to the capital Islamabad.

File image of Raheel Sharif. ReutersFile image of Raheel Sharif. Reuters

File image of Raheel Sharif. Reuters

“Unfortunately, in recent months, increasing state terrorism in (Indian) occupied Kashmir, and India’s aggressive steps have put the region’s peace in danger,” Sharif said.

“I want to make it clear to India that considering our policy of restraint a weakness would be dangerous for her,” he said to applause.

“This is reality, that in South Asia, lasting peace and progress is impossible without solution of the Kashmir issue. For that, international community’s special attention is necessary,” he continued.

Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan have spiralled following a deadly assault on an Indian army base in September that New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based militants.

India said it had responded to the September attack by carrying out “surgical strikes” across the heavily militarised border, sparking fury from Islamabad, which denied the strikes took place.

There have been repeated incidents of cross-border shellings and gunfire from both sides since, claiming the lives of dozens of people, including civilians.

Sharif spoke Tuesday as Indian police said armed militants had launched a fresh attack near the border with Pakistan, killing two soldiers.

Officials said the attack took place in Nagrota in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir, which borders Pakistan and has seen repeated outbreaks of cross-border firing in recent weeks, and blamed it on “terrorists”.

Pakistan on Saturday named Bajwa as its new military chief as Sharif stepped down from a three-year tenure, winning praise for respecting democracy even as many Pakistanis called for him to extend his term.

Military bands played as uniformed soldiers marched at the ceremony Tuesday, where the outgoing chief gives his wooden cane to his successor, symbolising the handover of power.

The Pakistani military plays an outsize role in national life, offering the armed reassurance against arch-rival India that many Pakistanis see as vital to their identity.

Kashmir is one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints, bitterly divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but claimed in full by both. The nuclear powers have already fought two wars over the mountainous region.

First Published On : Nov 29, 2016 13:32 IST

Focus to remain on India border under new army chief General Bajwa, says Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With its new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa set to take charge, Pakistan has asserted that focus will remain on country’s eastern border with India, even as the US nudged Islamabad to keep the pledge of not allowing use of its soil for terror attacks against neighbours.Bajwa will take charge of the world’s sixth-largest army by troop numbers from Pakistan’s outgoing Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif, who paid farewell visits to President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here today.Sharif and Hussain lauded Raheel’s valuable service as army chief and wished him the best for his post-retirement life, Radio Pakistan reported.”The military policy will continue and there will be no immediate change in it (under Bajwa),” Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told Geo News.”The focus will remain on country’s eastern border and the armed forces backed by the nation will meet all challenges,” he said.”The legacy of General Raheel Sharif would continue in the light of the examples he set,” Asif said.The Defence Minister expressed hope that the government and military leadership will continue to work together for the betterment of the country.General Raheel will become the first army chief in more than 20 years to step down at the end of his term. Previous army chiefs have either obtained extensions or in the case of General Pervez Musharraf, staged a coup.Meanwhile, the United States yesterday welcomed the appointment of the new army chief and expressed hope that the country would never allow the use of its soil for terrorism against its neighbours.The US embassy in Islamabad, in a statement, welcomed Prime Minister Sharif’s appointment of Bajwa.”We look forward to continuing our work with Pakistan’s elected leaders, with Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and with the Pakistani military to advance our shared counter-insurgency and counter terrorism goals for Pakistan and the region, and to enable Pakistani authorities to honour their pledge to prevent the use of Pakistan’s soil for terrorist attacks against its neighbours,” it said.Raheel, who is set to retire tomorrow, was appointed as army chief in 2013 by Prime Minister Sharif at the retirement of Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.According to Pakistani media and experts, General Bajwa’s “pro-democracy credentials” and his low-profile influenced Sharif to appoint him to the powerful post of army chief superseding four top generals.The military has been in charge of the country for more than half of Pakistan’s nearly 70-year history since independence.

Amid renewed hostilies with India, Pak army chief says ready for ‘conventional wars’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Battle-hardened Pakistan army is “equally ready” to fight conventional wars after registering an “unprecedented level of successes” in its war against terror, army chief General Raheel Sharif has said. Visiting troops and war veterans at Sulemanki Sector yesterday, Raheel, who is expected to retire from service later this month, said that the military has always measured up to any challenge. While interacting with the troops, Raheel said that Pakistan Army proudly carries its heritage and tradition of soldiering and chivalry. “Taking inspiration from our war heroes and their spirit of sacrifice, Pakistan Army has always measured up to any challenge. With an unprecedented level of successes in war against terror, we have become the most battle-hardened Army and are equally ready for conventional war,” he was quoted as saying by a press release issued by the Inter Services Public Relations.On Monday, Raheel had attended the funeral of seven Pakistani soldiers who were killed during border skirmishes with the Indian army. The Pakistan army chief had warned India that Pakistan army “will continue to respond effectively, leave no stone unturned to defend motherland.”He appreciated the troops for keeping vigil along the Line of Control, working boundary and international border. Raheel is due to retire on November 29 after a three-year stint.Earlier on Friday, General Raheel visited Government College University (GCU) Lahore, his alma mater and interacted with the students and faculty members.To revive his old memories, he visited various sections of the premier institute specially those parts where he had spent his days as a student. He emphasised on the youth to always focus on 3Cs (Character, Courage and Competence) and strive for honour and dignity through hard work and faith in Allah. Raheel, while expressing his optimism of a brighter future of the country, said that Pakistanis are a great nation and its human resource was its real asset.He also referred to the ‘Zarbe Azb’ military operations against militants in 2014. Pakistan’s military launched the operations in North Waziristan to clear the area of militants and the successful campaign has laid a strong foundation for peace and progress in Pakistan, Raheel said.

Indian Navy calls Pakistan’s claim of blocking its submarine ‘blatant lies’

Karachi/New Delhi: India and Pakistan were on day engaged in war of words after Islamabad claimed that it prevented an Indian submarine from entering its territorial waters, a charge which was strongly dismissed as “blatant lies” by New Delhi.

No Indian submarine in Pakistani waters. Image courtesy PIBNo Indian submarine in Pakistani waters. Image courtesy PIB

No Indian submarine in Pakistani waters. Image courtesy PIB

“Indian Navy categorically denies the statement of Pakistani Navy as blatant lies,” Navy spokesperson Captain DK
Sharma said, adding that Indian Navy did not have any under water movement in the said waters as claimed by the Pakistani Navy.

The sharp reaction by Indian Navy came after Pakistan claimed that an Indian submarine, after being detected near
Pakistan’s territorial waters had been pushed back.

“While Indian Army continues to undertake serious ceasefire violations along LoC and Working Boundary, Indian
Navy has also deceitfully deployed its submarines against Pakistan with ulterior motives,” Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

“However, Pakistan Navy once again proved its vigilance and operational competence by detecting and blocking an Indian submarine from entering in Pakistani waters. The unsuspecting submarine was detected and localised south of Pakistani coast on November 14,” the statement said.

“Thereafter, despite submarine’s desperate efforts to escape detection, it was continuously tracked by Pakistan Navy fleet units and pushed well clear of our waters,” it said.

Today’s charge by Pakistan came two days after its army chief General Raheel Sharif had said his men killed 11 Indian soldiers in cross-border firing across the Line of Control (LoC).

That statement too was denied by the Indian Army.

First Published On : Nov 18, 2016 21:28 IST

Pakistan claims to have killed at least 11 Indian soldiers at LoC

Islamabad: Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Wednesday claimed that his troops killed at least 11 Indian jawans the day seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in firing by Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC) General Raheel said this in an informal chat with journalists in the President House where a banquet was organised by the President in honour of visiting Turkish President.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“The day seven of our soldiers were martyred on the border, we killed at least 11 Indian soldiers,” he claimed.

He claimed that Pakistan has killed “40-44 Indian troops” in the current clashes but the Indian army was refusing to accept and own its casualties.

General Raheel said India should “show courage” and own the deaths of its security personnel.

“The Indian army should man up and accept their losses,” he said.

He said Pakistan army was professional force and was accepting its “casualties” while giving befitting response to “unprovoked” firing.

The army chief, who is set to retire later this month, said a message has been conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that his “aggressive actions” will not bear any results.

Pakistan had claimed that seven of its soldiers were killed at the LoC in an alleged ceasefire violation by Indian troops on 13 November.

It was a rare direct media talk by the Pakistani COAS who normally avoids media and lets the media wing of army to interact with journalists.

First Published On : Nov 17, 2016 08:24 IST

Pakistan holds military exercise close to Indian border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan is conducting a military exercise in a strategically located area bordering India, with Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif and the army chief reviewing the readiness of the army and the air force to deal with any situation amid growing tension with India.The manoeuvres are taking place near border close to Bahawalpur town in Punjab province.Officials said that the Prime Minister is chief guest at the exercise. Army chief General Raheel Sharif will also witness the exercise.Helicopter gunships and ground troops will take part in the exercise, which comes just days after seven Pakistani soldiers were killed along the LoC.The exercise shows the state of readiness of Pakistani military to deal with any situation arising out of recent tension with India, according to security officials.Prime Minister Sharif said yesterday that Pakistan cannot be bullied by Indian “tactics” and its restraint should not be “misunderstood” as weakness, warning that his country was fully capable of defending against “any belligerence”.Expressing grief over the death of the seven soldiers, Sharif had said deliberate escalation of tension along LoC by Indian forces is a threat to regional peace and security.”It is also a futile attempt of the Indian authorities to divert the world’s attention from the worst kind of atrocities they are committing” in Kashmir, he had said.

Kashmir: Nawaz Sharif claims Pakistan exercising restraint against Indian firing, cannot be bullied

Islamabad: Prime Minsiter Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said Pakistan cannot be bullied by Indian “tactics” and its restraint should not be “misunderstood” as weakness, warning that his country was fully capable of defending against “any belligerence”.

His remarks came a day after the Pakistan Army admitted that seven of its soldiers were killed in firing by Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC) in Bhimber sector.

File photo of Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

File photo of Nawaz Sharif. Reuters

“Pakistan cannot be bullied by such tactics as we are fully capable of defending our soil against any belligerence,” Sharif said while chairing a high-level meeting to review the situation along the LoC.

He said Pakistan was exercising “maximum restraint” in the face of Indian firing, which should not be “misunderstood as our weakness,” The Express Tribune reported.

Expressing grief over the death of the seven soldiers, Sharif said deliberate escalation of tension along LoC by Indian forces is a threat to regional peace and security.

“It is also a futile attempt of the Indian authorities to divert the world’s attention from the worst kind of atrocities they are committing” in Kashmir, he said in a statement.

He called on the United Nations to take notice of the ceasefire violations along the LoC. “Our armed forces do not initiate fire but will always respond in a befitting manner to any aggression,” Sharif said.

On Monday, Army chief General Raheel Sharif ordered troops to “effectively” respond to firing by India across the LoC.

Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz briefed Nawaz Sharif on the increased firing and shelling by India.

He said the recent incidents of firing have led to 26 deaths and 107 injuries in complete violation of the 2003 ceasefire understanding and international law.

The premier was also briefed on Pak-US relations in the backdrop of recently held presidential elections in the US. Reaffirming to strengthen bilateral relations, Sharif said Pakistan and the US enjoy strong and strategic partnership spanning over a period of seven decades.

“Pakistan looks forward to closely work with the newly elected government for realisation of peace, security and prosperity in the region and beyond,” he said.

Pakistan’s National Security Adviser General Nasir Khan Janjua and other government officials were present during the meeting.

First Published On : Nov 15, 2016 17:57 IST

JuD denies reports of Hafiz Saeed visiting army camps in PoK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD) on Sunday strongly denied the media reports that Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen head Sayed Salahuddin have visited some army camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).”Reports that Hafiz and anyone else visited any army camp is rubbish,” a JuD spokesman. He said ‘propaganda machines in India’ are active to malign the JuD chief.Earlier, some media reports had claimed that both Saeed and Salahuddin have visited army camps in Muzaffarabad in PoK. The reports came on a day when Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif also visited the Line of Control (LoC) for the first time since the surgical strike conducted by Indian troops.

Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif visits LoC for the first time since surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif visited the Line of Control on Sunday for the first time since the surgical strike conducted by Indian troops across the LoC and expressed satisfaction over operational preparedness of the military.The Pakistan Army said in a statement that Sharif visited the Haji Pir sector and interacted with troops deployed there. He was also given a detailed briefing by the local formation commander on operational preparedness of the units and formation of the troops, the statement added. “The army chief expressed his complete satisfaction over high state of morale, operational preparedness and vigil being maintained by Pakistan Army personnel along the LoC,” the army said.Sharif’s visit comes over a week after Indian army chief General Dalbir Singh visited the Northern and Western Commands to review India’s operational preparedness along the border with Pakistan in the wake of heightened tension between the two countries following the surgical strike at terror camps across the LoC.Indian troops launched the surgical strike on September 29 following the deadly Uri attack on September 18 in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed in the brazen assault launched by four Pakistani terrorists who were also eliminated in the counteroffensive by the army. Pakistan has denied the surgical strike by India but has claimed two of its soldiers were killed in alleged ceasefire violations along the LoC by Indian troops.

Pak Parliament Session: Sharif talks peace, Leader of Oppn questions weak foreign policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking in joint session of the Pakistani parliament, PM Nawaz Sharif claimed that Pakistan wanted to resolve all issues including Kashmir ‘peacefully’. He was quoted saying by ANI: “Within hours of Uri attack and without any investigation, India blamed Pakistan for it. We are against war, we want peace and want to resolve all issues including Kashmir peacefully.” According to a report in Dawn, Sharif opened his speech by talking about the ‘freedom struggle’ upheld by the ‘youth of Kashmir against Indian aggression and atrocities’. He was quoted saying: “World powers need to ensure that UN resolutions on Kashmir should be implemented in letter and spirit. We have done everything to make India come to the dialogue table, but India did not let it happen. Our efforts were thwarted over and over again. I would like to repeat our stance that we are against war. We want peace in the region. We want to resolve all outstanding disputes through dialogue.”While not mentioning the surgical strike, he claimed that India’s ceasefire violation resulted in the death of two Pakistani soldiers and that the Pak army was fully capable of responding to any aggression. He also looked to counter PM Modi’s ‘war on poverty’ remark by saying that one couldn’t end poverty by ‘driving tanks on farmlands’. Meanwhile, Opposition leader Khurshid Shah asked why ‘Pakistan felt isolated at the international arena’ and ‘why Pak’s foreign policy was so weak?’. He also claimed that Pakistan should have seen India’s design to boycott SAARC, which led to the conference being derailed. Earlier, Pakistan said it won’t be cowed down by India’s ‘hollow rhetoric’. At a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting attended by top defence officials including army chief General Raheel Sharif, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan’s “quest for peace must not be mistaken as a sign of weakness”. “Internal and external security situation of the country with particular reference to the situation on the Line of Control (LoC) and operational preparedness of the armed forces were reviewed in detail during the meeting,” a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.The leaders expressed “complete satisfaction over operational preparedness” of the armed forces. They resolved that the entire nation stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its armed forces and will ensure defence of the country at any cost.”Pakistan cannot be cowed down with hollow rhetoric and aggressive posturing,” they said during the meeting chaired by Nawaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House.The Prime Minister said that Pakistan “does not cherish aggressive designs against any country” and believes in “peace and collective betterment”.”However, our quest for peace must not be mistaken as a sign of weakness; our armed forces are fully capable of thwarting any kind of threat to our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Sharif added.His remarks came two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has never attacked any country, nor has it been “hungry for any territory” but made supreme sacrifice fighting for others, referring to the two World Wars.The developments come amid strained ties between New Delhi and Islamabad after the Uri terror attack and India’s retaliatory surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.The NSC meeting referred to India’s surgical strikes as “recent propaganda and false claims” of attacking terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir across the LoC and said India “should resolve the long-standing issue of Kashmir for enduring peace in the region, instead of such futile efforts of diverting attention of the world”.The leaders also said India must stop “atrocities” in Kashmir and recognise the struggle of Kashmiris for their right of self determination guaranteed by the UNSC resolutions.Calling Pakistan and Kashmir as “inseparable”, Sharif said it is “imperative that the UN and other countries fulfil their longstanding commitment to the Kashmiris” and added that Pakistan will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiri people at every forum.The leaders also noted that escalation on LoC and eastern borders will “shift Pakistan’s focus away from its efforts to eliminate terrorism from our soil at a critical stage, and is detrimental” to the successes made by the country in war against terror.

Spot the difference: After Nawaz Sharif, Hafiz Saeed promises to teach India about ‘surgical strikes’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JuD chief and mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack warned India of a “befitting response” for its military operation in PoK, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi will now know what is meant by “surgical strikes”. “We will tell you what is a real surgical strike…and you will get the deserved response soon,” Saeed said in a public address in Faisalabad. “I want to tell Indian media to see soon how Pakistani Jawans conduct surgical strikes. Let me tell you…the United States will not be able to help you,” he said, a day after India conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. “Now it is Pakistan’s turn to give a befitting response to India. Narendra Modi will now know what is meant by surgical strikes,” Saeed said.The JuD chief’s statements are remarkably similar to Nawaz Sharif’s who said t that even Pakistan was capable of ‘surgical strikes’. Terming “Indian aggression” as a threat to the entire region, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif warned that Pakistan is also capable of executing surgical strikes and will not allow anyone to “cast an evil eye” on it.Chairing a special Cabinet meeting to review the security situation in the country, Sharif said that Pakistan will take all necessary steps to protect its people and territorial integrity in case of any aggression or violation of the Line of Control (LoC).He said that Indian aggression constituted a threat to the entire region and Pakistan would take all measures to protect its territorial integrity, The Express Tribune reported. “No one will be allowed to cast an evil eye on Pakistan,” Sharif said, adding that Pakistan was fully capable of executing surgical strikes. “The nation is standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the valiant armed forces to defend the motherland.” His comments came a day after India conducted surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC with the Army inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK.Pakistan has dismissed as “fabrication of truth” India’s claim and termed it as a “quest” by India to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as surgical strike.Sharif said that all steps would be taken to prevent LoC violations or aggression and added that Pakistan s resolve to establish peace remained strong. He said the leadership and people of Pakistan are united in their resolve to counter any aggressive Indian designs, adding that Pakistan’s commitment for peace must not be construed as weakness. Sharif also raised Kashmir issue said that it was the “unfinished agenda of the partition”. He said that atrocities in Kashmir could not crush Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. “Indian atrocities” there are “unacceptable”, he said. Calling for a probe into the September 18 Uri attack, Sharif said blaming Pakistan for orchestrating the attack was beyond comprehension.The Cabinet also joined the Prime Minister in completely rejecting the Indian claims of carrying out “surgical strikes”, Radio Pakistan reported. It condemned “Indian accusations in the wake of the Uri attack and pledged to expose India before the international community”. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that Pakistan does not want escalation of tension but is ready to meet any eventuality.Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir said India is creating artificial tension in its attempt to divert attention of the world from its atrocities against Kashmiris. He said Pakistan’s defence is in strong hands and the country would continue to raise voice for rights of Kashmiris.Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Syed Riaz Hussain Pirzada regretted that instead of giving right of self-determination to Kashmiris, India is resorting to terrorism against Pakistan. He said the world community should take notice of India’s belligerence.Pak will give befitting response to any misadventure: General Raheel Sharif Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif today warned that any “misadventure” by any “adversary” will meet the “most befitting response”, a day after India conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC.”The highest state of vigil is being maintained along the Line of Control, Working Boundary and the international border,” General Raheel said.”Any misadventure by our adversary will meet the most befitting response,” he said while talking to troops at a newly developed Combat Reaction Training facility near Lahore Garrison.He asked all commanders to lay more emphasis on combat readiness and said the training in peacetime is the only guarantor of averting and winning a war if imposed.”Pakistan cannot be coerced through any amount of malicious propaganda,” he said.He expressed his complete satisfaction over operational preparedness of the Army. With agency inputs

India avoiding to resolve ‘historical disputes’ like Kashmir: Raheel Sharif

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif on Monday claimed that India was not serious to resolve “historical disputes” like the Kashmir issue and accused its spy agency of “exploiting” the security situation on the border with Afghanistan.”India is unwilling to address historical disputes like Kashmir that directly fan misunderstanding and feed into persistent regional culture of conflict,” Gen Sharif said in Stutgart, Germany, where was on a day-long visit to attend a conference of Chief of Staffs of the Armed Force being held under the auspices of US Centcom. He accused India of exploiting the security situation on border with Afghanistan and added that terrorists could move across borders because of no effective border management systems in place there.”This is exploited by the anti-Pakistan intelligence agencies such as RAW,” he said. The Pakistan army chief said a stable Afghanistan is a guarantee to a peaceful and stable region and peace in the war-ravaged country could be achieved through a comprehensive and coordinated strategy.”Route to a peaceful and prosperous region runs through a stable Afghanistan, which is achievable through comprehensive and coordinated approach,” he said. He said Pakistan is making “all out efforts” to eliminate terrorism and it has suffered the most due to the menace compared to any other country in the world.

Nawaz Sharif bypasses ISI, asks IB to probe

Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, on Friday, met his top brass – the second such meeting in last two days, since his return from Colombo – to discuss the Pathankot incident, and directed his security establishment to cooperate with India in unearthing terror links involved.Sources in Islamabad told dna over phone that the Pakistan PM, who recently hosted his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in Lahore, also handed over the probe and all leads provided by India to Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Aftab Sultan, who works directly under him, instead of the normal practice of passing them on to the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI), which works under the army.The extra-ordinary step is perceived in diplomatic corridors here as Sharif’s desire to salvage the talks with India. Officials in New Delhi, while terming it “a rare, positive encouraging signal… and a deviation from past record of remaining in denial mode”, however, said a “credible” step on the actionable intelligence was still awaited.Stating that this alone will help build trust, “a necessity for kickstarting a genuine dialogue process”, an official said: “At the very minimum, we expect the terror handlers to be arrested and those behind the attack tracked down.”According to sources in Pakistan, Sharif has directed NSA Nasser Khan Janjua to remain in contact with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval for gathering additional information. This happened after an official, at the meeting, said that information provided by India was “not enough”, as it was so far limited to telephone numbers,The meeting was attended by chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif, DG ISI Lt-Gen Rizwan Akhtar, interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, advisor to PM on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz, national security advisor Lt-Gen (retd) Nasser Janjua, finance minister Ishaq Dar, foreign secretary and DG military operations.During the meeting, Sharif said goodwill generated by the recent high-level contacts should not be allowed to go haywire. He hoped the two countries would remain committed to a sustained, meaningful and comprehensive dialogue process.”We would like to have solid information to build a case for action. Otherwise, the suspects will walk out free on bail,” a Sharif aide told dna. He further said that strong action would be taken if probe finds anyone guilty.Meanwhile, investigators in Pathankot have found painkillers made in Lahore and syringes made in Karachi in one of the buildings at the airbase where the terrorists were holed up. The terrorists also carried performance-enhancing drugs, bandages, cotton, vials of perfume and dates. “The details will be provided to Pakistan soon,” an official told dna.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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