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Pakistan Army launches operation Khyber-IV in Rajgal Valley

RAWALPINDI (Online): Pakistan Army launched an operation Khyber-IV in Rajgal Valley of Khyber Agency along the Pak-Afghan border to clear the area of terrorism.

This was announced by Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor in Rawalpindi on Sunday.

He said DA’ISH has increased its influence on the Afghan side and objective behind the operation is to check their cross border intrusion to carryout terrorist activities on our side of the border.

The DG said one division troops with the support of PAF are taking part in the operation. He said Rajgal Valley is the toughest terrain in FATA. He said international border with Afghanistan will be fully secured to check infiltration of terrorists and to destroy their hideouts in our side of the border.

Asif Ghafoor said that about 500 families had been living in this area, which are currently staying at safer places as Temporarily Displaced Persons. He said due to effective security operations in the tribal belt, incidents of terrorism have reasonably been declined in the country.

Turning to Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, the ISPR Chief said 46 major operations and over 9,000 intelligence based operations were launched, while 10707 joint check posts were established across Pakistan. Thirteen major operations and over 800 IBOs were conducted in Balochistan. In Sindh, 522 terrorists voluntarily surrendered while fifteen killed. In Punjab, six major operations and over 7000 IBOs were carried out.

Twenty two terrorists were also killed. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, twenty seven major operations were launched, while 817 intelligence based operations were also conducted. Commenting on security situation in Karachi, he said incidents of terrorism have declined by 98 percent.

To a question, he said the Army Chief will take a final decision on the appeal of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav at the earliest. He assured that the decision of the Army Chief will be based on justice. He said Pakistan has also decided to fence its entire border with Afghanistan and first phase of fencing is underway.

He said we will also ensure physical and technical surveillance of the fence. To a question, the DG said Raymond Davis has written his book as contractor and such books have their own agendas, which could be exposed later on.

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Four Pakistani soldiers drowned as Indian army fired at vehicle: Army

RAWALPINDI (NNI): Pakistan army said Sunday that four soldiers drowned in a river after Indian troops targeted their vehicle moving along the Line of Control (LoC).

Body of one soldier has been recovered and search for three others is underway, the ISPR said.

Giving details of the incident the army spokesman said that the Indian forces fired at the vehicle along Neelum River at Athmaqam area. “The vehicle fell into the Neelum River. 4 soldiers drowned. Body of one shaheed (martyred) recovered, search for remaining 3 in progress,” he said.

Pakistani forces responded to the ceasefire violation, the spokesman said. Pakistan and India had declared ceasefire along the LoC in 2003; however India has increased violations in redcet weeks.

The latest incident occurred hours after the military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Indian forces have committed 580 ceasefire violations so far this year, which he described as the “highest in any year.”

“India is committing massive ceasefire violations on LoC to divert world attention from the grave human rights violations and indigenous struggle of Kashmiris in the Occupied Kashmir,” he said, adding Indian army “has the choice of opening fire on civilian areas” whereas the Pakistan Army cannot do that to Kashmiris across the LoC.

Replying to a question about the Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav s case, he said the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is “analyzing” the evidence in the case and will take a decision on Jadhav’s mercy appeal on merit.

Jadhav was handed death sentence by a field court martial in April for his involvement in espionage and terrorist activities. India had approached the International Court of Justice in The Hague in May, which has halted his execution until it delivers a final verdict.

The army said on June 22 that Jadhav filed a mercy petition before Gen Bajwa after a Military Appellate Court rejected his appeal.

Pakistan army says Jadhav had been arrested from Balochistan in March last year after he reportedly entered from Iran for espionage and to recruit people for terrorist activities.

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Nawaz Sharif will land in Adiala Jail after Panamagate verdict: Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will land in Adiala jail as an outcome of the Panamagate hearing in the Supreme Court (SC).

Addressing a workers convention in Islamabad on Sunday, the PTI leader warned PM Sharif of the possibility of landing behind bars. “You will not go to Jeddah, but to Adiala jail,” said Khan, referring to Nawaz Sharif’s exile in 1999 after his government was toppled by the then Gen Pervez Musharraf.

Khan vowed to “either celebrate victory in Islamabad or take to the streets against the PML-N leadership” after the apex court decides the Panamagate case, which is set to resume on Monday.

He accused the PML-N of planning to attack the SC if the outcome of Panamagate case was against the Sharifs. He warned PM Sharif against any such attempt and said that the entire nation would stand with the apex court.

PML-N has destroyed the parliament as well as all other institutions, said Khan, adding, “All except the apex court and the army”.

He lauded the joint investigation team (JIT) for exposing the contradictions and lies of the PML-N’s leadership.
The JIT did an outstanding job because it was under the SC, he said.

He asked the PML-N workers to stop supporting their leaders for the sake of the future generations and the country.


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5 of a family killed, 5 injured in Uruzgan airstrike

TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Five civilians have been killed and five others wounded as a result of an airstrike in Tirinkot, the capital of central Uruzgan province, resident and hospital sources said on Sunday.

Ezzatullah, an inhabitant of the area, told Pajhwok Afghan News the airstrike was carried out in the Muradabad area of the city on Saturday evening. But he was unaware who conducted the raid.

He said five members of a family, including a woman and children, were killed and three others belonging to another family injured during the bombardment.

Tirinkot Civil Hospital Director Dr. Ziaur Rahman, said five injured people had been brought to the hospital from the area. They are currently under treatment.

The provincial government and police department refused to comment on the airstrike, which came two days after 20 civilians suffered casualties in a similar incident in the Sajwal area of the city.

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Troops Set To Re-Take Helmand’s Nawa District

HELMAND (TOLONews): Afghan security forces on Sunday continued their operation to re-take Nawa district of southern Helmand province and are now only two kilometers from the district governor’s compound, local officials said on Sunday.

The operation was launched early Saturday to re-capture Nawa which fell to the Taliban about nine months ago, Omar Zwak said.

“Security forces have re-taken [a stretch of] 10 kilometers of Nawa and only two kilometers to the district governor’s compound is left. The forces are advancing in the battle against the insurgents and so far 18 insurgents including their commanders have been killed,” Zwak said.

“One security force member was also killed in the clash with the Taliban and six others were wounded,” he said adding that “there are no civilian casualties. Our priorities are to prevent civilian casualties.” Zwak also said that foreign troops are supporting the Afghan security forces by carrying out airstrikes on the affected area.

“Our operation is moving a little slowly because of mines that have been placed by the insurgents along the roads. So far we have defused 150 mines but by the end of the day we will take control of the district,” he said.

TOLOnews reporter, Abdullah Hamim who is with the security forces says “the mines are a key issue for the security forces and [in addition to mines] they have recovered explosive devices and weapons during the operation.”

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Most Daesh rebels are foreigners, says Nicholson

KABUL (Pajhwok): The top NATO and US commander in Afghanistan has said most Daesh or Islamic State (IS) fighters are foreigners who have brought violence and miseries to the people.

Gen. John Nicholson said this during a change-of-commander ceremony at the NATO Resolute Support (RS) Mission headquarters in Kabul.

He said during the last one year US and Afghan forces had inflicted significant damage on Daesh’s Korasan chapter and killed most notorious commanders of the group, including the three leaders.

He said Daesh leader Abu Sayed was killed in an airstrike in Kunar province three days back. Sayed was the third leader of the terrorist organisation killed in the last year, he added.

The NATO commander said they conducted operations against the ISIS in every part of Afghanistan — mostly in Nangarhar, Kunar and Jawzjan provinces.

Nicholson promised military action against Daesh would continue in Afghanistan until the last rebel was eliminated. He claimed most of Daesh militants were foreigners.

Nicholson assured NATO would work together with Afghan security forces for the elimination of the insurgent outfit.

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Rawal Dam ‘poisoning’: Water supply to Rawalpindi restored

ISLAMABAD (INP): The supply of water from Rawal Dam to Rawalpindi has been restored, authorities said on Sunday.

The Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) on Saturday stated that poison had not been found in the dam’s water, after a large number of fish were reported ‘dead from poisoning’ at the Rawal Dam.

Following the development, water supply to Rawalpindi was initially suspended on the request of Wasa. In a statement on Saturday night, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Capt (retd) Mushtaq Ahmed said the National Agricultural Research Centre has tested the water and declared that no abnormality has been found.

However, the fish and water samples have also been sent to the National Institute of Health and Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources for further tests.

The statement also said that samples have also been sent to the Forensic Science Lab in Lahore. A criminal case was also registered by the Secretariat police on Wednesday against a ‘local mafia’ for pouring poison into the dam.

According to the FIR lodged by the Punjab Fisheries Department, people from the mafia were stopped from fishing and boating in the dam as it is banned. Subsequently, states the report, the irked mafia added poisonous substance to the water that has killed nearly 240 tonnes of fishes so far.

The dam provides an estimated 24 million gallons of water to Rawalpindi every day.

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Bollywood’s biggest stars shine at India film awards

EAST RUTHERFORD (AFP): India’s biggest Bollywood stars lit up an American stadium Saturday with a dazzling celebration of dance, music and fashion at the International Indian Film Academy awards just outside New York.

Held each year in a different city overseas, IIFA is India’s biggest media event and one of the world’s most-watched annual entertainment shows, with an audience of nearly 800 million people.

Thousands of delighted fans, dressed to the nines in evening gowns, cocktail dresses, saris and jewel-encrusted shalwar kameez, shrieked with delight as the awards got underway at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a short drive from New York.

A Donald Trump impersonator, introduced as Ronald Grump, tried to lead the crowd in a few strains of song, before actress Alia Bhatt whipped the audience into a frenzy, cheering an upbeat song and signature Bollywood moves with backup dancers in neon costumes.

Fellow A-listers Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Shahid Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon are also expected to perform.

Hosted by Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan and producer-director Karan Johar, it is the culmination of a three-day festival, which kicked off with a fashion show and music in Times Square.

On Friday, the heavens opened during a concert honoring A.R. Rahman, the movie composer who won two Oscars in 2009 for “Slumdog Millionaire” and a green carpet parade of stars in their finery was canceled at the last minute owing to the poor weather.

This year marks the 18th edition of the awards, which some dub the Oscars of Bollywood, at a time of growth for Indian film in North America.

Insiders attribute the increase to the thriving Indian economy, bigger budgets, an increasing South Asian diaspora, and growing popularity among Afghans, Arabs, Russians and Caribbean immigrants.

Increased crossover with Indian stars such as Priyanka Chopra taking on Hollywood is giving India more global exposure.

But if IIFA’s hopes to reach out to new audiences by holding its awards ceremony each year overseas, it still has some way to penetrate non-South Asian audiences in the United States.

“The world needs Bollywood movies,” actor Anil Kapoor of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame told AFP on the green carpet Saturday, praising their “happiness, smiles, laughter, dance, celebration.”

As for the awards themselves “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” (“This Heart is Complicated”) leads the way with eight nominations followed by “M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story”, a biopic of former Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which is nominated for seven awards.

Dubbed Bollywood’s Oscars by some, although critics say the awards themselves do not enjoy the same stature.

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Sanchez hints at Arsenal exit

SANTIAGO (AFP): Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez hinted that he is looking to leave the club in the current transfer window after revealing his desire to play in the Champions League.

“I want to play in the Champions [League],” Sanchez told reporters in his native Chile at a charity match in his home town of Tocopilla. “But the decision isn’t up to me. I need to wait on Arsenal.”

Sanchez, along with playmaker Mesut Ozil, has only one year left on their contract, and both were linked with a move away from the club after the Gunners finished fifth on the league table last season. It was the first time in 20 years under manager Arsene Wenger when Arsenal could not finish in the top.

However, last week Ozil disclosed his intentions to stay at the club by claiming that new contracts talk will begin once he is back in London.

The former Barcelona forward has been linked with moves to Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich, among other clubs, and his comments will only increase speculation he is set to leave London.

The 28-year-old joined Arsenal in 2014 from the Catalan giants, and has already made103 league appearances for the club, where he scored 53 goals and provided 22 assists.

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Brazil protesters pelt politician with eggs at her wedding

BRASILIA (AFP): A Brazilian politician has accused left-wing protesters of physically and verbally abusing her wedding guests over her family’s support for President Michel Temer.

Maria Victoria Barros, 25, is a member of the state assembly in Parana and daughter of Mr Temer’s health minister.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the church where the ceremony was taking place on Friday evening. Pelted with eggs, she had to leave the church in an armoured vehicle. The lavish ceremony attracted the state’s political elite, including her father, Ricardo Barros, and her mother, Cida Borghetti, Parana’s deputy governor.

At least 30 member of the Brazilian Congress were invited to travel from the capital Brasilia for the wedding in the Parana state capital, Curitiba. Demonstrators carried anti-government signs and shouted slogans at Ms Barros, accusing her of being a “coup plotter”.

Footage posted on YouTube shows security guards opening umbrellas to try to protect the bride and groom as they left the Church of the Rosary. A detachment of riot police was eventually called in to protect the newly-weds and their guests.

Ms Barros said the protest was linked to her mother’s recent decision to run for state governor and had been “financed by left-wing parties and unions”. She regretted the attacks against some of the guests but added: “This is the price of democracy”.

The incident is another illustration of how split and bitter Brazilian politics has become since the impeachment last year of Mr Temer’s predecessor, Dilma Rousseff. During the impeachment trial, Ms Rousseff described the move as a right-wing coup, supported by her vice-president at the time, Mr Temer. Supporters of her Workers’ Party were further angered by the conviction of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday to nine years and six months in jail for corruption.

Lula has rejected claims that he received an apartment as a bribe in a corruption scandal linked to state oil company Petrobras. He has appealed against the verdict, saying the trial was politically-motivated, aimed at preventing him from running for office again next year. Lula served eight years as president until 2011.

Federal Judge Sergio Moro, from Parana state, ruled that he could remain free pending an appeal.