Pakistan round-up

Scene of the attack in Quetta

Nearly two dozen killed in attacks across Pakistan: In Peshawar, a sprawling city on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, a suicide bomber blew himself up in front of a police vehicle, killing at least nine bystanders including a woman and a child, police said.

In Quetta, in the unruly province of Balochistan, at least 10 people were killed when a motorcycle laden with explosives exploded near a college in the city center, police said

Taliban splinter group Ahrar ul-Hind claims responsibility for Peshawar, Quetta blasts: “We claim both Peshawar and Quetta attacks,” chief of Ahrar ul-Hind [“Liberators of India”] Umar Qasmi told Reuters. “We don’t abide by these [peace] talks [with the Taliban] and will continue to stage attacks.”

The rally began from Gurdwara Bhai Singh inside Dabgari Gardens and moved towards Mohallah Jogan Shah as the protesters chanted slogans.

Sikhs lash out against murder, kidnappings: Sikh residents of the city protested on Friday against the killing of a Sikh hakim in Charsadda a day before and an earlier abduction of two others in DI Khan.

“These incidents are part of the deteriorating law and order situation in Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa (K-P),” said Sardar Charanjeet Singh, leading the protest. He strongly condemned the attack on minorities and demanded the provincial government to take steps for their protection.

Minorities demand constitutional rights: Representatives of human rights organisations asked the government to take pragmatic measures to uphold the constitutional rights of non-Muslims.

Speaking at a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club, South Asian Partnership of Pakistan (SAPP) Regional Programme Coordinator Fida Hussain said it was the prerogative of non-Muslims to freely perform religious obligations and avail their rights according to the Constitution.

Flanked by representatives of the Hindu community, All Pakistan Hindu Movement Chairman Haroon Sarab Diyal, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Heritage Council Chairman Shakeel Wahidullah and several human rights activists, Hussain highlighted the media’s role in sensitising the public about the rights of minorities in the country.

Diyal expressed anguish over the encroachment of Hindu properties and other religious places by influential people in the province and the rest of the country.

Girls school blown up in South Waziristan: A state-run girls primary school was damaged in a blast in Mughal Khel village of Wana, South Waziristan, late Thursday night, an official of the agency’s political administration told The Express Tribune.

Govt may ask Taliban to run anti-polio campaign in Waziristan: The federal government has mulled over a proposal to engage Taliban as parts of efforts to eradicate polio from the militancy-stricken tribal areas.

Over 30 injured in kite-flying incidents: Rawalpindi: More than 30 people, including women and children, were brought to different hospitals with bullet injuries, fractures, wounds and cuts they received during kite flying-related incidents on Friday.

The city areas reverberated with the sounds of gunfire throughout the day, particularly in the vicinities of sensitive installation such as the Nur Khan Airbase and the Benazir Bhutto International Airport.

One of the injured being treated at the District Headquarters Hospital was stated to be in a critical condition. The emergency police services were flooded with phone calls with citizens demanding action against those flying kites and opening fire in jubilation during the Basant festivals despite a ban imposed by the government.