Sun, Feb 26, 2017 | updated 03:27 PM IST

EU rights activists shocked over Waziristan market demolition as punishment for Pak army officer's killing

Updated: Nov 06, 2016 11:33 IST

Brussels [Belgium]/Geneva [Switzerland], Nov. 6 (ANI): European Union human rights watchdogs and rights activists based in Brussels and Geneva have expressed shock and dismay over the Pakistan Army and local authorities move to dynamite and demolish the Al-Muhib market in the popular Rustam Bazaar area of tribal-dominant South Waziristan, as collective punishment to avenge the killing of an army officer in an explosion. Many others were also injured in the incident that took place earlier this week.

The political agent in South Waziristan Agency, Zafarul Islam Khattak, was quoted by the Dawn, as saying that the action was taken under the collective and territorial responsibility clauses of the Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) Act.

Britain's colonial rulers had devised and introduced the FCR as an extension of already existing local laws and traditions with the aim of keeping the local Pakhtoon population subjugated and disciplined.

The order to demolish the market was taken on Friday, three days after Major Imran of the Pakistan Army was killed and 10 others injured in an explosion while undertaking a search operation. Following the incident, the local authorities had also imposed a curfew in the Wana Bazaar area, forcing over 6,000 shops to down their shutters.

The owner of the Al-Muhib, Ali Wazir, claimed to have suffered huge losses due to the demolition. He said explosions take across the country, but nowhere do markets get dynamited as retaliatory punishment.

Local sources said the Rustam Bazaar was currently under the control of security forces. Efforts by local elders to resolve the issue through the Jirga have failed to produce any result.

In recent months, some members of the European Parliament have also joined a growing chorus against Pakistan, urging it to be made more accountable for what they called "its misdirected policies" in extending direct and indirect support to terror outfits operating from its soil.

They have also ramped up pressure on Islamabad to allow international scrutiny on matters related to the protection of human rights of the indigenous population, particularly those designated as minorities.

They have said that the years of concerted government use of extremist groups as instruments of mayhem against political activists, journalists and intellectuals inimical to their interests is unacceptable.

One European Union Parliamentarian, Alberto Cirio, said in a recent article that has been published by EP Today, that, "The stark choice now before the Pakistan government is either to move against all jihadi groups active on its soil, or be willing to face a blow back from those protected from such action, like that witnessed in Quetta."

The European Parliament has repeatedly thrown light on the sizeable presence of the Pakistan Army in that country's tribal belt, and believes that it could be behind the brutal violation and denial of human rights to the local population.

There is also a view in Europe that Islamabad continues to promote extremist groups and charities affiliated to them, such as the Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation (a front of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa) and the Al Khair (a front of the Jaish-e-Mohammad).

The systematic abuse of human rights reflects a total contempt for all international human rights laws, said the European rights activists. (ANI)

Geneva [Switzerland], Feb. 26 (ANI): Central Spokesman for Baloch Republican Party Mohammad Bugti, has said that the Pakistani Army's continuous military operation throughout the past week has set a new example of brutality in history.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb. 26 (ANI): Following the crackdown launched by the Counter Terrorism Department of the Punjab Police and the Punjab Rangers in different parts of Layyah and Rawalpindi districts in Pakistan, around 600 suspects have been taken into custody.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb. 26 (ANI): Pakistan has said that it has begun a negotiation mechanism with Afghanistan which will enable both nations to address each other's concerns over terrorism.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Feb. 26 (ANI): In a renewed push for independence from Baghdad, Iraqi Kurdish leaders are likely to offer territory seized by their forces in a bid to recapture Mosul from ISIS terrorists.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 26 (ANI): JK Rowling has never been one to mince words, especially when it comes to Donald Trump, and with the Kansas shooting grabbing eyeballs across the globe with an Indian engineer shot to death by a white man which is being touted as a hate crime, the legendary author has once again lashed out at the United States President over the tragic development.

Full Story >>

London [United Kingdom], Feb. 26 (ANI): Under new British Government guidelines for handling asylum applications, gay Afghans can be deported to their country, but, they will have to pretend that they are straight, as homosexuality is illegal in Afghanistan.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 26 (ANI): U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will not be attending the White House Correspondents` Association (WHCA) dinner this year, scheduled to be held on April 29.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): The Trump administration should 'act as a champion of press freedom', rather than prosecute a war with mainstream US media that could 'send a signal to other countries that it is OK to verbally abuse journalists and undermine their credibility', a senior member of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Saturday.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): In a rare public spat between two Communist neighbours, North Korea has lashed out at China, without actually naming, accusing it of 'dancing to the tune of the U.S.' over its decision not to import any more coal from the country.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): The former labor secretary of U.S.A., Tom Perez, is the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). His victory in Atlanta on Saturday saw him make history as the first Latino to lead the task of rebuilding the opposition to Republican President Donald Trump.

Full Story >>

Paris [France], Feb. 26 (ANI): Reproaching U.S. President Donald Trump after he commented on the dangers of terrorism in Paris, President of France François Hollande on Saturday reminded the former of the cardinal rule of diplomacy of not showing 'the least disapproval with respect to an ally', as reported by the New York Times.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 26 (ANI): At least 32 people were killed and 24 others injured after several suicide attacks targetted two security centers in the central Syrian city of Homs, according to state media citing the city's Gov. Talal Barazi.

Full Story >>

Berlin [Germany], Feb. 26 (ANI): The driver, who manned the car that drove into the central square of the German city of Heidelberg, hitting three people outside a bakery, was shot after a brief standoff by the police.

Full Story >>

New Delhi[India], Feb. 25(ANI): Malaysian Police said they will conduct a sweep of the terminal at Kuala Lumpur's International Airport, where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's exiled half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed, to check for possible traces of the toxic chemical suspected to have been used in the attack.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.25 (ANI): Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said that the media can play a most crucial role in disseminating redible information to counter terrorism.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25(ANI): President Donald Trump again escalated his attack against the media, saying the large sections of it had ignored the lowering of national debt in the first month of his tenure in office. He also hinted at going in for big tax and regulation cuts as his administration prepares its first budget proposal.

Full Story >>

Pakistan to host ECO Summit from March 1

Updated: Feb 25, 2017 20:07 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.25 (ANI): Pakistan will host the ECO Summit here on March 1, said the Prime Minister's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Saturday.

Full Story >>

Trump urges supporters to hold their own rally

Updated: Feb 25, 2017 20:06 IST

New Delhi[India], Feb. 25(ANI): President Donald Trump on Twitter has urged his supporters to hold a rally of their own, predicting it would be "the biggest of them all" amid a series of protests against him.

Full Story >>

Lahore (Punjab) [Pakistan], Feb.25 (ANI): Pakistan's paramilitary Rangers have conducted 200 search operations across the country's Punjab province and arrested about 600 suspects, said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement on Saturday.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Feb.25 (ANI): Interpol has refused to issue a red warrant against Muttahida Qami Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain, saying it does not intervene in political and religious matters of a state.

Full Story >>