Qandeel murder case: Polygraph tests of suspects conducted

MULTAN: Polygraph tests of Qandeel Baloch’s cousin Haq Nawaz and taxi driver Abdul Basit, were conducted on Thursday.

According to details, police conducted the polygraph tests of slain model Qandeel Baloch’s cousin Haq Nawaz and taxi driver Abdul Basit, both suspects in the high-profile murder case. Police have also confiscated the vehicle of Basit for further investigation. Meanwhile, suspect Haq Nawaz will be presented at the court tomorrow.

Police disclosed that the Qandeel Baloch murder case investigation was in its final phase. Haq Nawaz and Abdul Basit’s polygraph tests were conducted from the Punjab Science Laboratory in Lahore. After their tests were conducted, both suspects were handed back to the police for further investigation.

Sources within the police revealed that the investigation would be given final touches after Qandeel Baloch’s DNA report is received. Afterwards, the challan would be submitted at the court.

Qandeel Baloch was a prominent social media personality and model whose bold Facebook posts ignited controversy in Pakistan. While some abhorred her antics, others praised her for breaking social taboos. In July, Qandeel was found murdered before her brother confessed to killing her by strangling her to death

U.S. designates Pakistan’s Jamaat-ur-Ahrar as ‘terrorist group’

ISLAMABAD: The United States has added the Pakistani militant outfit Jamaat-ur-Ahrar to its list of global terrorists, triggering sanctions against a group that has staged multiple attacks on civilians, religious minorities and soldiers.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for at least five major attacks in Pakistan since December, including the Easter Sunday bombing in a public park that killed 70 people in the eastern city of Lahore.

It is a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban movement that has also declared loyalty to Islamic State’s leadership in the Middle East.

The group also claimed responsibility for the killing of two Pakistani employees of the U.S. Consulate in the northwestern city of Peshawar in early March.

Jamaat-ur-Ahrar has not yet commented on the designation.

The designation, announced by the State Department in a statement on Wednesday, means anyone who supports Jamaat-ur-Ahrar could have their assets frozen by the U.S. government.

In recent years, Pakistan has also cracked down on movements that target its own citizens and institutions, including the Pakistani Taliban who are fighting to topple the government and install a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

Most recently, it launched a paramilitary crackdown in Punjab, the country’s richest and most populous province, after the Easter bombing in Lahore, the provincial capital.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa activists blocked in bid to deliver aid to held Kashmir

MUZAFFARABAD: Hundreds of Pakistani supporters of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) tried to cross into the Indian occupied Kashmir region on Wednesday to deliver aid after weeks of violent protests there.

But the activists from the charitable arm of the anti-India Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group did not have permission from either the Pakistani or Indian authorities to cross the contested border and were stopped in a village on the Pakistani side where they staged a protest.

“We will continue the sit-in until these essential food supplies are sent across the divide into the curfew ridden Kashmir valley,” Hafiz Abdul Rauf, a senior official of the charity, told Reuters.

The United States designated the charity a “foreign terrorist organisation” in 2010. The group denies any militant activity.

The Muslim-majority Himalayan region of Kashmir has been divided since shortly after India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought three wars over it and the border between them in the region is an old ceasefire line known as the Line of Control (LoC).

The United Nations still monitors the well-fortified positions on both sides of the tense divide.

Forty-six people have been killed and more 5,000 wounded, including Indian security forces, since protests erupted there after the killing of a militant commander on July 8.

Most of the violence has been in the Kashmir valley, the most populous part of Indian held Kashmir, which includes the main city of Srinagar.

The JuD activists, chanting “annihilation of India”, tried to approach the LoC but were kept well back by steel barricades erected by Pakistani security forces in the village of Chakothi.

The protest came hours before Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) talks, according to footage broadcast on the Pakistani television news channel Geo.

A Kashmiri commander led a protest in Islamabad against Singh’s visit earlier on Wednesday. About 300 people attended.

The Kashmiri leader, Syed Salahuddin, said Singh was “a killer of Kashmiris” and Pakistan should cut diplomatic ties with India over the violence in Indian occupied Kashmir.

Muzaffargarh: Husband, in-laws force wife to drink acid

MUZAFFARGARH: A married woman was allegedly forced to drink acid by her husband and in-laws for returning home late.

According to the police, Shabana Mai, resident of Baily wala in Tehsil Jatoi went to attend the funeral of her nephew at her family’s house and came back late due to which her husband, Arif, along with his family members forced her to drink acid as per punishment.

As a result, her condition deteriorated and she was initially taken to Tehsil headquarter hospital and then was shifted to Nishtar Hospital in Multan for medical treatment.

Police have registered a case against the husband and in-laws of the victim yet no arrest has been made in connection with the case.

Every year in Pakistan, many women are subjected to acid attacks either for refusing marriage proposals or on suspicion of infidelity.

Nawaz calls for joint efforts to combat regional challenges in SAARC meeting

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also attended the SAARC interior ministers conference on Thursday and called for joint efforts to face regional challenges.

“It is an honour for Pakistan to be hosting the SAARC interior ministers conference,” he said. “Important issues concerning the region will be discussed and deliberated in this conference,” he said.

Nawaz said that since many decades, Pakistan was trying to promote peace in the region. The Prime Minister also said during his address that members of the SAARC must join forces to combat the challenges they are faced with.