Washington leverage not as big as US believes, says report

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has claimed more than $23 billion of reimbursements from the US between 2001 and 2017 but only received a little more than half of its claims, about $14bn, shows a report based on official estimates of the reimbursements.

According to this report which has been made available to Dawn, in 2001-02, which was also the first year of the US-led war against terrorism, Pakistan claimed a total of $847.309 million and received $300m.

All reimbursements come from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which was created after the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attack to reimburse an ally for its efforts to combat militancy.

Pakistan has been a major recipient of reimbursements from this fund. But earlier this month, the Trump administration suspended its security assistance to Pakistan, including reimbursements from the CSF.

In 2002-03, as the war intensified and cooperation between the two allies improved, the reimbursements increased as well. During the 2002-03 US fiscal year (Sept 30-Oct 1), Pakistan claimed $845.324m and received $847.154m.

In 2003-04, the claim was for $850.83m but the reimbursement was reduced to $753.14m.

In 2004-05, Pakistan claimed $1,014.880m but was reimbursed $830.521m.

In 2005-06, the reimbursement — $1070.418m — was higher than the claim $1,001.800m, as it was in 2006-07 when Pakistan claimed $1,115.620m and received $1,240.899m.

In 2007-08, Pakistan claimed $1,657.194m and received $655.076m. This trend continued in 2008-09 as well, when Pakistan claimed $1,908.408m and received $912.850m.

In 2009-10, the reimbursements were reduced further. Pakistan claimed $2,179.139m but received $1,293.986m.

From 2010-11, the gap between claims and reimbursements continued to grow. In 2010-11, Pakistan claimed $2,045.841m but received $743.262m.

In 2011-12, Pakistan claimed $2,027.440m but received no reimbursements. This was the year when the US discovered Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad and killed him without informing Pakistan. Relations between the two countries began to deteriorate rapidly.

Dues from 2011-12, however, were carried forward to the next fiscal year and in 2012-13 Pakistan claimed $1,555.438m but received $1,806.273m as the amount included reimbursements from the previous year.

In 2013-14, Pakistan claimed $1,542.851m and received $1,050.016m. In 2014-15, Pakistan claimed $1,663.738m and received $1,451.789m.

In 2015-16, Pakistan claimed $1,702.431m and received $936.144m. In 2016-17, Pakistan claimed $1,691.160m and received $550.000m.

Thus, from 2001 to 2017, Pakistan submitted total claims of $23,649.410m and received $14,441.528m as reimbursements from the Coalition Support Fund.

Historically, US economic assistance has remained around one per cent of Pakistan’s budget and Islamabad feels that this deficit can easily be met from other sources.

Mardan minor girl assaulted before murder, claim doctors

MARDAN: The district nazim and local doctors have claimed that the four-year-old girl, whose body was found on Sunday evening, was assaulted before her murder.

District nazim Himayatullah Mayar told Dawn that the toddler was playing outside her house in Gojar Ghari area of the district when unidentified assailant picked her up and took her to the nearby sugarcane field where she was raped and later strangled to death.

The body of the victim was found a day later on Sunday evening.

Mr Mayar said that postmortem report suggested that the victim was raped. He said that there were marks of strangulation on her neck. He said that so far they were satisfied with police investigations. However, he said that police were trying to hide sexual assault on the victim.

“Police are just trying to save the image of provincial government by distorting facts,” said Mr Mayar. He added that so far no functionary of the provincial government visited the family of the victim nor bothered to condemn the incident.

The nazim said that ANP would protest the incident on Wednesday (today). He also criticised media for ignoring the incident.

The doctors and relatives of the victim also suspect that the toddler was raped before she was strangled to death. The girl had gone missing on Saturday evening and her body was found at a sugarcane field on Sunday evening. Police confirmed on Monday that she was strangled to death and there were bruises on her body.

The doctors at the district headquarters hospital and relatives of the girl told this scribe on the condition of anonymity that they were 95 per cent sure that she was raped before being murdered.

One of her relatives accused the district police of hushing up the matter and feeding an alternative story to media and people. He equated the incident with that of Kasur where seven-year-old Zainab Ansari was raped and later strangled to death.

He alleged that police had taken Zahir Mohammad, the complainant in the case and maternal uncle of the victim, to the police station and pressurised him to refrain from talking to reporters.

He said that police had given three days for results of the forensic test of the swabs taken from the body of the victim. “The deadline expires today,” he added.

He said that they would hold protest as well as press conference if police officials and doctors did not give them the real result of the forensic test.

SC issues arrest orders for Punjab police officials with fake degrees

The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, after being briefed by Punjab Additional Prosecutor Mohammad Jafar, issued arrest orders for officers who had used fake degrees to get inducted into Punjab police, DawnNews reported.

A three-member bench of the apex court, presided over by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, was hearing an appeal filed by the Punjab government against a judgement of the Lahore High Court, which — similar to a trial court earlier — had ruled that a departmental investigation against the seven accused of using fake degrees to gain employment into Rawalpindi police was enough.

The officials had subsequently been released.

The additional prosecutor, however, in Wednesday’s session reminded the SC that a departmental investigation is not equivalent to criminal action and that both can take place simultaneously. At this, the SC ordered for the trial court to conduct a fresh hearing and give its verdict accordingly.

The court also issued arrest orders for the defendants nominated in the cases and directed those out on bail to submit their bonds.

The Supreme Court, during Wednesday’s session, also took notice of the dual nationality of civil servants (grade 17 and above) as well as judges, instructing the federal government and registrar high courts to submit their detailed reports within 15 days.

No headway in Kasur case

KASUR: Law-enforcement agencies have yet to make any breakthrough in their search for clues leading to the arrest of the rapist(s) and killer(s) of the girl, whose body was recovered on Jan 9from a heap of trash in the city.

Police believe the suspect has assaulted nine girls, ages five to 10 years, and killed seven of them.

The two girls, who survived the attack, have been put under enhanced security. In the last one year, 13 minors have been killed after being abused in Kasur city.

District Police Officer Zahid Ali Marwat says sexual abuse and killing of minors occur in other districts of Punjab but the incidents in Kasur pose a challenge to the police.

He said they had examined 20 video footages, and of them, only footage, where the minor girl was seen walking with the suspect, was real.

A police official, who is part of the joint investigation team (JIT), requesting anonymity, said the suspect had targeted the children of the families with the strong social background which triggered public outcry.

Some police officials said in all cases, the suspected killer(s) had left the belongings of the deceased children with their bodies in a careful manner, which suggested they did not want to eliminate the evidence.

In the case of the last six-year-old girl’s killing, officials of eight police stations had been deployed to search and rescue her soon after her disappearance on Jan 4. On Jan 9, a police constable discovered her body at about 1pm that was thrown a few hours ago.

The place where the body was left is surrounded by buildings on the busiest road of Kasur – Shahbaz Khan Road.

The autopsy report shows she was killed three or four days back; it means the suspect(s) kept the body with them for days. The bodies of all the children were found either in under-construction houses or piles of trash near their houses between 5pm and 8pm.

An investigator said the footage revealed that the culprit was fearless sort of person and walked with confidence.

Another policeman said the JIT had started collecting data on the people expelled from police or sensitive agencies as the suspect in the footage seemed a person of strong nerves.

The police also received chemical examination reports from the Punjab Scientific Forensic Agency which confirmed the girl was assaulted.

According to the DNA report, the age of the suspected killer is between 22 and 40 years.

Medical Officer Dr Quratul Ain, who conducted the autopsy, said she had conducted autopsies of four other children and that pattern of killing in all the cases was same.

Also, a man, seen in a video footage roaming in the girl’s street, turned himself into the police and pleaded his innocence. He was released after necessary interrogation.