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Former Pakistan military dictator Musharraf gets death penalty for treason

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Pakistan’s ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf was sentenced to death in high treason case on Tuesday by a special court in Islamabad.

A three-member bench of the special court handed Musharraf death sentence on a long drawn high treason case against him for suspending the constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Musharraf is in self- imposed exile in Dubai, and has been on trial since 2014. He wasn’t present to comment on the verdict but in the past he had denied the charges.

Pakistan army said in a statement posted on Twitter that the decision was received with “a lot of pain and anguish by rank and file of Pakistan armed forces”.

Many of Pakistan’s army chiefs have either ruled the country directly after coups, as Gen Musharraf did, or wielded significant influence over policymaking during periods of civilian rule.

But Gen Musharraf was the first army chief to be charged with such a crime and the powerful military have watched the case carefully, BBC report said.

Mastung: Residents protest low gas pressure

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After a drastic fall in utility gas pressure in intense cold weather, residents of Mastung city blocked the National Highway in protest against the government.

According to details received by TBP, residents including a large number of women and children in the Kanak area of ​​Mastung launched a sit-in protest on main highway, which suspended traffic on the RCD highway and resulted in long queues of vehicles.

Travelers are experiencing difficulties due to the Kanak protests, none of district administration representatives met the protesters until the latest information.

With the onset of winter, complaints of reduction in gas pressure in various areas of Balochistan are being reported.

In midst of last month, citizens of Quetta, the capital city, also took to the streets and blocked traffic in protest, and threatened to surround the Sui Southern Gas Company office as a last resort if their grievance was not addressed.

Sui gas field is the biggest natural gas field used in all over Pakistan. It is located near Sui in Balochistan Province but only few cities of Balochistan have the facility and in other parts of the region people still use woods for their daily life requirements.

Baloch nationalists claim that state of Pakistan is exploiting their natural wealth, such as natural gas, coal mines and one of the largest gold mines in the world but the local Baloch people are deprived of their basic rights and facilities.

The SUI Gas pipelines repeatedly get attacked by the Baloch militants as a gesture of resistance against the state. As a protective measure, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff had ordered that Frontier Corps (FC) will take charge of Sui gas fields.

Bomb explosion outside Peshawar High Court injures several

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About five to six kilogrammes of explosive material was used in a blast that injured at least 11 people in Peshawar on Monday, City Police Officer Muhammad Ali Gandapur said while quoting an initial report prepared by the bomb disposal unit, Dawn news reported

Earlier, police believed the explosion, which took place outside the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and Peshawar High Court, to be a cylinder blast in an auto-rickshaw.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Zahoor Afridi had said police and bomb disposal unit teams had reached the site of the incident and added that the police were investigating it further.

The injured were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital.

A spokesperson for the hospital Muhammad Asim told DawnNewsTV that 11 were injured in the incident, one of whom is critical.

Earlier the spokesperson had said a police officer was amongst the injured.

He said the LRH emergency is on high alert and the injured are being provided with immediate aid.

Bilawal accused Pak government of depriving Baloch people from benefits

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PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has accused Pakistani government of modifying the route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to deprived people of Balochistan of their share of benefits from the projects.

Bilawal was addressing a PPP workers’ convention in Quetta. “We want the people of Balochistan to benefit from CPEC but this incompetent, unqualified puppet government has failed in providing you the benefits. Only PPP is capable and it is the only party to have ever strived to deliver the benefits of a project to the residents of the area it is launched in,” he added.

The CPEC is a multi-billion dollar development project, with a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Balochistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.

Bilawal also alleged that “selected prime minister” Imran Khan was not only “stealing” the share of resources that should go to the provinces, but was also “placing the burden of his incompetence” onto the people.

“He who promised 10 million jobs and 5 million homes is not only stealing existing jobs but the roof over people’s heads in the name of encroachment,” said the PPP chairman

Baloch political forces condemn abduction of women by Pakistani forces

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Various political and social organizations of Balochistan have strongly condemned the enforced disappearance of women from Quetta city on Friday.

According to details received by The Balochistan Post, six persons, including a child and three women were detained by Pakistani security forces on Hazarganji bus stop in Quetta.

“After Awaran, Pakistani authorities have now abducted Bugti women & a child from Quetta, who had come to the city for medical treatment. The enemy state has no regard to humanistic values & targets innocents when it fails to compete with Baloch freedom fighters on battlefield.” Former chairman of BSO and head of BLA, Bashir Zeb Baloch tweeted on Saturday in the reaction of the incident.

Baloch National Movement (BNM) spokesperson said in a press release, “Pakistani brutality and barbarism in Balochistan has given rise to a clear human tragedy. The further silence of the UN and the global community is causing an enormous increase in our national problems. The time has come for the international community to take practical action against such animalistic acts of Pakistan.”

President of Women democratic Front (WDF), Jalila Haider has expressed her concerns on the issue saying that the state’s attitude towards women in recent days is not only insulting but also an attack on the sanctity of women living in the region.

In a press release, Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO) spokesperson said that the continuation of extra-judicial arrest of women and children under collective punishment has been initiated under a regular plan. Before this incident, many Baloch women were detained extra-judicially which is absolute violation of human rights.

It is pertinent to mention that this is the second incident of abduction of by Pakistani security forces in the same month. Earlier this, four women from different areas of Awaran district of Balochistan were taken into custody by security forces and moved to an unknown location, who were later charged with terrorism offences by producing them with weapons and ammunition in front of media.

Women abducted from Awaran district

The incident has been condemned by many other organizations including NDP and VBMP.

6 persons, including women and a child forcefully disappeared

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Six persons of Bugti tribe, including women and children were arrested by Pakistani security forces and moved to an undisclosed location.

According to details received by TBP, there is a child and three women among six of abductees. Pakistani forces and personnel of intelligence agencies detained them on Hazarganji bus stop in Quetta.

“Victims arrived to Quetta city from Naseerabad district to obtain medical treatments”, family said.

Family of the victims has appealed to high authorities, social and political parties to play their role in safe release of abductees, women in particular.

Abductees have been identified as seven-year-old Amin s/o Haji Dost Ali Bugti, 60-year-old Haji Dost Ali s/o Malook Bugti, 80-year-old Fareed Bugti, Izathon Bibi d/o Malhah Bugti, Murad Khatun d/o Nazgho Bugti and Mahnaz Bibi d/o Fareed Bugti.

Talks between US and Taliban paused after Bagram attack

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The latest US-Taliban negotiations in Doha, which began on December 7, have been paused following Wednesday’s attack on a medical facility near Bagram air base that killed two civilians and wounded dozens more, Tolo news reported

According to sources, the five days of discussions have focused on the following three issues: a reduction of violence, a ceasefire and intra-Afghan negotiations.

The break in the talks was confirmed by a Taliban spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, on Thursday, December 12, who said in a tweet that the talks will resume after a few days.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, tweeted:

“When I met the Talibs today (Thursday December 12), I expressed outrage about yesterday’s attack on Bagram, which recklessly killed two and wounded dozens of civilians. Taliban must show they are willing and able to respond to Afghan desire for peace,” Khalilzad tweeted.

He continued: “We’re taking a brief pause for them to consult their leadership on this essential topic.”

Speaking of progress in the talks so far:

“They are apparently talking about whether to agree on a ceasefire before the intra-Afghan talks or after,” said Sayed Akbar Agha, a former Taliban commander.

“It will be good that they reach an agreement soon to help the intra-Afghan talks start and to stop the war,” said Haji Din Mohammad, deputy head of the High Peace Council (HPC).

“There are some protocol issues to find that who will be the guarantor—who will vouch for the signatories– and which country will be there as a witness during the signing of the agreement,” said Waliullah Shaheen, a political analyst in Kabul.

“Unless there are firm commitments for moving this process forward, there will be no desirable outcome from this–the people of Afghanistan want to hear a positive response regarding the ceasefire so that this process can move forward,” said Najia Anwar, spokeswoman for the State Ministry on Peace Affairs.

Meanwhile, Khalilzad has landed in Islamabad where he has held talks with senior Pakistani civilian and military leadership.

In Rawalpindi, Khalilzad called on Pakistani Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and they discussed the security situation with particular reference to ongoing Afghan reconciliation, said a Pakistani military spokesman.

Khalilzad also met Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad.

Foreign Minister Qureshi assured Khalilzad that Pakistan will continue to “sincerely play the role of facilitator in the Afghan peace process.”

Qureshi noted that peace in Afghanistan is imperative for peace and stability in the region.

He reiterated Pakistan’s stance that there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.

Noshki: Man acquitted by the court abducted once again

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A man acquitted by a court in Noshki district of Balochistan was once again forcibly disappeared some hours later.

According to detail received by TBP, a tribal elder, Mir Jeeyand Khan Mengal told reporters at the Noshki Press Club that Bashir Ahmed s/o Gul Mohammad was first abducted by law enforcement forces on June 18, 2019 and subsequently on August 16, 2019, the CTD produced Bashir Ahmed before the court, on drug and ammunition charges.

Jeeyand Mengal said, both the cases proceeded in the Anti-Terrorism Court, while yesterday the court acquitted Bashir Ahmed in two cases for non-evidence.

Mr. Mengal further stated that, “last night me and my other relatives were in the guest house of Bashir Ahmed in Kili Qadirabad, that at 11 o’clock, unidentified CTD personnel whisked away Bashir Ahmed once again without any FIR and arrest warrant.

Jeeyand Mengal has appealed to the authorities to take immediate notice of Bashir Ahmed’s enforced disappearance and recover him immediately.

In another news, one more person has been abducted in a house raid by Pakistani security forces in Kech district, on Thursday.

Abductee has been identified as, Muneer s/o Murad Bakhash, resident of Kalero Dasht.

As per the local reports, during the raid, forces had harassed women and children and looted valuables from the house.

On other hand, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP), the campaign group by families of victims of enforced disappearance completed its 3804th day of continues protest on Thursday, in front of Quetta Press Club, in capital city of Balochistan.

According to VBMP, more than 40,000 Baloch men, women, and children are under Pakistani custody.

VBMP also alleges that at least 5,000 missing persons have been killed and dumped over last one decade.

China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia are world’s worst jailers of journalists-CPJ

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Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), in its 2019 report says, at least 250 journalists are imprisoned globally as authoritarians show no signs of letting up on the critical media.

According to CPJ, the number of journalists imprisoned globally for their work in 2019 remained near record highs, as China tightened its iron grip on the press and Turkey, having stamped out virtually all independent reporting, released journalists awaiting trial or appeal. Authoritarianism, instability, and protests in the Middle East led to a rise in the number of journalists locked up in the region — particularly in Saudi Arabia, which is now on par with Egypt as the third worst jailer worldwide.

In its annual global survey, the Committee to Protect Journalists found at least 250 journalists in jail in relation to their work, compared with an adjusted 255 a year earlier. The highest number of journalists imprisoned in any year since CPJ began keeping track is 273 in 2016. After China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, the worst jailers are Eritrea, Vietnam, and Iran.

While the majority of journalists imprisoned worldwide face anti-state charges, in line with recent years, the number charged with “false news” rose to 30 compared with 28 last year. Use of the charge, which the government of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi applies most prolifically, has climbed steeply since 2012, when CPJ found only one journalist worldwide facing the allegation. In the past year, repressive countries including Russia and Singapore have enacted laws criminalizing the publication of “fake news.”

This year’s census marks the first time in four years that Turkey has not been the world’s worst jailer, but the reduced number of prisoners does not signal an improved situation for the Turkish media. Rather, the fall to 47 journalists in jail from 68 last year reflects the successful efforts by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stamp out independent reporting and criticism by closing down more than 100 news outlets and lodging terror-related charges against many of their staff.

Since CPJ began keeping track of journalists in prison in the early 1990s, Turkey has frequently vied with China for the ignominious title of the world’s worst jailer. In 2019, CPJ found at least 48 journalists jailed in China, one more than in 2018; the number has steadily increased as President Xi Jinping consolidated political control of the country and instituted ever tighter controls on the media.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia — where the number of journalists jailed has risen steadily since 2011 — also targeted several journalists who had apparently ceased working. In 2019, the Gulf kingdom was holding at least 26 journalists behind bars, making it the third worst jailer alongside Egypt. Saudi authorities barely make any pretense of due process; no charges have been disclosed in 18 of the cases, and those who have been tried have been sentenced in a secretive and often rushed manner. There are widespread reports of torture; medical reports leaked to The Guardian in the spring detailed evidence of authorities beating, burning, and starving political prisoners, including four journalists. The arrests and documented abuse show how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who U.S. intelligence services and an independent inquiry by a U.N. rapporteur say is responsible for the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, continues his brutal crackdown on dissent, CPJ report said.

In total, the number of journalists in Egyptian jails rose only slightly from last year to 26, as several were released during the year. But in another cruel manifestation of Egypt’s fear of critical journalists, authorities ordered some released prisoners, notably award-winning photographer Mahmoud Abou Zeid, known as Shawkan, and prominent blogger Alaa Abdelfattah to check in at a police station every evening.

Several of the fresh arrests in Egypt came ahead of protests against army corruption on September 19, which included calls for President el-Sisi to resign. Most of the journalists jailed in Egypt are grouped in mass trials and charged with both terror offenses and false news.

Iran, which also saw significant protests in 2019, increased the number of journalists in jail to 11.

Russia had seven journalists in custody, four of them because of their work in occupied Crimea documenting the Crimean Tatar minority population and Russian attacks on them.

Of 39 journalists jailed in sub-Saharan Africa, the bulk remain in Eritrea, where most have not been heard from for nearly two decades; Cameroon was second worst.

Vietnam remained Asia’s second-worst jailer after China, with 12 behind bars. In all of the Americas, three journalists were jailed.

Ninety-eight percent of journalists jailed worldwide are locals covering their own country. Three of the four journalists with foreign citizenship are imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, and the fourth in China.

Twenty of the jailed journalists, or 8%, are female, compared with 13% last year.

Politics was the beat most likely to land journalists in jail, followed by human rights and corruption.More than half of those imprisoned were reporters publishing online.

CPJ defines journalists as people who cover the news or comment on public affairs in any media, including print, photographs, radio, television, and online. In its annual prison census, CPJ includes only those journalists who it has confirmed have been imprisoned in relation to their work.

Awaran: Detained women shifted to hospital due to torture

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Four women from different areas of Awaran district of Balochistan were taken into custody by security forces and moved to an unknown location, who were later charged with terrorism offences by producing them with weapons and ammunition in front of media.

As per the sources, Bibi Hameeda and Bibi Nazil among the detained women have been shifted to the hospital due to the alleged violence.

According to the official statement, the police and Levies have arrested the women following a joint operation on the complaints and identification by the locals of Awaran. Official statement claims that grenades, three pistols and bullets have been recovered from arrested women.

The women have been accused of facilitating the banned Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), but it is not clear where and how the women were detained.

The Baloch Human Rights Organization (BHRO), on the other hand, claims that the women were abducted from their homes and handed over to Levis after being detained for 24 hours.

BHRO and VBMP protested against the detention of Baloch women, in front of Quetta Press Club. Whereas, all Baloch political and social groups have been strongly condemning the incident.

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