Pakistan

US designates Taliban Chief Mullah Fazlullah as Global Terrorist

United States has designated Maulana Fazlullah, chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)- an outfit of Pakistan’s Taliban, as global terrorist and has imposed sanctions against him.

It was announced after US Secretary of State John Kerry had asked Pakistan to target all terror outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban and the Haqqani Network that pose a threat to itself, neighbours like India and to US.

What does it means? 

  • Being designated as global terrorist, all the property and interests of Maulana Fazlullah that are in US or that come within the US, or the possession or control of US persons will be freezed.
  • It also prohibits US nationals against engaging in transactions with Maulana Fazlullah.

Why Maulana Fazlullah is designated as global terrorist?

  • In November 2013, he was elected as TTP chief commander after the death of former TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud.
  • Under his leadership, TTP had carried out barbaric attack on army school in Peshawar on 16 December 2014, killing at least 150 people, mostly children.
  • In 2012, prior to becoming the leader of TTP, he was behind the killing of Pakistani Army Major General Sanaullah Niazi as well as ordering the shooting of schoolgirl and activist Malala Yousafzai (later won Nobel peace prize-2014).
  • He is also responsible for the beheading of 17 Pakistani soldiers.

It should be noted that United Nations and US already have declared Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as banned Terrorist Organisation after Al-Qaeda.

Pakistan enacts new law to create constitutional military courts to try terrorists

Pakistan government has enacted new law, to create constitutional military courts to try and punish terrorists.

This new law came into effect after it was signed by Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain.

Earlier, Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2015 and 21st Constitution Amendment Bill, 2015 was passed by Pakistan’s National Assembly and the Senate.

Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015 aims to set up Constitutionally protected military courts to try and punish terrorists.

While, 21st Constitution Amendment Bill, 2015 provides constitutional cover for the establishment of military courts in Pakistan.

Background

For past few years, Pakistan is struggling to come up with an adequate response to deal with the increasing menace of militancy.

Pakistan’s ruling government was under pressure after Peshawar School attack that had killed around 150 people including 132 children. So there was need of strict law to deal with the militants.

Summary 

The law will give a tough message to militants who often are wriggled out of ordinary courts.  Thus it will help to curb and eliminate militancy in Pakistan. Presently, Pakistan has already lifted moratorium on death penalty and hanged seven convicted militants.

India and Pakistan exchange list of nuclear facilities

India and Pakistan on 1st January 2015 have exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the agreement on Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between India and Pakistan.

The exchange of list was done through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad.

It is the 24th consecutive exchange of such list between the two neighbouring countries which bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.

Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between India and Pakistan

This bilateral agreement bars both nations from carrying out any surprise attack (or to assist foreign power to attack) on each other’s nuclear installations and facilities.

It  was signed on 31st December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991. It was signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto.

Both countries inform each other about their nuclear installations and facilities that need to be covered under the Agreement on 1 January every year.

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