ISLAMABAD: Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) is to join the coalition government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), as its MP Akram Khan Durrani is expected to be administered ministerial oath tomorrow. President Mamnoon Hussain, who took oath yesterday, would administer oath to Durrani. As per an agreement between both parties, the former KP chief minister would be inducted as minister for communications, marking yet another return of the JUI-F to power in the centre. Rehman’s party has been in power directly or indirectly since he started his political career in 1980s. He is close to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and was a confidante of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto and enjoyed good relationship with former president Asif Ali Zardari.
Plan to deal with rebels
Islamabad: Pakistan leaders yesterday discussed a strategy to deal with Islamic militancy ahead of the planned drawdown of international forces from Afghanistan, officials said. Heads of political parties, intelligence agencies and armed forces met in Islamabad to consider opening peace talks with the homegrown militants. However, one official said such a move could anger the US and other Western nations fighting Al Qaeda and Taliban rebels in neighbouring Afghanistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting and sought support from opposition parties for his plans to deal with rebels.
UK drone use on the rise
LONDON: The British military fired nearly seven times as many missiles from unmanned drones in Afghanistan last year as it did five years earlier, official data show. In 2012, British drones flew 892 missions, firing missiles on 92 occasions, more than 10 percent of all sorties, Junior Defence Minister Andrew Robathan said in a written statement to parliament. This compares to 2008 when the Reaper aircraft flew 296 missions, firing weapons just five percent of the time, on 14 occasions. Used to target suspected insurgents in Afghanistan, Reaper drones are capable of carrying laser-guided Hellfire missiles. Heavy use of drones by the US has been one of the most controversial aspects of its fight against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and beyond. Drone fire has killed top leaders from both Islamist networks, but it has also been blamed for scores of civilian deaths.
4.6 quake hits Pakistan
Islamabad: A moderate earthquake hit last night four cities in northern Pakistan. The Meteorological Department said the magnitude of the earthquake was 4.6 on the Richter scale. It was reported in Islamabad, Peshawar, Swat and Hazara. The epicentre was in Hindu Kush mountains. No damage or loss of life was reported.
Gunmen kill three cops
Islamabad: Three Pakistani policemen were killed when gunmen attacked a security check-point in northwest Pakistan. Officials said the gunmen also took the weapons of the policemen and escaped. Security forces cordoned the area and started investigation.