- At a federal cabinet meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Sharif announced plans to observe a “black day” this coming Tuesday in response to violence in Indian Kashmir; Bilawal Bhutto Zardari meanwhile led a rally of supporters in Pakistani Kashmir on Thursday, accusing the PML-N of neglecting the issue. Former National Directorate of Security chief Rahmatullah Nabil released what he said were documents detailing ISI support for the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban. Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif approved death sentences for twelve “hardcore terrorists” convicted under the military court system on Thursday. A Pakistan planning ministry household survey concluded that 76% of Pakistani households were suffering from malnutrition, which the highest rates reported in Balochistan. A Buzzfeed investigation found that U.S. forces conducting interrogations in Bagram frequently used a “separation” practice to isolate detainees, which the UN rapporteur on torture suggested violated international laws.
Pakistan — Security
- Military Courts: On Thursday, military spokesmen announced that Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif had approved death sentences for twelve “hardcore terrorists” convicted under the military court system; nine were identified as members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and the remainder members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. [ET]
- Judicial Security: A meeting of the Sindh High Court on Thursday urged renewed efforts to recover Awais Ali Shah, the son of SHC chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah, and said that the provincial government had thus far failed to take steps to provide additional security for sitting judges and their families. Lawyers boycotted court proceedings on Thursday in solidarity. [Dawn]
Pakistan — Politics and Diplomacy
- Kashmir Tensions: During a federal cabinet meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Sharif announced that Pakistan would observe a “black day” on Tuesday in response to violence in Indian Kashmir, and indicated his support for a joint session of parliament to debate the situation. Speaking at a Thursday press briefing, a spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign ministry said that “it is for the international community to urge India to resolve issues through dialogue”, a position India has rejected as an intrusion into its internal affairs. In an AP interview, Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed said that “America is supporting this oppression by India by saying it is an internal matter” and that “this has given India encouragement, and because of this, the killings and violence”. Meanwhile, PPP leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari led a rally of PPP supporters in Pakistani Kashmir on Thursday, accusing the PML-N of favoring friendship with Indian Prime Minister Modi over the concerns of the Kashmiri people. The Jamaat-e-Islami has announced plans to hold a protest march from Lahore to the Wagah border on July 31. [ET] [Dawn]
- Panama Investigations: The Express Tribune suggest that the PPP has convinced PTI leaders to attempt to use the legal system to seek the disqualification of Prime Minister Sharif before considering public protests; Imran Khan left the country for London earlier this week, following the prime minister’s return.
- FATA Reforms: An alliance of FATA political leaders announced plans to hold protests on August 14 if the government failed to take action to merge the FATA with Khyber Paktunkhwa province, calling for the repeal of the Frontier Crimes Regulation. Separately, South Waziristan tribal leaders held a rally in Wana to protest the closure of the Angor Adda border crossing. [ET]
- Interior Minister Meets US Ambassador: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan met with U.S. ambassador to Pakistan David Hale on Thursday, during which Chaudhry Nisar expressed concerns that recent critical Congressional hearings were “unwarranted”, and could “dent Pakistan’s ongoing efforts to achieve common interests for durable peace in the region”. [Dawn] [Dawn]
Pakistan — Economics and Development
- Two-Thirds of Households Face Malnutrition: A household survey conducted by the ministry of planning found that 76% of Pakistani households were suffering from malnutrition, with the highest rate in Balochistan reported at 83.4% of households.
- Privatization Plans: A meeting of the cabinet committee on privatization on Thursday approved plans to divest the government’s remaining 40% share of the Kot Addu Thermal Power Company and to move ahead with plans to sell off Pakistan Steel Mills, which has been non-operational for more than a year now.
Pakistan — Remainders
- Criminal Case Registered Against Party Calling for Military Takeover [Dawn] [ET]
- Shabqadar Police Evict Afghan Refugees from Residential Areas [ET]
- Peshawar Traffic Constable Killed [ET]
- Islamabad Police Disrupted Planned Terror Attack [ET]
- Khyber Paktunkhwa Cancels ‘Insaf Card’ Program [ET]
- New Hydroelectric Projects Planned in Khyber Paktunkhwa [ET]
- Government Tells Supreme Court Census Not Possible Without Army Personnel [Dawn]
Afghanistan — Security
- Former NDS Chief Criticizes Pakistan: In a TOLO op-ed published on Thursday and in a press conference for journalists, former NDS chief Rahmatullah Nabil released purported ISI documents apparently showing evidence that Pakistan’s military intelligence service had provided resources and support for attacks in Afghanistan by the Taliban and the Haqqani network. Nabil called for the Afghan government to “define an interest-oriented policy” that provides a “clear definition of friend and enemy at various levels”. Pakistan’s foreign ministry and military spokesmen have not commented on Nabil’s statement. [TOLO] [Khaama Press] [Reuters]
- Detentions: Investigations by Buzzfeed show that U.S. military interrogators used long-term “separation” procedures to isolate detainees at Bagram at least 58 times over a 16-month period between 2009-2010, a practice the UN special rapporteur on torture described as “a coercive tactic” that violated international law.
Afghanistan — Politics and Diplomacy
- Electoral Reforms: In comments on Thursday, Electoral Reform Commission chair Shah Sultan Akifi accused parliamentary legislators of “pursuing personal agendas in the electoral reform process”, arguing that the presidential decree on electoral reforms was now in effect following a split parliamentary endorsement of its provisions.
Afghanistan — Remainders
- Ghani Visits Jalalabad [Pajhwok]
- High Office of Anti-Corruption Criticizes Delays in New Anti-Corruption Center [TOLO]
- Four Civilians Killed in Taliban Attack on Paktika Wedding Party [TOLO]
- Report: Taliban Views on a Future State – “Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.” [Borhan Osman and Anand Gopal, NYU]
- Commentary: The 2016 Insurgency in the North: Raising the Daesh Flag (Although Not For Long) – “Far from the flag raising signaling a success for Daesh, the switch of allegiance by a local group of Uzbek fighters in the Baghlan-Takhar-Kunduz triangle actually represented another failed attempt to establish the Islamic State in Afghanistan.” [Obaid Ali, AAN]