At the Paris Plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), all 39 members, barring Turkey, sent a stern message to Pakistan to complete the remaining 13 action plan items by the June 2020 plenary, including the conviction and prosecution of top leaders of terrorist organisations. A formal decision that Pakistan will remain on the Grey List of FATF will be taken on Friday.

According to diplomats based in Paris and counterterror operatives, FATF members were also asked to take note of how Pakistan was trying to politicise the technical process of FATF, which is proven from the statements of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad. Days before the FATF Paris Plenary, Erdogan made it clear that Turkey would help Pakistan stay off the terrorism financing blacklist and counter the political pressure within FATF. Mahathir openly supported Pakistan and praised its counterterrorism efforts. Continue reading


A Pakistani anti-terrorism court on Wednesday handed down a death sentence and 300 years imprisonment to three terrorists of the banned Jamaat-ul-Ahrar for their involvement in the 2014 Wagah border bombing that killed over 60 people. Wagah is a village located in Lahore, Pakistan’s Punjab province and Attari in India’s Punjab state along the Indo-Pak border. Over 60 people, including women and children, were killed in the horrific suicide attack on November 2, 2014 at the Wagah border on the Pakistani side.

The responsibility for the attack was claimed separately by the outlawed Jundullah and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. Continue reading


For decades, the Uighur imam was a bedrock of his farming community in China’s far west. On Fridays, he preached Islam as a religion of peace. On Sundays, he treated the sick with free herbal medicine. In the winter, he bought coal for the poor. But as a Chinese government mass detention campaign engulfed Memtimin Emer’s native Xinjiang region three years ago, the elderly imam was swept up and locked away, along with all three of his sons living in China. Now, a newly revealed database exposes in extraordinary detail the main reasons for the detentions of Emer, his three sons, and hundreds of others in Karakax County: their religion and their family ties.

The database obtained by The Associated Press profiles the internment of 311 individuals with relatives abroad and lists information on more than 2,000 of their relatives, neighbours and friends. Continue reading


Pakistan on Tuesday conducted a successful flight test of air-launched cruise missile Ra’ad-II with a range of 600 km, which significantly enhances air delivered strategic standoff capability on land and at sea. The weapon system is equipped with state of the art guidance and navigation systems ensuring the engagement of targets with high precision, according to a press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing.

The successful flight test was witnessed by senior Pakistan Army officers and military officials, the statement said. Pakistan Director General Strategic Plans Division, Lieutenant General Nadeem Zaki Manj, termed the successful launch as “a major step towards complementing Pakistan’s deterrence capability”. He appreciated the technical prowess of the Pakistani scientists and engineers who developed the weapon system and made the launch a success, the statement said. Continue reading


A magazine published by a regional branch of Al Qaeda said that retired Pakistani General Shahid Aziz– whose voluntary disappearance in 2016 has been mired in mystery– had died some years ago in its February edition, while alleging he had close ties with the militant organization.  Aziz, formerly a top general in the country, retired in 2005 after serving with the Pakistan army for 37 years. While Pervez Musharraf was military chief, Aziz was promoted to director general of military operations among other key posts. After his retirement, Aziz authored a book in 2013 that criticized the policies of the former army chief.

When rumors of his disappearance and death began circulating widely in 2018, Aziz’s relatives rejected widespread reports that claimed he had died fighting alongside anti-American forces in Afghanistan or Syria. Aziz’s son denounced the reports in an interview to Voice of America, and said the General lived a ‘very private life’ of religious preaching. Continue reading


Pakistan’s progress in tackling terror financing, which poses a risk to the global financial system, will be one of the important issues taken up at the working group and plenary meetings of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that began in Paris on Sunday, the multilateral watchdog has said.

Western diplomats widely expect Pakistan to be retained in the “grey list” of the FATF as it has fully or partially complied with only 14 of the 27 points on an action plan it has to implement to curb terror financing and money laundering. Pakistan was placed in the grey list in 2018. Though Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Saeed and an aide were given five-and-a-half year prison terms in two terror financing cases by a Pakistani court four days before the FATF meetings, experts have noted that Islamabad has failed to prosecute other UN-designated terrorists such as LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar. Continue reading


On Feb. 14, 2020, the Houthi rebels announced they had downed a Tornado in the northern al-Jawf province, in Yemen. Later on the same day, a Royal Saudi Air Force spokeperson said that “at 23:45LT on Friday evening, an RSAF Tornado jet crashed, while conducting a CAS mission in support of the Yemeni National Army operations in Al Jouf governorate.”

So, as already happened in the past, on one side, the Saudis said the aircraft just “crashed”, on the other side, the Houthis said the Tornado had been shot down. The fate of the aircrew is unknown. Footage just released by the rebels seems to confirm the aircraft was indeed downed by a SAM (Surface to Air Missile). Continue reading


Pakistan is likely to remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at its plenary meeting in Paris, as it is still not fully compliant on 13 of the 27 actions. While these 13 actions mostly pertain to terror funding, Pakistan has been deemed to be compliant on most of the other points which are related to money laundering.

Sources told The Sunday Express that “there is no doubt that Pakistan will continue on the grey list. But yes, it is unlikely that it could be moved to the black list at Paris this week.” Continue reading

SOURCE: Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Pakistan Navy (PN) has commissioned the first of two 2,300 tonnes multirole corvettes ordered from Dutch shipbuilder Damen in 2017. Named PNS Yarmook (F-271), the ship, which the company said is based on a Damen Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 1900, entered serviced in a ceremony held on 13 February at Constanta Port in Romania that was also attended by the PN’s Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Fayyaz Gilani.

In a 14 February statement Damen said that Yarmook, which had been launched on 17 May 2019 at the company’s facilities in Galati, Romania, is capable of performing “a variety of maritime operations” and can transport both a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle. Continue reading


The United States said Friday it would refuse entry to Sri Lanka’s army chief over “credible” evidence of human rights violations in the bloody 2009 finale to the civil war. Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, whose appointment last year drew wide international criticism, will be ineligible to visit the United States, as will his immediate family, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

“The allegations of gross human rights violations against Shavendra Silva, documented by the United Nations and other organisations, are serious and credible,” Pompeo said in a statement. “We urge the Sri Lankan government to promote human rights, hold accountable individuals responsible for war crimes and human rights violations, advance security sector reform, and uphold its other commitments to pursue justice and reconciliation,” he said. Continue reading


A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) trainer aircraft crashed on Wednesday while on a routine training mission near Takht Bhai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan district, the PAF said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the PAF added that the pilot ejected safely before the crash “A board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of [the] accident,” the press release said. This is the third PAF training aircraft to have crashed while on a routine training mission in less than two months. Continue reading


The US military is preparing to report a more than 50 per cent jump in the number of cases of traumatic brain injury stemming from Iran’s missile attack on a base in Iraq last month, US officials told Reuters on Monday. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an announcement, said there were over 100 cases of TBI, up from the 64 previously reported last month.

The Pentagon declined to comment, but in the past had said to expect an increase in numbers in the weeks after the attack because symptoms can take time to manifest and troops can sometimes take longer to report them. Continue reading


Pakistan may soon sack Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, Director-General of Pakistan’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over the news of the escape of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan from Pakistan Army custody. According to news agency IANS, the Pakistan Army came under immense pressure put on by the public as soon as the news of Ehsan’s escape was broken on February 7.

Ehsan’s escape after days of detention

Ehsan, the militant who has been held responsible for terror attacks on Malala Yousufzai and the Peshawar army school, in an audio recording that was released on Thursday and was shared via an online messaging platform, had claimed that he had, along with his family, managed to escape from the custody of Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies on January 11. Continue reading


An early December 2019 report from inside of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) reveals previously unreleased technical details of People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Russian-built Su-27s losing a majority of engagements in a November 2015 joint exercise with the 701 Fighter Squadron of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF). This Thai unit operates eight Saab JAS-39C and four JAS-39D Gripens.

The engagements, known as Falcon Strike 2015, were the first of three such exercises and were detailed in a lecture given by one of the PLAAF’s most heavily decorated pilots, Senior Colonel Li Chunghua Hua (???), at the PRC’s Northwestern Polytechnical University (??????) in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Continue reading


A Pakistani pilot on Friday suffered injuries in a jet crash near Shorkot district Jhang of Punjab. The trainer jet of Pakistan Air Forces got crashed in the region. The exact region of the crash is still unknown.

According to the PAF spokesperson, the pilot ejected safely and no loss of life or property has been reported on the ground. Further details are awaited. Continue reading