Archive for April, 2010

100,000 Pak troops have moved from eastern border to crackdown on militants along the Afghan border.

April 30, 2010

The Pentagon also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions have had an impact across the border, placing a “high degree of pressure on enemy forces and reduced insurgent safe haven” in eastern Afghanistan. — Photo by AFP

‘Pakistan has moved 100,000 troops from eastern border’

By Dawn Correspondent||Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has deployed 140,000 troops in Fata, moving at least 100,000 soldiers from the Indian border to back up its ‘unprecedented’ crackdown on militants along the Afghan border, says a Pentagon report.

In its mandatory report to the US Congress on the situation in the Pakistan-Afghan region, the Pentagon notes that the deployment is the biggest in the country’s history on the western border.

“This unprecedented deployment and thinning of the lines against India indicates that Islamabad has acknowledged its domestic insurgent threat.”

The Pentagon also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions have had an impact across the border, placing a “high degree of pressure on enemy forces and reduced insurgent safe haven” in eastern Afghanistan.

The Pentagon informs Congress that recent arrests by Pakistan of Afghan Taliban leaders, including the group’s No. 2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, have “increased insurgent leaders’ concern over the security of their safe havens” and created “financial and logistical” problems for them.

This assessment contrasts sharply with the Afghan claim — backed by India — that the arrests have weakened Kabul’s efforts to seek a negotiated settlement with the Taliban leadership.

The report quotes a senior US defence official as saying that the arrests in Pakistan produced “a lot of concerned chatter” among Taliban sympathisers in Afghanistan, but there’s no indication of “a leadership crisis in the Taliban”.

The Pentagon notes that so far the crackdown in Pakistan is focused almost exclusively on internal threats and that’s why it’s not having any “significant impact on the Afghan insurgency in the short term”.

But the crackdown “offers opportunities in coming months to have a greater impact on the conflict in Afghanistan depending on how PAKMIL (Pakistani military) operations evolve,” the report adds.

“Pakistan has suffered attacks from terrorists in response to its successful operations. These attacks include mass casualty events in Mingora, South Waziristan agency close to clearing operations as well as in Lahore, far away from the fighting. “While these attacks do not appear to have shaken Pakistan’s commitment, they do demonstrate, for the time being, insurgent ability to continue attacks despite successful Pakistani operations,” the report warns.

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP.

Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja found dead in NW :: Baitullah’s tape to be produced in ATC for probing Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.

April 30, 2010

Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja found dead in NW. — File photo

Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja found dead in NW

Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A former Pakistani intelligence officer abducted by an alleged militant group last month was found shot dead Friday in a northwest tribal region, officials said.

Khalid Khawaja went missing in late March along with another ex-intelligence official known as Col. Imam and a filmmaker. There was no word on the fate of the two others.

Khawaja’s body was found on the road between Miramshah and Mir Ali, the two main towns in North Waziristan. Local TV channels broadcast a picture of what appeared to be Khawaja’s body.

He had been shot in the head and chest, and a note attached to his body accused him of being an American spy, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be named by media.

The men were first reported abducted in late March. Soon after, a previously unknown militant group calling itself the Asian Tigers claimed to be holding the men in a video delivered to local media. Any demands they had were not made public.

Khawaja was known to be sympathetic to the militants cause, often appearing on television speaking in defense of suspected extremists.

He has claimed to be close to Osama bin Laden in the early days of the Afghan resistance to the Soviet Union.

Recently, he has spoken up in defense of five young American terror suspects on trial in Pakistan.

He also filed a petition in a Pakistani court to stop any attempt by Islamabad to extradite recently arrested Afghan Taliban leaders, including the movement’s No. 2 Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.—AP

Baitullah’s tape to be produced in ATC for probing Benazir Bhutto’s murder case

Baitullah Mehsud (R) escorted by his guard as he arrive for a meeting in South Waziristan. — File photo by AFP

Baitullah’s tape to be produced in ATC

Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team probing Benazir Bhutto’s murder on Thursday decided to produce the telephone intercepts of Baitullah Mehsud before the Anti Terrorist Court Rawalpindi proceeding the trial of Ms Bhutto’s murder.

The sources in the Interior Ministry revealed DawnNews that for this purpose the team directly approached Inter Services Intelligence which reportedly recorded that intercept but in vain.

The sources said that now Interior Ministry has contacted ISI through Defense Ministry that the concerned officer who recorded that intercept should be deputed that he could be produced before the court along with the intercepted tape recording.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto occurred on 27 December 2007 in RawalpindiPakistan. Bhutto, twice Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990; 1993–1996) and then-leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January 2008.[1][4][5] She was shot after a political rally at Liaquat National Bagh; a suicide bomb was detonated immediately following the shooting. She was declared dead at 18:16 local time (13:16 UTC), at Rawalpindi General Hospital. At least 23 other people were killed by the bombing.[3] Bhutto had previously survived a similar attempt on her life that killed at least 139 people, after her return from exile two months earlier.

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP, AP, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Agencies.

Two Pak soldiers, three Uzbeks and a German militants killed in North Waziristan clash

April 29, 2010

Two security personnel were killed and at least 13 injured in the latest clash in North Waziristan on Wednesday. – (File Photo)

Two soldiers killed in North Waziristan clash

Thursday, 29 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 14, 1431

PESHAWAR: Two security personnel were killed and at least 13 injured in the latest clash in North Waziristan on Wednesday on Wednesday, 28 Apr, 2010.

The casualties took place when militants attacked the ISA check post in North Waziristan. Four militants, which included three Uzbeks and a German, were also killed in the clash.

This is the second attack on Pakistan army personnel in North Waziristan in the past seven days. On Friday, seven soldiers, including an officer were killed and at least 16 injured as militants ambushed an army convoy in North Waziristan

According to local sources, many of the Taliban groups had fled from South Waziristan and moved to North Waziristan. Many of these groups include Chechen and Arab fighters as well.

The situation in North Waziristan is a complicated one with some factions supporting the government and providing safe passage to the Pakistan army.

Meanwhile the operation in the Orakzai Agency is also continuing, with security forces claiming to have killed five militants in the latest phase of the assault.

Hakimullah Dead or Alive ? New Turn to the Intelligence Agencies.

April 29, 2010

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud. — AFP Photo

Hakimullah now believed alive: intelligence sources

Thursday, 29 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 14, 1431

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud is now believed to have survived a US missile strike earlier this year, but has lost clout within the militant network, a senior intelligence official said Thursday.

The revelation contradicts initial confidence among US and Pakistani intelligence officials that the militant leader had been killed in the mid-January missile attack. The Taliban consistently denied Mehsud was killed, but declined to offer evidence he lived, saying it would compromise his safety.

The latest independent investigations and reports from multiple sources in the field led Pakistani intelligence to conclude Mehsud had indeed survived, though with some slight injuries, the official said on condition of anonymity because of the topic’s sensitivity.

”It was just a miracle that only one person escaped that attack, and he was Hakimullah Mehsud,” he said. ”Miracles do happen.”

Mehsud, however, had lost a good deal of power, and other Taliban commanders, such as Waliur Rehman, were overshadowing him.

Two other intelligence officials in the northwest told The Associated Press over the past several days that they had determined that Mehsud was alive. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to media on the record.

The Taliban have been known in the past to deny a militant leader had died even if he had. They waited for 18 days to confirm that Mehsud’s predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, had been killed in an August strike as they squabbled over who would be his heir.

This time, however, the militants never changed their stance that Hakimullah Mehsud had survived, though they would not let any reporters interview him. There was never a martyrdom video or official announcement of his death posted on militant websites, either, adding credence to the notion he was still alive.

The Pakistani Taliban have been under assault by the army in their main stronghold of South Waziristan since October. The group is behind numerous suicide and other attacks that have killed hundreds of Pakistanis over the past few years.

Courtesy : DawnNews & AFP.

Four policemen killed in Peshawar blast in the early morning wounding six other people

April 28, 2010

The blast took place early morning; police have cordoned off the area. –Photo by AFP

Four policemen killed in Peshawar blast

Wed, 28 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 13, 1431

PESHAWAR: A suicide car bomb attack targeted a police check post on the outskirts of Peshawar early Wednesday, killing four policemen and wounding six other people, police said.

The suicide bomber rammed an explosive laden vehicle into an armoured personnel carrier, reported DawnNews.

“The vehicle was coming from the tribal area. It was full of explosives and the suicide attacker was coming from Mohmand,” police official Liaqat Ali told AFP by telephone.

The blast took place early morning and has severely damaged the police check post. Authorities have cordoned off the area.

According to the Peshawar CCPO, the target of the attack was not the police check post but some other location. —Agencies

Allah’s soldiers beheaded two, shot another two, all ‘suspected US spymen’ in Pakistan

April 23, 2010

Just before testing the PEACE OF ISLAM :: Militants have killed four men, beheading two and dumping the bodies in Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt after accusing them of spying for the United States, officials said Friday. – AFP (File Photo)

Militants kill four ‘US spies’ in Miramshah

Fri, 23 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 08, 1431

MIRAMSHAH: Militants have killed four men, beheading two and dumping the bodies in Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt after accusing them of spying for the United States, officials said Friday.

The bodies were found by the side of a road in Khadi village, 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Miramshah, the main town in the tribal North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, local police officer Kalam Khan told AFP.

He said that two bodies were headless, while the remaining two had multiple bullet wounds. Two of the men were Afghans while the others were local tribesmen who had been kidnapped from Miramshah three weeks ago.

A local intelligence official said that a note found near the bodies said “all those spying for the US and Pakistan will suffer the same fate”.

Militants frequently kidnap and kill tribesmen in the troubled region, accusing them of spying for the Pakistani government or US forces in Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters are waging an insurgency.

Courtesy : The DawnNews and AFP.

Militants strike fatal upon Pak troops in North Wazirstan:: 8 killed, 16 injured.

April 23, 2010

Eight soldiers were killed , Sixteen soldiers were also wounded when the convoy drove into an ambush laid by waiting militants in Datta Khel.– (File Photo)

Militant ambush kills 8 troops in North Waziristan

Friday, 23 Apr, 2010||Jumadi-ul-Awwal 08, 1431

ISLAMABAD: Militants ambushed a Pakistani army convoy traveling in a tribal region, killing eight soldiers, the military said Friday.

By MUNIR AHMED, Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr 23, 10:48 am ET

ISLAMABAD – Militants ambushed a Pakistani army convoy traveling in a tribal region that is mostly home to insurgent groups focused on the war in neighboring Afghanistan, killing eight soldiers, the military said Friday.

The attack could raise pressure on Islamabad to wage an offensive in North Waziristan, which has largely escaped Pakistani army action in recent years despite U.S. pressure for a crackdown. Militant attacks on troops in the region have also been rare.

The army statement said the attack Thursday occurred in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, and that the convoy was “carrying out a routine movement” to the area from the town of Miran Shah. Sixteen soldiers were wounded in the ambush, one of the worst known to have occurred against the army in the border region in several months.

The statement did not give many details. However, two intelligence officials in the northwest said tribesmen joined local Taliban fighters to stage the ambush after a 15-year-old boy in the area was allegedly shot to death by an earlier group of traveling soldiers.

The boy was killed when troops opened fire after a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy, the officials said on condition on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record.

Pakistan has carried out several army operations in its semiautonomous tribal belt, where al-Qaida and various Taliban factions have long thrived. The offensives have mainly been aimed at militant groups targeting Pakistani institutions.

North Waziristan has largely escaped the operations because most of the militant networks there — unlike groups such as the Pakistani Taliban — are focused on the war in Afghanistan.

The U.S. wants Pakistan to take on the North Waziristan networks, but Islamabad says it does not have the resources to open another front. Critics suspect Pakistan doesn’t want to anger militants it may need to influence affairs in Afghanistan once the U.S. leaves.

The area struck Thursday is controlled by Sadiq Noor, one of the few Pakistani Taliban commanders known to operate in the region, said two other intelligence officials, also asking that their names not be used.

It’s unclear whether the attack will have any impact on the Pakistan’s army future designs in North Waziristan.

However, large numbers of Pakistani Taliban fighters are believed to have set up base in North Waziristan after the army began an offensive last year against their prior main stronghold, South Waziristan.

Like most of the information given by the government or military out of the tribal regions, independent verification of the deaths is nearly impossible because access to the zone is severely restricted.

Also in North Waziristan on Friday, the mutilated bodies of four men alleged to have been U.S. spies were found in Mir Ali town.

Area residents and an Associated Press reporter saw the bodies Friday morning. One was beheaded, while the other three had slit throats and severed hands.

Dozens of men have been killed in a similar fashion in North Waziristan in recent years. Like previous cases, notes attached to the bodies warned others to learn from the fate of the so-called spies.

Courtesy : AP.

India-Pakistan Relationship :: A New Hope Always Due.

April 23, 2010

The scale or content of a meeting between Singh and Gilani could be drawn up by Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir. – (Dawn File Photo)

India, Pakistan in focus at South Asia summit

Fri, 23 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 08, 1431 | DawnNews.

NEW DELHI: Leaders of India and Pakistan are likely to meet in Bhutan’s capital next week as their nuclear-armed rivalry overshadows a summit of South Asian nations to discuss trade and environment.

India halted peace talks with Pakistan after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed and which India has blamed on Pakistan-based groups.

A meeting between the leaders is seen as crucial because it could help keep alive the idea of engagement between two players whose battle for influence in Afghanistan has a direct bearing on Western efforts to stabilise a region with 1.8 billion people.

“It is an opportunity (to meet) and both sides will take advantage of it,” said a senior Indian government official, who spoke on condition on anonymity.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said there was “as of now” no offer of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousaf Raza Gilani, but did not completely rule out the possibility of one.

The two sides have been tentative about engaging since their top diplomats met in New Delhi in February but failed to achieve a breakthrough. That meeting, nonetheless, was seen as a small step towards repairing ties.

Differences over the nature of talks have held up a further meeting – Pakistan wants India to restart the peace process; India wants to go slow until Islamabad acts against the Mumbai attack planners.

The United States has been urging the two sides to reduce tension so that Pakistan can focus better on fighting the Taliban on its westers border with Afghanistan.

“I don’t really want to forecast what is going to happen, but let me say: dialogue is always useful, it helps clear the atmosphere, especially between close neighbours such as India and Pakistan,” Rao said before leaving for Bhutan on Friday.

Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit hinted last week about the possibility of a meeting.

“It has not yet been penciled in. Nevertheless, given that our roadmap also provided for a summit meeting in Bhutan, we look forward to a meaningful engagement with India,” Basit said.

“Let me also underline here, that engaging in meaningful and result-oriented talks is in our mutual interest and in the interest of this region, it is not a favour by Pakistan to India and vice versa.”

COOPERATION UNDERMINED

The scale or content of a meeting between Singh and Gilani could be drawn up by Rao and her Pakistan counterpart, Salman Bashir. Indian officials said hopes of any progress were low.

“Our outlook on the meeting is very clear – it has to be terrorism and what steps Pakistan has taken to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai to book,” a senior Indian official said on condition of anonymity.

The two sides’ unmitigated animosity has undermined greater regional cooperation, an agenda that was the founding principle of the eight-nation bloc of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that meets in Bhutan on April 28-29.

Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan make up the rest of the group.

While SAARC summits are often little more than a backdrop to bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan, the bloc has tried to push forward cooperation in trade and commerce.

Courtesy The Dawn.

Secret Face of the Real Pakistan

April 22, 2010

Secret face of the real Pakistan

When a section of Indian society is keen to build bridges of love, peace and friendship with a neighbour, it is time to take stock of ground realities in Pakistan

by ABHIJIT BHATTACHARYYA*

The Statesman, Kolkata,  April 14, 2010

“Civil society” constitutes the most important public opinion maker in a multi-dimensional society like India. Hence when a section of Indian society is keen to build bridges of love, peace and friendship with a neighbour, it is time to take stock of the ground reality. It is necessary to “know thy neighbour” and to “know yourself”.

Let us begin with one of the largest English dailies The Nation, published simultaneously from Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Editor-in-chief, The Nation and chairman of the Nazria Pakistan Trust (NPT), Majid Nizami, stated as recently as on 10 March, 2010 that “freedom is the greatest blessing of the Almighty, Who may save us from dominance of Hindus, as our sworn enemy is bent upon destroying Pakistan. However, if it did not refrain from committing aggression against us, then Pakistan is destined to defeat India because our horses in the form of atomic bombs and missiles are far better than Indian donkeys.”

Nizami revealed to a captive audience that “if one wants to have an idea of what would have been our condition had Pakistan not come into existence, he should visit India to apprise himself about untold pathetic living conditions of the Muslims there at this point of time.” Nizami thundered that “the day was not far off when we would once again conquer India” and that “Pakistan had to play a key role in liberating enslaved minorities from the clutches of Hindu majority” in South Asia.

The potential of India emerging big is unacceptable to the Pakistani ruling class. Or else, how does one justify the unsubstantiated  public statement by the Chief Justice Khwaja Muhammad Sharif of Lahore High Court that the “Hindus of Pakistan are funding terror activities in Pakistan!”

The hate-India attitide does not end with the vituperative and venomous excesses of the national press and Islamabad’s judiciary. It is put into practice with all sincerity and dedication by the de-facto ruling class, the army.

Reportedly, “the Pakistani army is sexually assaulting minority women and using them as sex slaves, alleges the European Organisation of Pakistani Minorities (EOPM), an NGO working for the rights of minorities in Pakistan. In a prayer-cum-demonstration held at the United Nations, it said the Pakistani army is taking minority women away from their families, raping them and using them as sex slaves.”
Reference was made to the case of “Zarina Marri, 23-year-old school teacher from Quetta, being used as a sex slave by the Pakistani army”, alleged EOPM. It was categorically maintained that “the attacks on minorities in Pakistan were increasing” and that “the religious minorities constitute much more than five per cent – as claimed in Pakistani census – of Pakistan’s 160 million people.” The idea is to “intentionally keep the minority population low to deny them greater representation.” All in all, “Christians, Sikhs, Hindus and other minorities are constant targets of attack in Pakistan.”

Understandably, therefore, Pakistan last year ranked as the “world’s top country for major increases in threats to minorities since 2007.”
The story of the unfinished task of Pakistani establishment does not end with a newspaper group, the High Court and the Army. It is only that now the civilised world outside Islamabad is trying to come to terms with the cocktail of rabid communalism, terrorism and fundamentalism for the sake of expanding its political power base through the state-sponsored religious order’s (should one say “disorder”) foot soldiers like the ghazis, fidayeens, lashkars and mujahideens.

The flip side of this long-term diabolical plot, however, is the present masked attempt to “cultivate” the “evil society” of the non-Islamic, (“Hindu”) enemy state of India. Hence the attempt to build a bridge through the Jang group of newspaper’s English daily News. Curiously, however, the Government of India’s ban on this publication 47 years ago is still on. Thus a Government of India notification dated 19 January, 1963 stipulated “The Central Government hereby prohibits the bringing by sea or land into India of any issue of the Urdu newspaper entitled Daily Jang, Karachi, edited, printed and published by Mir Khalil-ul-Rahman from Javed Press, Mcleod Road, or any extract from, or reprint of, or any translation of, or other document reproducing any matter contained in any issue of the newspaper”. In another notification dated 30 January, 1963, the Government of India once again “prohibited” the Daily Jang, Rawalpindi, edited by Mir-Jamil-ul-Rahman. Curiously, the ban has not been lifted to this day.

However, ban or no ban, Pakistan can find its way to the “interior” of the “Hindu India” and get away scot-free for its acts of omission and commission through its media, its biased anti-minority higher judiciary and the army of Islamabad which the Pakistanis consider it to be the army of Islam!

One pities the psychic disorder of the Pakistani ruling class which is not its own creation. It has been in the genes of the “ruling class” of South Asia through the ages. One can get an idea of the Pakistani psyche in general and read the mind of Muslims in particular from the following speech of a liberal Muslim leader (Mr R.M.Sayani) in his presidential address at the 12th Indian National Congress held in Calcutta in 1896: “Before the advent of British in India, the Mussulmans were the rulers of the country. The Mussulmans had, therefore, all the advantages appertaining to the ruling class. The sovereign and the chiefs were their co-religionists, and so were the great landlords and the great. The court language was their own. Every place of trust and responsibility or carrying influence and high emoluments was by birth theirs. The Hindus holders of position were the tenants-at-will of the Mussulmans. The Hindus stood in awe of them. Enjoyment and influence and all the good things of the world were theirs. By a stroke of misfortune, the Mussulmans had to abdicate their position and descend to the level of their Hindu fellow-countrymen. The Hindus who had before stood in awe of their Mussulman masters were thus raised a step by the fall of their said masters, and with their former awe dropped their courtesy also.

“But the Mussulmans were not in a mood to learn anything that required hard work and application, especially as they had to work harder than their former subjects, the Hindus. Moreover, they resented competing with the Hindus, whom they had till recently regarded as their inferiors. The Hindus, from a subservient state, came into the lands, offices and other worldly advantages of their former masters. Their exultation knew no bounds, and they trod upon the heels of their former masters. The Mussaulmans would have nothing to do with anything in which they might have to come into contact with the Hindus. The fall of their former greatness rankled in their hearts.”

Having successfully regained the status of the “Muslim ruling class of Pakistan”, in 1947 which they had “lost to the British in 1857”, the Pakistanis just cannot forget that their predecessors (even if not necessarily bound by blood) were the minority ruling class over a vast majority of non-Muslim people which, at its peak, stretched from the Hindukush to Chittagong and Kashmir to Cauvery. Hence, “once a ruler, always a ruler” is the attitude. And that is the problem. The Pakistanis, thus, given a chance, would like to get as much and as many of their co-religionists as possible under a single religious umbrella to spread the mantra of its rule over India. Unfortunately, some Indians of “civil society” have decided to look the other way to avoid the issue thereby abdicating their duty and responsibility to protect and preserve freedom. That is the “wonder that is India”!

*The writer is an alumnus of the National Defence College of India and a member of International Institute for Strategic Studies, London

Courtesy : The Statesman||Mr. ABHIJIT BHATTACHARYYA||International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.

41 Pakistanis Killed, 64 Injured in Twin Blasts in Kohat

April 22, 2010

Local residents survey the damages of the police station after the suicide bombing in Kohat on Sunday, April 18, 2010. – Photo by AP.

Death toll from NW Pakistan blasts rises to 41

ISLAMABAD, April 17, 2010 (Xinhua) —

At least 41 people were killed in twin bomb blasts at an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp in Kohat in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, officials said.

Local officials told Xinhua that the death toll could rise as more than a dozen of the rest 64 injured people are in critical condition.

Earlier in the day a bomb went off at the registration point and the second blast occurred ten minutes later when people rushed to the scene to rescue.

The blasts took place when food relief were being distributed to the displaced people who fled from a military operation in Orakzai tribal region, police said.

Gunshots were heard soon after the blasts, witnesses said.

Pakistani police commandos and people gather near the shoes and clothing of victims at the site of suicide bombing in Kacha Puka area near Kohat.—AP

The private channel SAMAA TV lost its correspondent Azmat Ali Khan in the explosions.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks but Taliban are blamed for such attacks.