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Communication lines restored as relentless rains cut off Quetta

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  • Quetta’s internet, mobile phone services, electricity fully restored.
  • Air, railway routes closed; Pakistan’s death toll crosses 930.
  • “Affected voice, data services in Balochistan restored,” PTA says.

Relentless rains continued to pound Quetta on Friday, leaving Balochistan’s capital cut off from the rest of the country, however, communication lines were restored in the city after being cut for nearly 24 hours.

“Affected voice and data services in Balochistan have been restored,” the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on its official Twitter handle.

Earlier, the telecommunication authority said that due to torrential rains and flash floods, the company’s optical fibre cable had been damaged.

“The PTA said that voice and data services have been impacted in Quetta, Ziarat, Khuzdar, Loralai, Pashin, Chaman, Panjgor, Zhob, Qila Saifullah, and Qila Abdullah.

Severe overnight rains hampered rescue efforts, and caused internet and mobile phone service outages, aside from disrupting the city’s air and land routes.

A key railway bridge which connects Quetta to other parts of Pakistan collapsed and flight operations to and from the provincial capital’s airport were also suspended.

The railway bridge collapsed near the Mach area in the Bolan district in the early hours of Thursday, which also suspended trade with Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, a Pakistan Railways official said.

“Authorities have launched efforts to repair the bridge that was built by the British in 1885,” the official added.

In light of the rapidly worsening situation, the city administration issued a flood warning and asked people to contact two emergency numbers — 03368186794 and 03361187348 — in case of need.

Unfortunately, with no electricity since last night, police personnel and civil administration are not reachable on the issued numbers.

Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) official Faisal Tariq said that hundreds were stranded due to floods after the heavy rains, however, rescue efforts were underway to take people to safe places.

Over 930 dead, more than 670,000 houses damaged

In its latest report on the rain-related damage, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) revealed that 34 more people died during the last 24 hours.

As a result of the fresh death toll, the total countrywide count has risen to 937 during this monsoon season, while 1,343 were injured after the new tally of injuries.

The report stated that more than 670,000 houses were damaged while nearly 800,000 animals died in the floods. It added that Tarbela Dam is filled to capacity while Chashma Barrage was about to be filled.

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Pakistan

Terrorist who martyred two ISI officials in Khanewal gunned down in IBO

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  • Terrorist was at large after killing security officials.
  • Security forces conduct joint operation to nab militant.
  • Niazi succumbs to injuries after being injured in fire exchange.

A terrorist who martyred Naveed Sadiq and Nasir Hussain — the director and inspector of the Inter-Services Intelligence’s (ISI) Counter-Terrorism Wing — was gunned down by law enforcement agencies on Monday in an intelligence-based operation (IBO) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Kurram Agency.

The slain terrorist, identified as Umar Niazi, was at large after he martyred the two ISI officials on January 3.

The security agencies arrested the terrorist with serious injuries following an exchange of fire. Niazi succumbed to his injuries after a while.

Intelligence agencies nabbed the terrorist before he could slip into Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the terrorist martyred ISI officials Sadiq and Hussain when they were at a local hotel in Khanewal, Punjab.

Sadiq, meanwhile, was martyred in Khanewal at a time when he was on a mission to take down the network of a banned outfit operating from Afghanistan.

South Punjab Additional Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Sahabzada Shahzad Sultan said the perpetrators were on a motorcycle.

Both officials were posthumously awarded the Hilal-e-Shujaat and Tamgha-e-Shujaat.

Sadiq, who headed the ISI’s CTD wing, was awarded the Sitara-e-Shujaat on March 23, 2021, in recognition of his bravery and courage against anti-national elements.

He joined the police force as a sub-inspector in 2002. After appearing for a high-level exam in 2009, he was appointed to the ISI, the premier intelligence agency, as the assistant director.

During his tenure, the spy agency official exposed key networks of banned outfits. After months of efforts, he gained access to the high command of Daesh. He also neutralised the terrorists after raiding and finding their ambush site in Faisalabad.

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Pakistan

Islamabad court decides to indict Imran Khan in Toshakhana case

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ISLAMABAD: A local court in Islamabad has decided to indict Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in the Toshakhana case.

The court has set February 7 as the date for the indictment of the PTI chairman. 

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Pakistan

Blast in Balochistan’s Kachhi leaves one injured

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  • Blast takes place in Kachhi district.
  • Police say explosives were placed on roadside.
  • Balochistan under constant terror attacks recently.

In yet another terror incident in the restive province of Balochistan, at least one person was injured after an explosion took place in the Kachhi district of the province, police said on Monday. 

The police told media persons that the explosives were placed on a roadside.

Balochistan has been under constant terror attacks recently with several incidents taking place in the province. 

Bolan incident

Recently, at least 18 people were injured after a remote-control bomb detonated on a railway track in Bolan, forcing the train’s engine and seven carriages off the track.

Railway authorities said that the injured had been shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Sibi.

The Jaffer Express train was travelling from Machh to Sibi, when the blast occurred, local authorities said.

“A relief train was dispatched from Sibi to rescue passengers of the train and bring them to Sibi safely. Passengers on the Jaffer Express coming from Peshawar to Machh were stopped at Sibi and are now being brought to Quetta via buses,” they added.

According to Deputy Commissioner Kachhi Agha Samiullah, the blast was carried out by a remote-control device.

On the other hand, the carriages of the derailed train are being lifted from the railway track.

Terror attacks

In the annual report issued by the Centre for Research & Security Studies (CRSS), Balochistan suffered from 110 attacks last year, becoming the second most vulnerable province in the country.

Over 250 people lost their lives in terrorist attacks and counter-attacks, whereas over 200 sustained serious injuries in the province.

The last month of the year witnessed over two dozen attacks in quick succession, and that became one-fourth of the total fatalities that occurred in Balochistan, a province which has just 6% of the country’s population.

According to reports, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA), the terrorist organisations, are mainly involved in terror incidents in the area-wise largest province of the country. In Balochistan, at least 14 major attacks took place mostly on security forces targets.

Security forces remained the primary target of terrorist attacks in the province.

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