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India bans Pakistan-based Vidly TV for exposing Hindutva extremism

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  • India says “Vidly TV” blocked for airing web series against national security and integrity.
  • Action taken for airing “Sevak: The Confessions.”
  • Web series shows events like Babri Mosque demolition in Ayodhya.

ISLAMABAD: New Delhi has banned Pakistan-based Vidly TV’s over-the-top (OTT) platform, apps and social media accounts in India as it has been streaming historical events, the plight of minorities under growing Hindutva menace and gaining popularity among the Indian population.

The Indian government said it had blocked Vidly TV in the country for airing a web series against India’s national “security and integrity.”

India’s ministry of information and broadcasting has also slapped a ban on the platform’s website, two mobile apps, and four social media accounts by issuing an order under its emergency powers of IT Rules 2021.

An Indian ministry official told the media that the government’s action against Pakistan-based Vidly TV followed the web series “Sevak: The Confessions.”

The OTT channel’s web series showed events like Babri Mosque demolition in Ayodhya, Operation Blue Star, Malegaon blast, and Samjhauta Express blast among others. 

India bans mostly Chinese apps 

This is not the first time that New Delhi has banned apps of another country in India. 

In June 2020, India blocked access to 59, mostly Chinese, mobile apps including Bytedance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, and Tencent’s WeChat citing security concerns.

The apps are “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”, the ministry of information technology had said back then.

The ban came after a deadly border conflict between the two nuclear-armed nations in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

In February of this year, India blocked access to 54 more mobile apps, mainly Chinese but also including Singapore-based Sea Ltd’s “Free Fire” mobile game, over security concerns.

Since the start of political tension with China in 2020 following a border clash, India’s ban list, which initially had 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, had expanded to cover 321 apps.

India believes user data was being sent via the apps to servers in China, one of the government sources, who sought anonymity in line with policy, told Reuters.

Such collection would allow the data to be mined, collated, analysed and profiled, potentially by “elements hostile to the sovereignty and integrity of India and for activities detrimental to national security,” the source said.

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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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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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