Press TV: An explosive device haskilled three and wounded one in Pakistan’s Balochistan region, no group has yet claimed responsibility.
Hindustan Times: More than 50 Pakistani Islamic clerics have issued a fatwa against the Taliban, declaring that their attempt on the life of Malala Yousufzai was ‘un-Islamic’. “In the religious decree issued in Lahore, the clerics appealed to the country to observe Friday as “Condemnation Day” to express solidarity with the 14-year-old girl, who is currently in a critical care unit of a military hospital in Rawalpindi after being shot in the head.”
LA Times: Former Taliban fighters in Pakistan are receiving religious and social counseling as part of a program designed to prevent them from returning to militancy. “From a database of Afghan-trained fighters and extremists monitored by Pakistani authorities, 600 were selected to participate; about half of them agreed. Many had fought with the Afghan Taliban against the U.S.; others came from Pakistani militant groups seen by the West as a continuing threat, including Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the organization behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, that resulted in more than 160 deaths.
Analysts say the overall strategy is sound but may not be ambitious enough. Current programs focus almost exclusively on former and current fighters and lower-echelon commanders. The goal, says Amir Rana, director of the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, should be to target higher-level commanders. Lower-rung fighters often have been lured primarily by promises of a steady income, he said.”
The Nation: Over 40 people have been killed in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas on Thursday. “A US spying aircraft fired at least four missiles on a house-cum-seminary owned by Maulana Shakiruall. Resultantly, 18 suspected militants were killed while 15 others sustained injuries in the attack. It has also been learnt that about three houses located near the targeted house have also been destroyed.
Locals said it was a centre of militants who were affiliated with Hafiz Gul Bahadar group. Soon after the drone strike, militants cordoned off the area and no one was allowed to access the attack site. The attack by the US drone has created panic among the residents.”
Foreign Policy: US Vice President Joe Biden has said that the United States has successfully completed its mission in Afghanistan by destroying al Qaeda. “‘The fact is we went there for one reason: to get those people who killed Americans — al Qaeda,’ Biden said during his debate with Rep. Paul Ryan. ‘We decimated al Qaeda central; we have eliminated Osama bin Laden. That was our purpose.’
His running mate President Barack Obama, however, has often said that the mission in Afghanistan was twofold: to defeat al Qaeda and to make sure that it or other extremists groups could not find safe haven in Afghanistan to launch future attacks against the West.”
Daily Excelsior: The Border Security Force has “said that Pakistan violates ceasefire [sic] and sends infiltrators to escalate violence in the State [of J&K] so as to divert attention from its internal problems”. Forces also played down the likelihood of increased infiltrations during the impending months of snowfall.
Newstrack India: The Ministry of Home Affairs has allocated Rs. 1.17 crore to the Nehru Ruva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) in order to counter left-wing extremism. The Tribal youth Exchange programme in particular is receiving financial support.