UPDATE: The 3 police were freed after hundreds of police deployed in force at the mosque. This clearly demonstrates the cowardice of theÂ mullahs at Lal Masjid; without the crow’s skirts of Jamia Hafsa to hide behind they would never be so brazen. Story at ADN Kronos
Radical Islamist students kidnapped three policemen in Islamabad on Monday, creating a second tense police hostage stand-off in the Pakistani capital. The three officers were taken by students belonging to the Jamia Faridia religious seminary, Senior Superintendent Zafar Iqbal told AFP.
He threatened direct action to free his men, saying: “We cannot allow them to keep on abducting our people and yet remain silent.”
“We want them to release our men, but we are also getting ready,” he added. “If they don’t release, we will have to launch an operation. We will be left with no other option.”
In Lahore there was an assassination attempt on an Army general:
Unknown men opened fire on Monday at the car Major General (r) Muhammad Asad, the Army Welfare Trust director general, was riding on Sarwar Road, Geo television reported. Asad was going somewhere in his car (RIA 3176) when a bullet hit its roof. The army officer remained unhurt. North Cantonment police have registered a case. daily times monitor
7 Tankers bound to Afghanistan with fuel were destroyed in rocket attacks near Torkham in the Taliban and Al Qaida’s campaign to interupt fuel flow to the front in Afghanistan. This is foolish, since fuel can be flown in and driven in from other areas, and if it continues then a major source of revenue to Pakistan will stop and go to another country. Beyond that they are killing more Pakistani’s, harming the economy in the NWFP, destroying capital in the form of the trucks, and probably creating more blood feuds against them. Actions like this show why Al Qaida will never establish a true base — like a child who can’t control his bladder overnight they always wet their own bed.
In a previous report it was detailed about how the village of Lakki Marwat fought back against the Taliban when they rudely interupted a wedding. Now the Taliban have kidnappedÂ a store ownerÂ near Lakki Marwat. Story from Daily Times:
LAKKI MARWAT: Four Taliban kidnapped a Qadiani on Monday from Serai Naurang bazaar, said officials and eyewitnesses. Sahibzada Ayub Ahmed was abducted at 2:30pm from Sahibzada Shafi Market, which he owned. Eyewitnesses recounted that he had been taken towards Bannu. Lakki Marwat District Coordination Officer (DCO) Amir Latif did not confirm Ayub was a Qadiani. He told reporters that Ayub was from Kotki village where some Qadianis also lived.
The government stated that reports that there would be extensions to closures ofÂ Afghan refugee camps were false and that the camps would close on schedule inÂ June and August. All inhabitants are slated for repatriation to Afghanistan.Â From Daily Times:
PESHAWAR: The government has not extended the deadline for vacating the Kachha Garhi and Jalozai Afghan refugee camps and both camps will be closed according to the previous schedule, said Afghan Refugees NWFP Commissioner Nasir Azam Khan on Monday.
According to an official statement, Khan said that the Kachha Garhi camp would be closed on June 30, while the Jalozai camp would be closed on August 31. He said that elders of Afghan refugees living in the camps had already been informed of the decision, while further negotiations were underway to finalise plans for the repatriation of Afghan refugees from the camps.
This last bit of news is shocking, but one of the stalwarts from Musharaaf’s party tendered his resignation today:
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali stunned Pakistan Muslim League (PML) leaders on Monday when he submitted his resignation from the party at a meeting of the PML Central Executive Committee (CEC) here on Monday.
Mr Jamali presented a four-page charge sheet against PML President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and the government, saying they had mishandled the chief justice issue, failed to ease law and order problems in Balochistan and stop the carnage in Karachi on May 12, and were unable to maintain the stateâ€™s writ, sources said. He also complained that the PML president had wooed his political opponent in his Rohjan Jamali constituency without consulting him
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Mr Hussain tried to convince Mr Jamali to rethink his decision, but failed. Mr Hussain later told reporters the CEC had rejected Mr Jamaliâ€™s resignation.
President Gen Pervez Musharraf is expected to attend the CEC meeting today to try and resolve the issue.
This could drive a call for dissolution of the ruling party alliance and a call for elections as early as June.