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Balochistan has become a War Zone: Government demands sweeping powers to deal with Terrorism in Pakistan’s largest province

Balochistan has become a cocktail of insurgencies, religious extremism and other criminal activities, says Home Secretary

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Islamabad, October 28, 2016: The Balo­chistan government has demanded sweeping powers to deal with acts of terror, saying Pakistan’s largest province has become “a war zone”.

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“The provincial administration has no legal powers in Balochistan that has become a war zone,” Home Secretary Mohammad Akbar told a meeting of the Senate’s Functional Committee on Human Rights on Thursday.

The Dawn on Friday quoted Akbar as saying that Balochistan required the pre-1958 powers under the Frontier Crimes Regulations to curb crimes and prevent acts of terror in the province.

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Committee members, esp­ecially Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal, criticized both the federal and provincial governments for failing to stop acts of terror.

Jamaldini lost his son in an August 8 suicide attack on Quetta’s Civil Hospital that claimed the lives of more than 70 people, including lawyers.

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The senators said they wanted to Home Secretary Mohammad Akbar know who had powers in Balochistan to restore stability there.

Akbar said: “Balochistan has become a cocktail of insurgencies, religious extremism and other criminal activities. We cannot hide that the system has failed in Balochistan.” (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?