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Punjab terror attack: GPS points to Pakistan

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Dinanagar, Punjab: The global positioning system (GPS) sets recovered from the three terrorists killed here clearly indicates to a Pakistan link in Monday’s terror attack in Punjab’s Dinanagar town, sources said on Tuesday.

The terrorists were killed by the special units of the Punjab Police after a fierce gun-battle lasting over 11 hours.

Sources in intelligence agencies and Punjab Police said on Tuesday that the track of the GPS sets revealed that the terrorists had moved from Shakargarh area in Pakistan along the India-Pakistan border on Sunday and entered India.

“The terrorists used the route of rivulets along the border belt and reached Bamiyal town. While observing that security in the Jammu region, which is very close, was tight, the terrorists moved towards Dinanagar town,” a police official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Forensic experts from Chandigarh have arrived at the police station complex here to search for clues about the identity of the three terrorists who besieged the complex for over 11 hours on Monday.

The forensic team was examining the building where the terrorists were holed up. The car, which was hijacked by the terrorists and on which they came to the police station complex, was also being examined.

Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini said that the terrorists were carrying AK-47 automatic weapons and Chinese-made hand grenades.

“We are examining clues from their clothes and other things that they were carrying,” a forensic team official said.

Seven people, including a senior police officer, three home guard personnel and three civilians, were killed in the terror attack.

Dinanagar town, which is just 12 km from the India-Pakistan border, is located 25 km from the Jammu and Kashmir border and 235 km from Chandigarh.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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Pakistan In U.S. Blacklist For Religious Freedom Violations

Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses

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Pakistan, Religious Freedom
Members and supporters of the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) chant slogans during a protest after the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, in Islamabad, Pakistan. VOA

The United States said Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among “countries of particular concern” in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the U.S. government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.

Pompeo a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list – a step short of the designation – in what had been seen as a U.S. tactic to press Islamabad into reforms.

Human rights advocates have long voiced worry about the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, including Shiites, Ahmadis and Christians.

Sikh, Religious Freedom
A Sikh pilgrim visits the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan. VOA

But the timing of the full designation may be jarring as it comes after Pakistan moved to resolve its most high-profile case, with the Supreme Court in October releasing Asia Bibi – a Christian woman on death row for eight years for blasphemy.

The government recently charged a hardline cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, with terrorism and sedition after he led violent protests against Bibi’s acquittal.

“In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression,” he said.

Nine countries remained for another year on the list of Countries of Particular Concern – China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

pakistan,Sikh, Religious Freedom
Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, center, arrives along with her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, second left, brother Atal Yousafzai, left, and the principal of all-boys Swat Cadet College Guli Bagh, during her hometown visit, March 31, 2018. VOA

The United States removed one country from the list – Uzbekistan– but kept it on the watch list.

Pompeo also put on the watch list Russia, adding another item of contention to the relationship between the two powers.

Also Read: The Hindu Temple of Gulyana and Sikh Samadhi in Pakistan

Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the heterodox Christian group known for proselytization.

Also on the watch list was the Comoros, the Indian Ocean archipelago that is almost exclusively Sunni Muslim. (VOA)