Suicide attacks increase in 2017, reports PICSS

Pakistan

J. Choudhry/ISLAMABAD

Unlike previous two years (2015 and 2016), the year 2017 could not see a significant reduction in anti-State violence. Instead, the year 2017 saw more suicide attacks than preceding two years. The year 2017 witnessed 23 bloody suicide attacks, which are more than preceding two years _ 2015 saw 18 and 2016 saw 17 suicide attacks.

An independent think tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) which also works as a monitoring body of anti-State violence in Pakistan, says in its monitoring report for 2017. The provisional statistics for the year 2017 show 15 percent decline in militant attacks, a mere six percent reduction in deaths in militant attacks and a four percent increase in number of injured. This so-called status quo in security situation in the year could be attributed to various external and internal factors including renewed support to anti-Pakistan elements operating from Afghanistan and the government in Islamabad losing focus of its counter-extremism strategy, i.e. National Action Plan, due to political maneuverings of the opposition parties resulting in ouster of the sitting prime minister.

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As per statistics released by the PICSS, 1387 people were killed including 585 civilians, 555 militants, and 247 security forces personnel while 1,965 were injured including 1580 civilians 331 security forces personnel and 54 militants in terrorism-related violence and militant attacks and security forces actions. The militants carried out at least 420 attacks in which 912 people were killed _ 584 civilians 225 security forces personnel and 103 militants and 1877 people were injured including 1576 civilians 271 security forces personnel and 30 militants while security forces conducted 522 actions in which 475 people were killed including 452 militants and 22 security forces personnel while 88 people injured including 60 security forces personnel, 24 militants, and four civilians. Security forces also arrested 1760 suspected militants during the year.

 

The year also saw a significant decline in the number of security forces actions against the militants, resultant deaths, and arrests of the militants. As per PICSS data, the year 2017 saw a decline of 113 percent in security forces actions, a reduction of 87 percent in militant deaths and 139 percent in the number of arrests related to terrorism. Despite a remarkable decline in security forces actions, the total number of militant attacks remained less than last year.

The year 2017 saw the highest number of militant attacks in Balochistan where 183 militant attacks were recorded in which 308 people were killed including 208 civilians and 84 security forces personnel while 572 people were injured including 443 civilians and 129 security forces personnel. The province saw almost no change in the total number of militant attacks, however, a decline in the number of deaths by 46 percent and injuries by 28 percent was observed. The province remained target of a variety of militant groups including sub-nationalist militants, sectarian and international militant groups. Overall, 43 percent of the total militant attacks in the country were recorded in Balochistan. 10 out of 23 suicide attacks (43 percent) took place in Balochistan during the year. 46 percent of the IED blasts (bomb blasts) also took place in the province. In response, the security forces conducted at least 134 operations against the militants in which 112 militants were killed and 657 were arrested during the year.

After Balochistan, FATA remained the most troubled part of the country during 2017. Although the number of militant attacks dropped by 14 percent, the number of deaths increased by 77 percent and injuries by 152 percent. Kidnapping by militants also increased in FATA by 113 percent. In total, 102 militant attacks were recorded in this region in which 339 people including 206 civilians, 65 security forces personnel and 68 militants were killed while 858 people including 629 civilians, 187 security forces personnel and 38 militants were injured. 58 security forces operations were reported from FATA in which 84 militants and five security forces personnel were killed while 22 militants and two forces personnel were injured. Security forces also arrested at least 79 suspects from FATA.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed significant improvement in security situation as all indicators saw negative trends. There was 40 percent decline in the number of militant attacks, 47 percent decline in the number of deaths 55 percent decline in the number of injured. A total of 75 militant attacks were recorded in KP in which 92 people were killed including 43 civilians, 34 security forces personnel, and 15 militants while 175 people were injured including 136 civilians and 39 security forces personnel. Despite the overall improvement, the province saw the second highest number of suicide attacks during the year as there were at least six suicide attacks reported from the province. (In 2016, there were five suicide attacks recorded in the province). Security forces conducted at least 103 actions against the militants in which 543 suspects were arrested and 41 were killed during 2017.

Sindh province saw a 40 percent decrease in militant attacks, however, there was 84 increase in deaths and 142 percent increase in the number of injured in militant attacks during the year 2017. Militants carried out 40 attacks in the province in which 112 people including 92 civilians and 17 security forces personnel while 303 people were injured including 293 civilians and 10 security forces personnel. The province saw one suicide attack during the year. The security forces conducted at least 98 actions against the militants in which 110 suspects were killed and 153 were arrested.

Punjab witnessed seven percent increase in militant attacks however there was 37 percent decline in deaths and 41 percent decline in the number of injured persons. During the year, 15 militant attacks were recorded in Punjab in which 59 people including 34 civilians and 24 security forces personnel were killed and 208 people all of them civilians were injured. The province also witnessed three suicide bombings which are one more than 2016. The security forces conducted 119 actions against the militants in the province in which 105 militants were killed and 298 were arrested.

Two militant attacks were reported from Azad Jammu and Kashmir in which one civilian died and five injured. Three violent militant activities of low intensity were reported from Federal Capital Islamabad in which only one person lost his life. No violent militant activity was reported from Gilgit-Baltistan region. The security forces conducted at least four actions in Azad Kashmir in which 12 suspected militants were arrested. 14 suspected militants were arrested from the Gilgit-Baltistan region in two security forces actions while four suspects were arrested in three actions in Federal Capital Territory Islamabad.

Aurangzeb appointed HBLnew President/CEO amid reports of Nathani’s appointment

Pakistan’s banking sector ‘Titanic in Trouble’ — HBL appoints M. Aurangzeb as new President/CEO on Feb-01, 2018.

Corporate Ambassador Report/KARACHI

Mohsin Nathani

Habib Bank Limited has approved appointment of Muhammad Aurangzeb as new President/CEO of HBL. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has said on Feb 1, 2018 that the appointment is linked with formal approval by the State Bank of Pakistan under the proper and fit framework of the central bank.

Earlier, Mohsin Ali Nathani, a very experienced banker, was being tipped as the new President/CEO of the scandal-hit Habib Bank Limited, but the HBL has withheld his appointment and appointed Muhammad Aurangzeb. The new President/CEO of the HBL will be facing the most difficult task of reviving the battered image and business of the HBL that had faced a major setback after imposition of more than Rs 22 billion fine in America as the bank failed to fulfill the money-laundering regulatory responsibilities in USA a few months ago. Tens of Millions of dollars remittances of the HBL from the United States and other countries are at stake because of this mega-scam in the banking history of Pakistan that had not only defamed Pakistan, but also raised many eye-brows about the capability of Pakistani banks to meet the challenges of combating the money laundering and enforcing the laws and technology that fully comply with the anti-money laundering laws globally.

The incumbent President/CEO Nauman K. Dar is expected to leave the bank at the end of Dec-2017, on completion of his tenure as the HBL President and money-laundering scam in United States seems one of the key reasons that have landed Nauman Dar and many other HBL officials in trouble who were either incompetent or they deliberately compromised on international anti-money laundering laws for making money _ from transactions of foreign exchanges especially remittances and also earned monetary reward from the State Bank of Pakistan for attracting the highest number of remittances annually. The SBP had launched the Pakistan Remittance Initiatives that offers financial incentives to promote the inflows of the remittances, but the HBL that was Pakistan’s leading remittance raising bank, had finally succumbed to money-laundering scam because of sheer negligence and intolerable mismanagement.

Now the FBI of the United States and the auditors are investigating the matter to find out more details _ but this scam had raised many questions _ how the HBL kept its eyes closed that ultimately led to a serious crisis in the shape of detection of the money-laundering through HBL by none other than the central bank of America and the FBI? How the State Bank of Pakistan kept on ignoring that the HBL was not complying with the regulatory requirement of the USA regarding the enforcement of the anti-money laundering mechanism? Who are the HBL officers/officials and others who have used this Pakistan’s largest commercial bank for money laundering? What kind of action had been taken against the board of directors of the HBL who are responsible for overseeing the operations and policies of the bank? What our NAB and FIA have done, so far, to find out into this mega scam? This must be shared with the media and the nation to prevent such mishaps in future.

The top management of the HBL has sacked some of the officials holding them responsible for this scam those sacked officials are unlikely to be produced before the auditors to reach to the network of the organized gangsters/bankers who had used HBL for money laundering.

Another issue that had tarnished the image of the Habib Bank is the downsizing in the HBL in Dec-2017 as the bank had forcibly retired its 144 officials, including a gold medal winner without mentioning their faults or any weaknesses in the performance. Some of the employees of the HBL recently sacked by the bank addressed a joint press conference in Karachi Press Club on Thursday afternoon just to share with media their painful ordeal of losing jobs without any solid reason, except that the bank had used the lethal law to butcher their jobs. The sacked employees said that many more are going to face forced retirement in coming weeks just because of the mismanagement and criminal negligence of the top management that could not anticipate mega scam of money laundering and now cutting jobs to save just peanuts worth amount.

Interestingly, the Habib Bank Limited had emerged the strongest and the largest profit-making bank in recent couple of years, no doubt, because of the untiring efforts of the management and the entire banking team. The annual profit of the HBL had even crossed 35 billion rupees a year. The profit also earned the honour of being the market leader in raising the remittances from all over the world, but, alas, the money-laundering scam, that apparently seems the outcome of the negligence and mismanagement of the top officials had ruined the integrity, image and strength of the bank in Pakistan and abroad as well.

How the upcoming President/CEO Mohsin Nathani, as per sources in the HBL, would be able to make once again the HBL the mightiest bank of Pakistan, is a question that is circulating in the banking circles as he is being tipped as the leader of the bank.

ABOUT Mohsin Ali Nathani

Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani has served as the Chief Executive Officer for UAE at Standard Chartered PLC from February 2014 to April 2015. Mr. Nathani served as the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited from September 2010 to January 31, 2014. He is a seasoned corporate banker with over 20 years of banking experience, covering Asia (East and South-East), Middle East and Levant regions.

He served as Managing Director and Country Head of Barclays Bank Plc Pakistan since January 2008. He was instrumental in obtaining an organic banking license for Barclays in Pakistan in 2007 and then successfully launching it, along with his team, in July 2008. Before heading Pakistan, he joined Barclays in Dubai in May 2007 as the Head of Commercial Business for Global Retail and Commercial Banking, Emerging Markets. He started his professional life in 1988 with ICI Pakistan. Mr. Nathani served as Head of Emerging Market Corporate Banking for the Middle East of Citigroup Inc., Dubai since April 13, 2005. He served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director for the Islamic investment bank Citigroup of Citigroup Inc. since April 13 , 2005 and as its Co-head of Asia debt markets for Citigroup Inc. from March 2000 to May 2005. He served as Senior Credit Officer (SCO) & Senior Securities Officer of Citigroup. He began his banking career in 1989 with Citigroup in Karachi. Mr. Nathani joined ABN Amro Holding NV in 1993 before returning to Citigroup in 2000. He was also served with ABN Amro Bank. He served as Chairman and Director of Standard Chartered Leasing Ltd till February 2014, Standard Chartered Services Of Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. He served as the Chairman of Standard Chartered Modaraba from September 27, 2010 to February 12, 2014. He serves as a Director at Standard Chartered Services Of Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. and Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited. He serves as a Director of Price Solution Pakistan (Private) Limited. He is on the boards of Pakistan Council for Philanthropy, British Oversees School, I-CARE and a trustee in IBA endowment fund. He served as a Director of Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited from September 2010 to January 31, 2014. He served as Director at Barclays Bank Plc Pakistan. Mr. Nathani holds MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi in 1987.

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My TV Channel being launched in Pakistan

Mr Nazir Ahmed Vaid, Chairman, NexSource Pakistan Limited (2nd from right in Shalwar-Kameez) is presenting Shield to Chairperson of 6th Corporate Ambassador Awards Ms Rozina Jalal, a renowned astrologist. Mr Vaid was the Chief Guest of this program. Mr Irtiza Kazmi, Group Chief, National Bank (in center), Syed Ibne Hasan, VP, NBP (extreme right), Roomi Syed, extreme left, Javed Mahmood, Mubasher Mir and Kinza Abbasi are also seen in this group photo.

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By J. Choudhry/KARACHI

Mr Nazir Ahmed Vaid, Chairman, NexSource Pakistan Limited, a Karachi-based group having country-wide presence, has disclosed that his group is launching a satellite-based My TV channel soon in Pakistan. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had already allowed us recently to start the test-run of this TV channel that will be dedicated to the educational and social training of the children with fun.

6th CA Award stage

(Chairman NexSource Pakistan Mr Nazir Ahmed Vaid is addressing the 6th Corporate Ambassador Awards in Karachi as Chief Guest).

Mr Vaid disclosed this in an informal chat with Javed Mahmood, Editor Corporate Ambassador and a founding-member of the Karachi Editors Club and Manzar Naqvi, Secretary General of Karachi Editors Club (KEC) and Executive Editor of The Financial Daily.

Mr Vaid is Chairman of about 27 companies involved in multiple businesses in the country. A couple of weeks ago, Mr Vaid inaugurated a new outlet of his group’s Raymond’s Fabrics in Zaibun-Nissa Street, Saddar area in Karachi. The outlet caters to the ladies and gents stitched and unstitched clothes. One outlet of this brand is already operation in Lahore Defence and one in Blue Area in Karachi. Raymond Fabrics offers fine quality stuff for ladies and gents.

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About upcoming TV channel, Chairman of the NexSource Pakistan said that MY TV channel would start airing children-related programs aimed at their improvement in their educational and social engagements and behavior as well. He, however, stated that at later stage the scope of the TV’s coverage would be expanded to the youth.

My TV would organize programs in more than 1,000 schools in a year to involve the children in healthy educational and social activities, he said, adding, the TV channel would also be accessible on cellphones, laptops and computers through specially-designed Aps that would attract maximum viewership from the children. Because, he pointed out, today the children are giving much of their time to cellphones, computers, laptops and other similar devices and TV Aps would facilitate the children to have greater access to the programs of their choice. Nazir Vaid further pointed out that the aps would also enable the viewers to give feedback and their comments during breaks in a programme.