Pakistan opposition rally clashes with police, dozens hurt

Supporters of Pakistani opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif scuffle with police officers outside an anti-graft tribunal, in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018

Pakistan opposition rally clashes with police, dozens hurt

  • The violence erupted when police used batons to prevent Shahbaz Sharif’s supporters from reaching an anti-graft tribunal where he appeared to face a pre-trial hearing
  • Police say they prevented demonstrators from trying to storm the court

LAHORE: Pakistani officials say supporters of the country’s opposition leader, Shahbaz Sharif, have clashed with police in the eastern city of Lahore, leaving dozens of protesters hurt.
Thursday’s violence erupted when riot police used batons to prevent Sharif’s supporters from reaching an anti-graft tribunal where he appeared to face a pre-trial hearing over alleged links to a multi-million dollars housing scam.
Maryam Aurangzeb, a spokeswoman for Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party, says police beat the party’s supporters without any provocation.
Police say they prevented demonstrators from trying to storm the court.
Sharif, the opposition leader in parliament, has been held in custody by the National Accountability Bureau since October. He is accused of influencing authorities to award contracts for a housing program to a company with which he had political connections.


Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.