Pakistan Army has recovered five western hostages, including one Canadian, his US national wife and their three children from terrorists' custody. According to an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement issued, the hostages were recovered in an intelligence based operation conducted by Pakistani troops.The hostages were captured by terrorists from Afghanistan during 2012 and kept as hostages there. The US intelligence agencies had been tracking them and shared their shifting across to Pakistan on Wednesday through Kurram Agency border. The operation by Pakistani forces, based on actionable intelligence from US authorities was successful. All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin. The success underscores the importance of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan's continued commitment towards fighting this menace through cooperation between two forces against a common enemy, the ISPR statement added.

Merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Implementation of FATA Reforms package

[Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra meets Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in Islamabad]

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has reiterated government's commitment for merger of FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He was talking to Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in Islamabad on Thursday. The Prime Minister said that wok on creating an enabling environment and taking required legal and administrative measures for the purpose was being done on fast track basis. They discussed overall situation in the province and steps being taken for mainstreaming of FATA. Developmental projects in the province also came under discussion.

Analysts on Telephone:

Brig (Retd) Said Nazir (Defense Analyst):

The success in rescuing hostage is the result of timely intelligence sharing and Pakistan’s continued commitment towards fighting terrorism through cooperation between forces of Pakistan and the United States against a common enemy. The couple was rescued during an operation in Kurram tribal district near the Afghan border. This also indicates the commitment of Pakistan against terrorism. Pakistani forces are capable enough and continuing the war against terrorism without any discrimination.

Dr. Zahid Anwar Khan (IR Expert):

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has reiterated commitment for merger of FATA with KPK. It is a positive development as tribal people will also brought into national streamline through FATA reforms package. This decision will also eliminate the sense of deprivation of FATA people. FATA would be put under the control of the provincial government through amendments to the Frontier Crimes Regulation.

Host: Ali Naseer

Co-Host: Ahsan Bashir

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