Pakistan round-up: Governor sacks Punjab CM, court reinstates – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Army frees hostages after killing 33 TTP terrorists, S&P further downgrades Pakistan’s ratings, and other stories from the neighbouring country in our weekly Pakistan round-up:
Pakistan army kills 33 TTP terrorists, frees hostages
Pakistan army on Tuesday killed all 33 Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists who had taken over a counter-terrorism detention centre in the garrison city of Bannu, freed police and army officials held hostage.
Two commandos of the Special Services Group (SSG) lost their lives in the operation, which was conducted by the Pakistani army after talks between the government and the proscribed TTP failed.
Pakistan defence minister said the terrorists had killed two hostages on Monday.
Elahi reinstated as Punjab CM after court order
Lahore high court on Friday set aside the Punjab governor’s order and reinstated Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as the chief minister of the province.
The province plunged into a constitutional crisis after the governor in the early hours of Friday denotified Elahi as chief minister for “not complying with his order to obtain the vote of confidence from the Punjab assembly”.
The governor, who belongs to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, had apparently taken the step to prevent the dissolution of Punjab assembly announced by the state’s ruling PTI chief Imran Khan.
JUI-F chief Rehman cancels India visit amid tensions
Jamiat Ulema-e- Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman cancelled a planned trip to India after tensions flared following foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s controversial remarks.
Fazl was to attend a religious congregation in Uttar Pradesh, according to reports.
Rehman’s visit would have been the first by a prominent Pakistani politician in over four-years.
Pakistan downgraded by S&P as fiscal, economic outlook worsens
Pakistan was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings as the nation’s external, fiscal and economic metrics further deteriorated.
The nation’s credit score was cut by a notch to CCC+ from B- by S&P, which expects Pakistan’s dwindling foreign reserves to remain under pressure in the coming year, just as political risks linger.
Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service already rank the nation’s $7.8 billion in foreign bonds at seven notches below investment grade, the equivalent of S&P’s CCC+ rating.
Three remanded in custody over Bajwa data leak
An Islamabad court remanded three suspects in custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday in connection with the income tax data leak of former army chief retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The federal government had ordered an investigation on Nov 21 into the leak of legally protected tax information of Gen Bajwa’s family.

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