Tag Archives: border

Pakistan, India border guards abandon customary Eid greeting

Pakistan and India border guards will not exchange customary greetings and sweets on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, said a report published on Hindustan Times.

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Deputy Inspector General MF Farooqui confirmed that “there will be no Eid greetings exchanged with Pakistani Rangers on Saturday”, the day Pakistan celebrated the first day of Eidul Fitr.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1195238/

India, Pakistan border fighting intensifies before Obama visit

SRINAGAR, India: (Reuters) – Pakistan accused India of killing four civilians on the border of the two nuclear powers and India said one of its border guards was killed, heightening tensions before a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama.

India said its forces had killed four Pakistanis planning an attack on Indian soil, although Indian media and opposition parties disputed the official account. The Pakistani army said four civilians had died in Indian shelling.

A senior Indian official with the border security forces said they had retaliated on Monday for machine gun and mortar attacks on about 60 positions strung out along more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) of the border.

“Pakistani rangers fired rocket-propelled grenades in villages near the border and our men have responded,” the officer told Reuters.

Monday’s incidents, in the Samba district south of Jammu along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, followed the killing of two Pakistani soldiers by Indian forces on New Year’s Eve.

As the hostilities intensified, India’s security agencies declared a nationwide alert last week to avoid militant strikes before visits by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama later in January.

Read more » Reuters
Learn more » http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/01/05/india-security-pakistan-idINKBN0KE14A20150105

Why India is planning a new road near the China border

India has unveiled plans to build a mountain road along the disputed border with China in the country’s remote north-east.

The $6.5bn (£4.06bn), 1,800km (1,118 miles) all-weather road will stretch from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state to where the borders of India and China meet with Myanmar.

The road will connect sparsely populated and poorly-connected hill communities living in four large frontier districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

It will also help farmers in the mountainous region to transport their organic crops and medicinal herbs to low-lying and busy markets in neighbouring Assam state.

“This road will not boost our defences but help connect far flung communities for economic development denied to them for so long,” says India’s junior home minister Khiren Rijiju, himself a resident of Arunachal Pradesh.

But Indian military officials say the road will help consolidate Indian defences.

This represents a change in Indian military thinking that has so far opposed developing roads near the border, in case it is used by the Chinese during a conflict for speedy movement inside Indian territory.

The road, however, could could ignite fresh tensions between India and China.

The world’s two most populous countries disagree over the demarcation of several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-29639950

Iran issues fresh warning to Pakistan: Deal with terrorists within your borders or we will.

Iran again warns of crossing into Pakistan if border is not secured

Iran issued a veiled threat to Pakistan on Thursday that it might cross the border to contain terrorists if Pakistan fails protect its border and stop terrorists from entering into Iran, Iranian state media reported.

Second-in-command of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami on Thursday said that border security is a common and pressing need for neighbouring countries. He warned that if any neighbouring country fails to fulfill their obligation to protect their border than Iran will have no choice but to act on its own.

We are, in principle, against intervening in the affairs of any country, but if they fail to abide by their obligations we will have [no choice but] to act,” said Salami, adding that “Terrorists, wherever they may be, even on the soil of neighbouring countries, we will find them, and if they do not give up acts of terrorism, we will deal with them without reservation.”

In May this year, Iranian border guards trespassed three kilometres into Pakistani territory and shot dead a Pakistani citizen while injuring another in the Prom tehsil of Panjgur district in Balochistan.

Iran, on many counts, has threatened to send forces into Pakistani territories.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/776867/iran-again-warns-of-crossing-into-pakistan-if-border-is-not-secured/

Our troops didn’t provoke border tension: China

BEIJING: Sticking to its stand that Chinese troops have not caused any “provocation” by violating the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, China on Thursday said the incident will not affect bilateral ties or disrupt peace at the borders as both sides are trying to resolve it in a friendly manner.

“I do not agree with your allegation that it is the Chinese side that has caused the provocation between the border troops,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said while replying to questions about the intrusion of Chinese troops at the Depsang Valley in Ladakh.

“China’s troops have never crossed the (LAC) line. China and India are neighbours and the boundary is not demarcated yet.

“It is inevitable for problems to prop up in border areas. When there is a problem it should be resolved through friendly consultations though existing mechanisms and channels,” she said.

“We believe this incident can also be handled and will not affect the peace and stability of the border areas as well as the normal development of China and India relations,” she said.

Urging the media to be patient, she said, “We also believe that the two sides continue to solve the issue in a friendly manner and we will not let the issue affect border peace and security and normal development of China-India relations”.

“We hope relevant media can keep patience and create favourable conditions for the two countries to solve this issue through friendly consultations,” she said.

The spokesperson said the situation on the Sino-Indian border is peaceful and stable.

“Just want to tell you that the current situation in the border area is peaceful and stable. Both China and India have the willingness to solve the dispute through peaceful negotiations and consultations.

“In the past three days I have repeatedly stressed China’s point and now I would like to reiterate that Chinese troops have always acted in strict compliance to relevant treaty and protocol between the two countries regarding the protection of security of the areas around the LAC,” she said.

China is committed to peace and security of the border areas as well as the negotiated settlement of the boundary issue left over from history, she said.

Asked about reports that the Chinese troops were insisting on Indian army to remove certain fortifications in that area, she said “since I am not in the frontier, so I do not know the latest development of the situation…Both China and India have the willingness to solve the dispute through peaceful negotiations and consultations”.

Continue reading Our troops didn’t provoke border tension: China

Chinese Troops Set Up Post 10km Inside Ladakh – India Times

By IndiaTimes

NEW DELHI: In yet another deep incursion into Indian territory, Chinese troops apparently made inroads into the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector of eastern Ladakh and erected a tented post there this week.

Indian Army officials were, however, not too perturbed about the incursion, holding that it was a common occurrence. “In that area, patrols do have a face-off every now and then due to differing perceptions of where the Line of Actual Control lies. We resolve it through existing consultative border mechanisms,” said a senior officer.

As per reports, a platoon-strength contingent of about 50 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 km inside Indian territory in Burthe in the DBO sector, which is at an altitude of about 17,000 feet, on the night of April 15.

Troops from Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP), which mans that stretch of the border, have also established a camp approximately 300 metres opposite the location, the sources said.

ITBP has asked for a flag meeting with the Chinese side but there has been no response till now.

The Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment of the Indian Army that specializes in mountain warfare, has also moved towards the area where the situation was described as tense.

DBO, located in northernmost Ladakh, is an historic camp site and located on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. IAF has in recent years activated advanced landing grounds at DBO and two other places in eastern Ladakh as part of the policy to build military infrastructure along the LAC, in a belated move to counter strategic moves by China in the region.

Courtesy: India Times
http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/chinese-troops-set-up-post-10km-inside-ladakh-73150.html

Mujh Mein Hai Tu! – the common capital of India and Pakistan

By: Khuda Bux Abro

It was not just the land that was partitioned. Hearts, minds, behaviours and emotions had been partitioned long before so the final division could be made ‘smoothly’, and it went as smoothly as expected. The ground was pulled from underneath someone’s feet, while the sky was pulled away from another’s head! Millions of people neither belonged here nor there, only those who were to lead the new states remained. The new leaders had not only been involved in dividing the state but also dreamt of ruling the new countries in the name of religion and nationalism. A single announcement managed to create a border that cannot be seen anywhere except in books, files and maps.

It was as if a wall was erected in the courtyard of a large, lively house. Those who lived and played together would sulk one moment and reconcile with each other the next. Their hearts beat together as one. If they liked a certain tune, they all sang it together. If they got drunk, they danced in harmony with each other. Their souls were fragrant with the scent of the soil; their breaths were perfumed with the same culture. But the formation of the wall of hate and treachery neither divided nor affected their breaths, their heartbeats.

It doesn’t matter whether the leaders belong to this side of the wall or to that side. They have always sowed seeds of hatred within the divided hearts of their nation in order to prevent the demolition of the wall erected within their hearts and minds so that not only their rule would be established but their sustenance is guaranteed, as well as their luxuries.

Continue reading Mujh Mein Hai Tu! – the common capital of India and Pakistan

Indian, Pakistani guards exchange Diwali sweets

Amritsar, Nov 13: Border Security Force (BSF) officials Tuesday exchanged sweets with Pakistan Rangers at the India-Pakistan land border check post to mark Diwali.

BSF officials went up to the zero line and offered sweets to their counterparts in Pakistan Rangers. The border check post lies around 30 km from Amritsar.

The Pakistani side also offered sweets to the BSF. Officials from both sides shook hands and greeted each other.

Continue reading Indian, Pakistani guards exchange Diwali sweets

Afghanistan-Pakistan border fighting erupts in Kunar

There is heavy fighting between Afghan and Pakistani forces in the eastern Afghan province of Kunar, which borders Pakistan, Afghan officials say.

Fighting started at around 0400 (0030 GMT) following an attack on a border police commander’s convoy, according to border police sources. According to Afghan officials in Kunar, one border policeman was killed and five were injured.

The Afghan authorities have since sent hundreds of troops to the area. The attack was from the Pakistani side of the border in the area of Binshay, Dangam District, Afghan police say.

Afghan officials in Kunar province have told the BBC that both sides have been using heavy and small weapons and a Dangam District tribal elder said the fighting was ongoing.

Continue reading Afghanistan-Pakistan border fighting erupts in Kunar

Pakistani Hindus seek asylum in India – NewsX

NewsX@9 is a NewsX special show which debates the main news event of the day. A group of some 250 Pakistani Hindus were today allowed to cross over to India for a pilgrimage after being detained at the Wagah land border crossing due to a controversy over reports that they planned to migrate to the neighbouring country. The Hindus protested at the Wagah border crossing after they were detained for almost seven hours.

Immigration authorities finally allowed the Hindus to cross the frontier at about 2.30 pm. The kidnapping of a teenage Hindu girl, Manisha Kumari, from Jacobabad city of Sindh province on August 7 had sparked widespread concern in the minority community amidst reports of an exodus of some 250 Hindus from the region. Confusion surrounded the travel plans of the Hindus from Sindh and Balochistan. Some TV news channels reported they had decided to migrate to India because of forced conversions, extortion and kidnapping. So we debate today – Why are minorities unsafe in Pakistan? We debate the question on the show and try to evolve consensus among our panelists over the issue. Watch this NewsX special NewsX@9.

Courtesy: NewsX » YouTube

Ashley Tellis: Pakistan’s Impending Defeat in Afghanistan – Rawalpindi refuses to see the writing on the wall.

Pakistan’s Impending Defeat in Afghanistan

By: Ashley J. Tellis

Pakistan’s Enduring Aim

Ever since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan has had one simple strategic goal on its western frontier: ensuring that Afghanistan remains a stable but subordinate entity deferential to Pakistan’s sensitivities on all matters of national security. Such deference was sought for a host of reasons. Islamabad wanted a guarantee that Kabul would not reignite the dispute over the countries’ common border (the Durand Line) and would not seek to mobilize the region’s Pashtun populations in support of either absorption into Afghanistan or the creation of a new nation. The Pakistani leadership also aimed to ensure that Afghanistan would not enter into close geopolitical affiliations with other, more powerful countries, such as the United States or India, in order to increase Kabul’s autonomy from Islamabad.

Amid the chaos that emerged after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan settled on supporting the Afghan Taliban as its strategic instrument for securing Kabul’s compliance with its objectives. Although the Taliban were not always dependable surrogates on these matters, they appeared better than other Afghan rivals, and hence Islamabad—despite its denials—has stuck by them to this day.

Whatever the intended benefits of this strategy, it has alienated both the broader Afghan populace and the government in Kabul, which now views Pakistan as a habitually hostile neighbor. It has also undermined the U.S.-led international stabilization effort in Afghanistan, as well as hopes for a peaceful security transition—not to mention infuriating Washington, which now views Pakistan as a perfidious partner. And it has provoked heightened regional rivalry involving Afghanistan’s neighbors, especially Iran, India, the Central Asian republics, and Russia, all of whom are determined to prevent a Pakistani-supported Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Worst of all, Islamabad’s strategy promises to fundamentally undermine Pakistani security. Every one of the three possible outcomes of the Afghan security transition leaves Pakistan in a terrible place.

Destined for Failure

Read more » http://m.ceip.org/publications/?fa=48633

What not even a “soft apology”? Pentagon chief all but rules out apology for Pakistan

Pentagon chief all but rules out apology for Pakistan

By Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON: (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta all but ruled out an apology over an air strike last year that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and badly set back efforts to improve U.S.-Pakistani ties, saying it was “time to move on.”

Pakistan banned trucks from carrying NATO supplies into neighboring Afghanistan after the air strike, a move that costs U.S. taxpayers $100 million a month given the need to use more expensive, longer routes to the north.

To re-open the routes, Pakistan wants to impose high tariffs on NATO supplies and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said last week that Islamabad is still seeking an unconditional apology.

But Panetta, in an interview with Reuters on Thursday, suggested that past expressions of regret and condolences were enough and held out hope that troubled talks on re-opening Pakistani supply routes for the NATO war effort could succeed anyway.

Asked whether he would oppose any further apology, Panetta said: “We’ve made clear what our position is, and I think it’s time to move on.”

“If we keep going back to the past, if we keep beating up each other based on past differences, we’ll never get anywhere,” he said.

“The time now is to move forward with this relationship, on the (supply routes), on the safe havens, on dealing with terrorism — on dealing with the issues that frankly both of us are concerned about,” Panetta said. ….

Read more » Reuters

Nato helicopters intrude into Pakistan

Nato helicopters intrude into North Waziristan

MIRANSHAH: Amid mortar shelling from across the Pak-Afghan border, Nato helicopters on Tuesday violated Pakistan’s airspace and intruded into the border area of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan, Pakistani officials said.

The government officials said two Nato helicopters intruded into the border area of North Waziristan and flew back to Afghanistan after flying over the border villages for some time.

Also, officials based in the Pak-Afghan border area said nine mortar shells were fired from across the border from Afghanistan’s Khost province that landed in the border villages of Bangidar and Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan. They said the mortars landed in the villages and exploded, but did not cause human losses.

Courtesy: The News

US running out of patience with Pakistan: Panetta

AFP – The United States is running out of patience with Pakistan over safe havens for insurgents who attack US troops across the border in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Thursday.

Panetta was speaking during a brief visit to Kabul overshadowed by Afghan fury over a NATO air strike that allegedly killed 18 civilians — an issue that the Pentagon chief did not mention at a news conference.

Panetta left for the airport just hours after his arrival, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged to cut short a trip to Beijing and head home over the deaths of around 40 civilians Wednesday in the air strike and a suicide bombing.

Continue reading US running out of patience with Pakistan: Panetta

PPP power show at Kamu Shaheed near Sindh-Punjab border

Congratulation to Sindh Chief Minister on PPP Rally.

12 May 2012: Delaware(USA), Millions of Pakistanis (estimated to be two millions) belonging to Sindh, Sarikistan, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and other areas of Pakistan gathered in Ghotki, Sindh, to express their support for democracy, in particular for the Pakistan Peoples Party and its leaders President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Today’s public rally at Kamon Shaheed area on the Sindh-Punjab border is estimated to be one of the largest in Pakistan’s political history. The total number of people in today’s rally is estimated to be several times larger than other similar rallies organized by other political parties .

The leaders PPP USA, Shafqat Tanweer President, Mian Basharat Yousaf Chief Organizer, Shoukat Ali Bhutta Secretary General, Syed Iftikhar Zaidi Senior Vice President, Zafar Iqbal Chattha, Co ordinator Jahingeer Buttar Finance Secretary and Masood Zakria Choudhary Add’l Secretary General,PPP USA. Congratulate Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP Leadership for this rally.

Jeay Bhutto, Jeay BiBi, PPP Zindabad.

Taliban Beheads Pakistani Soldiers

Taliban Kill 14 Pakistani Troops, String up Heads

By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated Press

DERA ISMAIL KHAN – Taliban fighters killed 14 Pakistani soldiers in a key militant sanctuary along the Afghan border, beheaded all but one of them and hung two of the heads from wooden poles in the center of town, officials said Monday.

The killings in Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal area, highlight the dilemma facing the military in dealing with an area used by both the country’s fiercest enemy, the Pakistani Taliban, and Afghan and Pakistani militants believed to be close to the government who are battling U.S.-led forces in neighboring Afghanistan. …

Read more » ABC News

India-Pakistan Trade: Making Borders Irrelevant

By: Tara Beteille, co-authors: Kalpana Kochhar

In our blog post last November, we discussed Pakistan’s decision to grant India most favored nation (MFN) status. We were hopeful about the gains from easier trade between the two, but noted the many stumbling blocks in between. In the past 20 weeks, both countries have made serious efforts to address these blocks. Things are looking good. Here is an update.

Both countries mean business

In addition to the goodwill gesture of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari visiting India this April and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh considering visiting Pakistan, important issues addressed include:

  • Pakistan issued an order in March 2012 to move from a positive list of 2,000 items for India to a negative list of 1,209 banned items. Pakistan intends to phase out the negative list altogether and formally give India MFN status by the end of 2012.
  • India, which formally granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 (but maintained barriers) has agreed to reduce its sensitive list of 865 items by 30% within four months. India has also agreed in principle to allow Pakistani foreign direct investment in the country.
  • Both countries recently agreed to allow yearlong multiple-entry visas for business visitors, with visitors allowed to enter and exit through different cities.
  • The two countries have agreed to allow each other’s central banks – the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of Pakistan – to open bank branches across borders to facilitate financial transactions and ensure smooth trade.
  • A second checkpost gate was inaugurated this March at the Attari-Wagah border to ease road traffic between the two countries. The checkpost, with elaborate security features and capable of accommodating 600 trucks at a time, will provide upgraded infrastructure, including new storage go-downs, wide roads, and a luxurious passenger terminal.

Opportunities and gains

Making borders irrelevant can have far-reaching effects for economic prosperity across sectors in Pakistan and India. Consider a key driver of growth: electricity. South Asia’s recent More and Better Jobs flagship report estimated that industrial load shedding in Pakistan has resulted in the loss of 400,000 jobs. Trade between energy surplus and deficit regions could counter such losses — indeed, Pakistan is already in negotiations with India to import up to 500 MW of electricity.

Continue reading India-Pakistan Trade: Making Borders Irrelevant

President Zardari pardon Indian Spy Gopal Das

Indian spy Gopal Das returns to India

LAHORE: Indian spy Gopal Das, held in Pakistan for 27 years was handed over to Indian officials at Wagah border on Thursday. Das was released on presidential orders.

The spy was transferred from the Kot Lakhpat jail to Wagah Border in a special vehicle. The notification by President Asif Ali Zardari to remit the remainder of the spy’s prison sentence was issued on March 27.

President Zardari issued the notice on humanitarian grounds following an appeal from India’s Supreme Court.

Das — who told reporters he was 26 when he was arrested — was sentenced to life in prison in June 1987 and had been due for release by the end of this year.

Pakistan’s presidency did not say why he was convicted, but Das himself confirmed reports that he had been jailed for spying.

“Yes… I went to Pakistan on a spying mission and I was arrested for espionage,” said Das, who was clearly angered by what he saw as his abandonment by the Indian authorities.

“Indian intelligence never bothered to get me released from jail in Pakistan,” he said.

“I carry a grudge against the Indian leadership because it does not bother about Indian prisoners still rotting in Pakistan prisons for many years,” he added.

He made a point of thanking the president and prime minister of Pakistan for his early release.

Read more » The Express Tribune

FATA, the strategic playground of Pakistan: Another school blown up by Pakistan’s strategic assets

School blown up in Khyber

By: Ahmad Nabi

KHYBER AGENCY – Bacha Khan Foundation School was blown up, as some unidentified militants planted explosive devices inside it in Khuga Khel area of tehsil Landi Kotal ….

Read more » The Nation

Jim Jones: Amb. Haqqani was not involved in memogate

By Josh Rogin

Former National Security Advisor Jim Jones has submitted a confidential affidavit, obtained by The Cable, in which he swears that he has no reason to believe that former Pakistani Ambassador to Washington Husain Haqqani had any role in the scandal known as “memogate.”

Jones was the go-between in the transmission of a secret memo from Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz to then Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen in the days following the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbotabad. The memo, purportedly from the Pakistani civilian leadership, asked for U.S. government help to avoid a pending military coup in Pakistan and pledged, in return, to reorient Pakistan’s foreign and national security policy to be more in line with U.S. interests. ….

Read more » Foreign Policy (FP)

In mountain camps, Pakistan Taliban train for death

By Saud Mehsud

LADDA, Pakistan (Reuters)- Pakistan’s Taliban say they have started peace talks, but in a mountain camp young recruits learn how to mount ambushes, raid military facilities and undertake the most coveted missions — suicide bombings.

“America, NATO and other countries could do nothing to us despite having nuclear weapons,” said Shamim Mehsud, a senior Taliban commander training the fighters who hold AK-47 assault rifles and cover their faces with white cloth.

“Our suicide bombers turn their bones into bullets, flesh into explosives and blood into petrol and bravely fight them, and they have no answer to that.”

On Saturday the deputy commander of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or Taliban Movement of Pakistan, said exploratory peace talks with the U.S.-backed government were underway.

Pakistan’s prime minister denied this and said Pakistan would negotiate only if the group, which has been waging a four-year insurgency, laid down its arms.

There are no signs they intend to do that in the camp in South Waziristan near the Afghan border. It is in unruly tribal areas like this where the umbrella group is entrenched.

Taliban commanders escorted a small group of journalists, including a Reuters reporter, to the remote camp. To get there without running into army checkpoints, they drove to North Waziristan …

Read more » Reuters

Zardari Survives? But At What Cost? How Long?

By Aziz Narejo

Looks Zardari has survived another attack. This time it seemed to be fatal one. There must have been some collateral damage. Soon we may know its extent. But no one should be complacent. This will by no means be the last attack against the president & the democratic system by his haters & anti democracy forces. They might have already put the things in process for their next move.

It is for certain that the things will remain the way they have been for long until some basic questions are addressed. The powers that be have to be reined in. They have to be made to respect the Constitution. The national question will have to be settled. And the provinces will have to be given their full rights.

Courtesy: Indus Herald

U.S. Troops Could Stay in Afghanistan Past 2014

U.S. Troops Could Stay in Afghanistan Past Deadline, Envoy Says

By ROD NORDLAND

The ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, speaking at a roundtable event with a small group of journalists, said that if the Afghan government wanted American troops to stay longer, the withdrawal could be slowed. “They would have to ask for it,” he said. “I could certainly see us saying, ‘Yeah, makes sense.’ ” ….

Read more » The New York Times

Pakistan Taliban ‘in peace talks’

Pakistan Taliban’s deputy Mohammad admits peace talks

The Pakistan Taliban is in peace talks with the country’s government, the group’s deputy commander has said.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammad said the focus was on the Bajaur tribal area bordering Afghanistan, and that if successful, talks could be extended to other areas.

He said 145 Taliban prisoners had been freed as a goodwill gesture and the authorities wanted a ceasefire.

It is the first time a top Taliban commander has confirmed negotiations. There has been no government comment.

“Our talks are going in the right direction,” Reuters news agency quotes Mr Mohammad as saying.

The BBC’s Orla Guerin in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, says that in the past such negotiations have backfired allowing the militants time to re-group.

There are also doubts about whether or not any possible peace treaty would be observed by all of the factions in the Pakistan Taliban, which is an increasingly fractured alliance, she says.

In October, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said talks would only be held if the group disarmed. ….

Read more » BBC

News – Afghanistan: National Front Asks UN to Investigate Kabul Attack

The National Front Party on Thursday asked the UN to investigate the Kabul suicide attack which took place on Tuesday at Abul Fazl Shrine.

The National Front Leader Ahmad Zia Massoud said he welcomed and supported the decision made by Afghan government. He also stressed that investigation about the incident would be in the interest of Afghanistan.

“If the Afghan president is really intending to investigate about the issue and discuss it with Pakistan, a UN delegation should be assigned to investigate certain parts of the incident. The outcomes would be good, I think because Afghans have always had defensive strategy and have been silent towards all such incidents. This has caused Pakistani Generals to do whatever they want inside Afghanistan,” Mr Massoud said.

On Wednesday President Karzai said that he will investigate about the issue with the help of international community.

“Jhangvi is based in Pakistan. So, the Afghan government, with the support of the international community, will follow up on the issue. Afghanistan will never forgive the wounding of innocent children,” Mr Karzai said.

The deadly suicide attack at Abul Fazl Shrine in Kabul took the lives of more than 59 people and nearly 200 people were wounded in the incident.

Lashkari Jhangvi which is based in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Courtesy » ToloNews

Attack on NATO oil tankers in Quetta. Big Fire – More then 40 tankers burnt to ashes.

Courtesy: Geo Tv News » YouTube

More details » DAWN.COM

ISI is under nobody’s control and always keeps its hand in politics, says Mansoor Ijaz

ISI always keeps its hand in politics: Ijaz

The S Branch of the ISI was involved in manipulating elections in Pakistan: Mansoor Ijaz

ISLAMABAD: The principal character in the memogate scandal, Mansoor Ijaz, has said that Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is under nobody’s control and always keeps its hand in politics.

In an interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria, Mr Ijaz said: “The ISI has two critical branches in it. One is called CT, for counter-terrorism, and the other one is called S Branch for strategic —it’s sort of the arm of the ISI that does everything from political interventions in other countries, for example, Afghanistan, which is what they’re doing through the Haqqani network and the Taliban right now.”

He said the ISI was an organ of the state that nobody could control. “And it is essentially the organ of the state that the army and the intelligence wings are using to, shall we say, coordinate or obstruct what it is that the political side of the government, the civilian side of the governments do in Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Ijaz said the ISI does a lot of political interventions in its own country as it has been reported in the past by Pakistani press that S Branch was involved in manipulating elections and doing things of that nature inside Pakistan.

“Now, there have been so many wrong things that have happened since the death of Bin Laden in the early part of May, so many things that indicated some hidden hand, if you will, in what was going on,” Mr Ijaz said.

Mansoor Ijaz, who claimed himself a ‘messenger’ for a memo from Pakistan’s civilian government to the Pentagon asking Washington to clamp down on Pakistan’s military, said he had been involved in different operations in Pakistan now for a very long time. However, he did not mention that what kind of operations these were. ….

Read more » DAWN.COM

‘Pakistani army is installing a dictatorship, without a coup’: Bruce Riedel

According to Bruce Riedel, “the Pakistani army is gradually installing a new military dictatorship, without even needing to resort to a coup”. Mr. Bruce Riedel says that “The new military dictatorship that is emerging in Pakistan will be very different from its predecessors.” He added “The facade of civilian government is likely to continue to go on… with very little real power. The media will continue to be very active and alive, except when they criticize the military.” ….

Read more » RUPEE NEWS

Pakistan recalls troops from border posts

By Rob Crilly, Islamabad and Ben Farmer in Kabul

Islamabad has already closed its borders to Nato supply convoys in protest and withdrawn from a Bonn conference to discuss the future of Afghanistan.

A US investigation into the incident is due to report on December 23.

Officials in Pakistan say an American major passed incorrect coordinates to his Pakistani counterpart for the air strike, an account which is not being disputed by American officers.

Major General Athar Abbas, Pakistan’s military spokesman, said the decision to recall officers from the joint border posts was not intended as a protest. …

Read more » telegraph.co.uk