Tag Archives: Miranshah

PAKISTAN – Taliban claim killing 23 FC soldiers in custody

by Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants in Mohmand Agency on late Sunday night claimed to have killed 23 FC soldiers who were kidnapped in 2010 from Shongari checkpost in Mohmand Agency.

The Mohmand Agency Taliban chief Umar Khalid Khurrasani, in a letter issued on social media, claimed that they have killed the FC soldiers to avenge what he said was the custodial killing of Taliban fighters in various parts of Pakistan.

The letter, written in Urdu and attributed to Umar Khalid Khurrasani, says that the Taliban had warned against the killings of their activists.

Since the government has allegedly continued with the killings, the Taliban said in the letter that they have avenged the killing of their fighters by executing the 23 FC soldiers.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1087438/taliban-claim-killing-23-fc-soldiers-in-custody

The $120,000 farmhouse where the TTP chief was killed

By: AFP

MIRANSHAH: With marble floors, lush green lawns and a towering minaret, the $120,000 farm where feared Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud died in a US drone strike was no grubby mountain cave.

Mehsud spent his days skipping around Pakistan’s rugged tribal areas to avoid the attentions of US drones.

But his family, including two wives, had the use of an eight-roomed farmhouse set amid lawns and orchards growing apples, oranges, grapes and pomegranates.

As well as the single-storey house, the compound in Dandey Darpakhel village, five kilometres north of Miramshah, was adorned with a tall minaret, purely for decorative purposes.

Militant sources said the property in the North Waziristan tribal area was bought for Mehsud nearly a year ago for $120,000, a huge sum by Pakistani standards, by close aide Latif Mehsud, who was captured by the US in Afghanistan last month.

An AFP journalist visited the property several times when the previous owner, a wealthy landlord, lived there.

With the Pakistan army headquarters for restive North Waziristan just a kilometre away, locals thought of Mehsud’s compound as the “safest” place in a dangerous area.

Its proximity to a major military base recalls the hideout of Osama bin Laden in the town of Abbottabad, on the doorstep of Pakistan’s elite military academy.

“I saw a convoy of vehicles two or three times in this street but I never thought Hakimullah would have been living here. It was the safest place for us before this strike,” local shopkeeper Akhter Khan told AFP.

This illusion of safety was shattered on Friday when a US drone fired at least two missiles at Mehsud’s vehicle as it stood at the compound gate waiting to enter, killing the Pakistani Taliban chief and four cadres.

The area around Dandey Darpakhel is known as a hub for the Haqqani network, a militant faction blamed for some of the most high-profile attacks in Afghanistan in recent years.

Read more » DAWN
http://dawn.com/news/1054033

Drone kills TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud: intelligence officials

PESHAWAR: Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan tribal agency on Friday, intelligence officials said.

Pakistani intelligence officials have reported to their higher-ups that the Pakistani Taliban supremo was leaving from a meeting at a mosque Dande Darpakhel area of North Waziristan when the drone targeted their vehicle.

Five militants, including Abdullah Bahar Mehsud and Tariq Mehsud, both key militant commanders and close aides of the TTP chief, were also killed in the drone strike, multiple sources confirmed.

There was no confirmation from the Pakistani government or the Taliban yet of the deaths.

Dande Darpakhel area is located five kilometres (three miles) north of Miramshah, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal region, said to be a stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban.

The strike came a day after three insurgents were killed in another drone attack that also targeted a rebel compound near Miramshah. The US unmanned plane was still flying in the area after the attack.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said they were getting reports of the drone strike in North Waziristan agency. Condemning the strikes, he said these were aimed to sabotage efforts for establishing peace in the country.

“A delegation was about to be sent to talk to Taliban tomorrow (Saturday),” said the minister hinting that a “senior militant commander” may have been killed in today’s strike.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid earlier today said they have had “no contact” with the government, a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said a process to initiate peace talks had been started.

The incident comes a week after Sharif urged US President Barack Obama to stop drone strikes during a meeting in Washington.

The Pakistani defence ministry Wednesday said 317 US drone strikes in the country’s tribal areas had killed 67 civilians and 2,160 militants in Pakistan since 2008.

US drone attacks are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, but Washington sees them as a vital tool in the fight against militants in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

The Pakistani government has repeatedly protested against drone strikes as a violation of its sovereignty. But privately officials have been reported as saying the attacks can be useful in removing militants from the country.

This is a developing story and will be updated as reports come in

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/news/1053410

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Taliban leader ‘killed in strike’

Hakimullah Mehsud, head of the Pakistan Taliban, has been killed in a drone strike, security sources told Reuters.

The head of the Pakistani Tailban, Hakimullah Meshud, was among four people killed in a US drone strike in the North Waziristan region today, security sources have said.

Read more » ITv

Source – http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-11-01/head-of-pakistan-taliban-killed-in-drone-strike/

Five prisoners plotted attacks on Pakistan Army, “Prisoners arrested”

Five prisoners held over plotting attacks on Pakistan Army

RAWALPINDI: At least five prisoners were arrested from Bahawalpur and Adyala jails for their alleged involvement in a plot to carry out terrorist attacks on Army, Geo News reported on Wednesday.

According to sources, the arrestees were accused of conspiring to the attack troops and army top brass.

The accused, who had been detained in Bahawalpur and Adyala jails for the last 3 years, have been shifted to unknown location for further investigation.

The alleged plotters are reported to have links with proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leaders in Miranshah and Kohat.

Continue reading Five prisoners plotted attacks on Pakistan Army, “Prisoners arrested”

Taliban bodies are ‘returned to Pakistan for burial’ – BBC

The bodies of nine Taliban fighters, who slipped over the border and attacked a Nato convoy in Afghanistan, have been returned to Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area for burial. They were part of a 50-member group of fighters loyal to militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

Many vehicles were torched in the attack on the convoy in Afghanistan’s Khost province two weeeks ago. But the fighters were killed in a Nato air raid that followed the attack. Residents in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, told the BBC that the dead fighters were between 15 and 25 years old and were from the area.

Continue reading Taliban bodies are ‘returned to Pakistan for burial’ – BBC

Pakistan – Waziristan clashes ‘killed 19, injured 71’ in two days

North Waziristan clashes ‘killed 19, injured 71’ in two days

By: AFP

MIRANSHAH: Clashes between troops and militants in North Waziristan killed 19 soldiers and civilians, and wounded nearly 100 others, officials said Tuesday.

Violence flared Sunday when gunmen armed with rockets attacked a military convoy near Miranshah, the main town in the tribal district on the Afghan border.

Among the dead were 12 Pakistani soldiers, three of whom were captured and beheaded, a local intelligence official told AFP.

“Seven civilians, including two children and three women, were killed and 71 others were injured during two days of violence,” the official added.

At least 20 soldiers were also wounded, he said.

On Monday, helicopter gun-ships attacked a three-storey building housing weapons shops in Miranshah’s main bazaar, causing a huge fire, witnesses said.

Two other intelligence officials in the area confirmed the death toll of 19.  Officials on Monday had put the overall death toll at 15. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

US drone attack kills four militants in Pakistan: officials

By AFP

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — A US drone attack targetting a militant compound in Pakistan’s tribal area near the Afghan border killed four militants late Tuesday, security officials said.

Two missiles hit a compound on the outer skirts of Miranshah, in the North Waziristan region, killing four, one official said.

The attack triggered a fire in the building and flames could be seen from the roof of houses in Miranshah, five kilometres away, residents reported. The drone attack and the casualties were confirmed by two other security officials. …

Read more » Google News

United Arab Emirates of FATA

by Hakim Hazik

We will soon hold an amputee sports day in Miran Shah. The last one was planned for Orakzai, but was cancelled at the last minute because a stoning ceremony came up. No, no, this had nothing to do with personal toiletry according to religious injunctions. This means that a young man and a women convicted of playing doctor were stoned to death. Great fun …

Read more » ViewPoint

Behind Pakistan’s ‘Haqqani problem’

– Analysis » By Khaled Ahmed

The planned committee that will ensure that the APC statement is acted upon will have a tough time bringing the Haqqanis under control because in this instance the tail is wagging the dog

During the APC against America on 29 September 2011 in Islamabad, Maulana Samiul Haq said that the Haqqani network was ‘indigenous to Pakistan’. How could he say that except on the basis of the fact that both the founder of the Network, Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son the current commander Siraj, are graduates of his Madrassa Haqqania in Akora Khattak, Nowshehra, near Peshawar?

Continue reading Behind Pakistan’s ‘Haqqani problem’

‘Taliban and Anti Taliban’ – A People’s History of FATA

by Amit Julka

When I read Taj’s book, ‘Taliban and Anti Taliban’, I thought a more suitable title for the book would have been A People’s History of FATA, as it has much in common with Howard Zinn’s seminal work A People’s History of the United States. Both books narrate the story of a land from the point of view of the conquered, and not the conquerors. Both books seek to challenge the dominant narrative and conventional wisdom. The only difference is that Zinn’s Native Americans had been vanquished and exterminated about four centuries ago while Taj’s tribesmen are being systematically oppressed and exterminated as we speak.

And this is where the significance of the book lies. It presents the story of a people who have been often been regarded as savages and brutes from their eyes and not the eyes of those who wish to conquer them. FATA has often been termed as Pakistan’s dirty backyard. The state claims that the region is not under its control, and hence justifies oppression against the natives under the garb of the draconian FCR laws. The Americans say that the region is a haven for terrorists. However, no mainstream observer has bothered to tell the story of the people and the way they have been squeezed between the state and the Taliban.

The book starts with the chapter ‘Deconstructing Some Myths About FATA’. In this chapter, Taj questions two fundamental notions that outsiders have about the region and its people. Her first argument is that contrary to popular opinion, the people of FATA are not Taliban sympathizers. She argues that the widespread militant activities in the region have more to do with the state’s policy of treating the Taliban and their ilk as strategic assets. Thus, according to her, the Taliban and other jihadi groups have been imposed top-down and enjoy no popular support. On the contrary, she argues that it is the indigenous people of the region who have tried to resist them, and it is the state’s collusion with the militants that has changed the power structures in the region and destroyed tribal institutions like jirga and Pakhtunwali.

Her second argument is that the state’s attempt to portray the tribal areas as unruly and beyond its control is nothing but insidious propaganda. In fact, it is the state, and especially Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI that has repressed people through legal and extra-legal means. Moreover, she adds that the influx of militants from Afghanistan to Pakistan wouldn’t have been possible without the state’s collusion. This, she claims flies in the face of the state’s claim that some soldiers may have sympathised with the Taliban due to ethnic affiliation or other such factors. ….

Read more → ViewPoint

Pakistan warns US ‘no boots on our ground’

– By Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan would not tolerate any incursion on its territory by US forces targeting militant groups, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Thursday, calling for Washington to provide the intelligence Islamabad needs to take them out itself.

Malik also rejected US allegations that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency aids or has ties with the Taliban-allied Haqqani Network, a powerful guerrilla group that straddles the mountainous border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The Pakistan nation will not allow the boots on our ground, never. Our government is already cooperating with the US … but they also must respect our sovereignty,” he told Reuters in an interview, insisting that Islamabad wanted US intelligence, not troops, to root out insurgents inside Pakistan.

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, this week accused the ISI of using the Haqqani Network to wage a “proxy war” on NATO and Afghan troops in Afghanistan.

Some US intelligence reporting has alleged that the ISI specifically directed, or urged, the Haqqani Network to carry out last week’s attack on the US embassy and a NATO headquarters in Kabul, according to two US officials and a source familiar with recent US-Pakistan official contacts. ….

Read more→ The Express Tribune

From Lahore to Wana

By Nihan Saeed

Excerpt;

Religious extremism did not grow in Wana. Rather its origins can be traced to Punjab. The dagger which drew the first blood in the name of faith was used in Lahore and not in Miranshah. The wind of fanaticism had already swept through the land of five rivers before it shook the mighty Hindukush. ….

…. Yet another truth is that in this land of saints, communal hatred devoured a million lives in 1947. Six years later, it was again Punjab where houses of Ahmedis were torched. Also, Punjab staged the initial enactments of the gory drama of sectarian carnage in 1980s. …

Read more: DAWN.COM

U.S. DRONE ATTACKS ON PAKISTAN SUPPORTED BY PAKISTAN ARMY

 – Most of those killed in drone attacks were terrorists: military

General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood said in a briefing here: “Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it’s a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners.

By Zahir Shah Sherazi

MIRANSHAH: In a rather rare move, the Pakistan military for the first time gave the official version of US drone attacks in the tribal region and said that most of those killed were hardcore Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and a fairly large number of them were of foreign origin.

General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood said in a briefing here: “Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it’s a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners. …

Read more : DAWN

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/09/most-of-those-killed-in-drone-attacks-were-terrorists-military.html

Colonel Imam is gone!

Body of former ISI official found in North Waziristan

PESHAWAR: The body of former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) official Colonel (retired) Imam was found in the Dandi Darpakhel area of Miranshah, officials said on Sunday.

Colonel Sultan Amir Tarar aka known as Colonel Imam was kidnapped with former ISI official Khalid Khwaja and British Journalist Asad Qureshi from Miranshah in March 2010, where they were going to shoot a documentary on the Taliban. Imam had reportedly been kidnapped by the Asian Tigers and had later been handed over to militants from Haqqani network. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Siraj Haqqani moved to ‘secure safe house’ outside FATA

By Ali K. Chishti

Daily Times can confirm that Siraj Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, who had earlier been moved from Miranshah, North Waziristan to Kurram Agency, has been moved to a secure “safe house” outside FATA. The decision was taken after the September 27 NATO incursion near the village of Mata Sanger, which left two Pakistani FC guards dead.

“Apparently, Siraj Haqqani was pretty close at a safe-house when the NATO incursion at Kurram took place,” confirmed a top Western diplomat. It should be noted that Siraj Haqqani was earlier moved to Kurram Agency from Miranshah in North Waziristan after his brother, Mohammed, was killed in a US predator strike and another military commander, Saifullah Haqqani, was killed earlier this year.

The Haqqani network, which is considered as a ‘strategic asset’ by the Pakistani security establishment due to their considerable influence in Afghanistan, had first been moved to Kurram Agency where a new operation centre had been set up to intensify attacks in Afghanistan in co-ordination with a break away section of the Lakhkar-e-Tayyaba and other groups. It is now reported that the Shia tribes that make up most of the base for the Frontier Corps, who had earlier given most of the resistance to Gubuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami in Spina Shaga, have turned against the Haqqani network, who they see as an ideological threat to their existence. While most of the Pakistani mainstream media reported the recent clashes in Kurram Agency as ‘water wars’ between various tribal groups where more than 70 militants had been killed in strikes, it was in reality a section of the security establishment’s supporting pro-government tribal killings to pave a way for the Haqqanis. Daily Times can now confirm that it was a story to cover and allow the military to intervene on behalf of the Haqqanis, who are viewed as ‘strategic assets’ and ‘good Talibans’. ….

Read more : Daily Times