The language of the talk show is urdu (Hindi).
Courtesy: SAMAA TV (News Beat with Meher Bokhari)
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
The flat out refusal of the Kurramis, who have lost over 1,200 souls since April 2007, to cede their territory and pride to the jihadists and their masters has thrown a wrench in the latter’s immediate plans. Having failed to dupe the citizenry, the establishment has elected to bring them to their knees by force
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani visited a tribal agency last week but he did not tender an apology to some local families, whose dear ones — including children — were killed by the Pakistan Army gunship helicopters this past September. Not that one was holding one’s breath for the general’s regrets but it would have presented some semblance of fairness given the Pakistan Army’s demands for apology and furore over the NATO choppers killing its troops in the same region during the same month. Well, life is not fair as it is, especially for the people of Kurram — the third largest Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).
The crime of these civilians, killed by their own army, was that they had been resisting the influx of foreign terrorists into their territory. Despite the claims put forth by the military about the NATO incursion, it is clear now that the latter had attacked the members of the Haqqani terrorist network who were using the village of Mata Sangar in Kurram to attack the ISAF posts in neighbouring Khost, Afghanistan. Reportedly, the de facto leader of the Haqqani network, Sirajuddin Haqqani, was in the region at the time of the NATO attack.
What has also become increasingly clear is that the Pakistani establishment is trying its level best to relocate its Haqqani network assets to the Kurram Agency in anticipation of an operation that it would have to start — under pressure from the US — in the North Waziristan Agency (NWA) sooner rather than later. This is precisely what the establishment had intended to do when it said that the NWA operation would be conducted in its own timeframe. The Taliban onslaught on the Shalozan area of Kurram, northeast of Mata Sangar, in September 2010 was part of this tactical rearrangement. When the local population reversed the Taliban gains in the battle for the village Khaiwas, the army’s gunships swooped down on them to protect its jihadist partners.
This is not the first time that the security establishment has attempted to use the Kurram Agency to provide transit or sanctuary to its Afghan Taliban allies. It did so during the so-called jihad of the 1980s and 1990s when the geo-strategic tip of the region called the Parrot’s Beak served as a bridgehead for operations against the neighbouring Afghan garrisons, especially Khost. In the fall of 2001, the Pakistan Army moved into Kurram and the Tirah Valley straddling the Khyber and Kurram agencies, ostensibly to block al Qaeda’s escape from the Tora Bora region. The Tirah deployment actually served as a diversion, as al Qaeda and key Afghan Taliban were moved through Kurram and in some instances helped to settle there. …
Read more : Daily Times
Former prime minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif with Najam Sethi on Pakistan’s foreign policy, India, Afghanistan, democracy and other issues. The language of interview is Urdu (Hindi).
By Fareed Zakaria
Faisal Shahzad, the would-be terrorist of Times Square, seems to have followed a familiar path. Like many recruits to jihad, he was middle-class, educated, seemingly assimilated — and then something happened that radicalized him. We may never be sure what made him want to kill innocent men, women and children. But his story shares another important detail with those of many of his predecessors: a connection to Pakistan.
More than meets the eye – Dr Manzur Ejaz
– BBC Urdu bulletins were banned in Pakistan without any justification
In the garb of performing a pious act by banning the most popular internet sites, the government has knocked out its critics. Now, Pakistanis are left at the mercy of the government or corporate media overwhelmed by religious ideologues
Pakistan has done it once again. From Morocco to Indonesia, nowhere did the public come out against the abominable act of depicting cartoons of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) except in Pakistan. Other than Pakistan, no other government, including theocracies in Saudi Arabia and Iran, keen on condemning the US in any way, have hurriedly shut down Facebook, YouTube or Twitter and several hundred sites on the pretext of the repulsive cartoons. Both Pakistan’s government and demonstrators have agendas other than reacting to these said cartoons.
The question was raised in my column a week back why most jihadis throwing bombs in other countries are traced back to Pakistan. Another question to raise is, why do only Pakistanis feel hurt when a lunatic publishes something in other countries? Are Pakistani Muslims the most honest, pious and God-fearing in the entire world? Every Pakistani knows in his or her heart that Pakistanis’ honesty and reverence for religion is a myth that is broken every day by corruption, nepotism, underhand dealings, cruelty to the poor and women and overblown greed. Therefore, Pakistanis taking the pain of safeguarding the entire Muslim world is quite hypocritical.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An army officer and a businessman have been detained as part of a widening inquiry into a circle of Pakistanis who had some knowledge of the activities of the man charged with trying to set off a crude car bomb in Times Square, according to a Western official and an American intelligence official.
It is time the Punjab government accepted the obvious and took urgent steps to dismantle the jihadi network whose tentacles are spreading throughout the province.
Southern Punjab has long been seen by independent observers as a hub for Punjabi militants who maintain close ties with the Taliban and travel to the tribal belt for both training and combat. The traffic, in fact, is two-way with Punjabi militants providing safe haven to Taliban commanders and fighters as and when needed. Yet, despite these clear linkages, the authorities in Lahore continue to deny the existence of the Punjabi Taliban. At the same time, the provincial law minister insists he did nothing wrong when he canvassed votes for a by-election in the company of known Jhang-based militants. This lingering state of denial is strengthening the hands of terrorists and jeopardising the security of not just Punjab but the country as a whole.
Two recent developments ought to stir the Punjab government into action. It was reported in the press on Monday that the Jhang police have registered an FIR against the district head of the outlawed Jaish-i-Mohammad for playing host to Taliban commanders when they visit the area. The FIR is based on police intelligence-gathering which found that the Taliban network is gaining ground rapidly in southern Punjab through the recruitment and fund-raising efforts of local militants in Jhang and nearby districts. Also on Monday, a Punjabi Taliban commander from Dera Ghazi Khan ‘surrendered’ to the Punjab police, ostensibly because he could no longer live with the knowledge that the suicide attacks he orchestrated had killed a large number of bystanders.
What more will it take to convince the provincial government that the Punjabi Taliban are a reality that cannot be wished away? Forget media reports, which authorities across the land routinely dismiss when the news doesn’t suit their taste. Remember that the Punjab police itself believe that militants operating under the Taliban umbrella are growing in strength. The provincial authorities can no longer evade this issue and deny the obvious. If they do, many could be prompted to ask where their sympathies lie.
Wednesday, 19 May, 2010
– Restive generals represent the backers of the Taliban and al-Qaeda – bad news for the war next door.
by: Tarek Fatah
Courtesy: Globe and Mail
A military coup is unfolding in Pakistan, but, this time, there is no rumbling of tanks on the streets of Islamabad. Instead, it seems the military is using a new strategy for regime change in Pakistan, one that will have adverse consequences for Western troops deployed in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON: Counting many elements, including terrorism and nuclear weapons, in Pakistan as causes of international worries, a former top US official has described the South Asian country as an “international migraine”. ( Watch )
“…my own sense is Pakistan has everything that gives you an international migraine. It has nuclear weapons, it has terrorism, extremists, corruption, very poor and it’s in a location that’s really, really important to us.
New intelligence report says Pakistan is ‘on the edge’
By Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott | McClatchy Newspapers
Courtesy and Thanks: McClatchy
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY
Severe economic crisis threatens Pakistan’s stability
Wave of violence worsens Pakistan’s security, economic crisis
WASHINGTON – A growing al Qaida-backed insurgency, combined with the Pakistani army’s reluctance to launch an all-out crackdown, political infighting and energy and food shortages are plunging America’s key ally in the war on terror deeper into turmoil and violence, says a soon-to-be completed U.S. intelligence assessment.
A U.S. official who participated in drafting the top secret National Intelligence Estimate said it portrays the situation in Pakistan as “very bad.” Another official called the draft “very bleak,” and said it describes Pakistan as being “on the edge.”
The first official summarized the estimate’s conclusions about the state of Pakistan as: “no money, no energy, no government.”
Six U.S. officials who helped draft or are aware of the document’s findings confirmed them to McClatchy on the condition of anonymity because NIEs are top secret and are restricted to the president, senior officials and members of Congress. An NIE’s conclusions reflect the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.