World Terror Watch - News and Discussions

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Singh, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Militants shoot down US drone in South Waziristan

    WANA: Taliban militants claimed to have shot down a US drone in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan on Saturday.

    Militants loyal to Taliban commander Maulvi Mohammad Nazir said the unmanned aircraft had crashed in a jungle after the attack and soldiers took away the wreckage.

    But security officials and political authorities disputed the Taliban’s claim, saying that teams dispatched to the area after the claim found no wreckage.

    Unconfirmed reports also said the drone had gone missing in an area near the Afghan border.

    Locals said they had seen a small plane flying over the area at low altitude, adding that militants resorted to heavy firing when they saw it. But they were unaware whether the plane was struck or not.

    Residents and a local police official said two drones were flying low over a village in South Waziristan when one of them was hit by militant fire.

    ‘We heard the firing by the Taliban and then a drone fell down,’ police official Israr Khan said.

    A security official said the drone crashed in a forest near a post on the Afghan border. ‘Apparently a drone has crashed in the nearby forest, we are searching for its wreckage,’ he added.

    An Army spokesman said reports of a drone crash were being investigated.

    ‘We have come to know that something has happened there, but we do not have any confirmation,’ Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said in Islamabad.

    ‘We are further investigating and trying to find out.’

    More than two dozen suspected US drone attacks have been carried out in Pakistan since August last year, killing more than 200 people, most of them militants.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect...n/nwfp/us-drone-believed-crashed-pakistan--qs
     
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  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    If it is missing then it went to China for reverse engineering :)
     
  4. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    India, Iran, Russia mull ways to take on Taliban

    India, Iran, Russia mull ways to take on Taliban

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India-Iran-Russia-mull-ways-to-take-on-Taliban/articleshow/4306744.cms
     
  5. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Pak should shift focus from India to curbing terror inside: US

    Warning that terrorists operating in safe havens in Pakistan were preparing to attack that country and Afghanistan, a top US military commander has asked Islamabad to change focus from fighting India to combating militants within its own borders.

    "The Taliban, in particular, are going both ways now," Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff, said.

    "They are coming towards Islamabad and they are actually going towards Kabul. I am completely convinced that the vast majority of leaders in Pakistan understands the seriousness of the threat".

    Mr. Mullen, who has worked extensively to build a relationship with Pakistani Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani, noted that the Pakistan army had difficulties transforming from its military that recruited, trained, deployed and promoted its officers on performance along the eastern front with India to one that focussed instead on terrorists within its own border.

    But, he admitted "that's not going to change overnight".

    His remarks come as the US Defence Department unveiled a $ 3-billion plan to train and equip Pakistan's military over the next five years, New York Times reported.

    The funds, the paper said, would pay for helicopters, night-vision goggles and other equipment and counter-insurgency training for Pakistan's special forces and paramilitary frontier corps.

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200904040342.htm

    Funny how they say that yet they allow Pakistan to spend the money any way they see fit. You see this is why America is not too popular in the world..sooner or later you have to pick sides and America is still trying to treat India and Pakistan like little children. It is just sad....
     
  6. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    13 People killed in suspected US attack in Paksistan

    AFP reports that a suspected US strike left 13 killed in Pakistan.

    The link and the report from the AFP follows:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jPHE176oYZAq2hsQSWppQttYdknw

    Suspected US strike kills 13 in Pakistan: official

    1 hour ago

    MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) — A suspected US missile strike killed 13 people including alleged Al-Qaeda militants in a Pakistan extremist stronghold on the Afghan border on Saturday, security officials said.

    The strike hit Datta Khel, a small town in the semi-autonomous tribal area of North Waziristan, a known hotbed of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, at around 3:00am (2200 GMT Friday).

    It was not immediately clear whether any high-value targets were killed.

    "The death toll is 13, including some foreigners, but information is very sketchy because it's a town which is very remote," one security official said on condition of anonymity, updating an earlier figure of eight dead.

    Pakistani officials use the word "foreigner" to refer to suspected Al-Qaeda fighters, but the precise identities of the dead were not confirmed.

    "Thirteen people were killed. Ten of them are militants and the identity of the other three -- whether they are militants or civilians -- is not yet confirmed," a local official told AFP, also on condition of anonymity.

    The local official said the compound that was hit belonged to Tariq Khan, a local Wazir tribesman described as a "facilitator of Taliban."

    Taliban sealed off the area and prevented local residents from accessing the site, on the border with Afghanistan.

    North and South Waziristan are strongholds of Pakistan's Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on a police academy Monday that he said was in retaliation for missile attacks.

    Saturday's strike came three days after a US missile attack on an alleged Taliban and Al-Qaeda training centre killed up to 12 militants.

    More than 35 missile strikes have killed over 350 people since August 2008, fanning hostility against the United States and the government in Pakistan, where nearly 1,700 people have died in extremist bombings in two years.

    The US military does not, as a rule, confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy drones in the region.

    Saturday's attack was the second since US President Barack Obama unveiled a sweeping new strategy to defeat Islamist militants in south Asia, putting Pakistan at the heart of the fight against Al-Qaeda.

    Speaking in London on Thursday, Obama reiterated that he was "very concerned" about extremists in the border regions of nuclear-armed Pakistan.

    Pakistan has protested that the strikes violate its territorial sovereignty and deepen resentment among its 160 million people.

    The foreign ministry has said it will take up the issue of missile attacks during a visit by Washington's Afghanistan and Pakistan troubleshooter Richard Holbrooke when he visits Islamabad next week.

    The lawless tribal areas of northwest Pakistan have been beset by violence since hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters sought refuge there after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001.
     
  7. screwterrorists

    screwterrorists Founding Member

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    im surprised its only the second strike since obama took over.
    i was actually hoping he would be more action inclined.
    in his debates he explicitly stated Pakistan-Afghanistan region as the region of concern.

    hopefully we'll see more in the future. Effective ones that is.
     
  8. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    ANALYSIS: Making the Obama plan work for Pakistan

    Following an inter-agency review and intensive consultations with stakeholders, President Obama recently announced his much-awaited plan to deal with the situation in Afghanistan. He has proposed $1.5 billion every year over the next five years for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.

    Since there is no such thing as free lunch, he wants the government of Pakistan to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al Qaeda and related terrorist outfits, and in particular eliminate their “safe havens” in Pakistan as a quid pro quo.

    The Pakistani government has welcomed the new initiative and has promised to cooperate with the Obama administration. However, it has at the same time certain reservations that it has conveyed to the Chairman US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Mike Mullen and the special American envoy on Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke who are currently on a visit to Pakistan.

    Let us begin by looking at the new plan’s details and how it differs from the Bush strategy.

    First, Obama’s aid commitment is conditional as it is contingent on the Pakistani government’s performance in taking care of the terrorists. Second, it proposes to set up an oversight mechanism by appointing an inspector-general to monitor the aid utilisation. Third, it promotes a people-oriented approach, “to avoid the mistakes of the past, [the] relationship is grounded in support for Pakistan’s democratic institutions and the Pakistani people.” Fourth, for purposes of conflict resolution, it proposes to bring together all nations that have a stake in the security of the region. Finally, it treats Afghanistan and Pakistan as one theatre of war, known as AfPak.

    It is obvious that the Obama strategy in tactical terms is diametrically opposed to that of the Bush administration.

    Of all the differences, the one that in practical terms may affect Pakistan the most is the linkage of American aid with the Pakistani government’s performance. The explanation for this shift in American policy lies in the mistrust that the Obama administration has towards the ISI and the Pakistan Army, which, in its opinion, oppose the Pakistani Taliban but support the Afghan Taliban.

    For this reason, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal recently severely lambasted the two institutions, as did the head of the CENTCOM General Petraeus, Admiral Mullen and Secretary of Defence Gates.

    The Obama administration proposes to use conditional aid to force the ISI and the Army to provide unstinted support in the fight against terrorism. It is noteworthy that the Bush administration apparently also nursed mistrust towards these institutions but despite pressure from Congress and the media was loath to use aid as an instrument to make Pakistan “do more”.

    Are these charges against the ISI and the Pakistan army justified?

    The US administration is convinced that they are. The American view is that Mullah Omar, Hekmatyar and Haqqani networks enjoy the ISI’s support. US intelligence agencies claim that last spring, they intercepted messages in which Pakistan’s army chief referred to the Afghan militant commander Jalaluddin Haqqani as a “strategic asset”.

    As far as the Haqqani network is concerned, the US administration believes that it has been behind several attacks in Afghanistan, including a truck bombing in Khost in January 2008 that killed two US soldiers; the storming of the Serena Hotel in Kabul in January 2008 during the visit of a high level Norwegian delegation; and the suicide attack last July on the Indian embassy in Kabul which left over fifty Afghan civilians and two senior Indian officials dead.

    The Pakistani government denies that it promotes the Taliban but admits that it keeps contacts with terrorist networks in order to keep tabs on them. It also contends that if any ISI personnel are involved in supporting the Afghan Taliban, they must be rogue junior rank elements operating on their own and without official knowledge or blessing.

    On balance, the American charge seems to carry considerable weight. How do we explain Pakistan’s duplicitous conduct?

    Pakistan, like the US, is also concerned about the menace of terrorism and is desperate to get rid of it. However, while cooperating with the US, it is not prepared to lose sight of what it considers certain inexorable realities, one of which is its conviction that sooner than later the US will withdraw from Afghanistan; and that it would have to deal with the debris left behind in the shape of Taliban hostile towards Pakistan. To obviate such an eventuality, Pakistan wants to retain the goodwill of Taliban groups on whom it can count after the American withdrawal.

    If Pakistan is duplicitous in its policy, so is the US. This is testified by the fact that on two occasions, the Pakistani government pointed out the specific location of the warlord Baitullah Mehsud, who has wreaked havoc in Pakistan, and asked for strikes against him, but the Americans refused to oblige.

    Here, the question arises whether or not aid with strings attached could make Pakistan buckle under the American pressure and toe the US line. It looks highly unlikely that Pakistan would jettison what it perceives to be in its national interest. This could put the two governments on a collision course with each other, which would spell disaster for Pakistan and the region.

    The best way to get Pakistan to cooperate is to find the reasons why it is so keen to retain influence in Afghanistan and try to meet its concerns, if well-founded. The explanation for this is that the Pakistani military establishment, which feels threatened by India, dreads the installation of a hostile government in Kabul doing India’s bidding. It already accuses India, which has a huge presence in Kabul, of fuelling insurgency in Balochistan and FATA through its consulates. Many have disputed these allegations.

    However, the other day, American scholar Christine Fair in a discussion on the Foreign Affairs website, on the basis of supposedly impeccable evidence, divulged that Indian consulates are indeed involved in supporting insurgency in Balochistan.

    What is the best way, then, to make Pakistan provide full support? The answer lies in the US putting pressure on India to work out a solution of the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. Obama is convinced of the soundness of this proposition as during the campaign he himself launched the idea with the view to making Pakistan fully focus on the Western border. He also proposed the appointment of a special envoy on Kashmir; he later backed off from this idea in the face of Indian opposition.

    There are now reports that Obama administration is thinking of linking aid to Pakistan’s commitment not to shift its troops to the eastern border. It is highly unlikely that the Pakistani government will ever accept such conditionality. The most effective way to get Pakistan’s unstinted cooperation for Obama is to fulfil his election campaign pledge on Kashmir. Without doing so, the linking of aid with performance may not work.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\04\08\story_8-4-2009_pg3_2
     
  9. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Pak: 60 drone hits kill 14 al-Qaeda men, 687 civilians

    ISLAMABAD: Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent.

    Figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities show that a total of 701 people, including 14 al-Qaeda leaders, have been killed since January 2006 in 60 American predator attacks targeting the tribal areas of Pakistan. Two strikes carried out in 2006 had killed 98 civilians while three attacks conducted in 2007 had slain 66 Pakistanis, yet none of the wanted al-Qaeda or Taliban leaders could be hit by the Americans right on target.

    However, of the 50 drone attacks carried out between January 29, 2008 and April 8, 2009, 10 hit their targets and killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda operatives. Most of these attacks were carried out on the basis of intelligence believed to have been provided by the Pakistani and Afghan tribesmen who had been spying for the US-led allied forces stationed in Afghanistan.

    The remaining 50 drone attacks went wrong due to faulty intelligence information, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children. The number of the Pakistani civilians killed in those 50 attacks stood at 537, in which 385 people lost their lives in 2008 and 152 people were slain in the first 99 days of 2009 (between January 1 and April 8).

    Of the 50 drone attacks, targeting the Pakistani tribal areas since January 2008, 36 were carried out in 2008 and 14 were conducted in the first 99 days of 2009. Of the 14 attacks targeting Pakistan in 2009, three were carried out in January, killing 30 people, two in February killing 55 people, five in March killing 36 people and four were conducted in the first nine days of April, killing 31 people.

    Of the 14 strikes carried out in the first 99 days of April 2009, only one proved successful, killing two most wanted senior al-Qaeda leaders - Osama al Kini and Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan. Both had lost their lives in a New Year’s Day drone strike carried out in the South Waziristan region on January 1, 2009.

    Kini was believed to be the chief operational commander of al-Qaeda in Pakistan and had replaced Abu Faraj Al Libi after his arrest from Bannu in 2004. Both men were behind the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, which killed 224 civilians and wounded more than 5,000 others.

    There were 36 recorded cross-border US predator strikes inside Pakistan during 2008, of which 29 took place after August 31, 2008, killing 385 people. However, only nine of the 36 strikes hit their actual targets, killing 12 wanted al-Qaeda leaders. The first successful predator strike had killed Abu Laith al Libi, a senior military commander of al-Qaeda who was targeted in North Waziristan on January 29, 2008. The second successful attack in Bajaur had killed Abu Sulayman Jazairi, al-Qaeda’s external operations chief, on March 14, 2008. The third attack in South Waziristan on July 28, 2008, had killed Abu Khabab al Masri, al-Qaeda’s weapons of mass destruction chief. The fourth successful attack in South Waziristan on August 13, 2008, had killed al-Qaeda leader Abdur Rehman.

    The fifth predator strike carried out in North Waziristan near Miranshah on Sept 8, 2008 had killed three al-Qaeda leaders, Abu Haris, Abu Hamza, and Zain Ul Abu Qasim. The sixth successful predator hit in the South Waziristan region on October 2008 had killed Khalid Habib, a key leader of al-Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army.

    The seventh such attack conducted in North Waziristan on October 31, 2008 had killed Abu Jihad al Masri, a top leader of the Egyptian Islamic group. The eighth successful predator strike had killed al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Azzam al Saudi in east of North Waziristan on November 19, 2008.

    The ninth and the last successful drone attack of 2008, carried out in the Ali Khel region just outside Miramshah in North Waziristan on November 22, 2008, had killed al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubair al Masri and his Pakistani fugitive accomplice Rashid Rauf.

    According to the figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities, a total of 537 people have been killed in 50 incidents of cross-border US predator strikes since January 1, 2008 to April 8, 2009, averaging 34 killings per month and 11 killings per attack. The average per month killings in predator strikes during 12 months of 2008 stood at 32 while the average per attack killings in the 36 drone strikes for the same year stood at 11.

    Similarly, 152 people have been killed in 14 incidents of cross-border predator attacks in the tribal areas in the first 99 days of 2009, averaging 38 killings per month and 11 killings per attack.

    http://www.geo.tv/4-10-2009/39476.htm
     
  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Diplomatic Surge: Can Obama's Team Tame the Taliban?

    Diplomatic Surge: Can Obama's Team Tame the Taliban?

    By Joe Klein

    Admiral Mike Mullen is an odd one. He eschews the crisp, classic aura of command; he comes across as a no-drama, common-sense-dispensing country doctor from downstate Illinois (actually, he's the son of prominent show-biz publicists from Los Angeles). But as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mullen is still the highest-ranking U.S. military officer, and so it was a bit disconcerting to see him taking flak from a group of Afghan farmers and international agricultural experts in Kabul the first week in April. "The military is giving away free wheat seed to Afghan farmers, and that's undermining our efforts," said an expert whose USAID-supported program gave farmers vouchers to buy seeds, which was helping build a secondary market of seed- and farm-supply businesses.

    Instead of taking umbrage, Mullen took notes. In fact, he seemed close to excited as ideas flew around the table. It was not the normal fare for an admiral, but agriculture — specifically, how to get Afghan farmers to plant something other than opium poppies — is a central issue in this very complicated war. Mullen was thrilled to hear positive news about the relative merits of wheat and pomegranates, and the success of U.S. Army National Guard farmer-soldier teams, which were helping to plant and protect in remote Afghan districts. "There are possibilities here we couldn't imagine a year ago," the admiral said at the end of the meeting. "So please keep thinking about how we can do this. Let your minds run free."

    Welcome to the U.S. military in the Age of Obama. Indeed, Mullen's tour of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India was quietly significant in a number of ways. The trip was organized and led by the State Department's indefatigable special representative, Richard Holbrooke, with Mullen happily playing second fiddle (except in the closed-door meetings with Afghan and Pakistani military leaders) — a striking reversal of fortune after the Pentagon dominance of the Bush years. It was a demonstration of the Obama emphasis on diplomacy and economic development, a strategy that tracks with the military's new counterinsurgency tactics — "We've developed the best counterinsurgency capability in the world," Mullen said several times — that focus on protecting the public and building civil order. And so, in addition to the usual round of private meetings with government officials, Holbrooke convened a breathtaking parade of farmers, Afghan tribal leaders, women legislators, rule-of-law advocates, journalists, the local diplomatic corps, religious leaders; and then a similar roundelay in Pakistan. Mullen seemed amazed and somewhat nonplussed by Holbrooke, who is the David Petraeus of diplomats, a constant source of energy and creativity — and occasionally controversy, since he is not, shall we say, a country-doctor sort of guy.

    Most of the meetings were brutally candid, and often risky for the Afghan and Pakistani participants — we journalists were asked not to reveal their names for their own safety. Obviously, these were the most pro-American Afghans, willing to come to the U.S. embassy for a meeting, but they included former Taliban and, in one case, a former prisoner at Guantánamo. "We told our people that there was a difference between the Americans and the Russians," said one tribal leader, part of a fierce-eyed, intensely dignified group of Pashtuns. "But you are now stepping in the steps of the Russians, bombing and invading houses. We defeated the Russians with your weapons ... But now the money you are paying the Pakistanis is being used against us and also you," he said, referring to the general belief, shared by Afghan tribes and the U.S. military, that the Taliban is being supported by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI).

    The difficulty of the war was made apparent in a meeting several of us had with Hanif Atmar, the Afghan Minister of the Interior, who had a dramatic map of his country on display, colored according to threat levels — a broad slash of red (highest level) running across the southern half, bordering Pakistan. Indeed, two-thirds of Helmand province, the prime poppy-growing area, was colored black, which meant it is in Taliban control. Helmand and its neighbor, Kandahar province, is where most of the 17,000 additional U.S. troops are headed. They will arrive just as the poppy crop has been harvested, the moment when many rural Afghans trade their ploughs for rifles and "fighting season" commences, a term that Admiral Mullen doesn't like — there were Taliban attacks through the winter — but which will be all too apparent from the expected surge in U.S. casualties this summer.

    Atmar described a series of new efforts to curb police corruption — although he was much less forthcoming about the Karzai government's buckraking — and some of the programs, especially those that paired local police with NATO mentoring teams, seemed quite promising. Indeed, right now Afghanistan is bristling with new ideas, and the slightest sliver of hope. It is, of course, easy to be deluded by a handful of pro-Western Afghans who hazard a visit to the U.S. embassy, but there is a quality of pride and independence to these people — a consequence of their never having been successfully colonized, I'd bet — that makes a good-faith effort to help them toward stability seem almost plausible ... if it weren't for the presence of the world's most dangerous extremists, who are running the Afghan insurgency from just across the border in Pakistan.

    If Afghanistan seems a bit better than expected, Pakistan appears much worse. There are terrorist attacks — some quite spectacular — almost every day, but the fragile democratic government of Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, seems unwilling to admit the extent of the problem. "The terrorist threat is a cancer eating my country," Zardari told the small group of journalists accompanying the Mullen-Holbrooke mission, as he sat in his office, flanked by dramatic photos of his wife. It was a good line, but unsupported by anything resembling a strategy to combat the disease. When we asked about the role of his intelligence service in feeding the cancer, he responded, "The germ was created by the CIA." True enough, but somewhat dated. "Your government called them the 'moral equivalent of George Washington,' " he said, referring to the mujahedin who defeated the Soviets. True again — and U.S. complicity in the creation of al-Qaeda shouldn't be forgotten — but the game changed after the Russians were kicked out of Afghanistan and the terrorists focused their attention on both the U.S. and Pakistan, where they now reside. Zardari insisted the presence of Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar on Pakistani soil wasn't his fault. "They were pushed [into Pakistan] by your great military offensive [in Afghanistan]," he said sarcastically. "For seven years nothing has happened, and now we are weak and you are unable to do anything about it ... I've lost my wife, my friends, the support of my countrymen ... and in eight years you haven't been able to eliminate the cancer."

    Zardari's helplessness reflected one reality — the Pakistani army holds the real power in the country — but it also fed the parallel reality of an infantile political class, constantly squabbling, incapable of acting effectively even in a dire crisis. Holbrooke and Mullen saw it firsthand when a shouting match broke out before dinner at the U.S. embassy between a prominent Zardari aide and a leading member of the lawyers' group that had successfully forced the reinstatement of Pakistan's Chief Justice. "They're both moderate, secular leaders," one of those present commented later. "They should be focused on the desperate threat facing their nation instead of fighting each other." (Read "Viral Video Raises Taliban Fears in Pakistan.")

    Indeed, the meetings that Holbrooke and Mullen had with Pakistani civic leaders were far less hopeful than the meetings in Afghanistan. The local journalists seemed more intent on defending the Pakistani army and intelligence services ("Why are you always beating up on the ISI?") than on the threat that terrorists posed to their country. The war was an American war, an American problem — even though the terrorists had allegedly tried to blow up the entire Pakistani Cabinet in a bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Sept. 20.

    But the most telling meeting was with young adults, many of them students, from the northwest tribal areas. A young man said he had known one of those killed in a Predator drone strike. "You killed 10 members of his family," he said. Another said the refugees created by the Predator strikes had destabilized his village. "Are many of them Taliban?" Holbrooke asked.

    "We are all Taliban," the young man replied. It seemed a statement of solidarity, not affiliation, but as a way of revealing how mixed loyalties and deep resentments make Pakistan so difficult to handle, it was shocking all the same.

    Find this article at:
    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1890262,00.html
     
  11. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.counterpunch.org/pirbhai04102009.html
     
  12. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    US expands war into Pakistan

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13116
     
  13. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Militants torch trucks along US-NATO supply line

    About 150 militants armed with rockets and automatic weapons attacked a transport terminal in northwestern Pakistan that lies along a key supply route used by U.S. and NATO troops, wounding three guards and torching eight cement trucks Sunday, police said.

    Militants in Pakistan frequently attack cargo terminals and other stops used by vehicles taking supplies to Western troops in Afghanistan through the legendary Khyber Pass.

    Scores of trucks have been damaged and several people have died, adding urgency to U.S. efforts to find safer supply routes.

    The latest attack started around 2 a.m. on the outskirts of the main northwestern city of Peshawar, local police officer Gharibullah Khan told The Associated Press.

    "They fired rockets and used automatic weapons and torched at least eight trailers carrying cement," he said.

    A gunbattle at the scene wounded three guards, one of whom was in critical condition, Khan said.

    Also Sunday, a government official said captors had freed Satish Anand, a renowned filmmaker kidnapped about six months ago in the southern city of Karachi, in Bannu, a district in Pakistan's northwest.

    Kidnappings have increased in parts of Pakistan as the security situation has deteriorated. Some of the money from the criminal enterprise is believed to help fund the insurgency.

    Anand is a member of Muslim-majority Pakistan's small Hindu community and the uncle of Juhi Chawla, a Bollywood actress and beauty queen. He owns a large studio that makes feature films and TV soap operas.

    Sharfuddin Memon, the head of the Citizens' Police Liasion Committee, would not say if a random was paid for the Saturday night release but that the groups involved had links to lawless tribal regions in northwestern Pakistan, where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds.

    "The groups include both the extremists and the criminals," Memon told AP.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_pakistan


    hmm....how do we fix this menace...wait I know, lets give Pakistan another 5 billion to fight those terrorists....and just for good measure, we will let them spend that money on German Diesel-electric subs...superb plan Obama!!!
     
  14. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Stealth UAV surfaces in Kandahar

    Stealth UAV surfaces in Kandahar


    Posted by Bill Sweetman at 4/10/2009 9:25 AM CDT
    Credit where credit is due: Steve Trimble reported the first flight of General Atomics' Predator C earlier this week, and now Shephard's Darren Lake has an artist's concept of what looks like a stealthy UAV or UCAV that was sighted at Kandahar recently - pictures apparently exist but have not been published.

    Interesting question: are these events connected?

    GA-ASI's jet has been in the works for years. The Predator B/Reaper was designed from the outset to accept either the Honeywell turboprop on the current aircraft or a Williams FJ44 turbofan, and the jet was almost ready to fly around the time of 9/11. However, due to strong interest from customers, this first Predator C was converted back to a prop job. Not long afterwards - I think it was Farnborough 2002 - GA-ASI boss Tom Cassidy was saying that the C had morphed into a new design.

    Since then, it's been waiting for a customer and held back by the demands of the Reaper program - but its first flight and unveiling follows actions by two California congressmen to earmark funds to build two aircraft for deployment to Afghanistan, and as one of them comments, it will provide "strike" capability and "an additional covert capability."

    So has someone made a quick deliberate security slip-up in Kandahar, as if to say: "Thanks, Congressman, but we've already got one of those"?

    As for the Kandahar beast itself, it's hard to draw firm conclusions from a sketch based on a picture of unknown quality.

    However, if it's operating out of Kandahar, it's a good first-order bet that the targets are in regions covered by Pakistani radar, since it's also a reasonable assumption that there might be a Pakistan AF radar tech or two whose allegiance is not where one would ideally like it to be.

    But the same applies to a lot of people living around Kandahar, so one might also surmise that the mystery aircraft might be a bit short of range. (Otherwise, there are more secure bases in the UAE and Qatar.) A tech demo, quickly pressed into service, perhaps?

    The impression gives no good clues as to the UAV's parentage. Four US groups are known to have built all-wing UAVs in the past decade-plus: Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Abe Karem's Frontier Systems, which competed for the Global Hawk contract as a team-mate with Loral and built a subscale demonstrator of its W570 design. For that matter, it could be British: BAE Systems flew its Corax demonstrator back in 2005.

    By the way, this also confirms the comment in the last paragraph of this post from last month.
    http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs...StampAscending

    This was mainly brought to A'stan because to attack inside Pak terittory with out being tracked PAF's Radars.
     
  15. vijaytripoli

    vijaytripoli Regular Member

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    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_htvjsmtPrmc/SeGw.../MysteryUAV.jpg

    Afghanistan maybe the testing ground for a new, advanced but as yet undisclosed UCAV programme. Pictures shown exclusively to Unmanned Vehicles magazine and taken at an airbase in the war-torn country reveal a large flying wing-type design, adopted by UCAV designers, but not yet seen on an operational type. The image shown in the link below has been drawn directly from the photograph but none of the experts consulted by UV had any concrete idea of what the system might be.The image shown to UV was taken from a long distance, as the aircraft taxied in on a hazy day, but the image was clear enough to show that this UAV’s design is like no other UAV in current operational service.


    Amongst the distinctive features of the type is the ‘fat’ wing chord, and a large central fuselage fairing. The aircraft engine nozzle is the same half moon shape as the Lockheed P175 Pole Cat, but the wing is not cranked on its trailing edge like the Pole Cat is. The fuselage fairing could support a large squared off intake, but is more likely to house a large satellite communications and sensor mix. Two large blisters either side of the central fairing are likely to the intakes for a single turbofan engine. These features probably won’t help the aircraft’s radar cross-section, although this probably isn’t important considering the theatre of operations in which it is flying.
    The large doors inboard of the main landing gear may be bomb bay doors, indicating a strike capability for the type.


    There are clearly the technological capabilities to build something like this inside Northrop Grumman, Boeing or Lockheed Martin. Looking at the shaping, our analyst said he would be inclined to think this comes from either Northrop or Lockheed. The shaping is also suggestive of UCAV concepts around the start of the 2000s.There is a whole raft of wing design work that has gone on since 2002 in terms of how the X-47B has evolved, and the sorts of designs that Boeing was working with prior to the ending of that effort.
     
  16. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Another U.S. drone hits militant camp in Pakistan.

    U.S. drone hits militant camp in Pakistan



    WANA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A missile fired on Sunday by a pilotless U.S. drone struck a militant camp in Pakistan's South Waziristan region on the Afghan border but there were no reports of casualties, security officials said.
    The drone strike came a day after a suicide-car bomber killed 27 soldiers and two passers-by in an attack on a military convoy in the northwest. Pakistani Taliban said the bombing was a reaction to U.S. drone attacks.
    "It was a training camp. At the moment, we're trying to get information from the site," said one security official in the region, who declined to be identified.
    Another security official said the camp was being used by militants from Pakistan's Punjab province.
    Residents said the compound was empty as militants had left it hours before the strike.
    "The drones were flying last night and we saw those living in the house leaving in the dark," said villager Kaleem Wazir.
    "The building has been destroyed completely and there's just a vehicle parked inside. There's no dead body, no wounded."
    The United States, frustrated by an intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan getting support from the Pakistani side of the border, began launching more drone attacks last year.
    Since then, about 35 U.S. strikes have killed about 350 people, including mid-level al Qaeda members, according to reports from Pakistani officials, residents and militants.
    Pakistan objects to the strikes. Officials say about one in six of the strikes over the past year caused civilian deaths without killing any militants, and that fuels anti-U.S. sentiment, complicating the military's struggle to subdue violence.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsO...53I09520090419
     
  17. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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  18. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Pak Taliban: From A Bunch Of Suicide Bombers To A Conventional Army

    Pak Taliban: From A Bunch Of Suicide Bombers To A Conventional Army

    By B. Raman

    Like the Neo Taliban of Afghanistan, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has evolved in less than a year from a bunch of suicide bombers to a conventional army capable of set-piece, stand and fight battles with the Pakistani Army and para-military forces. This conversion has been facilitated by the recruitment of a large number of retired Pashtun ex-servicemen living in the Pashtun tribal belt in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and in the Malakand Division of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). The Swat Valley and the Buner District, less than a hundred kms from Islamabad, which was occupied by the TTP earlier this week without any resistance from the local security forces, form part of the Malakand Division.

    2. The agreement signed earlier this year by the coalition Government in the NWFP headed by the Awami National Party (ANP) with Sufi Mohammad of the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-a-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), which is a constituent unit of the TTP, for the introduction of Sharia courts covers the entire Division, consisting of seven districts and not just Swat. Now that the agreement, despite strong criticism from abroad, has been got approved by Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani by the National Assembly and signed by President Asif Ali Zardari, the TNSM has lost no time in expanding its control to areas of the Malakand Division outside Swat. The occupation of the Buner district is the beginning. The occupation of the other districts will follow.

    3. What should be of great concern to both India and the US is that the TTP, which was seen till recently as merely a collection of young suicide bombers with limited capability for territorial control and dominance through conventional forces, has started demonstrating that it has evolved into a conventional army, which can fight, occupy and administer territory. Thus, the TTP has evolved into a mirror image of the Neo Taliban. It shares with the Neo Taliban its objective of fighting for the defeat of the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. At the same time, it has its own independent agenda of expanding its territorial and ideological dominance to other areas of the Pashtun belt in the NWFP initially and then to non-Pashtun areas. The Neo Taliban does not approve of this independent agenda, but does not oppose it actively.

    4. The Pakistan Army headed by Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, its Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), has shown neither the will nor the inclination to counter the advance of the TTP and then roll it back. It is not Kayani’s worries about what could happen on the Indian border, which have come in the way of a vigorous response to the TTP’s military advance. It is his worries over the continuing loyalty of the Pashtun soldiers, who constitute about 20 per cent of the Army, and of the Frontier Corps and the Frontier Constabulary, which are responsible for his anxiety and keenness to make peace with the TTP. The Frontier Corps and the Frontier Constabulary consist predominantly of Pashtun soldiers recruited in the FATA and the NWFP, officered by deputationists from the Army. These units have been showing less and less inclination to fight the TTP. They have been either avoiding a confrontation with the TNSM and the TTP or in some cases just deserting and surrendering to the TTP units.

    5. According to reliable sources in the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), it is pressure from an alarmed Kayani to reach an accommodation with the TNSM and the TTP, which set in motion the negotiations with Sufi Mohammad and the developments that have followed. The Army and the para-military forces have already conceded territorial control to the TTP in the FATA and in the Malakand Division of the NWFP. By re-locating his forces and by reducing the Army’s presence in these areas already under the domination of the TNSM and the TTP, Kayani is reportedly hoping to prevent an ingress of the Pakistani Taliban into other parts of the NWFP and beyond.

    6. The objectives of the TTP are presently limited to ideological unity of all Muslims in Pakistan based on the Sharia and the ethnic unity of all the Pashtuns in the Af-Pak region to wage a relentless jihad against the US-led NATO forces till they vacate Afghanistan. It has the motivation and intention to extend its ideological influence to non-Pashtun areas too, but is not yet in a position to establish territorial dominance in those areas. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of Altaf Hussain apprehends that the TTP wants to set up a strong presence in Karachi, which has the largest Pashtun community in Pakistan after Peshawar.

    7. Confronted with the worsening ground situation in the NWFP and with the danger of a possible collapse of the strategy of President Barack Obama even before it was taken up for implementation, the US is acting like a cat on a hot tin roof. There have been understandable cries of alarm not only from Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, and Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, but also from White House spokesmen. Cries of alarm and the preparation of yet another national intelligence estimate on Pakistan alone will not help. What is urgently required is a national intelligence estimate on US policy-making towards Pakistan, which has been leading it from one critical situation to another.

    8. A study of the course of US policy-making would show how those Pakistani leaders who are toasted one day as frontline allies against extremism and terrorism turn out to be either accomplices of terrorism or capitulators to terrorists and extremists the next day. Pervez Musharraf belonged to the first category. Zardari belongs to the second. Despite nearly 60 years of close US interactions with the political and military leaderships in Pakistan, the US has not been able to acquire any enduring influence over policy-making circles in Islamabad. The US has very little to show in terms of changed policies in Islamabad in return for its unending pampering of successive regimes in Islamabad with the injection of more and more money and military equipment. The time has come to stop pampering, but there is a reluctance in the Obama Administration---as there was in the preceding Bush Administration--- to do so due to fears that a stoppage of US assistance and pampering may result in a failed state with the control of its nuclear arsenal falling into the hands of the jihadis.

    9. Unfortunately, the situation in Pakistan has reached a stage where the outcome---ultimate jihadi control of the State and its nuclear arsenal--- may be the same whatever the US does----whether it continues pampering or stops doing so. It is a thankless dilemma. It is easy to criticize the US strategy or the lack of it, but difficult to suggest a viable alternative. The starting point of an alternative strategy has to be a cordon sanitaire around the areas already under the control of the TTP and a crash programme for the economic development of the Pashtun areas not yet controlled by the Taliban. Obama’s plans to spend billions of dollars in the areas of the FATA already under the control of Al Qaeda and the Taliban would produce no enduring results except to waste the US taxpayers’ money. This money should be better spent on immunizing those areas where the influence of the Taliban has not yet spread.

    10. An equally important point of the strategy should be to step up the US Predator strikes in the FATA and to extend them to Swat in order to keep the Al Qaeda and Taliban elements running for cover all the time and make it difficult for them to plan new strikes and get them executed.

    11. The third point of the strategy should be to restore to the Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan its original role of primacy as the internal intelligence and internal security agency of Pakistan. Over the years, the IB has been reduced to the position of a powerless appendage of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and its top ranks militarized through the induction of serving and retired military officers. This has to be reversed.

    12. These are medium and long-term measures, which would take time to produce results. The questions requiring an immediate response is how to protect Pakistan from itself. How to stop the advance of the Taliban? How to confront it ideologically? For this purpose, the US needs objective allies in Pakistan. It has none so far. It has been working through opportunistic allies in the army and the political parties. They will accept all the money from the US, but will not produce results.

    13. The objective allies have to be found in the Pashtun community. All the talk in Washington DC about their being good Taliban and bad Taliban is ridiculous. But there are good Pashtuns and bad Pashtuns. The US should urgently identify the good Pashtuns and encourage and help them to take up the fight against the Taliban ideologically. After the elections in Pakistan in March last year, I had pointed out that the ANP, which came to power in Peshawar, was a party of good Pashtuns and that the US should work through it, forgetting its past links with the Communists in Afghanistan and the erstwhile USSR. I was given to understand that a couple of ANP leaders did visit Washingtin DC, but beyond that nothing further was done. Now the ANP-led Government in Peshawar has conceded ideological victory to the TNSM in Swat. Despite this, the US should persist with cultivating it and other good Pashtun elements in parties such as the Pakhtoonkwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) of Mehmood Khan Achakzai. They constitute the progressive component of the Pashtun community and they need to be strengthened and encouraged to counter the Taliban. The present US policy of depending on repeatedly failed elements in the Army and in the mainstream political parties is not working. The regional Pashtun forces have to be encouraged to take up the fight against the Taliban.

    14. The survival of Al Qaeda in the FATA and the rise and spread of the TTP are due to support from large sections of the Pashtun community. The resistance to them has to come from the Pashtun community. It cannot come from the likes of Zardari, Gilani and Kayani.

    (The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, the Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: [email protected] )

    Pak Taliban:  From A Bunch Of Suicide Bombers To A Conventional Army -- International Terrorism Monitor -- Paper No.520
     
  19. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    U.S. Questions Pakistan’s Will to Stop Taliban

    U.S. Questions Pakistan’s Will to Stop Taliban

    By CARLOTTA GALL and ERIC SCHMITT

    [​IMG]


    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — As the Taliban tightened their hold over newly won territory, Pakistani politicians and American officials on Thursday sharply questioned the government’s willingness to deal with the insurgents and the Pakistani military’s decision to remain on the sidelines.

    Some 400 to 500 insurgents consolidated control of their new prize, a strategic district called Buner, just 70 miles from the capital, Islamabad, setting up checkpoints and negotiating a truce similar to the one that allowed the Taliban to impose Islamic law in the neighboring Swat Valley.

    As they did, Taliban contingents were seen Thursday in at least two other districts and areas still closer to the capital, according to Pakistani government officials and residents.

    Yet Pakistani authorities deployed just several hundred poorly paid and equipped constabulary forces to Buner, who were repelled in a clash with the insurgents, leaving one police officer dead.

    The limited response set off fresh scrutiny of Pakistan’s military, a force with 500,000 soldiers and a similar number of reservists. The army receives $1 billion in American military aid each year but has repeatedly declined to confront the Taliban-led insurgency, even as it has bled out of Pakistan’s self-governed tribal areas into Pakistan proper in recent months.

    The military remains fixated on training and deploying its soldiers to fight the country’s archenemy, India. It remains ill equipped for counterinsurgency, analysts say, and top officers are deeply reluctant to be pressed into action against insurgents who enjoy family, ethnic and religious ties with many Pakistanis.

    In the limited engagements in which regular army troops have fought the Taliban in the tribal areas and sections of the Swat Valley, they not only failed to dislodge the Taliban, but also convinced many Pakistanis that their own military was as much of a menace as the Islamic radicals it sought to repel, residents and analysts say.

    In Washington, a Defense Department official who is monitoring Pakistan closely said that the poorly trained constabulary force was sent Thursday because Pakistani Army troops were not available, and Pakistani generals were reluctant to pull reinforcements off the border with India — something American officials have encouraged them to do.

    “It illustrates there is a lack of political will in the Pakistan civilian leadership to confront these Pakistan Taliban,” said Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat on the Armed Services Committee who just returned from his fifth visit to Pakistan. “The Taliban sense this huge vacuum that they can pour into.”

    Instead, the military, which is stretched thin in the areas along the Afghan border, has favored negotiations, and the civilian government has acquiesced. “The government is too worried about its own political survival to take on the militants,” the Defense Department official said.

    Where it has engaged the insurgents, the Pakistani Army, untrained in counterinsurgency, has become reviled by the civilian population for its heavy-handed tactics, which have cost many lives while failing to stop the Taliban.

    At the same time, the police and paramilitary forces have proved too weak to stand up to the militants. In Buner, desperate residents had resorted to forming their own militias, as much to keep out the military as the Taliban. That effort, too, has now failed.

    Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Thursday that the government would review the Swat peace agreement if peace was not restored. “We have to ensure writ of the government,” he told journalists. “We reserve the right to go for other options if Talibanization continues.”

    Still, a range of American officials continued to press the Pakistani government for “serious, aggressive” military action, an American official said. The Pakistanis have yet to present a persuasive response to American officials, who are calling regularly for updates.

    On Capitol Hill, legislators preparing to introduce a bill to provide Pakistan with $7.5 billion in nonmilitary aid over five years may face a steep challenge.

    “I have absolutely no confidence in the ability of the existing Pakistan government to do one blessed thing,” said Representative David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who leads the House Appropriations Committee.

    In a sign of the urgency of the crisis, the special envoy for the region, Richard C. Holbrooke, is sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton memos several times a day with his latest reading of the situation in Pakistan, an American official said.

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, briefly visited Pakistan on Wednesday night and Thursday from Afghanistan, to meet with Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Pakistani Army chief of staff. An American official briefed on discussions said the Pakistani leadership was “very concerned.”

    Buner (pronounced boo-NAIR), home to about one million people, lies in the heart of North-West Frontier Province, bordering seven other districts. Its capture not only advances the Taliban closer to the capital, but also gives the Taliban a vital hub to extend their reach.

    The Taliban have already carried out limited attacks and have had a presence, including training camps, in several of the districts bordering Buner, in some cases for years. But on Thursday the militants were seen in several places moving more openly and in larger numbers than before.

    More than 30 armed militants entered the Shangla district, east of the main Swat Valley and north of Buner, and were seen patrolling an area around Loch Bazaar, the independent channel Geo TV reported Thursday, quoting witnesses.

    Government officials also confirmed that militants have been seen in Totali, far south in Buner and close to the boundary with the Swabi district, which lies close to the main highways into the capital.

    Armed militants have also been seen visiting mosques and patrolling in Rustam, a town on the boundary between Buner and the adjoining district of Mardan, said Riaz Khan, a lawyer living in Mardan, the second largest town in North-West Frontier Province. “People are anxious and in a state of fear,” he said.

    The Taliban were making a concerted push into areas that overlook the capital, lawmakers and government officials in North-West Frontier Province said.

    A powerful religious party leader, Fazlur Rehman, who is allied with the government, warned that militants had reached into the Mansehra district, close to the Tarbela Dam, a vital source of electricity to the center of the country.

    “If the Taliban continue to move at this pace they will soon be knocking at the door of Islamabad,” he told Parliament on Wednesday, adding that Margalla Hills, north of the capital, seem to be the only hurdle to the Taliban advance.

    The Pakistani Taliban, who number in the thousands across the tribal areas and the Swat region, have declared their aim of establishing Shariah rule throughout Pakistan. But for now, their expansion may be opportunistic and their strength sufficient only to establish local fiefdoms, or “micro-emirates of Shariah,” said Christine Fair, a senior research associate at the RAND Corporation.

    “I don’t know what the Taliban’s game plan is, but what seems apparent is the state has no game plan,” she said. “The Pakistani state is not able to stop them and they expand where they can.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/world/asia/24pstan.html?_r=2&hp
     
  20. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    At last....the Big Bad Pakistani capital has only a natural barrier defending itself....And the PA hasnt been deployed yet?
     
  21. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Women and little kids suffer the most

    SLAMABAD, Pakistan — Heavy fighting raged for a third day in Pakistan’s northwest on Thursday as civilians flooded from the area and the Pakistani military reported some gains in pushing back Taliban insurgents.
    As in all these conflicts it is the women and kids who suffer most.

    [​IMG]

    Above
    Women and children at a repatriation center in Peshawar, Pakistan. Thousands have fled their homes in the region's northwest province to escape fighting between the Taliban and the Pakistani miltary.

    The Pakistani military secured mountain passes to the west and south of Buner, a district 60 miles from the capital, according to its spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, who spoke at a news briefing at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi. Helicopter gunships also rocketed Taliban positions in the north of Buner, where the militants had apparently fortified positions in areas adjoining their stronghold in the Swat Valley.

    While government forces consolidated control of Buner’s main town, Daggar, General Abbas said it could still take another week for the operation to clear the whole district of militants, as the military was proceeding slowly to defuse booby traps and avoid civilian casualties.

    The militants continued to unleash attacks, hitting a checkpoint belonging to government paramilitary forces from the Frontier Corps in northern Buner, and seizing several police stations across the region, including two in the upper reaches of Swat.
     

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