Buner falls to Taliban (is it the next Swat?)

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Daredevil, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Right said Vinod... first, lets try and get ourselves out of this whole Pakistan related messy situation and then later we can analyse the issues that created this situation and try and learn from it so that the mistakes need not be repeated...

    Till then Cheers and keep the debates (not arguments) flowing...
     
  2. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The Associated Press reports that there are already doubts of Pakistan Government's peace deal as Taliban moves into new area.


    The Associated Press: Taliban move to new Pakistan area ups peace doubts

    Taliban move to new Pakistan area ups peace doubts

    By NAHAL TOOSI – 18 minutes ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — Gunmen attacked a Pakistani paramilitary force sent to a Taliban-infiltrated district just 60 miles from the capital Thursday, killing a police officer and feeding growing doubts about the government's peace deal with extremists in the area.

    A meeting between Taliban representatives and tribal elders ended with the militants making some concessions but no pledge to withdraw from Buner, where they have established bases since crossing over from their stronghold in the neighboring Swat Valley.

    Swat's Taliban appear to be emboldened after their bloody, two-year campaign in the valley led the government to agree to a peace accord that imposes Islamic law in a wide swath of the northwest bordering Afghanistan.

    There were reports Thursday that fighters from the Swat Taliban also have entered another neighboring district, Shangla, said a security official who agreed to discuss the situation only if not identified because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

    Militants have made no secret of their desire to see Islamic law imposed across the country, and as they edge closer to Islamabad, unease about the peace deal is growing in Pakistan and in the West. The U.S. is especially concerned because it considers stability in Pakistan — and rooting out its militant sanctuaries — critical to success in the Afghan war.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told American lawmakers in an unusually blunt statement Wednesday that Pakistan's leaders were "basically abdicating to the Taliban." On Thursday, however, she said the Pakistani government appeared increasingly aware of the threat.

    U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke talked to Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari by telephone Thursday, but the president's office would not say if Swat or Buner were discussed. The chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, was visiting Pakistan.

    As reports filtered out about Taliban fighters moving into Buner — that they were patrolling roads, broadcasting radio sermons and ordering barbers to stop shaving beards — the government sent six platoons from the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary to the district this week.

    Government official Syed Mohammed Javed confirmed the deployment but would not comment on the troops' purpose. Javed did not specify the number sent; a platoon typically has 30 to 50 members.

    The troops were dispatched Wednesday, Javed said. Unidentified gunmen opened fire on one of the convoys Thursday, killing an escorting police officer and wounding another in the Totalai area, said Hukam Khan, a police official.

    How much force the government was willing to display remained unclear, especially after the army's spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, insisted the situation in Buner was not as dire as some felt. He said militants controlled less than 25 percent of the district, mostly its north.

    "We are fully aware of the situation," Abbas said. "The other side has been informed to move these people out of this area."

    Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani insisted no group would be allowed to challenge the authority of the government, but a few lawmakers — including some who initially backed the peace deal with the Swat Taliban — said the administration had to do more to contain extremists.

    "If the other party is not able to give us peace and expanding themselves to Buner and Shangla, then it is the government's duty to use its full strength to stop their expansion," said Haji Mohammad Adeel, a top member of the party that leads the provincial government in the northwest and entered into the accord in the first place.

    The provincial government agreed to the peace deal in February, but the president signed off on it only last week, under strong pressure from the national legislature.

    The accord covers Swat, Buner, Shangla and other districts in the Malakand Division, an area of about 10,000 square miles (25,900 square kilometers) near the Afghan border and the tribal areas where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds.

    Supporters have said the deal takes away the militants' main rallying call for Islamic law and will let the government gradually reassert control — a theory yet to be seriously tested.

    Analysts said Buner is a wake-up call for a Pakistani government that has often seemed weak-willed in dealing with insurgents. But, they said, Islamabad is not in danger now.

    "The military is going to be the major impediment" to taking the capital, said Hasan Askari-Rizvi, a leading political analyst. Still, he said, sympathizers in the capital could use the Buner advance as a rallying cry to cause unrest.

    More than a half million people live in Buner.

    On Thursday, the bazaar in Buner's main town of Daggar and the road into the district were almost deserted, a visiting AP Television News reporter found. Police and government officials in Buner appeared to have either fled or were keeping a low profile, and there was no sign of Frontier Constabulary troops in the town.

    The meeting of tribal elders and the Taliban in Daggar ended without notice the militants would leave.

    A Taliban leader who goes by the name "Commander Khalil" said the militants agreed to stop patrolling in Buner, though they would keep armed guards in their vehicles.

    "We are here peacefully preaching for Sharia (Islamic law). We don't want to fight," Khalil told an Associated Press reporter by phone.

    Another Taliban leader, Maulana Muhammad Bashir, said the militants agreed not to target people who had opposed them in the past in Buner — a key demand of local leaders, some of whom had raised tribal militias to fight the Taliban.

    Javed Khan, a top administrator in Buner, said the Taliban agreed to not exhibit weapons or interfere with government offices. The militants also promised to leave aid groups alone and return seized government vehicles, he said.

    Officials hope to avoid a replay of the Swat conflict in Buner. In Swat, some two years of clashes between the Taliban and security forces killed hundreds and caused up to a third of the one-time tourist haven's 1.5 million residents to leave their homes.

    Associated Press writers Munir Ahmad and Zarar Khan in Islamabad, Riaz Khan in Peshawar and Robert Burns in Washington contributed to this report.
     
  3. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Pakistan a mortal threat, says Hillary

    In the wake of rapid Taliban advances


    Washington: The Obama administration has warned that Pakistan posed a “mortal threat” to the U.S. and the world in the wake of rapid Taliban advances and bluntly told Islamabad it was “abdicating” power to the militia and extremists by agreeing to Islamic law in parts of the country.

    The advance of the Taliban, which has moved within 100 km of Islamabad by taking control of Buner district just outside the capital region, has stunned the U.S.; as reflected in the strong remarks of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who also said it posed an “existential threat” to Pakistan.

    Pakistan on Thursday deployed specialised paramilitary forces to protect important personalities and sensitive installations in Buner and nearby areas.

    Reports indicated heavily-armed Taliban militants were patrolling the streets and had set up check points.

    Deteriorating security in nuclear-armed Pakistan “poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world,” Ms. Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    In her remarks — the strongest yet from Washington — Ms. Clinton also asked the Pakistani government and Pakistanis at home and abroad, including in the U.S., to “speak out forcefully against a policy [Swat peace accord] that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents”.

    Concern was also expressed over the recent developments in Pakistan by Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman who told Ms. Clinton that the U.S. could not allow a free run for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the tribal regions and let them rapidly expand their territorial control.

    The Hindu : International : Pakistan a mortal threat, says Hillary
     
  4. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    The thing is that I can't see a solution here. When you start talking about working together to defeat the Taliban, this isn't possible. Pakistan isn't Afghanistan. Pakistan would never agree to any offer from the West or India for foot soldiers on the ground to enter their country and assist loyal troops to beat the Taliban. I'd go so far as to say that they'd rather die than have that happen and the Taliban are arranging that for them as we speak.
    The US Army and allies like Australia will never be fighting Taliban on Pakistani soil and the Indian army sure won't be.
    So where does that leave us. One big civil war with nuclear weapons as the prize.
    What will it take for massive US military intervention on the scale of Iraq?
    Will it be the total failure of the government and military and a mad dash for the nuclear weapons stockpile before the Taliban get them?
     
  5. Soham

    Soham DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    The Taliban are withdrawing out of Buner...

    Taliban withdraws from Pakistan's Buner district

    A Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan, said there were around 100 fighters in Buner, a district just 60 miles from Islamabad, and less than five hours from the capital by road.
    "Our leader has ordered that Taliban should immediately be called back from Buner," he told the Reuters news agency
    He is a member of a faction led by the Taliban commander Fazlullah, whose stronghold is in the neighbouring Swat valley where the government has met the militants' demands for the imposition of Islamic law.
    He said that government and Taliban representatives were en route to Buner, along with a radical Muslim cleric who brokered the Swat deal, to deliver a message to fighters to vacate the district.
    Khan was quoted in the past week as saying that al-Qaeda would be given refuge in lands under Taliban control.
    Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has described the government's policies of appeasement in Swat as an abdication of authority to the Taliban and urged Pakistan's leaders to take action against foes who represented an "existential threat" to the state.

    Taliban withdraws from Pakistan's Buner district - Telegraph
     
  6. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    yes i got this news about taliban "unconditional" pullback a very important part that came across in the whose issue is that the GOP minister or NWFP mr sayed mohammad javed told the press that it was an unconditional pullback but the goverment has promised the taliban that it would not let any antiislamic activity in the area. how is that it seems the taliban is holding the GOP at a ransom they are getting their will implemented even without any kind of conflict they are extracting from the goverment what the goverment failed to extract from them ... its only one way traffic at the moment its taliban and only taliban that is winning all over
     
  7. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    It seems like a dog and pony show. Masters of Talibunnies say advance. The whole world sees it and ask for action. The masters do the action for show off. They retreat and masters start crying that we are not well equipped give us more money nothing else.
     
  8. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    and one day the Bunnies will Come knocking on Gilani's door
     
  9. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    well put. but there are two critical questions:
    Q)is the dog completely under master's control?
    A)I dont think so, the dog is hot blooded, it has tasted enough blood and is now insanely wild. it still obeys master, because master lures it with lots of crumbs. but once in a while dog does escape the leash of master. so, the dog is dangerous kind and untrustworthy.

    now the second question and more important question:
    Q)is the master is complete control of himself?
    A)not completely. parts the master are not in his control. master is drunk on islam, and its impact is showing on the health of master, some of the parts of master are now beyond master's control.

    so, the entire situation is that a dangerous dog with a loose leash is being hold by a master completely drunk and not in control. how long, will he be able to stop the dog from unleashing?
     
  10. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    well what u say now:
    I feel more tamasha now

    Army committed to root out terrorism with national support: Kayani
    Army committed to root out terrorism with national support: Kayani

    The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani chaired an operational meeting at the General Headquarters here on Friday.

    While addressing the participants, Kayani stated that he was aware of the doubts being voiced about the intent as well as the capability of the Army to defeat the militancy in the country. He made it clear that Pakistan Army never has and never will hesitate to sacrifice, whatever it may take, to ensure safety and wellbeing of people of Pakistan and country’s territorial integrity.

    The COAS stated that operational pause, meant to give the reconciliatory forces a chance, must not be taken for a concession to the militants. He declared that Army’s rank and file has resolve to fight to eliminate the militants, who endanger the lives of peaceful citizens of the country and challenge the writ of the State. He reassured the people of Pakistan that with their support, Army is determined to root out the menace of terrorism from the society. It will not allow the militants to dictate terms to the government or impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan.

    He condemned pronouncements by outside powers raising doubts on the future of Pakistan. A country of 170 M resilient people under a democratic dispensation, strongly supported by the Army, is capable of handling any crisis that it may confront. He stated that the victory against the terror and militancy would be achieved at all cost.
     
  11. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    In my opinion Taliban is just showing of their strength, landing 100 km s within the capital without any effective resistance they shows that they can threaten Islamabad, to overtake it, and for the Govt. promise , it is a victory achieved by Taliban, they extracted that they would have control in the area with out losing any of their men, and could over run the area if the 'condition broken'. I agree you with on the last point and in my opinion a one sided game is now being played in Pakistan , balanced heavily in favour of Taliban.

    Regards
     
  12. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Nitesh, from the General's statement concerned, I think the statement is routine, in past they failed miserably, and in future, no body can predict that they will win. The logic is clear that, How they can fight an enemy , which feeds on them and live inside their house as family member.

    Regards
     
  13. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Taliban step into Shangla as Buner showdown looms

    FC deployed to protect govt installations
    * Officials, Taliban discuss how to govern Buner
    * 2 escorting policemen killed in attack on FC convoy

    By Ghulam Farooq

    MINGORA: Eight Frontier Constabulary platoons rushed to Buner on Thursday to protect vital state installations in the northwestern town now virtually under Taliban control, while the Taliban entered the adjacent Shangla district in another brazen move.

    Local residents and police in Poran tehsil of Shangla said around 30 armed Taliban arrived in the town on Thursday morning. “They entered the tehsil in cars and are still in the area,” a police official said.

    Governing Buner: The march on Shangla came after the district administration recognised Taliban’s control over Buner district by holding a jirga with a local commander to lay down procedures to govern the district.

    “We will not display weapons in public, and we will stay away from undue interference in the district administration,” Taliban commanders Mufti Bashir and Ustad Yasir told the jirga which local administration officials and jirga elders attended.

    Attack on FC convoy: But moments after the Taliban pledged to stay peaceful, a convoy of Frontier Constabulary was attacked in the Totalai area. Two escorting police officers were killed and another was wounded.

    No group has claimed responsibility so far, but the Taliban are being suspected.

    In a second attack, armedmen robbed a truck carrying supplies for the security forces in Baboo area in Khawazakhela tehsil and abducted three soldiers, local residents said.

    However, there was no official confirmation.

    At the jirga earlier on Thursday, the Taliban agreed to pardon some of those who had taken up arms against them, but kept others on their hit list.

    Army spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas insisted the situation in Buner was not as dire as some have portrayed – telling the Associated Press that Taliban were in control of less than 25 percent of the district, mostly its north.

    “We are fully aware of the situation,” Abbas said. “The other side has been informed to move these people out of this area.”

    The NWFP government convened a meeting of provincial heads of political parties to discuss the situation after the approval of Nizam-e-Adal Regulation and the concerns following reports that the Taliban are running a parallel administration, abductions for ransom continue and the writ of the state is far from returning to the area.

    “It was decided to convene a joint meeting of all political parties to brief them on the situation in the region,” a communiqué from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Peshawar read.

    NWFP Senior Minister Bashir Bilour said the government “reserves the right” to use force if peace accord violations continued. “But first we want to let peace come,” he told reporters in Peshawar.

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
     
  14. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    ^^^ Ah, so now they run from district to district... and the Government passes it off as a victory... Very original and imaginative indeed....
     
  15. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    This report from Times now are of great concern:

    Pak's nuke installations in danger?- TIMESNOW.tv - Latest Breaking News, Big News Stories, News Videos

    Pak's nuke installations in danger?
    24 Apr 2009, 1558 hrs IST, TIMES NOW
    There are fresh fears over security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons as Taliban surround nuclear installations and key military base north-west of Islamabad. Pakistan's forces suffer fresh reversals. Taliban advance to within just 40 minutes away from Pakistan's capital Islamabad. The facts show that the Taliban have entered the district of Mansehra and are threatening to take control of the Tarbela Dam in neighboring Haripur district.

    The Taliban takeover of Haripur would put the Taliban on the doorstep of Islamabad and would also put two major nuclear facilities at risk. Haripur borders the Margala Hills, a region in the Islamabad Capital Territory. Haripur also borders the Punjab districts of Attock and Rawalpindi.Attock hosts two major nuclear facilities in Pakistan, the Wah Cantonment Ordnance Complex and the Kamra Airbase, a fact recognised by the American Government.

    There are contradicting reports of Taliban's withdrawal from the northwestern district they infiltrated earlier this week. Video evidence shows that Taliban is still in Buner and adjoining Shangla district.

    Armed Taliban militants are still out on the streets of Daggar in Buner district. The visuals show growing doubts about the government's peace deal with extremists in the area.

    A meeting between Taliban representatives and tribal elders in Daggar ended with the militants making some concessions but no pledge to withdraw from Buner. Taliban is still in Buner spreading fear and terror in the NWFP province.

    Pakistan media reports suggested on Friday (April 24) that the Army is preparing to launch a military operation against militants in restive Swat valley of Pakistan. According to Dawn News channel, troop build up is expected to be completed in 48 hours.

    As the pressure from the United States grew on Pakistan with the Taliban continuing to spread its wings in Pakistan, the Pakistani media and the government went into a huge public relations overdrive.

    Pakistan's Buner region showed large number of Taliban fighters apparently leaving Buner, a district they had captured over the last week. The Taliban fighters have already taken over Buner fighting off the local Police and even Constabulary sent from Islamabad to curb the Taliban from actually moving eastwards from Buner to Islamabad.

    But, the Pakistani government continued to be in denial. The Pakistani forces have not fired at the Taliban and the military has so far refused to move out of their barracks.

    Earlier in the day, media reports in Pakistan said after the Commisioner of the Malakand region and Tahreez-i-Nifaz Shariah Mohammadi leadership met with the Swat Taliban in Swat and requested the Taliban to withdraw. Reports also said the Taliban offered to retreat from two key areas, Buner and Shangla.

    However, government of Pakistan said no specific time period was announced for the withdrawl. Two weeks ago they had made a similar announcement about withdrawl, but no concrete action was taken.

    US Secy of Defence on Taliban threat

    Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defence, speaking on the situation, said, "My hope is that there will be an increasing recognition on the part of the Pakistani government that the Taliban in Pakistan are in fact an existential threat to the democratic government of that country."

    He further said, "I think that some of the leaders certainly understand that but it is important that they not only recognise it but take the appropriate actions to deal with it. The stability and longevity of independent government in Pakistan is central to the efforts of the coalition in Afghanistan. And it is also central to our future partnership with the government in Islamabad. We want to support them. We want to be helpful in any way we can. But it is important that they recognise the real threats to their country."
     
  16. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    If this report is true, then I guess its time to "kaboom" their nuclear facilities and nuclear storage dumps... bring out the "bunker busters"...
     
  17. Su-47

    Su-47 Regular Member

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    The west will have to realise that these nukes are aimed not just at india. a few will definitely be fired at israel, should the taliban capture these nukes.

    It really is time to consider a joint operation between India and NATO, and possible Israel, on how to remove the pakistani nukes from the equation, should the taliban try take over the nuclear facilities.
     
  18. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    ^^^^Su-47, I agree with you fully in this, world body should realise this, and we should look for a joint operation to neutralise the Pak nukes.


    Regards
     
  19. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    The Western powers are worrying about it from the Proliferation angle and not the fear that he would use it against them immediately or in the future.

    The fact is that Pakistani missiles don't have range to go any further than Iran or parts of the middle east closer home. They cannot reach Israel, let alone the West.

    It is us who have to be worried... not them !!!
     
  20. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    You are right EM, that this is our responsibility, but the missiles have the range to hit Afghan Cities which are in coalition force's control, and since they can have to strike major Afghan cities, it is also against US's interest. However, it is us we have to take initiative.

    Regards
     

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