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

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

  1. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    This drama is getting into the Comedy zone now...
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    Pakistan Taliban 're-enters' Buner

    Taliban fighters set up checkpoints and occupied mosques in Buner [AFP]

    Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - Pakistan Taliban 're-enters' Buner

    Pakistani Taliban fighters are reportedly re-entering Buner, hours after they pulled back from the district just 100km away from the capital Islamabad.

    Hoda Abdel Hamid, Al Jazeera's correspondent reporting from Pakistan, said there were reports of about 100 Taliban fighters heading back to Buner from the neighbouring Swat valley on Friday evening.

    Earlier during the day, the Taliban had appeared to withdraw from the district, a day after its fighters clashed with regional forces, leaving one policemen dead.


    "Our leader has ordered that Taliban should immediately be called back from Buner," Muslim Khan, a Pakistan Taliban spokesman, had said.

    The group's move into Buner had alarmed the Pakistan government over what the Taliban's future intentions might be.

    Army assurance

    Meanwhile, General Ashfaq Kayani, Pakistan's army chief, has sought to dispel doubts that the country's armed forces were reluctant to take on the fighters.

    In depth


    The army "will not allow the militants to dictate terms to the government or impose their way of life on the civil society of Pakistan", he said in a statement after a meeting of high-level military commanders on Friday.

    Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, ratified a deal in April to put Malakand - home to about three million people in northwest Pakistan, including the district of Buner - under sharia, or Islamic law, as part of efforts to end a Taliban revolt.

    Critics who attacked the Swat deal on the grounds that the government "capitulation" would only embolden the Taliban, have said that the fighters' entry into Buner vindicates their fears.

    Taliban presence

    Hundreds of armed Taliban fighters had set up checkpoints and occupied mosques in Buner.

    Some fighters in Buner reportedly moved into another nearby district, Shangla, on Thursday.

    Our correspondent said the chief minister of the northwestern provinces held emergency talks with all the political parties on Friday.

    "The meeting was around the fact that the Taliban had received what they wanted - the imposition of sharia [Islamic law] in Swat - but had not respected their part of the deal, which is laying down the weapons," she said.

    At the end of the meeting, the political leaders reportedly issued a statement saying that military intervention was the only option since the Taliban had not respected their part of the peace deal.

    The Pakistani Taliban, under the leadership of Maulana Fazlullah, launched a campaign nearly two years ago to enforce sharia in the Swat valley, beheading government officials, destroying girls' schools and forcing thousands of people to flee.
     
  2. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Is it Af-Pak? Is it Pak-Af? It's a Fak-Ap!

    Is it Af-Pak? Is it Pak-Af? It's a Fak-Ap!

    24 Apr 2009, 0225 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN


    WASHINGTON: The Obama administration called it the Af-Pak policy. Its emphasis on Pakistan over Afghanistan led some regional experts to rename it the Pak-Af strategy. Now, with Pakistan seemingly hurtling towards anarchy, and discordant voices emerging from Washington on how to handle the situation, critics are dubbing it a potential Fak-Ap, an infelicitous terminological invention to describe a mess in the making.

    Washington is in ferment over the turmoil in Pakistan. Administration officials, lawmakers, and regional experts are in a tizzy over the prospective -- and some say imminent -- collapse of Pakistan. The fall of Buner, a district 100 kms from the capital Islamabad, made page one in many newspapers and headlines on television in a country facing myriad other crises. Not even the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in 1996 agitated Washington pundits as much.

    The reason for anxiety is not far (from Islamabad) to see. Pakistan's main nuclear and military complexes are within miles of the capital, which is only 60 miles (and that's only "as the crow flies" assured Pakistan's envoy to US Hussain Haqqani) from Buner. If the extremists who are promising to be hospitable to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida take control of Islamabad and get their radical hands on the nukes.

    It's a nightmare scenario that haunts Washington. "The United States has an enormous stake in the stability and security of Pakistan. We can't...permit the Pakistani state and its nuclear arsenal to be taken over by the Taliban or any other radical groups or otherwise be destabilized in a matter that could lead to renewed conflict with India," California lawmaker Howard Berman said at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

    Others have expressed similar sentiments, but there is no sign the Obama administration, like its predecessor Bush dispensation, has any contingency plans to disarm a Pakistan with radicals in control of its nukes. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton skirted the Pakistan loose nuclear question in her testimony, but blasted the Pakistani government, its army, its civil society, and even its diaspora for not standing up to the Talibanist extremists, for abdicating their responsibility.

    Meanwhile, the disharmony in Washington over how to tackle Pakistan spilled out in the open on Wednesday after former Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry obliquely criticized the Obama administration over its Af-Pak policy, saying it "is not a real strategy." In fact, Kerry even advised the administration to stop using the term "Af-Pak," because "I think it does a disservice to both countries and to the policy," and the two governments are "very sensitive to it" and "don't see the linkage."

    "Pakistan is in a moment of peril," Kerry told reporters and editors of USA Today in an internal meeting reported by the paper. "And I believe there is not in place yet an adequate policy or plan to deal with it." The paper said Kerry later called to clarify that he did not mean to criticize Obama. "What I'm saying is that the details have not been fleshed out. We're working hand in hand on it," he explained.

    Both Kerry and Berman have returned recently from the region in preparation to move separate legislation in the Senate and House respectively to facilitate massive US assistance to Pakistan.

    Kerry's own proposals are seen as appeasement of Pakistan by some analysts. A bill he is expected to move in the Senate has been criticized for lavishing billions to Pakistan without any certifiable benchmarks that House members are demanding. In his USA Today meeting, Kerry said he opposes language in a companion bill in the House requiring the president to certify that Pakistan does not support terrorists. Pakistanis consider that "insulting," he said.

    But in her replies that followed her testimony on Wednesday, Secretary of State Clinton appeared to tread a middle path, saying, "we do think that there need to be the right kind of conditions," so the administration was "trying to figure out sort of what is the area that will influence behaviour and produce results."

    "You know, it's a little bit like the Goldilocks story. I mean, if they're too weak, we don't get changes. If they're too strong, we get a backlash," Clinton explained, telling lawmakers that the administration will work with them to figure out the "sweet spot" that would get results.

    "We're not interested in putting money into doing what hasn't worked. And we've seen the situation deteriorate over the last eight years in Pakistan and even before. It's been a very difficult country for us to get our arms around and figure out what our ongoing relationship would be like," she added.

    Is it Af-Pak? Is it Pak-Af? It's a Fak-Ap! - US - World - The Times of India
     
  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    This line is hilarious ha ha ha:blum3::2guns::mornin:
     
  4. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Well how long ago was it the I was talking about this scenario and everyone here said not to worry. It was twelve hours ago. It is happening. The Taliban only need to put a pistol to the head of one of a group of nuclear scientists and technicians they capture with the weapons and we have a disaster.
    I am sorry to say that India had better take this seriously. Very seriously.
    I'm going to say something else here that should make everyone start shooting at me.
    Notice that when the chips are down and the end is in sight, it's the West and America that you people are looking towards to help. It's all very well being in the Russian camp and buying their planes and other stuff when it's peace time, but where are the Russians now when you are staring at a potential disaster? Nowhere to be seen.
    You armchair strategists want to start realizing where your alliances should be.

    Anyone want to shoot at me?
     
  5. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Only one question. Why only India mate? Do you think these yahoos will only point towards India?
     
  6. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Because a] They can deliver it in a truck.
    b] They hate you the most.

    But of course you are right. America won't stand by and see this happen and nor will Israel. A lot is at stake.
     
  7. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Here is the misconception in the BOLDED part. What is so special about India? Do you really think there is a difference in agenda between all the groups operating? They have a global agenda. The sooner we realise this the better.
     
  8. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Of course we know that Nitish. Nowhere would be safe as these people seem to hate all mankind. I stand by my answer.
    I can just imagine the activity at the Pentagon right now.
     
  9. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    I am not against the points you raised mate. I am only against singularly pointing it out towards India. Yes there must be some fanatic activity going on. But not only in Pentagon but in other capitals also.
     
  10. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    sailor,
    if you are suggesting that all the sane nations must immediately come together and de-nuke pakistan, then I am with you.
     
  11. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    I am saying it Johnee, but I am also saying that there are some big players in the world who will sit back and do nothing instead of once and for all, put aside the stupid world politics for the common good of mankind and all get in an fix this problem.
    It is in no one's interests to have nukes in the hands of terrorists.

    If a nuclear device was exploded anywhere, I doubt if the world would ever be the same again.

    I want you to reflect a moment on all the moaning that RUSSIA has been doing about how the greedy Wall street people have wrecked their economy. Imagine the wreckage to everyone's economies after a nuclear explosion somewhere.? They all need to face up to this.
     
  12. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    So there is convergence of interests here. Hope political leadership takes a note on this.
     
  13. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    I agree with you sailor. completely.
    but you are unnecessarily blaming russia. russia has frequently said that pak's nukes are very dangerous to the world. and so has US. there is a convergence of interests.
    but whether unkil obama is ready to weild the stick with his protege pak is the question.
    it is still US that is giving military and non-military aid. it is US that has extra-ordinary leverage on pak. so if US takes the initiative, all will follow, including the russia except perhaps china.
    the onus is on US. the rest of the world is waiting for US to take that decisive decision.
     
  14. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Do you think India and Israel will not come to join the party. Will be happy to oblige. China will keep silent and watch from side lines.
     
  15. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    My question is why don't we stop waiting for the US and start taking action on our own...

    Those nukes are the primary threat to our country not theirs... The reason being that the missiles that Pakistan has have a range to reach us, not the West... The West is interested in this purely from the proliferation angle and not anything else...

    We ought to be the ones to protect our own house... If your house is being burgled, do you wait and call on your neighbour or somebody from down the road to help you or do you want to do it yourself???

    I think the answer can be found from that question...

    Of course, we may need tacit support from the US, but I personally don't think they will do much in the way of taking action themselves because it doesn't threaten them in the short term... It ought to be us who should do something...
     
  16. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    As I said O Enlightened One, with India, the weapon can be delivered in a truck.
     
  17. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    EM,
    just one question: can india on its own de-nuke pak?
    US has maximum leverage on pak, US is worried about its nukes. this is the time for leadership of india to convince and coerce US to act against nukes of pak in a decisive way. israel, russia, india, iran can all cooperate with US in this endeavour.
    but we cant do it alone.
     
  18. johnee

    johnee Elite Member Elite Member

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    EM,
    just one question can india on its own de-nuke pak?
    US has maximum leverage on pak, US is worried about its nukes. this is the time for leadership of US to convince and coerce to act against nukes of pak in a decisive way. israel, russia, india, iran can all cooperate with US in this endeavour.
    but we cant do it alone.
     
  19. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    Iran? They will probably be found helping the Taliban
     
  20. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    No sailor...There is a divide between Sunnis and Shias...
     

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