Pakistani Military Developments/feb-june 09

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by A.V., Feb 18, 2009.

  1. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    The fun is becoming deadlier I am ready with pop corns :)

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

    ISLAMABAD: Calling the Pakistani government and army “enemies of Muslims”, :2guns:the Swat Taliban vowed on Monday to march forward till death. “Either we’ll be martyred or we’ll march forward,” :113:Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan told Reuters by telephone. He said elements in the military and the government were trying to sabotage the peace process to please the United States. “This is not our army, this is not our government,”:blum3: he said. They’re worse enemies of Muslims than the Americans. They’re US stooges.“We will give a fitting reply to security forces if Sufi Muhammad decides to revoke the deal with the government,” he said while talking to AFP. agencies
     
  2. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    This whole operation is not as clear as it is being portrayed. First of all the forces being deployed by Pakistan, Tanks, Combat Aircraft, heavy artillery pieces are being portrayed as if they are on a march for a conventional warfare.

    All this is a dress up to show to the Americans that the PA is serious about it's fight with the Taliban.

    We have to look into the background of these operations.

    1. Bailout by US and it's allies at the Tokyo meet.
    2. Non military and military aid in the name of WOT.
    3. Tough talk by the Obama Administration
    4. Visit to US by President Zardari. and

    Last but not the least, are the reports that US is using the Saudi Govt. to push for Zardari to share power with Nawaz Sharif.

    In Pakistan, U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/world/asia/02policy.html?ref=global-home
     
  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    I have to agree with sob here, what exactly is the use of tanks and artillery against terrorists. It is more about flattening the villages and displacing people, meanwhile:

    washingtonpost.com

     
  4. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    washingtonpost.com

     
  5. Su-47

    Su-47 Regular Member

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    The Pakistani army is facing the same kind of dilemma that the soldiers of British India were facing. Whether or not to fight "their own people." Like many British Indian soldiers deserted ranks or refused to fight the indian freedom fighters, so are many in the PA refusing to fight the Taliban. In their heart, they feel for the Taliban.

    Now, i don't want anyone to think I'm sympathizing with the PA or comparing Indian freedom fighters to the Taliban. I'm just trying to illustrate the mindset of the PA soldiers.
     
  6. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    i am not sure why there would be any kind of dilemma of the kinds that they are supposedly their own people and also why are we buying their argument, which is nothing more than a propaganda to not take action against people who they see as their strategic assets to be used both against afghanistan and india as and when the need arises. are baluchis any less pakistanis or are they just not considered worth being called muslim brothers and the pa has its sweet free will in doing what ever they want to do with them.


    lets go back and have a look at the atrocities of pa against their so-called own people. to being with the ever famous east pakistan episode, were they not worth all this brotherhood talk that the bengalis at the end thought there is no way other than armed struggle to free themselves of all the miseries at the hands of their so called brothers. take sindh for example, when people took to arms there did they at the end of the day happen to be any less brothers or were they not their own when that movement was violently crushed by the pa. take the case of pa's atrocities in history and of today on the baluchis and thousands of people have lost their own systematically by way of disappearance at the behest of pa and isi, they have been continuously bombed by way of ariel attacks and huge number of civilians have lost their lives and the miseries of these people continue till date unabated. the moot question is where does the brotherhood and our own people talk disappear when it comes to these neglected people. now come to other parts of pakistan, no such acts of terror by the pa in punjab, nwfp and PoK. they will never dare attack the punjabis no matter what because they form 75-80% of their armed forces, they provide with a huge number of jihadis in kashmir, they are the most prosperous in pakistan and they are the only real pakistanis. come to PoK, thankfully for the pa there is no liberation movement here as the same is being sponsored on our part of kashmir. these people are used against the IA in our part of kashmir, india through numerous international forums has asked pakistan to take punitive action against these terrorists and their outfits but no such thing has taken place because if they do that they know for sure this particular movement will take no time to die down and their bluff will be called all too easily so these and punjabi terrorists are fed and kept alive so that when ever need be they can be used to cause trouble in j&k. exactly the same thing happens in nwfp where those terrorists are seen as assets through whom they can increase and sustain their control on afghanistan and for this the pa is working out with these outfits on how to move the US and nato for once and all so that they can go back to their golden old days of 1996-2001. pa, in no way wants to loose influence on these terrorists through whom they see they can further their agenda and so they do not want to take any or any major action against these assets.


    if the pa was so sincere in rooting out these terrorists then they would have used punjabis as they are the only real pakistanis and they see rest of their so called own people as dirt, americans can accept this flawed argument but lets not or else we ourselves loose focus from the real issue.
     
  7. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    There is absolutely no comparison not even remote freedom struggle was with ideology for a country this struggle is based on mindless religious extremism. PA soldiers are refusing to fight "fellow muslims".
     
  8. Su-47

    Su-47 Regular Member

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    They never had a problem fighting "fellow muslims" in Baluchistan. A lot of PA soldiers view Taliban as freedom fighters. They believe Taliban are trying to free Pakistan from American stooges. So its not just the "fellow muslim" argument, though that is the more dominant reason.

    BTW, I already said that I'm not trying to compare our freedom fighters to Taliban. Our freedom fighters never hurt civilians, and had a very righteous cause. Taliban are a bunch of medieval idiots trying to remove any vestiges of civilization from wherever they set foot.
     
  9. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Don't you ever heard of clashes between shias and sunnis? Isn't it is between "mulims"? Taliban are sunni dominated hope this gives a hint.
     
  10. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Pakistani army flattening villages as it battles Taliban

    Pakistani army flattening villages as it battles Taliban

    CHINGLAI, Pakistan — The Pakistani army's assault against Islamic militants in Buner, in northwest Pakistan, is flattening villages, killing civilians and sending thousands of farmers and villagers fleeing from their homes, residents escaping the fighting said Monday.

    "We didn't see any Taliban; they are up in the mountains, yet the army flattens our villages," Zaroon Mohammad, 45, told McClatchy as he walked with about a dozen scrawny cattle and the male members of his family in the relative safety of Chinglai village in southern Buner. "Our house has been badly damaged. These cows are now our total possessions."

    Mohammad's and other residents' accounts of the fighting contradict those from the Pakistani military and suggest that the government of President Asif Ali Zardari is rapidly losing the support of those it had set out to protect.

    The heavy-handed tactics are ringing alarm bells in Washington, where the Obama administration is struggling to devise a strategy to halt the militants' advances. Officials Monday talked about the need to train the Pakistani military, which has long been fixated on fighting armored battles with India, in counterinsurgency warfare, but it may be too late for that.

    Navy Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Monday that the Pakistani army in recent years has undertaken "bursts of fighting and engagement" fighting insurgents, but that its operations were "not sustained" by follow-up measures.

    The army is now using force, but it also must hold and rebuild the area it conquers, he said. "There's a military piece" to the operation, he said, "but there also needs to be a hold and build aspect of it."

    Another U.S. official, who closely tracks Pakistan developments, said the Pakistan army is "just destroying stuff. They have zero ability to deliver (aid) services."

    "They hold villages completely accountable for the actions of a few, and that kind of operation produces a lot of (internally displaced persons) and a lot of angst," said a senior defense official. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

    In Buner, the Pakistani military appears to be losing public support in a stridently anti-Taliban district whose residents had raised their own militia to defend themselves against the militants, who last month seized control of the district about 60 miles from Islamabad, the capital.

    Mohammad, who'd walked for two days with his cattle to escape the offensive against the Taliban, and other farmers accused the military of using poorly directed artillery and air power to pound civilian areas.

    "They shouldn't use the army in this (indiscriminate) way. They should be targeted at the Taliban," said Saed Afsar Khan, who was leaving Buner with 18 members of his family and two cows. He estimated that the army had destroyed 80 of the 400 houses in his village of Kawga, near the key battlefield of Ambela.

    "I don't think they've killed even one Taliban," he said. "Only ordinary people."

    As the fighting raged in Buner, a bigger battle appears likely to erupt in neighboring Swat. Late Monday, fierce gun battles broke out between the army and Taliban in the streets of Mingora, the district's main town, and a controversial three-month-old peace deal between the government and the Taliban in Swat is disintegrating.

    The Taliban were reported to have surrounded 46 police officers at the local electrical grid station. Earlier in the day, they ambushed a military convoy in Swat, killing one soldier and wounding two others.

    Pakistani army flattening villages as it battles Taliban | McClatchy
     
  11. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The New York Times report on Pakistan Army's new push into area held by Taliban

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/world/asia/06pstan.html?ref=world

    Pakistani Army Poised for New Push Into Area Held by Taliban

    By CARLOTTA GALL
    Published: May 5, 2009

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Residents were flooding out of the Swat valley by the thousands on Tuesday as the government prepared to mount a new military operation against Taliban militants there after the collapse of a peace deal negotiated in February.

    For weeks the Taliban have flaunted their disregard for the February peace accord, and two weeks ago they used the territory all but ceded to them under the deal to launch an offensive into another district, Buner, 60 miles from the capital.

    This week the Taliban reversed the only achievement of the deal, a ceasefire in the Swat district capital, Mingora, which they seized control of Sunday, when their turbaned fighters laid siege to several police stations, a local lawyer and resident of the town said.

    The Taliban’s armed return to Mingora on Sunday signaled the final breakdown in the government’s efforts to negotiate a peaceful solution to two years of fighting that has costs thousands of lives and damaged homes and livelihoods the length of the once-prosperous farming valley of Swat.

    The Pakistani military, which is fighting to clear militants from two other districts of the North West Frontier Province, Dir and Buner, now appears ready to push its operations into Swat once again.

    But the question remains whether the military has the will and capability to sustain its operations in three districts. The task in Swat remains hugely difficult, not least because the Taliban were digging in and mining the streets, according to residents, and the military had already failed to drive out the Taliban before it agreed to the February accord.

    But public opinion in Pakistan toward the Taliban has undergone an important shift since the deal, and has now apparently given the military more confidence to move with full force against the Taliban.

    A recent video showing the Taliban flogging a young woman as the militants clamped down their version of Islam law on Swat shocked the nation. The government has taken great pains to show its efforts to make the Swat peace deal work.

    Finally, the Taliban incursion into Buner two weeks ago solidified a growing consensus that the Taliban had gone too far and that the military needed to stand up to the insurgents, and it has provided the catalyst for the military to act.

    The media, politicians and even religious leaders are now speaking out against the extremist position of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the main negotiator on the Swat deal, and Mullah Fazlullah, his son-in-law, who has links to the Qaeda-backed Taliban movement based in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

    Leaders of the Awami National Party, which governs the North West Frontier Province where all of the districts are located, still stand by the deal, which it says has been critical in winning people away from the militants and over to the side of the government.

    The peace deal was popular among the people of Swat, who were desperate for peace and angered by the heavy-handed military campaign in the valley. But over the last three months of efforts to make the deal work, the Taliban have revealed that they have no intention of ending their insurgency. It has also become apparent that Maulana Muhammad is not able to control the militants, the politicians say.

    There is no doubt that the military is fighting this campaign seriously, said Maulana Yousuf Shah, general secretary of the Jamiat-u-Ulama-i-Islam-S, a political party that is close to the Taliban and has helped negotiations between the two sides.

    A Supreme Court lawyer Anees Jillani, who visited Swat recently, said the military remains divided and some have a soft corner for the Islamists and are not willing to fight.

    “When you ask them why are you not defeating them, they ask: ‘Why should we?’ and you ask about Sufi Muhammad, they say: ‘What’s wrong with him?’” he said.

    On the ground, however, there has been a significant change in the military and paramilitary forces ranged against the Taliban.

    Under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Tariq Khan, an energetic and determined commander, the Frontier Corps, the local Pashtun paramilitary force, has become better armed and equipped in recent months, with the help of the United States.

    Supported by army units, it has proved itself better able to push back the Taliban, first in the tribal areas in Bajaur last year, and now in Buner, though at big cost to civilians caught up in the operations.

    Anti-terrorist police units have also been deployed in the operations in some outlying districts, in police actions that are better suited to counterinsurgency operations.

    Peshawar anti-terrorist police units have killed 88 suspected militants in the last four months, cracking down on the kidnapping and general lawlessness that were reaching right into the city, a senior police official said, asking not to be named because of the nature of his work.

    “It is a manageable problem,” he said, when asked whether Pakistan can contain the militant threat. “It does not take much to dishevel them,” he said.

    American support has been critical in the improvement of the Frontier Corps and the police are hoping for the same help, he said. “If Uncle Sam shows the same generosity to our force, I don’t see why we cannot be a good supporting force,” he said.

    He said it was critical to have weapons and equipment that were better than those used by the militants.

    “It’s a bad situation, but certainly not a lost situation,” he said. “It’s not false bravado, I have seen the small dent we have made in this area. That has made them more hesitant of operating in this area.”
     
  12. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Militants capture key installations in Swat

    Tuesday, 05 May, 2009 | 11:09 PM PST |

    [​IMG]
    An empty market is seen in Mingora, the largest city in Swat district. Panicked civilians
    fled Swat as clashes with the Taliban heightened –AP Photo/Naveed Ali



    MINGORA: Taliban militants occupied commissioner Malakand, DIG and district Nazim offices and took siege of other key installations and offices including the Circuit House, Saidu Sharif and Mingora police stations and grid station as thousands of Swatis were fleeing in panic and fear on Tuesday.

    Eleven people, including two security personnel, police sub-inspector Ali Shah and eight civilians were killed and several others injured as bullets rattled through parts of district headquarter Mingora on Tuesday, sources said.

    The security forces reportedly repulsed several attacks of militants but waiting for reinforcement. Official sources said five people died overnight in trade fire between security forces and armed Taliban.

    Residents said hundreds of militants have taken positions on rooftops and were patrolling streets, and laying mines in Mingora city. They have surrounded scores of security personnel and government functionaries in the government buildings.

    The Circuit House is presently converted into military offices including its command and control system and housing high military officials. Sources said fierce fighting was going on as militants were trying hard to occupy the Circuit House. The offices of Commissioner Malakand, DIG Malakand and District Nazim Swat have fallen to the Taliban militants after the exchange of heavy fire.

    A large number of panic-gripped Sawtis fled from Mingora and suburbs after local administration issued an evacuation order igniting fears of an imminent new offensive in the violence-ravaged Swat valley.

    Residents said thousands of people were fleeing to safer places when local administration relaxed curfew from 1:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesday and urged them to get out of militant-infested areas. The administration has clamped an indefinite curfew in the Swat district from Monday.

    The statement, issued by DC Khushal Khan, triggered mass exodus from Mingora for the first time since gunbattle had started in Swat valley. About one-third of the total 1.5 million people had migrated to other parts of the country since the launching of the ‘Rahi Haq’ military operation but returned to their homes when the government brokered a peace deal with Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi chief Mualana Sufi Mohammad on February 16 to enforce Shariat Muhammadi in Malakand.

    The administration later withdrew the order, saying the fear of fighting had passed and people could stay at homes as security forces had taken control of the area and repulsed militant attacks. But that did not reassure the fleeing residents. They weighed down with whatever belonging they could carry along with them. Some were desperately waiting to hire private vehicles or crammed into and on top of buses to get out of Mingora and its suburbs.

    The violence broke out once again when the military launched assault on militants in Dir and Buner districts to stop their surge into other parts of the province.

    The TNSM and Swat Taliban have rejected the setting up of Draul Qaza and the appointment of two judges as Qazi unilaterally, saying the government has violated the peace accord by not consulting Sufi Mohammad before the announcement. The TNSM spokesman at a press conference on Monday declared that they would not be responsible but that the government would be responsible for the eruption of violence in the region.

    The government was of the view that it had fulfilled the demands of Sufi Mohammad by implementing the Nizam-i-Adl regulation, setting up of Darul Qaza and Qazi courts in Malakand but the militants are not ready to lay arms and restore peace in the region.


    DAWN.COM | Provinces | Militants capture key installations in Swat
     
  13. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    BBC reports that at least 10 Pakistani Soldiers killed in the clashes with Taliban in SWAT.

    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Troops killed in Pakistan clashes

    Troops killed in Pakistan clashes


    At least 10 soldiers have been killed and nine wounded in clashes with suspected Taleban militants in Swat Valley, Pakistan's military has said.

    The deaths came as fighting intensified in Swat and other areas of the north-west, and helicopter gunships and warplanes bombed militant targets.

    Thousands of civilians are fleeing the area, with fighting especially heavy in the main town of Swat, Mingora.

    The son of the cleric behind a failed peace deal has also been killed.

    On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama vowed to "defeat al-Qaeda" and its allies in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    He was speaking after talks in Washington with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has meanwhile warned that a humanitarian crisis is intensifying in north-west Pakistan.

    In a statement the ICRC said that it no longer had access to the areas most affected by the conflict and that precise statistics of the displaced were difficult to ascertain.

    Land mines

    Military spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas told the BBC that the 10 soldiers had been killed over the past 24 hours in Swat.

    At least seven of them were reported to have died when a troop carrier was ambushed near Mingora.

    Inside Mingora, the Taleban are getting ready for an attack which local people expect to be imminent. One eyewitness told the BBC he had seen militants planting land mines, digging trenches and cutting down trees to block roads.


    A curfew was once again lifted to allow civilians to leave Swat and join the tens of thousands who have already moved into camps or the homes of relatives further to the south.


    All are desperate not to get caught in the crossfire, and there are reports that thousands more have taken advantage of the break in the curfew.

    "A mortar shell hit the outer wall of my house last night. Luckily, we survived. I feel God has given me an opportunity I can't miss. I'm leaving. Swat is not worth living in," pharmacist Nasir Jamal told AFP news agency.

    Residents say at least 24 civilians have lost their lives in the past two days.

    Some died when their houses were hit by artillery, while others were reportedly shot for defying a curfew.

    The BBC Urdu service's Riffatullah Orakzai says that eyewitnesses in the Kanju area near Mingora have seen militants set up checkposts on the main roads and are not allowing people who want to flee the fighting to pass.

    Witnesses say a large number of people, including women and children, are now stranded there.

    Shaukat Saleem, a lawyer who spoke to the BBC from Mingora, said that about 200,000 had now left the town, with a further 500,000 civilians remaining.

    He accused both the army and the Taleban of shooting civilians who tried to flee the fighting.

    Mr Saleem said that electricity supplies were sporadic and there was little or no water, while the price of goods had shot up.

    During the day there is usually a lull in the fighting, Mr Saleem said, with the Taleban very much in control. But at night the exchanges of fire increased and a lot of people had been killed.

    Troops moving into the Swat valley have been attacked by remote controlled bombs, while the army says it has killed dozens of militants.

    It also says it has recaptured emerald mines in the Shahdara area, near Mingora, which were being operated by the militants.

    Much of the fighting has focused on a hill which overlooks Mingora. The army says the Taleban have seized key buildings inside the town.

    The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says troops moving into Swat face resistance all along the 40km (25-mile) road that heads in a north-easterly direction from Malakand to Mingora.

    Our correspondent says that fighting has not only erupted in several areas around Mingora, but there are also reports of more clashes in the neighbouring area of Buner.

    In an another incident, militants overran a paramilitary fort in the Chakdara area of Lower Dir, officials say.

    Three paramilitary soldiers were killed in the attack and 10 policemen were taken away as hostages.


    They say that the Taleban used explosives and heavy weapons in the attack which severely damaged the fort.

    Tense situation

    Family members of cleric Sufi Mohammed say his son, Kiffayatullah, was killed in the Daro area of Lower Dir late on Wednesday night.

    "My brother was in his house when a mortar fell on it and he was killed," another of the cleric's sons, Zia ul-Islam, told the BBC. Sufi Mohammed's son-in-law was also injured in the attack.

    Sufi Mohammed acted as a mediator between the government and Taleban forces in the north-west and organised the now defunct peace deal in Swat.

    There has been no word from the military or the Taleban about the death.

    The BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad says the death of Kiffayatullah is likely to exacerbate an already tense situation.
     
  14. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pak security forces kill 64 militants in Buner, Swat districts


    Peshawar (NWFP), May 6 : Pakistan security forces killed sixty-four militants on Wednesday in northwest Buner and Swat districts.

    The army said 37 militants were killed in two clashes in the Swat Valley and 27 militants were killed in Buner district. The Frontier Corps said two security personnel were also killed today.

    Clashes erupted between security forces and militants on Wednesday near an emerald mine in Mingora held by the Taliban, leaving 45 militants and 35 civilians dead, official sources told Dawn.

    Militants also set two private banks on fire after looting them, the sources said.

    'There were 35 militants killed in the area near the emerald mines,' Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Athar Abbas said.

    A major military offensive is likely to begin in Swat shortly with the army ready to push back militants. Gunship helicopters were already pounding militant hideouts in the district's Mingora city.

    Reinforcements have already been deployed in the valley, according to local citizens, prompting speculation that action is imminent.

    On Tuesday, thousands of residents fled Swat following a government request to evacuate the area in preparation for a fresh offensive against Taliban militants.

    'More than 40,000 have migrated from Mingora since Tuesday afternoon,’ said Khushhal Khan, the chief administration officer in Swat, was quoted by the paper, as saying.
    --- ANI


    Pak security forces kill 64 militants in Bner, Swat districts .:. NewKerala - India 's Top Online Newspaper
     
  15. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistan UAV crash lands near Sargodha

    Press Trust Of India l Islamabad, May 07, 2009
    First Published: 14:13 IST(7/5/2009) l Last Updated: 14:29 IST(7/5/2009)


    An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of the Pakistan Air Force crash-landed while on a routine flight near an airbase in Punjab province.

    The UAV crash-landed due to a technical malfunction near the airbase at Sargodha, an official said.

    No loss of life or property occurred on the ground due to the crash landing, he added.


    Pakistan UAV crash lands near Sargodha- Hindustan Times

    ----------

    Like mannah from heaven, fell the quail from the skies.
     
  16. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    PM orders all-out war, tells army to eliminate Taliban once and for all

    By Zulfiqar Ghuman and Irfan Ghauri

    Friday, May 08, 2009


    ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday announced a full-scale military operation to wipe out the Taliban from the insurgency-hit areas.

    In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that after deliberations and discussions with all stakeholders, the government had decided to call in the military for decisive action against the Taliban.

    He said his government had tried all options to resolve the issue peacefully and implemented the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation despite pressure, but its efforts were taken as a sign of weakness.

    After the peace deal, the Taliban refused to disarm, attacked security forces personnel and checkposts, targeted those who had helped the government restore peace, stopped girls from going to schools and colleges, were disgraceful towards women and made the lives of minorities miserable, the prime minister said.

    He said the Taliban challenged the writ of the state and refused to accept the constitution, the parliament and the judiciary.

    Gilani said his government would not compromise on national sovereignty or bow before the Taliban. He appealed to the people of Pakistan, the civil society and the media to support the government and the army. Gilani also asked clerics and religious leaders to highlight what he called the true spirit of Islam.

    The prime minister announced Rs 1 billion for the rehabilitation of the people displaced by the unrest and promised a job to one member from every family that lost an earning member to terrorism.

    He appealed to the international community to help Pakistan in the rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons and enhancing the capacity of its security forces


    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

    x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x=x


    Operation to continue till mission accomplished: Zardari

    By Anwar Iqbal and Masood Haider
    Friday, 08 May, 2009 | 02:43 AM PST

    [​IMG]
    US Vice President Joe Biden plays host to a dinner with President
    Hamid Karzai and President Asif Ali Zardari in Washington.—Reuters



    WASHINGTON: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that the operation against the militants would continue till normalcy was restored.

    At a joint news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and US Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar, President Zardari stressed Pakistan’s commitment to defeating the terrorists.

    ‘The operation will go on till the situation returns to normal,’ the president said when asked how long would the operation Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced earlier in the day continue.

    The president said that Afghanistan and Pakistan realised they needed to improve their cooperation in the fight against the extremists and were willing to enhance their efforts to defeat them.

    ‘There’s a realisation in the world that it’s a regional problem, a worldwide problem. It is not an Afghan or a Tora Bora problem. It is not a problem secluded in the mountains of Pakhtoonkhwa,’ said Mr Zardari. ‘This realisation brings strength to the fight.’

    Responding to another question, Mr Zardari said Pakistan looked forward to building a better relationship with India after elections in that country. ‘If American friends can help us in doing so, they are welcome to.’

    Supporting President Zardari’s position on the issue of better cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Mr Karzai said that during the tripartite talks in Washington, the two countries had taken important steps to improve their coordination.

    ‘We have taken a significant step forward for reducing the trust deficit between the two countries,’ he said. ‘One of the fundamental steps we took was to address this issue. Now we will go home and work on it and show the results.’

    President Karzai said all three sides attending the Washington talks had come up with proposals for winning the war against the extremists.

    Senator John Kerry, who has cosponsored a $7.5 billion aid package along with his Republican counterpart Richard Lugar, said before the news conference the two leaders had held an important meeting with the Senate committees for foreign relations, armed forces and intelligence.

    The second part of the tripartite discussions focussed on ‘the real and tough problems’ faced by all three countries.

    The way the two presidents summarised the problem was ‘really unprecedented’ and led to a frank exchange between all senators and the two presidents, Mr Kerry said.

    ‘Some questions were very pointed and very direct. The senators were impressed by the candour of the presidents and the purpose behind these answers.’

    Senator Kerry said the meeting was not called to talk about what the US wanted Pakistan or Afghanistan to do. ‘We were here to listen to the presidents and learn what they believe they need.’

    Senator Lugar said that questions were also asked about President Karzai’s campaign to get re-elected and about the ISI’s alleged involvement with the militants.

    ‘The ISI chief Gen Pasha explained why the Taliban exists and what the relationship is,’ he said. ‘We asked them what do you want us to do? Do you want the US in your countries; do your people want it?’

    US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said another trilateral meeting would be held after the Afghan elections. He said the CIA and FBI chiefs also participated in the meeting with the senators.

    The aim was to promote ‘real cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan because without that cooperation success is not achievable,’ he said.

    Senator Kerry said he hoped the US Senate and the House would be able to overcome the differences between their bills for providing assistance to Pakistan.

    ‘We have a lot of confidence on how to pull that together, we have a sense of urgency, but we can’t give you a precise date,’ he said.


    DAWN.COM | World | Operation to continue till mission accomplished: Zardari
     
  17. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Jets bomb Taliban, 60 dead

    Friday, May 08, 2009


    * Taliban commander Ibne Aqil reported killed in Matta
    * Nine soldiers also killed, seven in ambush on convoy in Mingora



    PESHAWAR: Jet fighters and helicopter gunships pounded Taliban hideouts and centres in various parts of Swat and Lower Dir on Thursday, killing 60 Taliban.

    “We have carried out airstrikes today on known centres of militants killing around 60 [Taliban] in Swat and Lower Dir,” chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told Daily Times by telephone from Islamabad.

    Military sources said 12 Taliban were killed in Shamoozai area in Kabal tehsil of Swat and eight others in Malam Jaba. Fourteen Taliban were killed in Matta, Shahdheri and Kooza Cheena.

    Taliban commander Ibne Aqil was also reported killed in counter-attack by the police when the Taliban attacked Matta police station, military sources said.

    Nine soldiers: “In 24 hours, we lost nine soldiers and about 10 of them [were] injured,” General Abbas told AFP. Seven of the soldiers were killed when Taliban ambushed a convoy at the entrance to Mingora.

    Two soldiers were killed in the valley north of Matta,” the military spokesman told the news agency.

    In Lower Dir, district administration officials said the Taliban abducted 11 paramilitary troops after attacking the Malakand Levies Fort in Chakdara. They said three soldiers had been killed in the attack.

    Authorities agreed in February to a Taliban demand for the introduction of sharia law in the former tourist valley but the Taliban refused to disarm, and spread out of Swat into neighbouring districts.

    The advance raised alarm and led to accusations the government was capitulating to the Taliban.

    Security forces launched an offensive on April 26 to expel the Taliban from two of Swat’s neighbouring districts, Lower Dir and Buner.

    Security has deteriorated sharply in Swat as armed Taliban started patrol in the restive valley.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross warned that a humanitarian crisis was escalating in the area, AFP reported. It said the government had made preparations for up to half a million displaced from Swat.

    The Taliban have claimed to control “more than 90 percent” of Swat, it said. staff report/afp


    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
     
  18. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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  19. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Clashes, curfews and displacement across Malakand

    Dawn Report
    Friday, 08 May, 2009 | 10:29 PM PST |

    [​IMG]
    Pakistani army soldier stand guard in front of a damaged vehicle as residents
    flee the area in the background.—AFP



    MALAKAND: As preparations are underway for a full scale operation to restore government’s writ in Malakand region, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the violence- wrecked areas to find shelter with relatives in relatively safer places or end up in relief camps set up for the IDPs in various areas.

    Heavy reinforcements were seen being moved to Swat, Lower Dir and Malakand districts on Friday. Curfew has been declared in entire Lower Dir district from 8pm Friday to 7am Saturday while Malakand district was under curfew from 9pm Thursday to 3pm Friday. Long columns of troops backed by tanks and artillery were heading towards Swat and Lower Dir.

    Helicopters, jet fighters and artillery pounded suspected positions in the troubled region and fierce clashes between ground forces and militants have been reported from Maidan area of the Lower Dir. Telecommunication including cellular phones have been jammed in different parts of Malakand while most areas were without electricity.

    There is no confirmation of the army’s claim that over 140 militants had been killed in the offensive during last 24 hours.

    Witnesses said that entire Swat district, parts of Lower Dir and Buner districts were still under the militants’ control. Sources said that 15 militants were killed and scores wounded in choppers shelling in Kabal and Kanju areas of Swat district. Three people were killed in militants’ attack on Circuit House in Mingora city. Reinforcements reached Chakdara town but could not proceed towards Swat.

    Officials claimed that ten militants were killed in Maidan area of Lower Dir where house of Rizwanullah, son of Sufi Muhammad was also targeted. But a local militant leader claimed that one Taliban fighter was killed in exchange of firing with militants.

    In another incident a convoy was attacked in Kala Doog area in which one soldier Khalid Khan was killed and another wounded. Heavy fighting continued between forces and militants in Maidan.

    Security forces earlier claimed to have taken complete control of Maidan, the hometown of Sufi Muhammad. But, residents said that militants were roaming in Talash, Adeenzai and other towns of Lower Dir. Militants visited mosques in Talash and Adeenzai areas asking people to join them in fighting against security forces.

    In Buner district, one minor was killed and another suffered injuries when a mortar shell hit a residence in Bhai Kalay on Thursday night. Tension prevailed in the district and authorities did not relax curfew in affected areas.

    As fighting intensified, thousands of people are moving out from the troubled region. Large number of people could not leave their houses due to curfew and air strikes. Women, children and senior citizens are coming out of the hostile areas and looking for shelters in the plain areas. Long queues of pickup trucks, tractors and trucks loaded with internally displaced persons were heading towards Swabi, Mardan and Peshawar.

    Besieged residents of Mingora town have been pleading for lull in military action to enable them to move to safer places. People have started leaving Talash, Adeenzai and parts of Batkhela. Over 100 families left Talash town on Friday.

    A Dawn photographer who visited parts of troubled Buner district on Friday said that Ambela, which was said to have secured by the security forces, has become a ghost town. Burnt vehicles and wreckage of damaged houses littered the streets. Despite taking complete control of the town, terrified residents were seen moving out of the troubled spots.

    The security forces also distributed pamphlets in various areas accusing the Taliban of playing in the hands of anti-Pakistan elements. ‘They are the same as Jewish forces who are against the existence and security of the country and wanted to create disturbance in the region,’ read a leaflet.

    Government has planned to provide appropriate source of earning to the Taliban in Swat. But they (Taliban) violated the deal, started displaying weapons, occupied property of local people, started extorting money from the people and arranged forced mirages in the garb of mirage bureau, it said.


    Dawn Correspondents Hameedullah Khan, Haleem Asad, Abdur Rehman Abid and Gohar Ali Gohar contributed to this report.


    DAWN.COM | Provinces | Clashes, curfews and displacement across Malakand
     
  20. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistan says 140 militants killed in operation


    Pakistan's army says it has killed 140 militants in battles over the last 24 hours in the northwestern Swat Valley.

    Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas described the offensive Friday as a "full-scale" one that would rid the valley of Taliban.

    He gave no information on civilian casualties.


    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.


    MINGORA, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani jets screamed over a Taliban-controlled town Friday and bombed suspected militant positions as hundreds of thousands fled in terror and other trapped residents appealed for a pause in the fighting so they could escape.

    The U.N. said half a million people have either already left or are trying to flee the bombings in the northwestern Swat Valley area that followed strong U.S. pressure on nuclear-armed Pakistan to fight back against militants advancing toward the capital as a now-defunct peace deal crumbled.

    Pakistan has launched at least a dozen operations in the border region in recent years, but most ended inconclusively and after massive destruction and significant civilian deaths. It remains a haven for al-Qaida and Taliban militants, foreign governments say.

    To end one of those protracted offensives, the government signed a peace accord in Swat that provided for Islamic law in the region. But that deal began unraveling last month when Swat Taliban fighters moved into Buner, a neighboring district just 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Islamabad.

    Pakistan's prime minister appealed for international assistance late Thursday for the growing refugee crisis and vowed to defeat the militants in the latest operation.

    "I appeal to the people of Pakistan to support the government and army at this crucial time," Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in a television address. "We pledge to eliminate the elements who have destroyed the peace and calm of the nation and wanted to take Pakistan hostage at gunpoint."

    The military hailed signs of the public's mood shifting against the Taliban after the militants used the peace deal to regroup and advance.

    "The public have seen their real face," Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said. "They realize their agenda goes much beyond Shariah (Islamic) courts. They have a design to expand."

    Still, the pro-Western government will face a stiff task to keep a skeptical nation behind its security forces.

    The mayor of Mardan, the main district to the south of the fighting, said an estimated 250,000 people had fled in recent days and that more were on the move. Of those, 4,500 were staying in camps, while the rest were with relatives or rented accomodation, he said.

    Pakistani officials have said up to 500,000 are expected leave. The exodus from Swat adds to the more than 500,000 already displaced by fighting elsewhere in Pakistan's volatile border region with Afghanistan.


    A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Ron Redmond, said Friday in Geneva that up to 200,000 people have arrived in safe areas in the past few days and that another 300,000 are on the move or are about to flee.

    Military operations are taking place in three districts that stretch over some 400 square miles (1,000 square kilometers). Much of the fighting has been in the Swat Valley's main city of Mingora, a militant hub that was home to around 360,000 people before the insurgency two years ago.

    Many of those have fled the city, but tens of thousand remain. Some have said the Taliban are not allowing them to leave, perhaps because they want to use them as "human shields" and make the army unwilling to use force.

    "We want to leave the city, but we cannot go out because of the fighting," said one resident, Hidayat Ullah. "We will be killed, our children will be killed, our women will be killed and these Taliban will escape."

    "Kill terrorists, but don't harm us," he pleaded.

    The military says that more than 150 militants and several soldiers have been killed since the offensive began last week. It has not given any figures for civilian deaths, but witness and local media say they have occurred. A hospital in Mardan just south of the battle zone on Thursday was treating 45 civilians with serious gunshot or shrapnel wounds.

    Among the youngest patients was Chaman Ara, a 12-year-old girl with shrapnel wedged in her left leg. She said she was wounded last week when a mortar shell hit the truck taking her family and others out of Buner.

    She said seven people died, including one of her cousins, and pointed to a nearby bed where the boy's wounded mother lay prone. "We mustn't tell her yet. Please don't tell her," she whispered.

    ___

    An AP reporter in Mingora who was not identified for security reasons and writer Riaz Khan in Mardan contributed to this report.


    NEWSMEAT ▷ Pakistan Says 140 Militants Killed in Operation
     

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