Tag Archive | "Buner"

Taliban Burn 14 Schools in Buner


PESHAWAR - Taliban militants have blown up at least nine schools, one basic health unit, a warehouse of a private construction company and a policeman’s house in Chagharzai area of Buner district. Militants also torched five educational institutions in Shangla. The local people and officials at Daggar, headquarter of Buner, informed Tuesday that Taliban destroyed nine schools in scattered areas along with a basic health unit at Topi on late Monday night. The destroyed schools included both for girls and boys. So far no one has claimed responsibility for destruction of these schools and a health unit.

The NWFP Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour has confirmed the destruction of schools in Chagharzai area. He said that militants had also set the house of a police head constable on fire in the area.

It may be mentioned here that a large number of Taliban militants have assembled in scattered areas of Chagharzai, Buner, in the wake of military action against them in Swat, Shangla and Dir areas and are making attempts to consolidate their positions. Chagharzai connects Swat and Buner with Shangla, Mansehra and Batagram districts. Thousands of people from Chagharzai area have abandoned their houses and shifted to safer places. The district administration has established a camp for these internally displaced persons in Swari area but the affected people are unhappy with the arrangements.

Online adds: Militants also set five schools on fire in Shangla on Tuesday, a private TV channel reported.

Before and after the military operation Rah-e-Rast, the militants have destroyed and torched over 366 schools in District Swat, Buner and Dir. 238 schools have been torched in Swat, 36 in Buner and the rest in district Dir. 205 schools of girls and 15 of boys are among the torched and destroyed schools.

-Source: The Nation-

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Shangla Becomes New Taliban Base


PESHAWAR: Taliban militants fleeing Swat and Buner are increasingly seeking refuge in the Shangla district and making their presence felt by attacking government installations and pro-military politicians and elders.

“I am hearing reports that there are now 1,500 militants in parts of Shangla’s Puran Tehsil bordering Buner. They pose a threat to all of us,” said Fazlullah, the young Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) from Shangla and a relation of former federal minister and PML-Q NWFP President Amir Muqam.

On Wednesday night, Fazlullah’s cousin Haji Khalil Khan, the PML-Q President for Shangla who had been mobilising the people against the Taliban, was killed when a large group of militants attacked his house in Chogha Makhozai village. “The NWFP Chief Minister, Ameer Haider Hoti, who visited Shangla on Thursday to offer his condolences on Haji Khalil’s death also asked me about the militants’ strength in the area. I told him that I haven’t seen the Taliban myself but am aware of their growing presence in parts of Puran Tehsil,” recalled Fazlullah.

Fazlullah’s father Pir Mohammad Khan was killed in a suicide bombing at Amir Muqam’s house in Peshawar’s Hayatabad locality in early 2008. Shangla’s headquarters, Alpurai, was overrun by the Taliban militants, who had mostly come from Swat in 2007. The entire civil and police administration had fled the town. A military operation had to be launched to evict the militants from Shangla at the time, but as has been the case elsewhere, the Taliban gradually returned to parts of the district, particularly to Puran area which is adjacent to Buner. Due to the recent military action in Buner, militants from there have moved to Shangla.

Many militants from Swat, particularly its Charbagh and Khwazakhela Tehsils, have also sought refuge in Shangla.

After gaining strength in Shangla, the militants were reported to have set up roadside checkpoints at certain places, including Shaheed Sar, Hindwano Kandao and Sar Qalla on the Puran-Buner Road. They were patrolling the area and had already blown up a telephone exchange in Puran and fired at a security forces convoy in Martung.

Fazlullah said reports of militants’ attack on his house and that of Amir Muqam weren’t true. “Firing took place near Amir Muqam’s house in the village but it wasn’t attacked,” he clarified the reports appearing in the press.

According to Fazlullah, his family was a target of the militants due to its support for the military operation in Shangla and the rest of Malakand Division. “We are peaceful people. We are against militancy and terrorism. But if a known political family like us isn’t safe, then how could the common people feel confident while living in Shangla,” he argued.

He said security forces should take action against the militants in Shangla but care must be taken to avoid civilian casualties and the use of artillery guns to shell long distance targets be avoided. “We don’t want our poor people to suffer,” he stressed.

On Thursday, the two Taliban militants who were killed in the attack on Haji Khalil’s house were identified. Haji Khalil and his men had fought the militants and killed two of them.

Both were local and hailed from Dheray village in Puran Tehsil. One was Khurshid Ali and the other was identified as Adil. The police arrested Khurshid’s father, named Subedar, along with his brother. Adil’s family members weren’t arrested as they had already disowned and disinherited him for refusing to quit the Taliban.

Taliban arrival in Shangla in growing numbers is a pattern that would be repeated elsewhere in the NWFP in future. They would retreat from areas that are under military attack and move to places where the civil administration and police are weak and the Army has little or no presence. The militants’ strategy is to wage a guerrilla war, create fear among the people and destabilise the area.

-Source: The News-

Posted in NewsComments (1)

Pakistan Most Important Country, Says Holbrooke


WASHINGTON: US special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said Pakistan is the most important country of the world adding that It is still unclear if Pakistan’s offensive in Swat has killed off Taliban insurgents or simply scattered them, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday, adding a note of caution to U.S. praise for the effort.

After being accused by the United States of “abdicating” to a Taliban insurgency that has heightened concerns about nuclear-armed Pakistan’s stability, the Pakistani government launched an offensive in Swat in late April and says it has since killed 1,800 militants.

Independent estimates are not available and critics say few guerrilla leaders have been eliminated, making it possible for the insurgents to regroup.

“We don’t know exactly to what extent the Pakistani army dispersed or destroyed the enemy,” Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters after returning from a trip to the two countries.

“The test of this operation is, of course, when the refugees return. Can they go home? Are they safe? And we’re just going to have to wait and see,” he added.

Security forces are nearing the end of an operation launched close to three months ago in the Swat valley and the nearby districts of Buner and Lower Dir, but they still face pockets of resistance in some areas.

Close to 2 million people were displaced by the fighting, and authorities have started helping many of them return home.

Holbrooke praised Islamabad for shifting troops from its eastern border, where they face Pakistan’s traditional enemy India, and sending them to the western border, where the United States has long wanted greater Pakistani involvement to try to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan and to destroy al Qaeda.

Speaking as she met Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Phuket, Thailand, on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as is typical of U.S. officials, had little but praise for Pakistan’s efforts.

“I must say … that the progress that your government is making in this effort, of the significant return of people back to their homes because of the success of the government policy and military action, has been encouraging and impressive,” Clinton said as she met Qureshi at an Asia-Pacific gathering.

-Source: The News-

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Sufi Muhammad, Two Sons Held in Peshawar

sufi-302PESHAWAR: The head of banned Tehrik Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM), Maulana Sufi Muhammad, was arrested here on Sunday.

Minister for Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain said at a press conference here that police arrested Sufi Muhammad from a house in Sethi Town.

According to sources, two sons of Sufi Muhammad were also arrested from the house where they had been living since July 6. Mian Iftikhar, however, did not confirm the arrest of Sufi’s sons.

‘The government has arrested Maulana Sufi Muhammad under 16 MPO and he will be tried under the law of the land for his highly objectionable activities,’ Mian Iftikhar said.

His activities were undermining government’s efforts to restore peace in the region, he said.

The minister said the government had released Maulana Sufi for the sake of peace in Malakand and now had arrested him for the sake of peace in Malakand. He said people of Malakand had paid a heavy price for peace and nobody would be allowed to again create unrest in the area.

Sufi Mohammad, he said, had been released because the government believed that he understood the gravity of the situation and would not repeat his wrongdoings. But he started reorganising his group and convened meetings of shoora in Peshawar which was unacceptable for the government, Mian Iftikhar said.

Sufi was released on April 21 last year from a prison in Dera Ismail Khan. He had been detained on his return from Afghanistan where he had gone to defend the crumbling Taliban government.

Most of his men he had taken to Afghanistan to fight western forces were either killed or arrested and are now serving jail terms in that country. The government released him after he signed a peace deal on Feb 6 this year and promised to mediate with militants, led by his son-in-law Maulana Fazlullah, to stop violence and lay down their weapons.

Under the controversial deal, the government agreed to promulgate Nizam-i-Adl regulations in Malakand division. When the peace deal collapsed and security forces launched an operation against militants on May 5, he was seen in Amandara before surfacing in Peshawar early this month.

‘Sufi Muhammad is the main culprit. He is responsible for militancy and violence in Malakand and he will be brought to justice.’

All cases against him would be reopened, he said.

-{Source: Dawn}-

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Waziristan vs Swat

By Ali Abbas Rizvi

pak-arm-wazir-232With the Swat operation now more or less over, it is time for the return of the IDPs. However, the military operation in South Waziristan has just commenced. How different will it be from the operation that has recently concluded? Taking into account several factors, one expects it to be vastly different. Consider the following.

First, the size of Waziristan, both North and South, is almost two and a half times the size of the Swat valley. It is a rough terrain, sparsely populated unlike the lush green Swat valley, which was densely populated. As such, security forces will adopt different strategies and parameters to operate in this inhospitable terrain, not all of them uncomplicated.

Second, unlike Swat, which was a settled area encircled by Buner, Dir, Shangla and Chitral, South Waziristan shares a long porous border with Afghanistan besides North Waziristan, where the army is not presently launching an operation.

Therefore, for militants in South Waziristan, getting supplies and reinforcements may not be a huge problem unlike their ‘adolescent’ cousins in Swat. Third, South Waziristan hosts a much larger concentration of militants, including Uzbeks and Al Qaeda, as compared to Swat. Many of these jihadis, entrenched here for the past several years, are battle-hardened, better-trained and better-equipped than their counterparts in Swat.

They are not novices like their cousins in the valley but veterans of the Afghan war. As such, they will pose a grave challenge to security forces. Fourth, the single most important factor in the whole scenario is that unlike the militants in Swat, the Taliban and Al Qaeda in South Waziristan are facing an increasing number of US drone attacks.

These attacks are turning out to be extremely effective, accurate and demoralising for the militants. Fifth, there has been a significant change in the American mindset with Washington no longer treating Baitullah Mehsud as Pakistan-specific problem. The Americans are sharing more information with the army, even providing real time intelligence on the movement of militants in the region, say reports.

Some other welcoming aspects of the fighting in Waziristan for the army are subsequent to a major strategic reorientation, security services now have a sense of direction and purpose in the war against terror, that the media coverage will not be as intensive as that in Swat, the issue of IDPs will not be as large as that of Malakand and the army will have at its disposal resources to instil doubts and insecurity in commanders allied to Baitullah and sow dissension and divisions among them.

The army’s counterinsurgency strategy seems to have two components. The first is high-intensity kinetic operations and the second is clear political counter-vision. The military strategy could be to pound the militants from air, target them from drones, force them to retreat to caves, use artillery to hit known and suspected targets and command and control centres and use personnel of Special Services Group to hit far-off militants’ hideouts. For a sustained and successful operation, the army will also require combat and cargo helicopters, night-vision devices, counter-fire radars, drones, sensors and battlefield surveillance radars.

The army may have calculated that over a period of time, the Taliban will be demoralised, become prone to error and could rise up against their own comrades. Baitullah is the centre of gravity that holds the entire structure together.

The day Baitullah is gone the militants will lose their sting. For security forces, time is of essence. They will have to keep the militants from taking over the cleared territory again. For this, they will require the support of an effective administration and deploy troops to develop confidence in the local population. They cannot afford to lose the support of the people, parliament and the government for the operation, the three key variables.

On the other hand, the trump card that Baitullah holds is suicide attacks. He will try to create chaos in major cities through such attacks. While every suicide attack will bring pain and destruction in its wake, for the people of Pakistan it is something that has been happening for quite sometime. The more it happens, the more it loses its intrinsic value.

waziristan326On the battlefield, Baitullah will launch ambushes, frontal attacks, improvised explosive devices, diversionary strikes, bait and ambush attacks, hit-and-run raids, anti-armour and RPG ambushes, sniper and suicide attacks. Also, long military columns moving at slow speeds are vulnerable to attacks by militants familiar with the terrain.

In any case, Waziristan is going to be a tough operation for security forces. However, as things stand today, there is no easy way out.

The writer is news editor, The News, Karachi. Email: [email protected]

-(Source: The News)-

Posted in ArticlesComments (0)

Gen (R) Musharraf and Tikka Iqbal Case

July 23, Dunya Today with Moeed Pirzada: Topic: Gen (R) Musharraf’s future. Guests: Gen. (R) Hameed Gul (Former DG ISI), Akram Sheikh (Sr SC Attorney), Barrister M. Ali Saif.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (0)

$2B Being Spent on Rental Power Plants

Jul 23, Aaj Kamran Khan Kay Saath on Geo: Discussion with power and electricity crisis with Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Javed Ahmed, Ahmed Parekh and Muhammad Sohail. Why $2 Billion are being spent on rental power plant to temporarily obtain electricity for the country. After 5 years these power plants will be returned. Then what?

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (0)

Stock Taking of PPP Government

July 23: Hameed Ullah Jan Afridi, Senator Maulana Gull Nasib, Aqil Yousaf Zai and Senator Zahid Khan (ANP) in fresh episode of Capital Talk with Hamid Mir on Geo and discuss PPP governance, crisis in country, etc.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (0)

Musharraf’s Future in Judiciary’s Hands

Jul 23 episode of Islamabad Tonight with Nadeem Malik: Haroon Rasheed (Columnist), Orya Maqbool Jan (Columnist) and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf (Minister for power, PPP) discuss pathetic state of electric power system in the country and its political implications, present and future.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (0)

Holbrooke May Seek Full-Fledged Operation in SW

richard_holbrooke_0123ISLAMABAD: Richard Holbrooke, the Special US Envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan may demand a full-fledged military operation in South Waziristan in his talks with Pakistani leaders during his three-day visit to Islamabad that began on Tuesday.

“The special American envoy will urge the Pakistani leaders to go for a full-fledged operation against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in Waziristan along with the ongoing small-scale offensives in Swat, Buner and Dir,” said a diplomatic source here on Tuesday desiring not to be named.

However, he said that despite the announcement by the Pakistani government to go after Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan and launch a military operation, there were no chances that troops were to be moved there in large number for an offensive anytime soon.

The source said that Pakistan was in agreement with the United States on the need of military operation against Baitullah Mehsud but the difference of opinion was on the timing of that offensive.

He said that Pakistan first wanted to consolidate its position in Swat, Dir and Buner, rehabilitate the people in their hometowns and ensure their safety before opening another war front in Waziristan.

“Once peace and order is restored in Swat, Dir and Buner then the government has no problem with ground operation in Waziristan and one should not forget that Pakistan Air Force is already pounding the militants’ hideouts there for the last couple of weeks to soft the target,” the source said.

An official here when contacted said that there was a desire in US capital for operations in Pakistani tribal areas but we believed that there was also an understanding of ground realities in Pakistan.

“The Americans know that opening of too many war fronts could have repercussions for Pakistan’s stability and I also believe that they also realise how important it is, so fully secure the Swat, Buner and Dir after a large-scale military operation there,” the official said.

When asked about other important items on the agenda of Richard Holbrooke, the official said that the US envoy would meet the President, Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff and discussed with them other issues like American efforts for the normalisation of Indo-Pak relations.

He said that the US envoy, whose visit to Pakistan coincides with that of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to India, was also likely to visit New Delhi after his trip to Islamabad and Kabul.

Moreover, he said the American envoy would also visit the war affected areas in Swat and Buner during his current visit. Holbrooke was also likely to visit Lahore and meet the PML-N leader, Mian Nawaz Sharif, he added.

-Source: The Nation-

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Crisis of Governance

Jul 22 Live With Talat: Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo (PPP), Humayun Akhtar Khan (PML-Q), Senator Pervaiz Rasheed (PML-N) discuss national crises and crisis of governance with Talat Hussain.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (0)

Yes I Did Something Un-Constitutional - Musharraf

July 22: Kamran Khan presents fresh episode of A”aj Kamran Khan Kay Saath” in Geo TV and talk with Hamid Khan (Petitioner), Justice (R) Tariq Mehmood, Justice (R) Nasir Aslam Zahid, Khawaja M. Asif (PML-N), Senator Jhangir Badar (PPP), Shafqat Memood (Analyst) and Ahsan Iqbal (PML-N) on Supreme Court’s summon notice to ex-President Gen (R) Pervez Mushaaraf in Tikka Iqbal case.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (2)

Top Talk Shows Today

  • CAPITAL TALK With HAMID MIR on Geo: Dec 30

    Hamid Mir conducts another episode of his talk show Capital Talk from Gwadar, the new seaport of Balochistan where the federal cabinet including all 4 CMs and PM met to unanimously sign off on the NFC award..

  • OFF the RECORD With KASHIF ABBASI on ARY: Dec 30

    A MUST WATCH: Pakistan Peoples Party leadership’s Pakistan Na Khappe slogan on Dec 27, 2007 and its resonance on Dec 27, 2009. Why politics of blackmail? Guests: Shazia Marri (PPP), Sen. Zafar ali Shah (PML-N), Haroon ur Rasheed (Analyst)..


    A MUST WATCH: Analysis of consequences of President Asif Zardari’s speech on Dec 27 - 2nd death anniversary of Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto. Guests: Zahid Hussain (Sr Journalist), Arif Nizami (Analyst), Shaheen Sehbai (Group Editor The News), Haroon ur Rasheed (Analyst)..


    Suicide attack on Ashura procession in Karachi on Dec 28. 44 people were killed and more than 90 people have been injured. Around 2500 shops were set ablaze and 45 vehicles destroyed. Total loss more than 30 billion rupees..


    A MUST WATCH: Mubasher Lucman presents sweeping evidences of role of Blackwater, Xe, FBI in Pakistan, specifically intimidation and interrogation of Dr Mehvish Baig - a naturalized Pakistani American who is been trying to give up her US citizenship. Also, Lucman questions whether US actual objective is to destabilize Pakistan..

  • RSSMore »
PK Papers
Biz Recorder

Daily Times
The Nation
The News
Frontier Post
Daily Express
Daily Ibrat
Friday Times

Help Wanted

PHP Programmer in Pakistan to work for us from home; Cartoonist based in Pakistan; Photographers based in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad; Send Resume to: [email protected]

Daily Posts

December 2009
« Nov