Tag Archive | "Dir"

Fazlullah Safe, Sound in Afghanistan: Self-Claim

Wednesday, November 18 PESHAWAR: Swat Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah on Tuesday claimed that he had safely crossed over to Afghanistan.

The BBC Urdu Service said the Maulana phoned its Peshawar reporter Abdul Hai Kakar to claim that he was in Afghanistan and that his fighters would soon start guerrilla attacks against security forces in Swat.

The report said Fazlullah read a written statement while speaking from a mobile phone having Afghanistan code. The signal wasn’t clear, probably due to the fact the he was in some remote mountainous area.

Fazlullah threatened that NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who is in the forefront in condemning the Taliban, would meet the same fate as late Afghan president Dr Najibullah. It may be recalled that Dr Najibullah was shot dead and then hanged, along with his younger brother Ahmadzai, in Kabul’s Aryana Square by the Afghan Taliban on September 27, 1996 on the day they captured the city.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain on his part said the provincial government would probe the circumstances in which Fazlullah escaped from Swat.

The ANP-PPP government and the federal government functionaries as well as military authorities have been claiming that Fazlullah had been cornered in a small area in Swat after being injured in an Army action.

“It’s next to impossible to take a crippled man, if we are to believe the government version, from Swat to Afghanistan. Even if he hasn’t lost any of his limbs, crossing over to Afghanistan for a person like Fazlullah is difficult because he would have to go through Dir and Bajaur’s Momand area to enter the neighbouring country. He can be spotted, particularly when escorted by a group of people,” former ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand told The News.

Rustam Shah said it would be considered a defeat for both the Taliban and security forces. “Actually, the massive military operation that resulted in huge displacement was launched to kill or capture this man. If he covers such a long distance in a hard area to escape, it’s the failure of security forces,” he argued.

On the other hand, Rustam Shah said it was an utter defeat for the Taliban as their movement in the area was no more and the leadership fled because it was convinced they could not survive in the valley. He believed it was difficult for Fazlullah to cross over to Afghanistan but he might have gone there. “It could also be a tactic to distract security forcesí attention from him and make them believe to stop a search for him,” he added.

Former secretary security Fata Brig (retd) Mahmood Shah said his escape to Afghanistan was the failure of security forces. “It would be a great embarrassment for Pakistani and Afghan security forces if Fazlullah has crossed over,” he said.

However, he doubted that whether he had gone to the neighbouring country. “Some mobile SIMs of Afghanistan work in border areas of Pakistan so it doesn’t prove he is on other side of the border,” he said. He also questioned as to whether the person who talked to the BBC was really Fazlullah. Mahmood Shah said he didn’t think Fazlullah had gone to Afghanistan and argued he might have orchestrated this drama to find an excuse for their failure to continue their activities in Swat.

“Neither Fazlullah could run an organisation from Afghanistan nor the Afghan Taliban will allow him to do so,” Rustam Shah said and hastened to add that Fazlullah might be asked to either fight against the Nato forces or peacefully live in the southern part of that country.

Posted in Afghanistan, NewsComments (0)

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)

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)

Nation’s Form and Style of Protesting Against Load Shedding

July 23, Kal Tak with Javed Choudhry. Topic: Nation’s form and style of protesting against load shedding which included burning of train in Jhang, Faisalabad. Guests: Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour (ANP), Sardar Nageel Ahmed Gobol (PPP), Javed Hashmi (PML-N)

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)

Musharraf’s Future: Anastasio, Pinochet, Noriega Or?

July 22, Kal Tak with Javed Choudhry on Express News: Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed (Pres AML), Prof. Ibrahim Khan (JI), Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi (PPP) discuss Musharraf’s future in the light of Supreme Court summon to him in Tikka Iqbal case.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (1)

Will It Be Treason or Murder Charge Against Musharraf?

July 22: Islamabad Tonight with Nadeem Malik: Ikram Chaudhary, Wasi Zafar Shah and Irfan Siddiqui discuss potential treason and or murder case against Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf in the light of the Supreme Court’s summon of the ex-president in Tikka Iqbal case.

Posted in Talk ShowsComments (0)

Top Talk Shows Today


    Nelson Mandela and Pakistani politicians. Discussion on NA-55 Rawalpindi bye-elections as ordered by the Supreme Court. Guests: Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (AML), Makhdoom Javaid Hashmi (PML-N), Nabeel Ahmad Gabol (PPP)..


    Year 2009 in Pakistan: Restoration of Judiciary; Return of IDPs in Swat & Malakand; Suicide Bombings; Guests: Ahsan Iqbal (PML-N), Dr Farrukh Saleem (Analyst), Irfan Siddiqui (Columnist)..


    Year 2009: Restoration of Judges, Swat & Malakand Ops; Suicide bombings on Police, ISI, FIA centers, Presence of Blackwater & similar US private armies in Pakistan; War on Terror Casualties inside Pakistan: 25000 since 2001 and 11529 just in 2009. Guests: Dr Ejaz Shafi Gilani (Gallup Pak), Dr Safdar Abbasi (PPP), A S Chaudhry (Astrologist)

  • CAPITAL TALK With HAMID MIR on Geo: Dec 31

    Year 2009: Suicide bombings a major event in Pakistan; Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi’s Fatwa against suicide bombings; Rental power plants; Foreign media talks against Pakistan’s nuclear assets; Talks about Balkanization of Pakistan..


    Taking stock of year 2009 vis-a-vis President Asif Zardari’s and PPP’s performance in government. Guests: Khawaja Saad Rafique (PML-N), Nabeel Gabol (PPP), Kamil Ali Agha (PML-Q)

  • 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

January 2010
« Dec