Tag Archive | "FATA"

Gilani says President is ready to transfer power of 58-2(b) to PM

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the President is ready to transfer power of 58-2(b) to the prime minister, saying that the Indian interference in Balochistan and FATA will be raised in talks with India, while changing of the Governor NWFP is not possible.

Addressing a press conference and talking to media men here after inspection of the registration process of the IDPs at Ratta Kulachi Stadium and meeting with a Jirga, the prime minister said that President Asif Ali Zardari has offered him power of 58-2 (b) and to appoint service chiefs as he (PM) is the Chief Executive of the country.

Talking about the Indian interference in Waziristan and Balochistan, the prime minister said that the proofs in this regard have been found but India is not ready to talk and the matter will be raised in talks with India. He said that the terrorists have the latest weapons through drugs’ money and the international community has been asked to control smuggling of weapons.

When asked about changing of the NWFP Governor, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the changing of the NWFP Governor would be tantamount to the changing of General during a war, adding that under the prevailing situation, it is not possible.

Talking about Operation Rah-e-Nijat, the prime minister said that the required targets are being achieved in the operation, saying that the security forces are taking control over the strongholds of terrorists and terrorists are on the run.

(News sourced from: Regional Times)

Posted in News, PoliticsComments (0)

Samjhota Express ‘RDX” used in Peshawar blast

Intelligence information and investigation has revealed that the explosives used in Peshawar blasts were similar to the RDX used in the ‘Samjhota Express’ incident in India.

The explosive material - Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) - was used in Khyber Bazaar bomb blast.

Sources confirmed to TheNation that texplosive material used in the deadly bomb blast which took place at Khyber Bazaar Peshawar last month, was identical to what had been used in exploding Samjhota Express in India.

Sources say the Pakistani security agencies have found concrete evidences to prove Indian involvement in Khyber Bazaar blast in which VBIED was used.

Sources close the development revealed that the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was behind the terrible blast which left more than 42 innocent people dead and 100 others wounded, including women and children.

“Lt Col Prohit of the Indian Army who is the prime accused in the Samjhota Express explosion case, was the expert and qualified to handle VBIED and its manufacturing process,” sources said.

Sources further disclosed that the security agencies had nabbed several suspects in connection with the Peshawar blast during the recent crackdown from different parts of the country.

“Investigations are underway as the arrested suspects are being grilled. The investigators have found some important leads during the interrogation,” a source privy to the investigators said, but did not mention any further details due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The recent revelations have strengthened the contention that Col Prohit and his team was also responsible for the Samjhauta blast.

Last year, the prosecutor had told an Indian court that Prohit had procured RDX from Jammu and Kashmir while used part of it in Samjhauta blasts. However, the prosecutor retracted the claim the next day under duress.

The Indian government had promised after the Samjhota Express tragedy that it would share its findings with Pakistan. However, little has been shared with Pakistan, sources maintained adding, in the Joint Anti Terror Mechanism (JATM) meetings, India had also admitted that it had “run against a wall” in the investigation.

With the involvement of Hindu extremist groups resurfacing in the wake of the blasts, it has been reported that a team comprising police and CBI officials had zeroed in on Hindu extremist groups in Indore in connection with the Samjhauta Express blasts in 2007 in which 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, were killed. Investigators have found that certain items such as suitcases, bottles and batteries used in the blasts were purchased from Indore.

Interestingly, while most Muslim suspects in terror cases are charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Prohit and his co-accused were not booked under it according to a court decision on 31 July.

Ironically, the Indian spy agencies are secretly patronising Hindu hardliners to destabilise Pakistan by setting up training camps in several parts of India. On the other hand Indian government and agencies have launched malicious campaign against Pakistan and its security agencies alleging that Pakistani intelligence agencies are using Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) for conducting attacks on Indian economic hubs by pumping money to terrorist network as part of its propaganda campaign. Recently, the Indian prime minister proclaimed that tumultuous situation in Pakistan raised the possibility of terrorist attacks in India. Such an attempt is aimed at detracting the world opinion against Pakistan.

It is worth mentioning that the India is tarnishing Pakistan’s image abroad by trumpeting and whipping up Mumbai firing incident.

The Khyber Bazaar suicide blast was the most devastating as according to the experts the explosives used in the explosion were not more than 50 kg but it went off amid one of the busiest markets functioning in provincial capital, causing the worst damage.

At least 100 kg explosive material was used in another suicide attack on Syed Fakhr-e-Alam Road on September 28, the less destructive one, which killed 18 people, experts said.

Posted in NewsComments (0)

FRONTLINE with Kamran Shahid: Nov 13

A MUST WATCH: Discussion on South Waziristan Ops: Guests: Ayaz Wazir (Former diplomat who belongs to So Waziristan); Prof. A. H. Nayyar (Analyst), Siraj ul Haq (NWFP Ameer of Jamaat Islami)..

Posted in Frontline, Talk ShowsComments (0)

Pakistan army plans to enter Taliban strongholds

PKonweb Monitor

Pakistan army is one to two weeks away from winning control of all major roads in its assault on Taliban fighters in the tribal region of South Waziristan, and will then move to take on the militants in their mountain strongholds, says a report.

In the first stage of the month-old South Waziristan operation, 28,000 troops have captured key highways and all the significant towns in the region, Major General Athar Abbas said in an interview at army headquarters yesterday. “In the second phase, we go and chase and eliminate them from the pockets and their hideouts,” he said after militants attacked a spy agency office in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing 20 people.

The army started the campaign, the biggest yet against militant insurgents, on Oct. 17. The U.S. is pressuring Pakistan to clear the area of Taliban guerrillas, who it says are using bases there for attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The Taliban “keep calling it a tactical retreat, but in fact it was a rout,” Abbas told Bloomberg in Rawalpindi, the military headquarters city adjacent to the capital, Islamabad. “You don’t leave behind your personal weapons and ammunition” in an organized withdrawal, he said, as the army has found the guerrillas doing in Waziristan.

More than 500 militants have been killed in the offensive, while 55 soldiers have died, he said.

The offensive has provoked suicide bombings and commando raids by militants that have killed about 400 people in towns and cities, including the capital, over the last six weeks. Terrorist attacks had already increased after former Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a missile strike by a drone aircraft in the Waziristan area in August.

The army operation in South Waziristan is targeting the Tehreek-e-Taliban, the group now led by Hakimullah Mehsud that Pakistan blames for 80 percent of terrorist attacks on its soil.

Army Chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani while talking to his top commanders three days ago said attacks by militants were acts of “cowardice and frustration,” as they were unable to face the military.

Today, he visited Ladha and Sararogha in South Waziristan to meet the field commanders and troops engaged in Operation Rah-e-Nijat.

Posted in News, PoliticsComments (0)

Kayani asks US to stop drone attacks

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani on Friday again demanded from US to stop drone attacks and provide drone technology to Pakistan.

Sources said that the Chief of the Army Staff expressed these views during his meeting with the US advisor on National Security, James Jones on Friday at the GHQ.

A host of issues came under discussion like Pak-US Defense ties, the war against terrorism, situation in Afghanistan, internal and regional security and others.

During the meeting, the COAS briefed James Jones about the ongoing operation in South Waziristan. He expressed his concern on eliminating check posts at the Afghan side on the Pakistani border.

Pakistan, he said, has paid a heavy price in the war against terrorism, adding that the drone attacks must be halted immediately.

The issues relating to the new Afghan government and others were discussed with James Jones.

James Jones said that US will keep on cooperating with Pakistan thick and thin, urging that the ongoing SWA Operation is of utmost importance, adding that the National Security is most vital.

(News Sourced from: Regional Times)

Posted in News, PoliticsComments (0)

ICG report proposes solutions to Fata militancy

In its latest report on militancy in Pakistan, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) recommends that the United States should impose sanctions on key Pakistani military commanders and spy agencies if they fail to prove their will to curb extremism.

According to the report, the US and international community should also make military aid to Pakistan conditional on the army taking ‘demonstrable steps’ to stop the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) from being used for extremism.

‘If the Pakistani military does not respond positively, consider, as a last resort, targeted and incremental sanctions, including travel and visa bans and the freezing of financial assets of key military leaders and military-controlled intelligence agencies,’ the think tank recommends.

The ICG’s suggestions were released following a spate of killings in Pakistan in October, which included a brazen attack by militants on the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi that left a brigadier and a lieutenant-colonel dead.

The report identified ‘poorly-coordinated military operations’ along with ‘appeasement deals’ with militants as the actual cause for increased militant recruitment. It argued that Talibanisation in Fata was not related to tribal traditions and was, in fact, the consequence of short-sighted military policies and the ongoing reliance on laws from the colonial era.

‘The military’s resort to indiscriminate force, economic blockades and appeasement deals is only helping the Taliban cause. Despite Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s declaration in June 2009 that ‘the time for dialogue with the militants was over,’ the military still alternates between excessive force against and appeasement deals with militants, ‘ claims the report.

The alternating use of force and negotiations in an expanded area, including North and South Waziristan, Bajaur, and Mohmand agencies, has done immense damage, giving militants space to regroup and attack with a renewed vigour.

The ICG points out that it was the April 2004 deal brokered in South Waziristan between the army and militants by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman which helped the local militants to establish Taliban-style policing system and courts.

Once the militants were given breathing space, they spread their ideology from South Waziristan into other tribal agencies and eventually made inroads to the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).

‘Instead of a sustained attempt to dismantle and destroy the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) network – led by Baitullah Mehsud until his death on Aug 5, 2009 in a US drone attack and now by his deputy Hakimullah Mehsud – the military continues to rely on a two-pronged approach of sporadic strikes and negotiations with militant groups.

‘Given that such operations are, by the military’s own admission, restricted, militant networks are ultimately able to absorb the blows even as indiscriminate damage alienates the local population caught in the crossfire,’ explains the report.

Suggesting remedies, the group argues that only political, administrative, and economic reforms by Pakistan government in Fata could stop the spread of religious extremism.

The report lashes out at the political system in Fata, saying ‘the government should dismantle the existing undemocratic system of patronage driven by political agents as well as tribal maliks (elders) who are increasingly dependent on militants for protection.’

The Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) should be repealed and replaced by the Pakistan Criminal Procedure Code, while Fata should be given provincial rights and merged with NWFP, the report further recommends.

Although the prime minister vowed in March 2008 to repeal the FCR, the idea was put on the back burner after eight months following intense pressure from the Awami National Party and the Pakistan Army.

Moreover, the report recommends that the Nizam-i-Adl should also be repealed, and the NWFP’s Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) should be governed according to the provincial and national justice system.

Finally, the ICG has laid great emphasis on developing economic infrastructure and bolstering Fata’s education system. It has suggested to the US and the international community that control over development projects from international NGOs should not be transferred to the Pakistan government until the Fata Secretariat, Fata Development Authority, and political agents are not abolished.

{Source: Dawn}

Posted in NewsComments (0)


Dr. Danish discusses Suicide attacks, South Waziristan operation, US role in it, with Fauzia Wahab (Secy Info PPP) and Dr. Fareed Paracha (Dep Secy Gen Jamaat Islami)

Posted in Sawal Yeh Hai, Talk ShowsComments (0)

Death toll rises to 27 in Bajaur drone attack

PKonweb Report

The death toll in US drone attack at a compound in Bajaur tribal agency has reached 27. Bajaur is one of the seven tribal agencies comprising FATA in northwest Pakistan.

Earlier, it was reported that nearly 18 persons were killed when a US drone fired two missiles on a compound in Damadola area of the agency.

The compound was located near the house of local Taliban leader Moulvi Faqir Muhammad who is also the deputy chief of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (PPP).

Unconfirmed reports from the area said that 11 foreign nationals were also among the dead, according to The Nation.

A Taliban shura meeting was underway at the time of the strike, DawnNews reported citing local sources.

The nephew and son-in-law of Faqir Muhammad were also killed. Faqir fled the compound 10 minutes before the attack, ARY new channel said.

Damadola and its adjoining areas near Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province are considered to be the strongholds of the Taliban.

This latest strike comes amid reports that US and Pakistani forces are cooperating in the current offensive against the Taliban, with predator drones providing aerial surveillance and intercepting Taliban communications. (MAMOSA)

Posted in NewsComments (0)

SAWAL YEH HAI with Dr. Danish on ARY: OCT 24

What kind of ‘Great Game’ is being played in South Waziristan; Is US betraying Pakistan? Parliament’s ambivilance to security situation. Balochistan crisis and the ‘Great Game’. Guests: Zaid Hamid (Defense Analyst); Zafar Hilaly (Ex-Amb to US), Maria Sultan (Security Analyst)

Posted in Balochistan, Talk ShowsComments (0)

American conspiracy against Pak Army?

The intriguing removal of scores of security check posts from the Afghanistan side of Pak-Afghan border has been taken by security circles in Pakistan as mischief of the US Commander of Joint Operations Special Command General Stanley McChrystal.

“This is a part of conspiracy by the US and Afghan commanders to remove scores of strategic security posts ahead of military operation launched by Pakistan against terrorists in South Waziristan Agency,” security experts said.

“This is an intriguing move aimed at different ends. But primary motive of it is to encourage large-scale reinforcements and infiltration which the US commanders in Afghanistan would use to justify their claim that all the key Al-Qaeda and Taliban fugitives were present in FATA,” a leading security analyst told TheNation requesting not to be named.

Pakistan Army leadership also took up the issue of removal of these security check posts with Commander of the USCENTCOM when he called on Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani here last week.

What has surprised many in Pakistan is the silence of the political leadership on this dangerous US move which not only threatens to undermine the Pakistan Army’s SWA operations, but also puts more soldiers lives at risk in the fight against militants in this difficult terrain.

Many in defence circles are linking this with the new US Congressional restrictions on military aid to Pakistan, to question what exactly the |US is up to vis a vis the Pakistan military.

However, when contacted the US Embassy spokesman rejected these notions as unfounded and misplaced.

“These were mere proposals put up on a website by General McChrystal as part of his review report, and being misused by the media,” US Embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire maintained.

{Source: The Nation}

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Pak military suffers reverses in South Waziristan

Taliban guerrillas recaptured the birthplace of the Pakistani Taliban leader from the Pakistani army Tuesday, inflicting the heaviest military losses so far in Pakistan’s high-stakes offensive in South Waziristan, a refuge for Pakistani extremists, Afghan insurgents and al-Qaeda.

A government attempt to foment a tribal uprising against the Pakistani Taliban also failed Tuesday. In a meeting with the top Pakistani official for the tribal areas, elders of the area’s Mehsud clan refused a request to form a traditional militia, known as a lashkar, to battle the Taliban who’ve taken over their territory.

The Pakistani offensive appears to be first serious operation against extremists in South Waziristan since 2004, when the military entered the area for the first time. Pakistan has thrown some 30,000 soldiers into the fight against an estimated 10,000 Taliban, plus some 1,500 foreign jihadists closely liked to al-Qaeda.

However, Kotkai, a town surrounded by high mountains in the Sararogha area of South Waziristan, remained in Taliban hands late Tuesday after Pakistani forces were beaten back on the fourth day of the ground operation in South Waziristan.

The town is the birthplace of Hakimullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taliban. The group’s top trainer of suicide bombers, Qari Hussain, also comes from Kotkai, and he has a madrassa, or Islamic school, just outside the town in which hundreds of children and young men have been indoctrinated into suicide attacks.

Security officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to journalists, said that Pakistani troops had thrust into Kotkai only to be hit by a determined counteroffensive that killed seven soldiers, including an army major, and wounded seven more.

There was no official announcement about the Kotkai clash. In a statement, the army reported that four soldiers had been killed and three wounded Tuesday in South Waziristan, but those casualties were sustained elsewhere, bringing the total to 13 soldiers killed since the operation began Saturday. Twelve “terrorists” also were killed Tuesday, the army statement said, bringing the official total to 90.

“We gave them a really tough time in Kotkai,” said Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq, claiming that 40 to 45 soldiers had died in the battle. He said three militants were killed and four wounded in the Kotkai battle.

Meanwhile, Owais Ghani, the governor of the North West Frontier Province, who’s in charge of the tribal area, which borders Afghanistan, called together Mehsud chiefs in the town of Tank on the edge of South Waziristan and asked them to join the fight.

In a letter dropped from a plane over the tribe’s territory, Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, described the Mehsuds as courageous, loyal Pakistanis and urged them to “rise collectively” against the militants.

“The ongoing operation by the Pakistani army is not aimed at the patriotic Mehsud tribes,” he wrote. “Instead, the target is for the good riddance of the Mehsud tribes from the cruel clutches of terrorist elements who have ruined the law and order and peace of this area.”

However, the Taliban have cemented their hold on South Waziristan by killing hundreds of traditional tribal leaders, and the tribal chiefs told Ghani that, “In the current hazardous situation, it is not possible for us to support you,” an official who was present told McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent.

You can read this article by McClatchy Newspapers special correspondent Saeed Shah, reporting from Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, in context here: www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/77472.html

Posted in NewsComments (0)

Pakistan Joins the American Raj

By Eric S Margolis

Official Washington watches in mounting alarm and confusion as Pakistan spins out of control. The US-led war in Afghanistan has now poured over into Pakistan, bringing that strategic nation of 167 million close to all-out civil war.

Bombings and shootings are rocking the Pakistan’s northwest regions, including a brazen attack on army HQ in Rawalpindi and repeated bombings of Lahore and Peshawar. Pakistan’s army is readying a major offensive against rebellious Pashtun tribes in South Waziristan.

Meanwhile, the weak, deeply unpopular government of President Asif Ali Zardari that was engineered into power by the US faces an increasingly rancorous confrontation with 
its own military.

Like the proverbial bull in the China shop, the Obama administration and US Congress chose this explosive time to try to impose yet another layer of American control over Pakistan—just as Nobel Peace prize winner Barack Obama appears likely to send thousands of more US troops to Afghanistan.

Tragically, US policy in the Muslim world continues to be driven by imperial arrogance, profound ignorance, and special interest groups. 
The current Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill is ham-fisted dollar diplomacy at its worst. Pakistan, bankrupted by corruption and feudal landlords, is being offered $7.5 billion over five years. Washington claims there are no 
strings attached.

Except, of course, that the US wants to build a mammoth new embassy for 1,000 personnel in Islamabad, the second largest after its giant fortress-embassy in Baghdad. New diplomatic personnel are needed, claims Washington, to monitor the $7.5 billion in aid. So a small army of US mercenaries is being brought in to protect US ‘interests.’ New US military bases will open. Most of the billions in new aid will go right into the pockets of the pro-Western ruling establishment, about 1 per cent of the population.

Washington has been also demanding veto power over promotions in Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence agency, ISI. This crude attempt to take control of Pakistan’s proud, 617,000-man military and intelligence service has enraged its armed forces.

It’s all part of Washington’s ‘Afpak’ strategy to clamp tighter control over restive Pakistan and make use of its armed forces and intelligence agents in Afghanistan. The other key US objective is seizing control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, the cornerstone of its national defense against much more powerful India. Welcome, Pakistan, to the American Raj.

However, 90 per cent of Pakistanis oppose the US-led war in Afghanistan, and see Taleban and its allies as national resistance to Western occupation.

Alarmingly, violent attacks on Pakistan’s government are coming not only from once autonomous Pashtun tribes (wrongly called ‘Taleban’) in Northwest Frontier Province, but, increasingly, in the biggest province, Punjab.

Recently, the US ambassador in Islamabad, in a fit of imperial arrogance, actually called for air attacks on Pashtun leaders in Quetta, capital of Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.

Washington does not even bother to ask Islamabad’s permission to launch air attacks inside Pakistan, only informing it afterward.

The Kerry-Lugar-Berman Big Bribe comes as many irate Pakistanis accuse President Zardari’s government of being American hirelings. Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, has been dogged for decades by corruption charges.

Washington seems unaware of the fury its crude, counter-productive policies have whipped up in Pakistan. The Obama administration keeps listening to Washington-based pro-Israel neoconservatives, military hawks, and ‘experts’ like Ahmed Rashid who tell it just what it wants to hear, not 
the facts.

Pakistan’s military, the nation’s premier institution, is being pushed to the point of revolt. Against the backdrop of bombings and shootings come rumours the heads of Pakistan’s armed forces and intelligence may be replaced.

Pakistanis are calling for the removal of the Zardari regime’s strongman, Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Many clamour for the head of Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, my old friend Hussain Haqqani, who is seen as too close to the Americans.

I’ve long suspected that Washington has its eye on the very intelligent, wily Haqqani as a possible candidate for Pakistan’s next president.

The possibility of a military coup against the discredited Zardari regime grows. But Pakistan is dependent on US money, and fears India. Can its generals afford to break with 
patron Washington?

(Eric S Margolis is a veteran US journalist who has reported from the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan for several years)

Posted in Editor's ChoiceComments (1)

Muslim Singles, Matrimonial, Shaadi and Marriage Introductions Online - SingleMuslim.com

Talk Shows

  • DO TOK with Mazhar Abbas on ARY: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 2:55 am

    History of corruption and political revenge, NRO, etc. Guests: Faisal Raza Abidi (PPP), Siddiq-ul-Farooq (PML-N), Khalid Ranjha (PML-Q) and Justice (R) Tariq Mahmood.

  • MERAY MUTABIQ with Dr. Shahid Masood: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 2:18 am

    A MUST WATCH: Govt publishes NRO beneficiary list as Nov 28 approaches when NRO will expire. Guests: Roedad Khan (Ex-Bureaucrat), Ansar Abbasi (Analyst), Md Saleh Zafir (Analyst)

  • SAWAL YEH HAI with Dr. Danish: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 1:47 am

    Govt published list of NRO beneficiaries. Guests: Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP), Haidar Abbas Rizvi (MQM), Mushahid ullah Khan (PML-N) and Marvi Memon (PML-Q)

  • DUNYA TODAY with Dr. Moeed Pirzada: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 1:30 am

    A MUST WATCH: Dr Maleeha Lodhi’s interview on Gen James Jones (Natl Security Advisor to Obama) delivery of Obama’s special letter to President Zardari asking Pakistan to take on the Afghan Taliban who attack US forces inside Afghanistan from Pakistan’s tribal areas.

  • TONIGHT with Najam Sethi: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 1:19 am

    A MUST WATCH: Najam Sethi holds a no-holds-barred discussion with Gen. (R) Rashid Qureshi (Ex-DG ISPR) who later became spokesman of Gen (R) Musharraf until the end.

  • RSSArchive for Talk Shows »
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

November 2009
« Oct