Tag Archive | "GWOT"

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.

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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)..

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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.

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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)

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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)

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MERAY MUTABIQ with Dr Shahid Masood: OCT 17

Launching of Waziristan Operation after suspension of debate on Kerr-Lugar Bill in the Parliament and the tabling of NRO in parliament for discussion. Guests: Imran Khan (Chairman Pakistan Tehri-i-Insaf) and Shaheen Sehbai (Washington-based Group Editor of The News)

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DUNYA TODAY with Moeed Pirzada: OCT 17

Launching of Waziristan operation and its ramifications short and long-term. Guests: Syed Talat Hussain (AAJ Anchorman), Rustam Shah Mohammad (Specialist on Afghanistan), Brig. (R) Muhmeed Shah (Former Sec. Fata)

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CAPITAL TALK with Hamid Mir: OCT 01

Discussion on whether Kerry-Lugar Bill and NRO will be discussed in the Parliament or not. Guests:

Imran Khan (PTI), Rasool Baksh Palejo (Sindhi nationalist leader) , Tasneem Qureshi (PPP) and Hussain Haqqani (Pak Amb to USA)

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CAPITAL TALK with Hamid Mir: SEP 30

Is Kerry-Lugar Bill a sellout or an evil neccessity? Guests: Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah (PPP), Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan (PML-N), Senator Prof. Ibrahim Khan (JI) and Sheikh Waqas Akram (PML-Q).

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US threatens airstrikes in Balochistan

PKonweb Report

The United States is threatening to launch airstrikes on the Taliban leadership it says is holed up in Quetta. The US has told Pakistan that it may start launching drone attacks against the Taliban leadership in the city of Quetta in a major escalation of its operations in the country, The Telegraph reported today.

Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s interior minister, said the US had so far been unable to provide detailed intelligence to target the Quetta Shura. He said: “We need real-time intelligence. The Americans have never told us any location.”

US State department and intelligence officials delivered the ultimatum to Asif Ali Zardari, last week as he visited the US for the United Nations’ security council sessions and the G20 economic summit.

According to the Guardian, Islamabad government has argued that the Quetta Shura, led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, does not harm Pakistan. It has said that dealing with other militants such as those in the Swat valley was a higher priority, Daily Telegraph reported.

But last week Anne Patterson, America’s ambassador to Islamabad, told the Daily Telegraph that the offensive in Swat was not targeting the insurgents posing the greatest danger to Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The threat from Washington comes amid growing divisions in the US capital about whether to send more troops to Afghanistanor reduce them and start targeting the terrorists.

In a leaked strategic assessment of the war, top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal warned that he needed reinforcements within a year to avert the risk of failure.

Although no figure was given, he is believed to be seeking up to 45,000 troops by the end of this year.

Last week McChrystal denied any rift with the administration, saying “a policy debate is warranted”.

The Biden (US VP) camp argues that attacks by unmanned drones on Pakistan’s Tribal Areas, where many Al Qaeda leaders are thought to be hiding, have been successful.

Sending more troops to Afghanistan has only inflamed tensions.

The Times story quoted “senior Pakistani officials in New York” as saying that the US had asked to extend the drone attacks to areas of Balochistan, including Quetta.

There has been tacit cooperation over the use of drones although publicly Islamabad denounces their use.

Some British officials told the Times that drone attacks on Quetta would be “unthinkable”.

Western intelligence officers have alleged that Taliban sympathisers have helped some of the insurgency’s leaders to move to Karachi, where it would be impossible to strike with Drones due to populace density and political sensitivity.

Observers are of the view the US already have tacit approval from Islamabad on Drone strikes inside Pakistan on ‘actionable intelligence’ based high value targets. Islamabad denies such agreement exists.

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MERAY MUTABIQ with Dr Shahid Masood: SEP 26

Details unravel of conditions-filled Kerry-Lugar bill for $1.5B aid to Pakistan. Guests: Shamshad Ahmed Khan (Former Foreign Secy), Azeem M. Mian (Jang correspondent NY), Shaheen Sehbai (Washington-based The News, Jang, Geo Group Editor)

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Musharraf: “My View of the World”

Former President Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf speaks to the students at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, USA and explains Taliban, Talibanization, advent of Al Qaeda, and how to counter them. His lecture to 2500 in attendance was titled “My View of the World”. to an assemblage of faculty, alumni, students and the public.

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Talk Shows

  • SAWAL YEH HAI with Dr. Danish: Nov 22
    November 23, 2009 | 4:27 am

    Political and legal implications of NRO after its expiry on Nov 28. Guests: Nafisa Shah (PPP), Waseem Akhter (MQM), Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui (Former CJ of Pak) and Farogh Nasim (Former Sindh AG)

  • JAWAB DEYH witH Iftikhar Ahmed: Nov 22
    November 23, 2009 | 4:07 am

    Iftekhar Ahmed interviews Ex-Punjab CM Ch. Pervaiz Elahi on NRO, Haris Steel Mills deal, PML-Q and relationship with Gen (R) Musharraf, Punjab Bank scandal, etc..

  • CAPITAL TALK with Hamid Mir: Nov 22
    November 23, 2009 | 3:58 am

    List of NRO Beneficiaries. Guests: Ayaz Amir (PML-N), Waseem Akhtar (MQM), Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed (AML), Jehangir Badar (PPP)..

  • MERAY MUTABIQ with Dr. Shahid Masood: Nov 22
    November 23, 2009 | 3:43 am

    A MUST WATCH: Entire cabinet including PM Gilani should resign says Akram Shaikh (SC lawyer) and Imran Khan (PTI Chairman). Imran Khan also demands mid-term polls.

  • CHORAHA with Hassan Nisar: Nov 21
    November 22, 2009 | 11:15 am

    NRO corruption worth Rs 1 trillion 56 billion. TI report. Guests: Liaquat Baloch (Jamaat Islami), Imtiaz Alam (Journalist) and Attaullah Qasmi (Columnist)..

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