Taleban Government Appoints Two New Ministers



Download 4.25 Mb.
Page47/98
Date conversion04.02.2017
Size4.25 Mb.
1   ...   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   ...   98
Residents from Miramshah told The News that members of the security forces after the arrival of the same military convoy in Miramshah town opened indiscriminate fire with their G-3 assault rifles in the bazaar. They alleged that the firing caused damage to three vehicles, bargain centres and three cars parked there.
An official of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), who confirmed the suicide attack on the military convoy in North Waziristan, said six people, including four soldiers and two civilians, were killed in the attack.
No militant group, till the filing of this report, had claimed responsibility for the first suicide attack on the security forces after signing of peace agreement between the government and the tribal militants, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, on February 17, 2008.
Prior to the peace accord, the two sides had fought for about a month and suffered heavy losses.
It may be recalled that the local Taliban, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a few days back threatened to scrap their peace agreement with the government and launch attacks on the security forces if the government didn't stop US drones from carrying out attacks in North and South Waziristan.
The threat came after a US Predator plane fired Hellfire missiles on one of the houses of veteran Afghan Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, in Danday Darpakhel village near Miranshah and killed 25 people, mostly women and children belonging to the Haqqani family.

[Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English -- Website of the widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Hardcopy circulation estimated at 55,000; URL: http://www.thenews.com.pk]



Pakistan Report: Security Forces, Tribesmen Shoot Down US Drone in S Waziristan
SAP20080924098010 Islamabad The News Online in English 24 Sep 08
[Report by Mushtaq Yusufzai: "US drone 'shot down' in SWAT"]
[Text disseminated as received without OSC editorial intervention]
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
PESHAWAR: Pakistani security forces and Wazir tribesmen Tuesday shot down a CIA-operated US Predator plane near Angoor Adda, in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) but AFP reported that the plane crashed.
Official and tribal sources informed this correspondent from Angoor Adda - a border town between Pakistan's South Waziristan and Afghanistan's Paktika province -- that Pakistani security forces and armed Wazir tribespeople fired at the US spy plane and downed.
"Yes, the security forces and Wazir tribesmen fired at the plane and shot it down," said a security official based in the border town, but wished not to be named. The wreckage of the drone was reportedly lying scattered in a border village.
The official said the drone had been constantly flying over Pakistani border villages since Tuesday morning. Also, tribal sources from Wana, the headquarters of South Waziristan, said they received reports from their fellow Wazir tribesmen living in the border town that a US plane had been shot down.
Security officials said four US drones were flying over various towns of South Waziristan inhabited by the Ahmadzai Wazir tribesmen. However, despite several attempts by this scribe, Pakistan Army spokesman Maj-Gen Athar Abbas did not attend telephone calls.
The US drones violated Pakistan's air space at the time when US President George W Bush was assuring his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari of respecting sovereignty of his country. The flights seemingly in search of yet another site for an attack across the border created panic among the already terrified tribesmen.
Official and tribal sources informed The News from Wana and Miramshah, the headquarters of South and North Waziristan tribal agencies, respectively, that the Predators intruded into Pakistani territory on Tuesday evening and continued flying over the border villages until one of the planes was downed.
The sources from Wana said four US drones came from Afghanistan and were seen flying over several border areas, including Wana, Birmal, Shakai and Toi Khula. The residents said the planes came early on Tuesday morning and after flying for a few hours disappeared at noon. However, four of them later reappeared in the evening and hovered over the Wazirs-inhabited areas of South Waziristan along the border with Afghanistan's troubled Paktika province and were still hovering over the region.
According to the residents of Wana, non-stop flights of US spy planes over the tribal region have terrified the tribesmen as these planes in the past had fired several Hellfire missiles resulting in the killing of dozens of people, majority of them innocent tribals, including women and children.
"The drones have been constantly flying over the villages located near the border with Afghanistan forcing majority of the residents on living outside their homes," Shakirullah, a resident of Dabkot village near Wana, said while talking to this scribe on telephone.
Meanwhile, tribesmen of adjoining North Waziristan Agency also claimed that two US drones had crossed into Pakistani territory on Tuesday morning and were continuously hovering over the area.
"The two planes are continuously flying over residential areas since Tuesday morning. At noon they briefly disappeared but re-appeared afternoon and are still flying over us," said Mohammad Javed, a resident of Danday Darpakhel village near Miramshah.
He said both the spy planes had been constantly flying over Danday Darpakhel village where a house and Madrassa of veteran Afghan Taliban commander Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani were attacked recently by two US drones killing 25 people, majority of them women and children belonging to Haqqani's family.
"Both the planes are flying at extremely low altitude frightening the villagers, especially the children," complained another villager Syed Halim. A security official based in Miramshah also confirmed the intrusion and said besides Danday Darpakhel, the drones were flying over other adjoining villages including Dattakhel, Spalga, Razmak and Mirali.

[Description of Source: Islamabad The News Online in English -- Website of the widely read, influential English daily, member of the Jang publishing group. Neutral editorial policy, good coverage of domestic and international issues. Hardcopy circulation estimated at 55,000; URL: http://www.thenews.com.pk]


Pakistani Commentary Says TTP Deviates From Ideology of Afghan Taliban
SAP20080926090002 Islamabad Daily Express in Urdu 24 Sep 08 p 10
[Commentary by Muhammad Amir Khakwani: "They Are Not Taliban"]
Inadvertencies, blunders, and stupidities by the Afghan Taliban are another matter; however, the savages shedding blood from the mountainous regions of North West Frontier Province [NWFP] to the plains of Punjab do not belong to their [Afghan Taliban] category -- not at all. Individuals as well as organizations, factions, and armed groups have their own comportment and mien. The formidable deluge that outpoured from the precincts of Kandahar [province of Afghanistan] about 12 years ago -- whom the West gave the title of the Taliban -- is still sticking to at least some moral values even in their most adverse moments.
Because of their brutality, savagery, and callousness, the militants emerging from the Pakistani tribal areas seem to be a platoon of Genghis Khan's army. They do not seem to have any relations with the Taliban. I wish somebody would inform the artful journalists and wily television channels that Baitullah Mehsud and his comrades should not be associated with the Afghan Taliban. They are absolutely a chip of another block and of contradictory nature.
I was attending an iftar [evening meal for breaking the daily fast during Ramadan] party held by Prof Ahmad Rafique Akhtar, a unique scholar and mystic, on that black evening when the Marriott Hotel blast took place. The mystic had full control over his nerves in those gloomy moments. He avoided from commenting on the tragedy saying that information was still coming.
Responding to a question, he said: "We should confront the worst quite calmly. We are flabbergasted when one intends to go on with one's own planned road map. However, the heavenly road map for man is somewhat different from his own. If God's will is obeyed by keeping our own wishes and whims at bay, all problems automatically come to an end." It was my first meeting with him. It was not possible to have a lengthy discussion with a practical scholar when he was surrounded by his disciples. However, I envied the freshness of his thoughts and his lofty vision. He repeated his particular doctrine: "We should avoid forming organizations because only individuals have performed great deeds. Every individual should put God on the top of his priorities and keep on looking for him."
The professor remained silent for a moment at the question whether some kind of transformation really occurs on reciting a rosary. Then he slowly started: "From the face value, the reiteration of words may not appear quite impressive; however, these broken words may move the benevolence of God, and we shall get something from His blessings."
We departed quite late at night. We were heading toward Lahore when a member of a renowned jihadist organization called on my cell phone. His voice grew hoarse. He began: "Some stupid people have thrown our years of hard work into the drain. The honor we earned in the 1980s in Afghanistan and in the 1990s in Kashmir through sacrifices has evaporated today in the atmosphere of Islamabad."
In the morning, when I logged on to my computer, there was an e-mail from a former member of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami. He clearly wrote that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] had nothing to do with the Afghan Taliban and that rather they had created myriad hurdles for the Taliban movement.
It has been intensely felt in the last two days after going through the writings published in this regard and by watching television programs that our analysts prefer airing their own wishes and whims instead of keeping the ground realities before them. The truth is that now the question of whether it is the US war or the Pakistani war has been pushed in the background because these barbaric militants have made it a Pakistani war. The real question is whether Baitullah Mehsud and his comrades are a part and parcel of the Afghan Taliban or their only intention is to stab in the back of Mullah Omar and his guerillas. It is important to judge this hypothesis by the yardstick of arguments.
Guerilla warfare experts have been emphasizing the principle from centuries that no guerilla warfare can be carried on without keeping the base camp intact. The jihadist organizations working in Kashmir strictly adhered to this principle. The Afghan Taliban always kept it as their priority. Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, legendary leader of the Taliban, reached to help the Pakistani establishment more than twice in the last three years. Maulvi Haqqani intervened to assure the peace deal [between the Taliban and the Pakistani Government] when both agencies of Waziristan were passing through Armageddon. Earlier, the local tribes had reached reconciliation with the security forces through Mullah Dadullah's concerted efforts. The question is: why are these so called Pakistani Taliban deviating from the line of action delineated by the Afghan Taliban?
The journalistic quarters, quite aware of the problems confronted by the Afghan Taliban leadership, state that Mullah Omar is intensely worried. He fears that the game being played in the tribal areas, in fact, was sketched out in Delhi, Washington, and Kabul. He thinks that the idea of winning in Afghanistan will be clouded after losing the sympathy and love showered by the Pakistani public.
The second crucial question is: why are commander Mehsud and his allied groups targeting the jihadist factions that have been fighting against NATO forces for many years. Well-known commander Shah Khalid's group was a very important group in Mohmand Agency. It has been said about him that he did not let the US military set its foot in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province. Commander Waliullah of Mohmand Agency, who calls himself Omar Khalid, and his deputy chief laid siege to the Shah group's base camp with his 250 comrades. The tribal nobles intervened to end this confrontation. Kindhearted Shah Khalid preferred peace over bloodshed. When they [Shah Khalid and his followers] laid down their weapons, Omar Khalid's comrades fired at Shah Khalid, his deputy, and a dozen of his followers, killing all of them. His close aides were made captives, who were later released at the intervention of Fazlur Rahman Khalil and the Sheikhul Hadith [scholar of the sayings and traditions of the Holy Prophet] of Akora Khattak [a famous Islamic seminary]. According to the reports received from Afghanistan, Mullah Omar was rather flabbergasted after hearing the terrible news. He did not expect that Shah Khalid would be killed in such a cold-blooded manner.
The Maulvi Nazir group is considered one of the groups that fought crucial pitched battles in Afghanistan. Now commander Nazir is another main target of the Baitullah Mehsud group. Many of his comrades have been killed, and Nazir had a close shave many times. Haji Namdar was shot dead in cold blood when he was taking a lesson of the Holy Koran in Khyber Agency. They are the commanders who were not against the Pakistani Government or the Pakistan Army, and they were also very close to the Afghan Taliban.
The question is: why is the TTP killing all pro-Pakistan people? The compliance with the principles of Sharia is quite a far-fetched thing because these people are not even complying with the existing tribal traditions. There is a proverb in Pashto that a true Pashtun can never ever attempt to kill a woman or a child. The conduct of these people is before us.
I wish, the people who are extending concessions to these terrorists with their, ifs, buts, though, and although, should note that the writing is on the wall.

[Description of Source: Islamabad Daily Express in Urdu -- Daily owned by Century Publications of the Lakson Business Group. The second largest daily after Jang newspaper with a circulation of over 120,000. Provides good coverage of national and international issues and follows moderate and neutral editorial policy.]



Asia Times: 'The Fight Goes On, Militants Tell Pakistan'
CPP20081002715006 Hong Kong Asia Times Online in English 1057 GMT 30 Sep 08
[By Syed Saleem Shahzad: "The Fight Goes On, Militants Tell Pakistan; headline as provided by source]
KARACHI - When United States President George W Bush and British Premier Gordon Brown interacted with their Pakistani and Afghan counterparts on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, they expressed satisfaction for the conflict escalation against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the South Asian War theater. (See Militants shake off Pakistan's grip Asia Times Online, Sep 29.)
This escalation, particularly in Pakistan's tribal agencies, is a gamble based on the tactics used by the US's chief man in Iraq, General David Petraeus, in 2007. Following a "surge" in the war, the US offered an olive branch to the militants. This created a wedge between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi tribal resistance and led to a significant reduction in the intensity of the resistance.
In Pakistan, there is no sign of this happening. Indeed, the reverse is true.
On Monday, Pakistani security officials warned that the militants battling Pakistani forces, notably in Bajaur Agency, were obtaining weapons and reinforcements from across the border in Afghanistan. "The Pakistan-Afghan border is porous and is now causing trouble for us in Bajaur," a senior security source in the military told a news briefing in Rawalpindi.
The call to arms to join the militants is reverberating across the tribal areas in unprecedented fashion and the flames of war from Afghanistan that have burned for the past seven years could now engulf Pakistan.
This week, the Taliban officially rejected a Saudi Arabian-British backdoor initiative to strike peace deals with the militants. The charm of Islamabad's old comrades (veteran jihadis) and official handlers (secret agents) no longer works with the Taliban.
Back-channel efforts to strike deals with the Taliban and create a wedge between them and al-Qaeda have been going on since September 11, 2001, (see US turns to the Taliban Asia Times Online, June 4, 2003).
However, for the first time, the Taliban have reacted very strongly against such efforts. On Sunday evening, the Taliban issued a press release in Pashto, followed by one in English: In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the lord of all that exists and may peace and prayers be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions in entirety.
The mainstream media are reporting about a "peace process" between the Taliban and the Kabul puppet administration (of President Hamid Karzai) which is being sponsored by Saudi Arabia and supported by Britain, or that there are "unprecedented talks" involving a senior ex-Taliban member who is traveling between Kabul and the alleged bases of the Taliban senior leadership in Pakistan. The ex-members of the Taliban who have surrendered or who are under surveillance are not associated with the of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan rejects all these false claims by the enemy, who is using this propaganda campaign, the aim of this propaganda is to create an atmosphere of disunity among Muslims in order to weaken the ummah . Our struggle will be continued until the departure of all foreign troops. Dr Talib
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Afghanistan/Kabul The message is clear: the Taliban and al-Qaeda are now one and the same and far from being ready to be divided they are fully geared up to themselves escalate the conflict.
Winning a lost war through Pakistan?
With the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan going from strength to strength, the Western military and political leadership figured on taking on the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan's tribal areas, where they have strong bases. This would be followed by peace talks.
The military offensive began last month ago in Agency Bajaur, the smallest of Pakistan's seven tribal agencies, semi-autonomous ethnic Pashtun regions. Troops were backed by aerial bombardment, the latter causing hundreds of thousands of people to be displaced.
And contrary to official claims, the militants have not been routed. Instead, all Pakistani pro-Taliban militants who had been rivals as well as foreign fighters have rallied under the command of the Afghan Taliban commander of Nooristan and Kunar provinces, Qari Ziaur Rahman. (See A fighter and a financier Asia Times Online, May 23, 2008.) All groups have accepted Rahman as their commander in chief for the area that spans Kunar, Nooristan, Bajaur and Mohmand Agency.
The Pakistani media have reported that Rahman's engagement in Bajaur has reduced Taliban attacks in Kunar. But this is not expected to last long, with all-out activity expected soon on all fronts.
According to the original plan, Pakistani forces were to make their attack in Bajaur and US troops across the border in Kunar would block any escape routes. The Pakistanis followed their side of the plan, but US ground troops were unable to stop the militants from taking shelter in Kunar.
The fault lay in the plan. Unlike Bajaur, which is relatively developed with a road network, on the Kunar side there are few passable tracks in the thick mountain jungles. There are also many caves from which militants and pro-Taliban villagers could target ground troops.
The Pakistani armed forces took heavy casualties, and despite official claims, the militants say they have only lost a few dozen men - and Rahman is not one of them.
Pakistan's strategic quarters now fear a military defeat could set off a chain reaction into the adjacent troubled Swat Valley, and beyond: there is even talk of relocating the provincial capital of North-West Frontier Province, Peshawar, to a non-Pashtun city such as Abbotabad.
At the same time, the low morale of the soldiers and officers is a worrying factor, especially among the Pashtun military cadre, which forms about 25% of the army. In one instance, in obvious disregard to directions from military headquarters, Pakistani border forces and tribals jointly downed a US Predator drone in the South Waziristan tribal area.
Further, following a clear demand made by Washington last week to President Asif Ali Zardari, the director general of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj, has been replaced by Ahmed Shuja Pasha, who is known for his intimacy with the Americans and anti-Taliban views. The heads of the external and internal security wings of the ISI have also been replaced. (This was predicted by Asia Times Online, see Militancy dogs Pakistan's new president Sep 9, 2008.)
This move will only deepen mistrust of the government as well as pro-American Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Pervaz Kiani.
Chasing elusive peace deals
The miscalculation over Bajaur means that the second phase of the Pakistan-US plan - the defeated militants forced into peace deals - has not materialized. Yet Pakistan and its Western allies have little choice but to go after peace accords in an attempt to de-escalation the conflict.
Former jihadi leaders who once sat in the Taliban's and al-Qaeda's camp and retired military officers who are regarded as the real fathers of the Taliban are now trying to build bridges between the Pakistan military and the Taliban.
The idea, as per Petraeus' Iraq plan, is that once dialogue is successful, al-Qaeda will be purged from the ranks of the local tribal resistance, with the latter then being offered a role in mainstream politics.
The chief of the banned Harkatul Mujahadeen, Maulana Fazlur Rahman Khalil, has been tasked to reach out to pro-Taliban militants in the Mohmand, Bajaur and Waziristan areas to initiate dialogue between the Taliban and the Pakistani establishment.
A former ISI official and consul general in Herat in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, Amir Sultan, also known as Colonel Imam and regarded as a father of the Taliban, is another figure who has been shuttling from the tribal areas to Islamabad in an attempt to end the rift between the armed forces and the Taliban.
The militants a re not responding positively to these efforts. Various militant commanders have held talks with two pro-Pakistani Taliban figures - Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani and Hafiz Gul Bahadur of North Waziristan - and urged them to sever all backchannel contacts with the Pakistani security forces.
Earlier, in Mohmand Agency, the militants pursued Taliban commander Abdul Wali to end his impartiality and join hands against the Pakistani armed forces.
A decisive figure could be Haqqani, a veteran mujahideen commander against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. If he decides to sever his contacts with Pakistan, the conflict in the country will become dire indeed.
Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at saleem_shahzad2002@yahoo.com

[Description of Source: Hong Kong Asia Times Online in English - - Hong Kong-based online newspaper with a Bangkok branch office focusing on political and economic issues from an "Asian perspective," with over 50 contributors in 17 Asian countries, the United States, and Europe. Successor of the Hong Kong/Bangkok based print daily Asia Times that closed in 1997, it claims an average of 100,000 daily site visitors as of Feb 2006, with 65% of the audience based in North America, and 22% in the Asia-Pacific region. URL: http://www.atimes.com]


Editor Says Taliban Nearing Victory in Afghanistan, Will Reject Saudi Mediation

1   ...   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   ...   98


The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2016
send message

    Main page