|"Question by Al-Salafi Al-Mujahid:
"In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,
"My question is: What is your creed? What is the creed of Taliban? Is it true that you have some innovative practices similar to those practiced by the grave worshippers? We want to stand in your defense, so explain to us, may God bless you.
"A 1: Do you still have doubts in regard to our creed or the creed of Taliban? Do you still think that we are kind of innovators or grave worshippers? These were kind of rumors, which were propagated and spread among people during the Afghan jihad against the Russians by certain people. They aimed to discourage the people from carrying out jihad in the cause of God and for other purposes that God only knows. However, I would like to assure you and assure the Muslims that the creed of Taliban is based on the Book [Koran] and the Sunnah [Prophetic traditions.] The Majority of the Afghan people are monotheist Muslims and are followers of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, with the existence of a Shiite minority and some Sufis. There is no place, where you can find people of the same creed like in Afghanistan. Take for example the Arabian Peninsula, the cradle of Islam and from which the light of Islam spread all over the world. There, you find many religious sects such the Twelvers [mainstream Shiites,] the Isma'ilites, and the Al-Batiniyah, in addition to the secularism. Despite the fact that the majority are Sunnis and they live in security and stability. Thus, imagine what it will be like going through wars, destruction, backwardness and displacement as is the case with the Afghan people. We have been engaging in war after war for the last thirty years against the world's most powerful forces, nevertheless, we still stick to our religion, principles, and creed, upholding them, and fighting for them. My advice to my brothers is to read the book 'Al-Mizan Li Harakat Taliban' by martyr jihadist Shaykh Yusuf al-Ayiri, may God bless his soul.
"Question by Muhib Al-Sahabah Al-Maghribi:
"In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,
"I seek help from God. Prayers and peace be upon the most honest among messengers, our master Muhammad, upon his family, his companions, and those who follow him in goodness until the Judgment Day. Praise be to God, the supporter of His worshippers; the mujahidin, and no aggression but on the oppressors.
"We send our greetings to the jihadist leader, one of the lions of monotheism in the Islamic Emirate, Haqqani, may God protect him
"Could you please explain to us what is going on in Helmand Province, particularly in the village of Marjah? What is the truth behind the US-led campaign, which was accompanied by exaggerated media coverage? What are your preparations?
"How is the Amir of the Believers Mullah Muhammad Omar, may God protect him? In addition, how is Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, may God protect him?
"Be sure that the honest and free Muslims are supplicating to God to grant you victory and empowerment. They wish that they could carry out jihad with you.
"Peace be upon you, and the mercy of God and His blessing
"Your brother in God, Muhib al-Sahabah al-Maghribi form Morocco, the land of Yusif Bin-Tashfin, may God rest his soul.
"Do not forget us in your sincere supplications.
"And peace be upon you, and God's mercy and His blessing,
"A 1: The enemies were defeated in Marjah. They achieved nothing. For more information, visit the Emirate's website on the Internet.
"A 2: By the grace of God, the leaders of jihad are fine and in good health.
"Question by Abu-Hanifah Shat Al-Arab:
"Q 1: During the jihad against the Crusaders, two of your brothers, Umar and Muhammad, were martyred, could you tell us how they were martyred?
"Q 2: The group, which you head is known through the media as the Haqqani Network. Is this its real name or does it have another name?
"Q 3: Is the list of taliban reulations issued by the Amir of the Believers Mullah Muhammad Omar to the mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan obligatory on the Afghan fighters only? Is it obligatory on all the groups, which carry out jihad in Afghanistan such as the Al-Qa'ida Organization, the Uzbekistan Islamic Movement, the Turkistan Islamic Party, and other groups that pledged allegiance to the Islamic Emirate and to Mullah Omar?
"Q 4: The Western media accuse the Taliban fighters of burning girls' schools in Afghanistan. What is your comment on this?
"Q 5: In case of a deal with the United States to exchange prisoners, does the leadership of the Islamic Emirate intend to limit this deal to the Afghan prisoners? Will other Muslim prisoners be included?
"A 1: Yes, my brother Muhammad was martyred near the borders, and my brother Umar was martyred inside Afghanistan, we consider them as martyrs but only God knows for certain.
"A 2: The name Haqqani Group or Haqqani Group Network is not an official name. We did not choose it either. It is a name used by the enemies in order to cause disunity among the mujahidin. We are under the leadership of the Amir of the Believers Mullah Muhammad Omar, may God protect him. We carry out jihad in the cause of God. The Islamic Emirate is our official name. It is the official name of all the mujahidin.
"A 3: Yes, all the mujahidin are bounded by this list, which was issued by the Islamic Emirate.
"A 4: We have never burnt girls' schools. This is a blatant lie. It is a weird game played by the Crusaders. They build schools for girls to win over the public and then burn them to harm the reputation of the mujahidin of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. It is just one of the accusations leveled by the intelligence community of the Crusaders.
"A 5: From the perspective of Islamic law, it is obligatory to exert efforts to free all the Muslim prisoners. We are working toward achieving this goal in adherence to the Islamic laws. The Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him, said: 'Free the prisoner.'
"Finally, I would like to appeal to our Muslim brothers, in particular to the scholars, intellectuals, writers, businessmen, experts, youth, and media professionals to help us in our cause and jihad. This help could be by issuing fatwas, preparing fighters, delivering the money of Zakat [Alms tax] that God imposed for those who fight in His cause, or by providing military, medical, technical, media expertise through TV satellite channels, Islamic news network websites on the Internet, newspapers and magazines, or by any possible means. The infidel countries have joined ranks against us with all their potentials. They came with their aircraft, tanks, missiles, advanced weaponry, intellectuals, and geniuses, spending billions of dollars. They did all this under the eyes of the Muslims and the whole world in order to spread corruption, vice, moral degradation, and secularism. They did all this to make us change our creed and to make us stay away from our religion. Therefore, we seek your aid to preserve our religion. The Almighty God says: 'but if they seek your aid in religion, it is your duty to help them,' [Partial Koranic verse, Al-Anfal, 8:72].
"Let us not forget to express our thanks and gratitude to the brothers, who are in charge of the Ansar al-Mujahidin Network website and to all the respected brothers, who were kind enough to post questions about the Islamic Emirate in general, and about your brother (Sirajuddin) in particular.
"Once again, I thank the brothers who posted the questions, and I apologize for leaving some questions unanswered because some questions were not related to me, and some others were repeated.
"Your brother: Sirajuddin
"The son of Shaykh Jalaluddin Haqqani.
"On our part, we extend our thanks to the imminent shaykh Sirajuddin Haqqani, may God protect him and keep him firm [on His religion,] for giving us this kind and blessed opportunity. We ask God, glory be to Him, to make the shaykh and his people a thorn in the eyes of the ummah's enemies. We further ask Him to grant the martyrdom to us and to the shaykh as we fight and confront the enemies fiercely, without turning our backs to them.
"Administration of Ansar al-Mujahidin Network website
[Links to the Ansar al-Mujahidin Network website are posted here.]
"O God, make us the best supporters for the best mujahidin."
Asia Times: 'Militants in No Mood To Talk'
CPP20100511715026 Hong Kong Asia Times Online in English 1001 GMT 10 May 10
[Asia Times report by Syed Saleem Shahzad: "Militants in No Mood To Talk"; headline as provided by source]
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan stands at a crossroad in its battle against militancy.
On the one hand, its Washington ally wants to turn their strategic partnership into a closer military alliance in which the United States would help the Pakistani military significantly ramp up the war against militancy - meaning opening a new battlefield, as the Americans did in Laos during the Vietnam war.
Alternatively, Pakistan is tempted to set aside American interests and apply its own mechanism to defeat militancy - which means striking deals with the "good" Taliban and defeating the "bad" Taliban without care for the consequences on the war in Afghanistan or the future of al-Qaeda and its allied Punjabi groups operating in the Pakistani tribal areas.
Pakistan took a step towards the second option at the weekend when it air-dropped leaflets in the North Waziristan tribal area warning pro-Taliban tribes "to back out of their support of the militants (al-Qaeda and its associate Punjabi militants) or face the consequences, like the people of Swat and Bajaur -tribal agencies) faced and lost their properties and assets".
For hawkish decision-makers in Washington and "bad" militants in North Waziristan, there is another option: remove Pakistani links in the war and deal directly with one another on Pakistani soil.
Last week, the Barack Obama administration authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to step up drone attacks on militants in the tribal areas to include missile strikes against unknown targets. Previously, a suspect had to be identified. The CIA wasted no time. In a series of attacks over the weekend, at least 10 militants were reported killed in North Waziristan.
The hardcore militants also flexed their muscles by blocking efforts led by the Afghan Taliban, who are not hostile towards Pakistan, for a truce and for the release of a former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) hostage.
Colonel Ameer Sultan Tarrar, nicknamed "Colonel Imam" by the mujahideen as he was instrumental in helping to raise the Taliban militia, was abducted by a Punjabi group, the Asian Tigers, on March 25, along with journalist Asad Qureshi. The bullet-riddled body of Khalid Khawaja, another former ISI official who was abducted at the same time, was recently found in North Waziristan.
The Tigers ignored instructions from Taliban leader Mullah Omar that the men should be freed, instead issuing a list of high-profile men in Pakistani jails to be released in 15 days. Otherwise, they said, Tarrar would meet the same fate as Khawaja. For the release of Qureshi, there is a separate demand of US$10 million in ransom. See Qureshi's video below sent to ATol at the weekend.
The New York Times reported on Friday that evidence of ties between the man accused of trying to car bomb Times Square in New York - Faisal Shahzad - and Pakistani militants had intensified debate inside the Barack Obama administration about expanding America's military presence in Pakistan. Some officials are said to want to increase the number of special operations forces working with Pakistani troops in the western mountains.
In a dispatch from Washington, the newspaper said the American military presence in Pakistan had already grown substantially over the past year, and now totaled more than 200 troops, part of a largely secret program to share intelligence with the Pakistani army and paramilitary troops and train them to battle militant groups.
This would play into the hands of the militants, who aim to lure the Americans into what they see as a trap in the rugged mountainous terrain on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
Militants make demands
Among the 150 prisoners the militants want released are those involved in an attack on military headquarters in Rawalpindi, the killing of a retired general, abductions for ransom, and those allegedly connected to the attack on Mumbai in India in November 2008. Interior Minister Rahman Malik, who is traveling in Britain, was unable to respond to questions from Asia Times Online.
The militants had initially said they would release both captives.
A militant spokesman, Usman Punjabi, told ATol on April 29 on the telephone that Khawaja would be executed (which happened the next day) but that Colonel Imam would be released as he was not a part of Khawaja's plan to negotiate peace between the militants and the military,
Other sources told ATol that Colonel Imam was to be released because of pressure from the Afghan Taliban and that he would be handed into the custody of Afghan Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani's group led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the chief of the Taliban in North Waziristan. This was also widely reported in the Pakistani media.
However, everything changed with the arrest of Faisal Shahzad in New York and the ramping up of the drone program. Al-Qaeda forcibly put its foot down and managed to undermine the authority of Mullah Omar.
"It was completely wrong news that we agree to the release of Colonel Imam and Asad Qureshi," Usman Punjabi told ATol on the telephone on Sunday. "We did not receive any direct instruction from Mullah Omar. We did not see any direct emissary of Mullah Omar's. What we heard regarding the instructions (from Mullah Omar) was just talk by some ISI-backed Taliban groups in North Waziristan that they had been asked by Mullah Omar to release Colonel Imam.
"So we have asked them to provide evidence - any audio or video recording of Mullah Omar in which he ordered the release of Colonel Imam. We cannot believe the words of just any person in that regard," said Usman Punjabi.
"For us Colonel Imam was not a mujahid. If he was assumed in the past as the father of the Taliban, he did that as a government employee - being an army officer. He still receives a pension from the Pakistan army. To us he is their man," said Usman Punjabi. This is in direct contradiction to what he earlier told ATol, that Colonel Imam would be released.
It is becoming apparent that al-Qaeda is calling the shots in North Waziristan and creating a situation under which the good and bad Taliban will not have any choice but to operate under al-Qaeda's flagship while trying to entice the US into a fight.
Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at email@example.com
[Description of Source: Hong Kong Asia Times Online in English -- Online newspaper focusing on political and economic issues from an "Asian perspective," with over 50 contributors in 17 Asian countries, the United States, and Europe, and a branch office in Bangkok; 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, with 65% of the audience based in North America, and 22% in the Asia-Pacific region; tends to be critical of the United States; URL: http://www.atimes.com]
Pakistan: Analysts Says Misunderstanding Between Govt, Tribal People Rising
SAP20100525100010 Islamabad Daily Express in Urdu 23 May 10 pp 5,8
[Unattributed report: "No Major Success Noted in Waziristan Operation: Ahmad Wazir"]
Lahore -- Ahmad Wazir, former ambassador and senior analyst, has said that the operation in South Waziristan is still continuing, but it is restricted to the area of Mehsud Tribes; however, no major success on the part of government is visible in the form of winning the people's hearts. He said that the government and tribal people were having more misunderstanding nowadays as compared to the past. He added that distrust on the government had increased. He further added that the distance between the government and tribal people was increasing.
Expressing his views in the Express News program "Front Line with Kamran Shahid," he said that if the backbone of terrorists in South Waziristan had been broken, why was the operation still continuing? Why was the Army present there?" He said: "When I visited South Waziristan during April end, I noticed a lot of difficulties being faced by the people in their movement."
"Irresponsible attitude is being adopted by the government. The Army is conducting body search of each and every person coming or leaving the area. I have strong reservations about the opinion of Zahid Ali Khan. Their [Zahid Ali Khan's] government has no relation with Federally Administered Tribal Area [FATA]. If you have been to FATA, your feelings and information would be different. I have my home in South Waziristan, I am burning there [as published]. Earlier, South Waziristan was dubbed as a stronghold of terrorism and it was being stated that every thing would be fine if an operation was launched there. Faisal Shehzad is not our citizen. The United States should itself take action against its citizens. We do not allow any foreigner to stay in South Waziristan. The issues cannot be resolved by ignoring the aspirations of the people of South Waziristan and by making decisions in Islamabad and Peshawar. The tribal people also complain of the media."
Awami National Party [ANP] Senator Zahid Ali Khan said: "I agree with both. The Army is still being attacked in South Waziristan. The government writ has not been established in all tribal areas. It [writ] is in the hands of other people. It will happen only when the policy becomes clear [as published]. Operations in tribal areas are conducted by the federal government. The issue of terrorism cannot be resolved by the thought that the United States will flee Afghanistan and after that Jalaluddin Haqqani Group will support the government. The tribal people have been held hostage by the terrorists. In the recent past, 600 tribal elders have been killed there, and the remaining tribal elders have no authority left. The terrorists have established their writ in these areas. I also know a lot about the tribal areas. It is not right to say that no one has visited there. However, common people in South Waziristan have been facing a lot of problems." During the program, Zahid Khan could not give a satisfactory answer about his visit to South Waziristan. He said: "How can one witness the killing of troops in Orakzai Agency? Who are they fighting with? Where are Hakimullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain? All these are question marks. We have to fight the war on terror for our own survival."
Analyst Ahmad Rasheed said that the terrorists, along with their infrastructure, have fled from South Waziristan to North Waziristan. He said that now, they were not fighting in the areas where the military operation was going on, they are only attacking military checkpoints. He said that the proof of terrorists fleeing was that now, most of the action was taking place in Orakzai Agency. He said that the biggest fault in the operations in Swat and South Waziristan was that there was no uniformity between the Army and civil government. He said that reconstruction was the duty of the civil government, but all tasks were being carried out by the Army itself. He said that both, the Army and civil government could be blamed for this. He said that the civil government was not making any initiatives to take control over the issues. He said that no news by independent sources was coming from the area where the operation was being conducted. He further said that the media, civil society, and independent sources were not allowed to visit the area. However, he added that the reluctance of the displaced people to return to their areas shows their distrust in the Army for protection. He added that because of terrorism, North Waziristan had become a root cause of all problems. He added that after 2001, dual policy of the Army was in place. He further added that during Musharraf's regime, some of the Taliban groups were given exemption and were provided support, and now the policy might have changed.
Anchorperson of the program Kamran Shahid said that according to sources, before the visit of two US officials to Pakistan, the Pakistan Army and government were not in favor of launching an operation in North Waziristan.
[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.]
UK Report Alleges Taliban Receiving Official Support by Pakistan Intelligence
EUP20100613031007 London Sunday Times Online in English 13 Jun 10
[Corrected version, adding LSE study as .pdf attachment; Updated version: adding .pdf attachment of report by Matt Waldman: "The Sun in the Sky: The Relationship Between Pakistan's ISI and Afghan Insurgents"; "Report by Miles Amoore, Kabul: "Pakistan Puppet Masters Guide the Taliban Killers"]
THE Taliban commander waited at the ramshackle border crossing while Pakistani police wielding assault rifles stopped and searched the line of cars and trucks travelling into Afghanistan.
Some of the trucks carried smuggled goods -- DVD players, car stereos, television sets, generators, children's toys. But the load smuggled by Taliban fighter Qari Rasoul, a thickset Pashtun from Afghanistan's Wardak province, was altogether more sinister.
Rasoul's boot was full of remote-control triggers used to detonate the home-made bombs responsible for the vast majority of Nato [NATO] casualties in Afghanistan. The three passengers sitting in his white Toyota estate were suicide bombers.
The policemen flagged down Rasoul's car and began to search it. They soon found the triggers, hidden beneath a bundle of clothes in the back of the estate. They asked him who he was and who the triggers belonged to. "I'm a Taliban commander. They belong to me," he told them.
Two policemen took Rasoul into their office in Chaman, a small town that borders Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan, and sat him down on a wooden chair.
Instead of arresting him, the elder policeman rubbed his thumb and index finger together and, smiling, said: "Try to understand."
Rasoul phoned a Pakistani friend. Two hours later he was released, having paid the policemen 5,000 Pakistani rupees, the equivalent of about £40, each.
"That was the only time I ever faced problems crossing the border with Pakistan," said Rasoul, who is responsible for delivering suicide bombers trained in Pakistani camps to targets in Afghanistan.
Pakistani support for the Taliban in Afghanistan runs far deeper than a few corrupt police officers, however. The Sunday Times can reveal that it is officially sanctioned at the highest levels of Pakistan's government.
Pakistan's own intelligence agency, the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), is said to be represented on the Taliban's war council -- the Quetta shura. Up to seven of the 15-man shura are believed to be ISI agents.
The former head of Afghanistan's intelligence agency, Amrullah Saleh, who resigned last week, said: "The ISI is part of the landscape of destruction in this country, no doubt, so it will be a waste of time to provide evidence of ISI involvement. They are a part of it."