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Archive for October, 2009

Pakistan faces direct threat from extremism, not India: Clinton

Posted by :) on October 30, 2009

Wed, Oct 28 07:23 PM

Source : IANS

Washington, Oct 28 (IANS)

Warning Pakistan that the direct threat from violent extremism it faces could destabilise the entire region, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has voiced the hope that the India and Pakistan will resume their stalled dialogue.

‘But what we see as the direct threat to Pakistan right now comes from the violent extremism,’ she said.

‘Obviously, we are hopeful that there will be a resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India, because I think the threat that Pakistan faces is a threat that could destabilise the entire region,’ she said, according to the transcript of the interview with Pakistan’s Dawn TV before leaving for her first trip to Islamabad.

‘And what we want to do is to help Pakistan really finally eliminate that threat,’ she said. ‘And what we hope is that on the ongoing challenges between India and Pakistan that can be handled politically and it would never come to any kind of military action.’

In a separate interview with Geo TV of Pakistan, Clinton stressed that Washington’s relationship with the two South Asian neighbours was separate and it wanted to develop solid ties with both and the ‘most durable’ normalisation ‘can only come from the two countries themselves’.

‘Let me stress that our relationship to India is a separate relationship from our relationship to Pakistan. We want to have two solid bilateral relationships,’ she said, when asked about why US no longer talked about the Kashmir issue.

‘We believe that we have very important interests with Pakistan and with India. Now it would be a very important step for both India and Pakistan to work to resolve their differences,’ she said.

‘But we believe that the most durable possible outcomes of any kind of resolution or normalization can only come from the two countries themselves – developing more trust, more confidence-building measures, and working toward resolving,’ Clinton said.

Noting that ‘there was some very good work done in the last several years which we encouraged and we watched with admiration – the bus routes being open, for example,’ she said US was ‘going to encourage and hope that we can see that occurring again.

‘At the end of the day, my view is that India and Pakistan have so much more to gain by working through their very difficult relationship.

‘It will help improve trade and investment and it will create a better opportunity for Pakistan to prosper and progress, and that’s what I hope will happen,’ she said.

Asked if Washington had any information about India’s alleged role behind the insurgency in Balochistan, an issue raised by the Pakistan prime minister with his Indian counterpart in Sharm el-Sheikh, Clinton said: ‘I don’t discuss intelligence.’

‘But let me say that I think it’s very important to follow up on what happened in Sharm el-Sheikh. And we would encourage that because the air needs to be cleared and a very open understanding should exist.’

Arun Kumar
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Posted in Extremism, USA | Leave a Comment »

TIMELINE – Pakistan suffers bloodiest militant attack in 2 years

Posted by :) on October 28, 2009

Pakistan suffered its worst militant attack in two years on Wednesday when a car bomb killed more than 80 people in a crowded market in the city of Peshawar.

peshawarblast4_afp316

The blast, which pushed the year’s total for deaths in militant attacks close to 500, came several hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the country, pledging a fresh start in relations.

Following is a timeline of major attacks this year:

Feb. 5, 2009 – At least 24 people are killed in a suicide bombing near a Shi’ite mosque in Dera Ghazi Khan, central Pakistan.

Feb. 20 – Suicide bomber kills 27 people and wounds 65 in an attack on a funeral procession for a Shi’ite Muslim killed a day earlier in Dera Ismail Khan town.

March 3 – Gunmen attack a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s cricket team outside a Lahore stadium, killing seven people, including six policemen and a driver, and wounding six of the cricketers and a British coach.

March 27 – A suicide bomber kills 37 people in a crowded mosque near the Afghan border.

March 30 – Militants armed with guns and grenades storm a police training centre in Lahore killing eight recruits, wounding scores and holding off police and troops for eight hours. The attack is claimed by Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. Four militants are killed and three arrested.

311

April 5 – A suicide bomber blows himself up in a religious centre for minority Shi’ite Muslims in Chakwal in central Pakistan, killing 22 people.

April 18 – A suicide car-bomber rams a military convoy, killing 25 soldiers and police and two passers-by near Kohat, 190 km (120 miles) west of Islamabad.

May 27 – Gunmen attack a police headquarters in the Pakistani city of Lahore, setting off a car-bomb that killed at least 24 people.

June 5 – A bomb blast kills around 40 worshippers attending Friday prayers at a mosque in a remote area of northwest Pakistan.

June 9 – Militants attack the Pearl Continental Hotel, which is popular with foreigners, in Peshawar with guns and a truck bomb killing seven people including a U.N. worker.

Aug 27 – A suicide bomber kills 22 Pakistani border guards in an attack at the main crossing point into Afghanistan.

Sept 2 – Unidentified gunmen shoot and wound Pakistan’s religious affairs minister, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, in a brazen attack in the capital that killed his driver.

Sept 18 – A suicide car-bomber kills 33 people on a main road near the city of Kohat in northwest Pakistan.

Oct 5 – A suicide bomber dressed as a paramilitary soldier attacks an office of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) in the Islamabad, killing five staff.

Oct 9 – A suspected suicide car-bomber kills 49 people in the city of Peshawar. About 100 people are wounded.

Oct 10 – Gunmen in army uniforms attack Pakistani army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi. The next day Pakistani commandos storm the building and rescue 39 hostages. Nine militants, three hostages and 11 soldiers are killed.

Oct 12 – A suicide bomber hits a military vehicle in Shangla district, near the Swat valley. Forty-one people are killed, including 35 civilians and 6 soldiers, and 45 wounded.

Oct 15 – Militants launch a string of attacks in Lahore, capital of Punjab province, Peshawar and Kohat in the northwest killing at least 31 people.

Oct 28 – More than 80 people are killed and around 100 injured when a bomb explodes in the busy Peepal Mandi market street in Peshawar’s old city.

Source: Reuters

Posted in Car Bomb, Deaths, Militant | 1 Comment »

Indian media stinks up public opinions – Chinese Incursions?

Posted by :) on October 27, 2009

By Li Hongmei
Source : People’s Daily of China Online
The dispute over boundary issues between China and India is expected to be settled, or to take a substantial step forward approaching the final solution, only on the condition that both of them are ready to shake off the traditional conceptions and deep-seated misunderstandings. Meanwhile, both reach out to each other in a joint effort to cultivate a good-will atmosphere for public opinions.

 

But it seems that things are going just to the opposite. Even when it is still a moot point whether there will be another border war between the two Asian rivals, the war of words has long set in and to this date shows no signs of ceasing. Hyped up by Indian media on border disputes with the cliché ‘China Threat Theory’, public opinions within India were quickly churned up into a roaring sea against China and the Chinese people.

On the other hand, the Chinese side, while retorting sarcastically in its state run media, has been actually exercising restraint in an effort to salvage the situation from further trending down. However, the bitter exchanges have so far spilled into the open following a handful of irresponsible India media institutions fabricated stories to incite anti-China sentiments among the Indian public by quoting some unbeknownst sources or unidentifiable interviewees.

One famous example, besides the old favorite ‘Chinese incursions’ tale, was that some Indian media organs on purpose cooked up a Chinese blog article published on a pivotal website as early as 2006, and even linked it to some Chinese think tank simply because the blogger was named ‘strategy’ online. And they thereby assumed the blogger must have been a member of China’s Center for Strategy Studies. They cudgeled their brain to convince both the Indian officialdom and public that China, according to ‘the top Chinese think tank’, intended to split India by encouraging communal divisions in India in order to break it up into 20-30 small states. A fanciful story invented by Indian media based on ‘China Threat.’

Another oft-used strategy, if it is so popular a word for Indian media, I would like to borrow it here, is loudly and desperately bragging about the Indian strength, particularly how mighty India is as a military power, in an attempt to intimidate China. The example to be cited here is the recent threat from India, leaked also by some of its media, that India would possibly blast China’s major railway into the Tibetan Plateau, a project built in 2006, and dubbed as the ‘gateway to the top of the world’ by both Chinese and foreign tourists, but absurdly regarded by Indian officials and defense analysts as designed for the rapid deployment of troops to attack India.

Admittedly, these baseless assumptions will eventually declare their own bankruptcy when confronted with facts, but the negative effects brought about by the media on the already volatile bilateral ties would probably linger on. But one thing is certain—although China-India rivalry could extend well into the future, they will never pose a mortal foe to each other. They would maintain discontents over wide arrays of issues, but they are not flooded in the orgies of inveterate hatred. Why the Indian media is so fanatic as to stoke up a life-and-death fight between the two neighbors is really beyond understanding.

At present, India is still a lesser power than China in terms of economy and, military, both conventionally and unconventionally. But it is evident that the U.S. has been tipping the balance between China and India, seeking to woo India away from Russia and China and, in the mean time, feeding India’s ambition to match China force for force by its ever burgeoning arms sales to India.

Emboldened by the U.S., and fueled by the media over the flare-up of nationalism in India and chauvinism among the Hinduism public, Indian government is somewhat eclipsed by the media-manipulated public opinions, and gets disoriented when making decisions.

If the dangerous war-loving sentiments remain untamed, an accidental slip or go-off at the border would erode into a war, which is the last thing to expect to both as the developing nations.

Posted in China | Leave a Comment »

India is funding Taliban, says Pak

Posted by :) on October 27, 2009

Source : TOI
Islamabad: Interior minister Rehman Malik has once again claimed that India is fomenting unrest within Pakistan through steps such as funding Taliban fighters based along the border with Afghanistan.
Malik said he was “convinced” India is among “certain hostile agencies” that are backing the Taliban to create instability in Pakistan.
Asked during an interview to a TV news channel as to who was backing the Taliban, he said: “There are certain hostile elements against Pakistan and there are certain hostile agencies which do not want Pakistan to be (stabilized).”
In response to a question on whether India is among the hostile agencies, Malik said, “Yes, of course, I am convinced. I have no doubt about it. I was very open. I have given the full details.
“If the interior minister of India or anyone else wants to confront me, I will be very happy to confront them because I know what I am saying,” he added. Malik had said last week that Pakistan has “solid evidence” of India’s alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province and this can be shared with Indian ministers or representatives at any forum of their choice.
“I invite their interior minister or anyone else (to come to Pakistan) and I will put on record all the material about India’s interference in Balochistan. I’ll prove it to the world,” he had said. AGENCIES

Posted in AF-PAK | Leave a Comment »

Iraq suicide car bombings kill 155

Posted by :) on October 26, 2009

Baghdad

An Iraqi weeps as he walks away from the Justice Ministry after a bombing. Twin suicide attacks a block apart in the Iraqi capital killed about 150 people and injured about 700. (Ahmad Al Rubaye / AFP / Getty Images / October 25, 2009)

Source : LA Times

Reporting from Baghdad – Twin suicide bombings in the heart of downtown Baghdad killed 147 people Sunday in an attack seen as an attempt to undermine Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s government at a time of rising political tensions over crucial national elections due in January.

The attacks outside the Justice Ministry and the Baghdad provincial council headquarters on a busy workday injured an additional 700 people. They were the deadliest bombings in Iraq in more than two years.

The midmorning explosions, in a closely guarded area packed with government buildings, served as a fresh reminder that although U.S. attention has shifted in large part to Afghanistan, Iraq remains a highly volatile place. Some fear it could disintegrate into chaos again even before U.S. forces finish their planned departure.

The car bombings, which occurred within minutes of each other, also indicated that militants appear to have the capacity to strike at will against key targets, despite repeated claims of progress by Iraqi security forces, who have been in charge since June, when U.S. troops withdrew from Iraqi cities.

The explosions ripped through traffic and buildings a block apart, hurling vehicles through the air, incinerating drivers and burning office workers at their desks. Blast walls erected for protection were pulverized. Mangled bodies and pieces of flesh lay strewn around the streets. Water spewed from a destroyed main and collected in blood-tinged pools.

The mayhem was reminiscent of a pair of similarly devastating attacks on Aug. 19 against the Foreign and Finance ministries in which about 100 people died, but Baghdad had been relatively calm since then, prompting some government officials to boast that Iraqi security forces were now firmly in control.

The new attacks come as Iraqi political leaders face a deadlock over a law to regulate the vote scheduled for Jan. 16. Many Iraqis felt it was no accident that violence returned to their streets at a time when their politicians are at odds.

Election officials have warned that if there is no agreement soon, they may have to delay the vote, which could also delay the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops, scheduled to take place after the polling.

At a meeting Sunday evening aimed at breaking the deadlock, no agreement was reached on the thorny question of how to organize voting in the disputed province of Tamim, home to the much-coveted, oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

Prime Minister Maliki visited the site of the bombings and blamed remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime and the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq, saying they sought to “create chaos in the country, derail the political process and prevent the parliamentary elections,” according to a statement from his office. He vowed that the elections would be held on schedule.

It is Maliki who stands to lose the most from a security breakdown, because he is campaigning on his record as the leader who helped restore a good measure of security after the sectarian warfare that raged until a few years ago. Overall, violence is down 90% since the peak in 2006, U.S. commanders say.

An increase in violence could also force President Obama to reconsider his promises to withdraw U.S. troops. In Washington, Obama issued a strongly worded statement condemning “these outrageous attacks on the Iraqi people.”

“The United States will stand with Iraq’s people and government as a close friend and partner as Iraqis prepare for elections early next year, continue to take responsibility for their future and build greater peace and opportunity,” he said.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have repeatedly warned that violence is likely to escalate as the elections approach — to prevent them from taking place or to attempt to influence the outcome.

Maliki and his government laid most of the blame for the August bombings on Syria, accusing it of harboring former Baathists.

President Jalal Talabani repeated the accusation in a statement after Sunday’s bombings, saying that “the neighboring and distant countries should immediately refrain forever from harboring, financing and facilitating the forces that openly proclaim their hostility to the Iraqi state and its institutions.”

U.S. officials, however, say they suspect most of the suicide bombings still taking place, including August’s attacks, are mainly the work of Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has been severely weakened over the last two years but retains a stubbornly persistent presence in several cities.

Many Iraqis at the scene blamed the political discord for the latest attacks, suggesting mainstream parties may be engaging in acts of violence to undermine their enemies and pointing to widespread disillusionment with the political process.

“It’s the political parties,” said engineer Nasreddin Latif Abdullah, 35, who was thrown to the ground at a nearby restaurant when the bombers struck. “We have these bombings whenever our leaders don’t agree. They are competing for seats in government.

“A thousand blessings upon the name of Saddam Hussein,” he added. “Under Saddam we had many wars, but we never saw such things in Baghdad.”

Whether more violence would prompt a significant delay in the departure of U.S. troops is unclear. Current plans call for the 120,000 U.S. troops to begin a rapid drawdown about one to two months after the elections. After August 2010, the deadline set by Obama for the departure of all U.S. combat forces, a force of roughly 50,000 troops, mostly logisticians and trainers, would remain until the end of 2011, by which time all U.S. troops must leave under the terms of the U.S.-Iraqi security pact.

A delay in the balloting might force a delay in the withdrawal of combat forces, Michele Flournoy, undersecretary of Defense for policy, testified at a congressional hearing last week. But elections are unlikely to be delayed by more than a few months, if at all, and the security pact stipulates that combat troops must be gone from Iraq by the end of 2010.

Both Iraq and the U.S. insist that the agreement must be respected. And U.S. troops are already playing a diminishing role. They have withdrawn from cities, and many of those who were active on the streets of Baghdad this year are now sitting idly in their bases.

A team of U.S. soldiers wearing Explosives Ordnance Disposal armbands turned up at the site of the bombings and began wading through knee-deep water unleashed by the burst water main, salvaging engine parts suspected to have come from the car bombs and placing them in sealed plastic bags. The Iraqi authorities requested help with forensics because they are unskilled in that area, a U.S. military spokesman said.

The bombings also called into question the overall capacity of the Iraqi security forces, who took control of Baghdad from U.S. forces in June amid much fanfare and expressions of national pride. The attacks occurred just a few hundred yards from the site of the Foreign Ministry bombing and in an area where extra security precautions had been ordered.

The Baghdad provincial council office is on a block off-limits to normal traffic, with checkpoints at either end, and the Justice Ministry is just beyond it. Yet somehow two suicide bombers managed to reach their destinations.

“This is the question we are asking,” said Mahmoud Nabil, 36, who witnessed the bombings from his office between the two buildings. “There are checkpoints here searching everyone, so how could this have happened?”

liz.sly@latimes.com

Redha is a Times staff writer. Staff writer Caesar Ahmed contributed to this report.

Posted in suicide car bomb attacks | Leave a Comment »

Suicide blasts at Islamabad’s Islamic university

Posted by :) on October 20, 2009

SOURCE –  Dawn

A police commando (L) secures an area as police bomb squad officials (R) investigate the scene of a bomb blast at the Islamabad’s International Islamic University in Islamabad on October 20, 2009. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: A double suicide bombing at Islamabad’s International Islamic University on Tuesday killed up to seven people, including the two bombers, an administration official said.

‘Seven people, including two suicide bombers are dead, and 29 injured in the two attacks. Among the dead is one female,’ a senior administration official, Rana Akbar Hayat told AFP at the scene of the attack.

Police investigators confirmed that both were suicide attacks.

Speaking at the capital’s main hospital, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said there were six dead — two suicide bombers, two men and two women.

The police arrested a suspect from the site of the blast.

The university is located in Islamabad’s sector H-11.

Eyewitnesses told DawnNews that there were between three to four thousand students present at the time of the blasts and that one bomb exploded inside a classroom.

The blasts occurred within a span of one minute at two campuses of the university.

Earlier in the day two bombs were defused at a girls’ school in Peshawar.

isbUniblast_ap316

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Q&A: Pakistan’s Waziristan challenge

Posted by :) on October 14, 2009

Source – BBC

Pakistan’s army is poised to launch an offensive in the volatile tribal region of South Waziristan, reports say. The army has been massing troops near the militants’ stronghold for months. But what would await the army if it finally took on the Taliban on their home terrain?


Where is Waziristan and what is it like?

Waziristan is a mountainous region in north-west Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan.

It is part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), a semi-autonomous region where the central government exercises limited control through a political agent.

For administrative purposes it is divided into two “agencies” – North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

map

Winters are harsh, making large tracts of the already inhospitable terrain almost inaccessible.

The tribal society found in North and South Waziristan is extremely socially conservative with a fierce reputation as “warriors”.

North Waziristan is dominated by the Wazir tribe. This tribe also extends into South Waziristan and makes up one-third of its population. The remaining two-thirds of South Waziristan’s population are Mehsuds.

Why is Waziristan a target?

South Waziristan and the surrounding region have been described by US officials as “the most dangerous place on earth”.

hakimullah mehsud

Many analysts believe the area could harbour some of the world’s most wanted men – including al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

It was the home of former Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a suspected US drone strike in August 2009. It is also home to his successor, the current Pakistani Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.

North and South Waziristan form a lethal militant belt from where insurgents have launched attacks across north-west Pakistan as well as into parts of eastern Afghanistan.

South Waziristan is considered to be the first significant sanctuary for Islamic militants outside Afghanistan since 9/11. It also has numerous training camps for suicide bombers.

Pakistan’s government is under considerable pressure from the US to tackle militancy there.

Analysts also say dislodging al-Qaeda-linked Uzbek and Arab militants in the area is an important goal.

What has happened so far?

The Pakistani army has maintained a brigade headquarters in the Wana region of South Waziristan since 2004.

But since May 2009 troops have been massing in large numbers in the semi-tribal areas on the periphery of Waziristan.

SENIOR MILITANTS KILLED
2 October: Reports that Tahir Yuldashev, Uzbek militant chief was killed in August drone attack
29 September: Irfan Shamankhel, close to Taliban leader, killed in drone strike
28 September: Kalimullah Mehsud, Taliban leader’s Hakimullah’s brother, killed in clash in South Waziristan
15 September: Top militant Ilyas Kashmiri killed by missile in N Waziristan
6 August: Baitullah Mehsud, Taliban leader killed in suspected US drone strike in S Waziristan

The army has so far refrained from going all-out against the militants.

It has said it wants to surround the militants and use air power and artillery to ”soften them up”.

This is in contrast to its recent campaign in the Swat valley where a sustained three-month ground offensive by the army in the summer of 2009 largely succeeded in driving out Taliban fighters entrenched there.

People have been fleeing the Waziristan area for some months in anticipation of fighting there.

Militants in Waziristan have also been under fire from the air. Suspected US drone strikes have killed a number of senior Taliban militants in the region in recent months.

It was one such missile attack which killed Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud at a family compound in South Waziristan.

The Pakistani army, working with local paramilitary forces such as the Frontier Corps, has also launched artillery and rocket strikes against Taliban militants there.

What are the challenges of operating in South Waziristan?

PAKISTAN ARMY HAS A FULL RANGE OF MODERN WEAPONRY
army infographic
1. Cobra helicopter gunship
2. Artillery guns
3. Light pick-up troop transporter
4. Infantry armed with assault rifle
5. Tanks are also available but will not be used extensively
6. F-16 fighter jet

The harsh mountainous terrain is often cited as a major challenge for the army. The gullies, ravines and high mountain trails make arduous going and provide many hiding places for militants.

Knowledge of the terrain is vital – and in this respect the militants have the advantage.

However, the BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says that the terrain in the Swat valley, where the army took the battle to the Taliban, was more difficult than that found in South Waziristan because it is more densely forested.

The Malakand division which includes the Swat valley is also a larger area than that in which any Waziristan offensive is likely to take place.

Weather will play a role. Snow is likely to blanket parts of the region from early December – particularly the Makeen area which is a Mehsud stronghold.

This is likely to pose a problem for militants and troops alike. However, the cold has not prevented the army from launching operations in South Waziristan in the past.

What might be a deciding factor is the militarised psyche of society in Waziristan. The Wazir and Mehsud tribes are often described by analysts as “born soldiers” willing to fight to the death.

What is the manpower of the army versus the Taliban?

TALIBAN ARE LIGHTLY ARMED BUT HIGHLY MOBILE AND ADAPTABLE
talib infographic
1. Main weapon: AK-47 assault rifle
2. Improvised explosive devices can be deadly
3. Toyota Hi Lux pick-up light transport. Here Taliban guerrillas are armed with RPGs

There are two divisions – or 28,000 soldiers – of Pakistan’s army already deployed on the edge of Waziristan. In addition the Frontier Corps – the paramilitary force made up of recruits from tribal areas – is likely to support army operations.

The number of militants is far harder to estimate. An army spokesman recently estimated their strength at between 10,000 and 20,000 fighters.

In South Waziristan Hakimullah Mehsud heads what is thought to be the largest militant force with an estimated strength of more than 15,000 armed men – although the “hard core” of his fighters is much smaller.

The western stretch bordering Afghanistan is the territory of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe. But the operation discussed at the moment is confined to the Mehsud area.

Analysts say estimates for the number of Uzbek fighters in South Wazirstan varies from 500-5,000.

What would the likely tactics be?

If the military goes in with full force, the militants are likely to disperse rather than attempt to hold territory, analysts say.

They will almost certainly engage in guerrilla warfare. With their knowledge of the terrain they are likely to launch ambushes as has been the case in previous years.

But a lot depends on military tactics. Previously, the military has not had a clear strategy when venturing into Waziristan.

This time round – after the success in Swat – troop morale is likely to be high.

For the army’s part it would have to hold the roads and the main towns. Currently the Mehsud-dominated centres of Ladha, Makeen and Sararogha are virtual no-go areas.

A primary military target would be to take control of the heights and put up outposts. They will also go after mid- and high-ranking Taliban commanders.

What has happened in past encounters?

Waziristan was just as dangerous for the British from the 1860s onwards.

British forces would make gruelling expeditions into the area following audacious attacks from Waziristan tribesmen in British-ruled territory.

More than a century later and it was not much easier for the Pakistani army.

In 2004 the Pakistani army suffered heavily at the hands of Wazir-affiliated militants.

There is a possibility that a military offensive against the Mehsud group in South Waziristan could draw in to the conflict militant groups based in the Wazir tribal areas of South and North Waziristan.

These groups are currently part of an al-Qaeda-affiliated network who have so far concentrated on fighting inside Afghanistan. They have “peace agreements” with the Pakistani army.

Posted in Taliban, Terror Camps, Waziristan | Leave a Comment »

Pak lets off Lashkar Saeed, India outraged

Posted by :) on October 13, 2009

Source ANI

India on Monday reacted strongly to the Lahore High Court’s order to dispose off the anti-terror case against Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed, the alleged mastermind behind the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Reacting to the decision, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna said Pakistan must ensure the arrest of all 26/11 culprits.

“It is surprising that Saeed has been let off by the Pakistan court. He was the brain behind the Mumbai blasts. Pakistan should conduct a probe on his role in the attacks,” Krishna told a private news television channel.

Earlier in the day, the Lahore High Court had ordered the case against Saeed to be disposed off, saying the country’s anti-terror laws did not apply to him.

Saeed’s lawyer A K Dogar said the case against his client was weak as it lacked credible evidence.

Posted in 26/11 | Leave a Comment »

Car Bomb Attack on Indian Embassy in Kabul

Posted by :) on October 11, 2009

The Bomb Exploded Outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Killing at Least 17

By NICK SCHIFRIN and ALEEM AGHA
KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 8, 2009
Source :

A suicide car bomb exploded outside the heavily guarded Indian Embassy in downtown Kabul this morning, killing at least 17 and injuring 84, according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior.

Attack on Indian embassy in kabul

The wreckage of a vehicle used in a bombing attack is being towed away at the site of an explosion…(Altaf Qadri/AP Photo)

The large explosion gutted a nearby market, shattered windows and severely damaged two United Nations armored SUVs that were driving by. The vehicles were empty except for drivers, the U.N. said, and they were not injured.

But the car bomb, which Afghan officials said was loaded into a Toyota 4Runner, was large enough to be felt more than a mile away. The deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s parliament, who lives down the street, told ABC News that the blast was five times stronger than the one that last hit the Indian Embassy in July 2008, a car bomb that killed nearly 60 people.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

49 killed in bomb blast in Pak’s Peshawar city

Posted by :) on October 10, 2009

Reuters

Peshawar: A suspected suicide car-bomber killed 49 people on Friday in the Pakistani city of Peshawar in an attack that the government said underscored the need for an all-out offensive against the Pakistani Taliban.

There was no claim of responsibility but Interior Minister Rehman Malik said “all roads are leading to South Waziristan”, referring to the headquarters of the Pakistani Taliban in the northwest.

“One thing is clear, these hired assassins called Taliban are to be dealt with more severely,” said Malik

“We think we have no other option except to carry out an operation in South Waziristan,” he said, while declining to say when that might happen.

The suspected car-bomber set off his explosives as he was passing a bus, police said.

The blast hurled the bus onto its side on a road in a commercial neighbourhood of the northwestern city. Several cars were also destroyed.

“The bus was making a turn when the blast occurred and it threw the bus into the air,” said a witness.

An official at Peshawar’s main hospital said 49 people had been killed including seven children.

The bomb dented trade at Pakistan’s main stock market, which has gained about 66 per cent this year after losing 58.3 per cent in 2008.

“There was some negative impact as the market has come off its intra-day high but there seems to be foreign support at lower levels,” said Chief Executive at Topline Securities Ltd, Mohammed Sohail.

Violence picking up

Islamist militants who have set off numerous bombs in towns and cities including Peshawar over the past couple of years, most aimed at the security forces and government and foreign targets.

Early this year, the militants pushed to within 100 km (60 miles) of Islamabad, raising fears for nuclear-armed Pakistan’s stability.

The United States needs Pakistani help against militants crossing into Afghanistan to battle US-led forces there.

An exasperated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said early this year the government appeared to be “abdicating” to the militants.

But that changed in late on April when the security forces launched a sustained offensive in the Swat valley, 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, largely clearing Taliban from the region.

The militants suffered another big blow on August 5, when their overall leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in an attack by a missile-firing US drone aircraft in South Waziristan.

Mehsud’s death and reports of infighting over who would take over as leader raised hopes that the militants were in disarray.

But in recent weeks violence has been picking up after a relative lull following Mehsud’s killing.

The government ordered the army to go on the offensive in South Waziristan in June and security forces have been launching air and artillery strikes, while moving-in troops, blockading the region and trying to split off factions.

The army has declined to say when it would send in ground troops.


Posted in AF-PAK, Pakistani ARMY, Pakistani terrorists, TERROSIST ATTACK | 1 Comment »