Archive for April, 2009

The Death and Resurrection of Osama bin Laden, The Faliure of Pak, Afghan And US Governments.

April 30, 2009

Bin Laden’s voice was detected regularly until [14 December 2001] by intelligence operatives monitoring radio transmissions in Tora Bora, according to the Pentagon [details]. Since then, nothing has been heard from the al-Qa’eda leader and President Bush has hinted in private that bin Laden’s silence could mean he has been killed. [Telegraph, 12/28/2001]

Osama bin Laden:

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A dead nemesis perpetuated by the US government

Osama bin Laden is dead. The news first came from sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan almost six months ago: the fugitive died in December [2001] and was buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan. Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf, echoed the information. The remnants of Osama’s gang, however, have mostly stayed silent, either to keep Osama’s ghost alive or because they have no means of communication.With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival?[New York Times. July 11, 2002]Bin Laden has often been reported to be in poor health. Some accounts claim that he is suffering from Hepatitis C, and can expect to live for only two more years. According to Le Figaro, last year [2000] he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to his base at Kandahar in Afghanistan. [Guardian]Peter Bergen: Bin Laden has aged ‘enormously’

This is a man who was clearly not well. I mean, as you see from these pictures here, he’s really, by December [2001] he’s looking pretty terrible.

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Bin Laden December 27, 2001 video

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Healthy bin Laden

But by December, of course, that tape that was aired then, he’s barely moving the left side of his body. So he’s clearly got diabetes. He has low blood pressure. He’s got a wound in his foot. He’s apparently got dialysis … for kidney problems. [CNN]

The [December 27, 2001 video] was dismissed by the Bush administration … as sick propaganda possibly designed to mask the fact the al-Qa’eda leader was already dead. “He could have made the video and then ordered that it be released in the event of his death,” said one White House aide. [Telegraph]

Pakistan’s Musharraf: Bin Laden probably dead

Pakistan’s president says he thinks Osama bin Laden is most likely dead because the suspected terrorist has been unable to get treatment for his kidney disease.

[A Bush administration official] said U.S. intelligence is that bin Laden needs dialysis every three days and “it is fairly obvious that that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout.” [CNN]

Renal dialysis — talking about hemodialysis — is something that really is reserved for patients in end-stage renal failure. That means their kidneys have just completely shut down. The most common cause of something like that would be something like diabetes and hypertension. Once that’s happened, if you’re separated from your dialysis machine — and incidentally, dialysis machines require electricity, they’re going to require clean water, they’re going to require a sterile setting — infection is a huge risk with that. If you don’t have all those things and a functioning dialysis machine, it’s unlikely that you’d survive beyond several days or a week at the most. [CNN]

Karzai: bin Laden ‘probably’ dead

Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead, but former Taliban leader Mullah Omar is alive, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said. [CNN]

FBI: Bin Laden ‘probably’ dead

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counter-terrorism chief, Dale Watson, says he thinks Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead. [BBC]

Magazine runs what it calls bin Laden’s will

The editor-in-chief of a London-based Arab news magazine said a purported will it published Saturday was written late last year [2001] by Osama bin Laden, and shows “he’s dying or he’s going to die soon.” [CNN]

Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader. “The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead,” the source said. [FOX News]

Translation of Funeral Article in Egyptian Paper:
al-Wafd, Wednesday, December 26, 2001 Vol 15 No 4633

News of Bin Laden’s Death and Funeral 10 days ago

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A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa’da organization, stating that binLaden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. [Welfare State]

Osama bin who?

Israel does not view bin Laden as a threat. [Janes]

Israeli intelligence: Bin Laden is dead, heir has been chosen

Israeli sources said Israel and the United States assess that Bin Laden probably died in the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan in December. They said the emergence of new messages by Bin Laden are probably fabrications, Middle East Newsline reported. [World Tribune]

[See also The Fake bin Laden Audio Tape]

[See also Benazir Bhutto says Osama is dead.]

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Officials, friends can’t confirm Bin Laden death report

POSTED: 11:12 a.m. EDT, September 24, 2006

Story HighlightsStory Highlights

 • France’s Chirac, U.S. intelligence downplay report that bin Laden is dead
• Report’s source is leaked French defense ministry documents
• Saudi source tells CNN bin Laden is ill with a water-borne disease
• Bin Laden’s brother-in-law says he has heard no report of al Qaeda leader’s death

PARIS, France (CNN) — A report that Osama bin Laden is dead has set off a flurry of denials from U.S., French and Pakistani officials, who say the newspaper report citing French intelligence cannot be independently confirmed.

A Saudi intelligence official, however, told CNN on Saturday that the al Qaeda leader is suffering from a waterborne illness. There have been credible reports that the most wanted man in the world is ill, but there is no intelligence indicating he is dead, the source said.

L’Est Republicain, citing a September 21 French foreign intelligence document, reported that Saudi officials had received confirmation that bin Laden died August 23 of typhoid fever in Pakistan. (Watch what intelligence information reveals about bin Laden’s condition — 1:59

“We believe this reporting to be unsubstantiated,” a U.S. intelligence official said.

Other U.S. intelligence officials concurred, and White House spokesman Blair Jones said, “We have no confirmation of that report.” (Watch a former CIA director explain how this report could be confirmed –3:34)

A senior White House official with access to intelligence reports added that he has made several calls to senior government officials and could not verify the report.

Across the Atlantic, French President Jacques Chirac said the report was “in no way confirmed” and that he was initiating an investigation into who leaked the confidential document to L’Est Republicain. (Watch French reporter sticking to his story — 1:51)

“I was rather surprised to see that a confidential note from the [General Directorate for External Security] was published, and I have asked the minister of defense to start an investigation immediately and to reach whatever conclusions are necessary,” Chirac said after trade talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Compiegne, France.

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   ftstepFriend, family weigh in.

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Bin Laden’s brother-in-law, Jamal Khalifa, who was the al Qaeda leader’s best friend when they were university students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, told CNN that he has heard no report of bin Laden’s death. The Saudi-based businessman has been married to bin Laden’s sister, Shaikha, since 1986.

Khaled Batarfi, a managing editor at the Saudi newspaper Al Madina and who was close friends with bin Laden when they were teenagers, said he remains in touch with bin Laden’s immediate family in Jeddah. Family members said Saturday they had heard nothing to confirm the report, Batarfi told CNN.

Despite the fervent denials, journalist Laid Sammari, who wrote the article, said in a telephone interview that he was confident the classified document was authentic. His article states that Saudi secret service agents on September 4 received reports of bin Laden’s death.

Saudi officials plan to make an official announcement after they confirm the burial site for the al Qaeda leader, Sammari said.

In Pakistan, officials said Saturday that they had no confirmation of bin Laden’s death. On Friday, President Gen. Pervez Musharraf confirmed President Bush’s earlier statement that the hunt for bin Laden is still on.

Al Qaeda was behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States that killed almost 3,000 people in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. The U.S. State Department is offering a $25 million reward for information leading directly to bin Laden’s arrest or conviction, according to the FBI.

The Airline Pilots Association and the Air Transport Association are offering an additional $2 million reward.

Bin Laden’s most recent public message came June 30, when an audio recording was posted on an Islamic Web site. He stated that Abu Hamza al-Muhajer had replaced Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier in June.

The CIA confirmed the voice on the tape was bin Laden’s.

The al Qaeda leader’s most recent videotaped statement was aired October 29, 2004, on Al-Jazeera.

cnnCNN’s Katie Turner, Pam Benson, Peter Bergen, Elise Labott and Nic Robertson contributed to this report.

Pakistan’s President says Osama bin Laden could be dead

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has raised the prospect that Osama bin Laden could be dead after he said that intelligence officials could find “no trace” of the al-Qaeda chief.

By Dean Nelson and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Last Updated: 6:25AM BST 28 Apr 2009

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An image from 1998 shows Osama Bin Laden speaking to selected reporters in the mountains of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan Photo: AP

He said that neither his own advisers in Pakistan nor US intelligence agencies had detected any trace of the al-Qaeda leader since Al Jazeera television broadcast an audio recording of his voice in March.

But even then, unlike on previous occasions the authenticity of the voice purporting to be bin Laden was not confirmed by the CIA.

There have been regular reports of bin Laden’s ill health, notably speculation about his kidneys failing. Mr Zardari said his own advisers believed there was substance to the rumours.

“The question is whether he is alive or dead. There is no trace of him,” he said.

“There is no news. They obviously feel that he does not exist any more but that’s not confirmed.”

Mr Zardari’s predecessor, Pervez Musharraf, similarly suggested that the Saudi terror chief could be dead. But US officials have repeatedly stated that bin Laden could yet be hiding in the mountainous region straddling the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Mr Zardari’s comments came as he sought to reassure the international community that it need not worry over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, had voiced her fears that they could fall into Taliban hands if the Pakistani government failed to halt the militants’ advance throughout its North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Militants were last week repelled from their positions in Buner, just 60 miles from the capital Islamabad.

Her remarks followed earlier claims to a US Congressional committee that Pakistan was “abdicating to the Taliban” by making peace deals in places like the Swat Valley, where ministers had agreed to introduce Sharia law in exchange for an end to a militant insurgency.

That latest deal is unravelling after the Pakistan army killed 46 Taliban fighters in the space of two days, including two senior commanders in Malakand’s Lower Dir district, in a series of helicopter gunship strikes.

They were called in after the NWFP government said the Taliban had broken the truce deal by pushing beyond the Swat Valley to neighbouring districts like Buner and Lower Dir.

A Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan, last night warned his fighters would attack government forces throughout the district if the government did not immediately halt its offensive.

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No Confirmation about Laden’s Death

Updated: Monday, April 27, 2009, 16:05|| IrishTimes.com|| Last updated on April 29, 2009, 18:15 by Agencies.||

Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari said today that the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden remained a mystery and there was a suspicion that he could be dead.

Mr Zardari said US officials had told him that they had no trace of the al-Qaeda leader, although they habitually say he is most likely in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s own intelligence agencies had no confirmation of Bin Laden’s status either, Mr Zardari said.

“There is no news,” the president said. “They obviously feel that he does not exist anymore but that’s not confirmed, we can’t confirm that.”

Al Jazeera aired excerpts of an audio recording in March in which the speaker’s voice sounded like earlier messages from Bin Laden, who has eluded all efforts to catch him since al-Qaeda carried out the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Bin Laden’s 52nd birthday was on March 10th. He is known to suffer from ill-health.

There have been reports that he had died of natural causes in the past, but they have never been corroborated, and security analysts believe intelligence agencies monitoring jihadi websites on the internet would have picked up some chatter. nReuters .

It is difficult to say, whether Osama is dead or alive. Whether he is a good friend of Obama, Karzai, Musarraf or Muslim mass being endangered by the isolation threat out of an Islamist terrorism. But a fun realms that Osama generally prefers breakfast with Zardari, lunch with Karzai and dinner with Obama. And only Allah knows where Osama sleeps at night.

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But the reality runs that Ghost Osama is more dangerous than Osama live Laden. Laden is still the prime inspiration of all Islamist terror forces.

 

 

Somalia to Thailand, the same story of Pak-Afghan Terrorism

April 29, 2009

Terrorists moving from Pak-Afghan border to Africa

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Lolita C Baldor, Associated Press || Washington, April 28, 2009 (First Published: 11:02 IST(28/4/2009)

Evidence is growing that battle-hardened extremists are filtering out of havens along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and into East Africa, bringing sophisticated terror tactics that include suicide attacks. The alarming shift, according to US military and counterterror officials, fuels worries that Somalia increasingly is on a path to become the next Afghanistan, a sanctuary where al-Qaida-linked groups can train and plan their threatened attacks against the West.
So far, officials say the number of foreign fighters who have moved from southwest Asia and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region to the Horn of Africa is small, perhaps two to three dozen. A similarly small cell of militant plotters was responsible for the devastating 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. And the cluster of militants now believed to be operating inside east Africa could pass on sophisticated training and attack techniques gleaned after seven years at war against the United States and allies in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. officials said. “There is a level of activity that is troubling, disturbing,” U.S. Gen. William “Kip” Ward, head of U.S. Africa Command, told The Associated Press. “When you have these vast spaces, that are just not governed, it provides a haven for support activities, for training to occur.”
Ward added that American officials already are seeing extremist factions in East Africa sharing information and techniques. Several military and counterterror officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters, cautioned that the movements of the al-Qaida militants does not suggest an abandonment of the ungoverned Pakistan border region as a haven.
Instead, the shift is viewed by the officials more as an expansion of al-Qaida’s influence, and a campaign to gather and train more recruits in a region already rife with militants. Last month, Osama bin Laden made it clear in a newly released audiotape that al-Qaida has set its sights on Somalia, an impoverished and largely lawless country in the Horn of Africa. In the 11-minute tape released to Internet sites, bin Laden is heard urging Somalis to overthrow their new moderate Islamist president and to support their jihadist “brothers” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Iraq.
Officials said that in recent years they have seen occasional signs that sophisticated al-Qaida terror techniques are gaining ground in East Africa. Those harbingers include a coordinated series of suicide bombings in Somalia last October.
In the past, officials said, suicide attacks tended to be frowned on by African Muslims, creating something of an impediment to al-Qaida’s efforts to sell that aspect of its terror tactics. But on Oct. 29, 2008, suicide bombers killed more than 20 people in five attacks targeting a U.N. compound, the Ethiopian consulate, the presidential palace in Somaliland’s capital, and two intelligence facilities in Puntland.
The coordinated assaults, officials said, amounted to a watershed moment, suggesting a new level of sophistication and training. The incident also marked the first time that a U.S. citizen, a young Somali man from Minneapolis, Minnesota, became a suicide bomber. The foreign fighters moving into East Africa complicate an already-rising crescendo of terror threats in the region. Those threats have come from the Somalia-based al-Shabab extremist Islamic faction and from al-Qaida in East Africa, a small, hard-core group also known by the acronym EEAQ.
While not yet considered an official al-Qaida franchise, EEAQ has connections to the top terror leaders and was implicated in the August, 1998, embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya that killed 225 people. The bombings were al-Qaida’s precursors to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a plot spawned by a small cell of operatives as far back as 1992. Four men accused as al-Qaida plotters were later convicted in federal court in New York for those bombings. Fazul Abdullah Mohammed and several other EEAQ members remain under indictment in the United States for their alleged participation in those bombings. Mohammed is on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list with a reward of up to $5 million on his head. Al-Qaida has the skills while al-Shabab has the manpower, said one senior military official familiar with the region. The official said that EEAQ appears to a small cell of a few dozen operatives who rarely sleep in the same place twice and are adept at setting up temporary training camps that vanish days later.
What worries U.S. military leaders, the official said, is the fear that EEAQ and al-Shabab may merge in training and operations, with the potential of spreading al-Qaida’s more extremist jihadist beliefs to thousands of clan-based Somali militants, who so far have been squabbling in their own internal struggles.
The scenario could become even more worrisome, the officials said, if the foreign fighters transplant their skills at bomb-making and insurgency tactics to the training camps in East Africa. Africa experts, however, said it will not be easy for Islamic extremists to win many converts in East Africa.
Francois Grignon, Africa Program Director for the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based research group, said in an interview that al-Qaida faces a challenge gaining recruits in Somalia. Many clan members, he said, generally practice a more moderate Islam, and militants are not inclined to join a fight they do not see as their own.
The United States, he said, needs to encourage the new government there to deal with the growing terror threats and to marginalize the jihadists so that they are not able to sustain their activities in Somalia.
Ward said the U.S. Africa Command is working with a number of nations to build their ability to maintain security. He said commanders are less able to do much in Somalia, where the new government is still fragile.
Meanwhile, he said, officials continue to watch as the ties between the terror groups grow.
“I think they’re all a threat,” said Ward. “Right now it’s clearly a threat that the Africans have, but in today’s global society that threat can be exported anywhere with relative ease.”
nHindustantimes/28-04-2009

Islamist militant attacks intensified in Thailand

 
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BBC News || 07:36 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 08:36 UK

Nine people have died in the past 24 hours in a wave of attacks by suspected Islamic militants in southern Thailand.
The latest violence coincides with the fifth anniversary of an attack on the Krue Se mosque, which marked a sharp escalation in the separatist conflict.
It was the first big clash between the security forces and militants, and more than 100 people died in just one day.
About 3,500 people have died since then and successive governments have made little progress in stemming the unrest.
Thailand annexed the three southern provinces – Narathiwat, Yala and Pattani – in 1902, but the vast majority of people there are Muslim and speak a Malay dialect, in contrast to the Buddhist Thai speakers in the rest of the country.
Insurgents target people they perceive to be collaborating with the Bangkok government – using bomb blasts, beheadings and shootings.
They also try to force Buddhist residents from the area, with the aim of ultimately establishing a separate Islamic state.
High alert
Gunmen stormed into a house in Yala province late on Monday, opening fire on a Muslim family and killing four people.

Two men were later found dead outside a nearby mosque.
In other incidents, a Buddhist government official was shot dead in Pattani province, a Muslim man was fatally shot while watching a football match in Yala and another man was killed nearby in a drive-by shooting.
According to the BBC correspondent in Bangkok, Jonathan Head, there is nothing remarkable about the attacks of the past 24 hours.
Now in its sixth year, the renewed war in Thailand’s south continues to exact a heavy toll on the local inhabitants with relentless regularity, our correspondent says.
Early on Monday there were 11 co-ordinated attacks on schools and electricity substations. On Saturday a bomb blast injured 15 people.
The bloody assault on the Krue Se mosque by Thai security forces on 28 April 2004 is seen as an important point in the long-running conflict, leading to a marked escalation in the violence.
Security forces stormed the mosque and killed 32 Muslims who had barricaded themselves inside. More than 70 others died in separate incidents on the same day.
“Security forces are taking special precautions and are on high alert on the [Krue Se] anniversary,” army spokesman Parinya told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Human rights groups argue that the government’s failure to punish any members of the security forces for abuses against civilians has alienated the population in Thailand’s deep south.
But other analysts believe the militants, who operate in small cells affiliated with Islamic schools, are not interested in negotiating with the government, whatever concessions it makes.

The authorities in Thailand are very much anxieted to the numbers of increasing Islamic Institutions supported by the foreign Islamist Organisation closer to the Pak-Afghan origins. The Islamic education institutions funded by the middle-east or Pak-Afghan sources never submit the reports of their activities after repeated strictures. Now, a stringent vigilance is imposed upon the Muslim clerics who are frequently visiting Thailand from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan.

Fresh Bloodbath in Pak||Pakistan Vs Taliban

April 28, 2009

Pak launches air, ground offensive in Buner; Dir fighting kills 85

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“Enough is enough,” – Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik
Posted: Tuesday , Apr 28, 2009 at 1946 hrs IST || Islamabad|| Indian Express/28-04-2009

Succumbing to international pressure to contain the advancing Taliban, Pakistan mounted a major offensive against them in Buner, using fighter jets to pound their hideouts, even as 75 militants and 10 soldiers were killed in fighting in a nearby district.
“Enough is enough,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik said as he warned that “a handful of militants cannot challenge the writ of the government” and asserted that “strict action” will be taken against the Taliban who had come as close as 100 kms away from the federal capital.
Most of Dir district in North West Frontier Province had been cleared of Taliban fighters after an offensive that left 70 to 75 militants and 10 security personnel dead, chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said.
The operation in Dir was launched on Sunday and a “few pockets of resistance” that remained would be cleared soon, he told a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.
Abbas said the operation was extended to Buner district, located 100 km from Islamabad, this afternoon. Helicopter gunships and fighter jets are backing paramilitary Frontier Corps and army troops in the area, he said.
Over 200 militants are present in Dir while the number of Taliban fighters in Buner is 450 to 500 and they have weapons like Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers, grenades, mines and explosives. The objective of the offensive in Buner is to “eliminate or expel” the militants, he said.
The government and the army had shown significant restraint in the face of an increase in Taliban activities in Buner and Dir and the operation was launched only after the authorities had no option left, Abbas said.
Earlier in the day, Malik told reporters that the Taliban would have to leave Buner and other areas occupied by them. “A handful of militants cannot challenge the writ of the government. Let me tell them that the government will take action in a forceful manner,” Malik said.
The presence of militants so close to the federal capital had raised concerns in the US which told Islamabad to take strong action to flush out Taliban and other militants.
The fresh fighting triggered a mass exodus from various villages and towns of Dir with 30,000 people leaving their homes for provincial capital Peshawar and other towns.
“Up to 30,000 people have left Maidan in Lower Dir district over the past few days,” NWFP Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said. Upto a million people have so far been displaced in restive NWFP, local officials were quoted by officials as telling international relief agencies in Geneva.
Abbas said some 600 families displaced by the operation in Dir are currently sheltering in a relief camp. Asked if the operation would also be extended to the restive Swat valley, where the President recently approved the implementation of Shariah, Abbas said a decision in this regard would have to be made by government.
However, Abbas noted that militants were conducting armed patrols and kidnapping of civilians and security personnel in Swat. They had also killed police and army personnel and fired at or stopped convoys of the security forces, he said.
Despite this, the army and the government were showing restraint to take the peace process in Swat to its logical conclusion, he added. “After the implementation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (for enforcing Shariah), there is no reason for armed activities by the militants. They should surrender their arms and take forward the peace process.”
Efforts were also underway to capture Maulana Fazlullah, the Taliban commander in Swat, he said. Abbas also played an intercepted conversation in Pashtu between Fazlullah and another militant commander about the Taliban campaign in Buner.
The army is “fully on board in the government’s reconciliatory process” and the launching of military operations was the prerogative of the civilian administration, he said.
On April 2-3, some 300 militants from Swat entered Buner and began indulging in unlawful activities like kidnapping and killing policemen, forcibly recruiting youths and carrying out armed patrolling. They also took positions on hilltops and punished people for matters like having cassette players in their cars, Abbas said.
The government, Abbas said, showed restraint and gave the Taliban many opportunities to vacate Buner. It also warned the militants that it would have no option other than launching an operation if they did not leave the area, he added.
Abbas described as “misplaced” the perception that the hundreds of militants who had advanced to Buner could pose a threat to Islamabad.
“Distance is not the only component for measuring threats, there are other determinants. There is a counter-capability… and a huge military and paramilitary and civilian police forces. There is a huge capability to eliminate them,” he said in response to a question.
There were no reports of foreign militants being present in Dir or Swat. However, some militants from Punjab province had entered Swat a few months ago, Abbas said.
The unchecked advances of Taliban has stunned the Obama Administration and raised fears in the international community about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
Reacting to the Taliban’s march towards other Pakistani cities from their stronghold in Swat, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US cannot even contemplate that and cannot let this go on any further.
Malik dismissed fears about the safety of the country’s nuclear weapons, saying Pakistan is “a responsible nation that knows how to protect these assets.”

Pak troops kill 30 Taliban men ||Taliban suspended talks with Pakistani government

April 28, 2009

Pak troops kill 30 Taliban men ||Taliban suspended talks with Pakistani government

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27 Apr 2009, 1222 hrs IST, PTI || The Times of India || 27-04-2009

ISLAMABAD: Taliban on Monday suspended talks with the Pakistani government on the Swat deal to protest against the military operations in Dir, adjoining Swat Valley, in which so far 30 militants and an army officer have been killed.

As the Pakistani forces intensified the operations for second day today, Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi spokesman Izzat Khan told reporters that no peace talks would be held with the government unless the security forces halted the operations.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan also said the militants will not lay down their arms at any cost. The Swat peace deal stipulated that the militants would lay down their arms once the demand for enforcing Islamic Sharia law in the once Pakistan’s famous tourist resort was implemented.

The security forces continued shelling militant hideouts at several places in Dir district.

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said security forces had killed at least 30 militants during the operations, which was launched in retaliation to efforts by the Taliban to extend their influence outside Swat.

The Taliban confirmed that commander Maulvi Shahid was among the militants killed on Sunday. Gunship helicopters targeted militant hideouts, killing and injuring a number of them.

Two personnel of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were also killed and a major was among five personnel injured in an ambush in Maidan, the hometown of TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad.

Army helicopters airlifted Frontier Corps troops to strategic hilltops in Dir while armoured personnel carriers were seen moving towards the area.

An indefinite curfew was imposed in Lal Qila, Islampura, Kal Kot and several other areas in Dir considered to be strongholds of the Taliban. Security forces yesterday took control of Lal Qila after clearing the key area of militants.

Reports from Swat this morning said the Taliban had occupied a telephone exchange in Bahrain town. Security forces arrested four militants with heavy weapons at Khwazakhela in Swat. Militants in Dir have also taken up positions on hilltops to resist the security forces.

The Inter-Services Public Relations said the operation in Dir was launched on the request of the North West Frontier Province government to rid the area of militants who were threatening peace in the area.

The situation in Maidan, the hometown of Sufi Muhammad, worsened after district police chief Khurshid Khan and local mayor Alamzeb Khan were killed and scores of people were kidnapped in the past few weeks.

The Terrorism created own by Pakistan || India has no Involvement to it || “Pakistan is both a patron and a victim of the Taliban and terrorism”

April 25, 2009

No evidence to suggest India backing Pak rebels: Holbrooke

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Islamabad:
Pakistan should focus on militancy within its borders instead of worrying about India’s presence in Afghanistan as there is no evidence to suggest that New Delhi is backing the extremists, US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke has said.

“Pakistan does not have to worry about India in Afghanistan. They need to worry about the miscreants in western Pakistan,” Holbrooke said in an interview with ‘Geo News’ channel at the US State Department in Washington.

“Now if the Indians were supporting those miscreants, that would be extraordinarily bad (and) really dangerous. But they’re not. There is no evidence at all that the Indians are supporting the miscreants in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas or North West Frontier Province or Waziristan. None,” he said.

Holbrooke was responding to a question on Pakistan’s concerns about India’s presence in Afghanistan. He noted that India has been playing a key role in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

“India has given Afghanistan about USD 1 billion in assistance. They’re rebuilding the parliament building, they’ve built a very useful road in the south-western part of the country leading down towards Iran. They’re training agricultural experts, they’re giving scholarships. The Indians have published a pamphlet on what they’re doing. I don’t think that should be cause of concern for Pakistan.”

The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan dismissed a question on Pakistan’s perceived concerns about the activities of Indian consulates in Afghanistan.

Holbrooke also defended his recent observation that India has a “leading role” to play in the region. The remark was widely criticised in Pakistan.

“Of course, I said India has a leading role. It’s the second largest country in the world. It’s one of the most important countries in the world. What India does matters to the world,” he said.

“China is a very important nation too. China and India have common borders with Pakistan. If you are interested in helping Pakistan, you should talk to its neighbours and that includes China, India and Afghanistan. Seems very simple, but we never told India what they should do in Afghanistan.”

Asked about the US administration’s stand on the Kashmir issue, Holbrooke replied he was “not in-charge of US-Indian relations”.

“My job is only Afghanistan and Pakistan. And when I go to India, it’s to consult them and keep them abreast of the situation so that they know we’re not doing anything behind their back that would affect them. But I’m not involved in that (Kashmir) issue.”

Pak both ‘patron and victim’ of terror: Afghanistan

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Washington:
Describing Pakistan as both a “patron and victim” of terrorism, Afghan Ambassador to the US Said T Jawad charged the Pak Army of not willing to take the terrorists head on though it has the capacity to do so.

He said the civilian government is finding itself helpless due to the unwillingness of the Pak Army to fight terrorism.

Jawad said the political and civilian leadership and the two democratically-elected Presidents of have never had such close and trustful relations and extensive bilateral engagement in the history of two countries as they do on Saturday.

“We hope that this will be matched by delivery by Pakistan’s security institution. We see the civilian government committed to fight extremism, but is unable to deliver. The Pakistan Army has the capacity to deliver, but it is not committed to fight terrorism,” Jawad said delivering a speech on Afghanistan at the prestigious South Asian Studies Program of the John Hopkins University.

“Pakistan is both a patron and a victim of the Taliban and terrorism,” he said and added that Afghanistan is concerned about the security situation in Pakistan. We are in favour of cooperating with Pakistan on a trilateral basis, such as the US-Afghan-Pakistan trilateral meetings, NATO, Afghanistan and Pakistan trilateral meetings and the Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan forum to fight extremism and terrorism in the region,” he said.

“We have had more than 26 trilateral meetings with the Pakistan military and intelligence in the past six years, with no results at all,” Jawad said.

“Pakistanis have told me for a long time that India has hundreds of people in its consulate in Kandahar in Afghanistan. I asked Americans and UN people how big the Indian consulate was in Kandahar and they said six or eight people. You know I am not worried about that.”

The Afghan Ambassador praised India’s role in redevelopment in the country. “Afghanistan and India have historically had close friendly relations. We appreciate India’s generous contributions to the reconstruction projects in Afghanistan including road-building, institutional capacity building, training and higher education. Even India is concerned about the prospects of further instability,” he said.

Aware of Pakistan sensitivities and its animosity with India, Jawad hoped the relations between Islamabad and New Delhi would improve.

“We know that Pakistan’s military view on Afghanistan is still in context to their relations with India. We are encouraging our US, NATO and regional friends to work harder to reduce the trust deficit between India and Pakistan. Ambassador Holbrooke can play an important role in this regard,” Jawad said.

Similar policy prescriptions and sentiments (It’s not India, it’s home-grown extremists) were expressed at a Harvard lecture earlier this week by General David Petraeus, chief of the US Central Command with oversight of Pakistan and the middle-east, indicating that US interlocutors are all reading from the same page.

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“The existential threat” facing Pakistan “is internal extremists and not India,” Petraeus said in the speech at the Kennedy School of Government, adding such an idea was “intellectually dislocating” for the institutions of Pakistan fostered on decades of projecting confrontation against India.

Over at the White House, spokesman Robert Gibbs said the Pakistan crisis was taking a lot of President Obama’s time. Defense Secretary Robert Gates too chipped in, asking Islamabad to recognize the danger and take action.

Source : Agencies, PTI & Indian Express//25th April, 2009

Talibans plan to murder Gilani

April 24, 2009

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Gilani faces death threats from Pak terror groups

Posted: Thursday , Apr 23, 2009 at 1100 hrs IST || Agencies|| Indian Express

Islamabad:
Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani faced a serious threat from three terror groups that could target him in suicide bombings in the federal capital, in Lahore or in his hometown of Multan, intelligence agencies have warned.

A report sent by the intelligence agencies to the government, including the Interior Ministry, was quoted by The News daily as saying that the premier could be targeted in a suicide bombing or a guerrilla attack similar to the one on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team on March 3 in Lahore.

“Tribal area-based terrorists are planning to target Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani through a combination of explosion and a suicide attack, or guerrilla attack similar to the (ones on the) Sri Lankan cricket team and the Manawan police training centre,” the report said.
“Three teams of terrorists are reported to be working simultaneously at Islamabad, Lahore and Multan,” it added.

Meanwhile, the federal government has called in troops of the Northern Area Scouts, a paramilitary force under the army’s command, to aid the civil administration in countering terrorist threats to Islamabad.
The troops will protect important personalities and sensitive installations of the capital, sources said. “At least, 20 companies of the NAS are required to tackle any possible untoward situation,” a source was quoted as saying. The NAS will be deployed at sensitive installations and included in the motorcade of important personalities.

SSP (Security Division) Zubair Hashmi said: “A proposal to summon the NAS has been sent to the concerned authorities Police in Islamabad are hunting for an explosive-laden ambulance and a car bearing ‘Press’ stickers following reports from an intelligence agency that they could be used in terrorist attacks, sources said.

However, the search could also be part of a mock exercise, they added.

alertpak says : The history of Pakistan is made from conspiracy, murder and betrayal. The failure of Allaha himself registered the assassinations of Bhuttos and other Pak Primes. Now we can pray his success to save Gilani and Pakistan itself. Pakistan Zindabad.

Talibans one step backward from Buner

April 24, 2009

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Pakistani Taliban say they’re withdrawing from Buner
Posted: Friday , Apr 24, 2009 at 1410 hrs IST || Reuters

Buner:
A Pakistani Taliban commander has ordered his men to withdraw from Buner district, a spokesman said on Friday, amid mounting alarm in the United States and Islamabad over the militants’ creeping advance.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said there were around 100 fighters in Buner, a district just 100 km (60 miles) from Islamabad, and less than five hours drive from the capital.

“Our leader has ordered that Taliban should immediately be called back from Buner,” Khan said.

Khan belongs to faction led by Taliban commander Fazlullah, whose stronghold is in the neighbouring Swat valley where the government has caved in to militants’ demands for the imposition of Islamic law.
He said government and Taliban representatives were en route to Buner, along with a radical Muslim cleric who brokered the Swat deal, to deliver a message to fighters to vacate the district.

Khan was quoted in the past week as saying al Qaeda would be given refuge in lands under Taliban control.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has termed the government’s policies of appeasement in Swat as an abdication of authority to the Taliban, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Pakistan’s leaders to take action against foes who represented an “existential threat” to the state.

alertpak says : This is the time for Pakistan to give the traditional habit to see Indian ghost in every footstep. Such stupidity can make the gulf between India and Pakistan broader. Pakistan should make the real friendship with India and take help both from America and India to finish the talibans from the soil of Pakistan.

Pakistan in Danger or Pakistan is Danger

April 23, 2009

Pakistan in danger : Clinton

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updated 12:10 a.m. EDT, Thu April 23, 2009|| CNN

From Elise Labott
CNN

I think that we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by continuing advances, now within hours of Islamabad, that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state, a nuclear-armed state,” Clinton said in an appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday.

“I don’t hear that kind of outrage and concern coming from enough people that would reverberate back within the highest echelons of the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan,” she added.

In her first congressional hearing since being confirmed, Clinton told the panel the chief goal of the Obama administration’s strategy is to defeat al Qaeda and prevent it from returning to Afghanistan.

Taliban militants, who implemented Islamic law in Pakistan’s violence-plagued Swat Valley last week, have now taken control of a neighboring district 60 miles (less than 100 kilometers) from the capital, Islamabad. Watch as Taliban is emboldened »

But Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, told CNN that the situation is not as dire as Clinton seemed to describe.

“Yes, we have a challenge,” Haqqani said. “But, no, we do not have a situation in which the government or the country of Pakistan is about to fall to the Taliban.”

Taliban fighters moved into the Swat Valley as part of a peace deal with the government that has come under fire from U.S. observers. But Haqqani compared it to the deals U.S. commanders in Iraq made to peel insurgents away from Islamic jihadists blamed for the worst attacks on civilians there.

“We are open to criticism of that strategy, but to think that that strategy somehow represents an abdication of our responsibility towards our people and towards the security of our country and the region is incorrect,” he said.

Several members of Congress voiced concern about Islamic extremists gaining ground in Pakistan, including Committee Chairman Howard Berman, a California Democrat. He warned the United States cannot allow extremists to control Pakistan or operate with impunity along the border with Afghanistan.

Clinton said the international community is working closely to combat extremism in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, but Pakistanis themselves need to take responsibility. Watch Clinton express her concerns on Pakistan.

“Not only do the Pakistani government officials, but the Pakistani people and the Pakistani diaspora — many of whom are extremely successful Americans here, in academia, businesses, the professions and so much else — need to speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to the insurgents, to the Taliban, to al Qaeda, to the allies that are in this terrorist syndicate,” she said.

Last week, the Taliban imposed sharia law in the Swat Valley as part of a peace deal with the government, which appears unable or unwilling to stop the Taliban’s steady advance.

On other topics, Clinton said that preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is an “imperative” for the Obama administration, which is taking a more active role in diplomatic efforts toward Iran.

“We are deploying new approaches to the threat posed by Iran, and we’re doing so with our eyes wide open and with no illusions,” she said. “After years during which the United States basically sat on the sidelines, we are now a full partner” in diplomatic talks on Iran.

She was vague in response to questions about how long it would take to get results on Iran, but said the process in place — under which the United States is interacting more directly with allies and reaching out to Iran — has potential.

“It is going to be a more successful engagement if our partners around the world understand they must work with us,” including the need to impose tougher sanctions on Iran if diplomacy fails, she said.

Clinton took part in several tense exchanges with committee members about President Obama’s decision to release classified memos detailing the Bush administration’s role in torture of detainees held in the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, asked the administration to release other classified documents that former Vice President Dick Cheney has said will explain the Bush administration’s position on interrogation.

Clinton responded that she didn’t consider Cheney “a particularly reliable source of information.”

Talibans march ahead to Islamabad

April 23, 2009

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Pakistan, Taliban Back on Collision Course…..
Taliban Terrors control over Buner…. Now nearer to Islamabad.

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By Aamir Latif, IOL Correspondent || Thu. Apr. 23, 2009 ||IslamOnLine.net

ISLAMABAD – Reports that Taliban militants are extending their wings to nearby districts and the deployment of government reinforcements brought the two sides back on a collision course and is clouding the future of the peace deal in restive Swat.
“Taliban have entered Buner and Shangla districts,” Umair Ahmed, a local journalist, told IslamOnline.net by phone on Thursday, April 23.

“They are fully armed and have captured a police check-post in Shangla.”

According to Umair, some 30 armed Taliban in three vehicles trickled into Shangla, a small town located some 40 kilometers from Swat, earlier Thursday.

“They are not harassing the people. It seems their target is to dismantle the security forces and establish their control.”

But a spokesman for the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shari’ah Mohammadi (TNSM), the main Taliban group, played down the incident.

“Taliban have always been in the entire Malakund division,” Ameer Izzat Khan, a central spokesman of TNSM, told IOL by telephone from Swat.

Buner and Shangla were part of Malakand Division, a conglomerate of eight districts including Swat, until the reforms of 2000 abolished the third tier of government.

“I don’t know who has entered Shangla, but those who are in Boner are local Taliban. They have always been there.”

“They consider every bearded man a Taliban. If all the bearded men are Taliban, then every second person in the tribal and NWFP region is Taliban.”

The government deployed hundreds of paramilitary troops to northwestern districts to bring the deteriorating security situation under control.

Swat Deal

“Pakistan is a nuclear state. How can a militia capture its capital? That would be the biggest ever blunder even if Taliban think of that,” MP Wahab told IOL.
Izzat Khan, the Taliban spokesman, emphatically rejected the idea of creating a state within the state.
“After the implementation of Nizam-e-Adal regulation in Malakund division, there will be only one government,” he said referring to the Shariah reinforcement deal.

“And that would be the government of Pakistan. We totally reject the idea of a state within state,” contended the Taliban spokesman.

“We are not interested to set up our government in Malakand division, then why would we dream of Islamabad?”

Izzat Khan claimed this was a calculated conspiracy to foil the Swat peace deal.

“Those who have been spreading such misleading news want the peace deal to be scrapped,” he charged.

“These are aftershocks. We have to face them, because those who are against this agreement will try their level best to derail the whole process.”

The government signed a peace deal with TNSM on February 16 to bring an end to 18-month fierce fighting with the security forces.

The deal, approved by the parliament and endorsed by the president despite extreme US pressures, is aimed at making reforms in the judicial system in Malakund division.

Under the newly introduced judicial system, there will be Qazi courts in Swat, Dir, Chitral, Kohistan and other districts of NWFP, which borders war-stricken Afghanistan.

The government issued a stern warning to Taliban that if they do not abide by the peace deal and lay down their arms, it will have no option but to scrap the deal.

“The peace deal can survive only if there is peace,” Premier Yousaf Raza Gilani told reporters.

“Now it is their responsibility to maintain peace there, because their demand has been entertained.”

But Izzat Khan says that as a goodwill gesture the TNSM will not put a deadline for the setting up of Dar-ul-Qadha in Malakand division.

“This shows how serious and sincere we are compared to the dilly-delaying tactics used by the government.”

Far-fetched

But some analysts believe Taliban is strengthening its positions in the region taking advantage of peace deal.

“I had always been against such kind of deals because it only benefits the militants rather than the government,” Lt General Hamid Nawaz Khan, a former interior minister, told IOL.

“This deal has provided a golden opportunity to the militants who had suffered huge setbacks in the wake of recent military operations. They are regrouping again and are strengthening their positions in the region.”

Brigadier rtd Mahmood Shah, a veteran security analyst and a former secretary of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), agrees.

“Taliban will not restrain its. They will move ahead now.”

But Shah shrugs off reports that Taliban may capture the capital Islamabad.

“There are no such chances. Pakistan is a state and it cannot fall prey to a few thousands armed people,” he told IOL.

“They belong to the mountains and they can operate only there.

“Yes, they can terrorize the government and the people by carrying out terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, but they are not in a position to capture Islamabad.”

MP Fauzia Wahab, the information secretary of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), agrees.

“This can happen only in dream,” she told IOL, commenting about western media reports of a Taliban threat to the capital Islamabad.

“Pakistan is a nuclear state. How can a militia capture its capital? That would be the biggest ever blunder even if Taliban think of that.”

alertpak says : When the unholy spirit of Islam got the scope to get a free-hand out of the bottle of Swat and we signed a treaty with them for a Shariyati Law there, the entire situation of Pakistan will worsen day by day to enter a barbaric regime into the length and breadth of Pakistan. The Pakistani administration can think the use of nuclear weapon to control over the Talibani situation, but the Talibans also possess the dirty bombs to impose a dar-ul-taliban over the world. Pakistan is a very trifling thing to them. The Talibans want the entire world. Allah-ho-Akbar!


Taliban claims victory near Islamabad

April 22, 2009 — Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
By Ivan Watson
CNN

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Taliban militants who implemented Islamic law in Pakistan’s violence-plagued Swat Valley last week have now taken control of a neighboring district.

Control of the Buner district brings the Taliban closer to the capital, Islamabad, than they have been since they started their insurgency. Islamabad is 96 kilometers (60 miles) from the district.

“Our strength is in the hundreds,” said Moulana Mohammad Khalil, as heavily armed men openly patrolled the roads in pickup trucks, singing Islamic anthems.

The militants had taken control of the area to ensure that Islamic law, or sharia, is properly imposed, Khalil said.

The government called the advance into Buner a breach of a recently-signed peace agreement. Watch as Taliban is emboldened »

“Now Taliban are violating the peace agreement, and if they continue the government will take strict action and not allow the Taliban to create a parallel government in that area,” said Mian Iftikhar, a spokesman for the regional administration in the North West Frontier Province, where Buner is located.

Last week, the Taliban imposed sharia law in Swat Valley as part of a peace deal with the government. Under the Taliban’s strict interpretation, the law prevents women from being seen in public without their husbands or fathers.

Earlier this month, the militant movement made forays into Buner and clashed with locals before withdrawing.

Now the Taliban appear to have returned in force — a move that indicates the recent government concessions may have emboldened the militants to expand their reach.

The Pakistani government appears unable or unwilling to stop the Taliban’s steady advance deeper into the territory of this nuclear-armed country.

In the days after the government’s April 13 decision to implement sharia law in Swat, pro-Taliban clerics have staged rallies in Swat and Islamabad. They have demanded the imposition of Islamic law across Pakistan and beyond.

Speaking before an audience of tens of thousands in the Swat Valley town of Mingora on Sunday, cleric Sufi Muhammed declared democracy and Pakistan’s judicial system “un-Islamic.”

A Taliban spokesman in Swat went a step further Tuesday, calling anyone opposed to his strict interpretation of Islam a non-Muslim. IReport:Should the U.S. interfere in Pakistan?

“Let the judges and the lawyers go to Islamic university,” Muslim Khan said. After “they learn Islamic rules, Islamic regulation, they can continue to work.”

The rise of the Taliban in Swat has alarmed and frightened some members of local civil society there.

“This is a time bomb for the country,” said Aftab Alam, the head of the lawyers’ association in Swat district.

Meanwhile, in another Taliban-run region called Orakzai, details emerged of militants forcing a small community of Sikhs to pay a jaziya, or “minority tax,” of 10.5 million rupees (roughly $130,000) earlier this month.

Khan said if his vision of an Islamic society is fulfilled in Pakistan, terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden will be welcome to travel and live openly here. “Sure, he’s a Muslim, he can go anywhere,” Khan said.

Khan added that he would like to see sharia law implemented beyond Pakistan, even in America, a country he knows intimately. For four years, the Taliban spokesman lived in the United States, working as a painter near Boston, Massachusetts.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Wednesday that Pakistan is in danger of falling into terrorist hands because of failed government policies.

“I think that we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed to the state of Pakistan by continuing advances, now within hours of Islamabad, that are being made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the Pakistani state, a nuclear armed state,” Clinton said in Washington.

She added the international community is working closely to combat extremism in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, but Pakistanis themselves need to take responsibility.

This is Pakistan || Insecured Hindus and Sikhs are heavily charged in Pak

April 21, 2009

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Hindus are kicked at road side in Pakistan in broad day light.

8e0_12412865981241286961_1_thumb          Sikh Homes are vandalized in Pakistan.

Taliban demolishes 11 homes of Sikh community in Pakistan………….
 
Islamabad, PTI: http://www.deccanherald.comupdated by alertpak as on 3rd May, 2009. Belated posting is regreted.
 
 
 
The militants acted after a deadline set by them for payment of ‘jiziya’ by the Sikhs expired yesterday. The Sikhs held a meeting at Merozai yesterday to discuss the possibility of leaving the area…
 
Taliban militants have demolished 11 homes of members of the minority Sikh community in Pakistan’s troubled Aurakzai tribal region after they failed to pay ‘jiziya’ or a tax levied on non-Muslims.The houses were destroyed on the orders of Taliban commander Hakeemullah Mehsud, the head of the militants in Aurakzai Agency and a deputy of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsudacted after a deadline set by them for payment of ‘jiziya’ by the Sikhs expired yesterday. .The militants The Sikhs held a meeting at Merozai yesterday to discuss the possibility of leaving the area but were unable to reach a decision, media reports said.Though the Sikhs have been living in Aurakzai Agency for centuries, the Taliban asked them earlier this month to pay Rs 50 million a year as jiziya. The militants claimed this was being done as Shariah or Islamic law had been enforced in the area and all non-Muslims had to pay “protection money”.There are about 35 Sikh families living in Ferozkhel near Merozai in Aurakzai Agency. The Taliban occupied two shops and three homes of Sikhs in Ferozkhel on Tuesday to pressure the community into paying jiziya.Several tribal families belonging to a religious sect have also migrated from Aurakzai Agency to nearby Kohat and Hangu districts of North West Frontier Province due to fear of attacks by the Taliban.Though the Sikhs were initially provided protection in keeping with Pashtun traditions by the Manikhel tribe, the tribesmen are fearful of taking on the Taliban.In October last year, over 100 people were killed in a suicide attack on a tribal jirga in Aurakzai Agency that had gathered to discuss ways to evict the Taliban from the area.

More than 6,000 Pakistani Hindus migrated to India in recent months.
Hindus and Sikhs are Insecured in Pakistan.

15 Mar 2009, 0230 hrs IST, Divya A, TNN
It is not quite the Partition and the Great Migration. But the steady trickle of Hindus crossing into India from Pakistan, and pleading for permission to stay here, underlines how little has changed in 61 years. The immediate provocation was the alleged persecution of Hindus at the hands of the Taliban. But social alienation too has taken its toll. More than 6,000 Pakistani Hindus migrated to India in recent months. They live on the edge – many sans valid documents, an official identity and hope – in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Lashkar Das, who left Pakistan’s Punjab province to settle in Haryana’s Rohtak district in 2005, claims he was constantly under pressure to convert to Islam. “Some families budged under pressure, but those who didn’t, became targets. We had no option but to come here.”
Shankar Lal, now in Fatehabad, Haryana, knows all about becoming a target. He claims he fled Punjab and perennial harassment in 2000. “Local residents used to call us Hindus kafirs. No one allowed us to even sit with them. Our children were discriminated in schools and forced to read namaz,” he says. When his grandfather, Dharuram from Rohtak, visited Lal some years ago, he suggested they move to India. He did.
Today, he can proudly produce a valid Indian ration card and admit to being a registered voter. “Despite scarce resources, we managed to make do as daily-wagers and send our children to schools here.” Eventually, he married a girl from Karnal. Ever since, life has settled in a peaceful groove.
He isn’t the only one. The year Lal crossed over, six Hindu families left Pakistan for Fatehabad and Rohtak in Haryana. Since then, 56 members from these families have become bonafide residents with valid documents.
Nearer the Pakistan border, Rajasthan too has a population of Hindu migrants. More than 50 families have made Jodhpur their home. They claim they were discriminated against, not least the trouble with getting a loan to start a business. They say they often had no option but to borrow from moneylenders, but their terms were so harsh, the creditor could abandon all hope of ever being free of debt. Prem, who once owned two “fancy stores” in Sindh, now lives in Jodhpur with his family of nine. He’s a scrap collector and admits “we work as daily wage-earners” but hopes “life will be a bit better in India”.
But, once here, India may not always be quite the promised land they imagined. Lakshman, a 40-year-old labourer left Punjab eight years ago to protect the women in his family, after his cousin was kidnapped, never to return. But he admits to facing suspicion here too. “There, we were considered Mujahirs and here, people think we are Pakistanis. The only respite is we aren’t living in constant fear about our life.”
Fear is the constant refrain in the migrants’ stories. In October, four Peshawar families claimed Muslim radicals terrorized them into leaving home. Crossing through Wagah, they arrived in Delhi to register with the Home Ministry’s Pakistani refugee cell. They sought Indian citizenship, received a year’s visa and are settled in a village near Amritsar.
But these are the legal and identifiable ones. Police say most Pakistani refugees lack valid documents. “Off and on, Hindus from Pakistan have been trickling to India through our porous borders. Some stay here even after their visas expire. But we haven’t initiated any legal action as they don’t pose a security threat,” says an officer with the Amritsar border range. “Between 2003-04, when each Indian state had the power to decide on such cases, close to 13,000 people got citizenship. But the revised immigration fee, between Rs 3,000 to Rs 20,000, is beyond the reach of many, forcing them to live in hiding.”
Such families are helped by organizations such as the All India Hindu Shiv Sena, whose president, Surinder Kumar Billa, admits “collecting funds for them and arranging Hindi and Punjabi language classes for the Urdu-speaking children so they can join school soon.”
Chetan Das of Seemant Lok Sangathan, which helps with rehabilitation work, puts the Hindu refugee story in context – the poor, he says, can afford to migrate to India as they have no stake in society, but the better off simply pay ‘protection money’ to the Pakistani authorities.

(With reports from Deepender Deswal in Karnal and Ajay Parmar in Jodhpur)

Sikhs in Pakistan paid jizia (tax) of Rs.2 Crores to Taliban

Thu, April 16, 2009|| Source : Agencies & http://www.islamicterrorism.wordpress.com

Islamabad, April 16 (IANS) Pakistan’s Sikh community has been forced to pay Rs.20 million i.e. 2 Crores as ‘jizia’ (tax) to the Taliban so as to return to their homes and resume business, a newspaper said Thursday.
The minority Sikh community Wednesday met the Taliban demand in return for ‘protection’ in Orakzai Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the Daily Times reported.
The Taliban then released Sikh leader Sardar Saiwang Singh and vacated the community’s houses. The militia announced that the Sikhs were now free to live anywhere in the area.
‘They also announced protection for the Sikh community, saying no one would harm them after they paid jizia. Sikhs who had left the agency would now return to their houses and resume business,’ a Talibani official said.