Archive for May 24th, 2009

It is the harder time for Pakistan to fight against its own Terrorists than India.

May 24, 2009

Pakistan army ‘in Taliban city’

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8065062.stm

           
 
Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 14:48 UK
Pakistan army ‘in Taliban city’
 _45813270_mingora_ap203bodyHundreds of thousands of civilians have fled the fighting in the north-east

Fierce fighting is taking place between Pakistani troops and Taliban militants in Mingora, the main city in the militant-controlled Swat Valley.

At least 17 militants have been killed in the clashes, the army says. The Taliban deny the deaths.

The push into Mingora is seen as a key phase of an offensive aimed at crushing the militants, whose influence extends across a wide area of the north-west.

The fighting began after a peace deal broke down earlier this month.

See a map of the region

“Street fights have begun,” Maj Gen Athar Abbas told reporters.

“It is a difficult operation because we have to make a house-to-house search. We have cleared some of the area in the city.”

The military says the city is surrounded, most of the militants’ ammunition dumps are destroyed and their supply routes cut off.

The BBC’s Shoaib Hassan, in Islamabad, says it is the most important battle yet in the army’s offensive against the Taliban in Swat.

A swift victory would bolster public support for a greater fight against the militants, our correspondent adds.

Exodus

A Taliban spokesman confirmed that the military had entered Mingora, but denied that any militants had been killed.

 _45813805_007369373-2The army says it has cut off the militants’ supply routes

The spokesman also said the Taliban would fight the security forces to their last breath.

Residents say the militants are still in control of the city.

Nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by this month’s fighting in the north-western region, and about two million since last August, the United Nations refugee agency says.

On Friday, the UN appealed for $543m in humanitarian aid to help those displaced by the conflict.

Pakistan’s army began an offensive against the Taliban on 2 May after the peace deal broke down and the militants began expanding their area of influence.

A recent investigation by the BBC suggested that less than half of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which contains Swat Valley, and the neighbouring Federally Administered Tribal Areas is under full government control.

In Swat, the army says that about 15,000 members of the security forces are fighting between 4,000 and 5,000 militants.

It says more than 1,000 militants and more than 50 soldiers have been killed since the offensive began.

 _45745424_pak_taleban_movements4_466

 
PAKISTAN IN TURMOIL

MILITANCY

Conflict map

BBC mapshows Taliban extending control in north-west
Tide turns against Taliban

Journey to ‘war zone’

Sea of humanity

Struggling for survival in Swat

Hotspot confusion

Plight of Pakistan’s displaced

Shaky Sharia deal

Hunt for culprits of cricket attack

ANALYSIS AND BACKGROUND

Q&A: Pakistan’s Swat offensive

Q&A: Pakistan’s political instability

Clouded details of Pakistan deal

Mapping the militant nexus

Q&A: Kashmir dispute

Courtesy: BBC World News

 

                                     

There is no hesitation that World Terrorists have the Danes in Pakistan

May 24, 2009

‘Al Qaeda clearly headquartered in Pakistan’

Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC
rediffNEWS
rediff.com

May 22, 2009 09:47 IST
Last Updated: May 22, 2009 10:27 IST

The Al Qaeda [Images] network is not located in Afghanistan, but clearly headquartered in Pakistan, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen [Images] told Congress Thursday, and warned that if the Taliban [Images] takes over Afghanistan again, it would mean the return of al Qaeda to Afghanistan to plan and plot attacks against the US reminiscent of 9/11.
 
Appearing before the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mullen stated categorically, “Al Qaeda is not located in Afghanistan–they are headquartered clearly in Pakistan,” and explained, “What I have watched over the last couple of years is this growing integration between Al Qaeda and the Taliban and the various networks of the Taliban–whether it’s Haqqani, or Masood or Hetmakyar and that has alarmed me in its growth and its integration.”
 
“And, it’s that quite frankly, is also extent in Pakistan, which is moving toward Islamabad [Images],” he said. “So, clearly, with the Al Qaeda resident in Pakistan, we can’t send troops in there to do anything about that–I understand that.”
 
Mullen said that “the Taliban may not be some monolithic or homogenous body in make-up or ideology. But they do have governing ambitions. It’s not just about instilling fears or spreading violence. They want Afghanistan back.”
 
“We can’t let them or their Al Qaeda cohorts have it,” he asserted. “We can’t permit the return of the very same safe havens from which the attacks on 9/11 were planned and resourced. And, yet, we can’t deny that our success in that regard may push them deeper into Pakistan.”
 
Mullen said that this is why it is imperative “why the investment in, support of, a relationship with the people of Pakistan, the military of Pakistan is so important, because in the long-run, the only way we are going to get at that is with them and through them, and that’s going to take some time.”
 
He said that “there is no corner of the world–none–that concerns me more than this region Afghanistan and Pakistan are two very different countries, but very much linked not only to each other, but inextricably to the national security of the United States. Indeed, our national interests are tied to this region, perhaps more than to any other right now.”
 
Mullen said ever since he took over as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, his time had been consumed “intently focused on the challenges in this region and on developing personal and professional relationships with leaders there whose decisions will remain indispensable to our common desire for security and stability.”
 
Taking a hefty swipe at the armchair pundits and analysts at think tanks here, not to mention members of Congress, Mullen said. “Through the years, if I learned nothing else, it is that nothing that we do here in Washington will matter much in the end if it doesn’t reflect our earnest desire to reestablish lost trust, and regain lost opportunities to prevent either nation from being crushed in the grip of extremism.”
 
“You don’t need to look very hard at the headlines to see that we are not making enough headway in that regard,” he added.
 
During the interaction that followed with lawmakers, Mullen acknowledged that he couldn’t say for sure if the infusion of US troops into Afghanistan wouldn’t destabilize Pakistan by pushing the insurgents into Balochistan.
 
He said he has discussed this at length with the Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani “and we all share the concerns for that.”
 
But, he argued that “where I am comfortable is that is that at least we are planning for it and having some expectation will allow us to address that and that’s going on.”
 
However, Mullen reiterated, “Can I 100 percent be certain that won’t destabilize Pakistan? I don’t know the answer to that. I don’t think it will, because we are aware of it and Pakistan is further away from being totally destabilized than a lot of people realize.”
 
“The military and civilian leadership recognizes this potential and so we are addressing it ahead of time,” he added.