Archive for January, 2010

Pakistan is the Arsenal of the Asia.

January 29, 2010

The gun markets of Pakistan

“Upward of 1,000 guns are manufactured every day only by Frontier Agency Militia in NWFP.”

What about the total production of Pakistan as a whole ??

Report by Suroosh Alvi, Founder, Vice Magazine and VBS.TV || January 27, 2010 3:56 p.m. EST
January 27, 2010 — Updated 2056 GMT (0456 HKT)
Editor’s Note: The staff at CNN.com has recently been intrigued by the journalism of VICE, an independent media company and Web site based in Brooklyn, New York. VBS.TV is Vice’s broadband television network. The reports, which are produced solely by VICE, reflect a very transparent approach to journalism, where viewers are taken along on every step of the reporting process. We believe this unique reporting approach is worthy of sharing with our CNN.com readers. Viewer discretion advised.

Brooklyn, New York (VBS.TV) — On January 22, 2006, the New York Times reported that all foreign journalists were being banned from Pakistan’s tribal areas, which has been called “the most dangerous place in the world.” A week before that, the CIA fired missiles remotely from a Predator aircraft into the Waziristan tribal area. They were hoping to eradicate a bunch of al Qaeda operatives. Instead, they killed 18 women and children.

One week before that, I arrived in Pakistan to visit Darra Adamkhel, the massive open-air market located deep in the tribal areas, where a frighteningly high percentage of Islamic holy warriors goes to buy their guns.

Gaining access to the tribal areas was next to impossible. It took months of pre-planning with the consul general of Pakistan in Montreal and top officials in Peshawar. They repeatedly denied us entry because, according to them, the Pakistani Army had too many “sensitive operations” going on in that region. Without my personal advantage (a family friendship with the governor of the Northwest Frontier Province), we never would have gotten in.

The government assigned me and my team a political agent named Naeem Afridi. He was born and raised in the tribal areas. He took care of us while we were there, and he was a godsend. You can’t do anything in this part of the world without someone like Naeem.

See more stories on VBS.TV

Our driver stopped at a security point just outside the town center, where we were introduced to the Frontier Agency militia, six angry-dad-looking guys with AKs and sidearms. They became our personal bodyguards, and followed us through the tight warren of gun shops and factories, barren little brick rooms where upward of 1,000 guns are manufactured every day. Most of the work is done by hand.

The vendors are Pashtuns, who are basically the toughest people in the world. They comprised the majority of the mujahideen who kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan in the late ’80s.

These days, the town is rumored to be completely overrun by the Taliban. They purchase the guns, then cross the border to fight the U.S. army in Afghanistan, or they drive through the mountains to the south to fight the Pakistani army.

This summer, I went back to Pakistan, and found that the fuse on this powder keg has become even shorter. The Pakistani army has surged more troops into the tribal areas, attempting to eradicate the Taliban and al Qaeda. The U.S. and British troops are attempting to do the same thing on the other side of the border in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Pakistan itself has seen violence spread to its major urban centers, where extremists have been detonating bombs and taking over police stations.

But at the same time, there is a cultural explosion taking place, a vibrant art scene and metal and rock bands popping up everywhere. The whole situation has become ultra charged by the fact that there are tons of news channels operating uncensored by the insanely corrupt government.

For Pakistan, it’s a volatile, turbulent, and fascinating moment in time.

Posted by M Rahaman.

101 Mumbai-like incidents=successful year for offensive against Taliban :: The New Equation of Success in Pakistan

January 28, 2010

Pakistan has faced 101 Mumbai-like incidents: Pakistan PM

IANS||28 January 2010, 03:03pm IST

NEW DELHI: Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism with “101 Mumbai-like incidents” having taken place, Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has said and asked India to resume dialogue as both the countries “cannot afford war”.

“There are 101 Mumbai-like incidents in Pakistan after that. Dialogue is the only answer. We are both responsible nations. We can only move forward. We cannot afford war. The only way forward is talks,” Gilani said in an interview to a television channel broadcast on Thursday.

India had stopped all dialogue with Pakistan after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, with the Indian government alleging that the terror conspiracy was hatched on Pakistani soil.

Gilani referred to the joint statement issued after the meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt, on the sidelines of the non-aligned leaders summit in 2009.

“That was a very good meeting. We discussed all issues. And we had understanding that we both are suffering from terrorism,” Gilani said.

The Pakistani leader said that “1.25 billion (people) should not be made hostage to one incident”.

“So (if) we are hostage to this incident, then the beneficiary is the terrorist. Therefore, we should move forward.”

“Certainly we condemn terrorism and we always believe that neither Pakistani nor Indian soil (should) be used against each other. We are the victims of terrorism. You know how we are fighting the war on terrorism,” asserted Gilani.

“What we really need is capacity building,” Ambassador Khan (R) said, adding that no other nation could do a better job than Pakistan’s forces on its own soil. “We, however, need help with capacity building in the areas of infrastructure, night vision equipment, communication gear, helicopters, and aircraft.” –APP (File photo)

‘2009 successful year for offensive against Taliban’

Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010||Safar 12, 1431

BEIJING: Terming 2009 a “successful year” in its offensive against the Taliban network in Pakistan, Islamabad Ambassador to Beijing Masood Khan said that beefing up military presence is just part of the “two-track” means to eradicate terrorism in central Asia.

Troops alone don’t work; what war-torn Afghanistan and Pakistan urgently need is capacity building and development, said Ambassador Khan in an interview published in China Daily on Thursday prior to the start of an international conference in the UK to discuss measures to eliminate terrorism in Central Asia.

“What we really need is capacity building,” Khan said, adding  that no other nation could do a better job than Pakistan’s forces on its own soil. “We, however, need help with capacity building in the areas of infrastructure, night vision equipment, communication gear, helicopters, and aircraft.”

The international community should also invest in the “development track” in the region, Khan urged. “And should do so aggressively.”

“I would say that the allocation of resources for the economic development of these affected areas is only a small fraction of what is being spent for military means,” the country’s senior diplomat said, noting that Afghanistan and Pakistan are desperate for investment. “I hope this conference will prove to be beneficial in this regard,” he said.

Apart from the host nation, Britain, representatives from the International Security Assistance Force, Nato, UN and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours are to attend the conference. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi is representing Pakistan.

In the half-an-hour interview in Beijing with China Daily, Khan discussed Pakistan’s experience eight years after joining the anti-terror campaign, commented on the US strategy under US President Barack Obama, and shared his concerns about the regional situation.

“It’s a war we have to win,” Khan remarked.

Other than beefing up the military and development, he said Islamabad is “trying to reach out to all levels of the Taliban to wean them away from violence and integrate them into the political mainstream”.

Khan said that Islamabad joined the war as it was “in its national interest” since Pakistan could not stay immune to the violence in the neighbouring state.

Islamabad’s envoy to Beijing pointed out that his country’s forces have killed more than 7,000 terrorists and apprehended about 9,000, including 901 Al-Qaeda operatives with the help of US intelligence.

The killing of Baitullah Mehsud, former head of the Pakistani Taliban, in August last year, is considered a major success for Pakistan. “I think we have dismantled the network of militants. They are scattered now,” Khan said. Read more details here.….

Courtesy: Times of India, Dawn News, APP & Others.

Three killed in blast in Jaffarabad, Policemen in Quetta on duty without weapons, 14 persons killed in FATA

January 28, 2010

Police rushed to the site after the blast and shifted the bodies and injured to a nearby hospital. — Photo by AFP

Three killed in blast in Jaffarabad

Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010||Safar 12, 1431

QUETTA: Three people were killed and eight were injured in an explosion in Balochistan province’s Jaffarabad district on Thursday.

District Police Officer Jaffarabad, Syed Farid Ali, told DawnNews that the blast took place as an explosive device went off in a small restaurant in Sohbatpur town.

Police rushed to the site after the blast and shifted the bodies and injured to a nearby hospital.

The blast site was cordoned off and an investigation was underway.

Thursday’s blast comes two days after another blast in the district’s Dera Allah Yar town. — DawnNews

Policemen carrying batons take part in a demonstration here on Wednesday.—Online

Policemen in Quetta on duty without weapons

By Saleem Shahid ||Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010||Safar 12, 1431

QUETTA: Thousands of Balochistan police personnel performed their duties without weapons on Wednesday after they were not issued arms from their headquarters for the second day running.

The provincial government had sealed the armouries of the Balochistan Constabulary, Anti-Terrorism Force and Police Training College after Monday’s violent protest by policemen demanding a raise.

Frontier Corps personnel called in by the provincial government after police’s strike were guarding the sealed police koths.

Personnel of Balochistan Constabulary and ATF were seen with batons issued to them in place of AK-47 rifles used by police in the province.

“Weapons will not be issued to the personnel of the BC, ATF and PTC until legal action is completed against policemen involved in violent protest,” a government official told Dawn.

He said that 3,000 to 3,500 personnel belonging to the three institutions had been affected by the decision. “They are performing their duties with batons.”

According to sources, there is no restriction on officers above the rank of assistant sub inspector carrying weapons.

Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has asked acting provincial police chief Mohammad Akbar Arain to take strict action against police officials involved in violence, the sources said.

Footage from cameras installed at the gates and inside the CM’s secretariat and Governor’s House is being used for identifying personnel involved in firing and damaging property.

More cameras have been installed along the road near the Governor’s House and Chief Minister’s House.

Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said: “Investigation is under way and strict action will be taken against violent protesters.”

He said the situation was under control and no report of police protest had been received from any part of the province except Loralai, where a group of personnel had taken out a procession.

He said the violence appeared pre-planed because police recruits inducted just two weeks ago had been brought to the city from the training college.

He said a DSP and other police officials who had brought the recruits from the PTC had been arrested.

Frontier Corps personnel continued guarding important places in the provincial capital, including the governor’s and chief minister’s houses, the provincial assembly and main bazaars.

All vehicles moving on the Zarghoon Road and their occupants were checked. The Civil Secretariat and houses of the governor, the chief minister, several ministers and the chief secretary are located along the road.

The home secretary said the FC would remain in Quetta until required for maintaining peace and order. — DawnNews

Pakistan is always afraid of  Balooch  agitation for autonomy of the Province and consequently do not want to empower the Balooch Police Force as to avoid any suspected armed Police Revolt within the Police there on demand of Autonomous Baloochistan.

Pakistan

14 persons killed in FATA

12 Taliban militants were killed and three others injured in clashes between Salarzai laskhar (pro government Tribal militia) and militants in Chinnar village of Bajaur Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 27, according to Daily Times. The volunteers from the Salarzai lashkar, backed by Security Forces (SFs) were on their way to Mula Said and Chinnar areas when a group of armed militants attacked them. The SFs and members of the lashkar repulsed the attack killing 12 militants and injuring three. One trooper was killed in the attack.

Further, Taliban militants killed a pro-government lashkar leader in Bajaur Agency. The body of Malik Manaris Khan, 47, was found in Salarzai town. He was abducted on January 25 along with two other tribesmen, Malik Ali Baz and Malik Muhammad Rehman. The former is still held captive by the militants while the latter has been released.

Separately, a tribal elder, Malik Saleh Khan, had a narrow escape when a roadside bomb went off in Nawagai tehsil (revenue unit).

Meanwhile, the political administration has warned tribal chieftains of a military operation if they do not take action against terrorists who have fled Mehsud areas of South Waziristan and have taken refuge in North Waziristan.

Further, after several days of silence, rumours were once again circulating that chief of the banned militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Hakeemullah Mehsud had died of fatal injuries that he had sustained in a drone attack in Shaktoi village of South Waziristan on January 14. However, sources close to Hakeemullah Mehsud denied such reports and claimed he was in good health.

Courtesy : Dawn News, Reuters, AFP, South Asian Terrorism Portal & Others.

Bomb blast wounds 13 in Rawalakot district in Pak administrated Kashmir.

January 27, 2010

Security personnel survey a damaged vehicle at the site of a suicide bomb attack in the outskirts of Rawalakot, Pakistan-administrated Kashmir on January 16, 2010. – Reuters

Bomb blast wounds 13 in Rawalakot district

Wednesday, 27 Jan, 2010||Safar 11, 1431

MUZAFFARABAD: Thirteen police and civilian explosives experts were wounded Wednesday when a homemade bomb they were trying to defuse in Pakistan-administered Kashmir detonated, said police official Iftikhar Kiani. The explosives were hidden in a milk container planted on a road leading to a military base, he said.

The explosion took place in Rawalakot district, more than 120 kilometres (74 miles) south of regional capital Muzaffarabad, and was the latest in a spike of attacks in the disputed Himalayan region, which is also claimed by India.^Bomb blast wounds 13 in Rawalakot^

“The bomb was planted in a casket of milk in front of a local school. The school might have been the target, we are investigating” said Chaudry Mohammad Raqeeb, a senior administrative official.

Bomb disposal experts were called to the scene, but the device exploded early Wednesday as they were working to disable it. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Two of the wounded men were transferred to the garrison town of Rawalpindi outside the capital, Islamabad, because of the serious nature of their injuries, said Kiani.

“This is the same chain of blasts taking place in Kashmir,” said Sajjad Hussain, a senior police official in Rawalakot, referring to five other bombings that have hit the region since June last year.

Courtesy: Dawn & Reuters.

Talibans kill Muslim Tribesmen as ‘US spies’ in Pakistan. Islam Vs. Islam or Islam Vs. Muslim ??

January 25, 2010

Militants frequently kidnap and kill tribesmen, accusing them of spying for the govt or US forces operating in Afghanistan. — Photo by Reuters

Taliban kill seven ‘US spies’ in North Waziristan

By Dawn Correspondent || Sunday, 24 Jan, 2010 ||Safar 09, 1431

MIRAMSHAH, Jan 24: Taliban have shot dead seven people in North Waziristan after accusing them of being US spies.

Officials said here on Sunday that five of the people killed were Afghans. They said that five bullet-riddled bodies were found in Kam Sarobi village of Dosali tehsil. The militants had killed them on Saturday night and thrown the bodies on the road.

“A note found near the bodies said that they were spying for the United States and warned that all traitors would meet the same fate,” said a resident of Kam Sarobi. The note said that more ‘US spies’ were ‘in custody’ and they would be treated under what they call their Sharia.

Three of the five were identified as Gul Khallel Jan, Habibur Rehman and Mashkor Machikhel. The names of the Afghans who were from Khost and Kandahar could not be ascertained.

Taliban killed more than 20 local people and Afghan nationals on similar charges in North Waziristan last year. Militants say these people were hired by Americans in Afghanistan to gather information about Taliban activities.

The sources said two other bodies had been found in Qutabkhel area and the other in Mirali Bazar. Taliban have warned residents not to bury their bodies.

Militants fired five rockets at Tochi Scouts fort in Miramshah on Saturday night, but no casualty was reported.

Meanwhile, security forces arrested 70 suspects, some of them Afghan nationals, during an operation in Maches area. The operation was launched on Friday.

Officials said that those found innocent would be released after completion of interrogation. They said that Afghan nationals were living in an old refugee camp illegally and they might be deported to their country.

Courtesy : Dawn & Reuters.

Suicide attack of Islamists kills one police officer, three others including two children and injured 11 others in NWFP.

January 23, 2010

Paramedics and family members attend to a girl, wounded in a suicide attack

in Tank, at a hospital in Dera Ismail Khan, located in NWFP. –Photo by Reuters

Suicide attack kills police officer,two children and one other in NWFP

Saturday, 23 Jan, 2010||Safar 07, 1431.

PESHAWAR: A suicide car bomb attack by the Islamists killed at least four people and injured 11 others in a town in troubled northwest Pakistan on Saturday, police said.

The attack took place close to a police station in Gomal, 25 kilometres south of the city of Tank, neighbouring the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan where Pakistani troops are battling militants.

“The bomber struck … outside the police station, killing one policeman and three passers-by including two children,” district police chief Ejaz Abid told AFP.

He said 11 people including five policemen, three passers-by and three prisoners in the police lock-up were injured.

“This was a car bomb attack, which is a reaction to the ongoing operation in South Waziristan region,” Abid added.

Pakistan’s military has been focusing its most ambitious military offensive yet against homegrown Taliban militants in the tribal region, deploying about 30,000 troops on October 17.

Another senior police official Ghazanfar Hussain also confirmed the incident and casualties.

“I was busy in routine desk work inside the police station when a large blast rocked the entire building,” Hussain said.

He added that one of the outer walls of the police station collapsed from the impact of the blast while big cracks appeared in other rooms of the building.

India lodges protest over ceasefire violations by Pakistan

January 22, 2010

A strong protest was registered by India over incidents of grave and unprovoked firing across the line of control by Pakistan. –AP (File photo)

India lodges protest over ceasefire violations

Friday, 22 Jan, 2010||Safar 06, 1431.

KARACHI: India has lodged a ‘strong protest’ against Pakistan over increased incidents of ceasefire violations, the Indian media reported on Friday.

According to media reports, Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Riffat Masood was called to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to convey the protest.

According to a spokesman of Indian External Affairs, the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was called to the Ministry of External Affairs and a strong protest was registered over incidents of grave and unprovoked firing across the line of control by Pakistan, including the firing of rockets in the Amritsar sector on the night between January 8 and 9, 2010.

He said that the Indian government has asked Pakistan to take all necessary steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Pakistan rejected Indian allegations of infiltration and warned of retaliation if India did not stop firing across the border. – Reuters

Pakistan lodges protest over cross-border firing

Wednesday, 20 Jan, 2010||Safar 04, 1431

RAWALAKOT: A flag meeting was held between Pakistani and Indian military commanders at the Rawalakot sector along the Line of Control on Wednesday.

Pakistan rejected Indian allegations of infiltration and warned of retaliation if India did not stop firing across the border.

The Pakistan army lodged a strong protest with its Indian counterpart over Tuesday’s unprovoked cross-border firing at Keir sector.

One soldier was killed while another sustained injuries when Indian troops fired across the Line of Control.

It was the second time Indian troops had fired across the line of control in just as many days.

Courtesy : Dawn, AP. APF and other Agencies


Three killed, 22 hurt in Bajaur blast: official

January 21, 2010

Three killed, 22 hurt in Bajaur blast: official

Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010||Safar 05, 1431.

The scene of a suicide attack in Peshawar. – AFP (File Photo)

KHAR: A roadside bomb apparently targeting anti-Taliban elders killed three people and injured 22 others on Thursday in Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, officials said.

The explosion hit their bus in Salarzai district in the tribal region of Bajaur, a day after a similar bomb planted in the road injured a provincial parliamentarian in the northwest capital Peshawar.

“It was an improvised explosive device which exploded as the bus headed to the region’s main town of Khar,” local government official Mazhar Ali said.

“One woman was killed while 22 other passengers were wounded.”

Senior administration official Abdul Kabir later said that “two others succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.”

Sayed Badshah, a doctor at a local hospital, said two of the wounded were still in a critical condition.

The vehicle was carrying some tribal elders who had formed a militia to fight militants in the region. A number of local leaders have been killed in similar attacks in Bajaur in recent months.

Also in Bajaur, two Taliban militants were killed when a bomb they were preparing exploded in Savaei village, local official Farooq Khan said.

In northwest Swat valley, meanwhile, at least five militants were killed in a gunfight which erupted near the town of Madyan, officials said.

“The gunfight started when militants opened fire at a military convoy passing through the area,” a local military spokesman told AFP.

Senior police official Qazi Ghulam Farooq confirmed the incident and said that the bodies of five militants had been taken to a local police station.

Courtesy: Dawn, AFP, AP & Agencies.

Karachi violence claims 3; hurts 7

January 21, 2010

Karachi violence claims 3; hurts 7

Updated at: 0830 PST, Thursday, January 21, 2010|| The International News Source.


A fireman extinguishes fire on a building which was set ablaze by an angry mob in Karachi. File Photo.

KARACHI: At least 3 persons were shot dead while another 7 sustained injuries cum an activist of political party in incidents of shooting occurred in separate parts of metropolis including Gulishtan-e-Johar, Landhi, Zaman Town and Malir localities from late Wednesday to Thursday, Geo news reported.

A total of 6 vehicles including a rickshaw were torched amid violence in Gulistan-e-Johar area alone.

According to details, the violence erupted when some unknown miscreants opened fire on the office of a construction company located in Block 19 of Gulistan-e-Johar, killing two persons namely Zareen Khan and Wali Muhammad.

Later, some other law offenders shot injured two persons near Johar Chaowrangi area who were rushed to hospital for medical attainment, sources said.

Six vehicles including a rickshaw were set ablaze near Perfume Chowke in Block 18 of Gulistan-e-Johar area, sending the entire locality in panic and terror while all the petrol pumps, shops, transport and daily routine hustle and bustle had come to halt due to fierce violence.

Many innocent citizens were robbed of their mobile phones, money and many other valuables as the traffic had clogged in Shorab Goth locality in reaction of Gulitan-e-Johar violence, affectees said.

Two persons received bullet injuries in Malir locality, but the unknown attackers succeeded to flee the scene, police said.

Three more persons were injured in firing incident in others parts of Karachi including Shah Faisal Coloney, Landhi Sherpao Colony while one among injured identified as 25-year-old Aasif who later succumbed to injuries at hospital.

Police, later on the day, claimed to have deployed heavy contingents of police parties in Shah Faisal Colony, Hassan Square, Sohrab Goath, Abul Hassan Asfahani Road, Landhi and Gulistan-e-Johar.

A market set on fire in retaliation for a suicide blast in Karachi. Photograph: Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistani Violence Sum-up for 2009 by Guardian.

Pakistan suffers record number of deaths due to militant violence

3,021 people killed in terrorist attacks in 2009 – a 48% rise, according to Islamabad think-tank

A record number of Pakistani civilians and security forces died in militant violence last year as the country reeled from an onslaught of Taliban suicide bombings that propelled it into the ranks of the world’s most perilous places.

Pakistan saw 3,021 deaths in terrorist attacks in in 2009, up 48% on the year before, according to a new report by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based defence thinktank. Researchers counted a total of 12,600 violent deaths across the country in 2009, 14 times more than in 2006.

At least half of the dead were militants who were killed in US drone strikes or, mostly, sweeping army offensives against their mountain strongholds of Swat and South Waziristan along the Afghan border. Another 2,000 or so Pakistanis died in bloodshed unrelated to militancy: political clashes, tribal feuds and border skirmishes.

In comparison just over 2,000 civilians were killed in war-torn Afghanistan during the first ten months of 2009, according to the UN. In Iraq 4,500 civilians were killed during the year, said Iraq Body Count, an independent monitoring organisation.

The high militant death toll in Pakistan was driven by the army operations, although battlefield casualty figures are notoriously difficult to confirm. The army dislodged the Taliban from their Swat stronghold but failed to capture the local leader, Maulana Fazlullah, who reportedly slipped into Afghanistan.

In October the army moved into South Waziristan, capturing roads and towns but not the militant leadership, which is thought to have moved into North Waziristan, a hornet’s nest of militancy, where speculation is growing that the army will open a third front.

The army has failed to stop the suicide attacks, which surged by one third to 87 bombings that killed 1,300 people and injured 3,600. PIPS researcher Abdul Basit said the militants were using “innovative tactics” such as targeted assassinations, kidnapping and the use of sophisticated bomb materials. “This year they were more technologically savvy,” he said.

The strife is frazzling public opinion. A recent Gallup poll found that four-fifths of Pakistanis feel unsafe in public. “Life has completely changed for everyone,” said Ali Mustafa, a doctor whose best friend was gunned down during a “swarm” attack on a Rawalpindi mosque in December.

The new year started as badly as the last one ended: a Taliban suicide attack on a volleyball match near South Waziristan on January 1 killed over 90 people. In recent days, Karachi has been wrenched by a spate of politically driven killings, unlinked to Taliban militancy, that have killed about 40 people.

Imtiaz Gul, author of a book on militancy, said that although only a small number of al-Qaida fighters were hiding in Pakistan, the group provided the inspiration for much for the mayhem. “What we see in this region right now is a fusion of interests and ideologies,” he said. “Al-Qaida is connecting people.”

The tight bond between homegrown and foreign militants was underscored at the weekend when a video emerged showing the Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, sitting beside Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed seven CIA operatives at a base in southern Afghanistan on December 30.

Pakistan has become a magnet for aspiring jihadis across the world, partly thanks to the power of the internet. Yesterday five young American Muslims went on trial in the eastern city of Sargodha. They are accused of coming to the country to try and plot terrorist attacks. The men deny the charges.

Courtesy : The International News Pakistan, The Guardian London, Google, Reuters and Others.

Bomb blast injures ANP lawmaker

January 21, 2010

Police officials examine the site after a bomb blast in Peshawar.—AFP

Bomb blast injures ANP lawmaker

By Ali Hazrat Bacha|| Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010|| Safar 05, 1431

PESHAWAR: A roadside bomb injured an ANP member of the NWFP assembly and four other people on Wednesday.

Aurangzeb Khan was going to attend a programme organised to mark the death anniversary of Bacha Khan and Khan Abdul Wali Khan at the Nishtar Hall when his car was hit by a huge blast.

The car was destroyed and the legislator was taken by some people to the Lady Reading Hospital in a private vehicle.

According to a source in the hospital, Aurangzeb Khan underwent a minor operation in his left arm and his condition was stable. The blast destroyed his car and damaged the high transmission power line.

Off the other injured people, three were discharged after first aid and fourth was admitted to the hospital.

Peshawar’s DCO Sahibzada Mohammad Anees told reporters that the bomb placed in a culvert had been detonated by remote control.

A bomb disposal official told this correspondent that about 3kg to 4kg of explosives had been used for the blast.

CCPO Peshawar Liaquat Ali Khan said it was an attempt on the MPA’s life.

Aurangzeb Khan was elected from PF-1 constituency in a by-election on April 11. He was a joint candidate of ANP and PPP-P.

The seat fell vacant after his brother Alamzeb Khan had been killed by a terrorist bomb on Feb 11.

It was the third bomb attack on ANP’s legislators in about three months. Dr Shamsher Ali Khan was killed in a suicide attack at his residence in Swat on Dec 1 and Alamgir Khalil escaped a bomb attack outside his residence in Pawaka village in Peshawar on Jan 10.

Courtesy:DAWN,AFP & Others.