Archive for February, 2010

Taliban claim responsibility for Karak suicide attack

February 28, 2010

Officials visit a police station attacked by an alleged suicide bomber in Karak.—AP

MIRAMSHAH: The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide attack on a police station in Karak that killed 4 people including two policemen.

In addition to the dead, more than two dozen people were wounded, most of them police officers, when an attacker detonated a pick-up van on Saturday at the gate of the main police station in Karak.

“We have done this,” Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

“Both the police and army are equal for us. Both are our enemies. They are responsible for the cruelties on us. We will carry out more such attacks against police.”

Karak lies 150 kilometres (94 miles) southeast of Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province.

The Taliban have claimed and been blamed for most of the bomb and suicide attacks to have taken place in Pakistan. Such attacks have killed more than 3,000 people since July 2007.

More than 25 people arrested after Faisalabad clashes

February 28, 2010

Pakistani protesters riot after gunmen opened fire on a religious procession marking Mulid an-Nabi in Faisalabad, Pakistan on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. – AP

FAISALABAD|Sun, 28 Feb, 2010 | Rabi-ul-Awwal 14, 1431: Six people were injured on Sunday and more than two dozen have been taken into custody in the past 24 hours following clashes in Faisalabad.

Three people were injured in incidents of firing in Ghulam Muhammadabad area of Faisalabad and three motorcycles were set ablaze this morning.

Given the situation, the DCO of Faisalabad said that Section 144 has been imposed in the city.

Later, RPO Faisalabad Muhammad Tahir, Commissioner Tahir Hussain, DCO Saeed Iqbal and SSP Operations Sarfaraz Falki held a meeting with the representatives of various religious organisations to restore normalcy in the area.

Despite being in Faisalabad, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Home Secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif did not attend the meeting.

On Saturday, protestors set ablaze a police station and dozens of vehicles in the area following a clash between two groups, during an Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession.

The clash erupted after one of the groups opened fire on an Eid Milad-un-Nabi procession, leaving three people injured.

Police had arrested around 15 people including the Khateeb of Goal Masjid, Zahid Mehmood Qasmi, on the charges of instigating people for rioting.

Courtesy : DawnNews AP.

Arrest of three high profile militants in Karachi shows the severity of penetration of Talibans in core area of Pak

February 26, 2010

Three suspected militants captured by Karachi police – File Photo

Three high profile militants arrested in Karachi

KARACHI || Friday, 26 Feb, 2010 ||Rabi-ul-Awwal 11, 1431 : Three high profile militants have been arrested on friday in Karachi. Police claim to have foiled a major terrorist attack planned for the 12th Rabi Ul Awwal celebrations.

Officials have told DawnNews that three suspects belonging to banned outfit Lashkra-e-Jhangvi have been arrested from Jamshed road.

Police claim to have recovered over 20 kg of high intensity explosives of Indian origin.

Investigators say the militants had been planning to carry out the attacks tomorrow.

Further investigations are underway.

Meanwhile, fool proof security arrangements have been made for Eid-e-Miladun Nabi in light of intelligence that Tehreek -e-Taliban Pakistan might be planning to target the holy processions in different cities of Punjab, including Rawalpindi and Islamabad. – DawnNews.

Lesson of intolerance in Pak educational curriculum : How the anti-Indian, inhumane venom are injected in the student minds.

February 22, 2010

Many public-school students in Thoha Bahadur, Pakistan, use old textbooks with xenophobic passages. Scholars blame government underfunding. (Jan. 15, 2010) ||RICK WESTHEAD/TORONTO STAR

Public schools not always tolerant in Pakistan

The Star finds incendiary passages common in outdated textbooks studied by Pakistan’s secular students

By Rick Westhead South Asia Bureau||Sunday 21 Feb 2010

THOHA BAHADUR, PAKISTAN–When towns and villages in a stretch of verdant Punjabi farmland had the chance to have cable TV installed in every home earlier this year, most jumped at the offer.

But elders in this village of 7,000 a few hours south of Islamabad said no. They weren’t interested in watching death and despair play out on 24-hour news channels.

So it’s interesting to hear how students in this village of wheat and rice farmers perceive their country and its neighbours. Most everything they’ve learned comes courtesy of textbooks and teachers.

On a recent afternoon, one of the 250 students who attend one of Thoha Bahadur’s public schools, shared his views about India, Pakistan’s neighbour and archrival.

What’s good about India?

“Its natural minerals,” said 12-year-old Ashir Hussain.

What’s bad? “The way they have stolen Kashmir from us. It’s their wrongdoing that they are there. They are our enemy.”

Asked why he believes this, he cites his teachers and textbooks.

Hussain’s attitude highlights a protracted debate in Pakistan over how religious extremists are made.

While some political leaders here and abroad have ratcheted up warnings about madrassas, charging the religious schools fuel Islamic militancy and stoke hatred for the west, some scholars say the real problem is Pakistan’s underfunded public schools and their often incendiary textbooks.

Consider Hussain’s sixth-grade Punjab provincial textbook called “Social Studies 6.”

In one chapter it explains the forefathers of Hinduism “were fond of gambling, drinking and dancing … the foundation of Hindu set up was based on injustice and cruelty.”

Another textbook used by students throughout Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous state, is called “Social Studies for Class V.” It begins: “Islam gives women a high position of respect whereas Hinduism gives a very low place to women.” The same book outlines the concept of jihad.

Texts for older students offer more of the same.

“Social Studies for Class VIII” describes how during the 19th century, “the Hindu racists were not only against Muslims but also against all other minorities …” The book charges Hindus and Sikhs practised ethnic cleansing during partition in 1947 when India and Pakistan were carved out of British India and became independent states.

While the Pakistani Ministry of Education in 2006 said it would remove some of the incendiary language, several educational experts say that hasn’t happened.

A researcher in Islamabad with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Ahmad Salim says he’s been battling the government over textbooks for years.

Sitting on a bright orange couch in his living room in a quiet residential neighbourhood of Pakistan’s capital, Salim said he’s collected evidence that shows public-school texts are littered with anti-India, xenophobic passages that promote contempt for non-Muslims.

“It’s supposed to be that schools are liberal and secular,” he said. “We used to say religion has nothing to do with the state and education.”

But that ideology began to change in 1971, he said, when Pakistan battled an uprising in East Pakistan. Pakistan lost – thanks in part to India’s decision to send in troops – and the territory became independent Bangladesh. From that point on, textbooks began dropping references to non-Muslim historical characters, promoting heroes of Islam and excoriating India.

Nearly 40 years on, the curriculum remains controversial and even as the government promises change, some experts say the pledge rings hollow.

Dr. Haroona Jatoi, a former official with the education ministry who was in charge of Pakistan’s public-school curriculum, said ministry officials aren’t interested in modernizing. “The textbook boards are a group of conservatives,” she said. “They couldn’t care less about gender issues. They want to promote Islam in a rigid way.”

For instance, Jatoi said the textbook board recently told the World Bank and other funding agencies that a section quoting Surah At-Tawba, a section of the Qur’an, had been removed from ninth- and tenth-grade textbooks.

“Fight against those who believe not in Allah nor the last day,” the Qur’an reads. Of Jews and Christians, it adds, “Allah’s curse be on them; how they are deluded away from the truth!”

“They said it was removed, but really it was just moved to Grade 11 and 12 books,” Jatoi said.

Aurangzeb Rehman, the education ministry’s policy and planning advisor, declined to comment while a ministry spokesperson didn’t return repeated calls.

One of the hurdles educators face is simply keeping pace with Pakistan’s surging population.

When the country was carved out of British India in 1947, it had roughly the same population as Iran, said Abid Qayyum Sulehri, an Islamabad economist.

Today, Iran has 66 million citizens to Pakistan’s 171 million. “That’s a huge issue,” Sulehri said. “Iran has a successful family planning program. We don’t.”

More than 20 million students attend public schools in Pakistan, compared with the 1.5 million who go to madrassas. Yet instead of buttressing social programs such as education, Pakistan still pumps roughly one-third of its $29 billion (U.S.) budget into the military.

And as the country’s security situation deteriorates, even more money is being re-allocated to the military, Sulehri said, noting Pakistan now spends less than 2 per cent of its GDP on education.

Textbooks are supposed to be issued by provincial boards each year, but several schools visited by the Star were using undated battered texts full of hand-written notes and torn pages.

In Thoha Bahadur, a teacher said he couldn’t recall the last time textbooks were replaced.

“We have 250 students and we get 50,000 rupees ($621) a year from the government,” he said. “It all goes to maintenance.”

Courtesy : Toronto Star.

Minorities in Pakistan are forced to give Jazai or Islamic Tax. Denial means Capital Punishment.

February 21, 2010

A large number of Sikhs have migrated from Orakzai after being threatened by Hakimullah Mehsud led militants. —AP

Pakistan Taliban kidnap, behead two Sikhs

Two Sikhs who were kidnapped over a month back have been beheaded by the Pakistani Taliban in the country’s restive tribal belt.

Some more members of the minority community are still in the custody of the (^ Pic. from JIhad News ^) rebels.

The body of Jaspal Singh was found in the Khyber tribal region, located a short distance from Peshawar, while the body of Mahal Singh was found in the Aurakzai Agency, sources told PTI on Sunday.

Sources said the Sikhs were kidnapped from the Bara area of Khyber Agency by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. They were kidnapped 34 days ago and the Taliban had demanded Rs 30 million as ransom. Two of the Sikhs were beheaded after the expiry of the deadline for the ransom payment, sources said.

Militants in Orakzai and Tirah Valley have been charging the non-Muslim residents Jazai or Islamic Tax on the pretext of providing security to them and their business in the area.

A large number of Sikhs have migrated from Orakzai after being threatened by Hakimullah Mehsud led militants.

The kidnapping occurred in an area where there the government has virtually no control and the militants are in a dominant position, sources said.

And Islamic intolerance in Pakistan has already finished the Hindu-Sikh minorities in the country strangling  their number in 1.86% from a sizeable number of 16% of Hindu-Sikh community even in 1950.

Courtesy : Hindustan Times/ AP/Others.

Pak Terrorists attack police stations in Mansehra, Balakot :: Police chief Khalil Khan dead

February 20, 2010

An honour guard pays its respects before the casket of police chief Khalil Khan, who was killed by a suicide bomb blast outside a police station earlier in the day, in Balakot, in Pakistan’s northwest frontier province, February 20, 2010. – Reuters

Terrorists attack police stations in Mansehra, Balakot

Sat, 20 Feb, 2010 | Rabi-ul-Awwal 5, 1431 | DawnNews.

MANSEHRA: A police official was killed and six other policemen wounded in the attacks on two police stations in northwest Pakistan Saturday, police said.

In first attack a gunfight broke out when two suicide bombers stormed into a police station in Mansehra, police said.

One of the attackers was shot dead and the other fled, station chief Waheed Khan told AFP.

“We have cordoned the area and are searching for the second attacker,” Khan told AFP.

Ali Raza, another police official, told AFP that bomb disposal staff were defusing the explosives strapped to the dead attacker’s body.

An AFP photographer at the scene saw the body of the attacker lying in the police station and heard gunshots as police rushed to find the second attacker.

In a separate attack in the neighbouring mountain town of Balakot, a suicide bomber killed SHO Khalil Khan and wounded three policemen, local police official Sabir Ullah told AFP.

Courtesy : Dawn/AFP/Reuters.

A major break-through in combating militants in Pak

February 20, 2010

30 terrorists killed in SWA: ISPR

Saturday, February 20, 2010, Rabi-ul-Awwal 05, 1431 A.H||Updated at: 1045 PST

RAWALPINDI: At least 30 terrorists have been killed in Shawwal mountains of South Waziristan Agency (SWA), Geo News quoted Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) sources as saying Saturday.

The ISPR sources said the sting aerial action was launched on a tip-off that terrorists are holed up in the mountains of Shawwal. The hideouts of the terrorists were effectively pounded in the operation.

Pakistani security forces launched a major offensive in South Waziristan in October last year and the military says it has captured most of the militant bases in the region.

“The hideout in Shawal was targeted after we were tipped off that terrorists were hiding in the mountains,” a military spokesman said.

Read another ….Air strike kills 30 militants in South Waziristan

8 militants killed in Swat, Khyber Agency skirmishes

Saturday, February 20, 2010, Rabi-ul-Awwal 05, 1431 A.H || updated at 1030 PST

PESHAWAR: Eight militants were killed during clashes between security forces and militants in Swat and Kyber Agency.

Sources said security forces launched search operation in Mingora and adjoining areas on Saturday morning. Four militants were killed during exchange of fire between forces and militants in Ogday area.

Meanwhile, militants attacked FC check post in Ferozkhel area in tehsil Bara of Khyber Agency early today. Four militants killed in retaliatory fire whereas others managed to flee. Curfew remained imposed in the area.

Pakistani Terrorism now reached South Korea to glorify Islam.

February 19, 2010

A purported Taliban spokesman has warned that South Koreans “should be prepared for the consequence of their action which they will certainly face”, accusing Seoul of breaking a promise not to send troops back to Afghanistan. – AP (File Photo)

South Korean police arrest alleged Taliban

Fri, 19 Feb, 2010 | Rabi-ul-Awwal 4, 1431

SEOUL: South Korean police said Friday they had arrested a Pakistani man who claimed to be member of the Taliban on charges of using a fake passport.

The 31-year-old, who said he was a Muslim cleric, was detained Thursday at his home in the southeastern city of Daegu, where he lives with his family, they said.

“He allegedly told friends that he was a Taliban member but his claims have yet to be verified,” an investigator told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The man had used the passport of another Pakistani to come into or leave South Korea 17 times since August 2003, the investigator said.

Yonhap news agency said the man told police he was asked by Taliban leaders to collect information about US military bases in South Korea. Some 28,500 US troops are stationed in the country.

South Korea plans to send 350 troops and 140 reconstruction workers to Afghanistan later this year.

A purported Taliban spokesman has warned that South Koreans “should be prepared for the consequence of their action which they will certainly face”, accusing Seoul of breaking a promise not to send troops back to Afghanistan.

South Korea, a close US ally, sent 210 engineering and medical troops to Afghanistan in 2002. It withdrew them in late 2007 after Taliban insurgents took 23 South Korean church volunteers hostage and murdered two of them.

Seoul said the withdrawal was already planned and not part of any deal.

Courtesy : DawnNews/AP/Others.

(more…)

Another Two signs of Islamic Peace in Pakistan. Muslims fighting each others. Women & Children in dead bodies.

February 18, 2010

An official suggested the bombing could be a revival of a feud between Lashkar-i-Islam and Ansarul Islam. — File photo

Over 25 killed in Khyber bomb blast

Thursday, 18 Feb, 2010||Rabi-ul-Awwal 3, 1431

PESHAWAR: A bomb attack near a mosque and a militant base in northwest Pakistan’s Khyber tribal region killed over 25 people on Thursday in what security officials said could be a feud between rival militant factions.

The blast struck in the district that straddles the Nato supply line into Afghanistan and is a hotbed of both Taliban fighters and other smaller home-grown militant groups.

An insurgent commander was among those killed outside the mosque in the Dars village of Upper Tirah valley. The attack also hit near a base of Lashkar-i-Islam, a militant outfit with some ideological ties to the Taliban.

Rahat Khan, a local administrative official, confirmed to AFP that a militant commander was among the dead, but there was no immediate information on whether the bomb was planted or caused by a suicide attacker.

Lashkar-i-Islam — which means Army of Islam — have staged bombings in the past and are the target of a Pakistani military operation to oust them from Khyber, but intelligence officials blamed warring extremist factions.

“There are two militant groups fighting with each other in Tirah valley. Both of them are attacking each other. There is a possibility that the rival group attacked the Lashkar-i-Islam base,” an intelligence official said.

“There is no communication system in the area. This is an inaccessible area for us,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Another official suggested the bombing could be a revival of a feud between Lashkar-i-Islam and rivals Ansarul Islam, which means Companions of Islam.

On January 8, a suicide bomber targeting Ansarul Islam killed five militants and wounded 12 others in Tirah Valley, about 120 kilometres southwest of Peshawar.

Lashkar-i-Islam is the most active militant group in Khyber and is led by feared warlord Mangal Bagh. It has loose ideological ties to the Taliban, but operates independently.

Khyber is part of Pakistan’s tribal belt on the Afghan border where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds. — DawnNews/AFP

Associated Press reports : Bomb kills 29 in Pakistan as US envoy visits : Read Here.

Bomb blast kills at least 11 in Orakzai

Pakistan has suffered numerous bombings over the last few months. — File photo

Thursday, 18 Feb, 2010||Rabi-ul-Awwal 3, 1431

PESHAWAR: A bomb blast killed at least 11 people and wounded another 50 Wednesday in Pakistan’s Orakzai tribal region where many Taliban militants are believed to have gathered after fleeing an army offensive, officials said.

The explosion occurred at a cattle market in the tribal region.

Local government official Liaquat Khan said at least 50 people also were wounded in the Darmela area of Orakzai. Officials were still investigating whether the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber or a planted device.

Pakistan has suffered numerous bombings over the last few months, many of them apparently in retaliation for the army operation in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Though militants tend to target security forces, many of the recent attacks have been at civilian-heavy sites, including markets catering to women and children.

Courtesy : DawnNews/AFP/AP/ Others.

Pakistan-based group “Lashkar-e-Taiba al-Almi” claims Indian bombing at Pune.

February 17, 2010

An Indian man stands behind a no entry sign near the scene of blast in Pune on February 14, 2010. – AFP

Pakistan-based group claims India bombing: report

Wednesday, 17 Feb, 2010||Rabi-ul-Awwal 3, 1431

NEW DELHI: A previously unknown group that said it had splintered from a larger Pakistan-based outfit has claimed responsibility for a weekend attack in India, a newspaper reported Wednesday.

The Hindu, a respected Indian newspaper, said it had been contacted by someone claiming to be a spokesman for a group called Lashkar-e-Taiba al-Almi which said it had carried out the bombing.

Police said Wednesday the toll from the blast at the German Bakery restaurant in the western city of Pune had risen to 11, with the number of injured rising to 60 after new victims were discovered in local hospitals.

The latest fatality was a 20-year-old engineering student who died from burns at a hospital in Pune on Tuesday night.

The Hindu said an individual codenamed Abu Jindal rang the paper’s Islamabad correspondent and said the attack was in response to India’s “refusal” to discuss the disputed region of Kashmir, claimed by Pakistan and India, in peace talks due to resume this month.

The caller said Lashkar-e-Taiba al-Almi had split from the larger Lashkar-e-Taiba because the latter “took its orders from Pakistan’s intelligence agency”, The Hindu reported.

The banned Lashkar-e-Taiba is blamed by India for the attacks on Mumbai in November 2008 which killed 166 people and led to a suspension of dialogue between India and Pakistan.

The Pune bombing was the first major attack on Indian soil since the 2008 Mumbai carnage and four men have since been detained by Indian police for questioning.

Foreign secretaries from India and Pakistan are to hold peace talks in New Delhi on February 25.

The Hindu said the call to its correspondent came from an area with a telephone code common to the restive Waziristan tribal area, a stronghold for militants, and the neighbouring volatile Northwest Frontier Province.

The caller said he was ringing from Miramshah in North Waziristan.