Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Allah’s soldiers beheaded two, shot another two, all ‘suspected US spymen’ in Pakistan

April 23, 2010

Just before testing the PEACE OF ISLAM :: Militants have killed four men, beheading two and dumping the bodies in Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt after accusing them of spying for the United States, officials said Friday. – AFP (File Photo)

Militants kill four ‘US spies’ in Miramshah

Fri, 23 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 08, 1431

MIRAMSHAH: Militants have killed four men, beheading two and dumping the bodies in Pakistan’s northwest tribal belt after accusing them of spying for the United States, officials said Friday.

The bodies were found by the side of a road in Khadi village, 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Miramshah, the main town in the tribal North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, local police officer Kalam Khan told AFP.

He said that two bodies were headless, while the remaining two had multiple bullet wounds. Two of the men were Afghans while the others were local tribesmen who had been kidnapped from Miramshah three weeks ago.

A local intelligence official said that a note found near the bodies said “all those spying for the US and Pakistan will suffer the same fate”.

Militants frequently kidnap and kill tribesmen in the troubled region, accusing them of spying for the Pakistani government or US forces in Afghanistan, where Taliban fighters are waging an insurgency.

Courtesy : The DawnNews and AFP.

Militants strike fatal upon Pak troops in North Wazirstan:: 8 killed, 16 injured.

April 23, 2010

Eight soldiers were killed , Sixteen soldiers were also wounded when the convoy drove into an ambush laid by waiting militants in Datta Khel.– (File Photo)

Militant ambush kills 8 troops in North Waziristan

Friday, 23 Apr, 2010||Jumadi-ul-Awwal 08, 1431

ISLAMABAD: Militants ambushed a Pakistani army convoy traveling in a tribal region, killing eight soldiers, the military said Friday.

By MUNIR AHMED, Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed, Associated Press Writer Fri Apr 23, 10:48 am ET

ISLAMABAD – Militants ambushed a Pakistani army convoy traveling in a tribal region that is mostly home to insurgent groups focused on the war in neighboring Afghanistan, killing eight soldiers, the military said Friday.

The attack could raise pressure on Islamabad to wage an offensive in North Waziristan, which has largely escaped Pakistani army action in recent years despite U.S. pressure for a crackdown. Militant attacks on troops in the region have also been rare.

The army statement said the attack Thursday occurred in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, and that the convoy was “carrying out a routine movement” to the area from the town of Miran Shah. Sixteen soldiers were wounded in the ambush, one of the worst known to have occurred against the army in the border region in several months.

The statement did not give many details. However, two intelligence officials in the northwest said tribesmen joined local Taliban fighters to stage the ambush after a 15-year-old boy in the area was allegedly shot to death by an earlier group of traveling soldiers.

The boy was killed when troops opened fire after a roadside bomb exploded near the convoy, the officials said on condition on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record.

Pakistan has carried out several army operations in its semiautonomous tribal belt, where al-Qaida and various Taliban factions have long thrived. The offensives have mainly been aimed at militant groups targeting Pakistani institutions.

North Waziristan has largely escaped the operations because most of the militant networks there — unlike groups such as the Pakistani Taliban — are focused on the war in Afghanistan.

The U.S. wants Pakistan to take on the North Waziristan networks, but Islamabad says it does not have the resources to open another front. Critics suspect Pakistan doesn’t want to anger militants it may need to influence affairs in Afghanistan once the U.S. leaves.

The area struck Thursday is controlled by Sadiq Noor, one of the few Pakistani Taliban commanders known to operate in the region, said two other intelligence officials, also asking that their names not be used.

It’s unclear whether the attack will have any impact on the Pakistan’s army future designs in North Waziristan.

However, large numbers of Pakistani Taliban fighters are believed to have set up base in North Waziristan after the army began an offensive last year against their prior main stronghold, South Waziristan.

Like most of the information given by the government or military out of the tribal regions, independent verification of the deaths is nearly impossible because access to the zone is severely restricted.

Also in North Waziristan on Friday, the mutilated bodies of four men alleged to have been U.S. spies were found in Mir Ali town.

Area residents and an Associated Press reporter saw the bodies Friday morning. One was beheaded, while the other three had slit throats and severed hands.

Dozens of men have been killed in a similar fashion in North Waziristan in recent years. Like previous cases, notes attached to the bodies warned others to learn from the fate of the so-called spies.

Courtesy : AP.

India-Pakistan Relationship :: A New Hope Always Due.

April 23, 2010

The scale or content of a meeting between Singh and Gilani could be drawn up by Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir. – (Dawn File Photo)

India, Pakistan in focus at South Asia summit

Fri, 23 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 08, 1431 | DawnNews.

NEW DELHI: Leaders of India and Pakistan are likely to meet in Bhutan’s capital next week as their nuclear-armed rivalry overshadows a summit of South Asian nations to discuss trade and environment.

India halted peace talks with Pakistan after the November 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people were killed and which India has blamed on Pakistan-based groups.

A meeting between the leaders is seen as crucial because it could help keep alive the idea of engagement between two players whose battle for influence in Afghanistan has a direct bearing on Western efforts to stabilise a region with 1.8 billion people.

“It is an opportunity (to meet) and both sides will take advantage of it,” said a senior Indian government official, who spoke on condition on anonymity.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said there was “as of now” no offer of a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart, Yousaf Raza Gilani, but did not completely rule out the possibility of one.

The two sides have been tentative about engaging since their top diplomats met in New Delhi in February but failed to achieve a breakthrough. That meeting, nonetheless, was seen as a small step towards repairing ties.

Differences over the nature of talks have held up a further meeting – Pakistan wants India to restart the peace process; India wants to go slow until Islamabad acts against the Mumbai attack planners.

The United States has been urging the two sides to reduce tension so that Pakistan can focus better on fighting the Taliban on its westers border with Afghanistan.

“I don’t really want to forecast what is going to happen, but let me say: dialogue is always useful, it helps clear the atmosphere, especially between close neighbours such as India and Pakistan,” Rao said before leaving for Bhutan on Friday.

Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit hinted last week about the possibility of a meeting.

“It has not yet been penciled in. Nevertheless, given that our roadmap also provided for a summit meeting in Bhutan, we look forward to a meaningful engagement with India,” Basit said.

“Let me also underline here, that engaging in meaningful and result-oriented talks is in our mutual interest and in the interest of this region, it is not a favour by Pakistan to India and vice versa.”

COOPERATION UNDERMINED

The scale or content of a meeting between Singh and Gilani could be drawn up by Rao and her Pakistan counterpart, Salman Bashir. Indian officials said hopes of any progress were low.

“Our outlook on the meeting is very clear – it has to be terrorism and what steps Pakistan has taken to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai to book,” a senior Indian official said on condition of anonymity.

The two sides’ unmitigated animosity has undermined greater regional cooperation, an agenda that was the founding principle of the eight-nation bloc of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that meets in Bhutan on April 28-29.

Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Afghanistan make up the rest of the group.

While SAARC summits are often little more than a backdrop to bilateral meetings between India and Pakistan, the bloc has tried to push forward cooperation in trade and commerce.

Courtesy The Dawn.