Archive for April 30th, 2010

100,000 Pak troops have moved from eastern border to crackdown on militants along the Afghan border.

April 30, 2010

The Pentagon also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions have had an impact across the border, placing a “high degree of pressure on enemy forces and reduced insurgent safe haven” in eastern Afghanistan. — Photo by AFP

‘Pakistan has moved 100,000 troops from eastern border’

By Dawn Correspondent||Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has deployed 140,000 troops in Fata, moving at least 100,000 soldiers from the Indian border to back up its ‘unprecedented’ crackdown on militants along the Afghan border, says a Pentagon report.

In its mandatory report to the US Congress on the situation in the Pakistan-Afghan region, the Pentagon notes that the deployment is the biggest in the country’s history on the western border.

“This unprecedented deployment and thinning of the lines against India indicates that Islamabad has acknowledged its domestic insurgent threat.”

The Pentagon also acknowledges that Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions have had an impact across the border, placing a “high degree of pressure on enemy forces and reduced insurgent safe haven” in eastern Afghanistan.

The Pentagon informs Congress that recent arrests by Pakistan of Afghan Taliban leaders, including the group’s No. 2, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, have “increased insurgent leaders’ concern over the security of their safe havens” and created “financial and logistical” problems for them.

This assessment contrasts sharply with the Afghan claim — backed by India — that the arrests have weakened Kabul’s efforts to seek a negotiated settlement with the Taliban leadership.

The report quotes a senior US defence official as saying that the arrests in Pakistan produced “a lot of concerned chatter” among Taliban sympathisers in Afghanistan, but there’s no indication of “a leadership crisis in the Taliban”.

The Pentagon notes that so far the crackdown in Pakistan is focused almost exclusively on internal threats and that’s why it’s not having any “significant impact on the Afghan insurgency in the short term”.

But the crackdown “offers opportunities in coming months to have a greater impact on the conflict in Afghanistan depending on how PAKMIL (Pakistani military) operations evolve,” the report adds.

“Pakistan has suffered attacks from terrorists in response to its successful operations. These attacks include mass casualty events in Mingora, South Waziristan agency close to clearing operations as well as in Lahore, far away from the fighting. “While these attacks do not appear to have shaken Pakistan’s commitment, they do demonstrate, for the time being, insurgent ability to continue attacks despite successful Pakistani operations,” the report warns.

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP.

Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja found dead in NW :: Baitullah’s tape to be produced in ATC for probing Benazir Bhutto’s murder case.

April 30, 2010

Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja found dead in NW. — File photo

Former ISI official Khalid Khwaja found dead in NW

Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A former Pakistani intelligence officer abducted by an alleged militant group last month was found shot dead Friday in a northwest tribal region, officials said.

Khalid Khawaja went missing in late March along with another ex-intelligence official known as Col. Imam and a filmmaker. There was no word on the fate of the two others.

Khawaja’s body was found on the road between Miramshah and Mir Ali, the two main towns in North Waziristan. Local TV channels broadcast a picture of what appeared to be Khawaja’s body.

He had been shot in the head and chest, and a note attached to his body accused him of being an American spy, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be named by media.

The men were first reported abducted in late March. Soon after, a previously unknown militant group calling itself the Asian Tigers claimed to be holding the men in a video delivered to local media. Any demands they had were not made public.

Khawaja was known to be sympathetic to the militants cause, often appearing on television speaking in defense of suspected extremists.

He has claimed to be close to Osama bin Laden in the early days of the Afghan resistance to the Soviet Union.

Recently, he has spoken up in defense of five young American terror suspects on trial in Pakistan.

He also filed a petition in a Pakistani court to stop any attempt by Islamabad to extradite recently arrested Afghan Taliban leaders, including the movement’s No. 2 Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.—AP

Baitullah’s tape to be produced in ATC for probing Benazir Bhutto’s murder case

Baitullah Mehsud (R) escorted by his guard as he arrive for a meeting in South Waziristan. — File photo by AFP

Baitullah’s tape to be produced in ATC

Fri, 30 Apr, 2010 | Jumadi-ul-Awwal 15, 1431

ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team probing Benazir Bhutto’s murder on Thursday decided to produce the telephone intercepts of Baitullah Mehsud before the Anti Terrorist Court Rawalpindi proceeding the trial of Ms Bhutto’s murder.

The sources in the Interior Ministry revealed DawnNews that for this purpose the team directly approached Inter Services Intelligence which reportedly recorded that intercept but in vain.

The sources said that now Interior Ministry has contacted ISI through Defense Ministry that the concerned officer who recorded that intercept should be deputed that he could be produced before the court along with the intercepted tape recording.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto occurred on 27 December 2007 in RawalpindiPakistan. Bhutto, twice Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990; 1993–1996) and then-leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, had been campaigning ahead of elections due in January 2008.[1][4][5] She was shot after a political rally at Liaquat National Bagh; a suicide bomb was detonated immediately following the shooting. She was declared dead at 18:16 local time (13:16 UTC), at Rawalpindi General Hospital. At least 23 other people were killed by the bombing.[3] Bhutto had previously survived a similar attempt on her life that killed at least 139 people, after her return from exile two months earlier.

Courtesy : DawnNews, AFP, AP, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Agencies.