Archive for the ‘Al Qaida in Pakistan’ Category

Three killed, nine wounded when Shia minoritites were gunned down in Pakistan.

June 22, 2011

The shooting happened in Akhtarabad, on the outskirts of Quetta–Photo by AP

Gunman kills Shia pilgrims in bus attack: police

QUETTA:AFP news in DAWN: A gunman opened fire on a bus carrying Shia Muslim pilgrims in southwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing three people and wounding nine others, police said.

The shooting happened in Akhtarabad, on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas-rich Baluchistan province, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

“At least three people were killed and nine others were wounded when one of the four gunmen riding two motorbikes opened fire on a bus carrying Shia pilgrims to Iran,” senior local police official Farid Breach told AFP.

He said it appeared to have been a sectarian attack but that the shooting was under investigation.

Local intelligence officials also confirmed the incident and casualties.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Baluchistan is rife with militancy, sectarian violence between majority Sunni and minority Shia Muslims and a regional insurgency waged by separatists.

Spread sheet of Terrorism in Pak

June 13, 2011

Twin blasts kill 35, injure over 100 in Pakistan

Peace in Real Islam : Peshawar style

A twin bomb attack at a supermarket in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar late Saturday night has so far claimed 35 lives and injured over 100 others, said local officials on Sunday (12th June, 2011).

Rescue team members and hospital sources said that the death toll could further rise as there could be still some people trapped in the debris of the collapsed buildings following the blasts and many of the injured admitted to the local Lady Reading hospital were still in critical conditions.

The attack came at about 23:50 p.m. local time Saturday when a first bomb, which was relatively small in intensity, went off at the Khyber market in the downtown area of Peshawar, leaving three people injured.
As the rescue team rushed to the blast site, a 17-year-old suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle laden with an estimated 10 kg of explosives into the crowds of the people gathering at the site, killing many people right on the spot.
Over 20 shops near the blast site were destroyed. A two-storied hotel collapsed following the huge blast and many people inside the hotel were buried under the debris.

Allah's mirage ...... Allah followers' might ......

Some local media office buildings near the blast site were also damaged. At least one journalist was killed and three other media personnel were injured in the explosion.
The blast also triggered off a big fire, which burned to death at least three people.
During the search operation following the blasts, police have arrested three suspects and the bomb disposal squad has found the head of the suicide bomber on the spot.
Shortly after the twin blasts, Pakistan Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Both Pakistani president and prime minister have strongly condemned the terrorist attack.

A forensic investigation for Reality in Islam

Saturday night’s twin bomb attack in Peshawar is the most serious of its kind in Pakistan since this month. Following the killing of the al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden by the U.S. special task forces in Pakistan on May 2, both al-Qaida and Pakistan Taliban have vowed to avenge the death of bin Laden.
Since then Pakistan Taliban have launched a serious of terrorist attacks in the country, including a twin suicide bomb attack at a training center of armed border police forces in Charsadda in northwest Pakistan on May 13, which killed 98 people and injured more than 140 others.
On May 20, a bomb attack was reported in Peshawar. The target was the diplomats of the U.S. consulate in the city. During the attack two U.S. diplomats were injured and several others were killed.
Two days later, on late night of May 22, Pakistan Taliban launched a surprise attack at a naval air base in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, which killed 13 security personnel, destroyed two U.S.-made P3C Orion surveillance planes and one helicopter.
On May 26, 36 people were killed and over 50 others injured in a suicide blast in Pakistan’s northwest city of Hangu. Most of the killed and injured were police.
Local watchers believe more bigger terrorist attacks could follow in the country in the near future.

Source :
Twin blasts kill 35 in Pakistan – China.org.cn

Revenge for Osama. Pak Naval Base attacked and sieged by Taliban. Freed after 17 hrs.

May 23, 2011

Pak wrests naval base after 17-hr Taliban siege

From : Times of India.

Wreckage of a P-3C Orion aircraft is seen at a major Pakistani naval air base following an attack by militants in Karachi on May 23, 2011. – AFP Photo/ASIF HASSAN

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s security forces regained control of Karachi’s Mehran naval base after a night-long firefight with Taliban militants on Monday, killing four assailants and losing at least 10 of their men in one of the most audacious sieges in that country, lasting 17 hours.

The attackers armed with grenades, rocket-launchers and automatic weapons, swore revenge of “martyrdom of Osama bin Laden” and stormed the base under cover of darkness using ladders and cutting the wire to get into the facility late on Sunday night. Once in, they scattered around the sprawling compound setting off explosions and destroying two US-made PC-3 Orion surveillance aircraft, each worth Rs 162 crore.

Two attackers were shot dead and one blew himself up. While two militants escaped, a third is believed to be lying, possibly dead, under the debris. Among the 17 foreigners at the spot, 11 Chinese aviation trainers were safely evacuated, said Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Malik.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack to avenge bin Laden’s death. “It was the revenge of martyrdom of Osama bin Laden. It was the proof that we are still united and powerful,” Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told Reuters from an undisclosed location.

The militants made full use of the darkness to keep the security forces engaged all night, hiding in the vast facility ringed with a concrete wall with about five feet of concertina wire on top. Pakistan navy spokesman Irfan-ul-Haq said the militants hid in and fired from an office building until Monday afternoon.

The assault was the worst on Pakistan’s military since a similar raid on Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009. Terrorists had stormed the headquarters close to Islamabad and held hostages for 22 hours. The attack on the facility raises fresh doubts about the military’s capability to protect its bases and further embarrasses Pakistan’s security establishment following the US raid to take out bin Laden from the northwestern town of Abbottabad on May 2.

Experts slammed the security lapse that led to the attack and feared that the attackers had insider support.

Journalist Nasim Zehra said, “The attack only highlighted the need for the government and military to accept that insiders were facilitating the terrorists.” She said it is impossible for these terrorists to have so much information about aircraft presence on the base without inside help.”

Interior minister Rehman Malik confirmed that six militants were involved in the attack.  Read details here… At least 11 died.

Islamist Militants Attack Pakistan Naval Base

From : Huffington Post.

Fire and smoke rises from a Pakistani naval aviation base, following an attack by militants in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, May 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

KARACHI, Pakistan — Islamist militants stormed a naval base in the Pakistani city of Karachi late Sunday, destroying a U.S.-supplied surveillance aircraft, firing rockets and battling commandos sent to subdue them in one of the most brazen attacks in years, officials said.

At least four navy personnel were killed and nine wounded in fighting at the Naval Station Mehran, said navy spokesman Irfan ul Haq. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack as fighting was still reportedly going on Monday morning, saying it was part of their revenge for the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

It was unclear how many militants were killed or wounded. But between 10 and 15 attackers entered the high-security facility before splitting into smaller groups, setting off explosions and hiding in the sprawling facility, Haq said.

“We are receiving fire from different directions,” said another spokesman, Salman Ali.

The coordinated strike rocked the country’s largest city just under three weeks after the May 2 death of bin Laden in a U.S. Navy SEALs raid in the northwest garrison city of Abbottabad, an event al-Qaida-allied extremists in Pakistan have vowed to avenge.

The unilateral American raid triggered a strong backlash against Washington, which is trying to support Pakistan in its fight against militants, as well as rare domestic criticism against the armed forces for failing to detect or prevent the operation. Read details here …. Revenge of Osama ?

Osama bin Laden breathed last on Pakistan soil.

May 2, 2011

Full text of Obama’s speech confirming bin Laden’s death

Yahoo! India News – Mon, May 2, 2011 10:49 AM IST

Washington D C || 1st May, 2011 : Good evening. Tonight I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory. Hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky, the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground, black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon, the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction. 

And yet, we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world, the empty seat at the dinner table, children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father, parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts. 

On September 11th, 2001 in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. 

On that day, no matter where we came from, what god we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. 

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda, an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocence in our country and around the globe. 

And so we went to war against al Qaeda, to protect our citizens, our friends and our allies. 

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. 

In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. 
And around the globe, we’ve worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot. 

Yet, Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world. And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat his network. 

Then last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. 

It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. 

I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan. 

And finally last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. 

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. 

After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. 

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

 Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad. As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. 

I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam, because bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. 

So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity. 

Over the years, I have repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people. 

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates. 

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. 

After nearly 10 years of service, struggle and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as commander-in-chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded. 

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet, as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. 

And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done. 

Tonight we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work or know their names, but tonight they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice. 

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they’re a part of the generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day. 

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores. 

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people. The cause of securing our country is not complete, but tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens, our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things, not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. 

Thank you. May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. 

At least 30 killed, 100 wounded in twin blasts at Dera Ghazi Khan shrine

April 3, 2011

UpdateBombs kill 42 at shrine in Pakistan | Los Angeles Times | April 3, 2011, 11:16 a.m. Reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan— Two suicide bombers killed at least 42 people at a shrine in central Pakistan on Sunday, the latest in a series of attacks on places of worship linked to sects opposed by militants.

The blasts took place at the Sakhi Sarwar shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan – (File Photo)

 

‘Fatal’ blasts at Pakistan Sufi Sakhi Sarwar shrine

BBC || 3 April 2011 Last updated at 13:57 GMT

A Muslim shrine in Pakistan has been hit by two explosions, with unconfirmed reports of casualties.

Officials told reporters at least five people had been killed and 30 more injured in the blasts at a shrine in the Dera Ghazi Khan district of Punjab.

Initial reports said the explosions struck a shrine belonging to Sufis – a minority branch of Islam regarded as heretical by hardliners. Militants attacked another Sufi shrine last year, killing six people.

The latest blasts hit near the Sakhi Sarwar shrine, and devotees were reportedly among the dead and wounded. Thousands of people had been marking the annual festival of Urs at the time of the blasts.

There is no indication of who carried out the attack, although one official said he suspected suicide bombers.

Dawn reports from Multan :

MULTAN: An emergency official says the death toll from a pair of suicide bombings at a shrine in Pakistan has risen to 30.

Thousands of people were visiting the shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan district in Punjab when the bombers struck Sunday.

Emergency coordinator Natiq Hayat says 30 people have been killed and 100 wounded.

Militants believe visiting shrines is against the spirit of Islam and have carried out such attacks in the recent past.

Courtesy: BBC | DAWN.


Pak Islamist leader escapes 2nd attack in deadly blast, 12 killed 30 injured

April 3, 2011

The JUI-F chief indirectly blamed the United States and ‘some other elements’ for the attacks. — File Photo

Pak Islamist leader Fazl escapes second attack in two days

Islamabad:  Fri Apr 01 2011 || Pakistan’s hardline JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had a narrow escape for the second day in a row on Thursday, when a suicide bomber targeted his motorcade in the country’s restive northwest, killing at least 12 people and injuring over 30 others. The Maulana escaped unhurt anyway.

The JUI-F chief indirectly blamed the US and ‘some other elements’ for the attacks because, he said, they were unhappy with his criticism of their policies and actions.

“Apparently I was the target; the attackers sprayed my vehicle with bullets,” he told reporters at Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar where he had gone to visit the injured.

“Who is behind these attacks? I don’t know,” he said in reply to a question.

“I am opposing drone attacks, criticising the release of Raymond Davis and US policies and raising voice for the release of Aafia Siddiqui, which are not acceptable to some people.”

The US embassy condemned the attack. “We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” said a statement issued in Islamabad.

A security official said the JUI-F leader had been warned about an assassination plot during his speech at a public meeting in Dera Ismail Khan but the warning was ignored.

“We are working on the group behind the threat to the Maulana in Dera Ismail Khan but it is premature to say anything now,” the official said. “The Maulana has long been on the hit list of the terrorists and he knows it.”

He said a suicide bomber wanted to attack Maulana Fazl in Swabi on Wednesday but security personnel stopped him on suspicion and he blew himself up.

He said he had seen several policemen who were injured by the blast.

Rehman cancelled his meeting in Charsadda after the blast.

A car in which senior JUI leaders Akram Khan Durrani and Azam Swati were travelling too was damaged in the attack, though they escaped unhurt.

Footage on television showed several cars that were damaged by the blast. The walls of a nearby mosque were pitted by ball bearings that were packed into the bomber’s explosive vest.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks so far.

Rehman escaped an attempt on his life on Wednesday as well when a suicide attacker tried to target his motorcade at Swabi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. That attack killed 10 people, including two policemen.

The attacks have surprised political observers as the JUI is perceived as being pro-Taliban.

Rehman has repeatedly called on the federal government to halt military operations against the militants.

Rehman told the media on Thursday that he had not received any threats. He refused to say who could be behind the two attempts on his life.

The bomber struck just after the motorcade of 57-year-old Rehman, a member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, entered Charsadda town in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where he was to address a gathering at Darul Uloom Islamia seminary.

The powerful blast occurred near a government office and a private school, witnesses said.

“Twelve people, including two members of Rehman’s security detail and a woman, were killed while over 30 others, including policemen and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) workers, were injured”, officials said.

“I am fine. There was a powerful explosion near my car and the windscreen was shattered. Another car in my motorcade was damaged,” Rehman told the media.

Courtesy : Indian Express | Dawn News.

Dozen killed in Friday (25th March 2011) peace by the Islamists in Pakistan. Eight in Kurram and Four in Karachi.

March 25, 2011

The area of Kurram district in Peshawar has a history of sectarian clashes between Pakistan's majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shias. — Photo by AFP

Gunmen kill eight Shi’ites in Pakistan

  • From:AFP
  • March 25, 2011 10:11PM

EIGHT people were killed and five wounded today when gunmen opened fire on two vehicles carrying Shi’ite Muslims in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region in suspected sectarian violence, officials said.

The vehicles were ambushed in Bagan town of Kurram district, near the Afghan border, and the victims “were all Shi’ite Muslims”, a security official said.

The area has a history of sectarian clashes between Pakistan’s majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shi’ites.

Local administration official Fazal Hussain told AFP the Shi’ites were heading in a three-vehicle caravan from the northwestern city of Parachinar to Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

“The attackers came in two vehicles. They opened fire and fled, leaving eight people dead, including a woman and a child,” he said.

Khalid Umarzai, another senior administrative official, confirmed the incident and said the attackers also kidnapped over 20 Shi’ites travelling in three coaches before fleeing.

Entrenched militants oppose jobs and education for women in the deeply conservative tribal region of Kurram, which has for five years been a flashpoint for violence between Shi’ite and Sunni communities.

Shi’ites account for some 20 per cent of Pakistan’s mostly Sunni Muslim population of 160 million.

More than 4,000 people have died in outbreaks of sectarian violence between the groups since the late 1980s. (eNewsdotComau)

Another four killed in Karachi violence

 

A bullet-riddled body of a youth was recovered from under a bridge in the city’s Karimabad area. The victim was identified as one Adnan. - Dawn File Photo

KARACHI, Friday 25th March 2011 | Rabi-us-Sani 19, 1432: At least four people were killed in Karachi on Friday as incidents of target killings continued in the city by unidentified gunmen, DawnNews reported.

The number of targeted killings in the city has risen to 166 in the month of March, DawnNews reported.

A bullet-riddled body of a youth was recovered from under a bridge in the city’s Karimabad area. The victim was identified as one Adnan.

In another incident, an unknown motorcyclist shot dead one Abdul Sattar in the Liaquatabad area. Moreover, the body of an unidentified man was recovered from a playground in Landhi’s sector 36-G.

Courtesy : NewsdotComau | Dawn | AFP | Agencies.

One killed and eleven injured in mine and improvised bomb blast in North West Pakistan

March 23, 2011

Militants in Pakistan’s northwest often target police and other law enforcement agencies. — Photo by Reuters

Bomb blasts kill one, wound 11 in northwest Pakistan

PESHAWAR: Mine and bomb attacks targeting police in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday (23/03/2011) killed one person and wounded 11, including nine officers, police said.

One person was killed in a landmine blast in the Adezai area of Peshawar on Wednesday.

Sources said the landmine was planted near Maryamzai area of Matni. The explosion killed one and injured another person.

In the first attack a donkey cart went over a mine buried by the roadside on the outskirts of Peshawar, police said.

“Both the donkey cart owner and donkey were killed. Basically the mine was planted to target police,” Kalam Khan, a senior police official, told AFP.

A Van was patrolling the Doabad area of Hangu when it was blown up by an IED. PHOTO: FILE

In the second incident a remote control bomb hit a police patrol pick-up, injuring 11, in the village of Darsamand, in Hangu district.

“Nine policemen and two passers-by were wounded in this bomb blast. Taliban militants are responsible for this attack,” Abdur Rashid Khan, district police chief told AFP by telephone.

Hangu lies 150 kilometres south of Peshawar and has a history of sectarian clashes between Pakistan’s majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shias.

The area borders the tribal regions of Kurram and Orakzai, where entrenched militants oppose jobs and education for women.

Militants in Pakistan’s northwest often target police and other law enforcement agencies and are engaged in a campaign of violence against security forces in the country.

The bombings have been blamed on terror networks linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

More than 4,000 have died in suicide and bomb attacks across Pakistan since 2007.

Courtesy : Dawn | The Express Tribune | AFP | Agencies.

Bomb Blasts by Baloch Republican Army at Naseerabad killed four in Balochistan

March 17, 2011

he separatist Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack in Naseerabad. — Photo by AP

Balochistan kills four in Balochistan

QUETTA: Two separate bomb attacks on paramilitary convoys in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Thursday (17th March 2011) killed four people including three soldiers, officials said.

The separatist Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the first attack, in which a remotely-detonated roadside bomb hit a convoy in Naseerabad district, 430 kilometres southeast of Quetta.

“Two soldiers and a passer-by were killed and seven others were wounded. One vehicle was also badly damaged,” Abdul Jabbar Jatoi, a senior administrative official told AFP.

A second bomb, planted in a car and also detonated remotely, went off later in the outskirts of Quetta, killing another soldier and wounding three others, police said.

“One soldier died in hospital, three others are under medical treatment,” Hasan Buzdar, a police official in Quetta told AFP.

An official of the Paramilitary Frontier Corps in Quetta confirmed the incidents.

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has seen a surge in violence recently, with the province suffering from a separatist insurgency, sectarian violence and Taliban militants.

Hundreds of people have died since militants rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s natural oil, gas and mineral resources.

Courtesy : Dawn and AP.

Radical Islam puts a havoc displacement of native Muslims in Pakistan. Islam against Muslims !!

March 13, 2011

Speculations grow about operation in N. Waziristan

The official said about 50,000 families (roughly 500,000 individuals) could be displaced from the N. Wazirstan agency.

By Zulfiqar Ali From the Newspaper |Curtesy : Dawn.

PESHAWAR: The federal government has directed the Fata Disaster Management Authority to prepare a contingency plan for thousands of families likely to be uprooted after a military operation in North Waziristan Agency, an official told Dawn on Saturday.

The official said about 50,000 families (roughly 500,000 individuals) could be displaced from the agency, where speculations about the military operation against militants have been doing the rounds for quite some time.

The army has deployed over 20,000 troops, including two wings of the Frontier Corps, in the agency. The region is regarded as a bastion of Al Qaeda and Taliban.

“The FDMA has received directives from the federal authorities to chalk out a plan in consultation with the United Nations’ agencies and other humanitarian bodies to cope with the displacement,” he said.

Knowledgeable sources said the federal government had not set any timeframe for completion of the contingency plan, but the FDMA had been asked to keep the plan ready.

“We have been asked by the authorities to complete the task as soon as possible, but we have no idea about the timing of a military offensive,” the sources said.

The US government has been pressuring Islamabad, since the Times Square (New York) bomb plot in which a Pakistani national Faisal Shahzad was arrested in May last year, to launch an operation against militant groups, particularly the Haqqani network, to dislodge them from their redoubt in North Waziristan. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had claimed that it had masterminded the car bomb plot.

Islamabad, however, has stuck to the line that it alone would take a decision on the launch of an operation, citing lack of resources as the biggest handicap.

The FDMA, according to officials, had alerted the UN and its satellite organisations to the likelihood of a big displacement in the event of an operation, advising them to make provisions for shelter, food and other assistance.

They said that sites would be identified and selected for relief camps after consultations with the UN and other stakeholders.

According to official estimates, 50 per cent of the families feared to be displaced would take shelter in relief camps and the rest would settle with relatives and in rented houses.

Sources said camps were likely to be set up in neighbouring districts.

About financial resources, they said UN agencies had expressed willingness to foot the bill for tents, food, NFIs, water, sanitation and health. Officials said the average cost of a tent was 310 dollars.

The FDMA is already looking after 148,893 registered displaced families (over 1.1 million individuals) which had been displaced due to violence and subsequent military actions in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata).

About 23,505 families have been living in camps and 125,388 other displaced families have been staying with their relatives.

A recent military action in Mohmand Agency caused the displacement of some 6,000 families. They were accommodated in two camps.

On the other hand, the IDPs displaced from Orakzai and South Waziristan agencies have started returning home.

Courtesy : Dawn || Revista-Amauta || Opinion-Maker.