Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

Pak Taliban video indicates cross-border links : Special Representative of US

January 18, 2010

Commenting on Pak-India ties, Holbrooke said that easing tensions between India and Pakistan would help western efforts in Afghanistan. However, he said it was up to Islamabad and New Delhi to find their own path towards better ties. – Alertpak  photo

TTP video indicates cross-border links, says Holbrooke

KABUL: A video of a Pakistani Taliban leader with the bomber who killed CIA agents in Afghanistan indicated cross-border links between Afghan, Pakistani and Al Qaeda militants, the US regional envoy said on Sunday.

Special Representative Richard Holbrooke said in an interview in Kabul that “shadowy but unmistakable” links between groups exposed by the video helped explain why the United States and its allies were fighting in Afghanistan.

The video released this month showed the Jordanian suicide bomber posing with Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, before carrying out the Dec 30 attack which killed seven CIA employees, the deadliest strike on the agency in decades.

“When people say to us, ‘why are you fighting in Afghanistan when the goal is to destroy Al Qaeda and

they are in Pakistan?’ I think this incident highlights the explanation for what we are doing, because there are some shadowy but unmistakeable connections here,” he said.

The video could show “the very close links between the Haqqani group, Mehsud, Al Qaeda, and it underlines the rationale for our strategy”, he said. “That was a horrifying tape.”

“They’ve all claimed credit for it,” he said of the various militant groups with some possible hand in the CIA attack.

Asked whether he had put more pressure on Islamabad to do more in border regions to rout insurgents, Mr Holbrooke said Pakistan’s military was stretched “very thin”.

“I think they are well aware of the fact that the presence on their soil of the Afghan Taliban and its leadership is not in their own security interests. They know how important this is. They are our allies,” he added.

Pak-India ties

Easing tensions between India and Pakistan would help western efforts in Afghanistan, said Mr Holbrooke. However, it was up to Islamabad and New Delhi to find their own path towards better ties.

He said Washington would welcome better relations between Islamabad and New Delhi, but he had no plans to act as a mediator between the two rival countries. “President (Barack) Obama has said publicly that if India and Pakistan improve their relations, he would welcome it,” he said before leaving for New Delhi.

“But it’s up to them to do it for themselves. We are not intermediating between Islamabad and New Delhi.

“Every time I go to India people say: ‘Are you working on this problem? Are you a messenger? Are you an envoy between the two countries?’” he said. “The answer is ‘no’.”

He described his visit to India as a “consultative trip, it’s not a negotiating trip”, unlike his stops in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

His aim was mainly to explain US regional strategy to Indian officials, on his first visit since Mr Obama announced 30,000 extra troops for Afghanistan in December.

Asked if better India-Pakistan ties were necessary to resolve the Afghan conflict, Mr Holbrooke said: “Is it necessary? … It would be useful.” Asked why, he said: “For obvious reasons.”

“In this extraordinary strategic context, every country has a legitimate security requirement which has to be acknowledged if we are ever going to get to a resolution of this 30-year process,” he said of the three decades of war in Afghanistan.

“The Pakistan-India relationship is unique because of its origins on the same day in August of 1947 and the unresolved issue of the territory on their common border, which has been so disputed,” he said.

“Pakistan has legitimate security interests like any nation, based on its … geo-strategic position,” he said. “I am not going to get specific about India’s strategic interests. They will speak for themselves.”—Reuters

Courtesy : Dawn, Reuters & Google.

Blasts collapsed civil life in Buner. Bloodshed in Buner. Ethnic Clash in Karachi. Pakistan in Transition. Trail of Terrorism?

May 4, 2009

Govt buildings, schools blown up in Buner

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By Abdur Rehman Abid
Tuesday, 05 May, 2009 | 08:14 AM PST | http://www.dawn.com | updated by alertpak on Tuesday, 05 May, 2009

BUNER: Militants blew up several government buildings and schools in Buner district while security forces expanded their operation on Monday after securing Ambela.

People in the area are in panic and fleeing their homes. Hospitals are running short of essential drugs.

Militants are still controlling key positions along the main highway from Daggar to Pir Baba and the Gokand valley.

Reports reaching here said that higher secondary schools for girls and boys, tehsil administration buildings and a police station at Gagra were destroyed.

Sources said troops had moved from Daggar, the headquarters of Buner district, towards the Gagra subdivision, but were facing stiff resistance.

Fierce clashes have been reported from Kalpani, Tangoo Bridge and Dewana Baba. Local people said that troops backed by tanks faced resistance near the Kalpani village.

The sources said that after taking control of Gagra, troops would move towards the Gokand valley, considered a militant stronghold.

Pak troops kill 60 militants in Buner. Militants are trying to retake.

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Posted: Saturday , May 02, 2009 at 0228 hrs IST

Backed by fighter jets and tanks, Pakistani forces killed at least 60 Taliban, including foreigners, in the Buner as they intensified operations against militants, who offered stiff resistance mounting counter-attacks and abducted 10 soldiers.

The militants were killed in fighting since Thursday in Buner, the military said. Also, two paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel were killed and eight injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a house filled with explosives in the region on Friday.

“The type of resistance the security forces have encountered during this operation and the weapons that are being used by the militants clearly negate the their earlier claims that they had left Buner,” chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas said in Rawalpindi.

Taliban had claimed last month that they had pulled out of Buner under an agreement negotiated by Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi chief who also brokered a peace deal with the militants in Swat.

The militants also abducted 10 Dir Levies personnel from a checkpost on Friday, Abbas said.

About 130 militants stormed a Frontier Constabulary camp at Jawar on Thursday night and captured 40 personnel, who were freed unharmed after the rebels took away their weapons, Abbas said.

Abbas said security forces backed by helicopter gunships had destroyed about 10 explosives-laden cars and motorcycles that were to be used in suicide attacks. A suicide bomber was injured and captured in Ambela town.

A “few foreign fighters” were killed when the house of Taliban commander Ghazi in Buner was destroyed by the troops, he said. Troops moving from the strategic Malandhera area had linked up with security forces who had occupied Daggar, the main town in Buner.

Source: PTI

Three days, 50 dead in Karachi ethnic violence

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Karachi has a history of ethnic violence between mohajirs and ethnic Pashtuns.

Posted: Saturday , May 02, 2009 at 0212 hrs IST

Karachi: The ethnic bloodbath in Pakistan’s port city of Karachi has claimed at least 50 lives and left 80 injured in three days, with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday not ruling out the possible involvement of “foreign” elements in the widespread violence.

The Government was concerned about the violence and a detailed inquiry was being carried out to find out who was responsible for it, Gilani was quoted as saying by news channels. He said the Government could not rule out the involvement of a “foreign hand” in the violence.

His remarks came when reporters asked him at the Multan airport whether he sees a foreign hand behind the incidents of arson, loot and violence in Karachi. “It can’t be ruled out,” Gilani replied.

Media reports said 50 people had been killed and close to 80 injured in three days of violence, which has been blamed on ethnic clashes between supporters of Urdu-speaking Mutthaida-e-Qaumi Movement and Pashtun-speaking Awami National Party. The two are partners in the ruling coalition.

The violence that broke out on Tuesday saw protesters burn vehicles and shops, with peace returning to the city on Friday as the people stayed indoors due to the May Day public holiday.

Source: PTI

Pakistani forces drive Taliban from key town

updated 8:38 a.m. EDT, Wed April 29, 2009
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Pakistani troops on patrol close to the Buner
district in the northwest of the country.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — Pakistan’s military intensified its drive against the Taliban in the country’s restive tribal regions Wednesday, reclaiming a key town in the northwest district of Buner.

The military says it killed 50 militants in the operation, while one security officer was killed and three were wounded, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, a Pakistani military spokesperson told the press in Rawalpindi.

The operation freed 18 Frontier Corps personnel who had been abducted by militants, he said.

The military used helicopter gunships and coordinated with Pakistani police and the Frontier Corps.

Militants are using civilians as human shields, Abbas said, and have taken people in Buner hostage.

The operation may take a week, he added.

He said ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service which has historic links with the Taliban, was not supporting the militants.

Over the weekend, the military launched an offensive against suspected militants and their hideouts in Lower Dir, which neighbors the violence-plagued Swat area.

Airstrikes by Pakistani fighter jets killed 70 to 75 militants in the Dir district on Tuesday, and flushed out many more, Abbas told reporters.

It is part of the Pakistani army’s intensified drive against the Taliban in its restive tribal regions. The Pakistani government has been criticized for not cracking down on militants along its border with Afghanistan. As a result, the U.S. military has carried out drone attacks against militant targets in Pakistan, which have rankled relations between the two countries.

But Pakistan’s recent military crackdown has led to an exodus of civilians from the region. At least 33,000 residents have left their homes in the midst of the recent fighting, according to Amnesty International.

Civilians fleeing from Lower Dir in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province join more than 500,000 people already displaced by the fighting, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said.

The Pakistani military on Tuesday completed its operation to eliminate and expel militants in Dir, and is now focusing on the Buner district, Abbas said. About 300 militants entered Buner a few days ago, in violation of the Taliban’s recent agreement to leave the district, he said.

Buner is about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Islamabad, but Abbas said the militants pose no threat of entering the capital. The fighter jets pounded targets in Buner and the Swat Valley in an effort to block the militants’ entry and exit points, according to Abbas.