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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pakistan - Taliban Hub
    Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 12:40

Bodies of 25 killed in NATO strike brought to Pakistan

Source:  The News International (Pakistan) / January 13, 2007

ISLAMABAD: The bodies of 25 militants killed in a fierce battle with Nato-led troops in Afghanistan were repatriated on Friday to their tribal villages in Pakistan, where Taliban activists urged mass attendance at their funerals, residents said.

On Friday, the bodies were brought to Miranshah. Funerals were to be held in different villages in the region later, according to local intelligence officials and residents. The Taliban asked everyone to attend the funerals of these martyrs, a local resident told The Associated Press.

About 25 other militants wounded in the fighting were being treated at private clinics in Miranshah and another 25 were being treated elsewhere in the region, the residents said. Our Ghalanai correspondent adds: Bodies of the two labourers, belonging to Mohmand Agency, who were killed in an air attack by Nato forces in Afghanistans Paktika province, were brought to the Kandhari village of Safi sub-division and laid to rest at their ancestral graveyard on Friday. Identified as Anas and Abdul Wadood, the two tribesmen had gone to Afghanistan for work. They were working in Paktika, when killed in the night-time air attack by Nato forces.

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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 12:47
BBC%20NEWS
Top Taleban spokesman 'arrested' entering from Pakistan
 
Afghan intelligence agents say they have arrested a leading spokesman for the Taleban near the Pakistan border.

Intelligence service spokesman Sayed Ansari named him as Dr Muhammad Hanif, who has been speaking for Afghanistan's former rulers since October 2005.

Mr Ansari told the Associated Press the spokesman had been detained on Monday. He did not say where he is being held.

Dr Hanif's capture, if confirmed, would be a notable success for the Afghan government as it battles the Taleban.

The authorities say more than 4,000 people were killed in Afghanistan in 2006 as bombings by the Taleban and their allies and operations by Nato-led troops soared.

'Confessed'

Mr Ansari said Dr Hanif had been detained in the border town of Towr Kham in Nangarhar province soon after entering Afghanistan from Pakistan.

We had prior information about his coming to Afghanistan and our security forces arrested him along with two other people
Sayed Ansari,
Intelligence service

Two others travelling with him were also apprehended.

The spokesman first gave his name as Abdulhaq Haqiq, Mr Ansari said.

"But during the investigations we discovered that he is Dr Hanif," he told AP. "He also confessed to it himself."

Dr Hanif has been highly active over the past year, regularly e-mailing news organisations with the Taleban's version of events in the east of the country.

A man called Qari Mohammad Yousuf has performed similar functions for the Taleban in the south.

The two men were appointed after the capture in Quetta, Pakistan, of former Taleban spokesman Latifullah Hakimi in October 2005.

Reuters quoted an unnamed Taleban official who confirmed that Dr Hanif had been caught.

"We got this information today after our fighters told us that they tried Hanif's phone number repeatedly but got no response," the official said by telephone.

"Our commanders in Nangarhar and sources in the Afghan government confirmed the arrest."



Edited by Afghanan - 18-Jan-2007 at 12:48
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 13:54
Mullah Omar Hiding in Pakistan
 
 
 
Taleban leader Mullah Omar is living in Pakistan under the protection of its ISI intelligence agency, a captured Taleban spokesman has said.

The spokesman, Muhammad Hanif, made the apparent confession to Afghan agents who videotaped the questioning.

Mr Hanif is seen sitting in a dimly-lit room telling agents that Mullah Omar is in the city of Quetta. Correspondents confirm the voice is his.

Mullah Omar has not been seen since 2001. Pakistan rejected the claims.

'Baseless'

Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao told the Associated Press news agency the claim that Mullah Omar was in Quetta was "totally baseless".

"We have no information on the whereabouts of Mullah Omar. He is not living in Pakistan.

"Afghan intelligence has made contradictory statements since the arrest of this so-called spokesman of Taleban. We don't know who this person is, and from where he had been arrested."

Afghanistan's intelligence agency distributed copies of the video CD to journalists on Wednesday.

Although the voice is confirmed as that of Mr Hanif, the conditions under which he made his statements are not clear.

He is sitting in the video and heard speaking in a soft voice.

Asked about Mullah Omar, he says: "He lives in Quetta."

"He is protected by the ISI," Mr Hanif adds, referring to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai made similar allegations last year.

Mr Hanif also alleges that former ISI head Hamid Gul is supporting the Taleban against Afghan and foreign troops.

The ISI was instrumental in backing the Taleban after civil war swept Afghanistan following the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989.

'Anthrax'

Afghan agents say they arrested Muhammad Hanif in the eastern province of Nangarhar near the border with Pakistan on Monday.

Two others travelling with him were also apprehended.

Nangarhar Governor Gul Aghar Sherzai said he had been picked up in a house which also contained what he described as packets of anthrax powder.

He did not say if the powder found was the deadly anthrax bacteria, or how much of it there was. Local intelligence officials and police would not confirm any discovery of anthrax.

Mr Hanif has been highly active over the past year, regularly e-mailing news organisations with the Taleban's version of events in the east of the country.

A man called Qari Mohammad Yousuf has performed similar functions for the Taleban in the south.

The two men were appointed after the capture in Quetta, Pakistan, of former Taleban spokesman Latifullah Hakimi in October 2005.

The Taleban have confirmed Mr Hanif's arrest.

On Wednesday, they named a replacement, Zabihollah Mojahed, the Peshawar-based Afghan Islamic Press reported.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/6272359.stm


Edited by Afghanan - 18-Jan-2007 at 14:03
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 14:22
Originally posted by maqsad

Its considered playing devil's advocate cuz pakis are supposed to officially deny funding the taliban just as pakis and the CIA denied funding the mujahideen during the soviet occupation.

As far as the taliban are concerned I do remember they did not solidify the durand line as an official border so they don't seem to be total puppets...do they? I have just started reading a book by an ISI brigadier who ran the soviet guerrilla resistance and from the first two chapters only I have gathered that the mujahidin had very strong wills and minds of their own. So...my guess is the taliban[whoever the hell they are supposed to be, pushtun wahabis?] and the ISI have a "you scratch my back and I will scratch your back and probably not assasinate you either" type of relationship going. But that is just a guess. I am sure the CIA, SAS MI6 are also involved heavily in the new "great game" starting to get going right now.
 
I think MI6 and the CIA are trying to make new inroads into Afghanistan and the Tribal areas across the dirty Durand but they are too late.  The Taliban and their Pakistan-ISI Supporters have already created a base of operations in the tribal areas and both the CIA and MI6 are missing lots of human intelligence...
 
The Taliban don't need sophisticated logistics to perform their operations.  A few thousand dollars will get them plenty of arms, secure and remote safehousing, and food.  Some of them don't even have shoes and walk barefoot like their nomad brethren in Afghanistan.  They can survive off of bread and water and they carry light arms.   Their contacts in different villages provide for them shelter, and their road side bombs are crude but deadly effective , just like they are in Iraq.
 
The Taliban and ISI have plenty of human intelligence on the ground and they have the drug lords on their side as well.  The Drug lords pacify police  and army/government officials on both sides of the border and they hold a key in this Taliban puzzle.
 
Air strikes and helicopter gunships can help when police or government troops are under attack, but to mount a proper offensive against them they will need much more human intelligence.
 
The first step is ADMITTING theirs a problem, Afghanistan already did and their problems are out in the open to criticisize.   Pakistan to this day, still denies it inherently and has started it's double-dealing tricks again.  How the hell does Mullah Dadullah (top commander of the Taliban) make trips from Pakistan to the UAE for 'business' ?
 
No matter what Mushy claims, he should not deny there are MANY elements within their political establishment that continue to support the Taliban, ideologically, monetarily, and most deadly of all, militarily.

Returning refugees is a start, mining & fencing the border is stupid and pointless, but closing down the Madrassas that spew religious intolerance, hatred, and murder,  need to be closed down, not bombed (like his last mistake), but CLOSED DOWN until a proper curriculum can be established.
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 18:38
Originally posted by Afghanan

 
I think MI6 and the CIA are trying to make new inroads into Afghanistan and the Tribal areas across the dirty Durand but they are too late.  The Taliban and their Pakistan-ISI Supporters have already created a base of operations in the tribal areas and both the CIA and MI6 are missing lots of human intelligence...


New inroads using what methods, what techniques are you aware of that the CIA and MI6 are using to establish a power base in Southwest Afghanistan? And are you implying the ISI is now working against MI6 and the CIA just like it was working against the USSR in the 1980s?

Originally posted by Afghanan


The Taliban don't need sophisticated logistics to perform their operations.  A few thousand dollars will get them plenty of arms, secure and remote safehousing, and food.  Some of them don't even have shoes and walk barefoot like their nomad brethren in Afghanistan.  They can survive off of bread and water and they carry light arms.   Their contacts in different villages provide for them shelter, and their road side bombs are crude but deadly effective , just like they are in Iraq.


And who are they attacking with roadside bombs? They would just be hurting their own people do you expect their "contacts" to continue supporting them if they just blow up random vehicles on afghan dirt roads? I don't get it. They are supposed to be attacking the NATO troops.

Originally posted by Afghanan

 
The Taliban and ISI have plenty of human intelligence on the ground and they have the drug lords on their side as well.  The Drug lords pacify police  and army/government officials on both sides of the border and they hold a key in this Taliban puzzle.


Ok and there is no CIA connection to these drug lords? Why just ISI I don't get it. Its the CIA that is known for smuggling heroin because they have the transport routes coverd. They used to have a whole airline for that in SE Asia lol.

Originally posted by Afghanan

 
Air strikes and helicopter gunships can help when police or government troops are under attack, but to mount a proper offensive against them they will need much more human intelligence.


I dunno what you mean by "human intelligence" when they have NVDs and predators to track movements. Look at this video, what human intelligence was required for this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRC9NlgFZZk


Originally posted by Afghanan

 
The first step is ADMITTING theirs a problem, Afghanistan already did and their problems are out in the open to criticisize.   Pakistan to this day, still denies it inherently and has started it's double-dealing tricks again.  How the hell does Mullah Dadullah (top commander of the Taliban) make trips from Pakistan to the UAE for 'business' ?
 
No matter what Mushy claims, he should not deny there are MANY elements within their political establishment that continue to support the Taliban, ideologically, monetarily, and most deadly of all, militarily.

Returning refugees is a start, mining & fencing the border is stupid and pointless, but closing down the Madrassas that spew religious intolerance, hatred, and murder,  need to be closed down, not bombed (like his last mistake), but CLOSED DOWN until a proper curriculum can be established.


Oh and you don't think MI6, CIA etc are working WITH the ISI? Or at least KNOW what the ISI is up to? Why does the US/UK/NATO axis support and back pakistan publicly?
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2007 at 11:54
Originally posted by maqsad


New inroads using what methods, what techniques
 
Bribery for one.  They also are trying to get human intelligence who can blend in to the society, who can speak Pashto fluently without an accent and make contacts within elements in society who they can control or use them to spy on other groups.  The Pakistani Taliban have murdered many of these spies, some of them from Afghanistan, some of them from Pakistan, including journalists.
 
 
And are you implying the ISI is now working against MI6 and the CIA just like it was working against the USSR in the 1980s?
 
Ofcourse.  The ISI looks out for Pakistan, not for the CIA or MI6. 

And who are they attacking with roadside bombs? They would just be hurting their own people do you expect their "contacts" to continue supporting them if they just blow up random vehicles on afghan dirt roads? I don't get it. They are supposed to be attacking the NATO troops.
 
The suicide bomber attacks police checkposts, NATO troops, and even known Afghan / Foreign Aid groups in the country.  Taliban/Al-Qaeda have even attacked and killed many female teachers, male teachers, Mullahs, and were as bold as to shoot people in the back while they are praying at a Mosque, or at a funeral. 

Ok and there is no CIA connection to these drug lords? Why just ISI I don't get it. Its the CIA that is known for smuggling heroin because they have the transport routes coverd. They used to have a whole airline for that in SE Asia lol.
 
The stakes are different now.  They may know where the trade routes are, but they can't touch them because the drug money is going to finance the Karzai government or the money is tied with tribes in Pakistan who are allied with Mushy.  Most of these drug lords don't even live in Afghanistan, but Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Russia, etc.  SS (Salim Shahzad - Asia Times) reported that some of the money that goes in financing the Taliban comes from the lucrative blackmarket smuggling/trade, tobacco, and cigarette busineses in Pakistan, all of them owned by Pashtuns.    The fact of the matter is the drug lords are the wild card in this game.  They help out the local farmers more than Karzai does, and to attack them is to attack the heartland of the countryside because people will rise up against Karzai and most likely help the Taliban. 


I dunno what you mean by "human intelligence" when they have NVDs and predators to track movements. Look at this video, what human intelligence was required for this
 
Propaganda videos don't really show the ground reality of what's going on over there.  So they can shoot, so what?  They can't find the Taliban, the real enemy is not hiding in a crag 150 meters away, but under their noses doing their laundry in their bases.  Do you recall the story of how army intelligence documents, the names and SS #s, plus other personal documents were on sale in a local market just outside the US base in Bagram?  The Afghan workers inside the base were literally helping themselves to their USB sticks, CDs, night vision goggles, army uniforms, and other items.


Oh and you don't think MI6, CIA etc are working WITH the ISI? Or at least KNOW what the ISI is up to? Why does the US/UK/NATO axis support and back pakistan publicly?
 
 
The MI6 and CIA will always share information together, but they won't ever get as close with the ISI.  The ISI are an ally of convenience.  When the Taliban were in control in Afghanistan, they tried many times to take out Bin Laden, but the ISI stonewalled their efforts by not helping them. 
 
The ISI is always about double-dealing, they won't help MI6 unless they know that the deal is in the end, to their benefit.  For instance, the ISI / Pakistani government helped logistically the US to bomb Afghanistan after 9/11, in return, Pakistani generals, most likely ISI agents who were aiding the Taliban in Qondoz, were airlifted to safety before their final bombing campaign against the Taliban.  The Pakistanis will catch a low-level Taliban or Al-Qaeda agent, afterwards the US write off billions of debt in Pakistan.  It's a fine game they play.
 
Recently they handed off another Taliban spokesperson to Afghan forces after COUNTLESS accussations of the Paki governments involvement in supporting and harboring the Taliban.  Muhammad Hanif after his capture,  in retaliation to this backstabbing measure by the ISI,  revealed the location of Mullah Omar in Quetta and Hamid Gul's involvement in supporting the Taliban.
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2007 at 12:03

More evidence of Taliban leader hiding in Pakistan

By David Montero
Christian Science Monitor
January 19, 2007

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN - Mullah Muhammed Omar, the Taliban's one-eyed leader, eluded capture when American bombs ended his fundamentalist regime in Afghanistan in 2001. But a new report of his location is stirring an international uproar.

A captured Taliban spokesman says Mr. Omar is hiding in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Balochistan Province, under the protection of Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Abul Haq Haqiq, also known as Dr. Mohammad Hanif, made the statements in a video-taped interrogation released by Afghan intelligence on Wednesday, following his arrest while crossing from Pakistan into the Afghan province of Nangarhar.

Hanif's claims are the latest in a stream of international criticism of Pakistan. Afghanistan officials, including President Hamid Karzai, have accused Pakistan of harboring Omar, and news of his whereabouts - credible or not - is amplifying questions about Pakistan's commitment to the war on terror, analysts say.

Hanif's remarks come after the bloodiest year in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion removed the Taliban from power in 2001. Some 4,000 people died in insurgent-related violence in 2006. During a visit to Kabul Wednesday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he would consider sending more US troops to bolster the 22,500 already posted in Afghanistan.

Omar carries a $10 million bounty on his head and, like Osama bin Laden, is believed to be hiding somewhere in the remote areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Hanif also told Afghan interrogators that the Taliban, with help from the ISI, were responsible for more than 100 suicide attacks that left 270 civilians and 17 international soldiers dead.

"It's extremely important news. When we add all these accusations together, they pose a real problem for Pakistan's credibility, that it is playing a double game," says Rasul Bahksh Rais, a political analyst at the Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Omar has barely been heard from since he disappeared, leading many to wonder if he is dead or inactive.

But before he was arrested, Hanif told the Monitor in mid-December that Omar remains a central pillar in Taliban operations. He is not always present at meetings of the upper leadership, but all decisions are conveyed to him for approval, Hanif claimed.

"Without Mullah Omar we would not be able to reorganize and have this intensity of our attacks," Hanif said by telephone last month from an undisclosed location.

Earlier this month, Omar was heard from for the first time in years when he told Reuters, through Hanif, that he hadn't seen Osama bin Laden since 2001.

If true, Hanif's taped confession would constitute the highest level official statement from the Taliban that Omar is in Quetta. It would also verify that the operational center of the movement is in Pakistan. Many have long claimed this, chief among them Mr. Karzai, who last February delivered a series of dossiers to Islamabad detailing the addresses of Taliban leaders in Quetta.

Pakistan rejected the validity of those files, just as they immediately rejected Hanif's claims, calling it another salvo in Afghanistan's escalating blame game.

"This is the most absurd statement that can come out," says Maj. Gen. Shaukut Sultan, the spokesman for the Pakistani military. "Pakistan is fully committed to fighting terrorism."

Hanif's accusations against Afghan intelligence officials may have been coerced, some observers say. They also directly contradict statements Hanif made earlier to the Monitor.

"Mullah Omar is in Afghanistan and all [Taliban] leaders, too. There is no Taliban in Quetta," Hanif said at the time.

But Quetta has long been considered a logical place for Omar to seek refuge. The city lies near the border with Afghanistan, and has historical ties to Kandahar, Omar's home and the birthplace of the Taliban. International media reports have repeatedly highlighted the presence of Taliban fighters in the city.

Residents of Quetta remain divided over Hanif's statement. "This is completely propaganda," says Maulana Nur Mohammed, a parliament member from Jamiat-Ulema-Islami, a hard-line Islamist party that openly supports the ideology of the Taliban. "Because of all the intelligence agencies present here, it is not possible for the Taliban to stay in Quetta."

Others in Pakistan hailed Hanif's claim as proof of an open secret. "As the captured person said, [the Taliban] are in the protection of the ISI. In Quetta city, anybody can see that [the Taliban] are living here," says Akram Shah Khan, general secretary of the Pashtunkhwa Mili Awami Party, a Pashtun nationalist party in Quetta.

Many have also suspected that when he fled, Omar sought protection from the ISI, once his closest ally. In the mid-'90s, the ISI provided Omar's fledgling movement with the operational prowess needed to seize power, but denied doing so to American authorities.

Speaking to the Monitor last month, Hanif dismissed reports that Pakistan is providing aid to the Taliban. "Pakistan is not helping. We don't want their help either. Basically the Afghan people help, themselves," he said.

But he contradicted himself again in Thursday's taped interrogation, claiming that a former ISI chief, Hamid Gul, was providing financial and logistical support to the Taliban, principally in the form of suicide bombers.

Mr. Gul, who ran the ISI during the Afghan war against Russian forces in the 1980s, is known to have cultivated support for the Taliban in their early days. But he denies any involvement with them now.

"This is nonsense. Afghan intelligence is totally groping in the dark," says Gul, who is retired and living in Rawalpindi, near Pakistan's capital. "The real cause is that America is failing in Afghanistan and therefore putting pressure on Karzai...."

On Saturday, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley, a top US commander, said that Jalaluddin Haqqani, a Taliban commander, was orchestrating large-scale attacks against Afghanistan from a base in Pakistan's tribal zone. His remarks came days after NATO forces killed 150 Taliban militants infiltrating Afghanistan from Pakistan, one of the single largest such engagements in the conflict.

Suzanne Koster contributed to this report from Islamabad.

 
--


Edited by Afghanan - 19-Jan-2007 at 12:09
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 13:13

Afghanistan dismisses Taliban vow to open schools

by Bronwen Roberts
January 22, 2007

KABUL (AFP) - The Afghan government dismissed as ridiculous a Taliban vow to open schools in Afghanistan, saying this was likely a pretext for moving "hate madrassas" into the country from Pakistan.

The United Nations also said it did not take seriously the announcement Sunday by the leadership council of the extremist Taliban movement that was driven from government in 2001 and is now waging a vicious insurgency.

Education Minister Hanif Atmar scoffed at the claim, telling AFP the

Taliban burned down 183 schools and killed 61 teachers and students in the past one and a half years.

Attacks by the insurgents had also closed down nearly 400 schools, most of them in the areas where they said they would open them up, he said in an interview.

Atmar also questioned the claim they would allow girls to go school.

"During the years of their power in Afghanistan they did not allow even a single girl to go to public schools. How come their policy has now dramatically changed?"

The United Nations mission was also dismissive. "I don't think we see this as being serious," spokesman Adrian Edwards said.

"The Taliban's record on education is a tragic one and I think speaks quite adequately for itself," he told reporters.

A statement read to AFP Sunday by a Taliban spokesman said the movement would from March set up schools in areas "under its control" and had started publishing textbooks. The drive would cost one million dollars, it said.

"To boost their morale they are spreading ridiculous rumours that they have control over certain places," the minister said. "There is no territory, no province under their control."

Atmar said the Taliban appeared to be using education as a front for setting up conservative religious schools, called madrassas, that teach the Islamic extremism feeding the insurgency.

"They are doing this in order to pave the way for the shift of hate madrassas to Afghanistan in order to train terrorists," he said.

To "reduce pressure on Pakistan and themselves in terms of hate madrassas across the border, they want to find a way to move those madrassas into Afghanistan," he said.

Pakistan is under huge pressure to act against madrassas said to train Taliban rebels and send them across the border to fight.

A Taliban spokesman told AFP the planned schools were be different from madrassas, which mostly teach Islamic studies.

"They are going to be schools where science and other subjects will be taught," spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said when contacted by telephone.

He said the Taliban leadership had never adopted a policy of destroying schools and there were "other causes" for the attacks that had occurred, although he did not elaborate what these might be.

"In the present curriculum (in Afghan schools) there are some issues which we are against. For example jihad (holy war) is referred to as terrorism. But in general we are not against education," Ahmadi said.

Again claiming the Taliban had control of some parts of the country, he that while the movement had agreed to allow young girls to attend school, it had not decided what to do when they became teenagers.

During its five-year grip on power, the Taliban brutally enforced a strict Islamic code of behaviour, for example beating women in public if they did not wear a top-to-toe burqa that hid their faces.

The group, whose leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is said to be illiterate, stopped girls from going to school and women from working, which meant most teachers had to give up their jobs.

There has been a fivefold increase in enrollment since the hardliners were forced out, the education minister said, with about 5.4 million students this year, of which 1.6 million were girls.

The British charity Oxfam said in November that nearly seven million children were still not in school.



Edited by Afghanan - 22-Jan-2007 at 13:14
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  Quote TeldeInduz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 19:27

^ I have the feeling you're incessant obsession with Pakistan is beginning to pay off ! Posting rabidly on a single topic day in day out at the very least deserves some form of recognition. It's a shame you're smarter than the CIA and MI5, that you know ISI's every movement and they do not Tongue 

I think if you keep posting a bit more, you might successfully convince me, and then you should warn NATO of your magnificent discoveries, who I'm sure would be enlightened by your in depth knowledge of the situation..
 
"The Post reporter quotes Lt Gen David Richards, the outgoing NATO commander in Kabul, who said in an interview recently, The Pakistan government does not wish to see the Taliban in power here. They are determined to bear down on the insurgency. But when they help us, they get no credit for it. No one says thank you.
 
"On Friday, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher injected a measure of realism into the controversy by saying that both Pakistan and the US had failed to curb terrorism. A day earlier, Gen David Richards, head of the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan, said that steps taken by Pakistan had helped bring down the graph of insurgency ... compared to last winter. Isaf troops, he said, were the beneficiaries of Pakistans policy, which had led to a reduction in the incidents since autumn.
 
Keep up the steady flow of very enlightening information!
 


Edited by TeldeInduz - 22-Jan-2007 at 20:09
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jan-2007 at 22:45

If you compare me to an investigave journalist...that would make you the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. :)

So Telly...did you read Mushy's book? 
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jan-2007 at 12:01

Welcome to Taleban country

By Haroon Rashid
BBC News, Mir Ali
Tuesday, 23 January 2007

A red truck comes to a screeching halt next to our vehicle.

Its heavily-tinted windows are lowered to reveal an interior packed with more men than can possibly fit in a vehicle that size.

All have beards and long hair. Another bunch is huddled against each other in the open back of the four-wheel drive.

"Wait for us here. We will come back," the young driver issues us with a curt order.

Seconds later he is gone - bewildered tribesmen in the main bazaar try to make sense of what is going on.

Welcome to Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan's restive tribal area of North Waziristan often frequented by local pro-Taleban militants.

'Judge for yourself'

Our hosts are Baitullah Mehsud's group, their leader a local equivalent of Mullah Muhammad Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taleban.

Baitullah is believed to head the pro-Taleban militants in the half of South Waziristan dominated by the Mehsud tribe.

He is generally referred to as ameer (chief) sahib and his influence, it seems, spreads far beyond the Mehsud territory.

The militants return after a while. "Ameer sahib sends his greetings too," they inform us, asking the small media group to follow them.

Baitullah had invited a group of journalists to visit the site in South Waziristan bombed by the Pakistani military last week. The army says the place was an al-Qaeda hideout.

Pakistan's military and the local tribesmen agree that the early morning operation took out eight people and injured several others. But they strongly disagree on who the victims were.

The government says they were foreign terrorists, while the militants say they were innocent local wood-cutters.

"Our ameer wants you to see the truth and judge for yourself," says Zulfiqar Mehsud, the youngish leader of the militants packed in the vehicle.

"We want you to see the injustice Pakistan is doing to us."

'War booty'

In this mountainous region - where the tribes people used to enjoy virtual autonomy - Pakistani security forces fought fierce battles with local militants until a peace deal in September last year.

 
Since the controversial deal, militants seem to have tightened their hold on the region. They say they can now move around freely.
 
 
The paramilitary forces and local police are only to be seen in their posts. There is no visible patrolling on the streets.

We dutifully followed the militants on a road heading south from Mir Ali.

Our vehicle zigzagged over a bumpy road through dry plains and green valleys. I asked and was allowed to switch over to the militants' truck.

They were travelling with two rocket launchers, a heavy machine gun and an AK-47 assault rifle each with no dearth of ammunition. Two bags full of ammunition and hand grenades hung from the back of the front seats.

One of the militants pulled out an American AK-47. "It's war booty. We seized it in Afghanistan," he said proudly.

Looking around, I felt I could have been in an arms depot.

"We've to carry all this stuff around all the time. You know the situation. Anything can happen any time," explained an older-looking militant called Malaka by his colleagues.

Another militant, Khan Sher, sitting next to me had been shot in the leg in Afghanistan. He was operated upon but still had a limp. Not that it seemed to affect his active participation in militant activities.

The atmosphere in the vehicle was a bit stiff and hostile in the beginning but we all relaxed after a brief chat in Pashto.

On the way, they stopped to demonstrate their firing skills. We were also offered the chance to try our hands at a heavy machine gun.

The next stop was for afternoon prayers on the bank of a stream. Everyone had to pray.

Under a heavily overcast sky, the noise of a spy drone broke the silence as the prayers ended. "An American drone," Zulfiqar Mehsud told us.

Back on the road, the militants put on a cassette with nothing but noise and screeches on it. They claimed it helped avoid detection by American spy planes.

The small speaker on the vehicle's roof was deafening and we immediately requested that the cassette be stopped. It was replaced with Pashto chants eulogising jihad and cursing infidels.

'Revenge'

The three-vehicle convoy arrived three hours later at Kot Kalay, a small hamlet of high mud houses perched on a hilltop in South Waziristan. Journalists were taken to the main mosque to see the waiting relatives of the people who had died in the attack.

All of them, in the presence of the militants, described the attack as cruel.

"We don't demand any compensation or anything. They have killed innocent people, we will not spare them. We will take revenge," said an agitated Mir Shah Azam Khan, whose 16-year-old son was among the dead.

After a cup of extremely sweet tea, we headed for the site of the raid. In the barren landscape around, the compounds that the Pakistan army had bombed were the only settlements.

Three of the five houses stood on a hill surrounded by higher mountains on all sides - a scene typical of tribal territory.

Local traders told us that only wood-cutters working in the surrounding forests used to spend nights in these high-walled compounds.

The remains of an unexploded 500-pound missile and other bombs were shown to the media. Body parts of the dead were also on display.

Some reports suggest the raid was conducted on the basis of information that a senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Nasser, and some other foreigners, were present in the village.

He is reported to have been wounded but still managed to escape. No official confirmation was available.



Edited by Afghanan - 24-Jan-2007 at 13:17
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Jan-2007 at 11:22

Pakistan Taleban vow more violence

BBC News / Monday, 29 January 2007

Pro-Taleban militants have been strengthening their hold in Pakistan's tribal areas following controversial peace deals with the authorities. Haroon Rashid of the BBC's Urdu service is one of the few reporters working for a Western media organisation with access to the area.

Local militants took journalists to see the site of an air raid by Pakistan's armed forces in troubled South Waziristan region. Here, our reporter describes his meeting with the militants' leader.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After visiting the site of the bombing, we were done with the basic purpose of the trip. I asked the militants if I could see their leader, Baitullah Mehsud.

"For that, you will have to spend the night here. We will have to track him down. He is extremely busy these days," said one of the militants, Zulfikar Mehsud, who carried a powerful walkie-talkie.

The journey back to the town of Mir Ali from the site of the attack in a hamlet called Kot Kalay was eventless, except for the speed at which Zulfiqar drove the four-by-four. He said driving at 100kph was the norm on these dodgy tracks.

Given the battering the Toyota truck was taking, I asked them how long such trucks last? Eight to nine months only, I was told.

Close to midnight, we approached a check point but the paramilitary soldier removed the road blockade without even throwing a cursory glance at us.

The Taleban, too, looked neither too concerned at the check posts or security forces on the ground, or about the spy planes hovering overhead.

Since the controversial peace accords, they say they are able to move around the area freely.

In Mir Ali, we bade farewell to the rest of the journalists since the interview with Baitullah was for the BBC only.

After spending a night in a room with at least 10 militants, I headed for Baitullah's base somewhere in South Waziristan.

This was to be my second meeting with the militant leader in almost two years. Our first encounter was in February 2005 during the signing ceremony of the peace deal at Sararogha.

But my current meeting was to take place at a time when the deal is under intense pressure.

'Jihad'

Many say Baitullah Mehsud and the supreme leader of the Taleban, Mullah Omar, have several similarities. Both have fought against the Soviet occupation, both are against photographs, both vow jihad and both keep moving from one hideout to another.

As we were preparing to leave to meet Baitullah, a man came to the militants and handed over a small blue plastic bag.

"This is how Allah takes care of our needs. This is money. Half a million Pakistani rupees [more than $8,200]," Zulfiqar said. I asked who gave it to him. "Someone," was his brief answer.

Baitullah's private army along with other militant groups have imposed a strict Islamic code in North and parts of South Waziristan.

They run a parallel government here. Music and videos are banned while militants claim people approach them for settlement of their disputes.

With a black-dyed beard, 34-year-old Baitullah greeted us in a big room with several of his armed men beside him. We sat on a new colourful quilt spread on the ground.

Baitullah seemed a man with only jihad (holy war) on his mind. During the interview he quoted several verses from the Koran to defend his stance that foreign forces must be evicted from Islamic countries.

"Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfil God's orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world," he says.

The militant leader on several occasions in the past had openly admitted crossing over into Afghanistan to fight foreign troops.

"We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jazia (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state)."

Suicide bombers

Baitullah predicted an even bloodier year for foreign forces in Afghanistan.

"The mujahideen will carry out even more severe attacks. If they [the West] have air power we have fidayeen [suicide bombers]... They will leave dishonoured."

The militant leader, who is suffering from a chest infection, denied an American general's claim that a Taleban leader, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was present in the tribal region and was organising attacks across the border. "This is all lies. They don't have any evidence."

The militants say they don't wish to fight Pakistani security forces because it only benefits the Americans.

"[Pakistan army spokesman] Shaukat Sultan holds the key to this issue," a smiling Baitullah said when asked what they would do if Pakistan continued to bomb them.

After an hour-long discussion and a sumptuous tea, we headed back to Peshawar.

Before we left, Baitullah gave us perfume and a book in Urdu on 'Why Jihad is a must'. On our way back, we saw newly built white graves on the roadside.

White Taleban flags fluttered over several of them. "These graves are of martyrs from Afghanistan," Zulfikar said as we said goodbye.



Edited by Afghanan - 29-Jan-2007 at 11:23
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jan-2007 at 14:56

Taliban recruiters look to Pakistan

By RIAZ KHAN; and MATTHEW PENNINGTON

The Associated Press / January 29, 2007

SHABQADAR, Pakistan -- Near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, pride mixes with grief and anger over dozens of young men lost to a stepped-up recruiting drive for the Taliban.

Like the anti-Soviet rebels of the 1980s and the pre-Sept. 11 Taliban, the recruiters of today have turned to this cluster of about 25 ethnic Pashtun villages in search of volunteers.

The father of one dead enlistee says he feels honored, but with many of Shabqadar's young men dead or feared missing on the battlefield, mujahedeen recruiters are no longer welcome here.

A shopkeeper says 100 or more young men have gone missing, including his cousin, a 10th-grade student, who mysteriously left home during the summer vacation and is believed to have gone to fight.

People here are religious, and recruiters play on that sentiment, "recruiting the youth with raw minds," he said.

The shopkeeper, like many others interviewed, requested anonymity for his own safety.

Pressure from residents and the shooting and wounding of a local newspaperman who reported about the "martyrs" of Shabqadar compelled authorities in November to shut a local office of Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen, an outlawed Pakistani militant group. It had circulated jihadist literature and CDs and recruited mostly jobless young men to go to Afghanistan -- like their fathers who fought the Soviet occupation of that country two decades ago.

Taliban upsurge

Following the closure, recruiting has dried up, according to one former recruiter. But Samina Ahmed, an expert with the International Crisis Group think tank, warns that the upsurge in Taliban attacks on NATO forces is boosting the morale of sympathizers in Pakistani border areas and attracting recruits who are susceptible to militant propaganda and believe the Taliban can regain power.

About 4,000 people, mostly militants, have died in insurgency-related violence in Afghanistan over the past year, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press from Afghan, NATO and U.S. officials. Worse violence is expected this spring, and Pakistan, a key U.S. ally, is under international pressure to crack down on militants' sanctuaries here.

While most Taliban fighters are thought to be Pashtuns living in Afghanistan, the flow of volunteers from just one corner of Pakistan's own sprawling Pashtun heartland -- much of it ungoverned and under the sway of pro-Taliban tribesmen -- lends weight to Afghanistan's claim that many militants hail from across the border.

At least three young men from these villages became suicide bombers for Taliban-led insurgents last summer and fall, family and neighbors say in this rural community, about 20 miles from the frontier.

One was a religion student, another a jobless man, but a third, Aminullah, was a paramilitary policeman previously assigned to guard foreign embassies in Islamabad.

A green flag commemorating a "martyr" hangs over the brick house where Aminullah grew up. The pious 22-year-old abruptly gave up his job in the Frontier Constabulary last summer. It was only when a stranger handed his father a suicide note as he left his mosque that the family learned he had gone to fight jihad, or holy war.

"Infidels have invaded the Muslim country of Afghanistan, and it is our religious duty to support our mujahedeen brothers," his father, Janat Khan, recounted the note saying. Written in blue ink in Aminullah's handwriting, it said: "Do not mourn my death. It is my will to my brothers, cousins and other relatives to adopt the holy and best way of jihad."

Militants later told Khan that Aminullah blew himself up in a car-bomb attack on NATO forces in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, in late July.

Khan, 62, a retired junior officer in the paramilitary police, says he has earned the respect of his fellow villagers and would be proud if his other three sons volunteered for jihad.

In Shabqadar, the former recruiter for Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen -- better known for sending Islamic militants to fight against Indian rule in divided Kashmir -- said his group would send jihad veterans to villages to raise money and recruit volunteers for the Afghanistan war.

The recruiter, a 25-year-old with a long beard and long curly black hair, said he once fought for the Taliban under the name Abu Hamza. He said recruits bound for Afghanistan trained about 200 miles southwest of Shabqadar in Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal region where pro-Taliban and al-Qaida militants are active.

He said they were promised a place in paradise if they died for the cause, but the stream of recruits from Shabqadar had dried up since the closure of the Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen office in November and the death of many senior Harkat members in the fighting. Abu Hamza now works in a local grocery.

A local officer, Zafar Khan, confirmed that police had shut down the office -- a two-room, single-story building near the main bazaar -- after residents alerted authorities to its presence. No one had been inside at the time, so no arrests were made, he said.

Still, youngsters interviewed in Shabqadar -- some from Afghan families exiled during the Soviet occupation -- said they were eager to fight.

"I will go for sure"

"The Americans are cruel to Muslims," said Fatullah, 17, a seminary student with a wispy beard and a white prayer cap. "If God gives me the chance, I will go for sure."

Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, a top Pakistani counterterrorism official, acknowledged that some Taliban militants were active on Pakistan's side of the border, but said it would be wrong to assume they were all going to Afghanistan. "Who knows where these people are going to strike?" he said, noting that Pakistan also suffers from suicide bombings.

Yet over the past year there have been increasing reports of funerals in Pakistani border villages of militants killed in fighting in Afghanistan, then repatriated for burial -- another sign of the flow of recruits across the border.

According to Shabqadar residents, dozens of fighters came to offer prayers for Bahar Ali, 25, an unemployed man who had vanished seven months before mounting a suicide bombing in southern Afghanistan in mid-October.

"Most of the people of the village feel honored with the act of Bahar Ali as one of bravery and a service to Islam," said neighbor Arshad Khan. "Others are worried about the future of their young and jobless sons."

via The Seattle Times

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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2007 at 11:53

Musharraf finally admits Paki militants collusion


By Isambard Wilkinson in Islamabad

Last Updated: 8:08am GMT 03/02/2007

Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, admitted yesterday that border guards had turned a "blind eye" towards Taliban militants crossing into Afghanistan to launch attacks on coalition forces.

 
%20Musharraf%20admits%20militants%20collusion
Gen Musharraf: 'a blind eye was being turned'

The admission came after senior American officials publicly urged Pakistan to do more to curb infiltration.

"We had some incidents I know of that in some posts, a blind eye was being turned," Gen Musharraf told a press conference when asked to comment on criticism of Pakistan's co-operation in the US-led war on terror. "So similarly I imagine that others may be doing the same."

The government has been stung by claims that its Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) has aided Taliban militants whose logistical headquarters is widely-believed to be in the south-western Pakistani border province of Balochistan.

A senior US general in Afghanistan, Maj Gen Benjamin Freakley, angered Pakistani officials last month when he claimed that a notorious pro-Taliban warlord, Jalalludin Haqqani, was based in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Pakistan has come under additional pressure to prove its worth in the war on terror since a bill was passed by the American lower house of representatives last week that calls for an end to US military aid to Pakistan if it fails to stop the Taliban operating from its territory.

Gen Musharraf also disclosed that Pakistani forces had on three occasions located and tried to kill a senior Taliban leader who is in charge of militants fighting against British soldiers in southern Afghanistan.

It was the first time that Pakistan has acknowledged that the one-legged Mullah Dadullah was on its territory.

Gen Musharraf said that Pakistan would fence 22 miles of its disputed 1,300-mile border with Afghanistan but had deferred a plan to lay mines.

Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/03/wafg203.xml

 
 


Edited by Afghanan - 03-Feb-2007 at 11:54
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2007 at 11:58

A political curtain-raiser for the Taliban

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times Online
February 3, 2007

KARACHI - The Olsi Jirga, the Afghan lower house of parliament, has granted immunity to all Afghans involved in the country's 25 years of conflict, despite calls by human-rights groups for war-crimes trials.

The decision will cover fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar and former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who now heads his own militant group. The decision is just another dent in the US-led "war on terror" campaign at a time when the Taliban-led spring uprising is imminent and the Taliban show no desire to initiate dialogue for peace.

As the temperature has risen in Kabul to 1 degree Celsius - from minus-13 only two weeks ago - reconciliatory efforts on the part of Kabul have gained momentum.

The purpose of the initiative is to split opinion within the Taliban-led resistance, which has increasingly drawn in warlords across the country. From the tone of President Hamid Karzai's statements, though, it is clear that he does not intend to go as far as power-sharing; he talks of dialogue with "an enemy who is after our annihilation and is shedding our blood".

The amnesty decision, nevertheless, is significant. The overwhelming majority in the Olsi Jirga is former mujahideen, including Speaker Younus Qanooni and Professor Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf. The single largest group is Hekmatyar's Hezb-e-Islami, besides a sizable presence of former Taliban, including diehards such as Mullah Abdul Salam Rocketi, whose "defection" from the Taliban was made under considerable duress.

In early 2006, politicians in Kabul would have learned of the jump in support for the Taliban and their planned spring offensive for that year, which many believed would be successful. As a result, politicians drew up a political blueprint premised on the Taliban capturing Kabul and other key cities. In effect, they were acting as the Taliban's political wing. The latest act of granting immunity can be viewed as a continuation of this, and it sends a very strong message to all segments of Afghan society.

Spring sprung

The Taliban's plan for a mass uprising has now become an issue of honor, and this year it is many times better prepared than last year.

It is estimated that last year

the Taliban were able to draw from a pool of about 40,000 foot soldiers, many of them secure in the Pakistani tribal areas of North Waziristan and South Waziristan.
 
This year, the number of fighters has risen by many thousand, many of whom have already been launched from Pakistan
 
into the Gramsir district of Helmand province across the border.

Thousands of others are ready to go from Pakistan's Bajaur agency into Kunar,  

Nooristan and then up the northeastern valley of Tagab to besiege Kabul.

In addition, there is a strong presence of Taliban in the Afghan provinces of Paktia, Paktika, Khost and Ghazni - possibly as many as 100,000. The Taliban have also regrouped in the western provinces of Faryab, Herat, Ghor and Baghdais, where they have sizable forces.

Within the next few weeks, Mullah Omar is expected to make major decisions on the appointment of new commanders and also make changes in command structures.

The roadmap for 2006, which centered on the fall of Kandahar and mobilization of Taliban forces to Kabul, is also likely to be altered, possibly allowing for an assault on an eastern city. This happened in 1991 when Khost was the first city to fall to the Taliban, followed by Jalalabad and finally Kabul in 1996.

Nonetheless, whether the Taliban move first on the east or the southwest, Kabul is clearly reading the signs, and preparing for the possibility of the Taliban entering Kabul.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief.

Source:  Asia Times
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2007 at 13:59
Who exactly is blowing up things in Pakistan then? Is it the ISI that is turning in on itself? Why are all these media agents and military parrots completely silent on KHAD operations in Pakistan...why are they only barking about "suspected" hideouts in pakistan and collusion of minor border guards who could very well be getting bribed by people on the Afghan side. This is such one sided crap from Asia Times. Its a hindutva news source no wonder.

And first you say these tribal invasions are from "pakistan" and then you have a paragraph that says they are from Waziristan. Well Waziristan is an independent Emirate inside pakistan is it not? And was the Paki Army themselves not fighting militants in Waziristan---so you are blaming the very people who fought, killed and got killed by Waziristan based militants?
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2007 at 00:01

I doubt the ISI would turn on itself.  I think the recent suicide bombings and car bombings are a result of Pakistan's recent action in the border areas.  Last time I checked, the Pakistanis were still researching what the motive was in the last suicide attack at the hotel.

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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2007 at 00:48
Well doh that means its people coming from Afghanistan and blowing things up in Pakistan like they have been doing since the 80s. You think they got the divine right to do that or something? And the ISI and paki army should just sit by and do nothing about it except watch that puppetzai do his barking?
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2007 at 11:35

So are you trying to justify the Taliban/Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan because some extremist Pakistanis or Al Qaeda terrorist have terrorized your country now? 

Pakistan is pretty much the hub, the command and logistics center for terrorism around the world, the problem is in't in Afghanistan only, it's in Pakistan.  In those extremist fundamentalist parties that openly support the Taliban, that call them martyrs for killing thousands of innocent people in a different country.  But when those same bearded rats attack Pakistan, all of a sudden, it's a conspiracy.
 
C'mon Maqsad, don't joke around now.  :)


Edited by Afghanan - 05-Feb-2007 at 11:39
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Feb-2007 at 13:17
No I am justifying the paki ISI and the paki Army engaging people who are attacking targets within pakistan and also attacking paki interests abroad. And KHAD has been terrorizing pakis since the 1980s but instead of whining about it pakis just took them on and ended up neutralizing KHAD and KGB even though it cost the lives of many generals and a president.

I used to feel sorry for people like Bugti who get killed but now I am thinking what do idiots like that hope to accomplish, I mean the guy armed himself to the teeth and thought he would become the new puppet ruler of seceded Balochistan. He asked for war. Did he expect the ISI to recruit some boy scouts with chloroform and fire extinguishers to hose him, snuff him and package him up for house arrest?

And what do you mean Pakistan is the world hub of terrorism. Pakistan has nothing to do with any country when it comes to disputes except its two neighbors who have sworn to wipe it off the face of the earth. There is plenty of RAW and KHAD action going on in Pakistan, don't claim its not because everyone knows both Bharat and Afghanistan dream about cutting up pakistan. Its a 60 year dream for both of you and you are both probably bitter that  pakis made your dreams into  a nightmare.
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