Print Page | Close Window

Pakistan - Taliban Hub

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: AE Geopolitical Institute
Forum Discription: Implications of Strategic Policies.
URL: http://www.allempires.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=16641
Printed Date: 01-Dec-2021 at 17:26
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Pakistan - Taliban Hub
Posted By: Afghanan
Subject: Pakistan - Taliban Hub
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 01:05
Pakistani city serves as a refuge for the Taliban

Quetta is a resting spot, recruiting ground and meeting point for the militia, officials say.

By Laura King
The Los Angeles Times
December 21, 2006

QUETTA, PAKISTAN — At a time when the Taliban is making its strongest push in years to regain influence and territory across the border in Afghanistan, this mountain-ringed provincial capital has become an increasingly brazen hub of activity by the Islamist militia.

Quetta serves as a place of rest and refuge for Taliban fighters between battles, a funneling point for cash and armaments, a fertile recruiting ground and a sometime meeting point for the group's fugitive leaders, say aid workers, local officials, diplomats and others.

"Everybody is here," said Mahmood Khan Achakzai, a Quetta-based member of Pakistan's National Assembly, describing the routine comings and goings of senior Taliban commanders in Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

The apparent ease of Taliban movement in and out of Quetta comes against a backdrop of increasingly bitter squabbling by authorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan over who bears responsibility for the militia's use of tribal areas on the Pakistani side of the border as a staging ground for attacks that have killed at least 180 North Atlantic Treaty Organization and allied troops this year.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai this month blamed Pakistan for orchestrating Taliban activity. Pakistan, a key ally in President Bush's "war on terror," in turn accused Karzai of seeking a scapegoat for his own failures of governance.

Nerve-racking encounters

Quetta is a microcosm for these tensions. Local Pakistani authorities insist that they keep a tight lid on Taliban activity — a claim derided by many residents of this city of about 1.5 million people, and one backed by little demonstrable evidence.

Residents described nerve-racking random encounters with Taliban convoys bristling with weaponry and hearing volleys of automatic-weapons fire echoing from within some walled-off madrasas. Taliban recruitment videos sell briskly in stalls tucked between the gun emporiums and carpet shops of Quetta's raucous main market.

"For the Taliban, this is considered to be a safe haven," said Syed Ali Shah, a journalist who writes for the Baluchistan Times. "They come here, they regroup and retrain."

At a local madrasa, or Islamic seminary, black-turbaned young men gathered around a makeshift fountain on a recent day, performing their ablutions before noon prayers. One, then two, then half a dozen of them aimed steely glares at outsiders lingering near the rusty green gate of the mud-brick compound.

The madrasa is one of dozens in and around Quetta at which Taliban ideology is openly preached. From these schools, willing foot soldiers emerge by the hundreds to join the fight against Western forces in Afghanistan.

Secretive society

The Taliban presence in Quetta is helped by the insular and secretive nature of Pashtun tribal society, the virtually unsecured border with Afghanistan and the city's large population of Afghan refugees, with whom the militia's members can readily blend.

The city also has close historic, ethnic and cultural ties to the Taliban's birthplace, the Afghan city of Kandahar, a bone-jarring five hours away by road. Many Pashtun clans have roots on both sides of the border.

Afghan provinces close to Baluchistan have been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting this year between Taliban and Western and allied forces. The bulk of more than 115 suicide attacks against coalition troops has taken place in and near Kandahar, which was the seat of Taliban power when the movement ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.

Today in Quetta, it's almost as if the Taliban never went away.

Some Taliban-affiliated madrasas operate almost in the shadow of police and military installations. On the main road that runs from the border town of Chaman to Quetta, there is only one police checkpoint. On a recent day, two police officers sat in a lean-to, drinking tea and barely glancing up at passing cars.

Pakistani police in Quetta say they have rounded up hundreds of suspected Taliban militants in the last year, and report frequent raids on madrasas suspected of militant ties.

"All the time we are harassing them," said Salman Syed Mohammed, Quetta's deputy police inspector-general.

But one Western aid official, speaking on condition of anonymity, described such roundups as a "catch-and-release" program, with most of the detainees seen on the streets again within a matter of days.

Mingling with refugees

Militants who are deported to Afghanistan can make their way back to Pakistan at will, either traveling by motorbike on unmarked border trails or joining the crush of up to 6,000 people, mainly Afghans, who cross the border daily at Chaman.

By mingling with refugees, wounded fighters are able to seek treatment in several Quetta hospitals, which on the whole are better equipped than those on the Afghan side of the frontier. The International Committee of the Red Cross helps arrange medical care in Quetta for injured civilians, and says that inevitably some fighters slip in among them.

"According to international law, once a wounded combatant has put down his weapon, it becomes a humanitarian case," said Paul Fruh, who heads the Red Cross office in Quetta.

Although most local people are afraid to talk about sightings of senior Taliban figures, commanders are said to have unimpeded access to the city, even highly recognizable ones.

"Dadullah roams these streets, and they know it," said Achakzai, the lawmaker, referring to Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged Taliban commander with a reputation for egregious brutality.

Westerners monitored

Pakistan's security branches demonstrate far more efficiency in keeping track of Western outsiders, including foreign journalists, whose movements in and around Quetta are closely monitored.

New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall was questioned this week by Pakistani security agents who forced their way into her Quetta hotel room and at one point struck her in the face, she said. Gall's notes and laptop were seized but later returned. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said it was looking into the incident.

For the families of young fighters from Quetta and its environs, the subject of their decision to take up arms for the Taliban is taboo. A local leader said the tiny hamlet of Charqol, about a dozen miles northwest of Quetta, had produced half a dozen suicide bombers this year alone. None of their relatives would talk.

The climate of fear extends to foreign humanitarian agencies, whose workers are required to have armed escorts whenever they venture outside Quetta. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees office in Quetta was briefly shut down this year in response to a Taliban threat.

"I'm afraid, not as an aid worker but as a citizen, as someone living here," said Duniya Khan of the refugee agency. "Everyone in this city feels insecure."
    

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak



Replies:
Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 01:07
Ok once again why did the US invade afghanistan? If it was to destroy the taliban that is not true, cuz they are letting them live and letting them get stronger also. Osama was probably dead at least since 2002. What is the US trying to do there exactly?


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 01:10
This war will end in Pakistan, not US.

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 01:11
Dream on buddy, dream on.


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


Posted By: Omar al Hashim
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 02:18
Taliban := A pushtun with a big beard who doesn't like the Major of Kabul or his keepers.

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


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 05:31
Good quote from the article..Least the Red Cross is also in there to monitor the situation.
 
 
Militants who are deported to Afghanistan can make their way back to Pakistan at will, either traveling by motorbike on unmarked border trails or joining the crush of up to 6,000 people, mainly Afghans, who cross the border daily at Chaman.

By mingling with refugees, wounded fighters are able to seek treatment in several Quetta hospitals, which on the whole are better equipped than those on the Afghan side of the frontier. The International Committee of the Red Cross helps arrange medical care in Quetta for injured civilians, and says that inevitably some fighters slip in among them.

"According to international law, once a wounded combatant has put down his weapon, it becomes a humanitarian case," said Paul Fruh, who heads the Red Cross office in Quetta.
 
Solution..mine the border (which Karzai rejected), send back all the Afghan refugees (which Karzai rejected), prevent border crossings into Pakistan (which Karzai/Pakistan cannot do). Pakistani authority patience with Karzai is wearing thin I think, because they're identifying millions of Afghani refugees, I suspect who are going to be deported. Then there'd probably be a mining of parts of the border (which noone wants, but it seems to be the only solution).


-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 09:59
I say we should mine the border. And be done with it.
Karzai can go to hell. Wait he's already there. Since when the Yanks leave he will be outside the Pakistani Embassy begging to be taken back to his house in Islamabad, he need to watch what comes out of that incredibly foul mouth of his.
 


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


Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006 at 13:32
Originally posted by Afghanan

This war will end in Pakistan, not US.
 
That may well be the case, i don't think that such an outlandish prospect. Unless.., Pakistan can make its usefulness felt, for furthering strategic cooperation.


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


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 09:47
^Highly unlikely IMO. Al Qaeda started off in Afghanistan and festered there, until the 2001 invasion, when they (foreigners + easily recognizable) were pushed into FATA regions of Pakistan (read here IMU, Middle Eastern fighters). The foreigners have been pushed out from the FATA regions, and they're in different countries now presumably or locked up, the Taliban sympathizers are more difficult to spot, but their goals are local, reclaiming Afghanistan. From a strategic point of view, it is in the interests of Al Qaeda (and nationalists of Afghanistan who share the same goal of unification) to call up an American attack on Pakistan so that a civil war and a power vacuum occurs eventually making their power grab easier. The local war against the Taliban can only be partially won by hearts and minds I think, and it's not really going in that direction, partly because it's clear Karzai is having his strings pulled and the South is being ignored generally. Something of a more representative government would be needed and then peace and security needs to be established, not warlord fiefdoms. Gwadar is something that is more important to the big powers, but this brings in China..

-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 12:46
I understand your view and share it, but the impatience of the politicians in the whitehouse can be seen in the comments of various NATO generals. Where time and again what is required of the Pakistanis is to deny the taliban operatives room for recovery on the Pakistani side having failed to do anything on their side. Which is near impossible to do.
 
There are IMO two possibilities:NATO crosses the border with or without Pakistani consent to make short swift strikes in the tribal region. Pakistanis repeat the Waziri episode and the tribal region is further galvanized in opposition to both the Pak military and NATO. Either way the Pakistanis lose out.
 
What i am agreeing with is that the war could firmly end up in Pakistan, not that it will end in Pakistan. The empire is in a belligerent mood and the intentions of some quarters can not be totally overlooked.


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


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 13:07

^Border crossings are easily preventable by mining the border routes that are difficult to man. I think this is an option for Pakistan still to do, and in the worst eventuality it will do it with or without consent of Karzai.

I dont think the Whitehouse does share the view you expressed about the Pakistani side failing to do anything. The Whitehouse is well aware of steps taken by GOP to curb border crossings and arrest militants and has said so on many occasions. NATO Generals support the Waziristan accords, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20578507-2703,00.html - link here . Like you say, it's impossible to completely stop this infiltration because of the terrain, and it's an impossible task for really anyone to stop border crossings like the Red Cross even admit. Eventually there could be a small presence of Special Forces in West Pakistan, but this would be only to see the ground realities that if there's any safe havens action is taken. This would be the maximum extent of any intervention by America that I can see. Toppling Musharraf would not serve any cause for the West, or for Pakistan but would serve the interests of the current government of Afghanistan and Al Qaeda as well. The Waziri deals will take time to emerge as reality, but these areas of FATA are basically independent of Pakistan anyway..if NATO disarms them, so be it.


-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 13:16
It seems the Taliban are running a-bloody-mock in Pakistan. I think the truth is that Pakistan simply cannot control them, rather than colluding with them. I have seen some pretty nasty taliban footage from the aftermath of clashes with Pakistani forces. No doubt though, given the past connections there will be Taliban sympethisers in key Pakistani security branches.

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


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 13:36
^Generally it's blown out of proportion (like the Bruce Loudon link I quoted). Quetta is in Pakistan Army control and always has been. FATA is a very small region of Pakistan not under Pakistani control, and the "Taliban" of this region are actually locals that have taken the name. Part of the problem is identifying non local "real" Taliban. This is only in FATA, the coalition trouble though mainly resides in Afghanistan with established warlords/druglords who want a piece of Afghanistan.

-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 14:03
Tele
 
The policy of engagement is different in the tribal region which the report inaccurately describes as Taliban, a gross generalization IMO(refer to Omar's description). A completely different policy of engagement exists in Helmand as well as Kandahar.
 
I see NATO's disarmament of the FATA region as a long term provocation, that will give easy access to the Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis who may interpret it differently, and may join the foray, widening the theater of war and having long term consequences for the stability of Pakistan itself. It will also adversely effect China's ambition to reduce any strategic threat to its energy shipments via Gwadar. If Pakistan does the disarming then it will lose political support at the centre and will lose morale amongst it forces. Even if every Pakistani agreed with the disarmament the sight of Pakistani infighting will not garner the same support.


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


Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 14:12
The area of Afganistan is huge and full with mountains.Nobody,not even the Afganis,can actuallly control the entire country.The USA started a cheap war in Afganistan,meaning few troops for a quick victory.The US forces currently stationed there,are simply too few to control this massive area.

-------------
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: malizai_
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 14:31
Originally posted by Spartakus

The area of Afganistan is huge and full with mountains.Nobody,not even the Afganis,can actuallly control the entire country.
 
An excellent observation Spartakus.Clap Thet can only assert a degree of control.


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


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 14:38
Originally posted by malizai_

Tele
 
The policy of engagement is different in the tribal region which the report inaccurately describes as Taliban, a gross generalization IMO(refer to Omar's description). A completely different policy of engagement exists in Helmand as well as Kandahar.
 
I see NATO's disarmament of the FATA region as a long term provocation, that will give easy access to the Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis who may interpret it differently, and may join the foray, widening the theater of war and having long term consequences for the stability of Pakistan itself. It will also adversely effect China's ambition to reduce any strategic threat to its energy shipments via Gwadar. If Pakistan does the disarming then it will lose political support at the centre and will lose morale amongst it forces. Even if every Pakistani agreed with the disarmament the sight of Pakistani infighting will not garner the same support.
 
Probably. Pakistan shouldnt do any disarming imo. It's not really Pakistan's fight. The tribals have their own way, and it's been that way for centuries, no point in upsetting this from the Pakistani side. NATO doing it would cause provocation of course, and it could cause a wider war as you say. Not sure where China lies in all this though.


-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: Spartakus
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 14:52
Originally posted by malizai_

 
An excellent observation Spartakus.Clap Thet can only assert a degree of control.


If the Chinese send 1.000.000 troops,then we can say about control of some large part of the country.I still pull my hair off my head by the stupidity of American military leadership.They went in the middle of nowhere(sry for the expression) to fight some men with AK-47s and full of beards,which can enter the country whenver they want and from whatever small sh*tty path they want .You cannot control Afganistan,if you do not have Iran and Pakistan in your side.You cannot control Afganistan,if you do not solve the Palestinian issue.You cannot control Afganistan if your image to the Muslim world is that of Satan and not that of Jesus.Why alll these?Because,simply,it is a chain,a chain that starts from Turkey goes through the Middle East and reaches Central Asia.It's the Chain of the Muslim World.If you take a small piece of this chain to fix it,another piece will soon broke.And then another.


-------------
"There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. "
--- Joseph Alexandrovitch Brodsky, 1991, Russian-American poet, b. St. Petersburg and exiled 1972 (1940-1996)


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 23-Dec-2006 at 15:11
Originally posted by Spartakus

The area of Afganistan is huge and full with mountains.


This doesn't hold any water when we discuss cities and large population centres which must surely be under the control of any capable central government..
    

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


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 24-Dec-2006 at 03:00
Cities are usually alwasy under control reletivly speaking. And they are mostly under US control at least Kabul is (the only place the US has shown interest in).I think before making such statements you should go to the areas concerned. It is very difficult terrain, about the worst ground in the world. Damn near impossible to operate under (and more so for US troops who have been trained to fight in rolling field of Europe or the desert).
 
And these mountaisn are higher than any in Europe or outside of the Himalyas. US troops who came to Pakistan to train suffered something like 80 % sickbay in a week. It took almost a year to train the fully.
 
As for incursions that is all talk. NATO is a political entity. Not a militray one. They may talk about incursions, but any actual attempt to go into that terrain will lead to disaster for them. Not enough troops, not to mentions not enough mountain troops at all. The South of Afganistan is flat lands (at least where the fighting is occuring) the pakistan side is rugged mountain.


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


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2006 at 10:53
Letter by Carlotta Gall

By Carlotta Gall
Dec.22, 2006
Islamabad, Pakistan

I am a British reporter working for the New York Times in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I would like to alert you to an incident in which my Pakistani photographer was detained, I was assaulted, and our belongings including computers, notebooks and mobile phones seized by four men who said they were from the Special Branch in Quetta, Pakistan on the night of Dec.19.

On Dec.19, 2006 I was in Quetta, Pakistan working with a photographer, Akhtar Soomro, a Pakistani national from Karachi. We had been in the city since Dec. 14.

Men in plain clothes, who said they were from the special branch of Pakistan’s police, but may have been from the Inter Services Intelligence or Military Intelligence, knocked on my hotel room door (Serena Hotel, Quetta) in the early evening and asked to come in and talk to me. I declined, saying that I was busy working and put a Do Not Disturb sign on the outside of the door.

Mr Soomro was then detained around 8pm from his hotel (Hotel Japan), his computer and cameras seized, and he was made to call me asking me to come down to the Serena hotel car park to talk to the men detaining him, saying he was in trouble. I again declined and called my foreign desk and the Minister of Information in Islamabad, Muhammad Ali Durrani.

At 9.43 pm I was speaking on the telephone when men broke open the door of my room and four men entered the room and began to seize my belongings. One snatched my handbag and when I tried to take it back, a second man punched me twice in the side of the face and head with his fist. I fell backwards onto a coffee table smashing the crockery. I have heavy bruising on my arms, on my temple and my cheekbone and swelling on my left eye and a sprained knee.

The men searched my belongings, took my three notebooks, my laptop, my satellite telephone, two cell phones (although they gave one back when it rang) and several other papers and items.

They were extremely aggressive and abusive. The leader, who spoke English, refused to show any ID, said I was in Quetta without permission, that I had visited Pashtunabad, a part of the town, which he said was not permitted, and that I had been interviewing the Taliban.

I explained that I had a one year, multi-entry visa with no restrictions, and was permitted to work anywhere in Pakistan, including Quetta. The only place we know is not permitted to visit without special permission is the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, FATA.

Mr Tariq Azeem Khan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, who helped release our belongings and Mr Soomro, said I should have informed the External Publicity Wing of the Information Ministry of my intention to visit Quetta to avoid such difficulties. I have never been told before that this was a necessity.

Mr Soomro was with the men when they raided my room and when I asked that he stay with me, the plainclothes man said: “He is Pakistani, we can do whatever we want with him.” They took him away, driving off in a white jeep, number plate QAA – 211.

Mr Tariq Azeem Khan apologized for the rough treatment I received and promised my belongings would be returned that same night. My things were returned around midnight and Mr Soomro was released at 1.30 am.


Thank you for your kind attention,

Carlotta Gall
The New York Times
Afghanistan and Pakistan

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2006 at 13:00
Afghanistan arrests Pakistani `suicide bomb supplier`


zeenews.com

Khost (Afghanistan), Dec 26: Afghan authorities on Tuesday said that they had arrested a Pakistani national who had allegedly been providing suicide bombers to the Taliban in eastern Paktika province.

The man, whose name was not revealed, was "in charge of recruiting suicide bombers and equipping them," provincial governor, Mohammad Akram Khpolwak said.

He was arrested from Bermal district in the bordering Paktika province yesterday, the governor said.

He gave no further details saying that the case was under investigation.

Afghan government officials frequently blame Pakistan for a surge in Taliban-led violence including the increase in suicide bombings in Afghanistan.

Pakistan firmly denies helping the Taliban and points to the fact that it has 80,000 troops along the border with Afghanistan, hundreds of whom have died fighting pro-Taliban militants.

The Governor also said that police raided a suspected Taliban compound in the same district and seized a bomb-fitted motorbike. However the owner of the motorcycle fled before the raid, he added.

Some 4,000 people, including 1,000 civilians, have died this year in insurgent violence that has made 2006 Afghanistan's bloodiest year since the fall of the Taliban five years ago.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2006 at 13:05
Incredible Line on Afghanistan

Rasul Bakhsh Rais

Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan is strategically too important for stability and peace within Pakistan and in the region to be left to the private groups or be subject to any ambiguity or ambivalence on Pakistan’s part

The world around Pakistan and beyond has changed during the past five years, and the pace of change is likely to quicken further in the coming years. What has changed is too obvious even to an ordinary observer. But let’s recap.

Afghanistan continues to remain troubled and uncertainty about its future hangs thick. This will have serious security repercussions for Pakistan. Under the American guns and thunder, Iraq is now a failed state and on the verge of disintegration along ethnic and sectarian lines. What should concern Pakistan and other Muslims states is the destructive sectarian civil war that has sucked in Iran and is likely to draw Arab states into this conflict. The issue of Islam, ethnicity and the contest over political power in the emerging Central Asian states will also have vibrations in all directions.

Located at the crossroads of ethnic and religious polarisations, Pakistan is caught in deadly crossfire. One the one side are the United States-led western countries trying to win two wars and shaping the security of these regions according to their vision of peace and stability. On the other hand are theocratic Iran and Islamists with a different agenda of political change and national security. It may not necessarily be the infamous clash of cultures, but a bipolar worldview on what is good for the Muslims societies and who has the right and responsibility to define that good has definitely emerged.

This is not a simple question; it involves larger issues of state sovereignty, regional autonomy and self-determination of peoples, communities and nations. The Southwest region and Afghanistan have reached a new boiling point and it is unclear if our policymakers have the vision, depth and the sense of history to grasp the political and security trends and realise the dangers ahead.

Instead of relying on the robustness of institutions and the depth of collective thinking on national security issues, we lack clarity, remain ambivalent and rely heavily on ‘great men’ to give us direction. It should be obvious that relations with Afghanistan constitute the most important regional relationship for Pakistan in terms of the latter’s security. Consider the elements that impinge on Pakistan’s national security: common ethnicity, porous borders, migration, refugees and movement of non-state actors, to list a few and it should be clear that the insecurity and instability of Afghanistan will have great impact on our own stability and security.

Pakistan’s declared policy of non-intervention and support to international coalition of forces for stabilising Afghanistan lacks credibility. With every incident of violence, the Afghan government, foreign media, and most importantly the United States point fingers at Pakistan. Islamabad’s response to these accusations has not changed a bit. The foreign office spokesperson reads the same line again and again: Afghanistan and international coalition of forces have failed in their efforts to secure and stabilise the country, and they use Pakistan as a scapegoat for their own weaknesses.

True, international forces in Afghanistan have many failures and weaknesses to account for, and the pace of economic and political reconstruction has been slow. Rebuilding a state and its institutions, reintegrating diverse ethnic communities into a single nation-state and rebuilding infrastructure are ambitious objectives that cannot be realised in the face of growing insurgency in some of the Pashtun regions bordering Pakistan.

Yet, Pakistan’s famous line on Afghanistan is neither trusted by our allies in the war on terror nor given any respect by the leaders of Afghanistan. In the vastly changed circumstances of the regional setting Pakistan cannot afford to entirely dismiss as rubbish, as unfortunately Islamabad has tended to do, whatever the leaders of Afghanistan and the world say about its polices. In fact the line on Afghanistan has become a joke in the academic as well as policy circles around the world. The credibility gap has widened over the past couple of years. Most important in this regard is Pakistan’s assertion that insurgents in Afghanistan will not be allowed access to Pakistani territory and resources in terms of shelter, sanctuaries and any other material support.

It is time to change our line on Afghanistan, in fact Pakistan should have done it a long time back: Afghanistan belongs to the Afghans; Pakistan will remain neutral in the current and future power struggles, and will not allow ethnic and religious groups from east of the Durand Line to give support in men and material to likeminded groups across the border. Obviously, Pakistan would not accept a similar policy from Afghanistan.

One important sign of the fragility of a state is that private groups encroach upon its sovereign territory by pursuing private foreign and security policies. Afghanistan’s ethnic groups and Pakistan’s religious parties have been running parallel polices with or without any meeting point with the sate. This is also a legacy of the war of resistance in Afghanistan. But today’s world is different, and the decoupling of the private groups and the public national security establishments in both the countries is a must.

This is an area where states’ institutional and political capacity needs to expand, and their writ extended to the border regions and other areas outside of such control. This is not happening at all; at least the result of this kind of capacity are not visible on either side of the Durand Line. A recent statement by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the opposition in the national assembly, that he directs his followers to support Taliban fighters in Afghanistan by providing “humanitarian aid”, and that “we support anyone who is struggling for the implementation of an Islamic government” will confirm the doubts of Pakistan’s security partners. It is equally true that some of the Afghan leaders have been found involved in sabotage activities in Balochistan apparently to avenge our failure to control the flow of aid to the Taliban.

Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan is strategically too important for stability and peace within Pakistan and in the region to be left to the private groups or be subject to any ambiguity or ambivalence on Pakistan’s part. Islamabad must listen to the world and its Afghan friends carefully about what they say about Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, real or imagined. A free, united, stable and sovereign Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s national interest. Its troubles have been, and will be Pakistan’s troubles. Pakistan should shed its doubts on this score and proactively remove the doubts of the partners regarding its will, intentions and actions.

The author is a professor of Political Science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He can be reached at rasul@lums.edu.pk

Source: Daily Times, Pakistan
    
    
    

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 26-Dec-2006 at 13:10
NATO Accuses Pakistan and the ISI of Supplying the Taliban]

Commanders from five Nato countries whose troops have just fought the bloodiest battle with the Taliban in five years, are demanding their governments get tough with Pakistan over the support and sanctuary its security services provide to the Taliban.

Nato's report on Operation Medusa, an intense battle that lasted from September 4-17 in the Panjwai district, demonstrates the extent of the Taliban's military capability and states clearly that Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence (ISI) is involved in supplying it.


Commanders from Britain, the US, Denmark, Canada and Holland are frustrated that even after Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf met George W Bush and Tony Blair last week, Western leaders are declining to call Mr Musharraf's bluff.

"It is time for an 'either you are with us or against us' delivered bluntly to Musharraf at the highest political level," said one Nato commander.

After the September 11 attacks in 2001 America gave Mr Musharraf a similar ultimatum to co-operate against the Taliban, who were then harbouring Osama bin Laden.

"Our boys in southern Afghanistan are hurting because of what is coming out of Quetta," he added.

The Taliban use the southern province of Balochistan to co-ordinate their insurgency and to recuperate after military action.

The cushion Pakistan is providing the Taliban is undermining the operation in Afghanistan, where 31,000 Nato troops are now based. The Canadians were most involved in Operation Medusa, two weeks of heavy fighting in a lush vineyard region, defeating 1,500 well entrenched Taliban, who had planned to attack Kandahar city, the capital of the south.

Nato officials now say they killed 1,100 Taliban fighters, not the 500 originally claimed. Hundreds of Taliban reinforcements in pick-up trucks who crossed over from Quetta – waved on by Pakistani border guards – were destroyed by Nato air and artillery strikes.

Nato captured 160 Taliban, many of them Pakistanis who described in detail the ISI's support to the Taliban.

Nato is now mapping the entire Taliban support structure in Balochistan, from ISI- run training camps near Quetta to huge ammunition dumps, arrival points for Taliban's new weapons and meeting places of the shura, or leadership council, in Quetta, which is headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar, the group's leader since its creation a dozen years ago.

Nato and Afghan officers say two training camps for the Taliban are located just outside Quetta, while the group is using hundreds of madrassas where the fighters are housed and fired up ideologically before being sent to the front.

Many madrassas now being listed are run by the Jamiat-e-Ullema Islam, a political party that governs Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province. The party helped spawn the Taliban in 1994.

"Taliban decision-making and its logistics are all inside Pakistan," said the Afghan defense minister, General Rahim Wardak.

A post-battle intelligence report compiled by Nato and Afghan forces involved in Operation Medusa demonstrates the logistical capability of the Taliban.

During the battle the Taliban fired an estimated 400,000 rounds of ammunition, 2,000 rocket-propelled grenades and 1,000 mortar shells, which slowly arrived in Panjwai from Quetta over the spring months. Ammunition dumps unearthed after the battle showed that the Taliban had stocked over one million rounds in Panjwai.

In Panjwai the Taliban had also established a training camp to teach guerrillas how to penetrate Kandahar, a separate camp to train suicide bombers and a full surgical field hospital. Nato estimated the cost of Taliban ammunition stocks at around £2.6 million. "The Taliban could not have done this on their own without the ISI," said a senior Nato officer.

Gen Musharraf this week admitted that "retired" ISI officers might be involved in aiding the Taliban, the closest he has come to admitting the agency's role.

Source: Ahmad Rashid - Telegraph News

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/06/wafghan06.xml

    
    

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 14:04

Pakistani Taliban commended by Pakistan and the Taliban

M Ilyas Khan
BBC News, Karachi
Friday, 12 January 2007

More than 170 Taleban fighters from Pakistan's South Waziristan district have been killed in Afghanistan since 2005, BBC News has learned.

Families of the dead fighters were recently awarded certificates of commendation by the Taleban.

The Pakistani army has signed deals with pro-Taleban leaders in this area aimed at stopping cross-border raids.

But critics say the deals have given the Taleban safe havens from which to launch attacks.

The ceremony of commendation was held on 28 December in the village of Spinki Raghzai, eyewitnesses said.

It was presided over by Baitullah Mahsud, a pro-Taleban commander who signed one of the peace deals with the Pakistani army.

The witnesses said the families of 175 militants killed in Afghanistan since February 2005 were handed certificates by Mr Mahsud.

Of these, 50 militants belonged to his own Mahsud tribe while the rest were Ahmedzai Wazir tribesmen from the Wana region of the district.

Official sanction?

Some members of Pakistan's parliament, who hail from South Waziristan, also attended the ceremony.

Maulana Abdul Malik, national assembly member from the Wana area, and Senator Maulvi Saleh Shah Qureshi confirmed to the BBC that they attended the ceremony.

However, they said that they were only guests and had no role in organising the event.

The Pakistan army lost hundreds of troops in battles with pro-Taleban militants in South Waziristan before signing peace deals with the militant leaders.

Since then, the local administration and the army have claimed that militancy has decreased and peace has returned to the region.

Many analysts, however, disagree and believe that the accords have given a free rein to the Taleban.

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6255345.stm - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6255345.stm
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 14:43
So tell me buddy?
Is the aim of AE to
 
1) Take potshots at Pakistan
2) Or perchance have a civilised discussion on history?
 


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


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 14:56
Originally posted by Sparten

So tell me buddy?
Is the aim of AE to
 
1) Take potshots at Pakistan
2) Or perchance have a civilised discussion on history?
 
 
You get used to the same old spam after a bit Smile


-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 15:42
Originally posted by Sparten

So tell me buddy?
Is the aim of AE to
 
1) Take potshots at Pakistan
2) Or perchance have a civilised discussion on history?
 
 
It seems just as Pakistan has a hard time admitting that the Taliban exist in Pakistan; that Pakistan is harboring terrorists; the Pakistani-Taliban ceasefire is a joke, and  that the Taliban are using Pakistan as a base of operations, so do Pakistanis on this forum.
 
 
 
 
 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 15:50
Originally posted by Sparten

So tell me buddy?
Is the aim of AE to
 
1) Take potshots at Pakistan
2) Or perchance have a civilised discussion on history?
 
 
I thought it was to take potshots at the US.  Tongue
 
(or is that pikeshots?)
 
 


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 12-Jan-2007 at 16:36
Pikeshot,
 
The US has always known that Pakistan is double-dealing with them. 
 
Pakistan has every right to do some double-dealings (with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban) as Pakistan already knows that the US is an ally of convenience, not really a true ally.
 
So they will continue to play their Taliban card and also give safe harbor to Al-Qaeda.  How does a top ranking Taliban leader go to UAE for business from Pakistan? 
 
If he can, most likely Osama can as well. 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 13-Jan-2007 at 00:11
Must be a sad life, going over the internet all day looking for news/opinions attacfking pakistan.
 
LOL


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


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 13-Jan-2007 at 09:58
Originally posted by Afghanan

Originally posted by Sparten

So tell me buddy?
Is the aim of AE to
 
1) Take potshots at Pakistan
2) Or perchance have a civilised discussion on history?
 
 
It seems just as Pakistan has a hard time admitting that the Taliban exist in Pakistan; that Pakistan is harboring terrorists; the Pakistani-Taliban ceasefire is a joke, and  that the Taliban are using Pakistan as a base of operations, so do Pakistanis on this forum.


Let me play the great satan's advocate here and admit that the Taliban is using pakistan as a base of operations. So now what?




Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 13-Jan-2007 at 09:59
Pakistan's interests are not the same as those of the US.  We all have to understand that.  Pakistan was more comfortable with the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, and Al Quaeda was not attacking Pakistan.  Besides which, ISI could probably have found them and killed them all if they had been.
 
Deployments in the tribal areas and resources directed toward those operations take away from the Indian frontier where Pakistan's true interests lie.  They did a deal with Taliban remnants so they could operate from more a secure haven and direct their activities back to Afghanistan.
 
Strategy and politics; politics and strategy.
 
 
 
 


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 13-Jan-2007 at 11:57
Originally posted by Sparten

Must be a sad life, going over the internet all day looking for news/opinions attacfking pakistan.
 
 
Its front page news, not much looking involved.  Whats even more sad is your denial.  Wink


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 00:53
Even sadder is the fact I have not denied anything. Get your facts right.


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


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 09:49
Maqsad,
 
I fail to see how speaking the truth will be considered the devils advocate?
 
The next question to ask is who is using who?  Are the Taliban using Pakistan, or is Pakistan using the Taliban?  They have used them in the past and it has only backfired on them.  What is their goal?
 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 11:29
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.


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 13:31
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Pakistan's interests are not the same as those of the US.  We all have to understand that.  Pakistan was more comfortable with the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, and Al Quaeda was not attacking Pakistan.  Besides which, ISI could probably have found them and killed them all if they had been.
 
Pakistan's interests and the US's interests are at odds on what constitutes a friendly government in Kabul, that's true (both have a common interest in getting rid of Al Q). But since the fall of the Taliban, Musharraf has been thinking long term I think, foreign soldiers will leave Afghanistan eventually and there's going to be a change of governance in Kabul, so he might be sitting on the fence till things are clearer. It's also true that Al Qaeda was easier to spot when they infiltrated into FATA than the Taliban because they were not of the Pashtun ethnic group. They are now dealt with, but the Taliban are not, and it is impossible to fully deal with them. Mining the border is one solution that would work, or real time intelligence.
 
 
Deployments in the tribal areas and resources directed toward those operations take away from the Indian frontier where Pakistan's true interests lie.  They did a deal with Taliban remnants so they could operate from more a secure haven and direct their activities back to Afghanistan.
 
Strategy and politics; politics and strategy
 
The deal with the tribal leaders was with the locals, not with the Taliban. The same deal was extended to Musa Qala by NATO and the more recently signed Babrak Tana area deals in Afghanistan. It's not really to do with the Eastern border at all, which seems to have calmed down considerably.


-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 14-Jan-2007 at 15:24
Originally posted by TeldeInduz

Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Pakistan's interests are not the same as those of the US.  We all have to understand that.  Pakistan was more comfortable with the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, and Al Quaeda was not attacking Pakistan.  Besides which, ISI could probably have found them and killed them all if they had been.
 
Pakistan's interests and the US's interests are at odds on what constitutes a friendly government in Kabul, that's true (both have a common interest in getting rid of Al Q). But since the fall of the Taliban, Musharraf has been thinking long term I think, foreign soldiers will leave Afghanistan eventually and there's going to be a change of governance in Kabul, so he might be sitting on the fence till things are clearer. It's also true that Al Qaeda was easier to spot when they infiltrated into FATA than the Taliban because they were not of the Pashtun ethnic group. They are now dealt with, but the Taliban are not, and it is impossible to fully deal with them. Mining the border is one solution that would work, or real time intelligence.
 
 
Deployments in the tribal areas and resources directed toward those operations take away from the Indian frontier where Pakistan's true interests lie.  They did a deal with Taliban remnants so they could operate from more a secure haven and direct their activities back to Afghanistan.
 
Strategy and politics; politics and strategy
 
The deal with the tribal leaders was with the locals, not with the Taliban. The same deal was extended to Musa Qala by NATO and the more recently signed Babrak Tana area deals in Afghanistan. It's not really to do with the Eastern border at all, which seems to have calmed down considerably.
 
Thanks for the information.  These tribal matters do leave Westerners puzzled.
 
 


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 18-Jan-2007 at 12:37

U.S. Gen.: Insurgent chief in Pakistan


Jalaluddin Haqqani

By RAHIM FAIEZ
Associated Press / January 13, 2007

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - An Afghan insurgent leader operating from inside Pakistan sent some 200 ill-equipped fighters, some wearing plastic bags on their feet, into Afghanistan where most were killed in a major battle this week, a top U.S. general said Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley said that Jalaluddin Haqqani recruited and sent unemployed and untrained men to fight in Afghanistan.

U.S. forces killed about 130 fighters moving in two groups in the eastern province of Paktika late Wednesday and early Thursday, one of the largest winter battles in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

"There's Taliban leaders in Pakistan," Freakley said. "We know that this group ... were from Jalaluddin Haqqani and we believe, though we don't know exactly where, that Jalaluddin Haqqani is operating from inside Pakistan and sending men to fight in Afghanistan."

Western and Afghan officials accuse Pakistan of not doing enough to stop Taliban fighters using Pakistani soil as a training ground from crossing the border into Afghanistan. Pakistan says it does all it can to stop the fighters.

No officials in Pakistan could immediately be reached for comment.

Freakley said that one of the enemies in the Afghan-Pakistan border area is unemployment.

"It is clear to me that some of these men were just either collected in a poor part of a village or perhaps from a madrassa or perhaps from a refugee camp and told to come fight," he said. "The message to the enemies of Afghanistan and the enemies of world peace would be that you can come at us with two people, 20 people, 200 people, 2,000 people, you'll be defeated and your young men will needlessly be killed."

Freakley said it was likely the insurgent fighters meant to attack a new military outpost near the village of Marghah that has affected insurgent infiltration routes.

In southern Afghanistan, meanwhile, NATO troops fought insurgents Saturday in a battle that left one Western soldier dead — NATO's first fatality of the year.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said the soldier died during an operation and that air support was used against insurgent positions. NATO refused to release any other details until the next of kin were notified.

Taliban militants stepped up attacks last year, and insurgent-related violence killed some 4,000 people in the bloodiest year since the U.S.-led coalition ousted the Taliban in late 2001.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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 Afghanistan’s 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.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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."



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date 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 - 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?


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.
 
 
 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.

 
--


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: TeldeInduz
Date 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.”
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C01%5C22%5Cstory_22-1-2007_pg7_20 - http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C01%5C22%5Cstory_22-1-2007_pg7_20  
 
"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 Pakistan’s policy, which had led to a “reduction in the incidents since autumn”.
http://www.dawn.com/2007/01/14/ed.htm - http://www.dawn.com/2007/01/14/ed.htm  
 
Keep up the steady flow of very enlightening information!
 


-------------
Quoo-ray sha quadou sarre.................


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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? 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6291737.stm - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6291737.stm


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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 - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/02/03/wafg203.xml

 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date 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?


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date 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?


Posted By: Afghanan
Date 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.  :)


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date 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.


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 06-Feb-2007 at 18:10

So your answer to terrorist attacks in Pakistan is Xenophobia.  I don't understand why it's so hard to understand this, it's quite simple...

1.  Fundamentalist perform suicide bombings in Afghanistan.
2.  Fundamentalist perform suicide bombings in Pakistan.
 
3.  The Taliban were kicked out of power, they retaliate with suicide bombings.
 
4.  The Taliban in Pakistan were getting bombed, they retaliate with suicide bombings.
 
Why is it so hard to understand?  This is a problem in both countries and it should be dealt with equally in both countries.  Pakistan needs to remove the fundamentalist madrassas that are preaching suicide and murder in Afghanistan.


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 06-Feb-2007 at 18:52
What Xenophobia? I am just telling a simple fact that KHAD the Afghan secret service has been sending suicide bombers into pakistan for decades and decades and has no intention of stopping. You make no mention of that instead you come up with these one sided news reports that completely distort the whole picture.

Why doesnt KHAD stop supporting people like Bugti? Does Afghanistan have a problem stopping open financing and suport for terrorists like Bugti? And then people like you cry when he gets killed

Why doesn't KHAD stop exporting Heroin and Opium? Why doesnt Karzai do something about that? Afghanistan is now the world's #1 heroin producer--blame that on paki madrassas too? So a few fundies fire some firecrackers in kandahar and they get accused of being from Quetta, maybe some did come from there,  big deal thats not the whole picture. Most of the people blowing things up in Afghanistan have nothing at all to do with pakistan why don't you accept that fact?

Its also a fact that almost all the people blowing things up in Pakistan are backed by KHAD or RAW. There are no large organised separaratist groups in pakistan that the ISI does NOT control. In Afghanistan its different--but you are the one who likes to blame pakistan 100% for it. Take a look and see which country is in anarchy and which country is stabalized. The hub of Taliban is in Kandahar not Pakistan. 

4 pages of utter deceptive trash just to push onesided distorted pictures of what is really going on LoL.


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 07-Feb-2007 at 10:36
Originally posted by maqsad

What Xenophobia? I am just telling a simple fact that KHAD the Afghan secret service has been sending suicide bombers into pakistan for decades and decades and has no intention of stopping. You make no mention of that instead you come up with these one sided news reports that completely distort the whole picture.

Why doesnt KHAD stop supporting people like Bugti? Does Afghanistan have a problem stopping open financing and suport for terrorists like Bugti? And then people like you cry when he gets killed

Why doesn't KHAD stop exporting Heroin and Opium? Why doesnt Karzai do something about that? Afghanistan is now the world's #1 heroin producer--blame that on paki madrassas too? So a few fundies fire some firecrackers in kandahar and they get accused of being from Quetta, maybe some did come from there,  big deal thats not the whole picture. Most of the people blowing things up in Afghanistan have nothing at all to do with pakistan why don't you accept that fact?

Its also a fact that almost all the people blowing things up in Pakistan are backed by KHAD or RAW. There are no large organised separaratist groups in pakistan that the ISI does NOT control. In Afghanistan its different--but you are the one who likes to blame pakistan 100% for it. Take a look and see which country is in anarchy and which country is stabalized. The hub of Taliban is in Kandahar not Pakistan. 

4 pages of utter deceptive trash just to push onesided distorted pictures of what is really going on LoL.
 
Man you are totally running out of arguments.  Next you will be blaming Mossad.  LOL
 
Its not reporters in Kandahar who are running for their lives when talking to locals, its in Quetta where foreign reporters are beaten and guns pointed at them for talking with locals.  BUT, for some reason Taliban commanders can walk around freely in public?  C'mon Maqsad, this isn't rocket science.
 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 07-Feb-2007 at 10:44
Originally posted by Afghanan

 
Its not reporters in Kandahar who are running for their lives when talking to locals, its in Quetta


Oh yeah? If any of these reporters in Kandahar tried to investigate the KHAD supported Pakhtoon drug lords who finance militias I can assure you they will be running for their lives. The only reporters that are allowed to function in Kandahar are the shills sent there pre approved by Mayor Karzai who places restrictions on all reporters.

And if you are talking about the female reporter who was beaten up in Quetta by the ISI, she KNEW she was in a restricted zone without permission. In fact I would not be surprised if she stages the whole incident how stupid are we expected to believe someone is that they walk around in a war zone without permission from the appropriate authorities when the law clearly states such permission is needed. Its not rocket science you know.


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 07-Feb-2007 at 10:54
Actually, Maqsad, she is quoted as saying herself:
 
"I explained that I had a one year, multi-entry visa with no restrictions, and was permitted to work anywhere in Pakistan, including Quetta. The only place we know is not permitted to visit without special permission is the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, FATA. "
 
Drug lords working for the government exist, I'm not denying that.  A customs security officer in Kabul was threatened many times for exposing the government's complacency with the drug runners.  He even had a press breifing with foreign press  and accused the government.  When he continued with even more press briefings the government accused him of corruption and sacked him from his job.  He is now in the UK under amnesty.    I don't deny that, the fact is, how can you deny that the Taliban have a hub in Pakistan?
 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 07-Feb-2007 at 11:13
The reporter had repeated communications with ISI and she chose to ignore them. The thing about visas is they can be revoked at any time and if any official with authority wants to they can restrict any reporter at any time from operating in any zone deemed to be off limits. If she didnt understand that then she is extremely dumb. If she is not dumb then she deliberately staged the whole incident.

And I am sure the Taliban have many hubs. Quetta might be just one of the hub but their world headquarters is Kandahar. Thats where their central soul is located. Why do you deny that and create 4 page threads with snippets of anti paki propaganda making them look like they are some sorta undercover paki operatives lol.


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 07-Feb-2007 at 15:44

Quetta MIGHT be a Hub?  ...just admit it Maqsad, it's not that hard.

Oh and this thread will die when the reports from BBC news, NY times, LA Times, Asia Times, The Telegraph, CNN, Associated Press, Reuters lose interest or Pakistan bars all foreign media outlets in the country.


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 08-Feb-2007 at 13:55

Militants put squeeze on Musharraf

M Ilyas Khan
BBC News, Karachi
Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Islamic militants have struck in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, for the second time in a fortnight, bringing a feeling of déjà vu.

In December 2003, two attacks in as many weeks on the country's president and army chief, Gen Pervez Musharraf, shook Islamabad and the world.

But analysts believe recent attacks foreshadow worse times ahead than did the previous ones.

Three years ago, the militants were still struggling to consolidate their position and needed a high-profile target to establish their credentials.

Those attacks propelled Gen Musharraf into a position of strength, with Western powers lining up behind him to prevent the anarchic Islamist forces from capturing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal.

This goodwill enabled Gen Musharraf to authorise a series of peace deals with the militants in 2004-05, thereby creating room for Islamabad to win back its estranged former allies in Afghanistan and the border region.

'New breed' of militant

The present attacks come at a time when Gen Musharraf is under increasing Western pressure to eliminate militant sanctuaries that have come to exist as a result of those deals.

A frequently-asked question in Pakistan is; is the peace deal with the militants still on?

While both Pakistani officials and the militant leaders insist that they want the deal to work, the situation on the ground tells a different story.

Since 22 January, militants have hit eight targets in northern Pakistan, killing at least 24 people.

Among the attackers are five suicide bombers, and their victims include five military personnel and nine personnel from other security units including the police.

Police investigators say the attacks were launched by a "new breed" of militant linked to Baitullah Mehsud, a Taleban commander from South Waziristan and a signatory of one of the peace deals.

Mr Mehsud vowed revenge following a Pakistani air strike that killed eight people in South Waziristan's Zamzola area on 16 January.

He called it a breach of the peace deal and said its future now depended on the actions of the Pakistan army.

'Safe havens'

Analysts believe the attacks are a warning that if Pakistan scuttles the peace deal, it will have to suffer the consequences.

But can Pakistan withstand Western pressure and hold peace in the tribal region?

Although President Musharraf has been defending the peace deals as a means of isolating al-Qaeda and Taleban militants, he has also shown occasional signs of cracking under Western pressure.

During his visit to the US late last year, he said that while the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI was not helping Taleban, some former ISI officials may have done so.

More recently, he has further conceded that he knew of some incidents at some Pakistani border posts where a "blind eye was being turned" to Taleban movements.

Apparently, Gen Musharraf is trying to come clean with the Western powers on the issue at a time when the US administration is upping the ante.

Pakistani officials were ruffled when John Negroponte, the director of US national intelligence, told a Senate intelligence committee on 12 January that al-Qaeda was re-establishing its global network from safe havens in Pakistan.

Further pressure came in the shape of a new US Congress bill linking military assistance for Pakistan to its commitment to fighting terrorism.

There may be some bargaining positions involved, but the bottom line seems to be a hammer-and-anvil operation involving Nato and Pakistani troops to crush tribal militants.

Pressure

This will entail grave political risks for Gen Musharraf and his regime. A similar operation in June 2004 led to upwards of 300 military casualties and made the army permanently unpopular in the region.

But skirting commitments on the "war on terror" may create its own set of problems.

Western officials believe that in economic terms, various aid and arms agreements between the US and Pakistan are crucial for the survival of the regime.

A harsh Congress law requiring annual waivers by the US president would therefore put a squeeze on the Pakistan military's supply line.

This could lead to political problems for Gen Musharraf, who observers say is surrounded by a group of political turncoats that are likely to melt away at the first sign of trouble.

And as the spring approaches, there is a sense of urgency in the air.

The Americans have already shown their resolve to carry the war into Pakistani territory by bombing suspected militant hideouts in the border regions.

To prevent that, Pakistan is likely to try harder to meet the demands of Nato troops.

Pakistan's willingness to accept responsibility for the strikes in Bajaur last November and in South Waziristan's Zamzola area on 16 January may be an indicator of which way the air is going to blow in the coming weeks and months.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 11-Feb-2007 at 11:52
700 Insurgents have Arrived from Pakistan
 
 
Helmand 'seeing insurgent surge'
 
 
By Alastair Leithead
BBC News, Kabul

The governor of Helmand province in Afghanistan says up to 700 insurgents have crossed over from Pakistan and are preparing to fight British forces.

Haji Asadullah Wafa, who has been in his job just a few weeks, told the BBC foreign fighters were among them.

He said their intention was to disturb a major dam project being protected by British troops.

The UK taskforce in Helmand said it was aware of reports that insurgents had moved into the Sangin area.

A spokesman said it was nothing unusual and if it became necessary they would strike at a time of their choosing.

Drugs trade

There has been much talk of a spring offensive but the Helmand governor has given the biggest indication yet that hundreds of insurgents are preparing to fight British troops in southern Afghanistan.

He said the    700, including Arabs, Chechens and Pakistani Taleban had crossed into Helmand from Pakistan and had moved to Sangin,

the centre of the drugs trade where British forces faced some of the heaviest fighting last summer.
 
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/6352089.stm


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 14-Feb-2007 at 13:01

Taliban flee battle using children as shields: NATO

By Terry Friel
February 14, 2007

KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban fighters used children as human shields to flee heavy fighting this week during an operation by foreign and Afghan forces to clear rebels from around a key hydro-electric dam, NATO said on Wednesday.

The Taliban have used human shields before, but never children, local residents say.

The fighting occurred during Operation Kryptonite on Monday, an offensive to clear insurgents from the Kajaki Dam area in southern Helmand province to allow repairs to its power plants and the installation of extra capacity.

"During this action ... Taliban extremists resorted to the use of human shields. Specifically, using local Afghan children to cover as they escaped out of the area," Colonel Tom Collins, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), told reporters in Kabul.

The Kajaki Dam fighting was in an area where 700 mainly foreign fighters, including Chechens, Pakistanis and Uzbeks, arrived from Pakistan this week to reinforce Taliban guerrillas.

NATO also said it killed a senior local Taliban commander and several comrades in a pre-dawn air-strike on Wednesday between the dam and the rebel-held town of Musa Qala to the west, but denied residents' accounts civilians were also killed.

TARGETING REBEL LEADERS

The leader, identified by police and tribal elders as Mullah Manan, was involved in the capture of Musa Qala 13 days ago and clashes around Kajaki.

NATO said its soldiers saw 11 bodies, all fighting-age males, dragged from the wreckage by Taliban fighters. Provincial police said Manan and at least eight more Taliban were killed and that they had no word of civilian casualties.

But local residents and elders said civilians also died.

"It is a well-known enemy tactic to try to blame civilian casualties on ISAF forces," Collins said in a statement.

"We continue to conduct specific shaping operations -- to go after specific Taliban extremists, the leadership who are impacting the enemy's operations," he told reporters later.

The Interior Ministry said it has also arrested a Taliban leader in the province of Khost.

The Kajaki dam has seen major fighting in recent weeks between the Taliban and NATO forces, mainly British and Dutch.

NATO-led forces have been conducting operations in the area for several months to allow reconstruction on the dam and the power transmission lines to boost output, after fighting halted repair and development work last year.

The Taliban cannot destroy the dam, which would also flood a large area of the Helmand Valley, but its tactics are aimed at making it too unsafe for work to go ahead.

The dam was first built on the Helmand river in the 1950s.

Its hydroelectric plants, with a generating capacity of 33 megawatts, were installed in 1975. Once fully operational, the dam will bring electricity to 1.8 million people, NATO says.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 03:44

Suicide bomber kills at least 15 in Pakistani court


QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed 15 people, including a judge, in a courtroom in the city of Quetta on Saturday, the latest in a series of suicide blasts to have sent shudders through the country.

Intelligence officials have attributed other attacks to sectarian Sunni militants linked to al Qaeda and groups operating from tribal areas, regarded as hotbeds of support for the Taliban.

Police made a string of arrests this week, including two suicide bomb teams caught in southern Pakistan.

The bomb in Quetta exploded while a lower court was in session. A senior judge and six lawyers were among those killed, police in the capital of Baluchistan province said.

"According to our reports a man entered the room and blew himself up. A head has been found," Baluchistan province Chief Minister Jam Mohammad Yousuf said.

"It could be a continuation of what is happening in other parts of the country."

At least 25 people were injured and police chief Rahu Khan Brohi told Reuters six of them were in a critical condition.

The suicide attacks started after an army air strike on a militant base in South Waziristan tribal region in mid-January.

Including the death toll from Quetta, nearly 45 people have been killed in bomb attacks since then, as militants have sought to destabilize President Pervez Musharraf's government and weaken his resolve to confront the Taliban, al Qaeda and their allies.

ARRESTS TARGET AL QAEDA ALLY

Police arrested two suicide bomb teams in southern Sindh province on Friday, and identified them as factions of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni Muslim sectarian militant group that has established ties with al Qaeda.

One team of three militants was captured after a gunfight in the southern city of Karachi, and another team of three was caught in the evening boarding a train at Sukkur, 515 km (321 miles) northeast of the port city.

"We found explosives, splinters, circuits and jackets used in suicide bombings, as well as Jihadi literature on them," district police officer Mazhar Nawaz, told Reuters from Sukkur.

Police said the militants arrested in Karachi and Sukkur had been planning attacks on Pakistan's Muslim Shi'ite minority at the end of the holy month of Muharram, which falls in the first week of March.

On Thursday , police arrested two members of Laskar-e-Jhangvi in Rawalpindi, the garrison town next door to Islamabad.

Road blocks had been set up in Islamabad, and police were stopping and questioning drivers of small cars, taxis and trucks. Foreign embassies have told their staff to limit their travel in the capital.

Officials in Quetta were unsure who carried out Saturday's blast.

"Initially we suspect nationalist extremists, as well as Afghan Taliban could be behind the attack," Razak Bugti, a spokesman for the Baluchistan government, said.

Television footage from the wrecked courthouse showed people and police walking through pools of blood, collecting belongings. Body parts and torn clothes could be seen all around.

Pakistan has been under mounting pressure from the United States and Afghanistan to tackle Taliban sanctuaries on its territory.

Taliban leaders are widely believed to be operating from in and around Quetta, capital of the restive province of Baluchistan, though Pakistan consistently denies their presence.

Baluchistan is also beset with unrest due to ethnic Baluch militants, who are fighting for greater autonomy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSISL32927020070217?pageNumber=1



Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 06:40
The BLA and theior cohorts have been sent to hell by the FC. Its the Afghanis up to their old tricks again.
 
And people wonder why we need a friendly gov on our Western Border.
 


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


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 09:13
I just thought I should balance out Afghanan's paki bashing thread with news of some of KHAD's doings as well.  LOL


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 10:13
let him have his fun. Not gonna change anything anyway.
 
BTW you, Pathan, Punjabi, Sindhi, Baloch or Kashmiri.
Or Urduite.
 


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


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 12:28
Urdu speaking Punjabi. 


Posted By: Cryptic
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 12:46
Originally posted by Sparten

As for incursions that is all talk. NATO is a political entity. Not a militray one. They may talk about incursions, but any actual attempt to go into that terrain will lead to disaster for them. Not enough troops,
Another good point about NATO being a political entity.  The effort in Afghanistan is not a true unified NATO military effort .  There in reality two NATOS in Afghanistan.  Canada, USA and Britain that are willing to send troops to fight in the south.  And the other NATO countries who have either refused to send more troops or have creative rules designed to keep their troops from ever being deployed to the Taliban areas.
Originally posted by Sparten

I say we should mine the border. And be done with it. 
Disagree here.  Mining the border would take millions of mines that would last for generations.  Minefields are useless with out being constantly watched.  Sure, the mines would kill a few Taliban, but then the Taliban and local sympathizers would quickly learn where the minefields are, how to cross them and which mine fields are being actively monitored.
 
Instead of actually mining the border, more effort can be put towards stopping non Afghan and non Pakistani "Taliban" at the airports and harbors.  Tight Visas controls  deny visiting privelages to anybody who even appears to be a Jihader.   Intelligence experts at airports identify potential Jihaders who still got visas.  Numerous  intelligent, focused sweeps in the interior detain and deport foreign Jihaders already in Pakistan as simply being illegal aliens.  


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 14:16
Maqsad, get over it already, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban work as one.  If you still think this is a problem for one country alone, you're really naive.
 
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 18-Feb-2007 at 14:20

Where the Taliban breeds

Analysis | The porous Afghan-Pakistani border has been lawless since being imposed on Pashtun tribes in 1893. But this wild frontier must be tamed if Afghanistan is to flourish.

Olivia Ward
The Toronto Star
February 18, 2007

When Hassan Abbas, then a Pakistani police chief, went on a raid in the country's lawless border region, he was surprised to find himself outside his territory – and inside Afghanistan.

"We weren't the only ones who were confused," says Abbas, now a fellow of the Belfer Center at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

"For hundreds of years, people have been living on both sides of the border, and when it was divided they found it inconceivable that they should suddenly be residents of another country."

The story illustrates how porous is the wild, mountainous frontier that separates the two countries along the 2,400-kilometre line, which is still in dispute more than a century after it was negotiated by British diplomat Sir Henry Mortimer Durand.

But for Canadian and other NATO troops – and the traumatized people of southern Afghanistan – the border is real and menacing as they anxiously await a predicted spring onslaught of Taliban fighters and suicide bombers from Pakistan.

The coming battles are said to be crucial for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

"Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership presence inside of Pakistan remain a very significant problem," said the outgoing American commander in Afghanistan, Lt.-Gen. Karl Eikenberry, urging a "steady, direct attack" on their operations bases in the border areas.

But those who are familiar with the turbulent border regions say the realities there are far more complex than Western policy-makers believe. And they warn that putting a stop to the "Talibanization" that is threatening both Afghanistan and Pakistan will not be accomplished by military means alone.

"The Pashtuns are the historically dominant group in the area, and they have been split by the Durand Line, so that there is a feeling their destiny has been interrupted," says Selig Harrison, director of the Asia Program at the Center for International Policy and author of five books on the border regions.

Moreover, he says, no foreign army has ever subdued the fierce border tribes.

The Durand Line, which divided Pashtun tribes between British India and Afghanistan in 1893, is viewed with resentment by people on both its sides and many of them of them consider it irrelevant.

"When you look at the partition today, it doesn't make a lot of sense," says geography professor Jack Shroder of University of Nebraska, Omaha, who has mapped the rugged areas.

"In the time of the British Raj, it was a ploy to divide and rule, and they put down white rocks to mark it. But people move the rocks around, because the border doesn't exist for them."

Like the border, law and order is a fluid concept in the tribal lands.

Pakistan has never managed to take control of the largely Pashtun area and created seven semi-autonomous units – Bajaur, Momand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram and North and South Waziristan – administered by federally appointed political agents.

Six smaller Frontier Regions provide a buffer between the agencies and the North West Frontier Province to the east. To the south is the large but sparsely populated province of Baluchistan, whose capital, Quetta, is said to be a Taliban command centre.

In the tribal regions, Pakistani courts and law enforcers have almost no sway, and the real power are the jirgas, or assemblies of elders, says Abbas, author of Pakistan's Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army and America's War on Terror.

The border regions have a population of some 38 million, including members of 60 Pashtun tribes and 400 sub-clans. With a literacy rate of little more than 10 per cent, few job opportunities beyond subsistence farming, deeply conservative religious views and an abundance of guns, the regions are a staging ground for militancy, drug trafficking and numerous smuggling rackets.

All these factors give the Taliban a head start in recruiting.

"The Taliban are sons of the soil, not foreigners," says Kamran Bokhari, a Toronto-based senior analyst for Strategic Forecasting Inc. "Over the past two decades, there has been a drift toward their kind of conservative Islam. An Islamist wave has hit the region, and there are many people who don't believe 9/11 happened and are convinced that there is a war going on against Muslims."

The tribal areas also have sheltered foreign and Afghan fighters fleeing previous wars in Afghanistan, and some of them have married local women and settled there.

Abbas says the Taliban was encouraged by "the Pakistani military's hidden alliance with religious political parties," in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. When the United States urged Pakistan to attack the militants, the campaign was brutal but disastrous. In a territory where revenge is part of the traditional code, secular parties lost out and Islamists gained ground.

But pockets of secular Pashtuns who oppose extremism still remain, with little support from the government and constant threats from Islamist groups.

Some analysts point to these secularists as the hope for future peace on the borders. A leader of the nationalist Pashtun Awami National Party, Asfandyar Wali, recently defeated pro-Taliban politicians in an election in Bajaur Agency.

Nevertheless, Islamists in Bajaur have threatened local men against shaving their beards, and while some men have protested, Abbas says, the episode demonstrates the strength of extremism even in opposition areas.

But even among the Taliban, there are divisions and opportunities for negotiation, says veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, author of several books on militancy in the borderlands.

"Negotiating with the present leadership (Mullah Omar, Mullah Dadullah and others) is not acceptable," says Rashid, adding that there are "moderate elements" who are willing to talk to the Afghan government and have met with the secular and nationalist Pashtun groups.

Rashid points out that the Pakistani government is deeply suspicious of those groups, fearing a new secession movement if they gain support. Pakistan rejected a recent peace plan put forward by Wali – and approved by Afghan President Hamid Karzai – to hold a jirga of tribal leaders from both sides of the border.

"Wali believes it's the last hope for the region," says Abbas. "But in Pakistan, it is difficult to challenge the military intelligence establishment."

Bokhari, who had a recent meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, says the Pakistani leader admitted he had "no magic wand" for solving the crisis on the borders but was open to political negotiation, as well as fencing and mining the frontier (the latter opposed by Canada). And Musharraf denied reports that the Pakistani intelligence service was supporting militants, saying that creating an unstable neighbour was against his country's interests.

But as the countdown to a predicted spring offensive continues, so will pressure on Musharraf to shut down Taliban bases in Pakistan's borderlands.

Says Harrison: "Since the economic viability of Pakistan depends on continued aid, a credible threat to cut it off would alarm the armed forces and other sectors of the Pakistani business and political establishment, forcing Musharraf to tack with the wind."

But most analysts agree that force alone will not be effective on the frontier. They say that tightly targeted attacks against the hard core of the Taliban, avoiding civilian casualties, should open the way for negotiations with those who are willing to lay down their arms.

"People who want to fight can be tackled militarily, and NATO must not allow (the militants) to believe they will just leave the area," says Abbas.

But Pakistan, he adds, is only part of the problem.

"It's crucial to support development of Afghanistan. A person with a job, and kids in school, will think twice before picking up a gun."



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 14:57

The Problem With Pakistan

William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security
The Washington Post / February 28, 2007

In the you-are-either-with-us-or-against-us paradigm, the Bush administration has always had a difficult time dealing with Pakistan, a country that just happens to be both with us and against us.

In testimony before the Senate yesterday, the new Director of National Intelligence retired Admiral John M. ("Mike") McConnell, was as careful as all U.S. officials, lauding Pakistan's "ongoing efforts," but also highlighting many of America's concerns and disappointments.

One can't help but read the annual "threat" assessment from the intelligence community and come to the conclusion that for all of the American honor involved in "victory" in Iraq, the real danger of terrorism, and the country with the greatest potential for a world-shattering implosion, is not Iraq or Afghanistan or even Iran: it is Pakistan.

Saying that 2007 will be a "pivotal year" for Afghanistan, as well as raising concerns that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda leadership are rebuilding and that the Taliban is in resurgence, retired Vice Adm. McConnell, Director of National Intelligence for just a week, had some special words about Pakistan.

Any new attack on the United States, McConnell said, is "most likely" to emerge from Pakistan, which hosts the al Qaeda leadership and other international terrorists in the ungoverned northwest region, and which serves as the breeding ground for broader Islamic radicalism.

"Many of our most important interests intersect in Pakistan, where the Taliban and al-Qa'ida maintain critical sanctuaries," McConnell said in his written report. The country, McConnell said "is our partner in the war on terror and has captured several al-Qa'ida leaders. However, it is also a major source of Islamic extremism."

The Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, agreed with McConnell. In his written testimony to the same committee, Maples said that the "Afghanistan Pakistan border area remains a haven for al-Qaida's leadership and other extremists."

Maples said that despite a September 2006 accord between Islamabad and North Waziristan tribes to curtail attacks into Afghanistan, "the tribes have not abided by most terms of the agreement," leading to increased "freedom of movement and operation" for al-Qaeda's network.

Pakistan's internal inaction against terrorists and other militants, Maples and McConnell both agreed, also threaten stability in Afghanistan and India. "Afghanistan's relations with Pakistan are strained due to continued Taliban reliance on safe-haven in Pakistan," Maples said. "Pakistan-based militants continued attacks against India undermine Pakistan's ability to make lasting peace with its neighbor," he continued. McConnell spoke of the need to eliminate the "safehaven" that the Taliban and others have found in Pakistan's tribal areas, but he also bent over backwards to explain the country's failure to bring the region under central government control:

"We recognize that aggressive military action, however, has been costly for Pakistani security forces and appreciate concerns over the potential for sparking tribal rebellion and a backlash by sympathetic Islamic political parties. There is widespread opposition among these parties to the US military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. With elections expected later this year, the situation will become even more challenging--for President Musharraf and for the US."

Democracy in Pakistan, McConnell also said, "has not been fully restored since the Army took power in 1999." It has, he meant to say, not been restored. Upcoming elections are not expected to change Musharraf's status: He will continue to be President and commander-in-chief and head of the Army and hold all of the actual power.

So, here is the American contradiction: Al-Qaeda is the greatest threat to the United States, at least according to the U.S. intelligence community and conventional wisdom. The terrorist organization is headquartered and lodged in northwest Pakistan, where it has virtual impunity. It operates within a country that has nuclear weapons and is labeled "a major source of Islamic extremism."

And yet the United States excuses and explains away a military dictatorship for eschewing a "costly" battle that might weaken it? Isn't the very core argument of the Bush administration in Iraq that we need to accept the cost and sacrifice -- no matter what -- in the name of our future security? But Pakistan doesn't? No wonder the Bush administration's worldview is so questionable.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 14:58

Our Pals in Pakistan

Charles Peña / antiwar.com

February 28, 2007

Making an unannounced stop in Pakistan on Monday, Vice President Cheney "expressed U.S. apprehensions of regrouping of al-Qaeda in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat" according to an aide to Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. According to Musharraf, Pakistan "has done the maximum in the fight against terrorism." Furthermore, Musharraf contends that there is no evidence that either Osama bin Laden or the Taliban's Mullah Omar are hiding out in Pakistan. But if bin Laden and company are not in Pakistan, where does Musharraf think they are? Did they flee Afghanistan to sip piña coladas on the beach in Fiji?

Pakistan is supposed to be an ally in the war on terrorism. The United States should not have to plead with an ally to go after public enemy number one. Nor should the United States have to put up with constant excuses for why the man responsible for ordering the Sept. 11 attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon remains at large.

To be sure, some of the bigger successes in the war on terrorism have come in Pakistan. The biggest success being the March 2003 capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. In each of these successes, the U.S. military or intelligence was involved in some way. But when left to their own devices, there has been a Keystone Kops-like aspect to Pakistani efforts. For example, in March 2004 the Pakistani military claimed they had surrounded several hundred al-Qaeda fighters, including a "high value target" thought to be Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's second in command. But when the dust settled from the pounding by helicopter gunships and artillery in southern Waziristan, Zawahiri was nowhere to be found. Despite Pakistani military claims to have sealed off a 20-square-mile area that no one could have escaped from, Zawahiri either slipped the noose or was never there to begin with.

Another farce also occurred in March 2004 when Pakistani intelligence claimed that al-Qaeda spy chief Abu Mohammed al Masri (AKA Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists for his involvement in the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya) was killed. The next day, however, the Pakistanis admitted to a case of mistaken identity – the slain militant was only a small fry local operative and not an al-Qaeda big fish. To add insult to injury, not only did the Pakistanis come up empty-handed during their March 2004 terror sweep, but they also had 12 soldiers killed and 15 wounded when a convoy was ambushed.

Although capturing or killing bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leadership will not put an end to the terrorist threat facing America, they are nonetheless important targets – too important to be delegated to the Pakistanis if they are unable or unwilling to mount a serious effort to hunt them down. Gary Schroen – a former CIA officer who oversaw agency operations in the region until August 2001 – believes Musharraf is willing to hand over lesser al-Qaeda figures, but unwilling to go after any of the big fish because he fears a horrendous Islamic backlash if he is seen as capturing or killing a man viewed as Robin Hood by many Muslims around the world. According to Newsweek's Michael Hirsch:

"As evidence, Schroen says that it took the Pakistanis five months to act against [Abu Faraj] al-Libbi [thought by many analysts to be Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's successor] after the Americans delivered intelligence on the whereabouts of an al-Qaeda suspect who could not, at the time be specifically identified; Schroen believes the Pakistanis acted only after determining that the suspect was not bin Laden but a smaller fish. 'We gave them information on Libbi back in December [2004 – al-Libbi was captured in May 2005],' says Schroen…. 'They didn't want to do it.'"

Lack of seriousness on the part of the Pakistani government is further evidenced by all their deals to halt or curb military operations in southern Waziristan, the very area where bin Laden and al-Qaeda's senior leadership are thought to be in hiding. For example, in April 2004 the Pakistani military announced it had reached an agreement to halt military operations against tribesmen in return for a pledge not to harm Pakistan's interest. Yet, at the same time, the tribesmen announced they were ending their hunt for al-Qaeda militants. The most recent deal was struck with tribal leaders last September, in which they are supposed to take responsibility for curbing militant activities. As with past deals, critics believe that the Musharraf government has abdicated its responsibility and that the deal essentially cedes control of the area to militants, allowing them to step up recruitment and cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

But if Pakistan is going to claim to be an ally in the war on terrorism – and be treated as such – such folly cannot be allowed to continue. If – for whatever reasons – the Pakistani government is not willing or able to go after al-Qaeda with a vengeance, then the U.S. government must be willing to take matters into its own hands. This does not mean a large-scale military incursion of Pakistan. Rather, it means that U.S. special forces must be allowed to act in discrete operations against al-Qaeda targets when there is reliable, actionable intelligence. Officially – for understandable reasons – the Musharraf government may not be able to sanction U.S. military operations in Pakistan. But unofficially, the Pakistani government needs to allow U.S. forces to conduct covert operations into Pakistan against al-Qaeda.

Admittedly, this is easier said than done. On the one hand, the United States does not want to take actions that would destabilize the Musharraf regime because a likely successor government could be radical Islamists who would inherit Pakistan's nuclear weapons. But at the same time, the United States cannot continue to embrace Musharraf as an unequivocal ally in the war on terrorism if his government is not willing to do more to find bin Laden and other important al-Qaeda figures hiding out in Pakistan.

Perhaps most importantly, the United States cannot afford to turn a blind eye (as it seemingly does to Saudi Arabia – has anyone noticed how the U.S. government doesn't complain about all the Saudi money being used to fund the Sunni insurgency in Iraq?) to the possibility that Pakistan may be enabling and facilitating al-Qaeda. Although it is important to consider the source, India has previously claimed that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI is aiding al-Qaeda. Given the ISI's involvement aiding the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s and their previous support for bringing the Taliban to power in Afghanistan, such accusations cannot be blithely ignored.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:00

The border post where bribes buy an easy entry for Taleban

The Times (UK) / February 24, 2007

Tim Albone in Spin Boldak, Kandahar province

The border town of Spin Boldak is a dangerous place. Men in black turbans zip around on motorbikes, smugglers rub shoulders with the Taleban, the border police are corrupt and weapons and drugs are everywhere.

The town is dusty, smoky and rugged, like a Wild West frontier town. The difference is that there is no alcohol and fortunes are made smuggling heroin, not prospecting for gold.

Just nine miles (15km) over there is a Taleban training camp,” Muhammad Nasim, 27, the head of the Afghan border police, told The Times pointing into Pakistan to a cluster of mud buildings.

“The Taleban have no problem crossing the border . . . they are trained by Pakistan.” The ease with which Taleban fighters can pass through an official border crossing is certain to concern British troops in Helmand province, which borders Kandahar.

Intelligence reports suggest that Taleban fighters are massing in Quetta, across the border, for a spring offensive and it is feared that Britain’s 5,000 troops in Helmand will bear the brunt of it.

Pakistan has given repeated assurances that it is clamping down on Taleban insurgents after accusations by Afghan and Western officials that they get training, finance and a safe haven in the neighbouring province of Balochistan. President Musharraf of Pakistan has said he will mine and fence known insurgent crossings.

The picture on the ground is very different: here at the main border crossing guards were seen taking bribes in a way that would allow smugglers, Taleban fighters or even suicide bombers through checkpoints unchallenged.

“It’s all bulls**t that Musharraf is trying to stop them. He supports the Taleban. They [the Pakistanis] give them weapons and training,” said Khaliq Daad, 32, a fierce-looking, one-eyed smuggler who lives in Chaman on the Pakistani side of the border.

“We have to pay bribes every day to the Pakistanis so that they don’t search our vehicles,” said Zadar Muhammad, 30, another smuggler from the town of Chaman.

For less than the equivalent of £1, a man with no passport can pass through Pakistani and Afghan checkpoints without so much as a frisking; for £25 a driver can get his truck through without documents.

The road is paved from Spin Boldak to Quetta, capital of Balochistan, and about 50,000 people cross the border every day. It is believed that among the masses are Taleban fighters and suicide bombers who use Quetta as a training ground and a place to rest during the winter months.

When The Times visited the border post, Pakistani guards could clearly be seen taking bribes and allowing people through without searching them. It is not just Pakistanis who take bribes, however.

“Both sides are asking for bribes,” Akhtar Muhammad, 28, the second-in-command of the Afghan police force in Spin Boldak, told The Times with alarming honestly.

What makes the border so tricky to police is that many of the local tribes don’t recognise it as a border at all. The Durand Line between Pakistan and Afghanistan was drawn up by the British in 1893 to split up the fierce Pashtun tribesmen who inhabit these parts. The border split families up and tribesman still cross the border for tea with a relative.

“The world should realise we don’t recognise this as a border. It’s difficult to tolerate as we are one people and one nation,” Akhtar Muhammad said.




-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:04

Pakistan's Musharraf on Thin Ice

SPIEGEL (Germany) / February 27, 2007
By Matthias Gebauer in Peshawar, Pakistan

US Vice President Dick Cheney's recent visit to Pakistan was far from a gesture of friendship. The United States are putting massive pressure on Pakistan to finally take action against the Taliban active on the country's border. But can Musharraf afford it?

If you believe Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, there was nothing unusual to report this Monday. US Vice President Dick Cheney had just arrived in Islamabad for an unannounced visit on his way to Afghanistan and was having lunch with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. Perfectly normal security precautions, a press spokeswoman said in reply to questions as to why the visit has been kept secret. A "normal visit between partners."

But even the few photographs made available from the visit suggest that the speedy stopover by President George W. Bush's right-hand man was not the friendly bonding session the spokeswoman would have one believe. Cheney barely managed an awkward smile when he shook the hand of his host for the camera.

He left Pakistan after just a few hours -- without giving a public statement or even holding a press conference with Musharraf. "Visits between friends look a bit different," one Western diplomat commented. It is likely, he added, that Cheney's had stopped in Pakistan to admonish US-ally Musharraf.

The visit is the clearest indication of just how tense relations between Washington and Islamabad have become. Even as Pakistan remains nominally a strategic partner in the ongoing struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaida, such an explicit hand-slapping -- administered in part publicly but also in anonymously circulated allegations -- is rare. The accusation is that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight terror groups in the border region near Afghanistan -- and that Islamabad may even be partially responsible for the Taliban comeback. With the Taliban spring offensive imminent, it seems US patience has run out.

Still, the official account of the visit sounded relatively harmless. "Cheney expressed US apprehensions of regrouping of al-Qaida in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat," Musharraf's office said. The statement also referred to Cheney expressing "serious US concerns on the intelligence being picked up of an impending Taliban and al-Qaida 'spring offensive' against allied forces in Afghanistan." Musharraf, on the other hand, was reported to have insisted his forces had already "done the maximum" to combat extremists active on Pakistan's territory.

Threats behind closed doors

Once behind closed doors, though, Cheney didn't mince words. With CIA Deputy Director Steve Kappes by his side, Cheney threatened them US Congress, with its Democratic majority, could deny Pakistan its promised aid of $785 million if Musharraf didn't finally take action against the Taliban. Congress only recently voted to reconsider aid to Pakistan on an annual basis. Only if Pakistan made good on its promises to fight terror, the message went, would money be forthcoming.

Cheney's visit comes after weeks of similar trips by US officials to Islamabad in recent weeks. But now the tone seems to be shifting and becoming more acrimonious. An unnamed member of the Bush administration was quoted by the New York Times as saying that the administration is tired of listening to Musharraf's promises.

"He's made a number of assurances over the past few months, but the bottom line is that what they are doing now is not working," one senior administration official told the Times. "The message we're sending to him now is that the only thing that matters is results."

But it's not just the Taliban giving the United States a headache. Several Western intelligence agencies suspect that al-Qaida militants are also grouping in the border region and using the territory -- which is only loosely controlled by Pakistan's military -- for training. US President George W. Bush recently characterized the region as "wilder than the Wild West." Analysts told the Times it has once again become a "hub of militant activity."

So far, solid evidence to suggest the terror network is active in the region remains thin. Those arrested in London last year on suspicion of planning to attack a number of passenger jets are said to have had connections to the border region. Several Pakistani terrorists who killed a US diplomat with a car bomb in Karachi in March, 2006 are also said to have had contacts to al-Qaida leaders from the North Waziristan border region.

According to the New York Times, intelligence services have even identified an al-Qaida training camp. What has been known for years is that the Taliban use the area as a safe retreat after military operations -- and that the Pakistani troops controlling the border are doing little to prevent it.

"Absurd, biased and unsubstantial"

Pakistan, not surprisingly, denies these allegations. President Musharraf's spokesperson called them "absurd, biased and insubstantial" in a conversation with SPIEGEL ONLINE. Pakistan's military is doing everything to "recognize and eliminate" Taliban structures, General Shaukat Sultan insisted. He pointed out the military has stationed 80,000 soldiers along the border, whereas only few soldiers are to be seen on the Afghan side of the border. "We've done our part; now the Afghans should do theirs," the general demanded.

It's not dissimilar from the message the Pakistani has for years tried to disseminate. "We always say the same thing," Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz admits. And then he cites the same numbers given by military officials -- 80,000 soldiers on the border, more than 1,000 manned posts. But mostly politicians emphasize the military has already suffered 700 casualties in its struggle against the Taliban. "We've suffered more than other states, because of Afghanistan," the Prime Minister says, sounding almost proud.

But it was precisely the high number of casualties that forced Pervez Musharraf's government to go soft on the Taliban last year. A messenger from Islamabad signed a ceasefire with a number of militant groups active in the region -- groups known to openly support the Taliban. After the peace deal, Pakistan's troops retreated to their headquarters, venturing forth only rarely to attack Taliban positions or camps. The Taliban have been operating in the region "virtually undisturbed" ever since, according to Western intelligence analysts.

The peace deal -- really a ceasefire that was effectively forced on Pakistan -- symbolizes President Musharraf's dilemma. He knows from experience that every military offensive against the Taliban or other militant groups active in the border region will lead immediately to attacks on him or military facilities. Moreover, his own political survival is based in large part on support from radicals, say observers. Any action taken against the radicals is potentially dearly expensive.

But the US, it seems, is tired of excuses. They're said to have issued a clear threat in the past weeks that if push comes to shove, they will clear up the border region themselves. Such US-led attacks, which have occurred only rarely in the past, would break Musharraf's back politically. US intervention would be just what both fundamentalist Muslims and more moderate parties in Pakistan are waiting for to be able to attack Musharraf.

From Musharraf's point of view, much turns on when and how the United States make good on their threats. About $300 million of the US financial aid provided to Pakistan goes to the country's powerful military, which also secures the President's own power. No one has a stake in endangering Musharraf's political authority. As dissatisfied as Washington may be with his efforts to combat the Taliban and al-Qaida, what a new Pakistani government would look like in the event of Musharraf being overthrown is simply too unpredictable. And so a solution to the conflict seems difficult to achieve. But one thing is certain: Musharraf is facing a difficult year.



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:11

Sanobar, 11-years-old girl is abducted and raped by warlords

Malom Zafar Shah, the district chief, and powerful warlord Mehmood, both from the “Northern Alliance”, are accused of this crime


Sanobar, 11-years-old daughter of Gulsha, an Afghan widow, has been abducted, raped and then traded in exchange for a dog by warlords in Aliabad district of Kondoz province in North of Afghanistan.

The suffering mother, while crying, says: "a month ago at 11 o'clock of night armed men entered my house and after beating and threatening me by gun, abducted my only daughter."

She accused the district chief Malom Zafar Shah and a powerful warlord Commander Mehmood to be responsible for this crime.

Gulsha says later it was found that her daughter has been raped and exchanged with a dog and a sum of money to another person but her whereabouts are still unknown.

While crying she told journalists: "I approached human rights office and police but none of them could help to find my daughter. The district chief himself has 4 daughters but he sold my daughters to others. With many difficulties and problems I grown up my 2 daughters, one was previously sold [by him] to a Kandahari man and taken to Pakistan and another was exchanged with a dog. Please bring them to justice." 

Both Malom Zafar Shah and warlord Mehmood are from the "Northern Alliance" and members of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan led by Burhanuddin Rabbani (currently member of the Parliament). They have a long record of such crimes and brutalities against people of Kondoz. Malom Zafar has been appointed as district chief directly by Qasim Fahim the former defense minister and vice President and now member of Senate.

In an interview with Ariana TV, Malom Zafar rejected all charges against himself and Commander Mehmmod telling "no Jehadi brother is involved in such crimes."

Mohammad Zahir Zafari, chief of the human rights office in Kondoz says, they have tried since a month to find the child but police is also unable to do anything as powerful people have link to the crime. He also exposed that his office was threatened a number of times to stop following of the case.

Pajhwok Afghan News quoted Zahir Zafari on Nov.7, 2006: "The only person responsible for the abduction of Sanobar is the warlord Mehmood, who exchanged the girl with a dog which he got from Nimatullah and then sold it for 150,000 Afghanis (US$3000)."

Such crimes happen on daily bases in Kundoz and other parts of Afghanistan where warlords have established jungle law and have all the key positions in their possession.

Unfortunately only few of such cases find its way to the media, most journalists are too afraid to report it as it can have dangerous consequences for them.


Malom Zafar Shah, the District Chief, a warlord of the "Northern Alliance" is involved in many such crimes.



http://www.rawa.org/gulsha.htm






Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:16
edited---somewhat irrelevent to taliban.


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:23

2,000 illegal armed groups active in northern Afghanistan.


27 February, 2007


By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer 50 minutes ago

PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan - The disarmament of Afghanistan ‘s illegal private militias has ground to a halt and the price of weapons in the country‘s relatively quiet north is skyrocketing — a sign of the embattled central government‘s failure to assert its control, Afghan and Western officials say.

This mountainous, ethnically diverse region has been spared the intense violence in the past year that has rocked the south and the east, where the Taliban has staged a violent comeback, launching scores of suicide bombings and brazen guerrilla attacks on Afghan, U.S. and NATO forces.

"No (provincial) governor has stayed for more than three or four months in the job because there are powerful people and networks" who force them out, said Habibullah, a car mechanic in Pul-e-Khumri, the provincial capital of Baghlan, where the top Kabul-appointed administrator was replaced three times during 2006.

The price of a Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle has risen in the past three years from $100 to $400, officials and local commanders said.

"Everybody is looking after themselves," said Malek, who today heads Afghanistan‘s Liberty Party.

That was supposed to support a parallel effort to build a strong national army and police force.

A subsequent U.N.-Afghan effort then was launched to disarm and disband illegal armed groups with up to 120,000 members involved in crime, extortion and drug smuggling.

Some 2,000 illegal armed groups — each with at least five fighters — remain active, including new groups that have popped up across the country, said Ahmad Jan Nawzadi, a spokesman for the disarmament program. It originally hoped to disarm all fighters by the end of 2007.

That has worrying implications for the Western-backed project to rebuild a country scarred by the civil war between rival mujahedeen factions that broke out after the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

A new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, based on more than 1,000 interviews with Afghans and 200 experts, says that northern militia commanders who took part in the initial disarmament drive have begun to rearm, and former warlords retain de facto control, blunting Karzai‘s influence in the region.

Mohammad Zamir, a 25-year-old shopkeeper, said people in Baghlan dare not go out after nightfall.

"Even in my house I have weapons to ensure the security and dignity of my family," Zamir said.

But rising weapons prices in the north, where there are large arms stockpiles left over from the civil war, are not just stimulated by local demand.

Arms dealers are "buying and smuggling to the Taliban areas in the south," according Bashir Khan Baghlani, a former senior commander of the Islamist militant group Hezb-i-Islami.

"These smugglers buy from the locals, put them in their vehicles and pay off the corrupt local police, who turn a blind eye to the trade," Baghlani said.

Western officials confirm that trend, which presents a threat to the 47,000 U.S.-led coalition and NATO forces that are bracing for a surge in Taliban attacks this spring. Thousands of people were killed in violence last year that shook confidence in Karzai‘s weak government.

"The north is a place from where the weapons go to the south," said 1st Lt. Laslo Tor, safety and security adviser to the Hungarian Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghlan province.

___

Associated Press Writer Amir Shah contributed to this report.


http://localnewsleader.com/jackson/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=68402





Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:28

What does that have to do with the Taliban existing in Pakistan?



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:37
Maqsad, that is irrelevant, if you want, make a new topic for it.

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


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:45
I made one for him.

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:45
I just wanted to remind posters that the taliban's real hub is in Afghanistan and also that the northern alliance is alive and well and also guilty of a lot of crimes. Instead of creating another thread titled "Afghanistan - Taliban Hub" I thought I would put articles relevent to the taliban that present a diametrically  opposite view of them being nurtured in and by pakistan.  Since these posts are rebuttals I would argue they are relevent to the Taliban being[in this case not being] in Pakistan.

I edited out one of the rape posts, it did seem irrelevant.


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:49

Post what you want but NOBODY disagrees that the Taliban exist in Afghanistan, it is a irrelevant discussions since everybody and their grandmother knows that Afghanistan is openly at war with them.

What you could have posted was the links between the "Northern Alliance" and the Taliban, including their links with funding Gulbuddin and other low-level commanders.  Again, ANOTHER TOPIC, in another thread, not relevant to Pakistan's meddling.    Unless you can find a link between the Northern Alliance and Pakistan?


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 16:02
Well the idea that you consistently promote in this thread is that the Taliban are a pakistani creation and that all of them, wherever in the world they may be, are trained, controlled and financed by the I.S.I. My posts are simply to provide fresh insights that directly contradict and discredit this theme. 


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 16:33
Those articles are still irrelevant to this thread since they do not allude to the Taliban being nurtured in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They merely provide examples of crimes commited in Afghanistan by criminals without any specific geopolitical agenda in commiting those crimes.

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


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 19:59
Originally posted by maqsad

Well the idea that you consistently promote in this thread is that the Taliban are a pakistani creation and that all of them, wherever in the world they may be, are trained, controlled and financed by the I.S.I. My posts are simply to provide fresh insights that directly contradict and discredit this theme. 

Come again?  You posted an article about a warlord crime in Northern Afghanistan, how does that have to do with the Taliban Hub in Pakistan?    Again, another irrelevant article. 
Had you actually cared about womens rights and rape and what not, you would devote a topic to that account, and maybe even add a few articles on rape in Pakistan to allow 'fresh insight' . Embarrassed


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 11:11
Originally posted by Zagros

Those articles are still irrelevant to this thread since they do not allude to the Taliban being nurtured in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They merely provide examples of crimes commited in Afghanistan by criminals without any specific geopolitical agenda in commiting those crimes.



Sorry but one of them certainly did relate to the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan because the bolded portion of one of the the second article says that the price of weapons on the black market in Northern Afghanistan has been bumped up because the weapons are being bought by taliban in South Afghanistan. I believe this is relevent because it shows increasingly desparate attempts by Afghani Taliban to arm themselves to the teeth. If the paki ISI was truly the "mother hen of taliban terrorists" as Afghanan fanatically tries to promote with your full approval then they would not need to run to the north to buy weapons. Its obviously drug lords operating with their own cash and since similar weapons are much cheaper in Pakistan its plain obvious the ISI is not helping them.


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 11:17
Originally posted by Afghanan

Originally posted by maqsad

Well the idea that you consistently promote in this thread is that the Taliban are a pakistani creation and that all of them, wherever in the world they may be, are trained, controlled and financed by the I.S.I. My posts are simply to provide fresh insights that directly contradict and discredit this theme. 

Come again?  You posted an article about a warlord crime in Northern Afghanistan, how does that have to do with the Taliban Hub in Pakistan?    Again, another irrelevant article. 
Had you actually cared about womens rights and rape and what not, you would devote a topic to that account, and maybe even add a few articles on rape in Pakistan to allow 'fresh insight' . Embarrassed


I'm sorry to interrupt your 5 pages of onesided anti-paki propaganda with  Afghan warlord crimes but I wanted to remind everyone that the Northern Alliance firstly are not angels and secondly are regarded as thugs just like the Taliban are and were. And my second article quotes NATO personel complaining about Afghani based taliban operating from their kandahar "hub" who obviously have no connection with the ISI or they would not be acting this way in the north. See post above regarding that as well. So the second article is highly relevent in my opinion...I have stated why so.


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 11:51

Completely irrelevant.  Everybody knows the Taliban operate in Afghanistan, the question is , why are they operating in Pakistan?

Do you still deny it?

-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:00

Pakistan makes a deal with the Taliban

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times Online / March 1, 2007

KARACHI - The Pakistani establishment has made a deal with the Taliban through a leading Taliban commander that will extend Islamabad's influence into southwestern Afghanistan and significantly strengthen the resistance in its push to capture Kabul.

One-legged Mullah Dadullah will be Pakistan's strongman in a corridor running from the Afghan provinces of Zabul, Urzgan, Kandahar and Helmand across the border into Pakistan's

Balochistan province, according to both Taliban and al-Qaeda contacts Asia Times Online spoke to. Using Pakistani territory and with Islamabad's support, the Taliban will be able safely to move men, weapons and supplies into southwestern Afghanistan.

The deal with Mullah Dadullah will serve Pakistan's interests in re- establishing a strong foothold in Afghanistan (the government in Kabul leans much more toward India), and it has resulted in a cooling of the Taliban's relations with al-Qaeda.

Despite their most successful spring offensive last year since being ousted in 2001, the Taliban realize they need the assistance of a state actor if they are to achieve "total victory". Al-Qaeda will have nothing to do with the Islamabad government, though, so the Taliban had to go it alone.

The move also comes as the US is putting growing pressure on Pakistan to do more about the Taliban and al-Qaeda ahead of a much-anticipated spring offensive in Afghanistan. US Vice President Dick Cheney paid an unexpected visit to Pakistan on Monday to meet with President General Pervez Musharraf.

The White House refused to say what message Cheney gave Musharraf, but it did not deny reports that it included a tough warning that US aid to Pakistan could be in jeopardy.

A parting of the ways

The Taliban saw that after five years working with al-Qaeda, the resistance appeared to have reached a stage where it could not go much further.

Certainly it has grown in strength, and last year's spring offensive was a classic example of guerrilla warfare with the help of indigenous support. The application of improvised explosive devices and techniques of urban warfare, which the Taliban learned from the Iraqi resistance, did make a difference and inflicted major casualties against coalition troops.

However, the Taliban were unable to achieve important goals, such as the fall of Kandahar and laying siege to Kabul from the southern Musayab Valley on the one side to the Tagab Valley on the northern side.

Taliban commanders planning this year's spring uprising acknowledged that as an independent organization or militia, they could not fight a sustained battle against state resources. They believed they could mobilize the masses, but this would likely bring a rain of death from the skies and the massacre of Taliban sympathizers. Their answer was to find their own state resources, and inevitably they looked toward their former patron, Pakistan.

Al-Qaeda does not fit into any plans involving Pakistan, but mutual respect between the al-Qaeda leadership and the Taliban still exists. All the same, there is tension over their ideological differences, and al-Qaeda sources believe it is just a matter of time before the sides part physically as well.

Pakistan only too happy to help

Ever since signing on for the US-led "war on terror" after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Pakistan has been coerced by Washington to distance itself from the Taliban. The Taliban were, after all, enemy No 1 for harboring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda's training camps.

So when the opportunity arose, Islamabad was quick to tap up Mullah Dadullah. This was the perfect way in which Pakistan could revive its contacts in the Taliban and give the spring uprising some real muscle, so the argument went among the strategic planners in Rawalpindi - in fact, so much muscle that forces led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be forced into a position to talk peace - and who better than Pakistan to step in as peacemaker and bail out its Western allies?

The next logical step would be the establishment of a pro-Islamabad government in Kabul - delivering a kick in the strategic teeth of India at the same time. After all, Pakistan invested a lot in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation in the 1980s yet it received little in return. Whether it was former Afghan premier Gulbuddin Hekmatyar or Taliban leader Mullah Omar, they refused to be totally Pakistan's men.

A man for all seasons

Mullah Dadullah, 41, comes from southwestern Afghanistan, so he is "original Taliban", and has a record of being a natural leader in times of crisis.

Mullah Dadullah made a name for himself during the Soviet occupation, during which he lost a leg. And with victories against the Northern Alliance after the Taliban took over Kabul in 1996, he pushed the alliance into the tail end of Afghanistan. This made him Pakistan's darling from Day 1.

He was Mullah Omar's emissary in the two Waziristan tribal areas before the spring offensive of last year. Here he brokered a major deal between the Pakistani armed forces and the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan had lost more than 800 soldiers in operations against the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda and it needed a face-saving way to extricate itself from the mess.

Mullah Dadullah's peace deal provided this, and the army made an "honorable" withdrawal from the volatile semi-independent region. Whenever the ceasefire was violated, Mullah Dadullah would settle things down.

The 2006 spring offensive was veteran mujahideen fighter Jalaluddin Haqqani's show. Nevertheless, the main areas of success were not Haqqani's traditional areas of influence, such as southeastern Afghanistan's Khost, Paktia and Paktika. The Taliban secured major victories in their heartland of the southwest, Helmand, Zabul, Urzgan and Kandahar. And their leader was Mullah Dadullah, whose men seized control of more than 12 districts - and held on to them.

Pakistani strategic circles are convinced that as a proven military commander, Mullah Dadullah will be able to work wonders this spring and finally give the Taliban the edge over the Kabul administration and its NATO allies.

This, ultimately, is Pakistan's objective - to revive its role in Kabul - and Islamabad is optimistic that Dadullah's considerable diplomatic skills will enable him to negotiate a power-sharing formula for pro-Pakistan Afghan warlords.

Even if Mullah Omar disagrees about any major compromise, Islamabad believes that Dadullah would by then have made such a name for himself in the battle against NATO that Omar would have little option but to accept whatever terms were agreed on.

A new string in the Taliban bow

A notable addition to what can only be described as a limited Taliban arsenal this year is surface-to-air missiles, notably the SAM-7, which was the first generation of Soviet man-portable SAMs.

The Taliban acquired these missiles in 2005, but they had little idea about how to use them effectively. Arab al-Qaeda members conducted extensive training programs and brought the Taliban up to speed. Nevertheless, the SAM-7s, while useful against helicopters, were no use against the fighter and bomber aircraft that were doing so much damage.

What the Taliban desperately needed were sensors for their missiles. These detect aircraft emissions designed to misdirect the missiles.

And it so happened that Pakistan had such devices, having acquired them from the Americans, though indirectly. The Pakistanis retrieved them from unexploded cruise missiles fired into Afghanistan in 1998, targeting bin Laden. They copied and adapted them to fit other missiles, including the SAMs.

Now that the Taliban and Pakistan have a deal, these missiles will be made available to the Taliban. Much like the Stingers that changed the dynamics of the Afghan resistance against the Soviets, the SAMs could help turn things Mullah Dadullah's, the Taliban's and Pakistan's way.

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



-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:11
I am not here to admit or deny anything, that is up to whoever reads the thread. And it is not irrelevent that there are groups of taliban that operate in afghanistan without any help from ISI. That is highly relevent because you are spamming this thread with many posts that imply the Taliban is an ISI backed entity so when I produce an article with reliable NATO official quotes and it turns your articles upside down it is highly relevent. 


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:30
I want you to answer, my point of this thread is to spark an honest debate on Pakistani meddling in Afghanistn affairs (not about warlords, not about innocent Afghan girls being raped - both of which you've never shown to have interest in before BTW).
 
Do you believe Fundamentalist parties in Pakistan and elements within the Pakistani government are indirectly or directly supporting the Taliban?  How can you think that an armed movement with SAMs, and the capability of flying to Arab countries without Visas does not have a "STATE" supporter?
 
If you do, do you think this is a good policy to interfere, how will this help Pakistan in the long run?
 


-------------
The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: maqsad
Date Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:33
Originally posted by Afghanan

And it so happened that Pakistan had such devices, having acquired them from the Americans, though indirectly. The Pakistanis retrieved them from unexploded cruise missiles fired into Afghanistan in 1998, targeting bin Laden. They copied and adapted them to fit other missiles, including the SAMs.


Ok so pakistan supposedly can manufacture SAM sensors that are replicas of Tomohawk class missile. What use are these sensors going to be on soviet SAM missiles? LOL

Originally posted by Afghanan

that the Taliban and Pakistan have a deal, these missiles will be made available to the Taliban. Much like the Stingers that changed the dynamics of the Afghan resistance against the Soviets, the SAMs could help turn things Mullah Dadullah's, the Taliban's and Pakistan's way.

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



Can you or your India based news reporter please explain how the taliban are going to outfit a russian SAM missile with a replica of an American cruise missile sensor? Sleepy



Print Page | Close Window

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a - http://www.webwizforums.com
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz - http://www.webwizguide.com