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Archive for category Pakistan’s Fights Terrorism

US drone war deal ‘in return for killing Pakistani militant in CIA missile strike’

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US drone war deal ‘in return for killing Pakistani militant in CIA missile strike’

The US assassinated a Pakistani tribal rebel with an armed Predator drone to win support from the country’s government to launch the war from the skies with drones in 2004, according to US reports.

 

 

 

Drones overshadow John Brennan's confirmation as CIA director

The president relented to demands from senators to disclose 11 classified legal memos in which his administration argues that it has the authority to use drone strikes to kill terror suspects who are US citizens Photo: REUTERS
 
Philip Sherwell

By , New York

9:31PM BST 07 Apr 2013

 

The back-room deal, although not publicly confirmed, was detailed in several interviews with officials in the US and Pakistan for a New York Times investigation (Note: New York Times is a Zionist owned paper, which is extremely hostile to Muslim nations, and particularly Pakistan. so, everything it publishes is skewed toward Israeli viewpoint).

The bargain was crucial in allowing the Central Intelligence Agency dramatically to escalate its use of unmanned drones to target suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s border areas in what the then Bush administration called the “war on terror”.

President Barack Obama has intensified America’s covert drone operations, expanding their role in Yemen and East Africa, as he has tried to reduce US boots on the ground in combat missions.

John Brennan, the new CIA director, was the architect of Mr Obama’s “targeted killing” programme as the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser in the first term.

But the drone war has become increasingly controversial in the US, particularly after Mr Obama authorised the assassination overseas of American citizens who are alleged senior al-Qaeda operatives. The most notable case was the killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the US-born radical preacher, in a drone missile strike in Yemen.

Several Democratic and Republican politicians have challenged the legality of orders to kill Americans without judicial review and expressed concern that drones could be used over US soil.

Nek Muhammad had been a small-time teenage car thief and storekeeper in the tribal region of South Waziristan before he crossed the border in 1993 to join the new Taliban movement in Afghanistan.

Mr Muhammad fled back to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban regime in late-2001, playing host to Arab and Chechen fighters from al-Qaeda who crossed the border with him.

The Pashtun tribal leader used his new armed strength to attack Pakistani bases and also to stage cross-border raids on US positions in Afghanistan. The Pakistani military’s attempts to kill Mr Muhammad and quell his insurgency failed as he became a major challenge for the government of President Pervez Musharraf.

According to the New York Times, then CIA director George Tenet authorised his CIA officers in Islamabad to begin negotiations with their Pakistani ISI counterparts.

“If the CIA killed Mr Muhammad, would the ISI allow armed drone flights over the tribal areas?” Mr Musharraf signed off on the secret talks.

The US would never acknowledge a role in the missile strikes and Pakistan’s military would take credit for the killings. In June 2004, Mr Muhammad was killed in a missile attack and Pakistan’s military was quick to claim responsibility.

The deal had been signed in the blood of the militant. It came at a crucial stage for the Bush administration as the CIA had just completed a damning internal report about the abuse of terror suspect detainees in secret prisons across the world.

The timing of that report and the secret drone deal played a central role in the controversial transition of the CIA’s role from capturing to killing suspected terrorists.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes killed between 474 and 881 civilians – including 176 children – in Pakistan between 2004 and last year.

Meanwhile, even as America winds down its military foothold in Afghanistan, a Taliban suicide car bomb attack this weekend provided a bloody reminder of the dangers there.

Five Americans, including two civilians, died in the attack on their convoy on a trip to deliver books to a school. The victims of the deadliest attack on Americans there for nine months included Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old diplomat.

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WHITE HAT TALIBANIZED CROOKS: Loan default: NAB shares data on Sharif graft references

Loan default: NAB shares data on Sharif graft references

Published: April 5, 2013
 

The two brothers were found accused of loan default in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills scandal by the NAB during the scrutiny of their nomination papers. PHOTO: TMN/FILE

LAHORE: 

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has passed on information to election authorities about three graft references against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s leadership, an official said. The references are pending in the Accountability Court, Rawalpindi.

Unknown-4The move drew an angry response from the party, whose spokesman counselled the corruption watchdog not to do “politics”. The party intends to give a detailed response at a press conference on Friday.

NAB’s reply to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is part of the scrutiny process of candidates and it has not spared PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and ex-provincial chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

The two brothers were found accused of loan default in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills scandal by the NAB during the scrutiny of their nomination papers, sources told The Express Tribune.

The record was sent to the returning officers (ROs) through the ECP. The NAB found that the Sharif brothers were accused in the case of loan default of Rs3,486 million rupees in the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

NAB records show that the Sharif brothers had filed a petition for quashing the First Information Report (FIR) against them in the Lahore High Court (LHC) and the case was still pending. “In that respect, they [Sharifs] were still accused in the default case,” said an official.

The case was filed in March 2000 with the Attock NAB Court where the Sharif brothers were accused of misusing their authority and accumulating wealth beyond their means. The other accused included their third brother Abbas Sharif, Nawaz Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, and Senator Ishaq Dar.

“The competent authority to decide the candidature of the Sharif brothers were the respective returning officers and not the NAB,” said a NAB spokesperson while reacting to television reports that the NAB had objected to the candidacy of the two PML-N leaders.

The NAB spokesperson said that the bureau has neither raised objections on any candidate during the scrutiny of the nomination papers nor has it returned the name of any candidate with objection to election commission.

NAB has received more than 18,000 nomination forms and it has only provided the information that was to be provided to the special cell of the poll body.

But the PML-N directed its wrath at the anti-corruption authority. A party spokesman said NAB’s objections against Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif were based on mala fide intentions.

“NAB should not do politics but rather it should refrain from becoming a party in this regard”. The NAB’s report against the Sharif brothers is part of a well-calculated conspiracy.

He said the PML-N will disclose facts at a news press conference on Friday (today).

In a separate statement, PML-N’s spokesperson Senator Pervez Rasheed said there is no discrepancy in the assets declared on the nomination papers of the PML-N president.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2013. 

 
 

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NORTH WAZIRISTAN : WHERE INDIA’S BELOVED DEMON TALIBAN FLOURISH

 

The tribal area of Pakistan’s North Waziristan, along the border of Afghanistan, has been strictly forbidden for foreigners, until now. NBC’s Amna Nawaz gets an exclusive look into ground zero of Pakistan’s fight against terror.

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan — It’s been called the most dangerous place in the most dangerous region on the planet.

A rugged swathe of tribal territory nestled between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Waziristan is ground zero for some of the region’s most notorious militant groups and warlords, including the Pakistani Taliban and Haqqani network.

North and South Waziristan are hit by more U.S. drone attacks than anywhere else in the world.

NBC News obtained rare access to South Waziristan and last week became the first foreign team of journalists to report from North Waziristan. 

Long-ignored by the rest of the country, Waziristan is one of the least developed and least educated sections of Pakistan. Literacy rates for women in some areas are in the single digits. With little infrastructure, funding, or investment, many make their living by engaging in criminal activity, cross-border smuggling, or signing up to join militant groups.

The Taliban is believed to pay 10,000 – 12,000 Pakistan rupees a month (roughly $100 – $120) to foot soldiers, with bonuses for carrying out ambushes, killing a soldier, or even members of military families.

Confronting the violence, the Pakistan military is diversifying its campaign in the “war on terror,” no longer just fighting in the region, but also beginning to rebuild it.

“There are only less than half a percent of people who are fighting as terrorists. What about the more than 99.5 percent of people?” asks Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, who commanded the army division in South Waziristan in 2010 before becoming official military spokesman. 

 

Pakistani Army Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa discusses the impact the “war on terror” has had on Waziristan. “The motto we adopted was ‘build better than before,'” he told NBC News.

In the wake of a major operation in 2009, the Pakistan Army has largely succeeded in pushing back the militant threat from South Waziristan. The area is now considered secure and tribal communities that fled the fighting are starting to return.

Bajwa realized that if the tribal communities weren’t given something to replace their previous way of life, they might again become willing to help or harbor terrorists.

“Looking at it in a larger security context, you can’t really separate development from security,” said Bajwa. “So we’re doing this to serve the larger purpose as well. “


In the village of Chagh Malai, the army constructed a marketplace, complete with dozens of individual shops carrying everything from cloth to medicine to household supplies. Tribal communities here previously maintained individual shops in their homes or in roadside stalls. The marketplace, army commanders said, gives them a sense of community and a central commercial gathering place. They have plans to build 30 complexes like it across the area.

Tribal elder Akhlas Khan excitedly toured the market last week, introducing store owners and showing off inventory.

“Previously, I’d have to travel four or five hours to get these,” he said, gesturing to a small shop carrying electrical goods. “Now, I only need to come here!”

Pakistan Army commanders on the frontlines of the battle for Waziristan talk about the challenges they face and how important it is to develop this isolated part of the world. NBC News’ Amna Nawaz reports.

TALIBAN AND THEIR PUBLIC FLOGGINGS AND EXECUTIONS

In Sararogha, South Waziristan, an 88-shop market complex now stands at the same site the Taliban — once headquartered here — used to use for public floggings and executions.

“These communities, the vast majority of them, have seen the worst kind of atrocities known to the human race,” said Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mahmood Hayat, commander of the Pakistan Army’s 40th Division in South Waziristan.

“They’ve been subjected to coercion — mental and physical — by the terrorists in order to acquiesce them to support,” he added. “They’ve seen their loved ones being butchered in front of their own eyes. So that is the kind of trauma this society has seen. And therefore the greater the challenge to bring back the confidence of these people into the state machinery.”

Trading routes and schools
At the heart of the army’s plans to rebuild the area is a 370-mile road — funded in large part byUSAID money. The road, half of which is complete, will connect the isolated and insular tribal communities to each other, as well as the rest of mainstream Pakistan and to trading routes across the border in Afghanistan.

When finished, the roadway will offer a third link from Pakistan to Afghanistan, and the army hopes, will encourage business development along its path through Waziristan.

In addition to the road project, the army has taken on development projects far outside its traditional roles. 

Waj S. Khan / NBC News

A tribesman waits in line at a ‘Distribution Camp’ set up on the side the newly constructed Tank-Makeen road in South Waziristan. Radios and mattresses are the items of choice popular among locals, who belong to one of the most impoverished communities in Pakistan.

Along with the markets, two military schools, known here as Cadet Colleges, were built in South Waziristan to offer young men a rigorous education and boarding-school environment, unlike any educational opportunity available in the region before.

Col. Zahid Naseem Akbar, principal of the Cadet College, Spinkai, said he hopes the school will gives boys in the area the same opportunities as those elsewhere in the country.

“They have the same potential as any other citizen of this country has,” Akbar said. “And I think we owe it to them that we provide them the opportunity to join the mainstream.”

The army is overseeing the rebuilding to schools demolished by the Taliban and building schools for the first time in some areas, including for girls. The military established the Waziristan Institute for Technical Education — a vocational school to train young men who missed their early education during Taliban rule. 

And the army is restoring water supplies and electrical systems and funding what they call “livelihood projects,” training and empowering local small businesses in everything from honey bee farming and fruit orchards, to auto repair and transport services.

“The strategy that the Pakistan army has adopted is a people-centric strategy,” Hayat said. “So the more areas you’ve able to clear, the more infrastructure you’re able to build, the more people you are able to bring back and sustain. Provide them economic opportunities. That is the measure of success.”   

Ideal habitat for Taliban
Frontline commanders all say the battle for Waziristan will not be won with hearts and minds alone. Security operations continue, gradually increasing what they call their “elbow space” in the region.

Both North and South Waziristan feature snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, hidden caverns, and daunting mountain ranges which provide natural cover. It’s the ideal habitat for the Taliban and other groups seeking refuge and covert routes for travel between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Amna Nawaz / NBC News

A Pakistani soldier hikes toward an observation post near the border between North and South Waziristan. With little infrastructure, funding, or investment, many in the area make their living by engaging in criminal activity, cross-border smuggling, or signing up to join militant groups.

Atop a 6,000-foot high post in South Waziristan, Brig. Hassan Azhar Hayat said despite securing the area, the struggle to hold it against “pockets of resistance” is constant. His troops, he says, still carry out targeted operations on an almost daily basis.

“That’s why the military’s presence is so important here right now in this area, that we keep increasing our perimeter of security,” Hayat said. “This is guerrilla warfare. It cannot happen that you’re able to eliminate the complete Taliban in any form. So it is different warfare altogether.”

North Waziristan remains the only one of the seven tribal agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in which the Pakistan military has not launched a significant military operation.

Despite public pressure from the U.S. to act, Pakistani commanders there cite the complexity of the region, the politicized nature of the debate, as well as the increasing stakes of the approaching 2014 drawdown of troops across the border as critical to their operation’s timeline.

Mohsin Raza / Reuters

Images of daily life, political pursuits, religious rites and deadly violence.

 

Maj. Gen. Ali Abbas, the commanding officer of the 7th Infantry Division of the Pakistan Army, currently stationed in North Waziristan, said his region must be considered separately because of the number of influences at play. However, 40,000 troops are stationed in North Waziristan, which shares a 113-mile border with Afghanistan, 

“North Waziristan is not like any other agency in Pakistan,” Abbas said. “It’s very different. It’s very complex.”

Despite the territory won and economic investments made, there is concern within the local community about a backslide to the time of Taliban rule. Khan, the tribal elder, doesn’t want the army to leave until the entire area has been won and a civilian administration has taken over control. Army commanders say their commitment is clear.

“The army will stay here as long as the army is desired by the local people to stay here, and mandated by the government of Pakistan to stay here,” Hayat said. “We’re here for the long haul. This is our backyard. We cannot ignore it.”

Communities in South Waziristan have been slow to return to the region after the end of military operations. In some sections, crumbling homes and untended stretches of land dot the landscape. Small clusters of mud-walled homes sit empty. Army commanders hope as word of their development efforts spreads, more of those who fled the fighting will return. They are taking, they say, a very long view.

“If we really want to change this area, the approach is to do it over one generation,” Bajwa added. “Look at the next 10 years. If we put a child in the school now, and 10 years on, we bring him out of the school, we put him into a college, I think we have done our job.”

Reference: 

By Amna Nawaz and Waj S. Khan, NBC News
 

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CHEATERS: PML(N) FAKE DEGREE HOLDER KHADIM HUSSAIN WATTOO DISQUALIFIED

Col.(Retd)Riaz Jafri
10:32 AM 

 
  

LETTER TO EDITOR

March 20th, 2013

 

MNA Disqualified

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Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday declared PML-N MNA Khadim Hussain Wattoo ineligible for having fake degree, Geo News reported. Khadim Hussain was elected Member National Assembly (MNA) on PML-N ticket from  Bahawalpur. LHC passed the judgement on a petition filed in August 2010 by Mr. Nawaz Cheema who had  contended that Muhammad Akhter Khadim alias Khadim Hussain Wattoo had always cheated election commission by submitting bogus degrees and adopting dishonest practices in elections from 1985 to 2008.

The MNA has been unseated at a time when the NA itself has been dissolved for completing its tenure. One wonders if the NA had still some more life the ‘honourable’ MNA would have kept enjoying his untouchable status and stature! Anyway, now the question arises that would the salaries and various other expenses incurred on the perks and privileges of the ‘honourable’ member  of most august house of the country for the period that he was its mighty member be recovered from him with interest or not?  Not only that, the matter of one’s proffering a fake and false degree without having honestly passed a certain examination is not an ordinary act of perjury!!  It is a well thought out and planned premeditated crime and committed willfully and with the full knowledge of its perpetrator. Such a scourge of the society must not be left lightly.  He must be punished severely to the utmost and made a horrible example to act as a deterre nt for the others.

 

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

Rawalpindi 46000

Pakistan
E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

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LETTER TO EDITOR: E.Filing of Nomination Papers

 

LETTER TO EDITOR

March 16th, 2013

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E.Filing of Nomination Papers

 

Now that the ECP duly supported by the SC has been able to get the nomination forms printed with the changes that it wanted in them, the clever politicians are bound to think of means and measures to thwart its full implementation. Their very first step in this direction was to deny the ECP the 30 day scrutiny period asked by it to scrutinize more than 10,000 applicants” thousands of particulars in detail.  It is, therefore, suggested that the contestants should be asked to e.file their applications along with all the supporting documents like tax returns, bank statements,  bank loan papers, travel tickets and other documents, utility bills, cars and vehicles registrations etc. etc, which should all be immediately uploaded on the ECP website for all to see. Anyone detecting any discrepancy/ inaccuracy/false or fake statement/ document could immediately draw ECP attention for its detailed scrutiny.  This shall assist/help the ECP tremendously in scrutiniz ing the particulars of the applicants in the shortest possible time.

 

Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Rawalpindi 
Pakistan

E.mail: jafri@rifiela.com

 
 
 
 
 

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