Hillary/Barack/Brzezinski/Rockefeller want to start war with Pakistan asap

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BBC News

Clinton concern for Pakistan fate


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Pakistan of abdicating to the Taleban by allowing them to control parts of the country.

Mrs Clinton told a congressional panel the situation in Pakistan posed a "mortal threat" to world security.

She said extremists were being allowed to control territory such as the Swat Valley, in north-western Pakistan.

She also called Pakistan's judicial system corrupt, adding that it has only limited power in the countryside.

Earlier this month, Pakistani President Ali Zardari signed a law implementing Islamic law - or Sharia - in the Swat Valley region as part of a deal to end a two-year Taleban insurgency there.

Once one of Pakistan's most popular holiday destinations, the Swat Valley is now mostly under Taleban control.

Thousands of people have fled and hundreds of schools have been destroyed as a result of a Taleban-led insurgency.

The Swat Valley is only about 100km (62 miles) from Islamabad, and reports suggest the Taleban are trying to expand the area under their control.

Read Full Article Here

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother;

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2009, 10:11:05 pm »
New York Times

Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pushing deeper into Pakistan, Taliban militants have established effective control of a strategically important district just 70 miles from the capital, Islamabad, officials and residents said Wednesday.

The fall of the district, Buner, did not mean that the Taliban could imminently threaten Islamabad. But it was another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency and it raised new alarm about the ability of the government to fend off an unrelenting Taliban advance toward the heart of Pakistan.


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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2009, 10:12:58 pm »
Can anyone else see were this is heading ?

  • Pakistan Govt Falls
  • Pakistan actualy has Nukes
  • Obama Invades
  • Israeli use this cover to attack Iran

Its allways possible that Nuke might be used as a False Flag. After such an incident the majority of people would back any response, including rounding up 'politcal dissadents' / 'twoofers'
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother;

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Offline L2Design

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 12:03:31 am »
Today 4-22-09 why did they have weird white temporary walls infront of the white house?
I saw it on one of those stupid cnn show interviewing a reporter infront of white house.

(preparing for false flag on white house)?

Offline chrisfromchi

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2009, 12:07:40 am »
Can anyone else see were this is heading ?


In The TV Show Jericho, Iran and North Korea were destroyed in a nuke retaliation strike by the remnants of the US government who blamed them for the False Flag nuke attacks.

Offline L2Design

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2009, 12:13:18 am »
I have to watch that show Jericho...

Anti_Illuminati

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2009, 12:15:49 am »
They might have to provoke genocidal war because I think all of their false flag options have been so heavily blown out of the water/preemptively exposed that they probably will have no choice.

But then again that means they still have to sell yet another illegal war of high treason to the American people and I don't know how they would get away with that either at this point.

Offline L2Design

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2009, 12:31:55 am »
I wonder why Pakistan? What resources do these psychos want?

http://www.gsp.com.pk/resources/index.html


Offline chrisfromchi

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2009, 02:14:14 am »
I have to watch that show Jericho...

CBS on Youtube has the complete series. Enjoy. I know i did.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D9B106198C36985E

Every Episode has something that Alex talks about...seriously.

Offline More Perfect Union

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2009, 03:22:53 am »
CBS on Youtube has the complete series. Enjoy. I know i did.

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=D9B106198C36985E

Every Episode has something that Alex talks about...seriously.

Well you ruined the ending for me thanks.

Offline RickDaniels

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2009, 06:59:29 am »
Can anyone else see were this is heading ?

Pakistan and Afghanistan are going to be the final chapter in US Military might as a sovereign nation.  watch "Charlie Wilson's' war"  the documentary or the movie.

What we did to the USSR in the 80's, which ultimately caused their downfall, will be done to us. 

That is, if the myriad of other crisis we face today, don't do it first.
“As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”  Donald Rumsfield

Rick®

Offline Kilika

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It's not in anyones best interests for Islamic radicals to have nukes. Are the Taliban or Al-Quida really assaulting the Pakistani government? Doesn't matter because it's a fact Islam does exist, and it is a well-known fact there are those claiming to be Muslim at the same time openly admit they prefer Israel didn't exist anywhere on earth.

Is that the proper Muslim attitude? Again it doesn't matter because blood-thirsty anti-semites exist, whether they attend Mosques or not. Those type people should not be in control of a government that has functioning nuclear weapons, period.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:10 (KJB)

Offline Dig

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It's not in anyones best interests for Islamic radicals to have nukes. Are the Taliban or Al-Quida really assaulting the Pakistani government? Doesn't matter because it's a fact Islam does exist, and it is a well-known fact there are those claiming to be Muslim at the same time openly admit they prefer Israel didn't exist anywhere on earth.

Is that the proper Muslim attitude? Again it doesn't matter because blood-thirsty anti-semites exist, whether they attend Mosques or not. Those type people should not be in control of a government that has functioning nuclear weapons, period.

I have absolutely no idea what you are saying but you include at least 3 dick cheney talking points.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Dig

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And we all know how much the military trusts Hillary:

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline Kilika

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I have absolutely no idea what you are saying but you include at least 3 dick cheney talking points.

What don't you understand? Those 3 talking points would be?

For the record, I DO NOT support Cheney, his thug buddies, Republicans or Democrats, or any political party. Let's not even go there. Unless I'm misreading what you wrote, I'm not crazy about what your suggesting Sane. It comes across as an accusation. Would you mind clarifying?
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."
1 Timothy 6:10 (KJB)

Offline Dig

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What don't you understand? Those 3 talking points would be?

For the record, I DO NOT support Cheney, his thug buddies, Republicans or Democrats, or any political party. Let's not even go there. Unless I'm misreading what you wrote, I'm not crazy about what your suggesting Sane. It comes across as an accusation. Would you mind clarifying?

"It's not in anyones best interests for Islamic radicals to have nukes." [What Islamic radicals?]

"Are the Taliban or Al-Quida really assaulting the Pakistani government?" [Yes! CIA controlled Al-Qaeda is really assaulting the Pakistani government and has been for a long time.]

"Doesn't matter because it's a fact Islam does exist, and it is a well-known fact there are those claiming to be Muslim at the same time openly admit they prefer Israel didn't exist anywhere on earth." [Who? The CIA trained terrorists recently released from the MK Ultra terrorist training camp at Gitmo?]

"Is that the proper Muslim attitude?" [Which attitude, who are you referring to? Brzezinski created islamic funamentalism. He brags about it.][/b]

"Again it doesn't matter because blood-thirsty anti-semites exist, whether they attend Mosques or not." [This is true, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with Pakistan.  Jews have more rights there than they do in US controlled Iraq.  And CIA executed Nick Berg at Abu Graib and Daniel Perle was executed by a G7 hit squad which can include MI6/SAS/Mossad/CIA/CACI/Kroll)]

"Those type people should not be in control of a government that has functioning nuclear weapons, period." [You mean like the Queen of England? The Queen of the Netherlands? The Russian PM? David Rockefeller? Netanyahu? Chinese Premier? Who are you referring to?]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I though perhaps Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity was posting here.
All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately

Offline jannerbob

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8013827.stm

Quote
Tony Blair has said the case for using military force to topple oppressive regimes is as strong as it ever was - despite events in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But hold on Tony Bliar! Iraq was never about using military force to topple Saddams oppressive regime.You said this in Monte Carlo on January 19th 2003,

Quote
So far as our objective, it is disarmament, not regime change - that is our objective. Now I happen to believe the regime of Saddam is a very brutal and repressive regime, I think it does enormous damage to the Iraqi people, the Iraqi people are potentially a prosperous people, Iraq is a country that is potentially rich. The standard of living and prosperity of the Iraqi people would be infinitely greater were Saddam not there. And you only have to look at the recent election, what we actually know is that only one in three people turned out to vote and the election was plainly a sham. Now in the end countries do better if they have greater freedom and greater democratic capability for their people, so I have got no doubt Saddam is very bad for Iraq, but on the other hand I have got no doubt either that the purpose of our challenge from the United Nations is disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, it is not regime change.

And you said this on 24th September 2002 to the House of Commons.

Quote
I have made it clear that the purpose of any action should be the disarmament of Iraq. Whether that involves regime change is in a sense a question for Saddam as to whether he is prepared to comply with the UN resolution. I consider it odd that people can find the notion of regime change in Iraq somehow distasteful. Regime change in Iraq would be a wonderful thing. That is not the purpose of our action; our purpose is to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that if he studies the Iraqi regime carefully, he will find that it is not very redolent of anything to do with the Liberal Democrats.

Just to prove what an imbecile you are you also said this.

Quote
the regime of Saddam is a very brutal and repressive regime, I think it does enormous damage to the Iraqi people, the Iraqi people are potentially a prosperous people, Iraq is a country that is potentially rich. The standard of living and prosperity of the Iraqi people would be infinitely greater were Saddam not there.

The fact is that toppling regimes is against International law and attacking countries without a cast iron case for self defence is a war crime,the supreme war crime.Tony Bliar is effectively rewriting history and advocating war crimes and nobody even seems to notice.

Offline heavyhebrew

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In accordance to the principles of Doublethink, it does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.
We work jobs we hate to pay for stuff we don't need to impress people we don't like. Am I the crazy one here?

Offline ConcordeWarrior

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2009, 02:08:05 pm »
I wonder why Pakistan? What resources do these psychos want?

http://www.gsp.com.pk/resources/index.html


Why are Youtube blocking me access to the video?
I get the following error message: This video is not available in your country.

What is this crap???    >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(
The Sky is My Home

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In accordance to the principles of Doublethink, it does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, that victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won. It is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labor. A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.

ding ding ding

/threadclosed

(=

Online EvadingGrid

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ding ding ding

/threadclosed

(=

LOL

Anyway, day by day illuminazi forces operate predator drones and fire into pakistan. The war is simply creeping across the border day by day. Hilary is making a sound-bite, preparing the public to accept the inevitable. I really think the real end game is that during the engineered pseudo crisis that Israel will attack Iran.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother;

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Offline Kilika

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"It's not in anyones best interests for Islamic radicals to have nukes." [What Islamic radicals?]
Hmm, good question. Those people claiming they desire Sharia Law and a life of Islamic rule. Who "they" are or who their handlers are to me matters not. Their intentions are not good, whatever their real motivations are. I'll be honest, I'm not interested in who is behind the whole "radical Islam" thing. All I know it isn't good. I believe this whole general topic is one big distraction, an illusion, that ultimately provide cover for the reorganizing of governments to conform to the globalists agenda. What better way to get countries to accept "reform" than to cause problems they can step in and insist on fixing.

"Are the Taliban or Al-Quida really assaulting the Pakistani government?" [Yes! CIA controlled Al-Qaeda is really assaulting the Pakistani government and has been for a long time.]
I wasn't actually questioning if they were/are. There's no question theres an attack on the country of Pakistan for quite some time. Sorry I didn't make it more clear.

"Doesn't matter because it's a fact Islam does exist, and it is a well-known fact there are those claiming to be Muslim at the same time openly admit they prefer Israel didn't exist anywhere on earth." [Who? The CIA trained terrorists recently released from the MK Ultra terrorist training camp at Gitmo?]
Not sure why you bring that up, as it is a seperate thing altogether. Are the CIA meddling in the Islamic moverment? Of course they are. Spooks hide in chaos, and if none exists, they'll be glad to provide it. At the same time, as I said, Islam does indeed exist, and the followers of Islam in fact do want a world under the rule of Islam, and ultimately insist that all people, Jews included, convert to Islam.(even their spook handlers!)

"Is that the proper Muslim attitude?" [Which attitude, who are you referring to? Brzezinski created islamic funamentalism. He brags about it.]
Yeah, 'ol 'zinski gives himself way too much credit! He's a legend in his own mind, and his daughter is nothing but a wanna-be twit. I hate to break it to him though, but Islamic fundamentalism has been around far longer than he has. He may have had a part in fueling the underlying hatred, which is classic tactics of the intelligence field, but he can't take all the credit.

"Again it doesn't matter because blood-thirsty anti-semites exist, whether they attend Mosques or not." [This is true, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with Pakistan.  Jews have more rights there than they do in US controlled Iraq.  And CIA executed Nick Berg at Abu Graib and Daniel Perle was executed by a G7 hit squad which can include MI6/SAS/Mossad/CIA/CACI/Kroll)]
I tend to agree it doesn't specifically, because it only matters whether or not one is Muslim. Pakistan is just one battleground.

"Those type people should not be in control of a government that has functioning nuclear weapons, period." [You mean like the Queen of England? The Queen of the Netherlands? The Russian PM? David Rockefeller? Netanyahu? Chinese Premier? Who are you referring to?]
You know who I'm talking about; Muslims, real or percieved, who insist on Sharia Law. The people you mention are indeed behind the big picture. Ultimately those radical Muslims answer to, and are under the control of those globalist elites. It's just that those same radicals don't realize who they will have to answer to! Where ever Islam thinks it is in control, they are sadly mistaken, and will be forced to conform to the NWO just like all other countries.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I though perhaps Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity was posting here.
You would be mistaken, at least not in my posts. The only person I promote, support, or encourage people listen to is Jesus. Beck, Hannity, and many others need to repent and believe the gospel. My basic rule of thumb is summed up very clearly right here...

"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD." Jeremiah 17:5 (KJV)

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1 Timothy 6:10 (KJB)

Offline al0152

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Re: Hilary wants to start war with Pakistan asap
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 01:03:42 pm »
Can anyone else see were this is heading ?

  • Pakistan Govt Falls
  • Pakistan actualy has Nukes
  • Obama Invades
  • Israeli use this cover to attack Iran

Its allways possible that Nuke might be used as a False Flag. After such an incident the majority of people would back any response, including rounding up 'politcal dissadents' / 'twoofers'


And all the while when they are SUPPORTING and ARMING the TTP, the section of the Taliban which is LAUNCHING THE ATTACKS in Pakistan, with leaders such as Bait 'ullah Masood. They have ALL THE ADVANCED WEAPONRY, having C4 explosives, everything supplied by Mossad, CIA, and Indian RAW intelligence agencies.
Live free....or DIE HARD!!!

There is no right in war.....only one that is left - Bertrand Russell

What goes up does not necessarily go down, and vice versa.......

Offline gunDriller

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BBC News

Clinton concern for Pakistan fate

She also called Pakistan's judicial system corrupt, adding that it has only limited power in the countryside.

I would think that would help her feel more at home.
http://theinfounderground.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5367

Cheney managed the War Games.  Israel did the Demolitions.

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Offline bigron

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Radical cleric breaks off talks in Pakistan's Swat

Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:32am EDT
By Junaid Khan
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSISL21802620090427?feedType=nl&feedName=usmorningdigest



MINGORA, Pakistan (Reuters) - A radical cleric, acting as the Taliban's go-between in Pakistan's restive Swat valley, broke off talks with the government on Monday after a military offensive began in a neighboring northwest region.

Pakistan launched an offensive against Taliban fighters in the northwest region of Lower Dir after being attacked by militants.

Surging violence across northwest Pakistan and the spread of Taliban influence have heightened concerns about insecurity in the nuclear-armed country, an important U.S. ally whose help is crucial to defeating al Qaeda and stabilizing Afghanistan.

Several thousand people began fleeing Lower Dir, residents said, a day after security forces using artillery and helicopter gunships swung into action after the militants' ambush.

A military spokesman said more than 40 militants had been killed, though independent estimates were unavailable.

Analysts say President Asif Ali Zardari may want to show some steel before talks in Washington with President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on May 6-7.

Zardari on Monday sought to allay U.S. fears that the Taliban could get their hands on Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

"I want to assure the world that the nuclear capability of Pakistan is under safe hands," he told a panel interview with Reuters and other international media.

JUST THE START

Lower Dir and Swat are part of the Malakand division where Zardari reluctantly sanctioned the imposition of Islamic sharia law this month after a peace deal with radical cleric, Sufi Mohammad, aimed at ending militant violence.

Paramilitary officials said Mohammad, who was released from jail last year after renouncing militancy, was unable to leave his home in Lower Dir's Maidan village due to a curfew.

Mohammad sparked uproar last week by denouncing the parliament, democracy and the Supreme Court as un-Islamic, and a spokesman for the old cleric said there would be no further dialogue with the government until it stopped its operation.

"We are suspending talks with the government until the military operation in Dir is halted," said Aamir Izat, a spokesman for Mohammad.

Mohammad had been negotiating for a speedier implementation of sharia courts in Swat, while the government wants the Taliban to fulfill its side of the bargain by laying down arms.

A Taliban spokesman in Swat, 125 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, breathed defiance following the operation in Dir.

"The more they carry out operations the more we will expand across Pakistan," Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said.

Pakistan's allies want to see coherent, decisive action by Islamabad against militants, rather than policies of appeasement, and many Pakistanis have come round to a similar view.

"The only option is to take action," said retired brigadier Mehmood Shah, a former chief of security in northwest Pakistan.

Shah expected the operation in Dir to be over soon, but saw chances for a larger offensive in Swat given the Taliban's recalcitrance.

"If these people do not deliver on their part of the agreement... I think there is no other option with the government," he said.

FAMILIES FLEE

Security forces launched the offensive in Lower Dir, about 170 km (104 miles) northwest of the capital Islamabad, after militants attacked a convoy of paramilitary troops and 12 children were killed by a bomb hidden in a football.

Helicopter gunships and artillery targeted militant hideouts in the villages of Lal Qala and Islam Qala, and families poured out of the region, which lies to the west of Swat.

Sporadic artillery fire was heard overnight and on Monday morning and residents saw a helicopter circling the area.

"Search and cordon operations are being carried out to capture or flush out militants," the military spokesman said.

Alarm bells had rung in Washington last week after Taliban fighters moved into Buner valley, south of Swat and just 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Islamabad.

On Friday, with expectations growing of a military operation, Taliban commander Fazlullah, ordered his men to pull back to Swat, but officials and residents said armed fighters who hailed from Buner were still present.

(Reporting by Junaid Khan; Writing by Augustine Anthony; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Valerie Lee)


Offline bigron

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Residents appeal for peace in Pakistani valley


Javed Khan
Reuters North American News Service
http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/04/26/residents-appeal-for-peace-in-pakistani-valley/

Apr 26, 2009 04:57 EST




BUNER, Pakistan, April 26 (Reuters) - Thousands of people rallied in Pakistan's Buner valley on Sunday to call on the government and the Taliban to avoid conflict as fears grew of an imminent military offensive in the northwest region.

The Taliban's creeping advance towards Islamabad -- Buner is just 100 km (60 miles) northwest of the Pakistani capital -- has heightened concern in the United States about stability of its nuclear-armed Muslim ally.

U.S. officials want Pakistan to take a stand rather than cede more territory to militants through policies of appeasement like the decision earlier this month to introduce Islamic law in a large chunk of North West Frontier Province. Emboldened after winning that concession, Taliban fighters moved into Buner from the neighbouring Swat valley, but their commander ordered some of them to withdraw on Friday, leaving behind only those fighters who hailed from Buner.

Western governments that need Pakistan's support to defeat al Qaeda and succeed in stabilising Afghanistan, dread the idea of any threat to the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons.

"We can't even contemplate that," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview with Fox News in Baghdad.

"We cannot ... let this go on any further. Which is why we're pushing so hard for the Pakistanis to come together around a strategy to take their country back."

CALL FOR RESTRAINT

People living on the frontline in Buner had another perspective.

They fear they will have to flee their homes if their valley becomes a battleground, and at a rally in Buner town called for the Taliban and government to show restraint.

"We appeal to the Taliban to stop shows of force and display of weapons, as there is no justification for it after enforcement of Nizam-e-Adl regulation," Mian Said Laiq, a politician, told the rally, referring to sharia, or Islamic law.

President Asif Ali Zardari last week reluctantly sanctioned the introduction of sharia in Malakand Division, which includes Swat and Buner, in the hope that it would help pacify the region.

On Saturday, 12 children were killed by a bomb hidden in a football in Lower Dir, part of Malakand Division, and Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik on Sunday blamed the Taliban.

"The Taliban have exposed their real face by killing innocent children," Malik said.

During the rally in Buner, cleric Misbahuddin Malikpuri warned the government against deploying security forces if the Taliban committed to keeping the peace.

"If government sent troops to Buner despite the Taliban's commitment not to disturb peace, then we will be with the Taliban," he added.

Pakistan's allies want to see a coherent, decisive action by Pakistan, and Zardari may want to show some steel before talks in Washington with President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai on May 6-7.

Pakistani officials say they are trying to use political means to reduce the violence, but there are growing signs that the government is preparing to unleash the military. (Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Alex Richardson)

Source: Reuters North American News Service


Offline bigron

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Pakistan goes its own pace on militants

By Syed Saleem Shahzad , Apr 28
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KD28Df02.html

ISLAMABAD - When is a peace deal not a peace deal? The one signed between the Pakistani government and militants in the Swat area in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in February which imposed sharia law in return for a ceasefire could be such a deal.

The government said on Monday that at least 26 militants had been killed in Lower Dir, close to the Swat Valley, after two days of fighting in one of the districts covered by the sharia deal.

However, a Taliban spokesman in the area said the assault by paramilitary Frontier Corps forces was a "violation" of the deal. The Taliban at the weekend withdrew from neighboring Buner district just 96 kilometers from the capital Islamabad. They had briefly taken over the area.

"We don't have any intentions to spread out to Islamabad. We will contain ourselves up to the Swat Valley and want to present a model of true Islamic justice in Malakand Agency. We have pulled out all external Taliban elements from Buner and there is no reason for any military operation to be conducted now," Muslim Khan said in a statement.

 Despite the latest developments, informed quarters have told Asia Times Online there will be no compromise on the Swat peace deal, despite pressure from Washington, and that other such deals might be made. Nevertheless, military operations will continue if the militants commit any violations.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in response to the troubles in Buner that the "Taliban advances pose an existential threat to the survival of Pakistan", yet the leaders in Islamabad appear relaxed.

What Pakistan is up to
Over the past eight months, Pakistan has developed a counter-insurgency policy in response to two categories of militants. These are the major players in the regional war which form the Afghan national resistance against foreign troops, and a minor segment in Pakistan which only aims to create chaos inside that country with the particular object of neutralizing Islamabad's support in the "war on terror".

The major regional players, including Taliban leader Mullah Omar, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Mullah Bradar, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Anwarul Haq Mujahid, have never wanted to create instability in Pakistan. Islamabad believes that if tomorrow foreign armies were to leave Afghanistan, these people would dominate.

The minor groups, the Pakistani establishment analyzes, are not anti-Pakistan in the sense that they want to seize the state of Pakistan; they simply want to end Pakistan's collaboration with the US on the terror front.

These include Dr Ismail in Bajaur Agency, Mullah Nazir and his Ahmadzai Wazir tribe in South Waziristan and Hafiz Gul Bahadur in North Waziristan. The establishment wants to make ceasefire deals with these militants through direct and indirect tribal and non-tribal channels.

This would leave a small segment of militants, namely the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, including Baitullah Mehsud, Mullah Fazlullah of Swat, Abdul Hakeem Mehsud in Orakzai, Punjabi militants and Uzbek warlords. They aim to bring chaos to Pakistan over the "war on terror".

In the post-George W Bush era, Pakistan is able to work on the basis of ground realities rather than at the dictate of the US and the myths it wove about al-Qaeda and the Taliban. This forced Pakistan to sign on for entire campaigns, such as to hunt for high-profile targets such as Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawarhiri and other Arabs and foreign elements. The new policy aims at the elimination of insurgents without any specific campaign.

Major General Tariq Khan, the Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (FC), is at the forefront of this. He spoke last week to Asia Times Online at the FC's headquarters in the historic Balahisar Fort in Peshawar, the capital of NWFP.

The Frontier Corps is trained and equipped by the Americans and has emerged in the past few years as a major counter-insurgency force that has been lauded by US army chief Admiral Mike Mullen for its role in Operation Lion Heart.

In this operation, the FC was involved in the Mohmand and Bajaur areas, while across the border in Afghanistan North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces were active in Kunar and Nooristan provinces. The aim was to clip the wings of the Taliban in the southeastern Afghan corridors all the way up to northeastern Kapisa province near the capital Kabul.

"Our position on the operation in Bajaur and Mohmand was against the violence which had suddenly erupted in Bajaur," said Khan. "The operation was not meant for al-Qaeda as al-Qaeda does not have any sizeable presence anywhere in the region. They are facilitators or leaders in some parts. During that operation in Bajaur and Mohmand, the insurgents who clashed with the government were killed, including the Arabs."

Khan added that from the perspective of the Pakistani forces, they were just fighting militants, whether Arabs or locals, and they fought them without any particular treatment. Khan said the military's policy had enabled Pakistan in the past eight months to gain ground and redeploy its forces in five tribal areas out of the seven from where they had been ejected by the militants.

Asia Times Online contacts maintain it is a common perception, especially among the top strategic quarters in Washington, that once the Pakistan army started mobilizing troops for these operations and NATO beefed up its presence in Kunar and Nooristan, the top leadership of al-Qaeda, including Bin Laden and Zawahiri, moved out of this region.

They are thought to have shifted to a nearby place, either deep inside the jungles of Nooristan on the Afghan side or somewhere around Chittral. Recently, Washington pressurized Pakistan to start a new joint campaign for the hunt of Bin Laden, but Pakistan refused to allow such an operation in which US special forces would take part.

Khan, however, does not believe Bin Laden or Zawahiri were in the region when Pakistani forces moved in. "I know many people speculate about that, but I would like them to share intelligence, and then we would love to hunt them."

In terms of Pakistan's counter-insurgency prioritizes, one of the world's most wanted persons - Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud - rates low, although his network has caused major instability not only in NWFP but in the entire country. Some say he is the harbinger of the neo-Taliban's strength.

"Baitullah Mehsud is overrated," said Kahn. "Nobody has really gone into South Waziristan and sorted him out and when that happens, probably we will make a better assessment of his capacity. We have given him some importance in the area, and it has allowed him to acquire a kind of artificial leadership because whenever someone has trouble, they call him and he sends in some improvised-explosive-devise experts and a few rocket experts, who are Tajiks and Uzbeks.

"He also has a lot of funding, and he has got some training schools for suicide bombers, and he does some recruitment. He creates a military response or maneuver just by doing such explosions here and there and he opts to put pressure on the government to relieve the military pressure we are applying here," said Khan.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at saleem_shahzad2002@yahoo.com

(Copyright 2009 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
15:00 Mecca time, 12:00 GMT   
News CENTRAL/S. ASIA 
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/04/2009428114714402689.html

 
Pakistan expands assault on Taliban 


 
Lower Dir is close to the border with Afghanistan [AFP]

 
Pakistani fighter aircraft are raiding suspected Taliban bases in the country's Buner district, a military spokesman has said, in an apparent widening of its offensive.

Army troops are also set to enter the district in their push against opposition fighters, Major Nasir Khan said on Tuesday.

The apparent expansion of the military campaign comes as thousands of people flood out of the neighbouring Lower Dir district, where the army has targeted the Taliban.

Buner, Lower Dir and the nearby Swat valley are covered by a deal in which the government agreed to allow the Taliban to implement their interpretation of sharia (Islamic law).

But Sufi Muhammad, a religious leader who has been holding peace talks with the central government, has suspended dialogue with Islamabad as a result of the army assault.

"We are suspending talks with the government until the military operation in Dir is halted," Aamir Izat, a spokesman for Muhammad, said on Monday.

Sharia deal

The Pakistani military says it has killed at least 46 suspected Taliban fighters in air and ground operations in Lower Dir since Sunday.

The district, which lies in the Malakand division of the North-West Frontier province, is close to the border with Afghanistan.
 

"Lal Qila in Lower Dir has been fully secured after the successful operation by the Frontier Corps against the miscreants today," the military said.

The military action in Lower Dir comes weeks after the government allowed the Taliban to implement their interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) in the neighbouring Swat valley, after talks brokered by Muhammad.

Prior to Muhammad's move on Monday to suspend negotiations with Islamabad, a spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari said that the government would fulfil its pledge to allow the establishment of Islamic courts in the northwest of the country.

But he said that the government, which allowed sharia in Swat in an attempt to limit violent activity in the region, would not permit the fighters to spread their area of influence.

In recent days, fighters from Swat began entering another district, Buner, which lies just 100km from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

Later reports suggested that the fighters had begun to pull out after military action was threatened.

Hyder reported on Sunday that: "The military moved in, but they have of course been using maximum restraint because they want this peace deal [in Swat] to work.

"We also got reports ... that the military arrested at least five Taliban who were violating the accord - they were toting weapons in an area of Swat."

'Syndicated extremists'

Critics of Pakistan's deal with fighters in Swat say that it has only emboldened the Taliban.

The US in recent days has increased pressure on Pakistan to confront fighters on its soil.

General David Petraeus, the head of US central command, said Pakistan's leaders should focus on the looming threat posed by fighters within their borders.

"The most important, most pressing threat to the very existence of their country is the threat posed by the internal extremists and groups such as the Taliban and the syndicated extremists," he said.

Across Pakistan, more than 1,800 people have been killed in a wave of al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked attacks since July 2007.
 
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies 
 
 

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Pakistan intelligence agencies believe Osama is dead: Zardari


PakTribune.com -


http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53773&hd=&size=1&l=e


Monday April 27, 2009 (1625 PST)

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari said Monday that Pakistani intelligence agencies believes Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is dead but acknowledged they had no evidence.

"The Americans tell me they don’t know, and they are much more equipped than us to trace him. And our own intelligence services obviously think that he does not exist anymore, that he is dead," Zardari told reporters.

"But there is no evidence, you cannot take that as a fact," he said. "We are between facts and fiction."

"The question is whether he is alive or dead. There is no trace of him," the president said.

Zardari further said that the nuclear assets of the country have been in safe hands and under extraordinary security.

"All Pakistani nuclear installations are under extra security," he told foreign media in an interview. "I want to assure the world that nuclear capabilities in Pakistan are in safe hands," he said.

End.




 

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Global conspiracy behind Balochistan unrest: senators


By Mumtaz Alvi

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53765&hd=&size=1&l=e

Monday, April 27, 2009


ISLAMABAD: Senators from Balochistan fear that the situation in Pakistan’s largest province might soon reach a point of no return, if no drastic damage-control measures were taken now.

"We share common views that the situation in Balochistan is not normal. People, particularly youth in many areas, no more hesitate from openly demanding independence from Pakistan," said these senators in an informal chat with The News here at the Parliament House the other day.

Sitting in the chamber of Deputy Chairman Senate Jan Muhammad Jamali, who also hails from Balochistan, these lawmakers wished the people sitting in Islamabad should have the full understanding of the real problems of the province.

Akbar Magsi, who made his way to the Senate in March, was of the view that the rulers, among others who matter, needed to comprehend the foreign element, which was also actively involved in disturbances in the province.

The Balochistan crisis, he pointed out, had its roots in a way in a global conspiracy, which eyed its massive natural resources blessed with gold, gas, copper and other precious reserves. However, he was quick to add that had the respective rulers comprehended Balochistan’s political, social and economic problems and strived for its solutions, people might have not raised slogans of saying goodbye to the federation.

In reply to a question, Magsi said that those who mattered should reach out to every segment of the Baloch and Pushtoon society and make them believe that they were serious in addressing their grievances in a stipulated period.

"I wonder, almost every senator whether sitting on the treasury or opposition benches, has openly spoken of the imminent threats to the Federation vis-a-vis Balochitan, but no real movement is so far observed or no effort is made in the corridors of power to rise to the occasion," he maintained.

Shahid Bugti, who is the son-in-law of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, said he feared the situation in Balochistan was fast moving towards a point of no return, and this was because of the ineffective policies of the past rulers and the present set-up. Referring to the recently-concluded debate on Balochistan with particular reference to the law and order situation and the killing of three Baloch leaders, he said that it was time to act, though, he feared, it might be a bit too late now.






 

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
19:53 Mecca time, 16:53 GMT   
News CENTRAL/S. ASIA
 http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/04/2009428142423863213.html



 
Pakistan troops move into Buner 

 
 
About 33,000 people are reported to have fled the fighting in Lower Dir [AFP]

 
Pakistani troops, backed by fighter jets and helicopters, have launched an offensive against Taliban fighters in the northwestern town of Buner.

Troops moved into the area on Tuesday, marking an escalation of a conflict that began on the weekend in nearby Lower Dir, where thousands of people have fled the fighting.

Major-General Athar Abbas, a Pakistani military spokesman, said he expected the operation would take up to a week to clear an estimated 500 fighters from the area.

"The aim of the offensive is to eliminate and expel militants from Buner," he said.

Military assault

Major Nasir Khan, another military spokesmen, said that jets had bombed positions in mountains in the Babaji Kandao area of Buner.


Casualty figures were not immediately known, though Abbas said that 10 soldiers and up to 75 fighters had been killed.

Buner, Lower Dir and the nearby Swat valley are covered by the Malakand region peace deal, which allows the Taliban to enforce their strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, in the region in return for a truce.

The government offensive is straining the already shaky peace deal, which was widely criticised in the West as a surrender by Pakistan's government to expanding Taliban control.

Sufi Muhammad, the local religious leader who has been holding peace talks with the central government, has suspended dialogue with Islamabad as a result of the army assault.

Taliban warned

Before the military launched its Buner offensive, Rehman Malik, Pakistan's interior minister, gave warning to Taliban fighters to vacate the area.

"We are not going to spare them," he said.

In Mingora, Swat's main town, residents said that Taliban fighters had taken up positions in the main market and posters placed on the walls of buildings warned journalists over their coverage of the Taliban.

"They should mend their ways, otherwise they will be responsible for the consequences," the posters said.

The government and rights groups say that about 33,000 people have left their homes in Lower Dir as a result of the military's offensive there.

Al Jazeera sources suggest that number could be at least 50,000.

"Most of these people ... are likely to go to relatives and friends, some of them of course will end up in the camps which the government has set up," Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Pakistan, said.

"So the situation, as far as the ordinary people is concerned, is extremely serious."
 
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies 
 
 
 
 
 

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Pakistan launches Taleban strikes

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/8022891.stm

Thousands of people have begun to flee their homes in Lower Dir




Pakistan has launched air strikes against suspected Taleban hideouts in Buner district, less than 100km (67 miles) from the capital, Islamabad.

The aerial attack in Buner comes as tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Lower Dir, another area which is seeing heavy fighting.

Hundreds of militants have moved into adjacent regions recently from the Swat Valley, an area they largely control.

Western politicians have expressed concern over Taleban activity there.

Withdrawal

The air force's move into Buner marks a widening of the government's offensive against the Taleban.

Military spokesman Athar Abbas said their mission in Buner was to "eliminate and expel" the Taleban from the district.

See a map of the region


Maj Gen Abbas said there were about 450 to 500 militants in Buner, in breach of a peace agreement between the government and the Taleban.

Last Friday the Taleban announced they were withdrawing from Buner and have said that there are few fighters left.
   

In pictures: Militants targeted


Meanwhile in Dir, Gen Abbas said the military had killed about 75 militants since Sunday and described the operation as a success.

The BBC's Mark Dummett in Islamabad says the government is complaining that the militants are trying to take over the areas bordering the Swat Valley.

The Taleban denies the government claims.

In Swat itself the Taleban have now spread northwards.

A peace deal between the two sides this year allowed Sharia law to be adopted in large parts of the region in return for the Taleban laying down arms.

Western politicians - particularly in the US - were highly critical of the agreement.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Pakistani government was "basically abdicating to the Taleban and the extremists".

Both the Taleban and the government say they remain committed to the peace deal, which was designed to end a bloody 18-month insurgency.

But the Taleban says it has suspended talks with the government because of the military action in Lower Dir.
STOP THE KILLING NOW
END THE CRIMINAL SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009
15:30 Mecca time, 12:30 GMT   
News CENTRAL/S. ASIA 
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/04/200942992043258475.html

 
Pakistan 'takes Buner from Taliban' 


 
The Taliban are reported to be losing control of Pakistan's strategic town of Buner [EPA]
 
Pakistani troops have regained control of the strategic town of Buner from the Taliban in the country's North West Frontier Province, a military spokesman has said.

The report on Wednesday came on the second day of an offensive by Islamabad after troops were dropped behind Taliban lines.

The Taliban's advance into the towns of Buner and Dagar had brought them within 100km of the country's capital in what was seen as a move to expand their control.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from just outside Buner, said: "There is heavy artillery fire every few minutes. The military are moving towards the Taliban fighters who have positioned themselves in populated areas of Buner."

Three members of Al Jazeera's reporting team in Swat Valley were injured after being shot at.

It is not known who attacked the journalists from the Arabic channel.

'Fighters killed'

The military spokesman said: "The airborne forces have linked up to police and Frontier Constabulary in Dagar. A link up with ground forces is in progress."


 
The army said it had killed about 50 Taliban fighters but did not disclose losses in its own ranks.

Residents saw troops firing shots as they descended from helicopters outside Dagar and explosions were also heard.

"We saw a helicopter dropping troops on the hills early this morning. It came about seven or eight times," resident Arshad Imran said.

"We hear sound of explosions off and on and we can see helicopters flying over the mountains."

About 500 Taliban fighters are in the Buner valley of the North West Frontier Province, about 140km southeast of the Afghan border, and it might take a week to clear them out, a military spokesman said.

Major Nasir Khan, a military spokesman, said that jets had bombed positions in mountains in the Babaji Kandao area of Buner.

Buner, Lower Dir and Swat are covered by the Malakand peace deal, which allows the Taliban to enforce their strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, in the region in return for a truce.

Sufi Muhammad, the local religious leader who has been holding peace talks with the central government, has suspended dialogue with Islamabad as a result of the army assault.
 
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies 
 
 

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Up to one million displaced in northwest Pakistan


The Pakistani Newspaper


http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53799&hd=&size=1&l=e


GENEVA, Apr 28, 2009: Up to one million people are displaced in northwestern Pakistan where militants are feeding on local discontent and strife, humanitarian and local officials from Pakistan warned on Tuesday.

Officials from Pakistan's North West Frontier Province appealed for international relief aid at an unprecedented meeting with relief agencies and donor countries in Geneva.

'We are hearing a lot of pledges and promises made from the international community to Pakistan, and many of them are for security, for the police and the army, but the civilians are not getting what they are supposed to,' said Sitara Ayaz, minister for social welfare and development in the province.

'In our province we need more support and help from the international community,' she said after the two-day meeting in Geneva.

The UN's World Food Programme is working on an estimate of about 600,000 people for food aid in the area, spokewoman Emilia Casella told AFP.

Local officials put the figure at closer to one million, with about 80 per cent of them housed with friends or relatives, sometimes five or six families to a home.

'It is a serious humanitarian situation of major magnitude,' warned Dennis McNamara, an adviser at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, which organised the meeting.

'The registered UN figure for displaced civilians is over half a million. The NWFP relief commissioner says if we get registration completed it may be closer to a million in total.'

'It is a certainly a major displacement, one of the world's biggest if these figures are right,' added McNamara, a former senior UN refugee official.

A provincial minister said in Pakistan on Tuesday that around 30,000 people in the northwest have been displaced since the weekend by a military offensive to flush out Taliban militants.

Participants at the Geneva meeting said impoverished civilians were paying the price for the unrest and the humanitarian strife, and were easily wooed by militants such as the Taliban.

'They can easily be recruited, because they are bitter and they have suffered,' said one of the participants from North West Frontier Province.





 

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56% in FATA see Afghan Taliban as ‘heroes’: survey


Daily Times

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53796&hd=&size=1&l=e


Tuesday, April 28,


PESHAWAR: Exactly 56 percent respondents described Afghanistan’s Taliban as "Islamic heroes fighting western occupation" in a survey conducted by Community Appraisal and Motivation Programme (CAMP) with the help of the British High Commission in Islamabad.

A paltry 12.1 percent called them "a terrorist group". More than 54 percent respondents said they were "dissatisfied with life" in FATA in general. The number of satisfied people stood at 18.15 percent, according to the survey, and 17.5 percent said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

Some 73.25 percent tribesmen referred to provision of justice as "the most important service" that the government should provide in their areas followed by 64.6 percent voting for education, 52.1 percent for health and 47 percent for tackling terrorism. Just 2.95 percent respondents referred to the US as a "very favourable" country, compared with 66.2 percent who called it "very unfavourable". iqbal khattak



 

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56% in FATA see Afghan Taliban as ‘heroes’: survey


Daily Times

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m53796&hd=&size=1&l=e


Tuesday, April 28,
..
A paltry 12.1 percent called them "a terrorist group".
..

ROFL

See what happens when you cant brainwash a population ?
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother;

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Could Pakistan Dissolve Altogether?

Interview: Afghanistan scholar Thomas Barfield on Pashtun rebels, a nuclear Punjab, and how Islamabad played Americans for suckers.




By Michael Mechanic | Thu April 23, 2009 2:33 PM PST
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/05/americas-pakistan-problem






Boston University anthropologist Thomas Barfield has been publishing relentlessly ever since the mid-1970s, when he wandered northern Afghanistan doing doctoral fieldwork. He has since emerged as one of America's foremost experts on the region, focusing on political development, provincial-state relations, and customary law. In 2006, Barfield, now president of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies, received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship to complete his upcoming book on the changing concepts of political legitimacy in Afghanistan. I caught up with the professor to discuss the P-word—Pakistan—and its role in our current predicament. At the time of our interview, Pakistan's government had not yet signed its agreement with the Taliban that allowed for the imposition of strict Islamic law in six northwestern regions, including Swat.

Mother Jones: To what degree does future Afghan stability depend on reconciliation between India and Pakistan?

Thomas Barfield: The India/Pakistan relationship is probably central. Pakistan has from its inception defined itself in opposition to India, and that makes it difficult. But Kashmir needs to be reconciled. Pakistan could also dissolve: The four provinces have very little holding them together.

MJ: Dissolve into what?

TB: Four ministates or something, in which case your policy changes radically. If you're dealing with rump nuclear-armed Punjab and three separate, independent nations, then reconciliation almost becomes a moot point.

MJ: Can you make peace in Afghanistan without dealing with Kashmir?

TB: Yes, you can. Kashmir's a separate issue, and settling it would not necessarily stop the Pakistanis from meddling in Afghanistan—which they used to talk about as their fifth province.

MJ: And also an extension of their battle with India.

TB: They view everything as an extension of their battle with India. They bought our tanks and planes so that they could fight India, with which they have lost three wars. It's totally not in Pakistan's self-interest to do this, and yet they're utterly driven by it. But if you solve the India thing, I presume that would go a long way to providing regional peace.

MJ: What can the US do to facilitate this, given that India doesn't want outsiders involved in the Kashmir dispute?

TB: It's not clear Pakistan's military can survive without our subsidies—it's a bankrupt country. One of the things for us to tell Pakistan is that we may not want to get involved in this directly, but we want to see this problem solved. And in this the US is probably neutral, because there's no constituency in the United States that's keen on Kashmir one way or the other. Most people don't even know where it is.

MJ: Pakistan's army and ISI, its military intelligence service, basically made the Taliban what it is. Was this support driven by ideology or India strategy?

TB: Part of it was its India strategy, this "strategic depth" they talk about. The Pakistani belief was, "What if the Indians overran the plains? We would regroup in Afghanistan and drive them out." But one look at Afghanistan and you say, "Wait a minute, how are you going to move your equipment?" It's ridiculous. It's not strategic depth. It's nothing. The Pakistanis also have a paranoia—which they actually now might make true—that India is trying to surround them, since India has always had good relations with Afghanistan, and Afghanistan and Pakistan have always had bad relations.

MJ: How come?

TB: Afghanistan was the only state that voted against Pakistan's admission to the United Nations on the grounds that it was an illegitimate state, it shouldn't be allowed to exist. With Partition there were only two options: Join India or join Pakistan. The Afghans said there should be two more options, that the Northwest Frontier province and Baluchistan should be able to vote to become independent or join Afghanistan—they said people weren't given those options and therefore it was an unfair process. If you look at Afghan maps of Pakistan, they always include what they call Pashtunistan, which runs to the Indus River. As you can imagine, Pakistan is not real pleased to see maps like that, which give away half its territory. So there's been this hostility. And essentially, because India's been opposed to Pakistan, Afghanistan has had good relations with Delhi. But the big thing is that Afghans hold Pakistan responsible for most of the trouble in their country.

MJ: India has also been visibly doing good things in Afghanistan.

TB: Oh, a lot. When the truck bomb went off at the Indian Embassy last July in Kabul, the Indians saw that as a calling card from ISI saying, "Get out. This is our territory." And they responded by saying, "We're going to give Afghanistan another $400 million."

MJ: Wasn't Jalaluddin Haqqani the bomber?

TB: Yeah. But he's an Afghan who fights for the Taliban, and this wasn't a Taliban operation. This was a message from Islamabad to India. The bomb went off as India's military attaché was coming to work, so it wasn't just a bomb; it was an assassination specifically targeting one of their high military officials.

MJ: Does Pashtun nationalism play any role in Pakistan's military activities?

TB: Pashtuns are a small minority—something like 15 percent—so their nationalism is looked upon very critically. The government and military are dominated by people from the Punjab.

MJ: Right. In fact, many Pashtuns basically live on reservations, the tribal areas, that operate under a 1901 law.

TB: Yes, the Frontier Crimes Regulation Act. Some of the Pashtuns feel like they are a colony of Pakistan. They're not full citizens, and the act gives the Pakistani government the right to collective punishment, to burn down villages, to ban trade, and even to put whole tribes under interdict—even if they're not living in the area. So it's fairly draconian, and it comes directly out of British colonial rule.

MJ: So if the army isn't Pashtun, how does a smaller element like the ISI exert so much control?

TB: A lot of people in the ISI are Pashtuns because they had the language skills. During the Soviet War period, [Mohammad] Zia ul-Haq began Islamizing the army. Before, the army was fairly resolutely secular, but since the '80s you saw a greater and greater influence of Islamists in the army as well as the ISI. By the time they were helping the Taliban, some [army officials] were highly sympathetic to this idea of a Wahhabi-style Islamic state. Pakistan was formed as a state for Muslims separated off from India—it's name means "land of the religiously pure"—and it's always been like, "Well, are we Muslim enough?" All states founded as places to protect a religious group run into that problem. Israel has that problem with its right wing, and in Pakistan it's even stronger.

MJ: How has army support of the jihadis imperiled the Pakistani government?

TB: The easiest example: The jihadis took over Swat Valley, which is full of Pashtuns, but was under the direct rule of the government and always had been. It had become one of the more secular, progressive areas of the Pashtuns, because it was a resort. It had ski lodges, and was a big tourist place for foreigners in the '70s and '80s. Swat is only a couple hours drive from Islamabad. This is like rebels taking Fredericksburg and sending their representatives to Washington saying, "We want autonomy. Northern Virginia isn't good enough for us."

MJ: And Pakistan has basically bent over.

TB: Yes, it really has. They have trained their troops to fight conventional warfare on the plains with tanks, with missiles, against India. So in a place like Swat, where you've got guys with guns fighting in mountains, and who are experts on ambush, they have just trounced the Pakistan army. The army is able to take back the major roads, the major towns, but its people are not trained and they don't seem to have the stomach for taking these guys on in essentially a counterinsurgency.

MJ: Yet we've given the Pakistanis more than $10 billion, some $6 billion for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the border, ostensibly to fight the jihadis. Has Pakistan taken us for a ride?

TB: Oh sure. But they took us for a ride during the Soviet War, too. They feel they're experts at playing us for suckers. A lot of these problems were evident, three, four, even six years ago, but nobody, including the Bush administration, was particularly interested. All the attention has been on Iraq. So this gave the Pakistanis a lot of flexibility to cause mischief. As far as they were concerned, at some point the US was going to get out of there; their whole strategy was to keep the Taliban in reserve and keep their own options open. Now people are seeing that the whole region could go up. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. It has 173 million people. It's big. So the focus and the context—even the appointment of [US diplomat Richard] Holbrooke to be special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan—implies that both countries are part of the problem.

MJ: So what happens if Pakistan dissolves?

TB: There will probably be an independent Pashtun state, unlikely to join with Afghanistan, because for all the lip service Afghans give to Pashtunistan, they can count. If they were part of this state, they would be a minority, and that's probably not a good idea from their point of view. There could be an independent Baluchistan. That's Pakistan's major gas producing area, and there's been an insurgency there for a long time. Some people say Baluchistan might join with Sindh, the other major populated area. Sindh is mostly Shia, and they feel persecuted by these radical Sunnis. There's really a large number of Shias in Pakistan that these radical Sunnis consider to be heretics—they are mostly in the south. Also in the south, in Karachi, you have all the so-called Muhajirs, the people who left India to resettle in Pakistan. So effectively you'd get three or four states. The most powerful would still be the Punjab. That would be the one holding the nuclear arms—Islamabad, Lahore, that area.

MJ: Who would be in charge?

TB: The Punjabis. They see themselves as the dominant group in Pakistan. They're more moderate on the religious and political spectrums—as long as they can be in charge. The army that you see now is mostly Punjabi, so you'd have this large army overlooking this rump state with lots of nukes. The other thing to consider is the elites are highly modern and moderate, highly westernized: Could a social revolution break out in which the elites who have run the place since it was founded are displaced by an entirely different social class that is more radical—that doesn't have the same vested interests or education? The army has always stood to prevent that, so presumably if they would hold on to the army, the army would hold on to Punjab and prevent things from getting out of hand. But then the question would be, if it starts to fall apart like that, would India feel the need to make a preemptive strike to go after the nukes?

MJ: Yikes!

TB: Yes. They do not want to see it that way, because when people start planning three or four moves ahead and worrying about preempting this and that, things can get pretty dangerous pretty fast.

Offline bigron

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Thursday, April 30, 2009
13:16 Mecca time, 10:16 GMT   
News CENTRAL/S. ASIA 
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/04/2009429193253995533.html
 
Ethnic violence erupts in Karachi 

 
Shooting in a Mohajir locality of Karachi is said to have sparked Wednesday's deadly rioting [EPA]
 
At least 34 people have been killed and 50 others injured in clashes in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, local hospital officials have said.

Calm returned to the city on Thursday, a day after the fighting erupted, with some areas left deserted.

"The situation is under control now and we are trying to maintain peace," Rafiq Engineer, provincial minister for special development, said.

Waseem Ahmed, the city police chief, said the clashes on Wednesday were the result of a dispute between the city's ethnic groups Mohajirs and Pashtuns.

Violence erupted in different parts of the port city after an unidentified man opened fire in a Mohajir neighbourhood in the centre of the city.


Officials from two major hospitals in the city said they had received 10 bodies each of people shot in the riots.


'Indiscriminate firing'

Dozens of cars and several shops were burnt in the riots.

Al Jazeera's Sohail Rahman, reporting from Islamabad, said two supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a party generally representing the Mohajirs,  had been found shot in the northern suburbs.

"There has been indiscriminate firing in the northern suburbs of the city with six police officers wounded," he said.

"It is very unsure how the police will be able to respond to the violence."

Karachi, Pakistan's financial capital, has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence but has been relatively peaceful in recent years.

The city is dominated by Mohajirs, Urdu-speaking people who migrated from India after Pakistan was created in 1947, but there is also a sizeable population of ethnic Pashtuns.
 
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies 
 
 

Offline bigron

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Thursday, April 30, 2009
15:39 Mecca time, 12:39 GMT   
News CENTRAL/S. ASIA 
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/04/20094304394947958.html

 
Obama: Pakistan threat 'internal' 


 
Pakistani army troops patrolled outside Buner [AFP] 

 
Barack Obama, the US president, has said Pakistan's army has begun to realise that the Taliban pose the biggest threat to the country, rather than India.

Speaking at a news conference in Washington DC on Wednesday, he said: "You're starting to see some recognition ... that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided.

"Their biggest threat right now comes internally ... and you're starting to see the Pakistani military take much more seriously the armed threat from militant extremists," he said.

"I am gravely concerned about the situation in Pakistan, not because I think they're immediately going to be overrun and the Taliban will take over ... [but] that the civilian government there right now is very fragile."

'Grave and fragile'

He also said he was "confident" that Pakistan's nuclear weapons were secure, adding: "The Pakistani army ... recognises the hazards of those weapons falling into the wrong hands. We've got strong military-to-military consultation and co-operation."


Imtiaz Gul, a political analyst in Islamabad told Al Jazeera: ""The situation here is very grave and fragile ... it flows from the last seven years of the questionable 'war against terrorism'.

"There has been an over-emphasis on the fear of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of militants.

"Pakistan needs not only the United States, but other important members of the international community to stand by it and help it ride out the current turmoil.

"People need investment in infrastructure so they can feel secure, once [this happens], whatever weapons they have ... would also be secure."

Obama's comments came after Pakistani troops were reported to have regained control of the main town in Buner district from the Taliban in the country's North West Frontier Province.

'Stiff resistance'

The Taliban's advance into Buner and Dagar - towns in Buner district - had brought the fighters within 100km of Islamabad, the country's capital, in what was seen as a move to expand their control.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from just outside Buner, about 140km southeast of the Afghan border, said: "There is stiff resistance from Taliban in certain areas but the military is still pressing on, using helicopter gunships and even main battle tanks."

The army said it had killed about 50 Taliban fighters and destroyed two explosives dumps. One soldier was killed.

Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, called on the nation to put political differences aside and support troops fighting the Taliban.

He said in a statement on Wednesday that nationwide support was critical in ensuring the protection of the rights of Pakistani citizens against Taliban advances.

"This is the only way to demonstrate our will, to keep Pakistan as a moderate, modern and democratic state where the rights of all citizens are protected," Zardari said.

Forced from power

"The operation in Buner and Lower Dir is meant to re-establish the writ of the constitution."

 

About 500 Taliban fighters are in Buner and it may take a week to clear them out, a Pakistani military spokesman said.

Buner, Lower Dir and Swat are covered by the Malakand peace deal, which allows the Taliban to enforce its strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, in the region in return for a truce.

Sufi Muhammad, a local religious leader who has been holding peace talks with the central government, has suspended dialogue with Islamabad as a result of the army assault.

Hyder reported that Sufi said that the military operation would strengthen the "Talibanisation" process in the region.

However, Sufi said that if the government was willing to deliver on the peace deal then those who still fought after any deal clamped down upon.

The Taliban have been using Pakistan's border regions with Afghanistan to launch attacks in both countries since the Islamist group was forced from power in Kabul after the US-led invasion in late 2001.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have heightened recently following the Mumbai attacks in November 2008, which Delhi has blamed on groups from within Pakistan.
 
 Source: Al Jazeera and agencies