Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pakistan's Double Bubble: oops! NATO/Pak tiffie

Someone who was at Tora Bora asserted these tiffies are happening all the time. It is said these are 'rogue elements in the Pakistan army' -

As John Kerry is despatched to smooth feathers ...

NYT: "Pakistan and NATO Forces Exchange Fire"

Pakistani ground troops opened fire on two NATO helicopters that crossed into Pakistan’s airspace from Afghanistan early Tuesday morning, the Pakistani Army said in a statement. In the firefight that followed, two Pakistani soldiers were wounded, it said. The clash provided another irritant to the already sour relationship between the United States and Pakistan in the wake of the May 2 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden at a compound deep inside Pakistan, heightening American mistrust of Pakistan and inflaming Pakistani sensitivities over sovereignty.

The exchange of fire on Tuesday took place at Admi Kot Post in the North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan, an area that American officials have long regarded as a haven used by militants to attack coalition forces inside Afghanistan. NATO officials said they were looking into the incident, and could not immediately confirm whether the helicopters had indeed entered Pakistan’s airspace. Pakistani military officials said the NATO helicopters came about 400 yards into Pakistani territory. (...) >>>

May 17, 2011

Former ISI director: talk to the Taliban! -

World Security Network: "Former Pakistani ISI Director Gen. Hamid Gul on Negotiations with the Taliban", by Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann

Former Pakistani ISI Director Gen. Lt. (Ret.) Hamid Gul, here with World Security Network President Dr. Hubertus Hoffmann: “Needed are direct talks between high echelons of Taliban leadership and the US State Department. It should take about a month to set the stage. Only the USA should be involved with Pakistan as a facilitator. A peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan automatically provides strength and depth to Pakistan. However, larger than life presence of India in that country would neither be natural nor acceptable both to Pakistan and the future government of Afghanistan.” (...) >>>

May 5, 2011

On the couch with Anne -

FP: "Anne of leaked cables and the myth of infinite American influence in Pakistan"

If there was a protagonist in the WikiLeaks cables released last week, it would be a petite, blond, Arkansas-born career diplomat, Anne Patterson, who until recently had been the U.S ambassador to Pakistan. Patterson stars in a Pakistan-based soap opera -- potential names include: "As Pakistan Burns," "Dynasties," "Mental Hospital," and "The Bold and the Pitiful" - and serves as a confidant and key influencer for Pakistan's elites as they wage war with one another and vie for U.S. approbation, seen as a prerequisite for high office in Pakistan. Each episode contains its fair share of salacious gossip and intrigue. (...) >>>"

Dec. 13, 2010

Saudi machinations -

Time/Yahoo: "Wikileaks Reveal Saudis as a Major Influence in Pakistan"

(...) documents from WikiLeaks' vast trove of U.S. diplomatic cables offer a timely reminder of the machinations of another key foreign player, arguably even more influential: Saudi Arabia.
Some of the documents released last week describe increasingly "strained" ties between Pakistan and its longstanding Arab ally, with the Saudis particularly disgruntled by Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari. (...) source of terrorist funding." And that had a direct bearing on Pakistan, since it alleged that much of the financial backing for jihadist organizations in Pakistan continued to originate in Saudi Arabia, despite Riyadh's efforts to cut down on private donations to Sunni militant groups abroad. (...) >>>

Dec. 6, 2010

Old habits die hard -

Reuters: "Pakistan spy agency's militant links worrying - US"

Top U.S. defense officials are concerned some elements of Pakistan's spy agency may be interacting improperly with the Taliban and other insurgent groups, a Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday.
Colonel David Lapan said Pakistani Army General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, himself a former spy chief, was aware of U.S. concerns about the Inter-Services Intelligence agency and shared some of them.
Lapan's comments followed a Wall Street Journal report this week that quoted some U.S. officials and Afghan militants as saying members of the ISI were pressing Taliban field commanders to fight the United States and its allies in Afghanistan. (...) >>>

Oct. 7, 2010

The playing the Taliban -

BBC: "More Evidence Of Pakistan's Growing Instability!" -

Oct 15, 2009

Memri: "Pakistani Media Reports: The Rise of the Taliban, The Fall of Karachi"

Recent articles in the Pakistani media indicate increasing fears of the rise of Pakistan's Taliban militants in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest commercial city. According to an April 15, 2009 report in the Lahore-based Daily Times, "the Taliban are covertly operating in Karachiand extorting millions of rupees in 'donations' from Mehsud and Wazir tribesmen living in the city." (...) >>>

July 5, 2009

Great News!!!

CNN: "Villagers take on Taliban, 14 militants killed"

Hundreds of Pakistani residents have taken up arms and are battling local Taliban militants in the wake of a deadly mosque attack last week. It is the first major battle between the residents of northwest Pakistan and Taliban militants near the Afghanistan border. The residents are outraged over a suicide attack on a local mosque during Friday prayers that killed at least 40 people and wounded some 80 others. Starting on Saturday morning, some 400 villagers in the Upper Dir district formed a "lashkar" -- or militia -- to fight the Taliban, killing 14 of the militants as of Sunday evening, according to local administrator Atiq Ur Rehman. Four of the villagers have been injured in the battle, Rehman said. (...) >>>

June 10, 2009

But elsewhere an ominous gathering is taking place:

Front Page Mag: "Target: Waziristan"

(...) Divided into a north and south parts for administrative purposes, Waziristan, a tribal agency on Pakistan’s western border with Afghanistan, is that country’s most pro-Taliban area and the heart of the insurgency threatening its existence. This mountainous, tribal-ruled area, where the government’s writ does not extend, also serves as a base area for the Islamist forces fighting American and NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan. But Waziristan’s importance in the radical Islamists’ scheme of things extends far beyond the local and regional. This largely inacessible piece of geography, which constitutes 4,500 square miles and has a population of about 800,000, also poses a deadly threat to the West and the rest of the world. Long known as a center of Islamic terrorism, it is home to al Qaeda, and, reportedly, of bin Laden himself. It is here the terrorist organization hatches and directs its deadly plots, and receives and trains international jihadists from around the world, including some from the United States. Even more menacing, Waziristan is also the headquarters of al Qaeda’s planned worldwide jihad. (...)

The al Qaeda fighters also appear to be numerous and are receiving foreign reinforcements to help defend their Waziristan stronghold. The Los Angeles Times reported that four disillusioned European al Qaeda recruits, who returned recently from Waziristan, said they had trained with an Arab group numbering 300 to 500. An Asia Times story also states Afghan and American security officials have noticed a movement of jihadists from the Middle East to South Asia. US Army Major Cory Schultz, based in Afghanistan, is also quoted as saying: “It sounds from the radio chatter like they have more recruits coming in, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Turkmen, and Chechen fighters.”The Pakistani army, numbered at about 125,000 for the offensive, will probably rely on its helicopter gunships and artillery, like it did in the Swat fighting. (...) >>>

June 8, 2009

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