Skip to comments.Pakistan: Security forces raid abandoned
Posted on 07/30/2008 9:26:26 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
PESHAWAR: Backed by gunship helicopters, several hundred security forces Tuesday raided a madrassa run by well-known Afghan mujahideen and Taliban commander, Maulvi Jalaluddin Haqqani, at Danday Darpakhel village in North Waziristan tribal agency.
This was the eighth time that the madrassa was raided and searched. Official and tribal sources told this scribe from Danday Darpakhel, a town near Pakistans border with Afghanistan, that a large number of troops from Pakistan Army and the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) along with Khassadars and Levies personnel first besieged the village and then raided the huge and famous madrassa known as Manba-ul-Uloom.
Witnesses said the troops entered the seminary and broke locks and some doors and windows.Later, they searched the madrassa and the adjoining mosque. No arrest was made because the madrassa had been closed down sometime back. Nobody was living or studying there nowadays.
Keeping in view the government policy and tribal traditions, the troops searched the madrassa in presence of 12 tribal elders of Darpakhel Wazir tribe living in the area. One of the tribal elders, who wished not to be named, told The News from North Waziristan that the troops suspected that Taliban militants were hiding in the madrassa.
We tried to satisfy the military and intelligence officials that the madrassa had been closed down and that all the male members of the Haqqani family had left to fight the US-led forces in Afghanistan. But they insisted on the search and asked us to accompany them to the madrassa, the Darpakhel tribal elder said.
(Excerpt) Read more at thenews.com.pk ...
This was a Big operation....
Also the article is somewhat biased. It reads “On one occasion, US military officials were present and they personally searched each and every corner of the madrassa. At that time too they could not get any clue to Taliban militants or other objectionable material from the seminary.”
At least they’re looking for someone. Good hunting!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
By Talat Aslam
WASHINGTON: Passionate, confident and displaying a sense of calm satisfaction disconcerting for someone whose government is wracked by so many crises, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani is at pains to paint himself as his own man and no ones puppet. Talking to The News on board the special aircraft en route to his meeting with President George Bush in Washington, Gilani shows no signs of panic over the difficulties his government finds itself in.
Quoting profusely from figures as diverse as Winston Churchill, Mao Zedong and Ghalib, Gilani claims that his calm exterior conceals an iron will and determination. As a great admirer of Churchill, I feel that you should be firm in your dealings with people but never rough, he says. He believes that this strength should be used selectively or else it loses its efficacy. Did I not order the release of the detained judges even before I was sworn in? he asks with a sense of satisfaction. He also recounts his recent tough speech in which he had warned those thinking of using Article 58 (2b) against his government.
He lists all the positive steps he has taken since assuming office. When reminded that his governments popularity graph has fallen sharply since February 18, he shows no surprise. He agrees that if he ordered the restoration of the judges tomorrow his graph would rise sharply. However, he believes that as prime minister he now has to look beyond personal popularity or playing to the gallery. He now has to think of the country as a whole, take people with disparate points of view along with him, and play it by the book.
He repeats the same message when he is reminded of the unpopular decisions his government has taken after assuming office, particularly the decision to increase the price of petrol. He insists that there is simply no option but to go for an increase. As prime minister, he says, he had to think not of cheap popularity but the country as a whole. The economy, he repeats, simply cannot afford to absorb the steep rise in international oil prices, which is a global phenomenon that has hit many other countries, including advanced ones.
Has the PPP now become the party of the establishment and has the PML-N stolen its thunder? Gilani is adamant that this is not the case. I have always been anti-establishment and so has my party, he says firmly. We have suffered the most because of this stance. He said that historically, the PPP has always believed in snatching power away from the establishment while the Muslim League has traditionally been interested in sharing power. He gives the example of the Punjab, where he believes the establishment has declared a virtual no-go area for the PPP for many, many years regardless of the partys actual popularity.
Asked about the risk the PPP government faces in taking a firm stand on the ostensibly unpopular war on terror, when even most of its allies felt ambivalent about Pakistans role, Gilani insists that all the governments allies were taken on board. He also hints that only the PPP could take this unambiguous stand because of the particular nature of its constituency. Our constituency is the downtrodden, women, the minorities, the young and the educated progressive middle classes, he says. We do not risk losing votes by taking a stand against extremism because our supporters are by their nature moderate.
Gilani said that he firmly believes in taking his allies along when making key decisions. He said that he always invites all four chief ministers as he enjoys the respect of everyone. Who else enjoys the respect of all the key players? he asks. He also points out his vast experience of politics at every level and his victories at the hustings over a period of almost three decades.
Asked about his feelings towards President Musharraf, who incarcerated him for five long years, the prime minister says he feels no personal bitterness towards him as bitterness can be a very destructive quality. Whether one likes it or not, Musharraf is the president and he has to rise above his personal feelings in interacting with him as the prime minister.
Refuting the widespread belief that he is not his own man but merely a rubber stamp prime minister, he insists he is no Jamali, who once claimed that Musharraf was his boss. He insists that everything he has done since he became prime minister has been done to restore the prestige and dignity of the office. Asked about the role of Asif Zardari, he points out that ever since he became prime minister he has never gone to Zardari House. Instead, Zardari has come to see him every time.
On the issue of the restoration of the judges, he is more philosophical than forthcoming. He does insist though that merely restoring the judges would not solve all the countrys problems overnight. Quoting Mao, he says that once you climb a mountain you may believe that you have achieved your goal until you see that there are many more mountains to climb ahead of you.
Defending his quiet style, he predicts that those who shout the loudest and most aggressively will not be around when and if the chips are down. Recalling his statement about the short distance between the PM House and Adiyala Jail, he has no illusions about the future should democracy fail this time. He, for one, is willing to offer the same sacrifice once again. Whether or not anyone else is around Gilani is absolutely clear that he will be around to suffer once again for what he believes in.
I question some of these news sources that are showing up.
Is this source/site trustworthy?
Situation near explosive stage
Latest clashes in Swat and tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border have so far claimed the lives of several dozens people including women and children. Gunship helicopters pounded the positions of terrorists. Terrorists have been hiding in congested areas, therefore, women and children are also falling pray to mortar shelling and gunfire. There is complete confusion and anarchy in North West Frontier Province and tribal areas.
Haqqani is an ISI asset. This raid, like the onese before, is a dog and pony show aimed at reducing pressure from us.
The madrassa was empty most likely because Haqqani was shifted to an ISI safe house far away from the reaches of coalition troops.
I remember reading a report that said something to the effect of Pakistanis threatening to end all cooperation if we unilaterally took out Haqqani and his second in command - his son.
Asked where the Army and paramilitary forces were given that the Taliban were freely patrolling the bazaar and the entire agency, he said they were confined to their bases, posts and forts and only come out when they have orders to launch a fake operation. Nothing happened to these people (the Lashkar-e-Islam and the Haji Namdar group) in the recent operation by the security forces. They had left the area prior to the operation and returned and resumed their activities as soon as the forces left the area, he informed us.
Yes, it is.
Of course this is one that I think is very good:
By July 30, 2008 10:58 AM
The Pakistani Army claimed 48 Taliban fighters, including 10 senior Swat leaders, were killed in a major battle in the settled district of the Northwest Frontier Province. Five Pakistani soldiers were also reported killed. The Taliban refuted the claims of heavy casualties, but confirmed one leader was killed in the fighting.
"We have inflicted heavy losses on the militants, a military spokesman told GEO TV. We have video footage showing bodies of the militants killed in the fighting." The Pakistani military has inflated enemy casualties in the past while downplaying their losses.
Muslim Khan, a Taliban spokesman for Swat leader Mullah Fazlullah, denied the Taliban took heavy casualties. He did confirm that Maulvi Hussain Ali, a Taliban commander who is also known as Toor Mullah, was killed in the fighting.
The battle began after a force of 70 Taliban fighters surrounded and attacked a security outpost in the Matta subdistrict in Swat. The Pakistani military originally claimed 25 Taliban fighters were killed in the counterattack.
The Taliban have conducted a series of attack in the region at the same time at the attack on the security outpost. A military armored vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device, while three bridges were destroyed in Swat. A girls school was also bombed.
Just yesterday, the Taliban overran a police checkpoint and kidnapped 25 Pakistani policemen and members of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary.
The security situation in Swat has rapidly deteriorated after the government signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in May of this year.
July 28, 2008, 5:52 PM
Source is a Blogosphere Site....in the USA....
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