Remember Operation Koh-i-Sufaid, “the Victorious” Sham Offensive In Kurram?–Has Anything Changed?

Fighting over Pakistani mountaintop kills over 60

Members of lashkar , or local peace force, stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Peshawar, Pakistan on Monday, Jan 30, 2012. A suicide bomber killed a leader of a militant group that has been fighting a rival outfit in northwest Pakistan close to the Afghan border, said police officer Imtiaz Khan.
Members of lashkar , or local peace force, stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Peshawar, Pakistan on Monday, Jan 30, 2012. A suicide bomber killed a leader of a militant group that has been fighting a rival outfit in northwest Pakistan close to the Afghan border, said police officer Imtiaz Khan. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
By Hussain AfzalAssociated Press / January 31, 2012

PARACHINAR, Pakistan—Fighting between soldiers and Taliban militants over a strategic mountaintop in northwestern Pakistan has killed more than 60 people, a government official said Tuesday.

The battle first started a week ago when government troops seized the top of Jogi mountain in the Kurram tribal area from militants, sparking clashes that killed six soldiers and 20 insurgents, said Wajid Khan, a local government administrator.

The militants retaliated Tuesday by attacking the soldiers who were trying to hold the location, touching off another round of fighting that killed 10 troops and more than 30 insurgents, said Khan. The area is home to militants loyal to Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud.

The military launched an offensive in Kurram in July 2011 and declared victory about a month later, but violence has continued.

A similar process has taken place throughout Pakistan’s semiautonomous tribal region along the Afghan border. The military has launched a series of operations against the Pakistani Taliban in the past few years, and has often declared victory only to see fighting flare up again.

The Pakistani Taliban have killed thousands of people throughout the country in suicide bombings and other attacks. The group aims to topple the Pakistani government, partly because of its alliance with the United States.

The militants are allied with the Afghan Taliban, but the latter group has focused its attacks on NATO and Afghan forces inside Afghanistan.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, at least 10 people were gunned down in the past 24 hours in the southern city of Karachi, said Sharfuddin Memon, a security adviser for the government of Sindh province, where Karachi is the capital.

Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and has a long history of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.

The most recent deaths included two granddaughters of Akbar Bugti, a nationalist leader in southwestern Baluchistan province who was killed during a military operation in 2006 ordered by former President Pervez Musharraf. His death has helped fuel a violent insurgency in Baluchistan against the government.

——

Associated Press writer Ashraf Khan contributed to this report from Karachi.

secret US document discloses support for protesters

Egypt protests: secret US document discloses support for protesters

Here is the secret document sent from the US Embassy in Cairo to Washington disclosing the extent of American support for the protesters behind the Egypt uprising.

10:30PM GMT 28 Jan 2011

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 002572 SIPDIS FOR NEA/ELA, R, S/P AND H NSC FOR PASCUAL AND KUTCHA-HELBLING E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/30/2028 TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, KDEM, EG SUBJECT: APRIL 6 ACTIVIST ON HIS U.S. VISIT AND REGIME CHANGE IN EGYPT REF: A. CAIRO 2462 B. CAIRO 2454 C. CAIRO 2431 Classified By: ECPO A/Mincouns Catherine Hill-Herndon for reason 1.4 (d ).

1. (C) Summary and comment: On December 23, April 6 activist xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed satisfaction with his participation in the December 3-5 \”Alliance of Youth Movements Summit,\” and with his subsequent meetings with USG officials, on Capitol Hill, and with think tanks. He described how State Security (SSIS) detained him at the Cairo airport upon his return and confiscated his notes for his summit presentation calling for democratic change in Egypt, and his schedule for his Congressional meetings. xxxxxxxxxxxx contended that the GOE will never undertake significant reform, and therefore, Egyptians need to replace the current regime with a parliamentary democracy. He alleged that several opposition parties and movements have accepted an unwritten plan for democratic transition by 2011; we are doubtful of this claim.

xxxxxxxxxxxx said that although SSIS recently released two April 6 activists, it also arrested three additional group members. We have pressed the MFA for the release of these April 6 activists. April 6′s stated goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections is highly unrealistic, and is not supported by the mainstream opposition. End summary and comment.

—————————- Satisfaction with the Summit —————————-

2. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed satisfaction with the December 3-5 \”Alliance of Youth Movements Summit\” in New York, noting that he was able to meet activists from other countries and outline his movement’s goals for democratic change in Egypt. He told us that the other activists at the summit were very supportive, and that some even offered to hold public demonstrations in support of Egyptian democracy in their countries, with xxxxxxxxxxxx as an invited guest. xxxxxxxxxxxx said he discussed with the other activists how April 6 members could more effectively evade harassment and surveillance from SSIS with technical upgrades, such as consistently alternating computer \”simcards.\” However, xxxxxxxxxxxx lamented to us that because most April 6 members do not own computers, this tactic would be impossible to implement. xxxxxxxxxxxx was appreciative of the successful efforts by the Department and the summit organizers to protect his identity at the summit, and told us that his name was never mentioned publicly.

——————- A Cold Welcome Home ——————-

3. (S) xxxxxxxxxxxx told us that SSIS detained and searched him at the Cairo Airport on December 18 upon his return from the U.S. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, SSIS found and confiscated two documents in his luggage: notes for his presentation at the summit that described April 6′s demands for democratic transition in Egypt, and a schedule of his Capitol Hill meetings. xxxxxxxxxxxx described how the SSIS officer told him that State Security is compiling a file on him, and that the officer’s superiors instructed him to file a report on xxxxxxxxxxxx most recent activities.

——————————————— ———-

Washington Meetings and April 6 Ideas for Regime Change

——————————————— ———-

4. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx described his Washington appointments as positive, saying that on the Hill he met with xxxxxxxxxxxx, a variety of House staff members, including from the offices of xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx), and with two Senate staffers. xxxxxxxxxxxx also noted that he met with several think tank members. xxxxxxxxxxxx said that xxxxxxxxxxxx’s office invited him to speak at a late January Congressional hearing on House Resolution 1303 regarding religious and political freedom in Egypt. xxxxxxxxxxxx told us he is interested in attending, but conceded he is unsure whether he will have the funds to make the trip. He indicated to us that he has not been focusing on his work as a \”fixer\” for journalists, due to his preoccupation with his U.S. trip. 5. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx described how he tried to convince his Washington interlocutors that the USG should pressure the GOE to implement significant reforms by threatening to reveal CAIRO 00002572 002 OF 002 information about GOE officials’ alleged \”illegal\” off-shore bank accounts. He hoped that the U.S. and the international community would freeze these bank accounts, like the accounts of Zimbabwean President Mugabe’s confidantes. xxxxxxxxxxxx said he wants to convince the USG that Mubarak is worse than Mugabe and that the GOE will never accept democratic reform. xxxxxxxxxxxx asserted that Mubarak derives his legitimacy from U.S. support, and therefore charged the U.S. with \”being responsible\” for Mubarak’s \”crimes.\”

He accused NGOs working on political and economic reform of living in a \”fantasy world,\” and not recognizing that Mubarak — \”the head of the snake\” — must step aside to enable democracy to take root.

6. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx claimed that several opposition forces — including the Wafd, Nasserite, Karama and Tagammu parties, and the Muslim Brotherhood, Kifaya, and Revolutionary Socialist movements — have agreed to support an unwritten plan for a transition to a parliamentary democracy, involving a weakened presidency and an empowered prime minister and parliament, before the scheduled 2011 presidential elections (ref C). According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, the opposition is interested in receiving support from the army and the police for a transitional government prior to the 2011 elections.

xxxxxxxxxxxx asserted that this plan is so sensitive it cannot be written down. (Comment: We have no information to corroborate that these parties and movements have agreed to the unrealistic plan xxxxxxxxxxxx has outlined. Per ref C, xxxxxxxxxxxx previously told us that this plan was publicly available on the internet. End comment.)

7. (C) xxxxxxxxxxxx said that the GOE has recently been cracking down on the April 6 movement by arresting its members. xxxxxxxxxxxx noted that although SSIS had released xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx \”in the past few days,\” it had arrested three other members. (Note: On December 14, we pressed the MFA for the release of xxxxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx, and on December 28 we asked the MFA for the GOE to release the additional three activists. End note.) xxxxxxxxxxxx conceded that April 6 has no feasible plans for future activities.

The group would like to call for another strike on April 6, 2009, but realizes this would be \”impossible\” due to SSIS interference, xxxxxxxxxxxx said. He lamented that the GOE has driven the group’s leadership underground, and that one of its leaders, xxxxxxxxxxxx, has been in hiding for the past week.

8. (C) Comment: xxxxxxxxxxxx offered no roadmap of concrete steps toward April 6′s highly unrealistic goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections. Most opposition parties and independent NGOs work toward achieving tangible, incremental reform within the current political context, even if they may be pessimistic about their chances of success. xxxxxxxxxxxx wholesale rejection of such an approach places him outside this mainstream of opposition politicians and activists.

SCOBEY02008-12-307386PGOV,PHUM,KDEM,EGAPRIL 6 ACTIVIST ON HIS U.S. VISIT AND REGIME CHANGE IN EGYPT

U.S. Embassy shelters Americans amid Egypt NGO crackdown

[State subversion is typically comparable to the "Russian nesting dolls," with one hidden inside the other, inside something else.  You have to follow the chain of repetitive splits and renaming, which obscures the source, in order to see the one parent organization behind all the others is.   NED, the National Endowment for Democracy, is a creation of the CIA.  NED could go places and do things that the real spies could only dream of.  The National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute are the ugly children of the NED.--{SEE:  US Subversion Behind Every Arab Uprising and Colored Revolution–(and the whole world knows it)Egyptian Police Fight Back Against State Dept./Soros Subversive NGOs}.  Egyptian authorities are going about this in the only intelligent way, that pioneered by the Turkmen govt.--Only national NGOs can get licensed.  Those guys in Egypt may be lucky to get out of there alive, if the angry mobs are made aware of what they have been up to.]

U.S. Embassy shelters Americans amid Egypt NGO crackdown

source

By Andrew Quinn

WASHINGTON

(Reuters) – Several American citizens have taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo amid a sharpening dispute between Washington and Egypt over U.S.-funded pro-democracy groups in the country, the State Department said on Monday.

The unusual step of offering ordinary U.S. citizens diplomatic refuge follows a crackdown by Egypt’s military-led authorities on non-governmental organizations which has thrown a question mark over the future of U.S. aid to Egypt’s military, now running at about $1.3 billion per year.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said a “handful” of U.S. NGO staff had sought and been granted permission to remain on embassy grounds after they were barred from leaving the country.

“They’re in the embassy because they feel that they are more comfortable there in this circumstance,” Nuland told reporters.

Egyptian police raided the groups in late December as part of an investigation into foreign funding of 17 pro-democracy and human rights groups, part of what civil society groups say has been a broader crackdown on critics of the army’s heavy-handed tactics in dealing with street unrest. Authorities banned six American staffers from leaving the country.

Washington has strongly criticized the move, which has cast a pall over U.S.-Egyptian relations as the most populous Arab nation reaches a critical stage in its uncertain transition away from authoritarian rule.

“We have made clear our concerns about this issue and our disappointment that these several citizens are not being allowed to depart Egypt,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Monday.

Leading U.S. lawmakers have also voiced outrage over the incident, and American officials have repeatedly warned that Washington may have to take a fresh look at U.S. aid to Egypt’s military, which depends on the State Department certifying that the government is making genuine moves toward democracy.

The six U.S. citizens hit with travel bans work with the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute. Both receive U.S. public funding and are loosely affiliated with the two major U.S. political parties.

Among those prevented from leaving is the Republican group’s Egypt country director Sam LaHood, who is the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The State Department did not provide details on the Americans sheltering in the embassy, although officials at the National Democratic Institute said none of their staff had been relocated. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

Nuland described the refuge offer as “a unique situation” and dismissed suggestions that the aim was to shield the U.S. citizens from potential arrest.

“There is no expectation that any of these individuals are seeking to avoid any kind of judicial process,” Nuland said.

“We do not feel that they are in physical danger at the moment. That is a different matter than whether they are being persecuted in the Egyptian judicial system,” Nuland added.

MILITARY DELEGATION

An Egyptian military delegation is expected in Washington this week for regular talks that are expected to focus on the impasse over the NGOs, U.S. officials said.

Nuland, while stressing that the visit had been planned before the NGO dispute erupted, said the Egyptians could expect firm words during their U.S. meetings.

“We have concerns about the fact that we have not been able to resolve this situation. That is the message that we are giving the Egyptian government in the strongest terms,” she said.

The delegation, made up of four major generals, was expected in Washington on Tuesday, diplomatic sources said.

President Barack Obama spoke with the head of Egypt’s ruling military council, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, on January 20. He stressed the importance of the NGOs and discussed Egypt’s request for $3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

In a weekend call to Tantawi, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged the Egyptians to lift the travel ban and expressed concern over restrictions placed on NGOs, the Pentagon said.

The Obama administration is finalizing its budget for the 2013 fiscal year, which will be presented on February 13 and is expected to include continued assistance for Egypt’s military, albeit subject to new conditions imposed by U.S. lawmakers.

Those include evidence that Egyptian military authorities are committed to holding free and fair elections and protecting freedom of expression, association, and religion.

(Additional reporting by Missy Ryan and Laura MacInnis; editing by Doina Chiacu and Mohammad Zargham)