General Motors declares bankruptcy – the biggest manufacturing collapse in US history

General Motors declares bankruptcy – the biggest manufacturing collapse in US history

Obama warns of sacrifices needed to build a leaner carmaker
• Judge to rule on future of 235,000 GM employees worldwide

General Motors headquarters in Detroit, MichiganGeneral Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan: the company has $176.4bn of liabilities. Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/EPA

America’s biggest carmaker, General Motors, declared itself bankrupt today in a legal filing at a federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan, kicking off the biggest industrial insolvency in US history.

GM filed for Chapter 11 protection against its creditors’ demands at 8am local time after racking up losses of $81bn (£50bn) over four years, putting a veteran bankruptcy judge, Robert Gerber, in charge of the future of 235,000 employees worldwide.

Speaking in Washington a few hours after the filing, Barack Obama said the GM restructuring plan was “tough but fair”. He acknowledged that General Motors stakeholders – its parts suppliers, dealers, debt-holders, shareholders, workers and retirees – were making tough sacrifices to keep the company afloat.

“I want to be honest with you: building a leaner GM will come at a cost,” he said. “You will have to make a sacrifice for the next generation so that our children can grow up in an America that still makes things.”

Based in Detroit, the 101-year-old company is a stalwart of the US manufacturing base, producing vehicles with brands such as Chevrolet, Cadillac, Hummer, Opel and Vauxhall. Its filing comes a month after its smaller rival Chrysler declared bankruptcy, leaving two of the top three American motor manufacturers under court protection.

GM will continue to manufacture and sell cars under bankruptcy and the US government is hoping for a swift, “surgical” process under which the company will emerge in smaller, streamlined form within 60 to 90 days.

Obama said the massive reorganisation of GM would leave the US government holding 60% of the company’s equity. But it was necessary to preserve an iconic symbol of American business and maintain a viable US auto industry.

At the White House, flanked by his economic advisers and cabinet secretaries, Obama reiterated that the government was a “reluctant” shareholder in General Motors, but said the alternative – extending more loans – would burden the new company with debt and would hinder its re-emergence as a viable company.

“I recognise that this may give some Americans pause,” he said. “We’re making these investments not because I want to spend the American people’s tax dollars but because I want to protect them.”

GM is the largest industrial corporation ever to go bankrupt in the US and the third-largest bankruptcy of any sort, behind the investment bank Lehman Brothers and the telecommunications firm WorldCom.

GM’s chairman, Kent Kresa, said the board had authorised bankruptcy‚ “with regret that this path proved necessary despite the best efforts of so many”.

He did his best to put a positive spin on the move, describing it as a “new beginning” for the company: “A court-­supervised process and transfer of assets will enable a new GM to emerge as a stronger, healthier, more focused and nimbler company with a determination not to just survive but to excel.”

Judge Gerber, who will rule on the competing claims of GM’s creditors, is an old hand at high-profile insolvencies, having handled the bankruptcy of firms such as Adelphia and Global Crossing.

The carmaker has received $19bn of emergency aid from the treasury to keep it afloat and a further $30bn of government funding is likely to be forthcoming to see it through bankruptcy.

In return for its support, the Obama administration is likely to get a 60% ownership stake in the company. Canada’s government, which is contributing billions of dollars in further help, will get 12.5% with unions and bondholders holding the rest.

Until it was overtaken by Toyota last year, GM was the largest carmaker in the world. But the company has been hobbled by a collapse in demand for new vehicles from the US market, where industry-wide sales of cars have dropped from 17m a year to fewer than 10m.

David Cole, chairman of the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research, said last year’s soaring fuel prices proved to be the final straw, pushing customers towards smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles from Asian manufacturers.

“The financial meltdown in the economy has driven the auto industry into depression,” he said. “We have an auto depression, not a recession.”

To restore profitability, GM’s chief executive, Fritz Henderson, has made it clear that cuts will need to be deep and permanent. He is selling chunks of the company dubbed “old GM”, including its European operation, which employs 5,500 people making Vauxhall cars in Britain. Brands such as Saturn, Saab and Hummer are on the block and Pontiac, a sporty “muscle car” marque, is to close.

GM’s US manufacturing workforce is to shrink from 113,000 three years ago to just 38,000 by 2011. Scores of factories across the US are shutting for an extended summer break and GM is slashing its network of dealership showrooms by 40%.

The extent of the government’s intervention in the motor industry has alarmed business organisations. Thomas Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce, warned today that GM would not prosper if it was run by the Obama administration and the United Auto Workers union.

“If members of Congress, along with government officials from the United States to Germany to Canada, are allowed undue influence over management’s decisions, then you can write this down: these companies will not return to profitability and their survival will be seriously challenged,” said Donohue.

Obama’s auto industry taskforce had initially hoped that GM could be kept afloat without going through bankruptcy. But bondholders, who are owed $27bn by the carmaker, have been reluctant to swap their debt for a small equity stake.

Over the weekend, 54% of these bondholders indicated that they were willing to accept an improved deal under which they could eventually get up to 25% of GM, stoking optimism that the bankruptcy could proceed swiftly, without a long, drawn-out fight over assets that risked pushing the company into liquidation.

The 24-page bankruptcy filing, which gives GM’s address as 300 Renaissance Centre, Detroit was lodged under the name of a Manhattan vehicle dealer, Chevrolet-Saturn of Harlem, which is owed money by the carmaker.

A list of GM’s largest debtors is topped by the Wilmington Trust Company of Delaware, which represents bondholders owed $22.7bn, followed by the United Auto Workers union on behalf of employees owed $20.5bn.

Other claims include demands for money from the car rental firms Avis and Enterprise, the French advertising agency Publicis, the computer maker Hewlett-Packard, the oil firm Exxon Mobil and Lakshmi Mittal’s steel corporation, Arcelor Mittal.


Pakistan vows to wipe out Jundullah: report

[Here is one Western-sponsored terrorist group that Pakistan must eliminate, if it wants to prevent Iran from following America’s example.]

Pakistan vows to wipe out Jundullah: report

The bombing in a crowded Shi’ite mosque on Thursday evening wounded more than 120 people in the southeastern city of Zahedan, two weeks before a presidential election in the Islamic Republic.—Reuters

TEHRAN: The interior ministry of Pakistan aims to wipe out Jundullah terrorist group, an organisation that has claimed responsibility for an attack on a mosque in southeastern Iran, reports the Fars News Agency (FNA).

Pakistan’s interior ministry has presented all its information on Jundullah to the country’s intelligence services which include the ISI, MI and FIA. The ministry has also urged for the identification of group members and the immediate arrest of the ringleader Abdulmalek Rigi, according to FNA.

The report goes on to say Islamabad has ordered the group be disbanded and wiped out. The chief of the Iranian armed forces, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said Iran had located the base of the group and informed the Pakistani government of Abdulmalek Rigi’s position.

According to media reports, the group’s spokesman Abdoulrauf Rigi contacted the Pakistan office of al-Arabiya television network to report a bombing in a mosque in the Sisatn-Baluchestan province last week to claim responsibility for the attack.

The bomb blast occurred in the Iranian city of Zahedan while mourners participated in a ceremony marking the death of the daughter of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Iranian authorities have arrested and executed three men involved in the bombing. The trio was executed in Zahedan city.

So far Jundullah has claimed responsibility for a dozen terrorist operations in Iran, however according to the FNA, they have managed to escape punishment by crossing into Pakistan.

Tehran has warned Islamabad that it has the power and military means to trace and hunt down terrorist groups in Pakistan if such activity is not stopped by Pakistan.

Since the attack, Iran has closed down its border with Pakistan.

Taliban abduct hundreds in Pakistani tribal region

Taliban abduct hundreds in Pakistani tribal region

By ASHRAF KHAN and NAHAL TOOSI – 1 hour ago

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Taliban militants armed with rockets, grenades and automatic weapons abducted at least 400 students, staff and relatives driving away from a boy’s school in a northwest Pakistani tribal region on Monday, police and a witness said.

The brazen abduction came amid rising militant violence in Pakistan’s tribal belt — actions the military says are partly aimed at distracting it from its offensive against the Taliban in the nearby Swat Valley.

Police were negotiating with the Taliban via tribal elders to release of the captives taken in North Waziristan, said Mirza Mohammad Jihadi, an adviser to the prime minister. He said around 500 people were taken and that they were being held in the Bakka Khel area.

Details were still emerging late Monday about what happened, and much was murky.

Police official Meer Sardar said the abduction occurred about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Razmak Cadet College in North Waziristan. The people were leaving the school area after they were warned to get out in a phone call from a man they believed to be a political official, Sardar said, citing accounts from a group of 17 who managed to get away.

Local media, however, reported that the group was leaving because their vacation had started.

Around 30 buses, cars and other vehicles were carrying the students, staff and others when they were stopped along the road by a large group of alleged militants in their own vehicles, according to a staff member at the school who was among those who escaped. The vehicle he was traveling in happened to be behind a truck on the road, and it was less visible, so the driver slipped away.

He requested anonymity out of fear of Taliban reprisal but said the school’s principal was among those abducted.

The staffer said the assailants carried rockets, Kalashnikovs, hand grenades and other weapons. He estimated around 400 captives were involved.

It was unclear how many were students, though they made up the majority of the group. Cadet colleges in Pakistan are usually run by retired military officers and educate teenagers. They also typically provide room and board.

Late Monday, reports were coming in that at least one other bus managed to get away and reach a police station. Jihadi said at least 29 students escaped, apparently in addition to the 17 at Sardar’s police station in the Marian area.

North and South Waziristan are major al-Qaida and Taliban strongholds bordering Afghanistan.

Clashes over the past three days in South Waziristan have killed at least 25 militants and nine soldiers. In the latest attack, reported by the army Monday, militants fired rockets at troops, killing two.

The fresh fighting is fueling speculation that a month after re-igniting its battle against Taliban militants in Swat, the military will widen the offensive to South Waziristan. But army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said that for now, troops on the ground were simply reacting to attacks, not opening a new front.

“This is all to divert attention,” Abbas said.

With its hands full in Swat, opening a front in South Waziristan now would be risky for the military.

Known for its harsh terrain, reticent tribes and porous border with Afghanistan, as well as its history of limited federal government oversight, South Waziristan would likely be a stiffer test for Pakistan’s armed forces than Swat. The region also is the main base for Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

However, the U.S. and other Western nations who have praised Pakistan’s strong-armed tactics in Swat would likely not want South Waziristan to stay untouched. It’s the tribal regions, after all, where al-Qaida and the Taliban have their key bases from which they plan attacks on Western forces across the border in Afghanistan.

The tribal areas also are the rumored hideouts of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri.

Asked about a timeframe for clearing the area, Abbas simply replied, “A plan to go or not to go into South Waziristan — shouldn’t that be a highly classified matter?”

The army spokesman said major towns and cities in the Swat Valley will likely be cleared of Taliban fighters in a matter of days. It has already recaptured Mingora, Swat’s main urban center. But many of the estimated 4,000 militants in the valley are believed to have fled to the hillsides, and Abbas said clearing those rural areas could require months more work.

One other problem with tackling South Waziristan now is that it would exacerbate an already massive humanitarian challenge facing the country — that of up to 3 million people displaced by the fighting so far. Already, large numbers of families have begun leaving South Waziristan amid rumors of an imminent operation.

Journalists have limited access to the tribal belt and Swat, making it difficult to independently verify information provided by the Pakistani military or other sources.

Militants, including Mehsud loyalists, have threatened and carried out some revenge attacks over the Swat operation in major Pakistani cities, including an assault on police and intelligence agency offices in the eastern city of Lahore that left 30 dead.

On Monday, a blast at a busy bus terminal in Kohat town, an area near the tribal regions, killed at least two people and wounded at least 18 others, said local police officer Zafarullah Khan.

Help Hamza

URGENT: Help Hamza


I appeal to my fellow Pakistanis, and our friends, to help Hamza Khan pay for his fourth surgery. It needs to be done within the next three days from today, Monday June 1, 2009. Five-year-old Hamza was playing by the roadside when bullets from a gun went through his stomach, liver and intestines. Little Hamza was caught in an armed attack by a group of people on a lawyer in Peshawar on Feb. 5, 2009. Thanks to the initiative of Mr. Rahimullah Yousafzai, Editor The News Peshawar, Pakistanis from across the country stepped forward to help Hamza. His father, 28-year-old Ahmadzada, at one point thanked the director of Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal when no more funds were needed [read the story below]. But now doctors have recommended a fourth surgery on the little kid. An amount of PKR 70,000 is required immediately to pay the bills at PIMS Hospital in Islamabad. Please help anyway you can. Ahmadzada and his wife can be contacted directly on his cell number is 0346.566.7290. Visitors are also allowed to meet Hamza. Please read the brief report below, published by The News in February, to understand the nature of Hamza’s injuries. – Ahmed Quraishi.

By Syed Inayat Ali Shah

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The News International.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan—Thanks to the generosity of kind-hearted Pakistanis, five-year-old Hamza has been brought back to health and is now convalescing at home after receiving quality medical treatment.

He was injured while going to a shop on the Ring Road here on February 5, 2009. It so happened that a lawyer was attacked by his rivals and little Hamza happened to be there. He suffered multiple bullet injuries and doctors at the Lady Reading Hospital twice operated upon him.

However, Hamza couldn’t recover fully. Doctors recommended that he should be shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad for specialized treatment.

Hamza’s father, Ahmadzada, had by then exhausted all means. The 28-year-old rickshaw driver had shifted to the city from his native Tangi area in Charsadda district two months ago and had no money to treat his only son.

Talking to The News, he said he had rented a one-room house for Rs 1,500 per month on the Ring Road for his family that included his wife, two-year-old daughter Ayesha and Hamza.

On the fateful day when his son was injured, he was out for work and a kind elder named Haji Shaukat shifted his wounded son to hospital.

Someone suggested to him that he should make an appeal through a newspaper to seek financial help for Hamza’s treatment. The appeal was published in The News, Islamabad,[courtesy of editor, The News Peshawar Mr. Rahimullah Yousafzai] and soon he was receiving phone calls from all over Pakistan. “I got about 100 phone calls. All of them wanted to help me pay for Hamza’s treatment,” he recalled.

A military officer based in Kamra helped Hamza to get admitted to the PIMS. Every arrangement for transporting him and his father to Islamabad had been made and a philanthropist, who didn’t want to publicize his name and deed, paid all medical bills.

Subsequently, donations poured in from many known and unknown people. They included the staff at the Army Para Training School in Peshawar, a Pakistani family living in the US, a woman journalist from Islamabad and a number of young students. Some brought toys for Hamza, others left cash at his bedside.

The staff at the Governor House, Peshawar, the office of the Advocate General, NWFP, and the Pakistan Baitul Mal, Islamabad, also got in touch with Ahmadzada and offered help. It was heart-warming to hear Ahmadzada telling the lady who called from the Pakistan Baitul Mal that he had received enough financial support and didn’t need more. He advised her to provide support to other deserving patients.

Despite being poor, Ahmadzada showed the way to others. “All I can do is to pray all my life for those who helped me in this hour of need. I had no means to get Hamza treated,” he remarked.

Ahmadzada was full of praise for the doctors who helped in the treatment of his son at the PIMS. In particular, he named Dr Zaheer Abbasi and Dr Sibghatullah Afridi.

When contacted, Dr Zaheer Abbasi said Hamza was brought to the PIMS in a precarious condition, as his stomach, liver and intestines were damaged due to bullet injuries. “Now he is in a stable condition and has been sent home.”

© 2007-2009. All rights reserved. & PakNationalists

Pakistan’s Latest Generation of Holy Warriors, the “Anti-Jihadis”

A tribute to our Shaheeds …

These are the sons of the soil. They have sacrificed their lives for the country. The Whole Pakistani nation owes them so much. It is because of their sacrifices that we are able to live freely in our country while they do this for protecting the citizens of Pakistan.”I am going to embrace Shahadat”. These were the last words of Captain Najam Riaz (shown here in video) to his parents when he left for Swat. And he did prove to be a man of his words. He embraced shahadat along with three other commandos last Teusday.

He was captured by the terrorists under mysterious circumstances on 21 April while he along with his three other companions were out of their camp in Swat Valley. The Commissioner Malakand, Muhammad Javed even visited them in captivity but didnt do anything about it as he was clearly sympethetic towards these terrorists. Last Tuesday, eight terrorists entered the room where these four commandos had been kept. The terrorists had with them, a rope, a video camera and some swords. The commandos knew what was coming.

Even though they were unarmed, in a matter of seconds, the four commandos jumped at the terrorists and within seconds, broke the necks of all eight of them. That was when two more of these terrorists entered the room and sprayed these men with bullets resulting in the martrydom of Captain Najam Riaz, Captain Junaid Khan and two other soldiers.

This video also shows Captain Bilal Zafar Shaheed (SSG), Maj Abid Shaheed, Major Azhar Shaheed, Lieutenant Saifullah Shaheed and Lieutenant Zia Shaheed. All these men embraced Shahadat during the ongoing operation Rah-e-Rast (the right path) in Swat Valley.

Watch video:

I am attaching pictures of Captain Omer Zeb Saheed who embraced Shahadat today in Dir District and also of Captain Junaid Khan Shaheed.And some of our politicians say that they don’t support the military operation. Who gives them the moral authority to decide. Are our corrupt politicians even near these brave and valiant soldiers.  Let Imran Khan see this and say that he doesnt support the military, let Qazi Hussain see this and let these terrorists see this and know that as long as such brave men are around, no one can dare threaten Pakistan.

Prayers are required for such brave men! And more…..braver families!

As received!

A tribute to our young officers

Director General ISPR Major General Athar Abbas wrote in the editorial of Daily The News on 23rd May 2009:

A tribute to our young officers…

During the operations in the Vietnam war, when our position came under heavy shelling, we left the position and took refuge under a rock”, writes Captain Jim. “After sometime, I realised that my platoon corporal, Harry was missing. I informed the company commander that I wanted to go back. He said, ‘don’t be stupid, it is not worth, do not risk your life, there is nothing left’. I insisted and he allowed me. I went there and came back, empty handed. ‘Did not I tell you that the risk was not worth’, the company commander said. ‘No sir, it was worth it’, I replied. ‘When I reached the company position Corporal Harry was alive, badly wounded. He said to me, Jim, I knew you would come. These were his last words, he died in my arms’.

Major Abid – A hero to his last breath!

Unfortunately the Pakistan Army has been the butt of Public Criticism during the last few years, but the people forget that the Pakistan Army and its valiant soldiers have always been injecting the fresh blood in the national polity by their inimitable sacrifices, be it the floods or the earthquake or the war against the enemy.

Same spirit of sacrifice and valour is being exhibited in the ongoing struggle against the militants. The heroic story of Major ABID MAJEED bears testimony to this reality. On the fateful morning of May 18, 2009 Major Abid Majeed’s brother Major Khalid was entrusted the task of recurring the area from Shalpalam to Jura whereas Major Abid Majeed’s company was responsible for securing the area from Jura to Nazarabad. Major Khalid’s company successfully secured the area followed by Major Abid Majeed. Thereafter Major Abid Majeed’s company was ordered to more forward.

Thirteen vehicles of the company moved to safety however the last vehicle came under heavy and precise firing, near a nullah bend, by the militants. The driver of the vehicle embraced martyrdom there and then. No more movement was possible as the route was blocked. The forward troops tried to move back and rescue the trapped soldiers, however due to accurate and effective firing by the militants the movement was not possible. It was then at 1645 hrs that Major Abid Majeed decided to move back himself.

He took two soldiers, the first aid kit and a water bottle and ordered his company to engage the militants. In the rain of bullets he rushed to site, dragged the two bleeding soldiers Sepoy Tariq and Sepoy Nausherwan to a place of safety. He immediately poured water into their mouths and then started bandaging them to stop the flow of blood. In the meantime his shoulder got exposed and shot. Not bettered by it, he kept engaged himself in the task of bandaging. The second bullet hit in his ribs, still did not prevent him from completing his task.

Unmoved by the blood gushing out of his wounds he dragged the soldiers to a safer place. In the process he was hit by three bullets and he fell down. While bleeding profusely, he took the wireless to talk to his brother Major Khalid (for the last time), who was 100 meters away. “BROTHER I HAVE TO PAY SO MUCH TO SO AND SO, DO NOT FORGET IT. TAKE CARE OF THE MOTHER AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES LEAVE THE JOB OF ELIMINATING THE MISCREANTS INCOMPLETE. I WISH I COULD MARCH ON TO MINGORA AND SEE IT CLEAR OF THE MILITANTS”. And then he succumbed to his injuries but he managed to save the lives of two soldier/comrades.

Sepoy Tariq and Nowsharwan can not control their tears at the mention of Major Abid Majeed’s name. The only words they utter are” Why Major Sahib why not us”.

Long live Pakistan Army! Long Live Pakistan!

Brigadier Syed Azmat Ali

In Loving Memory of Capt. Omerzeb (Shaheed) –

A brave soldier, an obedient son, a caring brother and a loving fiancé!

Many of us never knew personally Captain Omerzeb and his comrades who laid down their lives. However these chaps will always have a special place. We may be silent and not able to express our thoughts eloquently but that will not diminish the highest regards we have for these men of honor. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of this special breed.

Blow out, you bugles, over the rich dead!
There’s none of these so lonely and poor of old,
But, dying has made us rarer gifts than gold.
These laid the world away; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth; gave up the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene
That men call age; and those who would have been,
Their sons, they gave their immortality.

Blow, bugles, blow! They brought us, for our dearth,
Holiness, lacked so long, and Love, and Pain.
Honor has come back, as a king, to earth
And paid his subjects with a royal wage;
And nobleness walks in our ways again;
And we have come into our heritage.’

Captain Bilal Zafar (Shaheed):

Captain Junaid Khan (Shaheed):

The Sacrifices by Capt Omerzeb Shaheed

By: Qasim Butt

I was sitting next to him on the grass patch during my college days, enjoying the bright sunny morning. Belonging to a family of retired Army Officers, we shared experiences of our past schooling and friends that we made on different places. While our class fellows played in the basketball ground, cheering and shouting. We continued our pleasant conversation, and we came to astonishing fact that we have been class fellows even in Army Public School Peshawar while studying in class 3. With this it opened a new arena of our personalities and i found him an affable, courteous and a pleasant gentleman with a sense of dignity and honor embedded in his soul.

As the time passed by, various events brought us together on same crossroads. We shared couple of things in common, we both were debators, joined the same college-house which was Khalid house, won various events for our college-house and due to our inherited affinity towards armed forces, we used to admire the national role of Pakistan Armed Forces. The strange warmth in his amiable personality, some-how always made him stand-out from rest of the college mates. Helpful, kind, respectful and enthusiastically encouraging were his prominent traits. However, he earned great appraisal in the eyes of his teachers, class and college-house, when he won the notable prize of debate competition.

All these memorable events of companionship, just went through my mind’s eye like a quick flash-back of priceless golden past. Here I was, standing in an army grave-yard, saying his namaz-e-jinazah. Capt from 111th Long Course of 9 Azad Kashmir Regiment, once my class fellow and a friend, now had brought the trophy of pride again, back home for us to live with prestige. Capt Omerzeb (Shaheed) like his noble past of his childhood and adolescence, had won the accolade for his family, for Pakistan and for us. Capt Omerzeb (Shaheed) is just one of those abundant examples who have sacrificed themselves on the call of duty for the nation.

Capt OmerZeb (Shaheed) attained shahadat in the morning of May 21st 2009. While he jolted me with strong sense of self-determination of taking up the fight for better tomorrow. His Shahadat had a cleansing effect on my polluted thoughts of national disintegration and state failure. Capt Omer Zeb (Shaheed) re-invigorated us with a sense of living a life of valour, virtue and stature.

In the current times of national desperation, economic recession and destroyed socio-moral fabric, one is just too vulnerable to be overwhelmed by a thought of “Run for your life”. Capt OmerZeb (Shaheed) proved it imprudent and not worth a deal to run away from one’s home and let the vultures tear it apart. The enemies of Pakistan, should know by now that Allah has blessed this nation with the generation of iron-willed youth, belonging to noble families such as Capt OmerZeb (Shaheed), who are more then ready to keep up the traditions of sacrifice in the need of an hour.

Capt Omer Zeb (Shaheed) did his part and now it’s upon us to take it on and give a final brunt. We shall never forget the sacrifices of our shuhuda!!!


By Majdy

Captain Omerzeb Shaheed was my sister’s fiance. He was to be my dear loving brother-in-law but he left us all on my sister’s (his fiance) birthday, 21st May 2009. We will never be able to forget him. Seeing his picture in your post has only made my eyes filled with tears… tears of pride… tears for his bravery. We loved him so much and now we miss him so much…

By mustajab

Captain Omer Zeb and I were room mates during our first term in Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul (PMA), and I left the Academy in third term, we kept meeting after that for sometime but in general we lost touch, and than I came to know about this!!! I’d like to post a note which i wrote about this brave man….

After I crossed the parking lot of PMA, I walked in with a senior who kept on swearing at me, into the line so I can get my company lines and room assigned, in the line I met an old college friend who also was selected, behind me was a GUY, who introduced himself to me as Omer Zeb, and said he was from Rawalpindi and we shared few introductory things, he said me maybe we will get the same Company (Platoon), and we had a big laugh like “yeah out of 300 people how would that be possible”, but maybe that was the moment of acceptance, we got the same Platoon and the same room as well.

It may sound a bit too pompous but yes that is exactly what happened. We took over the room, he was such a nice guy, we shared everything from our personal lives to all that ragging (form of punishment) we use to get in the Academy and passed some great times together, he was a very handsome young man, and when we went on holidays we had some nice times together. Like this we spent our years, and went off to our different professional lives. I was always a FUNG… a typical army term used for those who tend to be an asshole for daily army routine life.

He always used to guide me through the process and things, make me understand. Even when I left the league, he was the one who kept pushing me to get into civil life and do the best in it, like friends we trusted each other also, what he use to say me meant a lot to me, and what I used to say to him, we shared a great sense of friendship all together. In a while he got posted to the most God forsaken place in the country, and we LOST TOUCH… And yesterday I got the news that he DIED.

In Urdu he embraced SHAHADAT in NWFP. Life is uncertain that’s what I knew always. But it’s unfair, that’s what I am starting to understand now… this is my 3rd course mate in a row who embraced SHAHADAT… but he was for sure the dearest one… my friend I will never forget you and I will never forget the memories we had… may God give your family peace and courage to overcome this loss…. may you rest in peace at last after all you have been through…. and I will meet you again in this life or the next……. AMEEN

By Citizenjournal

I feel extremely-extremely sad on hearing this news. May Allah gives strength to both of your families.Amen!

By MZohair

My sincerest condolences to so proud of captain omer zeb shaheed and ur brave family..i really am..of little wut i know, a shaheed is the one who lays down his life when their religion is under threat..and Islam has never been threatened more than it is being now..he has done a tremendous service to his religion, country and extremely proud of him..when i see people like him and the fortitude of their dear one like yourself, i know pakistan can never be a lost gratitude to captain omer zeb and ur family..may god elevate the status of all the martyred..

By bilal_ahmad_shaikh

Dear Majdy. I am deeply sad ever since I read your story and that’s true because sons are not bought from shops. May Allah bless Captain Omer Zeb with the peace of heaven and grant patience to your entire family and help us realize the worth of our brave soldiers who give away their lives just to see us live in comfort. I beleive you are a true sister and a caring citizen of Pakistan who shared the martydom of Omer Zeb with all of us. I say on Dunya T.V. His father and brother and my eyes couldn’t believe the calmness and satisfaction on the face of a martyer’s father…… God bless you and your family and May the sacrifice of Hundreds of sons like Omer ripe fruits of prosperity and safety for our beloved country.

By AhmedMehmood

Capt Omer Zeb (Sunny) is a family relative. I cant find words about his passion towards Army and country. He was indeed a brave man and most of all Allah chose him for this medal (Shahadat). I still remember when he was too young and i never knew how great this boy is at that time when his father was posted in Murree. Later he got older and he joined the army and I remember him saying to his cousins regarding his will for shahadat. He proved his words and will. But my tears can’t stop over his stolen youth.

But I see our freedom, fun, life, in our country is because of the janbaaz soldiers like him. He is our real “HERO” I salute you.. I heard “shaheed kabhi marta naheen” and thats true.. because i attended his funeral and the amount of blood rolling down his coufin is an example. I must say here that ” Sunny tera khoon zaya naheen jaye ga” SWAT phir abaad hoga aur tera naam hamesha ke liye amar rahe ga… You will always be in our heart.

Ae rah e haq ke shaheedo, wafa ke tasweero.

Tumhain watan ke hawain salam kehti hain…

By Razi_Haider

Last night I watched a TV program on this young shaheed, his family was interviewed by Dunyaa News. I saw his father,he is really very brave in that interview. He said “I’m really very proud on my son, he sacrified his life for our country”,

He also appealed to the corrupt politicians to stop criticising Pak military on this military operation. There politicians are criticising this ongoing military operation just to gain their political benefits out of it, they should be ashamed, our young soldiers are sacrificing their precious lives for the survival of our country and these pathetic politicans are exploring their benefits at this crucial time.

O ALLAH ALMIGHTY, please show the right path to the TALIBANS or plz destro them. They are not muslims at all, infact being muslim is a special status; these stupid, ignorant, dirty talibans are not human beings. My condolences to the family of this young shaheed, especially to his parents. May allah bestow a special place in heaven to all shaheeds of Pak Army and give patience to the families of these martyrs. We are really proud of u Captian UmerZeb, u will be alive always Inshallah as Shaheed never dies.

31 killed in SWA clashes

31 killed in SWA clashes

By Mushtaq Yusufzai &

Irfan Burki

PESHAWAR/WANA: Twenty-five militants, including a senior commander of Baitullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Miraj Burki, and six soldiers were killed and several others injured in the deadly clashes between the militants and security forces in the South Waziristan Agency (SWA) tribal region on Sunday night.

Other reports said 13 soldiers were killed and over two dozens injured in the two deadly attacks. Fierce fighting between the militants and security forces forced thousands of the tribal families to leave their homes in the Mehsud-inhabited areas.

The latest clashes erupted with two different attacks on security post and a military convoy by the militants at Spinkai Raghzai and Tiarza areas of the restive region.In the first attack, which took place on the night between Saturday and Sunday, the militants opened fire on a security post located on hilltop in Spinkai Raghzai area.

According to sources, three soldiers were killed and six others seriously injured in the attack. Also, four soldiers went missing during the clashes and suspected to be kidnapped by the militants. There were reports that the militants beheaded them and threw their bodies in the mountains.

Military officials said though it was dark and the attack was unexpected, the soldiers retaliated and inflicted heavy losses on the Taliban fighters. Military spokesman, Maj Gen Athar Abbas, when reached by telephone, said 15 militants were killed when the troops fired back. Similarly, he said, several other militants were injured in retaliatory firing by the troops.

Similarly, three soldiers, including a lieutenant, were killed and some others injured in an ambush on a military convoy by Taliban near Tiarza on Saturday evening. The convoy was heading towards Tiarza from Shakai when came under attack.

The militants were not happy with the reinforcement of the security forces in the Mahsuds inhabited areas, which happen to be strongholds of the Baitullah-led militants. According to sources, commander Meraj Burki, who was a senior militant commander of Baitullah Mahsud-led TTP and his Shura member, had led dozens of fighters to ambush the military convoy.

The sources said it was well-organised attack organised by the 45-year old commander, Meraj, in which the militants fired on the convoy from various directions. The troops were reported to have suffered heavy losses and their vehicles damaged.

Military authorities said the troops retaliated and killed 10 militants. Tribal sources confirmed the killing of six militants in retaliatory firing by the security forces. Tribal elders in Tiarza said they received reports that commander Meraj had been killed in retaliatory firing by the troops. However, they said bodies of the slain commander and his five colleagues were in the custody of the security forces. Efforts were being made for receiving their bodies from the security forces.

Maj-Gen Athar Abbas said both the attacks came from the militants. He said the troops did not fire first and retaliated when came under attack by the terrorists. “The troops were there to consolidate their positions and had no offensive designs. No body can even prove that the soldiers had fired first,” the military spokesman argued.

Tribal sources said the security forces Sunday evening started heavy artillery shelling from FC camps in Jandola and Manzai towards suspected locations of the militants in Kotkai, Tiarza, Ladha, Makeen and Srarogha villages.

The militants attacked security forces at a time when a 15-member jirga of the Mahsud tribal elders and clerics was negotiating between the government and Baitullah Mahsud.Senator Saleh Shah, who is leading the jirga members in recent negotiations between the two sides, admitted that both the factions even agreed on ceasefire.

Asked would he and his jirga members now blame Taliban for violation of their ceasefire offer, Saleh Shah said though they were not happy over what happened in Waziristan, but the government had also committed violation and sent the troops to various places where the Taliban did not want them to be deployed.

He said the jirga would continue its efforts for restoration of peace and would leave for South Waziristan on Tuesday to hold talks with Baitullah Mahsud and his commanders for ensuring durable peace in the region.

The fighting caused mass exodus of the Mahsud tribespeople and many families were seen Sunday leaving their homes for safer places in Razmak, Bannu, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.Though announced several times, the government is yet to set up camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of South Waziristan Agency.

Majority of the fleeing tribespeople were reportedly taking shelters with their relatives, friends and even with strange people in the downtowns. AFP adds: “According to fresh reports we received from the site, more than 45 militants died,” Syed Ahmad, a police official in the tribal area, told AFP. Khan Badshah, another local official, confirmed that death toll and said the rebels had taken most of the bodies away for funeral rites.

Jundullah a threat to Pak-Iran ties, gas pipeline

Jundullah a threat to Pak-Iran ties, gas pipeline

By Amir Mir

LAHORE: The rising terrorist activities of the Pakistan-based militant organisation, Jundullah (Soldiers of God) threatens not only the Pak-Iran diplomatic ties but also the future of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, which was signed on May 22 by President Asif Zardari and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran.

According to well-placed diplomatic sources in Islamabad, Tehran has lodged a strong protest with Islamabad over the failure of its law enforcement agencies to dismantle the Jundullah network in Pakistan, which has claimed responsibility for the May 28 deadly suicide attack inside the Ameer al-Momenin mosque in Zahedan that killed 25 people and wounded 125 others.

The sources said Iranian officials had expressed their deep concern over the failure of the Pakistani authorities to proceed against the Jundullah network in Pakistan despite having been given specific intelligence.

The Pakistani ambassador was told that the Zahedan suicide attack could have been averted had Islamabad acted in time on the Iranian intelligence information.The Iranian authorities had reportedly told the Pakistani ambassador that the three terrorists (Haji Noti Zehi, Gholam Rasoul Shahi Zehi and Zabihollah Naroui), hanged publicly on May 30 in Zahedan for their alleged participation in the mosque bombing, had confessed to illegally bringing explosives from Pakistan into Iran and giving them to the main person behind the suicide attack.

Diplomatic circles in Islamabad say Tehranís concern over the growing terrorist activities of Jundullah, across the border in Iran, could be gauged from the fact that its Ambassador to Pakistan Mashallah Shakeri had addressed an unusual press conference in Islamabad on March 20, accusing Pakistan of allowing its soil to be used against Iran and demanding concrete steps to contain its activities.

While claiming that the Jundullah network was located inside the Balochistan province, Shakeri had asked Islamabad to curb its anti-Iran activities by taking a decisive action against its leadership. The Iranian ambassador had given broad hints at that time that an Iranian diplomat, who had disappeared in Peshawar in 2008, could also have been kidnapped by Jundullah. In his reaction the same day, a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman had stated that Islamabad was determined that the Pakistani soil would not be allowed to be used by Jundullah in any manner to destabilise the Iranian government.

However, the diplomatic circles in Islamabad say the Iranian authorities had warned the Pakistani ambassador to Tehran on May 30 that Islamabadís failure to act against the Jundullah network in Balochistan could also jeopardise the future of the recently-signed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. They pointed out that the Pakistani and the Iranian presidents had only signed the initial agreement after 14 years of delayed negotiations and the most crucial gas sales and purchase agreement had not yet been finalised.

On the other hand, the Pakistani authorities in Islamabad do not rule out the possibility of a third player aiding and abetting the anti-Iran activities of Jundullah with a view to damage the Pak-Iran ties and sabotage the ëpeace pipeline projectí.

Asked about the origin of Jundullah, the sources said the organisation ostensibly represents the Baloch inside Iran who are disaffected with the Tehran government. While being interrogated at a Quetta jail, the sources said, Abdul Hamid Rigi, the brother of the Jundullah chief, had maintained that the group was formed to protect the rights of the Baloch in the Iranian Balochistan-Sistan region.

While asserting that the Pakistani authorities are making all possible efforts to dismantle the Jundullah network from Balochistanís soil, authoritative sources in the Ministry of Interior pointed out that the militant organisation in question had actually stepped up its anti-Iran activities following the June 15, 2008 extradition of Abdul Hamid Rigi from Pakistan to Iran.

Highlighting Pakistanís efforts to recover the Iranian diplomat kidnapped from Peshawar, the Interior Ministry sources said the Karachi Police had raided a Karachi locality in February 2008 to retrieve the Iranian diplomat alive. In the ensuing battle, two policemen died while 35 men belonging to at least two banned outfits, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan, were arrested. Yet the Iranian diplomat could not be recovered.