Nek Muhammad and General Safdar Hussain Embracing At Shakai Peace Treaty Signing

[Right here is where it all went wrong for Pakistan.  Was it the peace deal with Taliban itself that ruined Pakistan, or was it the American drone assassination of the man who signed it, Nek Mohammed?  It is fairly obvious that it was the Pakistani surrender to the American assassination program that fueled the Taliban insurgency.  Pakistan’s attempts since then to appease the American paymasters, while continuing attempts at some sort of peaceful resolution of the conflicts, only serve to sow the seeds of mistrust.  Sabotage of Pakistani peace plans is the American goal.  What is the Pak Army goal?  Is it to cater to American whims, or is it to defend the people of Pakistan from outside attack?]

“We are all Pakistani soldiers.” –Nek

Pakistan reaps harvest of poisoned peace deals

Long war journal

By BILL ROGGIO

 

nek_mohammed_deal_2004

Nek Mohammed, the former leader of the Taliban in South Waziristan, speaks to his followers after being showered with gifts by the Pakistani Army after a peace agreement on April 24, 2004. Nek was later killed in a US Predator strike, and was replaced by Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in another Predator strike on Aug. 5, 2009. AFP Photo.

McClatchy has a must-read article on the long-lasting negative effects of the “peace agreements” the Pakistani Army has cut with the Taliban during prior operations. The Mehsud tribesmen who were interviewed for the article expressed “deep, corrosive cynicism” about the sincerity of the military and the Inter-Service Intelligence agency and their relationship with the Taliban. Many are convinced a new peace agreement will be signed and that the government conducts the operations to siphon aid dollars from the US. Here are some select quotes:

“The government has used the people like toilet paper, used them and thrown them away,” thundered the spiritual leader and founder of the anti-Taliban Mehsud militia, Maulvi Sher Mohammad, in an interview….

“We cannot fight alongside the army because my people do not yet know whether the army and the Taliban are friends or enemies,” said Mohammad. “When we see the army crush them (the Taliban ), then we’ll believe.”

Mehsuds remember bitterly how in 2005, following such a deal, a Pakistani army general literally embraced the then- Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, and called him “a soldier of peace.” A U.S. missile strike killed the militant leader in August.

“This fight (in South Waziristan ) is for American dollars. The government always has some deal with the Taliban . It is ordinary people who suffer,” said student Zahidullah Mehsud, who thought he was around 19 years old, as he lined up at a registration center for those displaced by the operation. “This is all an ISI game.”

 

Couple this with the wholesale destruction of villages in South Waziristan and the denial of any civilian casualties, and the military and the government have a long way to go before winning any hearts and minds in South Waziristan.


As Army changes its doctrine, TTP decides to target India

As Army changes its doctrine, TTP decides to target India

the news pak

Islamabad

 

In the aftermath of Pakistani military establishment’s decision to revise its doctrine and recognise domestic militants especially the Taliban as a larger threat than India, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has announced sending its fighters to Jammu & Kashmir and wage struggle for the implementation of Shariah rule in India.

 

Introducing a paradigm shift in its decades-old India-centric policy, Pakistan’s military establishment has recently added a new chapter to the Army Doctrine in the Green Book, describing homegrown militancy as the biggest threat to the national security. The Army Doctrine deals with operational preparedness and is reviewed intermittently. A special chapter titled ‘Sub-conventional warfare’ has been included this year in the Green Book which holds strategic papers by professional soldiers who give their ideas on various subjects. While emphasising that the biggest threat to Pakistan lies within not without, the new Army Doctrine states that the TTP and a host of assorted militants within, are a bigger security threat than India.’ The Green Book states that the activities of Pakistani militants, who have found refuge across the Durand Line in Afghanistan, now pose a real threat to the national security.

 

Before the new Army Doctrine, India used to be Pakistan’s No 1 enemy and most of the military resources were also being focused on India. In fact, about 75 percent of the 500,000 active duty Pakistan Army personnel are posted on the Indian border while only 100,000 patrol the Afghan border. But having decided to revise the Army Doctrine, the military leadership is most likely to rectify this skewed ratio by shifting more and more troops from its eastern border with India to the western border with Afghanistan. Nevertheless, it took the loss of over 40,000 civilian and military deaths for the all-powerful military establishment to finally classify the home grown militants as a greater threat than India.

 

However, in an apparent reaction to the change in the Army’s Doctrine, which was made public by Pakistani media on January 2, TTP’s deputy ameer and Hakeemullah Mehsud’s No. 2, Commander Waliur Rehman has announced in yet another video appearance [released on January 3, 2013] to send fighters to the Indian-administered Kashmir and wage a valiant struggle for implementation of Islamic Shariah in India. Wali, against whom the American FBI has announced a USD 5 million head money for his involvement in the December 2009 assassination of seven CIA officials in Khost, has spoken for the first time about the Pakistani Taliban’s ambitions of transcending beyond the Af-Pak border and taking them to Jammu & Kashmir, India and the United States.

 

The 45:52 minute video in Pashtu with Urdu subtitles has been produced by Umar Media, the broadcasting arm of TTP while its translation has been provided to the international media by the Jehad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM) of Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a Washington based think tank. Formally released to internet on January 6, the video is titled “The false propaganda of the Dajjali (imposter) media revealed.” Claiming that the jehad launched by the Pakistan government inside [Jammu] Kashmir has failed to yield any desired result, the TTP video says that it would launch its own jehad in the Valley and talks about sending its own jehadi forces in the Valley.

 

Waliur Rehman has been shown in the video as saying: “The practical struggle for a Shariah system that we are carrying out in Pakistan, the same way we will continue it in [Jammu] Kashmir and the same way implement the Shariah system in India too. This is the only solution for people’s problems. Allah willing, the mujahedeen of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan will arrive in [Jammu] Kashmir and as per the Islamic Shariah will help the Kashmiris get their rights. As our ancestors sacrificed their lives for Kashmir and had got it liberated by force [in 1947-48], the same way their progenies [i.e. Taliban fighters], walking in the footsteps of their forefathers, will get [Jammu] Kashmir liberated [from India], and will help them get their rights. The government-sponsored jehad that Pakistan had begun cannot liberate [Jammu] Kashmir, and even if it were to be liberated, it will be for name only, but the system will not change [in favour of Islamic Shariah rule] and their fate will not be changed, and if it were to change, only Shariah system will change it. And it is our promise to those people [in Jammu Kashmir], that we will share their grief”.

 

Waliur Rehman further stated in the video: “As far as Pakistan’s dirty policy on [Jammu] Kashmir is concerned, as per which the Kashmiris have been ruined and shattered under the pretext of the Kashmir policy, their everything has been destroyed, we strongly condemn this policy too as much as we do about India’s atrocities.

 

Most terrorism experts are of the view that the latest anti-India TTP tape should be treated as a significant propaganda video in the usual sense of the term propaganda because it has been released soon after the Pakistani military establishment’s decision to amend its doctrine and recognise domestic militants especially the Taliban as a larger threat than India.

 

Earlier, in a video message release on December 28, 2012 following a spate of high-profile attacks claimed by the TTP, Hakeemullah Mehsud had stated: “If Pakistan is serious about negotiations [with TTP] it will have to give up the American slavery. We will then be ready for negotiations. But if Pakistan decides to open talks while remaining American slaves the talks will not succeed because a slave can never take independent decisions.” TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan subsequently said the main purpose of releasing the videotape was dispel the impression about differences between Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman, adding that they had not extended any offer to the government about the ceasefire, but could seriously think about it if the Pakistani rulers accepted their conditions. The ceasefire conditions include Pakistan pulling out of the Afghan war and changing its constitution and foreign policy to bring it what Taliban claimed in conformity with Quran and Sunnah.

Everybody Plans A Trip To Kashmir

[This is the real threat, that the Punjabi Taliban would join with LeT, to become a force to reckon with in Kashmir.  Such a force might easily move beyond Kashmir, given time.  

The fact that this announcement came from Taliban No. 2,  Waliur Rehman and not the Numero Uno, Hakeemullah might seem to reinforce the often-heard idea of a split within the Pakistani Taliban, a struggle for dominance between Hakeemullah and Rehman.  Adding fuel to that suspicion was a TTP video tape and pamphlet from Mehsud which was released a few days earlier in North Waziristan, renouncing the use of violence against Pakistani troops, even while some of them were detonating bombs and killing 14 Pakistani soldiers near Razmak Cadet College.  It is easy to believe that there is an ongoing leadership feud within the TTP (no matter which intelligence agency they work for), with one side friendlier to the Pak Army than the other.  A split in the Pakistani Taliban would also reflect a split between the consortium of intelligence agencies which feed the anti-Pakistan terrorist outfits, like the TTP and the BLA (Baloch Liberation Army).  If there was such a feud  it would seem to be to the Army’s advantage to exploit their differences, instead of simply pounding them from the air after these harsh attacks.  The barbarity of some of the TTP attacks (like the one from the video below) is so extreme that most governments might find it impossible to negotiate with such monsters afterwards, but not Pakistan.  

Pakistan has uses for the kinds of services that monsters like this can provide.  Some monster recently stole a man’s head in Kashmir.  That makes it sound like Waliur Rehman’s head-hunters are already at work there.  The next question will be whether the head-chopping monsters in Kashmir are there at the Army’s invitation, or could they possibly do this on their own?  In this propaganda war we fight along the Durand Line, it is all about fighting monsters, monsters that we blame on Pakistan, taking no responsibility for them ourselves, even though they fight for us daily in Syria and elsewhere.

The purpose of the monsters that we create then unleash upon the unsuspecting people of the world is to terrorize the innocent into believing what we want them to believe.]

Taliban vows to unleash jihad in Kashmir, implement Sharia

rediff_logo

Top Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan leader Wali Ur Rehman, in a rare video appearance, has pledged to send fighters to Kashmir and wage a struggle for the implementation of Sharia rule in India.

The United States had earlier announced a $5 million reward against Wali Ur Rehman for his involvement in the murder of seven Central Intelligence Agency officials in Afghanistan in December 2009.

Rehman, along with the TTP chief Hamikullah Mehsud, is believed to have said this in a rare video:

“The practical struggle for a Sharia system that we are carrying out in Pakistan, the same way we will continue it in Kashmir, and the same way we will implement the Sharia system in India too. And this is the only solution for people’s problems,” said Rehman, according to the translation provided by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

The video in Pashtu, with Urdu subtitles, has been produced by Umar Media, the broadcasting arm of the TTP.

The video is titled The False Propaganda of the Dajjali Media Revealed. It was released to internet on January 6.

According to MEMRI, TTP’s official spokesman Ehsanullah Ihsan can also be seen in the video, which devotes a section on Kashmir.

Claiming that the Jihad launched by the Pakistani government inside Kashmir has failed to yield the desired result, the TTP says that it will launch its own jihad in the valley and talks about sending its own jihadi forces there.

“Allah willing, the mujahedeen of Tehreek-e-Taliban will arrive in Kashmir and as per the Islamic Sharia will help the Kashmiris get their rights. As our ancestors sacrificed their lives for Kashmir and got Kashmir liberated by force (in 1947-48), the same way their progenies, walking in the footsteps of their forefathers, will get Kashmir liberated (from India), and will help them get their rights,” Rehman said.

“That registered (government-sponsored) jihad that Pakistan had begun cannot liberate Kashmir, and even if it were to be liberated, it will be for name only, but the system will not change (in favour of Islamic Sharia rule) and their fate will not be changed, and if it were to change, only Sharia system will change it. And it is our promise to those people (in Kashmir), that we will share their grief,” the propaganda says as per the translation provided by MEMRI.

“Insofar as Pakistan’s dirty policy (on Kashmir) is concerned, as per which Kashmiris have been ruined and destroyed under the pretext of Kashmir policy, their everything has been destroyed, we strongly condemn this policy too as much as we do India’s atrocities,” said Rehman.

Tufail Ahmed from MEMRI — a Washington-based expert who keeps a tab on the terrorist outfits of the region — said that this should not be dismissed as a propaganda video.

“Basically, it is a formal articulation of viewpoint by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan on key major issues, for example jihadi activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the Arab Spring. The timing of the video is important for three reasons: First, it was released on the eve of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s visit to Washington DC. And the TTP commanders do reveal how they look forward to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan in 2014, hoping that Taliban leader Mullah Omar will hold some kind of power after 2014 and his policies will also be followed by the TTP. Importantly, Mehsud clarifies that Mullah Muhammad Omar is not merely the emir of Pakistani Taliban and Afghan Taliban, but also of Al Qaeda worldwide,” he said.

Secondly, the video is aimed at quashing rumors about a conflict among top TTP commanders, with Maulana Waliur Rehman and Maulana Fazlullah seeking to dislodge Hakimullah Mehsud from the position of TTP emir, he said.

“One thing that must worry international intelligence agencies, especially the US, is TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud’s statement in this video that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is an international organisation,” he said.

“This is totally unprecedented, though in the past his predecessor Baitullah Mehsud has expressed similar visions; but now it simply means that the Taliban leadership is broadening its horizons internationally, which may be due to the US withdrawal of forces by 2014 and the emerging vacuum,” Ahmed said.

“Significantly, in the video, Mehsud offers to support jihadi fighters in Arab countries. India also needs to worry because this might be the first time that the TTP is expressing a detailed diversification of jihadi battlefield to include Kashmir and the wider India,” Ahmed said.

According to the US State Department, Wali Ur Rehman is the second in command and chief military strategist of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. He commands TTP members in South Waziristan.

Lalit K Jha

The Dishonest Brit Press Reports That Hakeemullah Stops Targeting Pak Army, While TTP Bomb Kills 14 Soldiers

[Ignoring the lying British press for a moment, we can see from the latest video screenshot below that Hakeemullah is starting to suffer from the same health problems that are associated with his pampered lifestyle.  Sitting around, overeating, while his henchmen spread murder and crime over Pakistan, Mehsud is starting to look like his fat diabetic predecessor, Baitullah, or his fat one-legged predecessor, Abdullah Mehsud, who was also diabetic.  That lying, fat little bastard, Hakeemullah, probably did agree with orders from British handlers to make this tape, claiming that he would stop targeting Pakistani troops and start attacking Americans in Afghanistan.  The TTP was no doubt hoping to blame new attacks in N. Waziristan, like today’s murder of 14 in Razmak,  upon Haqqani.  This is  just another step in the Army’s rebranding of the Tehreek e-Taliban Pakistan, trying to rehabilitate their image before trying to pass them off as a new “Islamist” political party in the new Pakistani AfPak Taliban reconciliation process (SEE:  Why Start A New Political Party In Pakistan and Name It After Notorious Terrorist Outfit? ).]

Pakistani Taliban say they will not attack Pak army

Screenshot from the 45-minute video in Pashto language shows the banned militant outfit Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud sitting alongside his deputy commander Waliur Rehman.—Dawn.com

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban said on Saturday they would cease their occasional attacks on the Pakistani army in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan and concentrate attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan instead – an announcement possibly designed to head off divisions in the insurgency.

The ceasefire does not apply to the rest of the country, where there are often fierce clashes between the Taliban and security services.

Thousands of Pakistani soldiers are stationed in North Waziristan, a tribal region along the Afghan border.

There have been occasional clashes there between the soldiers and Taliban, but a leaflet issued by Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud ordered those to stop. A senior commander confirmed the pamphlet’s veracity.

“O Mujahideen brothers! As you know, the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban under the leadership of Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid are engaged in jihad against the crusaders and infidels, and are supporters of each others in the ongoing holy war,” the pamphlet said.

“The enemy does not want to see us united and disciplined against them and are trying to divide us,” it continued.

The Taliban have formed alliances with a number of other militant groups in North Waziristan who are violently opposed to the Pakistani state.

DIVISIONS IN THE INSURGENCY

Some Taliban commanders are divided over whether the Pakistani state or Nato forces are their top target.

Those divisions were laid bare in November by an attempted suicide attack on Mullah Nazir, a top militant commander from the Wazir tribe in South Waziristan. He had signed a peace deal with the Pakistani army but supported attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.

The attack was widely believed to be the work of rival Taliban commanders, and the Wazir tribe ordered Hakimullah Mehsud’s tribe out of their lands.

Mullah Nazir was killed in a drone strike this month and it is unclear if his successor will continue his policies, or what relationship the Wazir tribe will have with the Mehsud tribe.

Pakistani army officials have also told Reuters that there are tensions between Mehsud and his deputy. The two men recently appeared together in a video to deny the allegations.

The decision to halt attacks against the Pakistani army in North Waziristan could signal the Pakistani Taliban’s intention to help the Afghan Taliban fight US-led Nato forces in the neighbouring country, or focus more closely on attacking Western targets inside Pakistan.

Or it could be more specifically aimed at unifying local factions. Mehsud’s statement specifically addressed both foreign fighters and local Taliban.

N Waziristan blast kills 14 security personnel

LANDI KOTAL: A remotely detonated bomb targeting a security forces’ vehicle killed 14 personnel and injured 25 others on Miramshah road in North Waziristan’s Razmak area on Sunday, intelligence sources told Dawn.com.

Military sources confirmed that 14 personnel were killed and 25 others were injured in the attack.

The injured were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Peshawar.

In another incident, a clash occurred between militants and Aman Lashkar personnel in Akakhel area of Khyber tribal regions Bara district on Sunday. Two militants were killed in the clash whereas one personnel of the Aman Lashkar was injured, according to local political administration sources.

Moreover, one person was killed in another explosion in Zakakhel market of Khyber tribal region’s Landi Kotal area on Sunday.

Further details were not available till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, miscreants ransacked a Government Girls school in Jhansi area of Sipah near Khyber tribal regions’ Juma Khan Kallay area and took away furniture and fittings from the premises. The structure of the building remained unharmed in the incident.

Woman panchayat member shot by suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir

Woman panchayat member shot by suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir

ndtv

Press Trust of India

 

SrinagarIn the second incident in as many days, suspected militants today shot at and injured a woman panchayat member in Sopore area in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.

Militants shot Zoona, wife of Mohammad Ramzan, in the neck at her house at Hardshiva Sopore, some 52-km from Srinagar, police said.

The woman panchayat member was taken to a hospital in Sopore but was referred to Srinagar for treatment.

This is second attack on panchayat members in as many days in Sopore.

Militants yesterday shot dead sarpanch Habibullah Mir in Sopore.

In south Kashmir, ultras shot dead a civilian after abducting him in Pulwama district.

The militants kidnapped Mohammad Shafi Dar, a contractor by profession, from his native Aglar village in Pulwama, at around 5 pm yesterday, police said.

Dar’s bullet-riddled body was recovered from a nearby village late last night.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Saudi students flood U.S. colleges for English lessons

Saudi students flood U.S. colleges for English lessons

usa_today_long
Mary Beth Marklein

Saudi students can receive up to a five-year visa, with scholarships covering tuition, housing and health benefits. While colleges like the money and the campus diversity, skeptics have concerns.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — That University of South Carolina cap on Meshari Albishi’s head? Just for looks, he says. Its colors match the red of his vest, where a metallic pin displays flags for the United States and Saudi Arabia, his homeland.

For now, his allegiance is to the University of Mary Washington, which Albishi says “is like my second home.”

Technically, Albishi is not a student here, but he has made “a lot of friends,” and has access to the library, workout rooms and other campus facilities. The university has offered him admission, on one condition: Before he can enroll, he must complete a non-credit program, called English for Academic Purposes.

Albishi, 25, is one of thousands of international students arriving each year in the United States to study English as the first step toward a college degree. They come from all over the world, but Saudi Arabia, where the government has poured billions of dollars into a generous scholarship program, is driving the recent surge.

In just seven years, Saudi student enrollments have skyrocketed from 11,116 in 2006, to 71,026 last year, according to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission to the United States, the Virginia-based agency that administers the scholarship. Nearly all recipients (95%) start with language training, which can take anywhere from a month to a year or more, officials say.

The infusion of full-paying international students has been a boon for cash-strapped U.S. colleges.

For instance, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, which founded its Center for English Language and Culture for International Students 38 years ago, enrolled a record 267 international students last semester, nearly half from Saudi Arabia, says center director Diana Vreeland. The University of Dayton’s language center, established in 2006 with eight students, now enrolls 400.

The Saudi scholarship grew out of a meeting in 2005 between Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah, and President George W. Bush as a way to strengthen ties — and ease tensions — between the two countries in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Saudi scholarship students can receive up to a five-year visa. The scholarship covers full tuition, housing and health benefits for students and family members. All that, plus round-trip tickets home once a year. After language training, business and engineering are the top fields of study.

When students are finished, “They come back with a collective experience that can help move the country forward,” says Mody Alkhalaf, the Saudi Arabian mission’s assistant attaché for cultural and social affairs.

Even so, the arrangement doesn’t sit well with skeptics, who argue for stricter visa policies. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia; and several had entered the USA with student visas.

In 2011, after a Saudi engineering student was charged in a failed plot to bomb U.S. targets, Investor’s Business Daily repeated its concern that a new initiative for Saudi students opened the door for terrorist attacks. “How many will overstay their visas and become sleeper agents?”

Programs for international students have recently come under greater federal scrutiny. In 2010, Congress tightened rules for English-language programs after an investigation found that a for-profit language school in Florida served as a front for the sale of fraudulent student visa applications. Last year, a federal report urged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to strengthen oversight of the Homeland Security program that oversees compliance with a student-visa system. Recently, immigration officials have raised concerns that some colleges might be mishandling documentation for students accepted into an academic program on the condition that they first complete language studies.

Some schools mention only the academic degree program on federal forms, a practice that is “essentially defrauding the immigration requirements” and potentially “defeating the purpose” of a student tracking system, says Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ELS Educational Services, a for-profit company that operates the center housed at the University of Mary Washington, lists language study on its paperwork, says communications director John Nicholson, based in Princeton, N.J.

So far, no language students have continued their academic studies at the University of Mary Washington. But officials say they value the diversity such students bring to campus. Last semester, Arabic studies professor Maysoon Al-Sayed Ahmad organized a regular coffee hour for Saudi and U.S. students. “I wanted American students to change their idea about what they think about the Arab people, so they can become friends,” she says.

Saudi students have similarly had their eyes opened. Until he arrived on campus, “I thought all (Americans) had guns,” says Abdullah Khalid Maghrabi, 19. He stayed indoors for a week before he thought it was safe to go outside. Now, he says, weather is a more pressing concern.

“I don’t know what to wear every morning. In my country, all the seasons are the same — it’s hot.”