Pak Army Puts Tribal Elders Between Them and Predicted N. Waziristan “Operation”

Eliminating militants may prove a task too big for NWA elders

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— File photo

PESHAWAR: Finally, the elders of Utmanzai tribe of North Waziristan Agency have been tasked to take the bull by the horns within 15 days. The helpless non-combatant residents have to eliminate hardcore foreign fighters from the area.

A mission which could not be fully accomplished by over one division army, thousands of paramilitary troops of the Frontier Corps and big spy network in over eight years has now been handed over to civilians to take on these well-trained fighters. Even US drones could not deter these foreign and local militants.

In other words, the state passed the buck to the people of Utmanzai tribe who have badly suffered physically, mentally, socially and economically because of the eight years long volatile situation in the area.

Provision of security to its citizens is the prime responsibility of the state and the government, but taking advantage of the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan and Corps Commander Lt-Gen Khalid Rabbani gave the task to the tribesmen.


Govt needs to initiate joint action against undesired elements


If the tribesmen alone can do this job within two weeks then why the government wasted time and resources on talks and agreements with the Taliban. Instability and uncertainty prevailed in North Waziristan Agency since the government entered into a peace deal with Commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Utmanzai tribe in 2006.

The six-point agreement could not produce the desired results though the government and Gul Bahadur stuck to this “sacred document.” Civilians, soldiers and officers have been killed in acts of sabotage despite peace agreements and talks with the militants.

One of the main points of the peace agreement was that outsiders would not be allowed to stay in North Waziristan and despite that the area remained a safe haven for foreigners and their influx into Waziristan continued unabated.

Miramshah, its administrative headquarters, and Mirali have turned into a “multi-cultural society” due to presence of Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens, Turkish, Afghans, Chinese, Europeans, Punjabis, etc and it was the most accessible area for outsiders. The government’s writ eroded while the political administration has no control even in Miramshah Bazaar.

Much water has flown under the bridge and peace talks between the government and Taliban committees have reached the logical end. Self-declared ‘Father of the Taliban’ Maulana Samiul Haq and his lieutenant Maulana Yousaf Shah seem to have given up efforts to put talks back on the track.

Now the ball has been thrown in the court of Utmanzai elders. The government has used tribes in the rest of tribal agencies to subdue militants. Lashkars were raised and volunteers obtained arms and ammunition.

This strategy was first time put in place in South Waziristan Agency in 2004 and people destroyed hideouts of militants.

Elders who had supported the government and security forces paid a heavy price. Former Senator and federal minister Faridullah Khan was the first to fell victim for supporting Shakai Agreement in 2005.

Hundreds of elders and volunteers of the peace committees from South Waziristan up to Bajaur Agency have been killed in targeted action and improvised explosive devices’ blasts.

Their houses came under attacks and families were forced to leave their areas, but not a single culprit has been arrested so far.

When peace talks between the government and TTP stalled, chief of Waziristan Malik Qadir Khan was gunned down near Miramshah. Speaking at a joint jirga held recently in Governor’s House, he had strongly opposed mechanism of the peace talks with TTP and demanded to engage local elders instead of bureaucrats.

Jingoists conveyed a stern message to people not to indulge themselves in this game otherwise they would bear consequences like Malik Qadir.

A tribal journalist said that over 40 elders have already been killed in North Waziristan Agency. Tribal people are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Media reports about 15-day deadline spread like a jungle fire in the area. People are fleeing Waziristan. Miramshah and Mirali have been deserted. Residents say that militants, including foreigners, have vacated area ahead of the deadline. There are unconfirmed reports that foreigners have either moved across the Afghan border or to Syria.

Instead of delegating the responsibility of flushing out militants from North Waziristan to the tribal people, the government needs to initiate a joint action against the undesired elements challenging its writ.

The government should exploit the differences among the militants and replicate the strategy which was adopted in Ahmadzai Wazir area of South Waziristan in 2007. The security forces had backed Maulvi Nazir group against foreigners and other local troublemakers in Wana. Large-scale displacement and collateral damage could be avoided through this strategy.

Hakeemullah’s Uzbeks Terrorize Jinnah Intl. Airport, Using Indian Weaponry

[Pak press reports that MQM second in command, Dr. Farooq Sattar was in one of the planes targeted by TTP forces.  This is probably and impossible coincidence (SEE: Imran Khan Uneashed His TTP Dogs To Kill Dr Farooq Sattar).]

[8 Iranians were reported killed in the attack.]

Karachi Airport Attack: All 10 terrorists killed after 13 martyrdoms

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KARACHI: All the ten terrorists, who attacked the Karachi airport Sunday night, have been killed a, Samaa reported.

Earlier, heavily armed militants stormed Jinnah International Airport’s cargo area Sunday night, killing at least 13 people including nine security men, two Civil Aviation Authority employees, and one bystander as flights were suspended and the army was called in.

According to a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations, security forces have successfully wiped out all the ten militants, who had launched an organized armed assault at the Karachi airport, whilst keeping all the important installations/assets secure.

“All the airplanes are unharmed. The fire, that everyone saw blazing inside the airport, had erupted in a building and not in an aircraft. The area will be given a security clearance after a search operation in the morning”, the statement said.

Loud explosions and sporadic shooting of heavy guns remained the order of the battle between the security forces and terrorists, who were initially reported to be 10 in number, but now stand reduced to zero after all of them were neutralized by Rangers, special forces, and police.

Most of the fighting took place around Asfahani Gate and Custom Clearing Gate of the sprawling airport”, said an official.

Reportedly the security was breached at two different points as two separate teams of attackers machine-gunned their way into the airport premises from Asfahani Hangar and Custom Clearing Gates.

It is noteworthy that Asfahani Hangar, which is the refueling area, houses a huge jet fuel depot, which some of the security officials  had been fearing all along was the main target of the terrorists.

“The apprehensions of security agencies proved right when the militants bombed the oil tanks setting them ablaze. At least eight airplanes were waiting to be refueled by the time of the attack.

Many airplanes, parked in the refueling area, are also reported to have been destroyed in the attack, but government officials denied it.

The assault on Jinnah International Airport has raised fears about the possibility of a prolonged siege similar to other brazen attacks on key installations in recent years.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, Abid Qaimkhani said: “Four to five terrorists had managed to reach the runway, they were heavily armed with ammunition and grenades while ASF commandos cordoned off the area along with police and rangers.”

A spokesman for paramilitary troops, Sindh Rangers, engaged in the operation, said the militants had entered through the Engineering Section of the Pakistan International Airlines near the airport’s old terminal.

“They gunned down the ASF security before entering,” he said.

According to spokesman the weapons recovered from the dead terrorists are of Indian make.

“It has finally been established after through examination that the enemy firearms were manufactured in India”, said he.

He also denied any damage to aircraft in the hangar.

“All the jet airliners have been moved to safety. Terrorists did not succeed in dealing any blow to them”, he said.

Army spokesman Colonel Nayer said that troops had been deployed from the Malir cantonment near their airport. “They have reached the scene,” he said.

Earlier, an eyewitness at the airport said a truck-full of army commandos had arrived and that the gunfire which was previously fierce had now grown sporadic.

Broken glass and used gun magazines littered the engineering section where the first exchange of gunfire had taken place as smoke from grenade attacks began to die down.

– ‘I saw the terrorists firing’ –

Eye-witness Sarmad Hussain, a PIA employee, said: “I heard fierce firing and then saw the terrorists firing at security forces. I don’t know a lot more than that. Thank God I am alive, this is very scary.”

A police official who did not wish to be identified said an unexploded rocket-propelled grenade had been recovered.

The director of the city’s main Jinnah Hospital, doctor Seemi Jamali confirmed 11 dead bodies had been brought in and the hospital had declared an emergency.

She added that nine were ASF personnel, two were civilian employees of PIA, and one civilian.

A spokesman for PIA, Mashud Tajwar added that two domestic flights bound for Karachi had been diverted to nearby airports.

There has so far been no claim of responsibility for Sunday night’s incident but similar raids in the past have been claimed by Taliban militants who rose up against the Pakistani state in 2007 in an insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.

Taliban gunmen attacked a Karachi naval base in 2011, destroying two US-made Orion aircraft and killing 10 personnel in a 17-hour siege.

Taliban and other militants in uniform carried out a similar raid at Pakistan’s military headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi in 2009, leaving 23 dead.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government began negotiations with the umbrella militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in February, with a ceasefire beginning March 1 but breaking down a month later.–SAMAA/Agencies

lashkar-e-Taiba Named As Bombers of Northern Alliance Man Abdullah Abdullah

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[SEE:  Afghan Northern Alliance Candidate Abdullah Survives 2 Car-Bomb Attack]

Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba behind attack on Dr. Abdullah

Khaama

By Ghanizada

Afghan security officials said Sunday that attack on presidential contender Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was carried by foreign intelligence agencies.

The issue was shared during the National Security Council (NSC) meeting chaired by President Hamid Karzai.

The security officials said preliminary investigations reveal that the attack on Dr. Abdullah was carried out through Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group which is looking ot disrupt the election.

The officials also added that further investigations are in process regarding the attack and the findings will be presented to Afghan people once the probe has been completed.

National Security Council (NSC) once again instructed the security institutions to thoroughly investigate the assassination attempt.

At least 12 people were killed and several others were injured following the twin blasts which targeted the convoy of Dr. Abdullah in western part of Kabul city on Friday afternoon.

Abdullah survived the assassination attempt; however, a number of his electoral campaign team members and security guards were killed or injured following the attack.