Pak Army Reports Taliban Leadership Safely Evacuated Before N. Waziristan Operation

Ask any Nato commander in Afghanistan what is the biggest hurdle to defeating the Taliban insurgency, and there is only ever one answer: the safe havens in Pakistan from where militants can launch strikes in safety.

For years the US has noisily put pressure on Pakistan to clean up its act. All to no effect.

Then, realising that public rebukes were getting it nowhere, Washington went quiet, preferring to put its message across quietly in private.

Last month Pakistan acted, launching hundreds of airstrikes on targets in North Waziristan, home to the Haqqani network – considered the most deadly of Afghanistan’s insurgent groups – as well as Pakistani terrorists intent on bringing down the government in Islamabad, sectarian outfits and groups with an eye on Kashmir. Ground troops have followed, sweeping through the area.

The question is: will it work?

American diplomats are not getting carried away. They will wait to see what names turn up on the death roll and whether the offensive stems the flow of fighters and big vehicle-borne bombs from Pakistan. (Incidentally, I now know that a Haqqani truck bomb was the target of the CIA’s first drone strike this year, in June, as it trundled towards the border.)

Already, the Pakistani military has got itself in a muddle over whether they are even targeting the Haqqanis – a long-standing proxy – awkwardly talking around the subject when quizzed.

And, this week, in North Waziristan’s main town of Miranshah, they gave the clearest sign yet that the big fish escaped before the operation started. Maj Gen Zafarullah Khan, who is responsible for the town, said:

It’s not possible to create water-tight or airtight compartment where an individual cannot escape. Given the context of the terrain, the context of who they are, it will be wrong on my part to say that they did not escape, yes they did.

They had smelled that the operation is about to be launched. The talks had failed, the build-up for the operation had already begun and they could see that, they could sense and smell and, therefore, the leadership was not here, the leadership abandoned place.

Was it an unguarded moment? Or is the military lining up its excuses and blaming the government for weeks of peace talks that never went anywhere?

Pakistan Moves Heaven and Earth To Silence Pak Media Criticism of ISI

Pemra chief ‘sacked’  4-17

Geo News senior anchor Hamid Mir was shot six times  4-20

Third party exploited senior journalist’s criticism of ISI

Pakistan’s Geo TV in trouble for accusing ISI over attack on journalist Hamid Mir


Edited by Zoya Anna Thomas

Pakistan's Geo TV in trouble for accusing ISI over attack on journalist Hamid Mir

File picture of journalist Hamid Mir.

Karachi:  Pakistan’s Defence Ministry today moved to cancel private news channel Geo TV’s license, saying that it has accused the ISI of attacking journalist Hamid Mir, without evidence.

The attack on leading Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir last week in Karachi had led to unprecedented criticism and discussion on television channels about the ISI’s dubious role.

The President of Geo TV, Imran Aslam, has openly accused the ISI of targeting journalists, calling for a probe.

Mr Mir was shot and wounded on Saturday in an attack that his family also alleged was orchestrated by the Inter Services Intelligence or ISI.

According to a statement released in Karachi, the Defence Ministry has provided the authority with evidence that suggests the media group is involved in smearing the image of ISI.

“The news channel has breached the code of conduct by accusing Director General of ISI Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam of masterminding the attempt on senior journalist Hamid Mir,” the statement said. “All those who are involved in the mala fide broadcast, riddled with baseless allegations, will be taken to task.”

Hamid Mir, who hosts a prime-time current affairs talk show on the Geo News channel, was attacked on Saturday while travelling by car to his office from the airport in Karachi.

The government has announced a special commission to investigate the attack and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

A spokesman for Karachi’s Aga Khan University Hospital said Mr Mir was “conscious and stable”.

The shooting came less than a month after gunmen tried to murder another prominent liberal journalist, Raza Rumi, known for criticising the Taliban.

Pakistan and the War Within Islam

Pakistan and the Sunni Gulf

the diplomat

Pakistan and the Sunni Gulf

Image Credit: REUTERS/Mian Khursheed

Recent months have brought Islamabad a flurry of visits from leaders of Sunni gulf nations, prompting many observers to question just what Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif might be getting the already embattled country into.

Pakistan’s 190 million inhabitants include around 26 million Shiites, giving it the largest population of the minority Muslim sect’s adherents after Iran. While Pakistan has officially tried to remain on the sidelines of the regular Shiite-Sunni flare-ups in the Middle East over the last few decades, backroom deals with Sunni monarchies like those being signed recently have not gone unnoticed domestically.

Pakistan is already witnessing unprecedented levels of sectarian violence, with more than 1,700 killed since 2008. The armed groups responsible for the bloodshed were born out of the global sectarian tensions that followed the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which produced the first modern Shiite theocracy.

Now, as the three-year-old civil war in Syria is encouraging Muslim nations to form Shiite and Sunni blocs, there is concern that if Pakistan were to join the fray globally, things could go from bad to worse domestically.

Bahrain’s king, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, smiles down on traffic in Pakistan’s capitol Islamabad from hundreds of banners lining the streets, a reminder of the ruler’s visit last month, the first by a Bahraini ruler in 40 years.

The words “Pakistan welcomes you!” are emblazoned across the top, although that is more an aspiration than reality.

The details of Khalifa’s visit were kept deliberately vague, with the Pakistani Foreign Office describing discussions between the “brotherly countries” centering around “bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest.” What little information that did emerge was worrying to some Pakistanis, like the pledge to increase the “export of Pakistani manpower to Bahrain.” That’s something that has ended badly in the past.

In 2011, when largely Shiite protesters began demanding that Bahrain move towards a constitutional monarchy, thousands of ex-soldiers and police officers were recruited from Pakistan with the promise of Bahraini citizenship. The Pakistani security personnel shouted orders at Bahrainis in English and Urdu, becoming the face of a brutal crackdown by the state that engulfed Shiite villages in perpetual clouds of tear gas.

But Bahrain’s domestic troubles pale in comparison to the explosive war in Syria, which has drawn thousands of Sunni jihadists, including Al-Qaeda’s leadership, into a conflict Islamist extremists see as an apocalyptic confrontation with Shiite Islam, in this case the forces of Bashar al-Assad and neighboring Iran.

With prospects for a negotiated settlement fading, the rebels are in need of weapons and expertise to get them out of a stalemate. Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar have set up camps to coordinate the training of Syrian rebels, but are in need of instructors and equipment.

That likely prompted a rare February visit to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who doubles as the defense minister. Over three days in Islamabad, al-Saud met the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the President Mamnoon Hussain, and the country’s top military leadership.

His prize: a 180-degree shift in Pakistan’s policy towards the war in Syria, which had previously been one of neutrality. A joint statement called for “the formation of a transnational governing body with full executive powers enabling it to take charge of the affairs of the country.” In other words, Pakistan now stands with Saudi Arabia in demanding the departure of Bashar al-Assad.

A few weeks later, $1.5 billion was transferred to Pakistan’s state bank by an unnamed “brotherly country,” giving the rupee is largest boost in years. When word leaked the funds had come from Saudi Arabia, many in Pakistan began to connect the dots with other rumors about Pakistan’s shift in policy.

A long-delayed pipeline meant to carry natural gas from Iran to energy-starved Pakistan has effectively been killed by Nawaz Sharif’s government. Pakistan has not built any of the 781 km pipeline on its side that it’s contractually obligated to complete by December 2014, and stands to incur a daily fine of $3 million next year.

Meanwhile, there are rumors Pakistan is planning to provide Saudi Arabia with expert trainers and equipment for the Syrian rebels.

Officials have been coy on the details, but responding to inquiries in February, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson admitted it was looking to sell the Gulf kingdom the JF-17 Thunder, a fighter jet developed jointly with China, and other unspecified equipment.

That equipment is thought to include the Anza, a heat-seeking, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile designed with China and manufactured locally. It’s the equivalent of the American Stinger missile, which was used to equip jihadist fighters during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan three decades ago. The U.S., which is also supplying the Syrian rebels with light arms and communication equipment, is reportedly reluctant to hand over its own shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles for fear of where they might end up.

Thousands of Pakistani troops, who now have more than a decade of experience fighting insurgents in the country’s war against the Taliban, may also make their way to Saudi Arabia to train the rebels.

All of that prompted criticism by Pakistani lawmakers, who grilled the foreign minister last month about what their military could play in the Syrian war. “We are afraid this amount has a link with the Syrian situation,” Syed Khursheed Shah, who leads the opposition in the National Assembly, told reporters. The prime minister himself weighed in, categorically denying that any troops would be sent to Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.

But the rumors have persisted, including one story that Pakistan might deploy nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia if Iran goes nuclear itself. While Pakistan has vehemently denied that story – which does indeed seem far-fetched – the fact is, Pakistan owes Saudi Arabia a favor.

Pakistan’s decades-long nuclear weapons program finally yielded a weapon in 1998, prompting severe sanctions by the United States, which were only lifted when the country’s cooperation was needed following the September 11, 2001 attacks. Beginning in 1998, Saudi Arabia began supplying Pakistan with 50,000 barrels a day of free crude oil, worth nearly $2 billion.

In fact, Pakistan’s military-to-military cooperation with Saudi Arabia goes back five decades. Between the 1960s and 1980s, tens of thousands of Pakistani troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia, working under Saudi command. Pakistani fighter pilots trained their first Saudi counterparts, and in 1969 flew jets that successfully repulsed incursions by Yemeni forces. Pakistani engineers built Saudi fortifications along its border with Yemen, meant to keep out Shiite Houthi fighters to the south.

During the first Gulf War, Pakistan toned down the presence of 15,000 troops in Saudi Arabia, ordering them away from the frontlines, fearing a backlash from Saddam Hussein, and sectarian groups at home.

It was during those decades that the sectarian groups now plaguing Pakistan first emerged.

In 1980, military ruler Zia ul Haq instituted the Zakaat Ordinance, which forced Shiites and Sunnis alike to turn over 2.5 percent of their income, as was required under Islamic law, to the state to be spent on charity. Pakistan was engulfed in protests by Shiites, who objected to the state’s interference in their religious practices. Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s leader, convinced Zia ul Haq to exempt Shiites from the law.

That movement spawned the Tehrik-e-Jafria, a Shiite group sworn to protect the minority’s rights. Sunnis saw the group as a front for the Iranian regime, and by 1985, hardliners had formed their own group, called Sipah-e-Sahaba. In 1990, one of that group’s founders, Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, was killed, and in return, Sunni militants killed the Iranian Consul General.

In 1997, a bomb killed the head of the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba group; in return, Sunni militants killed an Iranian diplomat in the city of Multan. Later that year, the Iranian cultural center in Lahore was also bombed, and five Iranian soldiers training in Pakistan were killed.

Today, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a splinter group of the Sunni Sipah-e-Sahaba, has claimed responsibility for the deaths of hundreds of Shiites in the city of Quetta, killed in bombings and brazen attacks on buses carrying pilgrims to Iran, Iraq and Syria. Dozens of Shiite and Sunni clerics have been gunned down in Pakistan this year alone, in tit-for-tat assassinations each blames on “foreign interference.”

“There is no doubt the differences are being instigated,” said Muhammad Amin Shaheedi, the head of Pakistan’s largest Shia political party. “It’s terrorism being fanned by others, outsiders who are taking advantage of the situation.”

Ahmed Ludhianvi, head of a Sunni group that formed after Sipah-e-Sahaba was banned in 2002, has exactly the same view. “Some foreign powers are trying to bring Pakistan to the brink of civil war,” he says. “This bloodshed began after 1979.”

To be sure, Pakistan’s sectarian militants are now operating on auto-pilot, and the idea that Iran and the Sunni Gulf monarchies are to blame seems farfetched. But if Pakistan’s pivot away from Iran continues and it finds itself mired in a sectarian war in Syria, those domestic militants could become proxy warriors in a conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands in the Middle East.

Umar Farooq is based in Pakistan, where he works as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. He has also written for The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The Globe and Mail, and The Nation.

Is the Pakistani Army Obligated To Fight for Saudi Arabia?


Notwithstanding the fanfare surrounding the king of Bahrain’s meeting on Wednesday with the top commanders of Pakistan’s armed forces at the joint staff headquarters in Rawalpindi, an increasingly baffling question refused to go away.

Beyond the limelight following a growing engagement recently between Pakistan’s ruling structure and the Saudi-led Arab world, exactly who gains what remains unclear in the public eye.

Three years after a popular uprising rocked Bahrain, Pakistan’s role in quelling that popular unrest remains an actively discussed subject. At best, Pakistani officials have confirmed knowledge of retired uniformed personnel having been engaged by Bahrain’s security establishment for training purposes. But the numbers are far from clear.

Meanwhile, the arrival in Pakistan of Sheikh Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the ruler of Bahrain, has coincided with a widely talked about controversy emanating from the mysterious case of the $1.5 billion which according to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar were given by a ‘friendly country’ to bolster Pakistan’s depleting foreign reserves.

Though still not confirmed officially, Pakistan remains abuzz with suggestions that the funds were given by Saudi Arabia following last month’s high-profile visit to Islamabad by Saudi crown prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud.

For members of Pakistan’s pro-Saudi lobby, the support is a repeat of Riyadh’s past benevolence showered in forms like the practically free-of-charge oil given for three years to Pakistan after Islamabad’s 1998 nuclear tests. Without the previous Saudi largesse, the economic sanctions following Pakistan’s entry to the global nuclear club could have had a significantly more crippling effect on the country, goes the argument.

Yet, the stakes are much higher for Pakistan at a time when its increasingly challenged internal security environment has thrown up possibly the worst challenge in the nation’s history.

The danger of Pakistan getting sucked into the considerable security challenges faced by Saudi Arabia and Bahrain while its internal conditions remain deeply unsettled will likely continue to evoke controversy.

In a powerful reminder of the uncertainty surrounding Bahrain, a Bahraini court on Wednesday sentenced 11 defendants each to a 15 year prison term. They were convicted of “manufacturing bombs for terror purposes”.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s growing engagement with Islamabad has prompted suggestions of the ruling establishment in Riyadh seeking Islamabad’s support to bolster itself on two fronts — the southern frontline along the border with Yemen and to the north to face internal security challenges as well as tackling any possible spillover from conflict-stricken Syria.

Media reports have gone further to claim that the Saudis have asked Pakistan to help arm and train Syrian dissidents facing president Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime. Not surprising though, these reports have prompted concerns from a range of well-positioned critics among Pakistan’s political representatives and policy watchers.

According to Farhatullah Babar, a senator of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), “Serious questions need to be answered by the government. It is inconceivable that somebody gives you $1.5 billion and there is no quid pro quo. That has never happened before”.

Senator Babar further warned of the wider regional consequences for Pakistan’s security if the country is proven to have taken sides in active Middle-East conflicts. “If Pakistan supports any one side in the Syrian conflict that will exacerbate sectarian tensions within Pakistan and keep the border with Iran on the boil,” he added, echoing an oft-repeated concern over the fallout for Pakistan from becoming entangled in a sharpened Shia-Sunni divide in its surrounding region.

For long-term observers of Pakistan’s military engagement with Saudi Arabia, the recently reported requests are not without precedent. “In the 1980s our troops were there at a time when the Saudis faced an external threat from a spillover of the Gulf war,” said retired Brigadier Farooq Hameed Khan, a commentator on Pakistan’s defence affairs.

Brigadier Khan however warned that suggestions of “Pakistan getting sucked in to a wider conflict especially a sectarian conflict” has significantly raised the stakes for Islamabad. “Pakistani weapons in no way should be used anywhere in the Gulf in a conflict situation,” he added, referring to unconfirmed reports of a Saudi request for light arms to be provided by Pakistan to the Syrian opposition.

While the debate rages across Islamabad on the pros and cons of Pakistan’s deeper involvement in Middle East tensions, western diplomatic observers are struck by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government’s failure to become more transparent as it pursues potentially significant policy choices.

“It is mind boggling that you have a government with a majority in parliament but little faith in the parliamentary processes. There is so much secrecy,” said one senior western diplomat on Wednesday. “A political government ought to go to parliament, put the matter on the table and prove that it has the backing of the majority. Pakistan’s tragedy is ultimately you have a democracy but not a [democratic] character,” he concluded.

Farhan Bokhari is an Islamabad-based journalist who writes on politics, economy and security issues.

Pakistan Continues To Live In “American Dream” Land

[The following is a concise, well-written, semi-lucid explanation of the current “iffy” state of affairs in South Asia, but the writer is completely delusional, as are ALL analysts associated with any of the major Pak news outfits.  He does not hesitate to detail the dire situation in Afghanistan, but neither does he miss a beat in broadcasting the Army’s message of reassurances: “It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again.”  Like all Pak writers, this one assumes that the US is seeking to stabilize the region, despite ALL the evidence to the contrary, proving that the CIA and Pentagon are engaged in a perpetual effort to DESTABILIZE the world, so that they might have a free hand to murder and maim, at will.  Washington could care less (except for all of the political game-players within the Democratic-Republican war party) what happens to the people of either country, once they get clear from the mess that they have created there.  Afghanistan is doomed to the same fate as Iraq, to suffer another civil war…Pakistan is just doomed.] 

The only way

the news pak

Yasir Masood Khan

There are many speculations and assumptions running through the region about the US retreat and its repercussions on Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries.

It seems obvious, without a shadow of a doubt, that Afghanistan will be dragged again into a state of chaos, turbulence and anarchy. History has so far been unkind to that troubled country and every now and then it is dragged back to square one.

One wonders whether or not the US will be quitting Afghanistan for good. If so, then what’s next in the kitty of US strategies? Many scholars, intellectuals and think tanks anticipate a purely Afghan civil war. On top of that, the time spent there by the US with all its underlying motives will have been in vain. What that simply means is that it was a waste of time, energy, lives and resources on the part of the US.

Half of the game plan is already on the move — I refer of course, to the election’s outcome, which is just around the corner. So far Karzai has acted wilfully to his whiplashing master and will continue to do so. Nonetheless, recent resentment against US demands could prove to be expensive for Kabul. More likely still, the next government will be another dummy setup (Dari speaking), installed on the dictation of the US. Even if Karzai, otherwise, uses his own political influence in the presidential elections, the fate of the Afghan people will remain the same.

It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again. A 60 percent turnout in the elections already assures the downfall of the Taliban. Still, the Taliban could get hold of the Pakhtun belt. Restricting the Taliban would be more conducive for US strategists, while preventing any backing or fuelling towards Taliban simultaneously.

The US departure could also have drastic implications for Pakistan. Unfortunately, Islamabad as usual seems to be in a whirlpool of ifs and buts, and no firm stance is appearing at the surface. Savvy foreign policymakers, political scientists and the military establishment must come up with visionary goals to cope with such an alarming situation.

India’s elections could also play an important role and one has to wait and see how Indian influence in Afghanistan is going to shape up. India is the fifth biggest donor in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan. This can bring a double advantage to India — economic stability and alliance against Pakistan. For national security measures, Islamabad must remain vigilant to secure its north-west border to sustain peace and avoid cross-border terrorism.

China’s foreign policy in case of a civil war in Afghanistan is still unclear. Meanwhile, Beijing is busy promoting economic cooperation and continues to build infrastructure and roads. Even a continuation of bilateral trade depends on the volatility there; unrest in Afghanistan can put an end to China’s successful economic ascension.

Iran, as a neighbouring state, is highly concerned about the post-withdrawal scenario in Afghanistan. It has vowed nearly $1 billion in aid at international aid conferences held to help Afghanistan. Its aid in the first decade after the Taliban’s ouster was estimated at about 12 percent of the total assistance for reconstruction and development.

Tehran and Kabul have multiple disputes over water, Afghan refugees and drug trafficking. Tehran equally blames Kabul and Washington for not shutting down the production of opium. One should remember that Iran is a major corridor for narcotics smuggling to Middle Eastern and other European countries. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran claims to have lost more than 3,700 members of security forces fighting drug traffickers, many of whom were heavily armed. Tehran estimates that it spends around $1 billion annually on its war on drugs.

Washington has to play an anchor role before walking out; it must leave behind peace, tranquillity and stability in Afghanistan. This chiefly depends on whether the economic aid would be sufficient for Afghanistan to run its military affairs and secure the state from insurgency and internal turmoil.

As for the neighbouring states, Afghanistan would require them to pursue their foreign policies with utmost care. India, China, Pakistan and Iran will need to bury their animosities and grudges and stand together to avoid another conflict in the region. Peace is the only way forward for a prosperous and stable South Asia.

The writer is a research officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, and part of the visiting faculty at Quaid-e-Azam University.


Pakistan’s Deal With the Devil And The Taliban Shadow Surge

Pakistan’s Deal With the Devil And The Taliban Shadow Surge

the daily beast

On March 1, the Islamabad government cut a deal with the Taliban. And since then, all hell has been breaking loose in neighboring Afghanistan.
In the last month, the Taliban has killed dozens of people in a string of attacks timed to destabilize Afghanistan ahead of the presidential elections on Saturday.


Most recently, a suicide bomber breached the heavy security at the Interior Ministry building and blew himself up, killing six police officers. And that may be just a preview, if local Taliban commanders are to be believed.

“We told Afghans not to vote,” said Haji Shakor, a Taliban commander in central Afghanistan. “If we found out you voted, you won’t take your five fingers home.”

But the real accelerators of this violence aren’t Shakor and his fellow Afghanistan-based militants, local intelligence and security officials tell The Daily Beast. Instead, it’s Taliban insurgents streaming over the border from Pakistan that have enabled the group’s recent killing spree in Kabul. And they say the Pakistani government is to blame for the incursion.

On March 1, the government in Islamabad agreed to a month-long ceasefire with Pakistan’s Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The truce was supposed to be a chance to revive stalled peace talks but its timing, just ahead of Afghanistan’s elections, suggests that it may also have been a way to reposition forces before the vote.

By increasing violence ahead of the election, the Taliban is trying to discourage voting and convince Afghans that the government is incapable of providing security. It’s a tactic the Taliban has used in the past before big political events, but this time to pull off its plan the group used some shrewd foreign diplomacy.

There are, broadly speaking, two Talibans, one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. The two groups operate semi-autonomously but both fall under the leadership of the Quetta Shura leadership council. And major moves, like this ceasefire, would undoubtedly be blessed by the Quetta Shura.

In a recent interview Srtaj Aziz, Pakistan’s advisor on foreign policy and national security, responded to allegations that Pakistan was responsible for Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

“We told Afghans not to vote. If we found out you voted, you won’t take your five fingers home.”

“It is rather unfortunate because there is no justification for it. What do we get out of disrupting the elections?” Aziz asked. “For us, a smooth transition in Afghanistan is absolutely critical because without peace and stability in Afghanistan Pakistan cannot be stable,” Aziz said.

But when The Daily Beast asked him about it last week, Aziz did not deny that Pakistan’s truce with the TTP would lead the group’s fighters into Afghanistan. “It is our Pakistan internal issues,” he said.

The recent attacks in Kabul have been devastating but they came as no surprise to Afghan security officials, who have blamed Pakistan for years for the violence in their country. Lutfullah Mahsal, a senior intelligence officer at Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, had been predicting the consequences of a Taliban truce with Pakistan since before the deal was reached.

“If the ongoing negotiations succeed and the TTP announces a truce with Pakistan’s government it will definitely increase and accelerate Taliban related terrorist activities in Afghanistan,” Mashal said last month, before the deal was signed.

Last week, Afghanistan’s intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nable, told parliament that he had confirmed reports that the Taliban arranged for madrassas (religious schools) in Pakistan to close down months earlier than the usual summer holiday so students could go fight in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s interior minister Umar Daudzai echoed this in a media conference, saying, “some of the Madrasas in Pakistan have been shut down so students can go and fight in Afghanistan.”

An Afghan intelligence officer assigned to follow the Taliban in Pakistan said that “there is no doubt if the TTP and Pakistan government truce continues, lots of Pakistan militants will be going to Afghanistan for the fighting season.” The fighting season comes in the summer months after the election.

In other words, the TTP’s surge into Afghanistan could do more than just spoil Saturday’s vote. It could cause pain for months to come—and right when U.S. and NATO forces are preparing their withdrawal from the country.

This is a critical moment for Afghanistan. The country will elect a new leader for the first time since Hamid Karzai became president in 2001. The vast majority, if not all, American and NATO forces, will leave the country by years end. The Taliban are mustering everything they can to prove that after 13 years of war they’re still a powerful force in Afghanistan, and that the elected government is incapable of securing the country.

For years, Western militaries have tried to train and equip a series of local paramilitary forces to keep Afghanistan from cracking once NATO leaves. Shakor, the Taliban commander, admitted those paramilitaries would be tough to dislodge. But he insisted that they are next on the militants’ target list, nevertheless.

“U.S. and NATO might be leaving Afghanistan but they gave birth to local infidels and it is difficult to handle them because they are local and knew everything about the Taliban,” he told The Daily Beast.

“The reality is the Taliban have new local enemies and challengers. The tribal militias generate a lot of trouble for Taliban in the country side,” he added.

And now, in his fight against the paramilitaries Shakor has new help coming from across the border.

Are Pakistanis Born “Murderers”?–News Report About 9-Month Old Attempted Murderer

[Pakistan’s “Shariah”-based laws are barbaric as well as imbecilic….In Pakistan, Christians can be put to death for failing to acknowledge “superiority” of Islam and babies can be charged with “attempted murder.”]
Muhammad Mosa Khan  was  arrested along with other — older — members of his family.

Is this a genuine baby-faced killer?

Pakistan charges 9 month old with conspiring to murder (VIDEO)


Muhammad Mosa Khan allegedly threw stones at cops during a raid in Lahore. He was arrested and fingerprinted.



A nine-month old boy has appeared in court in Pakistan — charged with conspiring to murder.

Muhammad Mosa Khan is alleged to have thrown stones at officers during a police raid, according to The Nation website.

He was subsequently arrested along with other — older — members of his family.

Muhammad Mosa Khan  has even been fingerprinted. via YouTube Muhammad Mosa Khan has even been fingerprinted.

The tot has even been fingerprinted and appeared in court drinking milk as he sat on the lap of his grandfather.

He has been charged along with other family members who claim they were protesting against lack of electricity in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city.

The child’s appearance in court has prompted the intervention of politicians who are demanding an inquiry. A police officer has been suspended.

But baby Muhammad is not off the hook yet. The case has not been kicked out of court and only adjourned until later this month.