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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistani Taliban’

Pakistan Redux

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

With all the attention being paid to the Turkish election, the continuing “negotiations” between the six powers and Iran and the ins and outs of the talks that at some point may or may not take place between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, little attention is directed towards very concrete and significant events in a country that is not only strategically located but already has nuclear weapons–Pakistan.

The government of Nawaz Sharif, which is the first in Pakistan’s history as an independent country to succeed another elected government with no period of military dictatorship in between, has been trying to reach an accommodation with the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), ensconced in its mountain lair in North Waziristan, which borders on Afghanistan and which has been in constant violent conflict with the Pakistani government for years.

The TTP agreed to negotiate under three conditions: a cessation of military actions against it by the Pakistani army, a cessation of U.S. drone attacks, and the release of TTP prisoners held by the army.

At the initial meeting, a representative of the army was invited to attend. Afterwards the high command of the armed forces decided not to attend any further negotiations and planned a major offensive against the TTP in North Waziristan that was carried out without any authorization from the civilian authorities. As a result the TTP ended the talks, cancelled the temporary cease-fire, and staged a series of terrorist attacks in major Pakistani cities.

The army, ignoring the civil police, proceeded to arrest dozens of alleged TTP militants and is holding them in military prisons. The Pakistani armed forces are in line to receive about seven billion dollars worth of military supplies from the U.S. when it evacuates Afghanistan, which will add greatly to its operational capabilities.

In light of Pakistani history, all this would undoubtedly be a prelude to yet another military coup, but the armed forces may hold off until they have received the American equipment, in fear that the U.S. might renege to show its displeasure with the coup, as it did in Egypt following the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government of (now) ex-president Morsi.

The parallels between the Pakistani and Turkish situations are striking. An Islamist-oriented government was elected and faced a politically active secular military establishment that had taken power on various previous occasions. In Turkey, the Muslim Brotherhood-linked government of Erdogan, succeeded in defanging the army and has moved on to various electoral victories. In Pakistan, the increasingly Islamist and dictatorial Sharif, clearly intended to follow the same path, but is facing a military that is obviously not about to be sidelined.

What does all this mean to the Middle East and Israel in particular? A secular nuclear Pakistan means that the potentially nuclear Iran must also worry about its Eastern neighbor.

Originally published at The American Center for Democracy.
A version of this article will be published in Globes.

Pakistani Taliban Pitch Camps in Syria, Join Anti-Assad Rebellion

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The Pakistani Taliban have set up camps with hundreds of men in Syria, on the side of the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, Reuters reported. The announcement was made on Sunday, in Pakistan, in an effort to forge a front with the al-Qaida leadership.

Saying hundreds of fighters had already left for Syria to fight alongside their “Mujahedeen friends,” senior commander told Reuters, “When our brothers needed our help, we sent hundreds of fighters along with our Arab friends.”

Following which the Reuters writer quipped: The announcement further complicates the picture on the ground in Syria, where rivalries have already been on the boil between the Free Syrian Army and the Islamists.”

The more burning issue is, of course, who, in the end, will be the recipient of the mass shipments of weapons from the U.S. and the EU? Is there anyone fighting today on Syrian soil who has anything at all in common with Western values such as democracy and tolerance?

Worse yet, will America and the EU repeat the dreadful mistake of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, whose CIA assembled and trained the nascent al-Qaida Mujahedeen, to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Are the Western weapons being delivered to Syria’s “opposition” going to be used by al-Qaida and the Taliban to kill Western soldiers, if not civilians?

Another Taliban commander in Pakistan told Reuters the decision to send fighters to Syria came at the request of “Arab friends.”

“Since our Arab brothers have come here for our support, we are bound to help them in their respective countries and that is what we did in Syria,” he said, adding, “We have established our own camps in Syria. Some of our people go and then return after spending some time fighting there.”

According to the Iranian Press TV, on July 12, Mohammad Amin, a Taliban operative and “coordinator of the Syrian base,” said that the Taliban base was set up in Syria some six months ago. He added that it sends “information and feedback” on the situation in Syria.

The Iranian outlet is convinced “Western powers and their regional allies including the Israeli regime, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are partners in supporting anti-Syria militant groups, including al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, to destabilize Syria and overthrow the Syrian government.”

Pakistani author and expert on the Taliban Ahmed Rashid told Reuters: “The Pakistani Taliban have remained a sort surrogate of al Qaeda. We’ve got all these foreigners up there in FATA who are being looked after or trained by the Pakistani Taliban. They are acting like global jihadists, precisely with the agenda that al Qaeda has got. This is a way, I suppose, to cement relationships with the Syrian militant groups … and to enlarge their sphere of influence.”

And so, it’s official, Syria is fresh out of good guys. Shipped European and American weapons will eventually be used to kill Europeans and Americans. Good luck to all of us.

Taliban Terrorists Kill American Tourist,10 Others in Pakistan

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

A dozen or more Taliban terrorists in Pakistan, disguised in police uniforms, killed 10 tourists, including an American and one Pakistani citizen in a shooting attack in a relatively peaceful mountain area. The American may have been have been a Chinese American.

A local Taliban spokesman said the attack was in revenge for a May 29 U.S. drone strike that killed Taliban’s deputy leader, Waliur Rehman.

Also killed were five Ukrainians, three Chinese and one Russian. One Chinese tourist survived the massacre.

“The U.S. Embassy Islamabad expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the U.S. citizen and the other innocent tourists who were killed in the Northern Areas of Pakistan,” Matt Boland, the acting spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, told reporters in a statement.

Drone Kills Four, Including Taliban Commander

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

A drone strike in the tribal region of Pakistan early Wednesday, killed four fighters, and according to Pakistani officials, one of those killed was the number two commander of the Pakistani Taliban, Waliur Rehman.
The strike comes six days after President Barack Obama vowed to curb the use of drone strikes, which have finished off many in the leadership of al Qaeda and the Taliban but also resulted in thousands of civilian casualties.

The Pakistani foreign ministry expressed concern over the strike, which came a few days ahead of when Nawaz Sharif, the incoming Pakistani prime minister, is expected to take power. Sharif has condemned the use of drone strikes in Pakistan and has demanded that they be stopped.

Wednesday’s strike is the first since Obama unveiled tighter rules governing the use of drone strikes, and while he said such strikes would become more rare in the future, it has been common knowledge in Washington that the CIA will continue to use the killer drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/drone-kills-four-including-taliban-commander/2013/05/30/

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