Archive for the ‘Bajaur Agency’ Category

Pakistan: Can Tribal Elders Turn Over Osama to U.S.?

March 31, 2008

By Muhammad Khurshid
Voice For Peace
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan
March 31, 2008

Several tribal elders and maliks interviewed by Voice For Peace have shown willingness to hand over Osama bin Laden and other terrorists hiding in tribal areas to the United States as according to them, they are criminals and they must face charges in court of law whether it is in the United States or tribal areas. They suggested that the US forces and tribal people should carry out search operation jointly.

There are indications that Osama bin Laden may be hiding in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border as he according to reports, he along with his other colleagues were shifted to Bajaur Agency after launching of operation in Waziristan tribal region. At that time political agent of Bajaur Agency was from Waziristan Agency. Several maliks and elders confirmed the shifting of Osama to Bajaur Agency. Due to the sensitivity of the matter they requested that their names might not be disclosed.

On the other hand Pakistan media has been creating another militant leader in Bajaur Agency. A statement of the militant leader was carried out by several newspapers of Pakistan. According to The News International report, a militant leader with alleged ties to al-Qaeda has welcomed an offer by Prime Minister Gilani to negotiate with the militants accused of launching terrorist attacks from the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammed said on Sunday his fighters were not “enemies” of Pakistan, adding “our war is with America”.

Speaking in the Bajaur tribal region, Maulvi Faqir told more than 4,000 supporters — hundreds of armed militants among them, “We welcome the government’s announcement of talks with the Taliban.”

Maulvi Faqir comments came a day after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in his inaugural speech that fighting terrorism was his government’s top priority. Gilani also said his government was willing to talk to militants who laid down their arms and “joined the path of peace”.

Expanding education and development in the impoverished region would be a “key pillar” of the government’s strategy against the militants in the tribal zone, the prime minister said. Maulvi Faqir said the government should not cooperate with the United States. ìWhenever Pakistan will work for the American interests as its ally, we will have our opposition to that matter,î Maulvi Faqir said amid chants of ìdeath to America.î 

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan on Sunday welcomed the negotiation offer of the incoming NWFP government, saying that they were open to talks on enforcement of Shariah and restoration of peace in the restive Swat valley.

Talking to this scribe by telephone from an undisclosed location, TTP spokesman Sirajuddin said: “We hail the provincial government’s efforts for establishing law and order in the restive valley. However, end to the military operation is a prerequisite to achieve peace in the area,” he said.

He also demanded an immediate announcement regarding the implementation of Shariah in the Malakand region and reminded that government was duty-bound to fulfill its religious obligations.

Siraj also lauded MPA from Swat, Waqar Ahmed Khan for raising voice on the floor of provincial assembly for the people of Swat and showing his concern over the situation in the troubled region. He urged all political parties to unite in order to help restore peace in the picturesque valley.

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Muhammad Gives Eye Witness Account from Pakistan, March 14, 2008

March 14, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I hope you and your team at the Peace and Freedom will be alright. Believe me that you kind cooperation has been bringing some positive impact on the life of tribesmen living near Pak-Afghan border.

I want to bring in your kind notice that Pakistan has deployed army troops in Bajaur Agency as it seems that an operation may be launched against terrorists any time. Some dreaded terrorists have been hiding in Bajaur Agency, therefore, I shall suggest the Peace and Freedom should supervise the operation. There is possibility that the terrorists may take advantage of the choas and may leave the area for a safer place.

Some of the officials have still been providing support to terrorists as they have been getting huge money from them. Giving more time to terrorists will be dangerous.

Situation in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan is also critical as there is race among the politicians for getting the coveted post of prime minister. I want to bring in your kind notice that President Pervez Musharraf has secured himself.

Speaker National Assembly Chaudhry Amir Hussain Friday said MNAs elect would take their oaths in accordance with the constitution of 1973 and hoped that the new National Assembly will give exemplary performance by establishing better practices.

Talking to Geo News in an interview, he said oath will be administered to the MNA’s elect on March 17 during the inaugural NA session and it will be prorogued till March 19 after the oath taking.

Chaudhry Amir Hussain said in order to make the NA session an impressive event, prior consultations will be held with the representatives of all the parties.

Nomination papers of speaker would be received on March 18 till 12 noon. Polling for slot of Speaker NA would be held through secret ballot on March 19. Same day the new elected speaker will take over the charge of the custodian of the august House.

He said the election of deputy speaker would be conducted by newly elected speaker. Then the session would be prorogued sine die. The election of the leader of the House or Prime Minister will be held in the NA session called later.

To a question, he said the President can call this session whenever he wants but normally it is not delayed for long and it is called within two to four days.

The MNAs elect for 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997 and 2002 elections took the same oath under1973 Constitution, he said in reply to another question. Only the words  “Khuda Aap Ka Haami-o-Nasir Ho” (May Almighty Allah be with you) were added to the statement of oath in 1985, he added.“

This time also the members will take oath under the 1973 Constitution,” Amir Hussain said.

Dear Sir, the main issue of Pakistan is terrorism, therefore, the US must exert more pressure on President Musharraf to show seriousness in war on terrorism. Some of the officials have been chasing me. Several times they have threatened me, but I am not afraid of them. In the presence of brother like you no one can harm me. At the moment I have been needing your support and prayers.

Thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan, March 13, 2008

March 12, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I am sorry for delay in establishing contact with you during last few days. Actually I was in Bajaur Agency, my home town, where terrorists and security forces have pounded each other positions.

The security forces used heavy weapons against terrorists. Mortor shells hit several houses in parts of the agency killing dozens of people. The whole areas remained closed. No one was allowed to enter the areas.

I also remained trapped in the cross firing. The bang bangs of canons have created great fear among the people. During the firing I run for a mile for saving myself.

Small children were also ranning with me. They were screaming.

The exact death toll is not availabale, but people say that dozens of people were killed. I think now the security forces have been showing seriousness, but there are still some officials, who have been supporting these terrorists. I want to bring in you kind notice that now the terrorists have been losing support of the tribesmen.

Situation in other parts of Pakistan is also critical. According to a report, suicide bombers have struck Lahore for the third time since January this year. The eight-story building of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been blown up, with many fatal casualties.

Pakistani lawyers offer funeral prayers in absentia for the ... 
Pakistani lawyers offer funeral prayers in absentia for the victims of suicide bomb blasts in Lahore, a day after the attacks. Mourners offered funeral prayers Wednesday for 27 people killed in two suicide blasts in Pakistan, as violence in the northwest of the country left another dozen people dead, officials said.(AFP/Arif Ali)
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Another strike in Model Town by suicide-bombers riding a vehicle has killed four. One can say that the FIA bombing is a part of the series of attacks aimed at the security agencies of the country. The earlier two attacks were on policemen near the General Post Office and the Naval War College located in the city’s heart.

The second attack in Model Town is not clear in its intent. The place blown up by the bombers was near the house of an army officer and not too far from the houses owned by the PPP leader Mr Asif Ali Zardari. The message concealed in the second attack could be political, a link in the chain of events leading us to the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto in December last year.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of opposition Pakistan People's ...
Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of opposition Pakistan People’s Party addresses a news conference in Karachi March 3, 2008.REUTERS/Athar


A stupid interview given by Osama bin Laden’s son Umar in Egypt has the boy saying that his father was a “good friend” of Mr Nawaz Sharif, thus unwittingly queering the political pitch in Pakistan.

The war is between Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies on the one hand and the state of Pakistan on the other. Under the new army chief Pakistan has been able to counteract the inroads made in many parts of Pakistan by the soldiers of the terrorist organisation. But unfortunately the army is increasingly worried about the lack of sufficient support from the public at large so that it can face up to the terrorists.

An injured Pakistani man and others run after the bomb explosion ...
An injured Pakistani man and others run after the bomb explosion in front of a badly damaged building of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore. Mourners offered funeral prayers Wednesday for 27 people killed in two suicide blasts in Pakistan, which have piled pressure on the incoming government to tackle Islamic militancy.(AFP/Aameed Qureshi)
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Political activism in Pakistan is focused on the restoration of the judiciary and the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf. What the politicians and the media are ignoring at great risk is the country’s response to the takeover of its territories and the virtual free run of the country that the suicide bombers have today.

To give just one example: a case unfolding in a court in Rawalpindi, where the boys who had formed the suicide squad to kill Ms Bhutto are under trial, has been totally ignored despite confessions on the part of the bombers.

Public reaction to the destruction of the FIA building yesterday came in the shape of a protest march by citizens — most of them flag-bearing members of the PPP — who raised slogans against the government of President Musharraf without uttering a word against the terrorists.

The misplaced assumption is that it is the state only which has the responsibility to protect the citizens and must be blamed for falling down on its job.

This draws our attention to the task of the democratically elected politicians to evolve a strategy against terrorism. So far their very rudimentary thoughts on the problem are encapsulated in three words: “talk to them.”

This of course is not enough. The people will expect the coalition government to take substantial steps to prevent the suicide-bombers from attacking at will.

Dear Sir, the people of tribal areas recognise your role in war against terrorism. Now the liberation of tribal areas from terrorists is imminent. We will never forget your kindness and love. Again thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan, March 4, 2007

March 4, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

Thanks God that I see you in action again. What the name should be given to our relation, but I admit I have special relation with you. Actually you have played a big role in liberation of tribesmen from the cruel terrorists. We will not forget your cooperation and kindness with us. A lot of thanks.

Situation in Pakistan is critical as usual. Terrorists have been carrying out suicide attacks with immunity. I think Musharraf must assert his authorities. According to Nation editorial, in what happens to be the third deadly suicide attack in a week’s time, 40 tribal elders were killed near Darra Adamkhel on Sunday.

The attacks have taken place within days of the Interior Minister’s claim that militancy had been brought under control.

Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Nawaz, who had earlier accused India, Afghanistan and the US of being behind the prevailing lawlessness and terror attacks, has now maintained, after protests from Washington, that this was in fact the popular perception rather than his government’s view.

While the suicide attacks underline the lack of competence in the caretaker set-up headed by General Musharraf, it is highly ominous that they have increased as the time for the transfer of power draws near.

There were also other incidents of violence on Sunday.

Rockets were fired at Bannu cantonment and a Levies official was abducted and another injured in Bajaur Agency. In the meanwhile Maulana Fazlullah once again declared war against the government.

The recent suicide attacks strengthen the argument that the government’s policy to control militancy through force alone has failed to produce the desired results. The situation in the tribal areas has further worsened because of the continuing attacks from the Afghan side of the border in defiance of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

A leading American paper has claimed that a secret deal was recently concluded to allow Washington to deploy drones to attack militants inside Pakistan.

Another report in The New York Times tells of the US planning to send 100 trainers to work with the FC.

What is perturbing is that they could eventually accompany Pakistani troops on missions “to the point of contact”. This is simply unacceptable. The tribal areas of Pakistan are not Iraq where experiments of the sort have reportedly succeeded.

The fiercely independent tribesmen are likely to react sharply to any such move, with the likelihood of suicide bombing further increasing in the country.

Power is going to be transferred to the newly elected government within a couple of weeks. The leaders of the three parties who have formed an alliance to rule the Centre and the provinces have vowed to resolve the issue of militancy mainly through talks.

The caretaker set up led by President Musharraf must leave policy decisions in this regard to the next government. Those involved in suicide attacks also have to understand that their actions are destabilizing Pakistan. Instead of thus playing into the hands of the country’s enemies they must give the next government sufficient time to address whatever grievances they might have, through peaceful methods.

Dear Sir, just keep in mind that you are in the thoughts of millions of tribesmen living on Pak-Afghan border.Again thank you very muchYours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan

Pakistan: Power Game Affecting War On Terror

February 24, 2008

voiceforpeace

By Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan
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Terrorists hiding in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border have been getting breathing space as all attention has been diverted to the power game being played in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan after election. According to tribal elders, the terrorists will certainly use the time for strengthening their position.

Terrorists have destroyed the whole infrastructure in the tribal areas. All the girl schools have been blown up in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas. Now there are worries among the parents of girls as they are still in confusion whether their children will get education or not. There was a time when a force of terrorists were fighting war against the security forces, but now all of sudden both the parties silenced the guns. There are many questions, which the rulers must anwser.

Writing about the power game in Islamabad Daily Times stated in its editorial that the leading parties in the country, PPP and PMLN, say they have agreed to form coalition governments in Islamabad and Lahore, with the ANP lending a hand in Islamabad to ensure that it is not deprived of its rights in the NWFP as the largest party in the assembly. The calculus on offer implies that each party will get representation in the cabinet according to its proportion in the National Assembly. But there are caveats here too. Mr Asif Ali Zardari is still talking of a “national government”, and Mr Nawaz Sharif is dropping hints about supporting the PPP “from the outside”.

There are other areas of ambiguity too. The two parties are seen addressing the issue of the judges’ restoration differently. The PMLN is responding directly to the lawyers’ movement and sending reassuring signals to its erstwhile partners in the APDM. The PPP says the parliament will decide the judges’ issue although Mr Zardari has not been averse to dropping hints that he might get the judges back in their seats. This applies also to the future status of President Pervez Musharraf. They seem to agree on the restoration of the 1973 Constitution but they might get stuck when it comes to deciding the “cut off” date.

There is a report in the press saying that the central executive committee (CEC) of the PPP held a marathon meeting right after the two-hour meeting between Mr Zardari and Mr Sharif, and bickered over the judges’ case. There is supposed to have been a “heated discussion” on whether the judges had to be “restored” or the judiciary made “independent”. Some members were of the opinion that “talks with Nawaz Sharif could only move ahead if the PPP too come out openly with the option of reinstatement of the dismissed judges”. This suggests that Mr Sharif has succeeded in putting Mr Zardari under pressure on an issue dear to Pakistan’s inflamed civil society, but the PPP’s CEC is still said to have stuck to the “independent judiciary” line, leaving at least some of the fired judges to stay fired.

As if to provide chorus to the PPP-PMLN action on the political stage, the lawyers have hit the roads again amid familiar stone-pelting and lathi-charge which shows the police in a bad light and the state as a horrible anti-citizen entity. Ex-chief justice Mr Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has called out from his house that the 60 judges fired for not submitting to the PCO can be reinstated by another administrative order and that the new parliament should not endorse President Musharraf’s firing. Mr Nawaz Sharif has responded to the statement by saying, “Iftikhar Chaudhry was chief justice and remains chief justice”, while Mr Asif Zardari has reserved his judgement.

Clearly, the ex-judges have found it impossible to avoid being politicised. Far from exercising restraint as enjoined by their status, they have shown a tendency of being overwhelmed by the excessive articulation of the lawyers. Eulogising the deposed chief justice, an “affectee” judge of the Lahore High Court, Justice Khwaja Sharif, stated that “if a judge performs his duties fairly, justly and honestly, he must then be termed not less than a saint”. Then he said something that a judge who has to sit in judgement over all kinds of cases should have left to the more outspoken lawyers: “The US fears the Chief Justice of Pakistan’s suo moto notices regarding recovery of the missing persons”.

Unless the PPP and PMLN decide at the outset what their stance is going to be, misunderstandings can and will occur. Accepted that the final decision about the judges will be taken after the government has been formed in Islamabad, but the disorder that is sure to prevail after the passing of the March 8 deadline for their restoration, will adversely affect the standing of the parties. There is no doubt that the PPP will be at a disadvantage in this because it will come under pressure from civil society, and the PMLN will feel tempted to arm-twist it.

Given this situation, the two mainstream parties must think of collaboration over the long term to save their gains from frittering away. They must adhere to their pledge to help each other at the central and provincial levels and not to destabilise each other as was their pattern in the past. Both arouse strange emotions within the Islamabad establishment. One party fears the establishment; the other scares it, but with the same result. Their resolve that they will let each other rule for five years will be realised only if they undertake not to antagonise each other, keep their more visceral members in check, and give top priority to the economy that has enough buoyancy to be saved through careful stewardship.

And that is a tall order.

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan Just Before Elections

February 17, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom,

Dear Sir,

I have felt a lot of happiness after seeing update Peace and Freedom blog. Thanks God you are alright.

Pakistan is going to election tomorrow, but situation in tribal areas and other parts of the country is still tense.

A Pakistan man rides his bicycle decorated with electoral posters ...
 Pakistan man rides his bicycle decorated with electoral posters in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008. Pakistani’s will go to the polls in parliamentary elections on Monday Feb. 18.
(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

I want to present thank and gratitude to you for your kindness with the people of tribal areas. It is due to your positive approach that now government of Pakistan has changed its attitude about terrorists to some extents. The people of tribal areas fully recognize your role in war against terrorism.

The time is not far away when the terrorists will be flush out of the tribal areas. You will be invited to Bajaur Agency, tribal areas for presenting you “Award from the Poor”. A lot of thanks.

Situation in Pakistan is still fluid. Pakistani media has been expressing apprehension about the elections. Daily Times, owner of which is the federal minister, in its editorial stated that shadows keep falling on the elections even in the last hours before the polling begins.

Pakistan's Election Commission staff sit in a van as they ...
 Pakistan’s Election Commission staff sit in a van as they carry election material for the upcoming parliamentary elections, in Peshawar February 17, 2008. Pakistan’s parliamentary elections will be held on February 18.
REUTERS/Mian Khursheed (PAKISTAN)


The attorney general is allegedly caught on tape telling someone that the government is going to rig the elections.

Ten terrorists linked to the Taliban are caught in Karachi ready to blow up several polling stations with massive amounts of explosive material.

A thousand people, all Afghans, are arrested in Peshawar and accused of “trouble-making”. Eighty thousand troops are deployed to protect the polling stations, one-third of which have been declared dangerous.

This is going to be a very different election from past ones. It is happening mostly on TV. It is mired in rumours of dhaandli or rigging whose evidence keeps popping up here and there.

The political parties, scared of being short-changed, are threatening rejection of polls and violent agitation, but with a clear subtext that it might hurt their interests.

Every party is claiming exaggerated gains at the polls since any modest assessment might make the voters turn away. The incumbent PMLQ began by claiming 150 seats in the National Assembly together with its allies, to come down to 110 on the eve of polls, till some unnamed PMLQ leaders are being quoted in the press as ready to accept the PPP and the PMLN government after the polls.

The real threat to the 2008 elections remains a low voters’ turnout.

The PPP has a sympathy wave welling up for it. There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that it will sweep in rural Sindh, thus sharing the province with urban MQM. It is estimated to win 35-40 out of 61 National Assembly seats in Sindh. One analyst says it will also win 40-50 out of the 148 seats in Punjab, 10-15 of NWFP’s 35, 3 of Balochistan’s 19, to make up a total of 100-108. This is possible because the PPP is the only national party with votes in all the four provinces. With this kind of total it will certainly be the front-runner for putting together the government at the centre.

Significantly, the party’s mood is suitably conciliatory and it threatens no one, not even President Pervez Musharraf.

The PMLN is the comeback party in Punjab. If the PMLQ suffers it will do so because of the ability of the PMLN to bounce back, although to write off the incumbent PMLQ would be unwise since it is fielding some very strong candidates despite defections and its own policy to undercut some of its candidates — after giving them tickets — through independents.

The 53 seats in South Punjab are under threat from the PMLN which is also set to win handsomely in Lahore and Faisalabad, the second and third largest cities in the country. One feels that Mr Nawaz Sharif is reconciled to letting the PPP rule in Islamabad and handle President Musharraf while he gets Punjab on the basis of all the tools he will have handy in the National Assembly to play the kingmaker.

The rise of the ANP in the NWFP is bound to fill the vacuum left behind by a bickering MMA.

Out of all the parties, it is the ANP which is campaigning bravely after being fatally targeted twice by the terrorists. If the voters come out the party is sure to increase its presence in the provincial assembly as well as have enough numbers in the National Assembly to form meaningful alliances.

The PPP doesn’t have a good past record with the ANP, but the new orientation in both parties is to disembarrass themselves of their old identity markers and seek reconciliation.

Just as the PPP began making overtures to the MQM in Sindh right after the arrival of Ms Bhutto from exile, the big party is bound to ride together with the ANP and allow it to form the government in the NWFP.

The PPP was in the process of discussing power-sharing with the PMLN on Friday. Mr Nawaz Sharif has stiffened his rhetoric on the presumed basis of negotiations, but this could be mere electoral pyrotechnics to win votes.

He wants President Musharraf ousted and he wants the dismissed judges restored. (His wife has promised a gathering that her party would replace President Musharraf with Dr AQ Khan.)

No doubt the parties will have to develop the requisite measure of flexibility after the elections to work in double harness at the centre and in Punjab. There is evidence that they don’t want to revert to the cloak-and-dagger days of the 1988 assemblies when Punjab spies called Midnight Jackals had tried to topple the PPP at the centre.

At no time in the past have local and foreign observers been forced to keep their fingers crossed as now. There are far too many elements for comfort today who would wish to see the elections go wrong. Nor is the world too reassured of Pakistan’s real intentions after it returns to democracy.

It is ironic to note that women in the tribal areas have been barred from casting their votes. A report said that about 424,332 of the 1,524,284 registered women voters from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and frontier regions will be deprived of their right to vote following direct threats from local Taliban.

Local Taliban had also distributed pamphlets some weeks ago in the FR and Bajuar, Kurram and Mohmand agencies warning the tribesmen of bombing or “severe punishment” if they did not keep their women away from poling stations.

On Thursday, Lashkar-e-Islami chief Mangal Bagh said women would not be allowed to vote in two constituencies of Khyber Agency – NA-45 in Jamrud subdivision and NA-46 in Bara subdivision. Women’s participation in voting was against the tribal traditions, he said, and the families and tribes whose women would vote would be punished “in line with tribal traditions”.

Dear Sir, please remember that you are the hero of millions of tribesmen as you have done a lot for them. You have played a very positive role in liberating them from terrorists.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,
Tribal Areas Pakistan

Related:
What Next Pakistan? 

Muhammad Reports From Tribal Areas, Pakistan, December 26, 2007

December 26, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom,

Dear Sir,

First of all accept greetings on the Christmas on my behalf and behalf of my wife. This Christmas may bring you all happiness. I am sorry for delay in establishing the contacts with you, but actually I was in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border celebrating Eidul Azha with my family.

Situation in the areas is still tense as Taliban or terrorists have taken full control Bajaur Agency. I just spent my time in home as the Taliban and terrorists have been roaming freely in the markets and other places. A suicide bombers attacked former interior minister during the Eid. Scores of people were killed or maimed. I want to inform you that there is still some officials, who have been providing support to Taliban and terrorists.

Reports said that several trenches were destroyed as several gunship helicopters pounded Taliban positions in the Bamakhela area of Matta tehsil in Swat, while the death toll from Sunday’s suicide attack rose to 14.Mingora Media Centre In-charge Colonel Nadeem informed that the helicopters had targeted Taliban positions at Bamakhela this (Monday) evening. He, however, did not disclose the number of militant casualties.

The troops had earlier targeted militant positions using artillery on Sunday night.

However, no casualties were reported.Officials said the troops controlled the area from Charbagh to Kalam after the two-day operation. He said people had welcomed the soldiers as they reached Kalam with heavy weaponry and handed over control of a police station and police post to local administration.According to Online, when the Pakistan Army reached Kalam, local dignitaries, including Union Council nazim Kalam Habibullah, Haji Seikhi Malik, Hameed Kalami, Haji Shah Jehan Kalami and local media person Rehmat Din Siddiqi, accorded them a warm welcome and presented flower garlands to them.Two civilians killed: Separately, two people were shot dead by the security forces for violating the curfew in Swat on Monday. One of the dead has been identified as Akbar Zada, while the identity of the other is not known. Also on Monday, the local administration relaxed the curfew from 7am till 6pm in Mingora.

However, a curfew has been imposed till 6pm in the areas of Thal Kabal and Fiza Ghat to Kalam, reported Online.Strict security arrangements were also made in Mingora to facilitate the shifting of a convoy of security forces from Circuit House Saidu Sharif to Kabal. Security forces personnel were deputed in important locations of the city for the first time and used aerial firing to disperse crowds of people. Local media personalities were not allowed to report the event, even after the issuance of special entry passes.

Blast toll mounts to 14: Meanwhile, the number of those killed in Sunday’s suicide attack has mounted to 14 as two more dead bodies, identified as Sakeena of Madian and Nawab of Amankot, were shifted to the Saidu Sharif Teaching Hospital from the blast scene.

Around 12 people, including four security personnel and eight civilians, were killed as a suicide bomber struck a military convoy at Nawe Kalay near Mingora on Sunday. A bomb disposal squad also defused a bomb planted along the roadside in Charbagh.

Dear Sir, again accept Merry Christmas and thanks.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid,
Khar, Bajaur Agency,
Tribal Areas Pakistan

US envoy: Pakistan must end emergency

November 18, 2007

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Associated Press Writer 
November 18, 2007
0900 GMT
 

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Washington’s No. 2 diplomat delivered a blunt message to Pakistan‘s military ruler, telling him Saturday that emergency rule must be lifted and his opponents freed ahead of elections.

 

But there was no immediate sign that President Gen. Pervez Musharraf would heed that advice, with a presidential aide saying the Pakistani leader insisted that emergency rule would only be lifted once security improves.

Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte’s visit was seen as a last best chance to ease the latest political turmoil in Pakistan.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071118/ap_on_re_
as/pakistan;_ylt=Au2F9ooRJGwk8XFVlOl8
M96s0NUE

Pakistan: Best News Roundup, Muhammad Reports November 18

November 18, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I hope you and your team at the Peace and Freedom will be alright. During the last few days I have missed you a lot. When we are unable to make contact I remained very disturb. I think you will laugh, but this is the fact that I have developed a special relation with you. The relation of respect and love. Actually by giving place to my writing in your blog you have done a great job for me.

Now I am relaxed as the situation has started a change for the better in Pakistan.

Now Pakistan is in international focus. So now I hope our problems can also be solved. Our main problem is terrorism and it seems will be eliminated once for all.

Actually the rulers of Pakistan have been deceiving their countrymen and world. But now they have exposed to the world. This is my belief that Pakistan can control terrorism in a month if it desires so honestly.

The people of tribal areas will never forget your cooperation and kindness with them. Though the area is still in a state of war. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the director general of military operations, said they planned to push the militants back into the rugged Piochar side valley where they had established bases.

“We will bottle up as many of them as possible and then eliminate them,” Pasha said. “This is our killing ground,” he added.

He said the army hoped to reopen the area to the public by the end of December.

Military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said members of banned Sunni Muslim extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi had also rallied to rebel cleric Maulana Fazlullah’s cause.

e said the Alipuri area of Shangla district had been “cleared of miscreants” and troops were advancing to push them out of the rest of the areas. Eyewitnesses, however, revealed that Taliban militants in at least 30 vehicles re-entered Shangla at 9pm on Saturday.

Locals said that the Taliban ransacked the house of former federal minister Amir Muqam in Alipuri and seized four vehicles. Militants also seized a bus from Alipuri College, a pickup truck from the district police officer’s office and two vehicles from the office of a local non-government organisation, residents said.

Murad Khan, a resident of Daulat Kalay Banda, claimed that eight Taliban were killed as the army rained mortars on a house where they had taken refuge. Murad, however, refused to talk about civilian casualties.

Dear Sir, Thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Related:

Pakistan says offensive looming in militant valley

The Washington Post’s Sunday editions feature an article by Michael Abramowitz with an intriging explanation of the relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. and Mr. Musharraf and Mr. Bush.
See:

Musharraf Ties Pose Dilemma For Bush

Meanwhile, former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif comments on the situation.  See:

Pakistan’s One-Man Calamity

The U.S. sent senior envoy John Negroponte to Islamabad to pressure Musharraf toward more democtracy this weekend. 

Pakistan’s Musharraf faces US pressure

Pakistan rejects calls to end emergency

The New York Times also is reporting that the United States assists Pakistan with nuclear weapons security.

U.S. Secretly Aids Pakistan in Guarding Nuclear Arms

Pakistan: Muhammad Reports From the Tribal Areas

November 5, 2007

November 5, 2007 

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

What you have stated a few days ago in an email to me has happened. Your observation was proved to be correct. It shows that you have been doing a good job for the your country and Pakistan. In other words I shall simply say that you have been great to us.

After the declaration of emergency the situation of our areas has taken a dramatic turn for better. According to a report, Tribal militants released 213 Pakistan Army soldiers in South Waziristan on Sunday after the government freed 25 of their men under a prisoners’ swap made possible by a 21-member peace Jirga.

The soldiers had been in the custody of militants loyal to Baitullah Mahsud since August 30. They had surrendered along with 35 other troops to the militants after their military convoy was trapped in the Shawangi Naray area near Wana.

Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad, director-general, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), confirmed the reports about the release of the Pakistan Army troops. Talking to newsmen, he said 25 tribesmen held under the Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) by the local authorities had also been freed and delivered to the Jirga. In reply to a question, he said the militants had already returned the military vehicles and the arms seized from the troops.

Tribal and official sources said the 213 soldiers were handed over by the militants to the Jirga at Tiarza, a village located in the Mahsud tribal territory, and then driven in 13 vehicles to Wana. Once in Wana, the freed soldiers were delivered to the military authorities. The militants gifted a pair of new shalwar-kameez and chappals to each soldier before seeing them at Tiarza.

Among the freed soldiers were six army officers, including a colonel, majors and captains. Colonel Zafar led the military convoy that was seized by the militants.

Militants’ sources said the prisoners’ swap became possible when the government agreed to release 25 of their men. They said the 25 tribesmen were collected from different jails in various cities and brought to Dera Ismail Khan Saturday before being flown to Wana in a helicopter Sunday. They said these men were then handed over to the tribal Jirga which brought them to Tiarza to complete the prisoners’ swap. Contrary to the claims by government officials, almost all of them were booked on terrorism charges and jailed.

These 25 men included Suhail Zeb, a cousin of militants’ commander Baitullah Mahsud. He was arrested by the police from a bungalow on Canal Road in Dera Ismail Khan along with three suicide bombers reportedly wearing explosives-filled jackets. They were later tried in a court and sentenced to 24 years imprisonment. Two of these 25 men were arrested in Karachi and were being held in a jail there.

The 21-member peace Jirga, which comprises 11 Mahsud tribal elders and 10 clerics from the tribe, had been mediating between the militants and the government. Maulana Merajuddin, a former MNA from South Waziristan affiliated with JUI-F and MMA, and his colleague Senator Saleh Shah, were among the more active members of the jirga.

The militants had also demanded an end to all military deployment and operations in the areas inhabited by Mahsud tribe in South Waziristan. They wanted the removal of roadside checkpoints in their area. The government appears to have accepted most of their demands.

Dear Sir, now President Musharraf has been showing seriousness in war on terrorism. One thing is disturbing his team, through which he is running the administration, is consisting of the same corrupt officials. At least the people of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas will never forget your cooperation in their struggle against terrorists.

Thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,
Tribal Areas Pakistan