Archive for the ‘Frontier Corps’ Category

Culture, Politics Hinder U.S. Effort to Bolster Pakistani Border Forces

March 30, 2008

By Candice Rondeaux and Imtiaz Ali
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, March 30, 2008; Page A17

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A project to send U.S. military advisers to train Pakistani border forces could begin as early as this summer. But the advisers, according to Western and Pakistani military officials, face serious challenges if they are to transform an ill-equipped paramilitary group into a front-line bulwark against terrorism.
Pak-army-sol.jpg
A Pakistani Army soldier in training.

Twenty-two American advisers are being tasked with training a cadre of officers in Pakistan‘s Frontier Corps in counterinsurgency and intelligence-gathering tactics, according to U.S. officials in Pakistan familiar with the plan. The goal is to bolster the force’s operations along the country’s porous 1,500-mile-long border with Afghanistan, an area that has become a hotbed for the Taliban and al-Qaeda, as well as their sympathizers.

But military analysts say that cultural and political fault lines within the Frontier Corps and Pakistan itself could prove the undoing of the U.S. program. The bulk of the force’s rank-and-file troops are ethnic Pashtuns, many of whom are wary of going into battle against a Pashtun-dominated insurgency. Commanders, meanwhile, are regular army officers who often have little in common with their subordinates.

Maj. Gen. Mohammed Alam Khattak, the top commander of the Frontier Corps….

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/29/AR2008032902213.html

Advertisements

From Muhammad: Ungrateful Pakistanis

March 28, 2008

By Muhammad
March 28, 2008

It always remain an irony in Pakistan as its leaders and journalists have been getting dollars from the United States, but still they have been speaking against it. Most the tribesmen think the US must change its policy and if possible dump these ungrateful Pakistani leaders and journalists.

Politician-cum-journalist from Chakwal Ayaz Amir has been telling the new leadership to abandon war on terror in which Pakistan is a frontline state. He has forgetton that Pakistanis and tribesmen are being killed by terrorists. If the United States is coming to the help of tribesmen and poor Pakistanis then he has been opposing the move.

Just read the latest article of Ayaz Amir, who has won National Assembly seat on Pakistan Muslim League ticket. He is playing the role of agent of evil forces. The following is the article published in The News International.It isn’t and never was and if our newly-inducted political leadership is dumb enough to swallow all the fiction about the so-called ‘war on terror’ that our American friends (friends?) seem keen to push down its throat, God help us.

This is George Bush’s war. This is the war, or a front in the war, orchestrated by those strategic crazies going by the name of neocons, the same geniuses who wanted to reshape the world – beginning with the reshaping of the Middle East – and gave their own people, the American people, two un-winnable wars: in Iraq and, wait for it, Afghanistan.

Afghanistan was supposed to be the more ‘doable’ affair, the one they thought they had wrapped up in 2001. But it is proving as tough and intractable as Iraq, with the Taliban, alas, not finished and the war, far from being over, stretching into the remote distance.

This is not even America’s war because most Americans who care to have an opinion about their country’s foreign policy – and there are millions of Americans who don’t give a damn, this section of the American population having a hard time deciphering a map of the world – are opposed to Bush’s adventure in Iraq. And although Afghanistan doesn’t loom as large across American radar screens as Iraq, it is beginning to assume a larger presence.

Indeed, the one thing saving American and NATO forces from utter disaster in Afghanistan is the Pakistan army on this side of the Durand Line. This is the buttress shoring up the American position and that is why, with new winds blowing across Islamabad, our friends in Washington are alarmed.

Their policy towards Pakistan was shaped around one man: their favourite general, Pervez Musharraf. And now that after the recently-concluded elections his position has crumbled, and is visibly diminishing by the day, the war party in Washington is worried that Pakistan may not be as zealous as it has been in taking American orders in the ‘war on terror’.

Small wonder John Negroponte, deputy secretary of state and holder of many dark secrets about American policy in Latin America, and Richard Boucher, assistant secretary of state and a familiar face in Pakistan, were so quick to descend on Islamabad, basically wanting to get a feel about the new guys about to enter the corridors of power.

Despite what some of the headlines have been suggesting Negroponte and Boucher shouldn’t be too worried because while the new guys may have waxed eloquent about ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ – very much the new buzzword in Islamabad – no one has suggested that Pakistan is about to cut its strings with America or is about to change course dramatically.

Pakistan is hardly in a position for a radical shift all at once because the Americans are all over the place and there are so many things tying us to America that a sudden application of the scissors is simply out of the question.

Let’s not forget that the army is the key player in this equation and any rethinking of the American alliance will have to come as much from General Headquarters as from the new National Assembly. Would the army like to forego American military assistance, the five-year ‘aid’ package which has enabled it to go on an extended arms’ shopping spree? Would it like to forego the nearly hundred million dollars a month it gets for services rendered in the ‘war on terror’? Where does this money go? Does anyone even know?

Such ‘aid’ once you are hooked on it becomes an addiction. Vested interests develop and lifestyles come to depend upon this bonanza. Overcoming such an addiction is not easy.

Islamabad is a town of dealers, fixers and commission agents anyway: well-off parasites living off the inflow of American dollars. Any talk of cutting the American connection and this razzle-dazzle crowd will point accusing fingers at the new guys in town and say that they are acting ‘irresponsibly’. Deep pockets after all are not easy to fight.

Let’s not also forget that parliamentary sovereignty in this country is a bit of a fiction. We may like to think parliament is a sovereign institution but when was the last time parliament took a sovereign decision?

All our great foreign policy adventures, our various jihads and wars, never had anything to do with parliamentary debate or approval. We must rethink our American connection, and as a result of that connection the sentry and bag duty our army performs along the Afghan frontier, but for anything to come of this exercise the rethink has to be a joint undertaking between the army command and the new guys in town (actually all old guys but making a reappearance on the national scene after the extended disaster of the Musharraf years… indeed after Musharraf anything, even recycled stuff, would look new).

Unless the army command is re-educated, unless it gets rid of the strategic and war-on-terror-related nonsense which under American tutelage has become part of its collective thinking, Pakistan will know neither peace nor harmony.

Yes, there are elements in Pakistani society keen on turning the clock back, who believe passionately that the way to go forward is to return to biblical times (biblical here a metaphor for their overdrawn simplicities about the fundamentals of life). Yes, there are elements in the tribal areas who think that it is their holy duty to come to the aid of the Taliban, or anyone fighting the Americans, in Afghanistan.

We should be discouraging such elements, interdicting their movement across the border. On no account must Waziristan, north and south, become a Taliban sanctuary, a staging post for the anti-American resistance. But we shouldn’t let the Americans tell us how to go about this business. Because there is a whole history of American interference—from Vietnam and Cambodia to Iraq and Afghanistan – which testifies to that great American talent for touching a problem and turning it into a first-rate catastrophe.

Let the Taliban fight their own wars. By the same token let the Americans also fight their wars. We should have nothing to do with either of these undertakings. The Lord knows we have enough of our problems of our own to settle.

Musharraf was America’s loyal ally, Pakistan’s Ngo Din Diem and Pinochet rolled into one, and because he acted under American orders and in his zeal to please his American protectors paid no heed to the sentiments of his own people, this whole terrorism business, far from being squashed, has ballooned out of control. A problem (or call it a virus) confined to the tribal areas has spread to other parts of Pakistan. There were no suicide bombings in 2001. Now it is a phenomenon we are all familiar with.

This entire strategy, if one can dignify it thus, has backfired. Pakistan is now in the crosshairs of terrorism precisely because Musharraf hitched his wagon, and the nation’s, to Bush’s failed and imploding star. Across the globe, and this includes America, Bush is considered little better than a moron. And to think that because of one man – Musharraf –

Pakistan and its army have been tied to the apron strings of this moron.

We don’t need to court American hostility. We should be friends with America but not its lackey or satellite. We should learn to live without the high of American ‘assistance’. At any rate, it is the parasitic classes who have benefited the most from this assistance, not the majority of the Pakistani people. So what are we talking or complaining about?

If terrorism has to be fought we must do it on our own. The Americans, as we have seen, will make the problem worse. Thus the first condition of fighting terrorism is getting rid of American advice and assistance. The Frontier Corps doesn’t need to be recast by the Americans (as they propose to do). Is the new Iraqi army any better for being outfitted by the Americans?

There is even – and this is really silly – a USAID programme for the ‘capacity-building’ of MNAs and MPAs. As part of this programme there is a ‘capacity-enhancing’ centre (with newspapers and computers, etc.) right in the Parliamentary Lodges in Islamabad. Madam Speaker, your urgent attention please.) Goes to show how busy our American friends have been, and what unlikely corners they have penetrated, these past seven years.


 

Pakistan: Fighting Taliban In Tribal Areas Intensifies

July 23, 2007

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

First, I want to congratulate you. Your Peace and Freedom is far ahead from others in war on terrorism.

Now the US administration has recognised that some dreaded terrorists have been hiding in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border. Peace and Freedom was the was first in breaking this news. Please accept congratulation from the people of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas.

Situation in our areas is still critical as some invisible has been trying to create terror and fear among the people. I want to inform you that the people of tribal areas this time will cooperate with the United States if action is taken against terrorists. Now they have accepted that terrorists are the enemies of whole world.

According to report, security forces killed 20 militants in clashes in North Waziristan, while 10 security personnel were wounded. Army troops killed 13 militants in Ghulam Khan, 15 kilometres north of Miranshah in North Waziristan. The incident occurred about 11pm when unidentified militants attacked a Frontier Corps check-post. The army returned fire, killing 13 militants and destroying two vehicles. The army also arrested seven militants and seized a vehicle. The militants took the bodies of their colleagues with them.

Gunship helicopters killed seven militants who were shooting at an army convoy from hilltops in Qutab Khel, five kilometres east of Miranshah. Six security personnel were seriously injured in the clash. The convoy was going to Bannu from Miranshah. Unidentified militants attacked another army convoy at Khar Qamar, 20 kilometres west of Miranshah, with a remote-controlled bomb at , seriously injuring four security personnel. The convoy was heading for Datta Khel.

Inter Services Public Relations Director General (DG) Major General Waheed Arshid confirmed that 13 militants had been killed and seven arrested in the Ghulam Khan incident. However, he said only six militants were killed at the Chashmai Bridge and five security personnel were wounded in Sunday’s incident. Militants in small groups attempted to attack several army posts in the area but security forces foiled their bid, Gen Arshad said. Violence has intensified in North Waziristan after local Taliban militants pulled out of a peace agreement with the government last week.

We keep in touch our normal methods and times seem OK.

Again thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Related:
Fighting Intensifies In Pakistani Tribal Areas