Archive for the ‘Pakistan army’ Category

What the Petraeus Promotion Means

April 23, 2008

By Mark Thompson
Time Magazine
April 23, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s announcement Wednesday promoting General David Petraeus from his current post running the war in Iraq to head up U.S. Central Command triggered both political and military unease. That response may be inevitable, coming on the downside of an unpopular war and in the waning months of the tenure of the unpopular President who launched it.
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While Republicans hailed the news that Petraeus – who implemented the “surge” of 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Iraq, which is seen has having tamped down violence – was moving up the chain of command, Democrats were cooler. Opponents of the war fear that if the Democrat-led Senate approves Petraeus’s promotion, it could be taken as a signal to “stay the course” in a war that has dragged on for more than five years and has killed more than 4,000 U.S. troops. Party activists will be paying close attention to how Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama vote on Petraeus’s new assignment, which the White House hopes will happen by the end of May. (Presumptive G.O.P. nominee John McCain hailed Petraeus’ nomination, calling him “one of the great generals in American history.”)

U.S. military commander in Iraq General David Petraeus salutes ...  

Democrats are unlikely to mount a campaign to block Petraeus’ promotion. Yet Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the next CENTCOM commander must come with new plans for Iraq “if directed to by a new President.” Petraeus hedged last month when asked what he would say if a new President were to order a withdrawal plan within 60 days of taking office. He verbally juggled risks and objectives before conceding, “We take orders and we follow them.”

The impact of promoting Petraeus, however, may be even greater in the national security establishment than on Capitol Hill. It’s a wake-up call to old-school Army officers and their vanishing dreams of massive tank battles and artillery skirmishes, some of whom privately call Petraeus “King David” for his high self-regard and chumminess with reporters. Gates has made clear that wants commanders able to carry out the messy, irregular kind of combat championed by Petraeus that the Defense Secretary envisages the U.S. fighting for years to come. The promotion reinforces the message he delivered to young Air Force and Army officers on Monday, when he criticized their leaders for devoting too much time and effort to future potential wars, and not enough to the real wars now under way.

“The kinds of conflicts that we’re doing, not just in Iraq but in Afghanistan, and some of the challenges that we face elsewhere in the region and in the Central Command area, are very much characterized by asymmetric warfare,” Gates said. “And I don’t know anybody in the United States military better qualified [than Petraeus] to lead that effort.” Gates said he had discussed Petraeus’s promotion with Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the armed services committee, and said he didn’t “anticipate any problems” in winning Senate approval. Petraeus, in a brief statement from Baghdad, said he is “honored to be nominated for this position.”

U.S. Central Command is the core of the U.S. military’s current operations – it includes both Afghanistan and Iraq – stretching from the Horn of Africa to Pakistan. Although its headquarters are at an Air Force base in Tampa, Fla., recent commanders have spent much of their time at their forward headquarters in Qatar. Petraeus will assume command late this summer or early fall, replacing Admiral William Fallon, who requested early retirement last month after he was portrayed in a magazine interview as the lone officer preventing a U.S. war with Iran. Petraeus’s former deputy in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, will return to Baghdad in the Petraeus slot, giving up his new assignment as the Army’s No. 2 officer after only two months back in the U.S. “There is no question that there are a handful of generals, like a lot of captains and enlisted soldiers and the NCOs,” Gates said, “who have had repeated tours in Iraq.”

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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

Pakistan: Militants declare cease-fire

February 6, 2008
By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD, Associated Press Write

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – A coalition of Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday declared an “indefinite” cease-fire in fighting against Pakistani security forces.

 

Maulvi Mohammed Umar, a purported spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, an umbrella group for militants operating in tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan, said that the cease-fire was declared following talks with the government.

There was no immediate word from the government. The Pakistan army has in recent days denied any cease-fire despite a lull in the fighting that claimed hundreds of lives last month.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080206/ap_on_re_as/
pakistan_18

Pakistani police officers examine the area after an explosion ... 
Pakistani police officers examine the area after an explosion in Karachi, Pakistan on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008. The blast wounded one person in an army district of Karachi, a day after a suicide attack on a military bus killed seven people near the capital and stoked fears about security ahead of this month’s crucial parliamentary elections.(AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Musharraf May Quit Army by Saturday

November 21, 2007

By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press Writer ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – President Gen. Pervez Musharraf could quit as chief of the army and take oath as a civilian president by Saturday, a senior official said.

Pervez Musharraf
پرويز مشرف
Pervez Musharraf

Meeting another key demand of his U.S. sponsors and domestic opponents, another official said authorities had freed almost all of the thousands of people rounded up under emergency law.

The Supreme Court is expected to clear the last legal obstacles ….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071121/ap_on_re_as/pakistan;_
ylt=AlZ.0ihyY3H9LL.4ONQyCres0NUE

Pakistan says offensive looming in militant valley

November 17, 2007

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AFP) – Pakistan will launch a major operation “any time from now” to clear militants loyal to a pro-Taliban cleric from a scenic northwestern valley, an army general said Saturday.

Major General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of military operations for the Pakistan army, said he hoped the mountainous Swat area would be reopened for tourism by the end of December.

He said five days of clashes in which the army reports around 100 militants have been killed are only a prelude to the impending large-scale offensive.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071117/wl_sthasia_
afp/pakistanunrestnorthwest_071117195733
 

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