Posts Tagged ‘Conflict

26
Sep
08

Pakistan-US forces trade fire!

Yet another incident has taken place at the borders where two US helicopters crossed in to Pakistani territory in North Waziristan despite the strong stance taken by the Pakistan Army against further border incursions.

The latest exchange came after the helicopters crossed the border from Afghanistan. U.S. military officials however stated that the helicopters were in Afghan air space the whole time. Yet another claim surfaced from United States that the helicopter, a U.S. Army OH-58D Kiowas, was in fact providing ground cover to a small contingent of US Army troops on a border patrol with Afghan Police.

The U.S. State Department said it was awaiting the results of an investigation of the incident by Pakistan and deemed the shooting incident as troubling.

Pakistani Military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas brushed aside US’s statement as some thing that didn’t make sense at all.

Two helicopters crossed into our territory in North Waziristan. They passed over our border checkpost, so our troops fired warning shots. The helicopters returned fire and then went back across the border into Afghanistan.

President Asif Ali Zardari stated that the warning shots fired by Pakistani Armed Forces were in fact flares with the intention to let the copters know that they have crossed in to the border. He stressed that the shots did not carry any hostile intent what so ever.

The ever so increasing incidents of visible US interventions in to Pakistan is a disturbing sign. At times it even looks like the United States is inciting Pakistani Armed Forces and the tribesmen on purpose to build a case against extensive firing on their men and machines. Moreover, it is only a matter of time whereby terrorists see this as yet another golden opportunity to further damage the Pak-US relations. US copters could be attacked by the enemy from within the Pakistani borders even though they might not have crossed the border. A string of accusations and denials will follow from Washington and Islamabad and would surely dampen relations.

The United States must understand and realize the fragility of the situation. An ugly confrontation could easily be avoided if US forces would restrain themselves and let Pakistani military do its job in Pakistan.

Also read more on this news at CNN

25
Sep
08

The (tight) lip service

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani has put a clamp on Pakistani ministers on issuing political and strategic statements from now onwards. Only Sherry Rehman, Minister of Information, or Akram Shaheedi, Pakistan’s Information Secretary, would be entitled to issue statements in the future.

In another similar development, all Pakistani private channels have voluntarily stopped airing Taliban comments on the continued military operation in different parts of the North-West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. Under this change, the channels will not air views of the Taliban leadership against the ongoing offensive.

Anchors at Dawn News and Aaj TV were seen calling the militants as ‘Taliban’ and reporting solely on the military progress and activities.

This is a complete turn over from the same media houses that have largely been skeptical of the Armed Forces offensive against (as they used to put it) alleged terrorists in the North. One might wonder what ever happened to that point of view now that they all have voluntarily decided to ban any pro-taliban stance what so ever. Perhaps they were paid the right price this time around.

22
Sep
08

President goes West as COAS heads East

The Pakistani leadership have moved in opposite directions in the face of one of the most shocking and disastrous suicide attacks on its capital.

While President Zardari is currently en route to United States to attend the UN Assembly as well as have a talk with President George W Bush, Pakistan’s Chief Of Army Staff has gone East on a 5 day official trip to China.

This happens to be quite an interesting move in a sense that while our President is heading to United States to possibly ensure that Pakistan’s solidarity shall remain as staunch as ever, our COAS is going over to our long time friend, China where he will be meeting the Chinese President Hu Jintao as well as visiting three military regions namely Shenyang military region, Beijing military region and Chengdu military region. The two countries are building some of their most sophisticated war machinery through mutual cooperation in the Chengdu Region including the multi-role medium-tech J-17 fighter planes. The sources revealed that General Kiyani would also visit some exercise areas where he would be shown some of the most modern defense equipment and war machinery that China has recently developed through indigenous research. General Kiyani will extend invitation to General Chen Bingde to visit Pakistan.

Whether the purpose of these polar opposite visits is to give a message to the United States and the rest of the world regarding a massive shift in Pakistan’s anti-terrorism policies or something else, there are huge expectations from both these tours.

President Zardari will probably be facing one of the toughest situations in his political career so far as he will be indulging the President of the United States in talks over various issues of grave importance ranging from Washington allowing US forces to operate inside Pakistan to where the relations between the two countries stand. He has already been snubbed and criticized for canceling his visit to China in favor of UK and the US and he will have tough waters to tread in the West and back home.

The nation, still bleeding, awaits its leaders’ next stance – and it is about time we take one!

22
Sep
08

Intruding US choppers fired at in NWA

Pak Tribune has reported that Pakistani troops reportedly fired at two US gunship helicopters that intruded into Lowara Mandi area of the North Waziristan Agency (NWA), forcing them to fly back to Afghanistan on Sunday night.

Government officials, including those from intelligence agencies, told reporters in Miramshah, the headquarters of the NWA, that the incident took place around 10 pm at the border village of Lowara Mandi.

Requesting anonymity, they said the two US gunship helicopters entered the Pakistani airspace and flew over Lowara Mandi. They said the Pakistani soldiers used the 12.7mm light machineguns to fire at the intruding choppers. They claimed the helicopters were forced to fly back across the border to Afghanistan.

19
Sep
08

In Images: a 15 year old suicide bomber!

We have been saying for a long time now that the so-called ‘Pakistani Taliban’ is a group of criminals and not Mujahideen and their agenda is suspicious. These exclusive pictures, released by BRASSTACKS today, provide the proof. This is the Nowshera boy who was arrested before he could pull the trigger on his suicide jacket. A poor 15-year-old. His masters, people like Baitullah Mehsud, are using Pakistani children to kill ordinary Pakistanis and to spread chaos. What Muslim or Pakistani would do this? Why do Pakistani government authorities not bring these people on television so that we could ask them: How did they take you away from your parents? How did they tell you to pull the trigger and you will be immediately taken by Angels to Heavens? What are the training camps you attend? Who are these people? How can they have so much money to spend? How do they terrorize the poor tribal Pakistanis and hold them hostage with their shiny new weapons and scary hoods that hide their faces? How can we know that suspicious foreign players are not part of this game? Anyone can play this game. All you need to fool our people is a lot of money, local contacts, the ability to speak Pashto/Urdu and good knowledge of Islam. It is called ‘Special Operations’.

See the remaining images below

16
Sep
08

US forces restrained! Invading troops sent packing

Reports have come in that between two to seven American military helicopters carrying Navy Seals and US commandos were fired on as they attempted to cross into the country’s territory from Afghanistan yesterday around midnight.

The incident took place near Angor Adda, a village in the tribal region of South Waziristan, where US commandos in helicopters raided a suspected Al-Qaeda and Taleban camp on September 3.

As expected, the Pentagon moved swiftly to deny the incident completely.

On Pakistan’s side, the military has not confirmed their involvement in the recent shooting at the border. Major Murad Khan, a Pakistan military spokesman said:

The US choppers were there at the border, but they did not violate our airspace. We confirm that there was a firing incident at the time when the helicopters were there, but our forces were not involved.

So that makes one thing clear. Either way, there WERE U.S forces and choppers at the border and they were fired upon and sent back. Whether this was the work of local tribesmen or the Pakistan Army is not conformed. While the military denies their involvement in the episode and Pentagon terms the whole issue as ‘never happened at all’, the local tribesmen and civilians at Angor Adda specifically stated that Pakistani troops stationed at the BP-27 check post fired at the helicopters and turned them away.

11
Sep
08

The Gloves Come Off!

I’m not convinced we are winning it in Afghanistan. I am convinced we can… We are looking at a new, more comprehensive strategy for the region that would cover both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In my view, these two nations are inextricably linked in a common insurgency that crosses the border between them!

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USA

And so it has begun: the open, and unabashed attack on the sovereignty and freedom of Pakistan. The U.S. military, faced with rising insurgent violence in Afghanistan, will revise its strategy for the region to include militant safe havens in neighboring Pakistan. Within a span of 12 days, there have been 7 attacks launched by the United States from across the border on villages in Pakistan. The cup ran over when on September 3, the American Special Operation Forces conducted a full fledged raid inside Pakistan that resulted in the deaths of some 20-30 innocent Pakistanis. The attack for condemned by Pakistan, resolutions were passed in the United Nations but as always, United States paid no heed. Instead, they openly proclaimed the raid as their show and promised further operations on Pakistani soil. According to the NY TIMES, the authorization for this has come right from top: Bush himself! It was back in July when President Bush secretly approved ground assaults inside Pakistan. According to the orders issued, Pakistan is to ‘notified’ when limited ground assaults are conducted inside the country but a permission will not be asked for!

Let’s reconfirm for our understanding… The United States Armed Forces will now cross, jump, fly, or walk over the border to shoot, bomb, kill, take captive, and/or investigate nationals of one of their most important allies in the war against terrorism WITHOUT seeking the country’s approval?

You got that right!

Continue reading ‘The Gloves Come Off!’




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