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Old 06-08-2011   #381
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Default Ilyas Kashmiri's big mistake

A superb context comment for the drone hit that reportedly killed Ilyas Kashmiri and illustrates the importance of context - know the tribes!

Quote:
Kashmiri had only been in the district a few hours when he was killed in a targeted drone strike. Hardly surprising really; his very presence in South Waziristan was a threat to a 2007 peace agreement between the Ahmadzai Wazirs and the government under which the tribe agreed not to attack Pakistani forces or to allow foreign militants into their district. The Waziris had previously risen up against the Arabs and many Uzbeks from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan who had settled amongst them and who had become notorious for their cruelty. More than 200 Uzbeks were killed by the Waziris and the survivors were forced north, where they were given shelter by other Pashtun tribes.

As recently as March this year the nine clans of the Ahmadzai Waziris agreed to stick to the terms of the 2007 treaty.
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....miri-much.html
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Old 06-09-2011   #382
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SO you are sure he is dead? And if the Ahmedzai Wazirs are so careful to avoid such people, why was he unaware of this fact and sitting in an orchard having tea?
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Old 06-09-2011   #383
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Default Ilyas Kashmiri's is dead?

I am not sure he is dead, hence my use of reportedly and in the case of Rashid Rauf some, including his family, maintain he is not dead either.

Over-confidence springs to mind, belief in his host's motives being good - Pashtunwali does apply and being sure his movements were covert.
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Old 06-30-2011   #384
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Default Trouble in Pakistan's Heartland

A short report that illustrates the problems Pakistanis face and sub-titled:
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Faisalabad, the industrial hub of Punjab, is ailing -- badly. And militant groups are reaping the benefits.
Then:
Quote:
This mix of anti-Americanism, religiosity, and agitation over the dire economic situation has found a receptive audience among unemployed youths residing in Faisalabad's industrial slums -- and Pakistan's traditional institutions are doing a poor job of responding to the threat.
Link:http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...tland?page=0,0
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Old 07-14-2011   #385
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Default Pakistani justice system

Not a surprise to observers, although even in a high profile case the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009, it is - diplomatically put - sad.

Quote:
An Islamist militant accused in dozens of killings and a 2009 attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team was freed on bail on Thursday after 14 years in custody because the Supreme Court decided there was not enough evidence to keep holding him, his lawyer said.

(Later) Criminal conviction rates hover between 5 and 10 per cent in Pakistan, according to a report by the International Crisis Group, a respected think tank. Terrorism convictions are rare, even in major cases, and convictions in lower courts are frequently overturned by appeals courts. Part of the problem is that police are ill-trained in the art of gathering evidence, while witnesses are often afraid to testify.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cri...d-on-bail.html
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Old 07-14-2011   #386
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Default The Haqqani network - the fountainhead of jihad?

Hat tip to the only UK-based blogsite on Afghanistan 'Circling the Lion's Den' by Nick Fielding:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot.com/

For a pointer to a CTC report on the Haqqani network, yet to be read here:http://www.ctc.usma.edu/wp-content/u...-Final_Web.pdf

Which remarks:
Quote:
Positioned between two unstable states, and operating beyond their effective sovereignty, the Haqqani network has long been mistaken for a local actor with largely local concerns. It is vital that the policy community correct the course that has taken this erroneous assessment for granted and recognize the Haqqani network’s region of refuge for what it has always been – the fountainhead of jihad.
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Old 08-18-2011   #387
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Default Understanding the Pak Army offensive in Kurram

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den for this pointer:
Quote:
Jeffrey Dressler at the Institute for the Study of War on the Pakistan Army's current offensive in Kurram in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) says that the insurgency in Afghanistan's Eastern region is likely to benefit from the action.
Which concludes:
Quote:
Dressler makes it clear that the Pakistani military has little interest in curbing militancy in the region. It is simply taking on those elements of the TTP that have turned on their former mentors, solely in order to strengthen the insurgency in Afghanistan.
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....ensive-in.html

Link to the cited Dressler report:http://www.understandingwar.org/file...mOffensive.pdf
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Old 08-28-2011   #388
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Default After the Taliban: Swat women on changing life

A short BBC News article based on two women in the Swat Valley:
Quote:
Swat in north-west Pakistan is still recovering from a period of militancy several years ago. Men and women deemed un-Islamic were killed by the Taliban and their bodies dumped on the street. Hundreds of girls schools were destroyed before the army ousted the militants in 2009. A local school girl and Swat's first woman to train as a lawyer told Nosheen Abbas how life is changing.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14420886

A reminder too of women's role in COIN, which IMHO we often overlook.
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Old 08-28-2011   #389
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This comment is in regard to David's post #147 from 1 week ago.

Just when I thought I could not be surprised by Pak Army perfidy, here is an account of a conventional Pak Army operation, complete with air support, the objective of which is to facilitate Haqqani and Taliban & Co. attempts to kill Americans. They mounted a big operation in order to clear a supply route for Taliban & Co. I wonder if some of the jets providing air support were F-16s.
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Old 11-08-2011   #390
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Default Pak Taliban flexes its muscles in FATA

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den for this update:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....s-in-fata.html

Given the criticism of the Pakistani Army, here is a comment by the:
Quote:
.. head of the pro-government Amn Lashkar militia announced this week that he was closing down their centre in Shahukhel village in Hangu district due to non-cooperation from the security forces and the government. Nine members of the lashkar have been killed in the last year and 13 others injured. “The government had pledged to provide us with arms and ammunition but it could not deliver on its promise. We cannot continue battling the militants on our own,” said Salamat Khan Orakzai.
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Old 12-02-2011   #391
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Default Pakistan's 'Wild West': Baluchistan

An IISS Strategic Comment 'Bad times in Baluchistan', which reminds us that Pakistan has some problems.

Quote:
In the past few months alone in Baluchistan, the death of a separatist leader and the discovery of the bullet-ridden corpses of many missing activists precipitated a general strike, while militants repeatedly blew up oil pipelines. Security-forces personnel and civilians were killed by landmines; and scores of ethnic Hazara Shia Muslims died in sectarian attacks. Taliban fighters also kidnapped two Swiss tourists, perpetrated a major suicide bombing in the provincial capital, Quetta..that killed 22...(the target being) Brig. Khurram Shahzad, the deputy head of the region's Frontier Corps.

Militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for a recent series of deadly ambushes on Shia Hazara pilgrims - killing 14 in an attack on a minibus on 4 October, and 29 in the Mastung area of Quetta on 20 September. The group, also implicated in an attempt to assassinate Baluchistan's Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Rasiani in December 2010,
Here is a twist:
Quote:
Major opium-processing hubs lie in the same Chagai Hills region as Pakistan's nuclear-testing facilities.
Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...n-baluchistan/
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Old 12-02-2011   #392
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The Baloch separatists are relatively small in number and lack sanctuaries (NATO will probably push them out of Afghanistan one day in exchange for safe exit from Afghanistan) so they may be a nuisance for the Pak army but they are not a critical problem (that, at least, is the Pak army view).
Killings of Shias are unfortunate but cannot be helped because the main anti-shia militant group (LEJ) is connected with the same networks that are our "strategic assets" and cannot be cleaned out without jeopardising the "good jihadis". They are also funded by our brothers in Saudi Arabia, who are going to be ever more essential once the US dollar stream finally begins to dry up. It is sad, but sometimes that is the price we pay for mining copper at Saindak.
In short, killings in Balochistan will be a human rights issue, but will not have any "strategic" impact. On all sides, the "deep strategic thinkers" understand that some eggs have to be broken in order to make an omelette. In Pakistan, we will break many of them and not even cook the omelette. Sometimes, things don't work out so smoothly. What can one say..
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Old 12-15-2011   #393
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Default NWFP reference book

Hat tip to the Australian Lowry Institute for a recommendation of 'The Most Dangerous Place: Pakistan's Lawless Frontier' by Imtiaz Gul (Pub. June 2010):
Quote:
a wonderfully written, deeply researched, but profoundly depressing book. Gul takes the time to explore in detail the social, historical, tribal and religious complexities of the Pakistan-Afghan border regions in ways that show why any and all attempts to impose external order are deeply futile. The Most Dangerous Place should give pause to optimistic scenarios that there will be stability and peace in that part of the world any time soon.
Link:http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous...3899324&sr=1-1
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Old 12-22-2011   #394
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Default Pak military’s influence will continue to rise

An Indian commentary that opens with:
Quote:
t was pathetic to see Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik thanking on 8 December the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) for maintaining peace during Moharram, thus indicating the helplessness of his security machinery.
Then refers to a new report:
Quote:
the December 2011 special report from the US Institute of Peace, "Who Controls Pakistani Security Forces" by Shuja Nawaz (Atlantic Council) offers new insight.
Link to cited report:http://www.usip.org/publications/who...ecurity-forces

On CT work:
Quote:
... there is no coordinated counter-terrorist (CT) action in the country. 19 civilian agencies involved in internal security mount uncoordinated CT operations along with the state police
Link:http://www.sunday-guardian.com/analy...ntinue-to-rise
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Old 12-27-2011   #395
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Default Pakistan Taliban crisis deepens

I missed these two updates, hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den, on the Pakistan Taliban (TTP): http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....n-taliban.html and http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....s-deepens.html

From the later:
Quote:
...money has dried up for the TTP and this has led to the desertion of former supporters, many of whom only fought for money. The TTP's shura, or ruling council, has shrunk from nearly 40 members to less than 10. The reason funds are in short supply, the article speculates, is that the Afghan Taliban has stopped paying the TTP because it is now in negotiations with the Afghan government.
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Old 01-07-2012   #396
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Default Talking to the TTP: news, lessons and the price paid

Placed here due to the wider impact on pakistan beyond the frontier provinces.

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den, with several updates on the talks between the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) and ISI, as indicated by:
Quote:
We have drawn the broader outlines for a possible accord. And what we're now working on are minor details...These are crucial times ...we have to be extremely careful. A slight miscalculation can harm us in a big way," an intelligence official told The Express Tribune
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....-isi-deal.html

The TTP factions have regrouped:
Quote:
According to reports coming from Pakistan, a new organisation called the Shura-e-Murakbah, made up of the remnants of what was once the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has been created in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
The author comments:
Quote:
Three points should be drawn from this news: first, that al-Qaeda is still an important player - and, more importantly, financier - of the various jihadi factions in Pakistan. That is why they are at the table; second, support by Mullah Omar for this unification move may have more to do with unfolding events in Afghanistan than with a concern for uniting the notoriously unruly Pashtun tribes in Pakistan; and third, don't put any money on this agreement holding up for any length of time.
Link:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....ite-under.html

The murder of fifteen Frontier Corps jawans taken prisoner in late December by a TTP group, which most of the Pakistani press have ignored:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....ns-by-ttp.html
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Old 01-20-2012   #397
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Default Rebels with a MANPAD

Pakistan's western province of Balochistan / Baluchistan is rarely reported upon so Al Jazeera decided to have a look and broadcast early in January 2012.

From the short written summary:
Quote:
This film offers a glimpse into a region which, in 2010, had the highest number of militant, insurgent and sectarian attacks of any province in Pakistan. It is a region torn apart with separatist organisations attacking the state, sectarian and ethnic attacks, and crime, including kidnapping for ransom.
Link to summary:http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/...372863878.html

Link to film (47 mins):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4aTxF3xjWA

What startled me was to see Cryptome feature the documentary via a what shall I say opinionated Pakistani blogsite, who had watched very closely and noted early on (02:02 to 02:16):
Quote:
what came as a new revelation was a militant carrying an "SA-7" MANPAD. Yes, a shoulder launched surface-to-air missile, the Soviet SA-7, a weapon which is not even in use with the Afghan Taliban. After the withdrawal of Soviet Union from Afghanistan and several subsequent years of civil war, an SAM was never noticed in use by the militants in Afghanistan. The terrorist front, TTP, could not get its hand on an SAM, despite some reports which suggested they were trying very hard to get access to missiles for use against the Aviation Wing of Pakistan's Army.
The Pakistani blogsite:http://www.terminalx.org/2012/01/tx-...militants.html
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Old 03-12-2012   #398
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Default Counting dead militants in Pakistan

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den blogsite:
Quote:
I have been perplexed for some time by the figures for militants killed in clashes with the Pakistani Army and Airforce. If accurate, then given the massive attrition these figures suggest, it is surprising that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan can still find anyone willing to fight for it....

Thus in the last three months - and accepting that these figures are not complete - a reported 496 militants, mostly members of the TTP or Lashkar-e-Islam, have been killed in military action in the FATA region of Pakistan. A similar number have been injured. Can this be possible? If so, it certainly confirms FATA as more of a battlefield than southern Afghanistan, for example, where reported deaths of militants are much lower. Either that, or the official figures are suspect. You decide.
A list of reported incidents is included:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....-pakistan.html

Have our observers of the Pakistani security scene noted a change in 'will'? Plus after the passage of time 'capability' may now be far more effective.
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Old 03-13-2012   #399
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Maybe more are getting killed, but there is one definite pattern: If "militants" (aka "bad jihadis") ambush the security forces and kill some of them then that incident is NEVER reported as just an ambush and X security forces dead. A larger number of militants is invariably announced as having been killed in the "clash" or in counter-operations by the security forces. I cannot recall a single ambush/clash in which the claimed militant death toll did not exceed the security forces death toll. If there are some, I will be happy to be proven wrong. (there are occasional IED or bomb blast events in which no militants are said to be killed).
That sounds suspicious to suspicious people, but then, some people are incorrigible cynics.
Having said that, I do not doubt that the Pakistani security forces will fight a longer and bloodier war in the years to come. I know the official line (Ahmed Qureshi) is that things will become normal once the accursed Americans leave, but I have my doubts. Some people are also incorrigible pessimists.
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Old 03-13-2012   #400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
.........................
Having said that, I do not doubt that the Pakistani security forces will fight a longer and bloodier war in the years to come. I know the official line (Ahmed Qureshi) is that things will become normal once the accursed Americans leave, but I have my doubts. Some people are also incorrigible pessimists.
I foresee Pakistan descending into a low-grade civil war smoldering on for years as the state slowly implodes over a decade or so. The signs have been evident for quite some time.
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