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Old 03-13-2012   #401
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btw, the exactitude of the casualty lists from aerial bombing is extremely impressive. Every time the hideouts are bombed the army seems to know exactly how many militants were killed and how many injured. Given the primitive nature of medical facilities in the area, many of the wounded must also die in the days that follow, but surprisingly the superb intel network that the army has in place does not seem to relay those numbers to headquarters. This may just be an oversight on the part of ISPR. Perhaps someone can let them know so they can start adding "wounded, died later" to their casualty lists. Future historians will want an accurate count. This will also permit us to estimate the size of the militants field hospitals and their ancillary staff. Unless the wounded are permitted evacuation to "our side" of the front. Which would be an impressive humanitarian gesture, but raises the issue of where they go after they recover? are they permitted to rejoin the fight in the best tradition of Salahuddin Ayubi? Or are they unchivalrously locked up? Or do they make their way to hospitals operated by RAW? Lots of questions, I know, but its that kind of day.
Tangentially related: some Western Hadith scholar wrote that one easy way to detect fake hadiths (traditions of the holy prophet) is to see which one is supported by the most impressive list of transmitters. Accursed westerners. if we dont give them an authentic list of transmitters, they dont believe the tradition. If we give them an impressive list, they say its too impressive. We cannot seem to win.
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Old 05-12-2012   #402
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Default Look West

The internal troubles in Pakistan's western province, Balochistan / Baluchistan, get an occasional mention here, although there is a persistent insurgency underway, so hat tip to Watandost for it's commentary:http://watandost.blogspot.co.uk/2012...ow-of-gun.html and the pointer to this backgrounder by a Pakistani:http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2012...f-balochistan/

No wonder it is so easy for some, maybe the majority in the Pakistani Army / ISI to see the "hidden hand" of others.
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Old 05-12-2012   #403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
..............
No wonder it is so easy for some, maybe the majority in the Pakistani Army / ISI to see the "hidden hand" of others.
The whole country is in a delusional state, with gross overestimation of its own importance and abilities, a carefully nursed grudge against the rich world for not giving it enough money, and a state-encouraged persecution complex that readily blames everything from a shortage of onions to no electricity on foreign powers.

Not a happy combination overall.
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Old 07-27-2012   #404
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Default TTP are dying - killing themselves

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den blogsite for this update, cited in part:
Quote:
Maulana Ashraf Ali Marwat, the bloodthirsty Tehreek-e-Taliban commander who was responsible for bombing a volleyball match in which more than 100 people died in January 2010 has been shot dead in South Waziristan, according to reports. Marwat helped to plan the attack in Shah Hasankhel village (his home village!) in which a truck loaded with explosives was detonated at the packed tournament in Northwestern Lakki Marwat district.
Hearts & Minds! The comment ends with:
Quote:
Who needs enemies when you have comrades in the TTP?
Link:
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Old 08-08-2012   #405
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Default FATA Research Center

Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den blogsite for this:
Quote:
I've always had the greatest respect for the FATA Research Centre, based in Pakistan and under the direction of former BBC radio journalist Dr Ashraf Ali. Its website is a source of unbiased and useful information on this most impenetrable area of Pakistan.
In strategic terms, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas are one of the most important pieces of real estate in the world.
Citing a recent report on extremism and radicalisation:
Quote:
Militant groups' lucrative offer of food, clothes, weapons, drugs and public charm of authority drive them to join militant groups...They are pushed into a deep desire of revenge against US and Pakistan Army, as revenge is one of the important components of Pakhtoon code of life.
Link:http://frc.com.pk/
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Old 08-16-2012   #406
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Default Gunmen Have Attacked And Entered A Pakistani Air Force Base Thought To House Nuclear

Gunmen have attacked and entered a Pakistan air force base, according to Reuters.

The target is the Kamra Air Base, located around 40 miles outside Islamabad. The attacked is believed to be conducted by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) — reports in the Pakistan press have suggested they were planning attacks in retaliation for upcoming military action.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/gunme...#ixzz23fRw661g

Live updates here
http://tribune.com.pk/story/422821/a...-live-updates/
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Old 08-20-2012   #407
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So the August 16 attack that left nine suspected Islamic radicals and one Pakistani soldier dead once again raised eyebrows over Islamabad's claims that its nuclear installations are under foolproof security.

Much of the concern is predictable, but misdirected, according to experts.

The location of Pakistan's nuclear weapons are a highly guarded secret, but despite news reports to the contrary, most observers doubt that warheads are stored at Minhas.
http://www.rferl.org/content/how-saf.../24681549.html
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Old 11-29-2012   #408
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Default A modern Lawrence, with locals in choppers

A new book on:
Quote:
an ex-Royal Navy pilot, led a 25-strong force of specially-recruited (Frontier Corps) Pakistani soldiers raiding Taliban camps, hunting down kidnap victims and detaining suspected al-Qaeda militants (in 2003).
Quote:
Lt Cdr Leedham tells his story in a new book, Ask Forgiveness Not Permission....The inspiration for his instructions came from the writings of Lawrence of Arabia. “These guys really did perform..I used a lot of Lawrence doctrine. I know it sounds a bit hokey but I did.”.....the model he used — small teams of local fighters with tight security protocols that prevent tip-offs to militant leaders — could still be used to hunt terrorists even as Western forces pull out of the region.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...t-Taliban.html

The UK Amazon has six rave reviews and the Foreword is by Frederick Forsyth:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ask-Forgiven.../dp/1903071674

It appears not to have been released yet in the USA:http://www.amazon.com/Ask-Forgivenes...Not+Permission
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Old 12-05-2012   #409
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Default Will the FATA change after US forces withdraw?

Hamid Hussain, an irregular contributor to SWJ, was asked by a senior Pakistani military officer: Do you see any changes occurring in FATA consequent to the planned withdrawal of US Forces from Afghanistan?

There is an appropriate main thread 'Operations in Pakistan’s Frontier / Tribal Areas', but the context may change if and when the USA draws down or exits Afghanistan.

Quote:
Quite a difficult question to answer. In my humble opinion, Pakistan’s problem in FATA has taken a life of its own regardless of what happens in Afghanistan. The foundation stones of troubles in FATA were laid at least 4-6 years before 2001 (even otherwise informed Pakistanis are not aware of the history in their own backyard). 2001 just speeded up the trajectory and a rapid downward spiral. Surely, events across Durand Line will have impact on both sides. It is clear that Pakistani society and security forces have sacrificed a lot for the sins of their own leaders and others.

A very basic rule is that Pakistan has to take control of its own territory. How they do it is their business but there is no other way around. In the absence of that the wound will fester with effects on rest of the country as well as regional and international repercussions. Everything else, i.e. return of IDPs, reconstruction, de-radicalization, re-integration etc. follows the control of territory. If you don’t control the territory, everything else will be a mirage. I think, a more successful Swat model proves this point (carefully detached from all things foreign especially American and relying on indigenous thought process & resources especially general public support). It is also true that you can not shoot your self out of this war. A combination of efforts and more importantly in proper order will help to stem the tide.

It is easy to blame people with 20/20 hindsight and off course no one could have imagined the backlash from extremists with vengeance. However, at various stages serious mistakes were made that resulted in major disasters. Intelligence officers provided detailed information about retreating foreign militants from Afghan theatre in the fall and winter of 2001. Peshawar Corps commander and IGFC were in total denial and refused to accept it at a time even when local tribesmen in Kurram agency had looted many of these retreating foreigners taking away even their shoes. Once entrenched and joined with local militants, the retreat of the state was so shocking that local tribesmen were convinced that old order was gone for good. Many joined the rising star of the militants while others ran away to settled areas to save their heads. This is how FATA was lost by the state of Pakistan.

Very poor leadership on top, confusion, strategic myopia and operational incompetence of highest order (we had a division commander whose lines of communications were cut off by the militants and he sat as if nothing had happened) combined with low morale at junior officer and rank and file level (fear and desertions) resulted in many set backs (I can cite specific examples in each instance but these should suffice). Troops marching behind cowed tribal elders were passed on as ‘operations’. Most casualties were suffered when militants were taking the initiative in attacking troops i.e. IEDs, attack on convoys, posts and forts. When properly trained and led by dynamic junior and senior officers, troops achieved assigned objectives with minimum casualties and pushing militants further out. Joint efforts and combined arms tactics were most successful (Army aviation and Air Force contributed a lot). In the last 3-4 years, things have improved a lot in terms of security forces training and operations.

Everybody and his cousin including Pakistan’s friends are very jittery about the whole situation as extremists from all over the globe have found ‘Ivy League’ centers of learning in Pakistan’s periphery (just to give few examples; China’s most wanted chap was killed in Waziristan by Pakistani SSG, Uzbekistan’s most wanted man found home in Waziristan, Indonesia’s most wanted man for Bali bombings was caught in Pakistan after his ‘sightseeing tour’ of Abbotabad, some Saudis were netted by FC in Mohmand agency and their diaries were full of abuses hurled at Saudi Royal family warning them that after finishing up in Af-Pak theatre, they are coming after the Royals). Imagine what all these countries; none of them hostile to Pakistan are thinking about Pakistan. They all need to know what is happening and therefore everybody has set up ‘shops’ in Pakistan and locals are selling information to everyone interested. Regardless of the intentions of each actor, this is a recipe for more complications for Pakistan. I know that Pakistanis don’t like this but there is almost international consensus that Pakistani are either unable or unwilling to tackle the ‘genie now out of bottle’. Off course, Pakistan is not alone at fault but that is the world we live in.

Some work in progress (i.e. pro-active approach of security forces, recruiting sons of tribal elders to help them take control back from militants, regrouping intelligence assets, standing up local tribal militias etc.) may keep lid on the situation while the state becomes more stable politically & economically. There is lot of confusion among general public and sharing some facts with general public will help everybody. People are humans and affected by violence perpetrated by extremists. People are scared and this fact can not be hidden behind rhetoric and empty slogans of chivalry, bravery and martial tunes. Everyone including members of security forces and much celebrated tribesmen are scared (who will not be when extremists can bomb, shoot, behead and abduct with impunity). State can lift the cloud of fear only by proving that it can and will protect its citizens.
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Old 12-05-2012   #410
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Default FATA change? Without Pakistan?

It is easy to argue that the FATA will only change if Pakistani national policy changes, notably that political will is apparent and state institutions - notably the military - respond.

We know that the FATA has traditionally been semi-independent from national, Pakistani rule. There are those who argue that tradition and customs have evaporated since 9/11, mainly through fear and killing anyone who did not share the Jihadist viewpoint.

The bigger question is IMHO could the people and local tribes change - without changes in Pakistan?
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Old 12-06-2012   #411
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Default Pakistani Taliban to change focus?

An interesting, if puzzling Reuters report:
Quote:
Pakistan's Taliban, one of the world's most feared militant groups, are preparing for a leadership change that could mean less violence against the state but more attacks against U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, Pakistani military sources said.
Link:http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8B50G920121206

Just 'what the doctor ordered"? Or what the Pakistani military & ISI want the world to believe?

Quote:
Reuters interviewed several senior Pakistan military officials as well as tribal elders and locals during a three-day trip with the army in South Waziristan last week, getting rare access to an area that has been a virtual no-go zone for journalists since an army offensive was launched in October 2009.

Pakistan Taliban commanders did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the possible leadership change.
I do stress puzzling!
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Old 12-31-2012   #412
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Default Pakistan's military plays Afghan peacemaker

A rather optimistic headline for a good article on Aljazeera, although the focs is on internal Pakistani matters:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/fea...m_medium=tweet

Quote:
In the past, it was easy for the Pakistani military to control different groups because of tribal and ideological divisions, but now these differences are proving to be a disadvantage because the groups often fight each other over influence and tribal allegiances.
From my faraway vantage point there is influence upon the Pakistani Taliban (PTT), but not control. If there was control I'd be curious how murdering a senior, elected politician in NWFP and murdering twenty tribal levies fits in.
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Old 12-31-2012   #413
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One step forward, two steps back. It seems there is a new deal with Uncle Sam. It also seems that the army wants a new army-backed regime of its choice (the two facts may be related). Anyway, i have an article about Pakistan up at 3quarksdaily.com

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...tan-.html#more

I dont think the state is about to wither away. But its definitely withering
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Old 12-31-2012   #414
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Default Pakistan: a withering state?

Omarali50,

Good article, but I have long suspected all of the Pakistani state lacks the will to win over its opponents. Nor am I convinced many of the state's instruments of coercion have the capability.

That is without factoring in the effect of the terrorism within.
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Old 01-24-2013   #415
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An ICG Report 'Pakistan: Countering Militancy in PATA':http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/F...mpaign=mremail

From the summary:
Quote:
While the militants continue to present the main physical threat, the military’s poorly conceived counter-insurgency strategies, heavy-handed methods and failure to restore responsive and accountable civilian administration and policing are proving counter-productive, aggravating public resentment and widening the gulf between PATA’s citizens and the state. Meanwhile neither the federal nor the KPK provincial government is fully addressing the security concerns of residents.
The summary does have some strange passages, for e.g.:
Quote:
Efforts to revive a shattered economy, once heavily dependent on tourism, have
also faltered....
Until Pakistani politicians at provincial and national level show some will to get changes made with military agreement nothing changes sadly.
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Old 01-26-2013   #416
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I have a different take.

The militants, though are going hammer and tongs against the establishment, is actually a handmaiden of the Army and the ISI. It is well known that it is Pakistan's 'strategic tool' to create a suitable situation for Pakistan in Afghanistan and to bleed India by a thousand cuts without going to war and earning the ire of the world community.

It is also a convenient cover for Pakistan Army actions as was seen in Kargil, where it was said by Pakistan that the incursions were by jihadis and it turned out later to be Pakistan Army regulars! Same was done in 1947 (tribal), 1965 (Op Gibraltar) also.

Pakistan Army is well aware that the US will have to quit Afghanistan one day or the other. It requires to create a favourable environment for Pakistan and the militants alone can do it for them. In return, the Army has to allow the militants their space in the badlands of NW Frontier where their writ has always been paramount.

The outcry over US Drone attack is mere cosmetic. It is required to please the militants and at the same time, allow the US to establish a conducive atmosphere where the militants do not become too powerful, while at the same time blame the Great White Satan for the 'evil designs' and get the militants to a new high for more chaos in Afghanistan to secure the base for the future.

In so far as the militant activities in mainland Pakistan, it is ideal to keep the civil Govt in check and discredit them wherein the Pak Army appears the sole saviour. The current chaos is an example where there is a total breakdown of civil administration with all instruments, to include the Supreme Court, of the so called democracy in Pakistan ganging up against the civil Govt.

The militants in mainland also serve a purpose in the temporal warring that signatures Islam - the Sunni Shia divide. It is an ideal way to reduce the influence and numbers of the Shia community, Pakistan having totally made other minorities irrelevant to Pakistan.

These are very basic thoughts.

The bon homie between the Pak Army and the ISI and the militants, who are basically terrorists has method in its madness.

The Pakistan Army's motto is in Arabic:Iman, Taqwa, Jihad fi Sabilillah
A follower of none but Allah, The fear of Allah, Jihad for Allah.

In so far as the Pakistan economy goes, this is what the Pakistani newspaper has to say.

Quote:
At the end of May 2012, Pakistan’s total public debt (external and domestic) stood at Rs 11.932 trillion against Rs 9.969 trillion during the corresponding period of last year, depicting an increase of 19.7 percent or Rs2.01 trillion in one year, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said.

Pakistan’s total obligations at the end of May 2012 in dollars terms stood at about $125.5 billion and the figure is ballooning day by day.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-New...pc-in-one-year
It maybe said that the collapse of Pakistan is not in the interest of the neighbourhood be it for India or Afghanistan.

But one wonders how one could save Pakistan when it is a bundle of contradictions, chaos and internecine warfare!

Last edited by Ray; 01-26-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 03-29-2013   #417
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Default Taliban Spread Terror in Karachi as the New Gang in Town

Many see what happens in Karachi as a barometer for what is happening more widely in Pakistan, so this NYT article is simply bad news. The article ends:
Quote:
In such a vast and turbulent city, the Taliban may become just another turf-driven gang. But without a determined response from the security forces, experts say, they could also seek to become much more.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/wo...pagewanted=all
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Old 04-01-2013   #418
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Default Police morale: one factor in Karachi

Quote:
Bosses of Karachi police admitted in the Supreme Court on Friday that their men lacked the ‘will’ to combat the growing number of militants and gangsters in the city because of sluggish follow-up of the cases of their colleagues who had been killed by criminals.

The will was weak because cases of the killing of policemen were not followed up, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Karachi West Zafar Abbas Bukhari said, adding that 162 policemen had lost their lives in different operations but only three killers could be arrested.
Link:http://dawn.com/2013/03/30/combating...mit-officials/

Alas no indication over what period this had occurred.
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Old 04-29-2013   #419
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A short, thirty page Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report:http://carnegieendowment.org/files/balochistan.pdf
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Old 06-01-2013   #420
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Default Why Karachi police fails to convict its criminals

A Pakistani articie for once, hat tip to Red Rat:http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/17...-its-criminals
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