and Myanmar in the
map are not members
Behind an Iron Curtain
Former Secretary, R&AW; Vice President, Observer Research
"Awake my Punjab,
Pakistan is ebbing away", Baloch poet, philosopher and Left
Wing activist lawyer, Habib Jalib wrote, "Our Dreams have faded
now, Pakistan is ebbing away, / Sindh, Baluchistan, have been weeping
for ages. / The people of Punjab are still lost, asleep."
On July 14, 2010,
Jalib was shot dead outside his brother’s shop on Sariab Road in
Quetta. Ironically, barely twenty persons showed up to condole the
poet-politician’s death in faraway Islamabad, a city rendered remote
by its own siege and indifference. Was Punjab really losing interest in
the rest of the country, troubled as it was with its terrorists?
Jalib, the Secretary
General of the Baloch Nationalist Party (BNP), who often fought legal
battles pro bono, and who meant so much more to so many, had been
imprisoned, at various times, by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and Generals Zia-ul-Haq
and Pervez Musharraf. Yet Habib would not bend.
Habib’s murder was
not an incident in isolation, nor was he killed by mistake. His
compatriot and colleague, Mir Maula Baksh Dashti, from the National
Party also a former Chairman of the Baloch Students Organisation, had
been gunned down only four days earlier, on July 10. Commentator Amir
Mateen noted, in a report published on July 25, 2010, that there are, on
average, two targeted killings in Balochistan every day; while official
figures put this figure at 370 in the last ten months, others say the
number would be closer to 600. Sardar Akhtar Mengal, president of the
Balochistan National Party (BNP) and a former Chief Minister of the
Balochistan, on July 31, also accused the Government and its
functionaries of carrying out targeted killings, adding, "The State
and its agents have deliberately created panic in Balochistan, but the
BNP is not scared of anything, as the party has already scarified the
lives of many of its leaders and workers."
like Malik Siraj Akbar Khan compare the killings of Habib and Dashti to
the assassinations of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and Balach
Marri. Yet, while the latter had united the Baloch,
the unfortunate reality today is that the Baloch remain divided. There
is a leadership vacuum in Balochistan, with most surviving iconic
leaders no longer living in Quetta. Mir Khair Baksh Marri is in Karachi;
Sardar Atuallah Khan Mengal is in Wadh (Khuzdar district), while his
son, Akhtar, is in Dubai; Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Member of Pakistan’s
National Assembly, operates from Karachi. Even an important secular
Pashtun nationalist like Mahmood Khan Achakzai, leader of the
Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, is believed to be away, possibly in the
An acute provincial
xenophobia now targets the non-Baloch in the Province. Mateen says
one-quarter of Quetta is a no-go area; half the city goes to sleep at
sun down; and areas like Sariab Road and Arbab Karan Road are out of
bounds for the non-Baloch even during daytime. Barring the Quetta
Cantonment, which is heavily protected, all other areas, including
pickets of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, are subject to attacks;
local Police enter areas like Spiny Road and Samungli Road at their own
peril. Mateen observes,
... the ordinary citizenry has
been left to the butchery of a lethal mix of extremist
nationalists, political separatists, religious fanatics,
smugglers, drug dealers and the land mafia hand in glove with
criminals, not to forget international terrorists and foreign
The Pushtun of Quetta
have moved to safer areas of Nawankhali and Sraghurdhi, while Punjabi
settlers, many of whom have lived in Quetta for generations, have been
forced to leave for other Provinces. Doctors and surgeons have been
intimidated and prevented from attending their clinics, so that they are
not able to report incidents and casualties. About 1,600 Government
officials have sought transfers out of Balochistan.
In the current cycle
of violence, according to former Senator Sanaullah Baloch, between 2003
and December 2005, about 2,600 to 3,200 innocent people were killed in
military operations, particularly in the Marri and Bugti areas.
Islamabad frequently used air raids to subdue the Baloch tribals. About
80 to 85 per cent of those killed were women and children. During this
phase, according to the United Nations’ December 2006 estimates, there
were 84,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Balochistan without
any relief or shelter; there was a total blockade of the Marri and Bugti
areas; an estimated 8000 to 10,000 died in the exodus which caused
malnourishment, disease and lack of shelter.
Balochistan has since been continuous. Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti was
assassinated on August 26, 2006, and Mir Balach Marri, on November 21,
2007. The Baloch cannot forget the campaigns launched by General
Musharraf against the Bugtis from 2005, when he rolled in tanks and
brought in the Air Force to eventually kill the Nawab. Both these
killings were accompanied by numerous others. There were only six
reported incidents in 2005; the number rose to 44 the next year,
accounting for 391 deaths, including 124 Security Force (SF) personnel.
In 2007 there were 22 major incidents, with 199 fatalities. Since 2005,
there have been 1,448 deaths, more than half of which were described as
civilians; 404 were security personnel and 247 ‘terrorists’. In
2010, 97 civilians have been killed, as against 8 terrorists and 32
security personnel, thus far. While there have been a few sectarian
killings, many targets have been the middle class – the educated and
To put this into
perspective, Balochistan has a population of 7.8 million, and there have
been 1,448 fatalities. Pro rata, in the Punjab Province of Pakistan,
with a population of more than 85 million, this would be equivalent to
nearly 15,000 fatalities. Worse, UN reports claim that 8,000 Baloch have
been missing since 2005; translated into Punjab equivalents, this would
mean as many as 80,000. The truth is that there is no accurate figure of
how many Baloch have died behind Pakistan’s Iron Curtain. The enormity
of the casualties has been lost in the remoteness of the Province, and
the seemingly ‘low’ absolute number of casualties spread over five
There are two versions
about the ownership of these killings. Representatives of the Jamhoori
Watan Party insist that the middle class was being targeted by the
separatists, since the former believed in an unified Pakistan even as
they struggled for a better deal for the Baloch. Others feel that the
separatist movement draws its inspiration from Sardar Khair Bux Marri,
who is believed to have said that violence was the only way to attain
Baloch goals. Many, however, believe that this targeted killing of the
political middle class is the handiwork of the ‘Agencies’ who wish
to "knock out our political brains", according to Senator
Manzoor Gichki. The Baloch also suspect that the so-called Baloch
Massala Daffah Army (BDMA), which has claimed responsibility for the
recent assassinations, is a front for the Agencies. The plan looks
reasonable from the Agencies’ point of view. Having either killed or
driven away the traditional leadership of the Baloch, it would be best
to decimate the middle class leadership, which could be the source and
inspiration for the other dissenting Baloch. Although there are many who
believe that violence is the only way to attain Baloch rights, some
nationalist leaders still believe that dialogue may yield results, which
could include provincial autonomy and a greater say in the national
affairs under the original terms of accession. This, however, is
unlikely to be granted, though Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, on
August 1, reiterated the old formula that the Government was ready for a
dialogue with the Baloch leaders, whether they were in or out of the
country, and that the Government wanted to bring Baloch leaders into
The picture that
emerges from Balochistan is of total lawlessness, with no one seemingly
in control. A situation where various kinds of mafia – drugs, weapons,
land and smuggling, anything, take control, and even the government of
the day seems part of that mafia. With Chief Minister Aslam Raisani
taking shelter in Dubai for half the month, nobody is really in charge.
Local dissidents and objectors are routinely described as
‘terrorists’ and treated as such. The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA),
for instance, has been seen to be increasingly anti-Punjabi in recent
years. Its cadres consist of the educated class too, which includes
doctors, engineers and lawyers, and this obviously means that this class
too feels that their basic rights would not be available to them except
through a violent struggle. Age-old grievances have not been addressed
and new ones like the presence of the Chinese in Gwadar have been added.
The Baloch resent the
fact that theirs has become a garrison province; that lucrative projects
like the Saindak Copper Project and the Gwadar Port are being handled by
the Chinese; that projects like the Sui Gas and Reko Dik Copper-Gold
undertakings are exploited by Pakistan Petroleum Limited, and the Baloch
get no share of the revenue. In November 2009, former Senator Sanaullah
Baloch gave a detailed account of the extent of discrimination and
deprivation that the Baloch face, speaking of "The centre’s
endless desire to control the province’s natural wealth and its
continued suppression of the people through ethnically-structured
military and paramilitary forces..."
There is further
resentment on issues such as the fact that Civil Armed Forces in the
Province (numbering 50,000 personnel). The World Bank released the
Balochistan Economic report 2009, which recounts a dismal story. During
the period 1972-73 to 2005-06, Balochistan’s economy expanded 2.7
times compared to 3.6 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP, formerly the North West
Frontier Province) and four times in Punjab. The report also pointed out
that Balochistan had the worst social indicators for education,
literacy, health, water and sanitation for 2006-07. The Human
Development Index rate the resource-rich Dera Bugti as the worst
District in Pakistan, at 0.285, compared to the best in the land of the
powerful Jhelum District at 0.703. While rural poverty in Punjab
decreased by four per cent, it increased by 15 per cent in Balochistan
during the same period (other provinces, Sindh and KP, also grew
poorer). Gas from Balochistan has been used primarily in the Punjab
since 1964; Quetta got gas only in 1986. The Chaghai nuclear tests were
carried out without the knowledge of the Baloch Government and, although
many in the Province have suffered from the after effects of these
tests, there has been no compensation.
Yet other grim
92 percent of Balochistan’s
districts are classified as ‘high deprivation’ areas, compared
to 50 per cent in Sindh and 29 per cent in Punjab.
Balochistan has the highest infant
and maternal mortality rate in South Asia, caused mainly by
malnutrition among 34 per cent of pregnant women.
Infant mortality rates in
Balochistan stand at 130 per thousand, against Pakistan’s
national average of 70.
Balochistan has only one vocational
institute for women. Punjab has 111.
23 per cent of girls in rural
Balochistan have access to primary schools. The figure for Punjab
is 46 per cent.
Punjab has 486 polytechnic,
computer science and women’s vocational institutes, as well as
commercial and law colleges, while Baloch have just nine.
The Social Policy Development
Centre report of 2005 stated that the percentage of population
living in a high degree of deprivation was 88 per cent in
Balochistan, compared to 25 per cent in Punjab.
Such statistics are
endless, but all confirm the acute discrimination and deprivation that
Balochistan faces. Deprived of political, economic and social rights,
the Baloch have no faith that the Federal Government will ever deliver
on the various promises it has made in the past. This is the sentiment
that underpins their struggle for self-determination. Islamabad, on the
other hand, feels it has an inalienable right to exploit the resources
of Balochistan, and feels no necessity to assuage the feelings of the
the present situation in Balochistan and East Pakistan in 1971 are not
just tempting, they are, in many ways, accurate. The Bengalis had
suffered decades of neglect and discrimination, which the Punjabi rulers
in Islamabad/Rawalpindi fobbed off as ‘external intervention’,
sustaining the argument that nothing needed to be done to alleviate the
local grievances. When the Bengalis reacted by launching a movement for
separation, the response was brutal, indeed, genocidal, use of force. In
Balochistan, four previous uprisings have been suppressed through brute
force, and nothing has been done to remove the sense of injustice,
alienation and deprivation. In a recent interview to a Sindhi newspaper,
Khair Bux Marri declared, "The British only laid the foundation of
our slavery but the Punjabis bathed us in blood and kept us slaves. What
would we do in such circumstances? Obviously, we would retaliate."
There are other
complications in Balochistan. The foremost is the presence of the Quetta
Shura of Mullah Omar, and divergent US and Pakistani interests in the
future of this Shura, as well as the Pushtun response to this in
Balochistan. US involvement in the intricate and seemingly hopeless war
in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda with the dubious
assistance of Pakistan and its surrogates in Balochistan, will
inevitably bring the Province on to the front page. The activities of
the Jundullah, a Sunni Wahhabi organization, from bases in
Balochistan, have already attracted Iranian ire and the suspicion in
Tehran that the movement is meant to detach the predominantly Sunni
Sistan-Balochistan. Already feeling surrounded by Sunni regimes, fearing
a Talibanised Afghanistan on its northern borders and the Centcom Forces
in the area that have indulged in periodic sabre-rattling, the Iranian
leaders have reason to be paranoid.
Further, the concept
of reconfiguring the region has been doing the rounds for some time.
Among these, Ralph Peters, in his article "Blood Borders – How a
better Middle East would look", argued that, since there have been
arbitrary and distorted borders in Africa and the Middle East, it was
necessary to mend this. His redrawn map leaves a reconfigured Iran,
Afghanistan and a much reduced Pakistan. Peters does not say how this
would be achieved and his argument remains no more than a hypothesis.
In July 2010, former
US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill and geopolitical journalist
Michael Hughes, explored the idea of re-configuration of the region
again. Blackwill’s essay "A de facto partition of
Afghanistan" is more about how the US could exit Afghanistan and
stay there as well: "De facto partition is clearly not the
best outcome one can imagine for the United States in Afghanistan. But
it is now the best outcome that Washington can achieve consistent with
vital national interests and US domestic politics." Though he
refers more to the Pushtun belt in Afghanistan, it is unlikely that the
Pushtun belt in KP and Balochistan would remain unaffected by this plan.
A domino effect is quite likely.
"Balkanising Pakistan: A collective national Security Strategy –
Breaking Pakistan to Fix It" argues that,
…as a result of flawed
boundaries combined with the nexus between military rule and
Islamic extremism, Pakistan now finds itself in rapid descent
toward certain collapse and the country’s leaders stubbornly
refuse to do things required to change course. But before
allowing Pakistan to commit state suicide, self-disintegrate
and further destabilise the region, the international
community can beat them to the punch and deconstruct the
country less violently.
Hughes admits that
Balkanisation did seem to be an extreme step, but adds, "after
considering Pakistan’s historic and current relationship with al Qaeda
– it becomes easy to justify." More than just strategic
justification, one can discern a serious undertone of exasperation and
disillusionment with Pakistan in the emerging western discourse, which
the Wikileaks exposures will only exacerbate.
It is only natural
that all Pakistanis would find this kind of discourse about their
country extremely abhorrent. But they must also realise that the biggest
existential threat to them comes from the policies followed by their
political and military leaders these past sixty years, with little hope
that this will change. The implications of all this go beyond
Balochistan, even beyond Pakistan, and the region and the world cannot
be passive spectators.
Asia Intelligent Review]
civilians and 30 militants among 81 persons killed during the week in FATA: Asian
Tigers or Punjabi Taliban ‘chief’ Usman Punjabi and five of his cadres
were killed in a shootout between two factions of the outfit in the Dandy
Darpakhel area of North Waziristan Agency in Federally Administered Tribal
Areas (FATA) on August 29.
United Sates (US) drone strike on August 27 killed four militants in the
Shahidano village of Kurram Agency along Afghan-Pakistan border. "All
those killed militants belong to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)," a
security official said.
persons, including a former member of the National Assembly (NA), were killed
and 40 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a mosque in
the Wana town of South Waziristan at 3pm (PST) on August 23. In addition,
missiles fired from a US drone killed 13 militants and seven civilians in the
Dandey Darpa Khel area, about five kilometres from Miranshah, the main town in
North Waziristan Agency on August 23. Also, a bomb blast at a meeting of
tribal elders on August 23 killed seven persons and injured another seven in
Khumas village, about 10 kilometres east of Parachinar, in Kurram Agency.
militants were killed and as many injured when SFs repulsed an attack on a
check post in the Safi tehsil (revenue unit) of Mohmand Agency. Dawn;
August 24-30, 2010.
threatens to attack foreign aid workers: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
on August 26 threatened to launch attacks against foreigners helping in the
flood relief efforts, saying their presence was "unacceptable".
Meanwhile, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen
said on August 28 that TTP must be taken seriously. Daily
Times, August 27-29, 2010.
exploiting floods, says US official: The United States (US) has seen
evidence that Pakistani terrorists and the charities affiliated with them are
deepening their involvement in flood-relief effort in a bid to win popular
support, an unnamed senior US official said on August 27. Daily
Times, August 28, 2010.
Security Adviser of Afghanistan Rangin Dadfar Spanta calls for sanctions
against Pakistan: The National Security Adviser of Afghanistan Rangin
Dadfar Spanta urged the United States to sanction Pakistan and refuse visas to
Pakistani Generals. Dawn,
August 27, 2010.
politicians on terrorists’ hit list, says report: The Ministry of
Interior on August 25 issued an alert for 10 politicians that they were on
terrorists’ hit list. The terrorists’ targets included Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Member of National Assembly (MNA) Ahsan Iqbal and
Khurram Dastagir, Minister of State for Communications Imtiaz Safdar Warraich,
Defence Minister Ahmad Mukthrar and a Member of Provincial Assembly from
Punjab. Dawn, August
asks Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists, says State
Department spokesman P. J. Crowley: US
asked Pakistan to take "decisive action" against extremism within
its territory, even as it expressed satisfaction over the progress made so
far, State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said on August 24. Indian
Express, August 25, 2010.
Qaeda shifting base to Pakistan’s urban areas, indicates report: A
report on August 24 said that al Qaeda is gradually shifting its base from the
unsafe and spy-infested tribal belt of Pakistan – which is under the radars
of virtually all intelligence agencies – to more secure, urban areas of the
country, which according to a Western diplomat, are "immune to
drones". Daily Times,
August 25, 2010.
will try to exploit flood crisis, says President Asif Ali Zardari: President
Asif Ali Zardari on August 24 warned that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
could take advantage of the country’s floods crisis while defending the
Government’s handling of the catastrophe. Daily
Times, August 25, 2010.
20 militants and eight
civilians among 29 persons killed during the week in FATA:
died and five others were injured as a vehicle hit an explosive device at
Baizai tehsil (revenue unit) of Mohmand Agency in Federally
Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) on August 21.
Six militants were killed in
US drone missile attack in North Waziristan, locals and official sources said.
At least 11 militants and
one trooper were killed on August 19 in different operations of Security
Forces in the Orakzai and Kurram Agencies.
Three militants were killed
and several others injured when militants of Mullah Nazir group, a break away
faction of Hakeemullah Mehsud led Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and TTP
clashed in Mantoi area of South Waziristan Agency in the night of August 17. Dawn;
News, August 17-23, 2010.
No conviction of
terrorist in past three years, indicates report:
A report on August 20
indicates that Pakistan courts are yet to convict a single person in any of
the country’s biggest terrorist attacks of the past three years, a symptom
of a dysfunctional legal system that’s hurting the fight against the Tehreek-e-Taliban
Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al Qaeda at a critical time. Times
of India, August 21, 2010.
warns Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain warned on August
19 that militants were regrouping in areas around Peshawar and could launch an
attack anytime. Indian
Express, August 20, 2010.
Militants will gain if
leadership fails, says President Asif Ali Zardari: President
Asif Zardari warned on August 16 that if the political leadership failed to
lead the nation, extremists and militants could step in to fill the vacuum. Dawn,
August 17, 2010.
21 civilians and five SFs
among 26 persons killed during the week in Balochistan:
assailants singled out Punjabi passengers travelling on a bus, killing 10 and
injuring five others in Ahb-e-Gahm area near Mach town in Bolan District on
Six Punjabi speaking persons
were shot dead by assailants riding motorcycle when they were going home from
work in Khilji Colony of Quetta. Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed
responsibility for the killings.
Three Security Force (SF)
personnel were killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on them at a
checkpost near Chaki Shawani area of Saryab in Quetta on August 13. Dawn;
News, August 10-16, 2010.
16 militants and three
SFs among 20 persons killed during the week in FATA:
At least 13 Tehreek-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP) militants, including a ‘commander’, were killed and six
others injured when a US drone struck a compound in Eisori village near Mirali,
a town in North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (AFAT)
on August 14.
Six persons, including three
Security Force (SF) personnel and as many militants, were killed and seven
others injured in two separate incidents of violence in Sagi area of Mohmand
Agency on August 10. Dawn;
News, August 10-16, 2010.
LeT in five 'most
dangerous bad guy' groups, says US special representative for Pakistan and
Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke: Five
Pakistan-based "most dangerous bad guy groups", including
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), pose a critical threat in war-torn Afghanistan, said US
special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke on
August 13. Times
of India, August 14, 2010.
Pakistan Army will not
change its India-centric policy, says former ISI chief Hamid Gul:
Gul, former Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief credited with helping in
creation of Afghan Taliban, on August 12 said his country's Army would not
change its India-centric policy, unless the Kashmir issue is resolved.
"The kind of terrorism which is going on in Pakistan is due to Kashmir
issue," said Hamid Gul who is also believed to have created Kashmiri
militants groups claimed in the CNN's "Connect the World"
Earlier, on August 8,
backing the Pakistani military line on the Afghanistan issue he claimed that
it’s only Taliban and its ‘chief’ Mulla Omar who can guarantee that
there would be no threat to the US from this part of the world. Indian
Express, August 10-13, 2010.
ISI has relationship with
Taliban, says former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: Against
the backdrop of the WikiLeaks disclosure about Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) double-game in Afghanistan, former US Deputy Secretary of
State Richard Armitage on August 10 said the Pakistani spy agency has a
relationship with the Taliban. Indian
Express, August 11, 2010.
Conspiracy to destabilise
There is a massive conspiracy to destabilise
Karachi, the economic hub, by jihadi outfits which only recently
decided to regroup and reorganise themselves to launch a series of
high-profile killings and bomb blasts. Daily
Times, August 14, 2010.
United Nations aid envoy
to flood-stricken Pakistan warns of militant threat:
the United Nations aid envoy to flood-stricken Pakistan, warned on August 11
that armed militants could take advantage of the country's worst humanitarian
disaster by operating among its displaced victims. "We all hope that
militants will not take advantage of the circumstances to score points"
by exploiting people driven from their homes by the floods, he added.
Earlier, on August 10, the
White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton told that the extremists may
take advantage of flood-situation in Pakistan. Dawn;
Express, August 11-12, 2010.
Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani for mandate to talk with militants: Balochistan
Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani said on August 8 that he could bring the
resistance forces in Balochistan to the table for talks if the Federal
Government and other quarters concerned gave him the mandate to do this. Dawn,
August 10, 2010.
MQM senator and his guard
shot dead in Karachi:
A Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader and a member
of the Sindh Assembly, Raza Haider, and his security guard, Khalid Khan, were
shot dead by unidentified assailants inside a mosque in the Nazimabad area of
Karachi in Sindh on August 2. Interior Minister Rehman Malik, however, accused
Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) for the assassination of Haider.
Meanwhile, the Karachi
Police and the Intelligence Bureau is investigating the role of a top leader
of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Qari Muhammad Zafar alias Ustad-e-Fidayeen,
in the assassination of Raza Haider. Daily
Times, August 3-5, 2010.
(FC) chief killed in Peshawar:
The Frontier Constabulary
(FC) chief Sifwat Ghayoor was killed along with his three bodyguards in a
suicide attack at FC Headquarters in Peshawar, the provincial capital of
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 4. Daily
Times, August 5, 2010.
US and UN declare HuJI a
terrorist group: The United
States (US) and the United Nations (UN) on August 6 designated Pakistan
based Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) as a "Foreign Terrorist
Organisation" and targeted its ‘commander’ for supporting acts of
terrorism. Mohammad Ilyas Kashmiri, who the US labelled
a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," will have all of his
assets frozen in US jurisdiction, and the move will also
"prohibit US persons from engaging in any transactions with him." The
News, August 7, 2010.
Al Qaeda in Pakistan
gravest threat to US, says US State Department report:
States (US) said on August 5 that despite major setbacks, al Qaeda’s core in Pakistan is
the "most formidable" terrorist group threatening the US, along
with affiliates in Yemen and Africa. In an annual report, the
State Department said it also learned that Americans were not immune to the
spell of militancy, with some of them hooking up 2009 with radicals in Pakistan and Somalia.
Times, August 6, 2010.
Pakistan vulnerable to
Iranian style Islamic revolution, warns US Congressional panel:
serious concern over increasing Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan that
has its support in its Army and the intelligence, a bipartisan US Congressional
independent panel has warned that the South Asian country is
"vulnerable" to an Iranian style revolution. Daily
Times, August 4, 2010.
outfits reunite and head for Punjab, indicates report:
10 terrorist outfits that were earlier divided and were carrying out their
activities separately reunited on the intervention of certain high-profile jihadis (holy
warriors) belonging to various countries, a report said. This was decided
in a high-profile meeting comprising prominent jihadis and
leaders of small terrorist outfits in July in an area near Balochistan. Daily
Times, August 3, 2010.
Militants pose as victims
to fish in Pakistan flood waters:
Taking advantage of the
internal mass migration of people in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)
province due to heavy flooding, militants are reportedly trying to enter Peshawar and
other Districts of the province. Times
of India, August 4, 2010.
Islamabad willing to
consider talks with TTP, says Zardari: Pakistan President Asif Ali
Zardari on August 6 said that he’s willing to consider negotiations with the
Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in his country. Zardari said his country had never
closed the door to talks with the Taliban. "We never closed the
dialogue," Zardari said, skirting the question of when talks could
Reacting to the statement of
President Asif Ali Zardari that they had never closed the door to talks with
the TTP, the TTP militants on August 7 said that their leadership would hold
negotiations on one point i.e. complete withdrawal of troops from all parts of
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas. . Daily
Times, August 7-8, 2010.
Can't stop JuD 'relief
work’, says Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah: Punjab
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on August 4 said that they
wouldn’t prevent Jama’at-ud-Da’awa (JuD)’s relief work as it may
end up creating goodwill for it. "It would be impossible to stop anybody,
even if he was associated with a banned organisation in the past from
humanitarian work," he said and added that JuD chief Hafiz Saeed was
under surveillance. Times
of india, August 5, 2010.
execution of terrorists: Dozens of convicted and condemned terrorists who
should have been hanged are alive and well because the Federal Government and
the Presidency are sitting over their mercy petitions, in some cases for over
five years. The
News,August 7, 2010.
35 al Qaeda and 10
Taliban members removed from UN terror list: 35 al Qaeda
members and 10 Taliban members and affiliates were removed from a UN sanctions
terror list after an exhaustive review of 488 names, Austria’s UN ambassador
announced on August 2. "As a result of the review of 488 names, 45 were
de-listed," chairman of the UN Security Council panel Thomas Mayr-Harting
told the reporters. Daily
Times, August 3, 2010.
Asia Intelligent Review]