Parachina


Twenty-three terrorists killed in Bara operation
Wednesday, 25 Nov, 2009

The aim of the assault was to capture mountain heights and strategic locations from the militants who had been attacking Peshawar. —Reuters/File Photo

LANDI KOTAL: Security forces killed at least 23 terrorists during a fresh operation in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency on Tuesday.

The troops were backed by helicopters, tanks, armoured personnel carriers and heavy artillery.

A press release issued by the Frontier Corps media cell in Jamrud said that during the day-long operation, codenamed ‘Khwakh Ba De Sham’ at least 23 terrorists were killed and 36 suspects arrested. Twelve explosives-laden vehicles were destroyed and a huge quantity of arms and ammunitions seized in different localities of Bara.

It said that an important base of Lashkar-i-Islam in Gurgurai was taken over by security forces without any significant resistance. Local officials say that LI militants used the base for most of their attacks.

The area also has a network of caves, training camps, ammunition dumps and private jails.

Security forces imposed a curfew in Bara on Tuesday and plugged all points of entry from Orakzai Agency and Tirah to prevent terrorists’ infiltration and escape.

Troops erected barricades at Mamanri, Chora, Sheen Kamar and Zawa, destroyed an illegal Lashkar-i-Islam checkpoint in Merikhel area of Akkakhel and set up their own post.

Troops entered the remote village of Chora in Jamrud tehsil and were warmly welcomed by local people. Chora region had become a terrorist hub and was used for launching rocket attacks on security forces.

In a related development, the army moved tanks into central Kurram tribal region in an area adjacent to Khyber and Orakzai agencies, adds our Peshawar Bureau.

Sources told Dawn by phone that a column of tanks was seen heading towards central Kurram on Tuesday and preparations seemed to be under way for a full-scale offensive in the area considered to be a safe haven of militants.

Well-placed sources said that troops were planning a three-pronged incursion into Tirah area which is linked to Kurram, Orakzai and Khyber. The region with forests and rough terrain is the most backward part of Fata.

Meanwhile, a resident of Alizai town in Lower Kurram said that tanks were pounding at militants’ positions and hilltops along the main Thall-Parachinar road. Before troop mobilisation, the political administration had held talks with local elders and banned display of weapons in parts of central Kurram.

Also on Tuesday, local authorities announced a curfew in Sadda town till Eid and asked residents to stay indoors.

source: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/07-security-forces-kill-18-militants-in-bara-region-ha-05

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Nato air strikes kill seven in Tirah F.P. Report

Monday, November 10, 2008,
Zi’qad 11, 1429 A.H.

MORGA: Seven persons were killed and three others injured when NATO-led fighter jets bombed Tirah valley along Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency on Sunday afternoon. The fighter jets targeted a group of 40 pedestrians on Morga mountains in Tirah valley killing seven of the tribals on the spot and three others were injured. The dead and injured were taken to Parachinar. Names of the dead could not be confirmed due non-availabilty of commmunication system as the local tribes are from Mahamod, Ali Sherzai and Chamkani. In Bajaur fighter planes carried out fresh strikes on militants’ hideouts, killing at least 13 in Tehsil Mamond on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mamond and Salarzai tribes will hold separate jirga in order to establish peace in the volatile region. Sources said that security forces heavily pounded militants’ hideouts in Mamond, Damadola and Kharkay in which 13 people were killed. The death toll may rise, according to sources. Helicopter gunships have launched raids on militants’ positions in Zorband and Sabagi areas of the troubled agency. On the other hand, Political Administration has issued a fresh warning asking Afghan refugees to leave the area within next three days, otherwise action will be taken after expiry of deadline given to Afghan refugees. 

Nato air strikes kill seven in Tirah F.P. Report

Monday, November 10, 2008,
Zi’qad 11, 1429 A.H.

MORGA: Seven persons were killed and three others injured when NATO-led fighter jets bombed Tirah valley along Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency on Sunday afternoon. The fighter jets targeted a group of 40 pedestrians on Morga mountains in Tirah valley killing seven of the tribals on the spot and three others were injured. The dead and injured were taken to Parachinar. Names of the dead could not be confirmed due non-availabilty of commmunication system as the local tribes are from Mahamod, Ali Sherzai and Chamkani. In Bajaur fighter planes carried out fresh strikes on militants’ hideouts, killing at least 13 in Tehsil Mamond on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mamond and Salarzai tribes will hold separate jirga in order to establish peace in the volatile region. Sources said that security forces heavily pounded militants’ hideouts in Mamond, Damadola and Kharkay in which 13 people were killed. The death toll may rise, according to sources. Helicopter gunships have launched raids on militants’ positions in Zorband and Sabagi areas of the troubled agency. On the other hand, Political Administration has issued a fresh warning asking Afghan refugees to leave the area within next three days, otherwise action will be taken after expiry of deadline given to Afghan refugees. 

Nato air strikes kill seven in Tirah F.P. Report

Monday, November 10, 2008,
Zi’qad 11, 1429 A.H.

MORGA: Seven persons were killed and three others injured when NATO-led fighter jets bombed Tirah valley along Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency on Sunday afternoon. The fighter jets targeted a group of 40 pedestrians on Morga mountains in Tirah valley killing seven of the tribals on the spot and three others were injured. The dead and injured were taken to Parachinar. Names of the dead could not be confirmed due non-availabilty of commmunication system as the local tribes are from Mahamod, Ali Sherzai and Chamkani. In Bajaur fighter planes carried out fresh strikes on militants’ hideouts, killing at least 13 in Tehsil Mamond on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mamond and Salarzai tribes will hold separate jirga in order to establish peace in the volatile region. Sources said that security forces heavily pounded militants’ hideouts in Mamond, Damadola and Kharkay in which 13 people were killed. The death toll may rise, according to sources. Helicopter gunships have launched raids on militants’ positions in Zorband and Sabagi areas of the troubled agency. On the other hand, Political Administration has issued a fresh warning asking Afghan refugees to leave the area within next three days, otherwise action will be taken after expiry of deadline given to Afghan refugees. 

Daily Times

Editorial: Bajaur: attacking the jirgas

The Salarzai tribe that had begun to oppose the Taliban in Bajaur has been attacked near the town of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal agency. Their jirga was attacked by a suicide bomber who rushed into the gathering of elders and exploded himself on Wednesday. In all 22 elders were killed, including the leaders and commanders of the lashkar (militia) that they had put together to fight and expel the Taliban and their affiliated “foreigners” from the area. Forty-five members of the 300-strong council of elders were wounded.

An organisation of obscure origin has claimed the deed. This is a pattern and tells us how the Taliban and their patron Al Qaeda have come under pressure lately from the jirgas and reacted. In March, they had to massacre a jirga in Darra Adam Khel and last month they repeated the deed on a jirga in Orakzai agency, killing over a hundred elders. This is stage two of the strategy employed by the terrorists. They began by killing the maliks and single individuals of influence in the Tribal Areas to replace the traditional system of self-governance. Stage two is now upon us and is more problematic.

The jirga remains the apex of the system of authority among the tribes. When the maliks were being killed, the jirgas remained silent, linking the killings to “injustice” in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban began to impose their rule over them with punishments serving as instruments of fear, public reaction to them began to change. The problem was that the state at that time was not around to reassure them that they would be supported if they defied the terrorist regime. But now in Bajaur, for the first time, the Taliban and their “foreigners” are getting hurt in their confrontation with the Pakistan army, as is apparent from the suing for peace by Baitullah Mehsud, their “caliph” in South Waziristan. So now the tribes and jirgas are beginning to reassert themselves.

The Salarzai showed patience when their economy was being demolished and their schools were being pulled down by the Taliban. But after the army began operations in Bajaur, the Salarzai began to express their true response to the Taliban, something that has not happened elsewhere in the Tribal Areas, either because the military operations there have been fitful or have not succeeded. Therefore the attack on the Salarzai jirga clearly shows a new trend in the adventure story of the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine: they are becoming unpopular among the tribesmen and trying to cow them down by attacking their jirgas.

But the jirga killings are simply going to damage the Taliban’s cause further. Nowhere was the popular reaction against the “foreign” terrorists more intense than in the Malakand division (Swat, Dir, etc). But the people there were “softened” in favour of the Taliban by the MMA government in Peshawar which ruled in the area, just as it did not encourage the people of FATA to rise against the terrorists. Thus when the elections rolled around, the Swatis clearly indicted the MMA government for not looking after them. They also began to condemn the government when the military operations inflicted a lot of damage on them without eliminating the terrorists. So the fear factor came in and their message was: leave us to the mercies of the Taliban.

Fortunately, things changed after the exit of President Pervez Musharraf from the scene and his policy of mollifying the MMA because it helped him stay in power through the 17th Amendment. With the PPP in power in Islamabad and an apolitical army chief in the person of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani heading the army, the scene has changed for the better and the pressure on the Taliban has started to build up. This must be kept up and, more importantly, other tribal agencies should be brought under military operations.

South Waziristan, where the last military operation in May this year discovered the “suicide academy” where suicide-bombers were trained for the whole of Pakistan, is back in the hands of Baitullah Mehsud whose second marriage was celebrated by subservient tribesmen on the occasion of last Eid to show that he was still the “caliph”. Kurram Agency is also a place gradually going out of the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan. Since Peshawar failed to re-establish the traffic on the road going to Parachinar, the agency’s economy has become connected to Afghanistan. If you want to send food and medicines to Parachinar, you have to first smuggle them to Afghanistan. Since the Pakistani state could not come to the help of the besieged tribes there, their co-tribals from Afghanistan are coming in to defend them. This is not a situation which Islamabad can take for very long.

Attacking the jirgas is a sign of weakness in the Taliban “movement”. More and more tribesmen are going to turn against them as their elders are exterminated. More citizens’ militias will be formed against the Taliban; but the terrorists will be rolled back only if the Pakistan army goes in and helps its own people to defend themselves. This is the war that Pakistan has to fight, and from it hangs the prospect of what will happen in the region in the coming weeks and months. *

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Daily Times

Editorial: Bajaur: attacking the jirgas

The Salarzai tribe that had begun to oppose the Taliban in Bajaur has been attacked near the town of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal agency. Their jirga was attacked by a suicide bomber who rushed into the gathering of elders and exploded himself on Wednesday. In all 22 elders were killed, including the leaders and commanders of the lashkar (militia) that they had put together to fight and expel the Taliban and their affiliated “foreigners” from the area. Forty-five members of the 300-strong council of elders were wounded.

An organisation of obscure origin has claimed the deed. This is a pattern and tells us how the Taliban and their patron Al Qaeda have come under pressure lately from the jirgas and reacted. In March, they had to massacre a jirga in Darra Adam Khel and last month they repeated the deed on a jirga in Orakzai agency, killing over a hundred elders. This is stage two of the strategy employed by the terrorists. They began by killing the maliks and single individuals of influence in the Tribal Areas to replace the traditional system of self-governance. Stage two is now upon us and is more problematic.

The jirga remains the apex of the system of authority among the tribes. When the maliks were being killed, the jirgas remained silent, linking the killings to “injustice” in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban began to impose their rule over them with punishments serving as instruments of fear, public reaction to them began to change. The problem was that the state at that time was not around to reassure them that they would be supported if they defied the terrorist regime. But now in Bajaur, for the first time, the Taliban and their “foreigners” are getting hurt in their confrontation with the Pakistan army, as is apparent from the suing for peace by Baitullah Mehsud, their “caliph” in South Waziristan. So now the tribes and jirgas are beginning to reassert themselves.

The Salarzai showed patience when their economy was being demolished and their schools were being pulled down by the Taliban. But after the army began operations in Bajaur, the Salarzai began to express their true response to the Taliban, something that has not happened elsewhere in the Tribal Areas, either because the military operations there have been fitful or have not succeeded. Therefore the attack on the Salarzai jirga clearly shows a new trend in the adventure story of the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine: they are becoming unpopular among the tribesmen and trying to cow them down by attacking their jirgas.

But the jirga killings are simply going to damage the Taliban’s cause further. Nowhere was the popular reaction against the “foreign” terrorists more intense than in the Malakand division (Swat, Dir, etc). But the people there were “softened” in favour of the Taliban by the MMA government in Peshawar which ruled in the area, just as it did not encourage the people of FATA to rise against the terrorists. Thus when the elections rolled around, the Swatis clearly indicted the MMA government for not looking after them. They also began to condemn the government when the military operations inflicted a lot of damage on them without eliminating the terrorists. So the fear factor came in and their message was: leave us to the mercies of the Taliban.

Fortunately, things changed after the exit of President Pervez Musharraf from the scene and his policy of mollifying the MMA because it helped him stay in power through the 17th Amendment. With the PPP in power in Islamabad and an apolitical army chief in the person of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani heading the army, the scene has changed for the better and the pressure on the Taliban has started to build up. This must be kept up and, more importantly, other tribal agencies should be brought under military operations.

South Waziristan, where the last military operation in May this year discovered the “suicide academy” where suicide-bombers were trained for the whole of Pakistan, is back in the hands of Baitullah Mehsud whose second marriage was celebrated by subservient tribesmen on the occasion of last Eid to show that he was still the “caliph”. Kurram Agency is also a place gradually going out of the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan. Since Peshawar failed to re-establish the traffic on the road going to Parachinar, the agency’s economy has become connected to Afghanistan. If you want to send food and medicines to Parachinar, you have to first smuggle them to Afghanistan. Since the Pakistani state could not come to the help of the besieged tribes there, their co-tribals from Afghanistan are coming in to defend them. This is not a situation which Islamabad can take for very long.

Attacking the jirgas is a sign of weakness in the Taliban “movement”. More and more tribesmen are going to turn against them as their elders are exterminated. More citizens’ militias will be formed against the Taliban; but the terrorists will be rolled back only if the Pakistan army goes in and helps its own people to defend themselves. This is the war that Pakistan has to fight, and from it hangs the prospect of what will happen in the region in the coming weeks and months. *

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Daily Times

Editorial: Bajaur: attacking the jirgas

The Salarzai tribe that had begun to oppose the Taliban in Bajaur has been attacked near the town of Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal agency. Their jirga was attacked by a suicide bomber who rushed into the gathering of elders and exploded himself on Wednesday. In all 22 elders were killed, including the leaders and commanders of the lashkar (militia) that they had put together to fight and expel the Taliban and their affiliated “foreigners” from the area. Forty-five members of the 300-strong council of elders were wounded.

An organisation of obscure origin has claimed the deed. This is a pattern and tells us how the Taliban and their patron Al Qaeda have come under pressure lately from the jirgas and reacted. In March, they had to massacre a jirga in Darra Adam Khel and last month they repeated the deed on a jirga in Orakzai agency, killing over a hundred elders. This is stage two of the strategy employed by the terrorists. They began by killing the maliks and single individuals of influence in the Tribal Areas to replace the traditional system of self-governance. Stage two is now upon us and is more problematic.

The jirga remains the apex of the system of authority among the tribes. When the maliks were being killed, the jirgas remained silent, linking the killings to “injustice” in Afghanistan. But as the Taliban began to impose their rule over them with punishments serving as instruments of fear, public reaction to them began to change. The problem was that the state at that time was not around to reassure them that they would be supported if they defied the terrorist regime. But now in Bajaur, for the first time, the Taliban and their “foreigners” are getting hurt in their confrontation with the Pakistan army, as is apparent from the suing for peace by Baitullah Mehsud, their “caliph” in South Waziristan. So now the tribes and jirgas are beginning to reassert themselves.

The Salarzai showed patience when their economy was being demolished and their schools were being pulled down by the Taliban. But after the army began operations in Bajaur, the Salarzai began to express their true response to the Taliban, something that has not happened elsewhere in the Tribal Areas, either because the military operations there have been fitful or have not succeeded. Therefore the attack on the Salarzai jirga clearly shows a new trend in the adventure story of the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine: they are becoming unpopular among the tribesmen and trying to cow them down by attacking their jirgas.

But the jirga killings are simply going to damage the Taliban’s cause further. Nowhere was the popular reaction against the “foreign” terrorists more intense than in the Malakand division (Swat, Dir, etc). But the people there were “softened” in favour of the Taliban by the MMA government in Peshawar which ruled in the area, just as it did not encourage the people of FATA to rise against the terrorists. Thus when the elections rolled around, the Swatis clearly indicted the MMA government for not looking after them. They also began to condemn the government when the military operations inflicted a lot of damage on them without eliminating the terrorists. So the fear factor came in and their message was: leave us to the mercies of the Taliban.

Fortunately, things changed after the exit of President Pervez Musharraf from the scene and his policy of mollifying the MMA because it helped him stay in power through the 17th Amendment. With the PPP in power in Islamabad and an apolitical army chief in the person of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani heading the army, the scene has changed for the better and the pressure on the Taliban has started to build up. This must be kept up and, more importantly, other tribal agencies should be brought under military operations.

South Waziristan, where the last military operation in May this year discovered the “suicide academy” where suicide-bombers were trained for the whole of Pakistan, is back in the hands of Baitullah Mehsud whose second marriage was celebrated by subservient tribesmen on the occasion of last Eid to show that he was still the “caliph”. Kurram Agency is also a place gradually going out of the territorial jurisdiction of Pakistan. Since Peshawar failed to re-establish the traffic on the road going to Parachinar, the agency’s economy has become connected to Afghanistan. If you want to send food and medicines to Parachinar, you have to first smuggle them to Afghanistan. Since the Pakistani state could not come to the help of the besieged tribes there, their co-tribals from Afghanistan are coming in to defend them. This is not a situation which Islamabad can take for very long.

Attacking the jirgas is a sign of weakness in the Taliban “movement”. More and more tribesmen are going to turn against them as their elders are exterminated. More citizens’ militias will be formed against the Taliban; but the terrorists will be rolled back only if the Pakistan army goes in and helps its own people to defend themselves. This is the war that Pakistan has to fight, and from it hangs the prospect of what will happen in the region in the coming weeks and months. *

Saturday, November 08, 2008

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