Archive for the ‘South Waziristan’ Category

Julian Assange interviewed by David Frost; 131 Vets Arrested: Veterans for Peace White House Civil Disobedience to End War; Ellsberg on WikiLeaks

December 21, 2010

Julian Assange interviewed by David Frost, a David Paradine Production for Al Jazeera

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Veterans for Peace White House Civil Disobedience to End War. 131 Veterans arrested in front of the White House Dec. 16, 2010 Join them, Click Here…

Hear Daniel Ellsberg’s analysis of WikiLeaks information, and his statement on the Obama Administration’s tranparency.

Part Two: Ellsberg on WikiLeaks

South Waziristan Military Action Completed: 4,000 arrested and await trial; Cindy Sheehan needs your support, join her by signing up, she’s at the National Mall on CAMP OUT NOW

March 18, 2010

Over 4,000 high profile militants and terrorists (defined by the Pakistan Government) that were captured in South Waziristan are to be turned over to the Civil Courts for trial (from the story below the Video).

This Video paints a picture of the “Displaced” returning to Swat Valley, but it does not show us the suffering of the masses outside the city areas. Why don’t we see this if everything has returned to ‘normal’? The South Waziristan people will be suffering the same (See File Story on Swat Valley 2.5 Million “Displaced” villagers).

    From Dawn. com: ISLAMABAD: Military leadership told political leaders on Monday that major targets in the South Waziristan operation had been achieved and therefore the military would be formally ending its operation on March 30 and handing over control to the civil administration.

    The decision was taken at a high level meeting held at the presidency chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and attended by the Governor and Chief Minister of NWFP, Interior and Law Ministers, Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani and other senior intelligence officials. The meeting reviewed the progress made in investigations, prosecution and trials of those involved in acts of terrorism in the tribal areas, Swat, Malakand and the rest of the NWFP. General Kayani said that the civil administration should make itself ready to take over 4,000 high profile militants and terrorists captured during various operations for their trial in the court of law. He also stated that the military’s exit strategy from South Waziristan was ready and it would be winding up the operation in South Waziristan but military presence would remain there to deal with any eventuality. Additional Chief Secretary Frontier Fayyaz Ahmed Toro gave a detailed presentation on the progress made so far in the investigation, prosecution and trial of the some of the detainees.

Cindy Sheehan is now camping out on the National Mall to force President Obama to bring Peace members to the table when discussing the wars in Central Asia. You can join her by signing up at her webpage by clicking here. And you can support the March 20 March on Washington by clicking here. Thank you Cindy and all that participate with her for all your efforts to bring an End to the Wars sooner.

Cindy Sheehan at the White House, now CAMP OUT NOW at the National Mall, Join Her

“The Year of the Drone” Report; 21,000 square miles (about the size of West Virginia) and 15,000 “coalition” troops try to eliminate the “Taliban”

February 26, 2010

Two Stories for Today: First, The Year of the Drone, a new report just out. Second, the attack taking place in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

One of the Assassination Drones, the Predator B (YMQ-9A) General Atomics photo

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First Story: New America Foundation Report The Year of the DroneAn Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010 by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann (Read the full report here) Their synopsis is below the Helmand “displaced” story. This is a Must Read for U.S. Drone (“assassination drones”) attack information.

Second Story: U.S., “Coalition Forces”, and Afghan soldiers attacking in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The easy victory is not so easy. But there will be a “Victory” that can be broadcast to show how the war is turning in the U.S. favor, another great headline for U.S. voter consumption. JUST IN:
The Real Objective of the Marja Offensive, by Gareth Porter, read it here.
“This is all a war of perceptions,” (Gen.) McChrystal said. “This is not a physical war in terms of how many people you kill or how much ground you capture, how many bridges you blow up. This is all in the minds of the participants.”

The land area of Helmand Province, Afghanistan is about the same size of West Virginia (24,000 square miles). It is about the same size as Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire combined. The total population is over 1,700,000 people, and 92% of them are Pashtuns. Marjah is one of the small villages that make up this population. Here’s a map showing the area.

Here’s a map of the “displaced” population that ran for their lives prior to the attack beginning, an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 out of a total of 80,000 in Marjah Village. Click here for the map. Map taken from “Knots in the Stomach”, by Joshua Foust at Registan.net.

What has happened to the people of Swat Valley? Where over 2.5 million villagers were “displaced”. Many have not returned, and those returning, returned to what? Crops all destroyed, homes, roads, bridges, irrigation ditches destroyed, livestock dead or missing, how are they surviving? South Waziristan had many “displaced villagers” also, what has happened to them? Does anyone care? This is being repeated now in Marjah, led by the U.S. government. These are crimes against humanity.

The Year of the Drone – An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010 By Peter Bergen, Katherine Tiedemann, New America Foundation February 24, 2010 | New America Foundation

    The bomber, a Jordanian doctor linked to al Qaeda, detonated his explosives on December 30, 2009, at an American base in Khost in eastern Afghanistan, killing himself and seven CIA officers and contractors who were operating at the heart of the covert program overseeing U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s volatile northwestern tribal regions. The suicide attack was a double cross: Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the bomber, had earlier provided information to the CIA that was used in targeting some of those drone attacks.[i]

    Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the current number three in al Qaeda, praised the suicide attack, saying it was “to avenge our good martyrs” and listing several militant leaders felled by drone strikes.[ii] The chief of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, appeared alongside al-Balawi in a prerecorded video released on January 9, 2010, saying the attack was revenge for the drone strike that killed Mehsud’s ruthless predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, in August 2009.[iii]

    The drone program had a busy year in 2009; under the Obama administration, there were 51 reported strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, compared with 45 during the entire administration of George W. Bush. Besides Baitullah Mehsud, those killed by Predator drone missiles included Saleh al-Somali, al Qaeda’s external operations chief and the link between the militant group’s central leadership and its affiliates abroad, in December, and a prominent leader of the Islamic Jihad of Uzbekistan, in September.[iv] All told, as many as 10 militant leaders fell to the drones in 2009, in addition to hundreds of lower-level militants and civilians.[1] (Read the rest of the summary here)

There are Assassination Drone attacks almost daily now in Pakistan. Read some of our Assassination Drone stories, click here.

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Swat Valley, Show Us the damage ravaged by war, how many Swat residents still homeless?

January 7, 2010

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In a story in July 2009, it was reported that 250,000 of 2 Million displaced Swat residents returned to their homes after the attack by the Pakistani Military (More here).

We at Out of Central Asia Now have been calling on the Pakistani press to SHOW US SWAT VALLEY NOW, let’s see the damage done to the homes, farms, roads, public buildings, but no one will show us. Here’s an article about what is described as the conditions in Swat Valley today, but again, it is not in any detail. Where’s the photos, the TV crews? If it is all so good, show us (more of our “displaced person” stories here)

Swat Valley War Damage, June 2009, after Pakistan Army began assault

After Swat Valley, the Pakistan Army went to South Waziristan and displaced 2.5 Million people, and again, show us the damage. Show us the people returning to their bombed out villages. Now North Waziristan gets hit weekly by U.S. Assassination Predator/Raptor Drones with HellFire missiles being used to destroy “Taliban Terrorists and their training camps”. Today, 17 “Terrorists” killed by U.S. Assassination Drones (read story here) Show us. Even President Zardari says “Drone attacks not helping war on terror”. Also, for the first time, a local government is calling on Islamabad: “Drone attacks ‘arrogant violation’ of Pak sovereignty: JI, and that the government had not even formally protested over the “persistent and arrogant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty”. And finally, a MUST READ: Prime Minister Gilani announces relief package for NWFP, FATA. Tax Relief? Don’t pay for utilities? This is in the “Package”. The Pakistan Government and Military declared “Civil War” on their own people at the insistance of the U.S. Government, attack Swat Valley, South Waziristan next, now U.S. Assassination Predator Drones killing people in North Waziristan and throughout the FATA and MWFP areas.

View: Rehabilitation of Swat —Zubair Torwali, a story in dailytimes.com/pk

[Ed. Note: Bold wording not part of the original article. This Swat Valley story shows how hard it is to "rebuild" and to give aid to people "displaced" upon their return. It is an example of what faces "reconstruction" and "rehabilitation" throughout Central Asia War Zones. U.S. must End the War(s) NOW]

    It is said that each child at the government primary schools will get a certain amount of food items for some years. The reason behind this is of course to tempt them to enrol, and discourage dropping out. This may be counter-productive as many parents would send their children to schools to get the ration only. A complete rehabilitation of terrorism and counter terrorism hit areas of Pakistan, particularly the scenic valley of Swat, will probably take years if not decades but, nevertheless, a thorough and speedy initiative needs to be launched immediately. To demand an immediate rehabilitation is sane but to demand a realistic and well planned rehabilitation is critical. Society and its infrastructure in the areas are severely devastated. It is not a single area of human living that can be termed the most hit but an overall damage to every aspect is now well evident from the impacts and debris. By now some of the rehabilitation work is underway; and some of the non-governmental agencies have turned to Swat to intervene. It is a welcome move and should be applauded. But the concern the local expertise expresses is the haphazard rehabilitation activities by the non-governmental agencies; the governmental agencies have yet to find a space in the area or they are too lazy to move on. What is feared here is a replication of what has been done in the areas that had been hit badly by the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

    After the earthquake a large number of international organisations came and gave their input in the rehabilitation work in the areas. This rush was indeed to succour. Billions of dollars were spent in the affected areas but recent studies on the socio-economic situation in the areas do not show very good results. Those were times when lots of relief items were distributed among the people of the areas. Many organisations carried situation analyses, and based on these, got funds from the international donors. Most of the organisations opted to focus the easily accessible areas where they could carry out their projects with ease. Thus the remote areas were left as they were while the nearby towns got multiple projects in the same sector. A lot of funds went to waste, and the net result remained bleak. Another lapse the international and national organisations were guilty of was to rely on the expertise of outsiders. These outsiders did not have the local context in their expertise. The local expertise was not deemed worthy of participating. Thus the development in these areas lacks sustainability and endurance. Besides, it lacked the need-based approach. The influx of the relief items in the areas, though needed in most cases, have turned the people into mere beggars. Many inhabitants had by then abandoned their work in other places in Pakistan, and in the Gulf states, and had come to settle in the areas in order to get the minimum cash relief of Rs 25,000 or maximum Rs 75,000. Civil society workers, who had rendered services in the earthquake areas, tell us shocking stories of how the people had been turned into mere dependents by providing them with relief without considering the far reaching social and psychological impacts. Not only this, the relief organisations had ignored the poor in the remote areas and poured money into the pockets of the influential figures in the area. This writer had witnessed an event in one of the affected localities where a single political figure managed to get 125 cheques of Rs 25,000 each. To avoid such a situation in Swat, a comprehensive coordination among all the stakeholders is a prerequisite.

    This preamble is to highlight the need to plan and coordinate well before implementing any rehabilitation work in Swat and other districts of Malakand division. The local experts in the education and rehabilitation sectors fear that what had been done in the earthquake-affected areas would be repeated in Swat. Their concern that funds would be used for activities that might not have visible impacts in overall development cannot be simply ignored. The local experts need to be involved, otherwise sustainability will not be achieved. The national and international organisations must evolve an inclusive policy. They need to include the local workforce not only in the workers category but also in the planning and management tiers. Capacity of the local manpower is to be built rather than bringing outsiders on the pretext of their being experienced. This approach must be checked before it goes too far. To illustrate the point, take the example of distribution of food stuff in some areas in Swat. It is said that each child at the government primary schools will get a certain amount of food items for some years. The reason behind this is of course to tempt them to enrol, and discourage dropping out. This may be counter-productive as many parents would send their children to schools to get the ration only, and as soon as the ration stops, the child will stop going to school. The parents may also pull out their children from the private schools and send them to the government run schools. Many projects will focus their plans on children as children are more prone to radicalisation. But the most needed segment in education is the drop-outs, particularly those children who are in their teens and are not receiving an education. They should be focused on first as they are the manpower for the militancy to easily hire, and be lured. The youngsters who have left school after or at the matriculation level — in Swat most youth abandon education at this level due to the acute poverty in the area, especially the remote villages of Swat — should get more of the education projects than younger children as they are the most susceptible to indoctrination.

    The main goals of education are described in the abbreviation KSA — Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude. Among these, attitude change is the most critical domain of education. This change can come by fostering critical thinking but our conventional education discourages it. Nevertheless, a higher education can help to keep the younger folk away from the militancy. On the one hand by continuing higher education the youth can be kept engaged, while on the other they can be useful for social development. But as stated earlier, the people of Swat, especially the inhabitants of the remote villages, cannot afford to carry on their education at the higher or secondary level. They cannot do so because the higher education facilities are beyond their reach. Education is usually the area most of the organisations would love to begin with but they should plan to offer scholarships for the students to carry on their education at the higher level. The government should build colleges, at least in each main town of Swat. The declaration of establishing a university by the NWFP Chief Minister, Amir Haider Hoti, has been hailed by the people of Swat. The work on this project must receive top priority.

    Space does not allow presenting concerns over the construction of roads, hospitals, schools and other physical infrastructure, but in order to understand the issue the example of education is sufficient to begin with. No reasonable person would deny that there are pressing challenges on the ground but they can certainly be translated into opportunities by the will of the government and the people. The writer is a freelance analyst based in Swat, and coordinates Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi, i.e. Centre for Education and Development there. He can be reached at ztorwali@gmail.com

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War causes death and serious injuries. The United States troops hurt or dead is over 70,000. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? End the War(s) NOW.

Read the story here: Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 72,548 From Voters For Peace By Michael Munk

End the War(s): U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now, AFP photo

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Stop the Assassination Drones:. Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy: Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.” Say NO to Escalation in Afghanistan. Sign the petition here. No funds from Congress for the troop escalation. Tell them now.

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Question Asked “Will Obama be any different than Bush?”; Spend Millions to blow it up, then give $450 Million to repair it: Waziristan, Pakistan; 70,000 U.S. Troop Casualties, Enough is Enough !

January 1, 2010

May 2010 bring Peace on Earth, but it can only begin by Ending the War(s) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other war zones. You are responsible and you can force an End to the War(s). Action items at the end of the Post. Peace be with you and your loved ones.

“Creating more terrorists”, that is the result of using U.S. Assassination Drones firing their Hellfire missiles. The U.S. forced the Pakistan Government and Military to attack their own people in South Waziristan and North Waziristan, “displacing” over 2.5 Million of their citizens. Can you imagine your whole city where you live right now having to get out of town and stay elsewhere for months? Then you return to what? Read on:

US to release $1.2 billion in January under CSF

* Washington announces $55 million grant for infrastructure rehabilitation, restoration of power supply to South Waziristan From Today’s Dailytimes.com/pk:

    By Ijaz Kakakhel

    ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador Anne W Patterson on Thursday announced that Washington would release $1.2 billion in January 2010 as part of the Coalition Support Fund (CSF).

    The release had been delayed due to non-availability of responsible personnel in the US embassy to process the case, she told reporters after signing an agreement for $55 million Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Construction Programme in South Waziristan. The US ambassador said Washington would provide $3.5 billion to Pakistan in one year, which would include $1.1 billion in military assistance and $1.5 billion for humanitarian and other assistance.

    Grant: The $55 million grant would be disbursed for infrastructure rehabilitation and the restoration of power supply affected by the military operations against the Taliban in South Waziristan. NWFP Additional Chief Secretary Habibullah Khan and Robert Wilson, director USAID signed the agreement on behalf of respective governments.

    “The US is committed to the reconstruction efforts through direct support to the government of Pakistan”, Patterson said, adding that the Taliban had been forced to retreat due to the efforts of the Pakistan Army. “The people of Waziristan have sacrificed tremendously in the war against terrorism,” she said. “This support is part of the strategic agreements worth $899 million signed by the two governments on September 30, 2009,” she said, adding that the grant would be directly provided to the FATA Secretariat, as it worked with the Frontier Works Organisation, the Water and Power Development Authority, and other local agencies to rebuild roads and develop the water and power supply system.

    The ambassador reiterated that the US would directly provide assistance to Pakistan. “US has developed the monitoring system that would help to ensure transparency in the disbursement system,” she added. She said the US was the largest assistance provider to FATA, with provisions of over $100 million in small infrastructure, education, health and economic growth projects during that last two years. “In addition, the US has provided more than $300 million to help the displaced persons in FATA and the NWFP,” she said and reiterated the US pledge to continue support for infrastructure development in the FATA. The grants would be used for the construction of 100 kilometres of the Makeen Road and take measures for improving the quality of life of the local population.

NATO Kills at Least Eight Afghan Civilians in Fresh Air Strike
House Targeted After Ambush Near Helmand Capital
From Antiwar.com by Jason Ditz, December 31, 2009

The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan continues to rise. In the second high profile incident this week alone, officials say that NATO killed at least eight Afghan civilians in an overnight air strike in the restive Helmand Province. At least three of them were children. The attack came near the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah, when foreign forces called in an air strike after coming under ambush. It is unclear why the house was the target, as the fighters do not appear to have been near the house at the time of the bombing.

NATO has so far declined comment on the Helmand killings, and is still scrambling to explain away the even more high profile Kunar massacre on the other side of the country, in which forces, which NATO now claims were “non-military Americans” killed 10 Afghan civilians, eight of them children. But virtually the entire British contribution to the war and an increasing number of US troops have been fighting in Helmand, where the Taliban’s power has grown so much that they are distributing travel permits to people coming in and out of Lashkar Gah. As NATO tries to convince the province’s residents accept them over the Taliban, the latest killings will likely do considerable harm to their PR campaign.

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War causes death and serious injuries. The United States troops hurt or dead is over 70,000. WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? End the War(s) NOW.

Read the story here: Last Week: US Iraq Casualties Rise to 72,548 From Voters For Peace By Michael Munk

End the War(s): U.S. Out of Afghanistan Now, AFP photo

* * *
Stop the Assassination Drones:. Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy: Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.” Say NO to Escalation in Afghanistan. Sign the petition here. No funds from Congress for the troop escalation. Tell them now.

[ Go to this link and join Cindy Sheehan and other Peace Activists new group "Peace of the Action" put your name on the line.]

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Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

U.S. Assassination Drone Attacks must stop, say Pakistan citizens; The Unseen Trauma of War; President Zardari’s future is cloudy; No Reporters allowed in South Punjab

December 7, 2009

A follow-up story to yesterday’s Post:

President Obama allows more U.S. Assassination Drone Attacks with Troop Escalation Orders, Predator Drone seen here now in operation in many areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan Border villages

Bombings, drone attacks fuel anti-US sentiment in Pakistan

    PESHAWAR: Umar Hayat was among scores of volunteers who worked for days to find survivors after Pakistan’s worst bomb blast in two years, panic rising as he scrambled through scorched rubble. Clawing at debris after a massive bomb pulverised a busy market in Peshawar on October 28, Hayat could find no trace of his eldest son, 11-year-old Mohsin. ‘One after another, we found dead bodies. Soon after burying my brother, I came back to the bomb site. I found my son’s body at midnight. The next day, in the afternoon, we found my nephew’s body,’ Hayat told AFP. ‘My wife is still in shock. I don’t know what to do. She spends the whole time crying and saying ‘bring back my Mohsin’.’ But rather than feeling disgust at Taliban fighters blamed for an attack that killed 125 people, Hayat holds the United States responsible, reflecting a deep-seated distrust felt throughout Pakistan. ‘I appeal to America, please leave us be. Please stop this game, this war on terror. Osama (bin Laden) is just a smokescreen to attack Muslims,’ Hayat said. ‘Stop it. How many more lives will you take in revenge for the World Trade Centre? Do you want to destroy the whole of Pakistan?’

    …‘There are strong anti-American sentiments in this region and this is because of American policy and its role in this region since the Russian invasion in Afghanistan,’ Yusufzai said. Fuelling anger are regular US missile strikes targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan’s northwest. US drone attacks have killed around 625 people in the last 15 months, with Pakistanis seething at the perceived violation of sovereignty and reports of civilian casualties. ‘I’m sure it was a drone attack,’ said Ghulam Ali, looking at his cotton shop, which was damaged in the Peshawar blast. ‘We are fed up. I can’t believe the Taliban are involved in these bombings. I’m sure the troika – America, India and Israel – is doing all this.’

The Unseen Trauma of War, written by Rafai Zakaria, in The Daily Times:

    Undoubtedly the immediate needs of survival of the refugees such as emergency healthcare, food and potable water, sanitation and housing must be fulfilled. According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of the internally displaced people made homeless by the fighting in Northern Pakistan are living in host communities where few life-saving healthcare facilities are available. As has been widely reported, there is a critical gap between the needs of these war-torn communities and the service available to them. Particularly needed are the services of female healthcare workers who can provide for the vast number of displaced women in the area.The delivery of healthcare services in conflict areas has been a long-standing problem. Added to the structural problems of absent infrastructure and lack of facilities that are already present in many rural conflict areas are new and pressing problems of lack of security and the curbing of humanitarian assistance by various political interests. Read More Here. Ms. Zakaria teaches Constitutional Law and Political Philosophy in the United States.

President Zardari isn’t sleeping too well: Supreme Court begins hearing against NRO

    ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan began hearing for petitions against the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in Islamabad on Monday.The process could lead to challenges against the legality President Asif Ali Zardari’s rule just as the Obama administration needs stability in Islamabad to help crack down on militants near the Afghan border.Court official Azhar Hussain said the 17-member bench led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry started hearing petitions but gave no other details.The session came two weeks after the expiration of the amnesty ordinance, which had been granted in a deal with former president Pervez Musharraf. Speculation over Zardari’s future has escalated after he was forced to abandon an effort to get Parliament to approve the ordinance, which granted him and more than 8,000 other government bureaucrats and politicians immunity from a host of corruption and criminal charges. Zardari, who has denied any wrongdoing, enjoys general immunity from prosecution as president, but the Supreme Court could choose to challenge his eligibility for the post if the amnesty is declared illegal.

From Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal: Pakistan bars foreign reporters in South Punjab Why? Because they reported that Taliban were using Mosque as training ground.

From the Department of How You Know You’ve Struck A Nerve, via The Hindu:

    Pakistani authorities have barred foreign journalists from visiting any seminary or other places in southern Punjab province after the Western media reported on the presence of the Taliban in that area. “All foreign journalists are required to get permission from foreign affairs as well as from interior ministries for visiting any specific place especially in South Punjab,” a senior officer of the Punjab government told PTI. He said in the past foreign journalists had visited different seminaries in the province and published or broadcast “twisted and unfounded” facts. “We have no issue if they follow journalistic ethics and report correctly,” the official said. Giving example of a UK based popular TV channel, Regional Police Officer of Bahawalpur division Mushtaq Sukhera, said that the TV crew requested for filming various seminaries in Bahawalpur including one of Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Maulana Azhar Masood. “I was rather shocked to see that the TV channel showed that the seminary of Masood Azhar was used as a training camp of terrorists,” Mr. Sukhera said.

Bill Roggio says: Yes, because we all know that Masood Azhar and his Jaish-e-Mohammed, which incidentally is banned by the Pakistani government, would never train terrorists, in a mosque no less. Perhaps the Pakistani government will now stop retired lieutenant colonels from visiting Southern Punjab and voicing their opinions about the spread of radical madrassas in the Pakistani press as well? Or maybe it will bar the Pakistani press from noting that South Punjab has become a factory for jihad? Visit The Long War Journal for breaking news.

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Call President Obama ALL WEEK LONG. Let’s keep his White House lines busy:

Take Action Now ! ! Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: “You made the wrong decision. I do not support you on this. I feel betrayed.”

Stop the Assassination Drones:). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

[ Go to this link and join Cindy Sheehan and other Peace Activists new group "Peace of the Action" put your name on the line.]

Get your bumpersticker, support Military Famlies Speak Out

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Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

Pakistan President Zardari’s last days, then his son takes over?; Malalai Joya’s new book “A Woman Among Warlords”, read it

November 28, 2009

The son of Benazir Bhutto (who was assasinated in December 2007) and President Asif Ali Zardari is finishing up his studies at Oxford University in England and has been active recently in building political bridges in Pakistan. Bilawal Bhutto is the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party. The party of his mother and of his father. Bilawal Bhutto is next in line to become President of Pakistan.

Bilawal Bhutto, the next President of Pakistan?

President Asif Ali Zardari’s approval rating is now in the ‘teens’. Today, President Zardari gave up the keys to the Nuclear Arsenal to Prime Minister Gilani in an effort to relinquish some of the powers of the Presidency and some say it was done to allow President Zardari to serve out his term (he can not be prosecuted while in office). Read more here.

Pakistan Prime Minister Gilani and Pakistan President Zardari


The expiration of the National Reconcilation Ordinance (NRO) goes into effect today. Over 8,000 cases of prosecution of corruption, murder and other crimes were stopped due to this declaration by then President Musharraf’s order in 2007. This allowed Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari (known as Mr. 10% for taking bribes from goverment contracts in the past) and others to return to Pakistan and not face any charges. This was brokered by the U.S. with Musharraf so Bhutto could run for the Presidency. Charges were pending against Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari and were suspended until today as the Supreme Court said in July that the NRO would expire if action were not taken in Parliament. Read more here.

The ecomomy is in shambles in Pakistan. By the Pakistan Military taking on the “Taliban” in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the North-West Frontier, many Pakistani’s see this as fighting their own people. Almost all citizens of Pakistan that live in the Swat Valley area and the South Waziristan areas have been forced to leave their homes and live with relatives, strangers, or housed in “refugee” camps due to the military action. Over 3,000,000 people have been “displaced” over the past six months. Many have not returned to their villages. Many will find that their infrastructure, their homes, and their crops are destroyed. Corruption is rampant. President Zardari has charges against him that now become actionable again with the NRO expiring today.

This is the new partner for the United States to defeat the “Taliban”, or is it to defeat the al-Quaeda? Must be the al-Quaeda, as now there’s talk from the UK that the “Taliban” must be part of the Kabul government. This would not be said without U.S. approval. Patchwork government so the U.S. can get out of Afghanistan? Another great U.S. blunder, forcing the Pakistan government to get the military to attack their own lands and fight their own people. Nothing has been gained, and much has been lost. Now Pakistan, with its Nuclear Weapons, has become very unstable. What’s next?

Malalai Joya’s story will be on our Blog every day for the next month. Please buy her book and visit her site.. Read her San Jose Mercury Opinion: “U.S. is doing no good in Afghanistan” here.
On Saturday, Nov. 7, Malalai Joya was at a gathering at San Jose State University in California to promote her book “A Woman Among Warlords” and to gather support for her people in Afghanistan. Malalai is a very brave woman to take on her own government and also the U.S. government, the occupiers of her country.

DSCN1610

Malalai Joya signing her new book, A Woman Among Warlords, a JB photo

Our story on Malalai Joya can be seen here. Buy a copy of her book, “A Woman Among Warlords” here, or at your favorite bookstore. A great Holiday gift idea. The subtitle is “The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice”. Visit Malalai’s website here for more information on how you can help.

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Take Action Now: It is not too late !
Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: Stop the South Waziristan War and don’t attack Quetta, End the War(s).

How much does the War Spending cost your congressional district (if you live in the U.S.)? Find out at the National Priorities Project (click here). Only YOU can stop this.

Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.

As-Sahab Media Foundation, Interview with Dr. Ahmad Farooq; Taliban declare guerrilla war in South Waziristan; Malalai Joya’s new book ” A Woman Among Warlords” please read; Pakistanis see US as bigger threat than India, Taliban: Poll

November 19, 2009

As-Sahab Media Foundation: Interview with Dr. Ahmad Farooq This comes from http://www.nefafoundation.org, visit their site. This interview is worth your time to read. It will allow you to view their perspective and will add to your knowledge base of why al-Qaida exists, and what are their goals and objectives. The interview is full of terms unfamiliar to non-Muslims and is not easy to read, but is worth your viewing. Please comment on this and other stories on this post at the end of the post. Your comments are welcome.

[This document is the transcript of a communiqué produced by Al-Qaida’s official As-Sahab Media Wing. It was obtained by NEFA investigators on behalf of the NEFA TerrorWatch subscription service. The As-Sahab Media Foundation is the official propaganda arm of Al-Qaida and is the exclusive source of audio and video recordings of Bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other high-ranking Al-Qaida leaders in South Asia. This transcript is provided for educational and informational purposes only.]

From Dawn.com: MIRAMSHAH:

  • The Taliban hit back Wednesday at claims that towns in their mountain bastion have fallen to Pakistan army control, vowing their guerrilla war would defeat troops waging a major assault.

    Azam Tariq, (C) spokesman for the TTP, is flanked by his guards a during meeting with local journalists in South Waziristan.—AFP photo

  • ‘We have not been defeated. We have voluntarily withdrawn into the mountains under a strategy that will trap the Pakistan army in the area,’ Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told journalists taken blindfold to a mountain top. Pakistan’s main umbrella Taliban faction, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) arranged a news conference for journalists from the tribal belt a day after the military flew correspondents into South Waziristan to visit the battlefield. Journalists from North Waziristan were driven to the border with South Waziristan in broad daylight where they were blindfolded and transferred into waiting vehicles, said the AFP reporter.
  • Malalai Joya’s story will be on our Blog every day for the next month. Please buy her book and visit her site.. Read her San Jose Mercury Opinion: “U.S. is doing no good in Afghanistan” here.
    On Saturday, Nov. 7, Malalai Joya was at a gathering at San Jose State University in California to promote her book “A Woman Among Warlords” and to gather support for her people in Afghanistan. Malalai is a very brave woman to take on her own government and also the U.S. government, the occupiers of her country.

    DSCN1610

    Malalai Joya signing her new book, A Woman Among Warlords, a JB photo

    Our story on Malalai Joya can be seen here. Buy a copy of her book, “A Woman Among Warlords” here, or at your favorite bookstore. A great Holiday gift idea. The subtitle is “The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice”. Visit Malalai’s website here for more information on how you can help.

    From Times of India: ISLAMABAD:

    A majority of Pakistanis see the United States as a greater threat to their country than traditional arch-rival India or the dreaded Taliban, a new opinion poll has revealed.

  • According to Gallup Pakistan’s poll, 59% of more than 2,700 people surveyed across the country consider the US a threat. “Eighteen percent believe India is the threat while 11% say the Taliban are a threat,” said Gallup Pakistan chairman Ijaz Shafi Gillani. He said the survey findings show that some of the most vocal anti-Taliban groups were equally opposed to the US. Some Pakistanis believe that if the US is committed to eradicating militancy, it should try to solve the Kashmir issue to help Islamabad move its troops from the eastern border with India to fight the Taliban in the northwest. The poll group said Pakistanis were suspicious that Washington was working to control Islamabad’s strategic assets. “Earlier, anti-Americanism was confined to supporters of right-wing groups. But over the years, young, educated Pakistanis, left activists, people you’d normally expect to be pro-American modernists have turned against America,” said columnist Sohail Qalandar.
  • The poll revealed that a majority of Pakistanis support the offensive against the Taliban in their stronghold of south Waziristan, but more people blame the US for the violence than the militia itself, which experts say poses an existential threat to Pakistan.
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    Take Action Now: Pass our link to your friends right now. Call your Member of Congress and tell them to support Rep. Barbara Lee’s bill “To prohibit any increase in the number of members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan.” Bill # H.R.3699. Do it now please. Then call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s).We will demonstrate in 100 cities if President Obama sends ANY troops to Central Asia ! Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

    Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. Tell them you will march in 100 cities if President Obama sends ANY troops to Central Asia. Tell them to support Barbara Lee’s bill HR 3699. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War(s) Now.

    Matthew Hoh Interview, Must See; South Waziristan First Phase Military Action Complete; Australia says “No More Troops to Afghanistan”; The Long War Journal reports on Pakistan Military advancements; Pakistan Fashion Show ‘Dares to Bare”;

    November 5, 2009

    Matthew Hoh gives interview to Riz Khan Show, a Must See, advises President Obama what to do


    Watch Part Two at Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan Show here Just last week, Matthew Hoh, the former US senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, announced his resignation saying he no longer saw the value in continued US involvement in what was essentially “a 35-year-old civil war”. In an emotional four-page resignation letter Hoh said: “Like the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by its people.” [Ed. Note: Thank You Matthew Hoh, now let's see some of the top brass follow suit. It is in the Military Code to resign if you can not follow the order, and if the order is not what you believe, you must resign. Where are the brave soldiers and government officials that know the U.S. policy is wrong, as pointed out by Matthew Hoh?]

    South Wariristan First Phase of Military Action drawing to a close. The Army is winding up the first phase of Operation Rah-i-Nijat by this weekend by capturing all major towns and villages in the Taliban heartland of South Waziristan, senior military officials said. The lightning speed with which the military has been able to seize major towns and villages, taking over Sherwangi, Kotkai, Kaniguram and Sararogha and secure main supply routes in the embattled tribal region has taken many an analyst, and even some military planners, by surprise. The security forces are already inside Makin from the Razmak access but the area is said to be infested with minefields and will take some time before it is declared safe. In 20 days since the launch of the operation on the night of October 16, the military is now poised to march into Mehsuds’ regional headquarters of Laddah.

    Australia “No More Troops to Afghanistan”. Australia has ruled out sending extra troops to Afghanistan, despite US and Nato calls for reinforcements to shore up the campaign against a resurgent Taliban, a report said Thursday. Defence Minister John Faulkner told US officials Australia had decided against boosting its 1,550-strong troop commitment to the strife-torn nation beyond the 450 extra soldiers it sent earlier this year. ‘My own personal view is that we will not prevail in Afghanistan unless we win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people,’ he said, urging re-elected President Hamid Karzai make good on vows to crack down on corruption and improve governance.

    “Pakistani troops enter another Taliban-held town”, Bill Roggio reports at The Long War Journal. Pakistani troops have entered another Taliban center in the war-torn tribal agency of South Waziristan. The Army said it has encountered “heavy clashes and street to street fighting” as its troops have entered the town of Ladha, which it described as a “stronghold of terrorists.” The military reported that 10 Taliban fighters were killed in the town. Ladha is one of five major Taliban towns in South Waziristan. The military has already taken control of Kotkai and Kanigoram, is currently clearing Sararogha, and has surrounded Makeen. The military also reported that 16 Taliban fighters were killed during fighting in Sararogha.

    ‘Dare to bare’ Pak fashionistas thumb a nose at Taliban Bare shoulders, backless gowns and pouting models are wowing Pakistan’s glitterati as Karachi fashion week shows the world a different sideof the Taliban-troubled nation. While women in much of Muslim, conservative Pakistan opt for headscarves over baggy shalwar khamis or even burkas, on the catwalks of financial capital Karachi, designers are exposing midriffs and flashing cleavage. Fashion week runs until Saturday, taking place three weeks late because of security jitters and as a mark of respect for more than 300 people who perished in a string of attacks blamed on Islamist militants last month. [Photos at the story link above]

    U.S. AID Agency Headless; Pakistan Taliban “We are prepared for a Long War”; Plot to overthrow President Zardari by Pakistan Military?, also background on Zardari; U.S. allowed al Qaeda into FATA, says Hillary Clinton

    November 4, 2009

    US AID agency left leaderless Here’s one appointment that should be made immediately. 25 Billion in Foreign Aid worldwide, and no leader? Let’s ask “Why”?

    Pakistan Taliban: ‘We are prepared for a long war’ Azam Tariq, a Taliban Spokesman told an Associated Press reporter by telephone. “The areas we are withdrawing from, and the ones the army is claiming to have won, are being vacated by us as part of a strategy. The strategy is to let the army get in a trap, and then fight a long war.” Pakistan has effectively sealed off the tribal areas, semiautonomous regions where the central government in Islamabad has long had only minimal authority. Journalists have only been allowed near combat areas on carefully choreographed military trips. What is actually happening, though, is impossible to confirm.

    ‘Army trying to remove Zardari’ The Pakistan military, the think tank Stratfor said sees the alignment of the Obama administration with Zardari as further undermining its position at a time when its power within the country already has weakened because of the rise of civilian forces and a raging Taliban insurgency.
    Some History: From Prison to Zenith of Politics in Pakistan In a March 2008 NY Times story: “Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of the slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, now sits at the pinnacle of Pakistani politics. It is a startling comeback for a man who, though never convicted here, spent 11 years in jail here on corruption and murder charges as one of Pakistan’s most ostracized figures. The election victory last month of Ms. Bhutto’s party, which he now leads, has left Mr. Zardari, 51, Pakistan’s kingmaker. He came closer than ever to official rehabilitation last week, when a court here dropped many of the corruption cases against him. Read the story HERE.

    US allowed Al Qaeda to enter Fata: Hillary “US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has conceded that the United States was also responsible for allowing Al Qaeda to enter Pakistan. Clearly, Al Qaeda left Afghanistan. And we let them out, she told Greta Van Susteren of FOX News. You know, we should have taken them out when we had the chance back in 2001 and 2002 and they escaped. And they escaped into Pakistan.”

    * * *
    Take Action Now: Pass our link to your friends right now. Call President Obama: To reach the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121 Leave a message: No more Troops. End the War(s). Call Leon Panetta at (703) 482-0623, CIA headquarters, leave a message: No More Drone Assasination attacks, and don’t attack Quetta. End the War(s) NOW.

    Today, please tell your member of Congress and U.S. Senators to End the War in Afghanistan, sign this petition. If you live outside the United States, write to your leaders, End the War Now.


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