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Tuesday, 17 November 2009

فتنہ غامدیہ ( جاوید احمد غامدی )

فتنہ غامدیہ ( جاوید احمد غامدی )

Pakistani army claimed Sararogha under control

SARAROGHA: Pakistani forces have captured most main Taliban bases in their offensive in South Waziristan and will soon fan out into the rugged countryside to hunt for militants there, commanders said on Tuesday.
Soldiers have advanced faster than expected in their month-long offensive, seizing main roads and Taliban bases but militant leaders have apparently melted away while their bombers have unleashed carnage in towns.
Chief military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told reporters on a trip to South Waziristan with the army that some militants might have slipped out the region but many were hiding.
‘We still believe many are still here. They have gone to the countryside, the forested areas, to villages and into the caves,’ Abbas said.
‘After taking complete control of the roads and the tracks, we are going to chase them in the forested areas, wherever they are hiding in the countryside,’ he said.
More than 500 militants had been killed in the offensive since Oct. 17 while 70 soldiers had been killed, he said.
There has been no independent verification of casualties as reporters and other independent observers are not allowed into the conflict zone except on an occasional trip with the military.
The army on Tuesday took reporters to the captured Taliban bastion of Sararogha, where former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed by a missile-firing US drone aircraft on August 5.
Surrounded by barren, rocky ridges and cut through by dried-up streams, the settlement of mud-walled compounds was deserted of civilians. A security force fort that the militants captured was almost completely destroyed in the fighting.
Hiding in caves
Soldiers displayed militant pamphlets including one on making bombs, captured ammunition and weapons, and pouched vests that suicide bombers pack with explosives and strap on.
Brigadier Mohammad Shafiq said his men had battled hard to capture the base: ‘Their defences were well-constructed and we faced extremely tough resistance.’
In the captured militant stronghold of Ladha, Brigadier Farrukh Jamal said his men had surrounded 35 militants hiding in forest-covered mountains nearby.
‘They are hiding in caves and we will capture them soon or kill them,’ Jamal said.
Several rifle shots rang out and smoke rose over the slopes where the militants were hiding.
Jamal said his men had cut militant supply lines and would soon be advancing into deep forest to the west.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, visiting people displaced by the fighting, said he hoped the offensive would be over earlier than expected and civilians could go home.
US President Barack Obama is hoping the Pakistani army will soon direct its attention to the Afghan Taliban factions and has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to go after them, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Abbas said the expected defeat of the Taliban in South Waziristan would create new conditions and opportunities.
‘You have defeated the main, strongest terrorist organisation of the area and it will create effects all around.
It creates voids all around and will open more options for the state and military,’ Abbas said.
‘Maybe you don’t have to conduct more operations. By those effects you can achieve those objectives,’ he said. —Reuters


Maulana Fazlullah Swat Taliban chief 'has escaped

The head of the Taliban in Pakistan's Swat valley says he has escaped the army and is now in Afghanistan.
Maulana Fazlullah, who was said to be critically wounded by top Pakistani officials in July, was speaking exclusively to the BBC by telephone.
The cleric founded the Taliban in Swat which sought to enforce a hardline version of Sharia law in the region.
Pakistan's government accepted his demands, but later sent in troops after the militants reneged on a peace deal.
"I have reached Afghanistan safely," Maulana Fazlullah told BBC Urdu.
"We are soon going to launch full-fledged punitive raids against the army in Swat."
He went on to say that those claiming success for the Swat operation should try and prevent drone attacks and the US security firm Blackwater from operating in Pakistan.
"The authorities should beware, especially Mian Iftikhar Hussain, whose fate will be like that of Najibullah," he warned.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain is the information minister in the government of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province.
Dr Najibullah was Afghan president before the Taliban hanged him in 1996 when they took Kabul.
Talking about President Barack Obama's new Afghan policy, Maulana Fazlullah said there was no need for the US to send in more troops.
"Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani soldiers are already involved in furthering the US agenda in the region," he said.
'Boost for militants'
Maulana Fazlullah has been incommunicado for several months.
During this time a number of reports had circulated about his death and/or capture by the military.
These had gained credence after Pakistani authorities said he was mortally wounded in the army operation.
The Taliban denied reports that he had been injured or was close to death.
News that he is alive and well is likely to be a big boost for the Taliban in Pakistan.
Despite Maulana Fazlullah's claims, the Taliban are effectively destroyed in Swat.
They are also on the run in their main stronghold in South Waziristan where the Pakistani military recently launched a major offensive.

China eyes international military market

China debuted its new L-15 Falcon advanced jet trainer (AJT) at the Dubai Airshow marking the first time the aircraft has been shown to the public outside of China. Chinese officials from China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC) gave a rare press conference on the L-15 AJT on Nov. 16.  AVIC defense president Wang Yawei said the company had made strides in research and development of new aircraft and was anxious to explore the export market.
“The attendance of the L-15 is aimed at exploiting the international market,” he said.  “There is a high demand of trainers of this type in the international market.”
Developed by the Hongdu Aviation Industry Group, an AVIC subsidiary, the Falcon is a multi-purpose supersonic jet trainer.  L-15’s chief architect Zhang Hong, Hongdu vice general manager said Falcon missions include advanced training, lead-in training, companion training and close air support.  The aircraft will also come in a Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT) and Companion Trainer variant.
“The L-15 is a new generation advanced trainer that provides solutions for pilot training,” Zhang said.  The aircraft is “characterized by a modern aerodynamic configuration” and equipped with twin turbofan engines, fly-by-wire system and a glass cockpit.
The Falcon is powered by two Ukrainian-built Ivchenko Progress AI-222K-25F engines with a performance speed of Mach 1.4 and service ceiling of 1,600 meters with a range of 3,100 kilometers.
“The L-15 is a cost effective replacement for old advanced jet trainers, an excellent platform to accumulate flight experience for pilots,” Zhang said.  The aircraft is “capable of armed reconnaissance, defensive counter-air, close air support and anti-terrorism” missions.
The press conference itself was a surprisingly slick presentation for a company that has traditionally shied away from the media spotlight.  Wang said the company would be exhibiting more advanced military aircraft at future international aviation shows.
AVIC officials manning the booth appeared relaxed and comfortable talking about their product line, a clear departure from previous aerospace and defense shows in the past where company officials turned away media inquiries.
The AVIC booth displayed models and brochures on a variety of new aircraft and weapons systems including the FTC-2000 supersonic advanced trainer, CZ-11MB1 light multi-purpose helicopter (Z-11 variant), the K-8 Karakorum jet trainer, the FC-1/JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter and the 500-kg LS-6 standoff strike weapon.

The K-8 and the FC-1/JF-17 are joint aircraft development programs involving AVIC and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).  The K-8 was also on display at the show by PAC.
In a K-8 brochure AVIC identified the engine outfitting the aircraft as a “proven Honeywell TFE-731-2A-2A turbofan engine,” but in a reference to the Chinese Hongdu JL-8 variant it has a “flexible option for Ukraine [Ivchenko] AI-25TL turbofan engine.”  The U.S. restricts the sale of equipment to China for use by the military.
AVIC has benefited from China’s booming economy and has expanded research and development of new aircraft and systems, Wang said.  AVIC is also developing a new “200-ton military cargo aircraft” expected to be unveiled in December.  The program is being jointly developed by AVIC and Xi’an Aircraft Industry Group.
In November 2008 the company reintegrated AVIC I and AVIC II into one entity in the hope of expanding opportunities in the export market and streamlining the company, he said.
AVIC was originally one consortium of aerospace companies, but in 1999 the corporation was split, retaining its original title, in an attempt to modernize its manufacturing facilities and competitiveness.  AVIC I centered on sophisticated fixed-wing aircraft like fighters and bombers and AVIC II focused on smaller fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.  However, the effort resulted in difficulties and AVIC I/II merged back together last year.

Looming threat of Maoists

By Afshain Afzal

      Never in the history of India, New Delhi linked the left wing Maoist movement with Pakistan. But in a recent conspiracy of Indian Intelligence agencies various resistance groups to Indian rule are being linked with Pakistan. The sole aim of this strategically acrobatic move is to malign Pakistan internationally.  In this context, in a recent statement, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while admitting that his government failed to achieve much success against Maoists maintained that infiltration through various routes was going up. Where Indian Prime Minister described the Maoists movements as the gravest internal security threat, the Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram admitted presence of Maoists in 17 states and disclosed that they are responsible for 90 percent of the violence in the country. In fact Indian Prime Minister has for the first time openly admitted that despite efforts, the level of violence in the affected states is continuously rising. Recently, while addressing state Police chiefs at a three days conference at New Delhi, Chidambaram disclosed that last year alone there were 1,591 incidents of Maoist violence resulting in 721 killings while this year until August there had been 1,405 incidents, resulting in 580 deaths spread over 11 states. In fact, as the time is passing, it is becoming more and more difficult to control Naxals but no one is ready to accept the responsibility of bringing the situation to such a critical stage. 

      The Indian Government sources at New Delhi, quoting Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai, claim that India is all set to launch joint Army, Air Force and Para Military Forces operations against Naxals in November 2009. The Indian Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) had recently approved the Government's plan to counter Maoists in the six affected states. Initially the operation would be carried out in four states namely Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and Maharashtra, where according to Indian Intelligence reports most of the Maoist infrastructure, training camps and strongholds are located. On the basis of results of operations in said four states, joint Indian forces will be moved into remaining two states as well as other effected areas. In all, joint operations will be carried out in phases in 20 Naxals affected states. Troops from Indian Army, Indian Air Force and personnel of CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), a Central force, with State police in frontal role have already been earmarked for the next month’s operations. Although, Indian Union Home Minister P Chidambaram during his recent visit to Maoist-affected states of Chattisgarh and Jharkand ruled out that there is any move to involve the Army in the fight against Naxals but this is what India is hiding. The government at New Delhi has already allowed Indian Air Force to retaliate if it is attacked by Maoists. Similarly, unusual movement of Indian troops have taken place in Maoist affected areas/

      The Intelligence summaries submitted in the month of October 2009  by Indian Military Intelligence (MI), Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) highlighted that Naxal menace can be wiped out from across the country only through joint operations of Indian Air Force, Indian Army and Para Military Forces. The operations against Naxals, according to a rough estimate, would last for more than two years in which Israeli and US commandos would assist India with arms and expertise. The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is confident that they can wipeout Naxals in a period between 12 to 30 months. Before Prime Minister Singh orders ‘go’ to its joint forces against Naxals, there is a need to make an independent assessment about India’s brutal action against Sikhs in the past. Even today any security plan is not complete without mentioning the names of a number of Sikh organizations in possible terrorist attacks. Where the action against Sikhs was generally confined to only one state, what repercussions India has calculated after joint operations against Naxals in 20 affected states. India still has time to rephrase the plan against Naxals before it is too late. Even if talks with Communist Party of India or other groups repeatedly fails, still there should be room for another round of talks, aiming at removing their grievances and carrying out massive development work in Naxals affected areas. One wonders, why Indian politicians and members of civil society are reflecting ignorance on the issue. It is right time to lobby against all those who are interested in misadventure against Naxals as it would lead to popular movements for separatism, allowing foreign conspirators to interfere directly in the internal affairs of the country.

Author has completed Masters in History and International Relations and currently pursuing M Phil in Rural Development. Email: afshainafzal@ymail.com

India destabilising Pakistan

Explosive material used in the deadly bomb blast which took place at Khyber Bazaar Peshawar last month, was identical to what had been used in exploding Samjhota Express in India.
The explosive material - Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) - was used in Khyber Bazaar bomb blast.
Sources say the Pakistani security agencies have found concrete evidences to prove Indian involvement in Khyber Bazaar blast in which VBIED was used.
Sources close the development revealed that the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was behind the terrible blast which left more than 42 innocent people dead and 100 others wounded, including women and children.
“Lt Col Prohit of the Indian Army who is the prime accused in the Samjhota Express explosion case, was the expert and qualified to handle VBIED and its manufacturing process,” sources said.
Sources further disclosed that the security agencies had nabbed several suspects in connection with the Peshawar blast during the recent crackdown from different parts of the country.
“Investigations are underway as the arrested suspects are being grilled. The investigators have found some important leads during the interrogation,” a source privy to the investigators said, but did not mention any further details due to the sensitivity of the matter.
The recent revelations have strengthened the contention that Col Prohit and his team was also responsible for the Samjhauta blast.
Last year, the prosecutor had told an Indian court that Prohit had procured RDX from Jammu and Kashmir while used part of it in Samjhauta blasts. However, the prosecutor retracted the claim the next day under duress.
The Indian government had promised after the Samjhota Express tragedy that it would share its findings with Pakistan. However, little has been shared with Pakistan, sources maintained adding, in the Joint Anti Terror Mechanism (JATM) meetings, India had also admitted that it had “run against a wall” in the investigation.