Archive for the ‘anti-terror’ Category

Pakistan Against Terror: “deliberately not taking action or incapable”

January 28, 2009

Before America pumps a lot more money into Pakistan to fight terrorism, we Americans might consider the words of India’s External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of anti-terror action by Pakistan:

“Yes, one way you can make a differentiation that they are deliberately not doing or are incapable of doing. But as far as  India is concerned, the net impact is the same … the perpetrators are launching terror attacks from the territory of Pakistan,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

“The infrastructural facilities there (are) used by them (for) committing crimes in India, not necessarily in this case but in a large number of cases in the past,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera news channel.

Mukherjee said India expects the Pakistan government to act against the perpetrators of terror acts operating from Pakistani soil.

“We expect Pakistan to act. Whatever is to be done from our side we are doing so … but Pakistan has to act because the handlers and planners (of  Mumbai attacks) were from Pakistan,” he said.

Related:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Pak_incap
able_of_action_against_terror/articleshow/4044
627.cms

Pakistan Resisting Terror War But Wants U.S. Funding
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 Pakistan Hopes Obama Can Deliver Even Part of the Bush-Cheney Love (and Money)
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Pakistan’s President Continues Audition for Obama Attention, Funding, Support
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Pakistan Auditions For “New Start” in U.S. Policy, Funding From President Obama on CNN

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Top Israeli Urges Obama for United Anti-Terror Front

January 15, 2009

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged U.S.  President-elect Barack Obama to participate in a “united global front against terrorism.”

Netanyahu made the appeal during a Fox News Channel interview with Neil Cavuto on Wednesday.

Netanyahu, a former Prime Minister and future Prime Minster hopeful in Israel, puts Mr. Obama in a tight spot.

Netanyahu wants the elimination of Hamas: considering the group equal to if not the same as other terror groups like Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.

Hezbollah and Hamas are both supported by Iran.

Obama and Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton are urging a new diplomacy with Iran.  Netanyahu rejects this notion as unworkable.

Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel must remove Gaza’s Hamas rulers from power to ensure victory over “terror.”

Related:

 Brit Foreign Secretary criticises George Bush’s ‘war on terror’
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 Bin Laden urges jihad against Israel
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No Doubt Who Wants All Israel Dead
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 Israel Seriously Injured Itself During Gaza: “Is this the Israel you want to be?”

Israel's Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to reporters ... 
Israel’s Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to reporters during a meeting with journalists from the Foreign Press Association at the King David hotel in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009. Israeli troops advanced into Gaza suburbs for the first time early Tuesday, residents said, hours after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Islamic militants that they face an ‘iron fist’ unless they agree to Israeli terms for an end to war in the Gaza Strip.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

Pakistan is World Leader in Anti-Terror Fight — Musharraf

January 10, 2009

Pakistan has done more than any other nation in the global war against terrorism, former President Pervez Musharraf said, in defense of his country’s response to the attacks in Mumbai.

“Pakistan has lost a large number of security personnel and civilians in the fight against terrorism,” Musharraf said today in a televised interview from Islamabad. “The world community, including India and Pakistan, must fight the root of extremism and terrorism.”

By Farhan Sharif
Bloomberg

Ties between India and Pakistan have deteriorated since the Nov. 26-29 terrorist attacks in Mumbai that left 164 people dead. India and the U.S. have pressed for a thorough investigation of the attacks, and the government in Islamabad has confirmed that the surviving gunman is a Pakistani national.

Indian authorities say Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the only one of 10 gunmen to survive the assault in Mumbai, told interrogators the attacks were planned and carried out by the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Until three days ago, Pakistan said there was no proof its nationals were involved.

Musharraf, an army general who seized power in a 1999 coup, turned Pakistan into an ally of the U.S. in its war against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks. He quit as president in August to avoid impeachment by a civilian coalition government elected in February.

The Mumbai attacks interrupted the five-year peace process between the two South Asian nations, which have fought three wars since independence in 1947.

Indian Allegations

“I regret that all the developments on both sides for dialogue, peace and coordination built in the past over many years were washed out by one terror incident, which the people of both sides condemn,” Musharraf said, referring to the mounting tension between the two neighbors.

Pakistan has rejected Indian allegations the attackers received the support of official agencies in Pakistan and said such accusations could raise tensions. India is examining all options to stop border infiltration and prevent terrorist attacks, Defense Minister A.K. Antony said on Jan. 7.

“Pakistan’s forces and people have all the ability to defend the country,” Musharraf said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=asH0IVWuaIos

India: New anti-terror laws would violate international human rights standards

December 20, 2008

The President of India should reject new amendments to anti-terror laws which would violate international human rights treaties, said Amnesty International today, in response to India’s speedy introduction of new legislation after the November attacks in Mumbai city in which more than 170 people died.

From: Amnesty International

The organization calls upon the President, Indian authorities and lawmakers to urgently review the new amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA), 1967, and provisions of the new legislation aiming to set up a National Investigating Agency (NIA), exclusively meant to probe acts of terrorism in the country.

“While we utterly condemn the attacks and recognise that the Indian authorities have a right and duty to take effective measures to ensure the security of the population, security concerns should never be used to jeopardize people’s human rights,” said Madhu Malhotra, Asia Pacific Programme Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

The experience of other countries which have also rushed to pass sweeping anti-terror legislation in response to terrorist attacks has shown that such measures undermine the rule of law and respect for human rights internationally, and do not enhance security. The UN General Assembly said in 2006 that “measures to ensure the respect for human rights for all and the rule of law [are] the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.”

India’s experience with previous anti-terrorism laws has shown that they can lead to abusive practices….

Read the rest:
http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGPRE20
0812188752&lang=e&rss=recentnews

London 2012 Olympics ‘Vulnerable to Terrorist Attack’

December 15, 2008

John Patten, a former Home Office minister and an advisor to the British Olympic Association, has warned that inadequate security procedures have left London 2012 venues vulnerable to terrorist attack.

By Paul Kelso
The Telegraph (UK)
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Patten, who was a Cabinet minister in the last Conservative government and served as Northern Ireland secretary said that the Olympic Park site in east London is already vulnerable to terrorists who could plant smart bombs in the foundations of venues currently under construction.

Writing in the latest edition of The Spectator, Patten, who is a member of the BOA’s advisory board, claims that well-placed sources have told him the Olympic project is suffering from a lack of security planning.

Patten claims that the acrimonious departure of Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who was overseeing Olympic security before he sued the force claiming racial equality, has hindered the project.

London 2012 'vulnerable to terrorist attack'

Centre of attraction: an artist’s impression of the London 2012 stadium now under construction and which could be vulnerable to attack

He also suggests that the key agencies involved in organising security are bickering over who takes the lead role, undermining confidence in the entire project.

“In an age of determined and technologically sophisticated incremental terrorism, the Met and the Security Services must overcome everything from highly unfortunate public rows over employment discrimination affecting key officers involved to more private inter-agency rivalries,” Patten writes.

“Forget about policing crowds in 2012, pipework and brickwork is being laid now which is vulnerable to smart devices that can lurk latent until 2012. At least one person from that world tells me that there is no real integrated concept of operations yet. Someone or somebody must provide that focus and work with a semi-detached Home Secretary.”

Patten’s observations, part of a wide-ranging critique of the project, will fuel concerns already expressed that security planning is behind schedule.

Earlier this year, the Public Accounts Committee warned that security master-planning for the project was behind schedule.

The Home Office is working on a strategy document and had planned to put it to the Olympic board before the end of the year. It is expected to unveil its plans in the new year.

When questioned on the issue by The Daily Telegraph last month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was satisfied that the total security budget of £838 million would be sufficient to cover the final bill, but declined to comment on details of the plan.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/london
2012/3703883/London-2012-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attack.html

Pakistan: Offensive Near Afghanistan Only “Limited Success”

December 14, 2008

From atop a craggy hillock, the silver-haired Lt. Col. Javed Baloch gestures toward a small black opening in a sandstone outcropping. It’s the mouth of a cave.

Two minutes later a powerful explosion rattles the hillock, and a massive plume of grayish-white smoke rushes skyward.

Cave by cave, the Pakistani army is trying to blow up the underground labyrinth running from tribal areas toward the border with Afghanistan to keep militants away.

This is the front line of Pakistan’s battle against militants on its own soil. The three-month-old offensive is the country’s most aggressive effort to date, countering U.S. and Afghan charges that it is not doing enough to root out Taliban and al-Qaida fighters who crisscross the border. It is also the Pakistani military’s first foray into the Bajur region, where militants are dug in and have in places set up a parallel administration.

By KATHY GANNON, Associated Press Writer

Pakistani Taliban militants seen here in Mamouzai in November, ... 
Pakistani Taliban militants seen here in Mamouzai in November, 2008.(AFP/File/Tariq Mahmood)

An Associated Press team traveled with the Pakistani military deep into a tribal area late last month, almost to the Afghan border. The operation shows the army can put pressure on militants and even wrest some territory back from them, but it may never be able to drive them out from a rugged area of nooks and crannies. More militants are already sneaking in from Afghanistan as reinforcements, and U.S. troops in Afghanistan have installed 68 motion sensors along the border to try to detect them.

The battle is for Bajur, a key base and transit route for Arab and other foreign militants headed for Afghanistan. Here a CIA drone once targeted al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, without success.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan
_on_the_front_line;_ylt=Al9lRxT21jPGWi3h5vX2VgpvaA8F

Britain promises more anti-terror aid to Pakistan

December 14, 2008

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday pledged more technical support and funding to help Pakistan and India battle terrorism in the wake of the attacks in Mumbai that killed more than 160 people.

Brown made the offers as he made whirlwind visits to both nations’ capitals and tried to calm tensions following the assaults, which India has blamed on a Pakistani-based Islamist group.

By PAISLEY DODDS, Associated Press Writer

Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends at a joint press conference ... 
Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends at a joint press conference with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at the Presidential Palace in Islamabad, during his visit to Pakistan, on Sunday December 14, 2008.(AP Photo/PA, Lewis Whyld)

Brown urged the nuclear-armed rivals to cooperate to peacefully resolve the crisis, which the U.S. fears could divert Pakistan’s attention away from battling al-Qaida and Taliban militants along its border with Afghanistan.

In Pakistan, Brown met with President Asif Ali Zardari and promised the Muslim nation new bomb-scanning technology, forensic assistance, help improving airport security and other support. He also announced a $9 million program to help fight the causes of extremism and strengthen democracy, including trying to reach out to and educate Pakistani youth to avoid radicalization.

“We will continue to expand our counterterrorism assistance program with Pakistan, and it will be, more than ever, the most comprehensive anti-terrorism program Britain has signed with any country,” Brown said at a joint news conference with Zardari.

Brown also said more would be done with both India and Pakistan to share police data on terror suspects and groups.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/a
p_on_re_as/as_south_asia_brown_visit

China, India Joint Anti-Terror Military Operations Begin

December 6, 2008

The two biggest economies of Southeast Asia – India and China, who fought a fierce battle in 1962, began the second leg of historic joint military exercises focussed primarily on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations in Karnataka’s Belgaum town Saturday.

Though it is the second military exercise between the two nations, India and China are holding it for the first time on Indian soil.

The first army exercise was held in the Chinese city of Kunming in December 2007 following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in May 2006 during a visit by the then defence minister (and current external affairs minister) Pranab Mukherjee to China.

The flag-raising ceremony is held during the opening of the China-India Joint Anti-Terrorism Training code-named "Hand-in-hand 2007" in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, Dec. 21, 2007.

The flag-raising ceremony held last year during the opening of the China-India Joint Anti-Terrorism Training code-named “Hand-in-hand 2007” in Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Dec. 21, 2007. (Xinhua Photo)

Nearly 130 Chinese troops, including 40 officers, from the first company of the infantry battalion of Chengdu Military Area Command and Indian Army troops from the Eight Maratha Light Infantry Battalion are holding eight-day-long joint exercises in three phases at the Belgaum military command.

On the first day, both sides held a weapon and equipment display, followed by a special martial arts display by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China. The Indian side displayed ‘malkhamb’ and ‘kalari payattu’ (Kerala’s traditional martial arts) to their counterparts.

Later, both sides jointly held a demonstration of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

Throughout the exercise, troopers from both the countries are expected to undergo joint tactical manoeuvres and drills, inter-operability training and joint command post procedures, culminating in a joint counter-terrorist operational exercise with simulated enemies.

‘The primary objective is to enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two countries and their armies. This exercise is very similar to what we had in December last year,’ said Major General V.K. Narula of the Indian Army.

‘In this exercise we will try to remove the communication barriers that largely occurred during the first leg of the military exercises between the two countries. We are thinking of using the universally accepted sign language to remove the problem of communication,’ he told reporters.

Narula clarified that the current exercise has nothing to do with war combat and no special weapons are being used by either side.

‘The exercise is for fighting terrorism and small weapons required in countering tactical insurgency are being used. We assure everyone that no secrets are being shared with the Chinese army,’ he said.

Huang Xue Ping, Chinese senior colonel (equivalent to the rank of brigadier in the Indian Army), who is leading the troops took questions on counter terrorism. However, both sides refrained from commenting on the Nov 26 Mumbai terror attacks that killed at least 172 people.

‘We see terrorism as a danger to countries around the world. That calls for joint efforts from all countries and also to make joint training of counter terrorism,’ Ping said.

‘We have always emphasised that counter-terrorism should not be targeted at any particular religion or any ethnic group. We should have convincing proof before we take action against them,’ he added.

Ping said China has so far performed military exercises with 10 nations.

From the Calcutta News

Related:
China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?

China, Nepal Commence Military Maneuvers

December 6, 2008

Even as India and China began historic joint military exercises in India’s Karnataka state to battle insurgency and terrorism Saturday, Beijing also stepped up security maneuvers in Nepal.
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Chinese Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian arrived in Kathmandu Saturday, heading a 10-member military delegation on a four- day visit during which he will hold talks with Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda for security cooperation.

Two days earlier, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had wound up his visit to Nepal to boost ties with the new Maoist government and extract fresh promises of support to the ‘One China’ policy, which holds Tibet and Taiwan to be inalienable part of the Chinese republic, IANS reported.

The Chinese military delegation, the second in three weeks, will also meet Nepali Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa Badal and the chief of the Nepal Army, Gen. Rookmangud Katawal.

Badal had visited Beijing in September when China offered Nepal security assistance worth Nepali Rs. 100 million ($ 1.55 million), the details of which however were not made public.

Ma’s visit is expected to sign a security agreement in which the details of the assistance will be decided with the expectation of further security cooperation.

China is also interested in having a hand in the merger of the Maoist army with the Nepal Army, a task that has run into trouble after the Prachanda government, even after three months in power, failed to form a committee with representatives from the major parties to oversee the herculean task.

Last week, the British Army’s Chief of General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt had visited Nepal.

On Wednesday, Jiechi held talks with his Nepali counterpart Upendra Yadav and the two sides agreed on Chinese security assistance, which includes training and providing equipment.

Tibetan leaders from all over the world held a special meeting in India’s Dharamsala town last month and decided that they would press for the Middle Path – asking China for autonomy in a non-violent manner – up to a “reasonable period” and then look at other alternatives. Beijing now wants its border with Nepal to be well- guarded to prevent contact between the exiles and Tibetans living in China-controlled Tibet Autonomous Region.

Beijing is also pressuring Nepal to regulate its open border with India to stop the entry of Tibetans from Dharamshala into Nepal, where they helped keep up anti-China protests for months this summer.

Recently, China replaced its ambassador to Nepal for the continued protests that embarrassed it before, during and even after the Summer Olympic Games 2008.

From Islamic Republic News Agency, December 6, 2008

Related:
China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?