Archive for the ‘Pakistani’ Category

Pakistan state not linked to Mumbai attack: Britain

January 13, 2009

Britain’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that he believed the Pakistan state did not direct the Mumbai attacks, contradicting accusations from the Indian government that state agencies were involved.

“I have said publicly that I do not believe that the attacks were directed by the Pakistani state and I think it’s important to restate that,” David Miliband told a news conference.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said last week the Mumbai attacks must have had support from some of Pakistan‘s official agencies. Islamabad has denied this, blaming the raid on “non-state actors.”

By Krittivas Mukherjee, Reuters

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) shares a light ... 
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (L) shares a light moment with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in New Delhi on January 13. Miliband said on Tuesday the Pakistan state had not directed the attacks on Mumbai, but urged Islamabad to fulfill its promise to root out Islamic militant groups.(AFP/Prakash Singh)

India has provided Pakistan data from satellite phones used by the attackers and what it describes as the confession of a surviving gunman, part of a dossier of evidence.

Miliband’s statement highlighted differences between India and some Western allies. While India believes that agencies like Pakistan’s military spy agency were involved, diplomats have hinted there is not enough evidence to show this.

Miliband said it was clear the attacks originated from Pakistan, and Islamabad had to crack down on the militants operating on its soil, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which has been blamed for the Mumbai attacks.

“We are absolutely clear about the origin of the terrorist attack, and the responsibility that exists in Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Miliband said.

“What is relevant is the approach of the Pakistani state to the LeT organization and the way the Pakistani state takes on the menace of the LeT organization,” he added.

Pakistanis Are Armed, Dangerous

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Best Excuse Ever? Opium Was Herbal Tea?

January 12, 2009

Pakistan’s troubled fast bowler [cricket] Mohammad Asif, who has faced multiple doping charges, told prosecutors in Dubai he thought the opium found in his possession was a herbal remedy, a report showed Sunday.

Asif, 26, was detained in the Gulf emirate for nearly three weeks in June last year for possession of a banned substance before public prosecutors determined the amount of the drugs was insignificant and deported him.


A prosecutors’ report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, reveals Asif — who faces a two-year ban from an Indian doping tribunal on a separate offence — confessed to using the substance, but said he did not know it was opium.

“I think it’s a herbal dark substance found with me which I use for energy… to reduce blood pressure and gain energy. I have obtained it from one of the public curers in Pakistan,” the report quoted Asif as saying.

“I started using it once every year, by one small piece each time when necessary,” he told investigators.

“I did not intend to bring it to the country and I don’t know whether it is a narcotic drug or otherwise, and I don’t know whether it is prohibited in the UAE or not.”

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India, Pakistan Share Mumbai Intelligence; Biden Visits

January 9, 2009

Pakistan said Friday that it has sent “feedback” and information to India about the Mumbai attacks, and Joe Biden came here to underscore how seriously the incoming U.S. administration takes the terror threat from South Asia.

New Delhi recently said it gave Islamabad a dossier of evidence linking the Mumbai attacks to Pakistan, but it was unclear if Pakistan’s feedback related directly to that dossier.

By NAHAL TOOSI, Associated Press Writer

Gilani told reporters that the CIA had played an intermediary role and that Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, had reviewed the information from India. He gave few other details.

“They have given some 52 pages of information to the CIA and in return our ISI has given feedback and information, that has been passed on to India,” Gilani said. “The American CIA and Pakistani ISI have an old working relationship in the past. If any information is required we are ready to cooperate.”

India says Pakistani militants were behind the November attacks that killed 164 people in its financial hub. It specifically blames the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is believed to have links to the Pakistani intelligence agency. Pakistan acknowledged this week that of the 10 gunmen involved in the Mumbai attacks, the one survivor is a Pakistani citizen. It denies any of its state agencies were involved.

President-elect Barack Obama‘s incoming administration plans to increase the focus on the battle against al-Qaida and Taliban militants operating along the Pakistan-Afghan border. American officials worry that a conflict with India could distract Pakistan from eliminating militant sanctuaries along the Afghan frontier, and have urged India and Pakistan to cooperate.

Vice President-elect Biden was the latest in a string of envoys to visit Pakistan….

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U.S. Vice President-elect Joe Biden assured Pakistani president Zardari Friday that the incoming Obama administration will continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen democracy and combat terrorism, according to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Biden told Zardari the new U.S. administration would also help Pakistan “meet its socio-economic requirements and capacity building,” the ministry said in a written statement.

The vice president-elect “assured the Pakistani leadership” of the United States’ “continued assistance to Pakistan,” the statement said.

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Pakistani confesses to Mumbai attacks

December 31, 2008

A militant arrested in Pakistan has confessed involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks and is giving investigators details of the plot, a senior Pakistani government official said Wednesday.

The revelation could add to pressure on Islamabad to either bring Zarar Shah and other suspects to trial or extradite them to India.

“(Shah) has made some statement that he was involved,” said the government official, without providing specific details. “I can tell you that he is singing.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

A senior intelligence officer said Shah and another suspect, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, were cooperating with investigators, but cautioned authorities had not reached a definite conclusion as to their involvement yet.

He too asked for anonymity. Indian officials were not immediately available for comment.

Gunmen targeted 10 sites including two five-star hotels and a Jewish center during the November siege on Mumbai‘s financial capital, killing 164 people in a three-day reign of terror.

India and the United States say the militants who planned and carried out the attacks were Pakistani and are demanding Islamabad take action against those responsible.

The official also told The Associated Press that India has shared some evidence of its suspicions but he said it was “very very little.” Pakistan’s president and other top officials have said India has yet to provide any evidence.

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Pakistan Closes NATO Supply Line to U.S., Afghanistan

December 30, 2008

Pakistani security forces launched an operation against Taliban militants in the nation’s tribal region along the border with Afghanistan on Tuesday, shutting down NATO supply routes, Pakistani military sources said.

Eight people — two suspected Taliban militants and six civilians — died in the operation in the Khyber Agency that involved military helicopter gunships, according to Pakistani intelligence sources. The fighting was taking place near the town of Jamrud.

The Khyber Pass, a key transit link for NATO and U.S. military supplies from Pakistan to Afghanistan, has been closed as a result of the operation, said Tariq Hayat, Khyber’s political agent. He said he didn’t know when it would reopen.



Ibrahim Shinwari

Pakistan suspended supplies going to foreign forces in Afghanistan on Tuesday as security forces launched an offensive against militants in the Khyber Pass region, a government official said.

Militants have launched a string of attacks in recent months aimed at choking off supplies trucked to foreign forces in landlocked Afghanistan through northwest Pakistan from the port of Karachi.

Khyber’s top administrator, Tariq Hayat, told reporters that a curfew had been imposed and the main road leading to the Afghan border had been sealed.

“Supplies to NATO forces will remain suspended until we clear the area of militants and outlaws who have gone out of control,” he said.

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Pakistan army: We must ‘avoid conflict’ with India

December 29, 2008

Pakistan’s army chief stressed Monday the need to avoid conflict with India, days after he ordered troops toward the rivals’ shared border amid tensions following last month’s terror attacks on Mumbai.

Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani made the remarks to a top Chinese diplomat who was visiting Islamabad to try and ease the situation between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India.

Kayani‘s remarks were believed to be his first about the tensions with Pakistan’s traditional rival and could help reassure a jittery region that the country does not intend to escalate the crisis further.

On Friday, Pakistani intelligence officials said thousands of troops were being shifted toward the Indian border, though there has been no sign yet of a major build up at the frontier.

Without referring specifically to the situation, Kayani told Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei of the “need to de-escalate and avoid conflict in the interest of peace and security,” a brief army statement said.

India blames Pakistani militants for the slaughter of 164 people in its commercial capital and has not ruled out the use of force in its response. Pakistan’s civilian leaders have said they do not want war, but will retaliate if attacked.

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Pakistani Troop Move Toward India is Setback To U.S. Anti-Terror Policy

December 28, 2008

Pakistan‘s decision to relocate thousands of troops away from the Afghanistan border toward India threatens the critical U.S. foreign-policy aim of relying on the South Asian ally’s military in the global battle against terrorism.

President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign promise to turn around the stalemated war in Afghanistan could be the first casualty of Pakistan’s latest moves, and the frustrated American effort to crush al Qaeda may be the second.

Pakistan’s sudden military shift catches two administrations in mid-transition, presenting Mr. Obama with a dangerous spike in tension that his predecessor has been unable to prevent.

As President Bush found out, the United States can’t wage either fight alone and can’t always persuade even well-meaning allies to set aside their own agendas and domestic politics.

To win in Afghanistan rather than merely hold ground, the United States and its allies must find a way to seal off the militants’ redoubts across the forbidding mountainous border with Pakistan. The U.S. can’t do that without Pakistan’s help, and Pakistani and Afghan militants know it.


Bush administration officials have been shuttling to New Delhi and Islamabad for weeks following the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, pleading with both sides not to let well-founded suspicions that the attacks originated in Pakistan become an excuse for new conflict. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, and enmity against the other has been an organizing principle for leaders of each nuclear-armed country.

If Pakistan yanks fighting forces away from what the U.S. considers the good war against terrorism in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, it will bear out U.S. fears of a ripple effect and show how easily militants can exploit the old rivalry.

“We hope that both sides will avoid taking steps that will unnecessarily raise tensions during these already tense times,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Friday.

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in Islamabad last week, after noting with approval earlier this month that neither side seemed to have mounted a military response to the Mumbai terrorism.

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View From India: Pakistan Building War Hysteria

December 28, 2008

Are you as surprised as I am by the war hysteria that suddenly seems to have become the defining feature of India-Pakistan ties? In the aftermath of 26/11, many of us took pride in the maturity of the Indian reaction. Even though we knew quite quickly that the attacks were the work of terrorists based in Pakistan, Indians refused to give in to the knee-jerk response to retaliate.

By Vir Sanghvi
Hindustan Times

We had telephone intercepts that demonstrated that the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyeba was behind the attacks. Phones recovered from the dead terrorists offered proof of regular calls to Pakistan. And Ajmal Kasab, the one terrorist to be captured alive, soon confessed to his Pakistani origins.

There were two ways we could have responded to this mountain of evidence. The first was to say that this proved that Pakistan was involved and to then launch surgical strikes on terrorist training camps in Pakistan. The second was to buy Asif Zardari’s claim that while the terrorists may have had Pakistani origins, they had no state sponsorship. In fact, said Zardari, the same terrorists were the ones who had killed his wife and launched attacks within Pakistan.

A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village ... 
A Pakistani policeman stands guard in a bunker in the village of Subhan Khaur.(AFP/File/Hashaam Ahmed)

I reckoned we had been reasonable in choosing the second path. We rejected the war option and, somewhat surprisingly, Indian public opinion did not demand a retaliatory strike.

Instead, most of us trusted Zardari, or at least gave him the benefit of doubt, believing that he was sincere when he talked about wanting peace with India and appreciating his offer not to launch a first nuclear strike made at the HT Summit.

Plus, we had faith in America. Many foreign policy experts told us that America was on our side; that Pakistan was so indebted to America that it could not afford to offend Washington; and that diplomatic pressure from the likes of Condoleezza Rice would ensure that Pakistan cracked down on the groups that had organised the Bombay attacks.

One month after those terrible incidents, two things have happened. The first is that Pakistan has gone back on its early willingness to help India get the perpetrators of the terror strikes. An offer to send the ISI chief to India was hurriedly withdrawn and the current position of the Zardari government appears to be that there is no evidence at all of any Pakistan involvement in the attacks. Even Ajmal Kasab, whose Pakistani origins have been unearthed by Pakistan’s own media is sought to be denied his rights as a Pakistani citizen. We do not know who he is, says Islamabad, and we don’t believe that he is a Pakistani.


The second development is that while we have congratulated ourselves on our restraint, Pakistan has built up the war hysteria on its own anyhow.

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Pakistan: Turning Military Away From Taliban, Afghanistan and Toward India?

December 26, 2008

Amid tensions with India, Pakistan restricted leave for soldiers, put its air force on alert and moved troops away from the western region where the U.S. has pressed it to combat the Taliban….


By Richard Oppel, Jr.
The New York Times

 Pakistan is moving some troops away from its western border with Afghanistan, where the United States has pressed it to combat Taliban militants, and stopping many soldiers from going on leave amid rising tensions with India, senior Pakistani officials said Friday.

A senior military official said in an interview that the decision to sharply restrict leave for soldiers was taken “in view of the prevailing environment,” namely the deteriorating relations with India since the Mumbai terrorist attacks last month. He added that the Pakistani air force was “vigilant” and “alert” for the same reason. A second Pakistani security official would not say where the forces were being sent, but confirmed the troop movements and the restrictions on leave, saying “there’s an obvious reason for that.”

The redeployment came as Indian authorities warned their citizens not to travel to Pakistan given the heightened tensions between the two nations, news agencies reported, particularly since Indian citizens had been arrested there in connection with a bombing in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

The senior military official said that the Pakistani troops were being drawn from northwestern Pakistan, where the military is fighting Taliban militants on several fronts. He said that “essential troops in limited numbers are being pulled out of areas where no operations are being conducted,” or where winter weather had already limited their ability to maneuver.

Pakistan moves troops toward Indian border

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Indians Warned To Stay Clear of Pakistan; PM Meets Military Chiefs

December 26, 2008

India has advised its citizens against travelling to Pakistan as tension continues in the wake of last month’s deadly attacks in Mumbai.

India’s foreign ministry said travel was “unsafe” after reports Indians had been detained following recent bomb attacks in Pakistani cities.

Pakistani officials say the tension has meant scaling down military operations against militants and redeploying east.

The attacks on several targets in Mumbai left more than 170 people dead.


India blames militant groups based in Pakistan for the attacks. They and Pakistan’s government deny any involvement.


The Indian foreign ministry statement follows recent bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.

One woman was killed and four people injured on Wednesday in Lahore.

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From Reuters

India warned its citizens on Friday it was unsafe to travel to Pakistan after the prime minister met military chiefs, and Pakistan canceled army leave and moved some troops from its western border.

The warning marked a dramatic rise in tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors after last month’s attack on Mumbai, in which 179 people were killed and which India has blamed on Islamist militants based in Pakistan.


It followed media reports in Pakistan and India that “several” Indian nationals had been arrested in the last two days after bombings in the Pakistani cities of Lahore and Multan.


“Indian citizens are therefore advised that it would be unsafe for them to travel (to) or be in Pakistan,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.


Another Foreign Ministry official contacted by Reuters said the warning referred to all travel to Pakistan.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office earlier said Singh had discussed tension with Pakistan during a scheduled meeting about military pay with the chiefs of the army, navy and air force.


“The prime minister met the tri-services chiefs to discuss the pay commission issues but obviously the situation in the region was also discussed,” said an official from Singh’s office, who asked not to be identified. There were no other details.

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