|Jalaluddin Haqqani||Jalaluddin Haqqani||Taliban||Afghanistan/South Asia||Afghan||At Large||20020311|
|Reported dead of hepatitis; His strongholds remain, Nangarhar, Paktia, Paktika, and Khost provinces. His legacy of fending off the Soviet's largest offensive of the Soviet-Afghan war, Operational Magistral, is remembered fondly by many of Afghanistan's eastern residents. His high public regards and 'war hero' status helped ensure his safety over the last five years as Coalition forces vehemently hunted him down.|
|Jalaluddin Haqqani||Supreme Council of Global Jihad||Terror Networks||20030813|
|Jalal ud-Din Haqqani||Taliban||Afghanistan/South Asia||20011203|
|Jalaludin Haqani||Taliban||Afghanistan/South Asia||20050706|
|Taliban attack kills 13 Afghan police: officials|
|[Dawn] Taliban killed 13 local while they were sleeping on Friday, in an attack on their checkpoint in southeast Afghanistan, officials said.|
The were in the Andar district of Ghazni province, said district governor Mohammad Qasim Desiwal.
"They were asleep when their checkpoint came under attack by the Taliban and were killed by AK-47 fire," Desiwal told AFP.
Provincial governor Mosa Khan Akbarzada confirmed the and said a delegation had been sent to the district to investigate.
The victims were members of the 18,000-strong Afghan Local Police, a village-level force formed in 2010 to provide security in areas where the better-trained national police and army are scarce.
Afghan troops and police are increasingly on the front line against the s, and suffering heavier casualties, as combat troops prepare to withdraw by the end of next year.
The bodies of four Afghan regular soldiers were found on Wednesday with their throats slit in Jawzjan, a day after they were kidnapped by the Taliban along the road to the northern province.
The Taliban have been waging an insurgency against the Afghan government since they were toppled from power by a US-led invasion in 2001.
Attacks traditionally intensify in spring after the harsh winter recedes.
A total of 23 people were killed on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the four soldiers and two local employees of the medical charity.
Gherardo Pontrandolfi, head of the International Committee of the delegation in Kabul, said those killings would make it even harder to reach people in need.
"In many areas people cannot reach hospitals or clinics safely. And the end of winter is likely to bring renewed fighting, making the problem worse," Pontrandolfi said in a statement on Thursday.
Separately, the interior ministry in Kabul said on Friday that police have five Taliban who were planning s on civilians in the capital and in another city later this month.
The four men and one woman were in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Thursday and police seized four suicide bomb vests and C-4 explosives along with other weapons, the ministry said.
"They were trained outside Afghanistan's borders and have confessed their crime," ministry Sediq Sediqqi told a news conference.
He said the five Afghans were linked to the Taliban and the Haqqani network and were arrested "as they were preparing to launch a coordinated attack on civilian facilities on April 27-28" in Kabul and Jalalabad.
April 28, Victory Day, is a public holiday marking the mujahideen's overthrow in 1992 of the Soviet-backed government of Mohammad Najibullah.
The Haqqani network, a faction of the Taliban, was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a mujahideen leader against Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s who is now based with his family in Pakistain.
Haqqani is close to Al-Qaeda and his fighters are active across east and southeastern Afghanistan and in Kabul.
|Taliban denies reports of Haqqani's death|
|[Dawn] The Taliban on Wednesday denied reports of the death of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the founder of the Pak-linked Haqqani network which is regularly blamed for major attacks in Afghanistan.|
"We strongly dismiss the reports that Jalaluddin Haqqani is dead. He's alive," Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP, attributing the reports to "government propaganda".
The Haqqanis, who are closely affiliated with the Taliban, are a key player in the insurgency against US-led troops and Karzai's Western-backed government, particularly in eastern Afghanistan.
Tolo, Afghanistan's first 24-hour rolling news television channel, said Jalaluddin had died from kidney disease, claiming on its Twitter feed that the Taliban had confirmed it.
The United States blamed last month's 18-hour assault on Kabul, the biggest to hit the capital in a decade, on the Haqqani network, saying the group's leaders planned the attack from North , in Pakistain's lawless tribal belt.
Before stepping down as chief US military officer last year, Admiral Mike Mullen caused a sensation when he told Congress that the Haqqani network was a "veritable arm" of Pakistain's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.
Haqqani was a mujahedeen leader sponsored by the CIA, Pakistain and during the fight against Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.
He served in the Taliban government after it took power in 1996 following years of civil war.
He is known to have close ties to al Qaeda, and after the fall of the Taliban regime in the 2001 US-led invasion, he joined the insurgency. In recent years, his son Sirajuddin has taken on increasing leadership within the group from his father, who was born in 1942.
|Taliban Are Pak Army Proxies, Not Pashtun Nationalists - Part VI|
|If Pakistan stops backing Taliban commanders, Pashtuns will not protest|
There are three groups of Pashtuns fighting the US/ and in Afghanistan - the Shura led by , the North based Haqqani Network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, and the Quetta Shura led by . All three of them are closely linked with the military establishment of Pakistain.
A section of Hekmatyar's party has already given up violence and is part of the current Afghan government and parliament. Many of the remaining prominent party leaders are frustrated with Hekmatyar's rigid stance and have privately said they are willing to give up violence for a peaceful political process.
Hekmatyar's son in law Ghairat Baheer has recently met to speed up the process of peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan. The group is therefore likely to have a role in Afghanistan's future political set-up. But that cannot be said about the other two groups.
The Haqqani Network is led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, but its operations are controlled by his son Sirajuddin Haqqani. The group has attacked US, NATO and Afghan forces, and is also accused of attacking Afghan civilians and development workers sent by India to help rebuild the Afghan infrastructure. The US accuses Pakistain of supporting the Haqqani Network and using it as a tool in Afghanistan.
Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani said last month that Pakistain Army had conducted more than 1,000 military operations in FATA in 2009 and 2010. Pakistain's Air Force chief had reportedly said in Dubai that more than 10,600 bombs have been dropped on FATA since 2008. But no leading s have been captured or killed in FATA during this period. Those in FATA who are critical of the military establishment say Taliban are not captured or killed, but handed over to leaders of the Haqqani Network.
And while most of the media attention is on Waziristan, a lot of jihadi activities are taking place in the Pashtun belt in . NATO commanders have repeatedly described the area as major command centre for expanding cross-border attacks on the US/NATO and Afghans forces. The Quetta Shura have also been accused of s of Pashtun tribal leaders and s who advocated against Taliban militancy in Pashtun villages in Afghanistan.
Mao Tse-tung once said that guerrilla freedom fighters must live among their people as fish swim in the sea. History shows that almost all genuine guerrilla fighters have come back to fight the foreign aggression amid their people with their help after necessary training abroad. If the Afghan Taliban are so confident of the Pashtun public support in Afghanistan, why don't they go back to Afghanistan and fight the US/NATO forces with the public support? Why do they sneak in, strike and run back?
In fact Afghans, both Pashtun and non-Pashtun, accuse Pakistain and more specifically the Punjabis of nurturing the in Afghanistan. Many of the Pashtun in FATA also accuse Pakistain Army of backing the Taliban or not supporting local anti-Taliban forces. Just because the Pak media is not showing Pashtun anger does not mean it does not exist on the ground.
The Pashtun nationalists and generally all other anti-Taliban Pashtun from all socio-economic statuses and statures in Afghanistan and Pakistain are well known people in their communities. Their names, faces, addresses, and tribal or family affiliations are there for the whole world to see. They stand firmly on their native soil in the face of Taliban atrocities. Contrary to this, most of the s and foot soldiers do not even show their masked faces in public. The Pashtun people do not even know who is behind those masks - Punjabis, Arabs, Uzbeks, culturally uprooted immigrant from the Western countries, or Pashtun outlaws?
Most of the Pak Taliban also do not operate in the areas they claim to belong to or represent. The popularity of Mullah Omar, the Haqqanis, Gul Bahader, Mullah Nazir and Mullah Faqir is a myth perpetuated by incompetent researchers. The same analysts had said Mullah Fazlullah was popular in Swat. But the locals welcomed his ouster. Now that he is gone, nobody is protesting. And if Pakistain stops backing other Afghan and Pak s, no Pashtuns will protest.
|The future of Al Qaeda|
|Al Qaeda is said to have been weakened globally by the death of its leader last year, but analysts say it is not clear if it makes it less deadly or more.|
"It has become desperate," says Air Vice Marshall (r) Shahid Khan, a defence analyst. "Its organizational structure has weakened, and it feels vulnerable."
Because of this desperation, especially after the Arab Spring that is being seen as an ideological defeat for Al Qaeda in the world, the world's top terror network may reorient its operations and ideology and continue to carry out major terrorist attacks, according to former US counterterrorism official Carl Adams.
Al Qaeda is in a new phase, with a new leadership and a new strategy. The consequences of that strategy are yet to be seen.
Dr Ayman al-
After Osama bin Laden's death on May 2 last year, Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri became the leader of the organization on June 16, 2011. He had been the ideological head of what is now known as the Egyptian Group within the Al Qaeda network. He has a Master's degree in surgery from Cairo University and was a leader of the group in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He became Osama's deputy after he merged Islamic Jihad with Al Qaeda in 1998.
Zawahiri has admitted in his book to have orchestrated the first in Pakistain in 1995. The target was the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad.
Zwahiri was last seen, according to US intelligence reports, in Pakistain's Agency. The Americans believe he resides in North and operates with the Haqqanis. He has shown strong-arm tactics forging alliances with Pakistain's sectarian and jihadi organizations to attack targets in Afghanistan and Pakistain.
Abu Yahya al-Libi
A Libyan citizen who speaks fluent Pashtu, Urdu and English, Abu Yahya al-Libi is the second most of Al Qaeda. He is the ideological and spiritual leader of Al Qaeda members fighting around the world, and heads the network's Sharia and Political Committee.
Jarret Brachman, a former analyst for the CIA, says the following about Libi: "He's a warrior. He's a poet. He's a scholar. He's a pundit. He's a military commander. And he's a very charismatic, young, brash rising star within Al Qaeda, and I think he has become the heir apparent to Osama bin Laden in terms of taking over the entire global jihadist movement."
Saif al-Adl is a former Egyptian Army Special Forces Officer who came to Afghanistan and has trained most of the key fighters of Al Qaeda and Afghan groups in weapons and military strategy.
He is the head of Al Qaeda's military committee and wrote one of the most read jihadist manuals, The Base of the Vanguard. He still trains most of the fighters of Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups in military combat.
According to Pakistain's ISI, Adl has trained the who attacked the PNS Mehran navy base in in 2011. Intelligence reports say he moves between North Waziristan and South Waziristan.
In 2010, he released a video in which he offered Al Qaeda's 'peace plan'. Al Qaeda offered a truce in that video, if the US withdrew its troops from countries and stopped supporting Israel.
Other members of Al Qaeda's core council include: Khalib al-Habib (Egyptian), Adnan al Shukrijumah (Saudi), Atiyah Abd al-Rahman (Libyan), Hamza al-Jawfi (Saudi/Egyptian), Matiur Rehman (Pak), Nasser Abdul Karim al-Wahaysi (Saudi), Abu Mossab Abdelwadoud (Algerian), Fahd Mohammad Ahmed al-Quso (Yemeni) and Midhat Mursi (Egyptian).
A new strategy
After the death of Osama bin Laden last year and the killing of a large number of key operatives in US drone attacks in Pakistain, Al Qaeda has shifted its attention from South and Central Asia to Somalia and Yemen.
It has "outsourced most of its operations to various groups in Pakistain and Afghanistan", according to Art Keller, a former CIA official who had worked with the ISI to find Al Qaeda operatives in FATA.
In Somalia, Al Qaeda operates through A , while in Yemen, organization works with Al Qaeda to fight a war to overthrow the Yemeni government.
In Pakistain, Al Qaeda has also found reliable partners in the Haqqani Network. Badruddin Haqqani, Nasiruddin Haqqani and Khalil al Rahman Haqqani serve as deputies of Sirajuddin and Jalaluddin Haqqani and organize attacks on major targets in Afghanistan.
Ties between Al Qaeda and TTP have worsened over the last few years. "In fact, Al Qaeda in Pakistain has found new friends in the Punjabi Taliban, through the Pak Al Qaeda leader Matiur Rehman," an American intelligence official said.
Documents seized from bin Laden's compound and recently declassified by the US government show the Al Qaeda leadership was not happy with Hakeemullah Mehsud's leadership style and had asked him to focus his energies on Afghanistan rather than Pakistain.
"We have several important comments that cover the concept, approach, and behavior of the TTP in Pakistain, which we believe are passive behavior and clear legal and religious mistakes which might result in a negative deviation from the set path of the Jihadi Movement in Pakistain, which also are contrary to the objectives of Jihad and to the efforts exerted by us," Osama bin Laden said in a letter. He said the killing of s and using people as human shields were part of these "mistakes".
Eventually, in late 2011, four major Taliban groups in Pakistain formed the Shura-e-Murakeba - after a deal was negotiated by Abu Yahya al-Libi, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, an Al Qaeda's Abdur Rehman Al Saudi - and decided to fight the US and other forces in Afghanistan.
The future of Al Qaeda:
"Where Al Qaeda goes from here is hard to determine," says Carl Adams. "Although they are not as powerful as they used to be, Al Qaeda is neither resting nor going away anytime soon. It is desperate for a big breakthrough, and that makes it an unguided missile: formidable, disorderly, and injurious - even if sometimes crashing short of the intended targets."
|Al Qaeda core essentially gone, but affiliates remain a threat|
| A year after the Navy SEAL raid that killed the Al Qaeda that carried out the Sept. 11 attacks is essentially gone but its affiliates remain a threat to America, U.S. counterterrorist officials say.|
The situation's similar to the end of World War II: Europe (the world, in fact) was still crawling with fascists and Nazis, but they weren't a major threat anymore. The literature of the time still featured evil Nazi villains, but the real world news had moved on to other things.
Core Al Qaeda's new leader, Ayman al- still aspires to attack the U.S., but his Pakistan-based group is scrambling to survive, under fire from CIA drone and lying low for fear of another U.S. raid. That has lessened the threat of another complex attack like a nuclear dirty bomb or a biological weapon, the officials say.
This is probably the spot to note that the Paks still wax indignant over the drone zaps, even though they are theoretically to the benefit of the Paks. North Wazoo is way outside the control of Islamabad, though they still maintain liaison with the Qaeda-allied groups, including Jalaluddin Haqqani's little empire, various Pak Taliban groups, and the remnants of TNSM. Sami ul-Haq's Darul Uloom Haqqania madrassa, in Akora Khattak, turns out a thousand "Islamic scholars" a year. Mullah Sandwich is, of course, known as "the Father of the Taliban" and the madrassa is the "Harvard of the Taliban movement." Sami is unmolested and in fact revered in Pakistain, even having sat in the senate for a few years. He probably needed two chairs to accommodate the size of his ego.
Al Qaeda's loyal offshoots are still dangerous, especially Yemen's Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP.
Some are, some aren't.
Al-Qaeda in Britain appears to be defunct, as does al-Q in Europe. We occasionally hear of an al-Q in Turkey kaboom, but the Grand Turk seems diligent about rounding them up and letting them see how they like being in a Turkish prison.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq died when Zarqawi got his. The level of violence has been dropping since he was stuffed and mounted, and the Iraqis are now capable of rounding up the Islamic remnants. They won't become a threat to the state unless the state starts to collapse.
Jemaah Islamiya, in southeast Asia, is similarly not quite defunct but getting there. Abu Sayyaf is reduced to being little more than bandidos, which is what they started out as, and the Pentagon Gang doesn't seem to be with us anymore.
JMB and HuJI in Bangladesh are also goners. Keep in mind that Bangla is a tangle of corruption and personality politics. All it takes to control terrorism is
Qaeda in North Africa seems to have been mostly run out of Algeria, never got a toehold in Libya or Morocco, and hasn't even done well in Mauritania. The best they've been able to do recently is link up with the Tauregs and capture Timbuktoo from Mali, which is one of those things where you'd be surprised if they couldn't do it.
The Ethiopians are in Somalia, kicking Islamic butt for the second time. The Islamic Courts have been broken up -- the only guy they had who seemed to have any sense is now president of Somalia, while al-Shabaab, which was a mere murderous faction, is being forced out by the Aethiops, the AU, and domestic Islamist but not Qaeda groups. The turbans are now trying to take over Puntland, which will probably be a lot harder than they expect.
Boko Haram is on the rise in Nigeria and it presents a major threat that I don't think the Nigerian government quite comprehends. They're already picked up on two important facts: it's sponsored and financed by Nigerian politicians for domestic political ends, which is sure recipe for having your monster eat you at some point in the future; and there is significant foreign involvement. At some point they will either get serious and start rounding up holy men, or they'll have another civil war that will make Biafra look like... ummm... jello wrestling.
While not yet able to carry out complex attacks inside the U.S.,
... which was the whole idea behind the War on Terror...
such groups are capable of hitting Western targets overseas
... and always will be. It doesn't take much in the way of hardware of training to commit an act of terror. Witness Breivik, the Norwegian anti-Islamist nutbag.
and are building armies and expertise while plotting violence,
The "armies" are infinitesimal. Every time they pop up, except for Pakistain and possibly Timbuktoo, they get chopped to pieces. Usually it's by the local government, sometimes by Aethiops. Even in Yemen, which is a failed state by any definition except perhaps (and only perhaps) the one current in Sana'a, they're getting chopped up. They had to get rid of Saleh, and now they're getting rid of Saleh's minions, but they're hitting back in the south, and last we saw they were in the process of retaking Zinjibar. Like the maggots they are, al-Q thrives on decay and corruption. Once an even remotely competent government is in place they revert to being nothing but nuisances, if occasionally fatal nuisances.
according to senior U.S. counterterrorist officials who briefed reporters Friday. "Each will seek opportunities to strike Western interests in its operating area, but each group will have different intent and ability to execute those plans," said Robert Cardillo, a deputy director at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
That's kind of a plain vanilla statement of the obvious. I wonder why they call it Fox "News"?
The shift from a single, deadly group to a more amorphous threat may not seem much of an improvement.
If you're being attacked by a horde of screaming Huns and General Aetius shows up with his legions to break the horde into smaller, digestible groups, your situation's improved. If you're foolish enough not to follow up and finish the job, and maybe even have Aetius bumped off, then failure's your own damned fault.
But the U.S. believes that the bin Laden raid and continued U.S. counterterrorist action have reduced the chance of a sophisticated, multipronged attack on the U.S. like the attacks of Sept. 11 or the deadly bombings in Madrid in 2004 and in London in 2005.
The threat's "reduced" only because they're in the past. Young fellows who think turbans are neat continue running off to Pakistain to buy curly-toed slippers and to learn how to blow things up. It does not take a lot of money or a lot of training to commit an act of terror, especially when the agent is considered expendable. Every major act of terrorism in at least the past five years and maybe ten (I haven't checked in detail) has had at least one Pak involved at the controller level. The willingness to expend human life to achieve relatively minor ends is a hallmark of al-Q, and especially of Pak-based al-Q. Their level of respect for human life would make Fu Manchu blanch. Even Thulsa Doom would come down with the vapors.
An attack with weapons of mass destruction -- chemical, biological or nuclear -- by any Al Qaeda-related terror group also seems less likely in the coming year, Cardillo said.
... unless they can fit them into a boom jacket...
Al Qaeda's Zawahiri has not managed to harness multiple groups into a cohesive force focused on a single, catastrophic attack, officials said. Al Qaeda's key affiliates in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and North Africa have pledged allegiance to Zawahri but, unimpressed with his leadership, "have not offered the deference they gave bin Laden," Cardillo said. Zawahri has a reputation as an abrasive manager and a less than charismatic speaker.
He's argumentative and dogmatic, but he's also likely to have people he disagrees with blown up. His own end could very likely be at the hands of an indignant Mehsud whose second cousin's car blew up after an argument with Screech.
That loss of a single, charismatic voice likely means "multiple voices will provide inspiration for the movement," leading to a bout of soul-searching as to what the splinter groups want to target and why, Cardillo said. "There will be a vigorous debate about local versus global jihad within and among terror organizations," he said.
The charismatic leaders will also be the guys who get that clenchy feeling between their shoulder blades whenever they hear a jet aircraft.
Another potentially positive sign is Al Qaeda's failure to hijack the Arab Spring revolt in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya. On the negative side, the officials said, Al Qaeda is working hard to co-opt rebels in Syria.
Thre's been considerable alarm taken over the success of the Moslem Brüautderbund and al-Islah in the new Arab Spring governments. Since I don't have to live under their rule I'm considerably more sanguine. They're the cowpox to the al-Qaeda smallpox. The same people who are Islamist today were Nasserites or socialists fifty or sixty years ago, fascists 75 years ago, or Baathists at any time within that span. We're looking at a society where people follow the guy who has all the answers. The MB will now be given the chance to show their stuff, which will mean another thirty or forty years of oppression, just oppression that's of a different flavor than the oppression of the uniformed dictators they've been living under. There'll be another "Arab Spring" at some point in the future (I'll be dead by then) and the MB will be replaced by some other bunch that has all the answers. And so on for another thirty or forty or even fifty years.
If the political wrangling in any of the post-revolt nations fails to produce stable, responsive governments, Al Qaeda and its ilk may be able to seize the void, the officials said.
But they'll only be significantly successful if the governments collapse completely, as in the case of Yemen, Somalia, or northern Mali. Or if there's government connivance, as in the case of Pakistain.
That's what has occurred in Yemen, where AQAP has taken full advantage of the local government's preoccupation fighting multiple political opponents.
AQAP has grown in size and territory covered despite constant and expanded targeting by Yemeni and U.S. counterterrorist forces, the officials said.
Actually they've waxed and waned. They were waxing when they hit the USS Cole in 2000, they waned post-9/11, to the point where the "Aden-Abyan Army" winked out of existence. Then they started waxing again when Saleh's troubles started and he needed something to threaten his opposition with and to try and round up support from the U.S. and the Brits. Now I think they're slowly starting to wane again as Hadi tries getting them under control and we keep dronezapping.
Another threat they cited: Homegrown extremists, either lone actors or small groups inspired by Al Qaeda, who remain intent on committing violence.
These are the nuisance guys that we'll never be rid of unless we start catching them on Monday, trying them on Tuesday, and hanging them on Wednesday.
The officials also noted that every time U.S. counterterrorist forces strike, they must take care to avoid everything from civilian casualties to hitting the wrong target, lest the blowback produce more enemies. "The key challenge will be balancing aggressive counterterrorism operations, with the risk of exacerbating the anti-Western global agenda" of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, Cardillo said.
Whether we kill innocent bystanders or not, the Urdu press and the Iran news agencies will report that we did. Green Helmet Guy and his analogs are still around. So I don't think unreasonable care is actually called for.
|Ilyas Kashmiri´s Death Confirmed|
Is Sirajuddin dead, too? Or was that another offspring?"Pakistani Jihadi leaders like Ameer Baitullah Mehsud, Commander Ilyas Kashmiri, Commander Binyamin and Commander Badr Mansoor (may Allah have mercy upon them) are targeted in drone attacks and similarly the son of the respected Afghan leader Jalaluddin Haqqani""May Allah have mercy upon him" -- the single Arabic term "rahimullah" -- clearly indicates Ilyas Kashmiri was indeed killed in the July 2011 US drone strike.
|Is a rethink under way?|
|[Dawn] FOREIGN Minister Rabbani Khar's recent statement to journalists rubbishing, in the words of one journalist, the concept of 'strategic depth' and maintaining that if this were being sought it could not be obtained militarily or through proxy war but only by "building trust with the Afghan state", is welcome.|
It is a recognition of the reality of the regional situation. It appears to signal that Pakistain is now prepared to perceive Afghanistan, with which Pakistain shares many bonds and on whose behalf it has assumed many burdens, as a sovereign, independent neighbour. But is this statement and the claim that the "trend" towards the change of policy "is clear" and we have actually "walked the talk" reflected in actual actions?
In this exchange with journalists, Ms Khar noted approvingly that President Karzai had talked of Pakistain having a "proactive supportive role and not a proactive leading role". But then she added her views on the path that Afghanistan should follow: hold a loya jirga to decide the broad framework for peace talks including an intra-Afghan dialogue to see on what conditions they want to run the process of peace and reconciliation, who do they want it to be run by and the time frame in which they want this completed.
This is good advice. I myself have long advocated an intra-Afghan dialogue that brings together various ethnic groups -- the Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras and anti-Taliban or at least moderate Pakhtuns -- to decide on power-sharing arrangements and changes in the constitutional structure that can be offered to the Taliban.
I, however, am a private citizen and can offer such advice publicly. A Pak foreign minister has to be much more circumspect in public statements even while being prepared to offer such recommendations in private discussions.
One must assume that since Ms Khar was obviously speaking from a well-prepared brief this suggestion was designed to address suspicions in Afghanistan that Pakistain did not believe that ethnic minorities had a role to play in the reconciliation process.
But does this, important as it may be, constitute "walking the talk"? From the Afghan perspective our contribution should be to persuade the Taliban to come to the negotiating table. After President Karzai's visit Ms Khar dismissed as ridiculous what she termed as the Karzai demand that Pakistain deliver to the negotiating table.
She may be right in saying that Pakistain does not know where Mullah Omar is and certainly cannot force him to negotiate with Karzai. What Pakistain can, however, do is be more helpful in identifying and bringing forward such Taliban and Haqqani representatives that have credible positions in the movement and are valued as initial negotiating partners by Afghanistan.
Mullah Ghani Baradar, who we have been holding as an honoured guest, is one person Karzai believes is of consequence in the Taliban movement, since at the time of his detention he was perceived to be Mullah Omar's principal lieutenant. He probably also believes that Ibrahim Haqqani, brother of Jalaluddin Haqqani with whom the Americans held talks arranged by the ISI, could be another interlocutor. If we are really rethinking our position on Afghanistan these are requests we should accede to -- and urgently.
This is not altruism. We must recognise that reconciliation on whatever terms the Afghans can agree among themselves with such prodding as we and other Afghan well-wishers can provide is as urgent a necessity for Pakistain as it is for our Afghan brethren. We must recognise that suspicions about our intentions trigger reactions by other neighbours of Afghanistan that would retard reconciliation. We must therefore be seen through our concrete actions as being sincere in our protestations of support for Afghan-led reconciliation.
Recent incidents such as urinating by American soldiers on Afghan corpses, and more importantly, the burning of religious texts makes problematic the prospect of agreement on the Strategic Partnership Document that the Afghans have been negotiating with the Americans to govern a limited US presence after foreign troops withdraw.
These incidents have probably also ensured that the Americans will complete their withdrawal by 2013 rather than the originally envisaged 2014 date. Therefore, this possible source of economic activity and employment generation for Afghans will also disappear faster than anticipated.
Political turbulence in Afghanistan and the expected economic downturn have already increased the flow of economic refugees to Pakistain. This refugee trickle will turn into a flood as there is greater unemployment following the reduction in the size of the Afghan National Security Forces from 358,000 to 230,000, by retrenchment in firms that currently provide security at ongoing projects and by the halt of construction and other economic activities generated by the foreign troops' presence.
It is my estimate that unless we take precautionary measures we will have in the next two to three years some two million economic refugees from Afghanistan. If there is no reconciliation, the mix of economic and political refugees will climb to five million to add to the numbers already here.
Even as we work with Karzai to promote reconciliation and increase our diplomatic efforts to win support from others for such reconciliation, we must do more to secure our borders against the influx of refugees. For starters the biometric system must be enforced for all travellers between Afghanistan and Pakistain across Torkham and Chaman. We must also ensure that we exercise greater control over the refugee camps even if we cannot close them down.
|US envoy complains of Haqqani havens|
|WASHINGTON: The US ambassador to Afghanistan sent a top-secret cable to Washington last month warning that the existence of enemy havens in Pakistan was placing the US strategy in Afghanistan in jeopardy, The Washington Post reported late on Friday. |
In past years, US military officials have argued that the best defence against Pakistan insurgent sanctuaries
"The sanctuaries are a deal-killer for the strategy," The Post quoted a senior defence official as saying. The Haqqani network is responsible for some of the larger and more dramatic attacks on Kabul, including one on the US Embassy last year, the paper said.
The group's patriarch, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was a major mujahideen fighter in the CIA-backed effort to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan in the 1980s. He has relinquished control to his son, Sirajuddin, who carries a $5 million US bounty on his head and runs day-to-day operations from the network's Pakistani base in Miranshah, the paper said.
The location has given the Haqqani leadership a measure of protection, according to The Post.
|NATO report: The Taliban are not Islam, the Taliban are Islamabad|
|A secret Nato report published by British media shows that the Taliban in Afghanistan are being directly assisted by Pakistani security services.|
The report says that the Pak intelligence agency, ISI, "is thoroughly aware of Taliban activities and the whereabouts of all senior Taliban personnel"
"Pakistain's manipulation of the Taliban ship continues unabatedly," the report was quoted as saying.
"Pakistain knows everything. The Taliban are not Islam, the Taliban are Islamabad," the report says.
Part of the report which has been seen by TOLOnews says the Haqqani Network conducts most of the Taliban's "large-scale operations" in Kabul and the Taliban have designated the Afghan capital as "free area", in which any commander can conduct operation without prior coordination with the local command.
The report says that Sarajuddin Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani Network, is in hiding and his brother Badruddin is in charge of all military operations.
The report also says Nasruddin, the oldest son of Haqqani Network's founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, who is described as loyal and competent "represents Sarajuddin in meetings with ISI [Pakistain intelligence agency] in Islamabad, Pakistain, and the Taliban Central Shura in Pak city of Quetta.
The report says that the Haqqani family "resides immediately west of the ISI office at the airfield in Miram Shah", Pakistain.
"This document aggregates the comments of Taliban detainees in a captive environment, without considering the validity of, or motivation behind their reflections," said Cummings in a statement.
Pakistain has always denied allegations of having any ties with the Taliban or other groups.
The US Department of Defence has set out it fears about Pakistain and its influence in Afghanistan, but it said it could not comment on the report.
"We have long been concerned about ties between elements of the ISI and some networks," said US Pentagon Captain John Kirby, adding that the US Defence Department had not seen the report.
Pakistain has frequently been accused by US officials of supporting that carry out attacks against foreign troops and Afghan forces, something Pakistain has repeatedly denied.
The report comes as the Pak Foreign Minister Hinna Rabbani Khar is making her first visit to Kabul to extend Pakistain's support to Afghan peace efforts..
|Major attack would damage Pakistan alliance: US official|
|[Dawn] Another major attack on American interests in Afghanistan by Pakistain-based groups would greatly damage the alliance with Islamabad, a senior US official said on Tuesday.|
The official was voicing Washington's frustrations with Pakistain and its failure to tackle safe havens in its territory that groups such as the Haqqani network use to launch attacks against forces in Afghanistan.
The official specifically referred to an attack in September on an American base in Wardak province that 77 American troops and a 20-hour siege of the US embassy in Kabul that killed nine.
"A spectacular raid or a set of spectacular mis-steps, which are possible, could take the relationship much more in a direction that would be detrimental for both countries," the official said from Islamabad, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the relationship.
Both attacks were blamed on the Haqqanis. The former Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral, Mike Mullen, has said the Haqqanis are a "veritable arm" of Islamabad's top spy agency, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The Haqqani network is a group allied with the Taliban that was started by Jalaluddin Haqqani, who rose to prominence in the 1980s receiving weapons and funds from the CIA and to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
Although considered to be a part of the larger Taliban umbrella organization headed by and his Quetta Shura Taliban, the Haqqanis maintain their own command and control, and lines of operation.
"You need to encircle them, not let them have free travel, prevent them from trying to get into Afghanistan," the US official said.
"Cut them off from funding. Cut them off from information. And let them know that there will be a price to be paid from both the Americans and the Paks if you do what you did at the embassy in Kabul, or in Wardak."
The official said she was not expecting a Pak military offensive against the Haqqanis.
Mullen's allegation outraged the Paks, but they later said they do maintain contacts with the Haqqanis, as do many spy agencies, but do not support them.
"We have never paid a penny or provided even a single bullet to the Haqqani network," ISI chief Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha told days after the attacks.
The Paks are equally frustrated with the United States. Pak officials often complain that Washington woos Islamabad only when it needs something and that it does not care about Pakistain's other problems, such as its staggering economy, lack of development and disputes with India.
In a two-day visit to Islamabad in October, US Secretary of State said Pakistain needed to "squeeze" the Haqqanis in a bid to limit their ability to attack NATO troops and bring them to the negotiating table.
|US drone attack kills four in Pakistan|
|[Dawn] A US drone strike killed four in northwestern Pakistain on Friday, the third such attack in 48 hours against Taliban hotbeds in near the Afghan border, officials said.|
The drone fired two missiles into a vehicle as it drove through Darpa Khel village about four kilometres (two miles) west of Miramshah, the main town in the district of North Waziristan, the Pak security officials told AFP.
"The US drone fired two missiles," one of the officials told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media.
"Four were killed in the attack, they were all in the vehicle," he added.
The identities of the dead were not clear, but the village is a stronghold for fighting against US troops in Afghanistan.
Covert CIA drones are the chief US weapon against Taliban and al Qaeda who use Pakistain's lawless tribal areas as launchpads for attacking US troops in Afghanistan and plotting attacks on the West.
A US official in Washington described a commander in the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network who was killed on Thursday as "the most senior Haqqani leader in Pakistain to be taken off the battlefield".
Pak officials reported 10 killed in two US drone strikes on Thursday and named the Haqqani commander as Jamil Haqqani, a coordinator for the Afghan Taliban faction in North Waziristan.
The US official said he was known as Jamil and as Janbaz Zadran, accusing him of having "played a central role in helping the Haqqani network attack US and coalition targets in Kabul and southeastern Afghanistan".
Pak officials said the slain commander was not a relative of Jalaluddin Haqqani, the Afghan warlord who founded the Taliban faction, but had been close to his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, who now runs the network.
The United States blames the Haqqanis for fuelling the 10-year insurgency in Afghanistan, attacking US-led troops and working to destabilize the Western-backed government of
The US military has accused Pakistain's premier intelligence outfit, the ISI, of having close ties to the network and of being involved in a 19-hour siege of the American embassy in Kabul on September 13.
After that attack, which killed 14 Afghans, Washington significantly stepped up demands on Pakistain to take action against the Haqqani network.
But Pakistain has refused to launch a sweeping ground offensive in North Waziristan, the Haqqanis' leadership base, leaving American response largely limited to US drone strikes.
More than 50 have been reported in Pakistain so far this year including dozens since Navy SEALs killed al Qaeda leader in the garrison city of Abbottabad, close to the capital Islamabad, on May 2.
Defence Secretary has said for the first time that the United States was waging "war" in Pakistain against s, referring to the covert CIA drone campaign that Washington refuses to discuss publicly.
|10 militants killed in drone attacks|
|[Dawn] Ten were killed in US drone attacks on targets in North and South on Thursday.|
The attacks took place as Special US Envoy for Pakistain and Afghanistan, Marc Grossman, arrived in Islamabad and held talks with civilian and military leaders.
In the first attack, two missiles struck a compound in Dandi Derpakhel area near Miramshah in North Waziristan, early in the morning.
Official sources said a commander of the Haqqani network identified as Jamil and three other were killed. They said the drone fired missiles when Jamil came out of the compound.
Members of Jalaluddin Haqqani's family and close relatives have been living in Dandi Derpakhel area since the start of the Afghan war. The group had set up a seminary in the area.
Another drone attacked an outpost of on a hill in Zeba mountains close to the Afghan border.
Sources said the were using the outpost to keep an eye on the movement of and Afghan troops at their forward base in Machadad Kot area of province across the border. Two Afghan and four local were killed in the drone attack, sources said.
Agencies add: "Jamil Haqqani, an important Afghan commander of the Haqqani network was the target and was killed," a Pak security official said, adding that Jamil was working as a coordinator of the network in North Waziristan.
The official said the three other killed in the strike were Haqqani's fighters, guarding the commander in the compound.
Other officials said Jamil was not related to Jalaluddin, or his son Sirajuddin who now runs the network but that he was "very close to the top commanders, including Sirajuddin".
a US official on Thursday confirmed that a top Haqqani commander had been killed in a strike in Pakistain.
"It's been confirmed that Janbaz Zadran, aka Jamil, was killed earlier today in North Waziristan, Pakistain," the official said, adding that his death "makes him the most senior Haqqani leader in Pakistain to be taken off the battlefield."