|Security forces kill TTP terrorist in South Waziristan|
|[DAILYTIMES.PK] Security forces during an operation on Tuesday killed a Tehrik-e- Pakistain (TTP) terrorist in Ladha, South , Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.TTP terrorist Pir, alias Asad, was killed after security forces conducted an operation in the Ladha region of South Waziristan after the reports of in the region emerged.|
After an intense exchange of fire, the terrorist named Pir alias Asad was .
Terrorist, Asad was an active member of TTP’s Baitullah Mehsud group in Ladha since 2006, said the military’s media wing. The TTP terrorist remained actively involved in terror activities
Earlier during another exchange of fire, one terrorist named Zahid ud Din resident of Dewagar, North Waziristan was killed.
Terrorist Zahid ud Din was an active member of TTP in the Dewagar and Kharseen areas, said the ISPR, adding that the TTP terrorist remained actively involved in s, terrorist activities against security forces, extortion and planting IEDs.
|At least two PTM workers killed in South Waziristan 'militant attack'|
|[DAWN] At least four people, including two activists of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), were killed and dozens of others injured in a attack in South agency's headquarters of Wana on Sunday, sources said.|
Sources told DawnNewsTV that the targeted a PTM rally that was organised to welcome one of the movement’s leaders, Ali Wazir.
PTM leader Mohsin Dawar confirmed the incident, saying the opened indiscriminate fire at the rally, killing and injuring a number of PTM supporters.
While quoting reports received from Wana so far, he said four PTM supporters have been killed and dozens injured in the incident.
"Our workers are busy in shifting the injured to the hospital," Dawar said, adding that they are trying to obtain more information.
A local source told DawnNewsTV that two PTM workers and as many local residents were killed in the firing incident. He added that the number of deaths may rise as several of the injured are in a critical condition. The numbers could not be immediately verified by officials.
According to AFP, supporters of PTM, which is led by young activist Manzoor Pashteen, wanted to hold a rally to protest against growing corruption in the tribal regions.
"The clash erupted after supporters of Manzoor Pashteen were stopped from holding a protest rally by local belonging to Maulvi Nazir group," a senior local administration official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The Pashtun activists torched two offices of the s, which led to an exchange of fire, killing two people and wounding 25 others, the official said.
The local administration immediately imposed a curfew on the area to control the fast deteriorating situation, a local intelligence official, who confirmed the incident and casualties, told AFP.
Another official said efforts were underway to bring the situation under control, adding the local administration was holding talks with the "two parties".
|Lashkar demolishes houses of ‘militants’ in Wana|
|[DAWN] Seven houses of alleged and their s were razed to the ground by a lashkar (a group of peace volunteers from Ahmedzai Wazir tribe) in different areas of Wana in South agency on Wednesday.|
The houses of Ghulam Jan and his relatives were demolished in Shalam Dana and those of Toor Hafiz and Wari Khan in Shin Warsak. The houses of Gul Mir in Tiarza and Sattar Khan and his cousin in Samar Bagh were also razed to the ground.
The "accused terrorists" belonged to the Hakimullah and Maulvi Nazir groups of the banned Tehrik-Taliban Pakistain (TTP).
According to sources, the decision to demolish the houses was taken by a 120-member jirga (an elders’ council) after "proofs" of the suspects’ involvement in terrorist activities were obtained through an investigation. The jirga found that the " and their s" were part of the TTP and had violated a peace accord with the government.
It investigated the matter on a complaint lodged by the political administration of South Waziristan.
Wana bazaar remained closed during the demolition process in which over 400 volunteers participated, sources said.
The houses were razed to the ground with the help of bulldozers and the debris was set on fire.
|The Drone Spotters of Pakistan|
|[THEDAILYBEAST] Half a dozen men sit on the floor in a grimy rented storefront in the crowded Khyber Bazaar. A bottle of locally brewed liquor chills in a water cooler in the corner, a Pepsi bottle next to it for mixing. A Bollywood soundtrack plays in the background. It's a farewell party for Allah Noor, who has spent the last five years identifying targets in rural Pakistain for U.S. drone strikes.|
Noor, as we'll call him, is tall and wiry. Now in his early thirties, his cheeks are sunken from smoking too much hash. He hasn't slept in the same place two nights in a row ever since a U.S. drone killed Maulvi Nazir, his former boss, on Jan. 2, 2013. 'After that,' he says, 'I realized the government is playing a double game.'
'Sometimes I hide in
|TTP extends ceasefire until April 10|
|[DAWN] The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) has extended the ceasefire until April 10, the group's Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement, adding that the Taliban shura would be meeting after the 10th to decide a future course of action.|
The extension comes a day after the interior ministry announced that it had released 19 non-combatant Taliban as a goodwill gesture for bolstering the with the TTP.
In a statement issued to the media, Shahid said the group was awaiting the government's reply on its demands.
Shahid said the Taliban shura has extended the deadline and would sit after April 10 to decide about the future of talks.
He said the Taliban were still awaiting a reply from the government regarding the group's demands, including the release of non-combatants, but despite the passage of three days above the ceasefire deadline, the government had not yet responded to the TTP.
Shahid said the TTP had ordered its fighters not to carry out any attacks against the government and law-enforcement agencies until further orders.
The page-long statement issued in the Urdu language also said that the TTP wanted to clarify its position before the nation that it was serious about the talks but the response from the government had not encouraging.
It added that despite the fact the government's peace committee had met the Taliban leadership empty-handed, the Taliban had shown willingness to talk peace.
19 Taliban prisoners freed
The ceasefire extension comes a day after the interior ministry announced that it had released 19 non-combatant Taliban as a goodwill gesture for bolstering the with the TTP.
The interior ministry announced on Thursday that the release of the 19 was the first large batch of people freed since the launch of military operation in South in 2009.
A for the ministry said the prisoners released were non-combatant Taliban belonging to the Mehsud tribe.
The ministry did not release their names. It said three of them had been released on March 21, five on March 25 and 11 on March 28. They were on suspicion or on the basis of intelligence reports.
An official earlier told Dawn that most of the people released had been rounded up during search operations and declared "white" implying that they were innocent. Some of them belong to the Khan Said alias Sajna group which is widely believed to have been in contact with security agencies to cut a peace deal prior to the start of talks with the mainstream TTP.
a commander told Dawn's correspondent in that those released did not belong to the TTP. They belonged to the Wana-based Maulvi Nazir group which already had a peace agreement with the government, he claimed.
|Spoilers in the game|
|[DAWN] REMEMBER the attack on the district courts on March 18, 2013? Two s had entered the district courts, from the back, firing indiscriminately and lobbing hand-grenades.|
Fast forward to March 3, 2014. A couple of suicide bombers entered the district courts in Islamabad, police say, from the back of the premises, shooting and throwing hand-grenades.
The attacks were strikingly similar in method, only this time the intelligence and security officials aren't really sure who or which group of the myriad of Pak are behind it. The Peshawar district courts attack was attributed to the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain's Tariq Geedar; this time it is Ahrarul Hind -- a relatively new entrant -- which has for the Islamabad bombing.
Ahrar is a recent phenomenon. It had come under the spotlight on Feb 9 when it declared it would not accept any peace agreement short of complete enforcement of Sharia. On Feb 14, the group publicly rebuked "those who hope that peace would come to Pakistain through an agreement or ceasefire with the Taliban without the enforcement of Sharia. "That would be ridiculous," its Asad Mansoor had said in his first statement.
Founded by brothers from Hizro, Attock district in Punjab, the attack by Ahrar in Islamabad and the denial by the TTP , Shahidullah Shahid, is a grim reminder of just how complex the Pak scene is.
The attack came within hours of a ing in Landi Kotal, region, which targeted a Frontier Corps vehicle and that intelligence officials believe is the handiwork of the TTP's Mohmand chapter. It has once again prompted calls from those advocating talks for segregating the amenable and reconcilable from those bent upon spilling blood and wreaking havoc.
There are said to be 43 Pak groups operating in North alone. Counted together with groups operating in other tribal agencies and settled districts of the country, the total number of organizations in Pakistain comes roughly to 54. Foreign groups are said to be 12 in number. Most of the groups are operating under the TTP umbrella. Some are independent but officials believe the groups have ideological, tactical and logistical similarities.
Of the 54 groups, the government has peace agreements with two groups -- the Maulvi Nazir group in Wana, South Waziristan, and Hafiz Gul Bahadar's group in , North Waziristan, which, depending how one interprets it, are holding. Other than them, there are two more groups which the government believes can be reconciled -- Khan Said alias Sajna (Waliur Rehman group) and Asmatullah Moawya (Punjabi group). Together, their total fighting strength, according to official estimates, should come to 1,300.
Then there are four other Punjabi Taliban groups, which officials believe, could be neutral, and are waiting to see how the cookie crumbles.
For the foreign groups, a peace agreement (like the deals) still holding, which can somehow ensure their continued stay in the region would be a better option than a military operation which would uproot them along with thousands of others. Their survival thus would hinge largely on a loose peace agreement. North Waziristan is their last stand.
But while most of these groups have taken sanctuary in the volatile tribal region, there are two other groups whose behaviour would also have an impact on any policy formulation. Miranshah is home to Hafiz Gul Bahadar and the Haqqani Network. So far, officials believe that both groups are neutral.
Gul Bahadar has a vested interest in talks and against an escalation in hostilities that could threaten 'peace' in his own region. The Haqqani Network would not want action that could, even temporarily, disturb their operations in Afghanistan. The TTP has served as their rearguard in Pakistain. But if there is action, it could easily slip across the border where officials claim they have a large swathe of territory available to operate from.
So even if the TTP is engaged in talks and their claim of no involvement in the recent bombings are taken at face value, arguably there are still a number of groups which can work as spoilers, though there is scepticism within officialdom over the umbrella group's intentions and sincerity.
So far the TTP has played its cards intelligently; some analysts say it is politically savvier than those at the helm, crafting a course of action that the government has no option but to follow. It has stalled any impending military operation and put the hawks and the government on the defensive.
The scenario is so complex, complicated and confusing that there are many within officialdom who now wonder if there is any clarity and vision at the top.
Like the Guinness records being set in Lahore, the false starts of the military operation, the on-again, off-again peace talks, the attacks and the number of terminologies describing the strikes -- from targeted to surgical to precision to retaliatory -- may also become a record of sorts. The only difference is that the Guinness records are being celebrated in Lahore, while the wave of attacks in the rest of the country is cause for mourning.
|US sanctions Mali rebel leader|
|[News24] The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday on a Touareg leader whose group seized much of northern Mali last year and prompted a French military intervention.|
The State Department designated Iyad Ag Ghali, head of Ansar Dine, a global terrorist. The action blocks any assets he holds in the US and prohibits Americans from doing business with him. The UN also added Ag Ghali to its global sanctions list.
Ag Ghali's armed Islamists conquered much of northern Mali after a military coup in Mali's capital, aided by al-Qaeda's North Africa wing. In Timbuktu, he imposed strict Shari'ah law and forced thousands to flee; others were tortured and executed.
But a French-led intervention in January has turned the tide, forcing back Ag Ghali's rebels to mountainous hideouts near the Algeria border.
Separately, the US made further terror designations on a Pakistain-based group and one of its leaders on Tuesday.
Since 2006, the Commander Nazir Group "has run training camps, dispatched s, provided safe haven for al- , and conducted cross-border operations in Afghanistan against the United States and its allies," a State Department statement said. The sanctions extend to key commander Malang Wazir.
The group is named after Maulvi Nazir, a member of the Taliban but one whose faction agreed to a cease-fire with the Pakistain military in 2009 and did not attack domestic targets.
Nazir was killed in a US drone strike in January.
|Al Qaeda man killed in drone attack|
|[Dawn] A senior Al Qaeda figure is believed to be among 12 people killed in two US drone strikes in Mirali area of the volatile North tribal region on Monday night, a said.|
Drones fired eight missiles on a house in Haiderkhel village, 30km from , killing eight people. Among the dead were Sheikh Yasin Al Kuwaiti, a senior Al Qaeda operative, his wife and daughter, the official said.
Sheikh Yasin had married the daughter of a local , he added. "Eight missiles were fired on the compound he was living in with his family. His house has been turned into rubble."
Unconfirmed reports from the region said the dead included two Uzbek s.
Pak s, who control the region bordering Afghanistan, cordoned off the area struck by the drones and took away the bodies and the .
In the other strike that took place 15 minutes after the first one, four people were killed and two at Hassokhel village in Mirali area. The villagers believe the dead were local s.
There has been a surge in drone strikes in North and South Waziristan recently as there have been five such raids since the beginning of new year.
Maulvi Nazir, a commander having soft corner for Pakistain and who operated across the border in Afghanistan, was killed in such a strike last week.
AFP adds: The covert US drone strikes are publicly criticised by the Pak government as a violation of its but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against s.
Legal lobby group Reprieve estimates that up to 900 civilians are among the 2,621 to 3,442 people killed by drones in Pakistain since 2004.
|Drone kills top Talibunny Mullah Nazir|
|An American drone strike killed a key Taliban commander, his deputy and eight others in northwest Pakistan, according to intelligence sources and tribal leaders on Thursday.|
Maulvi Nazir Wazir, also known as Mullah
His key commanders and his deputy, Ratta Khan, were also killed in the attack at Angoor Adda, near the provincial capital of Wana.
The military has a large base in Wana, where Nazir and his men were based. Nazir presided over an uneasy peace between the militants and the army there, but the truce was endangered by the military's alliance with the United States and drone strikes, a military officer said recently.
The only thing holding it together was the fact that if they split they couldn't use the PX anymore...
He said, "The (drone) program is making things very difficult for us. Nazir is the sole remaining major militant leader willing to be an ally. If he decides to side with (Pakistan Taliban leader) Hakimullah, thousands of fighters will come to the frontlines against the Pakistani military. It is in our interest to keep him neutral, if not on our side, because then we can direct our resources against anti-state militants with much greater efficiency."
|Taliban 'commander' among four killed in blast|
|[Dawn] Fours, a key Taliban 'commander' among them, were killed and six others injured in a blast in Rustam bazaar of South on Friday.|
Maulvi Abbas, the , his son and two guards were killed when an IED (improvised ) said to have been planted in his office by his rivals, went off. Six people and were taken to agency headquarters' hospital in Wana and a private clinic.
Dr Akbar Khan told Dawn at the hospital that one of the injured had been referred DHQ hospital in .
Maulvi Abbas was one of four s who supported Uzbek and other foreign when Maulvi Nazir group and local Ahmedzai Wazir tribe launched an operation in 2007 and asked foreign to leave South Waziristan, blaming them for creating law and order problems in the region.
The other three commanders Maulvi Noorul Islam, Javed Wazir and Omar Wazir, took refuge in areas controlled by Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman in North Waziristan after operation Rahe Nijat was launched by security forces. Omar Wazir was later killed in a drone attack in Machikhel area of North Waziristan.
Abbas, Noorul Islam and Javed Wazir moved back to Wana after striking a secret deal with Maulvi Nazir group and Ahmedzai elders about a year ago.
|North Waziristan tribes lose perks for not supporting anti-polio drive|
|[Dawn] The political administration of North Agency has suspended all perks and privilege of Othmanzai Dawar and Wazir tribes for not cooperating with the authorities in the anti- drive in their areas.|
Political Agent Siraj Ahmed on Monday issued directives to heads of all government departments including Nadra, passport and tehsildar office to stop issuing passports, national identity cards and domiciles certificates to members of Wazir and Dawar -- two major tribes of North Waziristan.
According to the directives, ban has been imposed on provision of lungi (honorarium given to tribal elders), fresh recruitments of Class IV employees and developmental work till these tribal elders ensure security of teams taking part in the anti-polio campaign.
The decision was taken under collective territorial responsibility clause of Frontier Crimes Regulations.
The political agent told Dawn that the decision was taken after the elders of Wazir and Dawar tribes failed to cooperate with the government in carrying out the anti-polio drive.
He said that thousands of children were at risk in the tribal region owing to a ban, imposed by s, on anti-polio drive. He said that government would not tolerate challenging its writ at any cost.
The political agent said that it was responsibility of tribal people to make security arrangements for the polio teams.
It may be recalled that Shura Mujahideen of North Waziristan (Hafiz Gul Bahadar group of Taliban) had imposed ban on anti-polio campaign in the tribal agency.
A pamphlet distributed on June 15, 2012 by the Shura stated that the ban on polio campaign would be continued till end to US drone attacks.
After one week, the Shura of South Waziristan Taliban (Maulvi Nazir group) also distributed a similar pamphlet, linking anti-polio campaign to drone attacks in the tribal agencies.
tribal people had held America responsible for ban on polio campaign. They said that Dr Shakil, presently languishing in jail, and other 'US agents' had played negative role during anti-polio campaign.
They said that Dr Shakil and his team helped America to trace out whereabouts of Al Qaeda chief by running a fake immunisation drive in A doctor responsible for carrying out polio campaign in tribal areas told Dawn on condition of anonymity that 160,000 children were deprived of vaccine during each campaign.
He said the government had made alternative arrangements to reach maximum children by administering vaccine to children under the age of five years at various points on roads from Bannu to Peshawar.
|Act Of War: Background On The Attempted Murder Of Maulvi Nazir|
|Bomb attack on Maulvi Nazir may not set off an all-out battle between his men and the TTP, but will spur tribal rivalries in South |
Key Maulvi Nazir survived a deadly on November 29, when he and his associates were visiting Rustam Bazaar in Wana, the administrative headquarters of South Waziristan. At least seven were killed and a dozen others in the attack.
Nazir suffered minor injuries on his face and legs, his Amir Nawaz told local s. No group has for the attack so far, and security analysts say Nazir has a long list of enemies. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) are the main suspects. Maulvi Nazir has also been targeted by US drones on several occasions, but survived each time. The most recent such attack was in June 2012.
Nazir belongs to the Kakakhel tribe, which is a sub-clan of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe. His family lives on both sides of the Durand Line. During the Soviet Afghan war, he was affiliated with 's Hizb-e-Islami and later joined the Taliban. He became the head of the Wana Taliban in late 2006 after challenging local commanders Haji Sharif and Haji Omar. Nazir's group is allied with commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur who US officials believe is sheltering the Haqqani network in the neighboring North Waziristan Agency.
Bahadur was made the deputy chief of TTP when it was formed under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud in 2007. TTP is an umbrella organization of various groups operating in FATA. After disagreements over attacks on Pak security forces and because of tribal rivalries, he joined hands with Maulvi Nazir and formed his own anti-TTP bloc. The two leaders fall in the military establishment's 'good Taliban' category because they do not carry out attacks inside Pakistain.
There are two main tribes in South Waziristan - the Ahmedzai Wazirs and the Mehsuds. The Ahmedzai Wazirs live in Wana subdivision, while the Sarawakai and Ladha subdivisions are dominated by the Mehsuds. With the help of the Ahmadzai Wazir tribes, led by Nazir threw out Uzbek of the IMU from Wana and other Wazir-dominated areas of South Waziristan in a spring 2007 uprising against Uzbek brutality.
The Uzbek had arrived in the area after their bases in Afghanistan were closed down in late 2001. Many of them relocated to North Waziristan and Mehsud-dominated areas of South Waziristan after their eviction from Wana. The IMU lost around 250 in the with Nazir's group. Pak security forces helped Nazir's men secure the bases vacated by the Uzbeks.
"It seems that the attack (on Nazir) was ed by the IMU-linked Uzbek s," a local tribal leader said. He said the frustrated Uzbeks had also killed Maulana Noor Muhammad, a prominent elder of the Ahmedzai tribe and former parliamentarian, along with 30 other people in a suicide attack in a mosque in Wana in August 2010.
Two days after the November 29 attack, loudspeakers in Karikot, Shakai, Azam Warsak, Spin and Toi Khulla towns of Wana announced Nazir's ultimatum to the Mehsud to vacate the areas by December 5. Locals found guilty of sheltering the Mehsuds would be fined up to Rs 1.5 million and their houses will be demolished, said the warning.
The announcement indicates Maulvi Nazir holds the TTP responsible for the attack, security analysts say. "The TTP is largely dominated by Mehsud from South Waziristan, and Nazir made no distinction between the internally displaced Mehsud and the s," said a local journalist based in Wana. A large number of Mehsud families have moved to other areas after the warning, he said. Hours after the attack, loyal to Nazir two TTP in Wana, local sources said.
The Mehsud population had to leave their homes when a military operation codenamed Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation) started in October 2009. The operation has not ended yet. The Mehsuds were sheltered in IDP camps or began living in rented houses in Wana, Tank, and Nazir has been at loggerheads with the TTP leadership over a September 2009 incident in which he alleges 11 of his men were killed by TTP in Mehsud territory in Salay Rogha, South Waziristan. They were on their way to Wana. Mehsud Taliban fighters have also been warned by the Nazir group not to use their soil for attacks against security forces.
Pir Zubair Shah, a former from South Waziristan, believes the attack on Nazir was likely planned by local Wazir commanders Haji Omar and Maulvi Abbas, who had sided with the Uzbek and were thus evicted from Wana in 2007. "Although some of these Waziri had made peace deals with Nazir and were allowed to come back, it seems the tension still exists," he said.
Security analysts and tribal elders think the Ahmedzai jirga's decision to ask the Mehsuds to leave Wana could trigger a bloody clash between the Mehsud and Wazir tribes. "I don't think this attack will result in an all-out war between the Nazir-led group and the TTP. The clash between the two will be actually a clash between the Mehsud and Wazir tribes," Shah said. He said the eviction notice was an effort by the government to sideline the TTP which draws its strength from the Mehsuds.
Similar efforts are also being made in North Waziristan where the local Utmanzai tribal elders and Bahadur-led decided in a November 22 jirga to form a militia (lashkar) against "criminals and terrorists".
"Kidnappers, and those involved in attacks on security forces should leave the North Waziristan Agency immediately," the jirga announced.
Creating divisions between Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and the TTP has long been part of the American strategy in the region, and Pakistain's goal has been to weaken the TTP, said Arif Ansar, a security analyst associated with PoliTact, a Washington-based think tank. "Far from media attention, one can sense that the US and Pakistain have agreed on some kind of a quid pro quo in this regard," he said.