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Old 03-30-2008, 01:32 PM
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Default New Pakistan leaders target militants

New Pakistan leaders target militants
By Syed Saleem Shahzad

KARACHI - With Pakistan's democratically elected government now installed and Yousuf Raza Gillani sworn in as the new prime minister, the administration can get down to one of the main businesses of the day: dealing with militancy.

There has been much talk of a public backlash against the military operations orchestrated by President Pervez Musharraf against militants in the tribal areas and that the new government will seek to reverse the policies he adopted in the "war on terror" during his eight years as a military ruler.

However, Asia Times Online investigations reveal that the ruling coalition, dominated by assassinated former opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) and the Pakistan



Muslim League (PML) of Nawaz Sharif, will attempt, through dialogue, to split the militants so that the Taliban and al-Qaeda will be exposed, much as has happened with the Sunni-dominated Awakening Councils that have turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq.

This decision comes at an important time. The Taliban have opened up a new front in Khyber Agency in Pakistan, as predicted by Asia Times Online last week (Same game, new rules in Afghanistan) . On Sunday, about 36 oil tankers that supply fuel to United States-led forces in neighboring Afghanistan were blown up in Khyber Agency. At least 70 people were injured. On Tuesday, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte began talks in Pakistan to discuss, among other issues, the new government's role against militants.

Asia Times Online contacts maintain the government will stick to a script agreed with Washington before February's elections that all efforts will be made to bring public support behind the "war on terror" and more military operations against militants.

"Everything will remain the same. The only difference is that politicians will do their job and the military will do its job. Nobody will try to overlap with another," said a contact who is a close aide of the PPP's co-chairman, Asif Zardari, and who is also close to Washington.

The main role will be played by the Pashtun sub-nationalist Awami National Party (ANP), which leads the ruling coalition in North-West Frontier Province. The ANP has already scheduled tribal jirgas (councils) aimed to demilitarize the tribal areas and separate local tribals from radical jihadis, whether they be local or foreign.

Indeed, the anti-Taliban networking has already resulted in several al-Qaeda and Taliban targets being hit. And importantly, leading Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on a "most wanted" list in Afghanistan, have left the North Waziristan tribal area for a safer district.

Government at work, eyes on Sharif
Apart from dealing with militancy, the new government has already tackled some sensitive issues.

On Monday, dozens of judges detained under emergency rule were released on the orders of Gillani, including former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The judges were sacked last November by Musharraf shortly before the Supreme Court was to adjudicate on whether his re-election as president was legal.

The government is now expected to seek the release of insurgents from Balochistan province.

Former premier Sharif is said to be a conservative and he has already opened up dialogue with militants. He is using several channels, one being Javaid Ibrahim Paracha, a former member of Parliament from Sharif's PML who openly provided shelter for Arabs who had fled from Afghanistan into Pakistan after the US-led invasion there in 2001.

According to sources close to Sharif, the dialogue is aimed at stopping the militants from attacking Pakistani cities. But this does not mean that Nawaz is soft on the militancy. Rather, the sources say, Sharif's aim is to isolate the al-Qaeda leadership to get it arrested.

For the militants, the battle continues. "We will continue to choke all the supply lines to NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] forces that go through Khyber Agency. At the same time, we will also cut off food supplies that go over land routes. If this is successful for a few months, it will be more devastating than a spring offensive," commented a top Pakistani al-Qaeda leader from the tribal headquarters of Miranshah in North Waziristan.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:07 PM
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What they say and what they do is 2 different things.......public and private.......but lets hope they can.....and do....for everyones sake
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:26 PM
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What they say and what they do is 2 different things.......public and private.......but lets hope they can.....and do....for everyones sake
Absolutely... but like everything else in that region, the proof is in the pudding, so lets wait and see how they get on....
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:32 PM
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Yeh thats right they're playing patter cake patter cake on both sides of the fence. Its f-ckin outrageous and the sooner the Us invades the better. Come on george one last dance before you become a bell hop again
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:57 AM
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Yeh thats right they're playing patter cake patter cake on both sides of the fence. Its f-ckin outrageous and the sooner the Us invades the better. Come on george one last dance before you become a bell hop again
An invasion of Pakistan is just not realistic.....and wouldt be the smartest move.....but your right to sort out Afghanistan you have to deal with its border with Pakistan......thats where artms and reinforcements come from.......hold on to your hats its going to be a long and bumpy road......
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:45 AM
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An invasion of Pakistan is just not realistic.....and wouldt be the smartest move.....but your right to sort out Afghanistan you have to deal with its border with Pakistan......thats where artms and reinforcements come from.......hold on to your hats its going to be a long and bumpy road......

Yes, Pakistan invaded would only be something woody woodpecker would think off... However, it does (accidentially of course) lead on to an important point and thats the border areas of Pakistan which the Tribes loyal to Taliban and Al Quada (or just hate the west) are. The time will come when Pakistan will have to either clear the area and hold it, allow the Allies to do it for them (political suicide for Pakistani leaders), or get allied help to do it. The latter is the most realistic to getting a hard job done. That coupled with border surveillance backed up by some kind of rapid reaction infrastructure would really hem the area up and cut of the lines for those Tali Dicwads...
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:32 AM
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Yes, Pakistan invaded would only be something woody woodpecker would think off... However, it does (accidentially of course) lead on to an important point and thats the border areas of Pakistan which the Tribes loyal to Taliban and Al Quada (or just hate the west) are. The time will come when Pakistan will have to either clear the area and hold it, allow the Allies to do it for them (political suicide for Pakistani leaders), or get allied help to do it. The latter is the most realistic to getting a hard job done. That coupled with border surveillance backed up by some kind of rapid reaction infrastructure would really hem the area up and cut of the lines for those Tali Dicwads...
The border is a big problem.....and control either the pakistan side or afghanistan would be a huge advantage.....but it would be a massive job and allied numbers currently would not be enough to police it properly....maybe a harder stance on Pakistan is requried....but they have their own problems......Allied troops have said the vast majority of taliban fighters killed or captured are Pakistani......trible fighters that come over from the border regions......it needs looking at because the fight would be half won if the border was controled........but who has got thr resources or will.....i dont know...
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