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  • Attacks down almost 20 percent in Pakistan

    Attacks down almost 20 percent in Pakistan


    (AP) – 3 hours ago

    ISLAMABAD (AP) — The number of suicide bombings and other attacks in Pakistan declined nearly 20 percent last year as a result of Pakistani military operations, better surveillance by law enforcement agencies and the death of key militants in U.S. drone strikes, a think tank said Sunday.

    But the militant threat remains dire, and the Pakistani government has yet to develop a comprehensive policy to eradicate Islamist militants who continue to plague the country, warned the Pak Institute for Peace Studies.

    "Better coordination among intelligence agencies, capacity building of law enforcement agencies, curbs on terrorism financing and, most importantly, adequate measures to prevent banned militant groups from operating across the country remained persistently lacking," said a new report by the group.

    Pakistan's anti-terror efforts are a key focus of the Obama administration, which wants the country to do more to target Taliban militants who regularly launch attacks against U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

    The number of militant, insurgent and sectarian-related attacks in Pakistan declined from 2,586 in 2009 to 2,113 last year. But the number of people killed in attacks only dropped about 3.5 percent, from 3,021 to 2,913.

    Despite the general decline, attacks roughly tripled last year in Pakistan's two largest cities, said the report, a sign that militants are having greater success exporting the fight far from their northwest heartland along the Afghan border.

    In Karachi, a teeming city of some 16 million that has a long history of religious, political and ethnic violence, 93 attacks killed 233 people last year, up from 24 attacks that killed 65 in 2009.

    Pakistan's cultural capital, Lahore, witnessed 44 attacks last year compared to 11 in 2009. But there were fewer casualties in Punjab province, where Lahore is the capital, because the militants carried out a smaller number of suicide attacks in crowded places.

    Across the country, suicide attacks fell 22 percent, from 87 in 2009 to 68 last year, according to the report.

    The Pakistani military has launched a series of operations against militants in the northwest. The campaigns have dealt a serious blow but have failed to achieve sustainable peace "due to the less than impressive performance of a weak political administration, which is beset by chronic challenges of poor governance," said the report.

    The U.S. also has concerns about Pakistan's ability to transition to effective hold and build efforts in cleared areas, according to a White House progress report drafted last year.

    "This failure results in short-lived military gains that allow militants to regroup in these areas," said the report.

    U.S. officials have also expressed frustration with Pakistan's unwillingness to launch an offensive in North Waziristan, part of the country's lawless tribal region that hosts a large number of militants who wage attacks in Afghanistan.

    The Pakistani army says its troops are stretched too thin by other operations in the tribal region. But many analysts believe the military is reluctant to cross militants with whom it has historical ties and could be useful allies in Afghanistan after foreign troops withdraw.

    The U.S. has responded by more than doubling the number of drone strikes in the tribal region. There were close to 120 such strikes in 2010, most of which occurred in North Waziristan.

    The U.S. refuses to acknowledge the covert CIA drone strikes in public, but officials have said privately that they have killed several senior Taliban and al-Qaida militants over the past several years.

    Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

    The Associated Press: Attacks down almost 20 percent in Pakistan

    ============

    A quick note on OoE's comment of 'utilizing Chinese tactics' in fighting the insurgency and his reference to the 'Trail of tears' by the US - the Pakistani military did in a way replicate 'trail of tears' by relocating 2 million people out of Swat in a matter of weeks, in order to more easily engage the Taliban. Similar policies were implemented in South Waziristan and Bajaur as well.

    Of course, unlike the 'trail of tears', Pakistan has repatriated almost all of the displaced back to their homes and land in Swat, and is assisting in reconstruction, while continuing to do so with Bajaur and South Waziristan, where repatriation is harder given the greater instability and violence compared to Swat.
    Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
    https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

  • #2
    Interpreting further, despite an overall 18% decrease in total attacks nationwide, there was only a 3% decrease in fatalities coupled with a tripling of attacks in Pakistan's two most-populous cities. What's unknown, of course, is how many attacks in Karachi/Lahore were truly sectarian and how many were instigated by A.Q./TTP under the guise of sectarian conflict? Attacks on Ahmadis and shias may be genuinely sectarian outbursts or arising from A.Q./TTP calculation.

    Secondly, strictly terror strikes must be separated from those of a sectarian character. Not all attacks are, on the face of things, lent a sectarian cover.

    It might also have been interesting to see Islamabad/Rawapindi, Quetta and Peshawar integrated into the article. My suspicion is that terror elements are finding it increasingly hard to influence nat'l and local opinion from FATAville for a variety of military and tribal-policing reasons and are in search of more fertile urban ground.

    Last, what constitutes a terror strike might be interesting also. Targeted assassinations of tribal leaders and gun-battles with tribal lashkars might also be construed as terror-based depending on the circumstances surrounding the acts.

    This link will take you to the home page for the Pak Institute For Peace Studies. From there you can link to the adobe reader version of the report.
    Last edited by S2; 16 Jan 11,, 17:23.
    "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
    "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

    Comment


    • #3
      S-2:

      The increase in fatalities (per attack), despite the decrease in attacks overall, likely is related to the increase in attacks in the populous cities, and the Taliban resorting to attacks on large gatherings such as Jirga's (or the attack on the volleyball match that killed over a hundred in an anti-Taliban FATA village).

      And I would disagree with separation of 'terrorist attacks' from 'sectarian attacks', since many of the sectarian organizations appear to have developed ties to AQ and the TTP or other associated groups. The attack on the Ahmadi mosque certainly had the hallmarks of some of the Punjabi TTP linked groups (similar to the attacks on police academies and GHQ).

      The political violence in Karachi (primarily) between the MQM, MQM-H and ANP should not be included in the tally, and does not appear to be.

      Attacks on civilians in Quetta should not be included in the context of the GoP's war against the Taliban/AQ, given that most of the attacks in Baluchistan are linked to the Baluch terrorist/insurgent organizations.

      I would not include gun battles with security forces or Lashkars as terrorist attacks since those are related to security operations and are between combatants.
      Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
      https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

      Comment


      • #4
        Pakistan army propaganda drama set for TV

        By Khurram Shahzad (AFP) – 13 hours ago

        ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan's Taliban-fighting soldiers are set for celebrity status with the launch of a multi-million-dollar glossy television drama hailing army victories over militants.

        Emotive tales of 11 "brave Pakistanis" battling an Islamist insurgency that is plaguing Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, will air on the small screen in an army-funded drama that casts the anti-terror fight in a positive light.

        Focused on the heroism of soldiers fighting a key air and ground offensive in the northwestern Swat valley in 2009, one tale looks at the deeds of soldier Hawaldar Naeem Asghar who died fighting an insurgent checkpoint.

        Asghar, portrayed as a hardworking soldier from peasant roots, sacrifices his life to overcome Taliban dug in to a hilltop, during operations in the town of Mingora to flush militants from the picturesque valley.

        Throwing grenades from his bunker without success, Asghar is depicted abandoning cover and climbing the hill, tossing more explosives on his way as bullets rain down from the rebels' post.

        The checkpoint is destroyed, but Asghar is killed.

        "Hawaldar Asghar's story is a common man's story. It's a message to the public that everybody can play a role in the fight against extremism," says Sajjad Saji, one of the drama serial's writers.

        "It is filmed to encourage the common people in this war," he adds.

        Urged by its key but critical ally the United States to launch further operations in the lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the army wants to show the sacrifices it has already endured in the war on terror.

        "The basic purpose is to reveal the deeds of bravery of our soldiers, officers and civilians who are at the front of this war.... This drama shows the human face of the war," says Major General Athar Abbas, head of the army's publicity wing.

        "The nation should own these stories of bravery and sacrifice, they should be proud of our sons and daughters of the land who created these true stories with their blood and defended the motherland."

        One of the filmmakers, who would not be named, said the high-end production was a "multi-million-dollar" effort, but refused to put a precise figure on costs.

        The production, peppered with special effects, was filmed amid rugged verdant hills and forests close to the Swat valley -- scene of major operations by Pakistan's military in 2009 to rid the area of rampant militancy.

        "We travelled extensively to film this serial. A crew of more than 35 people with trucks of luggage roamed in the forests and hills for months to show the reality," said Khawar Azhar, the show's executive producer.

        The former tourism hotspot of Swat slipped out of government control after a radical cleric led an uprising in July 2007, beheading opponents, burning schools and fighting to enforce a harsh brand of Islamic law.

        Pakistan launched a blistering air and ground offensive in the valley after militants marched out of Swat and advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the capital Islamabad in April 2009.

        After heavy fighting that displaced an estimated two million people, the military declared the region back under army control last summer and efforts have begun to revive the local economy amid sporadic outbreaks of violence.

        Television productions are one of the tools adopted by the military's publicity wing to polish its image and boost recruitment and morale at a key juncture in anti-Taliban efforts and with religious conservatism on the rise.

        Accused by US-based Human Rights Watch of carrying out collective punishments on relatives of militants since it re-established control over the Swat valley, the army knows the importance of securing local hearts and minds.

        More than 4,000 people have been killed in Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked attacks since government forces launched an attack against militants in a mosque in Islamabad in 2007.

        The television drama depicts the bitter divide between Pakistan's opposing cultures as the moderate middle class fights religious extremism in a country fractured by deep regional political divided.

        In other episodes the film makers show the victims of Taliban power -- one girl is subject to brutal gang rape by militants, while in another a young boy is brain-washed into becoming a suicide bomber.

        AFP: Pakistan army propaganda drama set for TV

        ========

        Posting this in the context of Pakistan's efforts to continue reducing support for the Taliban and hopefully reducing terrorist attacks even further.
        Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
        https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

        Comment


        • #5
          A.M. Reply

          "And I would disagree with separation of 'terrorist attacks' from 'sectarian attacks', since many of the sectarian organizations appear to have developed ties to AQ and the TTP or other associated groups. The attack on the Ahmadi mosque certainly had the hallmarks of some of the Punjabi TTP linked groups (similar to the attacks on police academies and GHQ)."

          Perhaps but I'm unconvinced that the correlation is 100%. Making that assertion discounts grass-roots spontaneity. I offer the possibility that some are true sectarian, some with intent to influence internecine politics and some instigated by the TTP/A.Q. to foster and promote sectarian violence.

          "The political violence in Karachi (primarily) between the MQM, MQM-H and ANP should not be included in the tally, and does not appear to be."

          If the violence is a function of a conceived plan executed to that intent, it should be included.

          "Attacks on civilians in Quetta should not be included in the context of the GoP's war against the Taliban/AQ, given that most of the attacks in Baluchistan are linked to the Baluch terrorist/insurgent organizations."

          Again, that's to be determined by the nature of the attack and the intended target. Attacks by TTP/A.Q. elements upon either Pashtun or Baloch targets might be intended as a means to promote ethnic strife and generate further unstability.

          "I would not include gun battles with security forces or Lashkars as terrorist attacks since those are related to security operations and are between combatants."

          I would where those battles disrupted/pre-empted an effort to kidnap or assassinate specific targets such as tribal leaders.

          The overwhelming sense with which I'm left, whether calculating casualties by drones or so-called terror attacks, is that there's insufficient evidence to have a fully transparent understanding of events. These will be events that, conceivably, shall be studied and refined for years to come.
          "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
          "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

          Comment


          • #6
            Terrorism in Pakistan fell 11% in 2010: Report – The Express Tribune

            The report will be interesting to read when released completely, but it does appear, from this article, to attempt to measure the extent of both overall violence and TTP-AQ related violence.
            Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
            https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

            Comment


            • #7
              A.M. Reply

              Same report, different conclusion. It's been released in full at the link I've provided. EXPRESS-TRIBUNE needs to check their math. 2586 in 2009 to 2113 in 2010 is about 18-20% reduction.
              Last edited by S2; 16 Jan 11,, 18:26.
              "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
              "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by S-2 View Post
                Same report, different conclusion. It's been released in full at the link I've provided. EXPRESS-TRIBUNE needs to check their math. 2586 in 2009 to 2113 in 2010 is about 18-20% reduction.
                S-2:

                I know it refers to the same report, but I thought the 11% figure referred to a different statistic, related to oveall violence, not just Taliban-AQ violence.

                I'll check out the full report at the link you attached.
                Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might be correct. I haven't read the full report yet either.
                  "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                  "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Agnostic Muslim View Post
                    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan's Taliban-fighting soldiers are set for celebrity status with the launch of a multi-million-dollar glossy television drama hailing army victories over militants.
                    What will the name/title of this serial be ?

                    The article did not say.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                      What will the name/title of this serial be ?

                      The article did not say.
                      “Faseel-e-Jaan Se Aagay”

                      Bringing heroes to life – The Express Tribune
                      Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission - Jinnah
                      https://twitter.com/AgnosticMuslim

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        “Matti Ka Qarz”, one of the six stories is based on the life of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Javaid Iqbal who wrote new chapters of gallantry in the violence hit Malakand Division. The brave officer stood firm in the face of life threats when police force in the area had lost morale and was abandoning the area. Iqbal embraced martyrdom, the terrorists even carried out a suicide attack on his funeral procession, killing 55 people including his young son.
                        Thats what happens when you get the job done

                        The drama series will air on PTV from January 14 every Friday at 7:40pm. Incorporating English subtitles to enhance the scope of the play.
                        Should be worth catching when it appears.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I did see some of the serials, i wouldnt call them propaganda as they are based on real life events. They were very heart wrenching, makes me proud to be a Pakistani. My salute to the soldiers and civilians whom have laid down their lives against these PIGS, i have no doubt in my mind that Pakistan will prevail against this menace.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Any links to on-line previews?
                            "This aggression will not stand, man!" Jeff Lebowski
                            "The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." Lester Bangs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cow is the only animal that not only inhales oxygen, but also exhales it.
                              -Rekha Arya, Former Minister of Animal Husbandry

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