At The Times of India from IANS:[ SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2003 06:49:05 PM ]
Bush made Osama deal with Musharraf
LONDON: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has struck a deal with the US not to capture Osama Bin Laden, fearing this could lead to unrest in Pakistan, according to a special investigation by The Guardian. The paper reported Saturday that Bin Laden was being protected by three elaborate security rings manned by tribesmen stretching 192 kms in diameter in northern Pakistan. ...
Inside story of the hunt for Bin Laden
From Asia Times: Oct 1, 2003
Pakistan and the al-Qaeda curse By Syed Saleem Shahzad
KARACHI - The release on Monday of another audio tape purported to be from Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No 2 to Osama bin Laden in al-Qaeda, in which he calls Pakistan's President General Pervez (Musharraf) a "traitor", has severely rattled Pakistani intelligence officials. ...
From Asia Times: Oct 4, 2003
Pakistan: FBI rules the roost By Syed Saleem Shahzad
"KARACHI - Pakistani forces have killed at least 12 and arrested 12 suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters over the past two days in a major operation at Angoor Adda, a small town on the border with Afghanistan. The operation is being widely hailed in Pakistan as a demonstration of the country's commitment to the US-led "war on terrorism". However, this is only a part of the story. The clash was orchestrated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a direct result of its deep penetration - and even control - of the Pakistani intelligence establishment. ...
The following are translated excerpts from a letter doing the rounds in military circles. It was printed on an army general headquarters letterhead.
For our national leader: We on behalf of the Pakistan army assure the nation that it is your army. This is the army of Islam and Pakistan, and we expect every member of parliament, from whichever party he belongs to, to work for the autonomy of parliament. Pervez Musharraf and his handpicked gang are imposed at the head of this nation. They are the national criminals who have not only the army but have the entire nation hostage. This is the gang of thieves and looters which has plundered the whole nation, mercilessly. At the same time, they helped the American Jews and Christians to kill our Afghan brothers. Pervez Musharraf has turned Pakistan from the fort of Islam into a slaughterhouse of the Muslims. Had this parliament not been in place, our armed forces would have been sent to kill our Iraqi brothers side-by-side with US soldiers. We request our national leadership and officials of the armed forces to bring the following matters in front of parliament.
An inquiry should be initiated into what happened on October 12, 1999 [when Musharraf seized power].
Before the US invasion of Afghanistan, all Pakistan army brigadiers and generals were allotted expensive plots in Lahore near LUMS [Lahore University of Management Sciences]. The worth of these plots ranges between Rs 7 million [US$121,000] to Rs 10 million. These officers had already received their commercial and residential land quotas.
Parliament should constitute a judicial inquiry into the chief justices of the Supreme Court and all four provincial high courts who were in office on October 12, 1999.
Our aim - a free army and an independent Pakistan.
From full colonels."
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at The NYT: October 8, 2003 Filed at 8:00 a.m. ET
Pakistan Tests Second Missile Within Week
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistan has successfully test fired a medium-range, nuclear-capable missile, the second such test in less than a week, the army said. The Hatf-4 missile, also known as the Shaheen 1, was fired off early Wednesday, according to the army. The missile has a range of 435 miles, meaning it can hit most major targets in rival India. The test followed a similar launching on Friday of the short-range Hatf-2 Ghaznavi after which Pakistan said it was in the middle of a series of such tests. ...
From AP: Wed Oct 8, 2:37 PM ET
Pakistan Cracks Down on 'al-Qaida' Tribe
By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - Pakistani security forces cracked down Wednesday on two tribes accused of sheltering al-Qaida suspects, arresting members, destroying homes and seizing vehicles, a government official said. The action came less than a week after Pakistani soldiers raided three homes in the area along the Afghan border, starting a shootout that killed eight suspected al-Qaida members. Two soldiers died and 18 al-Qaida suspects were captured in the Oct. 2 raid, Pakistan's largest offensive yet against Osama bin Laden's terror network. ...
From The Daily Times (Pak): Thursday, November 13, 2003
‘Pakistan has legions of Bin Laden followers’ Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: “In Pakistan, there are legions of bin Ladin followers, plenty of links between government officials and terrorists and nuclear weapons that could fall into the hands of anti-American terrorists. This is not speculation,” according to Leon Hadar, a research fellow at the right-wing think tank the Cato Institute. ...
From The Washington Post: Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page A01
Nuclear Program in Iran Tied To Pakistan
Complex Network Acquired Technology and Blueprints
By Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writer
VIENNA -- Evidence discovered in a probe of Iran's secret nuclear program points overwhelmingly to Pakistan as the source of crucial technology that put Iran on a fast track toward becoming a nuclear weapons power, according to U.S. and European officials familiar with the investigation. The serious nature of the discoveries prompted a decision by Pakistan two weeks ago to detain three of its top nuclear scientists for several days of questioning, with U.S. intelligence experts allowed to assist, the officials said. The scientists have not been charged with any crime, and Pakistan continues to insist that it never wittingly provided nuclear assistance to Iran or anyone else. Documents provided by Iran to U.N. nuclear inspectors since early November have exposed the outlines of a vast, secret procurement network that successfully acquired thousands of sensitive parts and tools from numerous countries over a 17-year period. While Iran has not directly identified Pakistan as a supplier, Pakistani individuals and companies are strongly implicated as sources of key blueprints, technical guidance and equipment for a pilot uranium-enrichment plant that was first exposed by Iranian dissidents 18 months ago, government officials and independent weapons experts said. ...
From MSNBC: 12:01 p.m. ET Dec. 23, 2003
New challenges for Musharraf in Pakistan
Iran scandal, assassination attempt put pressure on president
By Naveen Masood, NBC News producer
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - More than a week after an assassination attempt on President Perez Musharraf, Pakistanis are wondering what the implications of the attempt are for the future of their country. Musharraf’s hard-line stance against Islamic militancy has won him support in Washington, but has cost him much of his power base within the country, analysts say. "Obviously there is such a strong animosity to the U.S. on a global and domestic level and by virtue of his pursuing policies of alliance with the U.S., that animosity is directed toward him,” said Ret. Lt. Gen. Talat Masood, a former secretary of defense and a well-known analyst. “That’s the trouble with being a military leader: the lack of political infrastructure makes all policies personal. But no sane political or military leader would go against the U.S.” Much of American foreign policy in Pakistan and the region rests on Musharraf’s firm grip on power. As a member of the elite club of nations with nuclear capability, Pakistan will always remain at the top of America’s foreign priority list. ...
From Reuters: Dec 24, 9:24 am ET
U.S. Envoy: Pakistan a 'Sanctuary' for Rebels
KABUL (Reuters) - Guerrillas from Afghanistan's ousted Taliban militia and the al Qaeda network it once sheltered are using Pakistan as a sanctuary, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan said Wednesday. Speaking at a police graduation ceremony, Zalmay Khalilzad also said senior al Qaeda members including Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar must be brought to justice. "The remnants of extremist Taliban, al Qaeda and Hekmatyar want to take Afghanistan to the bad old days," Khalilzad said. "They use Pakistan as sanctuary."
The Taliban and Hekmatyar have declared a "jihad," or holy war, against U.S. forces in Afghanistan and U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai. The fate of bin Laden and al-Zawahri remains unknown, but they are widely believed to be hiding along the rugged Afghan-Pakistan border. Afghan officials, including Karzai, have long complained Pakistan is not doing enough to clamp down on militants using its territory to launch deadly raids into Afghanistan. U.S. officials are usually less forthright, recognizing the importance of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's support for the U.S.-led war on terror. ...
At the Hindustan Times from Asian News International: December 24
US can't dictate Pak on Kashmir, asserts Pervez
Islamabad - President Pervez Musharraf has once again emphasised the centrality of the Kashmir issue, by stating that Islamabad is not in a position to have Washington dictate terms to it on [this] vexed subject that has dogged Indo-Pakistan ties. ...
From AP at The Guardian: Wednesday December 24, 2003 7:31 PM
Pakistan President to Quit As Army Chief By PAUL HAVEN, Associated Press Writer
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan's pro-U.S. president agreed Wednesday to quit as army chief by the end of 2004, part of a surprise deal with the anti-American Islamic opposition and a historic step in this nuclear-armed country's return to democratic rule. Pervez Musharraf will serve out the final 3 years of his presidency, but he may be in a less powerful position and some observers questioned whether he will be able to stay in power without the military at his beck and call. The agreement, reached after months of protests by the Islamic opposition, also forces Musharraf to scale back extraordinary powers he decreed after ousting a civilian government in 1999. ...
It is a marriage of convenience between the U.S.-backed president and the religious coalition, which won unprecedented support in October 2002 elections on the strength of an anti-American, anti-Musharraf platform. ...
From Reuters: Thursday, December 25, 2003 12:24 p.m. ET
Pakistan's Musharraf Blames Extremists for Attack By Mian Khursheed
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf narrowly survived a second attempt on his life in two weeks on Thursday when suicide car bombers attacked his motorcade, killing themselves and at least 12 others. ... In September, an audio tape purportedly from al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged Pakistanis to overthrow Musharraf for supporting the United States.
From Asia Times: Dec 25, 2003
US draws a bead on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia By Syed Saleem Shahzad
KARACHI - With the United States facing the prospect of continuing difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan in the new year, there are signs that it will adopt an aggressive policy to cut all kinds of supply lines to the guerrilla movements in these countries, starting with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and making no concessions. ...
Washington is now placing heavy pressure on Pakistan to abandon its nuclear program. ... Another bone of contention between Pakistan and the US is Pakistan's remote, mountainous and volatile tribal areas that border Afghanistan and which are acknowledged as a base for the resurgent Taliban. Pakistan has repeatedly promised to control the area, but without any significant results. Indeed, sectors within the Pakistani security apparatus are suspected of actively aiding the Taliban in maintaining their supply lines. To deal with Pakistan, the Washington response in the first stage is to control its nuclear power, and then to create more US bases in Pakistan. ...
At The Hindustan Times From Asian News International: December 25
Clinton mediating on Kashmir: Musharraf
Islamabad - Leaders of various Kashmiri groups in Pakistan have been told by President Pervez Musharraf that former US president Bill Clinton has been unofficially mediating between India and Pakistan to help them to resolve the dispute through early talks next year. An informed source told the Dawn newspaper that Musharraf had told the Kashmiri leaders that Clinton was in "regular contact" with him (Musharraf) and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on the issue, and was keeping the Bush Administration abreast of the situation. He further went on to say that Musharraf had confirmed that he had made a telephone call to Clinton to inform him about the developments taking place in the region. ...
From The NYT: December 30, 2003
A Nuclear Headache: What if the Radicals Oust Musharraf?
By DAVID E. SANGER and THOM SHANKER
CRAWFORD, Tex., Dec. 29 — Two recent assassination attempts against Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, have renewed concern in the Bush administration over both the stability of a critical ally and the security of its nuclear weapons if General Musharraf were killed or removed from office. Administration officials would not discuss their contingency plans for Pakistan, but several said the White House was revisiting an effort begun just after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to help Pakistan improve the security of its nuclear arsenal and to prevent Al Qaeda or extremists within the Pakistani military or intelligence services from gaining access to the country's weapons and fissile material. "It's what we don't know that worries us," said a senior administration official, "including the critical question of how much fissile material Pakistan now holds — and where it holds it." ...
Under both President Clinton and President Bush, the Pentagon has analyzed whether American forces could seize or secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal if it appeared likely to fall into the hands of terrorists or their sympathizers, part of a broad effort at planning for nuclear emergencies around the world. But a number of current and former administration officials said they had concluded that it was impossible to be certain where all of Pakistan's nuclear materials and weapons components were stored. One Pentagon official said any raid by the American military to secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal during a period of chaos would be "an extremely difficult and highly risky venture." Other administration officials termed it simply impossible. Officials said they were relatively confident that even if General Musharraf lost power or was killed, Pakistan has established some fairly reliable nuclear safeguards. ...
"It's very unsettling what these assassination attempts imply, that the inner security circle for Musharraf has been breached," said Gaurav Kampani of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "If security for the president, for the head of the Pakistani Army, cannot be guaranteed, what guarantee is there that nuclear assets and missiles and so forth are safe?"
From The NYT: December 30, 2003
The Tightrope Is Fraying Under the President of Pakistan By AMY WALDMAN
From AFP: Fri Jan 2, 1:17 AM ET
Bush says Pakistan nukes are "secure"
CRAWFORD, United States (AFP) - US President George W. Bush said that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal was "secure" following two failed assassination attempts on President Pervez Musharraf in the last three weeks. Bush also said he emerged from a recent telephone conversation with Musharraf convinced that the "friend of the United States" and ally in the global war on terrorism had the situation under control. ...
In response to a reporter's question, the US leader said that Pakistan's nuclear weapons "are secure and that's important. It's also important that India as well have a secure nuclear weapons program." ... "President Musharraf has been a friend of the United States. He's been a stand-up guy when it comes to dealing with the terrorists," he said. "We are making progress against al-Qaeda because of his cooperation. We need to do more, particularly on the Pakistan-Afghan border," said Bush, who later returned to his ranch in Crawford, Texas. ...
From washingtonpost.com: Saturday, January 3, 2004; Page A01
U.S. Aids Security of Musharraf Efforts Build After Attacks in Pakistan
By Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writer
"After two recent assassination attempts that bear the markings of al Qaeda, the U.S. government is stepping up efforts aimed at protecting Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and urging him to crack down further on Islamic terrorism groups, U.S. officials said. ... Musharraf's longevity and the stability and cooperation of Pakistan, the world's most politically fragile nuclear power, are critical to the U.S. campaign to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda operatives. U.S. military and intelligence officials believe bin Laden and other al Qaeda members are hiding along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Musharraf has positioned himself as an ally of the United States in its war on terrorists. If Musharraf were to die in an attack, U.S. military and intelligence officials said they believe the Pakistani army would quickly move to appoint a successor -- with the most likely candidate being the army vice chief of staff, Gen. Muhammad Yousaf Khan, viewed by U.S. officials as pro-American and likely to continue Musharraf's prosecution of al Qaeda. ... The most immediate threat to Pakistan's stability should Musharraf be killed would not be the security of his nuclear arsenal, which is under strict army control, said Pakistan experts in and out of government. More pressing for the United States would be the potential for domestic upheaval. Musharraf's hold on power seems secure for now -- he won a vote of confidence Thursday in parliament -- but it has required constant work on his part to maintain some measure of support from Islamic groups in Pakistan, some of which chafe at his pro-American positions. ... "
From The NYT: January 6, 2004
Pakistan Called Libyans' Source of Atom Design
By PATRICK E. TYLER and DAVID E. SANGER
TRIPOLI, Libya, Jan. 5 — Pakistan was the source of the centrifuge design technology that made it possible for Libya to make major strides in the last two years in enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons, Bush administration officials in Washington and other Western experts said Monday. ...
From Reuters: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 1:18 p.m. ET
U.S. Official: Libya Had Pakistani Nuclear Know-How By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Libya obtained nuclear weapons technology from Pakistan, a key U.S. anti-terror ally, but there was no sign Pakistan's government was involved, Bush administration official said on Tuesday. The White House said Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, whose country is nuclear-armed, had given earlier assurances Pakistan was not participating in any "proliferation activity" regarding unconventional weapons. But a White House spokesman said "rogue individuals" may be hard to control. ...
From Reuters: Tue January 6, 2004 11:34 AM ET
Militants Angered by Pakistan Peace Bid with India By Amir Zia
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Kashmiri militant groups and Islamic hard-liners vowed to continue fighting Indian rule on Tuesday, expressing outrage at Pakistan's agreement with India to work toward a solution in the divided region. ...
From The BBC: Friday, 9 January, 2004, 13:53 GMT
Rocket raid kills Pakistan troops
Four Pakistani soldiers have been killed in a rocket attack on a military camp in the country's western tribal region of South Waziristan. The attack occurred overnight shortly after the end of a major army operation against suspected foreign militants in the area along the Afghan border. The army detained 28 Wazir tribesmen but no foreigners. ...
From the Daily Times (Pak): Monday, January 12, 2004
Tribesmen to form army to hunt down militants By Rasool Wazir
* Decide to help govt * Tribes, political administration discuss surrender of wanted men
PESHAWAR: A grand jirga of the Ahmadzai Wazir promised on Sunday to support the government’s campaign against Taliban and Al Qaeda suspects in the tribal areas and is to present a consensus formula to normalise the situation in South Waziristan Agency to the political administration today. ... The political administration has given the tribe until today to hand over three suspected Al Qaeda supporters. ... On Saturday the government promised stern action against the tribes if they did not cooperate with the authorities, witnesses and tribal sources said. ...
From the Daily Times (Pak): Monday, January 12, 2004
‘Govt pushing Pakistan to civil war’ Staff Report
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has alleged the government is pushing the country towards civil war under pressure from foreign masters, Daily Times was told on Sunday by PML-N leader Mian Muhammad Rashid who talked to Mr Sharif by phone. “The rulers have put the country’s stability at stake to save their power. There would be no guarantee for the sovereignty of Pakistan until the current rulers are removed,” Mr Rashid quoted Mr Sharif as saying. Mr Sharif condemned military operations in tribal areas, saying it was also condemnable that the parliament was not consulted. He described the death of four soldiers in the Wana operation as a national loss. ...
From AP: Jan 15, 4:16 PM (ET)
Arrest Ties Pakistan to Nuke Black Market By MATT KELLEY
WASHINGTON (AP) - The arrest this month of a businessman accused of smuggling nuclear bomb triggers to Pakistan is the latest sign that the important U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism remains a major player in the nuclear black market. Asher Karni, 50, is accused of being the middleman for a Pakistani company's purchase of dozens of triggered spark gaps - electronic devices that can be used to trigger nuclear weapons. Agents arrested Karni on Jan. 2 at Denver International Airport. If the devices were indeed headed for Pakistan's nuclear program, the most likely explanation would be that Pakistan was planning to construct more nuclear bombs. ... Karni's contact in Pakistan asked Karni to try to buy 100 to 400 spark gaps ... Prosecutors argue that Karni, an Israeli citizen, should be jailed because he could flee to South Africa or Israel and avoid extradition to the United States. ...
From The NYT: January 18, 2004
Pakistan Leader Jeered in Parliament Speech Criticizing Extremism
By DAVID ROHDE
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 17 — Hard-line Islamist lawmakers walked out and secular deputies jeered and heckled Saturday as Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, delivered his first speech to the nation's Parliament since seizing power in a bloodless coup in 1999. General Musharraf, who narrowly survived two assassination attempts by suspected militants last month, showed no sign of backing off from a renewed promise to crack down on religious extremism or from a historic agreement reached earlier this month to hold peace talks with India. "We will have to launch a massive operation against those foreign elements in our border areas who can be a cause of terrorism in our country and Afghanistan," General Musharraf said, adding later, "the curse of extremism, by a handful of persons, is damaging the country internally." In a 40-minute address that was also broadcast to the nation, General Musharraf said the country was threatened by a "negative image" because it is seen as promoting an Islamic insurgency in Kashmir, the Indian state that is a main source of contention between Pakistan and India; failing to crack down on Taliban supporters along the Afghan border; spreading nuclear weapons technology to other countries; and being an "intolerant society." ...
From The Observer: Sunday January 18, 2004
Revealed: how Pakistan fuels nuclear arms race
Antony Barnett investigates the illegal global market in nuclear equipment and expertise and how the weapons programmes of Iran, Libya and North Korea all lead back to Pakistan
" ... Dramatic evidence from Iran and now Libya reveals a clandestine and sophisticated network stretching from North Korea, Malaysia and China to Russia, Germany and Dubai. Yet one country more than any other stands accused of easing this proliferation. In the network of illegal radioactive trade, all roads point to Pakistan. More precisely, they lead to the Khan Research Laboratories in Kahuta in north Pakistan. ... "
From Reuters: Sun January 18, 2004 12:57 PM ET
Pakistan Quizzes Aide to Father of Atom Bomb By Zeeshan Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Authorities are questioning a key aide to the father of Pakistan's atom bomb and seven other people as they investigate reports of possible transfer of nuclear technology to Iran, officials said Sunday. ...
From The NYT: January 24, 2004
Pakistan Chief Says It Appears Scientists Sold Nuclear Data
By MARK LANDLER and DAVID E. SANGER
DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23 — Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, acknowledged Friday that scientists from his country appeared to have sold nuclear designs to other nations probably "for personal financial gain." He denied that the Pakistan government knew of any sales at the time but vowed that suspects would be dealt with "as antistate elements." ...
From AFP: Wed Jan 28,10:32 PM ET
US warning over India, Pakistan "dirty bomb" threat
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Terrorists could steal some of the vast stocks of unsecured radioactive material in India and Pakistan to launch a "dirty bomb" attack which could scuttle South Asian peace moves, a US Senate committee heard. ... Krepon, founder of the Henry L Stimson center think-tank, warned the committee in a hearing on India and Pakistan peace moves that radiological matter was easily available in South Asia. ... Krepon warned India and Pakistan were "very vulnerable" to the dirty bomb threat, as was the United States, and urged Washington policymakers to help both nations secure radioactive materials. ... The "dirty bomb" threat was behind a US government decision to raise the country's level of terrorist alert to "orange" or "high" in December, the Washington Post reported this month. ...
From Reuters: Wed January 28, 2004 12:04 PM ET
Report: U.S. Plans Al Qaeda Offensive in Pakistan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military is making plans for an offensive that would reach inside Pakistan in coming months to try to destroy operations of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, the Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday. The newspaper, in a report from Washington citing military sources, said the plans involved thousands of U.S. troops, some of them already in neighboring Afghanistan. The Pakistani government denied to Reuters that it would allow such an operation and the Pentagon declined to confirm that such a plan was being worked on. ... Such an intervention would be political dynamite for Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who has only allowed a very limited U.S. military presence in his country. He has cooperated with Washington against al Qaeda but is under pressure from Islamic parties at home. ...
The Chicago Tribune, quoting sources who requested anonymity, said a team of military intelligence officers would go in to Pakistan ahead of time to prepare an operation which would involve Special Operations forces, Army Rangers and ground troops and an aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea. The operation is being called "spring offensive" in internal Pentagon messages and a series of planning orders were issued in recent weeks, the newspaper said.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday Musharraf rejected the need for U.S. forces to enter Pakistan to search for bin Laden. Pakistan's top military spokesman echoed that on Wednesday. "No foreign forces will operate from Pakistan's territory," Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan told Reuters when asked about the Tribune's report. But a military source described as "well-placed" told the newspaper: "Before we were constrained by the border. Musharraf did not want that. Now we are told we're going into Pakistan with Musharraf's help." ...
"U.S. plans Al Qaeda offensive"
From AP: Jan 29, 2:40 PM (ET)
Pakistan Bans Anti-al-Qaida Operations By MUNIR AHMAD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) - Pakistan will not allow American troops to use its soil for a planned "spring offensive" against Taliban or al-Qaida fugitives, officials said Thursday. Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, the chief of the National Crisis Management Cell coordinating with U.S. officials in the war against terrorism, said Pakistani policies do not allow American troops to operate inside the country. ... "We will not allow any foreign troops to conduct any operations in Pakistan," Pakistani army spokesman Gen. Shaukat Sultan said Thursday. "Whenever they (the United States) ask for such thing, we always decline." ...
From AP: Jan 29, 3:27 PM (ET)
U.S. Military 'Sure' to Catch Bin Laden By STEPHEN GRAHAM
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The U.S. military is "sure" it will catch Osama bin Laden this year, a spokesman said Thursday, but he declined to comment on where the al-Qaida leader may be hiding. ... Following last month's capture of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, American commanders in Afghanistan have expressed new optimism they will eventually find bin Laden. Spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty said the military now believed it could seize him within months. "We have a variety of intelligence and we're sure we're going to catch Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar this year," Hilferty said. "We've learned lessons from Iraq and we're getting improved intelligence from the Afghan people." ...
From Reuters: Thu January 29, 2004 04:18 PM ET
U.S. Concerned by Extremists in Pakistan, Saudi By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States must confront broader strategic problems posed by Islamic extremists in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in addition to stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan, the head of the U.S. military's Central Command said on Thursday. "Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are involved in their own fight against extremists that is crucial to the ability of their nations to maintain control of the internal situation," Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. forces in the region, told reporters. Abizaid said the two "most immediate problems" in what U.S. officials call the global war on terrorism are bringing stability to Iraq and Afghanistan. "I'd also tell you that two broader strategic problems that we have to deal with, that must be dealt with in a broad range, happen to be Pakistan and Saudi Arabia," Abizaid added. ...
From AP at The Washington Post: Friday, January 30, 2004; 4:12 PM
Pakistan Warns U.S. About Crossing Border By MUNIR AHMAD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A hard-line Islamic coalition warned Friday that Pakistani tribesmen might open fire on American troops if the United States extends a planned spring offensive against Afghan rebels into Pakistan. ...
From AFP: Feb. 3, 2004
Pakistan's military faces scrutiny after nuclear secrets leaks
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Attempts to prosecute the disgraced father of Pakistan's nuclear program Abdul Qadeer Khan for selling nuclear secrets could backfire by placing the military's alleged role under scrutiny, analysts have warned. Khan confessed in an 11-page statement at the weekend to selling nuclear expertise to Iran, Libya and North Korea from 1988 to at least 1997, according to the government. The government is now weighing up whether to prosecute Khan, one of Pakistan's most revered national heroes. ... Khan's daughter left Pakistan last month carrying a cassette recording of Khan "in which he defends himself and levels charges against certain people," The News daily reported Monday. ... In his statement Khan accused former army chiefs Aslam Beg and Jehangir Karamat of "indirectly instructing" him to proliferate, a senior military official told AFP. ...
From AP at the Toronto Star: Feb. 3, 2004. 05:38 PM
Musharraf knew of nuclear trades: Scientist BY MUNIR AHMAD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The father of Pakistan's nuclear program told investigators he gave nuclear weapons technology to other countries with the full knowledge of top army officials, including President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, a friend of the scientist said today. ...
From The BBC: Wednesday, 4 February, 2004, 13:27 GMT
Nuclear scientist begs for mercy
Pakistan's top nuclear scientist has confessed to leaking nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea. Abdul Qadeer Khan met President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday and later went on TV to accept full responsibility for all nuclear transfers. Dr Khan, regarded as a national hero, told the nation he had acted without authorisation and begged forgiveness. ... Dr Khan made his own televised statement in which he cleared President Musharraf and other government and military officials of any involvement in nuclear proliferation. "There was never ever any kind of authorisation for these activities by the government. I take full responsibility for my actions and seek your pardon," Dr Khan said. ...
From Reuters: Thu February 5, 2004 09:44 AM ET
Pakistan's Musharraf Pardons Rogue Scientist
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan's president Thursday pardoned a scientist who admitted leaking nuclear arms secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea and said he would not allow international supervision of Pakistan's atomic program. "There is a written mercy appeal from his side and there is a written pardon from my side," Pervez Musharraf told a news briefing, referring to top scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who made a televised confession to nuclear proliferation Wednesday. Musharraf also said Pakistan would not hand over documents to U.N. nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency. "This is a sovereign country. No document will be given. No independent investigation will take place here." ... Musharraf warned local journalists not to speculate further on the military's role in peddling nuclear secrets, saying it would not be in the national interest. ...
From Reuters: Thu February 5, 2004 11:42 AM ET
Pakistan struggles to draw line under leaks By Simon Denyer
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - At first glance it's the perfect face-saving solution. ... "No doubt the U.S. is concerned, but it has to walk a tightrope," said Andrew Tan of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. "The U.S. will have to balance its wish for disclosure against the possibility that Musharraf may be destabilised in doing so."
... On Thursday International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Khan was helped by many people in many countries, adding that Pakistan needed to answer the question about whether its government or military was involved. "Dr Khan is the tip of an iceberg for us," he told reporters. ... Already Islamic hardliners are suggesting that the whole nuclear investigation is a U.S. plot to undermine and ultimately roll back the Muslim world's only nuclear programme. ... Only last year, the United States imposed sanctions on Khan Research Laboratories for arranging a transfer of North Korean missiles to Pakistan. U.S. officials told the New York Times that nuclear aid continued to flow to North Korea until 2002 and to Libya until last year, three or four years into the general's rule. ...
From Xinhuanet (www.chinaview.cn): 2004-02-06 06:54:22
US says it values Pakistan's assurance on nonproliferation
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States said Thursday that it values assurances made by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on nonproliferation, insisting that it is up to the Pakistani government to decide how to deal with nuclear leaks. "The government of Pakistan was not involved in any kind of proliferation activities," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told agencies reporters. "We value those assurances and (the) actions (taken by President Musharraf) since he made those assurances demonstrate his commitment to the issue of proliferation," he added. ... Addressing a news briefing on Thursday, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher noted that President Musharraf had assured the international community that "he intends to make sure that Pakistan's nuclear technology, (or) weapons of mass destruction expertise, does not contribute to proliferation." "We consider that this investigation and the seriousness with which they have pursued this matter testifies to the fact that they are serious about meeting their commitments in that regard," Boucher said.
Also from AFP at SpaceWar: Feb 05, 2004
US satisfied with Pakistan's action on proliferation
From AFP at SpaceWar: Feb 17, 2004
Pakistani, US forces to wage "hammer-and-anvil" operations on Afghan border
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pakistani military is moving toward "hammer-and-anvil" operations with US forces across the border in Afghanistan for the first time to crush al-Qaeda fighters hiding in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, the top US commander in Afghanistan said Tuesday. "There's unfinished business in this part of the world and we're making every effort here during the coming months to close those efforts out," said Lieutenant General David Barno, the commander of the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. ... Pakistani military forces have moved into the tribal areas that lie along the Afghan border over the past few months for the first time in the country's history amid dramatically improved cooperation with US forces, the general said. "We're moving in the direction of cooperative operations on both sides of the border -- a hammer and anvil approach if you will," Barno said. "Where al-Qaeda may be driven from the Pakistani side, we're ready to receive them on the Afghan side, and use our forces in concert with Afghan forces on this side of the border to be able to crush the al-Qaeda elements between the Pakistani and coalition forces," he said. ...
Commentary from Le Nouvel Observateur at t r u t h o u t : Thursday 19 February 2004
Prey to Islamists and weapon of mass destruction merchants...
Pakistan: The Ticking Bomb By François Schlosser
From AP: Friday, February 27, 2004 2:19 p.m. ET
Pakistan Threatened to Give Nukes to Iran By MATT KELLEY
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pakistan warned the United States 14 years ago that it might give nuclear technology to Iran, but the administration of President Bush's father did little to follow up, former Pentagon officials say. Word of the 1990 threat from Pakistan's top general apparently was not passed along to the Clinton administration when it took office three years later, according to interviews by The Associated Press. ... Henry S. Rowen, at the time an assistant defense secretary, said Pakistani Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg issued the warning in a face-to-face meeting in Pakistan. ... Beg has acknowledged Iran approached him seeking nuclear assistance that year and he publicly advocated military cooperation between Pakistan and Iran to counter U.S. power in the region. Beg said he never authorized nuclear transfers to Iran or made threats to the United States. ... A decade earlier, the Reagan administration had looked the other way on Pakistan's nuclear program, said Stephen P. Cohen, a State Department expert on the region from 1985 to 1987. Back then, Washington used Pakistan as a conduit for sending weapons and money to guerrillas fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. ...
From Asia Times: Mar 3, 2004
Pakistan stirs a tribal war By Syed Saleem Shahzad
KARACHI - The weekend's incident of "mistaken fire" in which Pakistani soldiers killed at least 11 people in a shooting incident in Wana in the tribal region of South Waziristan near the Afghan border has virtually overnight changed the rules of the game in the region. ... Now tribals threaten that if there is another major mobilization of Pakistan troops in the area, "Pakistani forces will only take their own body bags back home". ...
From AFP: (09/03/2004)
Pakistan tests nuclear capable missile
ISLAMABAD (AFP) Pakistan test-fired an intermediate range surface-to-surface ballistic missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead deep into rival India, the military announced. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Mar 10, 2004
Washington asks Pakistan for fewer missile tests
WASHINGTON (AFP) The United States on Tuesday asked Pakistan to scale back its testing after the launch of a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. "We continue to urge Pakistan and other countries in the region to exercise restraint in their nuclear weapons and missile programs, as part of an ongoing effort to relieve tensions and build confidence in the region," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. ...
From AFP at news.com.au: March 11, 2004
Pakistan 'uncooperative' on Taliban
PAKISTAN is failing to cooperate with the United States in its battle to crush the Taliban despite Washington's restraint over Islamabad's nuclear proliferation scandal, US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in a report today. Wolfowitz presents a blunt assessment of its key war on terror ally in an interview with the weekly Asian magazine Far Eastern Economic Review, saying Pakistan was turning a blind eye to Taliban activity during a renewed drive to hunt down Islamic extremists. He warned that Islamabad, once the main backer of the hardline Taliban regime in Afghanistan, was testing Washington's patience as it prepared to stiffen its demands on Pakistan's troubled president, Pervez Musharraf. ... "There is a widespread kind of belief in Pakistan that the Americans want al-Qaeda, but Pakistan continues to turn a blind eye to support the Taliban," he said. ... Wolfowitz said Washington was likely to increase its demands on Islamabad in return for downplaying a scandal when Pakistani physicist Abdul Qadeer Khan was pardoned after admitting selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya, and North Korea. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Mar 12, 2004
Pakistan coy as spring hunt for bin Laden heats up
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - " ... Visits in the past fortnight by the British and French foreign ministers, next week's visit by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Musharraf's sudden visit to Riyadh at the weekend have triggered speculation that the pressure is on Musharraf to let foreign troops in. .. 'Musharraf rushed to Saudi Arabia to consult with the Saudis' ... Just this week US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz made the first public acknowledgement that Washington is expecting favours in return for its tolerance of Musharraf's pardon of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the metallurgist who confessed February to selling nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea. ... "It's a quid pro quo: we're going to get our troops inside Pakistan in return for not forcing Musharraf to deal with Khan," a former senior US intelligence official told the New Yorker magazine. ... "
From Reuters at Yahoo: Mon., March 15, 2004 7:44am ET
France: Bin Laden Nearly Caught in Afghanistan
PARIS (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden has escaped capture in Afghanistan several times and may be linked in some way to the Madrid train attacks that killed 200 people, France's chief of defense staff said Monday. Gen. Henri Bentegeat said about 200 French troops were operating with U.S. forces in southeastern Afghanistan against the Taliban and bin Laden's al Qaeda. The Saudi-born militant is thought to be there or just across the border in Pakistan. "Our men were not very far. On several occasions, I even think he slipped out of a net that was quite well closed," he told Europe 1 radio. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Mar 15, 2004
Pakistan to conduct more missile tests: President
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) Pakistan Monday said a launch last week of a nuclear-capable medium range missile would be followed by more tests in coming months, despite US requests to scale back its weapons programme. "We have tested Shaheen II missile and in next few months will conduct more tests," Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf told a gathering of tribal leaders in northwest city of Peshawar, which borders Afghanistan. ...
From Asia Times: March 17, 2004
US's foes set to pounce By Syed Saleem Shahzad
KARACHI - While the United States-led coalition makes its latest attempt to round up Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters on the Pakistan-Afghan border, new evidence is reinforcing the certainty that the Afghan resistance isn't just sitting around waiting to get caught, and nor is the International Islamic Front going to relent in its determination to wreak havoc on the US and its allies elsewhere. ... According to sources, different groups of trained jihadis left Karachi for Pakistan's tribal areas of South and North Waziristan about two weeks ago, where they have now taken up position for their own attacks on the US-led forces. .. their targets will be both Pakistani and US troops. ...
Pakistani authorities, meanwhile, have set up another operation in Wana to compliment the US's recently launched operation Mountain Storm. But in a dramatic development, Pakistani tribals have refused to comply with federal government orders and have jointly demanded the withdrawal of Pakistani forces. Tribal groups are even said to have threatened Pakistan that if (it) tries to launch another operation there, war will be inevitable. As a result, the operation has come to a halt while Pakistan seeks ways of taking face-saving steps in front of US authorities. ... well placed sources maintain that in a review meeting between Pakistan and US intelligence officials recently, the failures of previous operations in Pakistani tribal areas were discussed. The blame was leveled at several Pakistani officials connected with the planning of the operations, who are said to have been part of an organized system of leakages. ...
From AP at Aljazeera: Wednesday 17 March 2004, 16:08 Makka Time, 13:08 GMT
Fighting rages in Pakistan tribal belt
From Reuters at Yahoo: Fri Mar 19, 3:06 AM ET
India Tests Nuclear-Capable Prithvi Missile
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India test-fired Friday its short range nuclear-capable Prithvi missile, which is seen as a deterrent to neighboring Pakistan, the Press Trust of India reported. A defense ministry official said a test of the surface-to-surface Prithvi had been planned for this month as part of a regular series, but he had no immediate details. The test came shortly after Pakistan tested on March 9 a ballistic missile, the Shaheen II, which it says is capable of delivering nuclear warheads to all the cities in India. PTI said the Indian missile, tested from an island in the Bay of Bengal, had a range of between 93 miles and 124 miles. ...
From the Daily Times (Pak): Thursday, March 25, 2004
‘US ally status won’t affect China-Pakistan ties’
* Musharraf says both countries will continue cooperating in all fields
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday said Pakistan’s non-NATO ally status granted by the United States would not affect its relations with China. “Pakistan’s relations with any country will not be allowed to affect China-Pakistan ties. Our friendship is time-tested and will remain stable,” he said, talking to a Chinese defence delegation headed by Defence Minister General Gangchuan. President Musharraf discussed regional and international issues with the Chinese delegation. President Musharraf called China-Pakistan friendship trustworthy and said both countries shared views on important regional and international issues. He said that Pakistan believed in one China and considered Taiwan its part. ... President Musharraf informed the Chinese delegation about the recent thaw in India-Pakistan relations and said the two countries had agreed to resolve all contentious issues, including Kashmir. ...
From Paknews: 2004-03-31 08:10:07
Wana operation has been successful: Faisal
ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat Tuesday said the operation against terrorists in Wana, South Waziristan, has been successful and disclosed that
about 160 people including foreigners, arrested during the operation, are being investigated. The Interior Minister also stated that Al-qaeda intelligence chief, Abdullah, was among 50 to 60 (militants) who have been killed in the 12 day operation. ... Faisal said, operations will be carried out in (the) future whenever the Government has information that terrorists are holed up in a certain area. ...
From The Pakistan Times: 2004-03-31
'Pakistan Army to Pursue Terrorists'
ISLAMABAD: More operations could be launched anywhere in the country after reports that certain wanted terrorists might have "escaped" to others parts of the country during the Wana operation, said the Army spokesman, while briefing a select gathering of parliamentarians on Monday. ... The interior minister told the committee that well over 177 people were killed in the operation. ...
From AFP: (06/04/2004)
US envoy gives Pakistan ultimatum to tackle extremists on Afghan border
WASHINGTON (AFP) US-led forces in Afghanistan will move into Pakistani territory to destroy Taliban and other extremist groups if Islamabad cannot do the job by itself, the top US envoy in Afghanistan warned. "We cannot allow this problem to fester indefinitely," said Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador and special presidential envoy to Afghanistan. He said although Pakistan's recent army deployment into tribal areas to destroy Taliban sanctuaries along the Afghan border was "positive and hopeful," the Taliban and other extremist groups continued to be able "to base, train and operate from that country's territory." ...
From Bloomberg: April 7, 2004
U.S. Won't Send Troops Into Pakistani Region to Hunt Al-Qaeda
April 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. won't send troops into Pakistan's border region with Afghanistan to hunt for al-Qaeda fugitives and backs efforts by Pakistan's army to find suspected terrorists, the U.S. State Department said. U.S. military operations in Pakistan's tribal region are an eventuality ``that fortunately we don't have to deal with at the moment,'' State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said yesterday, according to a department transcript. Pakistan's military has taken ``concerted and courageous actions'' against the fugitives in recent months, he said. ...
From The BBC: Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
Pakistan 'ends al-Qaeda search'
The Pakistani army says it has agreed to stop operations against tribesmen accused of sheltering al-Qaeda suspects near the Afghan border. ... Lieutenant General Hussain said the agreement was in Pakistan's interest, as tribesmen and soldiers killed in recent fighting in the region were all Pakistanis and Muslims. ... He added that most of the 163 Pakistani tribesmen and Afghan refugees who were arrested in South Waziristan during the military crackdown would be released. ... The tribal elders in South Waziristan have simultaneously announced a suspension of their hunt for al-Qaeda militants and their supporters.
From The BBC: Friday, 14 May, 2004, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Pakistan amnesty deal hit by setback
An amnesty deal for foreign militants in Pakistan's Afghan border region has suffered a setback, with them failing to begin registering as agreed. Under the deal, the fighters would be able to stay if they halted activities against Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pakistan has now given local tribesmen who brokered the deal more time but said they might face legal action if they failed to deliver. ...
From Press Trust of India at the Hindustan Times: May 21, 2004
Pakistan to test-fire 3500-km long-range missile in June
Islamabad - Pakistan is all set to test-fire on June 3 its new long-range ballistic missile Ghauri-III, which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and having a range of 3,500 km covering all major cities in India. ...
From AFP at Yahoo: Sat May 22, 4:43 PM ET
Pakistan ushered back in Commonwealth fold, with a warning
LONDON (AFP) - Pakistan, suspended from the Commonwealth after the 1999 bloodless coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power, was welcomed back into the 53-nation body, but with a warning to stick firmly on the road to true democracy. ...
From The NYT: May 28, 2004
Pakistani Links Military to Failed Plot to Kill Him By Salman Masood and Talat Hussain
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 27 - President Pervez Musharraf said Thursday that members of Pakistan's army and air force were among "dozens" of people who had been arrested in connection with two assassination attempts against him in December. He also said the man who planned the attacks was a Pakistani who remained at large. ...
From AFP at Yahoo: Sat May 29, 2004 6:41 AM ET
Pakistan tests nuclear-capable missile
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, a week after a new government took office in its nuclear-armed neighbor and rival India. ... "We have successfully test-fired today (the) nuclear-capable 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) range Hatf V missile," military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan told AFP. ...
From AP at My Way News: May 30, 2:19 PM (ET)
Unrest Follows Murder of Pakistani Cleric By ZARAR KHAN
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) - Thousands of Sunni Muslims rampaged through this volatile southern Pakistani city Sunday, ransacking property and stoning vehicles after unidentified gunmen assassinated an influential pro-Taliban cleric. Enraged by the drive-by shooting of Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, rioters set fire to banks, shops, a police station and a KFC fast food restaurant, and traded gunfire with security forces, leaving more than a dozen people injured. Tens of thousand of mourners later gathered for the evening funeral, where police fired warning shots above the crowd. ...
From AFP at Yahoo: Tue Jun 1, 3:58 PM ET
Mourners riot in violence-hit Pakistani city
KARACHI (AFP) - Pakistani police fired tear gas at thousands of Shiite Muslims in the troubled port of Karachi as violence broke out among crowds mourning 20 people killed in a bomb attack the day before. ... Police believe Monday's mosque attack may have been carried out by a suicide bomber in revenge for Shamzai's killing. ...
From Reuters: 11 Jun 2004 15:19:49 GMT
Pakistan pounds militants with bombs, artillery By Hafiz Wazir
WANA, Pakistan, June 11 (Reuters) - Pakistan forces hunting al Qaeda-linked militants rained bombs and shells on a remote tribal region near the Afghan border on Friday where the army said more than 53 people had been killed in three days of fighting. Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat told Pakistan's parliament the military would continue its assault in the Shakai area of South Waziristan until it had been cleared of militants. Pakistan has said up to 600 foreign militants, including Arabs, Chechens and Uzbeks linked to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network, have been hiding out in tribal areas close to the Afghan border, protected by Pakistani tribesmen. ...
From The Associated Press at IHT: Thursday, June 17, 2004
Pakistan hits Qaeda suspects
WANA, Pakistan - Pakistan's army attacked a suspected Al Qaeda hide-out near the Afghan border on Thursday, using jet fighters and ground forces after skirmishes between the military and the suspects left six people dead, including five militants. ... Pakistan on Thursday welcomed a decision by President George W. Bush to make it a "major non-NATO ally" in recognition of policies adopted by President Pervez Musharraf ... Bush granted Pakistan the increased status on Wednesday, opening the door to closer military ties and allowing Pakistan to join the exclusive club of countries that have a privileged security relationship with the United States. ...
Commentary at The Salt Lake Tribune: MONDAY, June 21, 2004
Pakistan's long-range missile may trigger Israeli pre-emptive strike By Gwynne Dyer
From Reuters at Australian Broadcasting Corp.: Tuesday, July 6, 2004. 9:19am (AEST)
Musharraf warns of new 'iron curtain'
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has warned that an iron curtain is descending between the West and the Muslim world, as political injustices, poverty and illiteracy fuel religious fundamentalism and terrorism. President Musharraf made the comments in a speech while on a visit to Sweden, urging rich countries to help Muslim nations with investment and socio-economic reforms. ...
From The New Republic: Post date: 07.07.04
July Surprise? by John B. Judis, Spencer Ackerman & Massoud Ansari
" ... This spring, the administration significantly increased its pressure on Pakistan to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri, or the Taliban's Mullah Mohammed Omar, all of whom are believed to be hiding in the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan. A succession of high-level American officials--from outgoing CIA Director George Tenet to Secretary of State Colin Powell to Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to State Department counterterrorism chief Cofer Black to a top CIA South Asia official--have visited Pakistan in recent months to urge General Pervez Musharraf's government to do more in the war on terrorism. In April, Zalmay Khalilzad, the American ambassador to Afghanistan, publicly chided the Pakistanis for providing a "sanctuary" for Al Qaeda and Taliban forces crossing the Afghan border. "The problem has not been solved and needs to be solved, the sooner the better," he said.
This public pressure would be appropriate, even laudable, had it not been accompanied by an unseemly private insistence that the Pakistanis deliver these high-value targets (HVTs) before Americans go to the polls in November. ... Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election. ... a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston. ... "
From Press Trust of India at The Statesman: Saturday, July 17, 2004
USA writes off Pak debt
ISLAMABAD, July 16. — The USA today wrote off nearly half-a-billion dollar debt owed by Pakistan under an agreement signed between the two countries, a day after Mr Richard Armitage visited Islamabad to discuss, among other things, Pakistan’s chances of sending troops to Iraq. The agreement to write off the $495.3 million debt was signed here by US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms Nancy Powell and Secretary of Pakistan Economic Division Mr Waqar Masood Khan, taking the total debt cancellation during the past two years to $1.5 billion. ... Today’s debt cancellation culminates an extraordinary period of debt relief and emergency financial assistance from the USA to Pakistan after 9/11 attacks, which included 600 million dollar cash transfer in November 2001 for balance of payments and budget support, rescheduling of three billion dollar debt for over 38 years in August 2002 and writing-off of one billion dollar debt in April 2003. After the latest write off, Pakistan’s debt to the USA stands at around $1.6 billion. Last year, President Bush had requested Congress to provide $3 billion assistance to Pakistan in the next five years for its cooperation in the war against terrorism. ...
From AFP at Yahoo: Tue Aug 3, 3:09 PM ET
Pakistan nets 18 suspects as Al-Qaeda hunt moves east to cities
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - An intensive swoop by Pakistan on Al-Qaeda cells in the country's east has netted at least 18 suspects including four African operatives and a computer mastermind, a senior security official told AFP. The latest crackdown has taken Pakistan's Al-Qaeda hunters far from the terror network's traditional sanctuaries in rugged northwest tribal lands bordering Afghanistan to the dense eastern cities and towns of Punjab, its most populous province. The captures have also netted "valuable information" from computer records, CDs, emails, detailed maps of Islamabad airport, documents and photos of key financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark. The information included plans to attack tourist sites in the South African city of Johannesburg, according to the security official, who is closely involved in the crackdown and interrogation of detainees. The swoop began July 12 when Pakistani computer mastermind Naeem Noor Khan, 26, was arrested in the Punjab capital Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city with a population of 7.5 million. ...
From The News International, Pakistan (Jang.com):
Tuesday August 03, 2004-- Jamadi-us-Sani 16, 1425 A.H.
51 terrorists be hanged: interior ministry By Rauf Klasra
ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry has recommended immediate hanging of 51 terrorists given death penalties by Anti-Terrorist Courts (ATCs). ...
ME Times at Mathaba.net: 08/02
The real 9/11 culprit - and the Pakistan connection By Arnaud de Borchgrave
On the eve of the publication of its report, the 9/11 commission in the US was given a stunning document from Pakistan, claiming that Pakistani intelligence officers knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks. The report, from a high-level but anonymous Pakistani source, also claims that Osama Bin Laden has been receiving periodic treatment for dialysis in a military hospital in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s North West Frontier province, adjacent to the Afghan border. The document was received by the commission last week as its own report was coming off the press, and was supplied on the understanding that the unimpeachable source would remain anonymous. ...
From AFP at Yahoo: Thu Aug 5, 2004 4:12 AM ET
Al-Qaeda using Pakistan as staging post to plot global terror
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - The recent arrests of high-profile Al-Qaeda suspects have revealed the terrorist network is using Pakistan as a staging post for plotting attacks across the globe, analysts said. ...
From MSNBC: 7:18 p.m. ET Aug. 6, 2004
Pakistan: U.S. blew undercover operation
Al-Qaida suspect was secretly cooperating with counterrorist sting
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The al-Qaida suspect named by U.S. officials as the source of information that led to this week’s terrorist alerts was working undercover, Pakistani intelligence sources said Friday, putting an end to the sting operation and forcing Pakistan to hide the man in a secret location. ...
From Reuters: Fri 6 August, 2004 23:37
Pakistani Qaeda suspect named during email sting
By Simon Cameron-Moore and Peter Graff
ISLAMABAD/LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. officials providing justification for anti-terrorism alerts revealed details about a Pakistani secret agent, and confirmed his name while he was working under cover in a sting operation, Pakistani sources say. A Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters on Friday that Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, who was arrested in Lahore secretly last month, had been actively cooperating with intelligence agents to help catch al Qaeda operatives when his name appeared in U.S. newspapers. "After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts," a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz. He was cooperating with interrogators on Sunday and Monday and sent e-mails on both days," the source said. The New York Times published a story on Monday saying U.S. officials had disclosed that a man arrested secretly in Pakistan was the source of the bulk of information leading to the security alerts. The newspaper named him as Khan, although it did not say how it had learned his name. U.S. officials subsequently confirmed the name to other news organisations on Monday morning. None of the reports mentioned that Khan was working under cover at the time, helping to catch al Qaeda suspects. ...
From Reuters at Lycos: Saturday, August 07, 2004 12:46 p.m. ET
Unmasking of Qaeda Mole a U.S. Security Blunder-Experts By Peter Graff
LONDON (Reuters) - The revelation that a mole within al Qaeda was exposed after Washington launched its "orange alert" this month has shocked security experts, who say the outing of the source may have set back the war on terror. Reuters learned from Pakistani intelligence sources on Friday that computer expert Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, arrested secretly in July, was working under cover to help the authorities track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and the United States when his name appeared in U.S. newspapers. ...
From The Associated Press at The Boston Globe: August 7, 2004
Pakistan ambush led to wide terror sweep Turned up suspects and key intelligence
By Paul Haven
From Reuters at Wired News: Saturday, August 07, 2004 3:33 p.m. ET
Pakistan Intelligence Claims Another Al Qaeda Scalp
From Newsweek at MSNBC: Aug. 16 issue
Bin Laden's Back Channel By Ron Moreau, Zahid Hussain and Sami Yousafzai
When Al Qaeda needed to send secret messages, Khan often did the job—until he was nabbed and turned
From Reuters: Thu Sep 9, 2004 07:35 AM ET
Pakistan Bombs 'Terrorist Camp,' Kills at Least 50 By Hafiz Wazir
WANA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani jet fighters and helicopter gunships pounded what the military called a terrorist training camp near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing at least 50 mostly foreign militants. Witnesses said government troops clashed with tribesmen loyal to the militants well into the afternoon following the attack near Dila Khula, 25 km (15 miles) northeast of Wana, the main town of the South Waziristan tribal region. ...
From The BBC: Tuesday, 14 September, 2004, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Musharraf's uniform divides Pakistan By Zaffar Abbas
Islamabad - Pakistan's nascent parliamentary democracy is once again going through the motions - this time on the issue of President Pervez Musharraf's military uniform. ...
From AFP at Turkish Press: 9/15/2004
President Musharraf To Remain Pakistan Army Chief: Minister
ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will remain the army chief, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid announced, even though the general had pledged to relinquish the post this year. The government has taken a decision that "the president stay as army chief" Rashid said Wednesday. ...
Also at Reuters UK: Wed 15 September, 2004 19:00
Pakistan President to stay army chief
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf will stay on as chief of the army staff beyond the date he promised to give up the post, the information minister says. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 30, 2004
Pakistan refuses to let UN nuclear watchdog interview Pakistani scientist
VIENNA (AFP) - Pakistan has refused to let the UN atomic watchdog interview disgraced nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, ringleader of a smuggling network, agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei told the BBC Thursday. ... ElBaradei said Khan's network had "more than 30 companies and 30 countries all over the globe involved in this fantastic sophisticated illicit trafficking." ... Pakistan's Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud said in Tehran in August that his country was cooperating with the IAEA probe into Iran's suspect nuclear programme but ruled out allowing international inspectors into Pakistan. He pointed out that Pakistan was not a signatory of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), which mandates the IAEA to monitor compliance with international atomic safeguards. ... The IAEA wants to take so-called "environmental samples" from Pakistan to compare them with those found in Iran -- crucial in verifying Tehran's claims. ... ElBaradei told the BBC that he did not think Iran was an "imminent threat" to make nuclear weapons and that "verification and diplomacy" remain "the only way to resolve" questions about Tehran's atomic ambitions. He said Iran was "as far away as any country that has the know-how to enrich uranium . . . maybe one year, maybe two years." ...
From the SAN BERNARDINO SUN at the Arizona Daily Star: 10.22.2004
Bin Laden is located, says 9/11 panelist By Jim Mohr
Pakistani allies keeping him safe
CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Pentagon knows exactly where Osama bin Laden is hiding in Pakistan, it just can't get to him, John Lehman, a member of the 9/11 Commission, said Thursday. Lehman's remarks echoed those made Tuesday by Secretary of State Colin Powell, who said the al-Qaida leader was alive and operating in the western part of Pakistan. Bin Laden is living in South Waziristan in the Baluchistan Mountains of the Baluchistan region, Lehman told the San Bernardino Sun after delivering a keynote speech on terrorism at Pitzer College in Claremont. In the interview, Lehman noted, "There is an American presence in the area, but we can't just send in troops. If we did, we could have another Vietnam, and the United States cannot afford that right now." When pressed on why the United States couldn't send troops into the region to capture the world's No. 1 terrorist, Lehman said the Baluchistan region of the country is filled with militant fundamentalists who do not recognize the legitimacy of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, a close ally of the United States. "That is a region filled with Taliban and al-Qaida members," he said, acknowledging that Pakistan's security services also are filled with many who agree with bin Laden's beliefs and would aid him if U.S. Special Forces entered the region. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Nov 18, 2004
US notifies Congress of 1.3 billion arms package for Pakistan
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has notified Congress of a possible 1.3 billion dollar arms package for Pakistan, including eight P-3C Orion planes to beef up surveillance of its coasts and borders to stop the movement of terrorists and drug smugglers, defense officials said Thursday. ...
From Reuters: Thu Nov 25, 2004 08:39 AM ET
Bin Laden Not Hiding on Pakistan Border -Commander By Zeeshan Haider
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden can not be hiding in Pakistan's tribal lands on the Afghan border as Pakistani forces have combed the area and found no hint of him, a Pakistani army commander said on Thursday. Bin Laden and his bodyguards could not go undetected in the rugged tribal lands, although pockets of al Qaeda-backed fighters are battling Pakistani forces there, said Lieutenant-General Safdar Hussain. ...
From The BBC: Friday, 26 November, 2004, 13:24 GMT
Pakistan to end tribal check posts
Pakistan is to remove all checkpoints set up during recent army operations against al-Qaeda militants in the tribal area bordering Afghanistan. The announcement came at a meeting in Peshawar of tribal leaders, senior military officers and the governor of North-West Frontier Province. ...
From AFP at SpaceWar: Dec 04, 2004
Musharraf discusses F-16 fighter jet deal with Bush
At The NYT: December 5, 2004
In Meeting With Musharraf, Bush Praises Pakistani Troops By DAVID E. SANGER
From the Associated Press at Yahoo: Sun Dec 5, 6:10 AM ET
Bush Defends Pakistan's Hunt for Bin LadenBy JENNIFER LOVEN
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Saturday defended Pakistan's cooperation in the hunt for Osama bin Laden despite the inability of U.S. and Pakistani troops to find the al-Qaida leader who, Bush once declared, was wanted dead or alive. ... Musharraf succeeded in securing a strong commitment from Bush that the United States would take a more active role in the Mideast. ...
From The Washington Post: Sunday, December 5, 2004; Page A01
Musharraf: Bin Laden's Location Is Unknown By Robin Wright and Peter Baker
Pakistani Presses U.S. on Rebuilding Afghan Army
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said yesterday that the search for Osama bin Laden has gone completely cold, with no recent intelligence indicating where he and his top lieutenants are hiding. ... "He is alive, but more than that, where he is, no, it'll be just a guess and it won't have much basis" ...
From The NYT: December 14, 2004
Pakistan Denies C.I.A. Is There Seeking bin Laden By SALMAN MASOOD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 13 - Pakistani officials on Monday denied a report about the presence of a Central Intelligence Agency search mission for the terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in their country, and they rejected the agency's conclusion that he was hiding in Pakistan's northwestern tribal area near the border with Afghanistan. The New York Times reported Monday that American officials had said that the C.I.A. had established a series of small covert bases in the semiautonomous tribal area of Pakistan in late 2003 and concluded that Mr. bin Laden was being sheltered there by local tribesmen and foreign militants. The officials also said the effort was being hindered by strict supervision from Pakistani officials. ...
From The Telegraph: (Filed: 14/12/2004)
US is forced to abandon hunt for bin Laden By Robin Gedye
Three years after Osama bin Laden fled American bombs in his Tora Bora hideout, the search for the world's most wanted man has all but come to a halt because of Pakistan's refusal to permit cross-border raids from Afghanistan, according to CIA officials. Washington has downgraded its efforts to catch the al-Qa'eda leader in Afghanistan, from where he supervised the September 11 attacks, because it has become convinced that he is hiding in Pakistan's virtually lawless Tribal Areas, which hug the 1,200-mile frontier. ...
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