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Thread: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates (North Waziristan)

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  1. #21
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Felix View Post
    Fascinating that they suddenly know where all the hideouts are.
    Suddenly the hideouts have been common knowledge --- Amazing.
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    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Thousands stranded on Bannu road

    PESHAWAR/BANNU: Thousands of displaced men, women and children were stranded on Friday at checkpoints, waiting for clearance from the authorities amid a mass exodus from North Waziristan.

    The Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) said 227,049 people, including 100,370 children, had been registered at the Saidgi checkpoint on the Bannu-Miramshah road. An official said thousands of families were on way to Bannu.

    Witnesses said the families left on foot for Bannu during curfew relaxation. Long queues of people were seen waiting at the checkpoints for clearance by the authorities.

    “It’s like a sea of people heading towards Bannu, some of them are going on foot and some on trucks with their belongings,” a tribal youth, Nasr Minallah, said.

    Hideouts destroyed near Miramshah
    He said he had left Miramshah on Thursday and reached Bakakhel before dawn on Friday. Long queues of vehicles transporting the displaced families were at the checkpoints, he said.

    “In many areas, elderly men and women preferred to stay back and send their children to seek shelter,” Mr Minallah said.

    Another tribesman, Abdul Karim, said the drivers and owners of vehicles were fleecing the families because of shortage of transport. “I had to pay Rs 65,000 to a trucker to shift my family from Miramshah to Bannu,” he said.

    A three-day curfew relaxation in North Waziristan ended on Friday and it is unclear if the relaxation would continue on Saturday.

    People in Bannu said there was an imminent threat of food shortage because of the huge influx of tribal families into the district. There is also shortage of accommodation and many families have taken shelter in school buildings, while a considerable number of people are out in the open.

    Residents said that many of the newly displaced families were proceeding towards Punjab to seek shelter with relatives and friends.

    Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch told reporters in Peshawar that the government was aware of the plight of the displaced people and their needs would be fulfilled. He said the Bannu commissioner had been appointed the focal person to oversee arrangements.

    The civil secretariat of Federally Administered Tribal Areas said in a statement that food stamps and ration cards of Rs7,000 per month per family were likely to be issued to the IDPs verified by the National Database and Registration Authority.

    It said an agreement had been reached to provide mobile phone SIMs to the displaced people.

    MILITARY ACTION: According to a press release issued by the military, terrorist hideouts in Qutab Khel on the outskirts of Miramshah were destroyed on Friday.

    Cobra gunships, artillery and snipers took coordinated action and 12 terrorists, including foreigners, were killed. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed.

    The ISPR said terrorists inside cordoned areas were making desperate attempts to flee. “Six attempts were foiled last night.”

    Three locals who did not have any proof of identity were apprehended while trying to flee from the cordon.

    The press release said that 24 suspects who were trying to flee in the garb of IDPs had been apprehended at various posts in Mirali and Miramshah.

    Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2014

  3. #23
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Express View Post
    Suddenly the hideouts have been common knowledge --- Amazing.
    So they initially were allowing the TTP hideouts and now are destroying them?

  4. #24
    Senior Member Pak92's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Zarb-i-Azb: 8 militants killed, bases destroyed in fresh air blitz

    PESHAWAR: Eight militants were killed as jet fighters struck militant hideouts in the Koshali Torikhel and Zakar Khel villages of the Mir Tehsil in North Waziristan Agency Saturday morning.

    Official sources said militant bases in Koshali Torikhel and Zakar Khel were hit, with two bases destroyed. They added that eight militants were also killed in the Saturday morning blitz.

    While tribesmen have already left the Mir Ali tehsil, those staying behind to resist are militants or their supporters who are being chased and eliminated, a source told Dawn com.

    The militants are mostly foreign fighters and those who harbour them, with some having fled to the thick forests in Shawal valley extending to South Waziristan Agency.

    There are still some key resistance points where the fleeing militants have left some fighters who are planting mines to stop the advancement of security forces.

    The Utmankhel Dawar and Wazir tribal elders have again pledged to flush out foreign fighters and assured the government that they will not allow these militants again in their areas.

    A three-day curfew relaxation in North Waziristan ended on Friday and it is unclear if the relaxation would continue on Saturday.

    According to a press release issued by the military on Friday, terrorist hideouts in Qutab Khel on the outskirts of Miramshah were destroyed.

    Cobra gunships, artillery and snipers took coordinated action and 12 terrorists, including foreigners, were killed. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed.

    The ISPR said terrorists inside cordoned areas were making desperate attempts to flee. “Six attempts were foiled last night.”

    Three locals who did not have any proof of identity were apprehended while trying to flee from the cordon.

    The press release said that 24 suspects who were trying to flee in the garb of IDPs had been apprehended at various posts in Mirali and Miramshah.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114221/zar...resh-air-blitz

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    Nisar directs security agencies to secure twin cities

    ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan directed police and security agencies to gear up their resources to fully secure twin cities Rawalpindi-Islamabad and its residents in wake of the Zarb-i-Azb operation against militants in North Waziristan.

    The minister said this while chairing a meeting on Saturday to review the security situation of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

    The meeting was attended by Secretary Interior, NC National Counter-Terrorism Authority (Nacta), Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Commissioner Rawalpindi, Inspector General (IG) Islamabad police, Regional Police Officer (RPO) and City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Islamabad.

    He said that sensitivity of the situation demanded extra security measures and it was incumbent on security agencies to fully secure public places and strategically important buildings.

    Nisar directed police high ups to review the overall security of the federal capital with particular reference to entry and exit points and identification of sensitive buildings in order to adopt security measures accordingly.

    The minister stressed that entry and exit points of both cities be put on high alert and areas surrounding the federal capital and Rawalpindi be thoroughly searched, adding that they should be cleared of any unlawful elements.

    He said that joint patrolling teams of Rangers and police had given a sense of security to the residents of Islamabad and directed them to strategise this exercise to get optimum use.

    Chaudhry Nisar also added that all routes must be highly protected and added that special attention must be paid to unconventional routes, including jeep-able and pedestrian routes.

    In preview of last night’s terrorist incident at Chan Pir Darbar, the minister directed Commissioner Islamabad to impose a ban on all congregations as the level of threat was high because of the ongoing operation.

    Also read: Blast at Islamabad shrine wounds at least 61

    Nisar said that senior police officers needed to ensure that the police force was responsible and vigilant in order to fight the menace of terrorism.

    The meeting also reviewed the security measures that were being adopted over the arrival of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (Pat) chief Tahirul Qadri on June 23.

    The minister stressed that security of those participating in the Pat rally and that of general public be ensured by means of better coordination between the administration and police of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

    He said that security of other parts of the twin cities should also be strengthened so that no criminal element could take advantage of the situation.

    The minister said that the public should not be inconvenienced as a result of adopting strict security measures.

    Meanwhile, Commissioner Rawalpindi, IG Islamabad and RPO Rawalpindi briefed the minister regarding the security plan for the twin cities.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114248/nis...re-twin-cities

  6. #26
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    All Pakistan Army Ranks will donate 1 day pay to displaced

    AsimBajwaISPR
    ‏@AsimBajwaISPR
    #ZarbeAzb:All Army Ranks will donate 1 day pay for displaced brethern of NWA.Will also donate ration to meet their urgent need for 30 days
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  7. #27
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    30 militants killed in Khyber Agency, N Waziristan air blitz



    PESHAWAR: About 30 suspected terrorists were killed in targeted strikes by jet aircraft in Khyber Agency and North Waziristan early Saturday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press release.

    At 2 AM, aircraft destroyed two hideouts close to the Pak- Afghan border in Khyber Agency killing 10 suspected terrorists. At 5 AM, three hideouts were destroyed in Hassu Khel in North Waziristan, killing 20 terrorists.

    All strikes were made in areas where there is no civil population, the statement said.

    Over 300 suspected militants have reportedly been killed in the Zarb-i-Azb operation launched a week ago.

    Army to donate salary to IDPs
    The Pakistan army on Saturday announced that it will donate one day's salary to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan.

    The ISPR spokesman made the announcement and said ration will also be donated to the displaced tribal people which will be enough to meet their needs for 30 days.

    On the directives of the prime minister, the government decided to do away with the use of smart cards for the transfer of cash to IDPs of from North Waziristan.

    PM house sources told dawn.com that all concerned agencies and departments have been directed to give cash relief to IDPs at check points.

    Eight militants killed
    Eight suspected militants were killed as jet fighters struck militant hideouts in the Koshali Torikhel and Zakar Khel villages of the Mir Tehsil in North Waziristan Agency Saturday morning as part of the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation.

    Official sources said militant bases in Koshali Torikhel and Zakar Khel were hit, with two bases destroyed. They added that eight militants were also killed in the Saturday morning blitz.

    While tribesmen have already left the Mir Ali tehsil, those staying behind to resist are militants or their supporters who are being chased and eliminated, a source told Dawn com.

    The militants are mostly foreign fighters and those who harbour them, with some having fled to the thick forests in Shawal valley extending to South Waziristan Agency.

    There are still some key resistance points where the fleeing militants have left some fighters who are planting mines to stop the advancement of security forces.

    The Utmankhel Dawar and Wazir tribal elders have again pledged to flush out foreign fighters and assured the government that they will not allow these militants again in their areas.

    3 killed, 6 injured in Khyber Agency strikes
    As part of an earlier operation underway in parts of Fata, early Saturday strikes in Bara Malakdin Khel area of Khyber Agency killed three militants and injured six others.

    Official sources said that the militants had occupied a government school in Malakdinkhel area of Bara which was targeted by the gunship helicopters in an attempt to destroy it.

    A three-day curfew relaxation in North Waziristan ended on Friday and it is unclear if the relaxation would continue on Saturday.

    According to a press release issued by the military on Friday, terrorist hideouts in Qutab Khel on the outskirts of Miramshah were destroyed.

    Cobra gunships, artillery and snipers took coordinated action and 12 terrorists, including foreigners, were killed. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed.

    The ISPR said terrorists inside cordoned areas were making desperate attempts to flee. “Six attempts were foiled last night.”

    Three locals who did not have any proof of identity were apprehended while trying to flee from the cordon.

    The press release said that 24 suspects who were trying to flee in the garb of IDPs had been apprehended at various posts in Mirali and Miramshah.
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114221/30-...stan-air-blitz
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  8. #28
    Senior Member Hariz's Avatar
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    Re: All Pakistan Army Ranks will donate 1 day pay to displaced

    Quote Originally Posted by Amjad Hussain View Post
    AsimBajwaISPR
    ‏@AsimBajwaISPR
    #ZarbeAzb:All Army Ranks will donate 1 day pay for displaced brethern of NWA.Will also donate ration to meet their urgent need for 30 days
    Great gesture. Sometimes I think our army cares more than our political leaders
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  9. #29
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Zarb-i-Azb — Bad news for 'Good' Taliban?



    The North Waziristan military offensive is on.

    As we all hope, it will change the militant landscape of the country besides having a far-reaching impact on the political and strategic dynamics of conflict in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

    So far, militants in North Waziristan were the ones least challenged by the state’s counter-terrorism efforts. The tribal agency is (or was) considered the last resort of militants, which is why a comprehensive military campaign was required to establish the writ of the government.

    But when news of the offensive first broke, one thing many Pakistanis found themselves submerged in was questions:

    How long, how large will this operation be?

    What happens to the 'good Taliban', to those who reportedly wanted peace?

    Will a successful operation mean an end to terrorism?

    Below, I've sketched a picture of the security scenario which the ongoing operation might create. It may answer the questions above to some extent.

    Comprehensive and all-out
    It is an inbuilt compulsion in the North Waziristan operation that Pakistan should go after the militants comprehensively and objectively. It will make Pakistan’s position difficult both on international and domestic fronts if militants continue using the tribal territories for hiding and launching operations both in Afghanistan and Pakistan or elsewhere.

    The airstrikes going on in North Waziristan are mainly targeting foreign militants but boots will be on the ground soon in the second phase of the operation.

    Good and Bad now hard to distinguish
    The operation will eventually lead to termination of all the peace treaties made by the government with some of the militant groups in the past and distinction between the good and bad Taliban will become blurred.

    Most importantly, it will become harder for Haqqani militants to stay in the tribal agency as their argument of having sought shelter in uncontrolled territories will no longer be valid.

    Even during the operation, distinguishing between the good and bad militants would be difficult.

    Just a day before the launch of the military operation, the government was trying to resolve some issues with a so-called good Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who heads local Taliban’s council, Shura Mujahideen.

    He had signed a peace agreement with the government in 2006.

    Bahadur was not happy about military’s surgical strikes, before the launch of operation, and warned the government of revoking the peace agreement. A tribal jirga mediated and tried to convince Gul Bahadur to clear the region of foreign militants.

    Also read: 'Analysis: Why Bahadur is so vexed'

    Perhaps Gul Bahadur was among the few who were certain that the military was going to launch an operation in North Waziristan. He had asked the residents to leave North Waziristan before June 20. His announcement, which asked people to move towards the Afghan border instead of going to relief camps in Bannu, expressed his anger over pre-operation military strikes, which he declared a violation of the peace treaty.

    Though considered a “good Taliban” commander, Bahadur is known to have provided sanctuaries to foreign militants from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and Al Qaeda. His friendly attitude towards anti-Pakistan militant groups and special affiliation with the ETIM was frustrating for the security establishment.

    Sajna's future hangs in the balance
    Apart from Gul Bahadaur, the future of Said Khan Sajna has also become uncertain.

    Sajna was recently trying to emerge as a new good Taliban commander. He was planning to organize a new Taliban alliance to replace Mullah Nazir group, which is currently headed by Bahawal Khan. In 2007, Mullah Nazir successfully threw out Uzbeks from South Waziristan; Uzbeks militants again started pouring in after Nazir’s death in a drone strike in January 2013.

    Though Sajna is trying his best to be bracketed with the good ones, his group’s network in Karachi has become a matter of trouble for him. His faction is involved in criminal and terrorist activities in Karachi.

    The Gul Bahadur episode reflected that the government considers it important to make the anti-state militant groups including the TTP weak enough before 2015 so that the Afghan Taliban would not be able to use them as a bargaining lever and should continue to look towards Pakistan for political support.

    Lots to decide for the Army
    Eventually it is the military leadership that will have to decide the fate of the militant groups based in North Waziristan during the recently launched offensive.

    On the face of it, it appears as if the security establishment has decided to eliminate or push the militant infrastructure towards the other side of the Pak-Afghan border.

    Also see: 'Operation Zarb-i-Azb: Interactive map'

    Now, when the operation has been launched, past peace deals with the militants have no legal and moral grounds. At the same time, allowing Haqqanis to live in and operate from Pakistan’s tribal belt will not be strategically suitable as it will raise questions about the ability of Pakistani troops to hold its own areas after clearing them of the militants.

    TTP elimination not guaranteed
    The military operation in itself is not a difficult task. Pakistan army has capabilities to reclaim and hold the area in a minimum time-frame.

    The post-operation situation seems hazy and subject to different scenarios. For example, a full-scale operation in North Waziristan cannot guarantee the TTP’s elimination.

    There are two reasons for that:

    First, the TTP and its local and international affiliates have expanded their networks in other parts of the country, and the number of terrorist sleeper cells is increasing.

    Secondly, the North Waziristan militants can relocate to Afghanistan like Fazlullah did after Swat operation. Some media reports suggest that the foreign and local militants from North Waziristan had already started fleeing to neighbouring Khost province of Afghanistan, even before the launch of the operation.

    It is not yet certain if the North Waziristan operation entails a strategic shift in the government's approach. Questions abound plenty, and we'll need more time for more answers.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1113775/zar...r-good-taliban

  10. #30
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Ground assault delayed

    PESHAWAR: An extension in curfew delayed a ground operation in North Waziristan, which was expected to be launched on Saturday.

    The human dimension continued to aggravate as the number of registered displaced people swelled to over 300,000.

    According to the ISPR, air strikes against militants have been extended to Khyber Agency. “The ground offensive will begin as soon as the evacuation process is completed,” an official told Dawn.

    The military operation against militants in North Waziristan was launched on June 15 with air strikes on their hideouts. Security officials claimed that over 200 local and foreign militants had been killed in the bombings.

    Fata Additional Chief Secretary Arbab Muhammad Arif said at a press briefing here that the curfew would be relaxed on Sunday to ensure evacuation of civilians. “This is a big human tragedy, especially for those who have fled their homes for the sake of the country,” he said.

    The ISPR said 30 terrorists were killed in targeted strikes by jets in Khyber and North Waziristan Agencies in the small hours of Saturday.

    Jets destroyed two hideouts close to the Afghan border in Khyber Agency, killing 10 terrorists, it said.

    Three hideouts were destroyed in Hassu Khel area of North Waziristan, killing 20 terrorists.

    However, the official claims could not be confirmed from independent sources.

    The Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA) said 307,501 people, among them 132,973 children, had been registered at Saidgi checkpoint by Saturday afternoon.

    Mobile teams of the National Database and Registration Authority have been deployed to provide computerised national identity cards to the displaced people.

    A mass exodus from North Waziristan continued and thousands of displaced men, women and children were waiting in scorching heat on the Bannu-Miramshah road for security clearance. Security personnel give clearance to displaced people to cross into the settled area after verification.

    On directives of the government, the FDMA began distribution of Rs7,000 grants for each displaced family on the spot. Another Rs5,000 is given to each family for buying non-food items.

    Arbab Arif said the government machinery had been mobilised to facilitate the internally displaced persons (IDPs). He said 20 registration desks, four health mobile units backed by five ambulances and six mobile units of Nadra had been deployed at Saidgi post.

    He said health workers were administering polio vaccine drops to children.

    He said only 19 families had reached a relief camp in Bakakhel area of North Waziristan.

    Distribution of ration

    The World Food Programme (WFP) would begin distributing ration among IDPs on Sunday, sources said.

    They said a humanitarian hub would be set up at the Bannu Sports Complex where IDPs would get food items, including oil and flour.

    The sources said the WFP was distributing food supplements among around a million IDPs from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas living in and off camps. They said the number of humanitarian hubs would be increased, if required.

    Earlier, officials had said that relief agencies would not be involved in the operation and the federal government had stopped them from seeking humanitarian assistance for fresh IDPs.

    AFP adds: Civilians have fled into Bannu, Peshawar, Kohat and across the border into Afghanistan. The government-run children’s hospital in Bannu was overcrowded with children suffering from diarrhoea.

    Due to lack of space in the hospital, up to five children were being accommodated in one bed. Some children lying outside the hospital were being treated with drip bags hanging from tree branches.

    The military said all ranks of the army would donate one day’s pay and 30 days’ ration would also be provided for the people fleeing the offensive.

    Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2014

  11. #31
    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates: N Waziristan residents given one more day to evacuate area



    After a long period of speculation, which also included attempts at peace talks, Pakistan on Sunday launched a military operation against militants in the troubled North Waziristan agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

    As the Pakistan Army embarks on this critical mission, get all the updates of the operation, code-named Zarb-e-Azb, here.

    All stories relating to Zarb-e-Azb can be found on this trend page as well.

    Below is an interactive Google map of North Waziristan, which follows the Zarb-e-Azab Operation, and will be updated as information flows in.

    Navigate military strikes and areas of influence from the key on the left. To get details of individual attacks, hover over the pins and click them. Zoom in for a closer look, change the display type or switch extra layers off .

    The yellow pins mark drone strikes that have occurred in the region since the operation began.

    June 21, 10:05pm
    Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar has asked the police and security agencies to pool their resources to fully secure the twin cities, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and its residents in wake of the recently launched operation in the tribal areas.
    For more details, you can read the full story here.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
    June 21, 10:00pm
    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday advised the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend roaming services currently extended to Afghan Subscriber Information Modules.
    For more details, you can read the full story here.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
    June 21, 6:12pm
    Residents of North Waziristan have been given one more day to evacuate the area.
    Earlier, the last day for leaving the agency was today (Saturday); however, the deadline has been extended to Sunday and the curfew has been relaxed, according to Express News.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………
    June 21, 5:59pm
    All ranks of the army will donate one day’s pay to the IDPs, according to ISPR reports Express News.
    DG ISPR Asim Bajwa has said that the army will also provide 30-days of ration for the IDPs.

    So far, the government has registered 227,049 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected due to the ongoing operation in North Waziristan with the help of the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).
    According to the latest official data made available on Saturday, the government registered 15,757 families including 56,214 males, 70,465 females and 100,370 children.
    Four rehabilitation centers have been established at Dera Ismail Khan, Laki Marwat, Bannu and Tank where IDPs would be processed through the verification of NADRA, according to officials.
    A control room had also been established in the Ministry of States and Frontier Region to provide rehabilitation services for the IDPs that was working round-the-clock and providing every type of information.
    A cash amount of Rs12,000 was being paid to every IDP family for food assistance, and NADRA was verifying them one by one at the established centers.



    A young Internally Displaced Pakistani girl from the North Waziristan tribal region gives drink oral rehydration solution (ORS) to a baby at the Women and Children Hospital in Bannu. PHOTO: AFP
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………
    June 21, 12:07pm
    Thirty militants were killed in targeted strikes by jet aircrafts in Khyber and North Waziristan Agencies early morning today, according to an ISPR press release.
    According to details, at 2am, jet aircraft destroyed two hideouts close to the Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Agency, killing 10 terrorists.
    At 5am, three hideouts were destroyed in Hassu Khel in North Waziristan Agency, killing 15 militants. All strikes were made in areas where there is no civil population, the statement added.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………
    June 21, 9:57am
    DG ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said on twitter that tribal leaders have announced their support for the military operation:

    June 21, 8:43am
    Jet planes of the Pakistan Air Force bombed militant hideouts in the Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency, leaving three militants dead and six others injured, Express News reported.
    One militant hideout was completely destroyed in the bombing, which was carried out after credible information about the presence of militants.


    June 20, 7:47pm
    “Three terrorist hideouts in the Qutab Khel area, on the outskirts of Miramshah were destroyed early morning today by gunship helicopters. It was an integrated action by cobra gunships, artillery and snipers. Twelve terrorists including foreigners were killed in the strikes. A huge cache of arms and ammunition was also destroyed,” an ISPR press release said.
    The statement went on to add that while the operation progresses as per plan, terrorists inside cordoned area are making desperate attempts to flee from area. “Six attempts were foiled last night. Three locals who did not have any identity proof were apprehended while trying to flee from the cordon.”
    Further, the statement added, another 24 suspects, who were trying to flee in the garb of IDPs, have been apprehended at various ‘strangulation’ check posts in Mirali and Miramshah.

    An organised evacuation of IDPs continues from North Waziristan Agency towards FR Bannu, said the statement. “Till now 200,000 persons have been evacuated from the area. So far 11 families (92 individuals) have been enlisted in the IDP camp, Bakkakhel, Bannu.”
    Further, 400 Afghan families left North Waziristan Agency for Afghanistan through Ghulam Khan Border village yesterday. They were provided all required administrative assistance.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 20, 6:47pm
    During the prime minister’s visit to the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, he was informed that 232 terrorists had been killed in the ongoing operation, and 20 terrorist hideouts have also been destroyed.
    Eight soldiers were killed and seven injured during the operation.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 20, 4:16pm
    Gunship helicopters pounded militant targets in North Waziristan Friday, killing up to 20 rebels, as the number of civilians fleeing an expected ground offensive passed 150,000.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 20, 3:10pm
    The United Nations (UN) health agencies are supporting Pakistan’s humanitarian efforts to help thousands of people who have left North Waziristan where armed forces have launched an anti-terrorist operation, a UN spokesperson said on Thursday.
    Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, while speaking at a regular media briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York, said that access remained the “greatest challenge” in the areas of displacement and urged the authorities to improve the humanitarian space.
    He said an estimated 34,000 people fled North Waziristan on Wednesday, following a relaxation in the curfew, bringing the total number of people displaced from the area since May to some 100,000. Further movement was anticipated, he added.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 20, 2:46pm
    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, Express News reported.
    The premier gave a briefing of the operation and the assistance being provided to the IDPs.

    June 20, 9:17 am
    Gunship helicopters shell suspected militant hideouts in Qutub Khel suburb of Miramshah, Express News reports.
    Artillery shells are also being fired from security camps.
    Today is the last day for tribesmen to vacate the affected areas.

    June 19, 11:59 pm
    Pakistan has sought extradition of TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah from Afghanistan.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 10:33pm
    Chairing a high level meeting in Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought national unity and stressed that “there is a need to extend full support to our jawans (soldiers) in the combat area.”
    Read more about the meeting here.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 10:10 pm
    Afghan president Hamid Karzai called prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday assuring the latter of former’s support.
    Read details of the call here.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 5:45pm
    The Foreign Office has clarified that drone strikes have no links with the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan, adding that it was completely misleading and wrong to attach the two.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 5:14pm
    Civilians are streaming out of a tribal area in a two-pronged exodus ahead of an expected ground assault against militants, officials said Thursday, with many crossing the border into Afghanistan.
    Tanks and troops have been mobilised and are expected to begin a new, more intense phase of the operation after a three-day window to allow civilians to leave the area, due to end on June 20.
    Officials say that at least 113,000 people have fled North Waziristan since initial air strikes began in May.
    “Afghan authorities have yet to prepare a final report but up to now they have provided assistance to 818 Pakistani families,” an official responsible for monitoring the displacement on the Afghan border told AFP.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 3:50pm
    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said national unity is inevitable for the success of the military operation in North Waziristan, while talking to Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, according to Radio Pakistan.
    The prime minister said Pakistan is fighting a decisive war against terrorists, adding that the jawans engaged in the war would be extended full support.
    He also said that IDPs in K-P would be fully assisted.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 3:22pm
    Fifteen terrorists were killed in Zartatangi mountain heights, east of Miramshah by army gunship cobra helicopters last night when spotted. It was one of the main communication centres of terrorists, said an ISPR statement.
    “In a separate sniper action, eight Uzbeks were killed around Miramshah while planting IEDs on the road Miramshah-Mirali,” the statement added.
    Further, the ISPR statement said, areas housing terrorists in North Wazirstan Agency are continuously being cordoned off, while terrorists’ attempts to flee the area have been foiled.
    “Today, evacuation of civil population from Miramshah and Ghulam Khan started. Check points have been established at various places where IDPs are being provided all administrative support including food items and medicine by security forces,” said the statement.
    Furthermore, it added that the number of registration points at Saidgai Post have been increased to 20 — 10 each for men and women, for speedy and organised evacuation. IDP camps at Bannu have also been established, the ISPR said in its statement.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 1:32pm
    According to an ISPR press release, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif visited Air Headquarters Islamabad and called on Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt.

    Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif (R) and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt (L). PHOTO: ISPR
    Progress of the ongoing military operation was reviewed and matters of mutual interest were discussed.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 19, 12:24pm
    A large number of IDPs have started to arrive at camps in Bannu, Express News reports.
    Hundreds of camps have been set up for IDPs in order to provide them with relief items.

    June 18, 10:24pm
    Sindh Cabinet has decided to seek help from UNHCR to register IDPs arriving in the province. Fears reprisal attacks.
    For more details on the decisions taken in the Sindh Cabinet, refer to the full story here.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 18, 7:18pm
    All necessary arrangements to provide maximum relief to the IDPs from N Waziristan have been completed by the federal government, Radio Pakistan reported.
    Abdul Qadir Baloch, minister for states and frontier regions, said that 100,000 people have been shifted to settled districts from North Waziristan Agency so far.
    Tent villages have been established for the IDPs. Basic facilities such as clean drinking water, electricity and health service have also been arranged.
    The same facilities would also be given to people who have been shifted to safer places within North Waziristan Agency.

    June 18, 6:30pm
    The AJK Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed a unanimous resolution in support of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in its session in Muzaffarabad.
    Similarly, the Punjab Assembly also passed a resolution in support of the operation. The resolution, tabled by the Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan, praised the prime minister for making the right decision in conducting the operation.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 18, 4:24pm
    Military eases curfew in main towns of North Waziristan to allow civilians to flee offensive against the Taliban.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 18, 2:52pm
    Residents of Mir Ali burnt down four houses of Uzbeks living in the area after giving them a warning to leave, Express News reported.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 18, 1:08pm
    According to security forces, internally displaced persons are being shifted to camps after strict verification, Express News reports.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 18, 1:03pm
    Afghan ambassador to Pakistan Janan Mosazai called on Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters, according to an ISPR press release.
    Operation Zarb-e-Azb and matters of mutual interest including measures to improve security along the Pakistan–Afghanistan border were discussed during the meeting.

    June 17, 9:50pm
    Instead of providing relief goods and food, the government has decided to initially provide each IDP family cash grant of Rs 12,000 to take care of their needs. Later, they would be provided with Rs 7,000 on a monthly basis.
    Read this story for more details on the government’s plan for taking care of IDPs.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 8:39pm
    The federal government announced on Tuesday that Rs500 million will be sanctioned for providing relief to the internally displacement persons (IDPs) fleeing the military operation in North Waziristan.
    Read here for more details on the government’s plan for taking care of IDPs.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 8:14pm
    Minister for States and Frontier Region Abdul Qadir Baloch, who has been tasked by the prime minister to oversee issues relating to the internally displaced people (IDPs), said all IDPs will be registered using biometric systems.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 8:02pm
    The top US military commander in Afghanistan says the US has increased its surveillance over the Afghan-Pakistan border since Pakistan began pounding a militant stronghold with airstrikes, BBC Urdu reported on Tuesday.
    Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford told The Associated Press in an interview that the US was not coordinating military operations with Pakistan along the border, but officials have increased the amount of intelligence-sharing with the Afghans. He said the Afghan troops and US forces in that region were ready for any effects of the strikes, including extremists seeking refuge in Afghanistan.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 5:10pm
    DG ISPR Asim Bajwa has said the operation has not begun in the populated areas of N Waziristan to ensure terrorists don’t escape and civilians are safely evacuated.

    June 17, 5:08pm
    Expressing concern over the military operation in FATA, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed that Parliament is helpless before the military establishment.
    “The army has taken a decision and parliament has given mere approval for it,” said Fazl during the National Assembly session.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 3:54pm
    Six terrorist hideouts including a training camp and an IED making factory around Hasokhel, North Waziristan Agency were destroyed by jet aircraft early morning today. Twenty-five foreign and local terrorists were killed in the strikes, according to a press release issued by ISPR.
    The statement went on to add that the operation in North Waziristan Agency is progressing as per plan. “Last night three terrorists were killed while fleeing from the cordoned off area in Miramshah. One soldier got injured in exchange of fire.
    Further, the statement said, no operation in built up area has been started so far to ensure that no terrorist can escape the cordon and that civilians are safely evacuated after their detailed verification.
    “Necessary logistics and administrative arrangements for IDPs have been completed by the political administration and Disaster Management Agency. Security of IDP camp being ensured by Army troops,” the statement said.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 3:11pm
    Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to ensure provision of ample funds for the rehabilitation of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of the North Waziristan operation.
    Meanwhile, PM Nawaz has also directed Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch to visit affected areas of North Waziristan operation. The minister will remain present in the area to look after the displaced people.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 12:58pm
    Nawaz asks his Kabul counterpart Hamid Karzai to seal the porous Pak-Afghan border where the Pakistani army has deployed troops and tanks, AFP reports.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 11:58am
    Fresh air strikes early Tuesday target three militant strongholds in Mirali town in North Waziristan and kill 13 alleged militants, three security sources said, AFP reports.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    June 17, 11:55am
    Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif cancels his visit to Sri Lanka due to the ongoing operation in North Waziristan Agency, The Express Tribune’s defence correspondent Kamran Yousaf reports.
    General Raheel was scheduled to travel to Colombo on Tuesday for a four-day trip. However the military’s media wing says the visit has been called off because of operation Zarb-e-Azb.

    June 16, 11:30pm
    “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday called President Hamid Karazai and discussed issues on regional security,” said a statement issued by Prime Minister Office.
    Although the statement did not mention of operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Wazirstan, sources said that the PM had sought cooperation from the Afghan President.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/722202/a...th-waziristan/
    The Following User Says Thank You to bilalhaider For This Useful Post: alihamza


  12. #32
    Senior Member Pak92's Avatar
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    Re: All Pakistan Army Ranks will donate 1 day pay to displaced

    Quote Originally Posted by Amjad Hussain View Post
    AsimBajwaISPR
    ‏@AsimBajwaISPR
    #ZarbeAzb:All Army Ranks will donate 1 day pay for displaced brethern of NWA.Will also donate ration to meet their urgent need for 30 days
    Great to see this and other measures by PA to make clear whose side they are on

  13. #33
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    The intensity of this operation is incredible. Wish it happened a year ago

  14. #34
    Senior Member Greenstar's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    My concerns are the Afghani border is open and the Uzbeks may just retreat, reassess and come back with vengeance.

  15. #35
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Temporarily suspend N Waziristan operation in civilian areas: Imran

    ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said the military should temporarily halt bombardments in areas of North Waziristan where the civilian population has not evacuated.

    “The operation should not be conducted in villagers where women and children are present as they are currently stranded,” Imran said in a press conference in the capital.

    He also said that according to information available with the party, militancy will spread to areas bordering Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the wake of the operation and that the police and security should be beefed up.

    He urged the federal government to meet with the provincial government and chalk out a plan to facilitate the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as growing security concerns.

    “The prime minister should stop his foreign trips and plan for rehabilitation. This planning should have happened before but the KP government was not informed of the operation.”

    He also appealed to the Sindh and Punjab provincial governments to facilitate the IDPs. “I appeal to Sindh and Punjab not to stop people who are collateral damage of the operation from entering their provinces.”

    “These are Pakistanis. It is not their fault. They are angry. They are being shunned.”

    Federal govt should give KP Rs 6bn: Imran

    Imran also called on the federal government to immediately release Rs6 billion to the Khyber Pakhtukhwa government, to help the facilitation of IDPs.

    He said that Bannu already has a population of 1 million, with 500,000 refugees from the operation pouring in.

    “The hospitals cannot take the pressure of so many people. There will also be a further increase in prices as Ramadan is approaching,” he said. “I appeal to the government for the immediate release of Rs6 billion from the Coalition Support Fund for KP.”

    No alliance between PTI and PAT

    PTI chief Imran Khan said that though his party would support the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and stood with them but that did not mean there was a the possibility of the formation of an alliance between the two parties.

    Talking about Lahore's Model Town incident, Khan said that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif should have tendered his resignation and also demanded that former provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah be sent to jail.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114426/tem...an-areas-imran

  16. #36
    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Express View Post
    Suddenly the hideouts have been common knowledge --- Amazing.
    It is sadly becoming apparent prior to this operation the authorities were aware of where these hideouts were.

  17. #37
    Member cb4's Avatar
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    Zarb-i-Azb: Daggers drawn

    A week after the attack on the Karachi airport, Operation: Zarb-i-Azb has been launched in North Waziristan. But Pakistan’s security doctrine and practices still need to evolve to face the militant threat

    The attack on Karachi airport, brazen as it was, was not the first of its kind. Nor will it be the last attack on a high-value vulnerable area with multiple vulnerable Points.

    The question is: how did we fare in our response?

    There are two levels of response analysis. One deals with preemption, the other with responding to an attack after it is underway. The first is proactive, the second reactive. Preemption presupposes the existence of a highly effective and coordinated intelligence apparatus. The reactive is about fire-fighting. Proactive strategies are about preventing a terrorist group from doing damage. The reactive is about limiting damage.

    The state, in its war on terrorism, is putting too much emphasis on military operations and too little or almost no stress on counterterrorism policing and policy
    Consider the Karachi attack.

    A group of ten terrorists, heavily armed with small arms and light weapons, chose a less-frequented side of the facility. Their plan seemed to be to get to the tarmac and destroy aircraft parked along the gates or in the hangars. They also fired at the fuel dump which was a diversion as well as a successful attempt to start a big fire and cause chaos. Chaos works to the advantage of the attacker. It forms an integral part of his plan and acts as a force-multiplier. Conversely, it makes the defender’s job more difficult by forcing him to also respond to the suboptimal part of the attacker’s plan instead of focusing on the attacker’s optimal objective.

    Additionally, as we saw in this case too, the element of surprise was with the attacker. Once the men reached the building, they caught the Airports Security Force (ASF) personnel by surprise. It is for this reason that any area-defence plan stresses layers. But a layered defence itself must have layers on the outside and on the inside. The layered perimeter defence must be set up in a way that can blunt the element of surprise of the attacker before he gets to the VA. If the attacker can be engaged outside the main target and neutralised there, the response, after the attack has started, will be considered very good and efficient.

    In this case, as in the previous cases, that did not happen. There are many reasons for that. Here are some: the airport is too close to certain localities, the approaches are not fully covered, there’s too much human traffic, we do not have a security culture and while the ASF is responsible for protecting the airport and its main buildings, it has no presence on the outside.

    Further inquiries into the attack could also throw up other questions, like who did the reconnaissance and for how long, what VPs were utilized by the attackers and whether there was any insider-outsider collusion.

    Preemption presupposes the existence of a highly effective and coordinated intelligence apparatus. The reactive is about fire-fighting. Proactive strategies are about preventing a terrorist group from doing damage. The reactive is about limiting damage.
    That said, the attackers did reach the gate from where they had to enter. They also managed to take out ASF personnel posted at the gate. Round One went to them. Beyond that the going got a little tougher. Inside the VA the ASF had a layered defence and it allowed them to fight back, hold the attackers and prevent them from spreading out. This bought crucial time. The ASF was still fighting when better-trained and equipped reinforcements arrived. By then, however, the attackers had managed to create a spectacle and shown the facility to be vulnerable to any such attack. That part of their mission had been accomplished.

    For the responders it was important to get the passengers out safely and confine the terrorists to a single area and take them out as quickly as possible. The attackers wanted the fight to drag on. The defender wanted to finish it quickly. That’s a constant in any such situation.

    The attackers were ultimately taken out. They couldn’t damage the aircraft as they must have planned, though some reports suggest partial damage to a few aircraft. A part of the building was gutted by the fire they had started and 29 people, excluding the ten attackers, were left dead. The news had flashed across the world. The state appeared weak and vulnerable.

    A large part of the attackers’ mission had been accomplished. As for the response, the plus side is that it could have been worse.

    That is the point of concern. The nature of this war will not change, nor will the tactics of the attacker. Is there no way of denying the terrorist his mission?

    This is where we have to revisit the idea of pre-emption: stop the enemy before an attack gets underway.

    I do not have numbers but it seems, on the basis of nuts-and-bolts information, that we are spending more money on training and weaponising responders than we are on enhancing the capacity of the intelligence apparatus. The irony is that even the money we are spending on intelligence is being wasted because there are too many agencies that are working in silos and, if insiders are to be believed, often at cross purposes.

    Put another way, we are not only spending less money on intelligence, we are wasting even the money we are spending. The solution is not just to give more money to the spooks but to also ensure the money is spent efficiently.

    The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government began with the promise to chalk out a National Internal Security Policy (NISP). That policy was finally unveiled end-February this year. It was sent to me about two months before it was made public and I reviewed it – in terms of talking points – and sent it to the Interior Minister. We were supposed to meet and discuss those points further but for some reason that meeting never materialized. I made public the review after the government released some parts of the policy.

    The NISP begins by correctly identifying several factors, from the short- to the medium- and long-term. It also stresses the need for coordination. It concedes that the National Counterterrorism Authority needs to play an important role and that there should be a joint intelligence directorate. It details an ambitious agenda for a counter-narrative and the need to streamline seminaries et cetera. But as I pointed out, it has no plan for how to enhance the capacity of the organisations that will be implementing this agenda, including irony of ironies, the capacity of the interior ministry itself, the lead agency in this effort.

    Result: all the good intentions contained in the NISP remain just that – intentions. There’s nothing in the appropriations bill for FY2014-15 that indicates allocations for making the NISP dream come true.

    This translates into something simple. The state, in its war on terrorism, is putting too much emphasis on military operations and too little to almost no stress on counterterrorism policing. The enemy’s asymmetric advantage lies in urban terrorism. That is precisely where the army cannot be used. And yet, while we continue to add more weaponised units for responding to attacks, there is little effort to improve pre-emption.

    If we couldn’t pick up militant chatter on preparations for the Karachi attack and prevent it, our intelligence apparatus needs a drastic overhaul. The only way to make military operations work is to complement them with effective counterterrorism effort in the cities.


    The script is so predictable it has lost the climax. Militants attack a sensitive installation. While destruction and mayhem are still ongoing, there are clumsy statements apparently aimed at damage control. Statements claiming that strategic assets are safe and the attackers have been pushed back. Once that particular saga is over, condemnations follow. Then there are calls from the highest executives at provincial and/or federal levels directing the concerned departments to investigate the incident and present a “report”.

    “You get the impression that a chief minister or the prime minister has to instruct the relevant agencies to investigate a matter and that they would not do what they are supposed to do unless specifically told to. It is kind of demeaning and reflects red-tapism. Is there anything called a system? This is basically mocking yourself and reflects reliance on individuals instead of having a functioning system in place,” argues Dr Jawed Aziz Masudi, a criminologist and lawyer.

    So, after engagement in a conflict spanning over a decade and having lost over 30,000 Pakistanis, what have we learnt?

    “Probably we haven’t learnt anything,” says SSP Saqib Ismail Memon.

    Despite hundreds of attacks on targets ranging from military installations to airports, our security forces have yet to adapt to the threat posed by terrorists. Why?
    While Memon’s remarks may come across as too pessimistic, many argue they are a reflection of our miserable state of affairs.

    Abbas Haider, a security expert who has spent much time working in Iraq as a private security contractor before returning to Pakistan, argues: “Pakistan is in a state of war. This is an emergency situation and requires a certain response. But we do not see that when we look at the state policies or the public response.”

    After nearly 13 years of a non-conventional war that still rages, Pakistan is not even sure if this is “our war” or an American one. Who are the friends and who are the foes?

    While in official circles abroad, Pakistan likes to describe itself as America’s “frontline ally” in the global “war on terror”, at home the state appears to promote confused narratives. If most Pakistani politicians, retired military officials, local analysts and the general public are to be believed, almost all terrorism in the country is carried out by “agents” of America, India and Israel. According to this skewed narrative, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is sponsored by the American CIA in a bid to destabilise this nuclear power. Then there are the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban.

    “Pakistan has suffered a lot because of this flawed understanding of good and bad Taliban. There is clear nexus between the two. They may have different strategies or priorities, but the core ideology and goals are the same. While our policy has been to benefit some of them, the fact of the matter is that the ‘good’ Taliban have strengthened the position of the ‘bad’ Taliban and we have suffered,” says Hamza Ameer, a journalist who reports on jihadi groups from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    Pakistan is in a state of war. This is an emergency situation and requires a certain response. But we do not see that when we look at the state policies or the public response.
    Certain political leaders and analysts in Pakistan, including one who often boasts of his association with some state agencies, have been openly glorifying the Taliban in Afghanistan. This has resulted in a largely positive perception of the Afghan Taliban among the public who have and continue to financially assist the ‘good’ jihadis. Of course, the fact that these ‘good’ jihadis shelter and support the ‘bad’ jihadis in different ways does not form part of the equation. However, officials well-informed about the security establishment believe that change is in the making.

    “I think they have already revised their policies. Afghanistan, once a security concern, is not so any more as the Pakhtunistan issue has died down,” said Asad Munir, a retired brigadier and a former chief of ISI Peshawar.

    “The state has also realised that the world will not accept and tolerate cross border terrorism now. We also know that this jihadi concept has not yielded the desired results and ultimately the people of Pakistan suffered,” he says.

    The missing ideological response is not the only weak link; there is extreme corruption within government departments and even national security is not spared.

    Take the example of the 30,000-strong Sindh Police. While it is supposed to be the first line of defence and the hold force, its priorities are different. “The overwhelming majority of people join the police force knowing the element of power and money-making that comes with it. You do not pay hefty bribes just to get in without knowing about the return,” says Kamil Arif, a Karachi-based crime reporter.

    “This is not even a secret. There is a lot of money that flows in the police department. Every day begins with policemen on the roads extorting money from the public. From the cop on the street to the officer sitting in his air conditioned office, everybody gets a share so naturally the practice continues. While policemen are busy extracting bribes from powerless citizens over frivolous excuses, terrorists are probably driving past them,” he asserts.

    Corruption is so rampant that most senior officers make little effort in even denying the reality. However, they highlight other concerns.

    “The police force is hugely demoralised. Even the handful of people who had been very keen to take on the militants are now unwilling to fight. We put our lives in danger and took on the jihadis. Now we have been demoted and deprived of security. This is very discouraging,” said Khurram Waris, a former Superintendent of Police who has now been demoted to the rank of an inspector after the Supreme Court declared shoulder promotions as null and void.

    “When the Karachi airport was attacked, the Airport Security Force and police were the first to respond. We managed to take out all the terrorists. Later on the army arrived, took control of the airport and suddenly the impression was that they were the ones who had done all the work. Do you realise how my men feel?” said a senior police officer while requesting anonymity.

    “Some security forces feel they are superior to others. This creates a sense of deprivation among others and affects their morale and performance. This also leads to coordination problems between different departments,” he added.

    “We haven’t employed technology/gadgetry as done worldwide. Our security apparatus is yet to sync itself with the prevalent security threats,” says SSP Saqib Ismail Memon. One of the most obvious examples of this is the use of a ‘bomb detection scanner’ at a number of Pakistani airports. The scanner does not work. Dawn had reported back in January 2010 that it was modelled on the ADE-651, a device invented by a British conman who is now behind bars for fraud. When Dawn approached the ASF four years ago, senior officials had claimed that they had invented their own version and it was so successful that even the ISI was acquiring it from them. However, the officers simply failed to comprehend that their claims about the method of operation of the device were laughable from a scientific point of view. Dawn had even physically tested the device and it had failed to detect explosive material. However, despite the passage of four years and the Karachi airport attack, the device is still in use.

    “This is what happens when you get non-technocrats to fill technical positions. It just sends shivers down the spine when such people or those above them fail to pay heed to valuable advice,” said Abbas Haider.

    Haider highlights another security loophole. “Our people easily get carried away by a display of wealth and power. Drive around in a Land Cruiser and note the difference in the attitude of law enforcers. Jihadi groups will increasingly rely on such tactics in the coming days,” he said.

    Jihadi groups have already used camouflage in a number of their attacks. The Haqqani network has attacked bases stationing Nato troops while driving there in stolen security vehicles and wearing their uniforms.

    Security experts say the prevailing VIP culture in Pakistan is adding to the security woes. “When you are dealing with a terrorist attack, it is simply not the right time to be entertaining politicians and looking after their protocol needs. It is not too difficult for terrorists to camouflage and send in reinforcements while taking advantage of VIP visits,” said a former intelligence official.

    Memon agrees and offers some advice. “Technology should be coupled with human deployment. Areas around sensitive installations need to be combed. Entry/exit on sensitive buildings should be protocol free. Mock exercises should be done on professional lines,” he says.

    While security experts offer tips on beefing up security, a number of other experts closely monitoring the developments in Pakistan have their share of scepticism.

    “Do we even want to learn? Or is it a case that this present state of affairs and protracted conflict help attain a lucrative financial scenario for some people in the country?” questioned a professor at the University of Karachi while requesting anonymity.

    Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, June 22nd, 2014

    ‘Internal security doctrine has changed’
    By Hassan Belal Zaidi


    Have we really learned anything from over a decade of war?

    Things have changed ever since we entered the war on terror; in particular, our policy towards Afghanistan has changed. Since 1947, we had genuine security concerns with our western neighbour — Pakhtunistan being the major bone of contention. There were incidents such as the Chaman border post attack and the Bajaur attack, which sounded alarm bells in Pakistan.

    Back then, the tribal areas were only 30 per cent ‘open’. This means that government buildings and the military controlled only 30 percent of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). The rest of the area was dark, it was closed to outsiders. This was true for the entire border region with Afghanistan, except for the border post at Torkham.

    After 1973, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto made industrial units everywhere. This helped open up maybe 60 percent of the tribal areas. The Afghans, on their end, worked vigorously towards their goal; they set up two educational centres in Kabul to preach their doctrine of Pakhtunistan, they recruited people from this side of the border to go to these centres and be indoctrinated. They sought to divide the Pakhtuns in Pakistan.

    Now though, Pakistan’s Pakhtun population has become very integrated. So much so that Karachi, not Peshawar or Kandahar, is the largest Pakhtun city in the world. Hence, the fervour for Pakhtunistan has died down too.

    What about the doctrine of ‘strategic depth’? Have we moved on from our traditional myopic view of Afghanistan?

    The realisation that the US is leaving but we will be left to pick up the pieces has begun to set in. But the doctrine of strategic depth has been exaggerated. It was never as in vogue as it is thought. It was primarily Aslam Beg and before him, a brigadier in the 1960s, who used to espouse this doctrine. But on the ground, this doctrine didn’t hold much sway.

    All the military wanted was a government that accepted the Durand Line. They saw that even when the Taliban, who were their ‘own people’, were asked to recognise the Durand Line as an international border, they simply turned around and said, “Islam has no concept of borders or boundaries”. So they are wary now. Moreover, the Taliban threat has domestically awakened the realisation that a Taliban government in Kabul will be harmful for Pakistan as well.

    The contention that the British leased the Frontier province from the Afghans and now it must go back to them is not true. Under the UN convention, the agreement between the British and the Afghans has now been transferred to Pakistan, and this is governed by international law. I cannot comment on what seem to be political statements by Abdullah Abdullah, but overall, this issue has died down now. What is most significant is that the US has given statements to the effect that the Durand Line is the recognised international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This has laid the border question to rest.

    What about our internal security doctrine? In terms of victimisation and silencing of dissent, particularly when questioning state institutions such as the military. Are they still as unquestionable as they were in the past?

    The internal security doctrine has changed as well. Gone are the days when you could brand someone a traitor simply because they didn’t agree with your policies. Among political leaders, victimisation has all but faded away. But this has more to do with the mindset of the people than anything else. Geo TV, for example, were declared traitors for speaking against the army, so there are still red lines. We’ve come a long way, but there is still more to be done. I believe the situation can improve further if democratic governments continue.

    The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) still looks to be an unrealised dream. Do you think having a centralised intelligence infrastructure will help us with this war?

    In any country where there are several agencies charged with collecting intelligence, you can never have perfect inter-agency cooperation. Look at the US: they have the CIA, FBI, NSA, and they are all quite competitive. This is the bottom line; if the government tries to rein in the agencies through NACTA or any other centralised body, which is answerable to the Interior Ministry, they will face resistance.

    In my opinion, sectarian organisations such as the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi must also be tackled in the wake of the action on North Waziristan. One could have a small cell supported by highly-trained operatives, who can swoop in and conduct surgical operations against militant hideouts in Bahawalpur, for example. Timing is key in all such operations, so it must be a small cell with a highly-trained and well-equipped force at their disposal. Now if you ask the Intelligence Bureau, Military Intelligence, and the Special Branch to share intelligence on sectarian organisations, they will be far more willing than if you were to simply ask them to share information with each other.

    Following the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) split and Maulana Fazlullah’s flight to Afghanistan, how do you see things shaping up?

    The Afghan government does not control the area where Fazlullah is in hiding. But you can be sure that when a player such as Fazlullah is out in the open, all major intelligence agencies in the region will get involved. Be it the Afghan NDS, Russian intelligence, the Iranian, Indians or even our own Inter-Services Intelligence.

    The TTP is primarily a Mehsud-led group. Baitullah Mehsud wanted Waliur Rehman to succeed him, but after his death, Hakeemullah took charge. Then both Wali and Hakeemullah were killed in drone attacks, leading to a deadlock. Fazlullah was the consensus candidate; a temporary solution. Now, with the split in the TTP, I see that the Mehsud-led faction will hold sway in Waziristan, Kurram, Orakzai and the Frontier Regions (FRs), Darra Adam Khel and Lakki Marwat. The Fazlullah camp will be strong in Mohmand, Bajaur and Malakand, areas where the Tehreek-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM) is present, and will include hardliners like Umar Khalid Khorasani.

    With regards to the operation specifically, what does it really mean when the army says that such and such area has been ‘cleared’?

    When an agency is ‘cleared’, it means that the military has ‘dominated that space’ and disrupted the status quo, i.e. taken away the power base from militants and sent them packing. But even after an agency or any area is cleared, continued army presence is necessary to maintain stability.

    As in the case of Swat, even today, military presence there is necessary because there is a chance that if Swat is left to its own devices, militancy might resurge in the area. The Swat valley and even the Mohmand Agency aren’t 100 per cent clear, but the writ of the state does prevail there now. Things are definitely better than before, at least Fazlullah is not in charge anymore.

    So how do we deal with the remnants of these militants, those who blend back into society once their masters are killed or imprisoned?

    Those who used to sympathise with militants must be rehabilitated. Those who surrender should be allowed safe passage and must be screened. Former combatants who reform must also be vetted to analyse why they were swayed by the extremist message in the first place. Above all, the children who have been either brainwashed by the terrorists or are simply traumatised by their experiences, must be rehabilitated. There should be aam maafi (general amnesty), like we’ve seen before in Balochistan in the 1970s. Ataullah Mengal, Bizenjo, they were all part of the Hyderabad tribunal, but now they are in the political mainstream.

    Does the action stop with the operation in North Waziristan or do you think that there is more to this fight?

    The momentum from this operation must be carried forward. After North Waziristan, if the military wants to proceed against terrorist hideouts in, for instance, Bhara Kahu or Jhang or Balochistan, they should go in and act swiftly.

    Why has the operation taken so long? If the military wanted to move into NWA since 2011, what was stopping them?

    It is always the concerns of the political leadership that hold up or delay any action on the ground. Even now, the biggest impediment to a final decision on the matter was the narrative built up in Punjab, that this action is being taken at the behest of the US. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) mantra about talks was hurting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Punjab and they had to counter that perception, which is why things took this long to materialise.

    Not that they didn’t give peace a chance. But the committee formed to negotiate with the Taliban was a non-starter in the first place. It was obvious that apart from Rahimullah Yousafzai, no one else knew what they were talking about. The Talibs themselves were the architects of the breakdown of talks.

    The army needs the sanction of the civilian government before entering any area for an operation. The governor of the province must explicitly request army action and they can only proceed with his orders. But in Fata, interestingly, the orders issued by the governor of the area in 1909, before partition, remains in force. Action was ordered in both Pata and Fata and technically, that order was never rescinded.

    What do you think the fallout will be like in the rest of the country?

    Look, it’s not possible to stop the terrorists from all their activities. There will be a backlash and it must be tolerated through a national consensus. Only that will ensure the operation’s success. The terrorists will try their best to fragment society’s opinions, but we must remain committed to this action.

    There are currently two narratives on the drone issue; that they are a violation of our sovereignty, or that they are the best and most efficient way of taking out high-value targets. Where do you stand on this?

    I believe the number of civilian casualties in drone attacks is exaggerated. The Taliban are masters of propaganda. I put it to you that if civilians were dying in drone attacks in as great numbers, as people are claiming, the Taliban would be all over the story. They have massive communications and public relations machinery at their disposal and in the immediate aftermath of a drone strike, they cordon off the area and clear it. So if we had instances of widespread civilian deaths, the Taliban’s media offensive would have been unstoppable. But they are reduced to sharing forged images, taken usually from the Middle East.

    They don’t have anything, so they resort to faking ‘proof’.

    Discuss the complexities of war on Twitter with Asad Munir [MENTION=5536]Asad[/MENTION]munir38 and with Hassan Belal Zaidi @mightyobvious_

    Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, June 22nd, 2014

    Scattered yet dangerous
    By Ali Arqam

    The ferocious attack on the Karachi airport by the militants of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and claimed by both the IMU and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) seems to have been the catalyst for the much awaited offensive in North Waziristan. The bids to negotiate with the TTP and the rhetoric of needing a political consensus for a military offensive have fizzled out and now, with the exception of a very few, almost all the political forces and segments of society have willingly or reluctantly thrown their weight behind the decision to take on the militants.

    But one of the intended aims of the attack was to make the security establishment realise the possible backlash of an armed offensive in North Waziristan. It may well have succeeded, as it seemingly did in 2012, post the Kamra Airbase attack.

    On August 14, 2012, the then COAS General Kayani made a speech at the military academy of Kakul vowing to eradicate militancy, restore peace in the troubled region and to not tolerate a parallel system or militant presence. The speech was well received by most analysts but it didn’t go down well with the militants who responded with an attack on Kamra Airbase.

    The attack was then linked by some to the swirling rumours of a military offensive in Waziristan, and soon a clarification was issued that “No military offensive in North Waziristan” was on the cards. The attack and subsequent obfuscation by pro-Taliban elements seems to have worked.

    The attack on the Karachi airport proved to be the last straw, but what are the potential weapons in the militant arsenal?
    But this was not the case with the attack on the Karachi Airport. The reactive military strategy of aerial bombing on the militants’ hideouts has now been extended to a full-fledged military offensive.

    Perhaps very little has been said about the objectives of the military offensive as the targeted region is also home to the ‘good’ Taliban faction of Hafiz Gul Bahadur and the estranged Mehsud faction of TTP led by Khalid Saeed alias Sajna. Initial reports have hinted that aerial raids were aimed at territories with a presence of Uzbek and foreign militants. If the offensive specifically aims at the TTP and its IMU allies, the possible backlash of the military offensive in the settled areas and urban centres will be from the sleeper cells of TTP Mohmand and Swat factions.

    In view of the recent hyperbolic statement by the TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid in response to the military offensive, we need to realise and understand the nature of the threat. It should be evident that militant factions and non-State actors pitted against the state for whatever reason cannot face the unfettered might of the state. It is this clear disparity in powers and resources which forces them to resort to unconventional means of fighting the state, and creating fear among the common people is a potent weapon in their arsenal.

    Peshawar and other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have faced the brunt of terrorists’ backlashes, with bomb blasts and attacks killings civilians, political workers, leaders of ANP, members of peace militias and Police officials alike. After KPK, Karachi tops the list of cities with supporting terror networks, terrorist-related financial crimes and other acts of terror. It is not only the militants’ ATM machine, but also a place where they settle scores.

    If the offensive specifically aims at the TTP and its IMU allies, the possible backlash of the military offensive in the settled areas and urban centres will be from the sleeper cells of TTP Mohmand and Swat factions.
    A look at recent terror attacks indicates that they were carried out with the help of a local support base, be it the ‘Punjabi Taliban’, the LeJ or the TTP Mohmand or Mehsud factions. The attack on the Mehran Airbase, very similar to the Karachi airport attack, was perpetrated by the militants of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a conglomeration of Uzbeks, Chechen and Ughur militants, with the alleged support of the Punjabi Taliban faction led by Qari Shahid.

    The Mohmand faction has emerged as the firmest ally of the Fazlullah-led TTP and has one of the strongest network of recruits and militants in Karachi. Attacks on Law enforcement agencies, including those targeting CID officials such as Chaudhry Alsam and Shafiq Tanoli were claimed by the Mohmand faction. But the targeted operation in Karachi has reportedly taken on the militants from Mohmand and Swat faction, curbing their networks to a larger extent. Militants killed in ‘encounters’ with the LEAs or whose bullet riddled bodies were found in the outskirts of the city were mostly from the Mohmand faction.

    Recent fractures in the TTP, as evidenced by their infighting in Waziristan and Karachi have curtailed their ability to perpetrate big attacks, and perhaps this was the reason that the IMU itself had to come forward in planning and committing an attack on Karachi airport. Previously, the IMU has shown its preference for operations in which it storms targets and takes hostages. However, exact details as to their objectives have yet to emerge and the exact identity of the local supporters has yet to be determined.

    For its transnational roots, rhetoric’s of international Caliphate, Salafist ideology and its inclusive network of support, IMU may seek allies in other Jihadi offshoots as well. In Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the IMU and its affiliates have also often been associated with Hizbut Tehrir (HuT), from which they are said to gain ideological inspiration.

    Pakistan’s military establishment has also been targeted by HuT, and has conducted internal investigations of affiliates of HuT in the lower ranks of the military. Perhaps, further scrutinising and investigation might help in thwarting attacks on military installations such as the one at Mehran Base or others which pointed towards inside help.

    Another factor which may favour the militants is the absence of independent sources of news and information from the region. The military’s bid to check the flow of news and information has its share of drawbacks. Due to lack of independent sources, one has to rely on the official sources for the news or on militant sources for an alternative version. Neither version can be taken as objective.

    The militants also have a huge and efficient presence in cyberspace, social networks and also a deep penetration in society, which will help them in disputing the official narrative and magnifying or exaggerating the civilian losses in the offensive. Along with counter-terror, a counter-propaganda campaign will also need to be conducted.

    Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, June 22nd, 2014

    Who are the IMU?

    Operating from Pakistani territory since more than a decade, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) has fought shoulder to shoulder with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

    But they began as a semi-criminal group, under the name Adolat, led by Juma Namangani, a soldier of the USSR army, and a firebrand cleric named Tahir Yuldashev. Both men sought to use religion to justify their organisation’s existence but sustained themselves through extorting businessmen and traders in Uzbekistan.

    As Uzbekistan gained independence from the former Soviet Union on September 1, 1991, both Namangani and Yuldashev believed in a different direction of nationhood and statecraft than held by the country’s first president, Islam Karimov. They wanted their hardline views imposed on the country while Karimov, a dictator in the Soviet mold, saw the need for a more secular nation.

    Namangani and Yuldashev thus attacked Karimov and his regime, prompting a ruthless retaliation from the government against their organisation. In 1992, the IMU was banned, its cadres decimated, and Namangani and Yuldashev both, fled to Afghanistan.

    Of course groups such as what later became the IMU had been encouraged as strategic assets during the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was still intact. As argued by Brigadier (retd) Mohammad Yousaf, author of The Bear Trap, the Quran as well as jihadist propaganda was translated into Uzbek in 1984 and smuggled into Central Asia as an ideological counterweight to Communism. After the disintegration of the USSR, Islamic extremism in Central Asia began to take root and burgeon — till Karimov chucked the IMU out of Uzbekistan.

    But Yuldashev and his warriors weren’t going to remain restricted to Afghanistan; soon, IMU warriors would cross into Pakistan, and find ideological allies in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

    In Pakistan, the Uzbeks were recognised as fierce fighters and fiercely loyal – they were part of the inner circle of al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, also serving as their personal bodyguards. Their ideological bent was rabidly Anti-Shia – something that worked for them as they went about making alliances with other like-minded Islamist groups.

    Political developments and a ceasefire agreement in Central Asia meant that the Uzbeks lost their allies, the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) led by Said Abdullah Nuri. The IRPT would later support Ahmad Shah Masood’s forces in Afghanistan. This sparked the formation of the IMU in 1998, as a force that was insistent on imposing its brand of Islam in Uzbekistan.

    In 1999, the IMU became allies of the Taliban, but suffered the loss of Namangani in November 2001. The United States had attacked Afghanistan in the wake of the 9-11 attacks on America; one of the attacks killed Namangani but Yuldashev managed to join the warring resistance.

    Yuldashev became sole commander of the IMU in late 2001/early 2002, as the organisation moved to and settled in South Waziristan. In a state of being permanently homeless and permanently at war since 1992, the IMU appeared to have weakened.

    But South Waziristan afforded an opportunity for the IMU to regroup, reorganise, and even build a semblance of a life for themselves. Local tribes took in members of the IMU as guests; some even offered their daughters’ hand in marriage to the Uzbek warriors.

    The IMU’s alignment with the Taliban meant that the Uzbek warriors periodically clashed with Pakistani armed forces. These clashes, in turn, sparked a reaction from the tribes hosting the Uzbeks, who bore the brunt of counterattacks from Pakistani forces.

    In 2007, the IMU was evicted from South Waziristan by Taliban warlord Maulvi Nazir, in part because he believed that Uzbek fighters offended local customs and acted like an “occupation force” in Pashtun land.

    As they moved to other territories, they soon found patronage from Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. “When the IMU joined Baitullah Mehsud’s faction of the Taliban, it had to accept Mehsud’s priorities, foremost of which was fighting the Pakistani state,” writes Jacob Zenn, in his paper The Indigenization of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

    The Uzbeks would also find legitimacy from faith-based parties in Pakistan. Under the guise of protecting the “ummah,” Sunni Takfiri groups welcomed the Uzbeks, providing them with relief and funds.

    The writer is a blogger. He tweets @mughalbha

    Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, June 22nd, 2014

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1114427/zar...-daggers-drawn

  18. #38
    Senior Member Jameel's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Pause in strikes as North Waziristan empties out

    ISLAMABAD: Some 31,264 families and 394,319 civilians have been displaced from North Waziristan Agency (NWA) since the military launched its Zarb-e-Azb operation against militants last week.

    These figures are based on the daily situation reports issued by chief secretary control room established at Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), according to a handout issued on Sunday by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Information Directorate.
    On Sunday, the army temporarily halted its air strikes in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in a bid to allow the civilian population to leave the troubled region before the offensive becomes fiercer.

    A military official confirmed to The Express Tribune that there were no air strikes carried out and the main reason for the ‘pause’ was to give more time to civilians to move out of the restive agency. Authorities are expecting the exodus of tribesmen to continue on Monday (today).

    Speaking to The Express Tribune, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Member Operations Brig Mirza Kamran Zia said the main camp being established at Baka Khel in Bannu has the capacity to facilitate up to 200,000 IDPs and provides shelter, health, wash-rooms, mosques, electricity, water along with cooked food.

    At present, only 20 families have registered themselves at the camp so far, he added. Lack of credible information and the tendency of the displaced population to stay with host families or rented space have served as deterrents.
    Mirza said although the turnout had been low, the management authority was still making additional arrangements to expand the camp.

    “Camps were set up the day operation started. We are providing food and financial assistance to all people registering checkpoints,” he added.
    He said so far 30,000 families had crossed over and these people were provided free transport for daily evacuations. “If you include people who crossed over earlier, prior to June 14 than an additional couple of thousand families can be added,” said Mirza.
    Meanwhile, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has requested the government for an immediate release of 60,000 ton of wheat to meet emerging food demands of the IDPs. So far, the WFP Pakistan is the only UN agency that the government has requested assistance from.

    Presently, the WFP claims to have sufficient food supplies to support an additional 200,000 to 300,000 IDPs. The WFP, while utilising 150,000 tons of wheat from previous reserves, has also used an additional 26,000 tons of wheat that has been given by the government.
    However, as the WFP develops a strategy to support up to 1,000 displaced families, it has requested the government of Pakistan to provide an additional 60,000 tons of wheat as soon as possible.

    Official from the WFP said the agency as well as the government was in a good shape to provide assistance with existing resources and there was no need to launch an appeal for donor assistance so far.
    The WFP will be providing food items for a month which include wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil, salt high energy biscuits, and specialised food for children and women. The military is providing cooked meals to families and items such as rice, juices, water and dates are given to families.

    Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2014.

  19. #39
    Senior Member Hope's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameel View Post
    Pause in strikes as North Waziristan empties out

    ISLAMABAD: Some 31,264 families and 394,319 civilians have been displaced from North Waziristan Agency (NWA) since the military launched its Zarb-e-Azb operation against militants last week.

    These figures are based on the daily situation reports issued by chief secretary control room established at Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), according to a handout issued on Sunday by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (K-P) Information Directorate.
    On Sunday, the army temporarily halted its air strikes in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in a bid to allow the civilian population to leave the troubled region before the offensive becomes fiercer.

    A military official confirmed to The Express Tribune that there were no air strikes carried out and the main reason for the ‘pause’ was to give more time to civilians to move out of the restive agency. Authorities are expecting the exodus of tribesmen to continue on Monday (today).

    Speaking to The Express Tribune, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Member Operations Brig Mirza Kamran Zia said the main camp being established at Baka Khel in Bannu has the capacity to facilitate up to 200,000 IDPs and provides shelter, health, wash-rooms, mosques, electricity, water along with cooked food.

    At present, only 20 families have registered themselves at the camp so far, he added. Lack of credible information and the tendency of the displaced population to stay with host families or rented space have served as deterrents.
    Mirza said although the turnout had been low, the management authority was still making additional arrangements to expand the camp.

    “Camps were set up the day operation started. We are providing food and financial assistance to all people registering checkpoints,” he added.
    He said so far 30,000 families had crossed over and these people were provided free transport for daily evacuations. “If you include people who crossed over earlier, prior to June 14 than an additional couple of thousand families can be added,” said Mirza.
    Meanwhile, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has requested the government for an immediate release of 60,000 ton of wheat to meet emerging food demands of the IDPs. So far, the WFP Pakistan is the only UN agency that the government has requested assistance from.

    Presently, the WFP claims to have sufficient food supplies to support an additional 200,000 to 300,000 IDPs. The WFP, while utilising 150,000 tons of wheat from previous reserves, has also used an additional 26,000 tons of wheat that has been given by the government.
    However, as the WFP develops a strategy to support up to 1,000 displaced families, it has requested the government of Pakistan to provide an additional 60,000 tons of wheat as soon as possible.

    Official from the WFP said the agency as well as the government was in a good shape to provide assistance with existing resources and there was no need to launch an appeal for donor assistance so far.
    The WFP will be providing food items for a month which include wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil, salt high energy biscuits, and specialised food for children and women. The military is providing cooked meals to families and items such as rice, juices, water and dates are given to families.

    Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2014.
    I hope they don't allow the terrorists to escape whilst there is a pause.
    The Following User Says Thank You to Hope For This Useful Post: Jameel


  20. #40
    Forum Administrator bilalhaider's Avatar
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    Re: Operation Zarb-e-Azb updates

    Quote Originally Posted by Hope View Post
    I hope they don't allow the terrorists to escape whilst there is a pause.
    I heard the military forces are keeping a special check on militants posing in civilian clothes. They are not letting them get into Afghanistan; Balochistan, or any part of Pakistan besides these IDP camps sponsored by the military, so I am sure they are making all arrangements to make sure terrorists don't escape.
    The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to bilalhaider For This Useful Post: alihamza,Amjad Hussain,Jameel


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