Explosion in Pakistan’s Punjab province kills 11

An explosion at what appears to be an extremist training camp for children in Pakistan’s Punjab province has killed 11 people and wounded more than 120.

A massive explosion in the town of Mian Channu in the Khanewal district in northern Punjab province leveled at least 25 homes. More people are thought to have been trapped in the rubble.

Seven children and one woman are among those reported killed, and another 12 people are said to be in critical condition.

The blast occurred at the home of a local cleric named Hafiz Riaz, who is said to conduct informal religious training for children. “This was not a formal madrassah but children used to come to get a religious education,” a Punjab provincial cabinet minister told AFP.

But the large explosion, the huge blast crater, and weapons, including a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, a suicide vest, and a hand grenade found at the blast site indicate Riaz was running a terrorist training camp. Police detained three men after the explosion.

It is unclear if Riaz is affiliated with the Taliban, which is fighting an insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province, or with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, or a host of the so-called Punjab terror groups that operate throughout Pakistan and in Kashmir. These groups have forged close alliances with each other as well as with the Taliban and al Qaeda.

The Mian Channu blast highlights the subtle shift in Taliban and allied terror groups’ activities to regions outside of the traditional conflict areas of the tribal agencies and the Northwest Frontier Province. Over the past week, there have been six other high-profile incidents outside of those areas.

Just today, police detained 13 al Qaeda operatives in Dera Murad Jamali. The operatives were heading to Multan in Punjab, and were carrying five suicide vest and a bomb. The 13 man team was made up of three Turks, two Saudis, two Kuwaitis, five Afghans and a Pakistani.

On July 11, a group of Taliban fighters killed six policemen and wounded one more in the district of Mansehra in the Northwest Frontier Province. The policemen were killed after the Taliban ambushed their van. Although Mansehra is in the Northwest Frontier Province, it is in a region that had been violence-free until the Taliban moved in in force last spring and established bases in the region.

Also on July 11, police killed an aide to Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and detained two more during a five-hour-long shootout at a madrassa in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab. Two days prior, police detained three Afghans and an Uzbek terrorist in the district. The Taliban started to move into Dera Ghazi Khan earlier this year and conducted several mass-casualty suicide attacks and asaults on police checkposts.

On July 10, security forces killed 10 Taliban fighters during a shootout in the district of Zhob in Baluchistan. The Taliban initiated the fight by attacking a police checkpoint and killing one policemen. Zhob, which is just south of the Taliban-controlled district of South Waziristan, is under heavy Taliban influence. Abdullah Mehsud, the former commander of the Taliban in South Waziristan, was killed during a shootout in Zhob in 2007.

And in Sindh province on July 9, five security personnel were killed in an IED attack near the city of Jaccobabad. The Taliban have increased their presence in Sindh, particularly in the city of Karachi, where sectarian tensions threaten to boil over. Local politicians have warned of the ‘Talibanization’ of Karachi and the city has been plagued with targeted killings.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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57 Comments

  • JT says:

    Bill,
    It might be useful to provide an updated map that shows areas of Pakistan still under Taliban “control,” “influence,” and areas under government control. Assuming you have enough new information to make such calls.
    JT

  • Neil herring says:

    Has anyone coined the term “Pakistani Work Accident” yet?

  • Imran says:

    Blaming Pakistan for all whats happening around the world is just a sick mentality. Why you do not look at Afghanistan,which is a hub for training terrorists through Indian consulates which are conduits for passing on weapons, ammunition and funds across the tribal areas in Pakistan.

  • TLA says:

    Neil,
    The Pakistanis have been having work accidents for years – if a windowpane shattered: thirteen Pakistanis would die.
    Oh! The joys of partition.

  • Lorenz Gude says:

    The spread of this kind of activity seems a logical Taliban response to the increased seriousness with which the Pakistani government has attacked the Taliban. And it certainly does sound like this was a work accident and that the other incident demonstrates poor tactical discipline.

  • jim2 says:

    Neil –
    That was my first thought, as well. Also, even storage of bulk explosives is itself not without risk.

  • Ali says:

    I have a question
    Why this long war is against Muslim terrorists.
    What about the rest of the terrorists of the world. Have they all gone pious? Or they all being caught and brought to justice.
    Even this long war journal has all the focus on terrorists which are Muslims

  • David M says:

    The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 07/14/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  • joe says:

    Ali, can you name any OTHER terrorist grouping with the numbers, money, reach, ability and commitment to screw with not just the US, but Europe, the middle east, Africa, Russia and China as well? Simultaneously?

    Take a little look at the sheer number of different regions being affected (there’s a column on the right of LWJ’s main page).

    The IRA and Basque separatists really are small beer by comparison.
    Alquaeda’s stated goal is not “we want our country back”: it is more akin to “we want the ENTIRE WORLD”

    Please be aware this war is NOT a war against Islam.
    It is a war against the extremist militant fundamentalists who form a tiny minority of the Muslim diaspora.

    I personally would be just as against these people if they were Jewish or Christian or Buddhist.

  • joe says:

    Crazy part of this event is the aftermath…
    all the locals rioting/throwing stuff at the authorities who came to clean up.

    Like it’s the authorities’ fault there was a terrorist training camp in their village!

    Maybe they thought it was a PAF airstrike or a CIA drone (seeing as this was likely an extremist training/recruitment center can this reliably be discounted?? No, not really), most likely they just needed to vent a bit and the police (not popular over there I understand) showed up just in time for the finger-pointing.

    The locals who knew about the goings on there (there are nearly always some) should go to the survivors of the families and explain why weapons were being stored at the madrassa in the first place, and why they were not told about a massive cache of explosives before sending their children there for education.
    Although to be fair, the education these children were receiving could well have put them on the path to strapping these same explosives on and detonating it themselves as the next wave of child-suicide-bombers, and could well have been with parental consent. Disgusting concept but it is not unknown with religious fundamentalists.

    “What did you learn today at school, Ahmed?”
    “How to shave, wear a burqa, and get me a dozen fine virgins with the click of a button!”

    Someday the elders are going to realize these extremists don’t really have their best interests at heart.
    Some of the smarter ones already have: they are the ones whose tribal Lashkars are able to wipe out extremist cells more effectively and with less collateral damage than either PA or NATO.

    Yes that’s right, want to stop drone attacks? Keep your turf extremist-free.

  • My2cents says:

    Joe, read the article again.
    The incident was in Punjab, not the tribal areas. So far the CIA has restricted their drone attacks to tribal areas. And the cleric was teaching out of his home, not in a madrassah.
    Beyond that, I agree with most of what you said. A school should not be an ammo dump.

  • Render says:

    I can make that answer simpler. Because Muslim terrorists declared war on us, in 1998.
    We just didn’t take it seriously until 2001.
    Perhaps Muslim terrorists should not have stirred the sleeping giant?
    YAMAMOTO,
    R

  • mark says:

    Somone respond to Imran, does he have a valid point?

  • T Ruth says:

    ALI
    “I have a question
    Why this long war is against Muslim terrorists.
    What about the rest of the terrorists of the world. Have they all gone pious? Or they all being caught and brought to justice.
    Even this long war journal has all the focus on terrorists which are Muslims
    =================================
    Good Question. Have you ever thought of putting the question to yourself?!

  • T Ruth says:

    Imran
    “Blaming Pakistan for all whats happening around the world is just a sick mentality. Why you do not look at Afghanistan,which is a hub for training terrorists through Indian consulates which are conduits for passing on weapons, ammunition and funds across the tribal areas in Pakistan.”
    Mark
    “Somone respond to Imran…”
    =================================
    Sure, go play cricket…..

  • Sumit says:

    Imran,
    As far as I know the Taliban was created by ISI of Pakistan, it also promoted anti india islaminc terrorists, they also attached indian Embassy at Kabul, ISI former chief wired 100 K USD to Mohammad Atta, in a very recent interview to CNN, pak military spokeperson agreed that they still have links with Talian and can bring them to table if thier score is settled against india. Pakistan is victim of terrorism I agree however these terrorists are home grown not state sponsered.

  • Raven says:

    Joe wrote:
    “Please be aware this war is NOT a war against Islam.”
    Agree and I do think we are at war with “extreme political Islam” and Wahhabi imperialism. The “spiritual Islam” which is really Sufism is quietly spreading among middle class Muslims in democratic set up. Pakistan was not this radicalized society till Wahhabi culture showed up during Zia rule, I think, which gave raise to this “blame others” psyche at a national level. As externals, you and me can do very little to change that. This forum is a microcosm where you can see that.

  • MZBH says:

    Sumit:
    “As far as I know the Taliban was created by ISI of Pakistan, it also promoted anti india islaminc terrorists, they also attached indian Embassy at Kabul, ISI former chief wired 100 K USD to Mohammad Atta, in a very recent interview to CNN, pak military spokeperson agreed that they still have links with Talian and can bring them to table if thier score is settled against india. Pakistan is victim of terrorism I agree however these terrorists are home grown not state sponsered.”
    1. The Taliban were NOT created by the ISI, even a cursory study of the events around that time and reading the works of Ahmed Rashid and Steve Coll would show you that – by why bother, when unsubstantiated mud slinging allows Pakistan to remain the bogeyman to divert blame at.
    The taliban were assisted by the ISI, GID (Saudi intelligence) and at the very least tolerated by the US. US officials tried to arrange meetings with the Taliban leadership and attempted to influence them through Pakistan in an attempt to get American Oil companies favorable positions in the bid to pipe oile and gas from the CAR’s.
    2. If India had not chosen to violate its commitment in the UNSC to hold a plebiscite in J&K, there may not have been a favorable response to the call for taking up arms against Indian occupation. Secondly, Indians and Americans should be the last ones to complain about another nation supporting an insurgency (that too in disputed territory) given that the Indians supported the insurgents in East Pakistan and helped break it off, supported the Northern Alliance warlords and criminals as a proxy in Afghanistan, supported the Baluch insrugents, and created and supported the LTTE, perhaps the deadliest terrorist group in history.
    3. There is still no evidence (aside from unsubstantiated anonymous sources in the NYT) that links Pakistan to the Kabul embassy attacks or the 100K wired to Atta allegation. When there is solid evidence substantiating those claims, I’ll change my mind on them.
    4. With regards to the Indians, the US toppled democratically elected regimes from Latin America to Asia for being ‘socialist/communist leaning’, even when they were democratically elected. Many of those regimes were replaced by US lackeys; dictators and oppressive regimes that massacred, tortured and imprisoned hundreds of thousands – all because of the Cold War and an ‘enemy’ thousands of miles away. Now Pakistan cannot seek to ensure that Afghanistan not be used to destabilize Pakistan by an enemy that has done just that historically, in East Pakistan in 1971, in Baluchistan and through support for the Northern Alliance criminals and warlords?
    Also, the point Gen Athar Abbas made, about maintaining contacts (not supporting or assisting in anyway) with the Taliban, was echoed by Gen. Petraeus as well, where he accepted that no intelligence organization completely cuts off all contact with even opposing groups, and that even the US does the same.

  • MZBH says:

    By the way, to put Gen. Athar Abbas’s comments in perspective and hear the entire thing, check out the transcripts and entire interview with Abbas here:
    //edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/07/10/pakistan.taliban.omar.interview/#cnnSTCVideo

  • bard207 says:


    Blaming Pakistan for all whats happening around the world is just a sick mentality. Why you do not look at
    Afghanistan,which is a hub for training terrorists through Indian consulates which are conduits for passing on weapons, ammunition and funds across the tribal areas in Pakistan.
    I will play along…
    So the Pakistani government knows all of the above, yet still makes Peace Deals with the militants?
    The Pakistani Army Leadership wasn’t that eager to fight the Taliban (Proxies – Agents for India?), so that means that Musharraf, Kiyani etc are Indian sympathizers?
    If all of the above is true, then Pakistan needs to blame its own Army and Government for letting the Taliban (Proxies – Agents for India?) get out of control. Don’t blame India for the Indian sympathizers in the Pakistani Army.

    By the way…
    Isn’t Imran a Taliban sympathizer?
    Imran Khan on the Taliban
    The Darker Face of the Western Front Critics
    …The autonomous tribes of FATA have always had dubious loyalties; their deeply traditionalist and militant doctrines meant that it was the threat of military reprisals and not respect for fellow Pakistanis (none of whom are welcome in ‘their’ territory anyway) or for Pakistani laws (don’t apply to them) that prevented spasms of larger conquests and infighting at the expense of the unarmed Pakistani population. The status quo, and the uneasy peace, finally crumbled after the infiltration by al-Qaeda of the already despotic tribal groups and now the region is more unstable than ever with parts of the heavily armed tribal population on rampage. Hundreds of pro-Pakistani tribal elders have been assassinated and thousands of paramilitary soldiers killed, but Imran Khan has been persistently and staunchly anti-government in all this, calling the Pakistan Army’s attempts to seal the border with Afghanistan and defend itself and other citizens a ‘gross violation’ of the age old agreement binding the tribes to Pakistan…
    I have a question
    Why this long war is against Muslim terrorists.
    What about the rest of the terrorists of the world.
    Have they all gone pious? Or they all being caught and brought to justice.
    Even this long war journal has all the focus on
    terrorists which are Muslims.
    I am completely confused. You reference the terrorists as Muslims, yet I have seen many statements – explanations from various sources that what the terrorists are doing goes against Islamic teaching, so they aren’t true Muslims.
    Which of the following is correct?
    1. The terrorists are Muslims as Ali stated above and their actions reflect very poorly on the Islamic religion. Since the Islamic world (at least Pakistan) is reluctant to stifle & control the terrorists, the actions of the terrorists reflect what Muslims in Pakistan really want.
    2. The terrorists are not Muslims and should be considered Kafirs in Pakistan. Why the Pakistani Leadership (Army & Civilian Government) makes Peace Deals and surrenders control of FATA & NWFP to Kafirs (Indian agents?) is a mystery to me.
    If #2 is true, shouldn’t Pakistanis be ashamed rather than blaming RAW, CIA and Mossad for the activities of the terrorists?

  • Raven says:

    I think we are getting side tracked.
    What I would like to know how this local cleric named Hafiz Riaz had so much ammo? Isn’t Ali and MZBH should be taking a guess with their local knowledge being high?

  • T Ruth says:

    Mzbh
    ” The Taliban were NOT created by the ISI….
    The taliban were assisted by the Taliban…..”
    ==============================
    HOW CUTE!
    Anyway, the truth is that the story is about an explosion in pakistani punjab which killed a number of children and you couldn’t give two hoots about that situation.
    Because you’re stuck in history obsessing about kashmir, india, east pakistan, bangladesh–in summary the aggregate of your various misadventures which have brought you to where you are today. And you do everything possible to not look at it. All you do is push history through your prism of propaganda.
    i feel sorry for those children, who are being brainwashed by perverts ‘assiated” by the ISI, being trained to be humans doing wrong in the name of God!

  • Render says:

    MZBH –
    “1. The Taliban were NOT created by the ISI, even a cursory study of the events around that time and reading the works of Ahmed Rashid and Steve Coll would show you that…”
    Created? No, probably not. However, “funded”, “trained”, “allied with”, “in complete support of”, “fought alongside of”, would all be correct ways to describe the relationship between the ISI and the Taliban.
    Some of us have read Steve Coll and continue to do so to this day. How about you?
    //www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/taliban/interviews/coll.html
    SPLIT
    ENDS,
    R

  • DANNY says:

    I believe the long war is a phrase that defines the overwhelming feeling one gets when they think about the ones we are fighting and what their goals are. We are going to just have to keep fighting these nuts and that ain’t going to end. I just cannot imagine how this will ever be resolved. You cannot make peace with those sworn to destroy you. Cold hard fact is cold… well that is only partially true, Nukes stop wars.

  • xavier says:

    MZBH –
    “1. The Taliban were NOT created by the ISI, even a cursory study of the events around that time and reading the works of Ahmed Rashid and Steve Coll would show you that…”
    ———–
    That’s funny. You probably want to pull wool over our eyes but I read Ahmed Rashid’s “Taliban:…” and “Descent of Chaos”. In these two books he clearly states that Taliban had full support, backing, funding and ammunition from Pakistan(and its ISI) since its inception. ISI agents fought alongside Taliban after 9/11. Refer to operation evil airlift.
    Whom are to trying to fool.

  • yash says:

    Dear Ali,
    I will tell you why the entire Paks war on terror is a big farce ….
    Below is the list of some terror warlords operating in Pak and whom they are fighting against
    1) Jalaluddin Haqqani – Fighting against Americans
    2) Moulvi Nazir – Fighting against Americans
    3) Hafiz Gul bahadur – Fighting against Americans
    4) Baitullah Mehsud – Fighting against Pak
    5) Mullah Fazlullah – Fighting against Americans
    6) Hafiz Sayeed – Fighting against India
    7) Azar Masood – Fighting against Americans
    8) Mangal Bagh – Fighting against Americans
    In the list above Pak is fighting against only Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud since they are fighting against Pak. All other groups which are involved in the murder of westerners and Indians are sitting pretty in Pak. Is this not a farce ?
    Thanks,
    Yash.

  • yash says:

    Dear Ali,
    I will tell you why the entire Paks war on terror is a big farce ….
    Below is the list of some terror warlords operating in Pak and whom they are fighting against
    1) Jalaluddin Haqqani – Fighting against Americans
    2) Moulvi Nazir – Fighting against Americans
    3) Hafiz Gul bahadur – Fighting against Americans
    4) Baitullah Mehsud – Fighting against Pak
    5) Mullah Fazlullah – Fighting against Americans
    6) Hafiz Sayeed – Fighting against India
    7) Azar Masood – Fighting against Americans
    8) Mangal Bagh – Fighting against Americans
    In the list above Pak is fighting against only Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud since they are fighting against Pak. All other groups which are involved in the murder of westerners and Indians are sitting pretty in Pak. Is this not a farce ?
    Thanks,
    Yash.

  • yash says:

    Hi All Pakistanis.
    Your own president has admiited a few days back that Pak sponsered terrorist organisation.
    Your own interior minister has admitted that Mumbai attack was planned and executed by Pakis.
    The drones are operating from Pak Airforce bases. So I dont see any reason why Pakis are blaming USA for that. May be they get paid for allowing Drones. Just like the way General Musharraf got bounty for handing over suspects to USA(source: autobiography of Musharaff-Line of Fire)…
    You Pakistanis should see what your presidents, prime ministers are talking and then blame others….
    Thanks,
    Yash

  • MZBH says:

    Render:
    “Created? No, probably not. However, “funded”, “trained”, “allied with”, “in complete support of”, “fought alongside of”, would all be correct ways to describe the relationship between the ISI and the Taliban.”
    That is what I said, so not sure what the point of your post was, or the ‘advice’ to read Coll, since you regurgitated my post essentially – Pakistan did not create the Taliban, it supported their rise once their local popularity and gathering strength (and the failings of Hekmetyar) became obvious along with the GID, and the US acquiesced since it too was interested in stability in Afghanistan and getting the Taliban to help US corporations.
    =======================
    Xavier:
    “That’s funny. You probably want to pull wool over our eyes but I read Ahmed Rashid’s “Taliban:…” and “Descent of Chaos”. In these two books he clearly states that Taliban had full support, backing, funding and ammunition from Pakistan(and its ISI) since its inception. ISI agents fought alongside Taliban after 9/11. Refer to operation evil airlift.”
    And what does any of that have to do with my point that the Taliban were not created by the ISI? As far as I can tell, that is irrefutable, as is US acquiescence to the regime and its engagement with it, no matter how much you attempt to dissemble and misdirect.

  • xavier says:

    Sorry, in the prev post the book’s name is “Descent into Chaos” by Ahmed Rashid.

  • xavier says:

    MZBH, here is the evidence for what I said earlier.
    An excerpt from Ahmed Rashid’s “Descent into Chaos”

  • Nic says:

    Bill: there is a typo:
    Although Mansehra is in the Northwest Frontier Province, it is in a region that had been violence-free unto the Taliban moved in in force last spring and established bases in the region.
    Change “unto” to “until”.

  • Ali says:

    @ Yash,
    chill out man – don’t worry everything will be fine

  • bard207 says:

    mark
    Somone respond to Imran, does he have a valid point?
    I did respond to both Imran & Ali.
    Now you need to get them to respond to me.

  • xavier says:

    Somehow the excerpt from Ahmed Rashid was not printed. The source is his book “Descent into Chaos” and is available on wikipedia under article “operation evil airlift”. Here is the excerpt
    One senior (U.S.) intelligence analyst told me, “The request was made by Musharraf to Bush, but Cheney took charge— a token of who was handling Musharraf at the time. The approval was not shared with anyone at State, including Colin Powell, until well after the event. Musharraf said Pakistan needed to save its dignity and its valued people. Two planes were involved, which made several sorties a night over several nights. They took off from air bases in Chitral and Gilgit in Pakistan’s northern areas, and landed in Kunduz, where the evacuees were waiting on the tarmac. Certainly hundreds and perhaps as many as one thousand people escaped. Hundreds of ISI officers, Taliban commanders, and foot soldiers belonging to the IMU and al Qaeda personnel boarded the planes. What was sold as a minor extraction turned into a major air bridge. The frustrated U.S. SOF who watched it from the surrounding high ground dubbed it “Operation Evil Airlift.” Another senior U.S. diplomat told me afterward, “Musharraf fooled us because after we gave approval, the ISI may have run a much bigger operation and got out more people. We just don’t know. At the time nobody wanted to hurt Musharraf, and his prestige with the army was at stake. The real question is why Musharraf did not get his men out before. Clearly the ISI was running its own war against the Americans and did not want to leave Afghanistan until the last moment.”

  • bard207 says:

    xavier
    Here is another link:
    The ‘airlift of evil’
    A discussion about the topic:
    Pakistan air force seen evacuating foreign fighters from Kunduz

  • Ali says:

    Mr Yash,
    Can you answer this question ….
    Is the Kashmir Issue comes before or Kashmir terrorists
    Is the Russia attack on Afghanistan comes before or Talibans
    You guys are not willing to fix the problems your homes and have a total blind eye on that and you want to fix the whole world
    Why America is doing all the non-sense in the world. Why people hate America. Why don’t they hate Japan or China. Why your President is going all around the world and saying that – Yes we did wrong in the past but we will be right in the future – Isreal is your brother which has killed thousands of innocent children.
    First resolve issue of Palestine & Kashmir. Get your forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Put the people who did all that wrong on justice.Than say to the world now we have changed the way we think before and we will act righteously from now onwards.
    But if you don’t wana do that and now you are going through the reactions of your doings in the form of Talibans- at least stop crying. We cannot help you any more. You must take care of the mess you created by yourself.

  • xavier says:

    Ali,
    I am sorry to say this but your post exposes your ignorance. Russians left Afg in 1989 and Taliban formed in 1992. So these are unrelated.
    Palestinian terrorists existed (under different brand names, e.g. refer to Hitler’s Muslim – Hanjar division) before Israel officially existed.
    Kashmiri terrorists(actually Pakistani terrorists/irregulars) first illegally invaded Kashmir in 1947, Kashmir became an issue only after that.
    I guess you need to grow out of your madrassa education and get some secular education.
    And its your part of the world that is messy and rife with problems. If you do not take care of the jihadi mess you created you will suffer. We may suffer one odd incident like 9/11 (~3000 deaths) but you have suffered and will suffer lot more (hundreds if thousands) since the problem is in your country/region.

  • MZBH says:

    Xavier and bard:
    There were two large factions in the post-Soviet Afghan civil war. The Pakistan-Arab supported Taliban, and the India-Iran-Russia supported Northern Alliance warlords.
    Pakistan provided advisers, training and resources, and after the fall of the Taliban regime, evacuated its personnel.
    I fail to see what the problem is with that.

  • MZBH says:

    Xavier:
    “Kashmiri terrorists(actually Pakistani terrorists/irregulars) first illegally invaded Kashmir in 1947, Kashmir became an issue only after that.”
    The tribals invaded because of the thousands of refugees escaping the Maharajah’s brutal clampdown on a local movement for freedom, largely based in the poonch district.
    The Maharajah’s troops destroyed entire villages cracking down. The arrival of these refugees in Pakistan coincided with the arrival of trains full of massacred Muslim immigrants from India (by Hindu and Sikh extremists).
    The Mharajah was not innocent in all of this.

  • BobK says:

    “Pakistan provided advisers, training and resources, and after the fall of the Taliban regime, evacuated its personnel.
    I fail to see what the problem is with that.”
    You advised them, you trained them, you brought them home with you. They are now killing your people by the hundreds with bombs, guns, terror, etc.
    ANY YOU FAIL TO SEE THE PROBLEM WITH THAT!!!!!!!!!
    Good grief man do YOU read what you type? Do you think about what you are actually saying? Please do not tell me you actually believe the inane convaluted propaganda you spout.
    If you do then this blog is VERY well named as it will take a generation or so to clean the pollution from the minds of the youngs ones, so you can enjoy living to live versus living to die as it now seems is so prevalent in the local culture.
    NOTE: can anyone name one other spot in the world that people blow themselves up just to kill others besides Pal and afpak

  • bard207 says:

    MZBH

    There were two large factions in the post-Soviet Afghan civil war. The Pakistan-Arab supported
    Taliban, and the India-Iran-Russia supported Northern Alliance warlords.
    Pakistan provided advisers, training and resources,
    and after the fall of the Taliban regime, evacuated its personnel.
    I fail to see what the problem is with that.

    I thought it was only Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and Pakistan that recognized the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, so no idea how you would call that a large faction.
    From what I remember, the U.S.also had some contacts with the Northern Alliance, so India + Iran + Russia + U.S. could be easily called a large faction while U.A.E. + Saudi Arabia + Pakistan isn’t that large a faction.
    There was various U.S. contacts with the Pakistani Leadership (General Musharraf + Nawaz Sharrif) in the late 90’s about trying to do something about bin Laden who was being sheltered – protected by the Taliban.
    There were the 1998 bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Africa.
    1998 United States embassy bombings
    There were UN sanctions against the Taliban in 1999.
    Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and Associated Individuals and Entities
    Yet, Pakistan remained faithful & advised the Taliban (protectors of bin Laden) even though it was only one of three countries (Pakistan, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia) that recognized – supported the Taliban.
    Even after 9-11-2001 when it was clear that the U.S. was going to dislodge the Taliban from control of Afghanistan, Pakistan still had advisers, training and resources there until:
    after the fall of the Taliban regime, evacuated its personnel.
    Pakistan should have been able to sense that the Taliban weren’t that popular with most of the world in the late 90’s and to have advisers to the Taliban still in Afghanistan more than four weeks after 9-11 was a combination of arrogance and stupidity on the part of the Pakistani Army.

  • Render says:

    Ali – You no longer have anything valid to say.
    ===
    Where are the Jews of Syria?
    – Over 100,000 Jews lived in Syria in 1948. Now there are less than 1,000.
    Where are the Jews of Egypt?
    – Almost 80,000 Jews lived in Egypt in 1948. Now there are less than 100.
    Where are the Jews of Iran?
    – Prior to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, there were 80,000 Jews in Iran. Less than thirty years later there are around 20,000 Jews remaining in Iran.
    Where are the Jews of Iraq?
    – In 1948 there were 140,000 Jews living in Iraq. Now there are less than 100.
    Where are the Jews of Morocco?
    – In 1948 there were 265,000 Jews living in Morocco. Now there are less than 5,000.
    Where are the Jews of Algeria?
    – In 1948 there were 140,000 Jews in living in Algeria. Now there are none.
    Where are the Jews of Libya?
    – In 1948 there were 48,000 Jews living in Libya. Now there are none.
    Where are the Jews of Lebanon?
    – In 1948 there were 20,000 Jews living in Lebanon. Now there are less than 100.
    Where are the Jews of Jordan?
    – The number of Jews living in (Trans) Jordan prior to 1948 is unknown. What is known is that Jordan maintains a law stating that no Jew may be a Jordanian citizen.
    Where are the Jews of Yemen?
    – In 1948 55,000 Jews lived in Yemen. Now there are less than 200.
    Where are the Jews of Tunisia?
    – In 1948 there were 105,000 Jews living in Tunisia. Now there are less than 1,000.
    Where are the Jews of Saudi Arabia?
    – It is unknown how many Jews lived in Saudi Arabia in 1948. However Saudi Arabia maintains a law that no Jew may enter the country.
    Where are the Jews of Turkey?
    – In 1948 80,000 Jews lived in Turkey. Now there are less than 18,000.
    -There are just 12 million Jews left on the planet, 6 million of them live in Israel.
    Stop killing us, is that too much to ask of you Ali?
    LAST
    STAND,
    R

  • MZBH says:

    BobK at July 16, 2009 11:59 AM ET:
    “You advised them, you trained them, you brought them home with you. They are now killing your people by the hundreds with bombs, guns, terror, etc.
    ANY YOU FAIL TO SEE THE PROBLEM WITH THAT!!!!!!!!!”
    We brought our advisers and personnel back home who were assisting in fighting the Northern Alliance. There were thousands of other Pakistani volunteers who were left behind and massacred by Dostum.
    //www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=188193
    Again, I see nothing wrong in evacuating our personnel.

  • Bobk says:

    “There were thousands of other Pakistani volunteers who were left behind and massacred by Dostum.”
    I would suppose that he and these volunteers were enemies on the battlefield. Its not our fault thats the way you guys play war with each other. IE massacres seem to be the norm in that neck of the world, dont put that on anyone but you all. Besides they got what they wanted, Martyrdom, didnt they.
    Northern Alliance = Afgan nationals
    Thousands of pakastani Volunteers and advisors = Occupation forces

  • MZBH says:

    BobK:
    “I would suppose that he and these volunteers were enemies on the battlefield. Its not our fault thats the way you guys play war with each other. IE massacres seem to be the norm in that neck of the world, dont put that on anyone but you all. Besides they got what they wanted, Martyrdom, didnt they.
    Northern Alliance = Afgan nationals
    Thousands of pakastani Volunteers and advisors = Occupation forces”
    No need to dissemble – I didn’t suggest that it was the US’s fault they got massacred. I am merely pointing out that Pakistan largely evacuated its personnel that were assisting the Taliban, and had every right to do so. Other, ‘private citizens’ who were there of their own volition were left to fend for themselves.
    In addition, the Pakistani volunteers were acting under the command of the Afghan Taliban leadership and fighting alongside them, so not quite ‘occupation forces’.
    For some reason my response to your last post seems to have gotten lost in the submission process. I’ll repeat some of it again – when I referred to factions I meant the Afghan factions – the Taliban and the Northern Alliance, and not the nations supporting them.
    Given that the US had contacts with the Taliban to further the interests of US corporations, I think you r relationship equation works better as follows:
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE+US & Northern Alliance = India+Iran+Russia+US – You guys aren’t too averse to working both sides either …
    ==============================
    “Yet, Pakistan remained faithful & advised the Taliban (protectors of bin Laden) even though it was only one of three countries (Pakistan, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia) that recognized – supported the Taliban.
    Even after 9-11-2001 when it was clear that the U.S. was going to dislodge the Taliban from control of Afghanistan, Pakistan still had advisers, training and resources there until:”
    Nothing wrong with that – Pakistan had a lot invested in the Taliban as a counterweight to the Indian backed NA in an attempt to prevent the Indians from opening up another front in the West through the NA warlords. Pakistan was not sitting twiddling its thumbs in the period between the 911 attacks and the US invasion, it actively engaged with the Taliban leadership at high levels in an attempt to get them to see reason and renounce AQ. There was no reason to pull out personnel so long as a chance of peacefully resolving the issue remained.

  • bard207 says:

    —————————————————————
    Nothing wrong with that – Pakistan had a lot invested in the Taliban as a counterweight to the Indian backed NA in an attempt to prevent the Indians from opening up another front in the West through the NA warlords. Pakistan was not sitting twiddling its thumbs in the period between the 911 attacks and the US invasion, it actively engaged with the Taliban leadership at high levels in an attempt to get them to see reason and renounce AQ. There was no reason to pull out personnel so long as a chance of peacefully resolving the issue remained.
    ————————————————————-
    In regards to being actively engaged with the Taliban Leadership, Pakistan didn’t need thousands of military advisers mixed in with Taliban fighters. Perhaps a mixed Diplomatic – Military group of 50 people or less to discuss with the Taliban Leadership.
    October 7, 2001 was when the US started activity against the Taliban. Any chances of peacefully resolving the issues diminished significantly after that.
    The Pakistani advisers were evacuated from Kunduz in Mid November 2001.
    The Airlift of Evil
    That is better than 5 weeks after October 7 and well past any chance of peacefully resolving the issue.
    As long as Pakistan keeps making a Good (fighting in Afghanistan) Taliban and a Bad (fighting in Pakistan) Taliban distinction, it will continue to be troubled.

  • bard207 says:


    Given that the US had contacts with the Taliban to further the interests of US corporations, I think you r
    relationship equation works better as follows:
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE+US & Northern Alliance =
    India+Iran+Russia+US – You guys aren’t too averse to working both sides either …
    The U.S. became quite unhappy with the Taliban after the US Embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 (August 7, 1998).
    1998 United States Embassy Bombings

    A few months after the attacks and subsequent American missile strikes in Afghanistan, the American
    energy company Unocal withdrew its plans for a gas pipeline through Afghanistan
    Yes, the U.S. tried to get along with the Taliban in the early years, but things changed as events progressed in the late 90’s.
    So what you illustrated by having the U.S. on both sides:
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE+US & Northern Alliance = India+Iran+Russia+US
    is incorrect.

  • MZBH says:

    Bard207:
    “The U.S. became quite unhappy with the Taliban after the US Embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 (August 7, 1998).
    1998 United States Embassy Bombings
    A few months after the attacks and subsequent American missile strikes in Afghanistan, the American energy company Unocal withdrew its plans for a gas pipeline through Afghanistan
    Yes, the U.S. tried to get along with the Taliban in the early years, but things changed as events progressed in the late 90’s.
    So what you illustrated by having the U.S. on both sides:
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE+US & Northern Alliance = India+Iran+Russia+US
    is incorrect.”
    It is not incorrect since you agreed with my point of the US engaging with the Taliban till 1998-1999. Till then the equations worked fine. When US interests were perceived to be damaged by the Taliban, the US parted ways.

  • MZBH says:

    bard207:
    “In regards to being actively engaged with the Taliban Leadership, Pakistan didn’t need thousands of military advisers mixed in with Taliban fighters. Perhaps a mixed Diplomatic – Military group of 50 people or less to discuss with the Taliban Leadership.”
    I am not referring to the negotiating team, which was likely just a few individuals, but the overall Pakistani military presence in Afghanistan, that would have been along the lines of what we did during the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets – advisers, some Special Forces fighting with the Taliban on the frontlines, trainers etc.
    This support system possibly stayed in place while there was still hope of accomplishing a peaceful resolution to the situation that developed after 911.

    October 7, 2001 was when the US started activity against the Taliban. Any chances of peacefully resolving the issues diminished significantly after that.
    The Pakistani advisers were evacuated from Kunduz in Mid November 2001.
    The Airlift of Evil
    That is better than 5 weeks after October 7 and well past any chance of peacefully resolving the issue.
    As long as Pakistan keeps making a Good (fighting in Afghanistan) Taliban and a Bad (fighting in Pakistan) Taliban distinction, it will continue to be troubled.”
    First off, that article is better titled “Airlift FROM evil”, given the notoriety of Dostum and the Northern Alliance – there was nothing ‘evil’ in evacuating Pakistani personnel – it was in fact completely justified and necessary.
    The fact that there were still a few hundred personnel left could be due to logistical and communication difficulties.
    There is however no reason to believe that the GoP at the time chose to leave a few hundred personnel behind deliberately (ostensibly to fight the invading forces), since Musharraf himself states that he ‘wargamed the US’ and concluded that Pakistan could not win a direct military confrontation at that time. So why leave personnel behind to support an even lesser military entity in the Taliban?
    P.S: As an addition to my last post on the US views of the Taliban, here is an excerpt from Shuja Nawaz’s excellent book, Crossed Swords:
    “According to Paul R. Pillar, who was the CIA’s Chief Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, the United States thinking on the Taliban was similar to Pakistan’s apparent stance. In other words, they would have preferred to have continued dealing the Taliban, ‘however reprehensible’ that was, because the policy ‘priority was to get Bin Laden.’ At a White House meeting he attended earlier in 2001, he states that the ‘overwhelming view was: let the Taliban alone, provided they give up Bin Laden.’

  • bard207 says:

    It is not incorrect since you agreed with my point of the US engaging with the Taliban till 1998-1999. Till then the equations worked fine. When US interests were perceived to be damaged by the Taliban, the US parted ways.
    ———————————
    Until Summer 1998
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA + UAE + US
    Northern Alliance = India + Iran + Russia
    After Summer 1998
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE
    Northern Alliance = India+Iran+Russia+US
    Thus, your:
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE+US & Northern Alliance = India+Iran+Russia+US
    does Fail since you made no mention of the events in the Summer of 1998 and the split until I pointed it out to you.
    If you would have noted it and illustrated the split in your earlier post, then I would have let it pass.
    I realize that you are trying to portray Pakistan in a favorable light, but be careful on how you do it.
    Sometimes you are doing some serious corner cutting.
    ———————————————————-
    since Musharraf himself states that he ‘wargamed the US’ and concluded that Pakistan could not win a direct military confrontation at that time. So why leave personnel behind to support an even lesser military entity in the Taliban?
    That is a good question. Is this the same Musharraf that wargamed Kargil (1999)?
    ———————————————————
    I am not referring to the negotiating team, which was likely just a few individuals, but the overall Pakistani military presence in Afghanistan, that would have been along the lines of what we did during the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets – advisers, some Special Forces fighting with the Taliban on the frontlines, trainers etc.
    The fact that there were still a few hundred personnel left could be due to logistical and communication difficulties.
    Yes, but by Mid September 2001, Pakistan knew that there was a serious problem between the US and the Taliban. Once the Taliban refused to turn in bin Laden, Pakistan should have tried to create some distance from the Taliban.
    Yes, I already know about the evil Indians trying to open another Front in Afghanistan to encircle Pakistan and that is the justification to keep advisers with the Taliban troops.
    Once events started unfolding after October 7, 2001…………Pakistan should have realized that the US was serious about dislodging the Taliban and made an urgent push – rush to get their personnel out of Afghanistan.
    In regards to possible logistics or communications issues preventing an earlier evacuation, the Pakistani Army has been active in that area for several decades and should have had a fairly good idea of where their forces were. If it would have been in a country thousands of miles from Pakistan, then it might be more believable that logistics and/or communications were the issues preventing an earlier retreat.
    If one looks at a map of Afghanistan, it is quite apparent that Kunduz is a good distance from the Pakistani border, so the advisers might not have gotten an evacuation order and allowed themselves to get trapped in Kunduz.
    Afghanistan Map
    Look along the middle part of the Northern Border to find Kunduz.
    An alternative solution is that Pakistan could have told the US on October 8, 2001 that they had lost contact with some of their personnel and needed assistance in finding them. The US had a fair amount of information gathering equipment focused on Afghanistan and could have helped Pakistan locate their missing troops and helped get them out in Mid October rather than waiting until Mid November.

  • BobK says:

    “Taliban was similar to Pakistan’s apparent stance. In other words, they would have preferred to have continued dealing the Taliban, ‘however reprehensible’ that was, because the policy ‘priority was to get Bin Laden.’ At a White House meeting he attended earlier in 2001, he states that the ‘overwhelming view was: let the Taliban alone, provided they give up Bin Laden.’ ”
    Exactly.
    And the whole war that followed in Afganistan was a DIRECT result of them NOT doing so.

  • MZBH says:

    Bard207:
    “Thus, your:
    Taliban = Pakistan+SA+UAE+US & Northern Alliance = India+Iran+Russia+US
    does Fail since you made no mention of the events in the Summer of 1998 and the split until I pointed it out to you.”
    I never said it was an open ended commitment from the US to the Taliban – you are dissembling as you did when you implied that somehow I was blaming the US for the Kunduz massacres.
    While I made no mention of the split, I also did not suggest that the US-Taliban relationship extended into 2002 or some later date either – that was your erroneous assumption.
    The point was that the US was engaged with the Taliban, and sought to utilize its good offices to obtain financial benefits for US corporations. That realtionship existed until the date mentioned. And it appears the US was ambivalent about the Taliban even after that provided some cooperation over AQ was obtained.
    ======================
    “That is a good question. Is this the same Musharraf that wargamed Kargil (1999)?”
    What does that have to do with the lack of motive for allegedly leaving behind a few hundred advisers with a weak military against a military Musharraf chose to avoid confrontation with himself?
    =======================
    “Yes, but by Mid September 2001, Pakistan knew that there was a serious problem between the US and the Taliban. Once the Taliban refused to turn in bin Laden, Pakistan should have tried to create some distance from the Taliban.”
    No – there was no reason to create distance between Pakistan’s strategic allies in Afghanistan until the last moment, which would have been when US strikes started.
    Perhaps Pakistan miscalculated how promptly the invasion started, but that is neither here nor there. Pakistan personnel were left stranded, and Pakistan eventually had them evacuated.
    No I realize that YOU are trying to make Pakistan look like the devil incarnate, but beyond speculative arguments you haven’t really offered any good reason against the legitimate and necessary evacuation of stranded Pakistani personnel from Kunduz.
    ==============================
    “If one looks at a map of Afghanistan, it is quite apparent that Kunduz is a good distance from the Pakistani border, so the advisers might not have gotten an evacuation order and allowed themselves to get trapped in Kunduz.
    Afghanistan Map
    Look along the middle part of the Northern Border to find Kunduz.
    An alternative solution is that Pakistan could have told the US on October 8, 2001 that they had lost contact with some of their personnel and needed assistance in finding them. The US had a fair amount of information gathering equipment focused on Afghanistan and could have helped Pakistan locate their missing troops and helped get them out in Mid October rather than waiting until Mid November.”
    I am familiar with Afghanistan and where Kunduz is, but as I said above, this is all speculation. Perhaps the US was asked for help, and Kunduz was the first time contact was made after the invasion. High level US officials did approve the airlift of Pakistani personnel, so obviously some parts of the US leadership knew what was going on and were in the loop.
    Sensationalist headlines is what it all boils down to. It was a perfectly legitimate and necessary action, as I said before.

  • MZBH says:

    Bobk:
    “And the whole war that followed in Afganistan was a DIRECT result of them NOT doing so. ”
    And your point beyond stating the obvious is…?

  • bard207 says:

    MXBH
    No I realize that YOU are trying to make Pakistan look like the devil incarnate, but beyond speculative arguments you haven’t really offered any good reason against the legitimate and necessary evacuation of stranded Pakistani personnel from Kunduz.
    It was a perfectly legitimate and necessary action, as I said before.
    We will never agree.
    ————————————————————-
    You are trying to project this as a conversation – dialog conducted in private between only us.
    There is an audience that is not actively participating, but they are reading our exchanges.
    When I mention the dates of various events in the 90’s and into Fall 2001 to flesh out and add depth, it is often for the benefit of our audience. Some already know everything I have mentioned and there are others still learning or might have forgotten a few things and needed a reminder.
    The linked map of Afghanistan that I provided was to illustrate to others that the Pakistanis had not been making significant progress in retreating to Pakistan since Kunduz was a good distance away from the Pakistani border. Whether they were even trying to return to Pakistan is another unanswered question.
    ———————————————————-
    It was a perfectly legitimate and necessary action, as I said before.
    They shouldn’t have been there post October 7, 2001.
    I am done here.

  • MZBH says:

    Bard207:
    “They shouldn’t have been there post October 7, 2001.”
    We don’t operate in a perfect world, and we do not know what constraints the Pak. Mil was operating under when the US invasion began.
    Pakistan chose to not militarily confront the US, so the suggestion that it somehow decided to deliberately leave behind a few hundred advisers for ‘confronting the US invasion’.
    That is a ludicrous suggestion if I ever heard one.
    If Pakistan did not leave a few hundred advisers/trainers behind to ‘fight off the US invasion’, then the only other explanation is that the got caught in the invasion and retreated to Kunduz and were eventually evacuated WITH FULL APPROVAL AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE US.
    To make any more of this along the lines of the ‘airlift of evil’ headline lacks any rationale or logical basis.
    Good day to you as well.

  • BobK says:

    And your point beyond stating the obvious is…?
    Please reread your post I partly quoted. You compare Pack and taliban cooperation on the battlefield and operationly, with the fact the US was willing to deal with taliban for OBL rather that go to war, as equal acts. I think not. I am sorry you didnt understand that obvious point even though left unsaid. You really are very good at deception and redirection or issues etc. The only problem with that for you I see is that no one here is buying any and I always wear boots.

Iraq

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