WASHINGTON: The White House has informed Congress that there's "no clear path toward defeating the insurgency" in Pakistan, despite the unprecedented and sustained deployment of over 147,000 Pakistani troops.
But in the same report – sent to the US Congress on Tuesday – the White House also takes credit for weakening Al Qaeda with Pakistan's cooperation.
"Specific components of the strategy, taken individually, indicate we are headed in the right direction, both in terms of US focus and Pakistani cooperation. However, better balance and integration of the various components of our strategy will be required to reach our objectives," the White House said.
"For instance, the denial of extremist safe havens will require greater cooperation with Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan. Furthermore, the denial of extremist safe havens cannot be achieved through military means alone, but must continue to be advanced by effective development strategies."
The self-contradictory nature of the report gave Pakistan bashers in the US capital a field day to attack Pakistan as an 'untrustworthy' ally while some commentators even urged the Obama administration to sever its ties with Pakistan.
But as diplomatic observers pointed out, the same report could also be used to show that Pakistan was doing its best to combat extremists and Washington appreciates its sacrifices.
"We worked jointly in the last year to disrupt the threat posed by Al Qaeda, and Pakistan has made progress against extremist safe havens, taking action in six of seven agencies of the
Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)," the report said.
"These gains came at great cost, as Pakistan has endured thousands of casualties in their military ranks and among their civilian population from terrorist attacks," the report acknowledged.
"There was improvement in our security assistance, with increased training cooperation, more support for Pakistan's military operations, and greater border coordination."
The twice-annual report on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan also expressed concern over Pakistan's failure to sustain counter-insurgency operations in Fata, noting that Pakistani forces have had to conduct three major operations in Mohmand agency in the last two years.
The unclassified report, however, made no explicit calls for another operation, in North Waziristan, as the US had previously demanded. Despite depicting a grim picture of the situation in Fata, the report conceded that "Al Qaeda senior leadership in Pakistan is weaker and under more sustained pressure than at any other point since it fled Afghanistan in 2001". The White House National Security staff, which prepared the report, heralded this as "the most important success" in President Obama's Af-Pak strategy.
Then it said that al-Qaeda could not be defeated until there's a "sustained denial of the group's safe haven in the tribal areas of western Pakistan".
This report also had the usual mantra that accompanies all US reports on Pakistan: more progress is needed to "eliminate sanctuaries for violent extremist networks" in the country.
The report regretted that because of lack of a sustained strategy to "hold and build" in areas retrieved from the militants, Pakistan failed to achieve the required results.
Neither the White House nor the US media reports on the White House assessment mentioned that Pakistan used the same argument while refusing to accept the US demand for launching yet another major operation in Fata. The official report also emphasised the need to introduce credible law-enforcement forces in Fata.
The report noted that an operation in Mohmand agency in January, underscored serious shortfalls in the Pakistani army's counter-insurgency capability.
"The third time in the past two years the army has had to conduct major clearing operations in the same agency," the report said. That's "a clear indicator of the inability of the Pakistani military and government to render cleared areas resistant to insurgent return", it added.
The operation also showed that Pakistan's fleet of military helicopters "remains beset by low operational readiness rates exacerbated by Pakistani reluctance to accept US-provided helicopter maintenance teams", it continued.
While the operation was to have been completed "in a few weeks", it has been extended into this month, the report said. "Adverse weather, underestimated militant resistance, resettlement of internally displaced persons . . . and the discovery of several large caches of improvised explosive devices have all hampered ongoing operations."
A portion of the report that deal with the quarter ending in September, accused Pakistan of avoiding "military engagements that would put it in direct conflict with Afghan Taliban or Al Qaeda forces in North Waziristan", and said "this is as much a political choice as it is a reflection of an under-resourced military prioritising its targets".
STORY OF DRONE ATTACKS:
Army Chief Gen Kayani: we shall do our best and utmost to protect their life, honour and dignity at all costs. It has been highlighted clearly that such aggression against people of Pakistan is unjustified and intolerable under any circumstances.
Foreign Office: It was for White House and the State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer Pakistan-US relationship away from the track.
|Rawalpindi – March 17, 2011:|
Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, strongly condemns the Predator Strike carried out today in North Waziristan Agency resulting into loss of innocent lives. It is highly regrettable that a jirga of peaceful citizens including elders of the area was carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard to human life. In complete violation of human rights, such acts of violence take us away from our objective of elimination of terrorism. It is imperative to understand that this critical objective can not be sacrificed for temporary tactical gains. Security of people of Pakistan, in any case, stands above all.
Pakistan Army condoles with the families whose dear and near ones have been martyred in this senseless attack. Pakistan Army shares the grief of people of Waziristan. Troops on ground have been ordered to render all possible assistance to bereaved families.
Pakistan Army wishes to assure brave people of Waziristan that we shall do our best and utmost to protect their life, honour and dignity at all costs. Pakistan Army is fighting the terrorists and not its brethren in tribal areas.
Pakistan Army has already launched a protest in the strongest possible terms. It has been highlighted clearly that such aggression against people of Pakistan is unjustified and intolerable under any circumstances.
Pakistan strongly condemns drone attacks
The Government of Pakistan strongly condemns today's drone attacks which have resulted in a large number of casualties. This is not only unacceptable but also a flagrant violation of all humanitarian rules and norms.
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir conveyed this strong condemnation to US Ambassador Cameron Munter and has demanded an apology and explanation.
Ambassador Hussain Haqqani has also been asked to make a similar strong demarche with the US State Department.
US Ambassador summoned to protest 17 March Drone attacks
In pursuance of the directives of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, the US Ambassador, Mr. Cameron Munter was summoned to the Foreign Office today by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and a strong protest was made regarding yesterday's Drone attacks that caused many casualties.
Ambassador Munter was categorically conveyed that such strikes were not only "unacceptable" but also constituted "a flagrant violation of humanitarian norms and law". It was evident that the fundamentals of our relations need to be revisited. Pakistan should not be taken for granted nor treated as a client state. It was for the White House and the State Department to hold back those who have been trying to veer Pakistan-US relationship away from the track.
Ambassador Munter was also conveyed that under the current circumstances, Pakistan would not be able to participate in the Trilateral meeting between Afghanistan-Pakistan-US, proposed by the US in Brussels on 26 March 2011. The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, was initially expected to participate in the Trilateral.
Ambassador Munter said that he understood clearly that this was not a proforma demarche. He will rush to Washington to convey Pakistan's message to the US Administration at the highest levels.
'Army trying to cover up bad deal on Davis'
Saturday, March 19, 2011
ISLAMABAD: Former boss of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is of the firm view that the military leadership is spilling 'crocodile tears', and attempting to cover up by cutting a 'bad' deal with the Americans relating to the release of a CIA contractor Raymond Allen Davis, by issuing an unprecedented statement condemning the latest drone attack in North Waziristan.
"Absolutely, I am of the firm view that these condemnations that we heard last night are nothing but crocodile tears. "Thousands of innocent lives have been lost in the past but the military and civilian leadership looked the other way by making polite noises. So why this hypocrisy and strong words now?" asks former ISI and MI chief Gen Assad Durrani.
Durrani was speaking to The News at a time when tribal elders of Tank in North Waziristan announced three-day mourning against the killing of 44 civilian of Mahsud tribe in US drone strike on Thursday. "I agree with Chief of Waziristan Malik Nasrullah who is demanding of the US government to provide 'blood money' to the heirs of victims killed in the attack," said Durrani.
The News also received telephone calls from North Waziristan who claim that they got this correspondent's telephone number from a PTCL directory, to ask how the government justifies giving blood money to those killed by an American in Lahore but not a single rupee has been paid to those killed in Fata by the US drone strikes.
"Why this duplicity?" asked one Roshan Khan. "The Pakistan army and the ISI cut a bad deal with the Americans and have egg on their face. They have seen the strong reaction from Pakistanis and to cover up this bad deal they have come out with this 'unprecedented' statement also telling the civil leadership to follow up.
I also feel that there might have been a tactical understanding with the Americans on future drone strikes so quickly, given the rising temperatures on the streets", adds the former spy master, who has dealt with the Americans during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
Only recently the military was publicly supportive of these drone strikes when General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj Gen Ghayur Mehmood stated in Miramshah that "most of those killed by the US drones were hardcore al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and a fairly large number of them were of foreign origin".
"Myths and rumours about US Predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it's a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners.
"Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements," he added. According to a report of the Islamabad-based Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC), as of 2011, more than 2,000 persons have been killed, and most of those deaths are of innocent civilians.
The CMC termed the CIA drone strikes as an "assassination campaign turning out to be revenge campaign", and showed that 2010 was the deadliest year ever of causalities resulting from drone attacks, with 134 strikes inflicting over 900 deaths.
According to former Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan Rustam Shah Mohmand, "the assessment that we have, from the people directly affected in the tribal area, is that 80% of these casualties are innocent people.
When DG ISPR Gen Athar Abbas was asked why now they were screaming 'bloody murder', when in the past thousands of innocent and unarmed civilians have been killed, he responded, "This was a clear cut strike against a civilian jirga and there is a difference between this and taking out terrorists."
Abbas's emotional tone suggested anger. He said that even in the past they have protested but this time it was very different from the past. "We have as yet not had a response from the Americans", he said.
The US Embassy says that like in the past they would not comment on the US drone attacks. When reminded that 40 civilians have been killed the spokesman said, "I know but our policy of not commenting remains the same."
Most Killed in Drone Attacks are Terrorists: GOC Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood
MIRAMSHAH: In a rather rare move, the Pakistan military for t he first time gave the official version of US drone attacks in the tribal region and said that most of those killed were hardcore Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists and a fairly large number of them were of foreign origin.
General Officer Commanding 7-Division Maj-Gen Ghayur Mehmood said in a briefing here: "Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it's a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners.
"Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements."
The Military's 7-Dvision's official paper on the attacks till Monday said that between 2007 and 2011 about 164 predator strikes had been carried out and over 964 terrorists had been killed.
Of those killed, 793 were locals and 171 foreigners, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Filipinos and Moroccans.
In 2007, one missile strike left one militant dead while the year 2010 was the deadliest when the attacks had left more than 423 terrorists dead.
In 2008, 23 drone strikes killed 152 militants, 12 of them were foreigners or affiliated with Al Qaeda.
In 2009, around 20 predator strikes were carried out, killing 179 militants, including 20 foreigners, and in the following year 423 militants, including 133 foreigners, were killed in 103 strikes.
In attacks till March 7 this year, 39 militants, including five foreigners, were killed.
Maj-Gen Ghayur, who is in-charge of troops in North Waziristan, admitted that the drone attacks had negative fallout, scaring the local population and causing their migration to other places.
Gen Ghayur said the drone attacks also had social and political repercussions and law-enforcement agencies often felt the heat.
About the cross-border movement of terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border, he said: "Well we have over 820 checkposts along the border to stop militant movement and there is strict vigilance, but unfrequented routes are an exception for which alternate means, including intelligence-sharing between coalition troops and the army, are in place."
Shamsi airbase in 2006
U.S. Drone Strikes 2004 – 2011
The Year of the DroneAn Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2011
View Larger Map
in a larger map. Note: strikes reported after November 19, 2010 appear on page 2 of the Google map.
Click each pin to see the details of a reported strike. Red pin=2004-2007; Pink pin=2008; Dark blue pin=2009; (Green pin=Bush in 2009); Light blue pin=2010; Purple pin=2011
This research was last updated on March 16, 2011. For a full analysis of the repercussions and results of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, please click here for "The Year of the Drone," by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann, February 24, 2010 or click here for "The Hidden War," December 21, 2010.
Our study shows that the 233 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan, including 20 in 2011, from 2004 to the present have killed approximately between 1,411 and 2,247 individuals, of whom around 1,134 to 1,810 were described as militants in reliable press accounts. Thus, the true non-militant fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 21 percent. In 2010, it was more like six percent.*
We have also constructed a map, based on the same reliable press accounts and publicly available maps, of the estimated location of each drone strike. Click each pin in the online version to see the details of a reported strike. And while we are not professional cartographers, and Google Maps is at times incomplete or imperfect, this map gives our best approximations of the locations and details of each reported drone strike since 2004.
This study carries a Creative Commons license, which permits re-use of New America content when proper attribution is provided. Please click here for conditions of use, and when citing please attribute to Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann's drones database at the New America Foundation.
Estimated Total Deaths from U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2011
|Deaths (low)||Deaths (high)|
Estimated Militant Deaths from U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan 2004 – 2011
|Deaths (low)||Deaths (high)|
Estimated Militant Leader Deaths from US Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2011
Militant leaders killed2011
- February 20, 2011: Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, managed al-Qaeda's finances in Pakistan (AP)
Strikes by Target
|Baitullah Mehsud (not Taliban generally)||0||1||16||n/a||n/a||17|
Drones killed 59pc civilians, 41pc terrorists
Monday, January 03, 2011
LAHORE: Of the 1,184 persons killed by the American drones in 124 attacks in 2010, around 59 percent were innocent civilians while the remaining 41 percent were terrorists belonging to numerous militant groups based in the Pak-Afghan tribal belt.
According to data gathered by The News primarily from local and international news sources, 703 of those who were perished by the US drones between January 1 and December 31, 2010, were civilians, including women and children, while 481 others were commanders, fighters and activists of different militant groups. The drones hit three types of targets in the tribal belt – terrorists' compounds, houses sheltering terrorists and vehicles carrying terrorists.
Of the 124 drone strikes, the largest number – 53 (or 43 percent of the total drone attacks) – were directed at alleged terrorists' compounds, followed by 41 strikes (or 33 percent of the total attacks) targeting houses allegedly sheltering terrorists while the remaining 187 attacks (or 24 percent of the total strikes) were directed at vehicles which were allegedly carrying terrorists. As the velocity of the American drones has increased enormously under the Obama administration, they are now hitting their targets with precision.
As a matter of fact, despite a sharp increase in both the frequency and total number of casualties resulting from Predator strikes, civilian casualties have gone down compared with the figures of 2008 and 2009. But still, for each terrorist killed by the drones in 2010 in the Pakistani tribal areas, around two innocent civilians also had to die. Of the total 1124 persons killed in the 124 drone attacks, the largest number of people – 638 (or 54 percent of the total casualties) lost their lives when the US drones targeted alleged terrorists' compounds. The 359 persons (or 30 percent of the total casualties) were perished when the drones targeted houses allegedly sheltering terrorists while the remaining 187 persons (or 16 percent of the total casualties) got killed when the drones hit vehicles allegedly carrying terrorists. The majority of the drone attacks in 2010 took place in the Waziristan region administered by four powerful Taliban groups – the Mehsuds, Mullah Nazir, Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Haqqanis. Since 2006, the drone strikes focused on two regions: North Waziristan and South Waziristan.
Yet, over the past two years, there has been a dramatic shift in the location of the drone strikes. In 2009, 42 percent of the Predator attacks took place in North Waziristan and 51 percent in South Waziristan.
However, 83 percent of the total drone attacks in 2010 have targeted North Waziristan. Key Pakistani Taliban commanders Mullah Nazir and Waliur Rehman are based in South Waziristan; Jalaluddin Haqqani and Sirajuddin Haqqani in North Waziristan, Hafiz Gul Bahadar, al-Qaeda's chief operational commander Saif Al Adal and his Pakistani right hand Ilyas Kashmiri are based in North Waziristan; the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Ameer Commander Hakeemullah Mehsud is based in Arakzai Agency; and Faqir Mohammed is based in Bajaur Agency. All these factions of militants shelter al-Qaeda and various other anti-US terrorist groups.
However, 12 such militant groups remained the prime targets of the American Predator strikes in 2010, which included the fugitive leaders of al-Qaeda, the leaders of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the commander of the Islamic Jehad Group, Uzbekistan Islamic Movement, Turkistani Islamic Party, Islamic Army of Great Britain, Haqqani Militant Network, Lashkar-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Zail and Brigade 313.
According to group-wise break-up of the 481 militants killed in drone attacks in 2010, 127 belonged to the Haqqani militant network, 123 belonged to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, 38 belonged to al-Qaeda, 34 belonged to Lashkar-e-Islami, 31 belonged to Islamic Jehad Group, 27 were Afghan Taliban, 24 belonged to Turkistani, 19 belonged to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, 18 belonged to Islamic Army of Great Britain, 17 belonged to Uzbekistan Islamic Movement, 12 belonged to Lashkar-e-Zil and 11 belonged to the Brigade 313.
WITH NADEEM MALIK
TOPIC- DRONE ATTACKS AGAINST PAKISTAN
GUESTS- IMTIAZ GUL, HAMEED GUL, MUSHAHID ULLAH KHAN, PROFESSOR IBRAHIM KHAN
IMTIAZ GUL SENIOR JOURNALIST said that in 2008 Michael Hayden former director of CIA told him that America is going to start drone attacks in Wazirastan. He said that Hayden told him that Pakistani military says that terrorists in Wazirastan are not in their control. He said that Hayden also told him that Pakistan will have no objection on these drone attacks. He said that General Kyani issued a statement of condemnation on drone attack because of the criticism on military on Raymond Davis case. He said that the way military facilitated the release of Raymond Davis it was widely criticized. He said that PM in his statement also holds all stake holders responsible for the release of Raymond Davis. He said that there is a consensus among all stake holders on drone attacks too. He said that Rehman Malik told parliament that American agencies are allowed to work in Pakistan. He said that Rehman Malik did not disclose the names of four American agencies to the parliament. He said that Black Water agency could be one of them working secretly in Pakistan. He said that people of these agencies carry illegal weapons and many of them have been caught with possession of illegal weapons. He said that the nature of relationship between Pakistan and America is not clear. He said that as long Pakistan will not have a clear policy on drone attacks they can not be stopped.
GENERAL (R) HAMEED GUL FORMER DGISI said that there is no permission on drone attacks from United Nations against Pakistan. He said that the drone attacks are the attacks on Pakistan's sovereignty. He said that military and its institutions got a bad name on Raymond Davis case. He said that Pakistan should cut off American routs to Afghanistan to stop drone attacks. He said that there should be an inquiry conducted against agencies on the deal to release Raymond Davis. He said that American president Obama lied about Raymond Davis diplomatic immunity. He said that the way Raymond Davis was released proves that he had no diplomatic immunity. He said that the whole nation was unanimous to punish Raymond Davis but establishment had decided to release him. He said that it is unfortunate that judiciary did not take any notice of the release of Raymond Davis. He said that drone attack on a Jirga in which 45 people are killed was called by ISI it self. He said that opposition is not doing any thing to expose NRO deal in the parliament. He said that according to America only 32 terrorists have been killed in drone attacks so far. He said that the total number of causalities in drone attacks is 2240. He said that majority of them was innocent civilians.
MUSHAHID ULLAH KHAN OF PML (N) said that government condemns the drone attacks but does not make sure to stop further attacks in the future. He said that Pakistani agencies made a secrete deal with America in Masqat to release Raymond Davis. He said that parliament has passed a resolution against drone attacks but government has not implemented it. He said that government should have told America to stop drone attacks in return of Raymond Davis. He said that PML (N) has stand from day one that war against terrorism is not Pakistan's own war. He said that as long we will keep fighting this war we will only do harm to ourselves. He said that American attack on Afghanistan is unjustified and innocent people are being killed there. He said that Zardari became president of Pakistan because of the deal of NRO. He said that Peoples Party government was also formed by the virtue of NRO deal.
PROFESSOR IBRAHIM KHAN OF JI said that President and Prime minister should have condemned the drone attack before army chief of Pakistan. He said that President and Prime minister do not have courage to confess that they are helpless. He said that many women and children are being killed in drone attacks on tribal areas of Pakistan. He said that military and government earn money from America for the lives of Pakistani citizens. He said that it is the duty of Pakistani military to knock American drone planes down. He said that both government and military are equally responsible for the killing of tribal area people. He said that parliament is strangled by the government and real power is in the hands of the military of Pakistan. He said that our government and military big brass put their tainted money in American banks and same money is given to Pakistan on interest in the shape of loans.
NADEEM MALIK Islamabad Tonight – 24th March 2011
ڈرون حملے بند کروانے کے لیے امریکہ کا افغانستان جانے کا راستہ بند کر دینا چاہئیے۔حمید گل
صدر اور وزیراعظم میں جرأت نہیں کہ اقرار کر لیں کہ وہ بے بس ہیں۔پرہفیسر ابراہیم
وزیراعظم نے اپنے بیان میں تمام سٹیک ہولڈرز کو ریمنڈ ڈیوس کی رہائی کا زمہ دار ٹھہرایا ہے۔امتیاز گل
ڈرون حملوں پر بھی تمام سٹیک ہولڈرز کا اتفاق رائے ہے۔امتیاز گل
ریمنڈ ڈیوس ک…و چھوڑنے کے لئیے کیا حاصل کیا گیا اس کی انکوائری ہونی چاہئیے۔حمید گل
awaztoday.com Watch Islamabad Tonight – 24th March 2011 | Imtiaz Gul Analyst, Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan PML-N and Gen. (R) Hamid Gul Former DG ISIin fresh episode of Aaj News Special in AAJ Tv & discusses current issue with Nadeem Malik.
N A D E E M M A L I K