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Pakistan Rejects Plea to Halt Buner Operation

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1/2 May 09 | AWC News, NYT, PTV, and Raw Story

The Pakistani government has failed to reach an agreement with the Tehreek-e Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (TNSM) regarding the peace deal in Malakand, and rejected calls by TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad to halt the ongoing military operation in the Buner district. Few other details were available about the secretive talks, but additional rounds are expected to be held as soon as tomorrow.

Though the TNSM has taken a backseat to the more militant Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the Buner district conflict, the high esteem in which Sufi Muhammad is held by both groups enabled him to broker a TTP pullout from Buner, which the government ultimately rejected as illusory and ended with them launching an attack on the district. >>>

In Pakistan, U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition

As American confidence in the Pakistani government wanes, the Obama administration is reaching out more directly than before to Nawaz Sharif, the chief rival of Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president, administration officials said Friday.

American officials have long held Mr. Sharif at arm’s length because of his close ties to Islamists in Pakistan, but some Obama administration officials now say those ties could be useful in helping Mr. Zardari’s government to confront the stiffening challenge by Taliban insurgents. >>>

Pakistan’s army draws its gun on Taliban

Pakistani security forces have killed at least 60 Taliban militants in a military offensive in the Buner district in north western Pakistan.

“The security forces have killed about 55 to 60 militants in Buner district, while two security men were killed and eight injured in the operation,” a Press TV correspondent quoted Major General Athar Abbas, a top military spokesman as saying on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Abbas said that some foreigners were among the militants killed in Buner. However he did not give any details about the nationality and identity of the foreigners.

The army spokesman also added that the security forces had managed to arrest a suicide bomber in the area.

The Pakistani Army launched a massive operation against the Taliban militants in the Buner district of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) on Tuesday afternoon.

The Taliban in early April entered Buner from the restive Swat valley and set up check points and patrolled the area.

This is while earlier, Major General Abbas had told a press conference that some 450 to 500 militants who were currently in Buner district, would be cleared from the region within a week.

The operation in Buner follows the operation in the Lower Dir district, which Abbas said had been completed.

John Bolton: We may have to acquiesce in a ‘Pakistani military takeover’

Perennial Neoconservative gadfly John Bolton, who has often been accused of making exaggerated claims about Middle Eastern threats, is now suggesting that a military coup in Pakistan may be the only viable response to the growing power of the Taliban.

In an op-ed for Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Bolton writes, “To prevent catastrophe will require considerable American effort and unquestionably provoke resistance from many Pakistanis, often for widely differing reasons. We must strengthen pro-American elements in Pakistan’s military so they can purge dangerous Islamicists from their ranks; roll back Taliban advances; and, together with our increased efforts in Afghanistan, decisively defeat the militants on either side of the border. This may mean stifling some of our democratic squeamishness and acquiescing in a Pakistani military takeover, if the civilian government melts before radical pressures. So be it.”

Bolton’s stance on Pakistan appear to go hand-in-hand with his recent attempts to describe the Obama administration’s international outreach efforts as amounting to a “tangible projection of weakness” and “revealing a Jimmy Carter-style unwillingness to do what’s necessary in a hard world to protect America’s interest.” >>>


Written by Editors

2 May 2009 at 5:15 am

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  1. […] Pakistan Rejects Plea to Halt Buner Operation (2 May 09) […]

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