Pakistan agitated over BBC allegations of supporting Talibanis

Pakistani military has completely dismissed the report by BBC which accused the country of helping Talibanis in Afghanistan and providing them a safe heaven.

Major General Athar Abbas, spokesperson of Pakistan military called the report as biased. He said the report is one-sided and does not take into account the people who were “badly hit or affected” by it.

In the report, a Taliban commander has also been mentioned saying that Pakistan played important role in providing support, sheleter, and supplies to the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. However, the credibility of BBC report was also questioned by Pakistani military.

The United States has been doubting Pakistan and its intelligence agency ISI of supporting militants with vested interest of gaining influence over Afghanistan. The NATO combat troops are to leave Afghanistan in 2014 and this might be a reason for Pakistan to long for increasing its influence by supporting Taliban fighters in the country.

A top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen,  had also accused of the ISI of supporting militants in their attack on US embassy in Afghanistan. Haqqani network, which is believed to have links with Al Queda is considered to have received strong support from the ISI.

Pakistan also denied all allegations made by the United States. Malik stated that it was true that the ISI had recruited intelligence personnel but did not support Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

Malik made a counterattack by saying that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Britain’s security service also maintained communication with the Haqqani network in order to get information about militants.

This is however, well known to all that Pakistan openly supported Talibanis in Afghanistan before 9/11 attacks on the United States and maintained diplomatic relations with them.

US sends troops to Pakistan border

The United States sent its troops to Afghan area near border to Pakistan. According to a report by local media of Pakistan the troops consist heavy artillery and helicopter gunships.

The US military has taken a new position in an area which is adjacent to –insurgent-infested part of North Waziristan. The border also touches Ghulum Khan. The US troops shifted here on last Saturday and Sunday night.

The report also quoted Pakistani authorities and tribal leaders who revealed that US troops have taken position on hilltops from where they can observe the insurgents.

Another sources revealed that the US military also began a door-to-door search in KHost Province of Afghanistan to catch insurgents.

NATO warplanes were also seen across the border, revealed villagers of Ghulam Khan where US forces have also been deployed by now.

US forces’ sudden change in their position has culminated tension in the border area as US military also imposed curfew and banned traffic on main roads that connect border areas— Ghulam Khan of Pakistan and Khost province of Afghanistan.

Government authorities also confirmed this report, said the source. However, there was no confirmation of any such reports by the United States and NATO forces. No media sources from any other country has supported the same.

US not to support Indian involvement in Afghanistan in future

The plan by Indian government to help in the training of the new Afghan security may not be a welcomed development. This was contained in a security report that was released in Washington. Even though the Indian government discussed with the Americans on that possibility and was preparing for that, she was told categorically that such action will undermine the security of the region.

According to a release by cable network on February 23, 2010, Y K Singh the joint secretary who was handling Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran issues for foreign ministry told the Americans that it would be a sensitive issue for America but New Delhi is offering to help on her own accord. The Americans believe the cost of having the Indian security to train the Afghanistan security will outweigh the benefits.

The Indian diplomat in the meeting told the US official not to be dragged to the Pakistani game of driving India out of Afghanistan. He told the Americans that while the Pakistani government is more interested in seeing the Indians out of Afghanistan that India will not leave Afghanistan because of its strategic interest to India. The hatred of the Pakistani government against the Indian involvement in Afghanistan was evident in an interview which Pervez Musharaf granted to journalists where he accused Indian of sidelining the Pakistani military.

Afghan president urges NATO to avoid interruption

Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has addressed a press conference where he admonished NATO forces in his country not to allow it to be seen as an occupying force by the people they wanted to protect.

He said on Tuesday that if the rate of civilian casualties in NATO attack continues the people of Afghanistan will no longer see the force as an ally but as an occupying force even as he warned that he would take an unspecified action if the civilian casualties are to continue.

He said that they would no longer allow NATO to raid homes in pursuant of insurgents adding that the patients of the people on such tactics had expired. He said that if that happen they will see NATO no longer as an ally but as an occupying force.

The outburst of Mr. Karzai is to distance himself from the western troops who had been in the country for almost a decade fighting Taliban. He wanted to be seen in new light in the country as the champion of the people of Afghanistan. There is widening resentment of the continued stay of NATO in the country and the repeated civilian casualties in the campaigns are not helping things either.

Karzai wants to limit NATO air attacks

Following the heavy civilian casualties that followed the last air strike by the coalition forces in Afghanistan, president Hamid Karzai wanted to limit the NATO air strikes. The president who was visibly angered by the NATO strike that led to the death of children and women said that future NATO attacks should no longer be on houses. He said that this would be the last time the coalition attack will lead to the death of defenseless children and women of Afghanistan.

NATO had regretted the attack that led to the death of women and children and said that it had never embarked on such an attack without the approval of relevant authorities in Afghanistan and said that they would review the procedures of future attacks following the statement that was credited to the president. The statement said that in the coming weeks the coalition will confer with the president to ensure that his orders are not violated.

The present stance of the president could spark off conflict between the Afghan government and the international communities under whose mandate the NATO were deployed to Afghanistan. However what is unclear is whether the UN troops that are deployed to Afghanistan can take orders from the Afghan president.

Karzai Condemns police commander’s murder

The president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has condemned the suicide bomb attack which led to the death of a prominent police officer and two German soldiers and some other people on Sunday. Mr. Karzai expressed his anger over the incidence and prayed that such should not happen again.

The notable casualty of the suicide bomb attack was the respected police officer Mohammed Daud Daud who was also former deputy minister of interior. The Taliban was accused of being behind the attack. He described the casualties of the attack as those who are working hard for the restoration of peace in the country including the dead foreign soldiers.

The attack was roundly condemned by the international community. The international security assistance force described the attack by the Taliban as the senseless murder. The death of the police chief is seen by many as a big blow to the force which is strategizing to take over the security of the country as the foreign forces are about to handover the country internal security to them.

The late police officer was known as a big opponent to the insurgents’ attack which has started to become rampart in the northern part of the country.

Before the day he was killed he called a press conference where he announced the commencement of operation hope which was aimed at flushing out the insurgent attack in some parts of the country.

US calls for downsizing military troops to balance budget deficit

US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered a downsizing of the Army and navy. There will be a reduction of 47,000 troops following a call from White House to cut defense budget. T

he downsizing will reduce defense expenses by $78 billion, Gates stated However, he pointed out that the reduction in military troops will occur before 2015.

The defense secretary also revealed that the United States is withdrawing its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

For last four years the United States have expanded its military power so far to maximize troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The downsizing will therefore assure the fact that American soldiers are called back from these two nations and there would not be any need to expand the military.

However, even withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan is not going to take place very soon. Robert Gates and other top officials believe that there is a major risk involved in downsizing the forces and this is why they have only modestly reduced the number of troops in the Army and Navy.

Despite the call for withdrawal of forces, US strategy of military interference in other nation’s has not changed yet. Pentagon is ready to send off 1,000 marines troops in addition to the present number in Helmand Province in Afghanistan to pressurize Taliban.

NATO refutes US troops mulling raids in Pakistan

Kabul, Afghanistan: The coalition forces in Afghanistan has denied the media reports that US military wants to boost special activities and raids in the tribal regions of Pakistan to get hold over the extremists launching attacks on allied troops working in adjoining border areas of Afghanistan.

While denying the report published in a leading US daily, NATO’s deputy chief of communications, U.S. Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, clarified on Tuesday that the report was baseless and there was no validity in it whatsoever.

Earlier the published report had gathered a huge attention in which it mentioned that the NATO forces were thinking of launching raids in Pakistan’s tribal areas to catch militants taken refuge there to protect themselves.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s envoy to the US Husain Haqqani said that Islamabad would not allow any foreign military crossing its border and its forces were capable enough to teach lessons to extremists operating in the tribal areas. He further said that Pakistan was ready to give all possible supports to the allied forces fighting war against terror but under no circumstances would want to see foreign army on its soil.

Haqqani further said that chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen went on a visit to Pakistan and appreciated its efforts and contributions in a global war on terror; during his trip, he never gave any indication of NATO troops’ special activities in Pakistan.

US Claims Security Situation Improving in Afghanistan

US expresses confidence that the security situation is finally improving in Afghanistan.

The United States consider its strategies are ‘working’ in Afghanistan. Robert Gates, US defense secretary, Robert Gates stated while addressing American troops in the country and hoped that the troops could be pulled out by 2014.

Gates accepted that more soldiers were being killed from both NATO and Afghan forces but assured for improvement in security situations.

However, General David Petraeus, chief of NATO forces suggested US president to delay removing American Troops from Afghanistan.

Gates expressed his optimism regarding Afghanistan while addressing a press conference in Kabul and predicted that the American troops might achieve their goal in coming few months and situation may improve in near future. The Afghan war has cost too much to the United States in terms of number of soldiers killed as well as money spent on military expenses. The Bush administration was highly criticized over its reluctance to pull off American forces from Afghanistan. Gates expressed regret over the casualties both NATO and Afghan forces suffered so far and said that their sacrifices would bring safety and security to the US and Afghanistan.

The NATO forces are losing their global support base gradually due to prolonged war in Afghanistan due to rising death toll. The Americans have paid too much for their campaign against terrorism or so call ‘war on Terror’ envisaged by former President George Bush.