November 21, 2011 |
Leaders of the Pakistani Taliban have begun preliminary talks with intermediaries of the government aimed at reaching a peace agreement in the tribal region of South Waziristan, the site of a large-scale military operation against the homegrown insurgency in 2009. Sources close to the Pakistani Taliban confirmed that talks were underway, adding that the discussions were at an early stage. The intermediaries include tribal elders in South Waziristan, the militant group's stronghold.
September 5, 2011 |
With help from the U.S., Pakistan's main intelligence agency has nabbed a top Al Qaeda commander suspected of planning attacks on American oil pipelines, tankers and other economic targets. The arrest suggested that the deep tension that had derailed cooperation between the two countries may be easing. Younis al Mauritani, a senior Al Qaeda commander, was arrested in the southern city of Quetta along with two other senior Al Qaeda operatives, Abdul Ghaffar al Shami and Messara al Shami, Pakistan's military said Monday.
July 8, 2011 |
The U.S. has confirmed that a key Al Qaeda planner and trainer was killed in a drone strike in the tribal areas of Pakistan in June, a U.S. intelligence official said Thursday. Ilyas Kashmiri led a militant group in Pakistan and in recent years had been brought into the leadership of Al Qaeda, running a training camp and planning attacks against targets in India and Europe, said the U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
June 10, 2011 |
An attack by militants on a checkpoint in a lawless tribal area near the Afghan border early Thursday underscores how overstretched the Pakistani military is and why it is resisting U.S. pressure to conduct a massive offensive in North Waziristan, analysts said Thursday. About 100 insurgents stormed the checkpoint in the environs of Marobi village in South Waziristan with rockets and machine guns, sparking a three-hour gunfight that killed eight soldiers and wounded 12 others. Local officials said 10 militants were also killed and five wounded in the battle, figures disputed by a spokesman for the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan group who said none of its fighters were killed and that two had received bullet wounds.
June 5, 2011 |
An overnight attack by an unmanned aircraft killed Ilyas Kashmiri, an Al Qaeda-linked operative blamed for several high-profile attacks in Pakistan and India, local news reports and a statement by his banned militant organization said Saturday. If borne out, this would be the second major U.S. anti-terrorism coup in quick succession, coming just a month after the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by Navy SEALs. Analysts had identified Kashmiri as a possible Bin Laden successor.
May 8, 2011 |
The killing of Osama bin Laden could be a transformational moment for Pakistan and its military. The country has an opportunity now to decide whether it wants to decisively confront Islamist violence or face the consequences of the military's current policy of giving support to jihadis with one hand even as it slaps them with the other. If Pakistan chooses this second path, it will be increasingly vulnerable to internal chaos, more drone strikes and more direct U.S. action against the jihadist groups openly operating in the country.