Stories about terrorist

PNS Mehran attack: Countering terrorism and conspiracies

In 2002, after the attacks on the French naval engineer’s bus, the suicide bombing on the US Consulate, and the beheading of Daniel Pearl, Karachi unfortunately received the title of ‘the Terrorism Capital of Pakistan.’ Eventually, the terror campaign moved upcountry and Karachi fell out of the limelight. Nevertheless, it remained an economic hub for terrorists who took advantage of the city’s multicultural demographics and economy for financial gains and networking. It also became a port of arrival and departure to and from the country for local and foreign militants. Karachi, therefore, remained vulnerable to terrorist violence, as was ...

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Naval base attack: When will we learn?

Pakistan has a habit of not learning from its mistakes. We are stubborn and arrogant, and we scoff at others when they tell us we’re wrong, and let’s not forget, we believe our armed forces are brilliant and unstoppable. In 2009, ten terrorists managed to enter the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and killed 11 soldiers and two civilians. The terrorists were dressed in army uniforms when they entered the base. Fast forward to two years later – More than ten terrorists enter PNS Mehran, the air support base of Pakistan’s Navy, and destroy two air surveillance aircrafts worth $36 million each. Once ...

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Chechen killing: Trigger-happiness?

I was standing close to the crime scene when the paramilitary troops and police opened fire on the five Chechens who were lying injured near the Frontier Corps picket strangled in barbed wire near Killi Khezi, Quetta. One of the wounded women was pleading for mercy by waving her hand. Television footage clearly covered this particular moment. The heavily armed personnel seemed to be too confident before resorting to opening fire, hastily, without verifying whether the foreigners were terrorists or innocent. The intense firing forced me to remain behind the DSNG which was parked about 30 yards from the picket. Some ...

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Unattended IDPs: Fodder for terrorists

Fifty five year old Haji Khatab Khan has lived in the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar as an IDP for the last two years. On June 7, he will face the dreary reality of returning to what once used to be his home in Bajaur Agency, but the homecoming will not be festive. “Security forces demolished our houses in Mamond [Tehsil of Bajaur Agency], so where should we go now?” he beseeches, adding that he wants compensation to rebuild his house that was destroyed in the army operation to wipe out militants from his area. The situation is alarming. A blogger ...

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Osama bin Laden: What now?

While euphoric crowds in Washington and New York celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden soon after US forces raided his house in Abbottabad, the mood in Pakistan remained solemn – thick, razor-edged with unease. Not in mourning and not in grief, but rather in apprehension. What now? The question looms large. For Pakistanis, Laden’s death was an anti-climatic moment. Ever since 9/11 and subsequently the United State’s ‘war on terror’ which went full throttle with the fall of the twin towers, national security has been shot to pieces in Pakistan. The life of the average Pakistani has been severely affected: oscillating ...

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Osama bin Laden’s revenge begins

Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist and mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, was killed by US Special Forces in a predawn helicopter raid in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad on May 1, bringing an end to the decade-long terror that had gripped the entire world in its ugly clutches. His death was declared the third biggest news of the 21st century; right below the rise of China to first-tier nation status and the election of Barack Obama as the US president. However, even in his death, Osama has not seized to surprise us. If anything, he continues to ...

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Indo-Pak relations: Back to normal

After the recent brouhaha over cricket diplomacy, it looks like India-Pakistan relations have again slipped into their comfort zone of allegations and counter allegations. Last month, as I saw Manmohan Singh and Yousaf Raza Gilani in Mohali, I was reminded of David Grey’s song “This year’s love had better last.” But then, in typical Ross and Rachel-esque fashion, statements by our diplomats have begun to resemble “We were on a break” and “No, we weren’t”. The fact that Osama Bin Laden died only complicated matters. Soon after the news of Bin Laden’s death spread, Indian news channels went into overdrive. Predictably enough, ...

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With or without Bin Laden

Osama bin Laden may have died on May 2, 2011, but his relevance to global jihad and war against terror had ceased the day al Qaeda got its first recruits. Today, not only the graduates of religious seminaries, but also the urban middle class youth in Pakistan and most Middle Eastern countries is steeped in radical ideas and us-against-them thinking. This, more than the hunt for Osama, should have been the cause of concern for the Coalition of the willing. With Osama gone, they’ll have Ayman al Zawahiri and after him, someone else. The top slots on their list of most-wanted men ...

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13 worrying facts about Pakistan and terrorism

1. Abbottabad is a military town that is home to three Pakistan Army regiments and thousands of military personnel and that is dotted with military buildings. The land mostly is owned by the Pakistan Army and retired army officers. 2. The house Osama lived in was 800 yards from the gate of the Kakul Military Academy, an army run institution where top officers train. The compound, which is worth $1 million, was surrounded by 12 to 18 feet high walls topped with barbed wire. 3. The map of the regions shows sections of nearby land marked as “restricted area,” indicating that ...

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We, the survivors of Osama

It has been almost a decade since 9/11 and now that Osama Bin Laden is dead, politicians will have meetings, intelligence services will brief each other, armies will re-strategise – but what will the rest of us do? We, the survivors of terrorism, the people who mourn loved ones on a daily basis and the people who live alongside drone attacks and bomb blasts – do we rejoice or do we look back over the last ten years and try to remember a world before all of this? My heart feels heavy – because even as I write this I know ...

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