Sanjeev's Feed
Jun 5, 2011

Afghan talks possible if war gains continue: Gates

KABUL/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Saturday there could be political talks with the Afghan Taliban by the end of this year if NATO made more military advances and put pressure on the insurgents.

In the clearest signal yet of efforts to seek reconciliation with the Taliban, Gates told a security conference in Singapore that the gains on the Afghan battlefield were laying the ground for talks with the insurgents.

Jun 4, 2011

Gates: Afghan talks possible if war gains continue

KABUL/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Saturday there could be political talks with the Afghan Taliban by the end of this year if NATO made more military advances and put pressure on the insurgents.

In the clearest signal yet of efforts to seek reconciliation with the Taliban, Gates told a security conference in Singapore that the gains on the Afghan battlefield were laying the ground for talks with the insurgents.

Jun 4, 2011

Gates holds out possibility of Taliban talks this winter

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Saturday there could be political talks with the Afghan Taliban by the end of this year, if the U.S-led NATO alliance continued to make military advances on the ground, putting pressure on the insurgents.

In the clearest signal yet of efforts to seek reconciliation with the Taliban, Gates told a security conference in Singapore that the gains on the Afghan battlefield were laying the ground for talks with the insurgents.

Jun 1, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Pakistan’s journalists won’t be silenced

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The killing of an Islamabad-based Pakistani journalist  ,who went missing a few days ago, has triggered an outpouring of grief and anger.   Pakistani journalists and activists are demanding answers for the murder of Saleem Shahzad, who Human Rights Watch said, told them before he was abducted that he was under threat from the Inter-Services Intelligence, the powerful spy agency.

Shahzad, a reporter for the Asia Times and the Italian news agency Adnkronos International, wrote on security/intelligence issues,  often delving deep into the dangerous world of Islamist militancy . The last story he wrote for the Asia Times  two days before  he was abducted, suggested that a militant attack on the navy’s main base in Karachi on May 22 was carried out because the navy was trying to crack down on cells from Al Qaeda that had infiltrated the force. 

May 30, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Stirring the hornet’s nest in Pakistan’s northwest

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The United States has a set of expectations  that it wants Pakistan’s government to meet, Secretary of State of  Hillary Clinton said ahead of her short trip to Islamabad  last week, the kind of language Washington has frequently employed to bring its conflicted partner in the war against militant Islam to heel, each time  there has been a crisis. Clinton didn’t elaborate, saying only at the end of her meetings in Islamabad that she expected Pakistan to take decisive steps in the days ahead.

But on Monday, Pakistan’s The News reported that the military was preparing to launch an air and ground offensive against militants in North Waziristan, a demand that the United States has repeatedly made over the last two years. It said the decision was taken during discussions that Clinton and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of State Admiral Mike Mullen had with Pakistani government and military leaders.

May 26, 2011
via Afghan Journal

In Pakistan’s Gwadar port, Chinese whispers grow

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First, China helped develop Pakistan’s Gwadar port from scratch on the Baluchistan coast to take the pressure off the country’s main port of Karachi, a few hundred miles to the east. Now Pakistan’s defence minister has said that it would like its long-time ally to build a naval base at Gwadar, which sits on the doorstep of Gulf shipping lanes, less than 200 kms from the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz.

China, which provided more than 80 percent of the port’s $248 million development cost, has moved quickly to distance itself from Pakistani Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar’s remarks about a naval base in Gwadar. The foreign ministry said China was not aware of any such proposal.

May 23, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Pakistan military: the enemy within ?

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The breach of security at a major Pakistani navy base in the southern city of Karachi has, inevitably, raised questions of complicity, which must be the greatest worry once the night-long siege by the militants ends and the military has finished counting its losses.

That a group of 15 or more attackers armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades could gain access to the inner perimeter of the Mehran base and succeed in  blowing up one U.S.-supplied P -3 Orion maritime aircraft and damaging another aircraft, while holding off security forces for more than 12 hours speaks of a large, complex attack that needs some level of help from within.   One former Pakistani navy official told a TV channel that the attack appeared to have been planned from a map of facility.

May 18, 2011
via Afghan Journal

Pakistan : four probes and a killing

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Pakistan has launched four separate investigations into the life and death of Osama bin Laden on its soil, according to U.S. Senator John Kerry. The army, the air force and the intelligence establishment are running a probe each while parliament last week ordered an investigation by an independent commission to be set up for the purpose.

It’s not entirely clear who is investigating what but a common theme running through the probes is to find out how did the United States launch a heliborne  operation so deep in the country, hunt bin Laden down in his compound after a shootout in the outer wing  and fly away with his corpse, without the knowledge of the Pakistani authorities. Indeed the military and the government only got to know about it after the Americans told them once they were safely out of Pakistani airspace.

May 15, 2011

Pakistan builds low yield nuclear capability,concern grows

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pakistan’s successful test of a missile able to carry short range nuclear weapons threatens to raise tensions in a region already nervous that the death of Osama bin Laden will create more instability.

Tactical nuclear weapons, as these are called, are often seen as more dangerous than the traditional strategic weapons because their small size and vulnerability to misuse. Theft makes them a risk to global security.

May 15, 2011

Analysis: Pakistan builds low yield nuclear capability

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pakistan’s successful test of a missile able to carry short range nuclear weapons threatens to raise tensions in a region already nervous that the death of Osama bin Laden will create more instability.

Tactical nuclear weapons, as these are called, are often seen as more dangerous than the traditional strategic weapons because their small size and vulnerability to misuse. Theft makes them a risk to global security.