Punjab Research Group

DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Punjabi Taliban; a growing threat

Posted in Articles by Pippa on May 31, 2010

DAWN.COM | Pakistan | Punjabi Taliban; a growing threat.

DERA GHAZI KHAN: The Pakistan Taliban is not the sole militant group threatening Pakistan and the region.

Punjabi groups are deepening their ties with the Taliban, representing a growing threat for a country already hit hard by militant violence.

This was highlighted by the twin attacks in Lahore on Friday which killed between 80 and 95 members of the Ahmadi community. Initial investigations suggested a possible link to the Taliban operating from Waziristan.

Security officials in the region say while there are no “militant strongholds” in the province for them to enable them to operate independently – as is the case in northwest Pakistan – their presence in the area, especially in southern Punjab, cannot be denied.

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Terror and South Punjab

Posted in Articles by Pippa on July 22, 2009

A few pieces have appeared in the Daily Times recently on South Punjab and links with terrorism. Read further below:

Editorial: Terror’s free run in South Punjab

Mian Channu in Khanewal offered on Monday another glimpse into the outreach of terrorism in South Punjab. The house of a local teacher of the Quran blew up, destroying all the houses in the vicinity and killing 12, including five children, and wounding 61. When the police reached the spot the local people attacked them out of anger for having neglected them, but not without displaying all the symptoms of a besieged population acting under intimidation.

 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C07%5C15%5Cstory_15-7-2009_pg3_1

COMMENT: Talibanisation of Punjab —Shaukat Qadir

Southern Punjab, also known as the Seraiki belt, based on the local language, a distinct variation from the Punjabi spoken elsewhere, has always considered itself exploited by Northern Punjab; and with some justification

A few weeks ago, an individual called Zubair, alias Nek Muhammed, was arrested in Lahore and accused of being one of those involved in the attack on the Sri Lankan team. In the immediate aftermath of the incident, eyewitnesses had stated that some of the attackers spoke Pashto, apparently they also had local assistance. Since this boy belongs to the Punjab Taliban, affiliated with the banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi which is known to have links with Al Qaeda. This incident is of no particular significance, except to again highlight the fact that Southern Punjab has a significant portion of people under the influence of the Taliban.

 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C07%5C18%5Cstory_18-7-2009_pg3_4

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Held to a huge ransom by the Taliban, NWFP’s Sikhs have nowhere to go by Behroz Khan

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 29, 2009

 

May 4, 2009, Outloook India

 

Decades before the cartographer sliced the subcontinent into Pakistan and India, ancestors of Kalyan Singh demonstrated the wanderlust typical of the Sikh community. They settled down in the green, picturesque Ferozkhel valley of Orakzai, one of the seven autonomous agencies which together comprise what is now called the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). In his own 45 years of life, Kalyan had never experienced religious discrimination. He ran his business, lived a contented life with his family. And, despite the intolerance now sweeping across a swathe of FATA, Kalyan Singh would have told you, had you ever asked him, that the sturdy Pashtuns are hospitable, caring and kind-hearted.

Read full article: http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?sid=1&fodname=20090504&fname=Pakistan+Sikhs

 

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United Militants Threaten Pakistan’s Populous Heart – The New York Times

Posted in Articles by Pippa on April 15, 2009

April 14, 2009

This article was reported by Sabrina Tavernise, Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Eric Schmitt and written by Ms. Tavernise.

DERA GHAZI KHAN, Pakistan — Taliban insurgents are teaming up with local militant groups to make inroads in Punjab, the province that is home to more than half of Pakistanis, reinvigorating an alliance that Pakistani and American authorities say poses a serious risk to the stability of the country.

The deadly assault in March in Lahore, Punjab’s capital, against the Sri Lankan cricket team, and the bombing last fall of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the national capital, were only the most spectacular examples of the joint campaign, they said.

Now police officials, local residents and analysts warn that if the government does not take decisive action, these dusty, impoverished fringes of Punjab could be the next areas facing the insurgency. American intelligence and counterterrorism officials also said they viewed the developments with alarm.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand the gravity of the issue,” said a senior police official in Punjab, who declined to be identified because he was discussing threats to the state. “If you want to destabilize Pakistan, you have to destabilize Punjab.”

Read full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/world/asia/14punjab.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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Adrian Levy On the trail of Pakistan’s Taliban, The Guardian, Saturday 10 January 2009

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on January 15, 2009

The authorities in Pakistan have often seemed in cahoots with home-grown terrorists. Not any more. Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark report from Islamabad and the border badlands as a new intelligence unit gets serious about tackling the bombers.

 

As the first reports of explosions at the Taj and Oberoi hotels in Mumbai reached Islamabad just after 9pm on November 26, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism investigators twitched. Later that night, CCTV cameras inside Mumbai’s Victoria railway station relayed footage of a blood-spattered concourse and the faces of some of the gunmen. The guests fleeing from the hotels told TV reporters that their assailants were speaking Urdu and were hunting down British and American passport holders. Almost immediately, over the border, the Pakistani investigators began pulling out files and photographs that accompanied the “Red Book” – their most-wanted list.

 

Pakistan’s foreign minister condemned the attacks and expressed his sympathy to the families of the 173 killed. Even before India began making accusations – and despite subsequent Pakistani denials – detectives in Islamabad privately feared the outrage had Pakistani roots and might even have been rehearsed two months earlier, when the five-star Marriott Hotel in Islamabad had been obliterated. It all sounded grimly familiar: the methodology, the soft targets, the singling out of westerners.

 

To read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/10/pakistan-taliban-intelligence-report

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