News / Asia

Pakistan Investigating New York Terror Links

TEXT SIZE - +

Pakistan says it is investigating links between Taliban militants operating in the country and the suspect arrested in New York after Saturday's failed car bombing in Times Square.  Officials in Islamabad say reports of arrests made in Pakistan in connection with the incident are "incorrect."

U.S authorities accuse Pakistani-born American national, Faisal Shehzad, of trying to detonate a car bomb Saturday in New York's busy Times Square.   The 30-year-old suspected bomber is alleged to have said he received explosives training in Pakistan's volatile Waziristan tribal region, a known stronghold of local Taliban militants.  

Pakistan army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas tells VOA it is too early to know whether the U.S. suspect has made a credible statement.

"We are investigating the matter and unless and until we establish some credibility in this whole claim it would be premature to really comment on that," he said

Pakistani officials called media reports of arrests made in Pakistan in connection with the incident "incorrect."

The army spokesman also says he does not believe the Pakistani Taliban were behind the New York terror incident as the insurgent group has claimed.

"In the past also they have been claiming, and anybody can get up and claim anything, but one has to assess the reach or the capability of that organization, that outfit, whether it is capable of doing that or not.  So there is a big question on that," said the spokesman.

Pakistani security forces are engaged in a prolonged offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region and have claimed to have uprooted Taliban terrorist training camps there.  But the military has resisted international pressure to launch an anti-militancy operation in the neighboring North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan.  The region is believed to be the hub of Afghan and al-Qaida fighters that launch cross-border attacks with the help of Pakistani Taliban.

The suspected bomber is the son of a former air force officer who grew up in a tiny northwestern village known as Mohib Banda.  Residents and relatives in the village say news of Shehzad's arrest has surprised everyone.  Kifayat Ali Khan is a cousin of Shehzad.

"Actually, it was shocking news for all of the family as well as the local inhabitants that he was arrested along with a motor car having a bomb [in it].  The family of Faisal Shehzad is very respected in the area," said Khan.

Analysts like former Pakistani interior secretary Tasneem Noorani say it is difficult to believe the suspect acted alone.

"This young man [Faisal Shehzad] was supposed to have visited Pakistan almost a year back.  So whatever facilities, whatever things that he needed could not have come from Pakistan.  They must have been provided internally or he must have managed it through his own contacts internally," said Noorani.

Pakistan Peoples Party parliament member Palwasha Behram dismisses fears the arrest of the Pakistani-American will lead to a U.S. backlash against Pakistanis.

"I do not think the people-to-people contact can be reversed at any point in time because both the Americans and the Pakistanis have invested too much in building this, especially the Americans have invested too much in trying to bridge the gap that exists on ground between the people of Pakistan and the United States of America.  I am positive that any [such] act of an individual will not reverse that," said Behram.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States have strengthened since Islamabad joined the U.S,-led fight against terrorism eight years ago.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid