News / Asia

Pakistan Investigating New York Terror Links

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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid