News / Asia

Attacks in Pakistan Prompt Questions of Military Offensive

Pakistani paramilitary soldiers check the site of an attack by militants in the town of Matni, near Peshawar, Pakistan, Oct. 15, 2012.
Pakistani paramilitary soldiers check the site of an attack by militants in the town of Matni, near Peshawar, Pakistan, Oct. 15, 2012.
Ayaz Gul
Dozens of Taliban insurgents attacked a security post on the outskirts of Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan late Sunday, killing at least six security personnel. The attack came a day after a deadly bombing in the region.  The stepped up militant attacks are raising questions of whether Pakistan will launch a military offensive against a major militant stronghold along the Afghan border.
 
Pakistan officials say that more than 100 Taliban insurgents armed with machine guns, assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades surrounded the post before opening fire. The attack triggered a bloody gunfight that lasted for several hours.
 
Provincial Information Minister Iftikhar Hussain later told reporters that the insurgents had come from the nearby Khyber tribal region. He says security forces successfully repulsed the attack but suffered several casualties in the fighting.  
 
He says “the terrorists also suffered heavy casualties but took the bodies with them and vented their anger by beheading two dead police officers while retreating”.
 
The security post near the northwestern city is jointly manned by police and a paramilitary force and has previously come under attack.
 
The late Sunday raid came a day after a powerful car bomb in the nearby Dara Adam Khel tribal area killed more than 15 people.
 
Some in Pakistan suggest the violence could be in response to recent military successes in the traditional insurgent strongholds near the Afghan border. Maleeha Lodhi is a former Pakistani ambassador.  
 
“These have to be seen as much as desperate acts as they [insurgents] are deprived of the bases from which they operate," said Lodhi.
 
The stepped up insurgent attacks also come amid reports Pakistani authorities are considering a long-awaited military offensive in North Waziristan, a sanctuary for Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants on the border with Afghanistan.  
 
Pakistani civilian and military officials have repeatedly said the tribal agency harbors "perpetrators of major terrorist attacks" around the country, but they have so far ruled out the  possibility of an imminent offensive.
 
Major opposition political and religious parties in Pakistan are opposed to an operation in North Waziristan out of fear of a bloody backlash.
 
Former ambassador Lodhi says without strong public backing, the military may not be willing to undertake a North Waziristan offensive.
 
“The real question is whether public resolve has steeled itself enough to withstand these kinds of attacks as the government mulls over what action it should take to try to bring an end to this violence," said Lodhi.
 
The United States has also been pushing Pakistan to mobilize its troops to uproot bases of the militant Haqqani network, that Washington says is responsible for deadly cross-border attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan. Islamabad's refusal to act in North Waziristan has further strained relations between Islamabad and Washington.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid