Tag Archives: extremism

Pakistan Routs ‘Cancer’ Of Taliban Fighters

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Pakistan Routs ‘Cancer’ Of Taliban Fighters

The Pakistani government has appealed to the international community for support – as it claimed virtual success against the Taliban in the Swat Valley.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani went on national television to say the Taliban had been routed in the former tourist spot.

He went on to say tens of thousands of people who had fled the fighting would begin to return home soon.

The announcement came at the end of a three-day visit to Pakistan by British Foreign secretary David Miliband – his fifth to the country since he took office.

In an interview with Sky News just before he left, the Foreign Secretary said the outside world and Britain all had a responsibility to support Pakistan in its battle against extremism.

He said he had noticed a real change in attitude by the Pakistani authorities to grasp the nettle of extremism and tackle   the problem head on.

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But he acknowledged that Britain and the outside world bore a great responsibility to support and help the civilian government in its efforts.

“I think Pakistan has looked at itself in the mirror and it’s seen real danger,” he said.

“Real danger to Pakistan from the Pakistan Taliban – and the scale of the losses for the Pakistan army is very great indeed and not just the 800 to 900 lost in the last year.

“But the 160 to 170 soldiers or so it has lost in the last two months.”

He said pictures and reports by Sky News which showed the Taliban taking over Swat Valley had contributed to the massive change in public and military perception in the country.

“You (Sky News) have shown pictures from the Swat Valley of insurgents, of militants virtually running the town, running the Valley.

“Now the Army is back in control and we are talking about the refugees being sent back in the next couple of weeks. This is a major change.”

A clearly pleased Rehman Malik – the head of the Interior Ministry in Pakistan and responsible for internal security – told Sky News: “This is good news for us, and good news for the world.

“This has shown we have the will. The extremists need to be flushed out and they have been. We have done it – but not with the desired level of capacity.

“This is a cancer and Pakistan cannot handle it alone. We need international support.”

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Hulkenberg replaces Sutil at Force India

Nico Hulkenberg is determined to make the most of his second chance in Formula One after being given one of Force India’s two race seats for 2012.

The 25-year-old will replace fellow German driver Adrian Sutil, who departs after six years at the UK-based team.

Hulkenberg was Force India’s reserve driver this year behind Sutil and Scottish rookie Paul di Resta, who will retain his seat after finishing 13th overall with 27 points in his debut season.

“It wasn’t easy to watch from the sidelines this season, but I did my best to help the team and show what I was capable of,” said Hulkenberg, who was released by Williams in 2010 despite earning his maiden pole position in his rookie season.
I’m extremely motivated for 2012 and would like to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me this chance. I’m keen to get down to work over the winter to develop our new car and help the team build on this year’s achievements. The first test in Jerez can’t come soon enough.”

The 28-year-old Sutil’s future is uncertain despite finishing ninth overall with 42 points. The only teams with seats available are Williams and HRT.

“Our new line-up means we say ‘goodbye’ to Adrian Sutil, who has been with the team since we entered the sport,” said Force India boss Vijay Mallya.

“He has been an integral part of our success over the past four seasons and we wish him well for the future.”

Di Resta hopes to build on his promising first season.

“I’m really excited about 2012 and there is a real sense of belief that we can continue to push the top teams and take another step forward,” the 25-year-old said.

“I’d also like to thank the team for all their hard work this year and for all the support they’ve given me. I’ll take some time out over the next few weeks to recharge my batteries and hopefully come back even stronger in 2012.”

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