Tag Archives: Pakistan video

Pakistan minister says Taliban leader Mehsud dead

2Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud speaks to reporters in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal region in this May 24, 2008 file photo.

Pakistan minister says Taliban leader Mehsud dead

LONDON (Reuters) – Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday it was “pretty certain” Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a missile attack two days ago.

“It is pretty certain now that he is dead. Various government agencies have reported so, his own followers have said so, there are people who have been to the funeral and are witness to the burial,” Qureshi told BBC radio.

“It is a significant development. He was the principal personality leading the Taliban movement in Pakistan,” Qureshi said, predicting an internal power struggle for his succession.

“It will be difficult to replace him in the short run because he had a lot of command, he had popularity which no other Taliban leader enjoys. He had quite a firm grip on various factions and there is no other personality who could replace him.”

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Pakistan adjourns Mumbai case for a month

2009-07-25T221254Z_01_NOOTR_RTRMDNP_1_India-413095-7-pic0

Pakistan adjourns Mumbai case for a month

A Pakistani court due to hear the case against five Islamist militants accused of involvement in the attacks that killed 166 people in the Indian city of Mumbai adjourned for a month without charges being read.

India wants forceful action by Pakistan to bring to justice leaders of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group it says were behind the Nov. 26-29 attacks before formally resuming a peace process that was frozen during the subsequent tensions.

The government’s prosecutor, Malik Rab Nawaz Noon, said formal charges against the accused had not yet been framed and Saturday’s proceedings ended after some statements were recorded. A member of the prosecution team and a defence lawyer said the court adjourned until Aug. 29.

The media and public have been barred from hearings being held at the Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, the garrison town next door to Islamabad, and lawyers from both sides have divulged little during pre-trial proceedings.

Across the border in India, a trial in Mumbai opened dramatically earlier this week when Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the only one of 10 Pakistani gunmen captured alive, pleaded guilty and asked to be hanged.

Having sent a dossier to New Delhi earlier this month, Pakistan has said it is waiting for more information from India to support the prosecution case, though Indian officials say all relevant information has been passed on. Security concerns were cited as the reason for holding the trial inside the jail, though critics say the secrecy fuelled suspicions that Pakistani intelligence agencies don’t want any relationships with the jihadis to be aired in public.

The suspects on trial at Adiala include Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, and four others Hammad Amin, Abdul Wajid alias Zarar Shah, Mazhar Iqbal alias Abu al Qama and Shahid Jameel Riaz.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik earlier this month released photographs of the men along with 13 other suspects who have still to be caught.

Six U.S. citizens were among 22 foreigners killed during the assault on two luxury hotels, a Jewish centre, a restaurant and railway station in Mumbai.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation provided critical support in the Indian probe.

Richard Holbrooke, U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said on Thursday he was unsure whether U.S. officials had asked to attend the hearings at the Rawalpindi prison as observers, and the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad had still to respond to queries on whether such a request had been lodged.

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India, Pakistan PMs to meet, Mumbai attacks cloud talks

in.reuters.com

India, Pakistan PMs to meet, Mumbai attacks cloud talks

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt – july 16 – The prime ministers of India and Pakistan meet in Egypt on Thursday for talks which Islamabad hopes will pave the way to the resolution of all disputes with its rival.

But a row over what India sees as Pakistan’s failure to act against the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the militant group India blames for last year’s attacks on Mumbai which killed at least 166 people, may cloud efforts to resume a formal peace dialogue.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, addressing the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, the venue for Thursday’s talks, said there had been “some forward movement” in ties that he wanted sustained.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a comment clearly aimed at Pakistan, told delegates the “infrastructure of terrorism” must be dismantled, echoing India’s repeated calls for Pakistan to disarm militant groups.

In preparation for the meeting, the foreign secretaries of the two countries met on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon described those talks as “good and detailed” and said dialogue between the two was essential but did not elaborate on what they might achieve.

“We are in the middle of our conversation, the work is still ongoing, I can’t tell you the outcome,” Menon said on Wednesday.

Pakistan is keen to revive the five-year-old “composite dialogue” covering all disputes between the two countries.

Singh has said he was willing to meet Pakistan “more than half way” if it cracked down Lashkar-e-Taiba, as well as against other militant groups that launch attacks in the Indian part of the disputed Kashmir region and elsewhere in the country.

A visit to India by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, starting on Friday, could encourage Singh to make a conciliatory gesture.

The United States is keenly interested in resumption of talks between the two countries to ease tensions on Pakistan’s eastern border with India, so it can focus on fighting Taliban militants on its western border with Afghanistan.

Peace between the two nuclear-armed Asian rivals had helped boost bilateral trade to over $1 billion, encouraged cross- border bus and train services, and eased visa restrictions for travel.

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