Insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
The insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, also known as the War in North-West Pakistan, is an armed conflict involving Pakistan, and armed militant groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jundallah, Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI), TNSM, al-Qaeda, and their Central Asian allies such as the ISIL–Khorasan (ISIL), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkistan Movement, Emirate of Caucasus, and elements of organized crime.
The armed conflict began in 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistan Army's search for al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan's mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) escalated into armed resistance. Pakistan's actions were presented as its contribution to the international War on Terror. Clashes further erupted between unified Pakistan Armed Forces and the Central Asian militant groups, allied with the Arab fighters, in 2008–2010. The foreign militants were joined by Pakistani non-military veterans of the Afghan War to the west, which subsequently established the TTP and other militant umbrella organizations, such as LeI. The TNSM established in 1992 allied with the TTP,LeI.
The war depleted the country's manpower resources, and the outcomes outlined a deep effect on its national economy, since Pakistan had joined the United States-led War on Terror. According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) statistics and mathematical data survey collections, the economy has suffered direct and indirect losses of up to $67.93 billion since 2001 due to its role as a "frontline state." According to the MoF-issued Pakistan Economic Survey 2010–2011, "Pakistan has never witnessed such a devastating social and economic upheaval in its industry, even after dismemberment of the country by a direct war with India in 1971."
By 2014, the casualty rates from terrorism in the country as a whole dropped by 40% as compared to 2011–2013, with even greater drops noted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa despite the province being the site of a large massacre of schoolchildren by TTP terrorists in December 2014.
Names for the war
Various names have been applied to the conflict by the authors and historians. Names used in English include: Insurgency in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, War in North-West Pakistan, Waziristan War, or the War in Waziristan. On the other hand, political scientist, Farrukh Saleem, termed the war as the "Fourth Generation War" or the "4G War".
In the aftermath of Battle of Tora Bora (lit. Black Caves), formal troop deployment was begun by the Pakistan Army, at the behest of the Pakistan Government, in 2002. The conservative parties, most notably the Pakistan Muslim League, were very critical of such troop deployments in the region. The XI Corps, under its commander Lieutenant-General Jan Aurkzai, entered the Tirah Valley in the Khyber Agency for the first time since Pakistan's independence in 1947. The army troops later moved into the Shawal Valley of North Waziristan, eventually entering South Waziristan. A monitoring reconnaissance base was established by the Special Service Group [Navy] in 2003. Criticism of Musharraf and the United States grew in Peshawar by a massive communist party in 2003, demanding an end to the operations.
In 2003, the troubles mounted as the Tribes began to see military's deployment and repeated PAF's flights in the region as an act of subjugation. In 2003–04 public speeches, Musharraf repeatedly called for the eviction of the foreign fighters from the South Waziristan and justified the army deployments in the region despite the concerns. In December 2003, at least two assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf were traced to South Waziristan. The government responded by intensifying military pressure on the area. However, the fighting was costly: government forces sustained heavy casualties throughout 2004 and into early 2005, when the government switched to a tactic of negotiation instead of direct conflict.
Fighting breaks out
On 16 March 2004, a bloody mountainous battle between the Pakistan Army troops and the foreign fighters of al-Qaeda was fought in the White Mountains of South Waziristan. The Pakistani media speculated that Pakistan Army had surrounded a "high value target" in the mountainous region, possibly al-Qaeda's then-second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri. According to the military intelligence in 2004, all militants were Chechens, Uzbeks, and Tajiks who were trying to flee Black Caves (Tora Bora of Afghanistan). After a week of the battle, the entire area was captured and as many as 400 al-Qaeda operatives were apprehended by the Pakistan Army. In spite of its success, the army failed to capture Zawahiri. The ISPR later admitted that it was Soviet Uzbek Tohir Yo'ldosh who was surrounded, not Zawahiri.
By 2004, additional battalions were stationed by General Musharraf to help curb infiltration into Pakistan through its porous border. The Military Intelligence, Covert Action Division (CAD) and army troops found many caves and tunnels in White Mountain range used by the foreign fighters before the military action took place. The Military Intelligence accounts maintained that the tunnels were led into Afghanistan, possible Tora Bora region. Though it is difficult to know how effective the cordon was on the first night of the military suspension but the military intelligence accounts did confirm that many high-value foreign fighters might have escaped through these tunnels and caves back to Afghanistan.
On 7 October 2004, Musharraf approved the appointment of his close aide, General Ehsan-ul-Haq from ISI, who superseded seven colleagues; his appointment was brutally criticized by the media. After becoming the chairman joint chiefs, General Ehsan-ul-Haq oversaw the ground troops deployment of army only, while the air force and navy were kept out of the region.
In April 2004, the Government of Pakistan signed the Shakai agreement, first of three peace agreements with militants in South Waziristan. It was signed by militia commander Nek Muhammad Wazir, but was immediately abrogated once Nek Muhammad was killed by an American Hellfire missile in June 2004.
 The second one, Sararogha Peace Agreemen, was signed in February 2005 with Nek's successor Baitullah Mehsud, which brought relative calm in the South Waziristan region. This deal would later, in September 2006, be mimicked in the neighboring North Waziristan territory as the third and final truce, Miranshah Peace Accord, between the government and the militants. However, all of these truces would not have a substantial effect in reducing bloodshed. The latter two deals were officially broken in August 2007 with the start of Operation Silence which was initiated by Islamabad, and resulted in a tenfold increase in suicide attacks on Pakistan Armed Forces.
The strategy of keeping the air force and navy out from the conflict proved to be ineffective, as the violence spread out all over the country, and the army came under great pressure from the militants in 2004–07. In 2007, General Ehsan-ul-Haq admitted publicly that keeping the navy and the air force out of the conflict was a mistake.
Transition in tribal areas: 2005–06
The ISI's Covert Action Division (CAD) and the Special Services Group conducted a secret paramilitary operation to capture a high-ranking al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj al-Libbi on 4 May 2005, after a raid outside the town of Mardan, 50 kilometres (30 mi) northeast of Peshawar. His arrest was confirmed by the Government sources and noted as "al-Libbi was a high ranking al-Qaeda official, rumored to be third after Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri." Al-Libbi replaced Khalid Shaikh Mohammed after his arrest in March 2003 in connection with the 11 September attacks. The Pakistan government arrested al-Libbi and held him on charges in relation to being a chief planner in two assassination attempts on the life of President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003.
On 13 January 2006, the United States Air Force launched an airstrike on the village of Damadola. The attack occurred in the Bajaur tribal area, about 7 km (4 1⁄2 mi) from the Afghan border, and killed at least 18 people. The attack again targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, but later evidence suggests he was not there.
On 21 June 2006, pro-Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants in the Bannu region of North Waziristan stated they shot down a Bell military helicopter that was reported to have crashed. The government denied missile fire as the cause, stating it was due to technical faults. The helicopter had taken off from a base camp in Bannu at around 7 am for Miramshah and crashed 15 minutes later into the Baran Dam in the Mohmandkhel area on Wednesday morning. Four soldiers were killed while three others were rescued. On the same day militants killed an inspector and two constables on a road connecting Bannu and the main town of Miranshah.
On 21 June 2006, Afghan Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani issued a decree that it was not (Afghan) Taliban policy to fight the Pakistan Army. However, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan intentionally did not circulate the decree in North Waziristan thereby keeping pressure on the government.
Waziristan peace accord signed
In 2006, the government witnessed the successful implementation of the peace deal between two tribes in Kurram Agency over the issue of distribution of irrigation water. Promptly, the government accepted the tribal recommendation to sign a peace deal with the militants in North Waziristan. Signed on 5 September 2006, the agreement was called the "Waziristan Accord"— an agreement among tribal leaders, militants, and the Pakistan government was signed in Miranshah, North Waziristan. to end all fighting. The agreement includes the following provisions:
- The Pakistan military will help reconstruct infrastructure in tribal areas of North and South Waziristan.
- The Pakistan military will not tolerate any assistance to intruders in North Waziristan, and will monitor actions in the region.
- The Pakistan government is to compensate tribal leaders for the loss of life and property of innocent tribesmen.
- "Foreigners" (informally understood to be foreign jihadists) are not allowed to use Pakistani territory for any terrorist activity anywhere in the world.
- 2,500 foreigners who were originally held on suspicion of having links to the Taliban were to be detained for necessary action against them.
The agreement, dubbed the Waziristan accord, has been viewed by some political commentators as a success for Pakistan. Even the military commander of the Pakistan Army, Lieutenant-General Ali Jan Aurakzai, also welcomed the peace agreement as "unprecedented in tribal history" and credited the intertribal jirga with amicably resolving a complicated issue within a few weeks.
Others were far more critical, seeing it as allowing militants to regroup and reorganize after military operations. However, in 2007, accord's chief architect and chairman joint chiefs General Ehsan-ul-Haq openly admitted to the media that the only ground troops deployment was wrong as the "Waziristan truce went wrong".
2006 Madrassah air strike
On 30 October 2006, United States conducted a deadly missile airstrike on a madrassa in the Bajaur region bordering Afghanistan. The strike killed 82 seminary students. Long War Journal blamed U.S. for the air strike as only U.S. was able to conduct precision night strikes in the region.
Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid, MNA from Bajaur Agency, resigned from the National Assembly on Monday to protest against the bombing of a madressah in his constituency.
In retaliation for the attack the militants unsuccessfully fired a series of RPG rockets on the heavily fortified security camp of Governor and Lieutenant-General Jan Aurkzai; though his convey escaped unharmed on 8 November 2006. The same day, the militants coordinated a successful suicide bomb attack on military base in Dargai, about 100 km north of Peshawar. The suicide attack killed nearly 42 Pakistani soldiers and wounding 20 others. Military intelligence investigators later testified in media that suicide bombing had a direct link with the air strike.
Insurgency in the north, 2007
As early as 2007, the northern region had been suffering with an insurgency and President Musharraf was increasingly under great pressure from the militants when several army operations outlined mixed results. In March, his government was forced[by whom?] to sign a peace treaty with Fakir Mohamad, the main militant leader in Bajaur. Militant groups then held three districts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas: South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Bajaur Agency.
In South Waziristan, the Uzbek militancy had been growing as many former Soviet fighters–turned militants were reportedly seen encircling in the area; many of the military intelligence reports indicated the movements of former Soviet fighters in the region, mostly Uzbeks and Chechens from the troubled areas of the Russian Federation.
In 2007, the fighting sparked between the Uzbek fighters and the native militant groups by the killing of Arab fighter Saiful Adil, an al-Qaeda operative, blamed on the Uzbeks fighters by Maulvi Nazir, described as a top pro-Taliban militant commander in the region. According to the other version, the fighting started after Maulvi Nazir, whom the government claimed had come over to its side, ordered the Uzbek followers of former Soviet fighters, Tohir Abduhalilovich Yo'ldoshev and Kamolitdinich Jalolov, to disarm, both were formerly the close confidants of Osama bin Laden.
Defeat of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
According to the military intelligence officials in 2007, there were many key reasons why the Uzbeks had been dominating the area. Military intelligence reports testified that the locals were scared to mobilize the opposition against the Uzbek militants due to their reputations as fierce fighters with long memories and very strong military backgrounds. Some of these fighters used to be soldiers and officers in the Soviet Army during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, and some of them had military training given by the CIA during the 1990s; hence they were experts in guerrilla warfare. The IMU fighters had little to lose and it was difficult for them to escape somewhere else. They couldn't go back to Uzbekistan, and after 2009, re-infiltration back to Afghanistan also started becoming more difficult. Thus, they made Waziristan their home. Local militants allied to the tribesmen were reported attacking and seizing the IMU's private jail in Azam Warsak. The Pakistan Army intelligence said it did not intend to step in, but witnesses say government artillery fired on the Uzbek fighters they set up to fight the tribesmen.
Heavy fighting resumed on 29 March 2007, ending a week-long ceasefire between tribal fighters and foreign militants. According to initial reports, tribesmen attacked a checkpoint manned by former Soviet Uzbek fighters and captured two of them. The clashes also left one tribal fighter dead and three wounded. The following day, a senior Pakistani official announced that 52 people were killed during the past two days; 45 of them were Uzbeks and the rest tribesmen. One of Maulvi Nazir's aides put the death toll at 35 Uzbeks fighters and 10 tribal fighters. However, residents in the area said that the death toll on both sides was inflated.
The conflict further escalated on 2 April when a council of elders declared jihad against foreign militants and started to raise an army of tribesmen. According to Pakistani intelligence officials, heavy fighting concentrated in the village of Doza Ghundai left more than 60 people dead, including 50 foreigners, 10 tribal fighters and one Pakistani soldier. Intelligence officials also said that "dozens of Uzbeks" had surrendered to tribal forces and that many bunkers used by militants were seized or destroyed.
On 12 April 2007, the army general in charge of South Waziristan said that tribal fighters had cleared the Soviet Uzbeks out of the valleys surrounding Wana and the foreign fighters had been pushed back into the mountains on the Afghan border. Four days later, the local tribesmen has urged Islamabad to resume control of law and order in the area.
Lal Masjid siege and truce broken
The siege of Lal Masjid was one the serious breach in the conflict and escalated the conflict in the summer of 2007. On 3 July 2007, the militant supporters of Lal Masjid and the Pakistan police clashed in Islamabad after the students from the mosque attacked and stoned the nearby MoE secretariat. Their resultant faceoff with the military escalated, despite the intervention of then-ruling PML(Q) leaders Shuja'at Hussain and Ijaz-ul-Haq. The Pakistan police, aided by the Pakistan Army Rangers immediately put up a siege around the mosque complex which lasted until 11 July and resulted in 108 deaths. This represented the main catalyst for the conflict and eventual breakdown of the truce that existed between Pakistan and the Taliban groups. Already during the siege, there were several attacks in Waziristan in retaliation for the siege.
As the siege in Islamabad ensued, several attacks on Pakistan army troops in Waziristan were reported. First attack was reported on 14 July 2007 when a suicide bomber attacked a Pakistan Army convoy killing 25 soldiers and wounding 54. Second attack was on 15 July 2007, two suicide bombers attacked another Pakistan Army convoy killing 16 soldiers and 5 civilians and wounding another 47 people. And in a separate incident, a fourth suicide bomber attacked a police headquarters killing 28 police officers and recruits and wounding 35 people. The assault on the Red Mosque prompted Islamic militants along the border with Afghanistan to scrap the controversial Waziristan Accord with Musharraf.
Under pressured, Musharraf moved the army in large concentration of troops into Waziristan and engaged in fierce clashes with militants in which at least 100 militants were killed, including wanted terrorist and former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Abdullah Mehsud. The militants also struck back by attacking Army convoys, security check points and sending suicide bombers killing dozens of soldiers and police and over 100 civilians. In one month of fighting during the period from 24 July to 24 August 2007, 250 militants and 60 soldiers were killed. On 2 September 2007, just a few dozen militants led by Baitullah Mehsud managed to ambush a 17-vehicle army convoy and captured an estimated 247 soldiers without a shot being fired, an event that shocked the nation. Several officers were among the captured, the public criticism grew hard on Musharraf.
After the army returned to Waziristan, they garrisoned the areas and set up check-points, but the militants hit hard. In mid-September, the TTP and other forces attacked a number of Pakistan army outposts all across North and South Waziristan. This resulted in some of the heaviest fighting of the war. Following the Lal Masjid Siege, the first outpost was attacked and overrun by the militants resulting in the capture of 12 Pakistani soldiers. The next day on 13 September 2007, a suicide bomber in Tarbela Ghazi attacked a Pakistan army base, destroying the main mess hall and killing 20 members of the SSG Karrar Commando Unit; Pakistan's most elite army unit. A series of attacks ensued and by 20 September 2007, a total of five Pakistan Army military outposts had been overrun and more than 25 soldiers captured. More than 65 soldiers were either killed or captured and almost 100 wounded. A little over two weeks later, the Army responded with helicopter gunships and ground troops. They hit militant positions near the town of Mir Ali. In heavy fighting over four days, 257 people were killed, including 175 militants, 47 soldiers and 35 civilians.
By the end of October 2007, another heavy fighting erupted in the Swat district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province between the Frontier Police and the large portion of far right-wing TNSM organization, under the command of Maulana Fazlullah who was trying to impose Sharia law. In a response, the military deployed a combat brigade under a local Brigadier-General to confront them. After week of heavy fighting with the brigade combat teams, the battle came to a standstill with both sides suffering heavy casualties. On 3 November 2007, around ~220 paramilitary soldiers and policemen surrendered or deserted after a military position on a hill-top and two police stations were overrun. This left the TNSM in control of most of the Swat district.
The fighting in Swat is the first serious insurgent threat from terrorist groups in what is known as a settled area of Pakistan. Following this, foreign fighters of al-Qaeda loyal to TNSM's Maulana Fazlullah tried to implement strict Islamic law in November 2007. In November 2007, another brigade combat team was deployed with the help of helicopter gunships to crush the uprising. By the beginning of December 2007, the fighting had ended and the military recaptured Swat. Almost ~400 foreign fighters of Maulana Fazlullah were dead along with 15 Pakistani soldiers and 20 civilians in the military suspension. Despite the victory by the military, the foreign fighters of TNSM slowly re-entered Swat over the coming months and started engaging security forces in battles that lasted throughout 2008. By early February 2009, the whole district was in military control.
Rawalpindi attacks and state of emergency in 2007
On 3 September 2007, the two coordinated suicide bombers targeted an ISI bus and a line of cars carrying ISI officers. The bus attack killed a large number of Defence Ministry workers and the other attack killed an Army colonel. In all 31 people, 19 soldiers and 12 civilians, were killed.
Two months later on 24 November, another military intelligence (MI) bus was again attacked. Almost everyone on the bus was killed. Another bomber blew up at a military checkpoint. 35 people were killed, almost all military officials. Facing with an intense criticism from media regarding the Red Mosque siege, President Musharraf became involved in a confrontation with the country's judiciary who began taking suo motu actions against the directives issued by Musharraf and his Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on issues involving the forming of the investigative commission on Red Mosque as well as hearings of victims of the siege, the findings of missing persons, issuing verdicts against the controversial NRO and privatization, and issuing subpoena regarding the extrajudicial killing of Akbar Bugti, in 2006. Failing to reach a compromise and subdue the judiciary, Musharraf authorized the decree of sacking around ~70 senior justices including, the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, immediately and declared the state of emergency on 9 November 2007. Virtually suspending the supreme law of the land, the constitution of the country, the massive nationwide demonstration and anger erupted against President Musharraf.
Though, this action and its responses are generally related to the controversies surrounding the re-election of Musharraf during the presidential election that had occurred on 6 October 2007, and also was claimed by the government to be the reaction to the actions by militants in Waziristan.
2008 general election
On 27 December 2007, Pakistani opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated upon leaving a political rally for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A suicidal assassin reportedly fired shots in Bhutto's direction just prior to detonating an explosive pellet-laden vest, killing approximately 24 people and wounding many more.
Ultimately, President General Musharraf and his military establishment blamed the attack on al-Qaeda, but this was contradicted following day, when Baitullah Mehsud sent a statement to the media saying that he and al-Qaeda had "no involvement in the murder of the former Prime Minister", and that they believed that Musharraf was responsible. The violence spread all over the country and national media broadcast the wave of violence across the country that left 58 people dead, including four police officers. Most of the violence was directed at Musharraf and his political party, PML(Q). Opposition parties, notably the PPP, branded PML(Q) as "Qatil League" (lit. Murderer's League). Benazir Bhutto had previously survived an assassination attempt made on her life during her homecoming which left 139 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Escalation, air and ground war
In January 2008, the foreign fighters overran Sararogha Fort, and may have overrun a fort in Ladah as well. Both forts are in South Waziristan, and were held by the Pakistan Army. After the general elections in 2008, the army's fighting capability was depleted under the command of President Musharraf and many in the media had scrutinized the role of the army in the national politics. On 25 February 2008, a suicide bomber struck in the garrison-town of Rawalpindi which targeted and killed top military medic and Medical Corps Surgeon-General, Lieutenant-General Mushtaq Baig, along with two more soldiers and five civilians.
In a secretive appointment by Musharraf personally, General Baig had been an operational commander of the army fighting in the region and was the highest-level military official to be assassinated since 1971 war. In 2008, General Musharraf was soon relieved off his command, succeeding General Ishfaq Pervez Kiani as chief of army staff. Events led by successful movement pushed Musharraf to downfall, followed by the consolidated impeachment movement led by Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani ousted Musharraf from the presidency in 2008. The new socialist government led by Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of the PPP made critical decisions and appointment in the key combatant staff of the armed forces, including the new chief of naval staff (Admiral Noman Bashir) and endorsing air chief marshal Rao Soleman as chief of air staff; all in late 2008.
The upcoming and then-newly appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs General Tariq Majid formalized a plan and strategy to tackle the insurgency. Terming as "tri-services framework (TSW)", the chairman joint chiefs emphasized the role of inter-services to tackle the insurgency with full force, and joint army-navy-airforce "efforts that are synergized within a framework of jointness and inter-operability to meet present and future challenges". His plan was submitted to Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani who approved the new strategy, which followed the new order of battle and new deployments of combat units of joint army–navy–air force in the north-western region.
After a brief intense change in chain of command in the Pakistan Armed Forces, a full-fledged military operation called 'Zalzala (lit. earthquake) was undertaken by 14th Army Division in January with the goal of flushing out Baitullah Mehsud's TTP fighters from the area. The area had previously been a more or less safe zone for militants, with some villagers providing them support and shelter. The operation resulted in tactical success and scores of militants were killed during the operation, and within three days the armed forces were in full control of the area. The army later captured a few other villages and small towns as part of their attempt to pressure Baitullah Mehsud.
However, the operation led to a huge displacement of local population. According to the GOC of the 14th Army Division's Major-General Tariq Khan, about 200,000 men, women and children, were displaced. Khalid Aziz, former chief secretary of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and expert on tribal affairs, said the displacement was "one of the biggest in tribal history".
Peace agreement and Bajaur offensive
Earlier on 7 February 2008, the TTP had offered a truce to Musharraf and peace negotiations resulting in a suspension of violence. On 21 May 2008, the Government signed a peace agreement with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
Despite the agreement sporadic fighting continued until late June and escalated with the takeover of the town of Jandola on 24 June, by the militants. Around 22 pro-government tribal fighters were captured and executed by the TTP at that time. On 28 June 2008, Pakistan Army started another offensive against militia fighters in Kyhber, codenamed Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (lit. Righteous Path). The military took control of a key town and demolished an insurgent group's building. In this offense, one militant was reportedly killed while two soldiers died in Swat valley. The operation was halted in early July. On 19 July 2008, clashes erupted between the TTP and a faction of pro-government Taliban militants. The fighting ended with 10–15 of the pro-government fighters were killed and another 120 were captured. Among the captured were two commanders who were tried under "Islamic" law by the Taliban and then executed.
On 21 July 2008, heavy fighting with another separatist group, the BLA in Baluchistan Province, killed 32 militants, 9 soldiers and 2 civilians. More than two dozen militants were captured and a large weapons cache was found. Between 28 July and 4 August 2008, heavy fighting flared up in the northwestern Swat valley leaving 94 militants, 28 civilians and 22 soldiers and policemen, were dead.
On 6 August 2008, the heavy ground fighting erupted in the Loisam area of the Bajaur district. The Loisam lies on the strategically important road leading towards the main northwestern city of Peshawar. The fighting started when hundreds of foreign fighters poured into the area and began attacking armed forces. After four days of fighting on 10 August 2008, the military was forced to withdraw from the area. It resulted in confirmed killing of 100 militants and 9 soldiers, and another 55 soldiers were missing, at least three dozen of them captured by the militants. While the fighting was going on in Bajaur, in the Buner area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, the militants killed at least nine policemen in an attack on a check post. The checkpoint was then abandoned, and the army troops withdrew to Khar, the main town of Bajaur Agency. There were reports that the town of Khar was then besieged by tribal militants.
On 21 August 2008, in response to the military offensive in Bajaur, two suicide bombers attacked the POF Laboratories in Wah while workers were changing shifts. The attack killed at least 70 people.
Tribal tension with TTP and US support for tribes
As military retreat from Bajaur Agency, the Pakistani tribal elders began organizing a private army of approximately 30,000 tribesmen to fight the TTP, with the support of the Provincial government in September 2008. This local private military company, known as lashkar (lit. brigade), had composed of Pakistani tribesmen who began burning the houses of militant commanders in Bajaur and vowed to fight them until they are expelled. During this campaign, the Lashkar torched the house of local militant commander named Naimatullah, who had occupied several government schools and converted them into seminaries. A tribal elder named Malik Munsib Khan quoted in media that tribes would continue their struggle until the foreign fighters were expelled from the area, adding that anyone found sheltering militants would be fined one million rupees and their houses will be burned. The tribesmen also torched two important centres of local militant activity and gained control of tribal areas.
One of the main motivations for this activity was the operations that were taking place in the FATA that had displaced some 300,000 people while dozens of citizens had been killed in clashes between the militants and military. Since the start of operations against the foreign fighters, some 150,000 tribesmen have sided with them.
The American military proposals outlined an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against al-Qaeda. The proposal was modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Iraq that had been hailed as a great success in fighting foreign insurgents there. But it raised the question of whether such partnerships can be forged without a significant American military presence in Pakistan. The American military raised great questions whether it is enough support can be found among the tribes. Small numbers of high-ranking officers of American military have served as advisers to the Pakistan Armed Forces in the tribal areas, giving planning advice and helping to integrate American intelligence. Under this new approach, the number of advisers had to increase.
The U.S. Government said these security improvements complemented a package of assistance from the US AID for the seven districts of the tribal areas that amounted to $750 million over five years, and would involve work in education, health and other sectors. The BINLEA of the US Government also assisted the Frontier Corps with financing for counter-narcotics work.
Islamabad Marriott Hotel Bombing
In 2008, the al-Qaeda struck its largest terrorist attack in Islamabad when a truck bomb targeted the Marriott Hotel. This attack was a defining moment in the war; 54 people were killed and around 266 others injured. According to the testimonies, numbers of U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy personnel also died in the attack; many believed the Americans were the target of the terrorist attacks. In a response to attack on 23 September 2008, the PAF launched its aerial bombing mission which resulted in ultimate success. Military reports indicating that more than 60 insurgents were killed in northwest Pakistan. In the nearby Bajur tribal region, the air force strikes killed at least 10 militants, according to government officials. The Bajur operations, which the army said left more than 700 suspected militants dead, won praise from U.S. officials.
Renewed Bajaur offensive
In a television emergency address, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani publicly vowed revenge in response to the Marriott Hotel bombing. By 26 September 2008, Pakistan air force and army had successfully conducted and completed a major joint offensive in the Bajaur and the Tang Khata regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, codenamed Operation Sherdil. Thist joint operation had killed over 1,000 militants in a huge offensive, a day after President Asif Ali Zardari lashed out at US forces over a clash on the Afghan border.
Major-General Tariq Khan, now Inspector General of the Frontier Corps, mentioned to journalists that since the beginning of the Bajaur operations, there were up to 2,000 militant fighters including hundreds of foreign fighters who were fighting with the soldiers and the armed forces. The overall death toll was over ~1,000 militants and also adding that 27 Pakistani soldiers had also been killed with 111 soldiers seriously wounded.
In this major aerial offense, five of the most wanted al-Qaeda operatives and Central Asian militant commanders were among those killed in a month-long operation in Bajaur. According to PAF reports, "out of the five militant commanders killed, four appeared to be foreigners: Egyptian abu Saeed Al-Masri; Abu Suleiman, also an Arab; an Uzbek fighter named Mullah Mansoor; and an Afghan commander called Manaras. The fifth was a Pakistani commander named only Abdullah, a son of aging hardline leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad who is based in Bajaur and has close ties to Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Between 22 and 24 October, the armed forces engaged in another hard-push against militants in the restive Bajaur and Khyber tribal regions. The army troops did not enter in the region until the PAF conducted its precision bombings. The PAF intense high-altitude air strikes missions were carried out in the Nawagai and Mamond sub-districts of Bajaur Agency. The advancing troops destroyed several centers of militants at Charmang, Chinar and Zorbandar and inflicted heavy losses on them. The army gunship helicopters shelled in Charming, Cheenar, Kohiand Babarha areas of Nawagai and Mamund Tehsil of Bajaur agency, destroying various underground hideouts and bunkers of militants. The armed forces also took control of different areas of Loisam, a militant headquarters, and advanced towards other areas for complete control.
Intensified drone strikes and border skirmishes with United States
At the end of August 2008, the USAF stepped up its air attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. On 3 September 2008, the United States Army Special Forces teams laid a commando attack in a village near the Afghan border in South Waziristan. Additional air strikes from unmanned drones in North Waziristan culminating on 8 September 2008, when a United States Air Force drone aircraft fired a number of missiles at a "guest house for militants arriving in North Waziristan." Around ~23 people were killed, but the operation's target, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was not among them.
On 25 September 2008, the Pakistan military and the US military became involved in heavy border fighting on the Frontier border. The incident happened after two US military helicopters came under fire from Pakistan army troops. A US military spokesman insisted that they had been about 2.5 kilometres (1 1⁄2 miles) inside Afghanistan. Speaking at the United Nations, President Asif Zardari maintained that Pakistan would not tolerate violations of its sovereignty, even by its allies. President Zardari told the United Nations, "Just as we will not let Pakistani's territory to be used by terrorists for attacks against our people and our neighbours, we cannot allow our territory and our sovereignty to be violated by our friends", he said, without specifically citing the United States or the border flareup.
Militants targeting of tribes
On 11 October 2008, a suicide bomber struck an anti-militant gathering of tribal elders just as they had decided to form a lashkar (tribal militia). At least 110 anti-Taliban tribesmen were killed and a further 125 were wounded. The suicide bomber drove his car into the gathering itself and blew himself up. The attack on the tribal council took place in Orakzai, normally a relatively quiet corner of the nation's chaotic tribal areas.
Fighting for the NATO supply lines
On 19 October 2008, the news media began to broadcast the news of Pakistan Army troops, led by an army lieutenant, being locked in a fierce battle with foreign militants to keep open the line routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan. For several months, the foreign militants had been trying to either attack or seal off the supply routes. The army battle reports indicated that the local commander, Mohammad Tariq al-Fridi, had seized terrain around the 1.5-kilometre-long (1 mi) Kohat Tunnel. The military intelligence reports had held al-Fridi responsible for coordinated suicide bomb attacks and rocket strikes against convoys emerging from it. The TTP spokesman, Maulvi Omar, claimed that his foreign fighters would lay down their arms if the Pakistan Army ceased intense fighting. The military refused his offers and a tactical military operation was launched to secure the tunnel routes after TTP seized five trucks carrying weapons and ammunition. They held the tunnel for a week before they were driven out in fierce fighting with the military. Since then, Tariq and his men have returned several times to attack convoys, in a response, the army launched its latest onslaught after a suicide bomb attack at one of its bases near the tunnel six weeks ago. In a massive manhunt operation, Tariq was killed along with hundreds of militants while trying to flee the battle in a combat air operation. The operation ended with five civilians were killed and 45 were injured, including 35 soldiers, when a pickup truck packed with explosives was driven into a checkpoint.
On 11 November 2008, another group of militants attacked two convoys at the Khyber Pass capturing 13 trucks which were headed for Afghanistan. One convoy was from the United Nations World Food Programme and was carrying wheat. The second was intended for NATO troops and one of the captured trucks was carrying with it two U.S. military Humvees, which were also seized.
On 8 December 2008, the militants torched more than 160 vehicles destined for US-led troops in Afghanistan. The militants attacked the Portward Logistic Terminal (PTL) in the northern city of Peshawar at around 02:30 am, destroying its gate with a rocket-propelled grenade and shooting dead a guard. They then set fire to about 100 vehicles, including 70 Humvees, which shipping documents showed were being shipped to the US-led coalition forces and the Afghan National Army. At the same time, militants torched about 60 more vehicles at the nearby Faisal depot, which like Portward is on the ring road around Peshawar, where convoys typically stop before heading for the Khyber Pass. On 3 February 2009, the militant group again blew up a bridge at the Khyber Pass, temporarily cutting a major supply line for Western troops in Afghanistan. After the attack supplies along the route had been halted "for the time being", according to NATO.
Public support and unified military operations
Since 2008–09, the Chairman joint chiefs General Tariq Majid, working with his JS HQ staffers, had been running several meetings of planning to conduct the joint warfare operations against the TTP militants. A new strategy of joint-military operations and studies were conducted under General Majid. During this time, the Government agreed to impose the Sharia ordnance law and temporarily suspended the military suspension in the Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. This decision was troubling for the United States in Afghanistan, which believed that it would embolden militant groups fighting US military–led ISAF in Afghanistan.
The US government also believed it would provide another safe haven for the militants within 130 kilometres (80 mi) of Islamabad, as well as a corridor between the North-Western border with Afghanistan and North–Eastern border with India.
The Pakistan Government officials rationalized that "such agreement was the only way to pacify a fierce insurgency and avoid more civilian casualties in Swat Valley – whose ski resort and mountain scenery once made it a popular tourist destination." The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Chief Minister, Amir Hoti, announced that the local authorities would impose Islamic law across Malakand Division, which includes Swat. The Government officials maintained that President Asif Zardari would sign off on the deal once peace had been restored. However, the agreement was never signed by President Zardari soon after the TTP militants violated the treaty.
The agreement came the day after the militants in Swat said that it would observe a ten-day ceasefire in support of the peace process. Pakistani officials say that the laws allow Muslim clerics to advise judges, but not to outlaw female education, music or other activities once banned by the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan.
Defeat of the militants in Bajaur
On 1 March 2009, the Pakistan Army troops finally defeated the foreign fighters in Bajaur, which is a strategically important region on the Afghan border. The 40th Army Division commander, Major-General Tariq Khan reported that the army and the Frontier Corps had killed most militants in Bajaur, the smallest of the agencies but a major infiltration route into Afghanistan, after a six-month offensive. By the time the battle in Bajaur was over, the Pakistan Army killed over 1,500 militants while losing 97 of their own soldiers and 404 soldiers seriously injured.
In retaliation on 30 March, the militant groups attacked the Police Academy in Munawan town, killing and taking hostage police cadets. In an operation led by Punjab Police, the units of Elite Police had managed to retake the academy. Lasting about eight hours, the police suspension ended with 18 people killed in the attack, including eight policemen, eight militants and two civilians deaths. At least, ~95 policemen were wounded and four gunmen were captured by the Elite Police.
In a similar attack on 4 April 2009, another suicide bomber attacked a military camp in Islamabad killing eight soldiers; less than 24 hours later, two more suicide attacks occurred. One bomber targeted a market on the border with Afghanistan killing 17 people and the other attacked a mosque in Chakwal, in the Eastern Pakistan province of Punjab, killing 26 more civilians. The next day, the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, promised that there were to be two suicide attacks per week in the country until the Pakistani army withdrew from the border region and the United States stopped its missile attacks by unmanned drones on militant bases.
Militant violation of Swat ceasefire
In March 2009, many Pakistanis were horrified when a videotape was broadcast in news channels that showed militant enforcers were publicly whipping a 17-year-old girl in Swat accused of having an affair. The girl had not committed fornication or adultery but was flogged simply because she refused her brother's demand to marry someone of his choosing. Protests against the TTP broke out all over the country to demonstrate against the flogging. Conservative thinker Raja Zafar ul Haq of Pakistan Muslim League, appearing in news channels, maintained that "this summary punishment of flogging simply for refusing a marriage proposal was totally un-Islamic and had nothing to do with Sharia." He went on to say that Muhammad had strictly forbidden the practice of forced marriages and in this case, the girl had not done anything wrong by refusing a marriage proposal.
Sensing the sensitivity of the issue, the Supreme Court of Pakistan appointed a five-member team appointed to investigate the video's origins, and concluded that it had been faked, raising questions at Pakistani intelligence services.
In Buner, the TTP continued their criminal activities when residents said TTP fighters had been stealing cattle for meat, stealing other livestock, berating men without beards and recruiting teenagers into their ranks. The TTP also began to steal vehicles belonging to government officials and ransacked the offices of some local non-government organisations for no apparent reason. 12 schoolchildren were killed by a bomb contained in a football.
Operation Black Thunderstorm
On 26 April 2009, the unified Pakistan Armed Forces started the strategic and tactical airborne attack, codename Black Thunderstorm, with the aim of retaking Buner, Lower Dir, Swat and Shangla districts from the TTP. This joint army–navy- air force unified operation was well rehearsed and prepared. The fighter jets of Navy and air force began pounding the militant hideouts while army kept advancing in the militant hideouts. The combat fighter pilots of the navy and air force flew their aerial bombing mission together in high altitude at continuous 24-hour period, to avoid being hit from the anti-aircraft guns. During the initial stages of the unified operations, the ground troops and paratroopers performed combat HALO/HAHO techniques to hold the control of high strategic mountains and hills surrounding the Taliban-controlled cities.
The operation largely cleared the Lower Dir district of militia forces by 28 April and Buner by 5 May 2009. The same day, the ground fighting in Swat was particularly fierce since the TTP threw away their insurgent tactics and the ground forces obtained the counter-insurgency tactics. By 14 May 2009, the military was only six kilometers south of Mingora, the militia-held capital city of Swat, and preparations for all-out street fighting were underway.
On 23 May 2009, the battle for Mingora started and by 27 May, approximately 70% of the city was cleared of militants. On 30 May, the Pakistan military had taken back the city of Mingora from the TTP, calling it a significant victory in its offensive against the militants. However, some sporadic fighting was still continuing on the city's outskirts.
In all, according to the military, 128 soldiers and more than ~1,475 militants were killed and 317 soldiers were wounded during operation Black Thunderstorm. ~95 soldiers and policemen were captured by the militants; all were rescued by the military. 114 foreign fighters were captured, including some local commanders. At least 23 of the militants killed were foreigners.
Sporadic fighting throughout Swat continued up until mid-June. On 14 June, the operation was declared over and the military had regained control of the region. Only small pockets of Taliban resistance remained and the military started mopping up operations. This led to a refugee crisis, and by 22 August, 1.6 million of 2.3 million have returned home according to UN estimates.
Blockade of South Waziristan
In the aftermath of the successful victory and recapture of the entire Swat valley, the Pakistan military began a massive army troop build-up along the southern and eastern borders of South Waziristan on 16 June 2009,. The military was now taking the fight to Mehsud's mountainous stronghold, ordering an expansion of its current offensive against TTP fighters in the Swat valley. On 17 June 2009, the Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Owais Ghani, denounced Baitullah Mehsud as "the root cause of all evils", and quoted that the government has called on the military to launch a "full-fledged" operation to eliminate Mehsud and his estimated 20,000 men.
The Islamabad's decision to launch the offensive against Mehsud signaled a deepening of Pakistani resolve against the militants. The military had targeted the TTP leader on three separate occasions – in 2004, 2005 and 2008 – but walked away each time after signing peace deals with Mehsud. This time, the military also enjoyed the public support as a wave of terrorist attacks had swayed public sentiment against the Taliban.
On 17 October 2009, the military launched another offense, called Rah-e-Nijat when the combat brigades and fighter jets launched a large-scale offensive in South Waziristan involving ~28,000 troops advancing across South Waziristan from three directions. Starting with air force strike and naval intelligence assessment on the TTP, the first town to fall to the military was Kotkai, the birthplace of the TTP leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, on 19 October 2009. However, the next day, the TTP re-took the town. Troops had thrust into Kotkai only to be hit by a determined counteroffensive that killed seven soldiers, including an army major, and wounded seven more. The military managed to take the town once again on 24 October, after days of bombardments.
On 1 November 2009, the towns of Sararogha and Makin were surrounded, and fighting for Sararogha started on 3 November. The fighting there lasted until 17 November, when the town finally fell to the military. The same day, the town of Laddah was also captured by the military and street fighting commenced in Makin. Both Sararogha and Laddah were devastated in the fighting.
On 12 December 2009, the Pakistan military declared victory in South Waziristan.
Death of Baitullah Mehsud and TTP counter-attacks
In early October 2009, the TTP started a string of bomb attacks in cities across Pakistan. The goal of the attacks was to show that the TTP militants were still a united fighting force following the death of their leader and to disrupt a planned military offensive into South Waziristan. Places targeted include the U.N. World Food Program offices in Islamabad a food store in Peshawar; military headquarters in Rawalpindi; a market in Shangla; the intelligence establishments in Lahore; the police stations in Kohat and Peshawar; the Islamic center at the International Islamic University in Islamabad; and Air Science Laboratories (ASL) Complex in Kamra. The month of November ended with a car bombing of Meena Bazaar, Peshawar killing 118 civilians. Additionally, the month of November saw suicide bombings of the National Bank of Pakistan in Rawalpindi, a market in Charsadda, and six bombings in Peshawar including the regional headquarters of the ISI and the Judicial Complex. In 2013, the media reported that the mastermind of chain of attacks in 2009, Abdullah Umar, was brutalized and killed in a police encounter with Punjab Police in 2013. Media authorities identified Abdullah Umar as a law student of the International Islamic University and a son of army colonel.
Insurgency in West and defeat of Taliban: 2010–11
On 23 March 2010, the Pakistan armed forces launched an offensive to clear Orakzai. Officials also announced a future offensive in North Waziristan. The week prior the Pakistan military killed approximately 150 militants in fighting in the region. It was expected that all tribal areas would be cleared by June 2010.
On 3 June, Pakistani authorities announced a victory over the insurgents in Orakzai and Kurram.
As late as 2010, chief of naval staff Admiral Noman Bashir had coordinated many of successful tactical ground operations against TTP hideouts, to support the army and air force pressure on militants. Many successful operations were executed by the navy, and its operational capability gained international prominence. By 2011, Pakistan's armed forces were stretched thin by natural disasters and deployments against extremist groups, with one third of the army deployed for the fight, another third along the Indian border and the rest engaged in preparing to deploy. On 1 May 2011, in a clandestine operation in Abbottabad, al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was located and killed by the U.S. Navy SEALs in his private compound. The groups affiliated with the armed TTP vowed, via media, to avenge Osama's death upon the Pakistan Armed Forces.
On 21 and 28 April, senior al-Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri conducted a series of coordinated terrorist attacks on the Pakistan Navy presence in Northern and Southern contingents. This included attacks on high naval officials of the Pakistan Navy in Karachi, first attacking their bus near the Navy bases. Finally on 22 May, TTP attacked the Mehran Naval Base, killing up to 10 naval officers, wounding 30 others, and destroying two naval reconnaissance aircraft, during the attack. In response, the navy's SSG(N) launched its largest offensive efforts since the 1971 operations, and managed to control and secure the base after a massive shootout. Operationally resulting in tactical success, the navy's counter offensive killed all the militants and ring leaders behind these operations. Kashmiri was widely suspected in the Mehran operation. On 4 June 2011, Ilyas Kashmiri was killed by a U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan.
In 2012, the north-west region of Pakistan experienced periodic bombings perpetrated by insurgents, resulting in thousands of deaths. On 22 December 2012, a suicide bomb attack carried out by the Pakistani Taliban killed Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as 8 other people.
Tirah Valley clashes
In January 2013, at least 80 militants and civilians were killed in clashes between the Tehrik-e-Taliban / Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansar ul-Islam (a pro-government militant group) in Tirah Valley of Pakistan's Khyber Agency. Fighting between Ansar ul-Islam and the Pakistani Taliban continued till March and as a result, almost the entire Tirah Valley came under the control of Lashkar-e-Islam and TTP fighters. Over 250 militants and civilians were killed and 400 others wounded in the three-month-long clashes. The fighting also displaced about 200,000 to 300,000 people. This forced the Pakistan Army to start Operation Rah-e-Shahadat in order to root out insurgents and extremists from the strategically important region and restore peace and stability for the upcoming May elections.
Military Intelligence map: Domain of Pakistan Armed Forces Operations to the areas adjacent to Afghanistan.
|Commander(s) and Belligerent(s)|
|Pakistan|| Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani|
LGen Khalid Rabbani
Air Mshl Waseem-ud-din
RAdm Ather Mukhtar
MGen Ghayur Mehmood
| Hakimullah Mehsud|
Mangal Bagh Afridi
Omar Khalid Khorasani
|North–Western Forces Contingent|
|Casualties and losses|
Operation Rah-e-Shahadat (English: Path to Martyrdom; Urdu:راه شهادث), was a codename of a joint military operation that was commenced on 5 April 2013 by the Pakistan Army, with assistance provided by the PAF and Navy for air support. In close coordination with Local Peace Committee (Aman Lashkar), the army troops and special operations forces, aided by Frontier Corps, to flush out TTP and LeI militants from the Tirah Valley of the Khyber Agency. At least four Pakistani soldiers and 14 insurgents were killed while 5 soldiers were also wounded. In a major aerial operation, the Pakistan Air Force and navy fighter jets pounded hideouts of banned group LeI in and according to military intelligence reports, many militants escaped from the areas taking with them their injured fighters.
On 7 April 2013, Pakistani military officials said that at least 30 Taliban-linked militants and 23 soldiers including commandos were killed during clashes in the Tirah Valley since 5 April. Several Aman Lashkar members were also reported to be killed and wounded. Scores of insurgents and Pakistani troops were injured in the operation.
On 8 April 2013, Pakistani military officials said that at least 30 Pakistani soldiers and 97 militants were killed during fierce fighting with Taliban linked-fighters in the Tirah Valley since 5 April, the day when the operation began.
On 11 April 2013, at least 15 militants and one Pakistani soldier were killed during fighting in southern sector of Tirah Valley. The areas of Mada Khel and Tut Sar were cleared from militants.
On 12 April 2013, nine Pakistani soldiers and seven insurgents were killed during clashes in Sipah area of Tirah Valley. The security forces took control of the areas of Sandana and Sheikhmal Khel in Sipah area. Three Lashkar-e-Islam militants were also arrested while a dozen others were injured. Two peace committee members were killed and 22 others were injured in a bomb blast in the same area.
On 5 May 2013, Pakistan Army's ISPR said that 16 insurgents and two soldiers were killed during heavy clashes in the Tirah Valley. Three soldiers were reported to be wounded. The military also claimed to have captured militant strongholds Kismat Sur and Sanghar and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition from the militants fleeing the area.
Disengagement of militant groups
News reports and intelligence media news began airing the news that the TTP and other Central Asian militant groups, notably the IMU, have now set up camps and reinforced hundreds of fighters to Syria to fight alongside rebels opposed to Bashar al-Assad in continuity of cementation of ties with al Qaeda, starting of July 2013. According to Reuters, hundreds of fighters had gone to Syria to fight alongside their "Mujahedeen friends". Media reported the visit and setup of a TTP base in Syria to assess "the needs of the jihad". At least 12 experts in information technology and warfare were sent to Syria in the last two months to aid the Mujahideen. The Pakistani government has not commented on the allegations.
North Waziristan offensive
On 19 December 2013, the army launched a major offensive in the Mir Ali region of North Waziristan following a suicide bomb attack on a checkpoint in the area the previous day. Artillery and helicopter gunships were used in the operation. By 23 December, more than 30 militants and up to 70 civilians allegedly were killed.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan infighting
In March 2014 rival factions fought for control of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Commander Khan Said Sajna and followers of the late TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud now under command of Maulana Fazlullah clashed in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan and later in the same area in early April 2014. This began a bloody struggle for control of the organization. After several minor skirmishes another major attack took place in the Shawal area of the troubled North Waziristan district on 6 May 2014.
In response to the IMU's Jinnah Airport attack on 8 June 2014, the Pakistani military launched an operation on 15 June 2014 against the militants in North Waziristan including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Al-Qaeda, East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network. Up to 30,000 soldiers were involved in the operation. It had been described as a "comprehensive operation" that aimed to flush out foreign and local militants hiding in North Waziristan.
By 2014, casualty rates in the country as a whole dropped by 40% as compared to 2011–13, with even greater drops noted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, despite the province being the site of a large massacre of school children by Tehrik-i-Taliban terrorists in December 2014.
By December 2015, some 3,400 Pakistani Taliban and their allied fighters were killed during the first 18 months of the operation, according to the ISPR. By June 2016, a total of 3,500 militants were killed, including 900 terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Islam, according to the Director General ISPR. 490 soldiers were also killed in the two-year operation. A kinetic military action was conducted and Shawal valley was cleared of militants.
On 22 February 2017, the Pakistan army launched Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad which aimed at eliminating the residual threat of terrorism, and consolidating the gains of Zarb-e-Azb. The operation was initiated in response to militant Jamaat-ul-Ahrar's Operation Ghazi that saw several IED and suicide attacks across Pakistan in February.
Peace prospects and developments
Since 2006, major initiatives have been taken out by the government to reconstruct and rehabilitate the war-torn areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The military administrator of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lieutenant-General Nadeem Ahmad, supervised majority of the socioeconomic development in the areas that were badly affected by the military operations. The government took many initiatives, including promotion the political activities under the Political Parties Act, the construction of the Peshawar-Torkham Road and the establishment of the Investment Bank of FATA, envisioned to bring prosperity and provide employment opportunities. Around ₨ 1 billion were spent for the rehabilitation of the IDPs and ₨ 500 million were immediately transferred into the account of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for the economic development in the province.
As of 2006 and present, there are numbers of notable and major international agencies and UN efforts to reconstruct the war-torn areas affected of fighting. As early as 2005, there major government institutions who have been involved in public level to lead the reconstruction, economic development and to bring the quick economic recovery in the war-torn areas, as listed below:
- US Aid
- National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB)
- National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
- Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA)
- Special Support Group for IDPs (SSG)
- Federal Relief Commission (FRC)
- National Logistics Cell (NLC)
- Frontier Works Organisation (FWO)
- Navy Reconstruction Group (NRG)
Under the 2006–15 program, a nine-year project, over $2.06 billion would be spend for the economic reconstruction of the FATA region, with the U.S. Government has pledged to provide $750 million over a period of 5 years. Since 2010, the engineering units of army, the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and Corps of Engineers and Military Engineering Service, have been active in the area to reconstruct the war-torn areas. Major operations were carried out by the FWO to complete the wide canvas of works, including construction of over 400 km roads, dams, canals and hydroelectric works. The engineering units commenced the work on Gomal Zam Dam in Waziristan with the help of the local tribal people who were employed for this mega project. The Pakistan Army started the political and educational activities after rebuilding the damaged schools and colleges in Waziristan and gave admissions to as many as young tribal teenagers and young men and women in the army institutions since August 2011.
In a debriefing to parliamentarians on 19 October 2011, the ISPR stated that a total of ~3,097 soldiers and personnel were killed and 721 other were permanently disabled in the war on terror. The ISI lost 63 of its personnel owing to targeted assaults on ISI installations. In the same government report, it confirmed that since 2001 a total of ~40,309 Pakistanis, both military and civilian, had lost their lives in the conflict.
In addition, the TTP and central Asian militant groups suffered a staggering number of human casualties, and according to the reports ~20,742 militants had been killed or captured by February 2010. Among these, by November 2007, were 488 foreign fighters killed, 24 others arrested and 324 injured. 220 policemen were killed in fighting in 2007 and 2008. Before all-out fighting broke out in 2003, independent news sources reported only four incidents of deaths of Pakistani forces in 2001 and 2002, in which a total of 20 soldiers and policemen were killed.
The data compiled by the independent South Asia Terrorism Portal website shows that around 63,872 people were killed all across Pakistan including at least 34,106 terrorists, 7,118 security forces personnel and 22,648+ civilians from 2000 to May 2019.
Naushad Ali Khan of Pakistan Government's Research and Analysis, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police in his article Suicide and terrorist attacks and police actions in NWFP, Pakistan has provided details of different activities of the terrorists during 2008. Accordingly, 483 cases were registered with 533 deaths and 1290 injured. Similarly 29 suicidal attacks were recorded, resulting 247 deaths and 695 injuries. During the same period 83 attempts acts of terrorism were foiled by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Police.
Issues with war veterans
Pakistan does not have its own equivalent to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. There is also no federal ministry that looks after veteran affairs. Most of Pakistan's infantry come from lower income, poor families, mainly from the rural areas of the country. They remain unknown from the time of their recruitment, and for the most part, to the time of their leave or death. Because there is no network of support that goes out to veterans, some believe that Pakistan's veterans are facing similar issues like those faced by Vietnam veterans. Politicians hardly ever mention the veterans in speeches or statements. This is because civil society hardly ever inquires or hears about the physical and mental challenges facing Pakistan's veterans. How to re-integrate veterans in to society is an issue that has yet to be addressed.
Since the success of unified military operations in 2009–11, the Waziristan war has been heavily featured in Pakistan media, including in theatre, television, cinema, music, video games and literature. The war also influenced Pakistan's civil society to gather their support for Pakistan Armed Forces through the media miniseries and films that were released throughout the war. Pakistan's rock bands, such as Entity Paradigm, Strings, Call and Mizraab released many patriotic songs to gather support for the Pakistan armed forces to tackle down the insurgency. A popular band in the country, Junoon, released their album, Rock & Roll Jihad and literature Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star's Revolution in 2010.
United States role
The US Ambassador Cameron Munter found it difficult to counter the Anti-American sentiment in the country, especially after the Raymond Davis incident.[relevant? ] The Anti-Americanism sentiment in Pakistan is one of the strongest in the world. The Anti-Americanism has risen as a result of U.S. military drone strikes introduced by President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama as his counter-terrorism policy.[relevant? ] As of present, almost 60%–80% of Pakistanis consider the United States as an enemy combatant state.[relevant? ] The Anti-Americanism has been provoked mainly as a reaction from those who are critical of American CIA activities in Pakistan, such as the infamous break-out of the Raymond Allen Davis incident and American intrusions from Afghanistan border such as the 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan. The credibility of Obama administration was undermined in the country[when?] and, furthermore, approximately 4 in 10 Pakistanis believe that U.S. military and economic aid is having a negative impact on their country; only 1 in 10 believes the impact has been positive. In 2010, Pakistan purchased 1,000 laser-guided bomb kits and 18 F-16 fighter jets from the US.
Economics and Cost of war
Studies and research conducted by Pakistan's leading economists and the financial experts, the war hit Pakistan's national economy "very hard", and the outcomes produced by the war on country's national economy, were surprising and unexpected to Pakistan's military and economic planners. The Pakistani government's economic institutions referred to the conflict as "economic terrorism" and according to Pakistani officials, the indirect and direct cost of the war was around $2.67 billion in 2001–02, which reached up to $13.6 billion by 2009–10, was projected to rise to $17.8 billion in the 2010–11 financial year. The country's national investment-to-GDP ratio has nosedived from 22.5% in 2006–07 which went down to 13.4% in 2010–11 with serious consequences for job creating ability of the economy. The leading English language newspaper, The Nation gave great criticism to United States, and called U.S. role as "economic terrorism" in South Asia.
Until November 2016 the conflict, as well as terrorism in Pakistan, had cost Pakistan $118.3 billion. According to US Congress and the Pakistani media, Pakistan has received about $18 billion from the United States for the logistical support it provided for the counter-terrorism operations from 2001 to 2010, and for its own military operation mainly in Waziristan and other tribal areas along the Durand Line. The Bush administration also offered an additional $3 billion five-year aid package to Pakistan for becoming a frontline ally in its 'War on Terror'. Annual installments of $600 million each split evenly between military and economic aid, began in 2005.
In 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to continue supporting Pakistan and said that Pakistan would be provided economic aid of $1.5 billion each year for the next five years. Unfolding a new US strategy to defeat Taliban and al-Qaeda, Obama said Pakistan must be a 'stronger partner' in destroying al-Qaeda safe havens. In addition, President Obama has also planned to propose an extra $2.8 billion in aid for the Pakistani military to intensify the US-led 'War on Terror' along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The military aid would be in addition to the civilian aid of $1.5 billion a year for the next five years from 2009 onwards.
In his autobiography, President Musharraf wrote that the United States had paid millions of dollars to the Pakistan government as bounty money for capturing al-Qaeda operatives from tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. About 359 of them were handed over to the US for prosecution.
- Economic terrorism
- Terrorism in Pakistan
- Human rights in Pakistan
- Joint warfare
- Sectarianism in Pakistan
- Military history of the North-West Frontier
- Afghanistan–Pakistan relations
- Pakistan–United States relations
- Violence in Pakistan 2006–09 (table and map)
- "Aman Lashkar leader among 4 killed in Peshawar". Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "Pakistani splinter group rejoins Taliban amid fears of isolation | Reuters". Archived from the original on 19 August 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "Pakistan Taliban splinter group vows allegiance to Islamic State". Reuters. 18 November 2014. Archived from the original on 19 November 2014. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "Uzbek militants in Afghanistan pledge allegiance to ISIS in beheading video". khaama.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "ISIS Now Has Military Allies in 11 Countries – NYMag". Daily Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "US senators visit South Waziristan, laud Pakistan army's efforts in dismantling terrorist networks". Daily Pakistan. 3 July 2017.
- "US senators visit South Waziristan, praise advances made by military". Dawn News. 3 July 2017.
- "US commander commends Zarb-e-Azb for disrupting Haqqani network's ability to target Afghanistan". Express Tribune. 6 November 2014. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014.
- Lieven, Anatol (2017). "Counter-Insurgency in Pakistan: The Role of Legitimacy". Small Wars & Insurgencies. 28: 166–190. doi:10.1080/09592318.2016.1266128. S2CID 151355749.
- "US Drone Kills Afghan-Based Pakistani Taliban Commander". Voice of America (VOA). 4 July 2018.
- "Database – KPK from 2005 to present". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- "Database – FATA from 2005 to present". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- "President signs 'Constitutional Amendment' to merge FATA with KP". nation.com.pk. 31 May 2018. Archived from the original on 31 May 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- "Former Pakistani Taliban No 2 arrested in Afghanistan: Reports". Archived from the original on 19 February 2013.
- "Taliban leader killed in firefight with police". Express Tribune. 26 August 2010. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "US missile strike 'kills al-Qaeda chief' in Pakistan". BBC News. 28 September 2010. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
- Sophia Saifi, Ben Brumfield and Susan Candiotti (6 December 2014). "Pakistan kills al Qaeda leader on FBI most wanted list". CNN. Archived from the original on 26 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Arif Rafiq. "What Happened to ISIS's Afghanistan-Pakistan Province?". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Released Gitmo detainee joins ISISNov. 19, 2014 – 2:30 – Former Taliban commander named chief of ISIS in Khorasa". fox news. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Local support for dreaded Islamic State growing in Pakistan: Report". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "IMU announces death of emir, names new leader". The Long War Journal. 4 August 2014. Archived from the original on 4 June 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
- Khalid, M Saeed (10 September 2017). "The on-off partnership". The News International. Archived from the original on 19 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- Barnes, Julian E. (23 January 2010). "Pentagon chief defends arms sales to India, Pakistan". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Pakistan, Saudi Arabia Cleared for U.S. Arms Buys". Armscontrol.org. 11 September 2001. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- "American Dead in Pakistan Bombing Were Special Forces – ABC News". USA: ABC. 3 February 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Bennett-Jones, Owen (25 April 2014). "Pakistan army eyes Taliban talks with unease". BBC News. Archived from the original on 4 July 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "A Profile of Mangal Bagh" (PDF). TheLongWarJournal. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "Pak Taliban claims to be using Afghan soil". Rediff News. 26 June 2012. Archived from the original on 24 February 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "Al-Qaeda map: Isis, Boko Haram and other affiliates' strongholds across Africa and Asia". 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU): The Investigative Project on Terrorism". The Investigative Project on Terrorism. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- Terrorist Organizations Reference Guide
- "Database – KPK from 2005 to present". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- "Database – FATA from 2005 to present". Retrieved 24 May 2019.
- Crawford, Neta C. "Update on the Human Costs of War for Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001 to mid-2016" (PDF). Brown University. Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
The war in Pakistan, which began as Al Qaeda and the Taliban fled from Afghanistan into the northwest region of Pakistan in 2001, has caused almost 62,000 deaths and an additional 67,000 injuries.
- "U.S. Fatalities in and around Afghanistan". iCasualties. 9 September 2005. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 4 July 2010.
- "Database – Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP)". Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Red Cross 'gravely concerned' about conditions in Swat Valley". CNN. 31 May 2009. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
Pakistan's Swat Valley, where a month long offensive against the Taliban has displaced more than 2 million civilians.
- "In source: "A majority of the more than 70,000-plus civilians killed in this violence were Pashtuns, while more than 6 million members of the ethnic group have endured displacement since the onset of conflict in 2003."". Gandhara. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
- Varun Vira and Anthony Cordesman "Pakistan: Violence versus Stability: A Net Assessment." Archived 12 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine Center for Strategic and International Studies, 25 July 2011.
- "The War in Pakistan". The Washington Post. 25 January 2006. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- Zaffar Abbas. "Pakistan's undeclared war". News.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Pakistan Primer Pt. 1" Archived 29 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine The Rise of the Pakistani Taliban, Global Bearings, 27 October 2011.
- David Montero (22 June 2006). "Killing scares media away from Waziristan". Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
- "Pakistan attacks Waziristan compound". Al Jazeera. 16 March 2006. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
- U.S. Government. "Central Eurasian and Central Asian Terrorism". United States Government National Center for Counter-terrorism. United States Government National Center for Counter-terrorism. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Thompson, Clifford. "Terrorism from Central Asian Republics". Pakistan Strategic Think Tanks. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Shaun Waterman (27 March 2013). "Heavy price: Pakistan says war on terror has cost nearly 50,000 lives there since 9/11". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Wahab, Ali (11 July 2010). "The real cost of Pakistan's war on terror". Express Tribune. Pakistan. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- From the Newspapers (20 June 2011). "War on terror cost Pakistan $67.9 billion". Dawn News, Economic Survey. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Thompson, Julia (22 December 2014). "A Small Measure of Progress". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- Farrukh Salim (29 April 2012). "4G War". The News International Sunday, 20 April 2002. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- Correspondents (6 May 2002). "Govt warned against US operation in Fata". Dawn News archives, 2002. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Our Correspondent (6 June 2002). "Tribesmen allow army to enter Shawal". Dawn News, May 2002. Archived from the original on 1 July 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Bureau Chief (10 August 2003). "Occupation of sovereign states by US flayed". Dawn 2003, 10 August. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- By Our Staff Reporter (6 October 2003). "Wana operation condemned". Dawn, 10 2003. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Our Reporter (10 August 2003). "Occupation of sovereign states by US flayed". Dawn archives, 2003. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- Rohde, David (10 September 2006). "Al Qaeda Finds Its Center of Gravity". New York Times. Archived from the original on 13 November 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
- Dawn news; area studies; Zulfiqar Ali (16 March 2004). "Musharraf warns against failure of Wana operation". Dawn news, area studies, Zulfiqar Ali. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Khan, Ismail (19 March 2004). "Al Zawahiri believed surrounded: Intensity of resistance indicates presence of high-value target, says Musharraf". Dawn News, 2004 Area studies, Khan. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Khan, Ismail (26 March 2004). "Army winding up operation: Corps Commander". Dawn, 26 March 2004. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Our Reporter (28 March 2004). "Top Al Qaeda leader hurt, hiding in Wana: ISPR". Dawn News, 28 March 2004. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Ismail Khan (28 March 2004). "Militants agree to set free hostages: Uzbek warlord hurt while fleeing". Dawn News, 28 March 2004 by Ismail Khan. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Syed Irfan Raza & Dilawar Khan Wazir (6 October 2004). "More Troops depolyed". Dawn News Archives 2004. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- By Arshad Sharif (3 October 2004). "New JCSC chief, VCOAS appointed". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- Staff (17 April 2007). "Extremism greatest threat: president". Dawn, 17 April 2007. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Our Correspondent (3 November 2007). "Waziristan truce went wrong: Gen Ehsan". Dawn, Our Correspondent. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- Raza, Syed Irfan (5 May 2005). "Al Qaeda's number three Faraj Al Libbi arrested". Dawn News area studies archives, 2005. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- John Diamond (4 May 2005). "Pakistan reports arrest of Osama bin Laden's operations chief". USA Today. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Anwarullah Khan (14 January 2006). "Attack in Bajaur Agency kills 18: Raid believed to be made by US aircraft". Dawn News archives, area studies 2006. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "'Policemen killed' in Waziristan". BBC News. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2006.
- "Forces, militants heading for truce". Dawn. 22 June 2006. Archived from the original on 28 June 2006.
- Bureau Report (22 June 2006). "Jirga brokers peace deal between rival tribes". Dawn Area. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Gul, Pazir (6 September 2006). "Waziristan accord signed". Dawn News archives, area studies, 2006. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "Pakistan, Taliban militants sign peace agreement". Fr.jpost.com. Associated Press. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 26 March 2011.[dead link]
- "Waziristan accord signed". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 26 December 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "News". Telegraph.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 April 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Some See Pakistan's Truce As a Defeat". Fox News. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "The emerging age of drone wars". CBS News. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
And more than once the United States has gotten it wrong – perhaps most tragically on 30 Oct. 2006, when an errant drone strike obliterated an Islamic boarding school in Chenagai, Pakistan, killing 82 people.
- "A Closer Look at the Chingai Airstrike in Bajaur, Pakistan". Long war journal. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
Actually this would be Predator UAVs, conducted the strike. An American intelligence source informs us that the Pakistani Army does not possess the capabilities to conduct precision night strikes such as this attack.
- "MNA resigns in protest against air strike". Dawn news. 31 October 2006.
- Dlavar Khan Wazir (8 November 2006). "Rockets rain on Wana during governor's visit: Aurakzai not targeted: spokesman". Dawn news, area studies. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Khan, Ismail (8 November 2006). "Suicide attack on army base: 40 troops dead; search on for bomber's aide". Dawn News, area studies, Ismail Khan. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Roggio B (17 March 2007). "Pakistan signs the Bajaur Accord". The Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2008. Retrieved on 14 January 2008.
- Stakelbeck E (3 April 2007). "Bajaur: When 'Peace' Yields War". CBN News. Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. Retrieved on 14 January 2008.
- Roggio B. "The fall of northwestern Pakistan: An online history". The Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2008. Retrieved on 13 January 2008.
- Zaidi, Dr. Syed Manzar Abbas (4 February 2013). Uzbek Militancy in Pakistan (PDF). SISA Report No. 1 2013 (Report). Centre for International and Strategic Analysis. Archived from the original (Microsoft Word) on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Rival militants clash in Pakistan". BBC. 20 March 2007. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007.[failed verification]
- Plett B (12 April 2007). "Tribesmen 'oust' foreign fighters". BBC. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2007. Retrieved on 16 January 2008.
- "Tribe in Pakistan security plea". BBC. 16 April 2007. Archived from the original on 15 July 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007. Retrieved on 16 January 2008.
- "FOXNews.com – Two Days of Homicide Attacks Kill 70 in Pakistan". Fox News. 15 July 2007. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- Ismail Khan. "Suicide Bombers Kill 49 in Pakistan". Fairuse.100webcustomers.com. Archived from the original on 11 March 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Scores killed in Pakistan attacks". News.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- https://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070724/ap_on_re_as/pakistan_militant_leader. Retrieved 23 September 2007. Missing or empty
- "Pakistan crisis 'hits army morale'". BBC News. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "12-hour curfew clamped on Swat -DAWN – Top Stories; November 17, 2007". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- [dead link]
- "Musharraf imposes emergency rule". Dawn. 3 November 2007. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2007.
- "Martial law declared in Pakistan". CNN. 3 November 2007. Archived from the original on 4 November 2007. Retrieved 3 November 2007.
- Nelson, Dean (4 November 2007). "Pervez Musharraf spoils for a fight as he declares emergency rule". The Times. London. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
- "Bhutto killed in suicide attack". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- Benazir Bhutto is dead Archived 19 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Reuter's video
- "Benazir Bhutto Assassination NBC News Coverage". NBC. 27 December 2007. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- "Benazir Bhutto Assassination CBS News Coverage". CBS. 27 December 2007. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- "Benazir Bhutto Assassination ABC News Coverage". ABC. 27 December 2007. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- Gall, Carlotta; Masood, Salman (19 October 2007). "Bomb Attack Kills Scores in Pakistan as Bhutto Returns". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
- "Pakistani troops 'flee border post'". Al Jazeera. 17 January 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved on 18 January 2008.
- "Pakistan attacks hit aid group, military HQ". CNN. 25 February 2008. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Kohat GOC, six other officers die in copter crash: Technical fault caused accident: ISPR" Archived 9 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine Dawn, 7 February 2008
- AAJ News (13 December 2007). "Armed Forces guardian of national integrity: General Tariq Majid". Aaj TV Headlines. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Zaffar Abbas. "Taliban ousted, but Spinkai is now a ghost town" Archived 30 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Dawn, 19 May 2008
- "BBC NEWS | South Asia | Pakistani militants 'call truce'". News.bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Al Jazeera English – News – Pakistan Troops To Vacate Swat". English.aljazeera.net. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Baitullah men storm Jandola -DAWN – Top Stories; June 24, 2008". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Pakistan: $1 billion from U.S. to fight terror". Aki/Dawn. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 24 November 2006.[dead link]
- https://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080721/wl_nm/pakistan_baluchistan_dc_1. Retrieved 21 July 2008. Missing or empty
- https://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080804/wl_nm/pakistan_violence_dc_2. Retrieved 4 August 2008. Missing or empty
- https://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080810/wl_afp/pakistanafghanistanunrest_080810132035. Retrieved 10 August 2008. Missing or empty
- Laura King & Zulfiqar Ali (10 August 2008). "Pakistan fighting ends as troops withdraw". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Taliban militants kill nine policemen in Pakistan – Yahoo! India News". In.news.yahoo.com. Retrieved 19 October 2008.[dead link]
- "BBC NEWS | South Asia | 'Dozens die' in Pakistan clashes". News.bbc.co.uk. 10 August 2008. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Twin suicide bombers hit factory in Pakistan". Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- David Montero. "Pakistani tribesmen organize private armies to fight Taliban". Csmonitor.com. Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- Saeed Shah (26 September 2008). "Pakistani tribesmen organize to fight Taliban insurgents". McClatchy Washington Bureau. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "U.S. hopes to arm Pakistani tribes against Al Qaeda". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 19 November 2007. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti And Carlotta Gall (19 November 2007). "U.S. Hopes to Use Pakistani Tribes Against Al Qaeda". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- https://2001-2009.state.gov/p/sca/rls/2008/106495.htm. Retrieved 15 May 2019. Missing or empty
- "Pakistani Army Says 60 Suspected Militants Killed". Fox News. 23 September 2008. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- Habib Khan (23 September 2008). "Pakistan army says 60 suspected militants killed". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 October 2008.[dead link]
- Our Staff Reporter 0 (11 August 2009). "PAF capable of mid-air refuelling". The Nation (Pakistan). Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "The Standard – Hong Kong's First Free English Newspaper". Thestandard.com.hk. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Pakistan says five top militants among 1,000 dead in offensive-Pakistan-World-The Times of India". Archived from the original on 27 September 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
- "AFP: Pakistan says 1,000 militants killed near Afghan border". 26 September 2008. Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Pakistan says 1,000 militants killed in Bajaur campaign | Reuters". In.reuters.com. 26 September 2008. Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Pak security forces kill 16 militants". Outlookindia.com. 23 October 2008. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Archive | Your Source of News on the World Wide Web". Dawn.Com. Archived from the original on 27 October 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Suspected US Missile Strike Hits Taliban Commander's House Archived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine – Voice of America, 8 September 2008
- Perlez, J. & Shah, P.Z. 2008, 'US attack on Taliban kills 23 in Pakistan' Archived 12 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine most of the people killed in these attacks are civilians., International Herald Tribune, 9 September. Retrieved on 10 September 2008.
- "AFP: Taliban militants behead four in Pakistan: officials". 11 October 2008. Archived from the original on 8 July 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Four pro-govt tribal elders beheaded -DAWN – Top Stories; October 11, 2008". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 17 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Dozens killed in Pakistan bombing". BBC. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 October 2008. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- "Militants grab U.S. military Humvees in ambush". CNN. 11 November 2008. Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "US and Nato Humvees destroyed as Islamists attack Afghan supply bases". Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
- "Troops defeat Taliban in Pakistan's Bajaur region". The Indian Express. 1 March 2009. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Taliban Invasion Is About Power, Not Islam in Pakistan". Help The Middle Class. 10 May 2009. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Video of Swat girl flogging was fake: report,2/25/2011 6:10:35 AM". thearynews.com. Archived from the original on 2 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "Swat girl flogging video 'fake': Pak probe team". The Indian Express. 19 April 2009. Archived from the original on 20 January 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Stop the Taliban now – or we will". Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2009.
- "Football Bomb Kills 12 Children in Northern Pakistan While Another Four Die As Grenade Explodes". News.sky.com. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- From Reza Sayah CNN (30 May 2009). "Pakistan secures key Swat Valley city". CNN. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "South Asia | Pakistan army 'regains' Swat city". BBC News. 30 May 2009. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "1.6 million Pakistani refugees return home: UN – Times of India". The Times of India. 22 August 2009. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "1.3 million displaced Pakistanis return home: UN". Sify.com. 19 August 2009. Archived from the original on 21 January 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Waraich, Omar (16 June 2009). "Pakistan's Next Fight? Taliban Leader Baitullah Mehsud". TIME. Archived from the original on 14 February 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- "Pakistan forces move on Taliban". BBC News. 17 October 2009.
- "Taliban retake town as Pakistan offensive runs into trouble | McClatchy". Mcclatchydc.com. Archived from the original on 22 October 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "South Asia | Pakistan 'takes key Taliban town'". BBC News. 24 October 2009. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20091029/tpl-uk-pakistan-violence-waziristan-qand-81f3b62_1.html. Retrieved 19 November 2009. Missing or empty
- "Pakistan takes Taliban stronghold". BBC News. 2 November 2009. Archived from the original on 5 November 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2009.
- Bill Roggio (1 November 2009). "Pakistani Army surrounds major Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan". The Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Bill Roggio (3 November 2009). "Pakistan captures two Taliban strongholds in South Waziristan". The Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Search Results main taliban bases in south waziristan captured army szh | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia | DAWN.COM Archived 19 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Earth Times Staff (21 November 2009). "Six Pakistani troops, 14 Taliban killed in clashes – Summary". Earth Times News. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "AFP: Taliban driven out of key battleground: Pakistan PM". 12 December 2009. Archived from the original on 18 December 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Search Results tehrik i taliban spokesman mohmand qs | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia | DAWN.COM Archived 20 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- "Washington TV". Televisionwashington.com. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- [dead link]
- "Pakistan blast toll reaches 45". Malaysia News.Net. 13 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "41 killed in terror strikes targeting security forces in Pakistan – Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 15 October 2009. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "One killed, nine injured in Peshawar car bomb attack". Malaysia News.Net. 15 October 2009. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Schools across Pakistan close after deadly suicide blasts". CNN. 21 October 2009. Archived from the original on 20 April 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- Search Results explosion heard peshawar qs | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia | DAWN.COM Archived 1 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Hussain, Shaiq (2 November 2009). "Suicide bombing kills 35, injures dozens in Pakistan". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Pakistan bombings kill 18 as spy agency hit". Sify.com. 13 November 2009. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "15 Pakistanis Killed in Peshawar Suicide Bombing, November 14, 2009". United Nations. 14 November 2009. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- [dead link]
- Amir Mir (17 June 2013). "Why did a soldier's son join the Taliban?". The news International, 2013. Archived from the original on 18 July 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- "Security forces seize control of damadola ss". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Bajaur declared conflict free zone". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Pakistan's Orakzai offensive". Gcreport.com. 29 March 2010. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Accord for operation in North Waziristan". Dawn.com. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "31 militants killed in Pakistan's Orakzai tribal area – People's Daily Online". People's Daily. 30 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
- "Pakistani general: Al Qaida-Taliban haven to be cleared by June". Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Anti-Taliban operations successful: Pakistan". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- GEO Pakistan (24 May 2011). "War on terror will continue: PM". GEO TV. Archived from the original on 6 August 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
- Garamone, Jim. "Fight Against Extremists Stretches Pakistan's Military." Archived 29 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine American Forces Press Service, 20 April 2011.
- "Nation mourns Bashir Ahmed Bilour". The News International. 23 December 2012. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Pakistani Taliban overrun rival faction's headquarters, dozens killed". 20 March 2013. Archived from the original on 25 March 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "80 killed in clashes between rival militant groups in Pak". 28 January 2013. Archived from the original on 13 May 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Militant infighting compels thousands to flee Tirah Valley". 26 March 2013. Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Fall of Tirah Valley". 27 March 2013. Archived from the original on 29 March 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- APP (21 June 2013). "Tirah Valley: Security forces clear out militants from Maidan". Express Tribune, War Correspondents. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "Pakistan army starts offensive in NW; 4 troops die". U.S. News & World Report. 5 April 2013. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Tirah Valley clash leaves 14 militants, 4 security officials dead". The Express Tribune. 5 April 2013. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Warplanes pound militant hideouts in FATA, 8 killed". GEO News, 2013. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- "Tirah valley operation intensifies, 23 soldiers killed". Dawn. 7 April 2013. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "30 militants, 23 soldiers killed in Pak clashes". The Statesman. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "30 Pakistan soldiers killed in northwest valley". Khaleej Times. 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- "30 Pakistani soldiers killed in northwest valley". 8 April 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- "ISPR confirms deaths of 23 soldiers in Tirah Valley offensive". Dawn. 9 April 2013. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "110 militants, 23 soldiers killed in Tirah fighting: officials". The News International. 10 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "At least 15 militants killed in Khyber's Tirah valley, one soldier killed". Dawn. 11 April 2013. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Fighting rages in NW Pakistan, 15 militants, one soldier killed – army". 11 April 2013. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Report: Tirah Operation- Day 6". 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
- "Nine soldiers, 7 militants killed in Tirah". Dawn. 12 April 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "TTP denies Mangal Bagh appointed Khyber militant chief". Dawn. 11 April 2013. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Seven militants killed in Tirah, Khyber Agency during last 24 hours". Daily Times (Pakistan). 14 April 2013. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Member of lashkar killed in Tirah blast". The News International. 16 April 2013. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- "Four militants killed, five injured in Tirah strikes". Dawn. 1 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2 May 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
- "Troops kill 16 militants in Tirah valley: Military". Express Tribune. 5 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Riggio, Bill (12 July 2013). "Pakistani Taliban establish 'base' inside Syria". Long War Journal 2013. Archived from the original on 15 July 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
- Pakistan Taliban set up camps in Syria, join anti-Assad war Archived 14 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Reuters. Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
- Wali, Ahmed. (12 July 2013) BBC News – Pakistan Taliban 'sets up a base in Syria' Archived 3 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine. bbc.co.uk. Retrieved on 22 August 2013.
- "Pakistani army launches offensive in North Waziristan". 23 December 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
- "12 militants killed in clashes between rival Taliban factions". 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 May 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- "14 killed as Taliban infighting erupts again in Waziristan". 6 May 2014. Archived from the original on 7 May 2014.
- "A Small Measure of Progress". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
- "3,400 militants killed in Operation Zarb-e-Azb: ISPR". Express Tribune. 12 December 2015. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
- "490 soldiers, 3,500 militants killed in Operation Zarb-e-Azb so far: DG ISPR". Express Tribune. 15 June 2016. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- Jon Boone, Kiyya Baloch (29 May 2016). "Family of driver killed in US strike on Taliban leader file criminal case". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
- "Pakistan Army launches 'Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad' across the country". Dawn. 22 February 2017. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- "Army launches Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad against terrorists across the country". Express Tribune. 22 February 2017. Archived from the original on 23 February 2017. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
- Staff (11 May 2009). "Int'l Donors conference to be called for IDPs: Gilani". Associate Press of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Staff report (25 November 2012). "Development projects: FATA ACS highlights initiative". Tribune Express, 2012. Archived from the original on 10 January 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Govt. Pakistan. "FATA Development (2000–2015)". Ministry of Finance. Government of Pakistan (Public Domain). Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- PA. "Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Development Works". FWO. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Staff (2 July 2010).