Taliban threat: Nuclear site in DG Khan cordoned off

Published: September 6, 2012

Sources said, according to precedents, threats intercepted via phone calls often materialised in the next 72 hours. DESIGN: MOHAMMAD SUHAIB

LAHORE: 

It could be the first-ever security threat to a nuclear facility in Pakistan, and the Army and security forces are taking no risks.

Following ‘serious’ security threats from the homegrown Taliban, the Army and Punjab police have deployed heavy forces at one of Pakistan’s largest nuclear facilities in Dera Ghazi Khan (DG Khan), credible sources told The Express Tribune.

Besides the deployment inside and around the nuclear installation, three divisions in South Punjab have also been asked to launch a crackdown against banned outfits, sources added.

“DG Khan houses one of the largest nuclear facilities in the country, and has faced the first-ever serious security threat from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),” said a high ranking military officer currently serving at the installation.

According to an official who works at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, a key military and civilian fuel cycle site is located 40 kilometres from DG Khan. The site comprises uranium milling and mining operations, and a uranium hexaflouride conversion plant.

‘Serious’ threat

Sources in the military and Punjab Police, on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that the nature of threat at the nuclear installation is ‘serious,’ with an 80% chance of occurrence.

The Inter-Services Intelligence reportedly intercepted a telephone call from the TTP, wherein they were said to have been finalising their strategy for attacks on nuclear installations in DG Khan, sources said.

Three to four vehicles carrying suicide bombers are about to enter DG Khan and can strike the nuclear facilities at any time, the caller concluded according to sources. Sources said that, according to precedents, threats intercepted via phone calls often materialised in the next 72 hours. Direct threats via phone or letters often do not materialise, the source added.

Foiling the attack

DG Khan District Police Officer Chaudhry Saleem confirmed the threat, while talking to The Express Tribune, and said that DG Khan Police has received instructions from the military officer in charge at the nuclear installation to beef up security around the facility as much as possible.

The TTP started to send threats to the installation after the attacks on Kamra air base, Saleem said, adding that the police has established six new pickets around the nuclear installations and deployed heavy forces over the last 24 hours.

Sources said that a heavy contingent of military from the Multan cantonment has also reached the site and beefed up the inner cordon of the security. Military has also been deployed near the border with Balochistan.

Revenge for Qaisrani

Well-placed sources in law enforcement agencies said that when the TTP attacked Kamra air base, they announced that they would take revenge for killing of their South Punjab head Abdul Ghaffar Qaisrani by also attacking nuclear installations in DG Khan.

Sources said the DG Khan Police killed Qaisrani in an encounter in the first week of August, along with eight of his companions, almost clearing his network in the area.The police were able to trace Qaisrani after they interrogated Adnan Khosa, who attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore along with Qaisrani, sources said, adding that Khosa is currently imprisoned in DG Khan.

Qaisrani’s elimination caused a major loss to the TTP in South Punjab, and the militant outfit vowed to take revenge.

Earlier attacks

According to local politicians, the DG Khan nuclear site and adjacent areas had previously been a target of ground attacks by Baloch insurgents, but not the TTP.

TTP’s threat, therefore, is alarming for the region, they added. Officials in the counter-terrorism department, however, said there are around a dozen pockets in South Punjab, particularly near the border areas of DG Khan, where TTP is increasing its clout.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2012.

Reader Comments (62)

  • Nadir
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:04AM

    Ahaaa!! Proves that TTP is American lackey! They want our nukes! America with all its power, technology and money has to depend on brave Muslim fighters who have been manipulated by CIA-RAW-Mossad to do their bidding!! Why would actual terrorist group want to attack nuclear installation after all? They are illiterate and have no idea of nuclear technology!

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  • Imran Con
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:09AM

    It’s good that the security is raised and I don’t want to knock it but, the thing about claiming you have nuclear security is that it’s supposed to imply that they’re always secure which would not require any such raise in security.

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  • Indian
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:57AM

    It could be the first-ever security threat to a nuclear facility in Pakistan. Its first time ever in the world.Recommend

  • Mr X from Bombay
    Sep 6, 2012 - 8:04AM

    @Nadir: No surprise in your statement. Pakistanis are quite predictable.

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  • Kafir
    Sep 6, 2012 - 8:36AM

    @Nadir – He he…you are awesome mate…Lets bust this trio…Cheers

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Sep 6, 2012 - 9:30AM

    At least now please civil and military leadership close/stop severe military actions and US’ war within Pakistan against the tribal muslims because by doing so you have been endangered the security and protection of the Pakistan’s,Pakistan’s nation’s,key departments’ and sovereignty from within Pakistan………

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  • SaneVoice
    Sep 6, 2012 - 9:57AM

    Fanatics access to the nukes is the nightmare of the world. Taliban so far have attacked the military installations with the help of inside of job and God forbade any inside job in case of nukes may jeopardize the whole existence of Pakistan. Weed out them before they root out you.

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  • CK
    Sep 6, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Why is all of this information in main stream media?

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  • Purple Penguin
    Sep 6, 2012 - 10:20AM

    This is not our war, they said.

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Sep 6, 2012 - 11:05AM

    “the nature of threat at the nuclear installation is ‘serious,’ with an 80% chance of occurrence”.

    Seems the weapon which was supposed to provide security to Pakistan itself need security !!!!
    Perhaps the concern of entire civilized world were not unfounded.

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  • AC 80 and 408
    Sep 6, 2012 - 11:10AM

    Americans helping TTP get their hands on Nukes? Yea, that makes sense.

    @CK, you are right, why this on the mainstream media, Wo does it help?

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  • Vigilant
    Sep 6, 2012 - 11:44AM

    @Indian:
    Please Don’t be so naive…..How many times in India security threat for nuclear Installations issued???Recommend

  • jism
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:04PM

    we have to blame China for this,they should have thought a bit harder before giving Pakistan the blue prints of nukes, I’m sure even Chinese are concerned about Pakistan’s nuke now.
    If the had foreseen this situation,they would have never provided Pakistan with nukes,but it was lack of the Chinese foresight that has led to this,yet again they have the opportunity to correct themselves, China should stop providing any military aid to Pakistan,they will live to regret it if they continue to do it.

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:05PM

    @Vigilant:
    “@Indian:
    Please Don’t be so naive…..How many times in India security threat for nuclear Installations issued????”
    Please never forget it that they are Taliban….A well-organized group equipped with latest and most modern weapons and war technologies…..Never consider the Taliban weak…..

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  • A2Z
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:20PM

    @it is not the first ever threat in the worlc. Have a look at the following link for a yhreat to the Indian nuclear installations
    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009%5C12%5C02%5Cstory2-12-2009pg7_49
    This statement was issued by Indian minister in the parliment whereas in the current story ET just claimed on the basis of some ‘sources’. Whenever ET post stories on the basis of so called ‘sources’ they just remain stories.

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  • Adharsh
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:25PM

    I think it is stupid to let your defence plans out just to sell news.

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  • A.S.
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:30PM

    @Indian:

    And perhaps this is what you guys wish to prove…

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  • Mahakaalchakra
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:39PM

    @Vigilant:

    Could you give some example of similar constant security threat to Indian nuclear installation please?

    Pakistan would ever be spending a big chunk of its budget exclusively on the security of 100s of nuclear assets spread over thousands of places in non-mating condition and also for all of its missile silos that are also spread over throughout Pakistan.

    What an irony! Pakistan army has to ensure the security of nuclear devices which are meant to give them security. Since 1998 when Pakistan tested its nuclear weapons, it has been engulfed in security problems starting with Kargil war in 1999.

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  • Tahir
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Whether one calls it a planned act or some conspiracy, this was expected to happen sooner or later.

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  • Najeebullah
    Sep 6, 2012 - 12:59PM

    From the comments it is clear that Pakistanis still rely on the conspiracy theories that is to blame USA for every thing. Strategic assets are back firing that all.

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  • Prakash
    Sep 6, 2012 - 1:08PM

    Nothing to worry. Pakistan is safe. Pakistan has nukes, you see!

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  • Enlightened
    Sep 6, 2012 - 1:13PM

    Nuclear facilities anywhere in Pakistan are unsafe since the major threat is not only from TTP or other terror organisations but also from those who are guarding them as they could easily be influenced by these outfits. The best option for their safety is to keep bulk or whole of the arsenal out of Pakistan and who else other than its best friend China be entrusted for this job who would readily oblige for the same.

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  • Z.Khan
    Sep 6, 2012 - 1:32PM

    One should pray for the safety of country and its people as results are always devastating if any such attempt on nuclear facility succeedes. No alternative but to crush completely all types of extremism and terrorism from Pakistan.

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  • FJ
    Sep 6, 2012 - 1:50PM

    My God, what is going to happen to this cursed country!!!!

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  • vish
    Sep 6, 2012 - 2:04PM

    Even tomorrow these Installation taken over by TTP and attacks any neighbors the easy statement from the sane statesman would be these are all ” Non State Actors ” we are also victim of the same animals…… good joke prepare for next action…..

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  • Parvez
    Sep 6, 2012 - 2:08PM

    This is what is called orchestrated brinkmanship and both sides think they can win. Ultimately it will be the people and the Nation that will lose – but who cares about that.

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  • yen
    Sep 6, 2012 - 2:09PM

    entire world is in danger because of pakistan

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  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Sep 6, 2012 - 2:12PM

    General Kiyani, please take note!
    The Kharijite Emirate of North Waziristan over running the Islamic Republic of Pakistan!

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  • John
    Sep 6, 2012 - 2:16PM

    If the threat is indeed true, keeping in view past track record of police and law enforcing agencies in dealing with known threats, it would not be a surprise if the militants manage to sneak in a do damage to such important facilities.

    The real threat is that this could be followed by International forces landing in and protecting these facilities.

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  • Sep 6, 2012 - 2:39PM

    This is fake story.Recommend

  • Mughal Badshah
    Sep 6, 2012 - 3:31PM

    Hmmmmm…..More threats, more security, more allocations for establishment….Long live….you all know what I am talking about!!!!!!!!!

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  • KIYANI
    Sep 6, 2012 - 3:42PM

    world will come to end

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  • lutfullah
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:12PM

    D G KHAN is not south punjab its pure baloch area under punjab management

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  • Jat
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:26PM

    Yet another first for Pakistan. You can now rightly claim that you are the most important country on the planet.

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  • imran
    Sep 6, 2012 - 4:53PM

    @lutfullah:
    but it is the territory of punjab where baloch hav migrated to live in for better life..

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  • Sep 6, 2012 - 5:22PM

    Great propaganda on Defense day by ET

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  • express tribune
    Sep 6, 2012 - 5:42PM

    see pakistan taliban is not your friend

    what they gain by destroying saab2000

    and why express tribune instead of forcing kiyani to take military operation on tehreek e taliban

    saying sentisive news rubbishly.

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  • Raj - USA
    Sep 6, 2012 - 5:44PM

    Nuclear threat to Pakistan is almost entirely in the form of theft of radioactive material that could be used as Dirty Bomb. It will not affect the outside world, and over 90% of damage will be to Pakistan itself. Afghanistan may also be affected due to porous borders. I do not think that the terror organizations are targeting on the missiles or bombs. Missiles and bombs are too complicated for them to handle. In any case, these terrorists cannot get their hands on the material without inside help. Also, I have my doubts if these terrorists are really capable and have the expertise to handle these radioactive material.

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  • Blitzer
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:02PM

    No need to wet your beds just yet, people. The nuclear sites are pretty darn secure. And even in the worst case scenario, the nukes have multiple layers of security that these illiterates can never defeat. It’s great that the security forces are preemptively taking precautionary measures for once. That’s how the LEAs should deal with each and every perceived security threat.

    To all the Indians out there bashing Pakistan, worry about your own problems and leave Pakistan alone.Recommend

  • Sir King Kong Bunty
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:34PM

    No worries folks. Imran Khan the great will negotitate with TTP and Taliban. Also Sh Rashid will have a parley with Amir-ul-Momieen to save the nuclear plan. In fact soon you will see the nuke plan being put into good use for charging the toyota batteries of Taliban folks.

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  • usman ahmed
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:40PM

    TTP is given targets by an agency supporting them providing them funds, explosive and weapons, these targets are ment to weaken the pakistan defense capability and mount international pressure on pakistan that its nukes are not safe, just think who could be interentest to weeken pakistand defense capabilites. There is no threat to nukes or any radioactive material as the consipiracy theory goes. Nukes are not that simple like a rocket that a terrorist will pick up and run away they cant, they cant use bcz its complex device. there are recorded theft of radio active material from indian even american nuclear facilites. so far there has not been a single event in pakistan.

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  • straightup
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:40PM

    @Nadir: “Brave Musle Fighters”? Yours is the most absurd comment. it’s almost sarcastic. The fact is nobody can “take” our atomic assets. They were not made for muslim fighters to just grab and sack, these are sophisticated devices with all the codes and components. So you and your brave/illitrate fighters along with 100+ recommenders of yours can forget about ever accomplishing their objectives. I personaly guarantee that.Recommend

  • Dr.A.KTewari
    Sep 6, 2012 - 6:51PM

    well said , It’s a good idea, hand over all nuclear arms to your trusted friend China for safe storage .

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  • casim
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:01PM

    TTP are not Taliban’s, Taliban are only in Afghanistan & on many occasions they have disown the so called TTP & condemned their actions against Pakistan.Secondly, we’ve heard this news many times over the years that nuclear bomb will be taken by the so called Taliban’s, I’m still waiting! lol. Indian haters, I think a nuclear bomb needs a code to initiate it plus scientists to activate it & these foreign funded terrorists have none of it :) Afghan Taliban are not even concerned with our nukes the only one concerned with our nukes are the Israelis, Americans & Indians & ……. TTP :) You guys lack the intellect & knowledge. When are you guys going to really have a proper debate instead of carrying out crude remarks & incite hatred? yeah never hide your identity …Recommend

  • Khurram The Muhajir
    Sep 6, 2012 - 7:24PM

    @Mr X from Bombay

    Nadir was being sarcastic.

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  • Butt
    Sep 6, 2012 - 8:11PM

    You all call TTP illiterates. A literate country is terrorized by illiterates?

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  • Haider
    Sep 6, 2012 - 9:03PM

    With the exception of the PPP no mainstream and Islamic political party is willing to come out openly and categorically against sectarian killings or militancy. They may condemn killings of people in principle or declare sectarian violence as un-Islamic but they do not criticize any specific organization even if it takes the responsibility for the incident. As some the known militant groups have roots in the Punjab, the right-wing Islamist political parties do not want to lose votes by taking an unambiguous position on militancy and sectarianism. If Pakistan political and societal leaders refuse to recognize the degeneration and fragmentation of Pakistani society, all of them are going to lose. The Taliban or hardline armed Islamic organizations are not going to tolerate the political parties like the PML-N, the PTI and the Jamaat-e-Islami that shy away from taking firm position against the armed Islamic group. All these right wing political parties should support PPP against the fanaticism and extremism for the secure future of Pakistan.

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  • hamza khan
    Sep 6, 2012 - 9:38PM

    @Nadir:

    kudos on the sarcasm…but the damage to the installation by TTP would serve a key purpose: that pakistan is unable to secure its weapons faciilities and thus does not deserve the nukes. i am not saying that the TTP is an american backed entity, but they certainly are receiving funds and weapons from outside pakistan. no doubt. bravo to the army and the ISI for their vigilance. hoping that nothing goes wrong.

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  • Samuel johnson
    Sep 6, 2012 - 9:47PM

    Will be surprised if Pakistan does not disintegrate by year 2020. There is a chaos in the whole country. Sooner or later, waziristan area of Pakistan will be under USA army. I think when Americans say they will leave Afghanistan they are speaking truth, but the other truth is that they would just enter into FATA area on pretext of war on terror.

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  • Zalmai
    Sep 6, 2012 - 10:04PM

    If the esteemed AQ Khan can steal nuclear secrets from Holland why can’t the so called illiterate TTP get their hands on crude bomb material? Furthermore, if the literate scientists believe in teleportation and super natural forces, these literate people can be easily manipulated into selling these devices with their codes and components to serve the higher cause. Recommend

  • Radon
    Sep 6, 2012 - 10:04PM

    USA has already ADMITTED it is backing TTP it is the one who wants our nukes but it will fail every time. TTP cannot get the nukes, they are just attacking to raise fear around the world and give USA an excuse to attack and seize the nukes themselves. Comments of Indians and other anti-Pakistan people are predictable and absurd.

    By the way, the solution to the terrorist problem is a crack down in south Punjab, NOT an operation in North Waziristan!

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  • Jinnah Jehan
    Sep 6, 2012 - 10:19PM

    @Nadir – what? Why would Taliban Terrorists attack nuclear site – because they are terrorists. They spread terror and they know that Pakistan’s bumbling government will crash if they were to take control of a nuclear site even for a short period of time. I’m ashamed of the stupidity of Pakistani argument of blaming everybody but our own for all the mess surrounding us.

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  • Sep 6, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Dear Nadir,

    These terrorists are fully focused on destabilizing the region. Their long list of crimes proves that they are willing to cross all lines for the sake of achieving their evil agenda. They attempted to attack the General Headquarters (GHQ) of Pakistan in Rawalpindi. The attack on Kamra airbase occurred just a few weeks ago. And they also succeeded in attacking the PNS Mehran base in Karachi. It should not come as a surprise that they are now planning to target a nuclear facility. We have full trust in Pakistan’s ability to counter this threat. We reiterate the statement issued by State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland: “As we’ve said all along, we have confidence that the Government of Pakistan is well aware of the range of potential threats to its nuclear arsenal and has secured [it] accordingly. We do talk about these issues and support Pakistani efforts to keep them secure, and we have for quite a long, long time. And we don’t have any reason to be concerned at this moment.”

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  • WB
    Sep 6, 2012 - 11:23PM

    @Nadir: They are not that illiterate! Stop blaming US, and stop believing in these conspiracy theories; however if a majority of this nation can believe that a car can run on water, little is expected. If the US really wanted to take over our nukes they would and no one would be able to do anything about it!

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  • soothla
    Sep 7, 2012 - 12:27AM

    @Mahakaalchakra:

    Sir,
    Are you suggesting that Pakistan’s Nuclear Assets are in fact Nuclear Liabilities ?
    If so, please explain yourself.

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  • LionOfPunjab
    Sep 7, 2012 - 2:54AM

    People never learned sarcasm…..@Nadir :)

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  • nk
    Sep 7, 2012 - 5:41AM

    Ok, Indians are saying Pakistan should give bits nukes. Hmmm that sounds unbiased. Lol
    When in US there is a threat, they release the story so those planning know that the security forces know. That is what this story is trying to do. Pakistan has its issues buy Nukes is not one of them. All those that are jealous of China and Pak friendship, this friendship is here to stay, keep dreaming of its demise. It won’t come iA

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  • Procrastinator
    Sep 7, 2012 - 2:20PM

    This makes me remember a quote pakistanis often speak about America in Afghanistan.
    “American can stay in Afghan for 1000 year but Taliban will never give up their fight”

    Time might have come when we can now say

    “Pakistanis can cordon off their nuclear sites for 1000 years but Talibanis will never quit”

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  • Omar
    Sep 7, 2012 - 5:55PM

    @Samuel johnson: :D This rant has been going on for decades starting from 1947, when Pakistan was most vulnerable, but now it is kinda amusing when we hear key board “experts” sharing their intelligent assumptions. .

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  • someone
    Sep 8, 2012 - 12:14AM

    It is just a matter of time….. and them boom boom afridi……

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  • kabeer hussain
    Sep 8, 2012 - 4:19AM

    @everyone, i cant believe there is a cross border argument rather an “international” argument over an article that says credible sources, sources added, said a high ranking military officer, According to an official, Sources in the military and Punjab Police, Well-placed sources in law enforcement agencies, etc etc. Yes, the writter has more information then the cheif of intelligence, very likely.

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  • Sep 8, 2012 - 3:39PM

    @US Centcom:
    @Procrastinator:

    They have strongest of Agenda… See how wholesomely they give their lives by using their bodies as explosive carriers, group after group, generation after generation without formal war techniques, logistics, equipment, nothing. . They can encircle you with host of problems. You can kill them all, but cannot win them. From where that dedication comes? Can any one from the commentators analyze and identify? Please ponder upon what I say next:

    Molana Fazal ur Rehman once stated that TTP’s and his party’s aims and objectives are same, except former wants to achieve those through violence,while he would like to achieve through democrfatic means.

    Imran Khan’s contemplated visit to N.Wazirastan and TTP would never yield any result, except if he makes a solid agreement with TTP for bringing in Islamc laws in the country.
    TTP’s idiology is a corruption-free, crime-free society, strict and prompt justice system, denial of activities like mixed night clubs, ‘dating’, and vulgarity in electronic and print media.

    I wish our nation should get closer to better wisdom, and avoid wasting their time, money, human lives, resources, reputation, international relations, and above all their national unity.

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