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13.02.2015
When Pakistan's opposition leader re-married in secret, it was always going to cause a stir. She was quick to comment on photos circulating of her allegedly emerging from a sex shop, which she said were fake and had been photoshopped.Many archive pictures from Reham's BBC presenting days are circulating on social media along with protracted conversations about the length of her skirt. Jemima Khan is being 'love bombed' by tweets from Pakistan and has been replying to many of them thanking people for their support. Ten years ago, Taliban fighters in their thousands abandoned power, fled their military posts and melted away into the countryside, allowing Western-led forces to capture Afghanistan without a fight.
Today, that rag-tag militia has evolved into a sophisticated guerrilla force which has recently hit several high-value targets and all but derailed American plans for a smooth and successful drawdown of troops. Significantly, they have achieved this despite the absence of a charismatic leader, a unified chain of command and a politico-economic vision.
Until three years after their government was ousted by coalition forces in October 2001, there was little Taliban activity in Afghanistan.
By 2006, however, the Taliban had infiltrated large parts of the south - especially the provinces of Zabul, Kandahar and Helmand. The lack of reconstruction, and rampant corruption among government officials at a time when millions of refugees were returning from Iran and Pakistan, led to widespread disenchantment and fuelled insurgency, he says.
But many analysts also point to the role of Pakistan, from where the Taliban had emerged in 1994, and where most of them fled in 2001. Many feel the current Afghan insurgency was born in the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan. While the rest of Afghanistan was quiet, they say, Waziristan was alive with Taliban activity that then made banner headlines around the world. In 2002, and again in 2004, there were skirmishes between the Taliban and Pakistani troops, which were followed by a series of peace deals with the army that left the Taliban virtually in control of most of Pakistan's tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. Most analysts agree - whether publicly or in private - that Pakistan's security establishment allowed the Taliban to turn Waziristan into a militant sanctuary despite having the capacity to eliminate them.
Coalition troops suffered their earliest casualties in south-eastern Afghanistan, just across the border from Waziristan. It was the fighting in the south-east, and later in the north-east - in Afghanistan's Kunar province, which is adjacent to the Pakistani tribal districts of Bajaur and Mohmand - which took up most of their attention during 2002-06.
These developments eclipsed the concentration of Taliban fighters in Pakistan's south-western province of Balochistan, who started to quietly infiltrate Zabul, Kandahar and Helmand provinces from Toba Kakar, Chaman, Quetta and Chaghai areas.
This development remained unattended both by the coalition troops in Afghanistan, who were too few in numbers to handle it, and the Pakistani military, to whom the Americans outsourced the fighting when they went to fight in Iraq. Western officials admit that until 2008-09, coalition forces in the south were unable to hold areas which were important for the Taliban - such as large parts of central Kandahar and southern Helmand where the Taliban set up bomb-making factories, arms caches and defensive positions - and at the same time protect their own lines of communication. But the insurgency has now spread wider, to areas around the capital, Kabul, and even to the formerly peaceful provinces of northern Afghanistan.
The Taliban now seem to be relying more on suicide bombings, and spectacular gun-and-bomb attacks to hit targets of great psychological value. And there is an unending supply of new - and better trained - fighters entering Afghanistan from Pakistani areas, notably Waziristan.
Credible sources tell the BBC that these fighters are mainly Pakistanis, locally called the Punjabi Taliban, who specialise in gun-and-bomb attacks and constitute a major part of the Waziristan-based Haqqani network. According to these sources, since 2009 these fighters have been travelling up to the border in Pakistani military vehicles, presumably to avoid missile strikes by CIA-operated drones. Many in the West have long held that the key to peace in Afghanistan lies with the Pakistani military. The coming months will show if that is really the case, and whether Pakistan agrees to comply with the demands of the international community. The top UN court rejects claims by Serbia and Croatia of genocide against each other during the war which saw the break-up of Yugoslavia.
Scientists are debating whether it's possible to harness the power of gravity for interstellar space travel. The four-year-old boy who has become the centre of a controversy between India and Pakistan - and between his father and mother. Why, almost 60 years after he first appeared in the Daily Mirror, is a layabout lout from north-east England still so loved around the world?
Explore the BBC News News Sport Weather Shop Earth Travel Capital iPlayer Culture Autos Future TV Radio CBBC CBeebies Food iWonder Bitesize Travel Music Earth Arts Make It Digital Taster Nature Local Terms of Use About the BBC Privacy Policy Cookies Accessibility Help Parental Guidance Contact the BBC Advertise with us Ad choices Copyright © 2016 BBC. The Bureau is today publishing a leaked official document that records details of over 300 drone strikes, including their locations and an assessment of how many people died in each incident.
The document is the fullest official record of drone strikes in Pakistan to have yet been published.
It also provides details about exactly when and where strikes took place, often including the names of homeowners.
The reports are based on information filed to the FATA Secretariat each evening by local Political Agents – senior officials in the field. Now the Bureau has obtained an updated version of the document, which lists attacks up to late September 2013.
The document contains estimates of how many people have been killed in each strike, as well as whether the dead are ‘local’ or ‘non-local’ – a broad category that includes those from elsewhere in Pakistan, as well as foreigners.
When the Bureau released the first part of the report last summer, anonymous US officials attacked the document, claiming that the report was ‘far from authoritative’ as it was based on ‘erroneous media reporting’ and ‘indirect input from a loose network of Pakistani government and tribal contacts’.
The overall casualties recorded by the document are broadly similar to those compiled by the Bureau, which uses sources including media reports, sworn affidavits and field investigations. The Pakistani government has made a series of statements on drone casualties: in March last year, officials at the Foreign Affairs ministry told UN expert Ben Emmerson, who was carrying out an investigation into drones, that at least 400 civilians – and possibly 600 – were among 2,200 drone casualties.
The document obtained by the Bureau is unusual because it gives a strike-by-strike account, allowing for comparison between the government’s view of individual incidents and that of other sources. Although the document records civilian casualties in the early years, from 2009 these almost disappear.
Among the civilian deaths that go unmentioned is one of the most high-profile attacks of the past 18 months – an October 2012 attack that killed Mamana Bibi, an elderly woman, as she was in a field.
The document records a further 294 incidents between January 1 2009 and September 2013, when the version obtained by the Bureau ends.
The Bureau’s data records a similar number of incidents over the same time period, but shows 53 incidents where at least one civilian death is reported by multiple credible sources – and many more where civilian deaths are possible. A former senior FATA Secretariat official, speaking on condition of anonymity, explained that rather than attempting to establish which of the dead were believed to be civilians, agents instead categorised the dead as ‘local’ or ‘non-local’. The ‘non-local’ category strongly suggests that an individual is an alleged militant, the former official added.


The change in recording follows an escalation in the number of strikes in the final months of Bush’s presidency, which gathered pace under Obama.
The former FATA official suggested that the document may have stopped regularly recording civilian casualties because of something as prosaic as a change of the personnel charged with compiling it.
The last drone strike in the document to use the word ‘civilian’ in describing the dead is the first of Obama’s presidency, on January 23 2009 (a strike six months later says, more ambiguously, ‘A civilian pickup was targeted’). Amnesty’s Qadri said: ‘You cannot rule out a deliberate attempt not to include information on possible civilians or non-combatants being killed.
Chris Woods, who started the Bureau’s investigation into drone strikes and who is now writing a book on armed drones, said: ‘One of my sources, a former Pakistani minister, has indicated that local officials may have come under pressure to play down drone civilian deaths following the election of Barack Obama.
And when a drone attacked a meeting of tribal elders on March 17 2011 – an attack that was condemned by the Pakistani military and civilian government – the report says ‘it is feared that all the killed were local tribesmen’. Bureau field investigations have repeatedly encountered civilian deaths in strikes where local media have used ambiguous phrases such as ‘villagers’, ‘people’ and ‘local tribesmen’. The document also barely mentions other details such as which organisation the dead are believed to have belonged to, or the names of those killed. As the Bureau has found with its Naming the Dead investigation, the vast majority of those killed in drone strikes remain unidentified – only around one in five has so far been identified by name. The document obtained by the Bureau omits several incidents where multiple credible sources report civilian casualties – even when local officials have acknowledged. For example, on October 24 2012, a drone strike in North Waziristan hit a figure in a field. But it neglects to mention what over a dozen other sources reported: the figure was a 67-year-old grandmother, Bibi Mamana, who was in the fields with her grandchildren.
In October 2012, Mamana’s family – including children who were injured in the strike – visited the US, where they met members of Congress. Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, the legal charity that took the family of Bibi Mamana, the grandmother killed in a drone strike, to the US, said: ‘It’s past time CIA drone strikes in Pakistan were brought out of the shadows and into the light. Similarly, immediately after a strike on December 26 2009, Pakistani intelligence sources told Al Jazeera that everyone killed was a civilian – a reported six civilians. And as the Bureau reported last July, for a strike on January 23 2009 – the second of Obama’s presidency – the local Political Agent sent a letter acknowledging the deaths of four civilians. World Wars Alaska West Coast Nuclear Disasters cancer North American coastline death Japanese government tsunami Nuclear Crises PHOTOS Pandemics Video Fukushima disaster Killing Life Pacific Ocean Fukushima Power Plant Fukushima Daiichi Fukushima Fears Videos United States Apocalyptic Nightmare Disaster North American Economic Crises Fukushima Fukushima Meltdown Cincinnati Technology Crises Daichi Power Plant Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant disaster Killing Life Survival Pacific Ocean off Fukushima Nuclear Radiation N.
Bugti, however, is now seen as poised to return to Pakistan after engaging in secret negotiations with senior government officials. This will mark the end of his nine-year exile following the killing of his grandfather, Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, by Pakistani security forces in 2006. The source, a senior politician within Balochistan's ruling coalition, requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the secret talks between the government and exiled Baluch nationalist leaders. He says Bugti indicated his willingness to return in a series of meeting with Balochistan's chief minister, Abdul Malik Baloch, in Switzerland this summer.
Baloch, the mild-mannered most senior elected official in Balochistan, has been pushing for negotiations with separatist Baluch leaders since assuming office following a coalition deal with other political parties in 2013. His major aim was to bring back many influential Baluch leaders who fled to various European countries after the onset of the ongoing Baluch insurrection. From his base in Zurich, he now leads the Baloch Republican Party, which claims to be engaged in a peaceful struggle for Balochistan's liberation from Pakistan. This militant faction is one among several hard-line nationalists groups active in Balochistan.
Baluch nationalists accuse Islamabad of using horrific tactics such as enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings to crush their movement. A source in Quetta, Balochistan's capital, however, warned of reading too much into the secret meetings between Bugti and Baloch. The government source says Pakistan’s powerful military establishment will also rein in Sarfraz Bugti, Balochistan's interior minister who has emerged as a main rival to the exiled Bugti leader. He claimed Bugti's return will be a major blow to the Baluch separatist faction after the reported death of Allah Nazar Baloch.
Observers say Islamabad is pushing hard to quell the Baluch nationalist rebellion to pave the way for $46 billion in Chinese investments. A pompous ceremony in Gwadar on November 11 will see a large chunk of coastal land handed over to a Chinese company for more than four decades.
Earlier in August, the separatist leader of the outlawed Baloch Republican Party (BRP) had hinted in August that he is willing to negotiate with the government over the Balochistan issue. When asked about assistance from India, Bugti said he will not deny it, as it is usual for people to ask for assistance when they are defending themselves. According to a 2012 Dawn Newspaper report, Bugti feared that the Pakistani authorities will kill him if he returns to Pakistan. Rejecting the possibility of holding any negotiations with the authorities in Pakistan, he had suggested that the only way to resolve the crisis in Balochistan was to hold an internationally-supervised referendum in the Baloch districts of the province. But it is battling it out with an outpouring of love for Imran Khan's ex-wife Jemima Khan, with Pakistanis reposting archived photos of her on their timelines.
No-one like Reham can replace you!!"She also tweeted a response to the news of the marriage acknowledging that she will always feel like an honorary Pakistani citizen and wishing Imran happiness. It tolerated them, and also helped them," says Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi, a defence analyst.
These details can be valuable to researchers attempting to verify eyewitness reports – and are often not reported elsewhere. This documented strikes, which hit the northwest tribal areas of Pakistan between 2006 and late 2009, and revealed that the Pakistani government was aware of hundreds of civilian casualties, even in strikes where it had officially denied civilians had died.
These agents gather the information from networks of informants in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the area bordering Afghanistan. But the US has consistently refused to release information on what it believes has been the result of its drone strikes. The Bureau estimates that at least 2,371 people died in the time covered by the document (excluding 2007, which is missing from the record), while it records 2,217 deaths in total. Alongside the Political Agents and their daily reports to the FATA Secretariat, the country’s intelligence agencies and military are each believed to collect details of attacks in separate reports.
In October, the Ministry of Defence issued a statement that contradicted this, asserting that drones had killed 67 civilians since 2008.
In this period the document lists 37 drone strikes, as well as four attacks carried out by NATO and Afghan forces – and it notes civilian deaths in 15 of the drone attacks. In total, the document records around 200 civilian deaths, including those where ambiguous language such as ‘local tribesmen’ is used – compared to a minimum of over 400 recorded by the Bureau.


In 2011, the file notes that 41 ‘local tribesmen’ were killed – these are included in the civilian count here.
It seems a huge coincidence that there’s this change in reporting just as Obama enters power. On August 14 2010, the document records an evening strike, noting: ‘The dead included 07 Mehsuds, 05 locals and 01 unknown’. Documents obtained by news agency McClatchy and NBC showing the CIA’s records of its drone strikes indicated that in most strikes these do not record the names of the dead either. The report notes that one person died, adding: ‘At about 1440 hours, US Drone fired two missiles at agriculture land situated in between the two houses in village Ghundi Killi Daur Tappi area Tehsil Miranshah, N.
Three of her grandchildren were also injured – yet the document records no injuries at all. The Political Agent gave the family $100 to get medical treatment, an Amnesty field investigation found.
Nine-year-old Nabila ur Rehman told Congress just a few months ago about how she watched a US drone kill her grandmother and injure her siblings. America nuclear power plant meltdown Natural Disasters California Pacific Ocean Fukushima Cesium Contamination Preparedness Radiation Levels Spike Survival Preparedness Fukushima Daiichi disaster U.S.
It may not display this or other websites correctly.You should upgrade or use an alternative browser. His possible reconciliation with Islamabad will be a major blow to the movement, which has combined militancy with political activism to seek independence for their resource-rich homeland in Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan. He [Bugti] has asked for respect and an end to all cases against him [as a pre-condition for his return]," the source said. The rebellion first erupted in 2000 after Pakistan's former military dictator Pervez Musharraf ordered a crackdown against supporters of the late Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri. Tribal volunteers and urban professionals joined forces in a militant struggle that spanned most Baluch-populated areas of the vast region that borders Iran and Afghanistan and is hemmed in by 1,000 kilometers of the Arabian Sea coast close to the Strait of Hormuz.
Incessant attacks allegedly orchestrated by the Pakistani intelligence service forced him to seek asylum in Switzerland in 2010. Thousands of civilians, soldiers, and militants have been killed during the past 15 years of unrest in Balochistan. In return, Pakistani authorities often accuse militants of playing into the hands of regional rivals India and Afghanistan and engaging in widespread sabotage by taking aim at both civilian and military targets. He commanded tremendous respect among their cadres and leaders, but his death left a vacuum and a succession struggle among his five sons.
In an interview in August, however, he gave strong indications of a possible deal with Islamabad. While requesting anonymity, he offered a different version of the negotiations in which Bugti is not sure about Baloch's power to strike a lasting deal. Are you authorized by the central government and the military leaders to engage in meaningful negotiations?’" he said of the deliberations between the two leaders. These include an end to military operations against Baluch separatists, an end to enforced disappearances, and important administrative changes in his hometown, Dera Bugti. But he did say Bugti is likely to receive millions of dollars in royalties for gas extracted in the Dera Bugti district. As an appeasement strategy, Islamabad has offered royalties to tribal leaders and menial jobs to tribespeople. In September, senior Balochistan officials said the physician-turned-separatist icon died in a military operation this summer.
He [Bugti] has asked for respect and an end to all cases against him [as a pre-condition for his return]," the source was further quoted. He had then fled to Afghanistan where he stayed for a number of years before seeking asylum in Switzerland in 2011.
He however declared the recent development projects in Balochistan irrelevant, claiming that democratic government is not present in the province and the Baloch people were not included in the decision. The new insurgency has its roots in middle class youths and that will not effect his coming to Pakistan or not. Each generation of Baluchi sardars start a militancy so they can get some money from the Government. He was speaking to reporters at Heathrow Airport before flying home to Pakistan to "share the good news" with the nation. But interestingly, the document stops recording civilian casualties after 2008, even omitting details of well-documented civilian deaths and those that have been acknowledged by the government. And during a recent trip to Pakistan the Bureau obtained a list of individuals killed in a single strike from a local politician. It later retracted the statement, with unnamed senior defence officials telling The News International that the figures were ‘wrong and fabricated’.
These include at least two incidents where the tribal administration is known to have admitted to the families that it knew civilians had died. The document records 353 deaths in this time, of whom at least 138 are specifically described as civilians.
Just two use the word ‘civilian’ – the others typically refer to women and children as being among the dead. And in the attack’s immediate aftermath, military officials told reporters that a woman had been killed – although they said two others were also killed. Several hundred thousand Baluch civilians and migrants from Pakistan's eastern Punjab Province have been displaced by the conflict. This year, several separatist factions engaged in armed clashes in Balochistan, and their leaders bickered incessantly on social media platforms. Nearly 200,000 Bugtis left their homeland after the 2006 killing of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.
A low profile, generally quite politician worked really hard behind the scene to bring peace in the province.
A field investigation by Associated Press later found that seven civilians – including a child – were among 14 to die in an attack on a house during Ramadan prayers.
And as the Pakistan document shows, even to the local government it is often a mystery who is dying in the CIA’s drone strikes.
Sources in the region now say at least 50,000 have returned to Dera Bugti to reclaim their jobs with the government-run gas company.



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