Arabic Headlines, Reports and Comments:
Afghanistan after the Taliban
Kashmir and Central Asia
Pakistan lacking stability
The following "diary of war" is based on headlines and articles from AL-JAZEERA,
renowned TV station and newspaper, published in the emirate of Qatar. Such news,
deemed to be reliable, serve as a guideline. Other Arabic and western sources
have been cited either for confirmation or to gain additional information. All
Arabic text has been translated and compiled by Wolfgang Wiesner, founder and
publisher of BLUEPRINT magazine. Disclaimer further down !
Afghanistan after the Taliban
- U.S. Operation Anaconda -
U.S. fighters A-10 to strengthen assault in eastern Afghanistan.
The U.S. defense department decided to strengthen its assault against
pockets of resistance of Al-Qaeda and Taliban in eastern Afghanistan,
using [once again] their brandnew A-10 fighters. Such fighters had
already been deployed during the Gulf War in 1991.
Fire continues during oppressive operations destined to comb the area.
Operations already lasting for a certain time. British special forces
planned to join the rangs of U.S. troops.
Detonations near Kabul airport. Four persons killed in the frame of
fierce fightings in eastern Afghanistan.
U.S. secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld announces dispatch of further
12.000 U.S. and allied troops.
U.S. army wary of Afghan troops after threatening gesture of the Karzai
According to the Arabic paper AL-HYAT (08/05/2002), President Karzai
has repeated his invitation for the Iranian President to visit Kabul.
- U.S. Operation Mountain Lion -
Forces of the Alliance engaged in new confrontations with Al-Qaeda and
Operation "of heavy beatings" in eastern Afghanistan.
A speaker, responsible for the British forces, announced the beginning
of joint operations, including U.S. and British troops. Another fierce
chase should damage the control of Al-Qaeda and Taliban activity in the
mountainous region of southeastern Afghanistan.
Alliance anchoring their operation "mountain lion".
Afghan general Dostum decided to release 400 imprisoned Pakistanis [who
had entered Afghanistan in support for Al-Qaeda]. Message confirmed by
the Arabic paper ASHARQ-AL-AWSAT (06/05/2002).
"After the release of about 500 prisoners last week, Dostum announced
the immediate transfer of remaining prisoners, including infantrymen
from Taliban and Al-Qaeda, from their camp at 120 km west of the town
Mazar-e-Sharif right to the Pakistani border lines."
WASHINGTON POST (04/05/2002) reporting on undercover activity of allied
special forces in the tribal areas along the border between Afghanistan
and Pakistan: "For U.S. Forces, a Secret and Futile Hunt".
During his visit to Kabul, German chancellor Schröder demanded immediate
help from all allied states for the impoverished people of Afghanistan.
GERMAN NATIONAL TV (08/05/2002). Germany is already engaged in humani-
tarian projects in the Kabul area.
RENMIN RIBAO / PEOPLE'S DAILY (13/05/2002) distributes a semiofficial
opinion of the Peking leadership on U.S. activity in Afghanistan. =>
Oil and Gas - The true objective of an U.S. war against terrorism
Struggle for Kashmir
Alarming report on U.S. strategy of chasing the organized remains of
Al-Qaeda and Taliban. U.S. sources are cited expecting new problems,
caused by such groups that are driven into the problematic province
of Kashmir, now once again disputed between India and Pakistan. As to
the quality of terroristic attacks, there seems to be a coordination
between members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, their activity aiming at
a reduction of pressure for their brothers in other areas.
An U.S. journalist is referring to U.S. security, decided to restrain
the proliferation of such kind of information.
The gist of that message has been confirmed on the same day by U.S.A.
TODAY, a publication ranking among the most widely read U.S. dailies.
According to RADIO KUWAIT (English service, 11990 kHz, 30/05/2002),
government delegations from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan
gathered in Islamabad for talks on a pipeline, transporting natural
gas from Turkmenistan to the Indian ocean.
ALL INDIA RADIO (overseas service, 11620 kHz, 01/06/2002) reports
on heavy fighting in southern Afghanistan near the Iranian border.
At the same time, clashes between Indian and Pakistani troops in
Kashmir leave innocent civilians killed or wounded.
On a conference against terrorism in Kazakhstan, India has accused
Pakistan and the U.S. for not impeding terrorists from Taliban and
Al-Qaeda to enter into Kashmir. India is estimating 3.000 Muslimic
terrorists are gathering near the border line (06/06/2002).
Western sources reported that U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell
has offered India some electronic device to detect more easily any
intruders from Al-Qaeda at their borders.
- India deploying their troops in Kashmir.
- Pakistani president Muscharaff is soothing Washington
by confirming that it will not be him to start a war.
In the frame of a visit by U.S. special envoy Armitage to Pakistan
and India, there are reports on further mutual shelling in Kashmir.
A Pakistani woman and two girls have been killed at the demarcation
line between both countries. Pakistani officials and eye witnesses
state that five civilians have been wounded when under intense fire
from Indian troops, directed at villages near the town of Sijalakut
(Skardu ?) in the Pakistani province of Punjab.
According to some western media (08/06/2002), the remainings of a
pilotless Indian spy plane have been detected in Pakistan and are
now causing much diplomatic activity. [It might be similar to that
U.S. spy plane, the Iraqi army brought under control and landed on
their territory last week (Al-Jazeera, 28/05/2002) and which caused
no diplomatic activity at all.]
pilotless spy plane
developed in India
map of the region =>
Though India called back its navy and official notes became more
moderate, the tense situation in Kashmir is not changing at all.
ARAB NEWS (17/06/2002), a Saudi Arabian daily, reported a sudden
escalation of violence in Kashmir. Twenty-one, mostly civilians
and Kashmiri fighters, were killed in different incidents. Only
one day before, Chief Minister of Indian Kashmir Farooq Abdullah
had a narrow escape when separatist militants fired two rocket-
propelled grenades near a place where he was attending a function,
Indian police announced.
ARAB NEWS, Saudi Arabia, citing Indian sources (29/06/2002):
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee yesterday pledged free elections in
insurgency-wracked Kashmir. Vajpayee is hoping the election due by
Oct. 14 will be incident-free. Separatists have already called for
a boycott of the polls, alleging that past votes that have brought
to power Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference party
were rigged. Kashmir activists, meanwhile, have vowed to "sabotage"
the polls and warned voters not to show up on election day.
Armed confrontations in [the Indian part of] Kashmir troubling the
political climate in preelection times: One policeman killed and
others severely wounded. Attack on [Hindu] temple in Kujirat left
aggressors dead (AL-JAZEERA).
Already 23 persons killed in another earthquake in the Kashmir area.
Armed aggressors take hostages in a [Hindu] temple: 32 persons either
killed or wounded (AL-JAZEERA).
The INDIAN ARMY maintains a website named The Truth about Kashmir
on which they state their own position and present a statistic of
The danger of an immediate outbreak of nuclear war between India
and Pakistan being banned, there are still many signs indicating
a long-standing armed conflict between both countries. Therefore,
all relevant information on the proceedings of both rivals is now
being collected. BLUEPRINT will soon present further details.
Afghanistan: A new beginning ?
A general assembly of tribal leaders from all over the country is
gathering in Kabul from 10-16 June to discuss the outline of Afghan
politics. A victory of the party in favour of president Karzai is
being expected. [A photo of Karzai can be found in the left column.]
Later reports from western sources celebrate Karzai, who up to now
presided but an interim government, as the newly elected president
of Afghanistan. German troops, deployed to secure the Kabul area,
are to remain in Afghanistan for a further period of time, as has
been decided by German parliament (GERMAN NATIONAL TV).
The speaker of Al-Qaeda, Suleiman Abu Reith, announces Bin Laden
and Mullah Omar being in good health. [Mullah Omar has once been
the leader of the orthodox Taliban government in Afghanistan, now
overthrown by continued U.S. bombing of their presumed hide-out.]
As to Abu Reith, both leaders should have managed to escape from
Afghanistan without being wounded. [If that message turns out to
be true it would make the costly U.S. operation a futile hunt for
a phantom in an impoverished country.]
ASHARQ-AL-AWSAT and AL-JAZEERA reporting about 120-150 civilians
killed or wounded in an erroneous U.S. bombardment of a wedding
company in southern Afghanistan.
Funeral of vice president Al-Qadir
who has recently been murdered in
Kabul city by unknown terrorists.
In the aftermath of the Qadir killing,
U.S. special forces will move into the
presidential palace to replace Afghan
bodyguards of president Karzai, whose
security men will be sent to an U.S.
training camp for some weeks, wrote
INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE (23/07).
Demonstrations in Jalalabad, to press
Karzai to replace Qadir with a member
of his family, prove the fragility of
a "status quo" peace in Afghanistan.
Information on security problems for
the Karzai government has been added
by ARAB NEWS (03/08) some weeks later:
"During the past six months, at least
a dozen senior officials have been
murdered, including a vice President,
a Cabinet minister, and a provincial
governor. Former King Muhammad Zaher
Shah and Defense Minister Muhammad
Qassim Fahim have escaped two separate
assassination attempts. In every case, Here is a joke from Kabul:
Karzai’s entourage, using leaks to the Hamid Karzai signs a document and hands it
American media, have alleged that the over to a man sitting across him: “Here is
killings were organized by unspecified the edict for your appointment to a senior
factions within the coalition. So mis- position in my government. Now its your turn
trustful of his allies has Karzai been to sign a document.” The new appointee asks:
that he replaced his Afghan bodyguards “What is the document that I should sign?”
with 72 American Marines in July." Karzai: “Your last will and testament.”
Another assassination attempt, directed
against president Karzai who then visit-
ed Kandahar, has been reported by Western
media (GERMAN NATIONAL TV, 05/09/2002).
12 persons were killed and about 20 wounded when a car bomb exploded
in the center of Kabul. A police official said the incident could be
staged either by Al-Qaeda or Taliban groups. Nevertheless, it cannot
be excluded that this bombing was organized by the Islamic party and
their leader Hekmatyar (AL-JAZEERA).
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose Islamic party is active even in Azerbaijan
[=> refer to the map of Central Asia further down], has much in common
with his brother in faith Oussama Ben Laden [=> refer to "The Story of
Al-Qaeda"]. At the time he became notorious for his resistance against
Soviet occupation, the U.S. counted him among the "good guys".
Another remarkable personality among a multitude of Afghan leaders
is the emir Ismail Khan who resides in the town of Herat. "Kabul
calls him governor of the province. The world calls him a warlord,
but takes care to do so out of hearing." A feature on Ismail Khan,
recently published by the Saudi-Arabian ARAB NEWS, could lead you
to a better understanding of what is happening inside Afghanistan.
- Wolfgang Wiesner, 6 September 2002 -
A recent recording of Oussama Bin Laden seems to prove that he is
still living in the central Asian region. His flight from Tora Bora
into Pakistan on December 9 last year could be reconstructed, and
there is evidence that he is still surrounded by many sympathizers.
One of them seems to be a high ranking tribal leader, supposingly
a rare exception of his kind as he is immune against U.S. bribes.
His name was not revealed by the author of the cited article that
appeared in THE WASHINGTON TIMES. Here the full incredible story.
Some weeks later, on 15 December 2002, the Chinese daily XING DAO
cited a Thai paper that had tracked former Taliban leader Mullah
Omar. Omar was reported to oppose U.S. plans for the invasion of
Iraq on a website published in Arabic. Most recent information on
Bin Laden and Mullah Omar can be found in A story of Al-Qaeda.
The Pentagon estimates that "75 to 90 per cent" of Afghanistan is
"sufficiently free of terrorist activity" to permit more intensive
rebuilding of roads, schools, hospitals and other facilities. The
exceptions are areas in the south-east along the border with Pakis-
tan and in the south near Kandahar (WASHINGTON POST / N.Y. TIMES).
Only four months after German defence minister Struck's visit to
Afghanistan, vice-chancellor and foreign minister Fischer arrives
in Kabul for talks with president Karzai and foreign minister Ab-
dullah. These talks are intended to prepare another conference on
Afghanistan, to be held in the former German capital of Bonn and
usually referred to as the "Petersberg Conference".
Fischer's visit is troubled by artillery / missile fire that has
already forced German troops to look for shelter (GERMAN NAT. TV).
In the past, similar incidents had been reported by other sources.
It remains unclear who is in charge of that fire, seemingly not
directed at any special target or following an actual purpose.
In the frame of the Petersberg Conference on Afghanistan that had
concentrated on the creation of a new constitution with the help of
German experts, President Karzai declared: "The state of internal
security in my country has developed to the better. The proof: I am
still alive !" Karzai confirmed his wish that Germany should keep on
supporting his country on a high level. Even though Germany is ex-
pected to take over the leadership of the international peacekeeping
forces next year, foreign minister Fischer had to reply that a long-
standing military presence of German troops in Kabul was more than
Germany could shoulder.
An accident on December 20, which caused seven German soldiers to
die in their helicopter, has shocked public opinion in Germany. Once
again it has become clear to everybody that Afghanistan is anything
else but a holiday resort for German volunteers. GERMAN NATIONAL TV
additionally reported on rumors of Al-Qaeda and Taliban warriors re-
cently infiltrating the border regions of Afghanistan.
Here are excerpts from a report published by ARAB NEWS, Saudi Arabia:
U.S. and coalition forces were battling about 80 rebels aligned with
renegade leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar yesterday in the largest-scale
fighting in Afghanistan in 10 months, the US military said. ... "It’s
the largest concentration of enemy forces since Operation Anaconda,"
U.S. military spokesman Roger King said from Bagram Air Base, refer-
ring to a fierce eight-day battle last March against Taliban and Al-
Qaeda holdouts in southeastern Afghanistan. ... King said up to 350
troops were involved in the fighting on the American side, including
troops from the 82nd Airborne division, US Special Forces and allied
Afghan militia troops. ... Fighters received aerial support from
American B-1 bombers, which dropped 19 2,000-pound (900-kilogram)
bombs on enemy positions, including deep caves, King said. F-16
fighters flown by "unidentified European allies" had dropped a pair
of 500-pound (225-kg) bombs, while AC-130 gunships and Apache AH-64
helicopter gunships were also pounding the enemy with rocket and
cannon fire, King said. ... The fighting — about 25 km (15 miles)
north of Spinboldak and near the border with Pakistan — was trigger-
ed by a small shootout pitting armed attackers against US Special
Forces and their Afghan government allies who were working to clear
a mud-walled compound. ... King said the latest battle might last
GERMAN NATIONAL TV announced that German troops recently came under
enemy fire on two different occasions: On a peacekeeping patrol they
carried out together with U.S. troops and during a missile attack in
the neighbourhood of their headquarters in Kabul.
Citations from THE SUNDAY TIMES, London:
"US fights to stop Bin Laden plot to paralyse Afghanistan"
American forces are racing to foil a plot by Oussama Bin Laden to
destabilise Afghanistan with an operation planned to coincide with
a US attack on Iraq.
The interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al-Qaeda operations
chief who was captured a week ago, confirmed American and Afghan in-
telligence that Bin Laden has teamed up with one of Afghanistan's
most notorious warlords, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
FBI agents and special forces are currently scouring the villages of
South Waziristan, a remote region between Pakistan and Afghanistan,
where the two fugitives are believed to have been planning the attack.
They have also moved to block the port of Gwadr on Pakistan's Arabian
coast and seal off the Iranian border to prevent the terrorists escap-
The new lead in locating Bin Laden has come from material seized during
the arrest of Khalid in Rawalpindi and in his subsequent questioning in
the US detention centre in Bagram airbase just outside Kabul to which he
was transferred on Tuesday. ...
Details of what the pair [i.e. Bin Laden and Hekmatyar] were planning
to do have not yet emerged but mobile camps set up in tribal areas were
apparently being used in training for suicide attacks. At the border
town of Chaman last week locals said that hundreds of motorcycles had
been smuggled in to camps run by the Taliban and Hekmatyar in recent
Pakistan: An explosive situation
At least 10 persons were killed, another (50) were injured when a car,
stuffed with explosives, detonated in front of the U.S. consulate in
Karachi (Pakistan), causing much damage to the building. That incident
happened only some hours after the end of a visit to Islamabad by U.S.
secretary of state Donald Rumsfeld. A group of Muslimic extremists who
call themselves "AL-KANUN" and managed to remain unknown to the public
so far, confessed the deed in a bulletin distributed to the media. They
stated their intention to engage in further attacks.
First investigations couldn't solve the question whether the consulate
bombing is just another suicide attack or caused by the ignition of a
remote control bomb (ARAB NEWS, 17/06/2002).
Pakistani president Musharaff admits that Al-Qaeda warriors are still
infiltrating Pakistan (AL-JAZEERA).
As the Arabic words AL-KANUN and AL-QAEDA have a similar meaning (for
instance both can be translated as "the law"), there is evidence that
both groups are "mentally" linked without being necessarily connected
in a more practical sense. Even though the consulate bombing is the
most severe incident of that kind up to now, there are similar events
that give us the impression of Pakistan being an unstable country :
Only to think of the assault on French technicians earlier that year
and of riots in favour of Oussama Bin Laden and his group of Al-Qaeda.
When an "U.S. correspondent" investigated on the background of another
terrorist who had tried to blow a plane with explosives hidden in his
shoes, the investigator finally disappeared. For days after his loss
Pakistani police desperately searched the cemeteries of Karachi for
his remains. In the end, the U.S. got him back dead (AL-JAZEERA,02/02).
His killers could be detected and sentenced before a Pakistani court
in July 2002. Surprise: One of them was a police officer. That fact,
hidden from the official report, was published by the Saudi-Arabian
magazine ARAB NEWS (17/07/2002). Their article revealed a surprising
connection between AL-QAEDA and parts of Pakistan's security forces,
involved in anti-American activities and decided to murder President
Musharaff. Even Musharaff could not ignore his country's lack of sta-
bility: As the WASHINGTON POST (11/11/2001) reported, he had already
ordered an emergency redeployment of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal to at
least six secret new locations and had reorganized military oversight
of the nuclear forces in the weeks since Pakistan joined a fresh U.S.
campaign against terrorism.
The political stage doesn't look any better. Mrs. Benazir Bhutto, once
elected prime minister of Pakistan and now charged for corruption [the
Arabic word including the meaning of "indecency"], has been sentenced
in her absence to three years of forced labour and a confiscation of
her personal belongings (AL-JAZEERA, 10/07/02). Mrs. Bhutto had been
under attack since the military junta of general Musharaff took over.
Under Musharaff, owing his survival essentially to U.S. support, that
country is close to a civil war and at the brink of a nuclear conflict
with India, yet depending on a rotten national economy. Thus, Pakistan
urgently needs a pipeline from Central Asia, as planned by the Bush
administration, that could divert the flow of oil and natural gas to
Karachi. When the World Bank recently conferred a credit to Pakistan
for the development of Karachi port facilities, they might have had in
mind just that very project.
- Wolfgang Wiesner, 21 July 2002 -
A summary of latest events from BBC London (15/10/01) gives an idea
of how Pakistan's lack of stability is fuelling the Kashmir conflict.
No, its definitely not the latest news ! In fact its a nine month old
information, but it pefectly describes the situation of the very day
when I casually found that page on the web (15/07/02).
Azerbaijan: Terroristic activity of
Muslim groups in the Caspian region
BLUEPRINT magazine is trying to establish an independent source of information,
based on different and rare publications from the Arabic world, China and other
regions of the world. Being aware of local circumstances that are effecting the
reliability of my sources, I cannot offer any guarantee regarding the truth of
each information cited. Nevertheless, I stand for my translation of all Arabic,
Chinese, French and Spanish articles with regard to the gist of their message.