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 -
24/03/2002: 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. 27/04/02: 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. 01/05/02: U.S. army wary of Afghan troops after threatening gesture of the Karzai government. 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 -
02/05/2002: Forces of the Alliance engaged in new confrontations with Al-Qaeda and Taliban. 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. 05/05/2002 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
29/05/2002: 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. 06/06/2002: - 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. 24-25/09/2002: 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). 22/11/2002: Already 23 persons killed in another earthquake in the Kashmir area. 24/11/2002: 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 civilian casualties. 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 ?
09/06/2002: 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). 23/06/2002: 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.] 02/07/2002: 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. 07/07/2002: 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). 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 - 20/11/2002: 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. 21/11/2002: 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). 26/11/2002: 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. 22/12/2002: 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. 29/01/2003: 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 some time. 01/02/2003: 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. 09/03/2003 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- ing. ... 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 days.
Pakistan: An explosive situation
14-15/06/2002: 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). 05/09/2002: 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
( Azeriterrorism.htm)

Disclaimer: 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. Wolfgang Wiesner

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