Sitting in the sands of Northern Darfur last month, there seemed little to suggest that the UN ban on offensive military flights over Darfur was being taken too by the Khartoum Government. Flying at high altitude above us two Antonov aircraft took it in turns to roll barrel bombs off their cargo ramps on to the sub-Saharan desert.
I suppose they were targeting the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels with whom we shared the only cover – a thorn bush in a dried wadi. A few bombs fell quite close, a few hundred metres away, sending chunks of the wilderness skyward in grey, rolling banks of smoke.… Seguir leyendo »
Wriggling under the illumination of media scrutiny after accusations of its involvement in the slaughter in Mumbai, Jamaat-ud- Dawa’s response last week was a workmanlike PR counter-move. Journalists were taken on a guided tour of the organisation’s headquarters, 30 miles from Lahore, where a civilised lunch of spiced chicken and rice accompanied declarations of innocence, condemnation of the terrorist attack and claims to be nothing more than a charity group involved in relief work.
Terrorists? Not us, guv. But in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, just three weeks before the Mumbai attacks, the advice of PR gurus was noticeably absent when I met a leading official from the group.… Seguir leyendo »
America’s President-elect was being watched a lot closer to the front lines of the US War on Terror than he may have been aware on Saturday night.
As Barack Obama’s face shone from a huge wide screen television into the officers’ mess at a Pakistani army fortress in Khar, in the tribal area of Bajaur, the room shook to heavy artillery blasting from gun positions at the gates. Barely a mile up the road Pakistani troops traded fire with Taleban raiding parties.
“I want to increase non-military aid,” Mr Obama, interviewed on CNN, announced to a handful of officers between explosions.… Seguir leyendo »