Petraeus calls for 'additional pressure' on Taliban from Pakistan forces



MANAMA // US General David Petraeus says that Pakistan needs to put pressure on the leadership of Afghan Taliban operating inside its borders if long-term progress is to be made in Afghanistan. "(To make) the really significant progress in Afghanistan that will be necessary over time ... it would be very helpful if additional pressure could be put (by Pakistan) on the leadership of the elements that are causing problems in Afghanistan," the head of the US Central Command told reporters on the sidelines of the sixth Manama Dialogue security conference.

President Barack Obama's administration has pressed Islamabad to act against Taliban and al Qa'eda sanctuaries inside its borders, saying that success in Afghanistan depended on disrupting cross-border safe havens. When asked about Mr Petraeus' comment, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, also in Bahrain for the security summit, said: "We have put in a lot of pressure. And we intend to continue to do that.

"Just look at the operation in South Waziristan," he said. "Something like 600 Taliban people and miscreants were eliminated in this push." Mr Petraeus praised Pakistani operations including that in South Waziristan, but said they mainly focused on Pakistani, not Afghan, Taliban groups. Mr Qureshi responded: "For us, a terrorist is a terrorist, whether he operates on this side of the border or that side of the border."

The Centcom chief said Pakistan's forces have been "quite impressive" against primarily Pakistani Taliban forces, fuelled by the realisation that extremist groups inside the country pose a significant threat. "There was a recognition by all the Pakistani leaders ... that the main threat to the very writ of Pakistani governance was the internal extremist threat," Mr Petraeus said. "That recognition is of considerable importance because it was that that has supported the Pakistani military and Frontier Corps in conducting some quite impressive operations" against extremists, primarily the Pakistani Taliban.

Mr Petraeus also said he thinks there is potential to form alliances with local forces in Afghanistan along the lines of the Sahwa or Awakening groups - called the Sons of Iraq by the US military - in Iraq. "Is there potential for this? We think so," he said. "There are actually some initiatives that have been launched in that regard, they're under the heading of CDI (Community Defence Initiative).

"It essentially involves small Special Forces teams that have members who know the language, culture and area, and basically live in the village with the people and seek to involve them and empower them in the maintenance of their own security." Mr Petraeus also sounded a note of caution. "This is not quite the same as the Sons of Iraq. This is more of a village by village and valley by valley" approach, rather than along wider tribal lines as was the case in Iraq.

* AFP

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

The Genius of Their Age

Author: S Frederick Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 290
Available: January 24

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder and 3.6-litre 6-cylinder

Power: 220 and 280 horsepower

Torque: 350 and 360Nm

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Price: from Dh136,521 + VAT and Dh166,464 + VAT 

On sale: now

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying or online bullying could take many forms such as sending unkind or rude messages to someone, socially isolating people from groups, sharing embarrassing pictures of them, or spreading rumors about them.

Cyberbullying can take place on various platforms such as messages, on social media, on group chats, or games.

Parents should watch out for behavioural changes in their children.

When children are being bullied they they may be feel embarrassed and isolated, so parents should watch out for signs of signs of depression and anxiety

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

GCC-UK Growth

An FTA with the GCC would be very significant for the UK. My Department has forecast that it could generate an additional £1.6 billion a year for our economy.
With consumer demand across the GCC predicted to increase to £800 billion by 2035 this deal could act as a launchpad from which our firms can boost their market share.

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

AWARDS

Best Male black belt: Lucas Protasio (BRA)
Best female black belt: Julia Alves (BRA)
Best Masters black belt: Igor Silva (BRA)
Best Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation: Kazakhstan
Best Academy in UAE: Commando Group, Abu Dhabi
Best International Academy: Commando Group, Abu Dhabi
African Player of the Year: Katiuscia Yasmira Dias (GNB)
Oceanian Player of the Year: Anton Minenko (AUS)
European Player of the Year: Rose El Sharouni (NED)
North and Central American Player of the Year: Alexa Yanes (USA)
Asian Player of the Year: Zayed Al Katheeri (UAE)
Rookie of the Year: Rui Neto (BRA)Rui Neto (BRA)


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos