Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Head of Pak counter-terror body resigns

As predicted by this blog in March, the director of Pakistan's troubled counter-terrorism coordinating body has resigned.
Tareq Pervez, director of the National Counterterrorism Authority (Nacta), resigned yesterday, saying it was for personal reasons. However, for months there has been discussion over who should have control over the agency, which was only set up last year.
It is believed that Pervez wanted to be under the prime minister's office, instead of under Rehman Malik, the Interior Minister. His argument was that he would have greater freedom to investigate. However, it was the prime minister himself who allocated responsibility to the Interior Ministry.
The spat has delayed any serious action by the new agency which will have its hands full trying to coordinate Pakistan's various security and intelligence organisations. Some of them have in the past had very close relations with Islamist terrorists that are now on government wanted lists.
The resignation came on the day that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan mounted an attack on a military firing range in the northwestern city of Mardan in which four soldiers were wounded.
The attackers refused to stop at the entrance to the range, prompting the guards to open fire. Three of the men wore suicide jackets that detonated as they were shot at, wounding the soldiers. Four other gunmen gave covering fire during the incident, two of whom were killed.
And in Karachi in the south two Pashtun political parties opened up a feud in which more than a dozen people have died so far.

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