Pakistan Arrests Teen for Bhutto Assasination

Pakistan authorities have arrested a fifteen year old teen in Dera Ishmael Khan for the assasination of former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. This could be a Lal Masjid follower from the age. Story from the Daily Times:

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Security officials in the NWFP said on Saturday they had arrested a teenager allegedly involved in last month’s assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, reported AP.

Aitezaz Shah, 15, told investigators that he had been part of a five-man squad deployed that day in Rawalpindi, a senior intelligence official, asking not to be named, said.

Aitezaz was arrested on Thursday in Dera Ismail Khan with another militant identified as Sher Zaman, according to the officials.

The two terrorists have confessed their involvement in the plot to kill Benazir, ARY television quoted Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah as saying.

In political news PML-N is hinting they would like talks with President Musharraf, a sign that they potentially are not as strong as they would appear to be going into elections. Right now Musharraf is relatively on the outs with the Pakistani people, but rhetoric aside the politicians in his PML-Q party and the heft they bring in parliament are still needed for any coalition. Whether that is formed with PML-N or PPP will be the question.

Story Here

In the Waziristan war the government forces have captured 50 Taliban near Wana, a sign that they are pressing harder than they stated yesterday when they said there would be “no offensive”.  Story Here

In the Swat Campaign the troops continue to advance, and they are carrying on with policy of burning the houses of the leaders who broke the Jirga accords. Story here.

MINGORA: Security forces have taken control of the Namal, Shor and Sardan Top areas in Matta tehsil of the troubled Swat district in an ongoing operation against extremists on Saturday.

Militants have vacated the areas of Manja, Totanoo Bandai, Shah Dheri in Kabal tehsil and Puchar, Namal, Sardan Top and Shor in Matta tehsil, which were strongholds of Fazlullah, sources added. They said militants’ bunkers in these areas were empty, and they took their weapons with them as they moved to unknown locations.

The troops imposed a curfew during their forward march in the areas from 7pm on Friday night and no one was allowed to come out of their houses.

The security forces, during the operation, destroyed the houses of local militant commanders Sayed Karim, Lajbar Khan, Sahib and Bin Yamin, a close aide of rebel cleric Maulana Fazlullah.

Trade Schools for Iraq


Now that the roadblocks of De-Baathification imposed by Paul Bremer have been removed by the Iraqi government, they need to take things a step further and foster private business and small industry to jump-start their non-govermental economy
This takes skilled workers, and to get there Iraq needs a glut of two-year trade schools. The largely unemployed youths who could quickly turn to insurgency need something to do with their idle hands, and right now there is a ton of infrastructure to rebuild, and a future to create for their country.

To get there Iraq needs to open quite a few trade schools – electrical, carpentry, plumbing, masonry, tile, computer, communications, well you get the idea. Iraq is not cash-short at the moment and won’t be for the forseeable future with oil prices high, so the window of opportunity to do this in is right now. Trade schools make sense because there is a generation whose education was interupted by the war – 100% of them can’t go to college, so the fast-track to gainful employ for them will be shorter trade-schools.

Iraq needs to invest in their youth, and unions from around the world need to assist in those efforts by sending skilled workers to train the future workers of Iraq. There’s a parable about teaching fishing that applies here.