Aug 25 2008

Taliban Beg For Ceasefire, Pakistan Refuses And Bans Taliban

Published by at 10:27 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT,Pakistan

The Taliban have been taking a beating in the tribal areas of Pakistan. The prime offensives have been in the Swat Valley region of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Bajaur Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Here is some news from the Swat region describing the pounding the militant Taliban fighters are getting:

Pakistani troops and helicopter gunships targeted Islamist militant hideouts in the Swat Valley on Sunday, the military said, after fierce fighting killed 50 militants and 10 soldiers in the past 24 hours.

The clashes in mountainous Swat in Pakistan’s northwest erupted after militants attacked a security patrol and a suicide car bomber killed eight policemen elsewhere in the valley.

“Fighting is still going on. We hit and destroyed over 40 militants’ bunkers and a training camp,” said Major Nasir Ali, military spokesman in the region.

The pounding in Bajaur has been so relentless that the Taliban actually attempted a unilateral cease-fire to stop Pakistan from finishing the job of routing them:

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced a ceasefire in Bajaur Agency on Sunday “after a request from tribal elders” and said they would initiate dialogue with the government.

“We have directed our militants to stop attacks against the government and security forces in Bajaur from today,” Maulvi Omar, spokesman for the TTP, told AFP.

“The jirga (elders’ council) insisted that Taliban should stop fighting in the interest of the people of Bajaur.” The jirga has “assured” the Taliban that troops will also suspend shelling and bombing raids in the area, he said.

“We are ready for talks with the government and the truce is an important development towards dialogue,” Omar said.

A lot of people watching the situation in Pakistan have been fearing that the Pak government would lose its resolve and attempt a fig-leaf negotiated ‘peace’ wherein the Taliban and their al-Qaeda guests would be allowed to plot and launch attacks from the tribal areas of Pakistan.

This cease fire request is just the kind of thing that would provide the opportunity to start fitting the fig-leaf, but the good news is the Pak government is not falling for the bait. In fact, they just made the Taliban illegal in Pakistan:

The Taliban have been banned in Pakistan after being blamed for the killing of nearly 1,200 Pakistani citizens in the past year.

The ban includes an official order to freeze all bank accounts and assets of the militants and their organisations, state television reported.

“They themselves have claimed responsibility for several suicide attacks and the government cannot engage in a dialogue with such people,” interior ministry chief Rehman Malik said.

He added that the militants were “creating mayhem” in Pakistan.

More here from AFP.  This is excellent news. No dialogue, no negotiated peace. Simple and forceful eradication of the pestilence that is Islamo Fascism. Not surprisingly the militants are not happy that the ceasefire was not effected in Bajaur – but it was only limited to Bajaur Agency. A serious attack was launched on a member of Parliament in Swat:

At least 10 people were killed on Monday as pro-Taliban militants attacked the family residence of a member of parliament in North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP), officials said.
Around 150 to 200 heavily armed insurgents surrounded the house of Waqar Ahmad Khan in the Kabal area of the restive Swat valley and killed his brother Iqbal Khan, two nephews and seven bodyguards, police said.

‘They used rockets and bombs in the attacks,’ Swat police chief Tanveerul Hassan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

The insurgents took the women and children out and demolished the house with explosives. Waqar was not in the house when the attack took place.

A spokesman for radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah, who is leading an armed struggle for the enforcement of Taliban rule in Swat, accepted responsibility for the killings.

This pretty much rips the facade off the Taliban’s efforts to hide the fact they are on the march trying to rule regions of Pakistan with the same jackboot thuggery seen in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I have little doubt the result will be the same. The Muslim Street is rising up in opposition to this cancer, and it will do so here as well. The fact it has become illegal is a huge step forward.

Update: There is some confusion in my mind as to whether the Taliban have been banned or Baitullah Mehsud’s TTP group.  I would much prefer the former, the latter will do.

One response so far

One Response to “Taliban Beg For Ceasefire, Pakistan Refuses And Bans Taliban”

  1. joe six-pack says:

    This is good news. Hope they keep it up. However, it might be some time before we see some positive side effects in Afghanistan.