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Only Tribesmen Responsible For Terrorism?

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Reports received from various parts of the tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border speak of great fear and terror, as the army troops have launched a an operation against terrorists. As happened in the past only vulnerable class of society women and children is being killed and maimed, but the terrorists have still been enjoying the immunity. There is still confusion in the forces whether the terrorists or Taliban are heroes or otherwise.

Though Pakistan is the frontline state in the war on terror, but some its leaders have still poising the mind of innocent people. It is interesting to note that they have been creating hatredness against the United State. These same leaders have been receiving dollars from the US administration. Most of the tribal leaders think that this is double standard. The rulers double standard is the main reason of killing and destruction in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

According to a report carried out by most of the newspapers in Pakistan, several thousand villagers fled North Waziristan , where an army offensive was expected any day following pressure on Pakistan from the United States to act against Al Qaeda cells.

Since President George W Bush spoke on Saturday of being “troubled” by Al Qaeda re-gathering its strength in Pakistan’s tribal lands, some kind of counter-terrorism operation has appeared highly probable in North Waziristan.

“We have no choice but to pray to Allah for the safety of our lives,” said Akbar Khan, a labourer in Miranshah, worrying that his family risked being caught in the crossfire by staying.

Bush said President Pervez Musharraf realised action was needed, and the army has deployed more troops to the region where a week earlier militant tribesmen, supporting the Taliban and harbouring Al Qaeda, scrapped a 10-month-old peace deal with the government.

The army said it has killed at least 54 militants in clashes since Saturday, largely in retaliatory actions, but the increased deployments added to a tense atmosphere.

Thousands of villagers streamed out of Macha Mandakhel village, 40 km west of Miranshah, after the army warned it would be cracking down in the wake of an attack on a convoy which killed 12 soldiers last week.

Movements of military and paramilitary convoys in and around Miranshah and Mir Ali towns had become more regular, while checkposts had been reinforced. Soldiers, fearful of suicide attacks, have opened fire on cars approaching their checkposts too fast.

The main road connecting the tribal region with the rest of Pakistan was blocked by security forces after militants fired rockets on Esha checkpost near Miranshah.

“We’re so scared. This time, the situation is worse than last year. In the past, we used to go with our family and children to Bannu city but now, it is not safe there either,” said Noor Ahmed Khan, a shopkeeper in Miranshah’s main bazaar.

In the towns, militants who had roamed around the main bazaars in four-wheel-drive vehicles with tinted glass windows were spotted less often.

Ejaz Haider, a writer and editor explained the causes of terrorism in Pakistan in a better way. According to him, it is all too tempting to be tactically brilliant while losing the larger strategic focus. What needs to be discussed — and at multiple levels — is the cost of keeping certain intelligence assets: does the cost exceed the benefit; what is the nature of such assets; is there absolutely no other policy approach and so on

The one-legged Pakistani Taliban commander, Abdullah Mehsud, is dead, reported to have killed himself July 24 by detonating a hand grenade to avoid capture when intelligence agents closed in on the house where he was hiding. The house, in Balochistan’s northwestern Zhob district, just south of South Waziristan, belonged to Sheikh Ayub Mandokhel, a leader of Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Jamiat Ulema-e Islam. Mehsud’s two brothers and a third Taliban leader were arrested.

These are now known facts. But recapping them is important because of the pointers they contain. Consider.

Mehsud was intercepted while returning from Afghanistan through the Zhob corridor. Anyone with even little knowledge of intelligence work would know that this kind of operation is not serendipitous — i.e., the security forces did not just chance upon him. Quite the contrary. They were monitoring his movement, had the means to keep the trail hot and got him when he entered Pakistan and was relaxing in transit before crossing north into South Waziristan.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur District, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is (more...)

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