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Steps Must Be Taken For Soldiers, Tribesmen Morale Boosting

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People may accept it or not, but most of the tribesmen are of the opinion that rulers, either from Pakistan or the United States, are not capable enough to fight the terrorists.  This is the reason that terrorists have virtually established their government in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border. The time is not far away when the tribesmen, who so far resisted the terrorists and Taliban, will give up.

The rulers have been giving the wrong impression about the war on terrorism. From the events happening in the tribal areas, one thing has been becoming very clear --  that terrorists and Taliban have been enjoying the support of the rulers. They have hoodwinked the masses through their lies.

In the present situation, either President Bush or President Musharraf should be on the frontline. They should visit the tribal areas -- the very frontline areas in war on terrorism. The soldiers and tribesmen have been losing their morale.

According to reports, local Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has linked the release of over 150 soldiers taken hostage on Aug 30 to the implementation of the Sararogha agreement signed in Feb 2005, Zulfiqar Mehsud, a spokesman for the commander, said.

The agreement requires the government to grant amnesty to the militant commander and restrains Baitullah Mehsud from protecting and assisting foreign militants, attacking government officials and installations or blocking development projects in the area.

But militants claim that a clause, which is not included in the written agreement, requires security forces to stop their movements in the Mehsud-dominated area of South Waziristan.

Militants dispute the figure of 150 hostages given by the government and claim to have seized 300 soldiers.

The spokesman also claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of 10 personnel of the Frontier Corps in the Mohmand Agency, and warned of suicide attacks if the government started military operations in tribal areas.

“Our foremost demand is the implementation of the Sararogha agreement, which binds the government to contain the movement of troops in South Waziristan,” he said.

Sources said that talks between members of a tribal jirga and militants for the release of over 150 security personnel had failed. The 50-member jirga headed by Senator Salih Shah went to Wana from Laddah and briefed Political Agent Hussainzada Khan on Sunday on talks held with militants.

The sources said that militants had told the elders of the Mehsud tribe that further talks were meaningless till the previous agreement was honoured.

Zulfiqar Mehsud said by phone from an undisclosed location that Baitullah’s men were responsible for kidnapping 10 paramilitary personnel, including a major, from the Mohmand tribal region on Saturday. He said his men had also carried out a suicide attack in the Frontier Region, Jandola, in which six personnel of the security forces were injured.

“We can discuss release of the soldiers and other issues when ‘Mujahideen’ are conveyed that the government is sincerely implementing the peace agreement,” the spokesman said.

“Forget about the release of 300 soldiers at the moment,” he said.

The spokesman warned the government that if it did not change its Waziristan policy, militants would intensify attacks on security forces and launch more suicide attacks.

In a demonstration of defiance, militants in the Mohmand Agency seized two checkpoints of the Khasaddar Force in Lakaro and Haleemzai tehsils of the region on Sunday and set up a checkpost on the highway.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, 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 also (more...)
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