Great uncertainty and confusion have engulfed entire tribal areas as yet another type of war is being fought in these regions. Now, according to the Pakistani media, claims have been made that the people of tribal areas have been waging Jihad against Taliban and foreigners.
According to people living in these tribal areas, these so-called religious leaders should be taken to task, as due to their negative teachings, thousands of individuals have been killed or maimed. For these acts, they should be tried in a court of law.
The following is the story from a local official newspaper from which one can see the obvious change in policy. The headline of the article is, Jihad declared against Uzbeks.
According to this newspaper report, religious leaders here declared against Uzbek militants, as local tribesmen and militant commanders to face stiff resistance from them (sic).
The call came at a jirga of the Zallikhel and Tojikhel clans of the predominant Ahmadzai Wazir tribe at a playground in the administrative headquarters of South Waziristan. Hundreds of tribal elders and leaders representing the sub-clans of the tribe attended the jirga.
The Zallikhels had nominated fellow tribesmen, Nasib Khan, to raise a tribal force of volunteers in support of militant commander Maulvi Nazir to flush out Uzbek militants and their local collaborators from the region. On Sunday, local militants had made public announcements urging people to wage a Jihad against Uzbeks.
The jirga urged locals to shoot any Uzbek militants they came across. Rough estimates put the number of Uzbek militants in South Waziristan at a little over 1,000.
Official sources said two men were killed and two others wounded when militant groups, those supporting and those opposing the Uzbeks, clashed on Monday near a checkpoint.
An official acknowledged that the Uzbeks appeared to have received material support from an unknown source -- even in the face of prevailing public hostility against them.
"They have received some support, material support, I don't know from where," the official said. "They did not have Kalakovs until recently. They have Kalakovs now," he said, adding that the locals were finding it hard to dislodge them from a strategic hilltop bunker in Shin Warsak near Wana.
The bunker was thought to have fallen to the local militants opposed to the Uzbeks last week following a barrage of artillery fire by the military garrisoned in Zari Noor army brigade headquarters.
But sources said that the fortified bunker built by the military remained intact despite artillery fire. "The artillery did not really have any effect," they said. But they were confident that given time, the local tribesmen and their armed militant supporters would be able to evict the Uzbeks from the region.
Asked whether the government or the military needed to come out more openly in support of the local tribesmen and militant commanders to enable them to evict Uzbek militants, the sources said, "Support or no support, the Uzbeks will have to leave. It's only a matter of time."
The sources, however, said that the Frontier Corps personnel manning the checkpoints in the regions were turning a blind eye to Uzbek militants and the militant commanders supporting them.