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Terrorists Used Democracy

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The fighters who engaged the whole Pakistan Army in fighting have welcomed the victory of Pakistan People's Party in the recently-held election. All the political forces have agreed on one point -  that President Musharraf must go. There are indications that terrorists have been using democracy for achieving their ulterior motives. The main issue of Pakistan is rule of law.

According to reports, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud has announced that he is ready for talks with the new government if it stops President Musharraf’s “war on terror” in tribal areas.

Baitullah’s spokesman Maulvi Umar told journalists on phone from some place on Sunday that the people of Pakistan had rejected President Musharraf’s pro-America policies.

“Taliban do not want hostile relations with the new government and are ready for talks with political parties for a lasting peace in the NWFP and the tribal region,” he added.

Baitullah’s men had earlier this month declared a ceasefire in South Waziristan where elections were postponed because of clashes.

Maulvi Umar expressed the hope that the new government would not follow the “flawed policies” of President Musharraf and would respect the people’s mandate.

He said that militants would fully cooperate in efforts for restoration of peace in the area.

“We are ready for negotiations with the new government if it doesn’t re-impose a war on us. If it (new government) continues with the policies of President Musharraf we will resume our activities,” he warned.

He welcomed the victory of opposition parties in the elections and said they had won because of sacrifices rendered by the local Taliban.

The party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, which will lead the new government, called for an end to military operations against autonomy-minded insurgents in another restive area — the southwestern province of Baluchistan where the U.S.-backed Afghan government believes the Taliban leadership may be hiding.

Opposition parties trounced Musharraf's allies in Feb. 18 parliamentary elections — widely seen as a public repudiation of Musharraf's policies including his alliance with Washington in the war on terror.

The election results have fueled calls for Musharraf to step down both inside and outside Pakistan. Two U.S. senators on Sunday urged a "graceful exit" from power for the unpopular president, but stopped short of supporting efforts to remove him from office.

"I firmly believe if they do not focus on old grudges — and there's plenty in Pakistan — and give him a graceful way to move," then it could happen, said Joe Biden, a Democrat from Delaware who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison echoed the sentiment. Both spoke on ABC television's "This Week" after meeting with Musharraf.

Maulvi Umar, spokesman for the Islamic militant Tehrik-e-Taliban, said his group welcomed the victory of anti-Musharraf parties and was anxious to talk with them about ways to bring peace to northwestern tribal areas, where U.S. officials believe Osama bin Laden himself may be hiding.

"We hope after the government comes into power, they will not make the mistake of continuing the existing policies and will bring peace to the people of tribal areas," the spokesman told The Associated Press by telephone Sunday. "We want peace and are looking for dialogue with those who got elected."

U.S. and Pakistani officials have blamed the leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, for masterminding Bhutto's Dec. 27 assassination. Her Pakistan People's Party finished first in the Monday vote.

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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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