Buner falls to Taliban (is it the next Swat?)

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Daredevil, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Pakistan's PM , Yousuf Raza Gilani warned that Pakistan can revisit the SWAT peace accord, now this warning seems to me useless warning with no substance, the Taliban are controlling SWAT, and before SWAT peace deal they were all controlling SWAT, with no Government control there, Army failed miserably in SWAT, now how he can warn that accord itself be revisited? When Taliban are nearing the doorstep. I think that Taliban's proclamation that they can go anywhere, is the proof that Civilian Govt. is existence is itself in very danger, and also the lack of substance of PM Gilani's warning.
     
  2. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    OK, We'll go home and let India take over. You are right.

    Now Pakistan is breaking up and the Taliban are taking over the country. Will you want the West's help there next or will you handle that too?
    Australia will be there to help again because of our military pact with the US. If they are there, we are there. But it won't be a popular war back here.

    By the way, I'm wondering if you include Russia's invasion and subsequent war with the Mujaheddin. I mean they are Christian today and can really be considered part of the West, although the way they go on it is debatable.
     
  3. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    No need to get hyper about the entire situation Sailor... I'm sure Vinod meant well... In fact, he quoted what is the view predominantly here in India that the West is the creator of the problem and is also providing the means for Pakistan to sustain itself and all its nefarious activities...

    We will welcome Western involvement in Pakistan if it controls the Taliban infestation and cuts their Government down to size, but we have to be consulted in every step of the process because whatever happens in Pakistan has the biggest fallout in India and we certainly don't want anything untoward happening due to some other stupid misadventures from the Western powers...
     
  4. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    See this is a mess which is not of our making. We are a victim of this unholy mess and you are a victim of this mess.

    However you claimed that it is only the "Western Christian" nations who are doing anything about it. It may be true to an extent that they (specifically USA, the rest are comparatively minor players and can't do much alone) are the ones doing the heavy lifting but India is playing a big part in the civil reconstruction of Afghanistan. We have borne the brunt of these barbarians for decades when the same "Christian West" was supporting their prime sanctuary and creating these "Mujahideen"!

    Let's be clear. It may be our neighborhood, but you are here not for helping us but because you are feeling the heat too. We need to be partners in this endeavor. That is the only approach that has any hopes of success.
     
  5. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Buner courts closed

    PESHAWAR: Thousands of under trial cases goes into pending due to closure of courts in district Buner.

    The courts have been shut down after April 23 deadline given by Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Sufi Muhammad for the establishment of Darul Qaza and appointment of Qazi. The people of Bunar appealed the government to take immediate notice of the situation.

    Buner courts closed
     
  6. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    I think I'd better tell all you guys here the actual situation as far as I am concerned.
    I have three nephews in Afghanistan right at this moment and their mothers are very worried. One is in army aviation, one in the mobile infantry and one is a cargo load master in the RAAF.
    What I don't need to hear is any junk about the West and what we do and don't do. If you want me to blow my top at any time here the best way to light my fuse is to expand on this.
    You might find this hard to believe after saying that only the US has a real involvement and other nations are, what did you say, minor players, but virtually everyone here in Australia now knows or is related to someone who is over there getting shot at.
    Vinrod, you have been given the job as Moderator by the Webmaster to keep the peace here and to show leadership to these young chaps. I suggest you do just that and forget about insulting international members with stuff you know nothing about.
     
  7. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Both the Americans and Soviet Russia played their role in the advancement of the global islamist movement.Both the superpowers did not shy of using the radical islamist as part of their geostrategic game plans and both paid a heavy price for the same.

    It a well know fact that the radical Islamic groups in the Middle east were bank rolled and supplied with arms and shelter by Soviet Union to be used against pro American Arab regimes and Americans returned the favor when they could.

    Zahir Shah,the last King of Afghanistan,was trying to introduce a more representative democratic system,while still retaining monarchy's overwhelming political role and was quite sympathetic to the socialist parties like the parcham group which was helping him bring about the constitutional change.

    America However saw things differently and not wise too.Its Afghan policy at the time was mostly blinkered,thanks to its suspicion that Afghan king was close to Soviets and also the advise of Shah of Iran who had taken a disliking to Zahir Shah's constitutional reforms(which undermined his own monarchy in Iran)and finally even welcomed the coup detat that ousted Zahir Shah.

    Ultimately both the shah's of Iran and Afghanistan made the same mistakes,both tried to hastily modernize(read westernize) deeply conservative societies,but on the other hand staggered the democratic and constitutional reforms,too little too late......

    The parallel that we witness in Taliban's march in Pakistan is very significant.West again has erred in helping and sustaining non democratic entities in Pakistan,which subsequently destroyed all democratic institutions and ultimately it will find Pak military establishment cave in to the Islamic radicals just like they did in Iran and Afghanistan,because there is no solid democratic alternative.
     
  8. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Let us be clear here. Are you talking as an Australian concerned for your nephews or as a representative of western christian nations?.

    If you are a concerned Australian citizen and don't want to fight this war on terror, please protest to your government for withdrawal of your troops from Afghanistan ASAP.

    You are talking about people here not showing concern about the western people getting shot in Afghanistan. Right now, the situation is not as bad as it was in 2008 and we hardly hear any ISF people getting shot in Afghanistan and so you would obviously see proportionately less articles or no articles on them here (I remind you this is a very young forum as of now).

    I ask you this, what concern has the western christian nations have shown when Mumbai attack has happened apart from usual condolences?. Instead of cutting-off ties with terrorism sponsoring nation that has caused this mayhem you are encouraging them (directly or indirectly) by giving more military and other AID which in the end will be channeled to fight a war with India. We are the ones who has to face the brunt of these evil forces which we have been doing for past two decades and we have lost many a brave men in several thousands fighting them.

    India has already offered to send its troops to Afghanistan way back in 2002 or so for War on Terror, but your nations have rejected the offer owing to the sensitivities of your friend Pakistan. India has played a very positive role by involving in a lot of civil reconstruction of Afghanistan and many a brave Indian men have lost lives to the terror forces doing so.

    And last but not least, you are fighting this war out of your free will, no body has imposed it on you.
     
  9. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Pakistan: Troops sent to Taliban-threatened area

    By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer
    28 mins ago

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Pakistani paramilitary forces have been deployed to protect government buildings and bridges in a district near the capital that has come under the Taliban's sway, an official said Thursday.

    The six Frontier Constabulary platoons arrived in northwestern Buner on Wednesday, days after militants from the neighboring Swat Valley began infiltrating the area in large numbers, establishing checkpoints, patrolling roads and spreading fear.

    The Taliban movement into the district came after the provincial government agreed to impose Islamic law in Swat and surrounding areas in exchange for peace with the insurgents.

    Pakistan's president signed off on the deal last week, heightening concern that the agreement would embolden the extremists to expand their reign in the northwest regions bordering Afghanistan.

    Syed Mohammed Javed, a top government official who oversees the area covered by the peace deal, confirmed that the platoons had been sent to Buner, but he would not say if it was in direct response to the Taliban infiltration.

    He did not specify the number of troops involved, but a platoon typically has 30 to 50 members.

    Also Thursday, dozens of militants armed with guns and gasoline bombs attacked a truck terminal elsewhere in northwestern Pakistan, burning five tanker trucks carrying fuel to NATO troops in Afghanistan, police said.

    Pakistan: Troops sent to Taliban-threatened area
     
  10. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Guys... just cool it... Let's not throw junk at each other....

    We're in the same boat as far as threats are concerned and we ought to sort it out together...

    Let's have meaningful discussions about how to sort the problem out and later we can analyse who was to blame for it...

    Cheers !!!!
     
  11. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Finally, there is a move by GoP in Buner. Let's see how this showdown between Taliban and GoP will proceed. Will it be a damp squib or some real fire works?.
     
  12. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    I Dont think that they will do anything in Buner I think that the GoP
    will rivite Under the force of the Pro Taliban Camb Pakistan is now Been held Captive by its onw Monster
     
  13. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    EM, no one is throwing junk at each other. It is just about clarifying misunderstandings or misperceptions, that's all.

    Yes, we are in same boat in fighting these terrorists but our way of approaching these problems is different from that of western nations. Western nations thinks Pakistan is part of the solution while we think Pakistan is 'the problem'. We need to reconcile these perceptions and fight together to get rid of this menace. The question is not about how we reconcile the perceptions but about when will it happen. It will happen the moment the western countries recognize that 'Pakistan is the problem' and right now things are moving in the right direction as far as India's perception is concerned.
     
  14. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Damp Squib... the Army will move in, refuse to fight their own brothers and throw down their arms... Any doubts about that ???
     
  15. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Analysis: A report from the front

    It is the very clear responsibility of the elected government, no less of the opposition, to come completely clean to Pakistan’s citizens and motivate them with counter-propaganda to the near-treasonous ranting emanating from the pulpits and the electronic media. And it is a responsibility that our political leadership has failed to address, little over a month ago, a convoy of vehicles, full of Taliban fighters openly sporting heavy weaponry, drove down from the Buner valley all the way through Swabi district. For those of my readers who may not be familiar with the region, Swabi district abuts Tarbala Dam on the east (yes, Tarbela Dam!) and comes down to the M-1 Motorway at Jahangira. It is a district where tobacco and food grains are grown by some of the hardest working farmers in the country, and where there are cigarette factories and a substantial cottage industry.

    Probably passing one of the ancient pillars carrying the edicts of Emperor Asoka, which stands near the road, this deadly convoy moved on to the district of Mardan. This district is the primary agricultural and industrial hub of the NWFP. Here, they grow sugar cane, tobacco, cotton, wheat and food grains. It is one of the centres of the nation’s sugar and tobacco industries.

    To get here from Swabi, the Taliban convoy crossed the river at Hoti Bridge (no marks for guessing which famous family has its seat here!) and then drove into the city of Mardan itself — the second largest city of the province. A very few miles to the west is Charsadda and Wali Bagh, the home village of the great freedom fighter Abdul Ghaffar Khan (whose noble soul must be shuddering at the kind of ‘deals’ his grandson has been party to).

    Immediately to the south is the Pakistan Air Force training academy at Risalpur. These are the kinds of heavily populated, and presumably well patrolled, areas through which the armed convoy drove — no isolated, mountainous badlands these — before heading north to Malakand and on to Swat.

    Their particular mission was not clear, but the point is they were not challenged or queried at any point in their long drive. Neither the Army, nor the Rangers, nor the Police — indeed, not even traffic cops — had the temerity to ask these fearsome looking, heavily armed gents to pause and explain their intended business. I may mention that toting heavy weaponry around openly is illegal, anywhere in Pakistan, even in the NWFP.

    In the absence of information or queries, we can only speculate about the purpose of this particular convoy. Was it just a bit of insouciant nose-thumbing at the rest of us, or was there some other design? Whatever may be the case, it is clear that, notwithstanding the protestations of the likes of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the provincial information minister, we are frighteningly close to the status of there being no functioning government in the NWFP; as in Somalia, where bands of armed yahoos run rampant across the landscape.

    In the aftermath of the Swat debacle, the screams of someone’s brutalised daughter are still echoing from our media. The thousands of other screams of Shias torn to pieces and myriads of Pakistani citizens flogged, tortured, flayed, beheaded and shot, still remain unheard. How dare they speak of ‘sovereignty’!

    Cyril Almeida wrote in Dawn: “We do not want to live in a society where anyone is flogged, where anyone’s limb is hacked off, where anyone is stoned. Period.”

    Does President Zardari or Prime Minister Gilani or former Prime Minster Mian Nawaz Sharif read these kinds of writings? Are we not justified in asking of our elected, democratic government: what is your strategy to deal with this monstrous insurgency? Only capitulation and some feeble rhetoric?

    The president speaks of a three-pronged strategy of “Dialogue, Development and Deterrence”. As to the first of these, let us be quite clear. There are no grounds for dialogue with violent criminals who have declared themselves at war with the state of Pakistan, have seized its formerly sovereign territory and are brutalising its citizens. Even if, out of the cringing cowardice that has become our hallmark, we do allow that there needs to be some kind of talks, it is only too obvious that the other side is cock-a-hoop at the unbroken string of triumphs handed to them and has absolutely no intention of engaging in any kind of dialogue at all.

    So much for that. And, as for development, none is going to take place in the present situation. This brings us to deterrence, the military option.

    Now, clearly, counter-violence is an insufficient answer and there will certainly be collateral casualties. But, first of all, the playing field has to be evened by restoring the writ of the state through force of arms. This is a necessary first condition to anything else. The problem is that our military is organised and trained for waging conventional warfare against identifiable targets, fighting set-piece battles over more or less even terrain.

    Further, the fact is that military force — driven by trucks and tanks and flanked by aircraft and artillery — is a massive blunt weapon, when what is needed is the surgical precision of a scalpel. Counter-insurgency (COIN) needs a many-layered, finely calculated approach. It is at bottom a battle for hearts and minds, a contest for the allegiance of a population, to separate them from and turn them against the rebels who shelter among them.

    The first point to be appreciated is that COIN is normally conducted as a combination of conventional military operations with other means, such as propaganda (what the military calls ‘psy-ops’) and even selective assassinations. Counter-insurgency operations include many different facets: military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken to defeat insurgency. As anyone trained in COIN procedures will tell you, they do not include weak-kneed ‘negotiations’ (i.e. give-and-take) of the kind conducted by the NWFP government.

    The next point is that, whatever tactical approach or combination of approaches the armed forces determine to use, boots on the ground are an essential feature. As both the Americans in Vietnam and the Russians in Afghanistan learned, you cannot fight this kind of enemy from the air or with artillery and tanks. They have to be engaged on the ground, hand to hand.

    The third key point is the need for exceptionally precise intelligence operations. Detailed, timely intelligence will trigger tactical operations by small, rapid response formations trained for the purpose. Now, it is more than likely that these technical aspects of COIN operations are well understood by our armed forces. If so, why does the campaign appear to so lack effectiveness that a few thousand ragtag warriors in Swat triumphed over an organised army 30,000 strong? Is it that the failure of will on the part of the government, federal or provincial, pulled the rug from beneath our soldiers?

    This brings me to my final point. Whether there is one kind of military operation or another, it is the political leadership that must demonstrate the will to fight and articulate the needed strategies, policies and actions. It is the very clear responsibility of the elected government, no less of the opposition, to come completely clean to Pakistan’s citizens and motivate them with counter-propaganda to the near-treasonous ranting emanating from the pulpits and the electronic media. And it is a responsibility that our political leadership has failed to address. Even the terms used for those waging war against the state of Pakistan — ‘militants’, askariat-pasand — carry no pejorative connotation. Those with such an ambivalent mindset can wage no war successfully.

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
     
  16. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    After reading his posts do you really think that he wasn't getting offended by the tone in which some very senior members here addressed him and responded to him?? I'm talking about Sailor here...

    That's why I tried to calm things down in a very civil manner by requesting everybody "not to throw garbage"...
     
  17. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hi sailor, this entire "controversy" started with that "Christian West" comment which I think was superfluous. We are not on opposing sides in the war and our interests are the same. We desire the same outcome!

    So let's not get into a trivia. You don't want to hear sermons about what the West ought to do, fine. Don't do the reverse yourself.

    Thx. for reminding me my job here. :113:

    P.S.: I am not sure what you found insulting in my comments. Do let me know and I will try not repeating that.

    Also I am not sure of the extent of Australia's involvement. I keep reading USA complaints about other nations not pulling their weight or about their rules of engagements that don't permit their soldiers to fight etc. It may not be true for your nation and I apologize if you found that insulting.
     
  18. Sailor

    Sailor Regular Member

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    OK, lets leave it at that. One one hand we have the worry of our military fighting in some far away foreign war that is really nothing to do with us. On the other hand I understand just how worrying it must be for the Indian peoples having that powder keg right next door with no solution is sight.
    Lets all move on then. In fact this has been a good exercise and people have had their say.
    You are a fine young man Enlightened One. If we ever get to having elections here for Mods you will have my nomination and I call upon our Webmaster now to give that consideration.
     
  19. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital

    Taliban Seize Vital Pakistan Area Closer to the Capital

    By JANE PERLEZ
    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pushing deeper into Pakistan, Taliban militants have established effective control of a strategically important district just 70 miles from the capital, Islamabad, officials and residents said Wednesday.

    The fall of the district, Buner, did not mean that the Taliban could imminently threaten Islamabad. But it was another indication of the gathering strength of the insurgency and it raised new alarm about the ability of the government to fend off an unrelenting Taliban advance toward the heart of Pakistan.

    Buner, home to about one million people, is a gateway to a major Pakistani city, Mardan, the second largest in North-West Frontier Province, after Peshawar.

    “They take over Buner, then they roll into Mardan and that’s the end of the game,” a senior law enforcement official in North-West Frontier Province said. He asked that his name be withheld because was not authorized to speak to the news media.

    The Taliban had pushed into the district from the neighboring Swat Valley, where the Pakistani Army agreed to a truce in mid-February and remains in its barracks.

    On Wednesday heavily armed Taliban militants were patrolling villages, and the local police had retreated to their station houses in much of Buner, officials and residents said.

    The staff members of local nongovernmental organizations have been ordered to leave, and their offices have been looted, they said. Pakistani television news channels showed Taliban fighters triumphantly carrying office equipment out of the offices of the organizations.

    “They are everywhere,” one resident of Daggar, Buner’s main city, said by telephone. “There is no resistance.”

    The Taliban advance has been building for weeks, with the assistance of sympathizers and even a local government official who was appointed on the recommendation of the Taliban, the senior official said.

    It also comes 10 days after the government of President Asif Ali Zardari agreed to the imposition of Islamic law, or Shariah, in Swat, as part of the deal with the Taliban.

    A local politician, Jamsher Khan, said that people were initially determined to resist the Taliban in Buner, but that they were discouraged by the deal the government struck with the Taliban in Swat.

    “We felt stronger as long we thought the government was with us,” he said by telephone, “but when the government showed weakness, we too stopped offering resistance to the Taliban.”

    On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was concerned that Pakistan’s government was making too many concessions to the Taliban, emboldening the militants and allowing them to spread by giving in to their demands.

    “I think that the Pakistani government is basically abdicating to the Taliban and to the extremists,” Mrs. Clinton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill.

    She added that the deterioration of security in nuclear-armed Pakistan “poses a mortal threat to the security and safety of our country and the world.”

    A senior American official said Mrs. Clinton’s remarks were prompted in part by news of the Taliban takeover in Buner. The officials said that the further erosion of government authority in an area so close to the capital ought to stir concern not only in Pakistan but also among influential Pakistanis abroad.

    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday for the second time in two weeks, reflecting the sense of alarm in the Obama administration. He was scheduled to meet with Pakistan’s top military and intelligence commanders.

    The takeover of Buner (pronounced boo-NAIR) is particularly significant because the people there have tried in the past year to stand up to the Taliban by establishing small private armies to fight the militants. Last year when the militants encroached into Buner, killing policemen, the local people fought back and forced the militants out.

    But with a beachhead in neighboring Swat, and a number of training camps for fresh recruits, the Taliban were able to carry out what amounted to an invasion of Buner.

    “The training camps will provide waves of men coming into Buner,” the senior law enforcement official said.

    The Taliban expansion into Buner has begun to raise alarm among the senior ranks of the Pakistani Army, said a Western official who was familiar with the Pakistani military.

    On Wednesday, one of the highest-ranking army officers traveled from Islamabad to Peshawar and met with the officers of the 11th Corps, the army division based in Peshawar, to discuss the “overall situation in Buner,” the official said.

    One of the major concerns is that from the hills of Buner the Taliban have access to the flatlands of the district of Swabi, which lead directly to the four-lane motorway that runs from Islamabad to Peshawar, the capital of North-West Frontier Province.

    The Pakistani military does not have a presence in Buner, Pakistani and Western officials said. The main government authority in Buner is the police, who have become demoralized by their low pay and lack of equipment in the face of the Taliban, Pakistani police officials say.

    The Taliban have set up checkpoints in a number of villages in Buner, intimidating policemen and forcing them into their police stations, residents in Daggar said by telephone.

    The militants were patrolling the bazaar in Daggar, residents said. Women, who used to move freely around the bazaars, were scarcely to be seen, they said. Those who did venture out were totally covered.

    One of the big attractions of Buner for people from all over Pakistan, the shrine of the Sufi saint Pir Baba, was now in the control of the militants, the senior law enforcement official said.

    Last year, the villagers around the shrine kept the Taliban at bay when the militants threatened to take it over.

    But in the last 10 days, the Taliban closed the shrine and said it was strictly off limits to women, the senior official said. The militants are now patrolling it.

    The Taliban control in Buner came swiftly in the last few days, officials said.

    The militants were helped by the actions of the commissioner of Malakand, Javed Mohammad, who is also the senior official in Swat and who was appointed on the recommendation of the Taliban, the senior law enforcement official said.

    The Taliban began their assault on Buner in early April, when a battalion of the Taliban militia with heavy weaponry crossed over the hills from Swat to Buner, according to an account in the newspaper Dawn that appeared on Saturday.

    The Taliban then captured three policemen and two civilians, and killed them, the newspaper said.

    Infuriated by the killings, people in lower Buner and Sultanwas assembled a volunteer force and killed 17 Taliban fighters, the account said.

    But soon after that, Mr. Mohammad tried to persuade the local elders to allow the Taliban to enter Buner, the newspaper said.

    Soon afterward, Mr. Mohammad ordered the local armies to dissolve, the senior law enforcement official said. The order led many of those who had been willing to stand up to the Taliban to either flee or give up, the official said. Among those who are reported to have fled is Fateh Khan, a wealthy Buner businessman. Mr. Khan had been one of the main organizers and financiers of the private armies in Buner.

    In a show of strength, the militants held a feast in the home of a local Taliban sympathizer two weeks ago, and since then the Taliban have fanned out into the district, the senior official said.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/world/asia/23buner.html?_r=2&hp
     
  20. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    Thx. mate for trying to cool the situation. As far as I was concerned, there was no intention of a blame game. I think we got entangled in an unnecessary argument but I guess its important to not take things too personally in these debates.
     

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