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-   -   Up to 500,000 flee as Pakistan prepares to take on the Taliban (http://www.armyreal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9204)

Texas 05-05-2009 04:46 PM

500,000 flee Taliban
 
By Isambard Wilkinson in Islamabad, Ashfaq Yusufzai and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Last Updated: 10:13PM BST 05 May 2009

Up to 500,000 people are preparing to flee Pakistan's troubled Swat valley after the military gave warning it was about to launch a major operation to retake control of the region.

The authorities urged people to leave the area as troops gathered following the collapse of an agreement for militants to lay down their arms in return for the establishment of Sharia law.
Thousands took to the roads as Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), said camps would be set up for half a million refugees.

Bedraggled men, women in burkas and children piled on to pickup trucks, and led animals through streets in their haste to flee.
Clashes between security forces and militants in the north-west of Pakistan's have already created hundreds of thousands of refugees who have sought sanctuary in badly-supplied camps.
Fighting between the army and Taliban has continued with 20 civilians reported to have been killed in Swat as a result of mortar and artillery fire from security forces at the centre of Mingora, the district's capital.
The army said militants had attacked checkpoints and bases in four different locations in Swat, and that armed militants were now openly patrolling Mingora's streets.
Locals said the fighters had recruited young men, broadcast anti-government propaganda via FM radio stations and established trenches and laid mines throughout Mingora.
Khushal Khan, district co-ordination officer in Swat, said residents had been told to evacuate because there was a fear the Taliban could attack security forces with heavy weapons. The order was later rescinded when the attacks no longer seemed likely, causing more confusion.
"I'm taking my family to Peshawar because if there's any fighting, no one can protect us," said Mohammad Karim, as he searched for a bus heading out of the valley to Peshawar, the capital of NWFP.
Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the army spokesman, said: "The end of the ceasefire has not been announced but it is imminent. The way the Taliban has gone on the offensive locally, there is no other way out."
The February peace pact, under which authorities agreed to a Taliban demand for introduction of Islamic law in the former tourist valley, led to accusations from critics both at home and abroad that the government was caving in to militancy.
The government has claimed that by setting up Sharia courts in the region, it had appeased locals and drawn support away from militants.
"The people support us fighting against the militants. We have given them Sharia courts but the militants have still not laid down their weapons," said Zahid Khan, a senior leader of the NWFP's ruling Awami National Party.
Militants fought a long bloody battle with the army in Swat from August 2007 until this year's deal in February. The renewed fighting is expected to be far worse as the peace deal has given militants time to consolidate.
Taliban spokesman, Muslim Khan, said: "It is our responsibility to defend ourselves against military's operation. We have the right to defend ourselves.
"We have not broken the peace deal but the government had started operation in Buner and Dir to sabotage peace agreement."
Ali Jawad, a lecturer at the postgraduate Jehanzeb College in Swat, said people were very fearful. he said: "We are again at the mercy of Taliban after the breakdown of ceasefire. We fear the situation will go to square number one.
President Asif Ali Zardari is due to meet President Barack Obama and the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in Washington today (Wednesday) for talks on the growing militant threat in the region.
Washington has accused Islamabad of abdicating to the Taliban while Mr Obama described the government as "very fragile".
Mr Zardari is expected to do his utmost to convince Mr Obama that his government is capable of tacking militancy.

Texas 05-05-2009 04:49 PM

The more militant Taliban elements have proven time and again that they hold sway within their own ranks, consequently we can't give them an inch.

jrj1000 05-07-2009 04:21 PM

Its funny how the Pakistanis are finally waking up to the problem...the problems in the border regions have always been there....FFS the Russians knew and had to try and deal with the same problems 20 odd years ago...Now its knocking on the Pakistanis government door they decide to make a decent commitment....the Pakistanis have let the Taliban go near enough unchecked in that area.... for over more then a decade the Taliban and its fighters from the outside have managed to cut off a pretty large section of Pakistan as "Safe ground"...the Taliban are as strong as they are now because of two things...Governments in that area didnt see the problem:rolleyes:...and the two best countries to deal with it turned away and looked towards Iraq....we should have cleared the first objective completely before taking on more work

Spike 05-07-2009 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrj1000 (Post 82078)
Its funny how the Pakistanis are finally waking up to the problem...the problems in the border regions have always been there....FFS the Russians knew and had to try and deal with the same problems 20 odd years ago...Now its knocking on the Pakistanis government door they decide to make a decent commitment....the Pakistanis have let the Taliban go near enough unchecked in that area.... for over more then a decade the Taliban and its fighters from the outside have managed to cut off a pretty large section of Pakistan as "Safe ground"...the Taliban are as strong as they are now because of two things...Governments in that area didnt see the problem:rolleyes:...and the two best countries to deal with it turned away and looked towards Iraq....we should have cleared the first objective completely before taking on more work

They're waking upto the fact that if they don't sort things out the US will do it for them!

jrj1000 05-08-2009 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike (Post 82087)
They're waking upto the fact that if they don't sort things out the US will do it for them!

Yeah thats also a big factor...the Taliban area of control is getting bigger and it wont be long until its knocking on the door in Islamabad....that and the Yanks putting more of a squeeze on seems to be waking the Pakistanis up.

Ive got a feeling that sooner or later we are going to have to address the Pakistani Nuclear situation...if things get any worst they should be forced to hand them over...if not ISAF should take out the problem.

SniperAlpha1 05-08-2009 12:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrj1000 (Post 82220)
Yeah thats also a big factor...the Taliban area of control is getting bigger and it wont be long until its knocking on the door in Islamabad....that and the Yanks putting more of a squeeze on seems to be waking the Pakistanis up.

Ive got a feeling that sooner or later we are going to have to address the Pakistani Nuclear situation...if things get any worst they should be forced to hand them over...if not ISAF should take out the problem.

The ISAF crossing over would be an issue. Pakistan is SOF territory. The ISAF is an occupation force that would piss off the Pakistanis that would undoubtedly lead to UN resolutions and the works clogging up clean up operations.

Exo1 05-16-2009 02:31 PM

Bear in mind the Taliban was set up by Pakistani Intelligence, and the government knew exactly what they were doing.... the are reaping their own reward for growing a monster... West is on the hook for Alquada, and Pakistan are on the hook for the Taliban... they are now realising what they have done and are trying to fix it, we need to help them, but they need to ask for help... they really do.... when they do, the fight willbe on in Pakistan... and then the Allies should move into assist...

jrj1000 05-17-2009 12:30 AM

The Pakistani Government are now realsing that the snake has become too big...surprising really isnt it when you think they are the ones who having been feeding it...knowingly or not...well thats questionable.

Snipes said about pissing off the Pakistanis when it comes to military operations....I say Łuck em...sounds harsh but what will pissed off Pakistanis matter when the Taliban plague has spread and maybe taken control of some more key areas(possible WMDs included)

Its good the Pakistanis are finaly pulling their fingers out....I say its way... way overdue.

Texas 05-17-2009 06:30 AM

I.s.a.f
 
International Security Assistance Force

is a NATO-led security and development mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement.

it has no remit concerning Pakistan and its sole purpose lies within the borders of Afghanistan.

Any deployment of NATO/US forces in Pakistan would require an invitation by the Pakistani government or a UN resolution legalising such action.

Exo1 05-17-2009 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Texas (Post 84336)
International Security Assistance Force

is a NATO-led security and development mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement.

it has no remit concerning Pakistan and its sole purpose lies within the borders of Afghanistan.

Any deployment of NATO/US forces in Pakistan would require an invitation by the Pakistani government or a UN resolution legalising such action.

Agreed, it would have to happen first... But Pakistan would start sending out invitations pritty soon if they are going to have long term viability within their borders


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