Clipping de Relações Internacionais

Taliban fighters flee Kalam as troops advance

Posted in Ásia & Oceania, Paz & Conflito, Regiões by Ariel Boldrini on 29/05/2009

Paquistão – The News – 29/05/2009

More than 250 Taliban fighters fled Kalam in Swat district on Wednesday after hearing that the Pakistan Army troops were advancing towards the scenic town while a low-ranking commander of the militants named Khushmir was killed by the security forces along with his nephew in Satal area near Bahrain.

Sources in Kalam and Bahrain told The News that Khushmir, who was referred to as Huzaifa by his Taliban comrades, was shot dead at Satal, a roadside village located almost midway between Bahrain and Kalam. He was reportedly wearing a suicide jacket but was killed before he could detonate it. His young nephew, accompanying him, was also killed.

The slain Taliban commander belonged to Kohistan district, also known as Indus Kohistan due to its location on both sides of the River Indus. Kohistan is in Hazara Division, which is presently the most peaceful part of the NWFP. Hazara’s two major districts — Abbottabad and Haripur — haven’t been affected by militancy but presence of militants has been reported from parts of Mansehra, Battagram and Kohistan districts.

The Nizam-e-Adl Regulation has also been enforced in Kohistan, along with the seven districts of the Malakand Division. In 1994, the Benazir Bhutto-led PPP government had enforced the Shariah Ordinance in Kohistan and the Malakand Division and so was the previous Nizam-e-Adl Regulation promulgated during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s rule in 1999.

In fact, the sources in Kalam and Bahrain said, most of the 250 or so Taliban fighters, who had been camping in the area for the last two weeks, belonged to Kohistan. They were probably headed towards Kohistan, which owes its strategic importance to the Karakoram Highway linking Pakistan with China. The sources said the Taliban militants boarded their pickup and left Kalam in a hurry. The sources estimated the number of militants belonging to Kalam and Bahrain Tehsils at not more than 20.

During their stay in Kalam, the militants were staying in the PTDC motel and the Green Top at Beyoon village. They had reconciled with the Kalam tribes following mediation by tribal elders from Bahrain, Ushu and Utror, all famous summer resorts in the upper Swat Valley.

The reconciliation followed an armed clash between the Taliban and the Kalam tribesmen. Two Taliban fighters and two Kalam tribesmen were killed in the clash and a third tribesman was wounded.

Under their peace agreement, the two sides agreed not to interfere in each other’s affairs. The Kalam tribes didn’t want the militants in their area as their presence could have provoked the military to attack and bomb the town. But they tolerated the heavily-armed Taliban who covered their faces while interacting with the tribesmen.

Disponível em: Acesso em: 29/05/2009

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