Shooting stops in Miranshah as jirga tries to reach peace deal
MIRANSHAH: An uneasy calm prevailed in North Waziristan on Tuesday as government officials with the help of tribal elders tried to pacify pro-Taliban tribesmen after some 140 militants were estimated killed in recent days.
I'll betcha a dose or two of napalm would pacify the crap out of them...
However, a curfew imposed on Monday on Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, remained in force on Tuesday despite no reports of fresh fighting, a senior security official in the region told AP. He said the talks between tribal elders and militants’ representatives which began on Monday were continuing. “There is some progress and we hope things will be OK soon,” he said.
Why? Have the bad guyz decided to go back to Arabia? Have the locals begun studying cause and effect?
“The curfew is continuing today so the situation can return to normal quickly,” Zaheerul Islam, a top political official in Miranshah, told Reuters. “Forces are present in the town while jirgas and talks are also going on,” he said.
Gonna try and save face all around, huh? Hope it works better than it did with Nek Mohammad.
Islam planned to meet with tribal elders later on Tuesday to persuade shop owners in Miranshah to reopen their doors, said tribal elder Malik Mumtaz Khan, who will be attending the meeting. The government wants the businesses to be ready to trade when the curfew is lifted.
The problem isn't the businesses being closed. The businesses are closed because of the problem.
Meanwhile, troops searched for two clerics accused of instigating the fighting in Miranshah and made seven arrests in overnight raids.
None of them the holy men, I'll betcha...
“We are desperately searching for the two main culprits, Maulvi Abdul Khaleq and Maulvi Sadiq Noor, but we still do not have any information about their whereabouts,” a senior security official told AFP.
Have you checked their houses? Have you checked Fazl's guest house?
Security forces used explosives on Tuesday to demolish a madrassa in Miranshah run by Khaleq, another security official said. Officials said Noor and Khaleq have been trying to impose strict Islamic laws in Miranshah and are closely linked to the Taliban. Khaleq, who runs a major madrassa in Miranshah, had called for a “holy war” against the army after troops last week destroyed an Al Qaeda training centre in nearby Saidgai village, officials said.
Jihad, of course, is the answer to every question...
Khaleq’s brother was among some 40 militants killed in the raid on Wednesday, they added.
I hope his departure from the gene pool was suitably painful.
Noor also runs a preaching centre and a madrassa near Miranshah. A senior army official said if the two were “captured or killed” the resistance in Miransah will die down, the same way it subsided in neighbouring South Waziristan when top militant commander Nek Mohammad was killed in a missile strike in 2004.
That was after about eight months of the jirga nonsense, complete with tribal lashkars led by drummers.
Army spokesman Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan described Tuesday as “quiet”, with no reports of fighting. The militants had apparently withdrawn to the hills where a Miranshah resident, Shirin Khan, said security forces were directing their gunfire late on Monday night.
"Chaudry! Shoot that mountain!"
"Yes, sahib!"
"That should take care of them. What's for dinner?"
The BBC said its correspondent had been detained for a few hours and then expelled from North Wazristan. Haroonur Rashid, the BBC’s Urdu correspondent based in Peshawar, and two other Pakistani journalists working for foreign media organisations were not allowed to enter the tribal region on Monday morning, the BBC Urdu website reported. “Haroon was not told why he was detained,” the BBC website said. He was later set free on the “intervention of high officials but was ordered to immediately leave the area”.
"Beat it, Harun! And don't come back!"
"But I live here!"
Suspected militants beheaded a teacher in South Wazristan, officials said on Tuesday. Said Badshah, 35, who ran a private school, failed to return home late Monday in Barwan village, near Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, a local administration official told AFP. His headless body was found in a remote area on Tuesday evening, the official said. Officials suspect that militants were behind Badshah’s murder as he had no known enemies in the area and he was the son of a pro-government tribal elder.
Well, never mind. He's dead now, so have another jirga and reach an "understanding" with the guys who killed him. No doubt they were motivated by piety or something.

Posted by: Fred 2006-03-08