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Taliban’s anti-state agenda in Pakistan needs early response: Afrasiab Khattak

Daily Times, Lahore, Staff Report


* NWFP govt peace envoy says Taliban repeating Afghanistan experiments in Pakistan

* Nizam-e-Adl will be enforced in Malakand by the end of Ramazan



PESHAWAR: The Taliban are pursuing an ‘anti-state struggle’ and Pakistan must take this threat seriously before it causes an irreparable damage to the country, NWFP government’s Peace Envoy Afrasiab Khattak said on Tuesday. “They (Taliban) want to defeat the state and their success starts where the state fails,” Khattak told Daily Times in an interview on Tuesday.


Experiments: He said the Taliban were trying to replicate the same model in Pakistan they had experimented in Afghanistan. “Mullah Omar could become ameerul momeneen after the failure of the Afghan state and that is what they are trying to do in Pakistan,” he warned. “Those who support them for ‘strategic reasons’ should think 100 times before going ahead with this policy,” Khattak said, but did not elaborate.


Asked how he views the US incursions in South Waziristan, the peace envoy said Afghanistan had long been ‘complaining’ against “sanctuaries of militants on Pakistan’s soil”. “The real problem is that we have not taken those complaints seriously. We face a serious situation and we have to deal with it seriously,” Khattak, who also heads the ruling Awami National Party at the provincial level, said.


“While we are justifiably sensitive to US incursions into our territory, we should be equally sensitive to the loss of sovereignty to the militants in FATA.” “A myth has been created that the violence we have is because we support the US. This duality has created the problem. Militant sanctuaries should be disbanded. They are the root cause,” Khattak said.


The peace envoy said the Tribal Areas had ‘literally exploded’. “The military operation in Bajaur has resulted in massive dislocation of civilians. There is no military operation in Kurram Agency, but fierce fighting is going on in that tribal region. Parts of Kurram are worse than Somalia.” He conceded that a peace accord with the Swat Taliban in May last year had helped militants reorganise and re-equip. “They have got new weapons coming from Waziristan, including sniper rifles,” he said.


Nizam-e-Adl: The provincial government has almost finalised arrangements for the enforcement of Islamic laws and the focus of new courts in Malakand is to ‘shorten process’ for dispensation of justice. “Nizam-e-Adl will be enforced [in Malakand] by the end of Ramazan,” Khattak said. He said the current military actions in Swat district and Bajaur tribal region were ‘harder’ than the previous ones, adding that good results would soon follow.

Source: Daily Times, Pakistan