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The Militants Versus the Government in Waziristan

July 7, 2006 by  


Muslim Media News Service

On Monday June 26th 2006 a suicide bomber slammed into a Khajuri check post on the main Miramshah-Bannu road in the North Waziristan Agency about 10 km east of Miramshah. Sources say that the driver was in a car full of explosives that he rammed into the check post on purpose. 5 paramilitary soldiers and a Khasaddar of the Levies force were killed, while 26 others individuals were injured. This check post was guarded by both the personnel of the Frontier Corps and Levies force. The attack took place at 3:30 pm in the afternoon.

This attack came after the Militant’s spokesperson in Waziristan, Abdullah Farhad announced a one month conditional ceasefire. This was the third incident of suicide car bombing in one month in Waziristan. In the latest suicide attack, a white car coming from Razmak drove into the security forces at the Khajuri check post and exploded. Witnesses said security forces immediately closed off the area and blocked the Bannu-Miramshah road traffic. The dead and wounded were rushed to Peshawar in military helicopters.

While talking to BBCU (BBC URDU) Abdullah Farhad first denied any involvement in the attacks. In his statement he said the attacks were the work of the government, who were opposed to the ceasefire.

He also insisted that the militants were abiding by the self-regulated ceasefire. However, two hours later, he called the BBCU and claimed responsibility for the attack. He said the explosive car was accompanied by other cars in which the militants were riding. This car was slammed into the check post and blown up while the check post guards were checking stopped vehicles. After giving all this information to the news network, he went on to say that the ceasefire will stay in effect regardless of the recent events.

In the light of these recent events, the government in Peshawar now doubts weather Farhad really spoke for the rest of the militants when he announced the ceasefire. An official said, “There is the question of credibility, and we don’t know whether this guy speaks for the militants. It [the militants’ reaction to the crisis] means that there is something terribly wrong there.”

According to Abdullah Farhad who is the spokesperson for the militant group of North Waziristan this ceasefire was decided by the shura of militant commanders on June 25th 2006, just one day before the recent suicide bomber attack. The militants also asked the government to provide security for those militants traveling to the region for that month. They also emphasized that they would have the right to defend themselves if the situation demanded it. There are four conditions for the ceasefire:

1. The soldiers of the Pakistan Army guarding check posts in North Waziristan should be withdrawn within this month and confined to their camps; and the army would have to pull out of the tribal region after one month.

2. The government should restore all privileges and rights of the tribes, open closed markets, restore jobs and pay the withheld salaries of tribal employees.

3. All new check posts, (said to be between 20 and 25), would have to be abolished within one month and only old check posts would be allowed to exist, and those too should be guarded by tribal khasadars. The Frontier Corps’ paramilitary soldiers will not guard those posts.

4 Those arrested or captured during military operations in the volatile tribal region should be released within a month.

NWFP Governor Lt-Gen (retired) Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai welcomed this ceasefire and said that this was a step in the right direction. “It’s good. It’s a welcome development and I appreciate it. I think it would help bring peace to the tribal region,” the Governor remarked.

However, he did not comment much on the four conditions. He said that this was a decision that will be made by the Jirga. “When we will sit we will discuss. After all, issues are resolved through talks and negotiations.” he said.

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