Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Taliban Is Moving on Peshawar

Taliban has strengthened its grip on pakistan; below i am providing some detail. The Taliban in pakistan primarily direct their activities Pakistan's border regions Afghanistan, NATO and the U.S. taliban are also in a fight with the Pakistan, despite the recent peace agreements with the NWFP government. Although the Islamists have halted suicide attacks in return for the government's release of their prisoners, most of their activities have not stopped. Pakistan government is only concerned about the activities of Taliban inside Pakistan, peace deals with Taliban ensures that they gain their objectives which is the release of their prisoners and free roaming at the same time Pakistan government is happy too because they ensure less violence. Unfortunately for Pakistan ISI things quite don’t work out as they hoped. For example, even after the government made a deal with the Islamist group Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of the Islamic Shari'a), releasing its leader from prison and permitting it to enforce shari'a in the Swat and Malakand region of the NWFP, the Taliban did not cease its violent activities, and in late June, 10 girls' schools were burned in the Swat district.

This is one of numerous examples of the Taliban defying the government in the regions it controls. However, the main cause for concern is the Taliban's recent advance on Peshawar. Since late June, the Taliban has been present in all the surrounding regions – namely Khyber Agency, Darra Adam Khel, Mohmand Agency, Shabqadar, Michni, Mardan, and Frontier Region Peshawar. Even in the city itself and in its environs, there have been reports of violence and destruction: electricity pylons and power substations have been vandalized, shops selling CDs and DVDs in the center of Peshawar have been bombed, and the Peshawar military base has come under rocket fire – leading some to speculate that the city may soon fall to the Taliban. The business community in the NWFP has expressed its concern over this possibility. Inayat Khan, vice president of the NWFP Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that both residents and investors were worried about the increasing "Talibanization" of the Peshawar area.

In early June, NWFP Police Chief Malik Naved Khan warned the province authorities about the danger, stating that, if the government failed to take action, Peshawar would soon be under Taliban control. His concerns were echoed by the province's top bureaucrat, Tipu Mohabbat Khan, who likewise noted in mid-June that Taliban fighters were moving on the city. However, these warnings were disregarded by the secular government of the province, led by the Awami National Party that came to power in the February 2008 elections. The secular governments in Peshawar and Islamabad have been criticized widely outside Pakistan – for instance by Afghanistan, NATO and the U.S. – for pursuing a policy of dialogue with the Taliban.

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