Pakistani Taliban say they’re withdrawing from Buner
Posted: Friday , Apr 24, 2009 at 1410 hrs IST || Reuters
A Pakistani Taliban commander has ordered his men to withdraw from Buner district, a spokesman said on Friday, amid mounting alarm in the United States and Islamabad over the militants’ creeping advance.
Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said there were around 100 fighters in Buner, a district just 100 km (60 miles) from Islamabad, and less than five hours drive from the capital.
“Our leader has ordered that Taliban should immediately be called back from Buner,” Khan said.
Khan belongs to faction led by Taliban commander Fazlullah, whose stronghold is in the neighbouring Swat valley where the government has caved in to militants’ demands for the imposition of Islamic law.
He said government and Taliban representatives were en route to Buner, along with a radical Muslim cleric who brokered the Swat deal, to deliver a message to fighters to vacate the district.
Khan was quoted in the past week as saying al Qaeda would be given refuge in lands under Taliban control.
US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has termed the government’s policies of appeasement in Swat as an abdication of authority to the Taliban, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Pakistan’s leaders to take action against foes who represented an “existential threat” to the state.
alertpak says : This is the time for Pakistan to give the traditional habit to see Indian ghost in every footstep. Such stupidity can make the gulf between India and Pakistan broader. Pakistan should make the real friendship with India and take help both from America and India to finish the talibans from the soil of Pakistan.