A view of beautiful Buner Valley.
An armed Taliban militant stands beside the body of one of two policemen killed in Buner district, April 7, 2009.—Reuters
Militants recruit followers, extend patrols in Buner
BUNER: Militants extended their patrolling to new parts of the district and have started preaching at different mosques asking local youth to join their fold and assume control of their areas.
Giving sermons in different mosques at Sultanwas, Pacha, Bhai Kaly, Malkpur, Kalakheelam, Jure, Bagra, Manyarai, Gokand, and other areas they stated that the Tehrik-i-Taliban had its roots both within and outside of the country and the local population should join them for spreading the message of Islam.
They called upon all the people to allow their near and dear ones to join the ranks of Taliban for enforcement of Shariah laws in the Malakand division and rest of the country.
The militants extended their patrolling to the villages in Chamla Tehsil on Sunday as the law enforcing agencies continued to remain indifferent to their movement and activities.
‘We are in constant touch with the leadership of Taliban in Swat and the situation will return to normal in next few days,’ said the Buner district coordination officer Jawed Ahmad.
The DCO told Dawn by phone: ‘We have adopted policy of restraint as a slight mistake could derail the entire peace initiative launched by the government. These Taliban are peaceful and have till now not harmed any individual in the district.’
He dispelled the impression of any recruitment by the Swat Taliban in Buner stating that they had not received any such report. He added that the local people had entered into an agreement with the Taliban in Swat through a jirga.
A local police official told Dawn that the latest weapons carried by these Taliban had turned into a source of attraction for the youngsters who had been roaming with them in large number. ‘I fear that in next few days they will be joined by sizeable number of people mostly youngsters and will announce their organization setup in Buner,’ he added.
On Sunday a leader of the Swat Taliban, Maulana Khalil, delivered a sermon at a mosque in Malakpur village during which leaders of Ishaat –Al-Sunnah-wat-Tauheed, Maulana Minhajudeen and Maulana Tajur Rehman and large number of locals welcomed him.
He said that Pakistan came into existence on the name of Islam but despite the passage of 60 years that objective could not be achieved. He said that the movement for enforcement of Islamic Shariah in Malakand Division was started 20 years ago, but the desire goal could not be achieved through peaceful means and thus armed movement was started.
Maulana Khalil urged the local youth to come forward and shoulder responsibility of their localities. The local population has now been trying to adjust themselves with the Taliban and large number of them is visiting them at Sultanwas, Pir Baba and rest of their stations.
As the Taliban assured them complete peace in case of no resistance, the people here are averse to any military operation which they view would inflict more problems and devastation on the people.
Moreover, the Taliban remained in the Darbar Pir Baba, Jamia Masjid Pir Baba, Pacha Bazaar, Sultanwas, Bagra, Manyarai, and Gokand as main stations while their patrol continued to rest of district unabated. Their presence continued in the shrine of a saint Pir Baba as the management of the shrine has now been barred from entering the premises.
Source: Daily Jang & Daily Dawn