Crackdown on militants by tribal volunteers in Tribal Areas

By Anwarullah Khan

KHAR, Oct 5: Hundreds of tribal volunteers marched in Mamond and Wara tehsils, strongholds of militants in Bajaur Agency, on Sunday and warned pro-Taliban elements to either surrender or leave the area.

The armed tribesmen did not encounter any resistance.

Elders leading the lashkar visited mosques and hujras in villages and urged tribesmen to rise up against militants.

Malik Sultan Zeb, who is commanding the lashkar, said that his 20,000 volunteers would launch a crackdown on militants from Monday.

He said they would destroy houses of Taliban ‘commanders’, including the residence of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Maulvi Omar.

“People are fed up. They will not spare anyone who is in league with them,” said Malik Zeb, adding that his people were determined to go after the militants and needed no government help. He also said that the Taliban ‘commanders’ and their supporters had vanished from the area.

“The Taliban fighters and commanders are of humble backgrounds and not in a position to challenge the lashkar. They will be eliminated in a few days,” he remarked.

Security forces delayed action in Mamond at the request of the elders, who sought to defer action for three days and promised to raise a lashkar to crackdown against the militants.

In other areas of Bajuar, security forces backed by helicopters and artillery shelled some places and claimed killing seven militants.

Troops also opened the road between Khar and Inayet Killey which has remained closed since Aug 6. The agency’s main town of Khar and its adjacent areas remained peaceful and the situation is returning to normal.

Also on Sunday, seven people were wounded in an explosion in the Pasht area in Salarzai.

The explosion took place immediately after a meeting held at the residence of former MNA Shahabuddin Khan. According to local people, explosives was left on the kerb of a road and detonated with a remote control.

Meanwhile, Afghan nationals continued to leave for Afghanistan via the Ghakhi checkpost.

Sources said that the administration was likely to extend the three-day deadline, which expired on Sunday, by two or three days.

The authorities have set up a registration centre at Ghakhi Ser to monitor their movement.

It is learnt that influential refugee leaders were planning to shift to Peshawar and Dir districts.

An official said that about 90 Afghan families had registered themselves and moved to adjacent districts via Toorghundai checkpost.

APP adds: Tribesmen in Charmang will also launch a crackdown on militants in Nawagai tehsil.

Assistant Political Agent Jamil Khan said that the Mamond laskhar had burnt down houses of militant leaders named Rehmatullah Khan and Syed Bacha.

Members of the Charmang jirga have vowed to take action against people sheltering militants and said that their houses would be set on fire.

Meanwhile, security forces attacked militant hideouts in Rasakari and Tang Khata areas between late Saturday night and early Sunday. (Dawn)