By Muhammad Khurshid
Voice For Peace
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan
March 31, 2008
Several tribal elders and maliks interviewed by Voice For Peace have shown willingness to hand over Osama bin Laden and other terrorists hiding in tribal areas to the United States as according to them, they are criminals and they must face charges in court of law whether it is in the United States or tribal areas. They suggested that the US forces and tribal people should carry out search operation jointly.
There are indications that Osama bin Laden may be hiding in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border as he according to reports, he along with his other colleagues were shifted to Bajaur Agency after launching of operation in Waziristan tribal region. At that time political agent of Bajaur Agency was from Waziristan Agency. Several maliks and elders confirmed the shifting of Osama to Bajaur Agency. Due to the sensitivity of the matter they requested that their names might not be disclosed.
On the other hand Pakistan media has been creating another militant leader in Bajaur Agency. A statement of the militant leader was carried out by several newspapers of Pakistan. According to The News International report, a militant leader with alleged ties to al-Qaeda has welcomed an offer by Prime Minister Gilani to negotiate with the militants accused of launching terrorist attacks from the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
Maulvi Faqir Mohammed said on Sunday his fighters were not “enemies” of Pakistan, adding “our war is with America”.
Speaking in the Bajaur tribal region, Maulvi Faqir told more than 4,000 supporters — hundreds of armed militants among them, “We welcome the government’s announcement of talks with the Taliban.”
Maulvi Faqir comments came a day after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said in his inaugural speech that fighting terrorism was his government’s top priority. Gilani also said his government was willing to talk to militants who laid down their arms and “joined the path of peace”.
Expanding education and development in the impoverished region would be a “key pillar” of the government’s strategy against the militants in the tribal zone, the prime minister said. Maulvi Faqir said the government should not cooperate with the United States. ìWhenever Pakistan will work for the American interests as its ally, we will have our opposition to that matter,î Maulvi Faqir said amid chants of ìdeath to America.î
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan on Sunday welcomed the negotiation offer of the incoming NWFP government, saying that they were open to talks on enforcement of Shariah and restoration of peace in the restive Swat valley.
Talking to this scribe by telephone from an undisclosed location, TTP spokesman Sirajuddin said: “We hail the provincial government’s efforts for establishing law and order in the restive valley. However, end to the military operation is a prerequisite to achieve peace in the area,” he said.
He also demanded an immediate announcement regarding the implementation of Shariah in the Malakand region and reminded that government was duty-bound to fulfill its religious obligations.
Siraj also lauded MPA from Swat, Waqar Ahmed Khan for raising voice on the floor of provincial assembly for the people of Swat and showing his concern over the situation in the troubled region. He urged all political parties to unite in order to help restore peace in the picturesque valley.