Musharraf’s support to the US fuelled militancy: Pakistan officials

August 16th, 2008 - 11:49 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
By Muhammad Najeeb
Islamabad, Aug 16 (IANS) Blaming President Pervez Musharraf’s decision to support the US in its war against terrorism for the rise in militancy in Pakistan, officials of the restive North West Frontier Province (NWFP) claimed the Taliban were being supported by other nations. During a briefing to a select group of journalists Friday evening, NWFP Governor Awais Ahmed Ghani, Additional Chief Secretary of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Habibullah and provincial police chief Malik Naveed insisted that other countries were funding the insurgency in Pakistan, reports BBCUrdu.com.

Habibullah said that Pakistan’s decision to side with the US and allied forces against extremism was the beginning of militancy in Pakistan. He added that the raid on the Lal Masjid in Islamabad in July 2007, in which more than 250 people were killed, further fuelled militancy.

According to the BBC, Habibullah explained in detail the types of Taliban militants existing in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan.

He said that the first type fought against Russia and now want to fight against the other external forces present in Afghanistan, while the second type were those who belong to the less privileged class and showed their anger against society and the government by terrorist activities.

Habibullah added that there was also a third type, who were only criminals but identified themselves as Taliban. He said the objective of most of them was to create hatred against America among people by attacking the security forces.

Official sources said the Pakistani government has held successful talks with local leaders in FATA, who have assured help in fighting the Taliban and other terrorists in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

The government is holding talks with the jirga - the council of tribal elders who have influence over the local population.

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