Taliban has network in rest of Pakistan too: Pak editorial

January 18th, 2009 - 7:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Islamabad, Jan.18 (ANI): The increasing influence of the Taliban, and other extremists groups in the tribal region, and especially in the Swat valley in Pakistan, reaffirms the Taliban ambitions of running a parallel government in the country.
According to a Daily Times editorial, the territory controlled by the terrorists has increased from 25 to 75 percent.
The recent fatwa by the Taliban to close down all girls school in the region has led to the systematic destruction of female educational infrastructure in Swat by the Taliban and loss of protection by the state, the editorial claims.
While the democratic government in the country has vowed several times to suppress extremism, it has failed at every step miserably.
The seriousness of the clamp down on the increasing territory of the outlawed group can be gauged from the fact that they (Taliban) have an autonomous state of their own, complete with running sharia courts and an FM radio station exhorting the people to accept the new order or die, the editorial says.
They have their own network of intelligence and an information secretary that you can ring up and talk to, it added.
The extremist problem is not new to the Swat region as it has a history that says that it was in the mid-1990s when the radical cleric Sufi Muhammad asked for sharia. In 2001, the Sufi joined the Taliban in Afghanistan to fight the Americans. After his arrest, his son-in-law Maulvi Fazlullah unfurled the flag of jihad in Swat and was soon taking orders from the Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.
Sincere and devoted steps by Pakistan are needed if it wants the Swat Valley to retain as its indispensable geographical part.
Pakistan can turn away from the obligation of saving Swat only at the risk of further more dangerous erosion of the state. It is a war that has to be fought and Pakistan cannot afford to lose it. Islamabad must realise that Swat terrorists have their networks in the rest of the country, the editorial concluded. (ANI)

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