Swat residents asked to evacuateMay 5th, 2009 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, May 5 (IANS) The residents of Swat in Pakistan’s troubled northwest were Tuesday asked to move to safer areas as the Pakistani military seemed to be opening a third front against the Taliban, which violated a controversial peace accord in the area.
Swat’s district coordination officer (DCO) Monday ordered the residents of Qamber, Raheemabad, Aman Kot, Makan Bagh towns to evacuate to safer places, Geo TV reported.
The DCO also said curfew in the district would be relaxed from 1.30 p.m. to 7 p.m., an indication that any military operation would begin only in the evening.
The curfew was imposed April 26 when Pakistani security forces went into action against the Taliban in the Lower Dir district to the northwest of Swat. Two days later, the military opened a second front in Buner district to the south of Swat and which is just 100 km from Islamabad.
The operation came after the Taliban violated the Feb 16 peace accord with the North West Frontier Province Government (NWFP) under which Sharia laws were imposed in Swat, Buner, Lower Dir and four other districts of the NWFP that are collectively known as the Malakand division in return for the Taliban laying down their arms.
Instead, the militants moved out of their Swat headquarters and occupied Buner.
On Monday, a spokesperson for radical cleric Sufi Mohammad, who had brokered the peace accord, said it “stands practically dissolved”.
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