Taliban advance deeper into Pakistan

April 17th, 2009 - 1:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Peshawar (Pakistan), Apr.17 (ANI): The Taliban have advanced deeper into Pakistan by engineering a class revolt that exploits profound fissures between a small group of wealthy landlords and their landless tenants, according to government officials and analysts here.

According to a New York Times report, the strategy has cleared a path to power for the Taliban in the Swat Valley, where the government has allowed Islamic law to be imposed this week.

The militants have organized peasants into armed gangs and told them to act as shock troops, the residents, government officials and analysts said.

“This was a bloody revolution in Swat. I wouldn’t be surprised if it sweeps the established order of Pakistan,” the paper quoted a senior Pakistani official who oversees Swat, as saying on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation by the Taliban. Analysts and other government officials warn that the strategy executed in Swat is easily transferable to Punjab, saying that the province, where militant groups are already showing strength, is ripe for the same social upheavals that have convulsed Swat and the tribal areas.

Mahboob Mahmood, a Pakistani-American lawyer and former classmate of President Obama’s, said, “The people of Pakistan are psychologically ready for a revolution.”

“The militants, for their part, are promising more than just proscriptions on music and schooling,” he added.

The Taliban strategy in Swat, an area of 1.3 million people with fertile orchards, vast plots of timber and valuable emerald mines, has unfolded in stages over five years, analysts said. (ANI)

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