Taliban call for immediate end to Dir operation

April 28th, 2009 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, April 28 (IANS) The Taliban Tuesday called on the Pakistani government to immediately end a military operation in the northwestern Dir district where 70 militants have so far been killed.
“The government should immediately end the military operation in Dir and look for solution of the problems through dialogue,” The News quoted Maulana Muhammad Alam, the deputy chief of Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM), a Taliban-aligned group, as saying at a press conference in Dir.

The TNSM leader also accused the government of violating the Swat peace deal by launching a fresh offensive in Dir, which adjoins the Swat Valley in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where the government had entered into an agreement with the militants in February to implement Islamic Sharia laws in seven districts of the province in exchange for peace.

At least 70 militants were killed by the security forces during their operations that began Sunday. The offensive came as Western governments, including the US, raised serious concerns about the Swat peace pact and accused nuclear-armed Pakistan of abdicating to the Taliban.

Alam said that Taliban had neither damaged any public property nor violated the Swat deal. He made it clear that the prevailing situation was a result of the delay in appointing Qazis courts and Darul Qazas or Islamic appealate court.

TNSM chief Sufi Mohammad has said that appeals against the Qazi courts can only be heard by Darul Qazas as the NWFP High Court and the Supreme Court, where they otherwise would be heard, were “un-Islamic”.

Amir also said the government had lost control of about 80 percent of the Swat valley.

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