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U.S drone attacks restrict movement of Pakistani Taliban leaders

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan. 27, IRNA -- The continued U.S drone attacks on Pakistan tribal regions have restricted the movement and public appearance of local Taliban leaders in the South and North Waziristan. However Taliban decisions are fully implemented whenever they are announced.

The Hafiz Gul Bahadar of Taliban banned mixed education from January 5, and according to local tribesmen the decision was implemented as the Taliban decision was made public by 'imams' (prayers' leaders) in Friday's sermons. The order has been implemented, according to tribesmen in Miransha, the center of North Waziristan.

Journalists and tribesmen in Waziristan say that local Taliban leaders are now avoiding public appearance as the U.S has increased missile attacks on tips by the alleged spies in the region.

Taliban have also killed around 15 people on espionage charges this month, the number of such killing is high than the past. The militants now regularly release CDs with the statements of alleged spies, who admit being spies on Taliban. In some CDs few men were shown while being executed.

The alleged spies said in recorded statements in Taliban CDs that their services are hired for passing information on the militants. They also explain how they throw or install a 'chip' at places or hideouts of the suspected militants. According to a local journalist around 80 persons are in Taliban custody over spying charges.

According to official sources U.S Drone launched around 50 attacks last year and at least four this month. Tribesmen and officials are unanimous in saying that mainly civilians including women and children are killed in drone attacks. The two strikes on Friday in North and South Waziristan killed 22 people and tribesmen say they all were locals. Tribal elders and religious leaders who spoke in the funeral of nine killed in North Waziristan condemned Western media to report that foreigners were among the casualties. They also invited the media to see the dead bodies.

According to local tribesmen the Taliban leaders even now keep on changing places and even if some time a militant leader comes to a public place, he immediately leaves the place after a brief public appearance.

Sources in North Wazirustan say the drone attacks have also led to the closure of former Afghan Taliban Jalaludin Haqqani's big Madrassa at Darpa Khel area with 200 hostel rooms. U.S missile strikes had also destroyed seminaries and houses of Haqqani's relatives last year.

Drone attacks are not only causing casualties, majority of them civilians, but the dangerous outcome could once again plunge Waziristan region into chaos. The reported statement of President Obama that he has endorsed the strikes policy for Pakistani tribal regions may further complicate the situation. South and North Waziristan had been quiet last year due to peace agreements with the Taliban groups there. The government, strong ally of the U.S in the so-called war on terror, must act promptly to urge the new administration to show respect for Pakistan's territorial integrity and avoid problems for thousands of security forces in Waziristan.

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