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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan reports no breakthrough in foreign militants` registration

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, May 15, IRNA -- Deadlock over the registration of foreign 
militants, said to be hiding in Pakistan`s tribal region, continued on
Saturday as a strong local tribal commander has not agreed to a 
government`s call that all the foreigners must register themselves 
with the authorities. 
A tribal Jirga or council of the Ahmedzai tribe, which met in 
South Waziristan, did not get any assurance from Commander Nek 
Muhammad, who signed a peace deal with the military last month, which 
brought to an end to the months of fighting. 
Some 100 militants and Pakistani troops were killed in the 
operation launched in March. 
Nek Muhammad says that the registration of foreigners was not part
of the peace deal. 
Under the amnesty deal for foreign militants, the fighters would 
be able to stay if they halted activities against Pakistan and 
Afghanistan, government sources said. 
Pakistan has now given local tribesmen who brokered the deal more 
time but said they might face legal action if they failed to deliver. 
The Jirga on Saturday formed a 36-member committee to explore ways
to end the deadlock. The jirga members discussed the situation with 
the authorities in Waziristan. 
The Jirga members are confident to find a solution on Sunday. 
Otherwise, the Jirga may launch an operation under the tribal 
traditions, which include burning houses and shutting business. 
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf says 500 to 600 
foreign militants are hiding in the region. 
They showed stiff resistance to a major army operation in the 
South Waziristan region in March to root out militants accused of 
al-Qaeda links. 
Local tribesmen are now believed to be pursuing more consultations
with the foreign fighters -- mainly Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens and 
Afghans. 
Pakistan officials say that the government`s patience is running 
out and the authorities may adopt `other options` if the tribal Jirga 
fails to resolve the problem. 
In Pakistan`s semi-autonomous tribal areas, whole clans can be 
held responsible for an individual`s actions. 
AHM/TSH/AH/210 



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