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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Situation in Swat still tense

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Aug 6, IRNA

Pakistan-Swat-Situation

The situation in Swat, a district in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan is tensed despite a large scale military operation against local Taliban.

The situation in Swat started deteriorating when an Islamic organization, Threek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), led by Mualana Fazlullah had rebelled against the Pakistani government.

Maulana Fazlullah also launched a campaign for the imposition of Islamic laws in the valley.

The government of Pakistan made serious efforts to bring peace in the area by signing a peace agreement with Mualana Fazlullah, which had allowed him to establish Islamic courts in the district.

After four months the truce ended in late September 2007 and fighting resumed. The paramilitary Frontier Constabulary was deployed to the area but the situation couldn't improve.

Militants on November 16, 2007 captured Alpuri district headquarters. The local police fled without resisting the advancing militant force.

In late November 2007, Pakistani forces threw out militants from its stronghold in the village of Imam Dheri. About 250 militants died in two weeks of fighting, during which the square-mile base was bombarded by artillery, according to Pakistani authorities.

Just as the Pakistani military completed a deployment into Swat, Fazlullah's fighters had hit a convoy with a suicide bomber.

Bombing remained continued in various parts of Swat while more than 60 schools have been set on fire so far in the district.

Muslim Khan, Fazlullah deputy, said Shariah law was the end goal "We have a one-point agenda and that is the enforcement of Shariah in Swat and the rest of Malakand region in accordance with the assurance given to us by the government," Khan said.

"We have yet to announce a jihad against the government and in that case the situation will turn from bad to worse." The government of Pakistan has been facing criticism of the west on activities of militants going on in Swat.

Fazlullah's supporters are pretty strong in the area and they have been carrying out beheadings of soldiers and civilians, bombing girl schools and pressurizing the local public to obey Shariah laws.

They have also been threatening the barbers to avoid shaving, otherwise, they will be punished for violating the orders of Fazlullah.

Residents of Swat criticize the federal, provincial and district governments for failing to maintain law and order.

They say the situation in Swat had started deteriorating after pirate FM radio stations went on air.

The military, however, has said that the operation in Swat will continue till the objective of cleaning the area from militants is achieved.



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