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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Fear of Talibanization increasing gradually in Pakistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 24, IRNA - Fear of Talibanization in Pakistan has been increasing as a religious political leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has warned in a speech in the National Assembly that the Taliban were closing on to Islamabad .

He added that Taliban have reached Buner (a district bordering troubled Swat valley in North West Frontier Province ) and if they continue advancing, they can reach Islamabad one day.

The Taliban have said they will not leave Buner until the Nizam-e-Adl was implemented in Malakand division.

Regular courts in Buner have stopped working as Taliban are freely patrolling the district, 60 miles away from Islamabad.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman blamed the “civil war-like situation” on former president Pervez Musharraf’s decision to join the US-led war on terror.

He said the fallout would also affect India and China.

PML-N’s Khawaja Asif urged the government to revisit the deal with banned ‘Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi’ (TNSM), saying the Taliban had made public their intention of taking over the whole of Pakistan.

A parliamentarian Sahibzada Fazal Karim criticized the attitude of Taliban in Swat and said they are fueling sectarianism in the country that would harm national unity.

MNA of MQM Haider Abbas Rizvi said that with passage of Nizam-e-Adal Regulation the National Assembly has lost its sovereignty as it has legalized Talibanization.

He was of the view that those challenging the writ of government should be dealt with an iron hand.

Pakistani Ambassador to US Husain Haqqan, however, has rejected reports about the possibility of a Taliban takeover in Islamabad and said that Swat peace arrangement amounted to the government’s abdication of its responsibility towards the Pakistani people.

President Asif Ali Zardari, under pressure, signed a regulation imposing sharia law in the Swat valley to end Taliban violence.

Details of the deal have not been made public but government officials backing the pact have said part of it was that militants would give up their arms.

Swat valley had been peaceful for the past two months after the peace deal was signed by Sufi Muhammad, leader of the banned ‘Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Mohammadi’ (TNSM) and the government in North West Frontier Province.

Meanwhile, Sufi Muhammad has said that those who called the Supreme Court and high courts “Sharai” were rebels against Islam.

Taliban led by Maulana Fazlullah in Swat declared ceasefire after the agreement, however after some time they have again started their activities.

Taliban militants want to enforce own laws in the region, and have been attacking government buildings, courts and security forces.

Militant spokesman Muslim Khan has said that Pakistani Taliban will not lay down their arms in Swat but will take their 'struggle' to new areas.

'Sharia doesn't permit us to lay down arms,' Muslim Khan said.

'If a government, either in Pakistan or Afghanistan , continues anti-Muslim policies, it's out of the question that Taliban lay down their arms.'

'When we achieve our goal at one place, there are other areas where we need to struggle for it,' he said.

Militants infiltrated into Swat in 2007 from strongholds on the Afghan border to the west to support cleric Sufi Mohammad.

Khan said militants would go to Afghanistan to fight US-led forces if Afghan Taliban called for help.

Many in Pakistan ’s government recognise that extremist elements pose a threat to its authority and must be brought under control.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that she believed the Pakistani government was abdicating to the Taliban and other militants.

According to government estimates, terrorism has cost Pakistan $35 billion in economic losses and damage to infrastructure.

More than 3,500 terrorist incidents have occurred since 2007, killing an average of 84 people per month this year.

Political analyst and a senior scholar Shireen M. Mazari in an article said that Pakistani state is unable to establish its writ within its own territories and also unable to provide the basics of social welfare and justice to its people.

"When the Pakistani state allows its territory to be used for drones that kill Pakistanis – and it is irrelevant whether they are killed deliberately or as "collateral damage" – more space is created for future recruits who want to fight the US and its collaborators", viewed Shireen M. Mazari.

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