The Happy Arab News Service

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Let's Have a Nice Peace Dialog

Just when the Taliban and Al Kaida forces were preparing themselves for the incoming spring offensive in Afghanistan there unexpectedly happened a massive fallout between the Pashtu tribes, Taliban supporters, and the foreign militants, members of Al Kaida, who based themselves in Waziristan at the border with Afghanistan. Pakistan's government has been trying for years to dislodge the foreigners from the lawless province, but this has only led to violent confrontations with the tribesmen in which hundreds of Pakistani soldiers died.

Yet something happened a month ago and since then more than 250 people died in ferocious fighting between the tribes and Al Kaida militants. About 200 Uzbeks, Chechens and Arabs were among the dead.

. . . a council of elders in Wana, South Waziristan's main town, declared jihad, or holy war, against the Central Asians, accusing them of disregarding local traditions and killing tribesmen, and beat traditional war drums to raise a militia.

. . .

One security official said the fighting was focused on the village of Doza Ghundai. He said dozens of Uzbeks had surrendered, He also said that one Pakistani soldier was killed and five others wounded. The circumstances were unclear.

The army insists it is not directly involved in the fighting, though has suggested that troops may respond with artillery if they come under attack. Four army troops were killed at the weekend by rocket fire.

The main commander of the tribal militia battling the foreign militants is Maulvi Nazir, a known Taliban sympathizer who the government says has come over to its side.


The battle, in the semiautonomous region of South Waziristan, has involved thousands of fighters. Local Pashtun tribe members -- including many Taliban supporters -- have squared off against Uzbek, Chechen and Arab militants, who since 2001 have massed near the border to plan attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials say.

. . .

Tension between the tribal members and the foreign fighters has been simmering for months. Tribesmen had accused the foreigners of violating local customs, and the foreigners had begun to accuse locals of spying for the Pakistani and U.S. governments, according to a local official.

Uzbek militants had already beheaded a number of local people (!!! NB), according to Maulana Mairajuddin, a member of a far-right religious party who represents South Waziristan in Parliament.

Mairajuddin -- who spoke by satellite phone from Wana, a town where much of the violence has taken place -- said the fighting this week started with the abduction of four local women by the Uzbeks (Yes. It's a bit overboard, I would say NB). Mairajuddin said he wished locals and the foreigners would stop fighting each other and return to battling U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan (No no, guys. Please keep it this way NB).

"This is the worst news for those who hate the occupation of foreign forces in neighboring Afghanistan," he said (Looks like he is going to cry. If he does I will too :D NB).


I would say that a few peace roundtables may come in really handy here.

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