Our Beacon Forum

Mullahs Winning In Swat?
By:Dr. Shabbir
Date: Thursday, 19 February 2009, 1:54 am

Has the Pakistan government knelt down before the Mullahs?

Hillary Clinton seems to be right.

Tokyo/Mingora, Feb. 17: US Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Clinton today warned that “activities” by extremist elements in Pakistan pose a “direct threat” to government in Islamabad as well as the security of America and other nations.

Touching on events in Pakistan and Afghanistan during her wide-ranging talks with Japanese leaders on her first official visit abroad, Mrs Clinton said “extremist elements in Pakistan pose a direct threat” to Pakistan itself and other countries.

Asked to comment at a meeting on Pakistan government bowing to demands of pro-Taliban forces by agreeing to enforce Islamic laws in the Swat valley and calling a halt to military operations against the militants, Mrs Clinton said she needed to learn more about the issue before commenting on it.

Nato warned today that Pakistan risked creating a safe haven for Islamist extremists after it struck a deal to impose Islamic law and suspend a military offensive in the Swat valley, even as a hardline cleric dispatched by the government to convince the Taliban to stop fighting arrived in the valley’s main city of Mingora to a hero’s welcome. Residents lined the route as Sufi Muhammad’s caravan of 300 people drove through, waving and shouting “Long live peace! Long live Islam!”

Meanwhile, at least four persons were killed and 15 others injured today when a car bomb exploded near the house of an official, who played a key role in raising a tribal militia against the local Taliban, in Peshawar.

Source of ransom

New York, Feb. 17: Pakistani immigrants from the Swat Valley have alleged that some of their families were being singled out for threats, kidnapping and even murder by Taliban forces, who view them as potential American collaborators and lucrative sources of ransom, a media report said today. Some immigrants claimed they, too, were being threatened in the USA by the Taliban or its sympathisers while some said they were being attacked or kidnapped when they returned home, the New York Times reported. n PTI