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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Taliban militants began pulling out of a recently seized district of northwestern Pakistan on Friday, a local official and the insurgents said, after the government warned it would remove them by force.
The withdrawal, if completed, eliminates the most immediate threat to a peace agreement in the militant-held Swat Valley that the U.S. government worries has created a haven for allies of Al Qaeda.
Television pictures showed dozens of militants emerging from a high-walled villa that served as their headquarters in Buner, a rural area just 60 miles from the capital.
The men, most of them masked with black scarves and carrying automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, clambered into several pickup trucks and minibuses before driving away.
Syed Mohammed Javed, the top government administrator in the region, said a hardline cleric who helped mediate the disputed peace deal persuaded the Taliban to return to Swat in a meeting on Friday.
"We told them that we have a deal, we have a peace agreement. We told them not to become a tool in the hands of someone aiming at sabotaging the peace in the region," Javed told The Associated Press by telephone from Buner.
Javed said he and the cleric, Sufi Muhammad, were leading the Taliban convoy back to Mingora, Swat's main town.
The government agreed in February to impose Islamic law in Swat and surrounding areas of the northwest in return for a cease-fire that halted nearly two years of bloody fighting between militants and Pakistani security forces.
But hard-liners have seized on the concession to demand Islamic law, or Sharia, across the country, and the Swat Taliban have used it to justify a push into Buner, putting them within striking distance of the capital and key roads leading to the main northwestern city of Peshawar.
Originally posted by solidshot
reply to post by GAOTU789
If they don't already have access to nuclear material? lets not forget that they are funded trained and armed by the Pakistani ISI (intelligence community) so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this were the case. personally i don't think it will be to long before we go into Pakistan as well and then we will have trouble on the streets of the UK given the number of immigrants from that country that we have here.
Originally posted by ItsallCrazy
reply to post by solidshot
You gotta remember though even though there is high levels or immigrants over here a LOT of them aren't pakistani.. and to be completely honest its the pakistani ones that normally have their own businesses.
We have huge numbers of immigrants in this country and the Pakistani community is probably the largest of them all, out of all the immigrants i would say the Indians are the ones that have their own business's, whilst their certainly are Pakistani businesses in this country the majority of Immigrants that i have seen from Pakistan have either been doing lower skill jobs such as taxi driving and shelf filling in supermarkets or claiming benefits.