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Taliban militants backed by al-Qaida trainers are stepping up a campaign of violent destabilisation across Pakistan's tribal belt to divert forces from the battle in the Swat valley, a senior Pakistani commander said today.
"They are trying [to spread the fighting] but it's not significant enough for us to divert our attention," said Major General Tariq Khan, the commander of the 50,000-strong Frontier Corps, speaking to the Guardian at his Peshawar headquarters.
The Taliban were being trained by foreign mercenaries linked to al-Qaida, Khan said. "They are experts in IEDs [roadside bombs], sniper fire and explosives. Mostly Tajiks and Uzbeks, basically. They get paid for their expertise," he said.
I don't think the Taliban are going to fight once they see a consolidated effort against them. Their effort at getting into Mingora is to melt into the crowd, to move out with the exodus of refugees," he said. He predicted that a hardcore of fighters would retreat into remote valleys north of Mingora and try to sue for peace.
Balochistan is totally under the radar of Western corporate media. But not the Pentagon’s. An immense desert comprising almost 48% of Pakistan’s area, rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil, and producing more than one-third of Pakistan’s natural gas, it accounts for less than 4% of Pakistan’s 173 million citizens. Balochs are the majority, followed by Pashtuns. Quetta, the provincial capital, is considered Taliban Central by the Pentagon, which for all its high-tech wizardry mysteriously has not been able to locate Quetta resident “The Shadow”, historic Taliban emir Mullah Omar himself.
Originally posted by czacza1
I think US and NATO troops will have finally go into the fight. and for the first time I feel like I will support them. otherwise sooner or later whole area is going into the chaos.
This next bit seems more like wishful thinking than a realistic view of the situation.
As Ms. Perlez explained in a profile of Mr. Rashid in The Times last year, Mr. Rashid is a former guerrilla himself (he went directly from Cambridge University to fight in Baluchistan in the late 1960s), and he was in Afghanistan to witness the entry of Soviet troops in 1979. He has been reporting on the militants on both sides of the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border ever since and, as Ms. Perlez wrote, “One of his insistent themes is the seamlessness of the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban. They reinforce each other, he said, and so cannot be treated in isolation.”