Pakistan Rounds up Illegal Afghan Immigrants

As a follow up to yesterday’s report on the mass registration underway, Pakistan has rounded up 70 illegal immigrants, as reported by the Pak Tribune. I expect more of this to come over the next days and weeks.

QUETTA: At least 70 Afghan nationals have been nabbed during an operation against illegal immigrants in Chaman and Noshki here on Tuesday. Police arrested them under foreign act and started investigation in this regard. Illegal immigrants were allegedly involved in killing, kidnapping, robbery and other anti-social activities.

Both Musharraf and Sherpao are taking a harder line in preparation for the coming cross-border Jirga, and you have to wonder if the lack of attention to the Taleban operating freely in Waziristan wasn’t just to lull them into coming out in the open. I’ll believe that when they capture Sadiq Noor.

Henry Bolingbroke over at Crumbling Spires has a link and article from Afgha.com with some good history on the region, which leads me to speculation that perhaps the best outcome might be to allow some tribal regions to secede and rejoin the country of Afghanistan.

It would probably never happen, but it would solve some political dilemmas for Musharraf & Pakistan while putting the Taleban in reach of ISAF. It could also simultaneously put AQ on the out if the Jirgas actually jell.

For more on the strife the Dargai and Baujaur Madrassa bombing is causing see this debate from the Pakistani National Assembly. Off the mike and out of quorum though it might be, it still speaks volumes. [Note: normally I don’t print whole stories, but the Frontier Post uses .net and their sub-links never work twice in a row]

F.P. Report ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly session was adjourned for lack of quorum on Tuesday – but not before witnessing fiery and recriminatory speeches on the deadly incidents in Bajaur and Dargai. An angry Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain, after MNA Abdul Akbar Chitrali pointed out the lack of quorum, adjourned the session when the interior minister was to conclude the emotive debate on Bajaur air strike and Dargai suicide attack Opposition legislators, leaving the minister in a fit of rage, left their seats after Chitrali cited inadequate quorum despite the minister’s insistence on completion of the requisite strength so that he could wind up the discussion. Key opposition leaders including Qazi Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Chaudhry Nisar Ali and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf were not in the house when the debate got under way. Opening the debate, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sher Afghan Niazi blasted the Jamaat-i-Islami for the suicide attack on the army base in Dargai and running the Bajaur madrassa, where suicide-bombing training was being imparted for the a year. With his inflammatory speech provoking the MMA, the minister added the air strike was conducted after army monitoring of the seminary. No minor was among those killed in the operation, he insisted, saying a peace agreement was to be signed on October 30 with the people of Bajaur and not with Maulvi Liaquat of the TNSM. Opposition lawmakers also denounced the minister for calling PML (N) MNA Raja Asad Ali a ‘fugitive’ due to his absence from the National Assembly. Asad Ali had duly sought permission from the speaker but Sher Afgan chose to launch a personal attack on the PML-N member. The minister, who charged Asad was involved in several cases, asked how the leave application of a ‘fugitive’ was sanctioned. Offended as they were, opposition legislators said the minister, who had earlier described parliament as uncivilized, himself lacked parliamentary and decent behaviour. Liaquat Baloch claimed several convicts had been made cabinet members but no one ever referred to them. Sher Afgan should apologise to all assembly members for his unparliamentary remarks, said the MMA MNA, who went on to ask the speaker to expunge the minister’s words from routine proceedings. Ch. Amir replied the mike was off during Sher Afgan’s speech. Agencies add: Opposition MNAs condemned the Bajaur and Dargai incidents and demanded of the government to review its policy on the war on terrorism. But treasury members stuck to the point all those killed in Bajaur were terrorists. They agreed negotiations should be held for solution of the problems confronting the country. Treasury member from FATA Munir Aurakzai linked the Bajaur incident with the expected peace agreement in the area. He threatened the 12 members of MNAs and senators from FATA would resign if such actions continued. Naveed Qamar of PPP said the Bajaur incident had created hatred among people against the army, and that that no government writ existed in the tribal belt. Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Tanveer Hussain Syed, criticizing the opposition’s inappropriate behaviour, claimed there was solid evidence of terrorist training imparted at the seminary. There would be no compromise on the war on terror, he added. Hafiz Hussain Ahmed believed the country was facing a number of conspiracies, as conflicting statements from government members had created doubts among people. One individual in violation of democratic and parliamentary norms is taking all decisions while parliament had been marginalised, he said. Abid Sher Ali of Pakistan Muslim League-N opined the government had failed to protect is people, and its policies had weakened the federation. Maulana Mairaj Din of MMA on the occasion said that in case if 80 people are getting training then why not had the army arrested them. Members of the treasury also condemned Dargai incident and said it was an effort to shake the confidence of the government but it remained committed to battling terrorism. They said the nation was united under the leadership of President Pervez Musharraf on rooting out terrorism and ensuring peace for sustainable development. Maulana Muhammad Sadiq called for setting up a `house commission’ for fact finding which should present its report before the National Assembly. He said those killed should also be compensated and urged the government to take measures so that such incidents are not repeated in future. Ruling party’s MP Bhandara said the incidents of Dargai and Bajaur were the direct result of the situation in Afghanistan where Afghan nationalists – whom every one calls Taliban – were pitched against the western military forces. “These nationalists should not be called Taliban with whom we have to reconcile,” he added. These nationalists of Afghanistan, he said, over the last 150 years have defeated the British and Soviet armies. MQM member Haider Abbas Rizvi said inter-linking the Bajaur and Dargai incidents was thought provoking for the religious parties. They are treading a tight rope and the world is also seeing them with doubts after recovery of Al Qaeda suspects from the houses of their party workers, he said.