Pakistan Update: Army Removes Mirali Curfew

In Pakistan the papers are not updated yet because it is Eid holiday, and I expect them to update later today. Right now the pre-Eid shopping frenzy is over and Pakistanis are celebrating with their families.

UPDATE: The Army has lifted the curfew in Mirali, and a tribal jirga hopes to make the new truce permanent. Some residents are reported as returning to the village, and the bazaar has re-opened. The army remains watchful. More on this from AFP, the Army is denying that a full cease-fire has been negotiated:

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) — The Pakistan military and militants have agreed a temporary ceasefire following some of the bloodiest clashes along the Afghan border for six years, a tribal elder said Tuesday.

Elders have been leading talks to try to broker the truce in Miranshah, the main town in the lawless tribal zone of North Waziristan, after fierce fighting last week that officials say left around 250 people dead.

“A temporary ceasefire has been agreed and four army checkposts in the area have been abolished,” said Faizullah Khan, who heads the local tribal council, adding it was reached Monday night.

The military denied however a ceasefire had been agreed, saying talks with the jirga, or tribal peace committee, were ongoing and a decision was expected later Tuesday.

“As far as security forces are concerned, negotiations for a ceasefire are continuing and a final decision is expected today,” chief military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said.

“We have eased restrictions to facilitate movement of civilians in the area,” Arshad said.

Fighting halted last Wednesday to allow tribesmen to bury some 50 people killed in a military airstrike that hit the village of Ippi.

The area near Mirali remains evacuated of most civilians, and while the offensive has quieted from the armies side, rocket attacks continue on isolated outposts. Conflicting reports are stating that thirty captive soldiers were freed with their four vehicles by the Mehsuds in South Waziristan, but the Daily times has articles with tribal elders denying that.

In Mohmand, Fazlullah’s followers (TNSM,) have formed a vigilante group called “eagle force” and they are killing and whipping alleged “criminals.” One of the “criminals” turns out to be a shopkeeper who stood up to the Taliban.

On the political front the Supreme court has put the NRO or National Reconciliation act on hold, meaning that Benazir Bhutto could be arrested under the past charges of corruption if she returns. While Musharraf is warning her not to return yet for safety, there are branches of PML that might act and have her arrested if she returns before the act comes out of limbo.

Bhutto states that she will not delay her return, which is slated for 10/18.

In other news Lal Masjid, which now re-opened in Islamabad will be painted red again. I say paint it any color you want, just don’t ever let the same murder mullahs and death clerics to preach hate and discord there.  

 One year ago, there were the first signs that the Taliban was violating the peace accords, with Saddiq Noor sending suicide bombers to Pakistan, and the goverment closed the camps near the Kashmir, which is one of the things leading here.

UPDATE: Muslim mob attacks Christian Church near Lahore, destroys musical instruments and bible.

UPDATE: Since Ornery asked, A government minister states that Benazir Bhutto would not be arrested on her return from the old corruption charges, though the Supreme Court has re-instated them.

3 Replies to “Pakistan Update: Army Removes Mirali Curfew”

  1. I’m curious, Thanos, what you think might be the repurcussions if Bhutto does arrive on schedule and IS arrested?

  2. I don’t suspect she will be arrested — it depends on how many people the Chaudry’s are able to get on their side I suppose. I’m more worried about the death threats from both the Taliban and AQ. Right now Musharraf is at his lowest approval rating ever, the problem is that the people don’t like Bhutto much better. The ruling elite in Pakistan are going to drive the country to stark socialism or Talibanisation one or the other, everyone’s disaffected but there isn’t a solid popular bloc anywhere to be found. So very hard to say.

    Sanity, if you read my about page you will find that I’m an aetheist, so my reason tells me to forgive those deserving, and to kill those who aren’t.

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