Pakistan Update III

The reception to the WPB passing in Pakistan so far appears positive. No doubt the MMA will do their best to demonstrate and agitate over this, but so far their threatened resignations are not materializing. For an overview of Pakistani opinions on this, here is a good forum discussion.

Meanwhile Musharraf is arresting and deporting Aghan Taliban in droves (note this is mostly from Urban areas, they still have free hand in North Waziristan and the remote areas of FATA and Balochistan. From Pak Tribune /Reuters:

CHAMAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan has handed over 240 suspected Taliban fighters to Afghan authorities this week as a hunt for the Islamist militants continues in the country’s southwest, police said on Friday.
Pakistani police have arrested hundreds of Taliban suspects in recent months in a series of raids in Quetta and other parts of the southwestern province of Baluchistan. Many were handed over to Afghan authorities in July but they said none appeared to be Taliban.

Salman Syed, a senior police official in Quetta, said over 240 suspects handed over to the Afghan authorities this week were arrested over the past two months.

“They were real Taliban fighters. They could not speak Urdu and had no knowledge where they are,” he said referring to the language commonly spoken across Pakistan.  He said some suspects were arrested while getting medical treatment in hospitals.

“Our crackdown against Taliban fighters is continuing and we have increased our surveillance in hospitals.”

The latest crackdown comes amid growing demands by the Afghan government, the United States and
NATO forces for Pakistan to act more forcefully against the Taliban.

Pakistan says it is doing all it can to stem cross-border movement of the militants and has called for more stringent border controls by Afghan and foreign forces on their side of the long, porous frontier.