Four of the leaders under Mullah Fazlullah who led forces in the Swat insurgency have surrendered to authorities. From The International:
MINGORA: In a dramatic development, four prominent militant commanders and close aides of rebel cleric Maulana Fazlullah here on Thursday surrendered to the government and promised to give up militancy in future.
The commanders, who laid down their arms, were identified as Khalil, Fazal, Kabir and Mumtaz. In the past few days, a number of militants, who once fought against the security forces in Swat, have surrendered to the government and pledged to quit militancy and live peaceful lives.
Those who surrendered on Thursday belonged to Koza Bandai area, a town near Mam Dheray that was earlier known as the stronghold of the militants. Three commanders surrendered at an unpublicised ceremony, which the former union council Nazim Sher Khan had organised in Matta where Major Abdullah of the Pakistan Army was present.
The fourth commander who surrendered to the military authorities was identified as Maulana Muhammad Siraj. Maulana Siraj, who had laid down arms along with his four fighters, belonged to Kala Kalley of Kabal Tehsil.
Perhaps they saw hellfire coming in their future, or perhaps they just got tired of being hungry, cold, and on the run. Mullah Fazlullah and some key deputies are still on the run.
In another case of you can’t win for losing, Human Rights Watch says the US is at fault for Musharraf’s emergency rule. This even though he was heavily urged to end it and pressured through all channels from Washington. Story at The International. The US election watch delegation also pulled out from monitoring elections saying that it was insecure. It’s unknown whether John Kerry will still travel to Pakistan for the elections.
South Waziristan Mehsuds are begging the government to come to a jirga, but this is more likely delaying tactic by Baitullah. At the same time they are negotiating with the AQ/Taliban forces from North Waziristan, “the Uzbeks” as reported yesterday.
7 Al Qaeda Arab operatives were among the dead from the strike on Al Libi from Dawn. Here’s the Daily Times article on Al Libi’s death.
Jundullah Update: 6 More Suspects have been arrested in new raids, and more evidence is recovered on groups and finances as authorities roll up the chain of the Al Qaeda allied group (Jundullah doctors worked on most wounded AQ leaders the past few years.) From The International:
Acting on this information, police carried out raids in the Gulshan-e-Maymar, Allahwala Town (Korangi), Shershah and Mominabad areas and rounded up more than six suspects with a recovery of latest weapons.
They also captured strong evidence related to the banned organisation’s future terror plans, said the sources.
Meanwhile, sources, providing more details on the detained militants, said that, during the process of investigation, it was discovered that terrorist Qasim Toori was once a constable of the police department and had later been dismissed. Toori, who was appointed in Sindh police department in the mid-90s, had indulged in criminal activities a policeman.
Finally, when he was posted at Shah Faisal Colony police station, he committed sodomy on a minor boy and was arrested and sent to jail. Later, he was dismissed from the police department, after which, using his contacts with criminals, he joined Jundullah.
Sources maintained that Qasim Toori, alias Hamza, son of Mohammed Farooq Toori, a resident of Rafayaam Society, Al-Falah, Karachi, was a Matric pass and usually spoke in Urdu. Sources added that he bore an identification mark on his left wrist mentioned in the Red Book of the Crime Investigation Department. He was involved in the attack on a Corps Commander in Karachi and several other terrorist cases and was a native of Sialkot.
Also see my earlier article here where I noted that AQ would work through criminal gangs in urban areas.
Also note this article in Asia Times, a media outlet almost as sympathetic to AQ as As- Sahab is – Jundullah gets a mention.
There was a terror blast near the District Coordination Office (DCO) in Quetta, five were injured. Daily Times.
Three more ammo trucks have been recovered from Dara Adam Khel. Daily Times It also turns out that parts of the tunnel were damaged when militants blew up one truck inside, as I predicted they might.
Near Quetta militants continue attacks on Energy infrastructure, from Dawn.
Also note that this week Mullah Omar sacked Baitullah as head of Tehreek-Taliban-Pakistan because he was fighting in Pakistan instead of Afghanistan. This comes after Baby Dadullah (Mansour) was similarly chastised. It seems to have had little effect. This continuing schism was more evident last fall, when the Afghan Taliban and South Waziristan were fighting – rockets were coming cross border into Pakistan at that time.
Finally, in neighboring Srinagar Indian troops killed four Hizbul Mujahadeen. From Dawn.