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As we reached there, the camp presented a view similar to that when Afghan refugees first came there: long rows of tents; children in shabby clothes playing around; aid agencies distributing things; and the dwellers all complaining.
A big difference between the Afghan refugees and these IDPs was that the former wanted to go back and fight against the Soviets; the latter only want to go back to their homes and live a normal life. They want both the militants and the security forces to end the conflict and want to fight neither.
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A joint jirga (council) of the Taliban militants and tribal elders have declared a ban on girls’ education in Pakistan’s Orakzai Agency and ordered Non Governmental Organizations to halt their activities, reported BBC Urdu website. Most of the educational centers in the area are founded and organized by these NGOs.
This meeting took place in the Dabori area on Friday morning (09-05-2008) in the absent of local officials while hundreds of the armed militants were present, a local journalist, Hassan Khan, told BBC Urdu.
The jirga also decided to burn down the houses of the local residents who cooperate with the NGOs and help in girls’ education and ordered the Shiias to limit their daily life activities close to the areas where they live.
Meanwhile, the local militants in Swat announced temporary ceasefire with the Pakhtoonkhwa government after the first round of successful talks. The two parties met in Mingora, Swat, on Friday and discussed their peace agreement.
The provincial government, led by the secular nationalist group, Awami National Party, was eager to sign a peace deal with the militants from its first day of formation. Even before the formation of the government, the then nominated Chief Minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti had said in an interview that his government will prefer talks with the militants.
The local militants, led by Baitullah Mehsud, are active in the area for many years. The previous government too had signed a peace agreement with them but it was just a failure. That is why the U.S. and Afghan governments were not happy with another agreement between the militants and the Pakistani government. But both the governments then reportedly conditionally backed the recent agreement. It will be now premature to say how much this deal will succeed.
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There were two big news for Pakistan on Aug. 30, 2007. In London, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced that he will return to his country on Sep. 10. In Waziristan, nearly three hundred armed and fully equipped soldiers abducted by scores of the Taliban. read more
The crisis of South Korean hostages enters its third week and the Taliban are still threatening to kill them if their comrades not freed.
The same Taliban were claiming of being harbingers of Islamic peace and hospitality when they attacked Kabul in 1996 and seized nearly the entire country.
When they took over power and imposed their Sharia, they give peace and hospitality to the world’s known terrorists who compelled American invasion on Afghanistan.
The same ‘harbingers of peace and hospitality’ kidnapped 23 South Korean health workers, 18 of them women, in the Qarabagh district of Ghazni province and later killed two of them.
As a Pashtoon and Afghan, as it is not our culture to kidnap women and guests, I condemn this act of terrorism and demand the Afghan government to do what they can to free the hostages.
And there is a question for the kidnappers: How do you call it ‘peace and hospitality’ to abduct and kill poor health workers and give safety to hardcore terrorists?