Serious charges about security in Pakistan have been provided to ANS by a reliable source in Pakistan speaking on condition of anonymity, reports Jeremy Reynalds, correspondent for ASSIST News Service.
The anonymous source said in an e-mail that Pakistan’s government needs to make clear its real intentions.
He said that while Pakistan tells India, the U.S. and the rest of the world that the country doesn’t allow terrorists to operate internally, the Taliban has successfully consolidated its control in the Swat Valley during the last year.
The source charged the Taliban in Swat with an ongoing reign of terror.
He said, “They have banned women from the marketplace, killed dozens of innocent people everyday and left their bodies in the street or hanging on a pole in a busy shopping area, some of them headless.”
He said among other atrocities, Taliban members in Swat have also “bombed 200 schools, banned girls’ education in the whole valley (preventing 80,000 girls from going to school), killed politicians, policeman and their relatives, destroyed dozens of homes, destroyed barber shops where men had their beards trimmed, blown up music shops and threatened bus drivers with suicide bombers if they do not stop playing music on their buses.”
The source told ANS that police officers are rarely seen in public and when they travel, they have a military escort. In addition, he said, the Peshawar High Court has said it plans to close its courts in Swat because of an inability to function under current conditions. There is also a plan, he said, as a result of pressure from the Taliban, to legalize Shariah (Islamic) law in much of the province.
“In light of this,” the source said, “people need to know what the prime minister, president and others in leadership positions mean when they say that they will not allow terrorists to operate on its soil. If they are so concerned about other countries respecting their sovereignty, they should explain to the rest of us why they allow these evil men to continue to flagrantly violate the constitution of Pakistan.”
The source asked, “When will these leaders, who were elected less than a year ago, finally decide to take a stand and protect the very people who elected them to office?”
The source concluded his comments by saying the international media need to put a spotlight on this issue, and start asking the government hard questions.
ANS discovered that some media are already drawing attention to the situation. In a story by Andrew Buncombe and Omar Waraich in Britain’s Independent newspaper, the writers reported that Taliban members in the Swat Valley are issuing “wanted lists” for four dozen people they plan to bring before makeshift Shariah courts.
The Independent said that in one of his “notorious” radio broadcasts, Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah named politicians and government officials “wanted” by the militants.
“These people encouraged military operations in the area and are responsible for the killings of Taliban and civilians,” the Independent reported the cleric said.
The Independent said the list’s creation is the latest threat from the militants who now control more than three-quarters of the Swat Valley, one of Pakistan’s most celebrated tourist areas.
In recent weeks, the Independent said, their brutality has increased with a series of public executions and the issuing of a number of edicts.
The Independent reported that a spokesman for the Taliban said the wanted list was drawn up following a meeting chaired by Fazlullah.
“All of them will have to appear before the Taliban court, or they will face action,” the Independent reported Muslim Khan, a spokesman for the Swat Taliban, told The News newspaper.
Report from the Christian Telegraph