Wednesday, January 30, 2008

18 Orakzai tribes form Lashkar against Taliban

* Any tribe sheltering Taliban will be fined Rs 10m, have 100 houses burnt down
* Jirga decides to temporarily end mutual enmities

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: After the killing of three levies personnel by local militants in Orakzai Agency on Saturday night, 18 tribes of the agency have decided to form a Lashkar (tribal army) against the Taliban to flush them out of the area, reported BBC Urdu on Tuesday.

A grand jirga of the 18 tribes was held in Ghuljoo, Orakzai Agency headquarters, on Monday morning, which was attended by around ten to fifteen thousand armed men.

Talking to BBC, head of Rabiakhel tribe Malik Zaman Shah said all tribes had unanimously decided not to give shelter to any militant in the area and any tribe breaching the pledge would be punished with Rs 10 million in fine and a hundred houses of the tribe would be burnt down.

End to fight: He said the jirga had also settled ‘Islam Zona’ to temporarily end mutual enmities between the local tribes. The local tribes will, according to the decision, not fight each other until the area is cleared of militants.

Thousands of Pakistani forces are battling suspected militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, where scores of militants and troops have died in clashes in recent weeks. Militants have stepped up attacks against government troops there.



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