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Pak has failed to rein in Islamic radicals: report

Pak has failed to rein in Islamic radicals: report

Author: Press Trust of India
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: July 25, 2006

Pakistan army has failed to rein in radicals in the country's restive tribal belt and Islamic clerics throughout the region continue to give 'jehadi' sermons asking people to live by the Islamic Sharia.

In Wana, the capital of the south Waziristan tribal agency, extremists recently used dynamite to blow up a radio station for playing music.

If these radicals sound like Pakistan's equivalent of the Taliban regime, the Newsweek magazine says in a report, they are. The tribal militants call themselves "Pakistani Taliban," or members of a newly-coined and loosely knit entity, the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.

They openly recruit young men who run their own Islamic courts that, on occasion, stage public executions. The police, the report says, simply stay out of the way.

The Pakistani army has had some success. It killed 180 foreign fighters and captured some 300 foreign-born militants, including al-Qaeda operatives, in periodic fighting, military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan told the magazine.

Not only are the Pakistani militants now stronger than ever, the links between the pro-Taliban, ethnic Pashtun tribes in Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban across the border, who are also Pashtuns, have been strengthened, Newsweek says.

The resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, who last week briefly captured two district towns in southern Afghanistan, has only increased the morale and muscle of their Pakistani brethren, the report adds.

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