Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Massive trade bill clears key hurdle in US Senate

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why should the U.S. fight for the Iraqis?'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"Inequality takes hold"

Read more

DEBATE

Will Ireland Say "I Do"? Gay Marriage Referendum Challenges Catholic Values (part 1)

Read more

DEBATE

Will Ireland Say "I Do"? Gay Marriage Referendum Challenges Catholic Values (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Mother of French terror victim seeks to open minds

Read more

ENCORE!

Aishwarya Rai: An interview with the Queen of Bollywood

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Ireland on the eve of gay marriage vote

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tensions continue to rise in Bujumbura

Read more

Asia-pacific

Taliban 'withdraw' from key district

Video by Richard TOMPSETT

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-04-25

A Taliban regional spokesman says its fighters will withdraw from Buner, a region just 100km from Islamabad, after seizing control of the district earlier this week. Taliban advances have caused mounting alarm in the US and Islamabad.

Army soldiers faced off with Taliban militants on Friday after Pakistani paramilitary troops arrived in Buner in a bid to regain command after the Taliban seized control of the district earlier this week.

 

Reporting from Islamabad, FRANCE 24’s Anne-Isabelle Tolle says up to 300 Pakistani paramilitary troops arrived in Buner, some 100 kilometres northwest of the capital, on Thursday. The troops have regained control of local police stations although Taliban fighters continue to patrol the streets.

 

In recent days, hundreds of armed Taliban fighters set up checkpoints, occupied mosques and began patrolling Buner, warning its residents not to engage in “un-Islamic” activities and banning women from public places.

 

The latest confrontation comes as a Taliban regional spokesman says the Islamist group has plans to leave the district.

 

“Our leader has ordered that Taliban should immediately be called back from Buner,” Muslim Khan told Reuters.

 

The Taliban advance comes after the group’s leadership in the Swat valley struck a deal with the Pakistani government earlier this month to establish Sharia law in the valley in exchange for a ceasefire.

 

But FRANCE 24’s Stephen Kloss says that, despite this agreement, the government and the Taliban may be on a collision course. The Taliban insists that the rulings of Swat’s Sharia courts cannot be challenged; the government insists that all courts in the country fall under the purview of Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

 

While the Pakistani government is trying to downplay these problems, Kloss says it is well aware the pressure is mounting.

 

“Trouble is ahead,” he says.
 

Date created : 2009-04-24

COMMENT(S)