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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2710

Militants halt talks with Pakistani government over Swat

By Farzana Shah-Asian Tribune Correspondent in Pakistan

Military offensive against militants in Dir continues

Peshawar, 28 April, (Asiantribune.com): Talks between Taliban and Pakistani government have been suspended over restive Swat valley on Monday.

The militants while suspending the talks demanded immediate halt to the ongoing military operation in Dir lower.

‘We are suspending talks with the government until the military operation in Dir is halted,’ said a spokesman for Sufi Muhammad who negotiated a peace deal between the two sides in February.

‘Our council of leaders met on Sunday night and decided to suspend peace negotiations with the government in North West Frontier Province,’ TNSM spokesman Ameer Izzat Khan told media on Monday.

‘We, however, still adhere to the February deal,’ that put three million people under sharia law, Ameer Izzat said.

The militants are perturbed over Dir offensive launched by Pakistani military against militants who were trying to extend their influence in other areas after Swat peace deal.

So far according to FC (a paramilitary force) up to 40 militants have been killed in Dir offensive which was launched on Sunday and continued on Monday.

The military said Sunday that Frontier Corps paramilitary launched an operation against the Taliban in Lower Dir after militants killed a soldier in a deadly ambush.

On the second day of the operation heavy shelling was carried out at militants’ hideouts in Madan and Kal and other areas of district Dir.

Indefinite curfew has been imposed in Lal Qila, Islampura, Kal Kot and other adjoining areas.

Government-run schools in tehsil Madan have been closed as well as markets.

Meanwhile the NWFP government said no operation is underway in Dir and security forces retaliating militancy.

NWFP Information Minister Mian Muhammad Iftikhar said the security forces are retaliating attacks by militants in Dir.

- Asian Tribune -

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