Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam (Fazl), the lead party in the MMA, sponsors gathering of 10,000 supporters of slain Taliban commander in Baluchistan; Tank, NWFP contested
As the situation in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province spins out of control and the Taliban’s sphere of influence grows, the lead political party in the province’s coalition government has organized a gathering to eulogize Mullah Dadullah, the military commander of the Taliban. Dadullah, who was killed by NATO and Afghan forces in Helmand province last month, has been succeeded by his brother, Dadullah Mansoor [also known as Mullah Bakr], who addressed the crowd of over 10,000 Taliban supporters at a border town in Baluchistan.
The Jamiat-i-Ulema Islam (Fazl), the principal party in the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (or MMA), organized the ‘Martyred Mullah Dadullah Conference’ “in the premises of Madrassa ‘Shamsul Uloom’ at Killi Nalai, some 35km [21 miles] north of Quetta on Friday,” reported The Nation. “The party’s main leaders like former [National Assembly] member Maulana Abdul Ghani, sitting MNA [Member of National Assembly] Maulana Noor Muhammad and former Senator Hafiz Fazal Muhammad Bareech participated. Banners were also displayed on the venue inscribed with slogans eulogizing Mullah Dadullah’s services and Taliban movement and against the Americans. The charged audience kept raising slogans of ‘Long live Mullah Omar, Long Live Osama bin Laden and Taliban movement.'”
“The blood of my brother will never go waste. We will never forget his sacrifices, and the role of other martyrs,” Dadullah Mansoor addressed the crowd via a tape recording. “We will complete Dadullah’s mission by expelling Americans and liberating Afghanistan.”
An active Taliban commander from Afghanistan, named Mullah Abdur Rahman, addressed the crowd in person. “I have been fighting against the infidels in Afghanistan and going to tell you that these people are devoid of faith power and are fighting just on the basis of equipment and despite that are unable to defeat Taliban,” said Rahman.
Just this week, Interior Minister Sherpao said the MMA led government of the Northwest Frontier Province has failed to oppose the rise of the Taliban, and is responsible for the deteriorating security situation in the province. With the MMA’s past and current open support of the Taliban, it is safe to say they are complicit in the rise of Islamist extremism in the NWFP.
NWFP/FATA map. Red agencies/ districts controlled by the Taliban; yellow under threat. Click map to view.
Since the last report on the situation in Pakistan, the violence in the district of Tank has increased dramatically while Dera Ishmal Khan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat are experiencing an uptick in violence. These districts border North and South Waziristan, where the Taliban openly rule. The Interior Ministry said 3 ministers are on South Waziristan Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud’s hit list, yet the government has made no effort to arrest Baitullah. The Taliban also struck in Peshawar, Landi Kotal and Darra Adam Khel.
In Tank, the Taliban killed 13 civilians, including 2 women, in an attack on the home of Amiruddin Khan, the political agent for the Khyber tribal agency. The home was attacked with “rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and assault rifles.” Two children survived. The Taliban also killed 13, including 6 family members of Pir Attique Gilani, “an influential tribal elder known for being anti-Taliban,” after launching an attack on his home in Tank.
The Taliban conducted two conventional attacks on the Pakistani military operating in Tank. A senior paramilitary commander in a sophisticated ambush just hours after 4 Taliban were killed in a firefight. The Taliban also killed 3 soldiers and wounded 7 in an IED attack in Tank.
In Peshawar, the provincial capital, a car bomb outside the Peshawar High Court killed 1 and wounded 9. The Taliban also attacked a military checkpoint in Bannu, bombed a hospital in Landi Kotal, kidnapped two doctors in Lakki Marwat, ordered music shops closed in Dara Adam Khel and lost a “militant” when his hand grenade exploded prematurely in Dera Ishmal Khan.