25,000 Kalashnikovs for police in Pakistan’s northwest

Peshawar, Aug 31 (Inditop.com) Police in Pakistan’s restive northwest, where a major military offensive against the Taliban is winding down, have been provided with 25,000 Kalashnikovs and 14,000 bulletproof jackets to aid in the war against terrorism.

Another 50,000 Kalashnikovs will be provided next year, Online news agency reported.

While the police in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) have been battling the Taliban for the past few years, it was only on April 26 that the military went into action against the militants.

This was after the Taliban reneged on a controversial peace deal with the NWFP government under which they were to lay down their arms in return for Sharia laws being imposed in the Malakand division, which includes Swat, Buner, Lower Dir and four other districts.

Instead, they moved south from their Swat headquarters and occupied Buner, which is just 100 km from Islamabad.

The operations had begun from Lower Dir, the home district of radical cleric Sufi Mohammad, who had negotiated the peace deal and who is the father-in-law of Swat Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah. The focus later shifted to Buner and Swat.

The military says over 1,500 Taliban have been killed in the operations. While Sufi Mohammad has been captured, Fazlullah’s whereabouts are a mystery.

With the operations in Malakand virtually over, the military has now trained its guns on the South Waziristan region along the border with Afghanistan.

Baitullah Mehsud, whose writ ran over much of the area, was killed in a US drone attack earlier this month.