Taliban agree to retreat from Pakistan’s Buner district (Lead)

Islamabad, April 24 (Inditop) Taliban militants Friday agreed to withdraw from Pakistan’s northwestern Buner district that they had captured earlier this week, a government official said.

The announcement came after a meeting between local administrator Syed Mohammad Javed and radical cleric Maulana Sufi Mohammad, the major broker of a peace deal regarding the neighbouring Swat district.

“There has been a major breakthrough in the talks and Maulana Sufi Mohammad has agreed to travel to Buner and convince Taliban to leave the area,” Javed told reporters.

Early this week, hundreds of Taliban fighters from Swat overran the neighbouring Buner district, located just 100 km northwest of Islamabad, days after President Asif Ali Zardari approved a truce with militants in the region.

They had occupied official buildings and mosques and plundered the offices of non-governmental organisations.

The move raised concerns in western capitals that the Taliban were inching towards the capital of nuclear-armed Pakistan.