Afghan refugees flee Pakistan army offensive against foreign militants
This time military has shifted the operation focus from South Waziristan to the mountainous Shakai area, close to the Afghan border and is using artilleries and warplanes. The military spokesman Shaukat Sultan talking to KUNA on Wednesday claimed that the forces have successfully taken control of the Shakai mountains, which are believed to be the main hideouts of foreign militants. However, the forces are routinely coming under rocket attacks by the militants. "In the area north of Shakai the security forces have secured all the mountains and miscreants from that particular areas have been flushed out." On Wednesday rockets were fired at the Camps of Waziristan scouts and paramilitary camps but they missed the targets and there was no damage, said Shaukat. He said following attack the warplanes attacked militants' hideouts and killed several of them. He did not disclose their numbers but reports from Shakai suggests around 10-12 foreign militants have been killed however, some residents of Wana have claimed that there is no evidence as no body has seen their dead bodies. Angry and frustrated by the casualties, the Pakistan army is punishing everyone whom they consider is involved in attacks of the forces and they also have hardened their positions against refugees also. Around 200,000 Afghan refugees have been living in the Pakistani tribal remote areas along the Afghan border. Out of them some 60,000 to 70,000 were in South Waziristan. Around 25,000 refugees have moved out of the area, some have crossed the border while some have shifted to the other parts of the frontier province.
The Afghan refugees have been asked to evacuate camps because they were easy hideouts for foreign militants and even some refugees were also involved in violence, said a senior security analyst of Pakistani tribal area, Rahimullah Yusufzai. He said these refugee camps had helped militants to fled Wana to avoid military operation. Above all, he went on to say, they have suffered because they have been living for the last two decades and they had built relationships they were doing business and brought home but they also had been evicted now. Last year the Pakistani government extradited more than 500 afghan refugees to their homeland, mostly involved in different violence cases.
Meanwhile, around 40 wanted suspects have surrendered to the tribal elders, who have further delivered them to the local government but none of the most wanted and foreign suspects have surrendered. No foreign militant and most-wanted local militants including Maulvi Muhammad Abbas, Javed khan, Haji Shahed and his two brothers Haji Umar khan and Noor-ul-Islam, have surrender, said Yusufzai. He said, "They have not surrendered and will never surrender, they will keep fighting until the end as they have declared". Giving the reason, he said, there is a mistrust case. The militants do not trust the Pakistan government even it has announced general amnesty. "They do not trust because earlier, the Pakistan government handed over around 500 suspects to the US government".
"They think if they surrender they would be handed over to the US or to their countries of origin like Uzbekistan, China, Arab, so there is a lack of trust", he said adding, they also think Pakistani government wouldn't be able to resist the pressure from the US and other countries like it happened in the past. "Until there is trust there is no possibility of the surrender".
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