BUNER, April 13: A group of 60 Taliban vacated the Bagra police post and left Buner on Monday, but their colleagues will continue ‘peaceful preaching’ in mosques till further orders from their leadership. The Taliban left the district in accordance with an agreement reached at a meeting held at Madressah Talimul Quran in Daggar on Saturday between government officials and leaders of the militants, the Ishaat Al Sunnah wal-Tauheed group and Qaumi Jirga.
It had been agreed that Taliban would be allowed to preach in the district without any resistance, but they would vacate the police post near Daggar and the shrine of Sufi saint Pir Baba and won’t pose any threat to local people and their property. However, Taliban will stay in Sultanwas town, near Swat valley.
It was agreed that non-local militants would leave the area in phases and replaced by local Taliban. After the agreement, 60 Taliban left Buner on Sunday and 60 more on Monday.
“We will abide by the agreement and leave the Buner district gradually,” said Taliban leader Mufti Aftab. He said the shrine was being guarded to prevent any harm to it.
The Taliban briefly detained Assistant Coordination Officer Pervez Yousafzai and some security personnel. An official said as the ACO was armed, the militants mistook him and his guards for members of a local tribal lashkar. They were freed after confirmation of their identities by the district coordination officer and the police chief.
By and large, the situation remained peaceful, but a large number of local people roamed the streets with armed Taliban, who did not confront security personnel.
People of Sultanwas have left their homes and moved to other areas in the district for fear of a clash between security forces and Taliban.
A Taliban leader, Mufti Habibullah, delivered a sermon at the district headquarters hospital mosque and urged youths to get Jihad training so that they could fight US-led and Western forces if they attacked the country.
Source: Pakistan Dawn