`Pak Taliban to set up check points for vehicles`

The Pakistani Taliban in the restive North Waziristan tribal region will set up roadside check points and search all vehicles bound for Afghanistan.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2011, 15:20 PM IST

Islamabad: The Pakistani Taliban in the
restive North Waziristan tribal region will set up roadside
check points and search all vehicles bound for Afghanistan to
check if they are carrying supplies for NATO forces, a media
report said on Thursday.

The militants were "surprised" to see a "huge increase"
in the number of trucks and oil tankers travelling to
Afghanistan via North Waziristan after Pakistan blocked NATO
supply routes like Torkham in Khyber and Chaman in Balochistan
following a NATO air strike that killed 24 soldiers last
month, the report said.

Before deciding to start searching the vehicles, the
Taliban waited for a few days to see whether Pakistan
government would take measures to stop heavy vehicles taking
goods to Afghanistan via North Waziristan, sources close to
the Taliban faction led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur told The News
daily.

At a meeting chaired on Wednesday by Bahadur, the Taliban
shura or council expressed reservations over the growing
number of heavy trucks and tankers reportedly transporting
goods and fuel to Afghanistan via North Waziristan, the paper
said.

Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have hailed Pakistan`s
decision to block NATO supply routes and to ask the US to
vacate Shamsi airbase in Balochistan.

The Taliban believe the CIA was using the airbase to
conduct drone attacks in North and South Waziristan.

They also believe that North Waziristan had become an
alternative route for smugglers to transport fuel and supplies
for NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"The basic purpose of the Taliban`s decision is to make
sure that supplies are not transported to Afghanistan for the
NATO forces," a source close to the Taliban said.

The Taliban will not "spare those taking goods to
Afghanistan for foreign forces," the sources said.

The Taliban led by Bahadur had signed a peace accord with
the government, whereby they would not attack Pakistani
security forces or target government installations.

The report said about 350 to 400 tankers and container
trucks passed through North Waziristan region every day.

It claimed government officials had turned a blind eye to
the "smuggling" of goods.

PTI