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Pakistan wants Afghan action on Taliban cleric

Maulvi Fazlullah was the Pakistani Taliban leader in Swat Valley, before a 2009 Army offensive forced him to flee.



Islamabad: Pakistan said on Monday that Afghan and US-led forces had failed to take action against a Taliban cleric responsible for a spate of cross-border raids despite repeated requests from Islamabad, a complaint likely to deepen tensions between the neighbours.

The raids in which militants loyal to Maulvi Fazlullah took part have left about 100 members of Pakistan`s security forces dead, angering the military which faces threats from multiple militant groups.

"The problem refuses to go away," Pakistani Army spokesman, Major-General Athar Abbas, said.

Fazlullah was the Pakistani Taliban leader in Swat Valley, about 100 miles northwest of Islamabad, before a 2009 Army offensive forced him to flee.

Fazlullah, who was also known as FM Mullah or Radio Mullah for his fiery radio broadcasts, managed to regroup in Afghanistan and establish strongholds and local support, and poses a threat to Pakistan once again, said Abbas.

The cleric is the last thing Pakistan needs.

It is battling a Taliban insurgency, and has been facing stepped up US pressure to attack Afghan militant groups who cross the border to attack Western forces in Afghanistan since American special forces in May killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani town, where he had apparently been living for years.

"Now Fazlullah and his group are trying to re-enter Swat through Dir," said Abbas, referring to a border region in northwest Pakistan which was relatively stable before the cleric`s men recently staged attacks there on security forces.

Bureau Report

From Zee News

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