Islamabad: The Taliban has reappeared
in the Bajaur tribal region of northwest Pakistan despite a
two-year-long successful military operation to flush them out
from the area, according to a media report Wednesday.
Following their return to the region, the Taliban
have warned the Levies Force, a local militia, through letters
to stop the offensive against militants or to be prepared to
face the consequences.
Sources were quoted by the Daily Times newspaper as
saying that the letter written on Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan
letterheads was distributed in several areas of Mamoond and
Khar sub-divisions of Bajaur Agency on Monday.
The letter said the Pakistani Taliban would continue
its fight against the US and its allies in Bajaur Agency.
The Taliban asked the Levies Force to stop actions
against the militants.
Local residents said they feared for their safety
after the distribution of the threatening letter.
Tariq Hayat Khan, the Law and Order Secretary for
the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, had told a news
briefing on April 19 that the security forces had cleared most
of Bajaur Agency after operations.
Khan had said 34 villages in Wara Mamund
sub-division and 19 villages of Nawagai and Charmang areas
were no longer listed as conflict zones.
He, however, had expressed a fear that the Taliban
could recapture the cleared areas if people displaced by the
fighting were not sent back to these regions.
Operation Sherdil, the campaign to flush out the
Taliban from Bajaur Agency, was launched by the Pakistan Army
in August 2008.
The Taliban had been in control of Bajaur since early