Tuesday, November 13, 2007

HARRYZZZ EXCLUSIVE: PAKISTAN ARMY OPERATION TO LIBERATE SWAT-AREA IMMINENT

It's been silent at harryzzz for a couple of days. Good reason for that. I just came back from Malakand/Swat, semi-tribal area in Pakistan (east of Peshawar).

The Swat-area was recently captured by local Taliban. Since two months the central government has been overthrown, police and para-military forces kidnapped, killed or kicked out by local Taliban.

The deteriorating security situation in the Swat-region was one of the main reasons for president Pervez Musharrafs' declaration of emergency rule (another reason was of course the high courts refusing to confirm Musharraf's election, by parliament, as president)

But things are about to change in Swat. The army is moving in and army units already based there are preparing to go on the offensive against local Taliban forces. On Tuesday evening, an indefinite curfew was announced for Malakand and Swat. The curfew went in effect at Tuesday 24.00 hr local time.

This of course gives the army a free hand to move around and perform operations against the militants, who have beheaded Pakistani police, scouts and rangers. The army though is very different from those local forces. Pakistan Army is very professional and capable of going into a conflict 'the hard way'.

I saw on Tuesday army helicopters flying over the area, especially close to the house/madrassa of Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the local Taliban here. Police stations south/east of Mingora-city where either abandoned or reinforced with extra troops, sandbags on the roofs and armoured vehicles. It wasn't possible to go further than Mingora, this because of Taliban checkpoints on the road between Mingora and Kalam, 100 kms north.

Fazlullah's village was, on Tuesday, almost completely empty. Locals have left, fearing an attack. Mullah Fazlullah's illegal radio station has been off air since four days, apparently blocked by the authorities.

On my way back from Swat to Islamabad, several jeeps with Pakistani soldiers. Army helicopters flying high in the sky.

With president Musharraf having sweeping powers due to declaring 'emergency' on November 3rd, it seems the Talibanisation of Pakistan will be stopped soon - especially in the Swat area.

Harald Doornbos

6 comments:

mokum von Amsterdam said...

I find it unbelievable courageous that you keep going to places that are about to explode and write about it in your own unmistakable style.
Keep up the good work, Harryzzz!

ella said...

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf should resign because his position was the only cause of instability in the country said Vali Nasr, american expert of Iranian origin, working far, far away from Pakistan, in a safe USofA.

I prefer your views. ;-)

Keep going and lots of luck.
Great work.!!!

Harald Doornbos said...

thanks for nice words! indeed, reporting from the spot rocks, bla-bla from a million kilometers away rolls...no where

Anonymous said...

refernce last part of the story....

I believe Musharraf has been enjoying those powers since last eight years...

hanji from Sheffield

Harald Doornbos said...

yes, but emergency makes it easier now and the real swat-uprising is only three months old...but its true that musharraf has ignored the situation in swat for last couple of years....

Anonymous said...

As he did it in the case of Lal Masjid......

from Sheffield