Taliban Advances Closer to Pakistani Capital: A Nuclear-Armed Nation

April 22, 2009

(ChattahBox)—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, sounded the alarm today about recent advances of militant Taliban fighters in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed nation, calling the volatile situation a “mortal threat” to world security. Clinton said armed Taliban members moved into territory beyond the borders of their stronghold in the Swat valley, now stationed just 60 miles from the Pakistani Capital of Islamabad.

Clinton fears the weak Pakistani government could fall to Taliban militants, putting nuclear weapons in the hands of violent anti-western extremists.

In recent months the Taliban militants have strengthened their hold on the tribal mountainous Swat valley region, chasing out many residents, turning a previous tourist area into an armed militant stronghold of the extremist Taliban. The Pakistani government, unable to rout them out militarily, formed a controversial peace agreement of sorts with the militants, allowing them to remain in the Swat area, unarmed, free to impose Islamic law in the territory also infested with al-Qaida terrorists.

In recent days armed Taliban militants have advanced to villages in the Buner district, brandishing automatic rifles, taking over private homes and broadcasting Islamic rhetoric over the radio, terrorizing residents. Residents report that scores of Taliban fighters set up roadside checkpoints, putting a damper on travel and also threatening storekeepers who sold music and movies, and demanding that barbers cease shaving men’s beards.

This situation is deeply disturbing to Secretary Clinton, who is highly critical of the Pakistani government’s reluctance to militarily confront the growing numbers of Taliban fighters within its borders, essentially abdicating to the militants. The Taliban fighters’ latest advances beyond their sanctioned area, shows they are not afraid of the Pakistani government, believing perhaps correctly, that they can get away with their militant behavior, without reprisal from the central government.

Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani appeared on CNN this afternoon decrying Clinton’s strong language, saying the Taliban were isolated in mountainous regions and were not as close to Islamabad as is being portrayed. Haqqani claims the situation is under control and is being monitored by the Pakistani military.

Still, the situation continues to get more explosive in the Swat region, situated along the Afghanistan border. Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan, recently welcomed Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida militants to take refuge in their Swat valley stronghold.



One Response to “Taliban Advances Closer to Pakistani Capital: A Nuclear-Armed Nation”

  1. Swat Taliban Fighters Withdraw From Buner-After Deadly Clashes | ChattahBox News Blog on April 24th, 2009 8:36 am

    […] Capital of Islamabad, after U.S. Secretary Clinton called the Taliban’s presence in Buner, a “mortal threat” to the […]

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