ISLAMABAD: Pakistan repeatedly urged Afghanistan and US-led forces there to go after notorious Taliban cleric Maulvi Fazlullah, whose fighters took part in cross-border raids that killed about 100 members of Pakistan’s security forces in recent months, but no action was taken, an army spokesman said Monday.
“The problem refuses to go away,” the Pakistani spokesman, Major-General Athar Abbas, told Reuters.
The complaint could deepen tension between Pakistan and Afghanistan over cross-border attacks by militants on targets in both countries.
Militants from across the border have consistently attacked check-posts and raided villages in Dir, Bajaur and Mohmand from April to August this year.
Last year, an Afghan official claimed that Maulvi Fazlullah, runaway chief of Swat Taliban, had been killed in a clash between security forces and militants in the Barg Mittal area of Nuristan.
The Pakistani government has eyed the Afghan border with much suspicion and blames the Afghan government of not taking action against militants in the border areas.
Who is Fazlullah?
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.