Pakistan tribe agrees to hand over Taliban

By
March 10, 2009 08:47

A tribe in a Pakistani region where the military has fought insurgents has agreed to stop sheltering foreign fighters and hand over local Taliban leaders, authorities said. A tribal elder said some militants could be pardoned and freed. Pakistan has previously signed such pacts with tribes in its northwest regions bordering Afghanistan, but they tend to unravel and spur Western criticism that they give militants time to regroup or create safe havens for them. But Monday's agreement in the Bajur tribal area came after the army said it had defeated insurgents there after six months of fighting, indicating the government was negotiating from a position of strength. Bajur is a rumored hiding place of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and the military offensive there earned praise from American officials concerned that militants use Pakistan as a base from which to plan attacks in Afghanistan.


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