Thursday, December 01, 2005

Musharraf delivers, quietly

Struggling with an enormous task after the 8 October earthquake, the Pakistani government has been more than happy to allow banned Islamic groups, even those considered terrorist organisations by Washington, to take over much of the aid effort in remote areas. Without the help of groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba - now renamed as Jamaatut Dawa - the relief operation would simply collapse. However a quiet crackdown is underway, with the arrests of leading figures associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LT), a Salafite group in the al-Qaeda galaxy which is supportive of the former Taliban regime.

High level intelligence sources has confirmed that dozens of other suspected militants - mainly from Lashkar-e-Toiba- have been secretly rounded up across the country.

High level sources said that so far the operation against LT is highly secret and selective but massive lists have been drawn up all across the country and a major arrest sweep is expected. They said that the operation, currently very low-key, would expand to the whole country including North and South Waziristan.

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