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ICC Note: An interesting article from the BBC about the radicals in Pak that are directing the fighting (and persecution and killing of underground Christians) in Afghanistan . Two of his comments are instructive (“Allah commands Jihad 480 times in the Koran” and “We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jazia (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state).” Their goal is not an Afghanistan free of infidels, rather it is to subject all to Islam.

Pakistan Taleban vow more violence

For the full story, go to the BBC.
Pro-Taleban militants have been strengthening their hold in Pakistan ‘s tribal areas following controversial peace deals with the authorities. Haroon Rashid of the BBC’s Urdu service is one of the few reporters working for a Western media organisation with access to the area. Here, our reporter describes his meeting with the militants’ leader.

I asked the militants if I could see their leader, Baitullah Mehsud.

. . .Close to midnight, we approached a check point but the paramilitary soldier removed the road blockade without even throwing a cursory glance at us. The Taleban, too, looked neither too concerned at the check posts or security forces on the ground, or about the spy planes hovering overhead. Since the controversial peace accords, they say they are able to move around the area freely.

. . .My current meeting was to take place at a time when the (peace) deal is under intense pressure.

‘Jihad’

Many say Baitullah Mehsud and the supreme leader of the Taleban, Mullah Omar, have several similarities. Both have fought against the Soviet occupation, both are against photographs, both vow jihad and both keep moving from one hideout to another.

As we were preparing to leave to meet Baitullah, a man came to the militants and

Baitullah’s private army along with other militant groups have imposed a strict Islamic code in North and parts of South Waziristan . They run a parallel government here. Music and videos are banned while militants claim people approach them for settlement of their disputes.

With a black-dyed beard, 34-year-old Baitullah greeted us in a big room with several of his armed men beside him. We sat on a new colourful quilt spread on the ground.

Baitullah seemed a man with only jihad (holy war) on his mind. During the interview he quoted several verses from the Koran to defend his stance that foreign forces must be evicted from Islamic countries.

“Allah on 480 occasions in the Holy Koran extols Muslims to wage jihad. We only fulfil God’s orders. Only jihad can bring peace to the world,” he says.

The militant leader on several occasions in the past had openly admitted crossing over into Afghanistan to fight foreign troops. “We will continue our struggle until foreign troops are thrown out. Then we will attack them in the US and Britain until they either accept Islam or agree to pay jazia (a tax in Islam for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state).”