Pak Army Arrests Taliban Spokesman, Commander from Swat

In what could be viewed as a major success of Pakistan army against Taliban militants, Muslim Khan, the spokesman of the terror outfit in the restive Swat valley, has been arrested with prominent militants with three others.

In a statement, Pakistan army said that Muslim Khan and a senior Taliban commander Mehmood Khan, having a reward of Rs 10 million each, were captured by security forces “in a successful operation in Swat”.

Army further said that besides these two, three other militants – Fazl Ghafar, Abdul Rehman and Sartaj – were also apprehended.

It should be noted that Muslim Khan is the first senior Taliban leader in the Swat valley who has been arrested by army.

According to army figures, so far more than 1, 800 militants have been killed in a four-month-long campaign in Swat and other parts of the Malakand division. However, the outfit’s top leadership, including local Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah, continues to evade them.

Though the army has wrested control of most parts of Swat valley from the Taliban, but its plans to withdraw the bulk of the forces has been stalled due to sporadic clashes which are continuing in the region. The Taliban has also mounted several suicide attacks in the past few weeks.

The military’s failure to capture or kill the top militant leaders has sparked fears that the Taliban could regroup and stage a comeback in Malakand division.

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