WANA: The Zalikhel tribe said on Saturday that the tribal lashkar (army) will start operations against the five wanted tribesmen and their supporters today (Sunday).
A tribal jirga once again urged the wanted men hiding in the area to give themselves up or face being hunted down by the lashkar, which would begin operations in Shah Alam, 18 kilometres west of Wana.
The jirga said the operation would be halted if the wanted men surrendered before its launch.
Meanwhile, Marez Khan, a wanted man of the Ghulamkhel tribe, took advantage of Saturday’s deadline to give himself up to the tribal jirga.
Reuters adds: Tribal elders and senior administration officials addressed a meeting attended by some 7,000 tribesmen in Wana on Saturday. Zelikhel tribal elder Malik Bakhan told the gathering that tribesmen were ready to send the lashkar after the wanted militants. “We are ready to dispatch a 2,000-strong lashkar for decisive action against the five men if they ignore our demand to surrender,” he said. Local administration official Rehmatullah Wazir said if the tribesmen’s offensive was unsuccessful “the military is ready to launch an operation against the wanted men”.
Mohammad Imran adds: The government has decided to launch a fresh operation in South Waziristan Agency, likely to begin in the last week of April.
“Preparations to launch a new operation in South Waziristan are almost complete and the operation will begin by the end of April,” sources said.
They said the Pakistani Army would be in stationed in Shakai, near Wana in South Waziristan.
Sources said the operation was based on information that some wanted religious extremists declared absconders by Pakistan were hiding in that area.
“The government is hoping for a result-oriented operation this time,” sources said.
Sources also said the last operation in Waziristan had earned Islamabad some military hardware from Washington and the new operation would help the government get more.