Daily Times 07 May, 2009
ISLAMABAD: Majority of the Malakand Division’s IDPs sheltering in Rawalpindi says the Taliban in their areas are mostly not locals. The IDPs, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told Daily Times on Wednesday that the Taliban occupying their areas were Pushtun but they didn’t speak the local dialect.
They said some Taliban spoke Persian. They said the Taliban had engaged some ‘unemployed’ youth by giving them Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 a month and weapons, double cabin vehicles and sumptuous food. The IDPs said the Taliban had been freely moving in their areas for the last many years but police and security forces were ignorant to their activities.
A displaced person from village Ushri Dara, Dir, claimed that of late, the Taliban ordered the owners of mini trucks to gather at a place before transporting weapons and ammunitions to their bastion in the mountains in over 300 trucks. Another IDP from Lower Dir said the Taliban bought milk from one of his neighbours at a price higher than that of the market.
He claimed one morning the neighbour reached the milk delivery place before the stipulated time and saw the Taliban clean-shaven with long artificial beards in their hands. He said the Taliban beat up the milkman and warned him of ‘dire consequences’ if he reported the incident to anyone. Most of the IDPs opted not to speak against the Taliban. staff report