Pakistani Taliban fighters led by commander Baitullah Mehsud Feb. 6 announced the suspension of attacks against security forces in the Waziristan tribal region and the Swat valley for an indefinite period. Maulvi Muhammad Omar, a spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, told reporters in Peshawar from an undisclosed location that the militants had stopped attacks because the “government has softened operations” against the militants. “We have stated earlier that if anyone does not want to fight us, we will also not fight with them. But if anyone imposes war on us we will fight with them,” Omar said. But in Islamabad, interim Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan said the security forces had “broken the back of the militants and they are on the run.” Khan said a grand jirga or council of elders will be convened soon to end hostilities in the tribal regions. (PTI, Feb. 6)
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