'Taliban might regroup in Malakand if Pak launches offensive in Waziristan'

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Islamabad, June 16 (ANI): The Pakistan Government's decision to launch an operation in Waziristan to catch Baitullah Mehsud could provide the Taliban the fillip to regroup in Malakand, warned former interior minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao.

"Complete success in Malakand would demoralised Taliban ahead of fresh operation in Waziristan. But the haste shows that the authorities have not done their homework," The News quoted Sherpao, as saying.

He added that the 'disappearance' of the Taliban from the Malakand Division is a tactical move by the insurgents, and they could regroup themselves in the area and open a new front in Waziristan once the operation is over.

Sherpao, who has survived two assassination attempts, said the 'Get Baitullah' mission of Pakistan government may create more challenges for the nation.

He advocated that the writ of the government must be fully established in Malakand before the Army moves to any other area.

Sherpo added that the success of military offensive could not be measured by the number of Taliban killed in Swat.

On Taliban funding, Sherpao claimed that the extremists have various sources of funding, including narcotics.

"There are 2.5 million IDPs of the Malakand Division and after the budget we have come to know that the government has no money for the IDPs," he said. (ANI)

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