Shia militias helping Haqqani network evade US drone attacks, cross Pak-Afghan border

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Peshawar, Nov 28 (ANI): Shia militias in Pakistan's tribal regions are helping the Al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network- one of the fiercest enemies of NATO- evade US drone attacks to cross safely into Afghanistan, a tribal activist has revealed.

The Daily Times quoted Munir Bangash, who is familiar with the deal, as saying that Shias, who control a key piece of the tribal real estate, cut a deal with the Haqqani network to give insurgents a safe, alternative route to Afghanistan through the Kurram region.

A second tribesman from Kurram, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the deal.

The deal in Kurram was brokered two months ago during Ramazan, when a delegation of Shia elders and militiamen from Kurram met representatives of the Haqqani network, and laid the groundwork for the deal, said Bangash, who is the chairman of the Community Rights Programme, an independent organisation trying to broker peace between Kurram's Shias and Sunnis while bringing development to their areas.

Under the agreement, the Shias gave the Haqqani network safe passage from its Pakistan strongholds in neighbouring North and South Waziristan to its Afghan bases in Khost and Paktia provinces through Kurram, Bangash added.

In return, the Haqqanis intervened with the Sunni militants to get them to agree to a truce with the Shias in Kurram.

Bangash said hundreds of Haqqani insurgents as well as Pakistani Taliban have taken refuge in Kurram to escape attacks by US drones in North Waziristan as well as a Pakistan military offensive in South Waziristan and Orakzai. (ANI)

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