Saturday, November 10, 2007
Lunch Money And A Ticket Home
To give you an idea of just what kind of insurgency is taking place in Pakistan's Swat region, militants captured a "Frontier Constabulary fort" on Thursday, capturing 60 members of a paramilitary government militia who surrendered when their supplies ran out. Pakistan daily Dawn picks up the story from there:
About 60 paramilitary soldiers taken hostage by militants on Thursday were released...
The militiamen captured in Daroshkhela area were also given Rs1,000 each by the militants so that they could reach their areas...
"We had given our word to the militiamen that they would remain unharmed in our custody and be released. We have kept our promise," said Mohammad Alam, a militant commander.
Mr Alam told journalists that the militants would not leave Madyan town which they had taken over.
The militants had earlier left Bahrain and Kalam towns on the request of local elders.
The militant commander said the elders in the two areas were united and they could look after the law and order situation themselves.
"We believe that the people of Madyan are not in a position to control law and order, therefore, we will stay in the town," he said.
Local people said the militants had set up their office in the police centre in Madyan and hoisted their white and black flags in the area. (Weird single-sentence paragraphs in original.)
Things aren't always so rosy over there, of course. The same story mentioned two killed and fourteen wounded in a roadside bombing incident Friday. But the Pakistani militants seem to have grasped at least two things that the Bush administration would do well to take to heart. Namely, when you treat the enemies you capture on the battlefield humanely, they're more liable to think twice before they decide to fight you to the death. And when folks don't want you to stick around, you're better off leaving.
Oh, and by the way, I'm liking the white and black flags.