(HH here: This is good news I hope!)
By Ismail Khan Published: March 10, 2009
PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A major tribe with close ties to the Pakistani Taliban signed an agreement with the Pakistani government to hand over several of the militant group’s local leaders, to lay down arms and to stop harboring foreign militants.
The agreement on Monday with the Mamoond tribe, the largest and most strategically placed in the restive Bajaur region, followed a military victory against the local Taliban last month. It was one of the first major successes of the Pakistani forces against the militants and their affiliates in Al Qaeda since they started operations in the tribal areas in 2003.
Taliban forces in Bajaur then declared a unilateral cease-fire and the Mamoond, whose members live on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border, decided to cooperate with the government.
According to the 28-point agreement, a copy of which was made available to The New York Times, the Mamoond will stop harboring foreign militants and will close down militant training camps.
The agreement also calls for the surrender of senior Taliban leaders in Bajaur, including a deputy, Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, and the group’s chief spokesman, Maulvi Said Muhammad, who also goes by the name Maulvi Omar.
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