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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pakistani Militant Halts Attacks as Talks Begin

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The Pakistani government is close to an agreement with the most militant tribes in its turbulent border area, whose main leader is accused of orchestrating most of the suicide bombings of recent months and the assassination of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. A 15- point draft of the accord, which was shown to The New York Times, called for an end to militant activity and an exchange of prisoners in return for the gradual withdrawal of the Pakistani military from part of the tribal region of South Waziristan. Even as the accord was being negotiated by the government through tribal elders, the militant leader, Baitullah Mehsud, issued orders to his fighters to cease their activities, both within the tribal regions and in the adjoining North West Frontier Province, warning of strict punishment to any violators. Pakistani Militant Halts Attacks as Talks Begin


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