Pak gears up for a bloody Autumn

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North West Frontier Province:  Armed militias in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province are gearing to fight against US forces in Afghanistan.

"Right from the beginning we want to make this clear, that America has illegally captured Afghanistan, and this is our top priority, to finish this, and remove America from the soil of Afghanistan, and get rid of these people from the Afghan nation. We were against the Americans and NATO forces right from the beginning," said Hakimullah Mehsud, head of Pakistan Taliban.

The voice of the new leader of the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan - a militia whose aim is to rid Afghanistan of NATO troops and to remain in control of his territory inside Pakistan.

Hakimullah Mehsud is gearing up for a confrontation with the Pakistani state. And the state is poised to launch a deadly military operation in the territory he controls - South Waziristan. Hakimullah is said to have the support of around 5000 militants. And his call for holy war against NATO troops has sympathizers inside Pakistan.

This madrassah is supported by the British Council in Pakistan but the caretaker who spends two months in a year in England has a different world view from his benefactors.

"Till NATO troops do not leave Afghanistan, the situation will not improve," said Syed ullah Irfan, caretaker of the madrassah.

For the Pakistan military, this will be a bloody Autumn as it fights to regain territory lost to militant factions who claim they will retaliate by sending in suicide bombers into Pakistan's major cities.

"The suicide bombers are in such a rage, they have cornered you see now they do not listen to us," said Mufti Kifayatullah, Minister of Provincial Assembly, Jamaat Ulema Islam F.

But the state too has its supporters.

"Everybody's future is at stake in this Talibanisation, so everyone has joined together to come out and protest. It's our country we cannot let them hijack it and take it," said Seema Iftikhar, furniture designer.

Pak has become the new frontier in the war on terror. But it is really the ordinary people who have become 'collateral damage' in this bloody war.

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