Several media reports, including from the BBC, indicate the Taliban has instructed its forces to withdraw from an area of Pakistan occupied in recent days. But at least one other simultaneous report suggests a more confused situation.
According to Declain Walsh reporting from Islamabad for The Guardian, “Militants ambushed a convoy of soldiers deployed to prevent extremists taking over a district only 60 miles from the capital. Snipers opened fire on police escorting four platoons of Frontier Corps paramilitary troops into Buner district, a day after militants overran government buildings and looted western aid offices. One policeman was killed and one injured, an army spokesman said. Locals said the ambush had forced the Frontier Corps to retreat. “Now Buner is ruled by the Taliban,” one resident told the Guardian by phone. “They go anywhere they want.”
The claim — or perhaps promise — of a Taliban withdrawal came after intense US pressure on Pakistani authorities. The tepid response to Taliban advances in Buner has also increased domestic pressure on Pakistan’s coalition government.