Jun 27 2008
I’m going to limit the excerpting here because the amount of information in all the news reports coming out, but it looks like the militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan have gone too far even for the new Pak government. These reports span events happening over the last week and show things coming to a head in Pakistan, the last large sanctuary for al-Qaeda and their extremist Taliban cousins.
In a recent meeting between the Iraq Prime Minister and the Pak military leaders it was apparently decided to take action against the militants:
A meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has given charge of tackling the violence in the Tribal Areas to the chief of the army staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, designating him â€œthe principal for application of military effortâ€. The meeting, which was also attended by the administrative heads of the NWFP and related officers of the Pakistan Army, resolved that â€œPakistan would not allow its territory to be used against other countries, especially Afghanistan, and under no circumstances would foreign troops be allowed to operate inside Pakistanâ€.
Emphasis mine. Â It seems Pakistan has succumbed to the actions and threats of future actions from the US/NATO forces in Afghanistan and the Afghan government as long as terrorists in FATA were launching attacks into Afghanistan. Â The Pak Army is mobilizing forcesÂ (more here) and the Taliban are responding by attacking pro-peace, pro-government tribal leaders in a series of mass killingsÂ (more here).
My guess is that the Taliban are realizing they are being taken apart piece by piece in Afghanistan and need to take action now before they lose too many fighters. Â The Taliban are attempting again to push into the NWFP and are threatening Peshawar, which is another reason why the Pak government is being forced into action.
My suspicion is the civil war between Isamist extremists and more moderate Muslim tribes in the region has heated up as the moderates have been turning quietly on the extremists, at least this snippet from a local news report would hint this may have been the case.
Two more people were killed as clash between two religious groups in Teera Valley continued for the sixth consecutive day, reported a private TV channel here Thursday.
The total death toll mounted to 47, following the fresh clash between Laskare-e-Islam and Ansar-ul-Islam. They were still resorting to ambushes in areas of Kurrum Agency.
Sources said that Pir Qayyum tribe had handed over 14 more people to the government. Moreover, flights of unmanned US spy planes were also reported in different areas of North Waziristan, added sources.
Here’s what seems to have transpired. Â Recently an attack Pakistan into Afghanistan by militants resulted in the militants running back into Pakistan where NATO forces took them out with air and artillery. Â The US has stepped up its monitoring of the border and engaged militant forces coming over from Pakistan. It has also targeted leaders in Pakistan with UAV deployed missiles.
In addition Pakistan was attempting a negotiated peace agreement with the militants, but they only promised not to attack Pakistan based targets. Â They reserved the right to launch attacks outside Pakistan. Clearly the delusion of peace was broken when there was no sanctuary from the US weapons systems, so the Taliban shifted gears back into attack mode, which forced the Pak government into action.
It really is only a matter of time to purge the tribal areas of these thugs. Â The question always has been will the Pakistanis get back to it, as they were under Musharraf. Â Who knows, but at least the talk of peace has been replaced with military deployments.