Sep 29 2008
Major Update: Even the BBC is recognizing the tribal Awakening:
Tribal elders gather in a mammoth meeting place, or jirga hall, to tell us why they support the military offensive.
They accuse the Pakistani Taleban of setting up a parallel state in Bajaur, undermining the traditional tribal leadership. They say they’ve exhausted all attempts at negotiating a peaceful solution to the problem.
Haji Karim Salarzai is a leading elder from the Salarzai tribe.
“These so-called Taleban do not know even 10 verses of the Koran, and they call themselves religious scholars!” he declaims from a towering podium on a stage at the front of the hall.
“They have killed elders of the tribes and innocent people, they are miscreants and they are receiving aid from the foreign countries. They are creating an atmosphere of disturbance which has affected the life of the general public in the area.”
The anger is leading to action: in a chaotic market place nearby we meet members of the Salarzai militia, armed with rifles, machine guns and rocket propelled grenades. They vow to defend their land not only against the Taleban, but any other intruder.
And I want to ad one more update from the link below:
Many of the men at theÂ jirgaÂ came with machine guns, some dating back to the 1980s Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The meeting was a reaction to a scare a few days earlier, when a group of Taliban tried to seize a local school and take 300 children hostage. Without waiting for the authorities to act, tribesmen successfully tackled the assailants.
The pattern is still the same as in Iraq. The violent, blood-thirsty nature of the Islamo Fascists in their efforts to control the locals is, in the end, their undoing. When compared to these animals even the US pf A looks wonderful in comparison – end update.
I have had my attention on the political theatre here in the US for almost two months now, and I have not been watching the current focus on the war on terror very closely. But now that I have been checking back in on the war in the tribal areas of Pakistan, there are many positive signs coming out. I captured quite a few of these positive sings in the post below, but one more really positive sign showed up this morning:
Amid the brutal march of Islamic extremism in Pakistan, the beginnings of a popular resistance movement is emerging that could challenge the stranglehold of militants in the country’s burning northwest.
Villagers in parts of the North West Frontier Province and the tribal territory, faced with the violent advance of the Pakistani Taliban, have started to organize an armed indigenous resistance. They have decided that the state can’t – or won’t – come to their aid so they must defend themselves against a radical, and alien, form of Islam that is seeking to impose itself on them down the barrel of an AK-47.
The resistance relies on fierce tribal customs and widespread ownership of guns in the area to raise traditional private armies, orÂ lashkars,Â each with the strength of hundreds, or several thousands, of volunteers.
These tribal armies cannot stop individual acts of terrorism, which now plague the entire country. But they may be able to stop the development of an extremist mini-state in the northwest which would threaten the existence of both nuclear-armed Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan.
TheÂ lashkarsÂ are appearing in many areas, including Bajaur, in the tribal zone, and Dir and Buner in the “settled” areas of NWFP. But a confrontation between ordinary tribesmen and the Taliban could be bloody. The Taliban are heavily armed and entrenched in a line that runs along the Afghan border from South Waziristan, northward through Bajaur and Mohmand, in the tribal area, and in adjacent districts in NWFP, including Swat.
“There’s going to be a civil war. TheseÂ lashkarsÂ are spreading,” said Asfandyar Wali Khan, leader of the Awami National Party, which runs the provincial government in the NWFP. “It will be the people versus the Taliban.”
With combined with the Surge of US and NATO forces to the region, we may have the beginnings of a purge of the Islamo Fascists like we saw spring out of Anbar Province in Iraq 2 years ago. This is extremely good news for Bush, America, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Though I am sure Obama will try to take credit that his flapping gums (to steal a phrase from one of my readers this morning) were the determining factor in any turn around.