Pakistan Cuts and Runs From Waziristan
Calling a surrender a truce
By Charles Bird Posted in War — Comments (4) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The ABC News blog The Blotter garnered attention earlier today, quoting a Pakistani general and "Pakistani officials" that Osama bin Laden was granted amnesty as part of a "peace deal" with the Taliban:
If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden "would not be taken into custody," Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, "as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen."
In a follow-up post, Brian Ross gets a quip from the Pakistani ambassador to the United States:
"If he is in Pakistan, today or any time later, he will be taken into custody and brought to justice," the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Mahmud Ali Durrani, said in a statement.
The ambassador goes on to say that the Major General was "gross misquoted", but the recorded transcript speaks for itself. The reality of the situation could be worse. The Washington Post reported the rough outlines of the "truce" between Pakistan and the Taliban, but Bill Roggio paints a bleaker picture, calling the agreement an "abject surrender".
According to an anonymous intelligence source, the terms of the truce includes:
- • The Pakistani Army is abandoning its garrisons in North and South Waziristan.
- • The Pakistani Military will not operate in North Waziristan, nor will it monitor actions the region.
- • Pakistan will turn over weapons and other equipment seized during Pakistani Army operations.
- • The Taliban and al-Qaeda have set up a Mujahideen Shura (or council) to administer the agency.
- • The truce refers to the region as "The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan."
- • An unknown quantity of money was transferred from Pakistani government coffers to the Taliban. The Pakistani government has essentially paid a tribute or ransom to end the fighting.
- • "Foreigners" (a euphemism for al-Qaeda and other foreign jihadis) are allowed to remain in the region.
- • Over 130 mid-level al-Qaeda commanders and foot soldiers were released from Pakistani custody.
- • The Taliban is required to refrain from violence in Pakistan only; the agreement does not stipulate refraining from violence in Afghanistan [the Washington Post has a differing account].
The truce meeting was essentially an event designed to humiliate the Pakistani government and military. Government negotiators were searched for weapons by Taliban fighters prior to entering the meeting. Heavily armed Taliban were posted as guards around the ceremony. The al Rayah – al-Qaeda's black flag – was hung over the scoreboard at the soccer stadium where the ceremony was held. After the Pakistani delegation left, al-Qaeda's black flag was run up the flagpole of military checkpoints and the Taliban began looting the leftover small arms. The Taliban also held a 'parade' in the streets of Miranshah. They openly view the 'truce' as a victory, and the facts support this view.
The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, a convergence of Taliban, al Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba and who knows who else. If what Mr. Roggio reported is accurate, then these events further reveal the weakness of the Musharraf goverment (a government with atomic bombs in its arsenal) and that the government of Afghanistan is in for a long fight against militant Islamists. This would be an opportune time for Musharraf to quietly permit U.S. Special Forces into Waziristan, as well as the UN forces currently combating the Islamist militants in Afghanistan. The Pakistani army can't and won't do it.