Apr 29 2006

Pakistan Gains Control Over Taliban Area

Published by at 8:49 pm under All General Discussions,Pakistan

The hottest battlefront in the GWOT has been in northern Pakistan, in the once unruly Tribal Regions. Apparently Musharraf has been able to take control of that reqion.

The Pakistan Army is in full control in the troubled tribal region of Waziristan, where 324 militants have been killed in operations over the past nine months, officials said on Saturday.

The military made the claim as they accompanied a team of foreign journalists to Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan.

Miranshah was the scene of fierce battles between pro-Taliban militants and the army in March which killed 145 militants including 23 foreigners, chief military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan told reporters. He said up to 1,500 militants had attacked Miranshah and described the March 4-8 clashes as the heaviest in the region.

In April near Miranshah, the military said it had killed senior Al Qaeda operative and explosives expert Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah, indicted in the United States over the 1998 twin embassy bombings in east Africa.

If so, then any foreign fighters in the area, such as Bin Laden and Zawahirir, will either be rounded up soon or have been chased someplace else. Anytime they are forced to break cover it presents an opportunity for us to nab them.  Much more here.

One response so far

One Response to “Pakistan Gains Control Over Taliban Area”

  1. crosspatch says:

    In the Pakistan daily times article is a telling passage:

    “About 80 percent of the population (of North Waziristan) is sitting on the fence, not openly siding with the government, fearing reprisals that they could be assassinated (by militants),” said Sultan. “They want terrorists to be eliminated so that they can have a peaceful life.”

    The above paragraph tells me that the local still fear the terrorists more than they fear Pakistani justice. This is probably due to the methods used by the terrorists. Historically, in cases like this, the logjam has generally been broken only by a couple of examples of brutal summary justice on clear cases of enemy collaboration when caught red-handed. If a military unit discovers a tribal chief protecting terrorists and he is caught red-handed doing so, he would face summary execution on the spot or after a quick tribunal hearing in the village or tribal region. It generally takes only a very few such events to cause people to come around. While it is brutal on the surface, it saves lives in the long run. As long as it is very clearly stated that any tribal or village chief will be held personally responsible for harboring terrorists and everyone in the area knows full well the consequences and such harsh punishment is not a surprise, I don’t have a problem with it.

    The problem right now is that the people are afraid to cooperate with the government because they fear the terrorists. If they cooperate with the government, they die. If they cooperate with the terrorists, the government offers them a “deal”. There is less pain involved in cooperating with the terrorists. There should also be a carrot to go along with this very big stick. You offer rewards for turning in terrorists . Not individual monetary rewards, but community based rewards. Offer schools, road improvements, electricity improvements, clinics, hospitals, farming assistance, etc. For every terrorist turned in, more money is allocated to that tribe’s region or village. So now you have incentive to turn in terrorists that result in community improvements. You can turn them in anonymously and not worry about looking like selfishly selling out for personal cash gain as you would if you got a direct personal cash payment. I suspect that is why we don’t have Osama yet. If we offered community based rewards rather than huge individual cash rewards, we might have better luck with someone coming forward. Our reward system looks great to a member of OUR culture, but a reward that promises 4 clinics, 5 schools, a new road network, couple of dams, an irrigation project, power lines run to each home, new wells and a sewage project … which all might cost about the same as our current cash reward amount … might do better to bring information forward faster. A member of the community could offer information and if the terrorists are caught, their whole community benefits and they can remain completely anonymous while their children enjoy a better future. On the other hand, if they are caught harboring terrorists, they face swift and grave justice. Then there is no incentive to harboring the terrorist, much incentive to turn over information, and the terrorists can not up the ante in either the threat or the reward because what are they going to do, kill you? And they don’t have the resources to improve your community.

    We have to get those villagers “off the fence”.