Mar 31 2008

Tribes In Pakistan Ready To Purge Bin Laden And al-Qaeda From Their Midsts?

Published by at 11:42 am under All General Discussions,Pakistan

Here is some truly interesting news that is very much counter to much of the reporting that is coming out of Pakistan. It seems the tribal leaders in one of the agencies of FATA where Bin Laden is thought to be hiding out are ready to hand him over to authorities (probably for a price):

Tribal elders and maliks living in Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border have decided to hand over terrorists including Osama bin Laden if they are found in the areas. At the same time some officials of the Pakistani administration staged a drama in Bajaur Agency by organising a meeting of the Taliban militants. It is ironic in the presence of officials, the officials displayed heavy weapons creating great terror among the tribesmen.

During a survey conducted by Voice For Peace it was found that several tribal elders and maliks have said that they are ready to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States.

There are people who believe that Osama bin Laden along with his colleagues have been hiding in Bajaur Agency.

The confrontation between the militants and the army has served to worsen the plight of the province´s poverty-stricken people and added to their hardship. In Swat alone, the fighting between the army and Maulana Fazlullah´s militia turned thousands of men, women and children homeless in bitter cold.

Ending militancy in Fata and neutralising the bases where suicide bombers are trained are issues that deserve priority because the Taliban are on the verge of destroying tribal culture. Traditionally, the tribesmen have believed in solving their group problems through jirgas. But we have seen how the militants have attacked a peace jirga and bombed a funeral procession. There are also illegal FM stations which preach hatred and arouse people to violence. These constitute an affront to Pakhtoon values.

Maybe be I am being Pollyannish, but I see the makings of a quid pro quo here. The discussions coming out of Pakistan include some major themes: peace, ending the influence of America, ending the influence of al-Qaeda and terrorists. al-Qaeda and their allies in the extremist elements of the Taliban have been killing scores of civilians and tribal leaders. One of the most horrific attacks came at a peace jirga where dozens where killed for considering the idea of expunging the terrorists from their midsts.

A suicide bomber attacked an anti-al-Qaeda peace meeting attended by thousands of tribe members in north-western Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least 40 people in the third suicide blast in the region in as many days.

Five tribes had called the meeting to finalise a resolution that would punish anyone who sheltered or helped Muslim militants, including al-Qaeda, Taliban and other foreign extremists, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said.

It is becoming clear to many in the tribal areas of Pakistan that the thugs seeking sanctuary amongst them are more dangerous and brutal than anything Americans have done. I still say we are seeing an “Awakening” in these regions as we did in Iraq in the Sunni province of Anbar. As more and more locals openly discuss retaliating or spurning al-Qaeda, the more violence al-Qaeda inflicts on them, creating a viscous but unstoppable spiral that ends in al-Qaeda becoming the enemy of Islam to those people who once protected them. Hopefully this is the case and in a matter of weeks, for the price of investment for development money from America, we shall see the Pakistan tribes also rise up against al-Qaeda and purge them from their last sanctuary on Earth. Investment is a small price to pay to rid us of al-Qaeda, and it has the added benefit of not costing as many lives on our side.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Tribes In Pakistan Ready To Purge Bin Laden And al-Qaeda From Their Midsts?”

  1. Neo says:

    I am the come death .. the bringer of pestilences .. my name is bin Laden

    Yeah .. that about sums it up.

  2. Mata says:

    I’ll hope for your optimistic outcome, AJ. But there’s details that nag at me.

    The PPP/PML-N dominated new Pakistan govt has announced new rules of engagement for the militants (AQ and neo-Taliban) inPakistan. Negotiations with militants is taking the place of Musharraf’s tacit approval, or participation in, US/Pakistan joint military action.

    Needless to say, the plethora of past truces with militants are merely a shopping list of failures.

    While the tribal leaders sy they’d turn over the militants, AQ and Taliban will assail tribal leaders at every opportunity…. generally winning the battle.

    And those militants (which includes those who are supposed to be turned in) are now on record as welcoming yet another truce with the Pak govt, with a couple of non-negotiable conditions.

    1: Sharia law in the tribal areas
    2: Severence of diplomatic relations with the US (which would include sharing of intelligence)

    While #1 may be granted (but not the law of the land), hopefully it’s highly unlikely #2 will happen. The US cannot afford abolition of relations, and Pakistan will not want to give up US aid $’s…. tho they may do just that in the interest of peace in their own country.

    If they don’t sever US ties, there is no hope for a sustained truce between militants and Pakistan. Tribal leaders are not as well armed and funded as the militants. Turn over of militants to the US (or Pakistan) would most likely lead to yet another blood bath of tribal elders.

    But boyo… do I hope I’m wrong.

    It’s media chickens, coming home to roose. The western media, stoking the “hate Musharraf” fires after Ste. Bhutto’s return & demise, has instilled a false expectation of “democraacy” in the new govt. Frankly, I believe differently. When Musharraf goes, Pakistan will either isolate itself from the US, or will make it virtually impossible for any US strikes within Pak borders against jihadis.

    And this puts either Obama (who’ll go into Pakistan on actionable intelligence without Pak approval), or McCain (who will find a the door slammed shut on joint operations without Musharraf) on a direct collision path with the Pak majority.

  3. Neo says:

    Most like the government has told the tribes that if they want the military to stay out, get the foreigners out.

    Sort of a .. you do it or we’ll do it.

  4. Mata says:

    However, Neo, bad guys aren’t defined by their foreign status. What of the Pakistani national militants? Taliban in Pakistan is nothing more than another membe and ally of the AQ umbrella.