Aug 10 2008

Pakistan Extremists Not Doing So Well


The Pakistan Islamo Fascists who are providing the last refuge for al-Qaeda fighters running from their defeats in Afghanistan and Iraq are having their own problems. The Pakistan government, on the urging of the US, has begun to seriously crack down on these militants that infest the NWFP and FATA regions of Pakistan along the Afghanistan border. For example:

Fierce clashes over the last four days in tribal Pakistani region of Bajaur killed more than 100 Islamist militants and nine soldiers, a military spokesman said on Sunday. 

The fighting in the Al Qaida sanctuary near the border with Afghanistan broke out on Wednesday after pro-Taliban militants attacked a security point in Loi Sum, a town west of Khar.

The question is how long will Pakistan take action and how far will the decimate the Islamists. Good questions with word that the Pak forces are retreating from some areas in Bajaur Agency. It is always best to take news from this area with a serious dose of skepticism. Both sides inflate themselves regularly. 

But it is clear there is serious and regular fighting amongst the tribes in the region, not just between the tribes and the government:

At least 10 people were killed and 20 others injured as clashes between two tribes continued on Saturday.

Over 50 houses were destroyed in Tagano Klay, Gul Muhammad Klay, Kando Klay, Haji Ismail Klay and Kaj Klay areas of Kurram Agency, the sources said.

Armed tribes destroyed an extremist-run FM radio station also while kidnapped several people.

According to sources both sides used artillery while two commanders of an extremist group were also killed in clashes.

That is an interesting sign of what is happening in the region. Not everyone is buying into the Islamo Fascist movement. In fact, local pro-government leaders and family members show up executed as US spies quite frequently. This might be leading to a huge backlash amongst the Pakistanis in and around the region. At least many polls of show this to be the case, and today we see another one:

A similar survey commissioned by the British High Commission in Pakistan in April had come to the same conclusions that the perception that the tribal society was falling to Taliban was an exaggeration.

Ninety-two percent of the respondents believed that the Taliban leaders, including Maulana Fazlullah of Swat, did not represent true Islam. Only six percent thought that the Taliban were trying to enforce Sharia in the country.

However, 94 percent of the tribesmen said the Taliban’s way was not the right way and the same percentage disapproved of the use of arms by them in their cause. While 86 percent considered the Taliban activities damaging to Pakistan, 11 percent believed they were no threat to the country’s interests.

Similarly 86 percent of the respondents disapproved of the Taliban smashing up CD shops against 13 percent who supported the action.

Tribal customs limited the number of people who could partake in the poll, but I doubt the numbers will swing much more towards the extremists, these are enormous margins. And they indicate Pakistan’s Tribal areas are ripe for an Awakening of their own, just like the ones that chased al-Qaeda and the Mahdi Militias from Iraq.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Pakistan Extremists Not Doing So Well”

  1. crosspatch says:

    The Islamists lost a good deal of their political power in the form of seats in the national assembly during the past round of elections. If that continues in the next round, resistance within the government to confronting them will dissolve.

    There will be individuals in the various special services who support these people and probably for many different reasons. Some reasons being ideological and others being economic and yet others being nothing more than gravitation to a power base … a gang, if you will.

    The ideological identifiers are the most difficult to deal with. And as long as there are billions in opium money associated with those tribes, they will still be able to buy people who can be of use to them. Those who are simply influenced by power will drift away as their power wanes and that will, in turn, cause reduction in the money. Then others will drift away leaving only the ideologues.

  2. dave m says:


    This seems worrying.
    A little snippet from

    Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) and Asif Ali Zardari (PPP) announced that their coalition government will begin impeachement proceedings against president Pervez Musharraf “immediately” and plan to reinstate the supreme court justices removed by Musharraf immediately after he is removed. Pakistan’s status as a cooperative ally against al-Qaeda and the Taliban hangs in the balance.


    We can’t get any supplies into Afghanistan without overflying
    either Pakistan, Iran, or Georgia and Turkmenistan.
    Georgia doesn’t sound like a good path, right now.
    Assuming Nawaz Sharif wants to support the Taleban
    he could revoke American flight permission.
    How does this play out?