May 18 2008

Updates On The War In Afghanistan/Pakistan 05_19_08

Published by at 10:52 pm under All General Discussions,Pakistan

Lot’s happening in Pakistan as the new government tries to clear out terrorist from the Tribal Areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan (see map).  In Waziristan the government is working a deal with the local Taliban leader, Baitullah Meshud, that is supposed to allow the tribes some autonomy, but all terrorists must be purged from the region.  This ‘goal’ of a negotiated arrangement with local Taliban could be similar to the accords reached in Iraq with the Sunnis who one time allied with al-Qaeda.  Right now it is too hard to see if it will happen that way, and lots of people are rightfully skeptical since the last deal allowed al-Qaeda and the Taliban to find sanctuary in the area called FATA.

While the effort may be a worthwhile attempt at negotiating a solution, there are many obstacles as this article points out.  But what I found interesting is some comments from the Pak Military in the region, which claim to cleansing these areas of terrorists (especially foreign fighters) while not retreating (as many have reported) but simply working to monitor the border area and be able to catch fighters trying to transit to and from Afghanistan:

Pakistan’s top military commander for the country’s Waziristan tribal region along the Afghan border on Sunday promised to keep his troops deployed in the area at newer locations, after last week’s peace agreement between the newly-elected government and Baitullah Mehsud, a hardcore pro-Taliban tribal militant. 

“We have the entire ‘Mehsud’ territory encircled. Nothing moves in this area except my troops,” said General Khan. 

The military claims to have destroyed a number of militant hideouts including two locations used to teach manufacturing techniques of suicide belts and explosives to boys from ages of between nine and 14. The military said it has sent more than 50 young boys who did not have parents and were inducted in militant training camps, to camps set up by the Save the Children charity. 

More here:


he GOC provided details of the Army operation  after the brutal act of Baitullah Mahsood who razed the Sararogha Fort and slaughtered some FC personnel on January l6, 2008.

He said the operation was carried out in three phases and areas of Spinkai, Kotkai and beyond Kotkai were respectively cleaned up of the miscreants in four days.

Replying to a question, the General responded that not a single civilian casualty took place since leaflets were distributed in the area for civilians to vacate, who moved out and nearly 200,000 civilians are located in different camps. Those remaining were miscreants, who chose to fight and have either been killed or retreated from the area.

And finally more here.  What we could be seeing is a legitimate deal with the tribes to straighten up and turn over the foreign fighters trying to wage regional and global jihad from Pakistan.  At some point this will have to be the normal state of affairs in the region if the world is to see an end to al-Qaeda and their brutal world vision. 

I am not trying to be Pollyanish, but I understand giving local leaders a chance – bound by treaties and agreements, which when violated give the Pak Army legitimate cause to come back in.  We shall see how it works, but the idea of Pakistan covering the border on one side and NATO/Afgahn forces covering the other side would put a major crimp in Bin Laden’s plans to wage Jihad.  

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