Aug 01 2008

Interesting Happenings In The Afghan-Pak Tribal Regions



Things are definitely heating up in the Pakistan-Afghanistan tribal areas, thought to be the last major sanctuary for al-Qaeda and extremist Taliban forces and leaders. It is important to remember al-Qaeda’s goal in all this – they want war between the US allies. They would love to see Pakistan, India and Afghanistan break out into war so they can step in and take advantage of the situation. It is the same kind of strategy they tried in Iraq by pitting the three sectarian factions against each other.

Now they are trying to get three US allied countries to open up military actions against each other, ignoring the cancerous Islamo Fascists. To that end you see small little stories like this one, where a bomb was detonated in front of a Pak consulate in Afghanistan:

An explosives-rigged bicycle detonated outside a Pakistani consulate in western Afghanistan on Thursday, wounding two people at the gates of the building, officials said.

Pakistan’s government, which has had tense relations with Afghanistan, was quick to remind the Afghan government of its duty to protect diplomatic offices. “We hope that government of Afghanistan will take its responsibility seriously,” a statement from Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

The Afghan government said in a statement that it also “strongly condemned the blast.”

Pakistan has no room to talk given the deadly forces now hidden out in its tribal regions. But more of these incidents could drive a wedge of mistrust further between the countries. And it seems clear to me in another small snippet accompanying this story, that the Islamo Fascists are trying to remove an moderating or pro-US/Government tribal leaders:

Taliban militants killed a tribal elder and his two sons and wounded his wife in Arghandab district of the southern Kandahar province, said district chief Zemarai Khan. The militants kidnapped seven other elders during the Wednesday raid, Khan said.

Removing moderating elements can help speed the region to war. Clearly it is becoming time to act, and that may be what is happening right now. In the the NWFP, a one time tourist haven that includes the Swat Valley and major city of Peshawar, clashes between in Militants and Government forces are on the rise as the government once again has to push the Islamo Fascists out of the NWFP and back into their main haven in FATA. Here is some news from the fighting in the Swat Valley:

The fierce clashes have also resulted in the death of at least 10 soldiers and about 25 militants, the officials said. They added that the death count in the fighting is bound to increase as several houses have been destroyed in the fighting so far.

Pakistani military officials said that fresh troops were sent to the area and added that helicopter gun ships and heavy artillery are backing the ongoing offensive against the Taliban militants in the valley.

These clashes effectively ends the peace agreement signed a couple of months ago between Pakistan’s government and the militants in Swat valley, which was heavily criticized by the US other NATO allies.

And here is some news from the areas surrounding Peshawar:

The violence that broke out Tuesday has been the worst in months in the Swat Valley, which is about 100 miles from the capital, Islamabad. In recent days, militants seeking to impose a Taliban-style social code have been burning girls’ schools, attacking police posts and abducting paramilitary troops.

These skirmishes have come on gone on many occasions, but what makes them possibly different from the past is what is happening the the Agencies of FATA, specifically in the Waziristan Agencies, the stronghold of deadly Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud:

After the militants-dominated Bajaur tribal region, paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) Thursday abandoned their strategically-located military forts in the Mahsuds-inhabited areas of South Waziristan Agency, triggering rumours that a fresh major military operation either by Pakistan army or by the Nato forces against Baitullah-led militants was in the offing.

Tribal sources told The News that the FC personnel deserted their positions in Ladha and Saam areas, considered as strongholds of Baitullah Mahsud-led tribal militants. Also, the sources said the force vacated the British-era Ladha Fort, which was built in 1932 and housed hundreds of soldiers.

“Around 25 trucks had been sent to Ladha to transport troops and ammunition to Razmak military base. The troops would abandon the fort today (Friday),” said an official of political administration, but pleaded anonymity.

Similarly, the sources said all the FC posts in Saam area of South Waziristan were vacated and the FC personnel were called back. Citing reason behind vacating the fort and other important positions in the Mahsuds-dominated areas, the official said the authorities had been facing tremendous hardships while sending supplies for the troops in the fort.

The move has sent a wave of concern among the already-suffered Mahsud tribespeople who feared that the action could be government’s strategy to launch a decisive and major military operation against Baitullah Mahsud and his all-powerful militants.

Some media reports have claimed the main fort was being abandoned to create a local hospital, but the fact many forts are being abandoned probably indicates the fears of the locals are accurate.

Recent reports on the CIA handing evidence over to Pakistani Authorities that major elements of their own intelligence agency (the ISI) have been helping cover for these militants is shedding some new light.  First from the LA Times:

The assessment that at least some elements of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency helped those responsible for the July 7 bombing has significantly deepened U.S. concerns over whether Pakistan can be trusted unequivocally as an ally in the U.S.-declared war on terrorism, according to the official. 

That U.S. official and several U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism authorities said in recent days that the subject of ISI support for the Taliban, affiliated extremists and even parts of Al Qaeda was a central issue in visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani’s meetings this week with President Bush and other top administration officials.

One senior Pakistani official in town this week for Gillani’s visit said he believed the CIA was leaking information about the ISI, some of it outdated or inaccurate, as part of a lobbying campaign to send U.S. forces into the tribal areas of Pakistan to attack the Taliban and Al Qaeda elements. 

But the senior Pakistani official also confirmed that some of the U.S. assertions were true and that recent U.S. intelligence shown to the Islamabad government documents specific instances of support. He said Islamabad was now investigating those links and had promised to weed out any Islamist sympathizers within the ISI.

Emphasis mine. If there are spies uncovered, it may be a good opportunity to feed them disinformation so they can give bad intel to their Taliban and al-Qaeda allies. Or they could possibly water-board information from them. I find these coincidental events quite intriguing.

I also find another story interesting, and that describes how the majority of new militant fighters are not Arabs or Chechens are the usaul variety associated with al-Qaeda, but Pakistani Taliban.

A growing number of Pakistani militants who earlier operated only inside Pakistan and Kashmir are joining the intensifying insurgency against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, U.S. officials say.

The fighters, who are taking part in increasingly sophisticated attacks on Western troops, include guerrillas hardened by years of combat against Indian forces and others from outside the Taliban strongholds in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, the officials say.

They say the influx far outstrips the flow of other foreign fighters such as Arabs, Uzbeks and Chechens into the area and coincides with a drop in high-profile attacks in Pakistan that reached a climax last December with the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

To me this is a sign the movement is running out of recruits, running out of support. We could be forcing the Islamo fascists into a fight for their survival if they are diverting all forces to this one region. We have seen reports of al-Qaeda diverting fighters away from Iraq and to this region for months now. But this is the first time I recall seeing the Kashmir forces being pulled out of their area to come into the fighting along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The fact is, with one coordinated and massive push Afghanistan and Pakistan could decimate the forces trying to destabilize their governments and rip the region apart. Sooner or later they will all realize it is them or the terrorists. Or maybe that fact has already dawned on them.

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Interesting Happenings In The Afghan-Pak Tribal Regions”

  1. dave m says:

    Not convinced that Pakistan hasn’t decided that their future
    lies WITH the terrorists.

    debka-net-weekly puts it:
    The situation inside Pakistan as it stands today holds as much menace for the American war effort as the unruly border region.

    A basic collapse of an islamic government to islamic radicals. Ths ISI
    is in charge and neither Musharaff nor the new Bhutto governmen
    dare take them on.

    Al-Kyder is abandoning Iraq and their leadership is moving to Pakistan.
    Makes more sense to take over a country with nukes, don’t you think?

    I think Jeff Beck explained our support for our ally Pakistan best:

    And its hi – ho silver lining

    Quickest route to AL-Kyder nukes?
    Not Iran, Israel is going to take them out this year.
    That leaves Pakistan.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll shout it from the rooftops.

  2. WWS says:

    I tend to agree with Dave. What’s significant to me is that this explosion in front of the Paki consulate was very small and did no significant damage. Given that the Indians have accused the Pakistani ISI of being behind the bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul (a charge I tend to believe, as the Paki ISI has done things like that often in the past) I wouldn’t be surprised if this bomb in front of the Pak Consulate was in fact a Paki ISI operation designed to attempt to deflect criticism from India. “Oh look, we’re getting bombed too!”

    I also think there is no meaningful distinction anymore between the Pak ISI and AL Qaeda. That’s big – but I think our greatest enemy in this fight is now a de-facto arm of the Pakistani government.

  3. WWS says:

    off topic – just saw some breaking news, the anthrax investigation looks to have been solved after all these years.

    Of course the suspect rather conveniently committed suicide just before his arrest.

  4. crosspatch says:

    Via Rush Limbaugh:

    StratFor is reporting that Zawahiri was killed yesterday or the day before in a bombing. Nothing official yet. This would be only about the 948th time someone has claimed to get Zawahiri, though.

  5. kathie says:

    Crosspatch…just heard that too. We should know soon.

  6. Gary in Kabul says:

    Editor: Again, sir, you are correct. The Taliban and
    Al Qaeda bad guys are trying to get Pakistan, Afghanistan and Inida into a fight. The first order of business is for Pakistan to clean up the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) organization, purging it of terrorist supporters. Next, Pakistan, Indian and Afghan troops need to squeeze the Tribal Areas in large ongoing operations to deny terrorists any place to hide. This can be done with help from the US, ISAF and air support operations. Let’s see what happens next! Regards, Gary in Kabul