Talibanistan: The Establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan
Pakistan's "truce with the Taliban is an abject surrender, and al Qaeda has an untouchable base of operations in Western Pakistan which will only expand if not checked
The news of the Pakistani government signing a truce agreement with the Taliban in North Waziristan is far worse than being reported. We raised the alarm early morning on September 4, and newly uncovered information on the terms of the agreement indicate Pakistan has been roundly defeated by the Taliban in North Waziristan. The "truce" is in fact a surrender. According to an anonymous intelligence source, the terms of the truce includes:
- The Pakistani Army is abandoning its garrisons in North and South Waziristan.
- The Pakistani Military will not operate in North Waziristan, nor will it monitor actions the region.
- Pakistan will turn over weapons and other equipment seized during Pakistani Army operations.
- The Taliban and al Qaeda have set up a Mujahideen Shura (or council) to administer the agency.
- The truce refers to the region as "The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan."
- An unknown quantity of money was transferred from Pakistani government coffers to the Taliban. The Pakistani government has essentially paid a tribute or ransom to end the fighting.
- "Foreigners" (a euphemism for al Qaeda and other foreign jihadis) are allowed to remain in the region.
- Over 130 mid-level al Qaeda commanders and foot soldiers were released from Pakistani custody.
- The Taliban is required to refrain from violence in Pakistan only; the agreement does not stipulate refraining from violence in Afghanistan.
The truce meeting was essentially an event designed to humiliate the Pakistani government and military. Government negotiators were searched for weapons by Taliban fighters prior to entering the meeting. Heavily armed Taliban were posted as guards around the ceremony. The al Rayah - al Qaeda's black flag - was hung over the scoreboard at the soccer stadium where the ceremony was held. After the Pakistani delegation left, al Qaeda's black flag was run up the flagpole of military checkpoints and the Taliban began looting the leftover small arms. The Taliban also held a 'parade' in the streets of Miranshah. They openly view the 'truce' as a victory, and the facts support this view.
While this is not reported in the media, the "Taliban commanders" in attendance include none other than Jalaluddin Haqqani, military commander of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and Tahir Yuldashev, the commander of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. The New York Times does place Haqqani and Yuldashev in the Waziristan region. Both men are deeply in bed with al Qaeda, and it is useless at this point in time to make distinctions between al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan , the Taliban and Pakistan jihadi groups like Lashkar-Toiba. Syed Saleem Shahzad indicates other known Taliban commanders were present at the meeting; "At the gathering, mujahideen leader Maulana Sadiq Noor and a representative of Gul Badar (chief of the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan), as well as other members of the mujahideen shura (council), were seated on a stage while the leaders of the JUI-F [the political party of Pakistani opposition leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman and only party in North and South Waziristan, which was not always the case] delivered the speeches." Note that while unstated, Haqqani and Yuldashev also sit on the Mujahideen Shura.
To add insult to the defeat of the Waziristan truce, Pakistan has openly admitted that it would let Osama bin Laden remain a free man if committed to living a peaceful existance in the region. "If he is in Pakistan, bin Laden 'would not be taken into custody,' Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan told ABC News in a telephone interview, 'as long as one is being like a peaceful citizen," reports ABC News' The Blotter. An independent intelligence source confirms Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan Khan's position is an accurate reflection of Pakistani policy. [Note: Pakistan has since retracted its statements on bin Laden and immunity, but the Blotter transcript oftheinterview refutes this.]
The Pakistani government has ceded a region the size of New Jersey, with a population of about 800,000 to the Taliban and al Qaeda. The establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan is not the end of the Taliban's expansion, however. An intelligence source indicates similar negotiations between the Taliban and the Pakistani government are being held in the agencies of Khyber, Tank, Dera Ishmal Khan and Bajaur. The jihadi dreams of al Qaeda's safe havens in western Pakistan have become a reality. And the gains made by the Coalition in Afghanistan have now officially been wiped away with the peace agreement in the newly established Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.