North Waziristan peace agreement allows Al Qaeda to remain


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Multimedia presentation of the senior Taliban commanders in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Click to view.

With the flurry of negotiations under way in Northwest Frontier Province and the tribal areas, details are finally leaking about the North Waziristan peace agreement that was signed in February.

The Daily Times, a Pakistani news organization, has obtained a copy of the peace agreement. The agreement lets al Qaeda leaders and operatives remain in North Waziristan "as long as they pledge to remain peaceful."

While the agreement was signed in mid-February, the details of the North Waziristan accord have remained a secret. The Pakistani government has purposefully kept the deal secret, and built in language to prevent the Taliban from disclosing details. Based on information released by the Northwest Frontier Province's Governor's office and the Daily Times, the terms of the agreement are as follows:

• "Foreigners' must leave North Waziristan.
• Al Qaeda operatives can live in North Waziristan "as long as they pledge to remain peaceful."
• The Taliban may not establish a parallel government.
• The Taliban must halt attacks on government and security forces personnel.
• The Taliban "agreed to jointly struggle against extremism and terrorism throughout the agency."
• Disclosing the contents of the peace agreement is prohibited.
• A fine of about $740,000 will be assessed for anyone violating the terms of the agreement.
• The government will withdraw the Army and turn over security to the paramilitary Frontier Corps.
• The government will release captured Taliban leaders and fighters.

The agreement does not mention existing al Qaeda and Taliban terror training camps or the ending of cross-border attacks into Pakistan. The Taliban established a shadow Taliban government after the 2006 peace agreement, and by all accounts it remains in place. The Taliban runs recruiting offices, courts, and jails, taxes the population, and maintains security forces. The Taliban and al Qaeda are known to run 29 training camps in North and South Waziristan.

The powerful Haqqani family is based in North Waziristan. The Haqqani family runs several mosques and madrassa, or religious schools, near Miramshah. The Pakistani government closed down the radical Haqqani-run Manba Ulom madrassa after the US commenced Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, but the school was reopened in 2004. The Manba Ulom madrassa has been described as a center of jihadi activities, where top Taliban and al Qaeda commanders meet.

Siraj Haqqani, the son of renowned Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani, is one of the senior Taliban leaders in North Waziristan. He has close ties to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. He has embraced al Qaeda's tactics and ideology, and has recruited foreign terrorists to act as suicide bombers and operatives inside Afghanistan. Siraj is believed to be running the Haqqani Network in eastern Afghanistan and has become a focal point of Coalition operations. The US military has put out a $200,000 bounty for Siraj's arrest. Taliban commanders Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Sadiq Noor also operate in North Waziristan.


For more information on the terms of the peace agreements in Swat, Bajaur, North Waziristan, and Mohmand, and the proposed terms for the agreements in South Waziristan, Mardan, and Kohat, see:

Descent into Appeasement
Pakistani government inks peace deal with Swat Taliban
Pakistan is negotiating a new peace agreement with Baitullah Mehsud (South Waziristan)
Pakistan revives the North Waziristan Accord
Pakistan releases Taliban leader, signs peace deal with outlawed Taliban group (Bajaur, Malakand Division)
Pakistan strikes deal with the Taliban in Mohmand
Negotiations with the Taliban under way in Kohat
Negotiations under way with Taliban in Mardan

See The Fall of Northwestern Pakistan: An Online History for more information on the rise of al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan and the history of peace agreements signed between the government and the Taliban.




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READER COMMENTS: "North Waziristan peace agreement allows Al Qaeda to remain"

Posted by Richard at June 8, 2008 1:42 PM ET:

I hate to say this but eventually the Taliban and Al Qaeda will attempt a terrorist act that was planned from this area. I pray that the plan is foiled before they can execute their destruction upon the innocence. Then the nations of the willing will annihilate the region to eradicate these individuals.

Posted by Bill Roggio at June 8, 2008 1:50 PM ET:

Richard,

There are no nations of the willing.

Plenty of plots have originated from this area - the London Airlines Plot was disrupted in the summer of 2006; the Madrid and London Tubes attacks can be traced back to the tribal areas, etc. No one is willing to do a thing about it.

Posted by pjh at June 8, 2008 2:22 PM ET:

Bill, I sincerely appreciate your pessimism because I share it. But in the long run something will be done to sanitize this region. These are highly aggressive people who will keep striking out. One day their depredations will be great enough, and the evidentiary path back to them clear enough, that someone will act against them decisively. It is only a matter of time and even more blood.

Thanks for all the excellent work you do. LWJ is the place I go for information on the most vital news of our day.

Paul

Posted by KW64 at June 8, 2008 2:39 PM ET:

I remember a time after the Taliban blew up the great Buddhas in Afghanistan that I thought no one would ever take real action against them. But then they went too far and they got pushed back into Pakistan. Like PJH I think they will get to feeling immune to response and do something to someone that will push them over the edge. Maybe the Pakistani government, maybe India maybe the US. Even some day the League of Democracies that is getting talked about.

However, right now, clearly no one will do anything other than HVT strikes. If any major action is taken in the near future I think it is more likely to involve Israel and Iran.

Posted by Richard at June 8, 2008 11:12 PM ET:

Bill,

You are correct. Thank you for my oversight. I probably should have went with my first thought which was a successful terrorist act with massive casualties. I think the US has the gumption to act but to this point do not want to throw the Pakistani population into revolt mode for our aggressiveness which will require soldiers boots on Pakistani territory. Ariel bombardment alone will not finish them off. We would have to have boots on the ground along with massive bombardments.
Bill, If, and I understand IF is one the biggest words in the english language, but if they were successful with the Lonon Airlines plot do you think the US would have retaliated in a way that would have taken the fight into North Waziristan.

Posted by Solo at June 9, 2008 7:15 AM ET:

Much like the agreement the Saudis had with the extremists, " Do what you want, just don't do it here." It's going to bite 'em where the sun don't shine eventually.

Posted by MattR at June 9, 2008 1:16 PM ET:

It looks like Pakistan just scrapped some deal with the Taliban: http://www.ptinews.com/pti%5Cptisite.nsf/0/C21E10A1158A6D8A65257463004FCD2A?OpenDocument (or google news "pakistan scraps deal") Is this the same deal? I have noticed this isn't being reported in the US.

Posted by david at June 9, 2008 2:45 PM ET:

Pakistan is sending a delegation to Europe to seek changes in Freedom of Expression - Speech laws, yet they are unwilling to silence & control the extremists in their own country?

Pakistan has been becoming icy to suggestions from others to clean things up in the Pakistan - Afghanistan border area, yet they are likely expecting their delegation to Europe to get a receptive audience?

I don't understand the Pakistani thought processes at all.

Posted by Bill roggio at June 9, 2008 5:28 PM ET:

pjh,

I don't think we disagree all that much. But I do think it is a shame that it will take another attack before real action is taken to resolve this situation. To be clear, this problem has to be resolved by Pakistan. The US does not have the capacity to deal with the problem without a full mobilization of forces - not with the troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, the political will does not exist, and if the American public balked at Iraq casualties, an invasion, occupation and COIN in the NWFP will be a real eye-opener. Plus, Pakistan is a nuclear armed state... I could go on but time constraints...

I wrote about this last fall....

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/10/crunch_time_in_pakis.php

Posted by Freedom Now at June 9, 2008 8:23 PM ET:

How reality-based is this condition?:

The Taliban "agreed to jointly struggle against extremism and terrorism throughout the agency"

So they agree to struggle against themselves?

This is fantasy.

They didnt feel strong enough to say that the Taliban should give up extremism and terrorism. I'm sure the Taliban understood that nuance.

Posted by Rhyno327/lrsd at June 10, 2008 10:45 AM ET:

If anyone thinks they will abide by this treaty, they are misguided and stupid. They will do wat they always do. Use thier territory to train, launch attacks into A-stan, just ignore that piece of paper entirely. The Haqqani family is neck deep in this? Then they need to be targeted. The next President will be faced with the decision to take matters into his [MILITARY's] hands and strike the camps, compounds-even madrosses would be targets. We will NEVER pacify these people. Forget COIN and all that, it will not work. This is an op that there is no need for occupation, its strictly hit them and leave.