1 The Long War Journal: Pakistan's Swat peace agreement in the crossfire
Written by Bill Roggio on June 9, 2008 2:42 PM to 1 The Long War Journal
Available online at: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/06/pakistans_swat_peace.php
Red agencies/ districts controlled by the Taliban; purple is de facto control; yellow is under threat.
Tensions have arisen over the Swat peace agreement signed last month. The central government said the Swat Accord has been negated due to Taliban attacks. The Taliban and the Awami National Party, which administers the Northwest Frontier Province, said the agreement is still valid and the central government cannot dissolve the accord.
"The Swat agreement is scrapped as the militants have (continued) their attacks on security forces," said Rahman Malik, an adviser to Pakistan's prime minister. Malik's statement comes after four policemen were killed in an ambush in the provincial capital of Peshawar. On June 5, two policemen and two civilians were wounded in a shootout in Nowshera. Peshawar has been described as a "walled city," while its police chief said the Taliban is poised to overrun the city.
Both the Taliban and the provincial government said the deal was intact. Bashir Bilour, the senior minister in the Northwest Frontier Province and the leader of the Awami National Party, "reacted angrily" to the central government's announcement, according to the Press Trust of India. Bilour said the peace agreement was still intact, Pajhwok reported.
Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said that since the agreement was signed with the provincial government, and "not with Rehman Malik," the central government could not negate the agreement.
Prior to the latest dispute over the peace agreement, the provincial government has been conducting prisoner exchanges with the Taliban. Seven Taliban in Swat were released on June 7; 64 were released in Swat on June 6; and 75 were freed in Malakand on June 4.
The Taliban put the Pakistani government on notice just one day ago. The Taliban distributed pamphlets to Pakistani news organizations that warned the government to stick to the peace agreements or face a new campaign of violence. The Taliban threatened to open "new fronts" within Pakistan. The extremists also said the government must end its support for the US-led war on terror "as its ramifications could be dangerous."
This year, the government signed peace deals in Swat, Bajaur, Malakand, and Mohmand. Negotiations are under way in Kohat and Mardan. The Taliban has violated the terms of these agreements in every region where accords have been inked.
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.