An update on North & South Talibanistan, and across the border in Afghanistan
The situation in Pakistan’s rebellious tribal regions worsens. In South Waziristan, the tribes have invited the Taliban to “establish their offices to control the law and order situation in the agency,” and according to an unnamed official, “the move has been welcomed by a number of officials including military [officers].” The tribes and Pakistani military wronglybelieve the Taliban will not be enforcing Shariah law and “instead of spreading hate and extremism, will be providing justice to the resident of the largely lawless tribe.” Portions of South Waziristan has essentially been turned over to Taliban control, without a fight from the Pakistani military. The question is will the Pakistani military and the local tribes who oppose the Taliban’s extremism oppose them.
In North Waziristan, the towns of Miranshah, Khatti Kalay, Miran Kalay, Porakhel, Tapi, Esha and Dattakhel are being deserted by the local residents out of fear of fighting. Pakistani forces are razing Taliban owned madrassa, the schools where the Taliban indoctrinates the youth with education in radical Islam. A madrassa linked to Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani has destroyed. Haqqani is one of the more effective Taliban commanders, and Pakistani police are said to be actively hunting him.
Across the border in Afghanistan, two large weapons caches were uncovered. One cache contained over 400 pounds of explosives, and another was a massive find, which purportedly include “1 bunker of detonators, 2 bunkers containing a total of 80 tonnes of Russian TNT, 1 bunker with 15,000 Anti Personnel and 10,000 Anti Tank mines…”
In Ghazni city, five government supporters, including a former provincial governor who was outspoken against the Taliban, were murdered in a Taliban ambush
The Afghan police have arrested two couriers in Nangarhar province. This provides supporting evidence that Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri are in Pakistan’s tribal belt.One was a Taliban district leader during prior to the regime’s fall, and “was carrying letters from Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri,” and the other courier “was arrested with some 500 ‘night’ letters which asked people not to cooperate with the ‘illegitimate government’ and to obey orders of Mullah Omar and Ayman al-Zawahiri.” Making distinctions between the Taliban and their al Qaeda sponsors is often meaningless, a lesson the Pakistanis have yet to learn.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.