Endorsing the Waziristan Accord

Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah, U.S. State Department endorse the Waziristan Accord

mullah dadallah.jpg

Mullah Dadullah on a tape aired by Al Jazeera.

Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah has spoken out about the “Waziristan Accord.” Dadullah, who was thought to have been captured this summer, explains that the Taliban in Waziristan should be focusing their energy outwards towards Coalition forces in Afghanistan, and pushed for a peace accord with the Pakistani government. President Musharraf is seen as an enemy, however one who can be negotiated with in order to continue the fight in Afghanistan. Dadullah openly threatens violence if Pakistan violates the terms of the agreement. Excerpts are from an article translated from Pakistan daily, The News, portions of which appear in Reuters:

“I told the Pakistani tribal militants that fighting in Waziristan was in the interest of America. My argument was that we should fight the US, UK and armies of other Western countries… As for President General Pervez Musharraf, we know he has been siding with President Bush against fellow Muslims. At the behest of the US, he waged war against the Taliban in Waziristan and is now publicly proposing to Mr Karzai to jointly fight the Taliban and Talibanisation… Violation of the terms of the recent peace agreement in Waziristan would cause problems and destabilize the area…

Dadullah also claims to have about 500 suicide bombers and about 12,000 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan (note that this excludes forces in Pakistan, and the high estimates place the Taliban strength as high as 27,000 in North Waziristan and 13,000 in South Waziristan.) The wealth of suicide bombers in Waziristan is documented by Asia Time’s Ashfaq Yusufzai. While Dadullah is certainly exaggerating, these claims are based on elements of truth, and the Taliban fighting in large formations in southern Afghanistan, the increase in suicide bombings and the establishment of an al Qaeda suicide cell in Kabul demonstrate.

Other Taliban commanders have their own list of fedayeen and it is growing with names of more and more volunteers…We have no shortage of fighters. In fact, we have so many of them that it is difficult to accommodate and arm and equip them. Some of them have been waiting for a year or more for their turn to be sent to the battlefield… Presently, we are focusing on guerrilla attacks. But by spring, we would have sufficient strength to launch even bigger attacks…

As the Taliban flaunt their new-found power in Pakistan, the U.S. Department of State’s press secretary Richard Boucher has inexplicably endorsed the “Waziristan Accord.”

Noting that the [Pakistani] government had carved out a new strategy to deal with the cross-border activities of Taliban and Al Qaeda sympathisers, Mr Boucher said: “The agreement really has the potential to work.” He said he believed the deal created an opportunity for local leaders to get hold of the problem of terrorism and it could enable the government “to get a political handle on this and enlist its citizens in the fight against terror”. The US, he said, understood that to effectively control the Afghan border, Pakistan needed “cooperation from local tribes and they are really trying to get in.” Mr Boucher said the US hoped that the agreement would leave a positive impact on the situation in the regions that are run by local tribal chiefs since the British days. “Instead of challenging the tribal chiefs, Pakistan has signed an agreement with them and we believe that it is a good effort,” he said. The official said the agreement would allow the local administration and the tribal chiefs to play a positive role in the development of their areas and also in restoring peace and security to the region. The agreement, he said, would restrict the movement of Taliban and would not permit the presence of Al Qaeda and its sympathisers in the tribal belt. “Talibanisation will not be allowed, in the area or in the cities near the tribal region,” he said. Mr Boucher said the government had made the tribal chiefs accept all these conditions before signing the agreement

Mr. Boucher has chosen to echo the Pakistani party line of Major General Shaukat Sultan, a government spokesman, and Northwest Frontier Province Governor Lt Gen. Ali Muhammad Jan Aurakzai, who has essentially thrown in his lot with the Islamists. Mr Boucher’s second to last statement, “Talibanisation will not be allowed, in the area or in the cities near the tribal region,” is absurd on its face, as the recent release of over 2,500 Taliban and al Qaeda, and their subsequent return to Wazriristan demonstrates. The Taliban has repeatedly violated the terms of the truce – only Pakistani government violations will lead to instability. Dadullah is clear the Afghan insurgency is being driven from safe havens in western Pakistan. And the Taliban’s role in dictating the terms of the truce are clear.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross postulates “The view of Boucher and other officials who refuse to publicly condemn the developments in Pakistan is that, bad as Musharraf has been of late, things would be far worse if he lost power. In a critical Muslim nation with nuclear weapons, it would be disastrous if a pro-Western military dictator were replaced by al Qaeda-linked fundamentalists.” This is true, but the policy is short sighted. When the next major al Qaeda attack against the West is traced back to Waziristan, there will be hell to pay.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

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12 Comments

  • Dusty says:

    “When the next major al-Qaeda attack against the West is traced back to Waziristan, there will be hell to pay.”
    Which I wouldn’t be surprised to learn ten years after such an attack, was exactly why the Waziristan accords were made in the first place.
    To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t mind seeing Al-Qaeda “safe area” accords crop up in all the countries troubled by them. But it seems to me it will only work once ’cause they aren’t that stupid.

  • Jesus Reyes says:

    Boucher does not speak for Chaney, et.al, unless they agree. Why does Chaney/Rice/Rumsfield send Boucher out with their response? Why dont they want to spin this?

  • Marlin says:

    The American al Qaeda, Adam Gadahn, was spotted last month in a remote area of Pakistan but moved before he could be captured, Pakistani intelligence officials tell ABC News.
    […]
    Pakistani officials say they are “hot on the trail” of Gadahn, although South Waziristan is one of the areas where Pakistani soldiers have been ordered to stay in their barracks as part of a “peace agreement” between the Pakistani government and tribal militants believed to shelter al Qaeda and Taliban elements.
    The Blotter: American al Qaeda Spotted in Pakistan

  • dwahzon says:

    I am sick at heart that our foreign policy has strayed so far from the focus that rightly belongs on Afghanistan and Pakistan. What’s next from the Bush administration?

  • Marlin says:

    It was one of several bold claims by the fighter during an hour-long interview, none of which could be verified. The Taliban have buried their weapons, he said, and returned to Pakistan for new instructions about how to take revenge against the foreign troops.
    He confirmed that the insurgents have lost their stronghold of Pashmul, a cluster of villages about 15 kilometres southwest of Kandahar city, but he described the pullout as a tactical retreat.
    […]
    Despite his low rank among the Taliban, he said, he has been invited to join an urgent meeting of insurgent leaders this week in Pakistan, where they will discuss their next steps. Local Taliban leaders are already talking about a counterattack, he said.
    Most of the fighters hid their weapons in underground caches so they could slip back into civilian life, he said, and those depots remain ready for the next wave of insurgent attacks.
    “The guns, the ammunition, these things are safe,” he said. “Many fighters died, but this is not important. Please understand. We can easily find more fighters.” He continued: “We trust in God, that some day the foreign troops will leave Afghanistan. They will run away. The reason is they are not fighters like us. I saw 11 Taliban hit by a bomb. Two survived, and they were crying out: ‘Why did we survive? Our friends have left us behind! We pray for our chance of martyrdom.’ ”
    The Globe and Mail: Taliban vow to retake Panjwai redoubt

  • Dale in Atlanta says:

    Bill: What’s wrong with us internationally “recognizing” the new “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan”, since Pakistan has in essence, ceded their sovereignity over that portion of it’s territory, then IMMEDIATELY Declaring War on them?
    Just an idea….

  • Endorsing the Waziristan Accord

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah, U.S. State Department endorse the Waziristan Accord
    Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah has spoken out about the “Waziristan Accord.”

  • paul in va says:

    Just days after Musharaff backs off of Waziristan, Pakistan and India make loud noises about resuming peace talks. There’s got to be a connection. Maybe just an empty face-saving gesture. Or something else.

  • Dusty says:

    It’s coming, Dale. It’s coming. The popular will is not there yet, but that’s coming along.
    One can only hope the coming together of the forces necessary to act precede another terrorist act of tremendous proportions.

  • Good Captain says:

    The only potentially positive that could come from this would be that the inherently heavy hand of New Tabalistan authority might turn off the population subjected to it. Just add time, disdain for it will surely follow. The major question then is, “how much time”?

  • Wally Lind says:

    So the State Deparment thinks the accord is okay. That tells me it probably isn’t horrible, even if it doesn’t meet your approval. The State Department should know the effects of treaties.
    I kind of think that the accord removes the area from the protection of the Pakistani state. Since it is no longer Pakistani territory, the Pakistanis can no longer complain if we take action there.
    One other point, if our standing in the international community is so low, then military action in Wazeristan(sp)wouldn’t hurt it any further. So let’s get going, and off UBL and Zawaheri (sp). If there are 12,000 Taliban and Al Qaida fighters in the tribal areas, it would be a nice target rich environment for the Air Force/Special Forces teams and the CIA’s Predator borne Hellfire missiles. Low casualty-high value. Let’s do it.

  • OMMAG says:

    I really doubt the claims of available manpower made by the Taliban supporters. Between bragadocio and wishfull thinking there is the matter that such a large force if available would be capable of taking any specific target they chose to…providing they could infiltrate into the area targeted.

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