Pakistan attempts to deflect attention away from the real impact of the Waziristan Accord
President – General Pervez Musharraf.
President Pervez Musharraf is making a great effort to portray the Waziristan Accord as a positive step in reigning in the Taliban and al Qaeda during his visit to the United States and his meetings with President George Bush and senior advisers. President Musharraf has also attempted to deflect some of the attention from the Waziristan accords by claiming former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage threated to ‘bomb Pakistan to the stone age’ if the country did not cooperate against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Mr. Armitage rejects such a statement was made.
In an effort to show the Waziristan Accord is working, Pakistan announced “security forces have arrested 10 people from Lawara Mandi area near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in the North Waziristan Agency.” The report goes on to explain the ten were “mostly Afghans” and the arrests were made in conjunction with tribal elders. A later report in the Daily Times indicates the ten suspects will be judged by a tribal jirga. One of the jirga members judging the ten is Maulana Alam, a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader. The Asia Times’ Syed Saleem Shahzad notes that JUI-F “is the only party still working in the two Waziristans. JUI-F keeps in close contact with the mujahideen who call themselves the Pakistani Taliban.” JUI-F is the political apparatus of the Taliban in the tribal regions.
The timing of the arrests is suspect, and clearly timed to coincide with Musharraf’s visit with President Bush. He can now claim the Waziristan Accord is working. The claim that the ten were “mostly Afghans” reinforces Musharraf’s statements that the Taliban are largely an Afghan problem. And the Pakistanis can claim they are doing something about the porous border with Afghanistan.
But the fact is the Waziristan Accord has been broken by the Taliban numerous times since its inception on September 5th. The assassination and attacks against pro-government and anti-Taliban tribals are happening on a near daily basis. These are only the incidents reported to the press. An American intelligence source states there are more executions that are not being reported.
A senior tribal elder was shot and killed after he “confessed to spying for the Americans.” He had notes pinned to his body with knives.
Taliban killed a tribal member for “suspected of collaboration with authorities in the hunt for insurgents” in a drive-by shooting.
“A pro-Afghan elder” was shot then beheaded.
A government official was kidnapped.
A senior journalist was shot in the head and killed.
A car bomb destroys dozens of cars outside a police station
A roadside bomb wounds two female government health workers, their driver and a passer-by.
Two soldiers were seriously wounded after the Taliban attacked their outpost.
A government official was killed and two friends wounded after they were ambushed by “pro-Taliban militants.”
Pro-Taliban militants executed a tribesman.
A “US spy” was murdered and a letter placed on his body as a warning to other spies. He was shot over 30 times.
The Taliban has not been held accountable for their actions in western Pakistan. No arrests have been made in any of these cases.
President Musharraf is unlikely to report any of these violations of the truce to President Bush.
Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.