Coming Soon: The Bajaur Accord

Pakistan is negotiating the surrender of Bajaur agency to the Taliban and al Qaeda

Protests in Bajaur Agency, Pakistan, after U.S. airstrikes in Damadola in January 2006 . Click image to view.

Just days after the signing of the Waziristan Accord, which ceded administrative and security control of the North Waziristan agency to the Taliban and al Qaeda, we warned that Bajaur agency was next to fall to the Taliban. Several weeks later, UPI confirmed the Pakistani government was seriously considering further negotiations in Bajaur and other agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Ali Jan Orakzai, the governor of the Northwest Frontier Province, has been enthusiastic about the prospects of turning over Bajaur and other agencies: “If the treaty signed with tribal elders of North Waziristan proved successful, similar treaties would be signed with tribes in other agencies,” reports the Daily Times

Today, the Gulf Times reports a deal with the Taliban and al Qaeda in Bajaur is coming – and right soon. “Maulana Faqir Mohamed, once most wanted cleric in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal region, and his fellow militants are likely to ink peace accord with the government after Eid al-Fitr, as the government has released all his relatives as a goodwill gesture,” according to the Gulf Times report. These are the nine “al Qaeda suspects” we noted were released in last evening’s report on the Taliban tax in Miramshah. “Besides Faqir Mohamed’s brother (Maulana Gul Mohamed), those released were identified as Bahadur Khan, Habibullah, Bashirullah, Ziaul Haq, Jamal Syed, Nazimeen Khan and as mentioned the two clerics – Dr Ismail and Maulana Inayatur Rahman.”

Maulana Faqir Mohamed isn’t your run-of-the-mill local tribal leader. Faqir Mohamed is the man that hosted the dinner party in Damadola, Bajaur in January of 2006 that the U.S. targeted in a dramatic Predator raid. Faqir Mohamed hosted none other than Dr.Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command, along with several other senior al Qaeda and Taliban commanders. Zawahiri escaped the attack in Damadola, but Abu Khabab al-Masri, al Qaeda’s chief bomb maker, chemical weapons expert, training camp commander and head of its WMD program, was killed along with four other senior leaders.

Faqir Mohamed is also a leader of the radical Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Sharia), which the Jamestown Foundation describes as “a religious group that forcibly imposed Islamic religious laws in the Pashtun tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan in the 1990s. Although the Pakistani military later removed most of the parallel courts and administrative units established by the movement, the group continued to run a parallel government for some time.” Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammed has sent in numerous jihadis into Afghanistan since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001.

The release of Faqir’s relatives is seen as a victory for the Taliban. “Maulana Faqir Mohamed’s supporters warmly received their released colleagues and celebrated their release with heavy firing into the air. Members of the tribal ‘jirga’ (council) took them to the village after their release from central prison in Khar, headquarters of Bajaur Agency.”

The Bajaur Accord will very likely mirror that of the Waziristan Accord, where the Pakistani military ceded control of the border crossing point, withdrew to garrison, surrendered control of the policing and administrative functions of government. Attacks in the Afghan border provinces on Paktia, Paktika, and Khost have increased threefold since the signing of the Waziristan Accords, as has the infiltration by al Qaeda and Taliban fighters and suicide bombers.

This occurs in the backdrop of an al Qaeda and Taliban sponsored assassination/coup attempt against President Pervez Musharraf’s government several weeks ago.

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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6 Comments

  • JOHN RYAN says:

    Afghanistan/Pakistan/Paktoonistan is continuing to go badly. Talk about the newly painted schools is now a distant memory. We should have concentrated our forces and aid there, only then MIGHT we have a chance for success.

  • tblubrd says:

    I have read your comments and posts on the developing “next Afghanistan” for months. While the Taliban are exacerbating the issue in southern and eastern Afghanistan, there is no talk of changing our alliance with Musharraf’s lame government. Has he capitulated to the Taliban? Several weeks ago when the earlier accords were signed, he stated that while the “tribal areas” (Taliban) were essentially on their own, they remain the sovereign territory of Pakistan. Is there any movement in the US or the UN to deny Musharraf this luxury? How long will we keep accusing him of providing Taliban fighters without taking serious action? When he shakes hands with Bush and says he is not giving the Taliban anything, the elephant is in the room.

  • Coming Soon: The Bajaur Accord

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    Pakistan is negotiating the surrender of Bajaur agency to the Taliban and al-Qaeda
    Just days after the signing of the Waziristan Accord, which ceded administrative and security control of the North Waziristan agency to t…

  • DaveK says:

    It looks like Parvez is in full-blown appeasement mode now, hoping to keep his islamist enemies within the Pakistani government and military away from his throat.
    Unfortuneately, appeasement is only a stalling tactic and does not resolve any core issues. Musharraf’s days as the leader of Pakistan are numbered, I fear. What I fear worse, however is what sort of regieme is likely to take his place.
    Just my $.02
    DaveK

  • Wally Lind says:

    We should be fighting the enemy where he is, including in Pakistan. If we don’t have the military resources, we should get them, as soon as we can. We need to be in shape to handle this increasingly global confict, when it hits its climax, not two or three years after we wake up to the danger.
    Why didn’t we wake up permenantly, after 9/11? For the same reason we needed that flag raising picture from Iwo Jima to boost flagging civilian morale. People in a democracy give their government about three-four years to win wars. After that, they need something to signal victory or to scare them.

  • Pakistan: A Bajaur ‘peace deal’ is coming

    Fourth Rail article link Pakistan: A Bajaur ‘peace deal’ is comingA peace deal in imminent in Bajaur, despite the worsening situation in the tribal agenciesThe Pakistani government is preparing to cede the Federally Administered Tribal Agency of Bajaur to

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