The Taliban Tax

Violating the Waziristan Accord yet again, by taxing North Waziristan residents and training al Qaeda and Taliban

Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division patrol Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Spc. Eric Jungels, U.S. Army. Click image to view.

The Taliban yet again flaunt the terms of the Waziristan Accord, which is supposed to be an agreement between the Pakistani government and local tribal leaders to curb the power of the Taliban. In the latest violation of the agreement, the Taliban has imposed a “tax” in the North Waziristan town of Miramshah. Dawn reports flyers announcing the tax were distributed as well as pasted on the walls in Miramshah and the surrounding areas.

According to Dawn, the Taliban will enforce sharia. “For robberies and thefts, the Shura prescribed fine amounting to Rs500,000 ($8,250) and two-month prison term for the offenders. According to the ‘tax schedule’ issued by the Taliban, every 10-wheeler truck entering the agency would have to pay Rs1,500 ($25) for allowing them six-month road access, while six-wheeler trucks would pay Rs1,000 ($17) twice a year. Petrol pump owners, the pamphlet said, would have to pay Rs5,000 ($83) to the Shura after every six months. The ‘tax’ was titled ‘donation’ in the pamphlet appearing in the agency headquarters and would be at the sole disposal of the Taliban Shura. There was no mention how and where the money would be used.”

This is but the latest violation of the Waziristan Accord. The Taliban have set up a parallel government, established multiple offices in Miramshah, executed numerous “spies” and anti-Taliban tribal leaders and attacked government outposts throughout the region.

Concerning the “how and where the tax money would be used,” the answer is to incite jihad in Afghanistan and overthrow the Pakistani government. The Taliban continues to violate the Waziristan Accord by training terrorists to strike at their enemies. Three “Taliban fighters” – two Pakistanis and an Afghan – were captured last Tuesday, and were found with 24 dead Taliban, “mostly Afghans but also included Pakistanis, Chechens, Turks, one Arab and one Yemenite.” The mixed nationalities makes this unit a Taliban & al Qaeda force. Both of the captured Pakistanis are from North Waziristan, where Taliban leaders incite the locals to fight.

“Mullahs in Pakistan were preaching to us that we are obliged to fight jihad in Afghanistan because there are foreign troops – there is an Angriz (British) invasion,” Alahuddin, one of the captured men, told reporters. “A Pakistani Taliban commander, Saifullah, introduced us to a guide who escorted us to Barmal,” he said. “Then he left and we joined a group already here and came to the ambush site.”

The Taliban / al Qaeda force was only inside Afghanistan for two days before being routed by the joint Afghan and ISAF [International Security Assistance Force] unit. The recent clash is indicative of the current fight in Afghanistan.

Taliban forces stream into Afghanistan from Pakistan, are badly mauled by Afghan and NATO units. The Taliban take casualties on the order of from 20 to 1 or even as high as 100 to 1. Reconstruction efforts are placed on hold due to the uptick in fighting, and even the relatively small number of casualties causes the NATO nations to question their Afghan commitment.

Meanwhile, Pakistan continues to pump out Taliban and al Qaeda fighters and suicide bombers. The western tribal belts remain an arms bazaar for the Taliban. Pakistan continues to appease al Qaeda; 9 al Qaeda were released in Bajaur “on the personal guarantee of a tribe” that they would keep the peace. Bajaur is the next tribal agency the Pakistani government intends to cede to the Taliban.

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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  • The Taliban Tax

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    Violating the Waziristan Accord yet again, by taxing North Waziristan residents and training al-Qaeda and Taliban
    The Taliban yet again flaunt the terms of the Waziristan Accord, which is supposed to be an agreement betw…

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