Reviewing the Waziristan Accord: Negotiating with the Taliban Shura

The Pakistani claim that the Waziristan Accord was not negotiated with the Taliban is false, says jirga member

Governor Ali Jan Orakzai in 2004, when he was a general in the Pakistani Army. Click picture to view.

Just one day after helicopter strikes on a Taliban and al Qaeda training camp in Zamazola, South Wazirstan, which killed upwards of 30 Taliban and al Qaeda, Dawn reports on a meeting held last month between Jan Aurakzai, the governor of the Northwest Frontier Province, and the tribal jirga from North Waziristan. The meeting discussed the first “100 days of the peace deal” was attended by “Utmanzai tribal elders and interlocutors of local Taliban shura.”

Dawn interviewed Maulvi Nek Zaman, an MNA [Member of the National Assembly] from North Waziristan. “[The] Taliban shura has some reservations, but the deal [Waziristan Accord] would remain intact, said Zaman. “Allegations regarding infiltration from the Waziristan side into Afghanistan are absolutely baseless.”

The Afghan government is also pleased with the “progress” of the Waziristan Accord, “but would consider amending it if there were any shortcomings in it.”

Some shortcomings include: a 300 percent increase in attacks in the Afghan regions bordering North and South Waziristan; the Taliban repatriating their dead after launching mass attacks from across the Pakistani frontier; the establishment of a parallel government and the opening of Taliban recruiting offices across the region; the creation of a Taliban tax, the establishment of 22 al Qaeda bases in the tribal areas; an assassination campaign against tribal elders and pro-government “spies”; and a clearly defined Taliban military and political chain of command.

The Pakistani government again vowed to crack down on “miscreants” within its borders. “Any hideout/sanctuary being used by terrorists/miscreants shall be knocked out wherever it is found,” said President Musharraf, in a speech to the 100th Corps Commanders Conference. “We shall not allow any illegal cross border activity or any terrorist to take refuge in our area, which shall be dealt with by direct military action.” Pakistani military action has been conducted piecemeal, with limited high-profile strikes either timed to coincide with senior political visits to the region, or while under pressure from the U.S. and NATO.

See The Fall of Waziristan: An Online History for more information.

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

  • Rosemary says:

    I’m very glad that at least 30 more are out of commission. I know it isn’t a lot, but it sure is better than nothing. Could this be what they were setting them up for? Hmm…

  • sangell says:

    Just saw this at the BBC website.
    //news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6272359.stm
    “Taleban leader Mullah Omar is living in Pakistan under the protection of its ISI intelligence agency, a captured Taleban spokesman has said.”
    Not that Mullah Omar is in Pakistan surprises
    anyone but that one of his own people admits he
    is under the protection of the ISI is going to
    cause problems with those defending our ‘ally’.

  • M. Simon says:

    It is an alliance of convenience. Not an alliance of shared values.

  • Tom Paine says:

    Bill,

    Pervez Musharraf has to know that everything he’s saying about the Waziristan accord is objectively a lie. He also has to know that he’s not fooling anybody who has even a slight background knowledge.

    Why do you think he’s doing this (primarily)? Does he just not know what else to do? Does he lack the political/military support to do more? Does he fear assassination (e.g. by the ISI itself)?

    Or, (as I would like to believe) is he just giving the Taliban-types a chance to make themselves thoroughly hated by ordinary Waziris, who will thus become “ready” to accept some sort of outside “rescue” operation later? (All of the above, of course, but why *primarily*?)

    Or is there something else?

    This is an important question because the issue of exactly why he’s doing what he’s doing must necessarily have a giant effect on the selection (from among all possible strategies) of what WE should do in the Central Asian area.

  • Drazen Gemic says:

    That Musharraf looks to me like a vicious guy. I’d say that he is acting according to a couple of plans in parallel.

    The first plan might be to deal with South Waziristan and Balochistan first, and with North Waziristan afterwards. It is easier than dealing with the both in the same time. There is no deal for South Waziristan and Balochistan. Deception might go both ways…..

    The second plan might be to put the pressure on Afghan government to recognize the Durand line as the official border between two countries. Terrorist incursions in Afghanistan might be an excuse to make border permanent.

    As some might know, Durand line was a temporary border between two countries, by treaty that expired in 1993. Every Afghan government is trying to make a revision of border since then.

    DG

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Tom,
    If we knew the answer to that question, then it would be a lot easier to deal with. I can only tell you what Musharraf and Pakistan are doing, but am unable to divine their intent.
    DG,
    Pakistan signed a truce in South Waziristan during the spring of 2004, which was broken, and then resigned in the spring of 2006. It just wasn’t made public like the North Waziristan Accord. (see – //billroggio.com/archives/2006/09/the_fall_of_wazirist.php)

  • Cruiser says:

    Here is my (cynical) theory on why Musharraf deceives.
    He has a great racket going. He allows problems to fester on its own soil and then chips away at the problem in return for payments/concessions from interested parties (US and India mainly). If he ever effectively dealt with the foreign extremists on Pakistani soil (which I think he could do) he would lose a very lucrative source of income and leverage for concessions.
    That is what having nukes does for Pakistan. Without the nukes, the US and India would not be playing this game.
    It would not surprise me at all if he was allowing the Taliban and AQ to regroup in the territories as retaliation for President Bush signing a nuclear accord with India.

  • Reviewing the Waziristan Accord: Negotiating with the Taliban Shura

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    The Pakistani claim that the Waziristan Accord was not negotiated with the Taliban is false, says jirga member
    Just one day after helicopter strikes on a Taliban and al-Qaeda training camp in Zamazola, South Wazirstan, w…

  • Drazen Gemic says:

    This is off-topic, but when one posts the message, preview does not show the real layout. It’s not a big thing, but my post takes a lot of space, again.

    It is treating <br> html elements differently in preview and in “real” text….

    DG

  • Odysseus says:

    I sense that Pakistan is, and always has been, an incredibly faction-riven place, and that there are some military and political types who are genuinely appalled at the friendliness toward the Taliban/AQ, while others are equally appalled at collaborating w/the infidels. Where one faction gains enough strength, it hits as it feels confident to do. One govt group negotiates an accord that benefits the T/AQ, another sends an airstrike to kill the beneficiaries.
    Musharraf has escaped several very serious assassination attempts, so I doubt he has any real affection for the T/AQ, but certainly a healthy fear.

  • Acer says:

    How likely is it that an individual born in the NWFP is sympathetic to the T/AQ ?

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis