Talibanistan Expands further into the NWFP

Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas

The Waziristan Accord gives the Taliban the power to influence territory within Pakistan

The Pakistani government’s decision to negotiate with the Taliban and al Qaeda in North and South Waziristan during 2006 has serious consequences for the internal security of Pakistan as well as the international community. Not only do the Taliban use North and South Waziristan to train and launch attacks into Afghanistan, but these bases are used to extend the Taliban’s influence in Western Pakistan. In May, we noted the Taliban extended their influence and established safe havens in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) districts of Tank, Khyber and Dera Ismail Khan, and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) agencies of North and South Waziristan and Bajaur. This region is called Talibanistan.

The Pakistani police have admitted the Taliban are now spreading beyond the frontier and into the “settled” districts of the Northwest Frontier Province. Sharif Virk, the NWFP police chief, tells the Daily Times that the Taliban “have extended their sway to Darra Adam Khel, a tribal town just 30 miles from Peshawar,” the provincial capital. But the rot extends throughout the entire province.

“Because of the takeover of frontier regions, the Taliban influence extends to settled areas of Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Kohat districts and there the police have failed on many counts,” said a police official who served in one of the affected districts, wishing not to be named… In the north of the province, the situation does not look good as jihadis are spreading across Malakand region and moving up to Hindukush Mountains in Chitral district.

Taliban fighters in
Waziristan.

The NWFP districts that have fallen under Taliban influence directly border North and South Waziristan, and Bajaur.

The Taliban are using the standard guerrilla practices: night letters, threats, intimidation, executions, and shows of force. In Darra Adam Khel, the Taliban “terrorised music and video shop owners, non-governmental organisations and girls’ schools with bomb blasts. The police have been sidelined in these districts, as the Taliban have taken over security duties, further enhancing their stature. While the police admit corruption problems

As we noted yesterday, the Pakistani government refuses to take meaningful action against the Taliban in the triabal areas, despited a mountain of evidence of the Taliban and al Qaeda’s influence and operations eminating from the region. The military option is off the table, as the Pakistani government still believes negotiations with the tribal leaders can resolve the problem. The Taliban and al Qaeda have greatly extended their influence in western Pakistan, and have launched attacks into Afghanistan, India and as far west as London from Waziristan. Islamabad is but 100 miles from Peshawar, and the Pakistani government possesses the ultimate prize: a developed nuclear arsenal.

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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17 Comments

  • sangell says:

    Watching what is going on in Pakistan is like watching a cancer tumor grow. You know its there, you see it grow and you know it is going to kill you but the ‘doctors’ say it is inoperable.
    They maybe right too. The only nation with the
    ability to sort Pakistan out is India which, for obvious reasons, is not eager to take on the
    assignment.

  • Luke Willen says:

    Very true Sengall. The real nightmare is what happens if and when Al Quaeda or their local allies take over Pakistan along with its stock of nuclear weapons. Then we have real problems (as in “er Houston…forget that other thing”)
    Indeed, this could be Al Qaeda’s ultimate goal in the area as this would give them their very own nuclear weapons capability.

  • C-Low says:

    I think I have noticed a pattern that must be new policy even if a bit risky. We seeem to be letting AQ/Radicals gain control over areas then after they institute their world view on the locals showing thier true face making everyone hate them we then roll in and clear them out.
    This war is alot about perception especially the local muslims were the battle is fought. Radical Islam seems to be alot like Communism sounds great and looks good on paper but when it comes to actual implimentation human nature makes it HORRIFIC to live under. So maybe letting the dream bubble bust first is the best way to eliminate local support. In Warizistan local support for the Radicals was deep they wanted the dream. Let reality settle in and when the Pak army steamrolls the Jihadi’s the local support to will be containable maybe.
    Somalia
    Anbar
    Afghanistan
    all seem to lean to this pattern.

  • Web Reconnaissance for 01/05/2007

    A short recon of what痴 out there that might draw your attention.

  • SpeckBlog says:

    Strategery At Work?

    Talibanistan Expands further into the NWFP (The Fourth Rail)
    From the comments:
    I think I have noticed a pattern that must be new policy even if a bit risky. We seeem to be letting AQ/Radicals gain control over areas then after they institute their …

  • GK says:

    I can’t say this enough times :
    1) The NWFP/Waziristan area of Pakistan is an Al-Qaeda safe zone, where they operate freely and where Bin Laden and Zawahiri are hiding.
    2) Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
    3) AQ Khan was selling nuclear secrets.
    This absolutely will result in a suitcase nuke detonated in a US city. Is there any reason why this will NOT happen?

  • cjr says:

    “The real nightmare is what happens if and when Al Quaeda or their local allies take over Pakistan ”
    AQ and Taliban are not 10 feet tall.
    Tribal areas / Pushtin tribe (were the conservative culture is most recptive of Talban) are about 15 million people out of 140 million in all of Pakistan. I can see Taliban making quick progress up to a point. Then they will run up against areas outside of the Pushtin tribal area where the people are not so conservative and not ethnically Pushtin. At that point their progress will….not be so easy.
    Same thing happened in Afghanistan in the late 90’s. Taliban was successful in southern Aghanistan that is ethnically Pushtin. But when the tryed to advance north where the ethnicity was Turk or Uzbek etc, Taliban progress was not so easy.

  • sangell says:

    GK,
    The suitcase nuke may happen but not because of anything Pakistan has or has not done.
    Miniaturization of bombs was something only the US and USSR were engaged in back when you could conduct nuclear tests. Pakistan did engage in a few nuclear tests back in 1998 but they seemed to be trying to enhance the yield of their bombs not miniaturize them. Same could be said of China, for as a small nuclear power, you want
    to make the limited number of bombs you have as
    capable as possible.
    So any ‘suitcase’ device is almost certainly going to have to come from ex-Soviet stocks. I would also suggest that al Qaeda or anyother terrorist use of a clandestinely delivered nuclear bomb is not going to be of a sub kiloton device.
    If you only get one bite at the apple you want to make it count and a sub kiloton ‘suitcase’ bomb detonated at ground level or inside of a building is just not going to do Hiroshima style
    damage. Since a multi kiloton nuclear device can be concealed in a box no larger than what a typical appliance or piece of furniture would arrive in, if you have a choice in the matter, it makes sense to go with the big bang.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    look up HELGA.

  • Constantine says:

    …or stolen/bought from US inventories.

  • Talibanistan Expands further into the NWFP

    Courtesy of The Fourth Rail:
    The Waziristan Accord gives the Taliban the power to influence territory within Pakistan
    The Pakistani government’s decision to negotiate with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in North and South Waziristan during 2006 has …

  • DJ Elliott says:

    High energy large geranium array.
    Been around since 60s.
    Nuke warheads leak very distinctive radioactive signature…

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Nukes are detectable and tight control. They do not worry me much. What worries me more is the expansion of the war into a serious hot war in Pakistan if India decides enough is enough.
    From a terrorist standpoint:
    1. Chem is not so detectable.
    – First CW used in WWI was chlorine gas – the same stuff that you hear about in RR spills. Used industrially.
    – Zyclon B was a cyinide based pesticide before the SS used it for the gas chambers.
    – The bug bomb you set off in your apt says to stay out for 6 hours. Why? Because it is diluted nerve gas.
    Most chem is derivative of industrial, pesticide or other common use materials and can be made. Remember the Tokyo subways? They botched their quallity control on that batch otherwise the KIA rate would have been in the 4-5 figure range…
    2. Bio is not easily detected as well. And any good medical lab can make small amounts. It is the expansion to large scale that is hard to hide.
    Terrorists do not operate at large scale. That makes the real threat Chem/Bio…

  • dave n. says:

    Geranium array? I’d think pointsettia arrangements would make for a more effective weapon, as they are said to be toxic.
    As to germanium array detectors, used for x-ray spectroscopy, how many of the crates the size of a washing machine or larger that are imported into the US every week are actually subjected to having a germanium array detector, or any other type of radiation detector, pointed at them, close enough to get a reading off something that’s shielded with, say, 3mm of lead?

  • James says:

    “if Al Qaeda take over Pakistan”, what utter rubbish!!!
    Another media / State Dept. driven fear tactic that is about as likley as discovering that the world really is flat!!
    Trouble is most of you writing this drivle have likley never even been to Pakistan and probably couldn’t even place it on a map!

  • KHALIDMEHMOOD says:

    YOU PEOPLE ARE UN AWARE OF THE GROUND REALTIES.NOTHING WILL HAPPEND BECOUSE OF WAZIRISTAN ACCORD.THIS IS JUST BETWEEN THE TRIBALS AND GOVERMENT OF PAKISTAN.SO DON”T WORRY BE HAPPY AND SLEEP EASILY.I AM ALSO FROM THAT VERY AREA.

  • KHALIDMEHMOOD says:

    YOU PEOPLE SHOULD SEE YOUR COUNTRY POLICY TOWARD THIS HUMANBEINGS.I THINK IF USA IS GOING TO MAKE JUSTICEFULL POLICY TOWARD THE MUSLIMS THE WORLD WILL BECOME HEAVEN.OTHERWISE HELLLLLL.

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis