More bombings in Talibanistan

Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Suicide and roadside bombings continue in Quetta, Tank, Bajaur as the government continues to appease the Taliban

The deadly Taliban insurgency continues to strike at the Pakistani government in the southwestern province of Baluchistan and the the Northwest Frontier Province. Today, a suicide bomber detonated in a courtroom in Quetta while court was in session, killing at least 15, including a judge and several lawyers. Over 25 have been reported wounded in the attack, and the head of the suicide bomber is believed to have been recovered.

Saturday’s bombing in Quetta follows two bombings on Friday: a roadside bombing (described as an Improvised Explosive Device by the Pakistani media, interestingly enough) in the restive tribal agency of Bajaur, which killed the agency’s chief surgeon and wounded 3 doctors; and another bombing in a market in Tank.

The past two days attacks follow a rash of suicide and roadside bombings, and ambushes in the capital of Islamabad, Peshawar, Dera Ishmail Khan, Mir Ali, Tank, Bajaur and Darra Adamkhel.

One of the two attacks in Islamabad, at the airport, has been traced back to the Amjad Farooqi group, an offshoot of al Qaeda linked Jaish-e-Mohammad. Amjad Farooqi was an al Qaeda operative that was “linked to suicide bombings, hijackings, the killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl and assassination attempts on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf” before he was killed in the summer of 2004.

Further arrests inside Pakistan expose the tight web between Pakistani terrorist groups and al Qaeda. Three more members of the Amjad Farooqi group were arrested in Rawalpindi. The three are linked to the attempted suicide attack on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in the summer of 2006. Two members of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi were arrested in Rawalpindi, and were directly linked back to Waziristan. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi works with al Qaeda extensively inside Pakistan, and acts as al Qaeda’s “muscle,” and American intelligence expert on Pakistan informed us.

While the Taliban insurgency grows bolder, the Pakistani government refuses to take meaningful action against the terrorists, and in fact seeks to appease them. President Pervez Musharraf, in an effort to halt the ‘Talibanization’ of Pakistan, has called for more Waziristan-like deals throughout the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Northwest Frontier Province, effectively ceding control of Pakistani territory to the Taliban. He also seeks to merge FATA into the Northwest Frontier Province.

NWFP Governor Aurakzai, a Taliban sympathizer and architect of the Waziristan Accord, described the Taliban in Afghanistan as “a nationalist movement, a resistance movement, sort of a liberation war against coalition forces,” and defended the Waziristan Accord.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman, the leader of the Taliban supporting Muttahida Mujlis Amal, the dominant pro Taliban political party in the NWFP, and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, has called for the U.S. and NATO to withdraw from Afghanistan, and for Pakistan to end its participation in the “so-called global war on terror, which is in fact an aggression against Afghanistan.” Fazlur Rahman “played a key role in making the [Waziristan] agreement possible… and… will play a key role in sustaining it” [in his own words.]

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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7 Comments

  • RTT says:

    Any word on who was on trial? And do Pakistani courts really not have any security checks at all? I find that amazing and a little hard to believe.
    Great blog. Thanks for the hard work you do.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    RTT, thanks. No word, only that court was in session.

  • One would think if a key person was being put on trial that they would have had better security at the trial. I would be interested in knowing what cases this judge was going to hearing soon but that will probably never be known now.

  • SRM says:

    Don’t be surprised to see the end of all this be a push towards Pashtunistan which the Pakistan government is absolutely terrified of, thus the current appeasement in hopes to keep the Pashtuns in Pakistan. Appeasement did not help with the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1994-1996, and won’t work here either. For years, the Pashtuns in both Afghanistan and Pakistan have not wanted to recognize the Durand Line and have not seen themselves as part of Pakistan. It would work except one wonders what the capital would be? Kandahar perhaps? That would leave Islamabad the capital of a smaller Pakistan, Kabul the capital of a smaller Afghanistan and Kandahar the capital of Pashtunistan. Regionally this will eventually be the push, IMO, but internationally I don’t think it will be allowed to happen.

  • RTLM says:

    Any word on what type of helicopter went down in Afghanistan today? AP is showing an Image of a CH-47.

  • Drazen Gemic says:

    Looking at the map, it seems that the people making troubles in western Pakistan are the same that started terror campaign in eastern Iran recently. It seems that the rule “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” does not work in ME. It is more like “everybody is fighting for themselves, and among themselves, if possible”.
    I agree with SRM, that Pushtun problem is in the heart of the matter. Without it the insurgency would not be so persistent. If there was no Afghanistan, some 15 milions of Pakistani Pushtuns would probably turn their attention to Pakistan.
    There was an initiative of meeting that would include all major tribal leaders on both sides of the border. Does anyone know what happened to it ?
    DG

  • RJ says:

    Religion: The opiate of the masses? Wasn’t this the thinking of K. Marx and Engels? If we set this aside and look at Hoffer’s thoughts on “The True Believer” wherein he discusses the constructs of a mass movement, aren’t we all looking at such a formation within the “Islamic world?” When we “nuance” a reality, isn’t this just adding the color grey to the black and white choices before us? I think the Pastuns are part of the grey color. Is it possible “Compassionate
    Conservatism” allows more grey colors being introduced? When you “zero in” to Pakistan’s problems, one sees a very fertile ground to sow discord. They have a nuclear bomb while most people live outside of society’s main gifts which accrue from collective efforts. These are totalitarian governments who are in many ways fracturing. They all use the “evil” Americans as their focus for internal hatreds. We are in trouble, as are all democracies, in my opinion. Bill’s reporting seems to highlight such thoughts.

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