Pakistan signs the Bajaur Accord

NWFP/FATA map. Red agencies are openly controlled by the Taliban; yellow are under threat.

Pakistan signs its third “peace deal” with the Taliban in the tribal agencies

The much anticipated Bajaur Accord – a peace agreement purportedly with the local tribal leaders of the Mamoond tribe and the government – has been signed in Pakistan’s lawless tribal agency. The details of the agreement are not yet available, however the Daily Times has described it as “a step towards a North Waziristan-like peace accord. Bajaur Agency.” Pakistan conveniently finished negotiations as international attention is on the crisis over the removal of Pakistan’s chief justice.

It appears, like in the North and South Waziristan deals, that the government has openly negotiated with the Taliban and al Qaeda. “We hope that a North Waziristan-like deal is also reached between the government and tribal militants, led by Faqir Mohammad,” sources told Dawnon condition of anonymity. Faqir Muhammad is a senior leader within the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM, or Movement for the Implementation of Mohammad’s Sharia Law), the “Pakistani Taliban” who has sent over 10,000 foot soldiers to fight alongside the Taliban during the U.S. invasion in 2001.

TNSM is a banned terrorist movement inside Pakistan, and has been implicated in terrorist activity inside the country, including a suicide attack on Pakistani Army training base in Dargai in the Northwest Frontier Province in October of 2006. The attack killed over 45 soldiers. Faqir Mohammad is believed to have sheltered none other than Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s second in command. An attack in Damadola in January of 2006 on Faqir’s compound was aimed at Zawahiri, but killed upwards of 5 senior al Qaeda leaders, including Abu Khabab al-Masri, al Qaeda’s chief of its weapons of mass destruction program.

An airstrike on the Chingai madrassa, which doubled as a Taliban training camp, killed up to 84 Taliban, including Liaquat Hussain, the leader of the madrassa, and Faqir’s deputy. The attack came just days before the expected signing of the Bajaur Accord in October of 2006. Just days before the raid, Faqir openly praised al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Faqir referred to bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar as “heroes of the Muslim world,” and he vowed joint efforts to fight the “enemies of peace” in the Bajaur Agency. Faqir calls the United States the enemy of peace.

Under the leadership of Faqir Mohammed and his TNSM, Bajaur has become an al Qaeda command and control center which is used to launch operations into eastern Afghanistan. Kunar, the Afghan province which borders Bajaur, is one of the most violent in Afghanistan.

The North and South Waziristan Accords have been famous failures, as the Taliban and al Qaeda openly rule in the agencies, virtually free of harassment by Pakistani government security forces. Terror training camps have been established and battalion sized formations of Taliban fighters sortie from Waziristan into Afghanistan. The Bajaur Accord, like the North and South Waziristan Accords, signal the Pakistani government is unwilling to police its own borders, and is prepared to hand over even more territory to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Note: The Bajaur Accord has been telegraphed by the Pakistani government for well over a half a year. We warned the Bajaur Accord was in the works as far back as September of 2006, after the signing of the Waziristan Accord. On October 23, the signs were the ‘peace deal’ would be completed in days. The negotiations were shattered by the Chingai air strikes. On February 24, 2007, we warned the deal is back on.

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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  • David E. says:

    So, the Pakistanis choose the path of appeasement and weakness once again. Since these tribal areas are essentially al-Qaeda/Taliban territory now, we should not hesitate to bomb and attack any military installations we can hit. What do I remember Pres. Bush saying… We will hunt terrorists wherever they are and consider the governments that harbor them as guilty as the terrorists themselves.

  • ian says:

    Bush says a lot of things

  • joe says:

    Musharaff is rapidly being squeezed into a corner and it is doubtful if he can last. On one side he is forced to sign peace deals with taliban/AQ ceding large portions of territory to jihadists who have absolutely no intention of honoring the agreements and continue to expand their influence closer to Islamabad. Now he is also facing a revolt within Pakistan middle and upper class over his treatment of a senior judge. Not good. Syed shahzdad had articles in asia times all this week talking about the magnitude of these problems and even detailed cooperation between these two groups to put pressure on Musharaff. Pakistan is close to if not already FUBAR.

  • twisha mukherjee says:

    these r all shows. th facts remain same for ages. politicians devise newer ways to fool us every days!

  • Jesse says:

    I still wonder if this is trickery by the coalition/Pakistanis towards the Taliban for this exact reason;
    “Since these tribal areas are essentially al-Qaeda/Taliban territory now, we should not hesitate to bomb and attack any military installations we can hit.”
    If Pakistan had control of these areas they are expected to attack terrorists/Taliban in those areas. Pakistan seems to not want attack becasue of political fallout. By signing these “peace” accords the Pakistanis don’t have to deal with fallout by attacking the Taliban in these areas and are free to say “those areas are out of our control” when the coalition attacks.
    See how it works? 😎

  • RJ says:

    Shakedown time! Signing peace accords is just like wanting to talk with our enemies, those who have stated over and over again their intentions to destroy us. We must learn how to go along to get along, so to speak. Then when we are “captured in talking” our enemies plan their assaults. Cowards have so many games to stay alive. The question has always been who is going to die for the cowards. Ask this of those cowards. Then again, this could be the way the Paks have chosen to allow our troops unfrettered access into that territory.
    But I doubt it. Let’s just go forward and kill more bad guys, sooner rather than later.

  • blert says:

    Heroin profits buy a lot of friends.
    Musharaff is simply being out bid.
    We need to trip up the heroin connection someplace outside of Afghanistan.
    Inside Afghanistan we need to get roads built so as to permit alternate cash crops.
    As for the poppies planted right along the highways: time to out bid the drug lords. It’s time for the potato. Crop displacement is essential to thwart the enemy’s criminal enterprises. If necessary, buy up the crude opium. Anything but let the enemy make a killing in the distribution of heroin. Do the math.
    Additionally, the financial flow of narco-terror profits needs to be re-addressed.
    On the home front: research into easing the pain of opiate withdrawal.

  • Andy says:

    “Terror training camps have been established and battalion sized formations of Taliban fighters sortie from Waziristan into Pakistan.”
    Don’t you mean into Afghanistan?

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Andy, LOL, actually I did mean Afghanistan, but a little rewording of the sentence, and Pakistan would do (Terror training camps have been established and suicide bombers sortie from Waziristan into Pakistan.)

  • Michael Lonie says:

    Pakistan now does not have sovereign authority over Waziristan and Bajaur. These areas are now outside national authority, and thus military operations against Afghanistan and our troops by people from those regions are tantamount to piracy.
    Our enemies do not distinguish between civilian and military, both are equally legitimate targets in their eyes. Their mode of warmaking is clandestine, and does not conform to the international laws of war. Thus they can not claim the protections of that law. Furthermore, they glory in the “asymmetric warfare” they practice. This is only effective, however, if the US chooses to restrain itself. Given the lawless nature of our enemies and their piratical methods of warfare, there is no compelling reason why we should do so. Our enemies rely on our self-restraint and civilized nature while they show none.
    If they want asymmetric warfare let us give it to them. Each Taliban and Al-Qaeda training base in the previously Pakistani areas should receive a small nuclear bomb, of the type we shoot out of 155 mm artillery. That should be enough to destroy such bases completely. Any complaints about civiliam casualties can be met by the observation that our enemies do not make such a distinction, so why should we? This will be reminiscent of the progression to legitimacy of bombing in WWII. By the time the Axis powers had got done gassing Ethiopians from the air, terror bombing Spanish, Polish, Dutch and British cities, and conducting two terror bombing campaigns against Chunking as well as other bombing campaigns in China, neither Germany, Italy, nor Japan had legal standing to complain about Allied bombing of civilians. The most they could say was that the Allies did it more effectively than they did. Similarly these jihadis have spent years, indeed decades, killing civilians whom they deemed enemies or simply infidels. On what legitimate basis can they complain if we kill their civilians accidentally while killing their fighters? They wanted asymmetrical warfare, let them have it.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Michael Lonie
    We got rid of those versions of nukes when we signed the TacNuke treaty with USSR. The one that pulled the nukes out of Germany. Also removed nuclear land-mines from the inventory list (USSR).
    If we were to use nukes, they would have to be a bit bigger than you would like…

  • Sanjay says:

    Oh give me a break. If all these Pakistani peace treaties with Taliban were a great gift to coalition forces, then how come more coalition forces are dying because of more attacks, and more US/NATO officials are sounding alarm at the results of this treaty?
    I don’t see coalition forces gaining the upper hand due to this treaty, nor do I see them staging a lot of attacks into Pakistan. Let’s face it — these treaties are a total losing proposition for the West. I can see how Pakistan enjoys it though, since they get all the biliion$ in aid of a “most allied ally” while not having to actually fight the enemy. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

  • John Dunshee says:

    Actually we need to give up the drug war. What we need to do is to offer to buy the opium crop at a good price. This will be cheaper in the long run. To insure that we are not outbid we should promise protection for the villages that agree to sell to us and destruction of the crops of those who do not.
    The Afghans may not be living in modern times but that doesn’t mean they’re stupid. It would be a variation on the drug cartel’s “plata o plomo.”
    If they cooperate with us they sell their crop for good money, if they don’t, we burn it and they don’t sell it to anyone.
    There is still a demand for opiates in medicine and the U.S. government could become the legal source for it. We might lose money on the deal but probably less than we waste on “assistance” to friendly governments now.
    In the long run we should get out of the drug war entirely and realise that you can’t save everyone from themselves. But that’s a different argument and not something that’s going to happen in the near future.

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