Taliban capture 25 Pakistani security personnel in Swat

Taliban-Leadership-Image.jpg

Mullah Fazlullah. Click image to view the slideshow of the Taliban Leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Taliban have struck again in Pakistan’s lawless Northwest Frontier Province. A large Taliban force kidnapped 25 Pakistani policemen and members of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary after overrunning a checkpoint in the settled district of Swat. The attacks are occurring despite a peace agreement signed between the government and the Taliban in May.

The security personnel were captured after two senior associates of Swat Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah were detained during an operation in Swat. The Taliban frequently kidnap government officials and security personnel to obtain the release of captive commanders and fighters.

The kidnapping of the Pakistani security officials occurred as five intelligence and security agents were killed and 14 were wounded in separate incidents in Swat over the past 24 hours. Today, two soldiers were killed and 14 were wounded as they attempted to dismantle an illegal Taliban checkpoint. Yesterday, three intelligence officials were killed after being ambushed.

The attacks on the Pakistan security forces are the latest incidents in a string of Taliban violence in Swat over the past week. A boy was killed after the Taliban bombed a general store on July 27. The Taliban bombed two barbershops on July 26. The Taliban bombed a girls’ school and a shopping center on July 25 and torched a school on July 20. The Taliban attack schools, barbershops, markets, and music and video shops in an effort to enforce sharia, or Islamic law.

Fazlullah’s followers continue to attack government agencies and security forces in Swat despite signing a so-called “peace agreement” with the government in May of this year. In the agreement, the Taliban agreed to recognize the writ of the government; halt attacks on security forces, barbershops, and schools; release captives; denounce suicide bombings; stop carrying weapons in public; and end the Taliban’s established parallel administration.

The Taliban and Fazlullah have never lived up to the obligations of the peace accord. Two days ago, Fazlullah threatened to unleash a wave of suicide bombers if the government launched a military operation in Swat. On July 19, he led a meeting of 50 Taliban commanders in Swat to discuss strategy on attacking government installations and security forces.

Background on recent peace agreements between the government and the Taliban

The security situation in northwestern Pakistan and in neighboring Afghanistan has rapidly deteriorated since the government initiated its latest round of peace accords with the Taliban and allied extremists in the tribal areas and settled districts in the Northwest Frontier Province. Peace agreements have been signed with the Taliban in North Waziristan, Swat, Dir, Bajaur, Malakand, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, and Hangu.

Negotiations are underway in South Waziristan, Kohat, and Mardan. The Taliban have violated the terms of these agreements in every region where accords have been signed.

The Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terrorist groups have established more than 100 terror camps in the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province, US intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal.

On July 23, Prime Minister Syed Yusaf Raza Gilani and his cabinet were told that more than 8,000 foreign fighters were operating in the tribal areas.

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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9 Comments

  • Marlin says:

    I wonder if this is in return for upgrading the F-16’s?

    Meeting a key Pentagon demand, Pakistan’s military is planning to move a major unit of its regular army into the tribal areas on its western border, a largely lawless area used as a haven by Al Qaeda and Afghan insurgents, Pakistani commanders have told U.S. military officials.
    The army unit would supplement the country’s Frontier Corps, an ill-trained force frequently routed by insurgents, a senior U.S. military officer said. A fully trained and equipped army unit would represent a change, long sought by U.S. officials, in Islamabad’s stance toward the troubled region.

    Los Angeles Times: Pakistan plans a push into its tribal areas

  • Huan says:

    I have to wonder what really is the intent behind these peace deals the Pakistani keep wanting to make that the tribes agree to only to break later. The Pakistanis are not stupid to make the same mistakes over and over again. They would have to be insane (insanity = doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result with each new attempt) and i do not believe they are insane.
    There has to be something they are gaining to keep sacrificing young soldiers for as well as losing face over and over again.

  • don juice says:

    i cant understand how they capture soldiers when the soldiers suppose to have the upper hand over them but just imagine a operation to take the tribal areas the pakistani military might be wiped out

  • KW64 says:

    I know what Rudyard Kipling would think of the Pakistanis making peace agreements that are always broken and releasing Taliban prisoners and paying compensation in return for hostages:
    IT IS always a temptation to an armed and agile nation,
    To call upon a neighbour and to say:
    “We invaded you last night – we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”
    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!
    It is always a temptation to a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say:
    “Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”
    And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.
    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray,
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say:
    “We never pay any one Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost,
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that plays it is lost!”

  • Buff52 says:

    I love that Rudyard Kipling quote! How true.
    The lesson of the interminable ransoms of the war with the Barbary Pirates also applies here.

  • Zarin says:

    Either you believe or not
    The soldiers of security forces surrender them selves to taliban showing their sympathy towards them.It happened in waziristan last year where 284 army men surrender volentierely with out firing a single shot.This does not mean that they are not capable but the soldiers of frontier corps mainly comprises of the tribes loyal to talibans. A brother will be soldier in FC and another will be a talib. How they will kill brother? Similarly all these soldiers are either illiterate or very less educated . Mullahs have influence upon them and it is very much known that they believe that talibans are fighting holy war and fighting against them is sin.This is also known to so many pakistani that these soldiers contribute mony out of their salaries towards this so called holy war.

  • Tom says:

    This situation needs to be handled exactly the same way the Iraqis delt with the Medhi Army (or ex-Medhi Army.) Get in there with a big stick and start swingin’, and when they get tired of being hit and want to negotiate, say yeah, sure, we’ll negotiate with you, but we’re gonna keep hitting the guys that are still fighting and not doing what we’re telling them to do. When all of you start living like WE want you to live then we’ll stop, and if you don’t want to be reconciled to that way of living, then we’ll continue to kill you. That’s the choice you give them.
    The Japanese Empire used to make a big deal out of living by the Code of the Busihdo, an out-dated over-zealous system of ideas culminating with the notion that to surrender was dishonorable, so it was preferable to die. After the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, surrender didn’t seem like such an unappealing idea. Look where they are today…the proud owners of Rockafeller Center. When they actually did surrender they didn’t have anything to lose except their entire civilazation.
    The bottom line is this…how much pain are we (or they) going to have to be in before change becomes the best option.

  • Dark Helmet says:

    If you keep killing ” leaders” eventually someone with some sense will be charge. Problem solved, life goes on.

  • Marlin says:

    The Pakistani forces have struck back in Swat. It is not clear if it was the Frontier Corps or the Army doing the fighting.

    More than 48 Taliban militants including 10 commanders have been killed in a fierce clash in the troubled Swat valley in the northwest, while 5 personnel of security forces were martyred, according to military sources.
    The fighting took place overnight in a village near Matta, a known stronghold of militants in the region.
    “We have inflicted heavy losses on the militants. We have video footage showing bodies of the militants killed in the fighting,” a military spokesman said.

    Geo TV: 48 Taliban killed, 5 security personnel martyred in Swat clashes

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