Anti-Taliban tribe in Kurram cut off by Pakistani Army

The Pakistani military has cut off the Shia, anti-Taliban Turi tribe from any remaining support it may have received from neighboring Afghanistan. The BBC reports:

The blockade comes amid reports that the Turis have once again refused to allow the militants to enter Afghanistan via Kurram.

The Taliban have been trying to launch operations around Kabul through the district, whose western tip lies just 90km (56 miles) from the Afghan capital.

The blockade means that the Turis are hemmed in by the military on one side and by the Taliban on the other.

Col Tausif Akhtar, of the Pakistani security forces, announced the move on Monday evening at a news conference in Parachinar, the main town in Kurram.

Five border crossing points – Terimangal, Spina Shaga, Khairlachi, Burki and Shahidano Dand – have been shut, with security beefed up.

“We have done this due to internal security concerns, because there have been sectarian clashes in Kurram and we do not want miscreants from outside to exploit the situation,” Col Akhtar told the BBC News website.

Note how the Pakistani military is characterizing the conflict as a sectarian fight, and not a clash between the Taliban and the Turis. This gives the Pakistani military the needed cover to side with the Taliban. For more information, see LWJ report Siraj Haqqani sheltering in Kurram, near area of US helicopter strikes.

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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  • paul says:

    more proof on whose side the pak army are on ie the taliban!

  • Pete says:

    How about giving the Turi Tribe 2 billion in arms.

  • madashell59 says:

    How about dropping in support for Turi on the Afganistan side to blockade the Taliban from getting into Afganistan.
    Why can’t we be as mobile? Or do we not want to follow the pop up gopher?
    Maybe the Turi’s are now cut off but maybe they can give the ISF intelligence. Just tell us when their (Taliban) coming. One or two good hits on their supply line will certainly slow them down.

  • Charu says:

    Two can play the game. We could support Pakistan’s Shia minority who are under siege from the Sunnis there. The GWOT is essentially one against Wahhabi Sunnis, with the Shia (and Iran especially) biding their time. In Iraq we empowered the Shia without diminishing Iran’s reach, but also largely managed to contain Sunni extremism. Could this be done more skillfully in AfPak? The Shia know that it is curtains for them if the Sunni Taliban prevail, but we should have no illusions of a permanent alliance or even expect gratitude from them as long as Iran remains a theocracy.

  • blert says:

    This certainly is a brazen move.
    After all of the diplomacy in Washington, one must conclude that DC has sold these tribes down the river. It’s the timing.
    Yet, it is wholly apparent that nothing good can come from it.
    Islamabad’s duplicitous project is now tragi-farce.

  • shah says:

    This report shows some how ground realities. The Turis can play vital role by uniting with coallition forces to eliminate Taliban from the area.
    The main leadership of Haqani network is sheltering around Matasangar and Ghozgari villages very close to area of recent helocopter attack. Very close to it is Spina Shaga strong hold of Hekmatyar. Both these places are in the reach of Turis. All these areas belong to Turis, occupied by sunni tribes mostly after creation of Pakistan. Thus Turis and coallition forces have common enemy and joint attacks is the ideal way. Turis are well trained and good fighters and only they need logestics. This is True that they are Shis but are most civilized educated and democtatic tribe in whole FATA.They had good terms and trust with British rulers in the history for the same reason and now they coallition forces can develop good relation and trust. Bill Roggio can play role.


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