South Waziristan Taliban free captive tribal leaders

The Taliban in South Waziristan are attempting to show who is really in charge in the lawless tribal agency after the Pakistani Army offensive that was launched in October 2009. Last week, the Taliban kidnapped 23 tribal leaders after they met with General Kayani, the Pakistani Chief of Army Staff, during his visit to South Waziristan. From Dawn:

Taliban militants on Friday freed 23 tribesmen whom they had detained this month for meeting Pakistan’s army chief in the country’s tribal belt.

Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq told AFP from an undisclosed location that a militant “court” freed the 23 tribesmen after “they swore on the Holy Quran that they would never support the government in future”.

Officials had said 23 elders from the district of South Waziristan were summoned by the Taliban to Razmak, a town in neighbouring North Waziristan, on December 17 and had not returned.

The Pakistani military has claimed success in South Waziristan and top US military commanders have touted Pakistan’s counterinsurgency efforts there, but a confidential assessment by the US government (which echoed a report we wrote a year ago) said the Pakistani military merely owns the major roads and towns, while the Taliban are still free to operate outside those areas. The top leaders of the Taliban in South Waziristan remain alive.

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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  • DaveB says:

    Sure would like to read a report that a Predator had visited a couple “suspected Taliban militant judges.”

  • zarin says:

    This proves that in South Waziristan still there is Taliban’s rule and military operation was a joke. Pakistani forces announced after operation that south Waziristan is free and under Government control,but a delegation of elders were abducted after meeting with Army chief. American must ask President Zardari and army chief Gen: Keyani about the situation and aid collected for such military operation.
    South Waziristan is still hosting lot of Taliban and Government has not yet established its rule and will not be able to do so in near future,


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