Taliban behead 2 Pakistani soldiers in North Waziristan

According to The Associated Press, the Taliban captured two Pakistani soldiers in Miramshah in North Waziristan, beheaded them, and then displayed the heads on poles in the town. This occurred just one day after Taliban fighters ambushed and destroyed a Pakistani convoy near the town, killing nine soldiers. From the AP:

A Taliban commander said the military raided two houses in Miramshah on Sunday night, killing a militant commander and several of his colleagues. The militants seized two soldiers during the raids, beheaded them and hung their heads in different parts of Miramshah, said the commander.

The intelligence officials did not specify how the soldiers were seized, but confirmed that their heads were hanging from poles in Miramshah.

The officials and the Taliban commander spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

If the past is any indicator, don’t expect a major operation by the Pakistani military to deal with this problem. As we noted in February, the Pakistani Army has a garrison based in Miramshah, and yet the troops rarely venture off their base, as the Taliban run the show there.

For the past four years, the Pakistani military has resisted US pressure to launch an operation in North Waziristan, and instead has indicated it is interested only in keeping the peace agreements with the Haqqani Network and Hafiz Gul Bahadar intact. The Haqqanis and Bahadar are “good Taliban,” and the Pakistani military has no desire to anger them, especially now that the US is rapidly drawing down in Afghanistan.

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 D says:

    Good taliban are just proxies of the Pak army.

  • Devin Leonard says:

    Maybe Pakistan should look at this kind of Brutality and start realizing that maybe supporting the Taliban isn’t such a smoking hot idea!

  • gerald says:

    Too bad we can`t ally with the Taliban. This war would already be over. They seem like the only home team that wants to win.

  • Scott says:

    Remember the storm it caused when the U.S. killed some Pakistani troops some months ago?
    Where’s the outrage now? (…crickets…)

  • Witch Doctor says:

    Hey Paul, have enjoyed your insight on this forum and wish to thank you for your contributions.
    The only good Talib is a dead Talib.

  • Bengal Voice says:

    Would that make them “good” Talibs or “bad” Talibs?
    Not that it matters…

  • sports says:

    Where’s the outrage?

  • Muhammad Imran/mi1400 says:

    Well those soldiers could have given their lives to make U.S fool/happy that … Oooo there is infighting among pak and taliban. Its war of ideologies which makes both compatible… not who scored what on some date. Kashmir-2014 in your cinemas soon!…

  • James says:

    Must be a tough job being a Porkistani soldier.
    I feel sorry for them.

  • Neonmeat says:

    This must be very damaging to Pakistani Soldiers morale. We talk often of the Pak Govs reticence in tracking down and elimating these violent militants, but despite this surely their average Soldier is itching to avenge these atrocities committed against their comrades? Are they not as frustrated with their Leaders as we are?

  • Tm-joe says:

    Will the LA Times be publishing these photos

  • Bluefish says:

    A ‘good’ Taliban as opposed a ‘bad’ Taliban is like saying Hitler wasn’t as bad as Stalin

  • Bungo says:

    Gerald said : “Too bad we can`t ally with the Taliban. This war would already be over. They seem like the only home team that wants to win.”
    You’re probably pretty close to being correct on this one.
    Consider :
    1) As much as we talk about the Taliban being “controlled” by the ISI I have come to the conclusion that the Taliban aren’t controlled by anyone except the Taliban. Thay are almost completely autonomous but are quite pragmatic in their associations with the ISI and Al Queda.
    2) Besides being “the/our Enemy” in Afghanistan I don’t think most of the world really cares about them (in the Tribal Regions OR in Afghanistan.) I could actually argue that they don’t think “globally” at all but are only concerned about their particular little fiefdom over there. Their only real “threat” to The West is their associations with certain unsavory characters and organizations that DO think globally.
    3) I think the Taliban are VERY key in a possible end to our involvement over there. If we could somehow convince them to purge Al Queda from the areas that they control this whole thing could be worked out. Can you imagine if the Taliban turned against Al Queda? They could all be eliminated in a week. When it comes down to it Al Queda ONLY exists there because the Taliban allow them to. It’s also very much a one-way relationship. Al Queda NEEDS the Talilban but The Taliban DON’T really need Al Queda. Some sort of triangulation will have to be made to turn The Taliban against Al Queda and then The Taliban can chop off every head in Afghanistan as far as anyone else really cares.

  • Villiger says:

    Muhammad Imran/mi1400, don’t be ridiculous, we know the Pak army is hand-in-glove, if not zipper, with AQ and the Taliban. That is why i call it the PAQ army.
    Meantime about your cinema plans, you are allowed to fantasize as you poor boys don’t have any other release with all the blood around you. And they’re not even from your 72 virgins.
    Btw, please note that with the K gone from Paqistan, that is your new reality. And soon enough, after the withdrawal your begging bowl will be emptied of US aid. Meantime enjoy your free lunch and bite some more bullets. You will still have your free speech. That is, if you can afford it.
    Last, whats cooking in Baluchistan? And is the 1400 in your name the century you are living in? Let me dig a hole and pull you through. On second thoughts, naaaah, think we’ll just leave you there–fight each other until you’re exhausted.

  • TMP says:

    “Too bad we can`t ally with the Taliban. This war would already be over. They seem like the only home team that wants to win.”
    @gerald – Too much damn truth in your above comments, sadly.

  • John Rote says:

    So much for obama declaring that the war on terror is over.

  • Lewaney says:

    Bungo, thank you for finally agreeing with the Pakistani version. And it only took a decade of war. Taliban are here to stay and are not slaves to any power. It’s the harsh reality for the sole superpower and it’s proxies.

  • Charu says:

    Why is there no manufactured outrage? No patriotic scenes of public burials, or angry mobs on the street? Taliban is a catch-all term that covers many disparate groups and ethnicities and tribes. Were these soldiers Shia, for example? They have been often deemed expendable by the Pakistani army, which has also waged brutal war against Shia communities in Gilgit.

  • Charu says:

    Bungo: I have come to the conclusion that the Taliban aren’t controlled by anyone except the Taliban.
    There are many layers to this conflict. There are the Taliban who are essentially Pashtuns from both sides of the border, some of whom are aligned with the Punjabi ISI and others who fiercely resist their domination. Both the Taliban and the ISI proxies, like the Punjabi LeT and JeM and the Sunni sectarian groups, are very sympathetic to Al Qaeda and pan-Islamist goals. The Punjabis were fixated on India, the Taliban on regaining Afghanistan for the Pashtuns, and AQ on the US; however, these differences in emphasis have blurred.
    If the Afghan conflict is correctly viewed as a tribal war – the Pashtuns instigated by the Punjabis to battle the non-Pashtun dominated Afghan National army in order to keep the Pashtuns from erasing the Durand line and carving out a homeland that includes Pakistani territory- then the appropriate solution would be to help the Pashtuns reunite their territory. The non-Pashtuns, the Tajiks, the Uzbeks, the Hazara, the Punjabis, and the Baluchis should also supported militarily to help them defend their people from Pashtun (or Punjabi) attempts at colonization. When these different ethnic tribes have a stake at defending their people, and also a stake at governing their homelands, they will defend their homes to the death. Outside troops will be unnecessary.
    In contrast, assisting the non-Pashtuns to dominate Pashtun territory – whether it be in Afghanistan or in Pakistan – is a recipe for an unwinnable war with no end or, worse, ignominious retreat. The solution for lasting peace in Af-Pak is to give all of the groups there sufficient autonomy and a homeland to defend, and to intervene only when one side attempts to invade the other.

  • Maverick says:

    No one is here forever. And the only reason the taliban is still here here, is because we are civilized people, other wise we could have eradicated everyone a long time ago and brought our soldiers home. And all those people would now have been for gotten

  • blert says:

    From your posts to God’s ears.
    The borders of the entire area don’t line up with ethnic realities on the ground.
    The best, most immediate way forward is to adopt federalization of Afghanistan — and to stop using non-Pashtun / Pashto troops whenever possible.
    One should not conflate Karzai’s Kabul gambit as any workable end game.
    Instead, one ought to seriously consider establishing Kandahar as a de-facto capital city for the Pashtun nation.
    Self-partition Afghanistan along a viable demarkation — much in the manner of Lebanon — with explicit local control.
    Being mountainous and practically roadless, it shouldn’t be to difficult to establish internal check points that basically keep the hot heads away from each other.
    As it stands, Afghanistan is NOT organized to need cohesion. The better part of the entire economy is subsistence agriculture. What’s left is mostly contraband of one type or another.
    Such a strategic gambit would contain the bulk of Pakistan’s forces within the Pashtun tribal lands.

  • Charu says:

    @blert, I would settle for Panetta’s ears 😉
    But, really, have we learned nothing from Iraq, which is effectively partitioned into a Shia Arab majority region, a Sunni Arab region and a Kurdish region, and AQ being limited to the Sunni Arab region. The other regions want nothing to do with AQ, and even the Sunni tribes only give them enough rope to send a message to the Shia majority. Even if Iran appears to currently have the upper hand with the Shia there, it is just a matter of time before the Arab-Persian friction breaks out into hostility (that is if the Sunnis – and the Saudis – don’t overpay their hand).


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