Taliban, tribal leaders work together in North Waziristan

This article in Dawn highlights the close links between the local tribes in North Waziristan and the Taliban, specifically Taliban forces under Hafiz Gul Bahadar. The tribes and the Taliban formed a lashkar, or tribal militia, purportedly to root out criminals and those who attack Pakistani security forces.

Keep in mind that Bahadar shelters and supports the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, a Taliban faction led by Hakeemullah Mehsud, al Qaeda, and a variety of other terror groups. These groups (and occasionally Bahadar’s own forces) are behind the attacks on Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan.

If Bahadar wanted the attacks to stop, he’d put an end to them by cracking down on the very groups he shelters. Instead, he pretends to take action by creating a toothless, sham lashkar with the local tribes. Creating the lashkar gives both Bahadar and the tribes plausible deniability as well; they can tell the Pakistani government that they are trying to fix the problem, while everyone knows that is not the case.

From Dawn [emphasis added]:

The local Taliban and elders of Uthmanzai tribe have formed a joint lashkar to take action against those elements, who are involved in target killings, kidnappings and attacks on security forces.

The 100 men strong lashkar was formed at a jirga held at Anghar Kallay near Miramshah here on Thursday. The jirga was attended by Taliban and Uthmanzai elders.

Local Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Maulvi Gul Ramazan, Malik Nasrullah Khan, Malik Misal Khan and others addressed the jirga.

They said that peace agreement inked with the government was still intact. They also urged security forces not to violate the peace agreement inked with the tribal people.

“Kidnappers, terrorists and those involved in attacks on security forces should leave North Waziristan Agency immediately,” the jirga decided unanimously. The lashkar would patrol markets and other public places in Miramshah and its adjacent areas.

The jirga authorised the lashkar to launch an action against criminals, kidnappers, target killers and those, who were attacking security forces.

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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  • huh says:

    How come Bahadur can openly attend these jirgas and not get droned? Not enough evidence against him?

  • wallbangr says:

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. One pred strike and we could have rolled up Hafiz Gul Bahadur, Maulvi Gul Ramazan, Malik Nasrullah Khan and Malik Misal Khan in one fell swoop. Dang!

  • blert says:

    Perhaps it was a virtual meeting — like “Go to Meeting.” (TM)
    Then, again, it may have been a meeting by press release.
    It could’ve been a cell phone confab.
    Considering the fellows… any hook up would’ve been like tossing ten tom-cats into a bag — and shaking it.


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