Saturday, April 28, 2007

Waziristan a Taliban mini state

The news in recent days is that circumstances in southern Afghanistan are getting worse because the Taliban are more secure and more active. As this writer indicates, it is indeed worrisome that Pakistan is making no attempt to control the growth of the Taliban in the tribal areas. What seems obvious is that to the degree that Pakistan fails to do this, Afghanistan, at least in the south, could fall into more open warfare.

The International News

"Northern Waziristan, where Islamic militants recently signed a peace deal with the government, has virtually become a 'Taliban mini-state' "
"Islamic militants are using a recent peace deal with the government to consolidate their hold in northern Pakistan"
"The militants,the officials say, are openly flouting the terms of the September accord in North Waziristan, under which they agreed to end cross-border help for the Taliban insurgency that revived in Afghanistan with new force this year. The area is becoming a magnet for an influx of foreign fighters, who not only challenge government authority in the area, but are even wresting control from local tribes"
"cross-border attacks by Pakistani and Afghan Taliban and their foreign allies have increased"
" In recent weeks, Afghan officials say they have uncovered alarming signs of large-scale indoctrination and preparation of suicide bombers in the tribal areas"
" American military officials say they believe much of the training in Waziristan is taking place under the aegis of men like Jalaluddin Haqqani, once one of the most formidable commanders of the anti-Soviet Mujahideen forces who joined the Taliban in the 1990s. Haqqani bases himself in North Waziristan and has a host of other Taliban and foreign commanders"
" 'Even more worrying is the continued presence of the Taliban and Haqqani leadership networks,' [a] diplomat said, dismayed at what he characterised as Pakistani passivity in breaking up the networks. 'They haven't been addressed at all on the Pakistani side,' he added. 'They haven't been pursued.' "
"The militants rather than the traditional tribal leaders have the power now [in the region]"

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