Taliban Preparing for Major Spring Offensive

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 11 months ago

The Taliban has taken control over Waziristan and is patiently rebuilding their ranks with plans to lauch major attacks into Kabul in the spring of 2007.  Pakistani editorials urge more involvement in politics, and Musharraf denies that any of this matters by discussing Bin Laden rather than the Taliban. 

Musharraf has denied that the Waziristan accord with the Taliban was really an accord with the Taliban, claiming that it was with the tribal leaders.  If so, then it was with the tribal leaders who were left after the execution of more than 200 tribal leaders.  Musharraf is also denying that Pakistan or the intelligence services are aiding terrorism.

LONDON – An angry Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said he would complain to British Prime Minister Tony Blair Thursday about allegations that Pakistan’s intelligence service backed terrorism.

In media interviews ahead of the London meeting, Musharraf denied the allegations in a British defence ministry policy paper, and also said that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was alive and hiding in Afghanistan.

“Absolutely, 200 percent, I reject it,? Musharraf told the BBC in an interview Wednesday to address the allegations before he traveled to London on Thursday.

The British broadcaster cited a policy paper written by an unnamed senior official in the British defence ministry as charging that the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service, supported terrorism.

“Indirectly, Pakistan, through the ISI, has been supporting terrorism and extremism, whether in London on 7/7 (the July 7, 2005 bombings on London’s transport network) or in Afghanistan or Iraq,? the report reads.

But Musharraf wants it both ways.  He has on the one hand agreed to the Waziristan accords, allowing free rein to the Taliban, and on the other hand attempted to draw a symbiotic connection between Bin Laden and terrorism.  It is an easy abdication of responsibility.

Rather than reject the violence and mayhem caused by the Taliban, there are calls from within Pakistan for the inclusion of the Pashtun tribes (and their “representatives,” the Taliban) in national politics.

It’s thus time to strategise the scenario in Afghanistan and judiciously and pragmatically prioritise the issues for giving hope to the Afghan people. President Musharraff’s observation that Pakhtoon population represented by the Taliban needs to be brought on board in the country’s administration represents the crux of the problem. It is the bitter truth about the ground realities in Afghanistan, which Bush and Karzai should over ponder over for the sake of peace and security. The fact that Afghan people can’t be subjugated with military might should also be recognised by Washington if peace and security needs to be restored in the land-locked country. We are, however, convinced that a Waziristan like deal with Taliban is the answer to the objective conditions in Afghanistan.

This kind of denial of the true intentions of the Taliban reverses logic.  The problem is asserted to be that the Taliban are not involved in politics, and so the solution is proferred to give them more power and authority under the belief that this will bring peace.  In the Washington Post today we learn that the Waziristan area is under the control of the Taliban, and peace is not high on the Taliban’s agenda.

In a recent telephone interview with a Pakistani reporter, senior Taliban leader Dadullah Akhund said he had told local Taliban members to cease attacks in Pakistan but to continue their fight “abroad” against the U.S. military. He said that he had 500 suicide bombers and 12,000 fighters at his disposal and that by next spring the Taliban would have enough force to launch major attacks on Kabul, the Afghan capital.

“This deal has handed over North Waziristan to the Taliban,” Afrasiab Khattak, a human rights activist and secular politician, said in an interview in Peshawar, located in the so-called settled areas outside the tribal region. He said a hierarchy of Taliban commanders had taken control of North Waziristan, collecting taxes and meting out rough justice.

“The war in Afghanistan is totally from this side,” Khattak said. “It is a new round of jihad, and it is not going to remain inside the tribal enclaves.”

The Taliban has taken control over Waziristan and is patiently rebuilding their ranks.  Pakistani editorials urge more involvement in politics, and Musharraf denies that any of this matters by discussing Bin Laden rather than the Taliban.

And NATO should be watching and preparing to take action, or Afghanistan will fall back into the hands of the Taliban.

  • http://editcopy.blogspot.com Chris

    Even NATO classified Taliban fighting as fierce. As far as I know, there were no reports of Taliban surrendering.


You are currently reading "Taliban Preparing for Major Spring Offensive", entry #305 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Pakistan and was published September 28th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

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