7 years, 7 months ago
A spokesman for the Taliban has now officially weighed in on relations with the new political parties in power in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Taliban fighters have threatened to step up their bloody campaign against the country’s security forces unless the new government abandons its support for the US-led war on terror.
On Sunday, the group welcomed the victory of opposition parties in last week’s election and called on them to drop the pro-American policies of President Pervez Musharraf, a key US ally.
“We want peace, but if they impose war on us, we will not spare them,” said Maulvi Omer, a spokesman for Tehrik-e-Taliban.
“We don’t want political parties to repeat the mistake which Musharraf committed and follow a path dictated by the US” …
In another worrying sign for Washington, the PPP has called for an end to military operations against insurgents in Baluchistan, a southwestern province where the Afghan government believes the leadership of the Afghan Taliban may be hiding.
But as part of the same communication, the Taliban issued their threats, they offered peace talks.
Maulvi Umar, spokesman for the Islamic militant Tehrik-e-Taliban, said his group welcomed the victory of anti-Musharraf parties and was anxious to talk with them about ways to bring peace to northwestern tribal areas, where U.S. officials believe Osama bin Laden himself may be hiding.
“We hope after the government comes into power, they will not make the mistake of continuing the existing policies and will bring peace to the people of tribal areas,” the spokesman told The Associated Press by telephone Sunday. “We want peace and are looking for dialogue with those who got elected.”
Deebow at Blackfive believes that this means incursions across the Pakistani border to chase insurgents. Sadly, I disagree. NATO lacks strategic vision in the Afghanistan campaign, leading us in part to the situation in which we find ourselves. The campaign has focused on transition teams, training Afghan troops, force protection, road construction, and every conceivable thing other than offensive operations against the Taliban. This isn’t to deny that there are brave troops in theater who have fought and won battles. It is to assert, though, that had they been allowed to do this unimpeded, the campaign would be far better for it.
As for Pakistan, talking with the Taliban is what led them to this point. My prediction is that there will be more of the same and a continuing resurgence of the Taliban both in Pakistan and Afghanistan, unless 3200 Marines are allowed to hunt and kill the enemy.