5 years ago
Having made a forecast and allowing the dust to settle on the scene in Swat, The Captain’s Journal is turning back full circle to see how all of this is shaking out for Afghanistan.
It is understood the North West Frontier Province government has agreed an amnesty for Taliban fighters, including those who have bombed girls’ schools and video shops and beheaded opponents.
It also follows a shake-up in the Taliban alliance led by Baitullah Mehsud. He has announced a new umbrella group, the Shura Ittehadul Mujahideen, which includes two senior militant commanders who had until now been regarded as ‘pro-Pakistan government’ Taliban.
According to one militant source in Bajaur, Baitullah Mehsud had recently received a message from the Taliban’s ‘supreme leader’, Mullah Omar, calling on him to stop attacks on the Pakistan Army and reminding him that Nato forces in Afghanistan were their real enemy.
And our forecast?
Implementation of Sharia law is only part of the deal. The Pakistani Army will leave. The institutions set up by the Taliban are now formalized and official, recognized by the Pakistani government. Given the proximity of Swat to Afghanistan, safe haven for the Taliban doesn’t even begin to explain the depths of the problem. The problem goes not only to territory and terrain, but preoccupation of the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP).
Although not exclusively, the TTP has primarily been disposed with fights inside of the North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. They are now no longer occupied with fights with the Pakistani Army.
These fighters are now free to engage U.S. troops, and thus has Pakistan traded off its “security” for that of Afghanistan. And the campaign in Afghanistan has just gotten a little harder.
So if this report is accurate, we find out the impetus for the combination of the Tehrik-i-Taliban with other Taliban commanders as well as the “settlement” with Pakistan. Mullah Omar rebuked the TTP for attention on Pakistan, and reminded them that infidels were just across the border.
This is new information, but as for the forecast concerning the new attention on Afghanistan, you heard it here first.