Taliban Control Expanding Towards Pakistan Capital

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 12 months ago

We earlier observed that “Control over the North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas has allowed the Taliban and al Qaeda to merge ideologies, recruit fighters and extort money for their operations.  In fact, the recent Pakistani approval of the “peace” agreement in Swat has allowed more recruitment through the local Mosques in that area.  Each successive agreement with the Taliban strengthens the Taliban and weakens the Pakistani government.”

We also observed that one characteristic of de facto power and authority is the presence of aggressive dismounted patrolling, which is increasing inside the city of Peshawar (a city of 3 million people).  Now we are watching the themes we discussed play out in real time.

Taliban militants from Pakistan’s Swat Valley are tightening their grip on a neighboring northwest district closer to the capital — patrolling roads, broadcasting sermons and spreading fear in another sign that a government-backed peace deal has emboldened the extremists to spread their reign.

Pakistan’s president signed off on the peace pact last week in hopes of calming Swat, where some two years worth of clashes between the Taliban and security forces have killed hundreds and displaced up to a third of the one-time tourist haven’s 1.5 million residents.

The agreement covers Swat and other districts in the Malakand Division, a huge chunk of Pakistan’s northwest that borders Afghanistan and the tribal areas where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds. Under the deal, the provincial government agreed to impose Islamic law in Malakand, and the Taliban agreed to a cease-fire …

In recent days, the Swat militants have set their sights on Buner, a district just south of the valley, sparking at least one major clash with residents. The moves indicate the militants want to expand their presence beyond Swat to other parts of Malakand at the very least, under the guise of enforcing Islamic law.

Many in Buner are now too frightened to speak to reporters. However, a lawmaker from the area told The Associated Press that the militants had entered the district in “large numbers” and started setting up checkpoints at main roads and strategic positions.

The Taliban are patrolling in Dagar, Sawari, Pir Baba, Chamla, Ambela and other areas of Buner.  This is little more than an hour drive from Islamabad.

What is worse is that the Taliban appear to be the only people capable of judicial efficiency.

Having established their headquarters at a majestic three-storey bungalow of a local businessman, the Taliban have virtually captured the strategically located Buner district in the North West Frontier Province, a report said yesterday …

The fearless Taliban commander Fateh is now calling the shots in Buner while Mufti Bashir has been made Qazi, or the judge, to address the complaints of the locals.

The residents of various villages thronged the Taliban headquarters to register their complaints and seek their assistance in resolving their longstanding issues and personal disputes.

“The cases which we have filed several years ago are still awaiting decision by the courts. We are sick of this delayed judicial process in which justice is only provided to the influential and rich people,” an elderly Mohamed Akbar of nearby Gokan village remarked.

Or perhaps rather than judicial efficiency, the plan is to align the poor with the Taliban by using the power of judgments in Kangaroo courts.  Either way, it seems as if we are watching the fall of Pakistan happen before our eyes.

Prior:

Is Pakistan the Next Failed State?


You are currently reading "Taliban Control Expanding Towards Pakistan Capital", entry #2749 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Pakistan,Taliban,Tehrik-i-Taliban and was published April 22nd, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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