5 years ago
In Taliban Control Expanding Towards Pakistan Capital we discussed the aggressive patrolling and checkpoints in Buner, just an hour from Islamabad. Within just a day we learn how effective this aggressiveness has been, or how timid the Pakistani police and paramilitary have been.
Sher Akbar, a retired lawmaker who represented Buner in parliament, tells VOA that Taliban fighters are now patrolling parts of the district and local police have not been seen in public.
Speaking by phone from Buner he says the Taliban are totally in control of the district and the local government has lost authority over the region.
Pakistani news media have reported government officials and aid groups have abandoned local offices. Sher Akbar says many in Buner are worried that fighting could break out soon between security forces and militants, and some people are preparing to leave.
The most troubling of the revelations is not what the Taliban are doing in Swat and adjacent areas. The Tehrik-i-Taliban have made it clear that they will not stop until Pakistan is governed as they see fit. We know their intentions. But the most troubling revelation is that even after seeing the continual encroachment of the Taliban into the centers of power in Pakistan (Peshawar, Islamabad, etc.), the government still equivocates concerning the need to tackle the problem head on.
… Pakistan’s prime minister defended the government’s strategy, saying officials continue to favor pursuing talks with mediator Sufi Muhammad in dealing with the situation.
Time is short for the authorities to wake to the dire situation in which they are placing Pakistan with the continual appeasement of the Tehrik-i-Taliban.
In another report, we learn that Baitullah Mehsud has trained child suicide bombers. “According to intelligence estimates, more than 5,000 child suicide bombers between the ages of 10 and 17 have been trained by the Taliban so far.”
As to the center of gravity of the whole effort?
Interior Advisor Rehman Malik said Taliban, Pakistani outlawed outfits and Al Qaeda have established a triangle.
In an interview to an Arabic channel, Malik stated that Taliban is a face of Al Qaeda in Pakistan. Taliban chief Fazalullah and other leaders are operating under one leadership. All the clues of investigations ended up in Waziristan.
It apparently isn’t as disaggregated and factious as we have been led to believe.