5 years, 3 months ago
From The Economic Times of India, citing mainly Newsweek:
Taliban has been given a free-run in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province bordering Afghanistan and its hardscrabble capital city of Quetta, which has been declared off-limits by Pakistani military to US predator strikes.
The outfit’s military chief Mulla Abdul Qayyum Zakir, ranked number two after Mullah Omar, and his men are operating with impunity in the high-desert landscape and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence ( ISI) seems to be giving them a free hand, ‘Newsweek’ reported.
“They are coming and going in groups without end,” says a senior Quetta politician, an ethnic Pashtun.
“Whatever the Taliban is doing is supervised and monitored by the [Pakistani] intelligence agencies”, he said.
Old hands among the insurgents say it reminds them of 1980s Peshawar, where anti-Soviet mujahedin operated openly with the ISI’s blessing and backing, the magazine reported.
[ … ]
A local government councillor says the area’s mosques and madrassas are packed with insurgents in need of temporary lodging as they head back to Afghanistan. Way stations have been set up all over the region in rented houses, he says, and swarms of Taliban pass through town on motorbikes every day. Most carry Pakistani national identity cards. “They’re enjoying the hospitality of the ‘black legs’ [derogatory slang for the ISI],” he says. He worries that the local culture is being Talibanized.
Read the entire report. The Taliban are said to be stunned and despondent over the successful OBL raid. But this fact appears not to be holding the tide of fighters in abeyance. As for other parts of Pakistan which supply sanctuary for both the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban, in a report at The Global Post (which I will be citing again in the future), Shafiq Ahmed, a former Pakistani army general, flatly says that “If America wants to stay in Afghanistan, or safeguard its interests in case of a proposed pull-out, it has to tame North Waziristan.”
It would appear that as I have observed, the Durand line is completely imaginary, and that a regional approach to the problem of Islamic militancy is necessary. A pullout of U.S. forces, leaving the problem to the pitiful Afghan National Security Forces (ANA and ANP), doesn’t fit the bill. So what else does the current administration have for us?