Taliban-al-Qaeda Alliance Defies Truce
In another open defiance of the truce deal signed between the Pakistani government and the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance in North Waziristan, the Taliban have opened up an office near a Pakistani bus stop in the North Waziristan capital, Miran Shah. The location distributes fliers calling on Waziristan residents to contact the Taliban regarding “on all matters relating to law and order.” This is a blatant disregard for the truce agreement (as previously summarized based in part on reporting from Pakistan’s Daily Times).
This is not the first instance of disregard on the part of the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance, as the tandem have made comfortable roost in the territory handed to them and vacated by Pakistani troops in early September. As questions surround the potential hand-over of yet more territory from the nuclear power to the Taliban and al-Qaeda within Pakistani borders, it will assuredly not be the last. It was reported earlier in Newsday that a US intelligence source had confirmed to reporters in Afghanistan and Pakistan that cross-border attacks by the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance has tripled since the agreement, which on paper spelled out the end to attacks into Afghanistan on Afghan and Coalition troops.
Also today in North Waziristan, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing and public display of a man they claimed was a spy for Afghan intelligence. The man’s body was riddled with bullet holes and had a Taliban leaflet attached to his clothing entitled “Fate of the Spy.”
Even while President Bush praises Pakistani and Afghan accomplishments after their recent three-way meeting at the White House – with the atmosphere between Pakistani President Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai described as “extremely frosty” – al-Qaeda’s Waziristan territory remains outside the realm of Pakistani control and the North West Frontier Province appears in equal jeopardy of being ceded away. Pakistani madrassas continue to feed the Taliban and al-Qaeda with fresh recruits from within Pakistan proper, receiving open, public and dutiful praise from madrassa leaders. Questions remain also about the complicity of the Pakistani intelligence’s (ISI) level of complicity with and support for the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance.
In the White House meeting, Afghan President Karzai accused Musharraf of not doing enough to fight the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and warned that cooperation with the Taliban and al-Qaeda is like “trying to train a snake against somebody else. You cannot train a snake. It will come and bite you.” Currently, the snake appears coiled around the remainder of Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province. From there, it could conceivably strike Islamabad, the capital of a nuclear power.