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Pakistan, Afghanistan, Warziristan and Osama
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Stop the ACLU has a good round up of the reaction to the story about Osama bin Laden being given defacto "asylum" in Pakistan based on comments by the press secretary of the Pakistani President.

I really don't know if, as the Pakistani ambassador states, the press secretary was "grossly misquoted" or not. And, of course, Pakistan now denies that's the case anyway.

Of more importance to me is the border deal both Pakistan and Afghanistan have signed:
THE leaders of Pakistan and Afghanistan will attempt today to bury their differences and agree a joint strategy to combat Islamic militants operating on both sides of their border.

As Nato forces fought an estimated 700 Taleban rebels in southern Afghanistan, President Musharraf prepared to make his first visit to Kabul for nearly two years, where he hopes to repair relations with President Karzai.

“We hope it will be a major, positive step for relations between the two countries and for co-operation in fighting terrorism,” a spokesman for the Afghan Foreign Ministry said.
While we figure out whether Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan, the press secretary was misquoted or whatever, it is probably more important to look at the significance, if any, of this pact.
Kabul and Islamabad have been blaming each other for allowing Islamic militants to cross the 1,500-mile (2,400km) frontier and attack security forces. Yesterday Pakistan took a big step towards ending the fighting in the lawless Waziristan region when it signed a peace deal with tribal leaders. The agreement commits local militants to halt attacks on both sides of the border.

In return Pakistan will reduce its military presence and compensate tribesmen whose relatives have been killed or whose properties have been damaged.

A key provision of the deal is that tribesmen will expel foreign fighters from the area. The region is believed to be a haven for al-Qaeda fighters and members of the former Taleban regime in Afghanistan. Without a base in Pakistan their operations could be seriously disrupted.
Now, many are automatically calling this "surrender" on the part of Pakistan in which they essentially cede control over the area known as Warziristan to the tribal leaders there.

Here's a clue. Pakistan's military has been all but totally ineffective in that area for quite some time. Given that, why not try something new? If it is worth it to the tribal leaders to keep Pakistani troops out of the area, they'll do what is promised. If not, Pakistan simply goes back in and tries again.

I have no idea how it will all work out, and neither does anyone else, despite the cries of "surrender" and "Ossama gets a pass from Pakistan". But my sense is this pact between Afghanistan and Pakistan, coupled with putting the onus for policing Warziristan in the lap of tribal leaders may have some beneficial effect in an area where beneficial developments have been few and far between. Before condemning everything, why don't we sit back and see what happens?
 
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Your pollyanish interpretation misses the politics here. The reason Pakistan signed this deal with Waziristan is that it failed to pacify the region. The Waziris defeated the Pakistani army. This was a surrender by Musharraf, pure and simple. The idea that Waziristan tribesmen will suddenly turn out and expel Al Qaeda in return for the Pakistan peace deal is laughable. Why would the Waziri tribesmen do that? The Taliban is a Pushtun group and the Waziris are Pushtuns. As long as the Taliban remains tight with Al Qaeda, the Waziris will continue to harbor Al Qaeda. Remember, Pakistan has NEVER had control of that region. They tried to obtain it at the request of the US and failed. If anything, Musharraf’s visit to Kabul was an attempt to mollify Karzai’s obvious anger and frustration. I doubt it will help though since the Pushtuns will still have their friendly base on the Pakistani side of the border.

You are correct that this merely follows up on earlier failures. Who knows, maybe something else will work. But if appeasing terrorists is impossible - and I believe it is impossible - then this will only embolden Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
This wasn’t a deal between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but between Taliban-influenced tribal elders and Pakistan (cite). If Bill Roggio’s sources are accurate, this looks like a surrender to the militant Islamist set.
 
Written By: Charles Bird
URL: http://www.redstate.org
Looks like Musharraf is tired of the attempts on his life...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Who gets to define ’foreign?’
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
The reason Pakistan signed this deal with Waziristan is that it failed to pacify the region.
Gee Elrod, wish I’d made that point:
Here’s a clue. Pakistan’s military has been all but totally ineffective in that area for quite some time.
So what’s your solution? Criticize or try something diffrerent?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
This wasn’t a deal between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but between Taliban-influenced tribal elders and Pakistan (cite). If Bill Roggio’s sources are accurate, this looks like a surrender to the militant Islamist set.
There’s a whole lot of "if" in this one Charles. That’s why I’m saying let’s sit back for a while and ’see what happens’.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Pakistan was bogged down in its own land fighting its own citizens who are not Taliban/AQ but may harbor sympathy for them. This is a good move by Pakistanis and will end its waste of time,resources and blood. What did Pakistanis get for this effort anyway? A mountain of insults,suspicions and allegations by the US. A poorly thought and executed operation comes to an end.
 
Written By: Aamir Ali
URL: http://
According to this story, Musharraf has no intention of allowing US troops to operate in the tribal region.

What do we do differently? How about increase our troop presence in Afghanistan to bolster Karzai’s regime. A loss there would be much more devastating than the loss we’ve already suffered in Iraq.
 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
Whoops. Wrong link. Here’s the link.
 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
Pakistan has no exit strategy for Waziristan and it is obviously a guagmire. I believe Pakistan has hit upon the BEST solution negotiations and a redeployment...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
What do we do differently?
We do nothing different. It is Pakistan doing something different. Let’s see if it works before we call it a failure without even trying it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Good call McQ.

Making the seas these terrorist fish swim in inhospitable is more likely to succeed than the useless, at least over the past three years, attempts to dynamite them out of there.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Is the source Sarah Chayes?

Tribal elders and Taliban? Pakistan is selling off something it does’nt need to NATO in Afghanistan. New base for Al and Taliban.
 
Written By: Meiv
URL: http://
Making the seas these terrorist fish swim in inhospitable is more likely to succeed than the useless, at least over the past three years, attempts to dynamite them out of there.
If the Pakistan military wanted to take control of the region I’d think they could. 3 Billion a year in US aide buys a lot of bullets.

The problem is too much of the military sympathizes with them. And even if Musharref is serious about cracking down on them he can’t do it by himself and he can’t ask for help from the US either.

He’s walking a tight rope with his own populace. Which means his usefulness to the US in the GWOT is extremely limited. And apparantly he is now going to give up on the long running charade.
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
I dunno, maybe this will work but unless we have good, measurable reasons to think it is working very quickly I don’t see why Musharraf’s concession that he basically lacks sovereignty over the region, given Al Qaeda’s strength there, doesn’t compel us to invade to prevent the place from very rapidly becoming a miniature version of Taliban Afghanistan.
 
Written By: Crank
URL: http://www.baseballcrank.com
thanks for the info on this site, i got to use it for a science report on terrorist fish.
 
Written By: brika
URL: http://

 
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