We have long since known that the Taliban entity is not a mere single unified front waging a war in the North Western regions of Pakistan but a hodge podge of various groups working independently for their own vested interests. There are potentially three Taliban factions one headed by Baithullah Mehsud which was working against the interests of Pakistan, while Jalaluddin Haqqani and Mullah Omar were given protective custody by the ISI
In the Bajaur tribal area, for example, the army is fighting an insurgency led by Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of one of Pakistan’s three Taliban factions, but it’s not because he is a friend of al-Qaida. What makes him a threat, in the eyes of Pakistan’s army, is that he is believed to be responsible for scores of suicide attacks inside Pakistan (including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto). He is also thought to have recruited hundreds of Afghan fighters, among them ‘agents’ from the Afghan and Indian intelligence services – ‘Pakistan’s enemies’, in the words of a senior officer.
An enemy in Bajaur, the Taliban is a friend of Pakistan in North and South Waziristan. Like Mehsud, the guerrilla commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, who directs the Afghan Taliban’s ‘central front’ from bases in Pashtun villages in Pakistan, has ties to al-Qaida. Unlike Mehsud, he’s not attacking Pakistan, and his fight against the US and NATO enjoys the support of the army and of broad sections of the Pakistani public. The same courtesy has been extended to Mullah Omar, whose headquarters are in Quetta, where he’s reportedly sheltered by the ISI. ‘They are our people; they’re not our enemies,’ one ISI officer says.
These factions which were working against each other in the past, may have potentially joined forces to launch an assault on a mutually common enemy – Obama, Zardari & Karzai. Obama understandably as he still continues George Bush’s offensive in the region. Karzai features in the list as he is the US puppet in Afghanistan since the last eight years quite simply has been the central target, but to see Zardari being featured amongst the enemies is probably understandable since he does remain committed in leading this country down a spiraling path of doom.
The three feuding Taliban factions have now joined forces against ‘Obama, Zardari and Karzai’ in an agreement brokered by Mullah Omar. One of the factions is led by Baitullah Mehsud. The other two are pro-Afghan Taliban factions based in South and North Waziristan, which had largely refrained from attacking the Pakistan state and army but may not do so any longer. The army is also worried that the surge could cause a further flight of Afghan Taliban and other militants into the tribal areas. If the army acts against them, retaliatory strikes may follow across Pakistan. If it doesn’t, US and Afghan soldiers might chase them inside Pakistan – as they did last September, killing 20 tribesmen ‘by mistake’. Any such incursion would unite the Pashtun tribes behind the Taliban, deepen anti-American sentiment in the army and stretch US-Afghan-Pakistani co-operation to breaking point.
I think Grahma Usher has presented a well thought out analysis on the Taliban insurgency and the dilemma faced by us in confronting these rouge elements. The root cause of the problem/solution does not lie in possibility of implementing a new sharia code, but instead it is to question the chain of events that has led Pakistan into such a precarious situation since 2001.
None of our leaders back then were willing to stand up and stay stop, none of our leaders NOW are willing to wake up from their slumber party as they are more busy in counting the shovel loads of dollars being forked over into their bank accounts and remain busy scheming how to siphon of the new tranche of 5.5 billion in aid that is knocking on our door steps –
Will someone please stand up and save Pakistan….. it been proven time after time that our leaders simple don’t want to