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.