ABC Mis-reports on Waziristan Treaty

Following up on the Waziristan Treaty, we have tribal leaders and elders verifying that the pact was with the tribes, not the Taliban as ABC mis-reported. We have this article from the Pakistan Observer

 

Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai has declared that the peace accord signed in North Waziristan Agency a couple of days back had in fact arrived at between the government and the local tribesman and had nothing to do with the Afghan Taliban.

“The agreement was inked with the Utmanzai tribe of the NWA and the not with the Taliban”, said the governor at an emergently called news conference at governor house here Friday morning.

Mr. Aurakzai however, said the peace agreement signed in Waziristan was not only fully supported by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai who thought the same was in the interest of Afghanistan, but all factions related with disturbances in NWA including the international coalition partners against terrorism. France and Germany were taken into confidence and they have also expressed their satisfaction and have welcomed the agreement.

“Afghan President Hamid Karzai has supported the agreement because it would not only benefit Pakistan but also Afghanistan and if proved fruitful, it could be extended to Afghanistan also”, maintained the Governor. He hoped that the accord would go long way in ensuring lasting peace and tranquillity in the region and creating conducive atmosphere imperative for development. “The spirit behind the agreement is mutual trust”, he said.

The governor said that Utmanzai tribe included its Maliks or the Masharaan, Ulema and the common people adding the agreement was kept secret owing to the apprehensions that some elements were out to sabotage the peace efforts.

He said a ten-member committee has been constituted to monitor implementation on the agreement adding the violation of the pact may be dealt with severely.

To a query about the ouster of foreign elements from North Waziristan Agency he said those elements were already on the run and much before reaching the agreement, the people of the Agency had given a message to such elements to leave the area.

Aurakzai made it clear that the foreigners would leave the area but if some elements were reluctant to leave they could stay provided they guarantee that they would live with peace and without making any disturbance and would also not cross over to Afghanistan.

So all the hand-wringing over the mis-represented treaty was for naught, and I really do think that not only is Bin Laden mobile now but also that the remnants of the Taliban are all in Afghanistan trying to establish a new base where they are no longer welcome either.

To see the original blogospheric cry of “we’re doomed, we are all dooomed!” visit the Fourth Rail and check the trackbacks to the original articles, and then read the series here.

Update & Clarification: Steve Centanni of Fox News also characterizes the treaty as being with “Pro-Taliban Militants”, falling into the conventional wisdom mold. These tribes are independent, remote, and while they do have members who are pro-Taliban, they are not monolithically so.  Since Alexander’s time these tribes have switched to the side paying the most gelt at the moment, sometimes regardless of where their sentiment was.

The clarification I need to make before I hit the road is that I did not mean to imply that Bill was wringing his hands over this, I was referring to the backtracking chorus of blogs.

Please also note Bill’s comments below, the newscasters, Bill & the intel guys, all think I am wrong here, and I could well be. On the other hand, if this is really playing out this way can we afford to ignore the chance that all the main players are either on the move or relocated?

The frequency of the updates from Al Qaeda of late makes me think more and more that our enemies aren’t in the NWFP anymore but rather are close to Quetta, Peshawar, or they’ve exited the country entire.

8 Replies to “ABC Mis-reports on Waziristan Treaty”

  1. Thanos,

    Aurakzai(or Orakzai) is in league with the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the MMA. What do you expect him to say? Of course he wants to make this look good, he has a vested interest in doing so.

    How do you explain the humiliating ceremony the Taliban forced on the government? The terms? Orakzai helped ochestrate this as well. If the Taliban forced the Pakistani Army to withdraw, what chance to local tribes have, while thier leaders and clerics are being assassinated?

    If you think I am doing a sky is falling routine, I strongly suggest discussing this with folks in the military intelligence community. They are very, very worried.

  2. Bill, I know they are. I am looking at the exodus though from reading several Pak and Afghan blogs and papers. Maybe I am reading the tea-leaves wrong, but I think the war-chest theory is in play, and the hardcore Taliban elements have outstayed their welcome. There’s a sea change and a shift out there, I can’t put my finger on it but I am definitely seeing more tension between Pashtun / Hezara, Sunni / Shia, and the other root conflicts between the tribes of Islam. Did you notice that Mullah Omer is being placed in Quetta / Balochistan by some rumore, but in Afghanistan by Mushy?

  3. Musharraf has a vested interest in placing Omar in Afghanistan. Nothing Musharraf, Orkazai, Gen Sultan or Aziz says can be trusted at this point. The tension you are sensing is the Taliban running roughsod over the tribal groups which are now under the knife, or very well soon be. The Talibs are already targeting pro-government and pro-US clerics in the region (see the attack in Bajaur, for example). The NWFP is one region where the Taliban has a legitimate base of support.

    An hour ago I spoke to a security contractor who has been in Afghanistan for two years, and has excellent intel (I know because I hung with him for over a week while in country). He’s spent time in the NWFP so he knows the region quite well, He’s worried about the situation in Waziristan, as are everyone else in country. This is why I think your characterization of my analysis as being “we’re doomed, we are all dooomed” to be incorrect.

    You are taking the Orakzai/Musharraf/Sultan

  4. Bill, like I said, it’s a theory worth investigating. Sometimes we color our intel by the country we are in, and we know the Afghanistan and Indian take on Pakistan. That’s why I read the papers in-country as well, and look at just the actions, not the speakers sometimes.
    Also, apologies if you thought I was referring to you directly, I was trying to point at the numerous links from the blogosphere to the article, I should have linked to your trackback section for the article instead, but was in a hurry.

  5. Also the shift I was referencing isn’t just in Pak/Afghan, since the start of the Hezbollah / Israeli war a lot of Al Qaeda have turned over, and that’s happening for reasons. One reason could be the rift mentioned above across the whole GWOT theatre, not just Afghanistan. I see Al Qaeda and Iran shifting at least to opposite corners of their end of the table.

    I’m on the road now a few hours, I will try to tag back in later.

  6. Thanos,

    No apologies needed, its all good. If you follow the links in my postson Waziristan, you’ll see the large majority of them are from Pakistani papers. The Daily Times is especially good. In fact, I’d argue that is the best newspaper in the world. By using the Pakistani newspapers, I was able to track the rise of Talibanistan. I’ve been doing it since at least January (search my sites with ‘Talibanistan’ and you will see.)

    The Taliban are in both the NWFP and Quetta. Peshawar is in the NWFP. Technically North & South Waziristan are in the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), which is a subsection of the NWFP. You can see a decent map of the NWFP here:

    http://billroggio.com/archives/2006/09/the_islamic_emirate.php

  7. I’m still in a wait and see mode on this, the obnoxious “blame Pakistan” approach with Karzai (some of the Pak army officers are taking the same tack as well in forums where they trade insults with the Afghan army) seems over the top if Mushy doesn’t know more than we do.
    Either it’s exactly as you say, or it’s exactly as you say but Musharraf is biding time while Qetta calms and we are going to see the Talib hit like Bugti was in the Spring, or for once what appears on the surface is true, and this is a real truce/pact. I don’t hold a lot of hope for the third, but…. if the third is true then Bin Laden’s either moved or captured. I just want some folks to look into the possibility. I unfortunately don’t get a lot of time for this.

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