Waziristan Pact Update: Karzai Calls it Fruitless
In previous posts I’ve extended the potential that the Waziristan peace pact in Pakistan with the local tribes and Pakistan Taliban might work given time, but it’s certainly not looking good for my theory, and Bill Roggio’s getting close to a free dinner next time he’s in KC.
President Hamid Karzai is stating that attacks are up and that the Afghan Taliban are using the border province as a staging area. I would think attacks would go up if the Afghan Taliban were flushed from Waziristan, but you have to suspect that Karzai would not make this statement without intel or proof to back up the claim that Taliban forces are crossing the border.
Here’s the story from Kyodo:
A peace agreement reached by Pakistan earlier this month with pro-Taliban militants along its Afghan border has not been fruitful, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday.
“The agreement they (Pakistan) have signed in Waziristan has not been fruitful in Afghanistan so far. There have been more attacks on our people near that region after that agreement,” Karzai told reporters in the capital Kabul.
The Pakistani government signed a “peace deal” on Sept. 5 with pro- Taliban militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal belt along the Afghan border intended to curb militants’ activities both in Pakistan and across the border into Afghanistan.
A U.S. military spokesman also said Wednesday that the cease-fire has given the Taliban a free rein to use the North Waziristan border area as a command-and-control hub for attacks into Afghanistan.
Karzai’s comments came just hours after a suicide attack in front of the Interior Ministry in Kabul killed 12 people, including two high- ranking police officials, and wounded 42 others.
Karzai recently returned from an 11-day trip to North America. While in the United States, U.S. President George W. Bush hosted a dinner for him and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.
Karzai said he and Musharraf agreed to jointly lead a series of jirgas, or tribal gatherings, between Afghan and Pakistani tribal leaders to quell militancy along their shared border.
“We agreed to hold consultancy jirgas with the tribes in both sides of the border. The presidents of the two countries would lead the jirgas to solve the problems,” he said.
However, he gave no timeframe for the gatherings.
While in the United States, the two leaders reportedly accused each other of not doing enough to fight terrorism.
Karzai insisted that Musharraf was turning a blind eye to extremism being bred at Islamic religious schools in Pakistan, while Musharraf said Karzai behaved “like an ostrich” by refusing to acknowledge the truth of the militancy and trying to shore up his political standing at home.
I am not quite willing to write it off entirely yet, the outcome of foreigner registration and Musharraf’s and the Tribes response to the situation are needed first.
Update: PBS / Frontline will be airing a documentary covering this on 10/3.