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.
â€œThe agreement was inked with the Utmanzai tribe of the NWA and the not with the Talibanâ€, 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.
â€œAfghan 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 alsoâ€, 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. â€œThe spirit behind the agreement is mutual trustâ€, 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 isÂ Bin LadenÂ mobile now but also thatÂ the remnants of the Taliban areÂ all in Afghanistan trying to establish a new base where they are no longer welcome either.
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.Â 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 &Â 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.