Waziristan — Truce or Just Lull in the Fighting?

The death toll in Waziristan has risen to 132 after the locals rose against the Uzbeks and Chechen foreigners, who have long outstayed their welcome and have crossed the line  by bringing the violence into Pakistan. By attempting assassinations and turning suicide bombers loose in Waziristan, they are creating a rising tide of resentment among the local Pashtun tribes.

Here’s some information from Dawn:

PESHAWAR, March 22: Sporadic fighting continued for the fourth day on Thursday between local tribesmen and Uzbek militants in South Waziristan with casualties mounting, government and security officials said.
“There have been isolated incidents of sporadic fighting,” South Waziristan administrator Hussainzada Khan told Dawn from Wana, the regional headquarters.
He said 22 Uzbek militants were killed in Thursday’s fighting in Pir Makan in Karikot near Wana. There were no casualties among the tribespeople and local militants opposed to fighters from the central Asian republic.
With the latest casualties, the death toll of Uzbek militants in the fighting that began on Monday shot up to 101.
Thirty-one local tribesmen and militants opposed to Uzbeks had been killed in the fighting, government and security officials said.
The figures could not be independently confirmed because the telecommunication system in the volatile tribal region remains disconnected since December last when militants took away equipment from the only telephone exchange, rendering it dysfunctional.
Khan said tribespeople intercepted and fired on two vehicles in Zar Meelan at around mid-day and killed four Uzbeks and their two local Wazir tribal supporters.
A security official confirmed the incident and said the two vehicles were waylaid as tribespeople and their militant supporters continue to stop and search all vehicles to look for Uzbeks.
In another incident, a pro-Uzbek local tribesman was shot and killed by tribespeople opposed to foreign militants in Azam Warsak.

In a previous article Dawn described the truce as temporary, merely to gather the bodies & hold funerals. I suspect that whatever peace is enacted will fail.

The locals are now emboldened, and the past submerged honor feuds that have been biding their time will now all surface. That’s unstoppable, no matter that Hamid Gul and Mullah Daddullah might be trying to stop this. 

For Contrasting views please stop by Bill Roggio’s Fourth Rail, and Madrid11.net (scroll down for the Pakistan analysis, as the initial paragraphs cover the similar schisms and fighting in Al Anbar.)

Waziristan Updates

Background on dealing with tribes from Stephen Pressfield, author and historian.