New Waziristan Loya Jirga, Late Evening Pakistan update

The Nation reports on a new Loya Jirga and new accords in North Waziristan



The Loya Jirga of Wazirstan has announced a five-point peace accord to ensure stability in the region.
The jirga presided over by Mullah Wazir was attended by tribal notables, including Aleem ullah, Meetha Khan, Malang, Abdul Hanan, Malik Bakhan Wazir, and many others. 
The accord declared as against the law to protect or give sanctuary to any alien warrior, and anybody defying the law would face demolishing of his home and a fine of upto Rs one million, besides being banished from the region. 
Any body found involved or implicated in lawlessness or acts of sabotage, theft, dacoity, abductions for ransom, and obstruction of any development move in the region, would be subject to punishment. 
The accord deems it the responsibility of the administration to implement peace and law in the region, and also cater for safety of movement of traffic on roads. The administration has also given full jurisdiction to act against all nefarious elements of the region. 
The fourth point refers to immediate return of officials, who had earlier moved away from the region due to uncertain environment and asks them to resume their duties without fear since peace has been implemented.
The fifth point indicates that the peace committee would be formed under the command of Mullah Wazir who would be assisted by Commanders Haleem ullah, Meetha Khan, Malang and Abdul Hanan.

The predicted large-scale Taliban offensive in Afghanistan earlier declared and predicted has yet to materialize this Spring, and the “thousands of suicide bombers” Mullad Dadullah said were coming appear now to be a handful in Afghanistan, although that is troublesome enough. The recent battles, like those last summer seem to go horribly for them whenever they do aggregate to attempt anything.

The Daily Times reports rumors of “foreign fighters leaving North Waziristan” but let’s take this with a grain of salt for the moment since it’s coming from a Taliban spokesperson who seems to be echoing Musharaaf (which might be reasonable in that many of the local Pak Taliban are former ISI:)

ISLAMABAD: Foreign combatants are leaving North Waziristan over fears that tribesmen may launch an operation to evict them, an alleged Taliban spokesman said on Sunday.

“Around 50 families of foreigners have departed for their respective countries in the last month,” the spokesman, Gohar Ayub, told NNI from North Waziristan. He said he was speaking on behalf of local Taliban spokesmen Abdullah Farhad and Tariq Jamil. President Gen Pervez Musharraf informed army generals from 22 countries on Friday that tribesmen had killed 300 foreigners in South Waziristan and that he expected similar action in North Waziristan. “The foreigners decided to leave North Waziristan after the tribal operation against the Uzbeks in South Waziristan. The foreigners said they did not want their women and children to become targets,” the Taliban spokesman said. He said that around 50 families, including Chechens, Turks, Tajiks and Arabs, had returned to their countries.

Ayub said that most of the families were returning to their homelands through Afghanistan and Iran. He said the Arabs were planning on returning to Iraq. It is difficult to verify the claim independently, reports NNI. Ayub said it was possible that they were relocating to Afghanistan for “jihad” but he added that this was their decision and had nothing to do with the tribal leaders in North Waziristan.

The spokesman said the foreigners were leaving the area through their own decision because of the fights between tribesmen and foreigners in South Waziristan. He said the tribal elders had not advised them on this matter. He said the foreigners had told their local supporters that they would make future strategy after leaving their women and children behind in their home countries.

Ayub said that the local Taliban were strictly following the September 5 peace agreement with the government. He said that as long as the government didn’t violate it, the local Taliban wouldn’t either. He said that no one entered Afghanistan through North Waziristan and combatants were coming from different parts of Afghanistan

Also for some good analysis of the Political situation surrounding the Chief Justice problem, see this paper from SAAG. This appears about right to me, the criticism from the opposition parties is coming in waves, but there doesn’t appear to be much impetus behind it.

Meanwhile Musharaaf is hosting a multi-nation conference/seminar on fighting terrorism, and he’s recently issued a spate of promotions and reshuffled some leaders in Pakistan’s army. I am not sure what this forbodes, if anything.