Islamic Emirate of Waziristan

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Location of North and South Waziristan (green).

The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan (Urdu: اسلامی امارات وزیرستان‎)[citation needed] is a rebel organization, in Waziristan that some commentators claim gained de facto recognition from the Government of Pakistan when it was named as party to the Waziristan Accord, the agreement reached between Islamabad and local tribesmen to end the undeclared Waziristan War on 5 September 2006.[1][2] [2]

Description[edit]

The Islamic militants in Waziristan are said to have close affiliations with the Taliban. Waziristan is often mentioned as a haven for al-Qaeda fighters, who will be required to either leave the area or act peacefully as a condition of the negotiated peace accord. Some of these militants call their organization the "Taliban."[2] - "The tribal militants call themselves "Pakistani Taliban," or members of a newly coined and loosely knit entity, the Taliban."[2]

Tribal leaders control the area of the North Waziristan Agency and the South Waziristan Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).[citation needed] In practice they have replaced these two agency-level governments as the political body controlling the area,[citation needed] although formal dissolution of the agencies is not part of the truce agreement.

Partisans in North Waziristan declared an "Islamic state" in February 2006.[3] According to anonymous sources, the Pakistan government effectively acknowledged the organization in the Waziristan accord of 5 September 2006 which referred to the organization in the agreement, however the agreement does not recognize the Taliban as an independent state, but only as a security body charged with fulfilling the obligations of the treaty. [4]

There is speculation that some al-Qaeda leaders have found refuge in the area controlled by the Emirate, which is a staging ground for militant operations in Afghanistan.[5] A condition of the truce is that no support be given for these operations. Local observers view the truce accord as a prelude to hot pursuit chases of mujahideen into Pakistan by NATO forces in Afghanistan.[6]

Leadership structure[edit]

Federal authority in Waziristan is little to nonexistent and the area is ruled mostly by tribal elders. Moreover, Taliban reportedly control most of the region with its own authoritarian rule including beheadings for murder and other punishments which the Pakistan government has been unable to stop.[7][8] Such brazen show of authority has led one author in the Wall Street Journal to remark that Waziristan Agency was a "state within a state."[9][10]

The Taliban in Waziristan is led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, a veteran mujahideen commander and member of the Zadran tribe, who aligned himself with the Taliban and rose to be a cabinet member of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the official name of the former Taliban government of Afghanistan). He has delegated much of the day-to-day field operation to his son, Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is said to be military commander over all the Taliban-aligned militants in the Waziristan tribal regions.[11] Experts estimate the number of Taliban operatives at between 30,000 and 35,000 in this region.[12]

In June 2006, in advance of the Waziristan accord, the elder Haqqani issued a decree that stated that while the fight with the US and Karzai governments will continue "till the last drop of blood", it was no longer Taliban policy to continue to fight with the Pakistan army. The ceasefire edict was circulated only in South Waziristan, however, to keep pressure on the Pakistan government towards reaching a peace accord in the north (ultimately the Waziristan Accord).

The Haqqani edict resulted in a partial ceasefire in South Waziristan, although some tribal militias continued to fight on in hopes of winning the release of fellow rebels imprisoned by the government. Ultimately it would be the Waziristan accord that would secure the release of all rebel fighters, both Taliban and non-Taliban.

While reporting on the June ceasefire in South Waziristan, the Dawn newspaper in Pakistan also reported that a senior Taliban figure (left unnamed), in consultation with local tribal leaders, had blessed Maulvi Nazir as head of the militants of the Ahmadzai Wazir (tribe). The senior leader also endorsed Baitullah Mehsud to continue as head of the mujahideen of the Mahsud tribe and appointed, Abdullah Mehsud, a renowned fugitive jihadist, to head a shura of mujahideen representing four additional tribes.[11]

It is not clear if Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani, and thus the entire Pakistan Taliban leadership, identifies himself as a part of a Taliban, or if it is a smaller, and perhaps non-Taliban, group of militants who invoke this name as a rallying cry.

After an initial miscue,[13] the Government of Pakistan has consistently emphasized the Taliban was not party to the accord. However, on 24 September, The Daily Telegraph published an article revealing the previously unnamed "senior leader" to be none other than Mullah Omar, the former leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Regarding Mullah Omar's role in the southern ceasefire and the truce in North Waziristan, the Telegraph quotes Lateef Afridi, a tribal elder and former member of the Pakistan national assembly, as saying:[14]

"Had [local tribal militants] been not asked by Mullah Omar, none of them were willing to sign an agreement…. This is no peace agreement, it is accepting Taliban rule in Pakistan's territory."

Pakistan’s new Waziristan strategy[edit]

On 4 June 2007 the National Security Council of Pakistan met to decide the fate of Waziristan and take up a number of political and administrative decisions to control “Talibanization” of the area. The meeting was chaired by President Pervez Musharraf and it was attended by the Chief Ministers and Governors of all four provinces. They discussed the deteriorating law and order situation and the threat posed to state security.

The government decided to take a number of actions to stop the “Talibanization” and crush the armed militancy in the Tribal regions and the NWFP.

The Council has decided the following actions will be taken to achieve the goals:[citation needed]

  • Deployment of unmanned reconnaissance planes
  • Strengthening law-enforcement agencies with advanced equipment
  • Deployment of more troops to the region
  • Operations against militants on fast-track basis
  • Focused operations against militant commanders
  • Action against madrasahs preaching militancy
  • Appointment of regional coordinators
  • Fresh Recruitments of police officers in NWFP

The Ministry of Interior has played a large part in the information gathering for the operations against militants and their institutions. The Ministry of Interior has prepared a list of militant commanders operating in the region and they have also prepared a list of seminaries for monitoring. The Government is also trying to strengthen the law enforcement in the area by providing the NWFP Police with weapons, bullet-proof jackets and night-vision devices. The paramilitary Frontier Corps will be provided with artillery and APC’s. The state agencies are also working on studying ways to block FM frequencies of illegal FM radio channels. [15]

Life in Pakistan's South/North Waziristan after the Taliban[edit]

Pakistan's tribal area of Waziristan has been in the world's focus due to terrorism. In 2009 Pakistani forces started a military operation in South Waziristan, the hometown of Taliban commanders Baitullah Mehsud and Hakeemullah Mehsud. Relative peace has since been restored in the area, but some former residents are still not willing to return to the region.[16]

Zarb-e- Azab[edit]

On 16th June 2014, Pakistan began Operation "Zarb-E-Azab" in North Waziristan.[17][18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shahzad, Syed Saleem (8 September 2006). "Pakistan: Hello al-Qaeda, goodbye America". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 12 September 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c Moreau, Ron; Zahid Hussain (2006). "Border Backlash". Newsweek international edition. MSNBC.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2007. Retrieved 20 September 2006. 
  3. ^ "Taliban, al-Qaeda establish 'Islamic State' in NW Pak". Press Trust of India. 12 February 2006. Retrieved 12 September 2006. 
  4. ^ Roggio, Bill (5 September 2006). "Talibanistan: The Establishment of the Taliban". The Fourth Rail. Retrieved 28 September 2006. 
  5. ^ Rohde, David (10 September 2006). "Al Qaeda Finds Its Center of Gravity". New York Times. Retrieved 12 September 2006. 
  6. ^ Shahzad, Syed Saleem (2 September 2006). "The knife at Pakistan's throat". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 12 September 2006. 
  7. ^ Shahzad, Syed Saleem (8 February 2006). "The Taliban's bloody foothold in Pakistan". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 28 September 2006. 
  8. ^ "Border Backlash". MSNBC. July 2006 31. Archived from the original on 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2007-01-13.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ Ijaz, Mansoor (19 September 2006). "Musharrafistan". Wall Street Journal. 
  10. ^ Rupert, James (9 February 2006). "Where the Taliban still rule". Newsday. Retrieved 28 September 2006. 
  11. ^ a b Khan, Ismail (22 June 2006). "Forces, militants heading for truce". Dawn. Retrieved 29 September 2006. 
  12. ^ "Pakistan and the Taliban: It’s Complicated". ShaveMagazine.com. 
  13. ^ "Govt, N. Waziristan Taliban enter Peace Agreement". Pakistan Times. 6 September 2006. Retrieved 24 September 2006. 
  14. ^ Ansari, Massoud; Colin Freeman (24 September 2006). "Omar role in truce reinforces fears that Pakistan 'caved in' to Taliban". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 September 2006. 
  15. ^ Khan, Ismail (2007). "Plan ready to curb militancy in Fata, settled areas". Newsweek international edition. Dawn.com. Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  16. ^ Afzal, Saeed (2014). "Life in Pakistan's South Waziristan after the Taliban". bbc.com. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  17. ^ دہشتگردوں کو چن چن کر ماریں گے Dunya News Urdu. 02 July 2014
  18. ^ [1] Daily Express Urdu. 02 July 2014.

External links[edit]