Update on the Afghan Taliban – The Pakistan Army lost two personnel in a skirmish with Afghan Taliban trying illegally to enter the Pakistani border from the Afghan side. This incident took place in the Lower Dir district of Malakand division in Khyber Pakhtumkhawa along the porous Pak-Afghan border.
The twelve intruders were killed by the soldiers of the Pakistan army. This incident comes on the eve of the release of Mullah Baradar, the second in command of the Afghan Taliban.
On the one hand, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ‘s government is trying to engage the Afghan Taliban, so that they come to some accord with the Americans and the Hamid Karzai’s government. This is essential for the peace of the entire region, in particular and for the world peace, in general. A deal between the Afghan Taliban and the Hamid Karzai’s government is a must before the American and the coalition forces start pulling out of the war torn country.
While on the other hand, the Afghan Taliban, no matter what strategy the government of Pakistan or the Obama administration employ, are not willing to change their ways and are persistently carrying out their terrorist activities, both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. Even today, three American soldiers, belonging to the special operations division, were killed by an Afghan Taliban member donning the uniform of a soldier of the Afghan army.
In view of these two separate , though, if you really think , united, incidents the Chief of the Pakistan Army General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani has made it clear to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s government that unless and until the Afghan Taliban mend their ways and stop supporting the TTP (the Pakistani Taliban) with money, weapons and men, the Pakistan army is not going to leave the militant infested districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa; especially the Swat district of the Malakand division.
A deal between the Hamid Karzai’s government and the Taliban is a must because of the Obama’s administration apprehensions that after the proposed pull out of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) forces, might lead to a vacuum that the Afghan Taliban might exploit in their favor and once again seize power in Afghanistan, like they did in the early 90’s, ultimately leading to the tragedy of 9/11.
But the pace at which, with the matters that are proceeding it, the US wants to withdraw from the region does not seem possible. President Obama will not be able to pull out these forces, the bulk of both comprising of American soldiers, as he had promised the nation, by the end of 2014 or by the beginning of 2015. As the situation stands, it may take much longer. Possibly even longer than his term in office will allow.
This is the case because it is common knowledge that the writ of Hamid Karzai is limited to Kabul and parts of northern Afghanistan only, while in the rest the country, specially southern Afghanistan, the Taliban hold sway. The situation in Pakistan is better, only because of the strong presence of the Pakistan Army but matters could deteriorate at a very alarming pace at any time. Thus the most current updates of the Afghan Taliban and the movements of the region.
Written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada