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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pakistan - Taliban Hub
    Posted: 02-Jul-2008 at 23:45
The geopolitical issue in this thread, it seems to me, is that Pakistan sees it's interests served by Afghanistan being 1) no threat to Pakistan, and 2) not a base for strong powers that might have different interests and agendas from those of Pakistan.
 
The Taliban in Afghanistan were no threat to Pakistani interests.  So they harbored Al Qaeda.....so what?  Al Qaeda was not planning to attack Pakistani interests, and (since half of ISI is probably Al Qaeda from old USSR days) if they were, ISI could probably liquidate them at leisure.
 
Taliban presence in NWFP serves Pakistani interests in that it will over time wear down NATO/US patience in Afghanistan, and it provides cover so NATO/US attacks are less likely inside Pakistan.  Taliban are likely to remain as long as it is in Pakistan's interests. 
 
Everyone knows this.  The mystique of ungovernable territories is a good excuse to blow smoke up Uncle Sam's rear end.  It is all a kabuki dance to make it look like what it is not.  That is what clandestine agencies do.
 
   
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 00:02

Pikeshot, it is evident you can see Pakistan's interest in their double dealing policy with the Taliban.

But the problem with going to bed with the Taliban (as the Pakistani government has done), the Taliban also knows ISI's dirty secrets and how they operate and run.  Which is why they can strike in the military headquarters of Pakistan, Rawalpindi with ease and back in September, they surrounded and held hostage nearly 300 Pakistani soldiers with ease.
 
This has much to do with Pakistan's strategic policy as their unwillingness and reluctance to face the Taliban head on.
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:13

They don't want to "face the Taliban head on" because it is not in their interest to do so.  The Taliban are ultimately not a threat to Pakistan.  If they were they would be run out of the NWFP and fed to NATO firepower without any sanctuary.

I think I explained the double dealing, and the recognition of conflicting interests has to be part of understanding GEO politics.  You very often can't have what you want, so you make the most of situations and do what you can, or what you must.  Pakistan can not stand by and see potentially powerful interests gain and maintain a foothold on her western flank when India presents a very strong perceived security threat to east and south. 
 
The Taliban represent an asymmetrical counter to US power that may or may not remain in Afghanistan, and they have no official ties to Pakistan.  The US may not always remain on good terms with Pakistan.  The US already has military ties to India, and the Indian Ocean is far more important to the US than the Hindu Kush.
 
Geopolitics.
 
   


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 03-Jul-2008 at 01:24
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:27
The Taliban is an idea, or a political party, not a people. The problem is it is impossible to fight the Taliban with armies. They were born of war, and war will only strengthen them.

Just like Communism, if you wish to fight them it must be done with counter-intelligence and most importantly public opinion. The Taliban is a massive threat to Pakistan; especially the educated classes who would have the most to loose from Taliban influence in Pakistan.

Pakistan can not stand by and see potentially powerful interests gain and maintain a foothold on her western flank when India presents a very strong perceived security threat to east and south.

Stability in Afghanistan is more important than who is running it for Pakistan.

Edited by Omar al Hashim - 03-Jul-2008 at 01:30
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:30

Their interest does not just lie in a destabilization process of Afghanistan, it also lies in self-preservation.   After the Pakistani government tried to take on Al Qaeda and the Taliban last year  (via pressure from the US), they were realizing that they were not capable of controlling or defeating them.  This lead them to get into a peace deal with the militants to attack NATO forces in Afghanistan so long as they dont interfere in Pakistan.



Edited by Afghanan - 03-Jul-2008 at 01:33
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:35
Besides, since when did the government of Pakistan act in the interests of Pakistan?
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:41
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

The Taliban is an idea, or a political party, not a people. The problem is it is impossible to fight the Taliban with armies. They were born of war, and war will only strengthen them.

Just like Communism, if you wish to fight them it must be done with counter-intelligence and most importantly public opinion. The Taliban is a massive threat to Pakistan; especially the educated classes who would have the most to loose from Taliban influence in Pakistan.

Pakistan can not stand by and see potentially powerful interests gain and maintain a foothold on her western flank when India presents a very strong perceived security threat to east and south.

Stability in Afghanistan is more important than who is running it for Pakistan.
 
I agree.  This is not a good policy, but a failed policy that will hurt Pakistan in the long run.  Regardless of the educated that is  in Pakistan's eastern and souther cities, the NWFP in general will lose out on development and remain lawless and backwards as drug barons and renegade Mullahs and tribal leaders take more and more control over the poor and destitute people in those regions. 
 
This talk of a strong and hostile Afghanistan to the West can easily be fixed if Pakistan is shown to play a larger role in combating the militants from the East, and allowing NATO and Afghan forces to enter from the West.  If the Taliban are defeated, the Afghans on Pakistani side of the border will not tolerate anymore incursions by the Afghan forces on their land and this will lead to better relations and cooperation between both governments.
 
Stability and employment are the only answers to rampant fundamentalism in the Pashtun frontier.
 
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:41
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

The Taliban is an idea, or a political party, not a people. The problem is it is impossible to fight the Taliban with armies. They were born of war, and war will only strengthen them.

Just like Communism, if you wish to fight them it must be done with counter-intelligence and most importantly public opinion. The Taliban is a massive threat to Pakistan; especially the educated classes who would have the most to loose from Taliban influence in Pakistan.
 
Geopolitically the Taliban are a tool of well funded outside interests whose agendas lie elsewhere.  They were used by Al Qaeda, and they are used by ISI.  Without support and intelligence they are not much, and those are coming from Pakistan in their sanctuaries.
 
The born of war stuff is melodramatic and an overstatement.  Taliban impose themselves on Afghans with some bullshit religious mandate that is just cover for running the show.  I hardly think they have majority support in either Afghanistan or in Pakistan.  When it is in Pakistan's interest to rid herself of them, ISI will manage it.
 
It isn't personal, it's just business.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 03-Jul-2008 at 01:52
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:46
Originally posted by Afghanan

Their interest does not just lie in a destabilization process of Afghanistan, it also lies in self-preservation.   After the Pakistani government tried to take on Al Qaeda and the Taliban last year  (via pressure from the US), they were realizing that they were not capable of controlling or defeating them.  This lead them to get into a peace deal with the militants to attack NATO forces in Afghanistan so long as they dont interfere in Pakistan.

 
I think you are misunderstanding this.  The "peace deal" is a way of redirecting Taliban attention back into Afghanistan and discouraging outside powers.  It is all part of the double dealing you mentioned earlier.
 
Pakistan can say "We are trying, but that difficult frontier doesn't allow us to go after those baddies."  Wink  Right.
 
Kabuki dance.  And why do you suppose the Pashtun want to be any different than they are, or have been for many centuries?
 
  


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 03-Jul-2008 at 01:51
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  Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 01:49
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

Besides, since when did the government of Pakistan act in the interests of Pakistan?
 
Geopolitically, the government (meaning the army) acted in the strategic interests of the state.  Don't be surprised when the new government does the same.  Smile
 
 
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  Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 04:19
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

Besides, since when did the government of Pakistan act in the interests of Pakistan?
 
Geopolitically, the government (meaning the army) acted in the strategic interests of the state.  Don't be surprised when the new government does the same.  Smile
 
 
 
He meant the US runs everything in Pakistan. Just like we control everything across the globe.
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:03
No, I meant Pakistani governments are usually more concerned with the welfare of their & their families hip pockets than the country. US influence in Pakistan is massively overstated believe it or not, Pakistan is allied for America for mutual gain (it serves the america's, it serves the hip pocket's, and coincidentally it also serves Pakistan)

Geopolitically the Taliban are a tool of well funded outside interests whose agendas lie elsewhere.  They were used by Al Qaeda, and they are used by ISI.  Without support and intelligence they are not much, and those are coming from Pakistan in their sanctuaries.
 
The born of war stuff is melodramatic and an overstatement.  Taliban impose themselves on Afghans with some bullshit religious mandate that is just cover for running the show.  I hardly think they have majority support in either Afghanistan or in Pakistan.  When it is in Pakistan's interest to rid herself of them, ISI will manage it.

Taliban are born of war in the sense that without 20 years of war they would never have emerged in the first place. Uneducated and superstitious, without conflict and poverty they cannot survive.
They don't have majority support, even the Waziris have been at war with America since '97 and are not fighting America in order to support the Taliban.
(I bet no-one in America realises that when America kidnapped Kansi from Waziristan, the Waziris went to war and started targetting Americans)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_Aimal_Kasi

The Taliban only have support for two reasons (1) They did bring security of a kind when they were in power, (2) they are fighting invaders.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:04
Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

The Taliban is an idea, or a political party, not a people. The problem is it is impossible to fight the Taliban with armies. They were born of war, and war will only strengthen them.

Just like Communism, if you wish to fight them it must be done with counter-intelligence and most importantly public opinion. The Taliban is a massive threat to Pakistan; especially the educated classes who would have the most to loose from Taliban influence in Pakistan.
 
Geopolitically the Taliban are a tool of well funded outside interests whose agendas lie elsewhere.  They were used by Al Qaeda, and they are used by ISI.  Without support and intelligence they are not much, and those are coming from Pakistan in their sanctuaries.
 
The born of war stuff is melodramatic and an overstatement.  Taliban impose themselves on Afghans with some bullshit religious mandate that is just cover for running the show.  I hardly think they have majority support in either Afghanistan or in Pakistan.  When it is in Pakistan's interest to rid herself of them, ISI will manage it.
 
It isn't personal, it's just business.
 
 
 
As a well equipped and offensive force, the Taliban need Pakistani military logistics, that is true and I can agree with that.  But that doesn't mean the Taliban can not defend their own territories or mount guerilla warfare or a mountain defensive strategy against Pakistani military or paramilitary forces.  They easily captured nearly 300 Pakistani soldiers without even a shot being fired.  To think the Pakistani army could simply 'walk over them' is very arrogant and could end up a rather bloody mistake.
 
When the Taliban defeated Hezbi Islami forces, they found stockpiles of ammunition from the Cold War that could have lasted a 10 year Civil War.  The Taliban currently are stockpiling weapons and drugs they use to smuggle for money to support their operations.  They get millions from blackmarket businesses alone.  Besides that point, there are many elements within the Pakistani ISI and Pakistani military who are sympathetic to the Taliban and may even aid them.
 
I don't glorify the Pashtuns as 'born in war' 300 Spartan BS (I'm not sure where you got that), but their culture is well suited for warfare because if they are not fighting the government, they are fighting themselves and their own family and cousins...even some of their sports are warlike. 
 
I simply can not agree that Pakistan could defeat the Taliban on their own.  Never underestimate the Pashtuns.  History can attest to that, time and time again.
 
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:14
Originally posted by Panther

He meant the US runs everything in Pakistan. Just like we control everything across the globe.
 
Yeah right.  If American controlled everything across the globe, they sure are doing a really crappy job. 
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:23
I don't glorify the Pashtuns as 'born in war' 300 Spartan BS (I'm not sure where you got that), but their culture is well suited for warfare because if they are not fighting the government, they are fighting themselves and their own family and cousins...even some of their sports are warlike.

I'm not talking about the Pashtuns. I'm talking about the Taliban. Without a war they will loose support, and with it they will gain it (on both sides of the border)
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:35

I'm not sure about you, but these peace overtures and cease-fires have only strengthened and revitalized the Taliban even more.  In the Taliban's case, its a cache 22.  There will be peace when they win, and there wont be peace until they win, so their here for good until their ideology and flow of money, logistics, and arms are removed.  So it remains like the old adage: Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:36
Originally posted by Afghanan

Originally posted by pikeshot1600

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

The Taliban is an idea, or a political party, not a people. The problem is it is impossible to fight the Taliban with armies. They were born of war, and war will only strengthen them.

Just like Communism, if you wish to fight them it must be done with counter-intelligence and most importantly public opinion. The Taliban is a massive threat to Pakistan; especially the educated classes who would have the most to loose from Taliban influence in Pakistan.
 
Geopolitically the Taliban are a tool of well funded outside interests whose agendas lie elsewhere.  They were used by Al Qaeda, and they are used by ISI.  Without support and intelligence they are not much, and those are coming from Pakistan in their sanctuaries.
 
The born of war stuff is melodramatic and an overstatement.  Taliban impose themselves on Afghans with some bullshit religious mandate that is just cover for running the show.  I hardly think they have majority support in either Afghanistan or in Pakistan.  When it is in Pakistan's interest to rid herself of them, ISI will manage it.
 
It isn't personal, it's just business.
 
 
 
As a well equipped and offensive force, the Taliban need Pakistani military logistics, that is true and I can agree with that.  But that doesn't mean the Taliban can not defend their own territories or mount guerilla warfare or a mountain defensive strategy against Pakistani military or paramilitary forces.  They easily captured nearly 300 Pakistani soldiers without even a shot being fired.  To think the Pakistani army could simply 'walk over them' is very arrogant and could end up a rather bloody mistake.
 
When the Taliban defeated Hezbi Islami forces, they found stockpiles of ammunition from the Cold War that could have lasted a 10 year Civil War.  The Taliban currently are stockpiling weapons and drugs they use to smuggle for money to support their operations.  They get millions from blackmarket businesses alone.  Besides that point, there are many elements within the Pakistani ISI and Pakistani military who are sympathetic to the Taliban and may even aid them.
 
I don't glorify the Pashtuns as 'born in war' 300 Spartan BS (I'm not sure where you got that), but their culture is well suited for warfare because if they are not fighting the government, they are fighting themselves and their own family and cousins...even some of their sports are warlike. 
 
I simply can not agree that Pakistan could defeat the Taliban on their own.  Never underestimate the Pashtuns.  History can attest to that, time and time again.
 
And after they captured they 300 soldiers (who were not6 even armed, yes studpidity I know), they got run out of that area, when the army used heavy artillery and airpower.
 
Never underestimate big guns or air power. Operation Zalzala ran the Taliban out of S Waziristan in January, a fact which was not exactly publicised.
 
 
I must say, which idiot decided to wear a motorcycle helmetLOL
 
Anyway, I don't doubt Pashtn Martial prowess at all. Niether dose the army. Its commander there is a Pashtun (Tariq Khan) and the operation is being carried out by mostly Pashtun regiments.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:44
That was back in January before the latest peace deals that allowed the Taliban back into South Waziristan where they are strong again.  This was confirmed by the ever reliable Sayed Salim Shahzad:  "their central power now lies in the South Waziristan tribal area, the Swat Valley and Darra Adam Khail in NWFP.  - Refer to the latest report I posted on the previous page.
 
BTW, Haji Namdar (who turned on the Taliban) had his house blown up recently after the Peshawar 'no shot fired' offensive. 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 05:52
Syed Saleem Shezad is many thing reliable he is not. Baitullah Masud is now not in S Waziristan but in Bajuar someplace. He is about 6 months behind the times. The Army is still is S Waziristan it was never withrawn from there (14 Div is back in Multan now, but it is replaced by a newly raised formation whose name escapes me). Darra Adam Khel, is part of Kohat district which is something like 400 km from S Waziristan. Swat is no where near waziristan, and its issues are seperate, and there I'll concede, they have a point.
 
 
Saleem Shezad, and you need to consult a map.
 
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2008 at 06:04

You are really behind the times are you not? Amal Khan, the second man in the Mangal Bagh organosation was captured yesterday, and today both him and Baitullah Masud are asking for a truce.

Lovely offensive, no shots fired, achieved its objective.
 
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