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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pakistan - Taliban Hub
    Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:00

The border post where bribes buy an easy entry for Taleban

The Times (UK) / February 24, 2007

Tim Albone in Spin Boldak, Kandahar province

The border town of Spin Boldak is a dangerous place. Men in black turbans zip around on motorbikes, smugglers rub shoulders with the Taleban, the border police are corrupt and weapons and drugs are everywhere.

The town is dusty, smoky and rugged, like a Wild West frontier town. The difference is that there is no alcohol and fortunes are made smuggling heroin, not prospecting for gold.

Just nine miles (15km) over there is a Taleban training camp, Muhammad Nasim, 27, the head of the Afghan border police, told The Times pointing into Pakistan to a cluster of mud buildings.

The Taleban have no problem crossing the border . . . they are trained by Pakistan. The ease with which Taleban fighters can pass through an official border crossing is certain to concern British troops in Helmand province, which borders Kandahar.

Intelligence reports suggest that Taleban fighters are massing in Quetta, across the border, for a spring offensive and it is feared that Britains 5,000 troops in Helmand will bear the brunt of it.

Pakistan has given repeated assurances that it is clamping down on Taleban insurgents after accusations by Afghan and Western officials that they get training, finance and a safe haven in the neighbouring province of Balochistan. President Musharraf of Pakistan has said he will mine and fence known insurgent crossings.

The picture on the ground is very different: here at the main border crossing guards were seen taking bribes in a way that would allow smugglers, Taleban fighters or even suicide bombers through checkpoints unchallenged.

Its all bulls**t that Musharraf is trying to stop them. He supports the Taleban. They [the Pakistanis] give them weapons and training, said Khaliq Daad, 32, a fierce-looking, one-eyed smuggler who lives in Chaman on the Pakistani side of the border.

We have to pay bribes every day to the Pakistanis so that they dont search our vehicles, said Zadar Muhammad, 30, another smuggler from the town of Chaman.

For less than the equivalent of 1, a man with no passport can pass through Pakistani and Afghan checkpoints without so much as a frisking; for 25 a driver can get his truck through without documents.

The road is paved from Spin Boldak to Quetta, capital of Balochistan, and about 50,000 people cross the border every day. It is believed that among the masses are Taleban fighters and suicide bombers who use Quetta as a training ground and a place to rest during the winter months.

When The Times visited the border post, Pakistani guards could clearly be seen taking bribes and allowing people through without searching them. It is not just Pakistanis who take bribes, however.

Both sides are asking for bribes, Akhtar Muhammad, 28, the second-in-command of the Afghan police force in Spin Boldak, told The Times with alarming honestly.

What makes the border so tricky to police is that many of the local tribes dont recognise it as a border at all. The Durand Line between Pakistan and Afghanistan was drawn up by the British in 1893 to split up the fierce Pashtun tribesmen who inhabit these parts. The border split families up and tribesman still cross the border for tea with a relative.

The world should realise we dont recognise this as a border. Its difficult to tolerate as we are one people and one nation, Akhtar Muhammad said.




Edited by Afghanan - 28-Feb-2007 at 15:01
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:04

Pakistan's Musharraf on Thin Ice

SPIEGEL (Germany) / February 27, 2007
By Matthias Gebauer in Peshawar, Pakistan

US Vice President Dick Cheney's recent visit to Pakistan was far from a gesture of friendship. The United States are putting massive pressure on Pakistan to finally take action against the Taliban active on the country's border. But can Musharraf afford it?

If you believe Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, there was nothing unusual to report this Monday. US Vice President Dick Cheney had just arrived in Islamabad for an unannounced visit on his way to Afghanistan and was having lunch with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. Perfectly normal security precautions, a press spokeswoman said in reply to questions as to why the visit has been kept secret. A "normal visit between partners."

But even the few photographs made available from the visit suggest that the speedy stopover by President George W. Bush's right-hand man was not the friendly bonding session the spokeswoman would have one believe. Cheney barely managed an awkward smile when he shook the hand of his host for the camera.

He left Pakistan after just a few hours -- without giving a public statement or even holding a press conference with Musharraf. "Visits between friends look a bit different," one Western diplomat commented. It is likely, he added, that Cheney's had stopped in Pakistan to admonish US-ally Musharraf.

The visit is the clearest indication of just how tense relations between Washington and Islamabad have become. Even as Pakistan remains nominally a strategic partner in the ongoing struggle against the Taliban and al-Qaida, such an explicit hand-slapping -- administered in part publicly but also in anonymously circulated allegations -- is rare. The accusation is that Pakistan is not doing enough to fight terror groups in the border region near Afghanistan -- and that Islamabad may even be partially responsible for the Taliban comeback. With the Taliban spring offensive imminent, it seems US patience has run out.

Still, the official account of the visit sounded relatively harmless. "Cheney expressed US apprehensions of regrouping of al-Qaida in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat," Musharraf's office said. The statement also referred to Cheney expressing "serious US concerns on the intelligence being picked up of an impending Taliban and al-Qaida 'spring offensive' against allied forces in Afghanistan." Musharraf, on the other hand, was reported to have insisted his forces had already "done the maximum" to combat extremists active on Pakistan's territory.

Threats behind closed doors

Once behind closed doors, though, Cheney didn't mince words. With CIA Deputy Director Steve Kappes by his side, Cheney threatened them US Congress, with its Democratic majority, could deny Pakistan its promised aid of $785 million if Musharraf didn't finally take action against the Taliban. Congress only recently voted to reconsider aid to Pakistan on an annual basis. Only if Pakistan made good on its promises to fight terror, the message went, would money be forthcoming.

Cheney's visit comes after weeks of similar trips by US officials to Islamabad in recent weeks. But now the tone seems to be shifting and becoming more acrimonious. An unnamed member of the Bush administration was quoted by the New York Times as saying that the administration is tired of listening to Musharraf's promises.

"He's made a number of assurances over the past few months, but the bottom line is that what they are doing now is not working," one senior administration official told the Times. "The message we're sending to him now is that the only thing that matters is results."

But it's not just the Taliban giving the United States a headache. Several Western intelligence agencies suspect that al-Qaida militants are also grouping in the border region and using the territory -- which is only loosely controlled by Pakistan's military -- for training. US President George W. Bush recently characterized the region as "wilder than the Wild West." Analysts told the Times it has once again become a "hub of militant activity."

So far, solid evidence to suggest the terror network is active in the region remains thin. Those arrested in London last year on suspicion of planning to attack a number of passenger jets are said to have had connections to the border region. Several Pakistani terrorists who killed a US diplomat with a car bomb in Karachi in March, 2006 are also said to have had contacts to al-Qaida leaders from the North Waziristan border region.

According to the New York Times, intelligence services have even identified an al-Qaida training camp. What has been known for years is that the Taliban use the area as a safe retreat after military operations -- and that the Pakistani troops controlling the border are doing little to prevent it.

"Absurd, biased and unsubstantial"

Pakistan, not surprisingly, denies these allegations. President Musharraf's spokesperson called them "absurd, biased and insubstantial" in a conversation with SPIEGEL ONLINE. Pakistan's military is doing everything to "recognize and eliminate" Taliban structures, General Shaukat Sultan insisted. He pointed out the military has stationed 80,000 soldiers along the border, whereas only few soldiers are to be seen on the Afghan side of the border. "We've done our part; now the Afghans should do theirs," the general demanded.

It's not dissimilar from the message the Pakistani has for years tried to disseminate. "We always say the same thing," Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz admits. And then he cites the same numbers given by military officials -- 80,000 soldiers on the border, more than 1,000 manned posts. But mostly politicians emphasize the military has already suffered 700 casualties in its struggle against the Taliban. "We've suffered more than other states, because of Afghanistan," the Prime Minister says, sounding almost proud.

But it was precisely the high number of casualties that forced Pervez Musharraf's government to go soft on the Taliban last year. A messenger from Islamabad signed a ceasefire with a number of militant groups active in the region -- groups known to openly support the Taliban. After the peace deal, Pakistan's troops retreated to their headquarters, venturing forth only rarely to attack Taliban positions or camps. The Taliban have been operating in the region "virtually undisturbed" ever since, according to Western intelligence analysts.

The peace deal -- really a ceasefire that was effectively forced on Pakistan -- symbolizes President Musharraf's dilemma. He knows from experience that every military offensive against the Taliban or other militant groups active in the border region will lead immediately to attacks on him or military facilities. Moreover, his own political survival is based in large part on support from radicals, say observers. Any action taken against the radicals is potentially dearly expensive.

But the US, it seems, is tired of excuses. They're said to have issued a clear threat in the past weeks that if push comes to shove, they will clear up the border region themselves. Such US-led attacks, which have occurred only rarely in the past, would break Musharraf's back politically. US intervention would be just what both fundamentalist Muslims and more moderate parties in Pakistan are waiting for to be able to attack Musharraf.

From Musharraf's point of view, much turns on when and how the United States make good on their threats. About $300 million of the US financial aid provided to Pakistan goes to the country's powerful military, which also secures the President's own power. No one has a stake in endangering Musharraf's political authority. As dissatisfied as Washington may be with his efforts to combat the Taliban and al-Qaida, what a new Pakistani government would look like in the event of Musharraf being overthrown is simply too unpredictable. And so a solution to the conflict seems difficult to achieve. But one thing is certain: Musharraf is facing a difficult year.

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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:11

Sanobar, 11-years-old girl is abducted and raped by warlords

Malom Zafar Shah, the district chief, and powerful warlord Mehmood, both from the Northern Alliance, are accused of this crime


Sanobar, 11-years-old daughter of Gulsha, an Afghan widow, has been abducted, raped and then traded in exchange for a dog by warlords in Aliabad district of Kondoz province in North of Afghanistan.

The suffering mother, while crying, says: "a month ago at 11 o'clock of night armed men entered my house and after beating and threatening me by gun, abducted my only daughter."

She accused the district chief Malom Zafar Shah and a powerful warlord Commander Mehmood to be responsible for this crime.

Gulsha says later it was found that her daughter has been raped and exchanged with a dog and a sum of money to another person but her whereabouts are still unknown.

While crying she told journalists: "I approached human rights office and police but none of them could help to find my daughter. The district chief himself has 4 daughters but he sold my daughters to others. With many difficulties and problems I grown up my 2 daughters, one was previously sold [by him] to a Kandahari man and taken to Pakistan and another was exchanged with a dog. Please bring them to justice." 

Both Malom Zafar Shah and warlord Mehmood are from the "Northern Alliance" and members of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan led by Burhanuddin Rabbani (currently member of the Parliament). They have a long record of such crimes and brutalities against people of Kondoz. Malom Zafar has been appointed as district chief directly by Qasim Fahim the former defense minister and vice President and now member of Senate.

In an interview with Ariana TV, Malom Zafar rejected all charges against himself and Commander Mehmmod telling "no Jehadi brother is involved in such crimes."

Mohammad Zahir Zafari, chief of the human rights office in Kondoz says, they have tried since a month to find the child but police is also unable to do anything as powerful people have link to the crime. He also exposed that his office was threatened a number of times to stop following of the case.

Pajhwok Afghan News quoted Zahir Zafari on Nov.7, 2006: "The only person responsible for the abduction of Sanobar is the warlord Mehmood, who exchanged the girl with a dog which he got from Nimatullah and then sold it for 150,000 Afghanis (US$3000)."

Such crimes happen on daily bases in Kundoz and other parts of Afghanistan where warlords have established jungle law and have all the key positions in their possession.

Unfortunately only few of such cases find its way to the media, most journalists are too afraid to report it as it can have dangerous consequences for them.


Malom Zafar Shah, the District Chief, a warlord of the "Northern Alliance" is involved in many such crimes.



http://www.rawa.org/gulsha.htm




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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:16
edited---somewhat irrelevent to taliban.


Edited by maqsad - 28-Feb-2007 at 15:42
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:23

2,000 illegal armed groups active in northern Afghanistan.


27 February, 2007


By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer 50 minutes ago

PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan - The disarmament of Afghanistan s illegal private militias has ground to a halt and the price of weapons in the countrys relatively quiet north is skyrocketing a sign of the embattled central governments failure to assert its control, Afghan and Western officials say.

This mountainous, ethnically diverse region has been spared the intense violence in the past year that has rocked the south and the east, where the Taliban has staged a violent comeback, launching scores of suicide bombings and brazen guerrilla attacks on Afghan, U.S. and NATO forces.

"No (provincial) governor has stayed for more than three or four months in the job because there are powerful people and networks" who force them out, said Habibullah, a car mechanic in Pul-e-Khumri, the provincial capital of Baghlan, where the top Kabul-appointed administrator was replaced three times during 2006.

The price of a Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle has risen in the past three years from $100 to $400, officials and local commanders said.

"Everybody is looking after themselves," said Malek, who today heads Afghanistans Liberty Party.

That was supposed to support a parallel effort to build a strong national army and police force.

A subsequent U.N.-Afghan effort then was launched to disarm and disband illegal armed groups with up to 120,000 members involved in crime, extortion and drug smuggling.

Some 2,000 illegal armed groups each with at least five fighters remain active, including new groups that have popped up across the country, said Ahmad Jan Nawzadi, a spokesman for the disarmament program. It originally hoped to disarm all fighters by the end of 2007.

That has worrying implications for the Western-backed project to rebuild a country scarred by the civil war between rival mujahedeen factions that broke out after the Soviet occupation in the 1980s.

A new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, based on more than 1,000 interviews with Afghans and 200 experts, says that northern militia commanders who took part in the initial disarmament drive have begun to rearm, and former warlords retain de facto control, blunting Karzais influence in the region.

Mohammad Zamir, a 25-year-old shopkeeper, said people in Baghlan dare not go out after nightfall.

"Even in my house I have weapons to ensure the security and dignity of my family," Zamir said.

But rising weapons prices in the north, where there are large arms stockpiles left over from the civil war, are not just stimulated by local demand.

Arms dealers are "buying and smuggling to the Taliban areas in the south," according Bashir Khan Baghlani, a former senior commander of the Islamist militant group Hezb-i-Islami.

"These smugglers buy from the locals, put them in their vehicles and pay off the corrupt local police, who turn a blind eye to the trade," Baghlani said.

Western officials confirm that trend, which presents a threat to the 47,000 U.S.-led coalition and NATO forces that are bracing for a surge in Taliban attacks this spring. Thousands of people were killed in violence last year that shook confidence in Karzais weak government.

"The north is a place from where the weapons go to the south," said 1st Lt. Laslo Tor, safety and security adviser to the Hungarian Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghlan province.

___

Associated Press Writer Amir Shah contributed to this report.


http://localnewsleader.com/jackson/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=68402



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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:28

What does that have to do with the Taliban existing in Pakistan?

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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:37
Maqsad, that is irrelevant, if you want, make a new topic for it.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:45
I made one for him.
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:45
I just wanted to remind posters that the taliban's real hub is in Afghanistan and also that the northern alliance is alive and well and also guilty of a lot of crimes. Instead of creating another thread titled "Afghanistan - Taliban Hub" I thought I would put articles relevent to the taliban that present a diametrically  opposite view of them being nurtured in and by pakistan.  Since these posts are rebuttals I would argue they are relevent to the Taliban being[in this case not being] in Pakistan.

I edited out one of the rape posts, it did seem irrelevant.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 15:49

Post what you want but NOBODY disagrees that the Taliban exist in Afghanistan, it is a irrelevant discussions since everybody and their grandmother knows that Afghanistan is openly at war with them.

What you could have posted was the links between the "Northern Alliance" and the Taliban, including their links with funding Gulbuddin and other low-level commanders.  Again, ANOTHER TOPIC, in another thread, not relevant to Pakistan's meddling.    Unless you can find a link between the Northern Alliance and Pakistan?
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 16:02
Well the idea that you consistently promote in this thread is that the Taliban are a pakistani creation and that all of them, wherever in the world they may be, are trained, controlled and financed by the I.S.I. My posts are simply to provide fresh insights that directly contradict and discredit this theme. 
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 16:33
Those articles are still irrelevant to this thread since they do not allude to the Taliban being nurtured in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They merely provide examples of crimes commited in Afghanistan by criminals without any specific geopolitical agenda in commiting those crimes.

Edited by Zagros - 28-Feb-2007 at 16:35
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2007 at 19:59
Originally posted by maqsad

Well the idea that you consistently promote in this thread is that the Taliban are a pakistani creation and that all of them, wherever in the world they may be, are trained, controlled and financed by the I.S.I. My posts are simply to provide fresh insights that directly contradict and discredit this theme. 

Come again?  You posted an article about a warlord crime in Northern Afghanistan, how does that have to do with the Taliban Hub in Pakistan?    Again, another irrelevant article. 
Had you actually cared about womens rights and rape and what not, you would devote a topic to that account, and maybe even add a few articles on rape in Pakistan to allow 'fresh insight' . Embarrassed


Edited by Afghanan - 28-Feb-2007 at 19:59
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 11:11
Originally posted by Zagros

Those articles are still irrelevant to this thread since they do not allude to the Taliban being nurtured in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They merely provide examples of crimes commited in Afghanistan by criminals without any specific geopolitical agenda in commiting those crimes.



Sorry but one of them certainly did relate to the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan because the bolded portion of one of the the second article says that the price of weapons on the black market in Northern Afghanistan has been bumped up because the weapons are being bought by taliban in South Afghanistan. I believe this is relevent because it shows increasingly desparate attempts by Afghani Taliban to arm themselves to the teeth. If the paki ISI was truly the "mother hen of taliban terrorists" as Afghanan fanatically tries to promote with your full approval then they would not need to run to the north to buy weapons. Its obviously drug lords operating with their own cash and since similar weapons are much cheaper in Pakistan its plain obvious the ISI is not helping them.
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 11:17
Originally posted by Afghanan

Originally posted by maqsad

Well the idea that you consistently promote in this thread is that the Taliban are a pakistani creation and that all of them, wherever in the world they may be, are trained, controlled and financed by the I.S.I. My posts are simply to provide fresh insights that directly contradict and discredit this theme. 

Come again?  You posted an article about a warlord crime in Northern Afghanistan, how does that have to do with the Taliban Hub in Pakistan?    Again, another irrelevant article. 
Had you actually cared about womens rights and rape and what not, you would devote a topic to that account, and maybe even add a few articles on rape in Pakistan to allow 'fresh insight' . Embarrassed


I'm sorry to interrupt your 5 pages of onesided anti-paki propaganda with  Afghan warlord crimes but I wanted to remind everyone that the Northern Alliance firstly are not angels and secondly are regarded as thugs just like the Taliban are and were. And my second article quotes NATO personel complaining about Afghani based taliban operating from their kandahar "hub" who obviously have no connection with the ISI or they would not be acting this way in the north. See post above regarding that as well. So the second article is highly relevent in my opinion...I have stated why so.
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 11:51

Completely irrelevant.  Everybody knows the Taliban operate in Afghanistan, the question is , why are they operating in Pakistan?

Do you still deny it?
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:00

Pakistan makes a deal with the Taliban

By Syed Saleem Shahzad
Asia Times Online / March 1, 2007

KARACHI - The Pakistani establishment has made a deal with the Taliban through a leading Taliban commander that will extend Islamabad's influence into southwestern Afghanistan and significantly strengthen the resistance in its push to capture Kabul.

One-legged Mullah Dadullah will be Pakistan's strongman in a corridor running from the Afghan provinces of Zabul, Urzgan, Kandahar and Helmand across the border into Pakistan's

Balochistan province, according to both Taliban and al-Qaeda contacts Asia Times Online spoke to. Using Pakistani territory and with Islamabad's support, the Taliban will be able safely to move men, weapons and supplies into southwestern Afghanistan.

The deal with Mullah Dadullah will serve Pakistan's interests in re- establishing a strong foothold in Afghanistan (the government in Kabul leans much more toward India), and it has resulted in a cooling of the Taliban's relations with al-Qaeda.

Despite their most successful spring offensive last year since being ousted in 2001, the Taliban realize they need the assistance of a state actor if they are to achieve "total victory". Al-Qaeda will have nothing to do with the Islamabad government, though, so the Taliban had to go it alone.

The move also comes as the US is putting growing pressure on Pakistan to do more about the Taliban and al-Qaeda ahead of a much-anticipated spring offensive in Afghanistan. US Vice President Dick Cheney paid an unexpected visit to Pakistan on Monday to meet with President General Pervez Musharraf.

The White House refused to say what message Cheney gave Musharraf, but it did not deny reports that it included a tough warning that US aid to Pakistan could be in jeopardy.

A parting of the ways

The Taliban saw that after five years working with al-Qaeda, the resistance appeared to have reached a stage where it could not go much further.

Certainly it has grown in strength, and last year's spring offensive was a classic example of guerrilla warfare with the help of indigenous support. The application of improvised explosive devices and techniques of urban warfare, which the Taliban learned from the Iraqi resistance, did make a difference and inflicted major casualties against coalition troops.

However, the Taliban were unable to achieve important goals, such as the fall of Kandahar and laying siege to Kabul from the southern Musayab Valley on the one side to the Tagab Valley on the northern side.

Taliban commanders planning this year's spring uprising acknowledged that as an independent organization or militia, they could not fight a sustained battle against state resources. They believed they could mobilize the masses, but this would likely bring a rain of death from the skies and the massacre of Taliban sympathizers. Their answer was to find their own state resources, and inevitably they looked toward their former patron, Pakistan.

Al-Qaeda does not fit into any plans involving Pakistan, but mutual respect between the al-Qaeda leadership and the Taliban still exists. All the same, there is tension over their ideological differences, and al-Qaeda sources believe it is just a matter of time before the sides part physically as well.

Pakistan only too happy to help

Ever since signing on for the US-led "war on terror" after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, Pakistan has been coerced by Washington to distance itself from the Taliban. The Taliban were, after all, enemy No 1 for harboring Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda's training camps.

So when the opportunity arose, Islamabad was quick to tap up Mullah Dadullah. This was the perfect way in which Pakistan could revive its contacts in the Taliban and give the spring uprising some real muscle, so the argument went among the strategic planners in Rawalpindi - in fact, so much muscle that forces led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would be forced into a position to talk peace - and who better than Pakistan to step in as peacemaker and bail out its Western allies?

The next logical step would be the establishment of a pro-Islamabad government in Kabul - delivering a kick in the strategic teeth of India at the same time. After all, Pakistan invested a lot in Afghanistan after the Soviet occupation in the 1980s yet it received little in return. Whether it was former Afghan premier Gulbuddin Hekmatyar or Taliban leader Mullah Omar, they refused to be totally Pakistan's men.

A man for all seasons

Mullah Dadullah, 41, comes from southwestern Afghanistan, so he is "original Taliban", and has a record of being a natural leader in times of crisis.

Mullah Dadullah made a name for himself during the Soviet occupation, during which he lost a leg. And with victories against the Northern Alliance after the Taliban took over Kabul in 1996, he pushed the alliance into the tail end of Afghanistan. This made him Pakistan's darling from Day 1.

He was Mullah Omar's emissary in the two Waziristan tribal areas before the spring offensive of last year. Here he brokered a major deal between the Pakistani armed forces and the Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan had lost more than 800 soldiers in operations against the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda and it needed a face-saving way to extricate itself from the mess.

Mullah Dadullah's peace deal provided this, and the army made an "honorable" withdrawal from the volatile semi-independent region. Whenever the ceasefire was violated, Mullah Dadullah would settle things down.

The 2006 spring offensive was veteran mujahideen fighter Jalaluddin Haqqani's show. Nevertheless, the main areas of success were not Haqqani's traditional areas of influence, such as southeastern Afghanistan's Khost, Paktia and Paktika. The Taliban secured major victories in their heartland of the southwest, Helmand, Zabul, Urzgan and Kandahar. And their leader was Mullah Dadullah, whose men seized control of more than 12 districts - and held on to them.

Pakistani strategic circles are convinced that as a proven military commander, Mullah Dadullah will be able to work wonders this spring and finally give the Taliban the edge over the Kabul administration and its NATO allies.

This, ultimately, is Pakistan's objective - to revive its role in Kabul - and Islamabad is optimistic that Dadullah's considerable diplomatic skills will enable him to negotiate a power-sharing formula for pro-Pakistan Afghan warlords.

Even if Mullah Omar disagrees about any major compromise, Islamabad believes that Dadullah would by then have made such a name for himself in the battle against NATO that Omar would have little option but to accept whatever terms were agreed on.

A new string in the Taliban bow

A notable addition to what can only be described as a limited Taliban arsenal this year is surface-to-air missiles, notably the SAM-7, which was the first generation of Soviet man-portable SAMs.

The Taliban acquired these missiles in 2005, but they had little idea about how to use them effectively. Arab al-Qaeda members conducted extensive training programs and brought the Taliban up to speed. Nevertheless, the SAM-7s, while useful against helicopters, were no use against the fighter and bomber aircraft that were doing so much damage.

What the Taliban desperately needed were sensors for their missiles. These detect aircraft emissions designed to misdirect the missiles.

And it so happened that Pakistan had such devices, having acquired them from the Americans, though indirectly. The Pakistanis retrieved them from unexploded cruise missiles fired into Afghanistan in 1998, targeting bin Laden. They copied and adapted them to fit other missiles, including the SAMs.

Now that the Taliban and Pakistan have a deal, these missiles will be made available to the Taliban. Much like the Stingers that changed the dynamics of the Afghan resistance against the Soviets, the SAMs could help turn things Mullah Dadullah's, the Taliban's and Pakistan's way.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief.

The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:11
I am not here to admit or deny anything, that is up to whoever reads the thread. And it is not irrelevent that there are groups of taliban that operate in afghanistan without any help from ISI. That is highly relevent because you are spamming this thread with many posts that imply the Taliban is an ISI backed entity so when I produce an article with reliable NATO official quotes and it turns your articles upside down it is highly relevent. 
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:30
I want you to answer, my point of this thread is to spark an honest debate on Pakistani meddling in Afghanistn affairs (not about warlords, not about innocent Afghan girls being raped - both of which you've never shown to have interest in before BTW).
 
Do you believe Fundamentalist parties in Pakistan and elements within the Pakistani government are indirectly or directly supporting the Taliban?  How can you think that an armed movement with SAMs, and the capability of flying to Arab countries without Visas does not have a "STATE" supporter?
 
If you do, do you think this is a good policy to interfere, how will this help Pakistan in the long run?
 


Edited by Afghanan - 01-Mar-2007 at 12:33
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  Quote maqsad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2007 at 12:33
Originally posted by Afghanan

And it so happened that Pakistan had such devices, having acquired them from the Americans, though indirectly. The Pakistanis retrieved them from unexploded cruise missiles fired into Afghanistan in 1998, targeting bin Laden. They copied and adapted them to fit other missiles, including the SAMs.


Ok so pakistan supposedly can manufacture SAM sensors that are replicas of Tomohawk class missile. What use are these sensors going to be on soviet SAM missiles? LOL

Originally posted by Afghanan

that the Taliban and Pakistan have a deal, these missiles will be made available to the Taliban. Much like the Stingers that changed the dynamics of the Afghan resistance against the Soviets, the SAMs could help turn things Mullah Dadullah's, the Taliban's and Pakistan's way.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief.



Can you or your India based news reporter please explain how the taliban are going to outfit a russian SAM missile with a replica of an American cruise missile sensor? Sleepy
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