It's become hard to keep track of the dizzying--and disastrous--number of peace deals the Pakistani government has reached with the Taliban and its Islamist allies over the past two years or so (see my CBN News stories on the catastrophic Waziristan and Bajaur peace accords). The Pakistani government's latest mini-Munich has been struck with Islamist militants in the settled district of Hangu. Bill Roggio has the troubling details.
The Pakistani government has signed yet another peace accord with the Taliban in a settled district of the Northwest Frontier Province. Just one day after the military canceled an operation in Hangu, the provincial government cut a deal with the Taliban.
The peace agreement in Hangu largely mirrors the accords signed throughout the tribal areas, according to details published in Dawn. The Taliban are required to recognize the government’s writ, stop attacks on government security forces, and refrain from running a parallel government and legal system. In exchange, the government will withdraw the Army from Hangu and “pay compensation to people who were affected during the operation.” In the past the Taliban received direct payments from the government.
Both sides are required to release prisoners. The government detained seven Taliban, including three “high profile” leaders in mid-July, including Rafiuddin, a Taliban leader in Hangu and a deputy of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. The release of Rafiuddin is high on the list of the Taliban’s demands. An additional 30 Taliban fighters were detained during a one week operation in the district. The Taliban are currently holding 29 government officials and security officers.
The Hangu tribal jirga, which represented the Taliban during talks with the government, is said to be heading to the Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency to conduct talks with a Taliban commander named Mohammad Karim Khan. The government cut a deal with the Taliban in Khyber on July 9, and the extremist now control wide swaths of the tribal agency.
Roggio goes on to describe how the Pakistanis have now struck peace deals with the Taliban in Hangu, North Waziristan, Swat, Di, Bajaur Malakand, Mohmand, Khyber, and Orakzai. He also says the Taliban, al Qaeda, and allied terrorist groups have established more than 100 terror camps in the tribal areas and the Northwest Frontier Province, Does anyone else see a connection here between the peace deals and the emergence of these new camps? Because the Pakistani government apparently can't.