Pakistan’s provincial government has signed a peace pact with Local Taliban. While some U.S. officials and senators call a “victory for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.” Pakistan has been cutting peace deals in the past also but critics including the western allies always have complained that in result of these deals or pacts militants regrouping and intensifying cross-border attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan have been witnessed. All over the world this deal is being denounced as victory of Al-Qaeda; “While the deal sounds good, it’s likely to be implemented badly,”said Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant and former White House counter-terrorism chief. “What this means is that the United States will continue to be threatened by Al Qaeda that has a safe haven where it can attract people from around the world, be trained and equipped and sent out to the United States and other countries around the world.”
American policy makers, diplomats and senior military officers voice fears that a new agreement, like past accords brokered with the militants by Mr. Musharraf, would allow Al Qaeda and the Taliban to regroup, rearm and plot new attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Europe and the United States. American defense officials and independent analysts estimate between 150 and 500 hard-core Qaeda fighters are operating in the tribal areas. Interestingly The United States one day earlier warned Pakistan against negotiating an agreement with militants along its border with Afghanistan, saying a deal might allow them to plot attacks in Pakistan and abroad.
British Foreign Secretary David Milliband gave Islamabad’s new policy a cautious welcome during visit to pakistan this week. Milliband suggested deals that create safe havens for terrorists — like a failed accord made last year in Waziristan by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf — will not work. Milliband said reconciliation deals require a “far greater degree” of precision and detail. Spokeswoman of White House Dana Perino said Washington has encouraging Pakistani government forces “to continue to fight against the terrorists and to not disrupt any security or military operations” aimed at denying militants a safe haven in the tribal regions.-RadioFreeEroupe
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday that the Bush administration was concerned the negotiations would give the Taliban and Al Qaeda the latitude to carry out attacks against American and NATO forces in southern Afghanistan and the ability to plot attacks on the United States or other parts of the world.-iht
Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour said on the NWFP Government and local Taliban have signed fifteen point peace agreement wherein on Wednesday. While Reading out the agreement, Bilour said the militants had agreed to the following:
1-To accept and honour the writ of the federal and provincial governments
2-Shariat-e-Muhammadi would be implemented in erstwhile Malakand Division in letter and spirit.
3-The militants would not malign religions of other citizens.
4-The cases of the (Taliban) prisoners would be reviewed and a decision about their release would be made.
5-The government is assured that its law enforcement agencies, government officials, buildings and installations, police stations, police officials, Police Lines, Army, Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, bridges, roads and electricity installations would not be attacked. There would be a ban on keeping private militia. The Taliban would denounce and disown suicide attacks, remote-controlled bomb blasts and bomb blasts in all private, government buildings and shops.
6-The Army would be gradually sent back to barracks in accordance with the prevailing situation.
7-All foreign militants would be handed over to the government besides an assurance from the militants that they would not attack barber shops and markets visited by women.
8-The government would look into all damages done during the operations and would compensate all deserving victims.
9-The Taliban would not oppose vaccination against polio, measles, smallpox and TB, including all those administered to children, and would not obstruct women’s education.
10-There would be complete ban on the display of weapons and only licensed arms would be allowed.
11-The incidents of kidnapping and car-lifting must be condemned and subsequently eliminated and all those training centres where militants and suicide bombers were being trained would be dismantled besides those places where explosives were being made.
12-In line with the rules of the authorized license, there would be permission to talk on FM radio channel.
13-The local Taliban would cooperate with the government in the investigations of incidents of murders, robbery and other crimes.
14-The government would take action in the area against oppressors, bribe-takers, adulterers, thieves, dacoits and kidnappers in order to rid the society of such elements.
15-An Islamic university would be set up in Mam-dheri Complex, which would be run by a joint government-Taliban committee.
In the last and the 16th point, an 11-member joint committee was named to ensure the implementation of the agreement. The members of the committee included Wajid Ali Khan, MPA Dr Shamshir Ali, DIG Malakand Range, district police officer Swat, district coordination officer Swat from the government side and Maulana Muhammad Amin, Ali Bakht, Muslim Khan, Mehmood Khan and Nisar Khan from the Taliban side. Courtesy The News
These points reflect that Pakistan’s government only wants to maintain peace in the scenic valley SWAT where government launched the military operation in November 2007 after militants led by ‘Maulana Radio’ had tried to seize control of the district Swat and cut off the Karakoram Highway that links Pakistan with China. Scores of people have died in suicide attacks and bomb blasts over the past six months in the area. It is believed that Swat was the only district shattered by violence and the poor law and order, which was also affecting the rest of the province.
The ANP-PPP coalition government in the NWFP had also signed an agreement with the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi on April 21, which bound the organisation to remain peaceful and honour the government writ. That agreement had paved the way for the release of its founder, Maulana Sufi Muhammad, who was in jail since December 2001. Over 5,000 military and paramilitary troops, 300 men of the Frontier Constabulary and 1,200 policemen were deployed in the region. Hundreds of people have been killed in fighting between the security forces and the militants. Due to military action in valley Local people felt caught between the insurgents and the army, Ninety-nine percent of the people who did not take up arms, who are law-abiding citizens, their grievances are not looked after, Unemployment, illiteracy, lack of health, the law and order situation are the real matters. The state organs are completely crippled.
According to reports Pakistani authorities are separately negotiating with Mehsud through tribal elders to strike a peace deal with him. Mehsud is blamed for a campaign of suicide attacks across Pakistan since mid-2007, including the one that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December.
In result of this deal Taliban has shown consent to to maintain peace in the region. Muslim Khan, A Taliban spokesman said, “We accept the writ of the state and will no longer challenge it.”Taliban shura member Ali Bakht said: “We accept all the terms and conditions of the agreement and we are hopeful that the deal will bring peace to our area.” Geo News has reported ISPR spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas as citing that the army would not oppose the peace deal.