Tag Archives: northwest regions

Pakistan Parliamentary Leaders Urge Peace Not War

Parliamentary leaders in the NFP Assembly issued a strong rebuke to CIA Director Michael Hayden who said the US was interested in targeting the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan where the forces of al-Qaeda supposedly maintain bases. Parliamentary leader Pir Sabir Shah said the Hayden remark was an insult to the integrity of Pakistan and condemned US interference in the internal affairs of his nation. Others urged the government to engage in peaceful discussions with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and to reject American calls for extending the millitary campaign. NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti said: “We’ll make every effort to restore peace in the province(northwest region).We’ll form traditional jirgas for peace.”

Hopefully, a new president of the United States will move the nation away from interfering in the affairs of other nations and encourage their efforts to pursue paths of peaceful negotiation with terrorist organizations. Talk in itself with a militant organization may not necessarily lead to peace, but it moves all parties away from sole reliance on force and allows investigation of alternative strategies.

Is Taliban Making Mistakes In Pakistan?

A few weeks ago, a prominent Taliban leader in Pakistan called for a cease fire and offered to negotiate with the Pakistan government concerning ways to reduce violence in northwest regions of the nation. Over the weekend, an 18 year-old boy blew himself up at a jirga meeting where tribal elder were discussing ways to handle Taliban militants. At least 40 people were killed and 50 wounded by the blast. Several prominent tribal elders were among those killed. The blast occurred just as a group of tribal elders were discussing plans to raise an army in order to combat the Taliban.

The incident indicates confusion in Taliban ranks, are they interested in peace or are they still committed to war? There is no question this bombing will arouse anger among tribal leaders and ensure an army is raised to fight the Taliban. In the past, the Taliban has alternated between clever military tactics and a disastrous approach to public relations. The incident will undoubtedly increase acceptance among tribal leaders of the proposed US dispatch of 100 trainers to work with the Pakistan military on coounter-intelligence tactics. It may also result in more US troops being allowed to function in the northwest region.