SWAT Analysis: Keeping an Eye on the Resurgent Taliban
By Animesh Roul
‘Swat Analysis’ is a Daily brief on the resurgent Taliban and their safe sanctuaries in Pakistan. The brief will be posted in regular intervals focusing on the developments in Swat province, NWPF and other Taliban hotspots.
The scenic Swat valley (an administrative district in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) of Pakistan is under complete control of Pakistani Taliban since the Islamabad administration succumbed to the demands of the militants and allowed them to implement Sharia law. The so called peace deal between Taliban and the NWFP government, effective from February 16, gave more power to Taliban elements to run parallel government and to exploit its abundant natural resources to fund their terrorist activities (they call it Jihad). The Taliban group in Swat led by Maulana Fazlullah, and pro Taliban religious extremist outfit Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) led by Sufi Muhammad have been ruling the region with active support from Taliban umbrella group, Baitullah Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). At present, the Taliban consisting of Pakistanis, Afghans, Chechen and Tajik militants are well trained and equipped with SUVs, Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket launchers posing greater threat not only to Pakistan’s integrity, but to the South Asian region at large.
President Zardari signed the agreement, the Sharia Nizam-i-Adl Regulation 2009, on April 13, 2009 only to allow tranquility in the area. However, Mullah Fazlullah has said that the Taliban would accept only Islamic writ in the Valley and the whole Malakand division. Taliban forces also want Sharia rule all over Pakistan sooner or later. Terming democracy as unIslamic, TNSM chief Sufi Muhammad said recently that the prevailing political system in the country contravenes Islam and the Quran. He even accused Pakistan’s political elites of appeasing the USA and allies by thrusting the system of 'kafirs' or infidels on the people of the country.
On April 27, Pakistani forces retaliated against the rampaging Taliban in NWPF, following Taliban's Buner pullout couple of days back. Pakistan forces have killed nearly 50 Taliban militants in the latest renewed offensive against Taliban hideouts in Dir and Swat.
After this the TNSM which has been the face and voice of Taliban in Malakand region pulled out of the already fragile February 16 (2009) peace deal. In the face of this dangerous development, Taliban’s only English speaking spokesman Muslim Khan indicated strongly that the militants would not lay down their arms at any cost. The TNSM threatened earlier to quit the peace deal if Darul Qaza and the qazi courts in Malakand division as per the deal.
The situation remains volatile and unpredictable in Pakistan's NWFP, as a 20 member Ulema delegation reached Swat for talks with Suif Mohammad and members of shura of TNSM.
April 27, 2009 02:12 PM Link http://counterterrorismblog.org/2009/04/swat_analysis_keeping_an_eye_o.php