Pakistan Government fails to fight the Taliban
Taliban withdraws from Buner with latest “peace” agreement with Islamabad
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by agreement
Initially, Buner was a hard place for the Taliban to crack. When they attacked a police station in the valley district last year, the resistance was fearless. Local people picked up rifles, pistols and daggers, hunted down the militants and killed six of them.
But it was not to last. In short order this past week the Taliban captured Buner, a strategically vital district just 60 miles northwest of the capital, Islamabad. The militants flooded in by the hundreds, startling Pakistani and American officials with the speed of their advance…
The Taliban took over Buner through both force and guile — awakening sleeping sympathizers, leveraging political allies, pretending at peace talks and then crushing what was left of their opponents, according to the politicians and the residents interviewed.
Though some of the militants have since pulled back, they still command the high points of Buner and have fanned out to districts even closer to the capital.
That Buner fell should be no surprise, local people say. Last fall, the inspector general of police in North-West Frontier Province, Malik Naveed Khan, complained that his officers were being attacked and killed by the hundreds.
Mr. Khan was so desperate — and had been so thoroughly abandoned by the military and the government — that he was relying on citizen posses like the one that stood up to the Taliban last August.
Today, the hopes that those civilian militias inspired are gone, brushed away by the realization that Pakistanis can do little to stem the Taliban advance if their government and military will not help them.
RTFA. A wealth of detail, a dialectic that ranges from incompetence to collaboration – at all levels of the Pakistan government.
If this is not challenged by the powers that be, there will be an Islamist government – in a tribalist part of the world – armed with nuclear weapons.