Pak Army Pushing Tribal Leaders To Assume Responsibilities Most of Them Do Not Want

By Peter Chamberlin

Continuing and expanding upon their policies of being both blunt and devious, the Generals are getting in the faces of tribal leaders, doing their utmost to persuade them to take-on a policing function in their areas of control.  That means forcing-out or killing heavily armed gangs of militants (many of them sponsored by non-Pakistani sources of great wealth), who now operate as local criminal mafias, extorting or murdering anyone who interferes with their plans.  Asking the tribal leaders to form lashkars, in order to decriminalize their turf is asking them to sacrifice possibly hundreds of their friends and relatives in an unnecessary fight that should be the Army's responsibility.  This is the devious part (with the Army or ISI there is always a devious part).  The Generals are showing their true colors by taking this approach to the problem of deeply entrenched terrorist factions, which they have created. 

They are in the middle of a deep confrontation with America over this devious approach to pacifying the tribal region, trying to force American leaders into accepting their unique methods for using the tribal system as a front-line defense against terrorism and militancy.  Whether or not, Obama and friends at the Pentagon buy into this deceptive line of reasoning, will the tribal leaders themselves agree to be held to such a deceptive reading of tribal law (Pakistani Constitution does not apply to FATA Region)?  The Generals' contention that the tribes are legally bound to police their own areas should not apply when the Generals themselves, or their representatives, have facilitated the basing of the militant factions in their midst (many of the groups trained by retired military advisers, much like America's arrangement with "Blackwater" private security outfits).  This is the point of contention that is impeding the Pakistani deception.

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The report below documents the "blackmail" type of strategy being pushed on the tribal leaders and existing peace committees–Move against the TTP and their foreign allies, or else the Army will blast their way in, in order to force the Mehsud gangs out.  If Lashkars and peace committees do not rise-up and cleanse their areas, then the Army and all its destructive ways will move in and turn their tribes out onto the roads to internal displacement.  It is a very big threat.  If this is the only path to appease American leaders, in order to keep US/NATO troops out, then you can be sure that Gen. Kayani and friends are deadly serious about implementing it.          

If tribal leaders truly believe in the "importance of mutual cooperation between the Pakistan State and tribal Jirgas," and prefer that system over state domination, then they must muster the will and the firepower to fulfill their end of the bargain.  That means shutting-down or forcing-out the criminal gangs who wage war against the people and the Pakistani state.  Is there anyone in N. Waziristan up to the great moral challenge of replicating the model of Mullah Nazir evicting the Uzbek terrorists from Wana, in Miramshah or Mir Ali?

Both the Pakistani people and the Americans need to understand the extremely dirty deal that has been forced upon the tribes.  They are being tasked with upholding agreements that had been made between the Pakistani Taliban and the Army, agreements based upon accepted lies–"There were no foreign militants in the region and if there were any, the government should have provided evidence of their presence."  Upon signing the Waziristan Accords, the Army began withdrawing from checkpoints, allowing the tribal Khasadar force to move in.  This was the easy part, the part that was just for show.   Little did the tribal leaders realize at the time, but the accord which had been signed contained sixteen clauses and four sub-clauses, some of which could be used to force upon them the task of evicting the militants, the basis of the conundrum being faced today.

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The Army is trying to play all of this off as some kind of twisted Pakistani version of a "good deal," but it is a raw deal for the tribes.  If the Army fails to convince the tribal jirgas to assume a national security function, then real military action will ensue.  If tribal leaders really want to run their own turf they will become mini-armies, working hand-in-hand with the real Army to keep foreign subversion out of the FATA Region. 

The biggest problem arises between the time it will take to convince the tribes to rise to this challenge and the time that Obama is willing to give them, before doing something stupid and devious himself.  The tribes of Pakistan do not normally acknowledge or respond to America's electoral cycles, but in today's charged atmosphere, due to the imploding American Empire, will they be moved to act before American political opinion polls force Obama, the political animal, to send all available Special Forces into the fray?