Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Afghanistan Pakistan Border Outpost - Taliban fighters man an outpost overlooking the mountain-fringed tribal region of the Northwest Frontier.

Pakistan Engages The Tribes In Effort To Fight The Taliban
-- Long War Journal

As the Taliban and al Qaeda insurgency rages in northwestern Pakistan, the Pakistani government has stepped up its efforts to engage the local tribes to battle the extremists.

The effort to gain the support of the Pashtu tribes in northwestern Pakistan was highlighted when General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, the Chief of Staff of the Pakistani Army visited the Bajaur tribal agency, where a two-month old offensive against the Taliban is still underway.

Kiyani "expressed his satisfaction that local tribesmen have risen against miscreants and are fully supporting the Army," Geo TV reported. Miscreant is a term often used by Pakistanis to refer to foreign or al Qaeda fighters. "He reiterated that success in this operation was directly linked with popular support" in the tribal areas and the settled districts of the Northwest Frontier Province.

The current operation against the Taliban in Bajaur has been touted as a critical battle in the fight against the wave of extremism that is threatening to tear Pakistan apart. The military launched the offensive in early August, and has faced stiff resistance against well-trained and dug in Taliban fighters. To help fight the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies, the military and government have turned to Bajaur's tribes, with some success.

Read more ....

My Comment: The Pakistani Government is trying to recreate an Iraqi awakening in its own Tribal Regions. It is too early to speculate if they will succeed.

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