I have previously written about Pakistan’s dangerous peace treaty with factions sympathetic to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. My most comprehensive treatment of this issue is the article that I co-authored with Bill Roggio in the most recent edition of the Weekly Standard, “Pakistan Surrenders.” However, the dangers of this agreement aren’t universally recognized — at least not at an official level. When presented with Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf’s claim that this was somehow an anti-Taliban deal, President Bush replied, “I believe him.” And assistant secretary of state Richard Boucher has claimed that the peace treaty “really has the potential to work,” and that it gives Pakistan a chance “to get a political handle on this and enlist its citizens in the fight against terror.”
Theories about this agreement are one thing, but it’s hard to deny what is actually happening on the ground. To that extent, there is an important new report from the Associated Press:
A U.S. military official said Wednesday that American troops on Afghanistan’s eastern border have seen a threefold increase in attacks since a recent truce between Pakistani troops and pro-Taliban tribesmen that was supposed to have stopped cross-border raids by the militants. The peace agreement, which followed a June 25 cease-fire, also has contributed to the Taliban’s resurgence, the U.S. official said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Since the truce, ethnic Pashtun rebels are no longer fighting Pakistani troops but are using the North Waziristan border region as a control hub for launching attacks in Afghanistan, the official told The Associated Press.
This gives lie to the claim that the agreement will actually decrease cross-border incursions. The reports from the ground indicate that the opposite is true; they also indicate that Taliban-style religious law is being imposed in the tribal areas. If you want to understand the effect of the Waziristan Accord, don’t look to the politicians for answers.
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