Talk:Taliban resurgent in Pakistan on enforcement of Sharia law

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{{editprotected}}
Category:North-West Frontier Province needs to be added. Ali Rana (talk) 05:41, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

DoneGopher65talk 01:04, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Archive of responses provided by Riaz A Hakeem[edit]

  • This interview contains exerpts of Mr. Hakeems answers. His uneditted replies can be found on

this Interview archive page.


Preparation following up on this request for interview

Background[edit]

Concerns raised over resurgent militant activity along the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Unnamed U.S. intelligence officials tell the NYT that there is "mounting" evidence of Al-qaeda is establishing an "operations hub" in North Waziristan, and has re-established "significant control" over its global network. have called it a "major setback" in efforts to combat 'Qaida.[1]

Pakistan: doing its best. Press Counsellor Shafqat Jalil, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations, in letter published by The Times Friday, called report "factually incorrect", "based on faulty intelligence". said Pakistan "captured, killed 600 operatives", "deployed 80,000 troops", shares intelligence.[2]

Taliban "senior commander" Mullah Dadullah told Reuters by satellite phone on Friday, warned of attacks in spring, "6000 fighters", possess weapons to bring down helicopters. did not say from where supplied.[3]

U.S. officials told the NYT, Bases established in Pakistan, used for training figthers who are then sent to Afghanistan. not on scale, sophistication of Taliban era in Afghanistan.[4]

They also said insurgent activity on the increase following agreement between Pakistan government and Tribal leaders in TODO, under which Pakistan pulled back its troops in the area, and locals promised to end support to "foreign" militants active in the region.[5]

Pakistan says that the military strategy to fight militants in area failed, and reconstruction, aid needed is needed instead. [6]

Official U.S. response[edit]

Bush: "Wild West"[7]

Dick Cheney surprise visit to Pakistan, Afghanistan. no public comment in Pakistan, "expressed U.S. apprehensions of regrouping of al-Qaida in the tribal areas and called for concerted efforts in countering the threat,", "serious U.S. concerns on the intelligence being picked up of an impending Taliban and al-Qaida 'spring offensive'" according to Musharraf's office. Musharraf: most of the Taliban activities originated from Afghanistan and the solution of the issue also lies within that country, office statement[8]

US State department spokesman President Musharraf government "committed to fighting terror and to working with us" daily briefing on Tuesday,[9]

US House of Representatives legislation ban economic, military aid to Pakistan unless making "all possible efforts" to stop Taliban operating in territory. Prez can waive in interests of national security[10]

US assistance $27.5 billion since 9/11/2001[11]

Afghan views[edit]

Background[edit]

political makeup of FATA, NWFP. Economic, development indicators.

FATA extreme poverty, scant social services, non-existent development projects, and very low health and literacy rates -- the worst in Pakistan.[12]

region served as base for ISI managed insurgency against Soviet troops in Afghanistan, funded by CIA, Saudi [13]

Experts allege Pakistan military officials support Taliban, to counter India.[14] Opposition parties and critics in Pakistan have expressed concerns over the allegation. India has maintained for decades that Pakistan covertly backs separatist forces in Kashmir.[15]

murder in November of 42 army recruits by a Taliban suicide bomber on a parade ground in the NWFP[16]

Pakistan NWFP governor: "military campaign turned tribals against government, drove them to support militants".[17]

permits needed for foreign reporters to travel to border areas.[18]

Recent reports[edit]

Pak army took foreign reporters to border, 2,400km (1,491-mile) border. to display border securing measures local tribal leaders gathered to declare support for deal[19]

in South Waziristan, militants took reporters on tour, leader, Beitullah Mehsud, told a BBC reporter, will fight to expel "infidel" foreign troops from Islamic countries.[20]

NWFP Governor Lt.Gen. Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai Friday said forty to fifty families of foreign origin have left North Waziristan Agency in first week of September last[21]

Pakistan Taliban is the de facto political leadership” in North and South Waziristan, Yusufzai believes.[22]

delegation of South Waziristan tribal elders led by MMA Senator met Baithullah Mehsud on Wednesday. in Feb 2005, peace accord signed with BM, BM declared vengeance for Jan 16 airstrike on suspected militant camp in S Waz, killed 20 people. BM linked to spate of suicide bombing in Pakistan, not officially. BM said not involved in bombings [23]

Yusufzai: meeting shows govt still willing to work with BM. military spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan declined comment. Musharraf last week,[24]

murder in November of 42 army recruits by a Taliban suicide bomber on a parade ground in the NWFP[25]

Peshawar police chief Malik Saad, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), and Khan Raziq, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), along with 14 others killed in suicide bomb blast on January 27, 2007 in Peshawar. "cannot rule out the involvement of a foreign hand", NWFP Governor Ali Mohammad Jan Aurakzai and Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah. Peshawar in "grip of grief and terror"[26]

A Polio immunisation programme has been resisted by locals, who fear that the western-supplied drugs are a means to impose birth-control on the local population or refuse out of religious or other reasons. Rizwan Ali, campaign manager with the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in Peshawar: 24,288 refusals in January 2007. NWFP reported 15 of Pakistan's 39 polio cases last year. Officials say refusals have left at least 160,000 children vulnerable. $196 million annual campaign, led by UN, government support.[27][28] Doctor killed, three others injured when car hit by remote-controlled roadside bomb, while on polio drive, on February 16, 2007 in Bajaur, Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

"In Peshawar and other parts of North-West Frontier Province, which abuts the tribal areas, residents say English-language schools have received threats, schoolgirls have been warned to veil themselves, music is being banned and men are told not to shave their beards....

...There is consensus that a large-scale military operation, like the kinds that have failed in recent years, is not the solution. But some diplomats say that the series of peace deals that the government struck with tribal leaders and militants in South and North Waziristan has not worked either." NewYorkTimes report > Pakistani Militants Hit Targets Close to Home

"Pakistan is both more complicated and less dangerous than America has been led to believe. General Musharraf has portrayed himself as America’s last line of defense in an angry and dangerous land...

...An exaggerated fear of Pakistan’s people must not prevent America from realizing that Pakistanis are turning away from General Musharraf. By prolonging his rule, the general risks taking Pakistan backward and undermining much of the considerable good that he has been able to achieve. The time has come for him to begin thinking of a transition, and for Americans to realize that, scare stories notwithstanding, a more democratic Pakistan might be better not just for Pakistanis but for Americans as well." New York Times > Pakistan’s Silent Majority Is Not to Be Feared

"In a bold challenge to the government, a cleric said yesterday that he had formed an Islamic court to enforce a Taliban-style vice campaign in the Pakistani capital, threatening suicide attacks if authorities try to stop him." Stephen Graham, Associated Press > Cleric sets up Islamic court in Pakistan, The Boston Golbe

"President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain undertook what appeared to be a reconciliation process by holding a meeting with the heads of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa on Saturday night. However, no progress was reported as the two brothers stuck to their stand about enforcement of 'Sharia'." by Ahmed Hassan on Dawn > Clerics stick to their guns: Shujaat holds talks at Lal Masjid

[29]

Frontier constabulary[edit]

U.S. to provide $2.7 million worth security and communications equipment, to enhance the FC's capability, provide for 50 more platoons. U.S. committed to provide $20 million to border-security, counter-narcotics operation.[30]

Questions for Mr. Riaz Hakeem[edit]

  • recent travel in the region
  • friends/family in Peshawar? how affected by security situation?, radicalism? prevailing sentiment?
  • policy suggestions?
    • Frontier Constabulory
    • Job training for work in Gulf countries
  • involved in, observed, have knowledge of aid/development projects in area?
    • what does the Pashtun Foundation do? what plans? considered working with international/US efforts in area?

Related news[edit]

Some sources[edit]

C/E. Is that appropriate.[edit]

EdBrown, I know this is your article, which is being prepared and not yet published. However, I did some copy-edit. Mostly it was: punctuation, wiki-links, and spelling. I hope I didn't upset you. --SVTCobra 01:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

No SVT. I did begin to form some feelings over sanitizing Mr. Hakeems responses -- something I do not think should be done. Minor fixes and substantial wikilinks I believe are good in Hakeem's text. Check your email SVTCobra if you haven't already. This is a community thing. -Edbrown05 01:53, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

styling of Al-Qaeda[edit]

You are styling al Qaeda as AL-Qaeda. Everywhere that I have seen it the "al" is lower-case unless the first word of sentence. Kind of like the word "the" in English. --SVTCobra 02:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Parentheses[edit]

I didn't read very far through yet, but I noticed stuff in parentheses. Are these clarificatiions by you as the editor or did the interviewee speak in a manner that led to parentheses? If not, they might be better in square brackets [], with an editors note. Let me give you an example: Under the question What is the current situation in North-West Frontier Province? part the answer is "(I would urge you to read Kiplings "East is East & West is West." one more time, know this time that it is written about the Pashtun people.)" Is that by you, the interviewer or the interviewee? --SVTCobra 03:11, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I stepped away for a while... the [] I used and perhaps wished I didn't as an editor bracket, anything else in () parentheses is by Mr. Hakeem. -Edbrown05 13:16, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Resurgent[edit]

Are you using "resurgent" as a noun? Are you trying to coin a new word usage? Is this because you don't like the word "insurgent"? --SVTCobra 13:05, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

"resurgent" is being used as a verb (I think!). It is a bit awkward. -Edbrown05 13:21, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
In the title I think it would be ok to use present tense "resurge" but I actually meant in the third paragraph "Resurgents there, led by Taliban and aL-Qaeda groups . . ." --SVTCobra 13:27, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I missed that. Of course that change to "insurgent" can/will be made.
I afraid that I have hit a brick wall with formulating a question for Mr. Hakeem on the topic of courts being set up to dispense justice under Sharia law.
Thoughts? -Edbrown05 13:45, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
That would be very interesting subject, here's how I might ask the question: It has been my understanding that justice in these areas of Pakistan has been handled by tribal elders, following a mixture of tribal tradition and Islamic law. Would you say that the Taliban influence has caused a stricter intrepretation of Islamic law in the NWFP? Has there been a shift from tribal elders to clerics, as the main interpreters of law? --SVTCobra 15:37, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Question looks good and on the mark... Adding it to the interview, and emailing Mr. Hakeem for finalizing this. -Edbrown05 08:25, 13 April 2007 (UTC)


That would be very interesting subject, here's how I might ask the question:

It has been my understanding that justice in these areas of Pakistan has been handled by tribal elders, following a mixture of tribal tradition and Islamic law.

1. Would you say that the Taliban influence has caused a stricter interpretation of Islamic law in the NWFP?

2. Has there been a shift from tribal elders to clerics, as the main interpreters of law?

You question is in two parts as above.

The simple answer is: 1. Yes. The Maliks, or tribal elders who consider themselves quite conservatively religious, even so had a laid back attitude towards enforcement of religious doctrine. That is where the difference comes. My opinion is that this is the reason that the Maliks supported the government of Pakistan in South Waziristan, which has recently been in the news having kicked out the militant Uzbek who came as guests in the post-soviet era and started mischief of their own but am not sure what their agenda was to begin with, and I myself have questions about their presence as to why they were not reported earlier, since reporting the presence of any foreigner(s) in the FATA is job one of the Pakistani Political Agents (PA). Why is the presence of the Uzbeks and the Chechen in the area just coming to light? Remember there are seven of these PA's - one for each FATA. The Taliban emulated the Saudi system of having a department concerned with citizens’ morals, even the name is the same, the department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, and this department has – as in Saudi Arabia, an enforcement police, called mutawwa'in, a morals law-enforcement agency.

2. Yes there has been a movement in that direction but it has started a power struggle between the clerics who traditionally have been at the lowest strata of the social structure, to now when they have seen a bigger role for themselves first from the Taliban in Afghanistan – but also the government of the MMA in the NWFP who are nothing more than glorified clerics themselves, only a little smarter in exploiting religion politically, and the MMA is largely non-Pashtun which is a source of discontent in that they stand in the way of Pashtun nationalism, such as it is, because it only rears its head when non-Pashtuns start to usurp power over what the Pashtun consider their turf.


Page two: The Rest of the Story:

The Pashtun on both sides of the Durand line are intertwined. Now you have Taliban news on one side on the border in Pakistan, then on the other side in Afghanistan. There ought to be a cohesive Pashtun Policy in the State Department, in my opinion, not an Afghan policy and a Pakistan policy.

Let me illustrate with a story from the other side of the Durand line:

The respected European think-tank, Senlis Council, which focuses on Afghanistan, just dropped a bombshell of their own by reporting that the Taliban movement is `taking back Afghanistan’ and now controls that nation’s southern half. This is a stark contradiction from ISAF claims that they are winning the war in Afghanistan. Or in this case as in Iraq, to be winning it again, since the Bush Administration has already claimed victory in Afghanistan in 2001. But the Senlis Council reports that southern Afghanistan is suffering “a humanitarian crisis of starvation and poverty…caused by “ US-British military policies. Senlis further reports that, “US policies in Afghanistan have re-created the safe haven for terrorism that the 2001 invasion aimed to destroy.” Certainly the poppy crops are at record levels as is often reported. The Afghans are now telling the West to control the “demand” side of the drug trade.

If you think this is outside the scope of this story, simply hit the delete key!

I have dealt with a number of these issues in my previous answers however I never did find a suitable graphic image, or map to go with my explanation. I think I may have found one that suits our purpose but am unable to embedded it here. This map may belong at the beginning of the story, so the names of the places have some point of reference to them. What I would like to do is go down the area from North to South, and give a salient features analysis, the kind missing from other news reports. I would give a starting point below, but am stop short of the whole nine yards because it is quite an undertaking and it is may also be outside the scope of our current story.--RHakeem 08:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

The 'two questions in one' maybe kind of irritates you as it is presented on the "article" page.
I found "the rest of the story" section pretty interesting.
You can do a upload of a map here for starters, or send it to me and I could upload it for you.
I'm unclear on your forward viewing intentions for this interview (meaning): "is go down the area from North to South, and give a salient features analysis, the kind missing from other news reports". -Edbrown05 09:45, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Frankly, no it did not, I just wanted to be clear which answer went with which question, so I had to assign them numbers. I like it that you found my "the rest of the story" interesting, because if you liked it, and others like it, then it might induce me to allocate the time to it, which a project like that would require. The main issue for me is to expose the western readers to the paradigm of the Pashtun people, who are not a monolithic group at some 60 million souls.

I uploaded a map, but I messed up so I need to redo it. Now Brian is asking for a source for the Map; I am not a cartographer, so I need some guidance as to what are acceptable sources. You are not likely to find this copyrighted, if that is the concern - but I can't prove that. It's the classic issue of proving the absence of something - it cant be done, well not easily anyway.

What I was proposing in my "forward viewing intentions" is that in my mind at least there is not an immediate relevancy to the story at hand - well not at first blush. The idea was to go FATA by FATA and define the unique features of that zone, Agency, the Tribe that inhabits it etc. For example the Northern most is Bajaur agency - pronounced Baja'weRe - with the stress on the "R" that I have capitalized. In Pashto, the last syllable is more likely to be the one stressed unlike English where we put the emphasis on the first syllable. So why was this Agency singled out for the missile strike? Which tribe of Pashtun inhabit this Agency - Agency is shorthand for a single FATA - so that instead of saying the Bajaur Federally Administered Tribal Area - you might read the "Bajaur Agency" instead. This would be interesting, and in the some sort of way it could be all tied to the continuing saga of the terror of war, however it would not seem so at first glance, that is why I am simply testing the waters first before I commit to such a large task, which could easily take months to complete, and I will require some editorial help, to say the least so as to keep me away from these cliche's. I hope that explains my intention clearly enough.--RHakeem 01:04, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

radical surgery[edit]

have tried some radical surgery on this here. –Doldrums(talk) 19:59, 17 April 2007 (UTC)