April 5, 2007Foreign Affairs

Understanding the fighting in Waziristan

Pro-al Qaeda Taliban militants are chasing the Uzbeks out

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Ismail Khan’s article in Dawn tells the whole story about the infighting among the tribal militants that is on the verge of chasing the ethnic Uzbeks out. The Pakistani government is claiming the credit, but it’s not the good guys—not even the less bad—guys that are winning this battle.

Moreover, the Uzbeks, particularly the ones led by Qari Tahir, were seen as a liability in view of their reluctance to fight the Taliban’s `jihad’ against the US forces in Afghanistan.

What however, served as the tipping point in this Uzbek-local stand-off that was continuing for a year, was the murder of a widely respected Saudi, Sheikh Asadullah, on March 13.

Asadullah, in his mid-50s, was, according to some government officials, the moneybags in the entire tribal belt. He had succeeded Ahmad Saeed Abdur Rehman Khaddar Al Canadi, an Egyptian-born Canadian known for being a conduit for finances to Al Qaeda affiliates. He was killed in a military action in Angor Adda, near the Pakistan-Afghan border, in Oct 2004.[Dawn]Khan concludes by noting that this conflict will weaken both sides, therefore strengthening the hand of the Pakistani army and re-establishing the government’s writ in Waziristan. Given the nature of the side that has won, that conclusion seems to be constructed out of hope rather than by analysis.

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