The Afghan Taliban warlord Pak seeks as a “friend” is US’ worst foe

June 20th, 2009 - 6:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, June 20 (ANI): With the Pakistan government deciding to initiate an offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud in South Waziristan, and ordering the troops to march in towards the warlord’s stronghold in the region, both the government and Mehsud now want Maulvi Nazir, a key Taliban commander in Afghanistan, to side by them.

While Mehsud is hell-bent upon creating havoc in Pakistan, Nazir is more focused on the Taliban’s activities in Afghanistan and fighting against the US led allied forces there.

For Pakistan, Nazir could apparently be an important ally, but it could also mean that Islamabad is trying to betray the United States because it (US) sees Nazir as a potential danger for its troops stationed in Afghanistan, a report in the Globe and the Mail said.

Pakistan is trying to woo one Taliban commander to fight against another, which suggests that it still has not been able to overcome the perception of ‘good’ Taliban and ‘bad’ Taliban, the report said.

“Pakistan still has this idea of ‘good’ militants and ‘bad’ militants. Baitullah is Pakistan’s problem. For securing U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, Maulvi Nazir remains important,” the report quoted Christine Fair, an analyst at Rand Corporation, as saying.

However, the United States, which considers Pakistan its key ally in the ‘war on terror’, has been continuously pressing Pakistan to act against all the militant organizations operating on its soil, rather than acting against only those which pose a threat to the country, the report added.

It is also believed that the Pakistan Army sees certain terror groups as an effective tool to safe guard its western border and wage a proxy war with India, it went on to add.

The military is of the view that if it takes initiatives to eliminate all the extremists on its soil then such a war could continue for several years and it would result only in generations of blood-shed, it opined.

Now, Pakistan is left with nothing but to make a choice that whether it wants to quell the problem which is even threatening its existence.

The Pakistani military should try to keep Nazir neutral, as he is highly unlikely to join the battle against its offensive targeting Mehsud.

Experts also believe that the golden rule of ‘divide and rule’ would be the best strategy against the extremists.

“It doesn’t pay if you push all the Taliban into one corner and start fighting them. It’s better to divide them,” said Mehmood Shah, a former senior security official for the tribal area. (ANI)

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