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Patriotic Waziris, Zainuddin & Turkistan fight the evil Bait Mehsud

by on 06/16/2009

Qari Zain

With Iran in turmoil, the Indian army retreating from Kashmir, and tensions rising between China and Bharat, and the TTP on the run in Swat, the Pakistani army has devised a vigilante revenge strategy to hit Bait Mehsud where it hurts him–in his home. According to the new army strategy, if Bait strikes civilians in any urban center, there will be instant reprisals against him and his masters in Waziristan.

the guerrilla must swim in the people as the fish swims in the sea.” Mao Zedung

Obviously that lesson is lost to Mr. Mehsud. He like a fish out of water, being chased like a hound dog.


For a change the Americans and even the Afghans are providing logistical support about the whereabouts of Bait Mehsud who is fast losing friends. The army and the government has been reluctant to attack fellow Pakistanis, but Bait has understands revenge and reprisals, he may not understand peace and treaties. He does understand blood. The 40 year old Turkistan and Qari Zainuddin  a young man in his mid-twenties from the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan, is leading the Pakistani battle and causing Baitullah Mehsud huge migraine headaches. It is part of the Pakistan Army’s Hammer and Anvil Strategy. The Pakistan Army is the hammer, and Qari Zain is the Anvil.

The gang of conspirators in Kabul is keeping its fingers crossed and watching unfolding of events in Pakistan with mixed feelings. On one hand they are happy that they succeeded in pushing Pak army into the hellhole in greater strength thereby weakening its military strength in critical eastern sector. They were optimistic that battles on three fronts of Lower Dir, Buner and Swat would be hard nuts to crack, given the state of ground preparations, war munitions and level of motivation of the militants under Fazlullah. They were expecting that once the army got bogged down probably in the valley of Swat where main battle was to be given, it would be impelled to further thin out its strategic reserves. Activation of Upper Dir, Batkhela and Shangla was part of plan to effectively pin down corps plus size force in this region. Thereafter, Bajaur front and possibly Mohmand-Khyber Agencies were to be heated up with Baitullah in South Waziristan providing necessary backup support in addition to regular flow of reinforcement from Kunar and Paktia provinces in Afghanistan. Idea was to get another two division force consumed in Bajaur-Mohmand-Khyber regions.

In their plans, corps plus size force was required in two Waziristans, which would be rekindled at an opportune time, with Khost acting as main logistic base for regular supplies. Balochistan front was also to be triggered to keep 12 Corps committed. The Statesman. Asif Haroon Raja

The Pakistan Army says that Bait Mehsud will have to pay a price. Patriots like Qari Zain have had enough of Bait Mehsud. Pakistanis are sick and tired of RAWs interference. Ismail Khan has written a prodigious report that may change the tide against the culprits. The Mehsuds are stuck between a rock and hard palce in South Waziristan. They cannot move into Afghanistan, and they are being pushed by the Pakistan army. To make matters worse, there is dissension in their ranks. The NWFP-Pakhtunkhwa government has red the Mehsuds the riot act. Comply or face the wrath of the army as never before. Targeting Agent M in the shadow of Yekaterinburg

Top U.S. and Pakistani military officials held a secret strategy session in August 2008 on an aircraft carrier off Pakistan to discuss the problem.

Weeks later, a Pakistan government official said the two countries had agreed to a shared set of targets in lawless western Pakistan. The United States agreed to go after militant tribal leaders who threatened Pakistan’s stability_ among them Mehsud_ and Pakistan would target al-Qaida operatives whom the United States considers its top threat.

The U.S. officials said the Pakistani operations would lead to military offensives along both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border stretching down along the Federally Administered Tribal Area. Reuters

For America, every turbaned male with a beard is the ”Taliban“. Richard Holbrooke, General Petreaus, and Admiral Mullen cannot differentiate between a Pakhtun and a hole in the ground. The don’t have a clue on how to deal with the Pakhtuns. It is no wonder that they have lost 80% of Afghanistan to the 38 insurgent groups that are fighting them.

The day Operation Rah a Haq was initiated was not the day it was announced to the media. The operation had begun in January. The day the operation was formally announced, the hidden army sleeper cells and camouflaged commandos sprung into action and eliminated the visible signs of the traitors at the designated hour.

Kiyani in an F-16

He has a hand in virtually every terrorist attack in Pakistan,’ Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had said recently.

‘We wanted to deliver a message to Baitullah. If he carries out a suicide bombing, then there will be a response and that he can’t get away with these attacks. There will be a quid pro quo,’ a senior military officer said.

To be sure, the government had the message delivered to the Taliban supreme personally through tribal intermediaries. Dawn

Battle lines have been drawn in South Waziristan. Although several new emerging factors may help the military action, the mother of all battles against Pakistani militants in South Waziristan, in all likelihood, will be tough and bloody.

The major factor, in this fast-changing scenario, is an anti-Baitullah Mehsud alliance between Turkistan – a 40-year-old veteran of the Afghan war, and Qari Zainuddin, a young lad in his mid-twenties leading a group once commanded by the late Abdullah Mehsud.

Many Mehsud tribesmen and government officials overseeing tribal affairs agree that more than any military operation, it is Qari Zainuddin who seems to have unruffled the seemingly invincible Baitullah Mehsud.

‘The environment that made Baitulllah is no more,’ a senior government official said. ‘For the first time he has a challenger from within his Mehsud clan. Baitullah Mehsud is in trouble,’ he added.

A Mehsud tribesman concurred. ‘Baitullah told a jirga member recently he was not too much worried about military action against him.’ It’s Zainuddin who has caused him anxiety, the Mehsud tribesman said.

Like Baitullah, Zainuddin is a native Mehsud and has been leading his own militant group once led by Abdullah Mehsud – a one-legged fiery fighter and former Guantanamo detainee, who was killed in a commando action in Zhob, Balochistan, in July 2006.

Zainuddin and Abdullah’s other comrades blamed Baitullah for orchestrating the death. And they had their reasons.

Long before Baitullah burst on to the scene, Abdullah was the undisputed leader of Mehsud tribal militants. All that changed with the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers in Oct 2004 that ended days later with the death of one of the hostages. Ismail Khan. Dawn

The ANP Government in announcing the cordon against Bait Mehsud clealry identified the fact that the Army and the NWFP government have made it a priority to make Bait Mehsud personally pay for his misdeeds. The Pakistan Army moved simultaneously into Swat and Waziristan. What took them so long? The Pakistan Army and the ISI has been developing a militia to eliminate the 10,000 strong Anti-Pakistan force of Bait Mesud. It has been training, arming and supporting a Counter-TTP force under the auspices of Qari Zainuddin Mehsudwho is loyal to Pakistan and against the Anti-Pakistan Bait Mehsud. the army struck Swat and Waziristan when the Indians thought that their proxy in Swat was safe and had an upper hand. The Delhi sponsored TTP overplayed their hand, and tried to move into Buner. This was not acceptable to the Army Brass who had given Bait Mehsud enough rope to hang himself with. The statements of Sufi Muhammad and his live interview was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The Army moved.

The government has decided to launch an operation against militants in Fata. It has been decided that a comprehensive and decisive operation will be launched to eliminate Baitullah Mehsud and dismantle his network,’ …the Taliban’s actions did not match their words...

‘We have repeatedly warned the Mehsud tribe through tribal elders to give up their miscreant activities and advised them not to shelter foreign militants. The government will not tolerate any act against the security of the people’s lives and property at any cost,’…‘They kept on their miscreant activities and continued to harbour terrorists. As a result, many people have lost their lives in suicide attacks in Lahore, Peshawar, Islamabad and today in Dera Ismail Khan…‘

…Details and the strategy of the operation will be decided by the army… Baitullah was the root of the problem and suicide bombers were being trained by him… the army had been ordered to launch a crackdown on militants in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas…

…it was the responsibility of every government to establish its writ, protect people’s lives and property and maintain law and order…‘Taliban are tarnishing the image of Pakistan and maligning Islam with such actions. They are enemies of Islam and Pakistan who want to destabilise the country…the terrorists were spending about Rs4 billion a year on ration, communication, transport, weapons and salaries of militants. Answering a question about the situation in Malakand division, he said terrorists had been defeated and they were on the run….

…many areas in the region had been cleared after which caravans of displaced people comprising more than 100 trucks had returned to their villages in Kalam over the past few days… the supply of water, electricity and other basic amenities had been restored in Swat and other areas

It was felt that Bait Mehsud had to be eliminated in order to asphyxiate the TTP in Swat and Dir. North Waziristan’s District capital is Miran Shah a.k.a Miramshah (or Mirumshah in the local dialect). The area is mostly inhabited by the Darwesh Khel better known as Utmanzai Waziris. In south Waziristan Agency, there are three tribes, Ahmedzai Waziris, Mahsud and Burki. The British put them together. The North Waziris are at odds with the Mehsuds of South Waziristan.

The Mehsuds of South Waziristan are now facing the brunt of the attack from the Pakistan army. Caught between the Zain Lashkar and the Pakistan Army is implementing the hammer and anvil.  The powerplay in FATA continues.

FATA and Waziristan

Power play

Baitullah was not amused. Thus began a systematic push to dethrone Abdullah and cut him down to size. A formula brokered by the Taliban from Afghanistan meant Abdullah’s position was further weakened.

Soon he would have to leave his native Waziristan to fight in Afghanistan, leaving his fighters to fend for themselves. Many of them didn’t live long enough to fight.

Zainuddin and his small band of fighters took refuge in Shakai, in the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe territory of South Waziristan.

Turkistan, who had retired as a sepoy from South Waziristan Scouts of the paramilitary Frontier Corps in 1998 to fight for the Taliban in Afghanistan, was once friends with Baitullah Mehsud. ‘We fought together in Afghanistan,’ he once said.

The slaughter of some FC jawans and Baitullah’s other actions, he added, made him leave the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief. ‘Don’t poke your nose in this,’ he quoted Baitullah as telling him.

He has paid dearly for his desertion and has since lost 73 relatives in a war of attrition, including eight members of his family.

Revenge appears to be their sole motivation but this, government officials believe, would also prompt score others who have lost their near and dear ones in years of targeted killings. Sentiments are such that were Baitullah to be eliminated, no one would weep for him, the official said.

Already Turkistan, a Bhittani by tribe, and Zainuddin have made it difficult for Baitullah’s men to operate freely in neighbouring Tank and Dera Ismail Khan districts.

‘The remaining few would be taken care of soon,’ Turkistan boasts.

And the government is helping, if not directly, then by turning a blind eye to the duo’s activities. During the past one month or so, Baitullah has lost more than thirty men in target killings in the twin districts.

This may have helped shape the ‘environment’, as one official put it. The government’s recognition matters. In Feb 2007 the government had recognised Baitullah Mehsud as the Mehsud chieftain by signing a peace deal with him. Now it is backing a different horse and the Mehsuds appear willing to bet on it.

A jirga of Mehsud tribal elders at Qari Zainuddin’s invitation met in Tank to deliver a message to that most feared man in Sourh Waziristan, something that would have been unthinkable a year ago. Another jirga has been planned for Wednesday. Ismail Khan. Dawn

Pakistan will do whatever is necessary in its own interests. It will resist the mantra of doing what Washington thinks best for it. When Washington pushes hard, the end result is not compliance, it is resistance. The stubbornness and resilience of the Pakistanis is well known. Neither 25 years of US sanctions nor the drone bombing has been able to change the resolve of the Pakistani people.

While the US and India had thought that the Pakistan Army was asleep, it was actually positioning people in Swat, Buner and Dir. While the terrorists were provoking the population, the ISI was flying drones and marking the territory. While the US media barraged the airwaves with all sorts of nonsense, the Pakistani surveillance was spotting the supply chain of the arms being lugged across the Afghan border. While the think tanks were projecting gloom and doom, the Pakistan Army was positioning plan clothes jawans and pinpointing the enemy agents

Tank in Momand

This in itself has created a damn-if-you-do and damn-if-you-don’t situation for these tribal chiefs, who are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Some of the influential figures who had been leading negotiations in the past have opted for ‘medical treatment’ in Islamabad.

The tribal dynamics and punitive action, government officials believe, should tilt the balance against the man who carries $ 5 million reward for information leading to his capture or death.

Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani on Sunday evening ordered military action – a constitutional requirement to authorise the use of force, but it was also a cue to his administration to go tough on the Mehsud tribe.

A notification has since been issued under the Frontier Crimes Regulation to authorise the arrest of Mehsud tribesmen and seizure of their properties.

Efforts are under way to neutralise Maulvi Nazeer and Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the two top militant commanders from South and North Waziristan. The two had forged an alliance with Baitullah Mehsud last year.

They had pledged to stand by Baitullah in the event of any military action and there is no indication that they will renege on their word, although some Wazir tribesmen believe tribal pragmatism will take care of this.  Ismail Khan. Dawn

The Pakistan army has routed the Indian sponsored TTP, cleared the enemy strongholds, eliminated the physical and psychological barriers, shattered the myth of the TTP, demolished the insurgent bunkers, and obliterated their infrastructure. The army did this by surrounding them with an overwhelming force, exposing their nefarious deeds, squeezing their recruitment, “draining the swamp”, sharply curtailing their activities, clearing the area, and asphyxiating their supply lines . The Paksitan Army has done in Swat what the US Army, NATO and and 47 nation coalition ISAF has been unable to do in Afghanistan. NATO has spent the best part of a decade without any results. All Britain and America have done is push the militants across the border into Pakistan. NATO has been unable to hold territory outside Kabul, or clear and hold any significant part of the country. More than 80% of the Afghanistan is still in the control of the “Taliban”

Economic blockade

As a quid pro quo and reward to the Ahmadzai Wazirs, the government has opened the Gomal Zam Road that links Wana, South Waziristan’s regional headquarters, with Tank district, bypassing Mehsud territory. The move ended Wazirs’ dependence on supplies to the Ahmadzai Wazir heartland.

This, say some security analysts, will help the military impose an effective economic blockade on the Mehsud tribe.

‘It’s fairly easy. All that we need to do is to block the three main roads that go into Mehsud territory and you will have choked them up effectively,’ a senior military officer said.

And this may well be the strategy. Perhaps military strategists hope that the Zainuddin-Bhittani partnership and a suffocating economic blockade would force Mehsud tribesmen to desert Baitullah in droves, making things easy for the army.

But, warn some analysts, that this is far easier said than done. Baitullah is no ordinary man. He is the chief of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan and enjoys the support of thousands of committed fighting men operating in one of the toughest terrains in the entire tribal region.

Having lost in Swat, Bajaur and Mohmand, militants are reported to be heading in that direction for one last stand.

Two previous military operations failed to cause a dent in Baitullah’s ranks. On the contrary, it turned the militant commander into a mythical figure who has at his disposal an arsenal of, what a former Mehsud parliamentarian once described, walking, talking and breathing bombs – a weapon he has used with telling effect.

‘It’s like sitting in the front row and watching a horror movie,’ a security official said. ‘I get nightmares when I think of the potential destruction and bloodshed this man can cause,’ said another official.

But the news is out already: families living in Mehsud territory are making a beeline to Tank, Dera Ismail Khan and other nearby places. This is the third displacement from the region.

On the previous occasion the military launched what it called a three-star operation, but stopped short of achieving its objective. The Mehsuds are worldly wise. They will take their time, wait and see which side is winning before making their own bets. Ismail Khan. Dawn

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