Blowback is expected in the wake of the death of Maulvi Nazir, a senior Taliban militant leader in the tribal areas, and a nominal ally of Pakistan’s military. The 2nd January strike in South Waziristan is controversial because the commander had arranged a “non-violent” verbal pact with Pakistan’s military; although US and NATO forces across the border are still routinely targeted.
Maulvi Nazir (of the Wazir tribe) rose to prominence in 2007 when he expelled foreign militants and the Pakistan Taliban (mainly from the Mehsud tribe) from his area.
Asad Munir, a Retired brigadier who commanded the ISI in the tribal areas until 2005, told the Bureau: ‘Pakistan’s army can’t fight both the Mehsud and Wazir tribes. When fighting one there needs to be peace with the other. There was no written treaty between Islamabad and the Wazir tribe – just a verbal agreement with Nazir himself.
‘The worst case scenario is that the Wazirs and other “good Taliban” groups will start a fresh wave of terrorist activities which Pakistan may not be able to handle.’