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Et regjeringsdokument fra det pakistanske innenriksministeriet advarer president Pervez Musharaff om at militante islamister og Taliban-krigeres virksomhet hurtig sprer seg langt utover landets lovløse stammeområder, og at dersom regjeringen ikke handler hurtig og besluttsomt vil den økende talibaniseringen snart kunne true hele Pakistan.

Den utvetydige advarselen kommer på bakgrunn av at de pakistanske sikkerhetsstyrkene stadig lider nederlag i kampen mot islamistiske opprørere i delstaten North West Frontier Province, da styrkene verken har ildkraft eller mannskap nok til å kunne bekjempe Taliban og deres allierte.

«The ongoing spell of active Taliban resistance has brought about serious repercussions for Pakistan,» says the 15-page document, which was shown to The New York Times. «There is a general policy of appeasement towards the Taliban, which has further emboldened them.»

The document was discussed by this country’s National Security Council on June 4 while General Musharraf was present, the document notes. It appears to be the first such document to emerge from the Pakistani government formally recognizing the seriousness of the spreading threat here from Al Qaeda and the Taliban, according to a Western diplomat.

Erkjennelsen av islamistenes økende maktstilling kom etter at USA la et kraftig press på Pakistan for å slå ned på lovløsheten som hersker i stammeområdene. Hensikten var å hindre områdene i å bli benyttet av al Qaida og Taliban som base for deres terroristiske virksomhet i Afghanistan.

Washington has poured some $1 billion a year into Pakistan in the last five years for what are described as reimbursements for Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts along the border with Afghanistan.

The prime purpose of the sizable financial support has been to stop the area from becoming a haven for the Taliban and Al Qaeda as they wage their insurgency in Afghanistan.

Imidlertid peker innenriksministeriet på at ekstremistenes innflytelse brer seg innad i Pakistan, og er blitt en betydelig trussel mot områder som Peshawar, Nowshera og Kohat.

Drivkraften bak rapporten er den pakistanske innenriksministeren, Aftab Khan Sherpao, som så vidt slapp fra et selvmordsangrep med livet i behold. Angrepet fant sted i delstaten North West Frontier Province i april, og underminerte Sherpaos tillit til presidentens nåværende politikk, som har inkludert en rekke fredsavtaler med militante islamister:

Since the peace accords have been signed, the militants have filled a vacuum left by tribal leaders, who have taken a back seat, and by the military, which has retreated to its barracks, the president’s critics say. The policy has been questioned by the United States and by some of General Musharraf’s own officers.

«It’s a policy of appeasement,» said Brig. Mahmood Shah, who was the senior Pakistani government official in charge of security in the tribal areas until last year. «It hasn’t worked. The Talibanization has increased in the past year.»

Rapporten inneholder mange detaljer og navngir flere velkjente Taliban-ledere i Pakistan som samarbeider med det afghanske Taliban. Også mindre kjente islamister nevnes som ledere av Taliban-patruljer som er ansvarlige for attentater og selvmordsangrep mot lokale myndigheter i den lovløse provinsen.

Among the particulars, the document says the Taliban have recently begun bombing oil tank trucks that pass through the Khyber area near the border on their way to Afghanistan for United States and NATO forces. A convoy of 12 of the trucks was hit with grenades and gutted on Thursday night in the third such incident in a month.

The document describes Peshawar, the regional headquarters of the Pakistani military and police, as suffering the «highest number of terrorist incidents, including attacks on local police,» in the province. Many city’s schools were closed because of threats from extremists.
Government offices, diplomats and independent relief organizations routinely receive threatening letters.

In Swat, a scenic area that the government recommends for tourists, an extremist imam has begun to issue edicts against vaccination, female education and female health workers. A local FM radio station spouts jihadist beliefs, the document said.

I to områder, Bannu og Tank, har det lokale politiet oppgitt sin autoritet som ordensmakt, og beskytter i stedet talibanere og øvrige islamister som befinner seg i nærmiljøet. Utplasserte regjeringsstyrker er heller ikke stand til å kontrollere situasjonen:

In an example of the impotence of local government forces, the document said that «every military or sting operation» drew retaliation in the form of suicide bombings or terrorist attacks.

In an illustration of the surge in violence, the report said Taliban fighters had gone on a rampage in Tank, ransacking banks, schools, gas pumps and checkpoints after an assistant to a Taliban leader who was enrolling students for jihad operations was killed by the police.

New York Times: Taliban Spreading, Pakistani President Is Warned

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