Thursday, 5 January 2012

Murders will not stop TTP-ISI deal

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan announced today that it has slaughtered all 15 members of the Frontier Constabulary that it captured from Mullazai Fort in Tank district, South Waziristan on 23 December. It had originally demanded the release of prisoners held by the Army in exchange for the soldiers. The bodies were dumped somewhere in North Waziristan, close to the border with Afghanistan.
You might have thought that such a monstrous crime would have some kind of impact on relations between the TTP and the military. After all, Pakistan and the US are still not on good terms after US forces accidentally killed 24 members of the Frontier Corps in a mix-up close to the border last month.
However, you would be wrong. In the schizophrenic world that is Pakistan, a secret dialogue between the TTP and the ISI is still in full swing and has entered a "decisive phase", according to reports.
"We have drawn the broader outlines for a possible accord. And what we're now working on are minor details," an intelligence official said.
"These are crucial times ...we have to be extremely careful. A slight miscalculation can harm us in a big way," the official told The Express Tribune. Presumably the murder of 15 soldiers is not enough to constitute "a slight miscalculation".
Clearly this was just a bit of 'tidying up' by the TTP. No need to let it get in the way of a deal.

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