The End of the Swat Valley Hudna

Remember the Swat Valley hudna peace agreement?

The terrorist-ridden district of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan was to be pacified under a deal in which control of the area would be ceded to the Taliban — forcing the residents to live under sharia — in return for “peace”.

As was reported on February 17, it was to be a permanent peace:

“This is a major step that’s been coming for a long time, and will ensure peace in the North West Frontier Province,” [Maulana Sami ul-Haq, the “father of Taliban”] told AKI.

Two days later it was being called a “a temporary cease-fire”. Then by February 21st the temporary truce had been re-branded as a deal which would lead to a “permanent ceasefire”.

The next day it was officially sealed:

Syed Mohammad Javed, Commissioner of Malakand, said after a meeting with Swat elders: ‘They have made a commitment that they will observe a permanent ceasefire and we’ll do the same.’

On February 25th the Pakistani government paid a substantial “compensation” to the Taliban, and announced the end of army operations in the Swat Valley:

On Monday, the director-general of Inter- Services-Public Relations major general Athar Abbas officially announced the end of military operations in the province’s volatile Swat Valley on Monday. He was talking to journalists in Islamabad.

So the deal was done. The Taliban had been paid off and given full control of the Swat Valley, and the army ceased operations there. In return the Taliban agreed to stop attacking government forces.

Well, that was then, and this is now. It seems that in Urdu the word “permanent” also means “for eight days”. According to AKI:

Pakistan: Swat Peace Deal Suffers Setback

The peace agreement between the militant group Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat Mohammadi and the government in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province received another setback when militants ambushed an army team, killing two security personnel and a civilian in Ronyal village of the restive Swat valley.

This is starting to sound like the “ceasefires” between Israel and Hamas. When the terrorists ambush and kill soldiers, it’s a “setback” and “threatens the peace process”. But when the soldiers retaliate, it’s a “violation of the ceasefire”.

The incredible thing is that this is happening in Pakistan, and not in Gaza or the West Bank.

The article continues:
– – – – – – – –

The military described the attack on security personnel a violation of the peace agreement, but the head of TNSM, Maulana Sufi Mohammad blamed the army for moving around without prior information.

The military said a captain was wounded in an ambush while two soldiers were killed when they were carrying water from a water channel.

“There absolutely was no violation of the agreement on our part. Our team was engaged by militants and we did not retaliate”, army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told Pakistani daily Dawn.

Once again, it sounds as if the Pakistani army has been taking lessons from the Israelis: when militants attack and kill them, in order preserve “peace” they don’t retaliate.

Abbas also told Pakistani daily Dawn that his forces are still being attacked, despite the army’s restraint.

“Our security forces are threatened, their ration supplies are disrupted and forces are attacked without any provocations. We have been exercising restraint in the larger interest of the people in Swat”, he said.

A government spokesman condemned the incident and said that such negative activities could create hurdles for the restoration of peace and enforcement of sharia or Islamic law in the valley.

I’ve got news for Pakistan: the biggest hurdle for the restoration of peace is allowing the enemy to attack and kill your people with impunity. This isn’t rocket science — what’s the matter with these people?

And what does the government demand that the Taliban to do to the over-zealous insurgents? Reprimand them!

“We do hope that Maulana Sufi Mohammad will take notice of such activities and reprimand those involved,” said the provincial minister for information in NWFP, Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

Unlike the jihad operations in Israel, Europe, Australia, the USA, and Canada, this debacle is a Muslim-on-Muslim affair.

The “permanent ceasefire” was obviously a hudna in the classic Arab tradition, a deal made out of expedience to suit the interests of the mujahideen. It would be kept only until the Taliban could regroup and gain a new position of strength. Then, on the slightest pretext, the truce would be broken as soon as practicable.

Which is exactly what happened. The Taliban felt themselves to have the advantage, so the deal was off.

It’s amazing that the Pakistani government was suckered into it in the first place. They’re Muslims, too: they’re supposed to know this stuff.

Hat tip: C. Cantoni.

2 thoughts on “The End of the Swat Valley Hudna

  1. Now this is the way to deal with Swat

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force
    by Sir Winston S. Churchill

    Download from the Guttenberg press.

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