January 5, 2012: On January 1st, the Pakistani Taliban agreed to halt all terror attacks inside Pakistan. In return, the Pakistani military will not interfere with Taliban movements, as long as these movements are part of supporting Taliban attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban will deploy their forces into Afghanistan under the leadership of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar. This deal is supposed to include the autonomous Haqqani Network, which often links up with the Taliban, but considers itself a separate operation.
The Pakistani Taliban also promised to force smaller terror groups to cease attacks inside Pakistan. This is supposed to include kidnapping, theft, and sundry crimes committed in the name of God. Some Islamic terror activity is actually gangsters committing crimes under the guise of Islamic radicalism. Some of this stuff will continue but the Pakistanis expect the suicide bombings, assassinations, and attacks on troops and police to cease.
This odd turn of events is the result of years of American pressure on the Pakistani government to get the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies to stop supporting and protecting Islamic terror groups. Pakistan has been doing this since the 1970s and created the Taliban in the early 1990s. Even though many of the Islamic terrorists have declared war on Pakistan in the last decade (because Pakistan sided with the United States after September 11, 2001), the Pakistani military still sees their terrorist allies as an asset. The Pakistani government is less enthusiastic about this but admits, to the West, that the Pakistani military is autonomous in many ways.
The Pakistani military was embarrassed last May when an American raid entered Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden. Due to the fact that bin Laden had been given sanctuary in a Pakistani military town (where the national military academy and several military bases were located) for several years, the Pakistani generals were caught between their own lies and their obvious inability to detect an incursion by foreign military forces.
Then there was a friendly fire incident last November, where Afghan troops were fired on by someone just across the border in Pakistan. The Afghans called in air support and armed men across the border were fired on. These turned out to be Pakistani border troops. The U.S. accused the Pakistanis of not providing accurate information of who was where. The Pakistanis accused the United States of deliberately attacking the Pakistani troops (and killing 25 of them). Pakistani troops frequently fire across the Afghan and Indian borders at troops on the other side. The Pakistanis assume this is their right and it has been going on for decades. Pakistan showed its anger at the return fire by cutting NATO road access to Afghanistan. The Pakistani wants the Americans to back down and keep sending money (over a billion dollars a year). The Pakistani generals also want their own government to remember its place. This latest move, to openly ally themselves with a terrorist organization that is making war on Afghanistan and the West, is not likely to calm things down.