Counter-Terrorism: Frontier Justice and Tribal Politics


September 15, 2006: In Pakistan, the government pact with the tribes in Northern Waziristan (along the Afghan border) has some interesting intricacies. It pledges the government to leave the tribes alone, so long as the tribes prevent their people from undertaking attacks into Afghanistan or against the government. In addition, the tribes promise to stop "foreigners" from using Pakistani soil to undertake such attacks; in this context "foreigners" is a euphemism for the Taliban and al Qaeda.
Now these tribes are already hostile to "foreigners," which pretty much means anyone who isn't blood kin. And while they're quite conservative, religiously, they aren't necessarily as conservative as either the Taliban or al Qaeda would like them to be. So the pact offers an incentive to them to clamp down on al Qaeda and Taliban activity.
And it also includes provisions for the government to take action against "trouble makers" that the tribes can't handle themselves. The Pakistani government knows that simply backing off and giving al Qaeda a safe haven is suicidal. Al Qaeda has, since 2003, been making suicide attacks against Pakistani government officials, including president Musharraf.


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close