Pakistan releases Taliban commander

posted at 7:45 am on April 22, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

The new government of Pakistan has made clear which direction they will take with radical Islamist terrorists: appeasement. They reached a peace agreement with tribal elders in North West Frontier Province and released Sufi Mohammed, who had been imprisoned since October 2001. The tribal elders rejoiced, and suggested that the next step for Pakistan was nation-wide shari’a law:

A spokesman for Taliban rebels in Pakistan on Tuesday welcomed the release of a top militant chief who led Islamist fighters against foreign forces in Afghanistan in 2001.

Pakistan on Monday freed Sufi Mohammad, the chief of banned hardline group Tahreek Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM), following a peace agreement with tribal elders. He had spent seven years in detention.

His release came after the new government said it would hold talks with militants in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, abandoning President Pervez Musharraf’s military-based counterinsurgency strategy.

“We welcome his release, it is a positive development and augurs well for peace in the area,” Maulvi Omar, the spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban (Taliban Movement) Pakistan, told reporters in Peshawar by telephone.

“If the government accepts our other demands and frees all those held illegally and imposes Sharia (Islamic law), it would be good for the country,” Omar added.

The Pakistanis have opened a can of worms, and it might get worse. Next up is a deal to release Abdul Aziz, the leader of the Red Mosque. He was last seen attempting to flee the mosque in a burqua, after a confrontation with Pervez Musharraf’s military that left more than 100 dead. Reportedly, they want to get Tariq Azizuddin, their ambassador to Afghanistan, released from presumed Taliban kidnappers, although Islamabad officially denies that.

Pakistan claims that Sufi Mohammed and his TNSM followers have agreed not to cause any more problems in NWFP as a condition of this release. The new government might have thought to ask Musharraf how well a similar deal in Waziristan worked out for him. The Taliban extremists want an imposition of shari’a and an end to the same secular democracy that allowed the new government to beat Musharraf and take control of the nation. Every attempt to negotiate with the radical Islamists gives the same results — a stronger Taliban and more terrorism.

The US and NATO will now feel compelled to pick up the pace in cross-border attacks. If Pakistan won’t do its part in securing the lands of NWFP and Waziristan, then they have effectively ceded sovereignty, and we can consider that open territory as long as Pakistanis continue to support Taliban attacks in Afghanistan. Sovereignty has its responsibilities, and if the new Pakistani government doesn’t want to meet them, that will have consequences.


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I hope they chiped this Taliban Jihady with
GPS signal tuned in to the closest available
air strike capability,that way he won’t be
a repeating terrorist offender!

canopfor on April 22, 2008 at 8:01 AM

I hope they chiped this Taliban Jihady with
GPS signal tuned in to the closest available
air strike capability,that way he won’t be
a repeating terrorist offender!

canopfor on April 22, 2008 at 8:01 AM

I’ve been saying that about the guys released from Gitmo. At the very least can we make them all think we did it, just make them paranoid?

trubble on April 22, 2008 at 8:04 AM

I’ve been saying..
trubble on April 22,2008 at 8:04PM.

trubble:So excellent! Psyc Ops.!

canopfor on April 22, 2008 at 8:08 AM

These guys need to start having “accidents.” Time to release the hounds on them.

rbj on April 22, 2008 at 8:22 AM

The Pakistani’s can not keep their own house in order and can’t be trusted. Its time for the U.S. to make a strong pact with India. The nuclear facilities need to be secured first. Then invasion from both sides. Should have already been done.
No chance of strong, decisive action from W and Condi, however. We’ll continue in our weak, limp wristed, paper-tiger stance. DD

Darvin Dowdy on April 22, 2008 at 8:30 AM

But didn’t foreign policy whiz Obama tell us all that Musharaff was bad and a ‘democratic’ government would help us more?

blue13326 on April 22, 2008 at 8:35 AM

Great – just what an anxious family with a soldier in the area wants to hear. We were really hopeful that things wouldn’t get any more hazardous than they already are.

Keep the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd Abn Bde in your thoughts this spring and summer.

Lurking Vet on April 22, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Lurking Vet on April 22, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Beer and brauts and prayers to yours. A big hearty thank you too.

Limerick on April 22, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Oh joy! Yet another looney 14th Century-thinking Islamaniac we now have to deal with. Thanks Pakistan, for nothing!

pilamaye on April 22, 2008 at 8:54 AM

with friends like these…

jgapinoy on April 22, 2008 at 9:20 AM

Keep the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd Abn Bde in your thoughts this spring and summer.

Lurking Vet on April 22, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Count on it. :)

shibumiglass on April 22, 2008 at 9:25 AM

Unfrigginbelievable.

Are these guys not watching Iraq? When you kill jihadis … oooops, can’t say that anymore … sorry, when you kill extra-islamic terrorists, you end enthusiasm for their cause. Whhen you let them win, their ranks will swell.

You’d think THEY would get this.

Tony737 on April 22, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Before they release these guys, just show a mock video of them “spilling the beans”, their “friends” will do the rest for us.

right2bright on April 22, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Next stop for Sufi – America, where he is now eligible to be named a Democrat superdelegate.

whitetop on April 22, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Great – just what an anxious family with a soldier in the area wants to hear.

Tell him we said THANK YOU! It’s because of people like him that the rest of us are free.

Tony737 on April 22, 2008 at 9:38 AM

Catch and release programs only make sense when fishing. In both instances the prey come back bigger and stronger.

moxie_neanderthal on April 22, 2008 at 9:48 AM

You’ll know when the PAK military has thrown over to the Jihadis when the bombs start going off in Kashmir again. It won’t take long. They will not be able to control the war spiral once that begins. Biggest question is does India have the will to fight a ten year war at 12,000 ft and will the U.S., under President Barry, have the guts to back them if they do?

I have a feeling that President Carter will be in the news a lot for the next eight years. Kashmir will become the new Palestine, and India the new sacrificial goat.

Limerick on April 22, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Pakistan cuts these “deals” because they’re in a weak position: review the performance of Musharraf’s military in their recent offensives against the Taliban/al Qaeda, and you’ll see what I mean — poor morale, an unwillingness to do much more than fling artillery … it would embarrass the Iraqi Army. Then there’s the problem of loyalty: Islamists have been filling the ranks of the Pak Army since the 70s. Large swaths of the Pak military and intelligence services are sympathetic to our avowed enemies. Pakistan is a disaster in slow-motion, and just needs a good shove to fall apart completely.

At which point I hope the US and India have contingency plans for those Pakistani nukes.

irishspy on April 22, 2008 at 11:03 AM

The important thing to notice is that this is the behavior of an Islamic Democracy, this is what it does, Islam is what afflicts it.

Paks democratic leaders are seeding the ground for the next military coup and the next Mushareef, and thats if they are lucky. If they go Mad Mullah Muslim status for a new adventure, it’s hard to say how that would end.

This is what you can expect out of Iraq and Afghanistans poisoned constitutions as well. As long as “religion” holds a blade to the throat of governments by spiritually enslaving the populace.

Democracy, as the west knows it, cannot survive let alone thrive with Islam as dominate authority no matter how you candy coat it or patrol it with Marines.

BL@KBIRD on April 22, 2008 at 11:07 AM

This isn’t all that surprising. My feeling is I have to use all my energies making sure sharia doesn’t overtake THIS country.
To the liberals and cowards out there, still think islamofascism is an overblown concern?

MNDavenotPC on April 22, 2008 at 11:09 AM

I think we’re looking at this the wrong way. I say great. It’s good to have this clown out of prison. Now, he is where we can get him. Hopefully, soon.

trigon on April 22, 2008 at 12:14 PM

Keep the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd Abn Bde in your thoughts this spring and summer.

Lurking Vet on April 22, 2008 at 8:38 AM

Always.

It’s good to have this clown out of prison. Now, he is where we can get him. Hopefully, soon.

Time for game of “tag, you’re it” with a MQ-9 Reaper.

Zorro on April 22, 2008 at 12:52 PM

More cross border strikes I suppose. It seems clear to me that Pakistan was never an ally, Musharraf was. I say throw all our support to India and box `em in. (Hope my geography is right)

Now sharia law in Pakistan. I suppose even though many would support it now, once it`s layed on them they`ll hate it. Too bad it`ll be too late by then.

ThePrez on April 22, 2008 at 4:24 PM