Pakistan Releases Terrorists.

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Bill Roggio at Fourth Rail, the indispensable blog on all matters involving the Afghanistan war has this:

The Pakistani government is living up to its commitments on the “Waziristan Accord,” and has emptied the prisons of Taliban and al-Qaeda who have been captured since the fall of 2001. The “Waziristan Accord” calls for the Pakistani government to “release prisoners held in military action and would not arrest them again,” and that is exactly what is happening.

The Daily Telegraph discloses that Pakistan has released over 2,500 Taliban and al-Qaeda, although an American military intelligence source estimates the number is higher. The Pakistani military has in the past put the number of al-Qaeda and Taliban captured at around 500-700.

Included among those released:

Mansour Hasnain: A member of the group that kidnapped and murdered Danny Pearl. He also was “a militant of the Harkat-al-Mujahedin group, is one of those who hijacked an Indian Airlines jet in December 1999 and forced New Delhi to release three militants — including Omar and Azhar.”

Mohammad Hashim Qadeer: “Suspected of being one of [Daniel] Pearl’s actual killers, was arrested in August 2005 and has notable al-Qaida links” and “ties with the banned extremist groups Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Muhammad.”

Mohammad Bashir: Another Pakistani complicit in the murder of Daniel Pearl.

Concludes Roggio:

These “miscreantsâ€Â? and “foreignersâ€Â? are said to be streaming back to al-Qaeda’s new safe haven of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, and reconstituting al-Qaeda’s organization.

As the Pakistani government lives up to their end of the “Waziristan Accord,� the Taliban and al-Qaeda have broken it repeatedly. Anti-Taliban clerics and tribal leaders have been shot and beheaded in Waziristan. A government official was also kidnapped in Waziristan, and a reporter was murdered in Dera Ismail Khan. The Taliban flaunts the terms of the truce and expends into neighboring agencies, and the Pakistani government continues to look the other way.

Roggio’s post is full of links not reproduced here, along with many more specifics on released terrorists, so go read the whole thing.

I asked the question when this accord was first announced: have we lost this war? (The Donklephant version here.)

At Sideways Mencken, here at Donklephant and at all sorts of other sites where my post has been discussed, optimistic commentors invented theories of clever behind the scenes plans and conspiracies that would somehow alter our perception of this situation. People wanted to believe Musharraf and the administration were up to something Machiavellian. I would suggest that all those theories are now revealed as wrong.

This is exactly what it has seemed from the start: a surrender by the government of Pakistan to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

It is absurd now to pretend that Musharraf is a U.S. ally. At very best he can be seen as a neutral in the War on Terror. That represents a very big, very bad shift in the center of gravity.

Let me remind people who aren’t following this unraveling disaster on a regular basis: Pakistan is not a possible future nuclear power. It is a nuclear power right now, today. A nuclear power that now accepts the presence of Taliban and Al Qaeda within its borders.

We invaded Iraq because it might some day have nuclear weapons, and might, some day, play host to Al Qaeda. We are considering action against Iran which might develop nukes and is the main sponsor of Hezbollah but is clearly no friend of Al Qaeda. Pakistan has nukes today and hosts Al Qaeda today. Not somewhere off in the future, right now. Today.

  • Jeff B.

    Seems entirely terrible. Thanks for your posts. Definitely the most interesting and important updates in the War on Terrorism I have seen in a while.

    What I am mainly wondering, due to my general lack of knowledge of Musharraf’s regional and international politics, is WHY is he doing this? Any insights?

    Is it to appease Muslims in Pakistan? Is he looking to connect with terrorist groups? Is he sending a message to the U.S. that he needs to be reckoned with? Any concrete and reliable information on this?

  • Bernie

    My understanding is that Musharraf is fighting for his life with his security services, the ISS. The ISS is full of radical muslims, they supported the Taliban before 9-11. I could be wrong though.

  • Sal

    We have to keep in mind that the Taliban was developed by the intelligence wing of Pakistan (ISI) to throw out the Soviets from Afghanistan. And they were financed and armed by the US in this venture through Pakistan. Ofcourse the US broke off relations with the Taliban and Pakistan after the Soviets left Afghanistan.

    But the ISI still has its links to Taliban. What ever Musharaff says about him being a central figure in the ‘war on terror’, he cannot go against his army colleagues who are running the ISI. Maybe he has reached the limits to which he could annoy his colleagues. And the people of Pakistan sympathise with the Taliban and hate the west, contrary to Musharaff’s appeasement of the U.S.

    So Musharaff is fighting for his life now, political life that is.

  • JustAnotherIdjut

    Well, try to look at the bright side. At least they are all gathering in one place.
    I just hope Waziristan isn’t a giant cemetary, and we won’t bomb them there.

    With all these guys getting released at once, there’s gotta be a helluva keg
    party going on somewhere. A few “accidentally” dropped daisy cutters would
    help clear up the problem.

  • http://www.theglitteringeye.com Dave Schuler

    …but is clearly no friend of Al Qaeda…

    Other, of course, than playing host to a whole array of Al Qaeda bigwigs.

  • Khurram

    I read some one saying bombing area with daisy cutter . Such people really can help the world if given chance .
    It should be realized that today the strength of Talibans is rising because of use of daisy cutters ….those who have survived are cutting throats of the white men in afghanistan .
    Why cant we people grow up?