Pakistan Releases Taliban and Al Qaeda
Pakistan has reportedly released over 2500 foreigners many of who are member of Taliban or al-Qaeda.
Some of those releases reportedly include 3 people associated with the killing of Daniel Pearl, Fazl-e-Raziq: A senior aide to Osama bin Laden,Mohammad Khaled: A brigade leader who led the Taliban in against U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Ghulam Mustafa: "He was once close to Osama bin Laden, has intimate knowledge of al-Qaeda's logistics and financing and its nexus with the military in Pakistan".
Apparently, this is part of the "Waziristan Accord", which
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.
A detailed timeline of events that led to this situation is here. From that link:
South Waziristan fell some time in the spring of 2006 (I suspect sometime in late March). On March 6, I referred to South Waziristan as 'Talibanistan.' Shariah Law was declared in South Waziristan at this time and the Taliban began to rule openly. A single political party was established in South Waziristan, a party loyal to the Taliban. It is said a secret accord was signed between the Pakistani government and the Taliban around this time. All along the fighting in North Waziristan increased over the course of 2006.
The Pakistan Army was taking a pounding, and President Musharraf lacked the will to fight in the region became apparent. All along, Musharraf and the Pakistani elite attempted to draw distinctions between the Taliban and “miscreants” and “foreigners” - which is merely code for al-Qaeda. The failure to realize the Taliban and al-Qaeda worked towards the same end, and have integrated political and command structures, led the Pakistani government to cut deals with the 'local Taliban' and the eventual establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan.
Now on Tuesday during a trip to Brussels, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf had this to say:
"The center of gravity of terrorism has shifted from al Qaeda to the Taliban," he said. "This is a new element, a more dangerous element, because it (the Taliban) has its roots in the people. Al Qaeda didn't have roots in the people."
Musharraf said he was certain Taliban fighters were being commanded by former Taliban ruler Mullah Omar from a base in southern Afghanistan, where NATO troops are struggling to contain an insurgency.
He rejected criticism that Pakistan was not doing enough to prevent the Taliban from mounting attacks on NATO troops by infiltrating its porous borders with Afghanistan.
"No one should blame us or doubt us for not doing enough," he said, adding that Pakistan had deployed 80,000 troops on its side of the border to tackle militant Islamists link
This appears to be a major blow for the Afghanistan situation where the Taliban were making progress in taking over parts of the southern portion of the country. The agreement between Taliban and Musharraf will provide the Taliban with a safe haven in Pakistan, more fighters and some experienced leaders.
So the war in Afghanistan continues to spiral downwards with the terrorist groups appearing to make a very serious comeback. The British have threatened to pull out if they can't make progress in 6 months. These developments bode ill for the British and NATO in Afghanistan.