Pakistan to Force Bajaur Tribesmen to Fight Militants

With Pakistan’s several month long offensive in Bajaur still causing a humanitarian nightmare in the tiny agency and no real end in sight as the government continues to reject offers from the militants for a ceasefire, the government is taking its efforts to secure tribal help in the battle to an extreme new level as today they threatened military action against Mamond tribesmen that don’t take action against the militants.

Pakistan’s effort to convince tribesmen to fight alongside them in the ever-growing battle along the border with Afghanistan appears to be continuing unabated as the government moves from mild encouragement, to offers of weapons, to flat out threats of violence against the non-compliant, but many are concerned that the strategy is a sign of desperation and risks broadening the war.

Beyond that, the tribes holding jirgas to discuss the creation of militias to participate in the fighting are increasingly coming under attack from militant groups, such as last week when a suicide bomber killed 22 in Bajaur. Prior to that, a single attack in mid-October in Orakzai Agency killed 110 at a similar jirga.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.