In an interview today on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS, top American envoy Richard Holbrooke reiterated his “concern and confusion” over the Pakistani government’s peace deal with militant factions in the Swat Valley, saying that the recent comments by an unnamed chief spokesman “ought to be a wakeup call to everybody in Pakistan that you can’t deal with these people.”
In previous comments Holbrooke said he feared that the peace deal would “turn into a surrender.” The deal, which came after months of failed military offensives left the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan and other militant factions under de facto control of a significant portion of the restive valley, was announced in February.
A key aspect of the pact, which was embraced by significant portions of the local population, was to reform the corrupt, inefficient local judiciary by replacing it with aspects of Islamic law, which the militants had been offering in its rival court systems. After unanimous approval in the Pakistani National Assembly, President Asif Ali Zardari signed the pact into law Monday.
Holbrooke insists that the proximity of the Swat Valley to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad was a matter of further concern, and has said that the $5 billion already pledged to Pakistan is insufficient.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Britain Cuts Aid to Syrian Rebels, Citing Security Woes - August 20th, 2018
- China Defies US Pressure as EU Parts Ways With Iranian Oil - August 20th, 2018
- North Korea Faces Food Crisis, But US Sanctions Are Blocking Aid - August 20th, 2018
- Russia Says Won't Put Weapons in Space First - August 20th, 2018
- Taliban Kidnap Nearly 200 Bus Passengers, Most Freed - August 20th, 2018