Pakistani officials announced today that the military has come to an “understanding” with various members of the Pakistani Taliban.
The agreement would have the militants remain neutral during the current military offensive in South Waziristan, giving the military access to their territory in return for agreeing not to bomb them.
Paksitan’s military seems to be hoping that this will allow them to concentrate on certain factions of the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) without having to fight the entire agency full of tribesmen, something many have failed to do successfully in the past.
The move will likely irk the US government, as the groups the understanding was reached with are largely the ones supporting militancy in Afghanistan.
The government pursued a similar strategy in the Swat Valley this summer, attacking TTP positions while the much larger Tehreek-e Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (TNSM) remained neutral.
In the end, however, the Pakistani military ended up arresting the TNSM’s leadership during the offensive as well, so the Waziristan groups will likely be keeping a close eye on the military as it passes through their lands.