A Pakistani militant commander in the North Waziristan province threatened Saturday to break an unofficial peace deal with the Pakistani government, prompting concerns of increased violence in the nuclear country.
Hafiz Gul Bahadur claimed that American drone strikes and shelling by the Pakistani army is the reason he’s considering breaking the peace. “If the government continues with such brutal acts in the future, it will be difficult for us to keep our patience any longer,” the statement said.
Some believe Bahadur and his 4,000 forces have a tacit agreement with Pakistan’s army under which Pakistani troops avoid targeting them so long as the militants’ attacks are aimed at U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan as opposed to the Pakistani government. Pakistan has been charged with “double dealing,” but Bahadur feels Pakistan’s double dealing with him too.
The U.S. drone program has caused considerable carnage in Pakistan’s tribal regions. Some estimates claim drone attacks kill 10 to 15 civilians for every one militant killed. Just this month, a 16-year old Pakistani boy was killed in a drone strike just days after protesting against them in Pakistan.
U.S. policy towards Pakistan consists basically of supporting the corrupt military dictatorship while bombing indiscriminately in the north west frontier provinces. This status quo could push militants in Pakistan to turn against the government and destabilize the nuclear weapons equipped country even further.