In the discussion thread: US relents and grants visa to lawyer for CIA drone strike victims in Pakistan [View all]
Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #5)
Wed Apr 25, 2012, 01:03 PM
happyslug (13,332 posts)
17. Pakistan SUPPORTS and FEARS the Taliban
Last edited Wed Apr 25, 2012, 06:35 PM - Edit history (3)
Pakistan's ISI created and support the Taliban, they view Afghanistan as PART of Pakistan. Thus from the View of Pakistan, the Taliban are fighting FOR Pakistan against a foreign invader. .
Now, the leadership of Pakistan have been on the US payroll for decades and do NOT want to lose that cash. Thus Pakistan permit us to use Pakistan as the supply line to Afghanistan. On top of this to fully secure that supply line the US has to pay off a lot of the locals along that supply line, who also happen to be pro-Taliban. If the US does NOT pay them off, with part of the supplies, they do all they can to stop the convoys. Thus we end up supplying NOT only out side, but the Taliban. Another lesson form Vietnam we are re-learning. You have to make sure guerrillas do NOT get any of your own supplies, even your trash (The after war reports of the Viet Cong reported one of their main source of supply was US trash dumps, for example US Forces would throw away batteries that started to dim in their flashlights, but the batteries had enough electricity in them to operate a bomb).
Furthermore, you have to understand Pakistan. Four basic groups exist in Pakistan, the Pusthans in the mountains, the people who live in the Indus Valley, the Baluch in the desert of Baluchistan and the Urdi speakers, most of whom parents immigrated to Pakistan from the rest of British India when Britain gave both India and Pakistan independence.
The most support for the Taliban is among the Pusthans, who tend to be very tribal, and their tribes tend to be on BOTH sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Given a choice between fighting a fellow Pusthan or Pakistan, it is clear these Pusthans in Pakistan would fight Pakistan. The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan divide these people in theory only. In real life they view themselves as one people. Pakistani control of this area is weak at best (and then ONLY with the permission of the locals). Thus even if Pakistan wanted to STOP these Pusthans living in Pakistan from supporting their fellow Pusthans in Afghanistan, they could not.
We have to remember what we call Afghanistan is more a convenience for map makers then anything else. No one has ever had more then nominal control of the whole area, but making areas "tribal areas, no defined borders" went out of fashion in the 1800s. The locals are loyal only to their immediate family members, not to any higher group. Tribes are more collection of families who speak the same language and interact. Language is thus more for trade purposes then national identity. The trade routes also hold the tribes together and why at times they work together at higher then local family level. The Taliban used this as the base for their support, smoothing out dispute between families, keeping the trade routes open,
Please note, Iraq and Afghanistan have been called "Tribal Areas" but the nature of the tribes in both areas are fundamentally different. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the tribes are collection of people with share language and trade relations nothing more. In Iraq the tribes are rigid social structure, more like the concept of a Nation-State then a collection of people who speak the same language. In Iraq Tribal leaders are elected by other members fo the Tribe, who in turn agree to obey the leader's orders. That is NOT the situation in Afghanistan, no such rigid tribal hierarchy exists.
The Baluch's live in the desert between Pakistan and Iran and the Arabian branch of the Indian Ocean. They are different tribe then the Pasthuns but similar in tribal setup.
The people of the Indus valley are NOT tribal. Tribes main exist within that area, but they are more extended families than anything else (Egypt is similar, some tribal existence, but more in the form of extended families then anything like Iraq or Afghanistan). The reason for this is this area is an extensive agricultural area and as such who owned what land is more important then who is head of the family. Since the structured government is the only way to secure and define land ownership, Government of what we would call the Nation-State has always existed in the Indus Valley (as it has in the Nile Valley in Egypt). These people worry more about who decided what the land boundaries are more then who they are related to. Government was created by such people not only in the Indus Valley but all of the other cradles of Civilization (Egypt, Indus River valley, Ganges River Valley, and even China). Government exist to protect people property rights, but also the people as a whole. Many of these Indus River valley people speak Urdu, but I separate them from what I call the Urdu speakers.
The Urdu speakers where Moslems who lived not only in the Indus valley but elsewhere in the Indian Sub-Continent under Mogul and later British rule. Under both, the Moslem Urdu had a elevated status in India (With the exception of South India which never came under Mogul Rule, but did come under British Rule). Even with the immigration of many urdu speakers to Pakistan in the late 1940s, India has the second largest Moslem population in the world, behind only Indonesia.
Do to the fact that Urdu speakers who moved from elsewhere in India are a minority even in Pakistan, they have maintain their hold on Pakistan through the Pakistani Army. They view Afghanistan as a potential place to retreat to in case of an attack by India (especially if India decided to take over the Indus Valley subsequent to a failed attack by Pakistan).
In many ways man Urdu speakers see India as something that belong to them, and that they lost when the British gave India its independence and they want it back. Thus they are hostile to India and like many people who have plans on another country, hate the government ruling that country.
More on Urdi as a languge group:
Map of Languages of Pakistan:
These four groups interact in Pakistan all the time. The problem is the ruling Urdu have been living off the US dime for Decades while having plans on India. They care more about how to fight India then keeping the other three groups happy.
The majority, the people living in the Indus Valley, expect a Government to protect their property rights AND to help them in natural disasters, The Government has been failing in both areas for years, and thus more and more are turning to the local Al Queda related groups for the same services. This has NOT made the Government popular among the Indus valley residents.
The Pusthans has NEVER trusted the Pakistan Government (At times not even leaving them into the mountains without their permission). Their sympathies is with their fellow Pusthans in Afghanistan more then Pakistan and view the attacks on the Taliban, a Pusthan dominated group, as an attack on fellow Pusthans not attacks against Afghanis.
The Baluch's are a minor concern, more a problem for Iran then Pakistan (Again on both sides of the border) but a factor in Pakistan.
The ruling Urdu speakers have managed to use India as a potential enemy to keep these groups from NOT fighting the rule of the Urdu speakers. The problem is the same Urdu Speakers have been known for years to steal anything not nailed down and the other groups have come to hate their rule. The only thing keeping the Urdu speakers in control of Pakistan is their opposition to India AND their Support for the Taliban. The Taliban both oppose the Urdu speakers and are depended on them. It is a careful dance both are playing with each other. The Taliban in Pakistan along with their allies in Al Queda see America as the greater threat and thus willing to work with Pakistan against the Americas. Pakistan also view the Americans as the greater threat, but are depended on America support to stay in power. Thus the Government of Pakistan does enough against the Taliban and Al Queda to America happy, and when America demands more, threaten to cut the American Supply line to Afghanistan via Pakistan.
The Americans have a problem, the only other routes into Afghanistan, are via Iran or Russia, and neither are presently happy with the US. Thus the US demands Pakistan do something about the anti-american guerrillas in Pakistan, but when the Pakistan does nothing the US dare NOT do anything against the Pakistan least Pakistan cuts off the US Supply line to Afghanistan.
Pakistan objects to the attacks in the Pusthans areas of Pakistan, but does nothing to stop the Pusthans for the control of that part of Pakistan is in the hands of the Pusthans NOT the Pakistani Government. on the other hand the Pusthans resent these US attacks and tell the Pakistan government to do something about them OR the Pusthans will do what they have done in past centuries, attack the Indus Valley.
The Indus Valley is willing to support such a Pusthan attack for what ever you may say of the Pusthan, they are honest. Thus the Government of Pakistan fears the Pusthans more then the US. The US can NOT topple the present Government without replacing it with many of the same people, the Pusthans and the people of the Indus valley can replace the present rulers of Pakistan. Thus the ruling elite of Pakistan fear the Pusthans more then the US and will do NOTHING to really get the Pusthans mad at them.
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Replies to this discussion thread
|The Northerner||Apr 2012||OP|
|The Northerner||Apr 2012||#4|
Pakistan SUPPORTS and FEARS the Taliban
|Comrade Grumpy||Apr 2012||#8|
|Comrade Grumpy||Apr 2012||#9|
|The Northerner||Apr 2012||#10|
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