Pakistan and Taliban in peace talks - again
This will be the third "peace treaty" with the Islamists in Pakistan since 2003. The other two, inked by President Musharraf's government, fell apart within weeks and only gave the extremists time to consolidate their gains and create a Sharia compliant government.
This one won't be any different. Reuters:
Pakistan's Taliban movement, a major security threat to the country, is holding exploratory peace talks with the government, a senior Taliban commander and mediators told Reuters on Monday.
The United States, the source of billions of dollars of aid vital for Pakistan's military and feeble economy, is unlikely to look kindly on peace talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which it has labeled a terrorist group.
Past peace pacts with the TTP have failed to bring stability, and merely gave the umbrella group time and space to consolidate, launch fresh attacks and impose their austere version of Islam on segments of the population.
The discussions are focused on the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border and could be expanded to try to reach a comprehensive deal if progress is made.
The Taliban, who are close to al Qaeda, made several demands, including the release of prisoners and the withdrawal of Pakistani forces from South Waziristan, said the commander.
An ethnic Pashtun tribal mediator described the talks as "very difficult." Pakistani military and government officials were not immediately available for comment.
As Pakistani forces withdraw from the NWFP - especially South Waziristan - the Taliban will establish a government separate from Islamabad over as wide an area as possible. They will then renew their attacks only this time with the safe haven in South Waziristan so that its fighters can rest and refit. This is the pattern that we've seen before and there is nothing to suggest it won't happen again.
Eventually, the attacks by the Taliban will force the government to send forces into the rugged NWFP again and the cycle will repeat itself.
What's the definition of crazy again?