Eye on Pakistan

Qari Zainuddin assassinated

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 23, 2009

Qari Zainuddin has been assassinated, most probably on Mehsud’s behest.

This is a great setback to the Pakistan army’s war against Mehsud in South Waziristan. Qari Zainuddin was a leading opponent of Mehsud in South Waziristan, and, by some accounts, had allied himself with the Pakistani military against Mehsud.

The military will now receive less tactical support on the ground during its  difficult invasion; local tribal leaders are now less likely to speak out openly against Mehsud; and it is less clear what the leadership structure in South Waziristan post-Mehsud (if indeed, the army is successful) will look like.

For my earlier post on Zainuddin, see this. See also the first comment, by IZ, in response to this post.

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One Response

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  1. IZ said, on June 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    We have seen this all before. Lets not drink the ISI kool aid too quickly shall we? The attempt to set up a rival ‘militant group’ outfit by the military and use him against Mr Mehsud. For example we have before us the dizzying rise and violent demise of Haji Namdar of the short-lived and almost certainly army-funded Amal Bil Maroof Nahi Anil Munkir (Prevention of Vice and promotion of Virtue movement). See:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3597478.stm
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/JG01Df01.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7557765.stm
    http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/nefanamdar0808.pdf

    Its notable that Mehsud’s Tehrik-e-Taliban tried to kill him first with a suicide bomber and finally in a shooting.

    And then there is the once much patronized Mangal Bagh of the Lashkar-e-Islam. Who went from being a truck cleaner to the head of a well-armed, well-funded group with 70 pick up trucks, its own radio stations and, importantly, a hold on the supply route from Pakistan to Afghanistan via the khyber Pass in the Khyber Agency. However, he seems to have lost some patronge since the coming of the democratic and ANP provincial government, which decided to kick him out of Barra, his old base of operations last year.

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/11/a_profile_of_mangal.php

    Keep in mind that the army still maintains its view of ‘good (i.e. people we are working with) militants and ‘bad’ (i.e. people we have lost all control over) militants. So does the provincial and federal government, though they may not always agree on who is on which list.

    So I was not particularly impressed by Mr Qari Zainuddin’s swift rise to prominence in the media. It was obvious what was going on. What is interesting was just how quickly he was silenced which should give us an insight to how poor the military’s work is in this matter as compared to Mr Mehsud’s.


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