Maulvi Nazir FTL!

by Joshua Foust on 11/3/2008

Remember last year, when the U.S. was talking about teaming up with Maulvi Nazir, one of the main leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, to fight other factions within the Pakistani Taliban?

Even Nazir is an unlikely ally. Young and battle-hardened, he endorses the same radical Islamist ideology as the militants he’s promised to fight, and has pledged his allegiance to Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s founding spiritual leader.

But Nazir is also violently opposed to Mehsud, who hails from a rival clan, the Mehsuds. The two men parted ways last year when Nazir forcefully evicted hundreds of Uzbek militants under Mehsud’s command. While Mehsud openly favors Uzbek militants, the Ahmadzai Wazir’s – Nazir’s tribe – have seen the foreign militants as a scourge that has brought unwanted bloodshed to Waziristan.

Well, that seems to be dead, or almost dead:

The area is controlled by pro-government Taliban commander Maulvi Nazir who had escaped a US drone attack on Friday night.

Sources said the escalation in the drone attacks in the area dominated by Ahmadzai Wazir tribe had annoyed Maulvi Nazir. Nazir’s group has accused the government of being involved in the attacks.

Such loyalty, such judgment we have. I have no idea why Nazir went from being our Great Hope in the region to being worthy of robot death. While I’m glad to see we’re no longer relying on a supposedly pro-government Taliban commander, suddenly deciding to execute him seems a bit rash and ill-thought out… kind of like the decision to support him in the first place.

Nazir was wounded in the strike, which reportedly killed 32 (more on the accuracy of these stories later).

Previously: Maulvi Nazir FTW! And don’t miss this look at Pakistan’s economic opportunity.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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