Welcome to my blog. I may write copy here that I would not present elsewhere. This blog allows me to comment while reporting for clients which can include subscription-only platforms. I use it to take a sideways look at running stories, and all views presented here are my own.

Interested parties are invited to comment.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Analysing Baitullah Mehsud for Al Jazeera English's Newshour

Following on from the Pakistani NWFP Governor Owais Ghani's statement in Islamabad Sunday to launch

'A decisive operation...to eliminate Baitullah Mehsud and dismantle his network,'

I was invited into Al Jazeera English to explain on Newshour who Mehsud is.

While in the Knightsbridge newsroom, I was pleased to meet Washington AJE anchor Riz Kahn who remembered that we spent a night in the English Midlands judging a beauty contest together a few years ago. He was then with CNN and I was more singly with BBC.

While compiling my own analysis for Al Jazeera , I came across this 2007 piece from The Long War Journal, a Talibani Who's Who,

Baitullah Mehsud: The most powerful Taliban commander in South Waziristan. Signed a peace deal with the Pakistani authorities at Sara Rogha in February 2005 which ceded authority to the Taliban. It was agreed that the army will evacuate tribal territories, the Taliban will not attack the army, foreigners will not get protection, the army will not conduct operations against the Taliban if they agreed to help in the completion of development work. Established established 16 offices in different parts of the Mehsud territory which are still functioning. Baitullah has a lashkar [tribal militia] of 30,000. http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2007/01/the_pakistani_taliba.php#ixzz0IhGeSLRO&D

Mehsud's Talibani group associated with one of the legitimate hardline political parties in the region.

No comments: