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Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan

A Local War that has Global Implications

By Khalid Aziz
10-minute read
Audio available
Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan by Khalid Aziz

Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan (2015) takes the reader on a journey into the rocky terrain of this tiny South Asian region whose geopolitical influence reaches far beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. These blinks explore how the region became such a hotbed of insurrection and what can be done about it.

  • Anyone interested in international politics
  • Those looking for more background about the conflicts and wars in South and Central Asia

Khalid Aziz has more than three decades of experience in various management positions within the federal and provincial governments of Pakistan. In 2005, he founded the Regional Institute of Policy Research & Training, in Peshawar.

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Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan

By Khalid Aziz
  • Read in 10 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan by Khalid Aziz
Synopsis

Causes of Rebellion in Waziristan (2015) takes the reader on a journey into the rocky terrain of this tiny South Asian region whose geopolitical influence reaches far beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. These blinks explore how the region became such a hotbed of insurrection and what can be done about it.

Key idea 1 of 6

The little-known region of Waziristan is a strategic locus for the Taliban and jihadists.

Have you ever heard of Waziristan? Many people haven’t. However, this 5,000-square-mile expanse of tribally ruled mountains and barely arable land between Pakistan and Afghanistan is key geopolitical territory.

Why?

Because its strategic position has majorly influenced political developments in Afghanistan. For instance, Waziristan’s close proximity to several Afghan districts allows the people of Waziristan, known as the Wazirs, and everyone else in the region to enter and exit Afghanistan with relative ease.

In fact, in the past few years there have been countless attacks waged on Afghan soil by organizations like the Taliban, which, after assaulting US troops in Afghanistan, retreat to the mountains of Waziristan to recruit new fighters and plan their next foray. For instance, in January of 2007, over 40 trucks and buses full of armed fighters came into Afghanistan to fight US troops and Afghans before retreating to Waziristan.

But why does the Taliban have so much power in this territory?

Because Waziristan has continually resisted the control of Pakistan, of which, legally, it is a territory. So, while the Pakistani government has made repeated attempts to assert authority over the Wazir tribes, the groups have resisted these attempts time and time again.

For instance, in 2004, the United States convinced Pakistan to attempt to gain control of Waziristan. However, the tribes and foreign jihadists stood their ground against the military campaign and the Pakistani army couldn’t maintain their grasp on the region. As the Pakistanis lost their footing and authority, the Taliban swooped in and became the new leading force in Waziristan.

In recent years, however, as the Pakistani military began moving back in, the situation on the ground has only worsened.

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