UPDATE: Video now up at UJ Command Central.
Things that make you go Hmmmmm. First Long War Journal,
Pakistan’s military intelligence service, aided by the CIA, has captured the shadow Taliban governor of Afghanistan’s Kunduz province during a raid in the city of Faisalabad.
then Dexter Filkins at NYT.
A senior United States official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the arrest of the two shadow governors was unrelated to Mr. Baradar’s capture.
Even so, Mohammed Omar, the governor of Kunduz Province, said in an interview that the two Taliban shadow governors maintained a close working relationship with Mr. Baradar.
“Mullah Salam and Mullah Mohammed were the most merciless individuals,” said Gen. Razaq Yaqoobi, police chief of Kunduz Province. “Most of the terror, executions and other crimes committed in northern Afghanistan were on their orders.”
So why are the Pakistanis scarfing up all these guys now? Obamanauts would tell you it is the spirit of love and kindness from the one that has opened their hearts. Realists would tell you the Pakistanis have their own reasons.
The Taliban has been the red-headed stepchild of the Pakistani intel service ISI from the start. They have used them to influence events in Afghanistan and ensure that they can ensure that country doesn't become a problem for them or ally itself w/ India against them. The problem is that recently their creation has become unruly and acting in it's own interests instead of like a good proxy. They used to stay up in the tribal areas on the frontier and while that was an issue it was manageable. Now they have begun moving into major cities, Baradar was captured in Karachi, and that is not something the Pakistanis are happy about.
There are also rifts among the Taliban and Baradar was doing his own thing and not always playing nice with his boss Mullah Omar or the ISI. There are reports he was negotiating w/ Karzai that may be true or misinformation, but the bottom line is he became a problem for the Pakistanis and they scarfed him and a couple of buddies up. This let's them say they are doing more to help us, but in reality is much more related to their own concerns. Now the Afghan government is asking for Baradar to be turned over to them, and we are going to be stuck in the middle of that tug of war. The Pakistanis want to make sure that any peace deal in Afghanistan has their guys deeply involved in it. They may not have been sure that Baradar and his buddies were on board.
Regardless, things are getting lively and our ops in Helmand are stirring the pot quite a bit too. Should be an interesting year.