Bill Roggio at Fourth Rail, the indispensable blog on all matters involving the Afghanistan war has this:
The Pakistani government is living up to its commitments on the “Waziristan Accord,” and has emptied the prisons of Taliban and al-Qaeda who have been captured since the fall of 2001. The “Waziristan Accord” calls for the Pakistani government to “release prisoners held in military action and would not arrest them again,” and that is exactly what is happening.
The Daily Telegraph discloses that Pakistan has released over 2,500 Taliban and al-Qaeda, although an American military intelligence source estimates the number is higher. The Pakistani military has in the past put the number of al-Qaeda and Taliban captured at around 500-700.
Included among those released:
Mansour Hasnain: A member of the group that kidnapped and murdered Danny Pearl. He also was “a militant of the Harkat-al-Mujahedin group, is one of those who hijacked an Indian Airlines jet in December 1999 and forced New Delhi to release three militants — including Omar and Azhar.”
Mohammad Hashim Qadeer: “Suspected of being one of [Daniel] PearlÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actual killers, was arrested in August 2005 and has notable al-Qaida links” and “ties with the banned extremist groups Harkat-ul-Mujahedeen and Jaish-e-Muhammad.”
Mohammad Bashir: Another Pakistani complicit in the murder of Daniel Pearl.
These ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œmiscreantsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œforeignersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? are said to be streaming back to al-Qaeda’s new safe haven of the Islamic Emirate of Waziristan, and reconstituting al-Qaeda’s organization.
As the Pakistani government lives up to their end of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWaziristan Accord,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? the Taliban and al-Qaeda have broken it repeatedly. Anti-Taliban clerics and tribal leaders have been shot and beheaded in Waziristan. A government official was also kidnapped in Waziristan, and a reporter was murdered in Dera Ismail Khan. The Taliban flaunts the terms of the truce and expends into neighboring agencies, and the Pakistani government continues to look the other way.
Roggio’s post is full of links not reproduced here, along with many more specifics on released terrorists, so go read the whole thing.
At Sideways Mencken, here at Donklephant and at all sorts of other sites where my post has been discussed, optimistic commentors invented theories of clever behind the scenes plans and conspiracies that would somehow alter our perception of this situation. People wanted to believe Musharraf and the administration were up to something Machiavellian. I would suggest that all those theories are now revealed as wrong.
This is exactly what it has seemed from the start: a surrender by the government of Pakistan to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
It is absurd now to pretend that Musharraf is a U.S. ally. At very best he can be seen as a neutral in the War on Terror. That represents a very big, very bad shift in the center of gravity.
Let me remind people who aren’t following this unraveling disaster on a regular basis: Pakistan is not a possible future nuclear power. It is a nuclear power right now, today. A nuclear power that now accepts the presence of Taliban and Al Qaeda within its borders.
We invaded Iraq because it might some day have nuclear weapons, and might, some day, play host to Al Qaeda. We are considering action against Iran which might develop nukes and is the main sponsor of Hezbollah but is clearly no friend of Al Qaeda. Pakistan has nukes today and hosts Al Qaeda today. Not somewhere off in the future, right now. Today.