Taleban Cease-Fire In Swat Angers US!

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THE Pakistani Taleban in the Swat valley border areas with Afghanistan have signed a permanent cease-fire with the Pakistan government and are starting to release Pakistan soldiers and paramilitary forces that they have been holding prisoner.

All is well. Peace has broken out, pleasing everybody, one would think.

However this rash of passivity does not please the US and UK imperialists.

They will now have to conduct their hot pursuit operations into Pakistan in a situation where the Pakistan army may well be forced to open fire on their men and drones, if Pakistan villagers continue to be killed by the imperialist forays from inside Afghanistan.

Already the US military and their diplomatic arm has warned that they fear that the deal between the Pakistan government and Taleban will create a no-go zone for US imperialism, and a sanctuary where Afghan fighters can rest and recuperate between military operations.

Others warn that since the people on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border are Pashtuns what is being created is a self-governing, separate state from which the whole of Pakistan will be Talebanised.

In fact no government’s writ has ever run in the Northwest frontier areas. They were beyond the control of the British imperialists in the era before the British withdrawal from India and the partition of the sub-continent, and the tribal people of the North West have just forced the Pakistan army and government to agree to a cease-fire.

The Pakistan army’s battle in Swat since 2007 has been bloody, brutal and has ended in defeat, with the Taleban controlling 70 per cent of the Swat Valley and the army being forced to return to barracks.

It is this crisis situation that the Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani will be mulling over along with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and joint Pakistan-Afghan envoy Richard Holbrooke in Washington this week.

The wisest course for the Imperialists and their allies to take would be to negotiate a settlement with the Taleban in Afghanistan while they are able to do so.

However, they are poised to send 17,000 US troops and at least 3,000 more British troops to southern Afghanistan with as many troops from the other NATO states as it is possible to raise.

Strategically, holding Afghanistan is vital for the imperialists who want to establish a grip on the oil and gas resources of central Asia, and to put thousands of imperialist troops on the eastern borders of Iran.

To do this they will have to step up their interventions into Pakistan, attacking villages and villagers in the Swat Valley on the basis that they are sheltering Afghan fighters, or the Taleban leadership.

All this will succeed in doing is further weakening the Pakistan government and creating the conditions for a further expansion of the war, with troops having to be sent to assist the survival of the Pakistan regime through suppressing its own people.

There will never be enough troops available to carry out this imperialist venture.

Obama’s Afghan war will cost the lives of tens of thousands of US, UK and other soldiers, and following the debacle in Iraq, further strain to breaking point and beyond the cohesion, morale and loyalty of the imperialist armed forces.

It is a venture that will end in disaster for the US and UK ruling classes, who at the same time will be restructuring their economies, ie sacking and starving millions of workers, creating a situation where they will be fighting a war on two fronts.

The British trade unions have a duty in this crisis situation to support the Afghan and Pakistan people by demanding the withdrawal of all UK forces from Afghanistan.

Since Brown will not separate himself from US imperialism, the trade unions must be ready to take action against the Brown government.