Shura i Muraqaba, an assessment
The following report presents a brief assessment of the creation of the Shura i Muraqaba, a copy of the pamphlet that was circulated around North Waziristan on December 31, 2011 and an English translation of the said pamphlet.
The report is the neutralized version of an intelligence note produced by the Centre and its sources mid january 2012. Intelligence notes are only available to the Centre customers and clients.
The Shura Muraqaba is being formed to address differences among Pakistani Taliban, especially within the Waziristan Agencies. The reference to “unjustified killings” in the pamphlet could refer to the unwanton killings by the counter-intelligence wing of the Taliban, which previously was the Ittehad Mujahideen Khorasan and which was replaced (I believe just a change of logo) with Saiful Furqan. The Mahsuds also have their own counter-intelligence wing by the name of Tora Shpa (Black Night). However, the term "unjustified killings" may also refer to intra and inter-fighting between various Taliban groups, especially within the Mahsud and Ahmadzai Wazir Tribes, in which opposing sides have targeted each other’s commanders with impunity.
However, major thrust of the Shura Muraqaba as mentioned in the pamphlet could be to help different groups of the Taliban in Waziristan region to settle their differences and bring them on one page. I believe that by bringing them on one page could mean carving out a common strategy against Pakistan in the realm of future peace negotiations. By doing so, these varied and myriad Taliban groups could chalk out a joint strategy to negotiate with the Pakistani government viz a peace deal that could ensure an end to fighting in Pakistan while getting their demands met. It is an open secret that a major bone of contention within the TTP now is sharp divisions over the issue of peace negotiations with the Pakistani government.
The involvement of Afghan Taliban is very intrusive this time. Given the fact that the Afghan Taliban expressed their willingness to open a political office in Qatar, it seems they are finally getting inclined towards negotiations. What could be the end result is yet to be seen. However, the Taliban may like to retain their strength and show their teeth as a psychological tool until a peace deal is not signed with the Afghan government, NATO and US. By reconciling the Pakistan Taliban groups and bringing them under their influence/fold, it gives the Afghan Taliban a psychological boost to show to Afghan government and NATO that their strength and maneuverability has increased manifolds. If the peace talks proceed positively in Qatar, there may be chances of announcement of ceasefire between the two sides in Afghanistan. In the event of an Afghan peace deal, a positive security impact may also be felt on FATA and Pakistan.
Two issues, on which both the Afghan Taliban and their Pakistani counterparts agree are: eviction of NATO and US troops (this could also mean a discussion of future US military presence and bases in the country); and enforcement of Sharia.
Pamphlet and translation
5 Safar al-Muzaffar 1433H In the name of Allah 31 December 2011
All Mujahideen Ansar and Migrants are hereby informed that all the Jihadi forces on the advice of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have jointly formed a five member (Commission), which has been named as (Shura Muraqaba)
Will strive to solve mutual differences and difficulties. The above mentioned (Commission) comprises of the following persons on the advice of their Emirs
(1) Mr. Maulavi Azmatullah
(2) Mr. Maulvi Noor Saeed
(3) Mr. Maulvi Saeed Ullah
(4) Maulvi Sadar Hayat
(5) Hafiz Amir Hamza
Therefore, all the Mujahideen Ansar and Migrants are hereby informed that everybody should refrain from unjust murders and kidnapping for ransom, and fully help the abovementioned (Commission) in controlling them. If any mujahid is found involved in unjust murder and unlawful crimes, then [he] will be answerable to (Shura muraqaba) and will be handed over sentence under Shariah