Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Taliban Factor

In view of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, more money and resources were poured in the madrassa system. Saudi Arabia and the US were more than happy to help Pakistan to win the war on the basis of ideology. Since the motivation was pretty strategic, the wide net work of Islamic madressahs (schools) were engaged as “mujahedeen making factories” to ensure a continuous supply of the trained willing fighters.

Later on, the same mujahedeen were re-labeled as Taliban (Taliban is plural of Talib that means student).
After defeating the soviets, Pakistan encouraged and helped the formation of Taliban regime in Afghanistan to safeguard its own strategic interests. No doubt, having a friendly government in Kabul would secure Pakistan’s western border, but that was never allowed to continue.

Many years afterwards, the relations between OBL (Osama bin Laden) and America deteriorated to a point where Osama was declared as a fugitive criminal. And, the presence of OBL in Afghanistan paved the way for the US military intervention leading to the demise of Taliban government.
With the U.S. control in Kabul, came Mr. Hamid Karzai in power.

Ever since the opportunist India has been successfully exploiting the situation; twelve consular offices are reported to be operative along the PAK Afghan border. It’s one of the major irritants that make Pakistan very nervous.
The armed to teeth militants of the BLA (Baluchistan Liberation Army) and the TTP are equipped with top of the line weaponry. Pakistan always blames the Indian involvement behind terrorist activity throughout Pakistan.

This scenario keeps Pakistan on its toes as its writ continues to remain challenged and compromised. The FATA area menace of militancy on both sides of Pak Afghan fenceless border has destroyed the region economically.
Since the dream of military victory hasn’t come true, as the 2014 withdrawal of the US forces is nearing; a negotiated settlement seems to have potential for some viable solution. However, all stakeholders are to be in agreement.

Pakistan claims that drone strikes are counterproductive; nevertheless, Washington advocates its effectiveness for countering terrorism, and of course this serves as pressure tactics to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.

The US has already facilitated the opening of office for negotiating with ‘Afghan Taliban’ in Doha, Qatar. Currently, it’s in the midst of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban.
Furthermore, Washington has no objection if Pakistan goes ahead with having dialogue with the banned TTP (Tahreeek-i-Taliban Pakistan).

Nevertheless, the prevailing skepticism makes the critics think that the current universal crisis of terror has been cleverly created by those who have no respect for human values. The terrorists worship money even if they have to create crises.

Indeed, the chaotic scenarios have left the flood gates wide open for the unlimited opportunities to make material gains at the cost of life and property of the innocent. Mysteriously, the media remains addicted to the opportunities as well for monetary gains.
Obviously, it’s not hard to figure out that there are certainly some criminal factions (the so called Taliban) who are like ferocious animals employed to work as merely proxy warriors. These monsters have absolutely no religious affiliations.

Some critics argue against the negotiated settlement. Because, there have been a few peace deals in the past including Shakai, Sargodha peace accord, Miran Shah peace deal, but none worked.
Swat is also a case in point, where the peace deal was messed up, as the Taliban militants attempted to introduce their version of Islam. Thank God, Pakistan armed forces succeeded in liberating Swat after a highly successful military operation.

Facilitating the development of an effective apparatus is needed to control the un-leashed monsters, because the prolonged war against the highly equipped TTP has not yielded any significant result.

The US support for Pakistan’s initiative to hold dialogue with Taliban is like one NOC (no objection certificate). Briefing Pakistan journalists on last week, senior US officials acknowledged that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had shared with them his plan to engage the Taliban. “And we told them we have no objection to it as long as the Taliban agree to recognise the Pakistani constitution and respect the rule of law,” said one US official.
Mr Sartaj Aziz said “the government had already covered a lot of grounds and talks with Taliban are likely to start in the next few days.”

In the past, some countries eventually ended up having dialogue with the militants. For example: the IRA in Great Britain and Ireland, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, and the Naxalites in India and peace talks between the US and the Viet Cong took place when all military means failed.

Acknowledging Pakistan’s efforts to support an inclusive reconciliation process in which Afghans determine the future of their country, both Obama and Nawaz wanted the Taliban to join the political process and enter into dialogue with the Afghan government.

Unfortunately the Muslims have already been divided in sects such as Shia, Sunni (Deobandi, Brailvi), Wahabee, Malki, Ahle Quran, Ahle Hadith, and many more with their own agendas not to serve Allah but others.
"As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou have no part in them in the least: Their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did." (The Quran Surah Al-An'am (6:159).

Let’s give the peace deal another try to save the innocent lives.
Only as a last resort, Pak Army would need a clear mandate for an all out operation for completely wiping out the militant element.

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