By Farman Nawaz (The Frontier Post)
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto did not provoke the nation against the Taliban. The attack on GHQ did not make the army angry. The murder of Maj. General Sanaullah Niazi too did not compel the army to think about menace of terrorism but just a suicide attack on the army check post and later on the army convey mentally tortured the army a small town Mir Ali was targeted just like enemy’s base.
Putting aside the illogical analysis of retired general Hameed Gul about this incidence, one must think that by this operation the new army chief just showed its cards or it was just a coincidence? In my opinion it was a test operation to collect data for a possible operation of the North Waziristan, not in accordance with US needs but to gain the loyalties of scattered groups of militants.
The political parties apparently criticized the event but did not show any serious reaction. Media too did not play any aggressive role during and after the military operation. Only the tribal men came out in protest but unfortunately the same tribal men never protested for the massacre of the fifty thousand innocent people. From Taliban side only Gul Bahadar group (Pro-Pakistan) issued a threatening statement (may be planned in accordance with the consent of army) after a few days and then army, Gul Bahadar group and tribal leaders agreed to respect the peace treaty of 2006. This episode gave strength to Gul Bahadar group and will add to the popularity of the group among the tribal people.
This will encourage the tribal people to look towards Gul Bahadar group in case of any disagreement with army or government. It is a strong blow to the interests of TTP as it will weaken the authority of TTP in the North Waziristan. Ultimately it will help army to gain the loyalties of scattered militant groups and the long awaited military operation can be avoided. But any such arrangements will also strengthen Army’s hold on Afghan policy. Saving the Pro-Pakistani Taliban by army and to utilize it in future in Afghanistan will strengthen the army’s agenda of governing the foreign policy.
Militancy and militants will become the ideals of Pakhtoons and the region will remain deprived of development for a long time. Army must also understand this reality that private Jihad has privatized the idea of defense of the country. We must realize this fact that Pakistan’s defense is not based on the concept of defending the motherland but it is based on defending the religion. And today militants and fundamentalists have more control on religion and its defense as compared to army and the state. Iqbal rightly said that “Juda ho deen siyasat say to reh jati hay chungazi”. Today ‘deen’ is in control of fundamentalists and militants and so as the defense of ‘deen’, while state is in control of army and politicians. Before the ‘Changaziyat’ owns the state we will have to liberate ‘deen’ from them.
Deen is a tool and this tool must be in possession of the parliament. Still we have a chance to reframe our defense and foreign policy but once the whole nation starts believing in militancy then there will be no need of state owned defense force. Instead of fabricating our defense policy on religion we must base it on nationality. It is the weakness of our policy that army can’t take action against those terrorists who beheaded their men and played football with their heads.
Today out of fear our army can’t start operation against the anti-Pakistani Taliban and in future the same may happen in case Afghan Taliban gets control of Afghanistan. If Taliban’s hold on religion, defense of religion and defense of territory is not broken today then in future army must also take measures about its hold on foreign policy and defense of Pakistan. Taliban has international agenda –past examples are in front of us- so what army has planned to work with the Talabanized Afghanistan. If an anti-Pakistan elements can emerge out of Taliban after 9/11 then the same can happen again in case in future Taliban controls Afghanistan. Pakistan army must keep all these realities in mind while framing Afghan policy.