By Farman Nawaz
The Frontier Post Link: http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/373448/strategy-of-buying-loyalties-is-futile/
The Pashtun Times Link: http://thepashtuntimes.com/strategy-of-buying-loyalties-is-futile/
Last week I searched the internet but couldn’t find any report that could explain that since 9/11 what are the major changes Pakistan has brought in its policy to deal with the menace of terrorism? After Talibanization the plant of Islamic State is sowed in the region and still common Pakistanis are not complaining that why they are dying every moment.
Just like secularism, raising questions about the strategy of dealing with extremism has become a banned topic. Even common Pakistanis are not concerned that why the extremists need new umbrella of ISIS. People listen and read the news every day and just note down the number of killings. No one is thinking about the development of extremism and its new forms.
The basic difference between Taliban movement and Islamic State is that Taliban is the outcome of a tribal society whose objectives are confined to a particular region while IS has international agenda. Although foreign elements joined the ranks of Taliban but they surrendered in front of Taliban regional agenda.
The hurdle in expansion of ISIS in Pashtun belt is the Pashtun culture which is not international in nature. Taliban ruled Afghanistan for years but they did not export their ideology. They tried to engage in agreements with regional and international powers. But Taliban and ISIS methods of imposition of Islam and dealing with the opponents are similar and violate the human rights.
It is not possible that Taliban movement will completely mingle with ISIS but their alliance is possible but for this the interests of their donors must overlap which do not seem possible in the near future. However Taliban can provide raw material for the war in Syria.
So far neither army nor civil governments are able to solve the issue of extremism. The policies of establishment as well as civil governments are also creating hurdles in the elimination of terrorism. It would be better if the parliament of Pakistan vote in favour of emergency. No one can object the imposition of emergency after the massacre of thousands of innocent people. Thousands of people are killed, millions are people are displaced, politicians are brutally killed, and nationalist maliks of tribal areas are murdered. What else we need to stand against the terrorism? The students of schools and universities are more important than democracy.
Dying every moment is not acceptable to the people of Pakistan and especially of Pashtun belt. Every day in schools we wait for the terrorist attacks. My own kids have denied going to school when they see extra security arrangements in the school.
The present military operation is not an operation cleanup but rather it is operation evacuation. Neither any leading Taliban leader is killed nor arrested. That might be the reason that before the military operation Taliban completed a successful operation in army school Peshawar and even after the military operation Taliban successfully hit the Bacha Khan University. Futile military operations are not only a burden on the economy but it might also sow the seeds for future rebellions. People of Pakistan can raise the voice against these immature political decisions and their outcome.
It would be better if Pakistan army reforms its strategy to deal with the terrorists. Truly speaking an official of India rightly explained the nature of loyalties of Taliban leaders that these loyalties can be bought by offering better financial support. And if the claim of Pakistan army is true that India is involved in providing funds to Taliban then we must accept our failure to buy the loyalties of TTP leaders. If India can buy the loyalties of TTP, why can’t she do the same with Afghan Taliban?
Now there are two options. Either we should crush the TTP or buy the loyalties its leaders; however the question is that what would be our motives to buy the loyalties of Taliban. Against whom we would use these funded loyalties? Still Taliban are united and their different groups could not be set against one another. Our strategic assets are still not able to make situation favourable for Pakistan in Afghanistan.
A mistake can be removed but heaps of errors cannot be cleaned up. It is the time to evaluate our policies of the last fifteen years. It is neither secularism nor infidelity. It is neither betraying with the Two Nation Theory nor a rebellion against the patriotism. It is neither the issue of Pakhtunistan nor the threat of greater Baluchistan. It will be just a report that can set the guidelines for the future.