I Opyne

PTI’s Taliban Solution

with 8 comments

To get a measure of Malala’s courage one only needs to look at pictures of beheaded corpses on display in Mingora’s “Khooni Chowk”. It was no small achievement to write those diaries despite the gruesome warnings. Therefore, it was no exaggeration when Malala was awarded the title of “The Bravest Girl in the World”.

However, this title can be a bit misleading because her courage surpasses not only that of the girls of this world, but also of grown up men. Men such as the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek I Insaaf (PTI), who confessed on TV that he refrains from criticizing the Taliban for fears of reprisals targeted at PTI.

Fear is a very human emotion and can be a valid reason for maintaining silence, but under no circumstances should it warrant the spreading of disinformation. It is a fact that when Malala was writing her diaries from Mingora and detailing the killings and destruction of schools, the chairman of PTI, from the safety of Islamabad, had declared all such news to be mere “government propaganda”. More than flowers and commiserations, what Mr. Khan owes Malala is an apology for discrediting her efforts.

But expecting such an apology would be a bit too much, because PTI’s campaign of disinformation still continues. Khan Sahib’s proposed solution to the Taliban problem is one such example.

Declaring it as the “only solution”, he presents three main steps towards peace:

Step 1: Pakistan distances itself from United States’ war on terror (WOT), and as a result Taliban lose the reason for their struggle.

Step 2: Convince the tribes of FATA that Pakistan is not fighting the WOT anymore, and thus convince the Taliban to disarm. Mr. Khan believes that 90% of the Taliban would lay their arms down at this point.

Step 3: If the remaining 10% still persist on ideological basis, then a small “chota mota” military operation could be carried out with the help of the tribes of FATA.

This strategy is based on some very flawed assumptions as Khan Sahib assumes the people of FATA to be siding with the Taliban. To back this claim he invokes history and then leaves it at that.

Historical references are important to consider but more important are modern day ones. This “Tribal-Taliban-Unity” straw man stands exposed with the existence of anti-Taliban tribal lashkars that are created through community consensus. These communities have lost centuries old tribal structures to the Taliban onslaught and have endured beheadings of their loved ones on their native soil. As a result rather then being angry with the Americans in Afghanistan, these rational Pakistanis are more perturbed by the barbarians who are unlawfully ruling their villages through fear and intimidation. Why is it that the rebellion of these entirely Pashtun anti Taliban groups does not remind Imran Khan of the indomitable spirit that resisted the British, while he is very eager to declare a motley crew including Chechens, Punjabis, Arabs, Turkmen, and Uighars as “Pashtun resistance”?

Similarly baseless is the claim that 90% of the Taliban are fighting this war because of Pakistan’s support for the WOT.  PTI’s failed attempt to hold a jalsa in Waziristan proves the non-existence of this “90%”. If such an overwhelming number of Taliban agreed with PTI, then PTI would have been embraced as an ideological ally and Khan Sahib would not have been titled as “a slave of the west”.

This “slavery” of Mr. Khan is certainly not about siding with the United States in the WOT, because he has made his opposition quite clear on that front. However, this particular slavery is signified through his beardless face, his approval for female education, polio vaccination and his acceptance of many other freedoms that we Pakistanis consider our basic rights.

It is clear that Taliban’s measure of freedom from the West is for Imran Khan and the rest of Pakistan to be enslaved under Taliban rule. The people of Waziristan and Swat have tasted this and the struggle of Malala was against these exact “freedoms”. The Swat experience showed that Taliban would not settle for anything less than total control and will not desist from expanding through violent means. If the military is not needed to counter such an existential threat, then in my opinion there is no need for a military.

A very common retort to the military option is to ask what exactly have we accomplished through operations so far? But if our military has failed to deliver then that demands that its performance be reviewed, and not that Pakistanis be handed over as hostages to a band of armed thugs.

The bulldozed town of Loi Sum stands testament to the scorched earth and highhanded policies of a military that feels no restraint. The discovery of Osama in Kakul and the presence of Taliban sympathizers within our armed forces raise serious concerns about the inherent weaknesses within our military response. Before declaring the futility of military efforts, we need to consider the overwhelming evidence that indicates both incompetence and/or collusion in the war against Taliban.

If demands are to be made from the Government, then they should be to demand results from the army. If anything the memogate scandal shows that our Government needs support from all political quarters to break the grip that the security establishment has on Islamabad.

The Taliban constitute an existential threat to Pakistan and the Pakistani way of life. Despite the death of thousands of Pakistanis we still lack the resolve to fight this menace. This lack of a resolve emanates directly from the confusion that prevails about this issue. The source of this confusion lies in ridiculous theories that don’t stand up to rational scrutiny.

The price for this confusion is not being equally paid by all of Pakistan. If handing over Swat and Waziristan to buy the safety of Islamabad and Lahore is the “only solution” then it for sure is not a sustainable one, because sooner rather than later Pakistan is bound to run out of these Pashto speaking lesser Pakistanis.
An edited version was published on the 7th of Nov 2012 in The News


Written by Imran Khan

November 7, 2012 at 6:58 am

Posted in Military, Pakhtuns, PTI, Taliban

Tagged with , , , ,

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. An extremely realistic and thought provoking article. I am really glade someone finally showed the real situation to IK. Very well done bro. I m a supporter of IK but I know his knowledge about the FATA situation is not even elementary ( Please brace urself for PTI Gaali brigade)


    November 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

    • so your knowledge about FATA situation is very elementary. May i ask how many times have you been to FATA and interacted with the tribal people there ?


      November 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      • 🙂 Bro I belong to the area and live my people. I said that I m an IK supporter for his other policies but his knowledge about FATA is very pathetic. Let us be clear about it.


        November 8, 2012 at 4:43 am

  2. ‘Politics’ is required to avoid disputes and wars, in fact it was invented for the very reason, and this is what IK is talking about. Unfortunately you war-mongers won’t understand what a political solution means.


    November 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    • I wish here there was like option Muzaffar.

      Muhammad Ashfaq

      November 7, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    • Bro, No one loves wars, Wars bring miseries, but there is no negotiations with Terrorists. Either u kill them or they would killing u anyway.


      November 8, 2012 at 4:45 am

  3. Imran Khan: first of all I really appreciate your effort and speaking out about this issue. As far as IK and his ideology is concerned I think you are missing here so many other dynamics to this story of Taliban, Military in the making of Taliban and reasons, Military Operations and the Foreign Aid, FATA in terms of development and infrastructure and Pakistan in general and the WOT. It’s not unusual that IK’s ideology policy regarding the Taliban is misinterpreted, specially now when the election is just close by.

    Looking at the history of Pakistan as a state I think we need to think about the changes that are immensely needed for this country right now. This country has been a play ground for the Military and all the political parties just like a football field when the teams play and run around and enjoy themselves but no body realize the fact that if this ground is not watered and taken care it will loose its beauty and shape. And that is why this country needed someone to stand up and try to bring a change, who could be strong enough to face all the evils in our present society, who could be firm enough to stand by his words, who could be loyal and honest enough to not afraid of loosing anything, and who is brave enough to confess his mistakes. When I look back at what has been happening in this country now, I honestly don’t see any other politician/even a person than IK. But strangely enough he’s the most criticized even though he’s not from any of the ruling parties so far, who is not actually the person responsible for the making of Taliban, so called democratic policies afterwards for war on terror and all what you mentioned in your article.

    That is why I think IK deserves the trust and confidence first, as I believe that we will not loose anything if we follow him as a leader. He does not deserve just criticism but positive criticism which could help him strengthening his policies, I believe that he’s at least one loyal person in this country, who has contributed so much to give to this country and the people of this country unlike others who instead of giving have looted everything.

    Muhammad Ashfaq

    Muhammad Ashfaq

    November 7, 2012 at 12:53 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Virulent Probity and commented:
    disagree with pTI policy about TTP


    November 9, 2012 at 10:34 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: