Editorial: The army must face up to Taliban

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Known_Unknown, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Editorial: The army must face up to Taliban

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

    The majority opinion which not so long ago favoured the Nizam-e Adl Regulation (NAR) in Swat is now shifting away from a pro-Taliban stance and conceding that Pakistan might have to fight them as Pakistan’s own war after all. This has happened owing to developments that were predictable to the entire world but not to most Pakistanis because of a media bias. The Swat Taliban have finally said that they are not bound to honour the peace accord between the government and the TNSM cleric Sufi Muhammad. That puts paid to the NAR.

    Sufi Muhammad was supposed to declare war against the Taliban if they did not abide by the NAR, but he has instead condemned the Constitution of Pakistan as an infidel institution. A kind of jihadi nepotism has overcome him as he refuses to see what his son-in-law Fazlullah is doing in Dir and Buner in violation of the accord. Indeed, the Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan has denounced those who criticise the Sufi’s “verdict” against democracy and insists that his brand of shariat will be applied throughout Pakistan, with jiziya (protection tax) imposed on non-Muslims. (Jiziya can be retrospective, amounting to crores of rupees, as happened in the case of the Sikh community in Orakzai.)

    There’s more disquieting news. Like all Taliban, including some pro-Pakistan warlords like Maulvi Nazir, the Taliban spokesman has welcomed Al Qaeda and its leadership to the areas conquered by the Taliban and vowed to help such formerly state-backed jihadi organisations as Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad in addition to the “foreign” outfits such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, to consolidate their hold on Pakistan’s territory. The chief of the Lashkar is in protective custody and the Jaish chief has been made to “disappear” for the same reason — if they are visible, there may be pressure to extradite them.

    The message is clear: the Taliban are linked to Al Qaeda and they are counting on such elements in Punjab to help them take their war down to other parts of Pakistan. When the Swat deal was being sewed up, only the MQM objected, but it was soon isolated in parliament when the National Assembly voted in favour of the NAR. The media-mujahideen acted in the same irresponsible manner in which they had acted during the Lal Masjid affair by siding with the Taliban over the videoed whipping of a 17-year-old girl. The Supreme Court added its bit by releasing the Lal Masjid cleric who immediately announced his resolve to spread the Taliban shariat in Pakistan.

    Interior Adviser Mr Rehman Malik has growled ineffectually in reply and the advocate general in Peshawar has asserted that the High Court will exercise full authority over the qazi courts in Swat. But everyone knows that the advocate general will never go to Swat to say this and risk getting his head chopped off at a Mingora square. Mr Nawaz Sharif has expressed concern after his party kept saying it was not Pakistan’s war that the army was fighting against the Taliban. His refusal to morally support the PPP government earlier and his party’s rejection of an ISI briefing on the matter in a joint parliamentary session had actually made the army back off.

    Finally, it is the army that has to step forward and face the Taliban. It has baulked so far because of adverse public opinion and an equally lethal media tilt. But now that the politicians are waking up to the danger and the media is increasingly disabused, the army must end its India-driven strategy and try to save Pakistan from becoming the caliphate of Al Qaeda. In fact, Islamabad has to reach an understanding with New Delhi over the matter in order to get the army to mobilise in the numbers required. However, if this is not done, the people will have to fight the war on their own. The MQM is asking the right question: what if the Taliban come and the army is not there to protect us?

    Swat is the challenge staring us in the face. If we don’t accept it and fight the Taliban, then the world will have to come and fight it the way it thinks fit.

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    Disturbing developments here. Nothing surprising though. Give the jihadis a finger and they grab an arm. I can't believe that the Pakistani government didn't see this coming.
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Pakistan at the precipice —Dr Akmal Hussain​


    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan

    The events in Swat fit a pattern of strategy that is slowly being unveiled. Only time will tell whether the Swat deal will give “peace in our time” as Chamberlain put it or will constitute what Churchill called the “end of the beginning”

    The speech by Sufi Muhammad, leader of the Tehreek-e Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi, before a huge crowd in Mingora (Swat) last Saturday, represents a critical moment in the crisis of the Pakistani state. It clearly laid out the ideological framework within which the Taliban seek to achieve power and establish governance in Pakistan.

    The Sufi specified the following six important postulates, which made clear the strategic objective of overthrowing the existing constitutional order of Pakistan:

    1. He asserted that sharia (as interpreted by the Taliban) is seen as divine law.

    2. He defined a Muslim not just in terms of someone who believes in the Oneness of God and the fact that Muhammad (PBUH) was the last prophet of God, but as one who supports and helps to implement the sharia.

    3. He stipulated that the existing democratic order was an “un-Islamic system of the infidels” and that supporting such a system was a great sin.

    4. The persistence of the “un-Islamic system of the infidels”, in his view, would destroy Pakistan and that he and his supporters would defend the country in the sense of attempting to establish their version of the sharia.

    5. The superior courts of Pakistan were seen as part of the un-Islamic system of infidels and therefore rejected as institutions where legal appeals against qazi courts were to be made. Instead, he claimed that such appeals would be made before the soon to be formed institution of Darul Qaza.

    6. The Nizam-e Adl (the system of justice established in Swat) as an application of the Taliban version of sharia under the “peace deal” was seen by the Sufi as only the first stage of the implementation process of sharia. According to him, sharia would be completed when it encompassed the institutional structures of Pakistan’s polity, economy and education.


    These six postulates taken together constitute an ideological clarion call to all Muslims to join in the struggle of the Taliban to overthrow the existing democratic constitutional order in Pakistan for the establishment of their version of an Islamic state.

    In this sense, Swat, like the other areas in the NWFP occupied and governed by various Taliban groups, is a base area from which the ideological, political and military struggle to establish a Taliban state in Pakistan is to be conducted.

    Of course, the government regards the compromise in Swat as a “peace deal”, even though the TNSM has clearly stated that they will only provide peace if their version of sharia is implemented. The question is: Will they stop at Swat or pursue their broad strategic goals in the rest of Pakistan once Swat is secured?

    Clearly there is a high quality military mind behind the Taliban strategy. In the first phase, large swathes of FATA were captured and a system of governance established by the Taliban at the level of a system of justice, the provision of livelihood for the poor, and a system of recruitment and military training. In the second stage, they enlarged their territorial control over some of the settled areas of the NWFP.

    At the same time, guerrilla raids were conducted on key targets in the major cities of the country. The purpose was to undermine the confidence of the citizens in the ability of the state to fulfil the most basic function in terms of which it seeks legitimacy: protection of life of its citizens.

    In the third stage, there is a shift from the valleys to the urban centres where strongholds have now been established. These strongholds of urban guerrillas are located in major cities such as Peshawar in the north, Lahore in the east, Multan and Karachi in the south and Quetta in the west. Pakistan is encircled by urban guerrilla forces poised to unleash mayhem of an intensity and scale unprecedented in Pakistan. If and when this happens, it could be a prelude to takeover.

    The events in Swat fit a pattern of strategy that is slowly being unveiled. Only time will tell whether the Swat deal will give “peace in our time” as Chamberlain put it or will constitute what Churchill called the “end of the beginning”.

    For many Pakistanis who are now leaving the country, this is the beginning of the end. It is time for the government, the military and the people of Pakistan to grasp the significance of the historic speech by Sufi Muhammad.

    The writer is Distinguished Professor, Beaconhouse National University
     
  4. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    The real question is aside from public declaration of willingness to oppose the Taliban and like minded groups,does the PAK army want to stand up to the taliban.What does the rank and file of the pak army(not just the corps commanders)think of the advance of the taliban.How will taliban be a disadvantage to the the PAK army,going by the past records both could and can coexist without endangering one another's core interest.
     

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