Sunday, April 26, 2009

• • • 'Dir' aaye, durust aaye !

On Sunday morning, the Swati Taliban, who have reportedly been gathering in Dir district, ambushed the security forces. The attack on forces lead to a counter attack on the militants by the Frontier Constabulary and as a result many are reported dead. Security forces lost a personnel too. This was inevitable. Despite governments efforts to bring peace in Malakand division through a peace deal with Sufi Mohammad's TNSM, this was inevitable.

To begin with, I feel, Sufi Mohammad's control over the Swati Taliban was somewhat overrated and overestimated. It was a little too much of an ask, and surely Sufi wasn't up to the task. Some of the points that were agreed upon in the Swat peace deal were;

• The Taliban would recognize the writ of the government and cooperate with security forces;
• The Taliban would halt attacks on barber and music shops;
• The Taliban cannot display weapons in public;
• The Taliban would turn in heavy weapons (rockets, mortars);
• The Taliban cannot operate training camps;
• The Taliban would denounce suicide attacks;
• A ban would be placed on raising private militias;

None of these agreed upon conditions were fulfilled by the Taliban despite Sufi Mohammad's promises. The government on their end did whatever was necessary like allowing the Nizam-e-Adl regulation to be imposed and halting the military operation. Muslim Khan, the Taliban spokesman openly defied the agreement vowing to carry the arms publically. Not just that, Swati Taliban were not only behind the 15th April Charsadda suicide attack killing 15, but they advanced to and took over Buner as well, only to retreat after talks and threat of action by the Army Chief.

Most of the country breathed a sigh of relief after the deal was signed in a hope that peace would finally return in Swat and adjoining areas. But that was not to be. Can an ordinary deal stop the men on divine mission from their duties? I doubt it. Sufi Mohammad still looks like a reasonable man, and reports from areas under his influence aren't that bad either. But his notorious son in law, Maulana Fazlullah, and Swati Taliban cannot be trusted. They can never be trusted. The use of force would be the only way forward, or else their areas of influence would spread.

A positive that has come out of all this 'deal, or no deal' fiasco is that the Swati Taliban have been exposed, and the sympathies, if the had any, in public have dimished. Even people like Nawaz Sharif, Qazi Hussain Ahmad and Imran Khan, who openely supported the deal with Taliban, have now come out in public to denounce them. Now the public, that was earlier against a military action, would support it, which should always be marketed as an option unless Taliban honor the deals like Swat in letter and spirit.


  1. Very well written somehow I was also against Military action before Swat deal but now I support Military action in Swat.No one should be allow to challenge writ of the govt in any part of Pakistan

  2. I cannot understand how can an educated man like Imran Khan support the Taliban...!
    The deal might have bought a temporary relief to the rest of the country, but I don't think that acknowledging a quasi-Government is a bright idea..! It'll lead to factionalism and encourage warlords..!
    With a military like Pakistan, Taliban should not be too much of a threat...

  3. Is the government in PAK really a puppet in hands of Taliban as the news channels portraits?? I still dont understand wat the Taliban wants from ppl of Pakistan/world!?? Being in India we get lot of abrupt news... to be sincere im very much concerned abt the ppl out ther....!!

  4. Not really. Taliban are a problem but only in the mountains of FATA, and some parts of Swat. Not all of them are Taliban actually, like in Swat, there are two groups, TNSM, who were in an unarmed struggle to revive the old Nizam-e-Adl or justice system which was in place under the Wali or Prince of Swat, and was replaced by Pakistan's mainland judicial system in 1973.

    The other are Taliban. Government's deal was with TNSM and they made a promise that they will get the Taliban to lay arms, which they couldn't. Now the operation is on. But no such threat of Taliban taking over etc. News channels tend to exaggerate a bit imo.

  5. Ayyo, Imran is basically against the Americans, and has been a vocal opposition to the military action since 2003. He doesn't support them, but he doesn't support the military option either. He has been saying that local Taliban should be brought on discussion table and government should talk them out of it rather than killing them, as in his view, bloodshed increases terrorism.

  6. I pray almighty,in wat ever name he be, May peace rule!!