Thursday, May 7, 2009

• • • Swat deal, A clever tactical maneuver ?

Swat peace deal with TNSM was met with mixed reactions. Some breathed a sigh of relief hoping for revival of peace in the valley, some reacted very strongly against it saying that it would do no good, and rest were clueless. The West and US had very strong reservations of the peace accord and they opposed it vocally. Still government of Pakistan went ahead and got it passed from the parliament. After a couple of months of signing the deal and a month after enforcing the new Nizam-e-Adl regulation, we can now judge it, more objectively.

First of all let's see what were the immediate outcomes of the deal, first the positives;

* Swat became relatively peaceful.
* Most of Pakistanis were finally happy that government listened to their wishes and gave peace a chance.

Now, the negatives;

* Militants started over estimating themselves.
* Rest of the world started accusing Pakistan of surrendering to the Taliban.
* Incidents like flogging girls in public started happening.
* Taliban started to move into other areas of Malakand, like Buner and Lower Dir.
* Finally, a military action in Dir.

Now the question that arises in my mind is that could the peace deal actually be a clever tactical maneuver by Pakistani military establishment, namely General Kiyani, to expose Taliban's true face and intentions and go after them with full force? The government has killed 3 birds with one arrow by signing and exposing the evil militants; 1- got the much needed public opinion swayed in favor of military action, 2- isolated Taliban from any political support that they had like Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan and Qazi Hussain Ahmad, and, 3- revived army's lost support in general public.

So if it was actually a calculated, planned strategy, then well done Pakistan! I just hope that the military action this time is decisive and result oriented.


  1. //So if it was actually a calculated, planned strategy, then well done Pakistan//

    True, maybe. But at what cost? Flogged a couple of girls in public, made lives hell for some people, got it's own soldiers killed in a much procrastinated War.. just to prove to the world and the rest of the Pakistanis that the Taliban are bad?!
    What about the girls? The flogging wouldn't be hurting physically now, though it'll be etched forever in their psyche!

  2. But the problem is that public opinion had gotten alarmingly against the military action, and general public has started hating army for it. How effective would have been an operation which would have had no support in the country?

  3. I thought that the video showing a girl flogged by a couple of Talibans was phony since no eye witness could be traced. One such event did occur where a girl was flogged but that was before the peace deal and the girl was punished by some under aged boys’ not adult men (details were shown on GEO).

    Anyway, the point is its not just Talibans that are being targeted it is the innocent civilians who are suffering the wrath too. I get to read everyday that the militants and some civilians died in the drone attack or in some other operation. So, who is answerable to the families of the victims? What possible justification do we have to kill the innocents? Or is it a do or die situation where human lives don’t matter anymore to anyone?

  4. No Ammara, it wasn't phony. We were just made to believe that it was. An elderly sidelined senior ANP leader Afzal Lala has confirmed it, despite his party's denial.

    The other incident, again, is extremely dangerous and sad. First of all, who gave them the 'authority' to render punishments? Secondly, involving school boys in flogging? what kind of a sick practice is that?

    Now about the other issue that you raise, what, in your view, could be the alternate solution to this. Do you have one in mind? Cause I don't. We've tried talking to them, but what was the result.. they took over another area.

  5. Sikandar, it’s a common consensus that Talibanization is a global threat and we have witnessed, in the past, the deadly terrorist activities such as 9/11 in US, 7/7 in UK and then 11/29 (Mumbai Attacks) in India; claiming infinite number of lives. So, my question here is how come we don’t see these governments carrying out drone attacks, target killings or covert military operations in their own countries? Or is it that after carrying out the intended destruction all the Militants or Talibans retreat to Pakistan? Who is to ensure that these super powers themselves don’t breed or fund Talibans or don’t have Taliban operating bases in their own countries?

    Well!!! With all due respect, all they can do is apprehend innocent “Pakistani” students in suspicion of involvement in some massive terrorist plot, humiliate them in the community and then release in the absence of a solid evidence against them. Unfortunately, there is no one to raise their voices against such unjust, racial and biased treatment based on a misconception that Pakistan harbors terrorists. Yeah Right!!!!!

    Talibans made the worst mistake of their lives, over estimated their power and did not cash the opportunity by setting an exemplary governance/infrastructure in Swat in order ease the doubt and fear, related to the implementation of Nizam-e-Adal, which dwells in the minds of a common man or woman.

    Anyway, the peace deal failed but my question remains why do we have to kill the innocents, the civilians. It’s a war on terror not a war on civilians. What we don’t understand is that if one innocent dies, the victim’s family stand up to avenge the death of its member. So, it is not just a war against terrorism, it is also a war against the commoners who have lost their people in the drone attacks or military operations. All is well friends, till the evil is dawned upon us (God forbid)

    I really don’t know the solution to this problem but I do know that I wouldn't want Pakistan to end up like Afghanistan, where NATO forces have brought it down to rubbles and are still unsuccessful to wipe out Talibans.

  6. Please do view the speech made by US President Ronald Regan, where he called Talibans "The Freedom Fighter".