War on multiple fronts by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

It is good news for KPK and Pakistan that PTI CEC team is reviewing its security policy. I am confident that after consultations they will come up with a policy that is more realistic and in line with the expectation of people. The decision to initiate police operation in Peshawar is a band-aid that can not cure the cancer.

Today a question was raised at me about how we can fight this war. In my personal view we need to fight this war on three fronts simultaneously:

  1. Ideological
  2. Political &
  3. Social

On the ideological front, I want to remind you the statement of General Musharraf. He said that he agreed to cooperate with America in the war on terror because they threatened to bomb Pakistan to Stone Age if we did not cooperate. Well the news for General Musharraf is that with the help of his American friends we are now very close to that destination. He needs to have some taste of that Stone Age by charging him for abuse of power and taking nation to war without due process.

Pakistan has been an obedient implementer of US foreign policy in South Asia starting from May 1950 when PM Liaquat Ali Khan decided to visit USA rather than go to Russia. Later Pakistan became part of American sponsored CENTO and SEATO. Pakistan also allowed its Peshawar air base to be used by US planes for reconnaissance missions to Russia. Pakistan became front line state in first Afghan war and now participant in second. But America has a new darling in South Asia who happens to be our eastern neighbor. So we need to send a clear message to USA that we can no longer acts as their agents in South Asia. We need to protect our national interests and think independently. This is probably the most difficult part of this whole equation especially when we need IMF, American weapons and their diplomatic support in multilateral forums. I am speaking in radical terms but if the government implements 10% of what I said we may have some chance of success.

We also need to ask venerable Maulana Samiul Haq, who ran a successful jihadi factory, what kind of Sharia he has been teaching these terrorists so that we can understand their mindset and then effectively counter it. Learning from the lives of our beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and first four caliphs, I am quite certain Maulana Samiul Haq sahib has been teaching them politics rather than Sharia.

In the similar vein we need to ask our Generals how they define good and bad Taliban and whether we need to revisit that definition.

We need to draw a line for talks with insurgents that they have to accept the constitution of Pakistan and it is a non-negotiable position. If they want to implement Sharia then they should form a political party and seek people’s mandate to implement it. There can be no negotiations with Taliban groups that have accepted responsibility for terror incidents. They have to be dealt with full force of Pakistani state until they surrender unconditionally and lay down their arms. Terrorists courts have to be set up for speedy trial of captured Taliban.

On the political front we need to stop pursuing multiple systems inside our territorial boundary. We need to convert FATA into a province and tell our Afghan friends that Durrand line stands as an international border. If they happen to disagree with us then revoke Afghan transit trade agreement until we come to some understanding.

On the social front we need to rehabilitate Taliban fighters that show signs of willingness to reform. We should provide them small loans to settle down and start businesses. We need to compensate people who suffered from terrorism and drone strikes. We need to help IDPs return home and help them rebuild their homes and infrastructure with contributions from government and local NGOs. I repeat local NGOs not international ones. Alhamdollilah we have a large group of rich people who are always generous to open their wallets when a nation faced a calamity.

It will not be an easy road. But it is not an impossible situation. Other nations have faced much deeper crisis and came out of it. Pakistanis are enterprising people and I have no doubt they have the capacity to deal with this menace. Pakistan is desperately looking for a leader behind which they can unite. That is what is missing today.

I will close this email with an excerpt from Tribune Newspaper of Pakistan that reported the terror incident of Peshawar:

“Anguished wails of a young man filled the corridors of the emergency ward. “I am destroyed, my whole family is gone. What will I do in the house all by myself.” People attempted to comfort him but who can console a man who has lost his mother, sisters, brothers and cousins in minutes.”

This man is expecting us to act rather than behave like a Deer that is frozen by headlights of an approaching car.

What Next?

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