Waziristan IDPs- Lessons learnt
Sufi Mohammad (TNSM) was created by the government to dilute power of Pakistan Peoples Party in Dir, Mangal Bagh was created by Political administration to dilute the powers of Barra Committee, Taliban were created to bring peace in Afghanistan. Each one of them turned their guns against the government at some point in time, what’s so different about LeJ, LeT, JuD and others?
IDPs waiting for food items
The Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa have been through hell and hot waters for the last more than a decade. They saw NATO troops enter their area killing anything that moved and Pakistan army wipe out whole towns (Miranshah..). They suffered drone and suicide attacks and they were kidnapped, tortured and killed by all sides party to the war on terror. They have been homeless in their own country, unwelcomed and ridiculed by their fellow countrymen. No cruelty and tyranny has been spared, above all they have been ignored by both, the media and the judiciary.
All this didn’t happen overnight, it happened in properly planned phases and by the time people knew what hit them it was too late. By then the enemy was so strong that major tribes like Mahsud and Dawar were unable to put up any resistance.
We know that it all started with the Afghan Jihad. Much has already been written on it which need not be repeated; suffice to say that large amount of funds were made available by the free world for this war. Both, push and pull factors were used to uproot Afghans from their country, to live as refugees and fight the Jihad. The government actively created and supported Hizbs and Lashkars towards this end. Arms, ammunition Thugs from around the world were offloaded. Madrassas cropped up everywhere, every sect having their own and their students were to be used as fodder for the Afghan war. Anyone who could carry a gun was converted into a mercenary. This was the Afghan Jihad and the whole free world was a party to it.
All was not bad, the positive aspect of so much funds being pumped in was the manifold increase in economic activity. Miranshah became a bustling town, business was booming and commodity prices were falling by the day. Food items were cheaper than anywhere in the world.
Mujahideen and the rest of the free world were all on the same side and since they (Afghan, Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens) were fighting in Afghanistan there wasn’t any problem to complain. For almost three decades this continued. Except for a few hiccups between the locals and Afghan Refugees no major problem was witnessed.
Then came 9/11, which affected the whole world; ‘Either you are with us or against us’ was the US rhetoric for the war on terror. Overnight the long term allies Mujahideen (now Taliban) and the US became enemies. The people of FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Pak army were all caught in the cross fire between AlQaida and Taliban on one side and US and NATO on the other. Pakistan and the Arab countries had friends on both sides. They sided with US but maintained their relations with Taliban, they had so painstakingly created. On accusations of playing a double game from the West, Pakistan denied links with Taliban and started military operations against them.
States have been using non state actors to fight their proxies where the state cannot get involved openly. It’s an open secret that Pakistan and India have always been using them against each other. Since Lashkars are an important instrument of our foreign policy, Taliban or no Taliban, the state keeps strengthening them. The Mujahideen churning factories are in full production, hence there is no dearth of fighters under any name.
When Pak army and Taliban were on the same side there was no problem but as soon as the Taliban turned their guns on Pak army or vice versa, problems started. The people of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suffered immensely but Pak army suffered equally. The only good thing about the disaster is that it is in one corner of the country while most of the country is comparatively safe.
Recently, hanging of Mumtaz Qadri and his unprecedented funeral procession, up to a million people, was witnessed. The mourners marched on Islamabad and had a sit-in to show their strength. This was just one sect, there are many more, bigger and stronger, that have shown their muscles on different occasions.
What is feared and deserves a warning to comrade countrymen is, what if on some issue, like Qadri’s hanging, attack on Iraq or the blasphemous cartoons, all the sects and Lashkars got together against the government and the army? They number in millions, they are equal if not better trained, they are more committed and are loaded with small arms fit for street fighting.
Such a scenario is not impossible. If there are doubts let me remind that Sufi Mohammad (TNSM) was created by the government to dilute power of Pakistan Peoples Party in Dir, Mangal Bagh was created by Political administration to dilute the powers of Barra Committee, Taliban were created to bring peace in Afghanistan and there are many more. Each one of them turned their guns against the government at some point in time, what’s so different about LeJ, LeT, JuD and others? Why won’t they turn their guns against the government?
So, beware countrymen. Till all are on the same side there is no harm done but if a split occurs we are going to have it. The people of FATA and Pakhtunkhwa in spite of all their resilience couldn’t survive the sufferings; if the same was to befall on Sind and Punjab they won’t be able to bear it. It’s time to realize that non state actors are instruments of the past, no one can continue with them. Taliban or the other Lashkars might be good enough to create trouble but they cannot bring peace and stability, they cannot form a government by force and they are not acceptable in the international community. The government needs to redraw its priorities and find means for peaceful co existence.