Taliban 2.0 release notes

The cost of not finding bin Laden

He’s the new leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, and he’s also called Omar. They are in full control in Waziristan, dominate Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and have extended their influence into several districts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). They are up to the same routine — forcing women into veils, men into beards, and musicians and intellectuals into eternal silence. The Pakistani army is fighting in these areas but it is not, as Gen Musharraf represents, engaged in the war against terrorism. It is fighting to assert control over these areas. The tribesmen of the Frontier are fighting for various reasons: violation of their autonomy, Islam, melmastia or simply vengeance. But they are fighting under one banner — that of the Taliban.

Haji Omar said the Taleban have no quarrel with the Pakistan government.

“We understand that Pakistan attacks us only under American pressure.”

“Instead of bombing its own people, Pakistan should tell the Americans to leave Afghanistan,” he concluded. [‘BBC’]

In fact, this is the very argument that Imran Khan is putting forward.

Today Pakistan army is treating them no differently from how the Americans are treating the Iraqis or the Israelis the Palestinians. Even the terminology used by our government is the same — ‘miscreants’, ‘terrorists’, ‘foreign militants’, ‘Islamic extremists’, etc….Yet despite the strict press censorships and a complete ban on any independent enquiries, it has emerged that now the Pakistan army is pitted against its own citizens and the foreign element is insignificant.

The awful fact is that the tribesmen have risen up against our army. The more “extra-judicial killing” our army does the more the ranks of the tribesmen fighting our army grows, revenge being an integral part of the tribal culture.

Pitting our army against our own citizens at the behest of George Bush’s neocons (war on terror is perceived by the vast majority of our population as a war against Islam) by a general to secure US support for his dictatorship, has raised many questions about the role of the Pakistan army. [Dawn]

Concerns that the Taliban will ‘take over’ Pakistan are as far-fetched today as they were after September 11, 2001. It is one thing to fight a guerilla war on home ground in the remote mountains of FATA. It is quite another to fight the Pakistan army on the plains of the Punjab. What is likely, however, is that the NWFP and FATA will remain under their sway, making the hunt for Osama bin Laden all the more difficult.

Musharraf himself cannot halt the operations against the Taliban and tribal rebels due to his commitments to the United States. But the longer he stays the worse it gets for him and his army. There’s a way out. That is to produce bin Laden. Or is it that the benefits of not finding bin Laden are worth losing FATA?

5 thoughts on “Taliban 2.0 release notes”

  1. Nitin,

    My speculation follows

    The key to the question that whether Pakistan will be taken over by fundamentalist is ofcourse Punjab and Pakistani Army.

    1) Punjab – To my limited knowledge, Punjab is also veering towards fundamentalism. Since it is influenced both by the presence of Pakistani power center as well as urban middle class, this is contained at present.

    2) Army – Again since the times of Zia-Ul-Haq a program of Islamization has been going on.At present there is a noticable faction of Pakistani Army which sympathises and supports Taliban.

    Now at present Pakistan is behaving because of Dubya. However, in US prolonged Iraq war has resulted in setting in of fatigue.

    It can be reasonably argued that the next President (most probably democrat, but true even for a republican) may be less enthusiastic about “war on terror”.
    At that time it is likely that the fundamentalist forces will assert.
    This may result in either takeover of Pakistan by Taliban clones or an implosion. I don’t savour the thoughts of either happening.


  2. Agree with Gaurav. The frankenstein monster of fundamentalism, created by the generals to “bleed” India, might devour Pakistan.
    And this suppostion is based on the fact that the islamism enjoys support within the army – and not only because the latter sired the former, but also because the present rank and file are products of an education system which has seen an increasingly shrill and distorted perversion of history and brainwashing. Of course, Mushie might not like them, since the little tiff with the bomb meant for him and what not, but I freely question his dedication, commitment and more importantly his actual control as far Pakistan’s mad mullahs go.
    Weirdly tho, I do feel a little sorry for Mushie. America on his posterior, goading him to go get Laden, or at least stay out of his way and/or provide logistical/grunt support. OTOH, taliban, al-queda, foreign militants, home-grown crazies, what have you, with mentors in the ISI and army and support among segments in the population. He’s been walking the tightrope since 9/11, but somethings gotta give.

  3. Mr Cynical or Sicological, stop sending propaganda against Pakistan and try be the son of literater people. Pakistan has done a lot against terrorism and it was with the international community through thick and think to do that, if you have sense of thinking?

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