Talibanisation of Pakistan
Tuesday, February 17, 20092 Comments
Taliban in Swat region
The Swat valley, 160 kilometres north of Islamabad, was once a popular tourist destination. But for more than a year Taliban militants and Pakistan forces have been battling it out there. Hundreds of people have been killed - thousands have fled. And despite being greatly outnumbered, the militants have succeeded in gaining control of most of the area.
In return for a ceasefire, authorities have now agreed to a deal which will allow the introduction of Sharia law in the Malakand region, which includes Swat.
The chief minister of the North West Frontier Province Amir Haider Khan defended the deal by saying,"it was needed to provide speedy justice", Iqbal Haider from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says,"This is a surrender by the frontier government and the Government of Pakistan before the terrorists. And we are appalled by such an appeasement of extremist and militant forces who are hell bent upon destroying Pakistan and conquering Pakistan."
The Pakistani government probably agreed to this imposition of Shari law to cool down the Taliban in the short term while they regroup and try to defeat them in the long or control them perhaps rather than defeat them in the longer term.It is also to some extent a duplicitous strategy because the Pakistan Government has used the Taliban elements for its strategic interests in Afghanistan and not the Taliban elements but religious elements such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba to create difficulties with India and places like Kashmir. And now those elements are coming back to cause it major problems and arguably it is, they are feeding the hand that not only fed it but arguably also bred it.
The decision will have its influence on events in Afghanistan. The Taliban, apparently, are in control of about or have a presence in about 70 per cent of Afghanistan and this will only give them further momentum to continue to try to improve their presence throughout the rest of Afghanistan and Pakistan.And if this area is a restricted area now to main stream Pakistani army, police, administrators, then that will be a safe haven for terrorists from Afghanistan who want to get sanctuary in Pakistan.
On a visit to Pakistan Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith gave a cautious response to news of the deal, saying he hoped what had occurred would be a positive development. But Mr Smith pointed out that the result of a similar agreement in the past had not been favourable.
People in Pakistan are largely in denial, they dont want to believe that the talibanisation of pakistan is just round the corner, a big reason for all this is that the army in Pakistan plays a big role and they are still confused which way to go,every ordinary soldier is confused if he should fire at his "Muslim Brother", so the world has seen incidents where 300 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to 15 taliban rag-tags. All these isolated incidents when put together show that pakistan is rapidly losing the war against taliban!