[Dawn] THE cold-blooded shooting of Malala Yousufzai, the girls' rights activist, by a Taliban hit man has led to an unusual outcry in Pakistain against this "bestial", "obscene" and "horrendous" act of terrorism. This commendable popular revulsion, emanating from religious and political parties, as well as the military leadership, can crystallise effective action against the perpetrators of terrorist violence in Pakistain.
Some policy and administrative measures are self-evident. Gun control in Pakistain must be a high priority. All political parties and groups which maintain armed militias should be obliged to disband them. Security checks need to be intensified including the use of CCTV. The investigative and forensic capabilities of the security services need to be enhanced. Justice and penalties for terrorist attacks need to be dispensed boldly and quickly. And, Al Qaeda's presence must be eliminated through decisive national and international action.
However, some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them... undertaking a comprehensive campaign against the Islamic fascistiwill require not only political courage and unity within Pakistain's disparate power structure but also a full understanding of the nature and causes of the terrorist threat which Pakistain confronts and which has apparently claimed over 36,000 Pak lives since the launch of the 'war on terror'.
A plan of action against terrorist violence needs to start from a full analysis of the composition, motivation and modus operandi of the beturbanned goon groups operating in Pakistain. This is a motley crowd. The generic word 'Taliban' is now an overextended brand name applied to a variety of groups within Afghanistan and Pakistain.
It is not possible, nor necessary, for Pakistain to fight all of those who are called, or call themselves, 'Taliban'. All of them are not involved in attacks against Pakistain. Nor is it possible, as some have suggested, to negotiate peace with all of those called 'Taliban'.
Most of the attacks in Pakistain have emanated from fighters grouped under the Al Qaeda-linked Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) -- the so-called 'Pak Taliban', presently led by Hakeemullah Mehsud. The Mehsuds rose against the Pakistain Army after its first ingress into South Wazoo in 2003. Following the Red Mosque episode, the beturbanned goon leader Baitullah Mehsud brought together a variety of Pak beturbanned goon groups, including those operating in Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... as well as the so-called 'Punjabi Taliban', under the umbrella of the TTP.
These groups are united on one issue: opposition to Pakistain's alliance with the US 'war on terror' (which they construe as a war on Islam). But each component group within the TTP also has its own specific objectives and priorities.
The Punjabi Taliban are largely hard-core Sunni groups with a sectarian agenda and an ideology similar to the 'original' Taliban led by Mullah Omar ... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality... . These groups have been utilised by some of Pakistain's leading political parties to play a pivotal role in south Punjab's denominationally divided districts.
Some were involved in the Kashmiri freedom struggle. A few among them, working with Al Qaeda, twice attempted to assassinate former President Musharraf for his perceived 'sellout' of the Kashmiri freedom struggle after the December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament. However, the way to a man's heart remains through his stomach... the feared pro-Kashmiri Lashkar-e-Taiba ...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI... did not join the anti-Pakistain attacks although, at US and Indian behest, it was eventually declared a terrorist organization.
The approach to each of the groups within the TTP will need to be different. The Punjabi Taliban can be best controlled through political, security and judicial arrangements in the relevant districts. Promise of a share in electoral power but also demonstration of a determination to penalise illegal actions against Pakistain's national interests could be elements designed to pacify these Punjabi groups. Their militancy may ease also with the US-NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... withdrawal from Afghanistan and an end to Pakistain's cooperation with them.
It will be difficult to negotiate with the Taliban group which was operating in Swat and is probably responsible for shooting Malala Yousufzai. The last negotiations attempted with this group in 2009 -- so mistakenly endorsed by Pakistain's National Assembly -- failed miserably. The media projection of their atrocities created the political environment that enabled the Pakistain Army to launch military operations in Swat and other frontier agencies. Interestingly, during these operations, the army found itself fighting highly trained Uzbek and Chechen fighters who could have come to Pakistain only through Afghanistan. They will have to be hunted down.
It will also be difficult to negotiate with the core of the TTP led by Hakeemullah Mehsud. At present, many TTP fighters operate from safe havens in Afghanistan against Pakistain Army positions. Pak intelligence has assumed for some time that these groups enjoy tacit support from Afghan intelligence if not the Kabul government.
These cross-border attacks against Pakistain from Afghan territory are likely to continue until a broader political arrangement is reached or the Pakistain Army takes action.
The military option against this core of the TTP can be accompanied by talks with the tribal leadership of the Mehsuds and other clans involved. This is probably what Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who is the lightweight's lightweight... is advocating. A re-assumption of authority and power by the tribal maliks from the TTP warlords would help significantly in defeating these beturbanned goon groups, restoring peace and halting terror attacks from Pakistain's tribal agencies.
Much as the US and NATO would like Pakistain to undertake military action against the Haqqani group, Islamabad has no pressing reason to fight them or other Afghan Taliban. To do so will expand the number of groups targeting Pakistain. These groups are not involved presently in the attacks against Pakistain.
These Afghan Taliban are not only in North Waziristan; many are 'hiding in plain sight' with the two million Afghan refugees who populate virtual cities along the border in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... . Pakistain should help to contain and halt cross-border operations by the Afghan Taliban.
This can be best done in talks relating to the full and early withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. In return, Pakistain should secure credible guarantees that Afghan, Indian and Western agencies are not involved in sponsoring terrorist violence within Pakistain, especially in Balochistan.
Pakistain should also be able to convince Washington that an attack on the Afghan Taliban at present makes little political sense.
The US wants to withdraw from Afghanistan in peace and dignity. This will be possible only if a cessation of hostilities is in effect, even if a political solution for Afghanistan's future governance cannot be agreed by 2014. Pakistain can help to negotiate such an arrangement.
A US-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, and an end to Pakistain's reluctant cooperation with them, will considerably ease the anger of the religious parties and other Paks who oppose America's objectives and presence in the region.
If Pakistain's leadership can ensure that, following US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the much delayed investments in infrastructure, education and jobs are made in Pakistain's urban and rural centres of poverty, especially the tribal agencies, the country can finally begin to address the root causes of extremism and militancy. This is the most sustainable way to consign terrorism to the dustbin of our history.
This commendable popular revulsion, emanating from religious and political parties, as well as the military leadership, can crystallise effective action against the perpetrators of terrorist violence in Pakistain
And what color is the sky on your planet?
Note too the scocialist/liberal call for gun control this is just disgusting.
If Pakistain's leadership can ensure that, following US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the much delayed investments YOUR US DOLLARS in infrastructure, education and jobs are made in Pakistain's urban and rural centres of poverty, especially the tribal agencies, the country can finally begin to address the root causes of extremism and militancy.
I've save you the time and the US Taxpayer the money. It's YOUR phueching stoneage religion!
"They" shoot, rape and kill hundreds of Malala every days...Why the sudden interest?
I say bullshit..."they" just want the soft belly American suckers to keep paying up! The Chingchangchongs and the Saudi monkeys are notoriously tight fisted and dont care a hoot about Pakis and their usual crap...
On a line drawn eastward from Bermuda to Japan, you essentially pass through one (1) ally of ours. You would see many potential allies, and some developing allies, and several nations with very similar interests. But to attribute any great success or failure to our present policy in and around Syria almost certainly overstates such a case.
More interesting is the compare and contrast exercise of the more robust internationalism of the pre-Obama era, with the more feckless multilateral approach of the past few years.