Articles of the year 2009

Published on May 02nd, 2009

War has been around since the earliest days of mankind. And the armies of the world have studied war and many books have been written on all aspects of this subject, throughout the ages, as this was always a matter of life and death. The Pakistan Army is also well versed and has studied deeply the science of war, being a very professional organisation.

Historically, after war, which was the change of regime by external forces, the next problem facing the nations was 'insurgency', i.e. the change of regime from within - equally bloody and traumatic for many times brother faced brother, or sons versus father. The ultimate quest, being the power of the realm. As important as war, and as bloody, insurgency has also been very carefully studied through the ages, by all governments.

It is therefore surprising that our government has taken the ostrich position denying that they have ever heard of insurgency, or insurgents. Taliban, Islamists, Jihadis, miscreants, anything to gloss over the deadly danger of the insurgent. There is no hint in these words of flogging, beheading, exhumation and hanging of the corpse from a lamppost, whipping children, the latent evil of the Taliban has been successfully hidden from the public by some very clever PR. The talk shows on TV very subtly avoid the heinous crimes perpetrated by these insurgents in their quest for power, even the video of the flogging was claimed to have been filmed in Bollywood. Religion is used as a cloak to give a religious tint under the belief that the Pakistani will never question nor act against anybody who is purportedly 'anointed' by an Islamic touch.

While it explains why the individual Pakistani will not act against a supposedly religious representative. It does not explain the government or the army from declaring: "We cannot order our troops to fire upon our own people."First we must declare that anyone challenging the writ of the State is an insurgent, and therefore not entitled to any support, but he should be hunted down like a dangerous criminal. For, in society, anyone who mounts a challenge - against the State of Pakistan, is a traitor whose punishment is death.

For the army to stand idly by and not take action is dereliction of duty, and it must be kept in mind that the army has in the past taken over when the situation was far more secure. In 1958, 1970, 1977 and 1999, there was no external or internal threat. The army certainly did not seek permission when they took over, and yet now when the stability of Pakistan is at risk with Swat and Malakand in the control of the Taliban, and only 50 miles from Islamabad itself, the army waits. For what? General Kayani must move immediately, against the Taliban in the Frontier, and we the people will send them to battle with roses, and our blessings.

This is the time for the army to redeem itself, and prove that the army is not there for the plots, but to keep the country together. The Musharraf years have seen the Talibanisation of the Northern Areas, and the spread into Islamabad itself. The Lal Masjid vigilantes who threatened video shopkeepers and then mounted a challenge that resulted in a showdown with 93 people dead. This, watched live by the whole nation.

The army now has the whole country behind it - and the whole world for that matter. No Americans, just the Pakistan Army fighting to keep Pakistan safe from the militants. No drones, Kayani and his men must rid us of this plague. Sunni, Shia Bohri, Memon, Barelvi, Ismailis, we are all Muslims, we do not need to be re-indoctrinated.

General Kayani has allowed the politicians too much room to interfere in what is purely a military matter. The Pakistani Army is well versed in the counter-insurgency techniques, and the ISI are masters in these methods, and could probably 'turn' some of the militants. Some may already be ISI sleepers. Insurgents are the most dangerous of our foes, for they are in Pakistan sitting on Tarbela, and the Capitol-Islamabad.

General Kayani, the nation is looking to you eagerly, to bring honour to our army and roll back our territory from the insurgents who have 'conquered' Swat. The people of Pakistan are furious that Swat was signed away under the guise of a peace deal called Nizam-e-Adl. Which was an obvious ruse to fool the ANP government - and it worked. Immediately afterwards the militants refused to lay down their arms according to the terms of the deal. General Kayani, we have been betrayed by irresponsible and incompetent politicians. The militants have infiltrated the rest of the country. As I write these words 33 people have been shot dead in Karachi, in one day. It may already be too late.

Finally the entire leadership should relocate to Swat until the area is cleansed, and no foreign junkets, Umrah trips to Dubai, should be allowed till the problems of the people of Swat are cleared. Otherwise the citizens of Pakistan will rise up as they did in the long march, only this time it will be for the replacement of the politicians.