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Should We Talk to Taliban

By Naeem The whole issue of terrorism/ talks with Taliban etc has been deliberately obfuscated. Everyone involved or otherwise is cherrypicking and taking/ talking about the issue out of context. The politicians, army leadership and media pundits, opposition and mullahs are babbling out of ignorance and fear; and in the process have managed to completely confuse the nation. We need to view the issue/ situation in a holistic manner. Following background/ parameters/ points/ aspects need to be considered/ kept in the forefront while deliberating/ discussing the Taliban/ terrorism/ talks issue. And we need to talk bluntly about it: The army is responsible for this mess (when I say army, I mean the coterie of top 12-15 generals, who make up the collective leadership of the army); and of course with the political support (for whatever it is worth) of their political stooges. The media on the army/ISPR payroll is its mouth-piece to condition the public opinion in army’s favor. What the COAS today calls an existential threat to the security and the integrity of Pakistan; was weaned out of the army’s womb in the 1980’s under the midwife- ship of General Zia and his cabal (of which Generals Hameed Gul and Aslam Beg were an essential part). Although Bhutto was the first one to initiate the use of proxies to further the aims of foreign policy/ strategy in 1975 against the Daud government in Afghanistan; when he set-up Gulbadeen Hikmatyar against the former. But it was Zia who made it a grand

when the Russians left Afghanistan? But the Afghans were not only integrated in the Pakistani society. The military “baqiaat” are being led by Hameed Gul and his ilk. From Shindad to the Gulf. it is only 350 kilometers. In the political arena. LET and a host of such sectarian/ terrorist organizations. If we agree to the above reasoning/ motives of Zia. he had planned to use the militant cadres to “liberate “ Kashmir and the Central Asian states. He deliberately discriminated against Shias . influenced by Saudi Wahibism. Ahmadis and others. the Taliban –collaborator Nawaz Sharif and assorted politico-religious parties. Saudi-funded madrassas mushroomed through the length and breadth of the country and made the moderate majority into an intolerant and bigoted mass. Zia tried to “Islamize” the state and society. an ultrafascist and terrorist entity to combat the electoral influence of PPP. nay a jihad against the Soviets. For this purpose. but it was actually to gain legitimacy with the West. they were also used to further Zia’s sectarian agenda. He ostensibly did it to fulfill his pan-Islamic duties. he gifted the nation with MQM. Subsequently. Zia’s fallacious argument that the Russians wanted to reach the warm waters of Persian Gulf/ Arabian Sea through Pakistan is hogwash. All the above actions have resulted in the radicalization of the state and society of Pakistan. then it was nearer through the Afghan-Iran border. he raised SSP. Now a word about Zia’s sectarian agenda: to gain Saudi petrodollars and favor.enterprise. . And had they wanted an excess to the Gulf. Zia’s agenda was taken up by his “baqiaat” spear-headed by his “Khalifa”. then was it not logical to return all the foreign jihadis back to their home countries. The Russian fought two World Wars without a warm water port.

the Lord Earl of Jalalabad (fiasco)? American and Indians are fingering us in Baluchistan. which has imperiled our very existence. By the way this is the main reason for the drone attacks – the terrorist sanctuaries. . Why not ask Hameed Gul. Musharraf handed over the two western provinces to MMA religiopolitical alliance. After 9/11. it is no secret that the Taliban-cannon-fodder (like its predecessor Mujahidin canon-fodder) was produced in terrorist factories of Messrs Maulana Diesel and Sandwich. Musharraf had a golden chance to break with the terrorist nexus. and the end result is the unraveling our country at a fast clip and our failure as a state. then. he is going to exploit it. Guderians and Rommels should answer this. prominent among the latter are Choudhries. unless he is more stupid then you. It is due to the above reasons that we have come to this sorry pass. Zia’s perverted agenda was furthered by his military-political successors. But he tried to be clever. Now. It gave a free reign to the godfathers of Taliban to facilitate their sanctuaries in Pakistan. that in the early post 9/11 months most of the Al-Qaeda bigwigs were arrested from the homes of JI senior leadership. because we have been fingering India in Kashmir/ India and have provided sanctuaries from where the Taliban attack the Americans. And of course. It is very much there. whose electoral victory was ensured by the military government. Sheikh Rashid and of course the stalwarts of JI. The corollary is that if you give an opportunity to your enemy. someone would say that there is foreign meddling and support of terrorism in the country. Remember. and the answer is that who gave them this opportunity? Our Napoleons.The Taliban again were nurtured by the US-Saudi-Pak axis as the vanguard of their geopolitical ambitions.

we have the Taliban Khan. who has evolved (or come out of the closet) as an accomplice of the Taliban. Our “strategists” and so-called “leaders” have failed to heed the lessons of history: they are still full of hubris. for those who advocate talks with cannot further your geopolitical/ foreign policy goals by using militant proxies. except getting 5000 of its gallant men and officer martyred? Swat which is touted as a show-case. the 65 war. what are you going to talk about? They want nothing less than the state. All the assorted Taliban. trembling and almost on its knees. In KPK. And we have a Punjab government pandering to the TTP to keep “peace”. Taliban are still rampant in FATA and interior Pakistan. They could simply keep on doing what they are doing and bid their time. But yet the Taliban Khan wants the government to . Their past record is a testimony to this fact. from across his base in Afghanistan. How could you negotiate with terrorists? How could you make them an equal stake-holder? Ok. The same stupid mind-set is in action even now. They are a corrupt. sectarian militant and street criminals have joined together against the state. one – policies/ strategies have a use-by date. They have learned nothing from the fiascoes of Op Gibraltar.Two points to be mindful of here. Now coming to the current situation: What has the army got to show for the last decade plus. you need to discard / change them as the situation evolves. 71 dismemberment of Pakistan and the Kargil advantage – the same imbecilic mind-set exists. No one in his/ her proper mind could expect any good from the present lot of politicians/ rulers. is again partially infected by Taliban. they have no idea how to proceed. two. Mullah Fazullah is striking across the Durand Line at will. incompetent and a craven lot. Is there no limit to the asinine stupidity of this man? The political leadership is paralyzed. And why should they talk? They can see the state whimpering.

the terrorists have been bringing the war to the army: GHQ. In COIN an office for TTP! You cannot draw the analogy with the Qatar office of Afghan Taliban. so why not show some courage and dignity. The army chief says that “we will bring the war to the terrorists”. our “leaders” were busy in mega-corruption scandals. There should have been a coherent psy-warfare policy. You do not negotiate with terrorists. Judiciary like politicians is scared of punishing the terrorists. they fought and succeeded. the superior court has exonerated him of all 25 cases. Mehran and Kamra et al. but alas. so when the tipping point comes. but has the army used this time properly? By the way no attempt has been made in the past 10-12 years to purge the mind of the masses of the jihadist ideology. it is imperative that the militarypolitical leadership should stop dithering and gird up for action. but here the Taliban are committing atrocities against the people of Pakistan. ten or twelve years may not be an adequate time. and fight them to the bitter end? . they would flee. We have the examples of Sri Lanka and Algeria. they are simply let free. Before the time runs out. too little and too late. Nawaz Sharif and his ilk have all their properties/ funds (looted/ embezzled from us) abroad. Why are we so scared? The sad fact is that they are already inflicting a slow death on us. but the empirical evidence shows that up till now. but did it work? This analysis would not be complete without the nihilistic role of judiciary. The fact is that the army actions have been reluctant. Consider the case of Mullah Aziz of Lal Masjid. You fight them. The state tried talks with TNSM and even handed over SwatMalakand to them. Afghans are fighting against an occupation army.