By Raja G Mujtaba
Yasmeen Ali, a blogger and a regular contributor to Opinion Maker, carried out a discussion on her Blog Pakpotpourri 2. Some very pertinent questions were raised as given below. The participants gave their views very freely. There are some very renowned personalities like Admiral I A Sirohey, Shaheen Attiqur Rehman etc. who participated in the discussion. The list of the participants is given below.
Here I would like to mention my talk with Brig Amir Gulistan Janjua, a former Governor of PK (NWFP) who said that he had 40,000 militia under his command that he could order into operation anytime, but he always preferred to resolve the issues through dialogue and it worked. Force must be shown but seldom used.
These views of the concerned and responsible citizens of Pakistan deserves due consideration before initiating any operation in North Waziristan.
Some questions discussed to reach a consensus were:
- Is Al Qaeda leadership present in North Waziristan? Will this Army offensive be the Waterloo for the militants?
- Extent of militants manpower and logistics.
- Is the proposed action a part of US strategy to squeeze the enemy before negotiations or a direct Pakistani interest?
- How does the Army bring in loop the Gulbadin and Haqanni forces not in N Waziristan?
- What would be the quid pro quo re India? Would USA be prepared to force out the excessive and intrusive Indian presence in Afghanistan?
- How does this strategy ensure elimination of Black Water from Pakistan?
- Would we ever be able to regain the utmost loyalty of our tribesman after this offensive?
- Are the Armed Forces not overstretched at this point of time to open another front?
There was no dispute on the fact that the economy is suffering because of the war. Negligible FDI, soaring inflation, war funding demands, etc. are all war linked. The war is not helping Pakistan’s poor. Pakistan’s social development is being stunted while the rest of the world is moving forward. The economy of the world is turning around while our people lack drinking water, subsistence hpw nutrition, energy, education, jobs, and Medicare. We, on the other hand are being guided by taking directions from external powers that fail to consider Pakistan’s interests.
Those living in the tribal area and people of Waziristan are the ones most affected by the war. It is their youth that has been misguided and brainwashed to believe they are answering to a higher call. Of the few thousand militants 20 percent maybe those who suffered collateral damage, 20 percent who genuinely think it is an Islamic duty to fight infidel occupying forces; 40 percent who are mercenaries out of economic necessity, and the remaining criminals and thugs settling old scores or making money. Most of the mercenaries and thugs are being trained, financed, and equipped by vested interest countries.
The majority are fighting because they have been led to believe, they fight an illegal attack by USA. The drone strategy here, has obviously backfired. They are fighting our Army and police because they believe our government and political leadership are helping the occupation and expansion of empire. The people of the tribal belt, more than any other ethnic race in Pakistan, have never hesitated from defending their motherland.
We, the Concerned Citizens of Pakistan, request the Government of Pakistan, to ensure, that our Forces should only go into North Waziristan to deal with militants at a time of our choosing if considered essential for the interests of Pakistan. Any contemplated action must not be taken under external pressure to protect foreign interests.
Concerned Citizens of Pakistan:
-Mr Zafar Akhtar
-Mr Imamat Naqvi
-Mr Qazi Habib ul Haq
-Mr Naeem ul Haque
-Ms Yasmen Ali
-Mr Iftikhar Ahmed
-Mr Haroon Wasti
-Mr Adnan Ghani
-Mr Rizwan Saleem
-Sqn Leader(r)M . Zubair
-Shaheen Atiq ur Rehman
-Tanveer Ahmed Siddiqui
-Mr Khan Zia
-Mr Adeel Kazi
-Mr Rauf Engineer
-Brig (r)S.M. Jawad
– Brig (R) S Javed Ashraf Khan, SI(M)
-Brig(r) Syed Masud ul Hassan