IF THE US CAN, PAKISTAN SHOULD
The US, the UK, and even Hamid Karzai are making peace with Taliban. Why are they putting pressure on Pakistan to expand the war and fight them.
The US, and the UK are actively pursuing strategies to make peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai has just announced that he wants to bring the Taliban into the government. The United Kingdom wants to spend money and bribe the Taliban into switching sides.
So far so good. Peace making is a good endeavour.
However it seems its only good for the Kipling followers carrying the White Man’s Burden.
The same forces that have been actively talking to the Taliban, are putting pressure on Pakistan to wage war on them and continue the war on them. Why the dicotimy. Why the double standards. Every time the Pakistani government established peace deals, the Chicken Littles in Washington and and London scream “the sky is falling”. As soon as Pakistan makes a peace deal with the militants, it is sabotaged by staged incidents and through drones which bomb them.
Why is there a double standard?
Pakistan just held a jirga in South Waziristan and established some rules for the civil society there. Hardly had the ink dried on the latest peace deal between Pakistan and the tribals, that the rhetoric started with all sorts of nonsense. The report in the Christian Science Monitor dug into past deals and how the US doesn’t like it..and so on so forth…the usual rhetoric that we have been reading for the past decades.
… in a surprise move, Khan is making a return to frontline politics with an offer to broker a deal between the Pakistani Taliban and his government. “I suggested it a week ago,” he reveals. “If Karzai [Afghanistan’s president] and the coalition forces are beginning to talk to the Afghan Taliban, why aren’t we talking to the Pakistani Taliban? I have offered to act as a go-between.
“I don’t want it to seem as though I am doing deals with the Taliban behind the government’s back. I told the Prime Minister, Yousaf Gilani, I will broker a deal, and before I left for Britain, two of the Taliban leaders contacted me to say they would go along with it – they trust me. I am the only one they trust because I am not seen as an American stooge. The people know I am independent.”
How do the Taliban, hiding in the mountains along the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan, make contact with the high-profile cricketer politician, one of the best known international figures in Pakistan?
“They have their ways,” he says. “Taliban fighters are in hiding in the mountains, but their followers are not – the only way a guerrilla force can survive is with local support – so they find ways to get their messages across. They sent a messenger to my office in Islamabad to say they would be willing to have me broker a deal. I told them it could not be done in secret, I don’t want to be branded a Taliban sympathiser. So then they recorded a message on a DVD asking me to act, and confirming their trust in me.
“I’ve asked the Prime Minister to call an all-party conference, to provide a mandate from the Pakistan government, within the constitution and ratified by the government. The people are desperate for peace and stability. If Obama’s surge of troops to Afghanistan is used to bring all parties to the table then there is hope for the future, otherwise Pakistan could become the failed state everyone fears it will. My country is fighting for its survival. I would do anything I could.”
This week’s visit was to rally his supporters in London, and at his old stomping ground, the Oxford Union. Globally, supporters outside Pakistan raise $8 billion a year. “They are affluent, aware, and they understand democracy because they live in one,” he says.
Contrary to the view of military leaders such as Gen Sir David Richards, with whom he debated the issue this week, Khan does not believe more weapons or troops will solve anything.
“There is no military solution. The coalition forces have to get out of Afghanistan. This war is immoral, insane and unwinnable. The Pashtun, the mountain tribes of Afghanistan and Pakistan, hate outsiders. They fight each other but they close ranks against foreigners and that’s what’s happening. It has become a war against occupation.
“There is only one workable strategy. We have to try to form a government of consensus in Afghanistan. Then exit. Leave Afghanistan. You can’t split the Afghans; the more they bomb, the more they alienate, and the more people will fight against them. To win this war there will have to be a mass genocide of the Pashtun. What used to be Taliban is now basically Pashtun, the people who live in the tribal belt of Pakistan. Anyone fighting the Pakistan army and the Americans calls himself Taliban now.
Imran Khan is right
Read the related report:
JIP Holds a Grand Tribal Jirga