Imran Khan says that he is ready to mediate between terrorists and the government. [This stance is not much different from Imran Khan’s ideological father Mullah Munawar Hassan how claims that Taliban are our brothers.] By saying this, he puts them on the same pedestal as the state and anoints them with a respectability they don’t deserve. And what is there to mediate? Mediation means give-and-take, while their agenda is to take over the state. What is it that can be offered to them? Here is Shafqat Mahmood’s op-ed on this topic:
Talks with militants necessary for Pak’s survival: Imran Khan
Islamabad, Dec. 10 (ANI): Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has said that talks with the extremists are very necessary to prevent further chaos in the country.
“It is high time to enter into dialogue with the militants to save the future of the nation, as it was the question of the very survival of the country,” The News quoted Khan, as saying.
From Hasan Nisar’s op-ed in Jang (11 Dec 2009)
Facing adversity with courage
Friday, December 11, 2009
This month has been a grim reminder of the challenge we face. These animals – and what other word can one use for those who kill people in mosques or markets – will go to any length to create fear and despondency.
They will test us again and again but they don’t realise that amidst the grief, pain and suffering a spirit of resilience is rising among the people. In the immediate aftermath of an attack, as the one in Lahore’s Moon Market or the Peshawar bazaar, the impulse is to stay safe and not venture out. But, soon the normal routine of life is resumed, almost defiantly.
It is not easy for parents to send their children to school knowing the dangers or for people to venture to offices or go ahead with family events but that is what is happening. Anyone can be caught at the wrong place at the wrong time but there is a determination among the people to carry on with life irrespective.
It may not seem so but everyone who is doing this is a hero because the terrorists cannot win unless they break the spirit of the people. If they force them to cower in their homes and give up their normal life, they win. If their terror threat is understood but ignored, they lose.
Imran Khan says that he is ready to mediate between terrorists and the government. By saying this, he puts them on the same pedestal as the state and anoints them with a respectability they don’t deserve. And what is there to mediate? Mediation means give-and-take, while their agenda is to take over the state. What is it that can be offered to them?
Has Imran paused to consider that how come these people are so well-armed and organised? And this in Pakistan, not anywhere else? Why were they building up strength in this country? To fight Americans? Are Americans occupying Pakistan?
In any case, how can a state, any state, tolerate lethally armed and organised militant groups within its territory? Our tragedy is that governments in the past not only allowed this but also actively encouraged it. We are reaping this harvest today.
It is delusional to believe that they are killing innocent people in Pakistan because the state is supporting the Americans in Afghanistan. It is also naive to believe that the Pakistani terrorists are the same thing as the Afghan Taliban.
However deluded they might be in their cultural and social ideology, the Afghan Taliban are essentially a Pakhtun force fighting a foreign occupier. They also reflect the angst of their nationality’s marginalisation in the current ruling dispensation of Afghanistan. They have a reason to fight. What reason do our murderers have?
The Pakistani militancy has varied roots. Some of it in the tribal areas was impacted by the American occupation in Afghanistan but then, egged on by Al Qaeda, morphed into a territory-seeking force in Pakistan. The Malakand insurgency was a demonstration of this as are repeated attempts to destabilise the Frontier province.
Al Qaeda has also had a hand in joining this border movement with other fanatical groups in the country such as Jaish-e-Mohammad. These groups may have had their origins in the Kashmir struggle but moved on to transforming the state of Pakistan by force. They did not appear after American occupation of Afghanistan. They have been here since the eighties.
It is a terrible mistake to believe that these armed groups will suddenly become good boys and go back to farming or running shops if Pakistan ceases to support American effort in Afghanistan. Imran Khan is sincere, though I have my doubts about some others who parrot the same line, but has closed his mind to an alternate narrative.
It is actually harmful to keep repeating the ‘it-is-the-Americans’ mantra because it confuses the people. And a national consensus on fighting terrorism is essential. It is there now but it took a long time coming. By linking these murderers of innocent men, women and children with some kind of higher purpose such as fighting international imperialism is to dignify them. They are not worth any such thing.
Their claims of fighting the American occupation are further undermined by the attitude of the Afghan Taliban. They have denounced these murderers and there is credible evidence that they are not supporting their war on the Pakistani state. The Afghans have also distanced themselves from Al Qaeda and on this basis, serious negotiations between them and the Americans have become a possibility.
These Pakistani pretenders are taking directions from Al Qaeda and trying to create a sanctuary for it in this country. They are retaliating now and throwing everything they have into terror attacks because the Pakistani armed forces have made their space very narrow.
Swat, indeed the entire Malakand, has been denied to them. They have also been hustled out of South Waziristan. It is this that has pushed them to the wall and they have come down to random attacks of terror targeting the innocent.
Another factor that exposes their true intention is that if there is indeed some kind of American conspiracy to destabilise Pakistan, they have begun to do the job for them. I have little doubt that neither they nor the Americans – if indeed they have any such intentions — will succeed but our claimants to the Taliban heritage are giving it everything; bombings, suicide attacks, target-killings and more.
Pakistan is in great difficulty and it is likely to get worse. The Americans have already started to blame Pakistan for lack of success of the surge that is at least six months away. The sound bites from Washington seem suspiciously like a prelude to extending the drone attacks to Balochistan. It is unlikely but the possibility of physical incursion of American troops also cannot be ruled out.
At this stage when we face the prospect of a very challenging time ahead, these people are trying desperately to break the will of the Pakistani people and erode the state from within. Is this in any way compatible with their stated goal of fighting the Americans?
There is much that is wrong in this country. The state is not able to deliver either justice, security or social services. Most of our leaders are both incompetent and corrupt. There is a need for a reformist movement but picking up arms and killing innocent people can only be the handiwork of those whose agenda is not Pakistani.
Many nations of the world have faced terrible happenings but have bounced back with a greater will. Vietnam is one such recent example. It was devastated and destroyed but is now thriving.
We are in a battle for our soul and our survival. We can and indeed will rise out of it stronger. All we need is courage in adversity.
Millitant group, others hail Imran’s offer of mediation
Published: December 11, 2009
ISLAMABAD – The democratic government has failed to [in fact, wisely declined to] respond to Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan’s offer to act as a mediator between the militants [terrorists] and the government [law] in order to find a solution to ever-expanding problems of terrorism.
Meanwhile, a number of noted personalities including retired military and civil bureaucrats [guess who? Hameed Gul, Roedad Khan, other remnants of General Zia-ul-Haq] lauded Imran’s efforts and assured him of their full support.
Former pop singer Junaid Jamshed [singer convert tablighi convert wahhabi] and singer Shahzaman [who is she?] have offered to join hands with Imran in order to enter dialogue with the militants to save the country. It is relevant to note here that PTI [what is that?] chief the other day had said that dialogue with the extremists was necessary to prevent further chaos in the country and offered to act as mediator between the government and the militants.
A central leader of PTI [on planet Mars] while talking to The Nation said that some of the militants who are always blamed by the government for creating chaos and unrest in the country have contacted with Imran Khan but the government was not showing its willingness to find out a non-military solution.
It is pertinent to mention here that PTI chief had said that he was confident of striking a peace deal with militants; he only needed the response of democratic government in this regard.
Surprise Surprise: Ansar Abbasi writes in support of Imran Khan’s proposal
Imran says he got positive response from Taliban
Friday, December 11, 2009
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf chief Imran Khan, who on Wednesday offered his services and even showed the willingness to go to the tribal areas to get the mounting terrorism issue resolved through political dialogue, got encouraging response from the Taliban side. His appeal, however, seems to have fallen on the governmentís deaf ears.
The cricket hero-turned-social worker, Imran Khan, told The News on Thursday that after his Wednesday’s press conference, he was contacted by some important Taliban groups, who posed their full confidence in him for political solution of the problem. Khan said that no one from the government side contacted him though.
Imran Khan on Wednesday volunteered to mediate between the government and the Taliban leadership to bring peace, claiming that the menace of terrorism was bound to grow because of the military operation in South Waziristan and in the absence of a political solution.
In his press conference, he had said that if the government gave him the mandate, he was willing to travel to the tribal areas and elsewhere to negotiate peace. His only pre-condition to mediation between the two sides was that the government would not let the US-pressure to ruin his peace efforts like the past.
While some people believe the government has no political strategy to address the issue and is entirely dependent on the military operation that has allegedly aggravated the problem, Imran has taken a bold step amidst great chances that he would be dubbed pro-Taliban by confused Pakistanis and arrogant foreigners.
Imran Khan got an encouraging reaction from some Taliban leaders [including from terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangavi, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Al Qaeda, Pakistani Taliban, Hizbut-Tahrir, Mullah Media Alliance, Mullah Military Alliance, PTUJ, and others]. Khan said that he was now even considering convening an all parties conference (APC) on the issue. Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman Group) are also opposed to the military operation and seek a political solution to the problem by revisiting Pakistan’s policy on the US war on terror, formulating an independent foreign policy and bringing an immediate halt to the military operation in the tribal areas, particularly South Waziristan.
Although, Maulana Fazlur Rehman is not appearing in the media these days, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Professor [in fact, Mullah] Munawar Hasan has become vocal in his opposition to the military operation. Interestingly, the PML-N is also not supportive of the present military operation but it lacks the guts to public its demand a political solution to terrorism. However, the party is not making its views public amid reports that it does not want to irritate Washington that is today quite pleased with the party and its top leadership.
In this situation, Imran Khan’s daring initiative to do what others are shy to do, is expected to bring pressure on all other pro-dialogue parties, including the PML-N, the JI and the JUI(F) to sit together and chalk out a strategy where the government could be pressurised to save its innocents, whether in the tribal areas or in settled areas of Pakistan from being killed.
Some relevant comments (from pkpolitics):
Civil face of Taliban wants to talk with brutal face of Taliban. Actually in the name of negotiation he is trying to stop military operation, He is trying to make tribal area is his future constituency. Pakistan’s number one Hypocrite.
… pls make sure you know what IK has said on record. When the army went into Swat, he kept saying that there are 15-20 Taliban and only two truckloads (he said this on Kashif Abassi’s Off the Record)—-he has been making statements trying to show that they are not a real threat repeatedly, which is why many Pakhtuns that I know have been writing in newspapers against him—do you read newspapers? Probably not.
And, I think your inferiority complex makes you want to follow America—if America is negotiating why don’t we? What a dumb argument! America does not live in the region—it can afford to pick up and leave just like it did after the Soviet war, which IK’s hero, Hamid Gul led us into. But we, the Pakistanis, have to live here—we cannot afford to negotiate till they demilitarise and accept the writ of the government. This is exactly what happened with the IRA in Britain—they did not negotiate until the militants agreed to demilitarize. IK loves to quote that example but does not know the facts of it. This was written also in The News by IK’s own ex-spokesman Shahed Saadullah, but then again you probably don’t read newspapers.
Didn’t you hear Syed Saleem Shehzad on this same show? He said they have declared Pakistan a “dar ul harb”—they don’t pray in our mosques, they consider everything a valid target. Fighting a counter-insurgency takes time—it does not happen quickly—it took Sri Lanka 30 years—but it’s winnable. I am not willing to surrender no longer how long it takes. Only cowards and sell-outs would surrender to these monsters and start talking.
I wonder if Zardari would still want us to take part in this war if Bilawal was on the front line in waziristan, i don’t think so.
I hope you do that by joining the front line in Waziristan and not just sitting behind a PC, or is it just lip service, PROBABLY IS.
What to negotiate with people who think their words are words of God and their acts are acts of God. Unfortunately its battle of survival now as all of us Pakistanis are labeled infidels by these Takfiri Khwarjites. Is there any cure for rabid d*gs?
I am not willing to surrender no longer how long it takes.
Says the person sitting behind his PC in the comfort of his home.
This also happens to be the reason why i cant seem to understand how Hamid Gul managed to push Pakistan into the Soviet war. Now then, the war would be 1979. Was Hamid Gul the president of pakistan? A Chief of staff? A Core Commander? DG ISI? General? Lt. General?
Infact, he was a Brigadier at the time. Now if your newspaper tells you that a brigadier led a country to war then you better change it mate!
I am not willing to surrender no longer how long it takes. —No, not said by the person sitting in front of the PC but by the ANP who represent Pakhtun sentiment and have taken losses in this fight—who have lost workers and who have lost MPA’s and MNA’s; says Afzal Khan Lala—who has lost two nephews and been ambushed several times. Says Bashir Bilour who has had 4 attempts on his life.
The people who are willing to surrender are the Imran Khans whose children are safely in London—by the way are you in Pakistan? Or just ventilating abroad???
The US, in case you don’t realize it, has had a change in administration. The old administration was expansionist and that is why it came to Afghanistan and sat there for 8 years. The new administration wants to get the hell out of there, but just like any other country, needs to balance the strategy based on the power structures and lobbies in its own country—and their perceived interests. If it negotiates with the Taliban, it is not because they have the best interests of the Afghans at heart but because they want to do some kind of face saving—that they are trying for some political settlement. It goes without saying that they will leave behind a mess. Afghanistan under Taliban rule was hardly a model that any country can follow. The US is an invading force. The Pakistani army is not. The Pakhtuns and Swat and Waziristan want them to clear the areas—-as said by the Pakhtun representatives, the ANP—-Imran Khan is not an elected rep and he does not know what he is talking about.
And of course Hamid Gul did not single-handedly push us into the 80s war—-it was along with his chacha Zia ul Haq and the Colonel Imams of this world that we have to bear this.
@ aftab, rafay79 and all the other PC analysts, here is some jazba from the frontline for you:
This is not a war where you can say “if Bilawal was at the front line what would happen”—in case you have already forgotten, Benazir Bhutto lost her life to these same terrorists.
I have already given you examples of some of the ANP people (there are lots more). What happened at the Parade Lane Mosque—-the officer corps of the army, including generals and their families are under attack.
So you cannot say—what if they were affected? They are affected and they are not backing down because we cannot let these lunatics take over the country. There is nobody to talk to. Somebody who went for condolence to the Corps Commander Peshawar’s house (who was leading S. Waziristan operation) because his only son has died in the mosque attack told me that all 3 of his children have been under threat from the Taliban. So pls be fair in your comments. IK can afford to say “lets talk” because he has no stake in Pakistan—his children live abroad and are not moving back anytime soon. Its the rest of us who cannot afford to have these people take over.
We will NEVER talk with these murderer Talibans. We can defeat them! Dont listen to the loser Imran Khan. We just need to get togather – establish local defense committees to check strange people entering our localities.
We need to establish death squads. Yes you heard me correctly. We should establish death squads. Their main job will be to take out Taliban/AlQaeda sympathizers. We have to take the fight to the Taliban.