Imran Khan’s Appeasement of Taliban – by A Z

Imran Khan’s Appeasement of Taliban – by A Z

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Imran has long pleaded that the only way to combat terrorism  is by partnering with and empowering Taliban. Here comes his “revolutionary” new idea, of inviting TTP to open an office, that has merited wide coverage. And if the strategy had to be summed up in one word, it would be, “Collaborate!” Yes, collaborate with Taliban. Let me phrase it this way, “Empowering TTP to Prevent Violent Terrorism in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. Sounds catchy, doesn’t it? Almost as catchy as “Man-Caused Disasters”, “Scourge of Democracy”, “Bane of Free Markets” and comes from the same school of thought. Imran is the Chancellor of The University of Denial, whose motto is that the best way to fight terrorism in Pakistan is not to talk about it. And “Not talking about it” is a big part of PTI’s strategy. Here’s what Imran had to say and Asma Jahangir’s riposte to it.

For Urdu commentary click here

Imran warns repeatedly that drone attacks lead to terrorism. The LEJ has “Loose Lips, Kill Shias”, and “Loose Stereotypes” blow up ordinary Pakistani women and children to avenge drone attacks.  This strategy treats terrorism as a persistent side issue, rather than a violent existential threat to the state and its subjects. And its only answer is to keep appeasing the extremist groups to entreat them to not to blow us up. Empowering Taliban is a transparent defense of Taliban and other organizations engaged in violent radical activities within our national territory.

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Rather than countering the violence perpetrated against the citizens of Pakistan, it pretends those attacks have never been made, and urges the state to continue partnering with the extremists. A course that leads national law enforcement to unwittingly work with the terrorist organizations. Fighting terrorism with more Islamism is Imran’s approach and it derives from his long-held fondness for Taliban. This is the fulcrum of appeasement. On the one hand Imran and those like him argue that terrorists are a tiny minority of a tiny minority. On the other, if the Republic of Pakistan fails to mend its ways and appease them, they warn that the bloodshed will continue and will spread. Imran now stands blatantly exposed as the apologist for a radical movement which has wrought mayhem all across Pakistan. Imran’s new strategy could have been written by Munawar Hassan. And, probably, it was. Even if it was not, what Imran has in common with the loose ideologues is that neither of them wants to allow a serious discussion about terrorism in Pakistan. Instead they want the conversation to be about how overblown and how dangerous the talk of fighting terrorism is. But if the idea of fighting Taliban is overblown, then why is it dangerous? And if it is dangerous, then why is it overblown?

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Imran replaces terrorism with vague euphemism. With words so generic that they mean nothing at all. And the content is equally generic. Swap out a few words and it could be about any social problem in Sweden or Norway.

But that’s the essence of this strategy. Inaction and ignorance. Ten years of inaction. Months of silence followed by hours of noise. It is not a rhetoric that sets out real goals and objectives. Its only objective is to sideline serious efforts to combat Taliban and replace it with blank buzzwords. Because he has no idea what’s out there anymore. To know the enemy is the first step toward defending against an attack. But how do you defend against a threat, when you can’t even spell its name? The terrorists of the TTP. The Orwellian blankness of Imran’s strategy is a space of ignorance to mask the truth of terrorism. The enemy is reduced to a social problem, terrorism to justifiable violent extremism, and the war on terror to nonsense.  

Postscript: It’s about time the likes of sensible people like Asad Umar start questioning their presence among the likes of Imran, Pervez Khattak, Arif Alvi etc.

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17 responses to “Imran Khan’s Appeasement of Taliban – by A Z”

  1. Salam!
    I would like to share a thought with u all. If shahrukh kills shahzeb or let’s talk about other murder cases, the killer has to face trials and charges until and unless the family of the victim forgives him. Its a case of a single life.
    Now let’s talk about those who have killed thousands of innocent muslims without any reason, they have targeted even mosques. What muslims are they who target the house of Allah. They are not muslims they just pretend to be one.
    And still we talk about compromising and have a talk with them to seize fire. They shouldn’t be talked with. The government should not be scared of them. They are a minority and they should follow the rules of the state or should be punished. And if the govt. Is still scared, then the country has a military of minimum 18 crore soldiers. If they can’t handle them, let the true soldies handle it.

    Pakistan Zindabad

  2. This author like many others misunderstands Imran Khan’s ideology. Imran Khan has lived with the tribal people of Waziristan, knows them and has written books on them. He doesnt support the Taliban but wants to save the Tribal commoners who dont have any kind of association with the taliban and condemn them as much as we do. A full fledge military operation would kill the innocent tribals of waziristan as well as drones and taliban are already doing. Khan inisits upon bringing them to the table to atleast identify the groups before doing anything stupid. And since the whole political and religious leadership has agreed for solving the issue through talks, opening an office for Taliban is a prerequsite of that process.

  3. There are 5 perspectives on negotiations with Taliban

    1. From Minorities and Some Sects: They have been attacked and killed inside Pakistan by some groups of Taliban. They are not willing to even listen the word of dialogue with Taliban. They want an operation at all costs. (Tit for Tat Thinking)

    2. From Pakistani Seculars / Liberals: They do not believe in human rights of Muslims or that any Muslim can be human. They also want operation at all costs. (Barbaric Thinking)

    3. From Pakistani Religious Parties: They want negotiations at all costs even if TTP keeps on killing Muslims, Minorities and different sects. (Barbaric Thinking)

    4. From Pakistani Military: Its opinion is further divided into 2 sub classes;
    (i) Junior Officers: They genuinely want to launch a full scale operation against Taliban. They do not want any negotiations with them and it is understandable. They have lost many of their fellow officers, course mates, friends and juniors in this war. They are justified in thinking that negotiations now will render all the sacrifices in last 11 years meaningless (Sincere but Emotional Thinking)
    (ii) Senior Officers & Some Political Element: They want neither a full scale operation nor sincere peace talks. Their reasons are only “Coalition support fund. They want only Dollars. They want to further prolong this so called war on terror. (Selfish and Dishonest Thinking)

    5. From Ordinary Citizens: They remember Laal Mosque operation still. They still remember how media was pushing government to launch an operation and how the same media bashed government after it did. People from this perspective want first negotiations, then agreements and if they again break an agreement, there will be no excuse left for anyone to criticize the operation. They want to identify those who are working on Indian or American agenda and those who have been fighting only as retaliation to policies of Pakistan during War on Terror. They talk about the single mindedness of nation during SWAT operation days. They want a similar atmosphere and clarity of thoughts in whole nation before a full scale offensive is launched. If Taliban refuse to negotiate or if they break agreement, they should be killed like dogs and exterminated from the face of earth

    All other people are basically influenced from one or another group and hence have made up an opinion. Roughly speaking this is how the opinion is divided on the subject.

  4. Here is the classification of Taliban as well below for your convenience;
    1. Taliban who are of Afghan origin and fight with Americans in Afghanistan. They have only attacked military and foreign occupation forces. They probably have never intentionally attacked civilians. They have been distancing themselves from TTP as well for long now.
    2. Taliban who are of Pakistan origin (Be it Pashtun or Punjab) but they are fighting against Pakistan army and state of Pakistan.
    3. Then there are 3rd kind of Taliban. These are of Pakistani origin. But they are probably supported by ISI or army to counter the group type 2 above. They are also used as a pressure tool against foreign forces operative in the region. They are also protecting them probably for a rainy day. You may question this approach but that is how it is.

    So the bottom line is;
    Pakistan army is actually at war with these extremists explained in type 2 above. They are responsible for all the terror and strikes on civilians, army and minorities in Pakistan. Now I am going to give composition of type 2 as well based upon their ideologies or guiding principles;
    (i) Foreign Funded From India / US etc
    (ii) Reactionary Taliban as a result of Drones / Support of Pakistan to US
    (iii) Radicalized Taliban as a result of long standing funding from Muslim countries. Who consider everyone Non-Muslim except themselves

    The only purpose of dialogue is getting the type (ii) above along with you on your side. Gather useful intelligence information and use it against type (i) and (iii). I hope the picture is slightly clearer now.

  5. There are some people who can envision something and others who can only look at the obvious. I’m afraid the author belongs to the later group.

    If you want to learn to visualize situations and live in some one else’s boots to make well informed decisions so that you can write articles for the public, my suggestion is, create a pseudo environment and simulate human behaviour according to all known ground realities. You will be amazed to know how much you can ENVISION.

    Imran Khan is a visionary, besides all his weaknesses, he envisions scenarios based on very accurate heuristics. That is why he is successful in reaching for the stars.

    Let me give Mr Asif Zaidi example and see what he can make out of it; You corner a kitten and you start screaming at it with the top of your voice, what does it do?

    Think about it!

  6. Their hands are are soaked with the blood of innocent people. No mercy for them Anybody who is supporting them ,govt.,citizens,army etc etc should be dealt in the same way. Enough is enough. We have to make a choice between mullah and Pakistan. If we want Pakistan to survive , mullah thinking has to go. It is not Islam. For GOD sake
    understand this. If you want mullah, forget Pakistan.Simple as that. I have not read Rusty Walker on this subject. Waiting for your wisdom Rusty sahib. Please enlighten the readers.No room for PML-N,PTI,JI,JUI,ISI, Q-LEAGUE, Hameed Gul (Should be named “thorn” not ” GUL”. May Allah teach them an “IBRATNAK” lesson. Amen

  7. Forget everything for a moment. Just try to identify how such a small minority of terrorists become so powerful in such a short time that now they get to challenge the whole state and its mighty army. If you can figure this out and follow its chain of funding, and weapon supply lines, then you’ll agree that at the very top, these terrorists are very small in number and you don’t even need to fight them. You simply need to dry up their source of funding and source of weaponization which indeed is very easy to do if there is a will. They will then die their own painful death.

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