Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pakistan - what's happening

SSridhar on bharat-rakshak:
{PA=Pakistani Army; FC=Frontier Corps; TTP=Tehrik-e-Taliban, an umbrella group of Taliban }

We know certain facts about what is going on in FATA. Connecting these data points should give us a picture of what is happening there.

  1. PA’s tall claims of killing so many Taliban are entirely untrue. This untruth has been corroborated by independent witnesses of Pakhtuns fleeing from that area and Pakistani journalists.Here is one from DAWN, today
    “The government isn’t targeting the Taliban,” says Azka, her voice raised. “We don’t hear about any Taliban deaths. We’re the only victims.” . . .Frustrated by his own narrative, Ishaq insists that he has not seen government forces hurt any Taliban commanders or vice versa. “It’s all a drama -- no army officers or Taliban have died, but the ordinary people are losing their lands and missing a harvest.”
  2. As soon as he took over power, Gen. Kayani concentrated on the India border and the PA troops were either withdrawn or were confined to the garrisson in FATA/NWFP. The PA even created incidents in Samba sector to manufacture ‘justification’ for withdrawal of PA units from FATA.
  3. Kayani also resisted successfully the US presuure and asked them to equip & train the Pakhtun-dominated FC in COIN operations. {The FC foot soldiers are all Pashtun while officers are seconded from the regular PA. As an aside, it is this Pakhtun component that causes so much heartburn in Balochistan when FC is deployed there.}
  4. It is the general public that have been subjected to massive gunship and artillery fire with close to about 600,000 Internally Displaced People from Waziristan, Bajaur and Swat now rotting in refugee camps. Entire villages have been demolished in many places and even proudly displayed to foreign journalists as trophies.
  5. Almost all operations against the Taliban were announced ahead of time with a neat timetable of how many days it would last and what places will see action etc. A few days before the start of operations, the Taliban disappeared from these places and re-appeared promptly after the operations were over.
  6. The ANP government complained bitterly that the federal government bypassed it in discussing with the Taliban even in PATA areas which are sole responsibility of the provincial government.
  7. As recently as last month, the ISI Chief described open calls for jihad by the Taliban as ‘freedom of expression’.
  8. Recently, noted journalists like Amir Mir, Yousufzai and Farhat Taj have openly accused the PA of standing by while the Taliban were enforcing their rule and committing atrocities in their full view.
  9. All over FATA, the military checkposts (manned by levies or khasadar or FC) are replaced by the Taliban or wherever the military checkposts do exist, they are supplanted by nearby Taliban checkposts
  10. The quick offer of support against India by the TTP after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and the double-quick acceptance of the same by the PA are clear indications of the synergies between the two. Munir Akram has openly admitted as to why Pakistan cannot withdraw support to jihadists and Taliban, in an article recently in Daily Times.
  11. The US has repeatedly voiced concern that shared intel reaches the Taliban and have stopped doing that.
  12. The NWFP Governor, Owais Ahmed Ghani, recently asked the US to talk to the Taliban Chief, Mullah Omar and also other mujahideen commanders like Gulbadin Hekmetyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani in order to bring peace to the region and he warned that otherwise peace was not possible.The Americans are being led down a garden path by the Pakistanis.
  13. The unanimous resolution that was passed recently in the Pakistani National Assembly, pressed for a dialogue, did not appreciate the actions of the Army so far and did not condemn the atrocities of the Taliban and their frequent violations of peace agreements.
  14. Maj. Gen. Amir Faisal Alvi's assassination is a pointer too.

I had said in a different context that a massively deceptive operation was going on in Pakistan by a coterie. It is to give an appearance of fighting against the Islamists, terrorists and the Taliban while actually making the situation conducive for them. Some Army officers may actually carry out genuine operations without knowing they were being sent in as cannon fodder to camouflage a more sinister plan. The slaughter of the PA at Khar was no sham, it was genuine. In some instances, the surrender of the PA was genuine. So, while some sections of the Establishment and the PA will be mounting efforts against the Taliban, others will be doing presisely the opposite, all controlled by the coterie. All of these groups subscribe to a common denominator that India needs to be vanquished and destroyed. There is no divergence in the view of the Pakistani Establishment or the masses or the political parties or the Islamists or the PA regarding how they view the Hindus and the Jews. Some may have a larger interest of establishing an Islamic Caliphate while others may want to grab power or accumulate wealth or settle scores with others but they will not hesitate to use the Islam and India cards. Islamist political parties like JI, JUI, PPP-Q etc. openly admire the Taliban, mainstream political parties like PML-N provide tacit support and sometimes even overt support, PPP walks a fine line between appearing to be ‘liberal’ while supporting terrorism etc. There is therefore an overlap of reinforcing interests among the various groups.

So, while loss of FATA & NWFP is genuine, it gives the several blind men of Hindoostan enough opportunity to describe the elephant.

1 comment:

rsw said...

I think this is absolutely correct. I would also add to that the fact that reports of Swat being suddenly "lost" started appearing almost immediately after the Mumbai attacks.