Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pakhtun Benchmark

Farhat Taj writes in the Daily Times of a grand jirga where all of FATA and Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa (formerly N.W.F.P) was represented, and
Whatever is the mutually agreed upon anti-terrorism strategy of the US and Pakistan, the jirga members were unanimous that they would measure the decrease or increase in terrorism on the criteria set in the Peshawar Declaration jointly approved in a similar grand jirga in December 2009. The two key causes of terrorism identified by the Peshawar Declaration are: strategic depth policy of the military establishment of Pakistan; and the Arab expansionism embodied by al Qaeda under the garb of global Islam. To end terrorism, the policy of strategic depth has to be given up and al Qaeda has to be crushed.

Killing or capturing al Qaeda terrorists may not be a difficult task. To give up the strategic depth idea would be a great deal of work. This implies that targeted military operations have to be undertaken in several parts of Punjab, like Muridke, Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur, etc. The Punjab-based militant organisations that are banned, but continue to function under new names, have to be really banned and crushed. To root out the terrorist mindset, the state will have to eliminate the curriculum and literature taught in Pakistani schools and madrassas, which is based on hatred of women, Jews, Hindus and Shias and violent jihad against them and, last but not the least, all the Taliban infrastructure and their important leaders in FATA and Pakhtunkhwa province have to be eliminated through targeted military operations.


Hardly any jirga member was confident that the state is ready to initiate all these measures. Therefore, they agreed to convene another grand jirga within the next few months to address the evolving situation, following the Pak-US strategic dialogue.