Imran Khan’s flawed logic on the war on terror

Published: January 20, 2012

The writer is a retired brigadier who has served in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata asad.munir@tribune.com.pk

Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaaf is against Pakistan’s role in the war on terror. Several times, Imran has said that terrorism is directly related to our alliance with the US. His main points for opposing the war on terror are: 1) Suicide bombings are a reaction to drone strikes. 2) There was no violence from militants in the country prior to February 2004, which is when the military entered Fata. 3) The people of Fata support the Taliban because they are convinced that it is a movement led by freedom fighters. 4) The Pakistan Army ranks do not want to fight an unjust war and have been surrendering in large numbers to small groups of Taliban. 5) Peace can be restored, through dialogue, within 90 days. 6) There were only 800 al Qaeda terrorists hiding in Pakistan and 7) to appease the US and for the sake of earning some dollars, we have put our country’s security and integrity at stake.

Plainly put, Imran has got some facts on the war on terror wrong. The army entered Fata in 2001 and in South Waziristan in 2002, and not in February 2004. Dialogue with the tribes was initiated in 2002 and not in 2007. Since he is not aware of the number and kind of operations conducted by the army, therefore, Imran Khan thinks that the army is unwilling to fight the militants and has surrendered in large numbers to small groups of Taliban. Those army officers and those of other ranks, who have fought these terrorists bravely, are aware of their real agenda. Except for one incident, no army soldier has ever surrendered. Officers and men, who are practicing Muslims, know that they are fighting a just war aimed at defending this country from terrorists who want power and implementation of their brand of Islam through brute force. The figures of civilian casualties, in drones strikes, are also being exaggerated. Most of the tribal people are in favour of drones as most of the casualties are those of terrorists and the collateral damage is insignificant.

The rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, directly contributed to religious extremism in Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP). In November 1994, the Afghan-Taliban captured Kandahar. The same month the Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi initiated a movement for the implementation of Sharia in Malakand Division. Within no time, armed militants took control of the whole of Malakand Division. A sitting PPP MPA was shot dead. Men were forced to wear watches on their right hand and traffic was made to ply on the right hand, the left being un-Islamic. It took Frontier Corps more than a month to dislodge militants and regain control of the area.

In September 1996, the Afghan Taliban captured Kabul. Many tribal and other Pakistanis formed part of the Taliban fighting force. In 1997, a small Taliban force started operating in Orakzai Agency. In 1998, the Taliban emerged in North Waziristan Agency and by 1999 they were in control of Mirali. By 2000, the Taliban had spread to Bajaur and some other parts of Malakand Division. As early as 2000 in Peshawar, force was used by militants against cable operators to stop their operations. An organised movement was run against NGOs. A maulvi from Dir issued an edict that any NGO woman found in the area should be apprehended and taken as a wife.

In the aftermath of Nato’s invasion of Afghanistan, following 9/11, all militants belonging to al Qaeda, the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), jihadis, sectarian outfits and other terrorists crossed over from Afghanistan and took refuge in Fata, and other parts of Pakistan. The jihadi organisations and some local tribal people provided them a support system.

The government responded in 2002. Local tribes were engaged in dialogue and persuaded to expel the foreign militants from their soil. Operations were only launched once the tribal jirgas expressed their inability to deal with the militants. From 2004 to 2009, numerous peace agreements were inked with various groups of militants. Each time these were violated; the Taliban used these deals to increase their strength and fighting potentials. The PTI can only achieve peace in 90 days if they strike a deal with the Taliban that they can rule tribal areas and part of KP without any interference from the state. There will be no terrorist activities after that except that, the Taliban will eventually want to expand their rule to the rest of Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (83)

  • Secret Memo
    Jan 20, 2012 - 12:22AM

    Why such facts werent brought forward before my joining to PTI :p anyways lets just not focus on one point. Consensus will do the job if he wins. Nice article. Want more details of Taliban ops from 1990s and early 2000. Requesting respected author to share those in detail! :)

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  • John B
    Jan 20, 2012 - 12:34AM

    “The PTI(or Any other party or Pak Army) can only achieve peace in 90 days if they strike a deal with the Taliban that they can rule tribal areas and part of KP without any interference from the state. There will be no terrorist activities (inside PAK) after that except that, the Taliban will eventually want to expand their rule to the rest of Pakistan.”

    This is what going to happen and oddly Pak army will be fighting them inside PAK in the next 5-7 years.

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  • Falcon
    Jan 20, 2012 - 12:48AM

    Good article. However, would like to disagree with you on two points:
    1. You would benefit from reading Anatol Levien’s book where he cites interview from soldiers on the ground who hate the experience of fighting with their own men…similarly, some time ago their was a detailed research published in Dawn on a similar issue…it seems like since the time of Musharraf…army upper management continues to underestimate the blow-back effects of this war on their own rank and file (specially at the lower levels of the armed forces).
    2. Yes. IK’s stance on the issue is over-simplified. But saying the war has not accelerated the radicalization would be a naive assumption, specially if you have ever spent time with radicals, you know that they typically ‘trap’ people using a ‘gateway concept’, and as of now, that gateway concept is US war on terror and pity for Muslims. End of war will significantly reduce the steam of this manipulation scheme.

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  • Feroz
    Jan 20, 2012 - 12:52AM

    Imran is imagining the Taliban to be noble people with honorable intentions. He does not understand that the Taliban want their version of Islam to be implemented in Pakistan. They will kill to enforce it. Currently they are distracted by the American presence in Afghanistan. After the Americans leave Afghanistan Pakistan’s problems will start not end. Good Luck, is all I can say.

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  • Z Ali
    Jan 20, 2012 - 12:55AM

    Well said and with absolutely the right conclusion. Sadly, Imran Khan has his facts wrong on far too many things – and that is when he has any facts at all.

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  • SalSal
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:00AM

    You were talking the same stuff long ago in the program JIRGA and Colonel Imam contradicted you on this. And besides, it seeks like you don’t pay attention to what Imran Khan says. Imran khan says that we need to get out of the war on the Afghan Taleban. After that we need to focus on our problem with Pak Talban and negotiate with them and the tribals. Bring the tribals on our side and then expel the Pak Taleban from those areas by force.

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  • Jan 20, 2012 - 1:02AM

    Very shallow study of tribal belt.The writer even doesn’t know about the different groups operating in that region and painted all of them as Taliban. Very poor

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  • faraz
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:03AM

    Imran equates TTP with pushtoon nationalism and wants army to withdraw from FATA. Imran’s solution is that we accept a state of Talibanistan in FATA and parts of KP to end violence. There is nothing visionary about Imran’s ideas; in any conflict, if one side (in this case the state) accepts defeat, the hostilities obviously come to an end.

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  • Pakistani Punjabi (PP)
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:05AM

    Well said sir and you clearly showed how empty IK’s mind is.
    Now his lovers are after you with mindless logic and 1400 years old unverified stories.
    Good luck with that.
    For rest of us ISI Zindabad

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  • Roflcopter
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:10AM

    Our support for US is a major tool for terrorists to garner support. Imran Khan says that once we stop being seen as US puppets, support for terrorists will drop and once that happens it will be far easier to deal with them. His point of view is absolutely correct.

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  • fus
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:12AM

    Eye opener for all. The funny thing is that all the facts that author has mentioned can be traced back in news, even experts know about it, but we tend to foget due to our short term memory. Imran Khan or no Imran Khan these religious fanatics would alawys fight the government until their interpretition of religion is not enforced.

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  • Surprised
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:13AM

    Yes only George W Bush, Tony Blair and their Govt.s had the right understanding of the affairs and they justly launched a was on terror on Iraq also and found many “weapons of mass destruction”………..

    it amazes me how naive our pseudo intellectuals are and how they see FATA people causing more terrorrism than America in the world…….Recommend

  • Domlurian
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:16AM

    “Officers and men, who are practicing Muslims,”

    Are there any non-muslims in the Pakistan army? I guess not.

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  • tariqkun
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:18AM

    Why don’t we try truth and reconciliation with our people. if they’re killing innocent ordinary people we along with American killing their whole families.
    .most of the militants are illiterate or little education.
    we,d give them an environment where then should know that their life is valuable and state will protect their life and dignity.
    there’s been unrest in north Ireland for years but Briton never used airforce to kill there own people. Israel takes care of single jew anywhere in the world and they do every legal and illegal thing to protect Jewish people.
    why we Muslim kill our own fellow Muslims and then start arguing to justify it.
    we,re alienating militants by our behavior and force.
    we must stop killing our own people. no Logic no reason no argument is acceptable to kill another Muslim.Recommend

  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:26AM

    Your problem is really with our noble way of life, i,e Islam.
    Islam is a complete way of life, and Inshallah will be implemented in Pakistan,
    be it any one. As for as you, or I are concerned our salvation lies in following
    the Quran, and Sunnah, as practised by our beloved Prophet, SAWS, and his sahaba,
    the best creation after the Prophets. As far as the ignorant, secular, mindset is concerned,
    we Muslims, from Pakistan care the least about their bigoted ideas.

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  • Tahir
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:41AM

    8 years of military ops have failed and made matters worse, its a flawed logic to support them. You have only one other option, dialouge and reconciliation.

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  • memo
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:52AM

    Are we going to talk about incidents just the same way the Army told us, that we won the ’65 and ’71 war? that we played out part very well in East Pakistan?
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  • Ali Quaid
    Jan 20, 2012 - 1:52AM

    “Most of the tribal people are in favour of drones as most of the casualties are those of terrorists and the collateral damage is insignificant” – you must be joking.

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  • asad
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:02AM

    over 1000 ppls were killed in karachi in 2011 (Target Killing). 726 were killed in other terrorist activities of taliban.. should we ask american to use drones in karachi? or should we deploy army in karachi and ask airforce to bomb target killers with F16.. get a life dude .. thats why imran khan called ppls like u scums ………

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  • Falcon
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:12AM

    One more thing to add and that is, its not just KPK and FATA, its the whole society that has gotten radicalized so fast in the last 10 years. People who are living in Pakistan might not realize this, but I myself and many other expatriates have observed that educated urban lower middle class has ended up developing soft corner for Taliban because of war on terror. In my view, that is a bigger concern since that means the very populace from where the resistance should have been expected are silent or at least confused on the issue.

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  • MAHEEN TIRMIZI
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:13AM

    Respected Author, I totally agree with you regarding your comments Imran Khan and his bogus statements on the Pakistan Army Operations! There’s no doubt that our Army is fighting for a just cause but I would also request you to search more regarding the difference between Afghan Talibans and Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan! You must know, and you can ask any Army Officer, Tehrike Taliban Pakistan were created ONCE NATO landed in Afghanistan and removed the Afghan Talibans from Kabul,Under the umbrella of CIA and RAW TTP(Tehrike Taliban Pakistan)were created to weaken Pakistan,to create massive havoc and anarchy,weaken its Army and eventually label Pakistan as a failed state and then snatch its nuclear assets! Please you must learn to differentiate between Afghan Talibans who have never posed a threat to Pakistan and are only freedom fighters against the occupational forces,they may be rigid in their own way but Pakistan’s borders were safe as long as they were in power! Also Afghan Talibans never slaughtered innocents on streets,never slit anyone’s throats,never chopped anyones bodies into pieces the way these barbarians TTP did, Afghan Talibans have always rejected TTP and never owned them. Therefore please understand,TTP is a proxy terrorist outfit and our brave Army is fighting them on every front and laying their precious lives on daily basis to protect this land and rid it from the menace of TTP and their likes!

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  • Farhan
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:23AM

    ”Tribal people are in favor of drone attacks…. the collateral damage is INSIGNIFICANT…”
    Wake up and smell the freaking facts, dude!
    Here’s a link from The Guardian to help you realize the facts yourself: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/17/us-drone-strikes-pakistan-waziristanRecommend

  • No BS
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:36AM

    Informative article but its not just Imran Khan. US Vice President Biden said that Taliban were never the enemy and Hiliary Clinton is suggesting peace talks with the Taliban. Maybe its a little too late for looking at other options.

    Either case, your arguments on point 1) No Suicide attacks before army operations is unclear. Please correct if this is wrong, you forgot to answer in your peice.

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  • Fauzia Haider
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:55AM

    I agree 100% with the author of this article. Imran Khan’s approach on the issue of homegrown terrorism is naive. It shows a lack of understanding and depth of thought on complex issues like terrorism on behalf of Imran Khan. He has good intentions for the improvement of the country but if you get your facts wrong from the beginning then how will you find the right solutions for those problems? If the diagnosis of a disease is wrong to start with how will you ever cure it?

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  • Talha
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:59AM

    Another thing Imran Khan says a lot is that there weren’t any terrorist attacks in Pakistan prior to PA joining the WOT.

    He clearly doesn’t know that thousands died during the 80′s in car bomb attacks around the country. This is probably because he was in the UK enjoying his life.

    Terrorism was common in the 90′s too, especially against minorities, but they don’t count.

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  • Basit Khan
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:05AM

    Secret Memo, ‘Taliban Tehrik’ or as called the TTP now, had become active in FATA/Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then NWFP) as soon as the Taliban got hold of more and more areas in Afghanistan, before the American Invasion. I found a couple of newspaper stories from January 2001, reporting on Taliban Tehrik’s militant activities in Orakzai Agency.

    Frontier Post story, dated January 18, 2001:
    http://www.afghanistannewscenter.com/news/2001/january/jan8g2001.html

    Daily Dawn’s story, dated January 18, 2001:

    http://www.afghanistannewscenter.com/news/2001/january/jan18n2001.html

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  • A Shahid
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:08AM

    Imran Khan’s logics actually do make great sense. You are trying to blow few helter skelter incidents out of their proportion. Anyone who had eyes and head during 1990s knows there were no danger of Pakistan being overtaken by religious extremists at all. In fact, we used to control them, rein them and play them around like puppets. At no time during the Taliban rule, there was any likelihood of them or their Pakistani cronies enforcing their writ, laws or social ways in Pakistan. It is unfortunate that you are trying to re-write history with the benefit of the hindsight in order to prolong a tried, tested and failed policy of last decade.

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  • Jan 20, 2012 - 3:13AM

    Collateral damage is insignificant? Is their blood not as valuable as ours? And what about the tribal Malik that Khan brought on capital talk who told of how counterproductive drones were? Didn’t Hilary say the same thing? I’m open to new information, but these questions still arise..

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  • pakhtun
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:18AM

    Imran Khan’s approach of appeasement of terrorists has been tried before by ISI, mullah and others who love terrorists, and it was a complete failure.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:36AM

    Imran’s theory on bringing peace through negotiation is important because the other alternatives are not working. Pakistani taliban may not be the best people on the table but they had forced the nation to stop fight. This would be cleared to Army once US starts the talk.Recommend

  • TightChuddi
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:48AM

    Imran’s logic on terrorism and taliban are both comical and tragic. How can he possibly think that he can bring them to peace in 90 days. The only way they will agree to peace is whole of KP, Balochistan, FATA is given to them Only Islamabad and Rawapindi will be in the control of govt and army if this route is taken

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  • Cautious
    Jan 20, 2012 - 4:27AM

    Interesting article. It should be clear to everyone by now that IK simplistic solution to Pakistan problems are naive. You have kicked out the American drones, cut off NATO supplies, sat and negotiated with the militants – effectively implemented IK strategy. What has it garnered? The militants executed/mutilated your soldiers and Pakistan is as violent/dangerous as ever. Whether IK knows it or not – the Taliban have their own agenda for Pakistan.

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  • faraz
    Jan 20, 2012 - 4:36AM

    @SalSal

    Firstly, there is a UN resolution against Afghan Taliban so we cannot simply pull out of the war. Secondly, Afghan Taliban are present in FATA and Balochistan and allow NATO forces to highlight our duplicity or incompetence. And despite all that, there are no operations being carried out against Afghan Taliban.

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  • Aviator
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:35AM

    I agree with the author about IK. What worries me about Imran is his support for the ISI, who are supporting the Pak Taliban, who in turn have waged war upon innocent Pakistanis. And yes whilst he is right about breaking the link of dependency on the USA, he hasnt said anything about the problems we have created of our own – corruption, honour killings etc.

    And when is he going to release a Manifesto, even a few policies??

    Having said all this, I do hope that he does become a force for good, and help in turning Pakistan around, as he has done with his charitable work.

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  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:41AM

    And might I add Pakistani Taliban are motivated by Revenge rather than the Taliban ideology. You should know that already. And rubbing salt on wounds is not going to stop them. New terrorists will pop-up motivated by revenge for blood and we will be trapped in a never-ending cycle of doom unless we commit a genocide because the tribals are not going to ever give up. Only peace and negotiations can help this problem which are beneficial to both sides. I propose that people like you rather than enforce a strategy that has failed for years now, think of something new. Bring a political settlement which establishes the writ of the government in the area and rehabilites the insurgents into the society. I will not dwell right now about how you underestimate the collateral damage in the area and other glaring flaws. As Pakistanis we should be working towards a solution that actually works rather than keep at it with a failed strategy hoping for different results, which is madness – Einstein.

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  • prashanth
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:30AM

    Men were forced to wear watches on their right hand and traffic was made to ply on the right hand, the left being un-Islamic.
    - I love this

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  • IK Follower
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:46AM

    putting aside Imran’s ideology and your arguments, let’s talk about in the context of what has been achieved. So far…We have lost over 6000 troops and have militarized the entire tribal belt (not even mentioning victims of collaterla damages) ..Pls enlighten us that if dialogues are not the solution, what do you propose and how long it would take and how many lives would be required to bring a lasting peace in the region.

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  • Javed Basit Hassan
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:55AM

    Sorry but I think you have got some facts wrong as well. 1)’Everyone in Army thinks that this war is just’. I just have an uncle who is serving colonel. He himself was saying that if tomorrow i die i will not know if i am shaheed or murdaar. I am fighting against Muslims. 1) ‘War started way before 2004′. Kindly put some statistics here and tell us how many suicide bombings did we have before 2004? By allowing Americans to have drone attacks and NATO supplies from our region, we are basically giving Taliban the moral reasons to kill Pakistani’s. So now if they claim they are doing this as a reaction to our support to their enemies then to some extend they are true. They became as much morally justified as we are.

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  • Babur Sohail
    Jan 20, 2012 - 8:21AM

    @John B: I totally agree with you John. I think Imran should revise his stance on Taliban and terrorism. Because if you give them time to settle as previously Govt had a pact with them, they really gathered themselves in that period, had control over Malakand Swat and were ready to move towards Haripur and subsequently to Islamabad. Imran should understand their agenda is not only for tribal areas or afghan areas they want to control this country.

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  • Nasir Shah
    Jan 20, 2012 - 8:49AM

    Americans and Britishers are negotiating with Taliban for the last six years. There is no point we fight and they make peace. Irrespective of Imran views, this is thousand year war if weapon is solution. If you have point of view, Taliban have conviction too; more ideological and religious. Lets see how Pak army finish this ideology with guns.

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  • Khan
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:08AM

    What rubbish article, and drone attacks are justified. The time is comming for what every true muslim is waiting, you will be dishearted Inshallah.

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  • Aarvey,india
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:10AM

    @Shahbaz Asif Tahir:
    You speak as though other religions are ignoble and are not a complete way of life and most of these people follow religion as a pastime. Are you aware Hinduism is as old as mankind is? Get a fix on the date of it’s inception and I wish you all the best trying to do it. It’ll be like trying to fix a date on the creation of the universe. Please don’t issue blanket statements as you have done on Islam. All religions and beliefs have to coexist in peace.

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  • ALI MOOSAVI
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:29AM

    with this attitude of the PTI & IMRAN KHAN ,a licence to TTP will be given that they may activate themselves…ANY where in PAKISTAN even an ,,,,, to you Nukes

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  • Lord
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:48AM

    I request PTI supporters to make Imran Khan read this article so he can put the facts straight next time round.

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  • Jan 20, 2012 - 10:56AM

    “Most of the tribal people are in favour of drones as most of the casualties are those of terrorists and the collateral damage is insignificant”

    I’m sorry but the above quote just shows the writer is not well read or aware on this topic. Also it is demeaning to even suggest that collateral damage is insignificant. Ask the families who no longer have their babies and grand parents. Read Daniel L. Byman’s analysis where he states for every 1 militant killed 10 civilians are “collateral”. Writers have to choose their words carefully and not write off deaths as insignificant and never to allow those that have gone from us to have gone in vain.

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  • Smssr84
    Jan 20, 2012 - 11:05AM

    As a Pakistani, I don’t care what the history was… I am more worried our future. And dialogue is the only solution for peace or it’s gonna get worse. I don’t care if Imran Khan’s historic facts r wrong… All I care is that if his logic and plan is workable then why not? Why not negotiations?.. Even if it’s with Taliban!

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  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Jan 20, 2012 - 11:09AM

    @Aarvey,india:

    We Muslims, of Pakistan, care about our country, and our issues. The last thing
    we would like is any suggestions, from our hostile Indian neighbors, who have yet
    to reconcile with the reality of partition. I did not comment on your religion, or for that
    matter, other religious beliefs, as they are beyond the boundaries of my interests.
    Islam is the way of life, of us Muslims, and was the way of life of all the Prophets,
    from Adam alais salam, the first human, and the first Prophet, to Prophet Mohammad,
    SAWS, the last and final Prophet.
    To you is your way, and to me is mine.

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  • Aqib Mehboob
    Jan 20, 2012 - 11:41AM

    ‘Collateral damage is insignificant.’ No human life is insignificant.

    Try using that line with someone who has lost an innocent loved one as collateral damage.

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  • ashok sai
    Jan 20, 2012 - 12:48PM

    @tariqkun:

    we must stop killing our own people. no Logic no reason no argument is acceptable to kill another Muslim.

    Well, is it acceptable to kill another non-muslim ? God bless you.

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  • Jan 20, 2012 - 2:04PM

    So war is from 2001.

    Imran had no rule in govt from 2001-to till now, Nor govt during this time applies “Imran theories” … Why we do not see any progress??

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  • Javad
    Jan 20, 2012 - 2:25PM

    Pakistan army should open FATA for journalists, so we can have a more unbiased reporting from those areas. ISPR and the americans are the least trustworthy sources to get news on FATA. .

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  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:00PM

    @Aqib Mehboob:

    Drones are no good & we should embrace TTP & stop fighting them!!!!

    Try using this line with someone who last lost his father, mother, brother, son or a daughter to a bombing near a school, in the market place, in the comfort of his/her house or maybe just passing by on the road or a loved one fighting these animals in the borders of Pakistan.

    By law & all the common sense, a person hiding or facilitating a criminal/terrorist is no better than the person he is harboring!!!

    So please think before you speak or write in this case!

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  • ty
    Jan 20, 2012 - 3:04PM

    Most of the tribal people are in favour of drones as most of the casualties are those of terrorists and the collateral damage is insignificant.

    this is such a poor statement coming form a retired brigadier

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  • KiJ
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:56PM

    Mr. Asad Munir,
    Pak Army entered in 2002 but didn’t start military action until 2004 and if you look at the terrorism timeline and graph in Pak, suicide bombing started picking in 2004…

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 20, 2012 - 5:59PM

    There are more choices left so just hope IK comes to power..

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  • waqas
    Jan 20, 2012 - 6:24PM

    imran khan zindabad

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  • Amir
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:11PM

    @John B:
    if a super power like russia or US couldnt do anything about these turban head criminals in decades how can you expect a third wolrd country to restore peace in 5-7 years. come on dont you think its a bit unjust to expect that kind of results from pakistan who has been kind enough to accomodate refugees of afghan russia war and now being blamed for harbouring them.

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  • Rashid Ali
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:51PM

    The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI’s) hypocrisy against Musharraf is simple: kill Ali Baba and pardon all of his 40 thieves. The other day I saw Dr Arif Alvi’s Facebook status, which said: “We will never accept Musharraf keeping in mind the incidents of Laal Masjid [Red Mosque] and the brutal assassination of Akbar Khan Bugti.” With the inclusion of notables like Mr Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri and Mr Abdul Aleem Khan, my question is why the PTI is accepting such people, who had the power to veto these very acts back then when they were the so-called lawmakers, into its fold. Why is there so much bias against one individual, Musharraf, when almost all members of his cabinet and accomplices have been welcomed with open arms into the party?

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  • Reel
    Jan 20, 2012 - 7:53PM

    Funny thing is pseudo liberals support army claims on fighting with TTP but hate them for everything else. Those militants are willing to kill and get killed. These liberals are not willing to get killed but they do want to kill. Let no one disturb their lifestyle.Recommend

  • x
    Jan 20, 2012 - 8:18PM

    flawed logic and arguments abound in this article.
    some points:
    1/ the soviet war led to the creation of the extremists (created, trained and armed by cia, isi), hence terrorists have been created by the war
    2/ difference between the pakistani tehreek e taliban and the afghan taliban
    3/ it is disgusting the way you classify the precious lives of innocents lost as “collateral damage which is insignificant”.. try feeling that way when one fine day karachi and lahore are bombed to root out extremists which exist here as well and your own people are killed.
    thankyou.

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  • Reel
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:37PM

    It has become a routine for so-called analysts to misrepresent Imran’s views by selectively quoting him to justify their bias. Voltaire rightly pointed out that intelligence is to recognize the truth without the coloring of bias. The whole article is either intended to give a certain color to Imran’s views, or based on a very acute understanding of a skewed mind. Recommend

  • Reel
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:44PM

    So the argument from certain commentators is that the militants have killed a lot of people, how can we forgive that and what should we tell their families. So do you guys want to continue the war and kill many more? War is not a recent past time. Numerous people have been killed in war from what we know of the documented history. So by that logic war can never end if by some way we are not able to kill all the militants. Going by the results of this War on Terror we embraced, we have made no progress in 8 years. Those arguing in favor of war should tell us a recipe for success or should rather go fight the militants who are killing the people they are so concerned for.
    Spouting non-sense against Imran Khan and mocking his views is very easy but I have not ever seen an alternative by these so-called analysts who claim to know about Tribal areas more than Imran khan.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 20, 2012 - 9:49PM

    A brilliant article which cannot be rebuked without indulging in patitudes / inane reasoning.
    I have ben repeatedly saying in all related blogs that Taliban will never ever restrain themeselves.
    Their DNA has been mutated. Nobody commented when TTP claimed that their mission wont be over with USA pullout. I can go on and on but its a hopeless cause. Even my collegues, TV anchor persons, political leaders, intellectuals and highly educated persons support the myth of negotiated solution.

    By the way I support Imran in most of the other issues.

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  • Reel
    Jan 20, 2012 - 10:02PM

    @Ashok Sai
    Now there is an example from you of twisting a statement to make the other person look bad. He did say it is not right to kill other muslims but he did not say it is right to kill non-muslims. So don’t try to be extra cute. Persecution of non-muslims is there in Pakistan as there is persecution of minorities in India and other countries, but this guy did not persecute you. Rather you are trying to paint him as a bad man for nothing.Recommend

  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 20, 2012 - 10:38PM

    @ashok sai:

    {we must stop killing our own people. No Logic no reason no argument is acceptable to kill another Muslim}

    Please tell that and convince Taliban. The whole country will be eternally grateful to you.

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  • faraz
    Jan 21, 2012 - 12:58AM

    @Reel

    The army created these monsters. The army decided to eliminate them. Blame the army. Liberals have no role in policy making. Have you heard of the mullah military alliance? And what the previous 2 foreign ministers doing in Imran’s party? You are barking up the wrong tree. And everyone needs schools, barber shops, Imam bargahs and mazaars besides liberals.

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  • hamza khan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 1:15AM

    @SalSal:

    pakistan has not contributed in the afghan taliban war. the pakistan army and president musharraf made it very clear to the US that its soil would not be used to launch operations and attacks inside afghanistan. the boundaries always were, you operate on your side and we operate on our side. the truth about president musharrafs options there are finally coming out…

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  • Super Pak
    Jan 21, 2012 - 2:46AM

    Didn’t you write this article before, come on now you running out of topics.

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  • Jan 21, 2012 - 3:23AM

    Can people who kill without remorse be noble with honorable intentions? Never! Their ideology is to kill and destroy everyone and everything that does not adhere to their ideology. These are the people who have proven their evil time and again. They are the ones who have destroyed thousands of schools depriving thousands of children the gift of knowledge. Aren’t they the same people under which the people of Swat valley have suffered immensely?

    Do we not see daily news of killing and destruction at the hands of the terrorists? The war on terror has been real–ask the thousands of family members and friends of people who have lost their lives in various suicide attacks, bomb blasts and targeted killings, like the one of a journalist at a mosque in Charsadda earlier this week. The strain in US/Pakistan relationship has only benefited these terrorists. It is important, for the sake of peace, that both sides should normalize the relationship and focus back on the bigger issue of terrorism. We acknowledge that mistakes were made and it is now time to look beyond them for the sake of peace and prosperity of the region.

    Maj David Nevers
    DET-United States Central Command
    http://www.centcom.mil/ur

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  • ashok sai
    Jan 21, 2012 - 9:52AM

    @Reel:

    The problem in his statement is pulling out the religion, instead if he had said, ‘our country man’, I would not have commented. So, my comments stands as it is, FYI, what purpose do you think I am gonna achieve by painting him as bad ?

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  • Jan 21, 2012 - 1:31PM

    @Hamza Balouch(@H_Balouch):
    But Imran voted for Musharraf in referendum when the decision of war on terrorism decision was taken.

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  • MarkH
    Jan 21, 2012 - 1:51PM

    People are ridiculous.
    “Talk is the only solution because what we’re currently doing isn’t working”
    This is priceless coming from people who are simultaneously acknowledging talk has also failed in the past. They say fighting has failed and is failing, so talk, which has failed will for some reason, not fail now. Guess what the logical conclusion to that is. Changing to a third option.
    Third option: stop making excuses for the terrorists and allowing them openings to continue? With no delusional support, it’s really hard for them to hide. Or are you all saying that if NATO decides to change its strategy to targeting innocent Pakistani civilians, instead of complaining, you’ll actually opt for handing over your beloved sovereignty to us as a spontaneous gift and welcome us getting settled in with numerous bases? That’s exactly what your talks with the Taliban will require. Only difference is, NATO wouldn’t be dictating your lifestyle and killing you if you violate it.

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  • Hassan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 4:09PM

    Dont agree with you fully. When even IK said Peace can be restored it was not his own idea but he was quoting General Orakzai who was Govener of KPK. but i have to agree that IK presents things which look oversimplified and i think that’s his quality that he always look at positive side and just carry on working to resolve it.

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  • Cynical
    Jan 21, 2012 - 6:39PM

    Personally I think Ik’s world view is too simplistic.
    But I am optimistic about Imran’s logic turning on it’s head, once he comes to power.
    Often politicians say things while in opposition which 1) they themselves don’t believe and 2) even when they believe, they don’t act as promised.

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  • Abdul jalil khan
    Jan 21, 2012 - 10:42PM

    As an FC personnel,i have been in North waziristan since 2001 to 2007.my personal perceptions and observations are:
    drone attacks will not have killed even 75 terrorists out of 1300 innocent civilians killed for no reason.These drones have mainly targeted civilian populations based on untrue reports. contempt and hatred is being created by CIA to arouse the feeling of even those patriotic countrymen of our dear homeland who were ready to sacrifice their lives for its dignity and honour.
    The respectible author have served in FC but unfortunatly hav,nt visited or observed the misries of Waziristan,s people who have deliberatly been kept under the infamous FCR laws aministered by Political administeration and now the so called war against terrorism.sir!plz be realistic for a while.!talibanisation has increased only due to millitry operations and drone strikes.negotiation between the waring factions is the last solution for a durable peace.what improvements did we make since 2004 while doing forceful operations?Recommend

  • mind control
    Jan 22, 2012 - 9:59AM

    @Reel

    Funny thing is pseudo liberals support army claims on fighting with TTP but hate them for everything else

    Armies the world over are created with the express purpose of fighting armed aggression against the state. The TTP has launched such an aggression and therefore the Army must fight it to justify its existence.
    On the other hand Real Estate, Tikka Joints, Bakeries and tampering elections and running the Government are not in the Army’s domain, so they must get out of these.

    Now, is that so difficult to comprehend? Don’t be REEL be REAL for a change.

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jan 22, 2012 - 12:34PM

    @Abdul jalil khan:
    {drone attacks will not have killed even 75 terrorists out of 1300 innocent civilians killed}

    I respect and acknowledge the fact that you have spent so much time on the front line and must be in a far better position to comment compared to arm chair critics like me.

    However I am bewildered by the fact that never ever the names of inocent civilians killed in drone attacks got published. (There was one exception when someone actually came to Islamabad and registered a case, forcing CIA Station Chief to flee from Pakistan).
    Why mass processions are not taken out regularly in the effected tribal areas instead of settled areas. They must be insensitive or resigned to their fate. Here in cities if a bus overruns a child, we block National Highway for hours on end.
    If more than 90% casualties are civilians, why do the Taliban cordon off the area immediately. They should be ringing journalists to come and see the signs of barbarism. Army personnel or uninvited journalists cannot go there for eye witness accounts.

    Just want to know the facts with an open mind.

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  • nnk
    Jan 22, 2012 - 7:47PM

    A well written and detailed writeup by the author who was directly involved in anti terrorist affairs in that Province. IK will learn many more facts, if elected as our new PM, hopefully.

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  • Awan
    Jan 23, 2012 - 3:52PM

    Excellent & Interesting Article by Asad Munir. I agree with writer

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  • Shabir
    Jan 23, 2012 - 4:08PM

    Great piece done by Brigadier. Informative for us.

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  • Meena Gabeena
    Jan 24, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @javed basit hassan

    2002: 35 bomb blasts in Pakistan, Number of people injured: 99, Deaths: 68
    2003: 41 bomb blasts in Pakistan, Number of people injured: 155, Deaths: 34
    Jan to June 2004: 49 bomb blasta in Pakistan,Number of people injured from jan to june: 276,
    deaths till june:66

    i cant believe u have forgotten all the those attacks that killed so many including islamabad, taxila, lahore, sialkot, south waziristan, kohlu karachi, muzaffarabad, quetta, sui etc etc….
    ur asking the writer to get his facts right?? u hav google!! read a little and have a memory test!

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  • Nasir
    Jan 24, 2012 - 9:26PM

    Does anyone know who was Naek Mohammad ?
    He was killed in US drone strike near Wana in South Waziristan. This was the first drone strike in Pakistan.

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  • Anonymous
    Jan 27, 2012 - 8:05PM

    I have worked in Karak, Bannu and Lakki Districts in year 2000, 2004-2009. I hundred percent agree with Author. Being patriotic, sane and humble public servant, I 100 % agree with all he has written. Worked in Janikhel, Bakka khel and Miranshah. Yes, Locals have been taken as Hostages by Talibans and they don’t mind Drone Strikes as those are too precise and kill terrorists or who give them refuge.
    The most notorious Taliban commander, Saif-ul-asad killed by Lashkar of Lakki District speaks local hatred towards Talibans.
    those, who advocate dialogues have not learnt any thing from peace deals which were endorsed by army on the insistence of Governer Orakzai. So, we got to crush them, even after American Withdrawl.
    In year 1999, when there was no American presence in Afghanistan, Talibans started Challanging govt Writ in Gurguri tehsil of settled district of Karak by implementing their brand of Sharia. Barbers were threatened of dire consequences and VCR was banned. Mullahs even started lashing the youngsters who refused to adhere their brand of morality.
    Though I Will vote for Imran, due to villians like Zardari and Sharifs but i don’t agree with Naiev description of Rise of Taliban as a counter product of American invasion of Afghanistan. Mark my words, another war is waiting for us after American Withdrawl.Recommend

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