The real enemy

Published: June 23, 2012

The killers that make our people suffer are all inside Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has announced to an already-stricken population of Pakistan that it beheaded the seven Pakistani security personnel that it had kidnapped on June 21 in Laddah, South Waziristan. Its spokesman has proclaimed that “the heads of the slain soldiers would soon be produced before the media”. He also denied the army claim that it had killed 10 terrorists; he said only two had actually died. The TTP also enriched itself with the weapons captured from the army personnel.

The tragedy of South Waziristan goes on. This was the place where we made our first mistakes. We are now more focused on the villainies of the US and the Nato, whom we are denying passage into Afghanistan, and are busy ‘reinterpreting’ the Taliban as paid killers of the US, while sheltering some of them as they cross the Durand Line and kill Americans getting ready to depart the region after being defeated. If this is a victory, it is killing us. We are appeasing our tormentors by making ‘adjustments’ at all levels — judicial, political, economic and military.

In March 2004, militants ambushed an army convoy near the village of Sarwakai, close to Wana in South Waziristan. A dozen soldiers were found at the site and the decapitated bodies of a number of others who had been taken prisoner by the assailants were found near the area days later. The army went in to take the killers to task. Zahid Hussain, in his book, The Scorpion’s Tail, writes:

“The clerics of the powerful Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad issued a fatwa declaring the resistance in Waziristan a jihad and called on the people to not give Islamic burials to the soldiers killed while fighting the tribesmen. In obedience to the clerics, many parents of the soldiers refused to receive the bodies of their sons. Public opinion in the region turned more hostile toward the military. The operation also angered some individuals within the officer corps and several Pashtun officers were court-martialled for refusing to fight”.

The Supreme Court should have taken note of this before it decided in favour of the guilty cleric who had issued the fatwa. (It ordered restoration of the property of the seminary destroyed in a 2007 operation.) In 2005, the army concluded a ‘peace deal’ with Waziristan leader Baitullah Mehsud. It agreed to withdraw troops from the checkpoints it had set up in the area and deployed only paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel there. The government paid him $540,000, the “money the militants said they owed to al Qaeda”. The corps commander of Peshawar even declared Baitullah a “soldier of peace”.

It is understandable that our army feels uneasy fighting inside Pakistan. It is trained to fight external enemies. But that doesn’t mean that external enemies are created when there are none. The killers that make our people suffer are all inside Pakistan. Another thing to note is the way that the atrocities inflicted by the TTP are presented to the people of this country. It is strange that Husain Haqqani is quickly branded a traitor for his role in the memogate affair, even before the Supreme Court gave its ruling on the matter. But the activities of the TTP have hardly ever received the same level of condemnation that came Mr Haqqani’s way.

We have to realise that the real enemy is in our guts. It is the Taliban and its master, al Qaeda. We are opposed to them but we are outside the camp that fights them at the global level. We can’t fight them when our economy is in shambles and our population is helpless to rise against a state whose writ is already minimal. Why should we sacrifice ourselves uselessly when the world is willing to help us? If we thought South Waziristan was in our control and that we had made the terrorists flee the agency, we have been proven wrong. We could be proved wrong soon in Swat and Bajaur, too, and we have not really pacified Orakzai, either.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2012.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (21)

  • s shah
    Jun 24, 2012 - 12:47AM

    excellent editorial! thank you!

    Recommend

  • Super Star
    Jun 24, 2012 - 12:53AM

    Really good article . Wish all Pakistanis listen

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    Jun 24, 2012 - 1:27AM

    I beg to disagree. True, some Pakistanis might be acting as agents of real enemies but the real danger to Pakistan comes its financial, military, and ideological enemies – the powerful countries that fund, train, and inspire murder, mayhem, and destruction inside Pakistan – India, USA, and Israel. Ignorant Pakistanis are being seduced to ignore this danger, to drop their guard. Enemies want Pakistanis to get caught up in fighting their own brothers inside their territory, Real enemies want Pakistani army to be weakened, neutered and defamed. They support corruption within Pakistan by promoting the cause of false politics. They aim to destroy Pakistani pride and identity through false revisions in history. Pakistanis must make peace with the few misled brothers inside, and jointly fight their existential enemies – the terrible trio of India, America, and Israel.

    Recommend

  • Junaid
    Jun 24, 2012 - 2:00AM

    @ Kaalchakra……..you can keep your eyes closed but that doesnt change the ground reality…..Pakistanis like you are existential threat to pakistan and i dnt see any ray of hope for the poor country and its few sensible countrymen…RIP Pakistan…..

    Recommend

  • Mj
    Jun 24, 2012 - 2:15AM

    A fine editorial. It beggars belief that the country is still bickering over relatively petty issues when the barbarians have not only crossed the gate, but have settled down in vast swathes of over homeland.

    Recommend

  • Mj
    Jun 24, 2012 - 2:19AM

    @kaalchakra:
    Although quite possibly satire, it does give insight in to level of paranoia that is prevalent among a large segment our countrymen.

    Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 24, 2012 - 5:21AM

    @kaalchakra:
    Blah, Blah, Blah, Rant, Rant, Rant! is this the best you can do, pointing the finger at India, Israel, and the United States. PLEASE provide some proof that the above “enemies of Pakistan” are funding and training the TTP/Militants (misled brothers!!!) who appear to easily outwit the “Worlds best ISI”, and when caught, are quickly released due to “lack of evidence”! By the way, Osama bin Laden was found and killed WHERE???

    Recommend

  • kaalchakra
    Jun 24, 2012 - 6:12AM

    @kaalchakra

    the powerful countries that fund,
    train, and inspire murder, mayhem, and
    destruction inside Pakistan – India,
    USA, and Israel

    Interesting perspective and unfortunately common throughout Pakistan. Please explain why those “powerful countries” which are the target of these religious extremist would fund and inspire these terrorist. It’s a moronic argument that ignores common sense/basic logic in favor of xenophobia/hatred.

    Recommend

  • Aarvey,india
    Jun 24, 2012 - 6:34AM

    @kaalchakra: Kaalchakras views always represent directly the essence conveyed in this editorial titled ‘ Real Enemy’ . He is definitely one amongst them given his usual take on conspiracies swirling around Pakistan externally rather than to see the actual problem on the ground. Strange he talks about murder, mayhem etc but he has not uttered a word on the decapitation of soldiers , Muslim soldiers by Muslim renegades. Maybe this is some kind of a ‘ practice session’?

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 24, 2012 - 8:21AM

    Shutting the doors of the stable after the horses have bolted, can well describe this article. From the comments column readers can clearly evaluate that duplicity and lies has corrupted the ability of many to think and reason independently. Radicalization and Militancy feed on each other and act on the system like a slow Cancer. The country needs to quickly deradicalize the population through an effective detoxification program, time is however not on its side.

    Recommend

  • Noise
    Jun 24, 2012 - 9:30AM

    @kaalchakra
    The enemies mentioned in the articles are the ones funded by the Saudis and the rest of the gulf arabs. They are our true enemies, a people who never fight their own battles, they seek to yoke us to their obscurantist sect and make us the ones who do their dirty work. Like Bahrain they expect Pakistanis to ensure their Royal families stay in power.

    Recommend

  • Rationalist
    Jun 24, 2012 - 10:49AM

    After much has been written and said analytically, and very, very unfortunately shown to be accurate by the evil misdeeds of assorted monstrosities, it is even sadder that the opiate of delusion still persists. But, perhaps such delusions are the fate of all those blinded, deafened, and dumbed by un-bending, rigid and ill-logical ir-rationalties. For your own sake open your eyes and see that the water is well over your heads, but then those intoxicated with the opiate of ir-rationality will never realise….utterly and truly sad….

    Recommend

  • BlackJack
    Jun 24, 2012 - 11:14AM

    I agree with @kaalchakra. Pakistan should declare war on India, America and, for good measure, Israel. The TTP had promised (heck, even Karzai did) that in case of a war, they would support Pakistan. This is the golden opportunity to effect a reconciliation amongst all these misled brothers (sic) through an external threat – something that the state/ establishment is extremely skilled at managing. Soon rivers of milk and honey will flow in Pakistan and its enemies will bite the dust.

    Recommend

  • The Truth
    Jun 24, 2012 - 12:34PM

    @kaalchakra

    Today agreed with you. ET should publish article like you wrote in your statements not the vice-versa.

    Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 24, 2012 - 2:15PM

    Ideology and State intervention in its propagation has infected large sections of the population. No wonder red looks like blue and black looks like white, to many. Things may get a lot worse before they can get better.

    Recommend

  • Rana Amjad
    Jun 24, 2012 - 2:28PM

    Establishment for the sake of Pakistan, please read & understand! Time is running out fast!

    Recommend

  • ana
    Jun 24, 2012 - 4:24PM

    i apprehend a genocide of innocent people in the near future which will lead to disintegration…i hope im proven wrong

    Recommend

  • CAT
    Jun 24, 2012 - 5:17PM

    People who matter, do they read ET? I doubt it.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Jun 24, 2012 - 7:16PM

    I didn’t see any Pakistani media carry this news except in the editorial here
    “he Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has announced to an already-stricken population of Pakistan that it beheaded the seven Pakistani security personnel that it had kidnapped on June 21 in Laddah, South Waziristan.”

    What’s the reason ?

    Recommend

  • Khalid Munir
    Jun 25, 2012 - 8:10AM

    Excellent. It was 2004 or 5 when I went to offer Fateha for a FC soldier who was beheaded by Taliban. The father who was so poor that he didnt have seating arrangement for 30 people was sitting dejected, unsure. I told him about the Hadith of the shahadat while protecting the out posts. He looked at me with joy in his eyes and said CAN YOU SAY THIS LOUDLY. That was the state of the perception of the war we went in. Today at least those who have seen taliban understand. Islamabad and Lahore doent

    Recommend

  • Naveed Yousafzai
    Jul 15, 2012 - 12:08AM

    ‘We have to realise that the real enemy is in our guts. It is the Taliban and its master, al Qaeda. We are opposed to them but we are outside the camp that fights them at the global level. We can’t fight them when our economy is in shambles and our population is helpless to rise against a state whose writ is already minimal’.

    And when you’ve said so clearly that who is our enemy and that we can’t fight them..what exactly you propose the authorities to do?
    Extremism is nothing new in this region. It’s more than a century old tumor. Had there been no Al-Qaeda, there would’ve been difinitely TTP or likewise elements becoming powerful in all those areas where ‘Mullahs’ have the final say. They are us, they are not foreigners. There are foreigners present within in the clan, but most of them are our own deviated horde. Have they ever choosen any other way than violance? One day it had to start this way.The Taliban rule in Afghanistan was the first spark in this long chain of fir.

    Recommend

More in Editorial