What will happen after the Americans leave?


Farhat Taj June 28, 2010

My article ‘Reasons for an operation in south Punjab’ (June 11) came under harsh criticism by some people in Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. These people do not wish to come out openly in the media because they are afraid they would be killed. Through this article I will communicate their criticism of the Pakistanis so as to inform them about this perspective on militancy and terrorism.

I have been accused of being naive, just like the leaders of the Aman Tehrik, an anti-Talibanisation peace movement in Fata and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. I have been asked why I want to see south Punjab bombed and also who was I addressing in my article when I was advocating for an operation in south Punjab. I was asked whether I was asking the military for an operation against the Punjabi Taliban or the politicians, because, in their view, the chances of the latter ordering one were higher — and for “obvious reasons”.

This question makes sense because politicians cannot even bat an eyelid without the permission of the army. In fact the politicians of all the provinces are in a 'forced alliance' with the army. Either the ruling class has to be in union with the masses or with the establishment. And that is where lies the essence of the problem — that the civilian leadership and the people need to show some unity because that is the only way that terrorism and the militancy increasingly gaining ground in Pakistan can be effectively fought.

The issue is that what will happen in Afghanistan once the Americans leave and here the view of many is that once this happens, the establishment in Pakistan will use the militants for its own purpose — just like it did in the past when the Taliban regime in Kabul was set up with Pakistan's explicit backing. In that context, for an operation to be launched in south Punjab seems an unlikely possibility for now, because that would mean closing the door on using the same elements in Afghanistan for consolidation once the Americans leave.

The fear is that once this happens, secular parties such as Awami National Party (ANP), which have taken a defiant stand against the Taliban, may well end up paying heavily — given that the Taliban will once again be in the establishment’s good books. Of course, the ANP could be better off if its rule in the province had provided some semblance of good governance to the province’s inhabitants — but that has clearly not been the case. So once the Americans leave, and the Taliban return in full force, the ANP and its leadership will be pretty much left on its own – or at least that is one prevailing view.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2010.

COMMENTS (21)

User | 10 years ago | Reply Respected Farath, You are absolutely right in this regards that Terrorists (Taliban) will be another headache for Pakistan and Afghanistan after American departure. Because now they are in full power, they will come in power after American departure from Afghanistan and will disturb the whole scenario again, so what Pakistan can do in this situation?, because Taliban power in Afghanistan will directly effect Pakistan specially FATA. In this regards we thank that there should be a full swing operation in southern Punjab for prevention of Talibanization in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well. We thank policy in this regards should be changed other wise we will suffer from Taliban in future and this will directly effect the development of this country. Regards Abid Ali Orakzai Orakzai Agency
Jabbar Khan | 10 years ago | Reply This is indeed very shocking that Farhat Taj always come up with the idea of supporting US occupation of Afghanistan and its murderous Drone campaign in FATA. I also wonder who gave her the right to support and back US drone's strikes on behalf of people of Waziristans and rest of FATA. In past nine years People of Waziristan have seen nothing but death and destruction. She portrays herself as spokesperson for Pakistani tribesmen sitting in Norway. As resident of the Waziristan, I know what carnage happens when Drone strikes. Please, this is my humble request, don’t play with our blood so cheaply.
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