A large number of Pakistanis, including senior political leaders, believe in the narrative that we are fighting a US war since 9/11 and the day we come out of this war we would have taken a step towards ending violence and terrorism in the country. Part of this narrative is correct to the extent that there has been unprecedented violence since 9/11 resulting in the deaths of about 50,000 Pakistanis and large-scale destruction of our infrastructure.
In the aftermath of 9/11, on September 28, 2001, the UN Security Council passed a resolution in which UN member states were directed that they shall “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts” and “ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice”. Pakistan, as a member state, had to act on this resolution. The deployment of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was also authorised by the Security Council. Although terrorists attacked the US, the war on terror was sanctioned by the UN. Forces from 47 countries moved into Afghanistan as part of ISAF, including troops from some Islamic countries.
Pakistan did not send any troops and in spite of pressure, did not allow any foreign force to put its boots on ground. In 2002, a large number of foreign terrorists entered Waziristan with a plan to make an al Qaeda base in Fata. The Pakistan Army was deployed in South Waziristan against these terrorists as per the Security Council’s resolution. Pakistani Taliban, who were already operating in North Waziristan since 1998, joined hands with the foreign militants. Pakistan initially preferred the option of negotiations over the use of force and inked many peace deals. Terrorists took advantage of these deals and by 2009 they were completely or partially in control of 18 administrative units.
The Pakistan Army made half-hearted efforts, conducted a few raids but never executed any serious operation against the terrorists. If the army had gone all out against militants in 2003, it would have had to clear only two tribal agencies, but due to indecisiveness it did not, and was confronted with an uphill task of securing 18 areas in 2009. What has been achieved through the use of force? A popular question. The answer is that 17 administrative units have been cleared through operations and none through negotiations. The terrorists have bases now only in North Waziristan.
The Pakistan Army is fighting to retrieve Pakistani territory captured by the terrorists, so how is it someone else’s war?
The TTP has never stated that they are killing innocent Pakistanis because the US has occupied Afghanistan. All Taliban leaders are consistent in saying that they will continue fighting and killing Pakistanis even after the US exit. Those saying, “We must come out from the US war on terror” do not say how. Suppose Pakistan declares that from tomorrow it is not a US ally in the war on terror, how would it change the situation on ground? Would the TTP lay down its arms? Would al Qaeda and other foreign militants stop using our soil for terrorist activities? Would all Taliban groups announce that they will not capture any Pakistani territory and will not run a parallel administration in any part of the state? In all probability, none of these will happen.
Political leaders who are creating confusion about this war and misguiding the youth are doing no service to this country. They need be sure about the facts before they pass on these to their followers. They should get a briefing from the Pakistan Army on the subject unless they want to play politics on the issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2013.
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it is ridiculous to read same story....same topic...repeatedly under different headings.Why ET has to waste its space for stale stories?
What a load of delusion for the former Brigadier General to think that Pakistan army is fighting to retrieve Pakistan territory........? Pakistan is not the owner of any territory, it is a state whereas the territory belongs to the people, the group of people and the Tribes. Let Pakistan army produce the evidence that thed territory bedlongs to them.
Asad Muir neglects to mention that the Taliban were the legitimate Government until America invaded Afghanistan. How come the Taliban have changed into terrorists?
Pakistan fragmented into groups, mafias, troika welfare, and cities divided on ethnic lines. The citizens of Pakistan not listened to, people mandates not followed, legislative body highly poor and taxed money poorly spent. Pakistan now stand a divided nation. Lets see wheather Prime Minister stand out as a Leader, a statemans or just another passing chosen person to lead.. We need to come together as a nattion with one voice, one country, armed forces working under direction of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. My Way..My Pakistan.
Smart thinking and smarter use of words, bravo!
yes its our war..taking $$$$ from US and killing our own people in our own land no ??..which u said army is retrieving it..!! moreover the fact is before 9/11 they were good taliban a productive counter strategy of your Zia.. now they became terrorists..ironic !!
UN Security Council passed a resolution in which UN member states were directed that they shall “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts” and “ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice” . The TTP has never stated that they are killing innocent Pakistanis because the US has occupied Afghanistan. All Taliban leaders are consistent in saying that they will continue fighting and killing Pakistanis even after the US exit. . Worth repeating - two facts that are rarely printed in Pakistan.
@ leader: And what are Pakistani interests, to be a pariah in the world, to not have any friends, to not have trade partners, to have an uneducated and growing population which is not welcome anywhere in the world, to have its citizens blown up every day by terrorists, to have our territory used by non-state actors ???? Please clarify ?
so our masters came to help us and offered unconditional help on telephone to Musharraf..ohh really a great info.
It would be great if you disclosed that you were one of the main persons in ISI, posted during Musharraf's era. You now write that Army made half-hearted efforts, you were part of it, please elaborate why Army did so, you can't blame indecisiveness on anyone other than Army itself, whose chief was in charge. You were part of his team? Weren't you? (BTW, Bashir Bilour is on record, you even offered ANP deal on behalf of Musharraf)
@leader: if Pakistani interest are to talk to terrorists and let them go without justice, let the 50000 dead countrymen be treated as wasted effort and call hakeemullah mehsud a martyr then may God help us.
Since July 5th, 1977 until today - without a break of one single day for about 36 years, Pakistan's foreign policy and its national security paradigm has been in the exclusive control of the Army. Nawaz Sharif, BB, Junejo, and other civilians can come and go as many times as they please - the Army decides on relations with Afghanistan, India, US, China, Saudi Arabia, EU. In their wisdom the khakis hitched us to the Jihad bandwagon soon after taking control in 1977. Education, population welfare, healthcare, commerce, a sound justice system - none of these matter to a General, and so they have been under acute neglect for 36 years. In short, our failing state as well as the miseries of our 180 million can be easiy attributed to the boss who's been around 36 years, the Army. Now this ex-brigadier is giving us prescriptions for the future, while downplaying the omnipotence and omnipresence of his own clique for the last 36 years (and counting)
The good Brigadier forgets that this war did not start with 9/11. It started when Gen Zia allowed Pakistan to be used aganist Soviet occupied Afganistan . Since then things have gone downhill.
As India celebrates 26th Nov ( i use word celebrate since it affected & unified the country like Kargil had done before ), The civil society which applauded the actions of terrorists who killed 166 Civilians at that time continues to reap what it had sowed and shall continue to do so unless what is called as poetic justice is served upon it
Brg saab With all due respect, you should muster enough courage to tell thr whole truth. Half baked truth wont do any good. This is 21st century, just official versions of the story will keep us going in circles
The mullahs are misleading the nation for the obvious reason that will lose their "nuisance value".
Very well expressed. Thanks author. Unfortunately, most politicians are playing politics and either towing party line (PTI) or are demonstrating a total lack of understanding of the precarious situation. Some may be genuinely unable to grasp the dangers that lie ahead. IK is either in denial or is not sharp enough. It is Pakistan's war, like it or not. Pakistanis have to deal with it.
Right, so if Army is fighting it's own war, so why did Chief of Army Staff insisted & agreed with leaders in APC to go for Peace Process at first ? Army always play double game at the back of their barracks, in simple stop making fool innocent Pakistanis & make your Generals to come up with Truth in front of the Nation.
It started as 100% someone else war, but that Power made a complete mess of it,infact has done so in a number of countires(Iraq,Vietnam,Laos,Cambodia and so on...)and now we have to face the burden.