Bajaur and the Taliban (II)

Shakil Khan April 24, 2010

PESHAWAR: The operation in Bajaur, just like the previous ones, is nothing but a drama. The Taliban are asked to move out from one place so as to be settled in another one, often, not very far away. The locals are asked to stand up to the Taliban, and when they do, their leadership is mercilessly slaughtered. This then creates a power vacuum which is then filled by the Taliban.

The same Taliban are then sent across the border to Afghanistan where they wreak havoc. This drama has been going on for many years with no end in sight and hundreds of innocent people losing their lives. The idea behind this ‘strategy’ is: 1. To bleed Afghanistan, so that it does not grow strong enough to demand a united Pakhtunkhwa; 2 . To maintain ’strategic depth’ which envisages the Pakistan army using Afghanistan as physical breathing space in case of an attack by India.

This planning sees Afghanistan as more or less Pakistan’s fifth province. And who suffers as a result of all this? The poor people of Fata. They pay for it with their lives, their livelihood, their culture, and most importantly the future of their coming generations.