Sunday, February 15, 2009
Not Ceasefire, Pakistan Surrenders Swat to Taliban
By Manuwant Choudhary
The headline "Ceasfire in Swat' in the western media is misleading. Rather, it should be `Pakistan Surrenders Swat to Taliban'.
And this coming only a day after Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari told American CBS Television that Pakistan was fighting for its `survival' as large parts of its territory had been taken over by the Taliban.
It was a belated admission and only after the Pakistani Geo TV had shown the world how citizens of Pakistan had fled Swat abandoning their businesses since the government could not protect them.
More than a 1000 people have been killed in Swat, caught between hardened Taliban fighters and a weak Pakistani army.
Now people even want the Pakistani army to leave Swat completely.
And the `ceasefire' agreement means the provincial government will have to implement `shariat' laws according to the Taliban.
So in fact while Pakistan would shout about its `soveriegnty' being violated everytime a US drone entered its airspace to bomb Taliban hideouts, the Taliban had in fact taken over Pakistani territory.
President Asif Ali Zardari and the Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani are answerable to their people as to why they have failed them.
Mr. Zardari now says the Pakistani army did not raise its numbers.
Its not just numbers. In order to fight Taliban militia the governments resolve must be single-minded and focussed and only then can a traditiona army take them on.
The Russians observing 20 years of leaving Afghanistan have already warned the Americans that they can never win against the `Taliban' . "Fighting is religion for them."
And death is religion too for them.
So the big question is what Pakistan is going to do at this crossroad and what India is going to do.
Taliban threatens India also despite India not being a partner in America's war on terror. Are we prepared?
In this final leg both India and Pakistan will have to jointly fight the Taliban.
Pakistan will have to dismantle its terror networks completely.
And yes even re-look at Kashmir afresh.
There can be a new way forward but only if we show some leadership.
Well, isn't it about survival?