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Monday, July 21, 2008

The need for clear thinking about the war on terrorism - Khalid Aziz

The talibans have more chutzpah and more gumption and are more motivated than the Pakistan Army, which is more disciplined that the MQM cadres which is more disciplined than the Jamiat....

Facetiousness aside, their (misplaced) belief is unshakable. It is this belief that drives them, disciplines them and makes them a force that can confront any army in the world. They are motivated and willing to die for their cause.

This (misplaced) belief that they are right and others are wrong in the eyes of Allah. This belief cannot be bought with rupees or dollars. This belief cannot be shaken loose with power or prostitutes. This is the dilemma faced by their opponents.

Read here two excerpts from Khalid Aziz a former chief secretary of NWFP who now heads the Regional Institute of Policy Research.


The first thing is to be very clear about the nature of the threat facing us. It is convenient to say that it is the work of a religiously driven group. It is and it is more. What we have under the loose classification of Taliban is a group of diverse militant groups with separate histories. Their origins lie in state manipulation to undertake proxy wars and who have now coalesced into a critical mass. According to a report in early June, fighters from the Kashmiri Jihadi groups including representatives of Lashkar-e- Tayyaba, Jaish and Hezbul Mujahideen met and agreed to prioritize fighting foreign troops in Afghanistan rather than in Kashmir. This is a momentous decision for NWFP, FATA and Afghanistan; it will cause destabilization in Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, since Pakistan has a larger institutional base it will be more harmful to Pakistan.

It is thus evident that the militants are neither fighting imperialism nor permitting peace to prevail; they are slowly destroying the only nuclear power in the Muslim world. On the other hand there is ambivalence, confusion and ambiguity within our security apparatus the like of which has never been witnessed before. The political leadership is too divided to arrest the downslide that is gaining momentum with each passing day. There is not only an absence of policy but a failure to realize the gravity of the situation; it is critical. One wonders if there can be any other outcome other then the de-stabilization of Pakistan. Thus the real question to answer is whether Pakistan ought to be sacrificed for Afghanistan? It is time for clear thinking and quick actions.


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