Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 9 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/4/10

Devastating the Innocent: Salvador option fomenting civil war in Pakistan

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Message Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

It was a bloody beginning of the year 2010 in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. More than one hundred people were killed and another 22 injured in a car bomb attack on the packed volleyball ground in Laki Marwat.

At the time when the suicide bomber attacked the volleyball ground, around 25 elders of the "peace committee' were holding a meeting at a nearby mosque, but they remained unhurt. Officials say that the bomber apparently decided to target the crowd and the players, as most of them were members of the armed Lashkar that demolished houses of the militants and evicted them from their villages.

Elsewhere in the northwest province, a roadside bomb exploded near a car in the Bajur tribal region, killing a pro-government tribal elder and five of his family members. Tribal leaders who support the government against the militants are frequent targets of attacks.

Borrowing a page from Al-Anbar experiment, the US has advised Pakistan to enlist tribal leaders in the border areas in the fight against the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces. The proposal is modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Anbar Province of Iraq where American commanders have worked with Sunni sheiks to turn locals against the militant group. This has been hailed as a great success in fighting insurgents there.

Many experts point out that the experiment as it played-out in Iraq had produced disastrous results in El Salvador where it further polarized the populace and turned the people against the US efforts. Tellingly, the consequences of the Anbar/El Salvador model are emerging in the volatile Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) where even the national army is seen as an occupying army by many fiercely independent-mind tribesmen.

The tragic incident of Laki Marwat best reflects the outcome of the new government policy to pit tribes against tribes through bribes. The pro-government tribes are being armed by the Pakistan government. Till this date more than 700 tribal elders have been killed in this strategy.

In October 2008, a suicide bomb attack on a pro-government tribal jirga in Orakzai killed at least 51 people with more than 200 wounded. Orakzai has been the most peaceful of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal regions. Unlike most of the others, Orakzai does not border Afghanistan. The jirga was about to send a tribal lashkar led by 25 elders to destroy the alleged Taliban headquarters in the area.

South Waziristan Operation

The Laki Marwat bomb attack was not far from South Waziristan, where Pakistan's mercenary army is waging an offensive, called Rah-e-Nijat (the Salvation Path), against the Pakistani Taliban or militants. That operation has provoked apparent reprisal attacks that have killed more than 500 people since October when the military operation was launched.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Abdus Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

American Muslims alarmed at the new profiling policy

American Muslims Seven Years after 9/11

The plight of prisoner No. 650 (Dr. Afia Siddiqui)

Arab Americans Continue to Face Discrimination: Report

Reinforcing prejudice, stereotyping

Redrawing the map of Afghanistan, Iran & Pakistan

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend