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Just How Serious Is "Our Ally" Pakistan About Terrorism?

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There was a time when rulers of Pakistan have started war on Taliban as at that time they have been getting huge amount for their 'holy war', but now all of sudden their policy has changed. Now they have been talking about holding talks with Taliban. Many saner elements have several questions in their mind. According to them, if Taliban and terrorists are criminals then why now the rulers have been saying that talks should be held with them. No one will accept talks with criminals. If Taliban and terrorists are peaceful citizens then why war was declared on them in which millions of other innocenn people were either killed or maimed.

According to some tribal elders and maliks, the rulers were not sincere in the war on terrorism. They said that the war of terrorism was launched by the rulers just to fill their pockets with dollars and rupees. They said that if one person was killed without justification this would be a big crime. One man is more important than this whole world. Thousands of people in the tribal areas were killed in this mad war despite the fact that they have no knowledge about terrorism or other crimes. Now the rulers have openly been saying about talks with Taliban and other terrorists. What is the compulsion that now the rulers have been calling for talks with Taliban and other terrorists. Their new stand showed their double standard.

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf in an interview given to a canadian newspaper favour favoured talks with Taliban and terrorists.  President General Pervez Musharraf said that talks with the Taliban and other opposition may be necessary to bring stability to Afghanistan.

“We have to have a multipronged strategy. In Afghanistan it is only the military strategy which is working now,” Gen Musharraf said, adding that peace could not come from the barrel of a gun.

“[The] political element is the negotiations between warring factions. Who are the warring factions? Warring factions are the Afghan government and the coalition forces on one side and the militant Taliban and even non-Taliban ... so some form of negotiations between these two.”

“Maybe, there are groups who want to give up militancy and negotiate ... so I can’t lay down whether you negotiate with the Taliban, but [if] they want to go on fighting, you don’t negotiate with them, take a military angle. You negotiate, you develop contacts with people who are not for fighting.”

Gen Musharraf insisted that Pakistan was the only country that had a military, political, developmental and administrative strategy to defeat extremism.

“I would tell everyone: Come and learn from us. We are sitting here knowing exactly what is happening on ground,” he said. “You sitting in the West don’t know anything. So, don’t teach me, come and learn from us. Come and understand the environment. And then decide on what has to be done and what doesn’t have to be done. We are doing more than any other country in the world.”

The general also didn’t back down from controversial comments made last year comparing the casualties suffered by Canadians and Pakistani military. “Unfortunately the people in the West think that their lives are more important than our lives ... they think the gun fodder should be from these countries like Pakistan and developing countries. If their soldiers, one soldier, dies, there is a problem, but 500 of ours have died. And then, yet they are blaming us. Isn’t 500 important? ... And yet Pakistan is blamed for not doing enough.”

He defended the approach of reaching out to local power brokers as a way of breaking the cycle of violence, such as with the peace deal in North Waziristan. “These are the tribal maliks [leaders] and elders. Locate them. Identify them, deal with them, wean them away. That’s the strategy that should have been adopted a long time back, but we left the field open for the Taliban, so every one is now suppressed and they are scared. Either they have joined them or they are lying low.”

He insisted Pakistani intelligence agencies played no role in the creation of the Taliban, although he acknowledged Pakistan gave the extremists legitimacy by being among the only countries to establish diplomatic relations when Taliban mullahs took over the government of Afghanistan.

“I know for sure – 200 percent – that they were not a creation of Pakistan. They were a creation of circumstances in Afghanistan,” he said.

He admitted he was concerned about the growing domestic opposition to his government. He did not concede that he had mishandled the suspension of the chief justice, and saw himself as a victim of a larger conspiracy.

Meanwhile, according to a report from Miran Shah, Militants released nine government employees, six of them women, who had been kidnapped on May 18 while they were going to Miramshah to conduct a survey. They were freed in Bannu’s Bakakhel area, adjacent to the North Waziristan Agency.

According to Zair Gul Wazir, one of the freed hostages, the kidnappers left them near a police station in the Bakakhel area at around 4am. Talking to journalists in Peshawar, Mr Wazir said that their vehicle was forced to stop at a blockade manned by nearly 50 armed men. “They asked us to get down and blindfolded us,” said Zafarullah Malik, another freed hostage. The men and women were then taken to a place where they were kept for five days.

According to Mr Malik, the militants complained that they were not consulted by the government on development works launched in the area. He said that the militants had kidnapped them to protest against the policies of the NWFP governor and the agency’s political administration. He also said that they had been treated well by the kidnappers. After their release, the group was kept in a Peshawar-based house for a few hours for debriefing.

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Muhammad Khurshid, a resident of Bajaur Agency, tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is journalist by profession. He contributes articles and news stories to various online and print newspapers. His subject matter is terrorism. He is also (more...)
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