Now most of the tribesmen have come to the conclusion that Al-Qaeda is the creation of rulers led by President Bush. This was the reason that they do not want its elimination. With each passing day the terrorists and Taliban have been strengthening their position.
We have been seeing with our own eyes that officials have been providing support to Taliban and terrorists in tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border, but we can do nothing against them. Both the officials and terrorists are powerful.
Most of the tribesmen have been losing the hope, but still they have been expecting that a new leader from the United States will appear on the horizon to eliminate the terrorism. Who will be that leader no one knows? But he will be the true leader.
Now rulers in Pakistan have been accepting that Al-Qaeda is present in the country. A leading newspaper in its comment stated that according to reports the Pakistan army has killed nearly a hundred Taliban in two consecutive days on the Pak-Afghan border in North Waziristan after failing to get its 260 troops released in South Waziristan from the Taliban-Al Qaeda warlord, Baitullah Mehsud. Pakistan has deployed 90,000 troops in the area, but denies the Taliban’s claim that the army lost a hundred Pakistani troops in the same battle. Now the army can no longer deny that Al Qaeda has struck at a key centre of the Pakistan Army Special Services Group (SSG) at Tarbela-Ghazi, Haripur, NWFP, and killed 20 commandos.
That the attack occurred in one of Pakistan’s most “secured” areas is shocking. Tarbela is a highly sensitive spot because of the location in it of the country’s most important dam, Tarbela Dam, the largest earth-filled dam in the world. In view of the permanent state of vigilance mounted on the area, it is difficult to imagine that Al Qaeda pulled off a major operation against the army without the help of its “insider” loyalists. Already, some evidence of the reluctance of the army to fight the “Islamic warriors” in Waziristan has come to light. Troops in South Waziristan and in other locations inside the NWFP have been surrendering without a fight and becoming willing hostages to warlord Baitullah Mehsud to make the Pakistan army give up its resolve to fight Al Qaeda.
The “Islamic” aspect of the terrorism faced by Pakistan is lost on no one. In the Tribal Areas people have long given up resisting the drive against “munkiraat” such as music and video shops and the shaving of beards. Those who resisted it on the plea that it destroyed their livelihood have long been either killed or have joined the moral brigades of Al Qaeda. In the settled areas of the NWFP, extremist elements have joined up with Al Qaeda representatives like Maulana Fazlullah of Swat to dynamite music shops they consider contrary to the edicts of Islam. This campaign was also launched by Lal Masjid in Islamabad and was in part supported by the rightwing PMLQ elements in the government. Worse, the NWFP government tacitly supports the Al Qaeda campaign.
Under the circumstances, it is easy to arrive at the conclusion that the army has not fully realised the fact that it is under attack; nor has it fully grasped the indoctrination its officers and lower ranks are receiving from the “free” media of Pakistan where “guest experts” daily air their conviction that reversion to “undiluted democracy” and a delinking of Pakistan from the global campaign against terrorism will immediately put an end to all troubles in the country. But the latest attack simply confirms that Al Qaeda is active — if not headquartered — in Pakistan and its thinker-philosopher Ayman Al Zawahiri is putting his theories into practice.
The national army is no longer safe in its cantonments. The smaller but important cantonments in the Bannu-Kohat area have been successfully attacked. Troops busy in their daily drill have been killed through suicide bombers who are able to penetrate the parade grounds without being discovered. Tragically, extremist “Islamists” are playing a pivotal role in convincing young men and boys to give up their lives as suicide-bombers. In these circumstances, the military campaign against Al Qaeda cannot afford to be long drawn out. If the decision has been taken to confront the terrorism of Al Qaeda, then it should be resolute and should lead to decisive action with the intent of finishing the job as quickly as possible.