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Do You Think President Bush Will Tackle Terrorism Issue?

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Message Muhammad Khurshid
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Time has proved that US President George W. Bush is incapable to tackle the issue of terrorism, which has been eating the resources of the world. He knows just the killing of the people not the terrorists, but the innocent people.

Just take the case of Bajaur Agency drone attack. So far no words have been uttered as who were targetted in the attack. There are reports that some important terrorists were present in Damadola village of Bajaur Agency, but it is not yet clear whether they have been killed or not. The attack has just increased the terror and fear. Attaching hopes with President Bush will be a blunder of Pakistani rulers. Pakistani rulers have also played role in killing the tribesmen and aggravating the situation. They can never solve the issue.

Rule of law is the only anwser to the issue of terrorism, but Pakistani rulers are not ready to accept the rule of law. They are still playing the game. The ultimate victims are innocent people whether they are living in Bajaur Agency or a city of the United States.

According to The Nation comment, one hopes Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani would be able to convince President Bush of the futility of Washington's policy of resolving the complex issue of militancy through use of force alone. The policy has failed to deliver in Afghanistan, where indiscriminate use of military power has led to the killing of thousands of innocent people, creating widespread sympathy for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In Pakistan also, military operations in the tribal areas have proved to be counterproductive. They have not only failed to stem the tide of militancy, but created conditions that helped the spread of extremism to the settled districts of NWFP, known otherwise for moderation. Committed militants. as well as ordinary tribesmen motivated by revenge, have conducted suicide attacks in a number of cities.

The policy of tackling the issue of militancy through talks with the Pakistani Taliban, introduced by the coalition government, has on the other hand paid off.  While stray incidents of attacks on security forces still continue to take place, the situation has considerably improved. A number of those abducted by the militants have also been released. The bloodletting in the two Waziristan Agencies has stopped and as a gesture of goodwill the troops have started vacating key positions in Mehsud areas. There is a need on the part of the Karzai government to pursue a similar policy to bring peace to Afghanistan. With more money pumped into the economic and social development of the federally administered tribal areas, more and more people would be convinced of the need for peace. This would isolate the handful of extremists who use the excesses committed during military operations to turn the tribal area into a staging post for militant attacks.  As Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar has observed, peace talks would also have a significant impact on crossborder militancy.

Policymakers in Washington, who lack the patience required to deal with a phenomenon that has been created to a great extent by their own policies during the Afghan jihad and after 9/11, vainly try to put an end to it through quick fixes. The attack on Damadola has led to condemnations all over Pakistan, while the local tribesmen have vowed to take revenge. There are many who think Islamabad should have urgently protested over the attack instead of delaying its response for three days. Prime Minister Gillani is well aware of the sentiments of the people as well as the coalition partners. He has also received a detailed briefing from the ISI over the issue. One hopes he would try his best to drive home the fact that militancy can best be tackled through talks, rather than use of relentless force, which has failed to restore normalcy in the troubled region during the past so many years.

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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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