The way our establishment has responded to the Swat crisis, is what should have been done right from the word go. Its not that overnight they came there, deposited huge cache of arms and raised an army of 4000 strong. If it wasn’t Swat in 2004, it was either Waziristan (North and South) or Kurram agency. One way or the other, this final decision was delayed for a better day, some time in the name of negotiations and some time through fragile peace deals. Agreed!
The last few weeks have been pretty critical. Where on one side we saw the whole elected parliament bowing down to the guns and terror of the militants (Nizam–e-Adl) while later we saw PM Gillani coming out with a clear declaration of war, at last. After this, no doubt is left that we all agree that they are an enemy to the state and there is no further room for either tolerating or negotiation with them.
Like always, we have the “boots on the soil”, the military action is in full swing, the causalities are immense, a flood of IDPs has been unleashed and the enemy is also out there to make it a fight till the end. Here we have to stop and ask, where the end really lies or how will it end.
This military action (though unexplainably delayed for so long) is vital but will it succeed to uproot the whole episode, not at all. For this, we have to first figure out how did the problem or insurgency became so immense. It is agreed, proved and debated time and time again that the element of “foreign hand” is truly and most importantly there. Where Interior Minister Rehman Malik named three countries, yesterday US commander in Afghanistan gave a statement that “I agree that militants from Afghanistan have crossed into Pakistan in immense numbers, to join the militants in Swat”. To this, he failed to mention that with the news of US sending fresh army troops into Afghanistan, they have successfully pushed not only the militants but the whole War on Terror into Pakistan.
So, this action, though I must say very complex, is being conducted by our forces in the best possible manner, but the core issues remains the funding agencies and countries, that are operating these militants, have to be stopped, once and for all. Its easy said than done. Where the first part only and only requires muscles and guns, the problem of outside support can only be done through ‘successful diplomacy”. Till now the proofs, I mean we are at war from the last 7 years and it is clear that they are in large numbers, have to be brought to the light of local and international media, and a massive effort is needed to counter this onslaught. Else it will be a waste of effort and precious lives, and the terror will reemerge from another Swat, where ever it may be.
Secondly, toward the Tribal or simply known as “no go areas”, we clearly need a constitutional change. By our arrangement, we have allowed them to create a state within a state. An area within the territory of a sovereign country which obeys no law, is this a joke. The way they have been kept in a “born free” surrounding is responsible for this. No check on arms trade, drug mafia, no concept of taxes, law enforcing agencies, and all this with the willingness of the state, you cannot find another example like this. This is why a Tribal person will find it home in Afghanistan rather than Islamabad, because his tribal land and customs are close to the way things move in Afghanistan.
The excuse given by the politician simply refer to the fact that this was agreed at the time of the partition. Well, totally wrong. At that time it was the need, with time all has to change. Every one of them wants to be on a progressive, civilized and clear path, its only that for the political gains and petty votes political parties have exploited them for so long. Give them a clear feeling of “rights and responsibilities” that they have to practice, give them a surrounding which makes them feel that they are from within us, else it will be just another operation, which will cool the things for a while, but it will reemerge, from one place or the other.