Saturday, September 8, 2012

The suicidal Waziristan War

He was not a warlord or a military commander, he was an ordinary man from a small village in North Waziristan who, on a matter of much lower importance than what is happening to the region and the religion now, took up arms against the British. The dominant Imperial Power of the time deployed more than fifty thousand (50,000) troops against him and the Royal Air Force carried out ruthless bombardment against him. But it could neither kill Haji Mirza Ali Khan, the famous Faqir of Ipi, nor pacify troubled Waziristan until Britain’s departure from the Indian subcontinent.

Let our forces not make the same mistake by launching a full-scale military operation in North Waziristan because a small incident, by design or default, will spark a massive reaction and in no time make the entire population raise arms against their own Army. Were that to happen, and no one wishes it will, Waziristan will become a territory impossible to control.

The mistake of mistreating and misunderstanding Waziristan cannot and should not be overlooked in the assessment of the situation in that region. Except for the Wazir area in North Waziristan, military operations have either taken place in the rest of the tribal agencies or are underway, but militancy still remains a threat. Why it has not been eliminated is a question that everyone asks.

Many believe it has something to do with our policy, which is why militancy is taking so long to decline. One argument in support of this contention is that those in powerful positions have some hidden agenda, or else how could foreign elements prosper and be allowed to grow that strong as to become a threat to us. The fault lies somewhere else. As the saying goes, "It is not the gun that matters but the man behind the gun".

So it is not the army that is at fault but the policy that they follow in this fight.

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