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Pakistani Taliban: Nipping the evil in the bud

Pakistani Taliban: Nipping the evil in the bud​

Author
DR SYED KALEEM IMAM
September 29, 202211:50



Espionage has always been an essential part of war and conflict between countries. New dimensions, such as disinformation, organized crime and social subversion have been added to it in the modern age. They help cause instability in opposition ranks and trigger a crisis of legitimacy in the hierarchy of its command. With such tools, the world is now hurtling towards a new era of permanent, low-level conflict — often unnoticed and undeclared.

We would do well to heed the maxim that ‘wars are no longer won on the battlefield’. Any space gained through kinetic means now only suffices to bury those who have fallen trying to seize it. Non-kinetic means are often the only option to ending conflicts with a greater degree of permanence. Eradicating the breeding grounds of enemies and addressing the root causes of their enmity is what finally yields fruitful results.

The Taliban emerged in September 1994 as a prominent faction in the Afghan Civil War. The international community had not cared much about the future when this force was seizing increasing power from the Mujahideen warlords. On our side of the border, their rise was sheepishly supported by the powers of the day, which gave space for Taliban factions to put down roots here.

The Taliban phenomenon was imprudently welcomed and adopted in Pakistan at the state level. Even a few stalwarts in law enforcement and civil society proudly and publicly branded themselves as Taliban. Eventually, as the group’s deep ailments were finally exposed, those who once nurtured and supported it abandoned it in haste. However, there was no strategy to neutralize it, and they are now back to haunt us in the TTP avatar — brandishing weapons and spreading terror as viciously as they have in the past.

The TTP finds charisma in Noor Wali Mehsud, who has united the various factions of Taliban. There is an agenda in the group’s attempts to regain control of an area where it was once dislodged from; especially since things are rough across the border. According to sources, some leniency had been shown to returning militants after earlier negotiations. However, the TTP leadership soon started asserting its authority over the lower tiers and, as a result, heavily armed groups moved in, often occupying vantage points in the region. They now stroll through Dir to Malakand, reaching areas as far off as those bordering the Hazara region.
Just a few days ago, I was at a famous eatery in Peshawar’s fabled Namak Mandi. We were shocked to learn that the restaurant’s owner had been paying the TTP to stay safe, lest grenades were hurled to damage his business.
Dr Syed Kaleem Imam

What are they up to and what do they want? According to some, the TTP’s usual demands include the removal of checkpoints, limited state patrolling, hegemony over the region, exploitation of its mineral resources, and even stakes in pinewood harvesting. As part of their new wish list, they want the previous status of FATA, the removal of border fences, and their brand of sharia to be enforced. Being vicious outfits, they may pressurize the state for additional gains. They seem obsessed with curtailing women's rights, maintaining patriarchal dominance and enforcing religious rituals in accordance with their likings to justify their violent behavior. It is no wonder that the local community is sick and tired of them.

A policy of appeasement has led to the creation of a new merciless breed, not descended from any particular tribe, but from an assortment of opportunists. Within the rank and file are the 'Gujran', who were largely ordinary deprived hands, joined by educated youth radicalized on narratives glorifying war. The TTP leadership is shrewd, trying to maintain relevance and dominate the territory by the use of methods such as abduction, rape, murder and destruction of state machinery. Unlike before, they are armed with leftover foreign weapons, which they have put on sale as well as made a part of their ideological arsenal.

Swat has witnessed some very alarming violence recently. Encouragingly, instead of being intimidated as in the past, its locals are now furious. Unexpectedly large protests have been held in Dir, Maidan, Bajaur, and other areas. Even though security forces are trying to do their best to contain the threat, violence keeps recurring. The latest is that some errant returnees have been pushed back after soldiers and law enforcers took them head on. Other TTP tiers have quietly crept out. It remains to be seen how lasting and effective the action has been.

The threat of a return to turmoil will remain present. There have been hundreds of killings and explosions across the border. There is a possibility that extremist outfits may act in response to the deaths of Amir Muhammad Kabuli and Ayman al-Zawahiri, Omar Khorasani, as well as Rahimullah Haqqani.

We cannot afford another prolonged and costly conflict that will extend the hardships of our long-suffering nation. The question is, will we be repeating our past mistakes? Allowing anarchy to take root in the remoter areas of the country and then taking harsh measures to eliminate it is a failed strategy. The timely enforcement of the law is critical in ensuring 'order'. It has been my experience that it is the law that often looks the other way when trouble is brewing; else how dare anyone challenge the state’s writ.

Just a few days ago, I was at a famous eatery in Peshawar’s fabled Namak Mandi. We were shocked to learn that the restaurant’s owner had been paying the TTP to stay safe, lest grenades were hurled to damage his business. It reminded me of our university days in Karachi, when many of our friends and relatives paid bhatta to an ethnic political party to avoid being bullied or even killed.

There can be no enforcement of a writ without good governance and the rule of law. The sooner dissent and disagreement are addressed, the better. The act of sparing wrongdoers is immoral and illegal. Creating an artificial leadership and using it to gain ad hoc benefits is a dreadful policy.

The state can appropriately respond to extremist groups by enhancing its interaction with the affected communities, which have risen strongly against the TTP in Swat’s case. There is a need to revive the apex committees and execute old policies to nip the root causes of terrorism and militancy in the bud. It is time that the police, as the first responders, and the chief secretary, as the head of the province, oversee counterterrorism policy, or at least be fairly represented in it. Taking an inclusive approach to this distressing issue is essential.

- The writer holds a doctorate in politics and international relations and has served as a federal secretary and inspector-general of police. He tweets @KaleemImam.

 

Olympus81

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We are all doing our bit within our capacity to improve Pakistan.

We shouldn’t be judgmental about anyone. We don’t know what battles they’re going through.
 

lastofthepatriots

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What’s the use of your rants online then ?

Why blame Bajwa or anybody else ? You proved my point that public is corrupt. You turned a blind eye when u saw corruption.

You are behaving like scared child who can’t even report an officer to save the skin of your friend. You aren’t a patriot.

My dear, you are the coward here. Thanks for showing your true colours.


Sure, an online warrior who can’t do anything in real life. Outclass !

@Signalian

If you want to get personal we can get personal and you will cry.

I’m only giving you this warning because of your title.

I’m accountable for myself. My job is not tracking down fauji corruption especially when I live overseas. If I as a civilian was able to ascertain that this officer is involved in shady business, do you think his commanding officers are unaware? Woh bicharay kya ek hafta pelay paida huway te?

I agree with you that public is corrupt, but faujis come from the public right? Or are they born in the gated communities of DHA?

All institutions of Pakistan are corrupt to a certain degree and I suspect you are from the same ilk, otherwise why would anything that I’ve written so far bother you?

I find it hilarious that you think I should report my friend for paying bribes to your father’s fraternity. The absolute arrogance is astounding. Even if I did, app logon ki rozi roti kharab hoi gi na.... :lol:

If you are the son of a fauji than I am the son of a farmer and we do more for this country than the Pakistan Army does.

And btw, my father was also in PAF and left due to corruption he witnessed there in the late 70’s.
 
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lastofthepatriots

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We are all doing our bit within our capacity to improve Pakistan.

We shouldn’t be judgmental about anyone. We don’t know what battles they’re going through.

It’s just further badmashi from the entitled ranks of fauj. This guy is trying to incite people to expose themselves in front of DHA gang so they can paint a target on their backs. The same DHA gang that pick up and torture people for even complaining on Twitter. The irony is lost on my entitled friend.
 

Signalian

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@Signalian

If you want to get personal we can get personal and you will cry.

I’m only giving you this warning because of your title.

I’m accountable for myself. My job is not tracking down fauji corruption especially when I live overseas. If I as a civilian was able to ascertain that this officer is involved in shady business, do you think his commanding officers are unaware? Woh bicharay kya ek hafta pelay paida huway te?

I agree with you that public is corrupt, but faujis come from the public right? Or are they born in the gated communities of DHA?

All institutions of Pakistan are corrupt to a certain degree and I suspect you are from the same ilk, otherwise why would anything that I’ve written so far bother you?

I find it hilarious that you think I should report my friend for paying bribes to your father’s fraternity. The absolute arrogance is astounding. Even if I did, app logon ki rozi roti kharab hoi gi na.... :lol:

If you are the son of a fauji than I am the son of a farmer and we do more for this country than the Pakistan Army does.

And btw, my father was also in PAF and left due to corruption he witnessed there in the late 70’s.
Bhai

Unfortunately it’s people like you who support corruption in Pakistan.

That’s all.

It’s just further badmashi from the entitled ranks of fauj. This guy is trying to incite people to expose themselves in front of DHA gang so they can paint a target on their backs. The same DHA gang that pick up and torture people for even complaining on Twitter. The irony is lost on my entitled friend.
4 options are there for reporting. I hope you are man enough to contact one of them to report corruption occurring in your knowledge.
 

lastofthepatriots

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Bhai

Unfortunately it’s people like you who support corruption in Pakistan.

That’s all.


4 options are there for reporting. I hope you are man enough to contact one of them to report corruption occurring in your knowledge.

I support corruption because Bajra and co are enjoying haram ka paisa?

Wah wah kya logic he bhai!
 

TNT

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Are you people babies that you can't tell that terrorism and suicide bombing is wrong?
Your own brothers become terrorists, you own brothers are doing the blackmailing and kidnapping and deshatgardi and blowing up schools

The amount of fassad and ethnocentric stupidity coming out of some of you is reaching retarded levels

How about you wake up in the morning and no Pashto Pashto, no lar aur bar, no deshatgardi, you just get us go to work or school and that's it,,,, same goes for the Baloch, accept some responsibility for your own lives and actions for once

Or a bootlicker like u can instead ask ur boots to stop those medrassas? Or maybe stop them at border? PTI wins from all the areas u claim to have lar o bar mentality, but PTI is a nationalist party, so howcome they win? Shows u r a stupid n blind racist and bootlicker. I know ur hatred is beyond ethnic and includes sectarian hatred as well. Hard to take a muppet like u seriously.

What’s the use of your rants online then ?


Why blame Bajwa or anybody else ? You proved my point that public is corrupt. You turned a blind eye when u saw corruption.

You are behaving like scared child who can’t even report an officer to save the skin of your friend. You aren’t a patriot.

My dear, you are the coward here. Thanks for showing your true colours.


4 options for you, here you go :
1. NAB
Phone: +92-81-9202528, 9202529
Or
File the complaint online.

2. Find the number of local police station on your own contact police.

3. Lawyer
Get proofs through friend and start a case in court.

4. Media
Inform the media. Contact a journalist. Tell him/her the story.

Tell the truth about your friend and that officer. And you can also make it political if you have contacts in a party like PTI. I am not sure if political party can help but you can get good contacts from there.


Sure, an online warrior who can’t do anything in real life. Outclass !

Kindly come to Pakistan if u r not already here, and try those 4 options and see what u end up with. Seriously it seems many ppl here are living in a parallel universe. Or maybe u guys have never seen the ugly stuff.
 
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Sifar zero

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Are you people babies that you can't tell that terrorism and suicide bombing is wrong?
Your own brothers become terrorists, you own brothers are doing the blackmailing and kidnapping and deshatgardi and blowing up schools

The amount of fassad and ethnocentric stupidity coming out of some of you is reaching retarded levels

How about you wake up in the morning and no Pashto Pashto, no lar aur bar, no deshatgardi, you just get us go to work or school and that's it,,,, same goes for the Baloch, accept some responsibility for your own lives and actions for once
Leave him some people on this Forum have become zombies.
 

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