You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Friday, January 30, 2009

War on Terror: Time to pull out?

DAVID Miliband’s assertion that the ‘war on terror’ was a mistake, together with Nato’s Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer’s criticism of pro-American Afghan President Hamid Karzai clearly indicates a rift between Europe and America towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.

International relations and global realities have changed tremendously since 9/11. The war on Iraq has exposed the limits of American military might. Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghuraib exposed the moral bankruptcy of American regime which tremendously weakened American political power.

The resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan is testing the commitment of International Security Assistance Forces. The conflict between Georgia and Russia and now between Europe and Russia over gas supplies has marked the return of a belligerent anti-western power to the international stage.

The Iraq war and the recent butchery of Gazan Muslims in Palestine have exposed the bias inherent in international institutions such as the United Nations towards the West and its interests. And, above all, the most severe economic crisis has hit the West and crippled its economy, shattering the core capitalist principles of free market economy.

All of these factors have weakened western powers and their ability to influence states like Pakistan. Now is the time for Pakistan to review its foreign policy and make radical changes in it. The challenge on the eastern front provides Pakistan a golden opportunity to make a case for pulling out from the self-destructive war on terror.

The Pakistani government has already indicated that it would pull out from the war on terror if India isn’t reined in by the international community. After the rift increasing between America and Europe over the war on terror, Pakistan should actually move beyond just sending signals.

DAWN - Letters; January 22, 2009
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aZ said...

Well the issue is not simple enough to be resolved by pulling out. If by pulling out you mean don't resist the Taliban, then my friend that simply is not a solution! See what they've been doing to the civil life in their occupied territories (yes they've quite a lot of that in Pakistan) and big city centers. They've practically held NWFP, Islamabad and Lahore hostage to their terrorist attacks! And all along, our nation couldn't muster up enough courage to unanimously fight them (or denounce them for that matter). In fact they've always received a criminal support from certain corners in our society and media (shifting the blame to "foreign hand"). Things for Pakistan are not going to get resolved without realizing what deep mess we actually are in because of these crazies. We need to stop fooling ourselves and tackle the issue on an urgent basis whether it require military and/or diplomacy/dialogue. Now this doesn't have to be on the US agenda but this has to be done.

Zeeshan Ali Rana said...

Pulling out from american war on terror doesn't mean tht we shld let individuals challenge the writ of the government in the areas where pakistani law is applicable... use of force has not been fruitful in past... lets first respect the cultural obligations of our countrymen and then see if they still challenge the government?

one cannt get respected without respecting the others...

aZ said...

Whether the use of force is or isn't fruitful is a different debate. I myself believe that violence should not be resorted to unless absolutely necessary but blowing up schools and hanging dead bodies in the central chowk of Swat do make a good point for the absolutely necessary side! But I am still all for a diplomatic solution. But painting this war as an American war (not true anymore) makes getting at a solution (diplomatic or otherwise) that much harder.

As far as cultural obligations go, I am not ready to respect them if they include suicide bombings on civilian targets and taking away the right to education for girls. And as a matter of fact they don't. Many locals are completely against the Taliban barbarism and this is evident from the number of local "maliks" and even complete "Jirga's" Taliban have wiped out. That would suggest to me that terrorism has a clash with the tribal traditions.

I do respect the tribes and the agreement under which they joined Pakistan (including the right to stick to their cultural jurisprudence) but I have no use for the respect from the stone age loving terrorists! The fact of the matter is that local civilians of Swat (and elsewhere in the Taliban controlled areas) need and deserve our help (diplomatic and military) to counter those maniacs.

Shahzad said...


you seem to miss out the point that they started blowing up schools and hanging dead bodies after Pakistan became an ally of America in its "War on Islam".

i am not justifying their actions but you have to realize that these people have been living with us since 1947. the people of Swat have never showed such behavior before. Swat used to be the most beautiful part of Pakistan where people used to go during their vacations. if Pakistan hadn't involved itself in America's war, things would have been different.

aZ said...

No I am not ignoring that point, terrorism is wrong despite that. And yes, you are not justifying their actions but IMO you're trying to acquire sympathies for some heartless killers by circum-navigating the argument. We have no love for American Imperialism and state terrorism but we shouldn't have any love for the other extreme as well.

Secondly, I never implied that all people of Swat are involved with the TTP (in fact there's evidence to the contrary) and that just goes to further discredit TTP and their agenda. If people of Swat were against girls' education, there would be no attendance at the schools. The fact that Swat was an immensely peaceful and rather liberal society before the maniacs took over just adds more to my disgust for them.