Pakistan’s peace deals with militants: the march of folly?

May 24, 2008

SwatDespite the reservations of its principal ally, the United States, Pakistan’s new civilian leaders have gone ahead and sued for peace with militants in the Swat valley this week, and by all indications are about to cut another deal, and this with the head of the Taliban in the country.

While the politicians have repeatedly emphasised their independence of action with regard to militants and vowed to pursue a different course from President Pervez Musharraf, can they really see these deals through without the Americans on board?

Unlikely, if you listen to the comments/analyses not just in the United States but within Pakistan itself, which while more welcoming of attempts to try a different tack, sees dangers ahead.

Rahimullah Yousafzai, the Peshawar-based executive editor of The News, writes that the peace accords are not going  to be easy to implement in the face of U.S. opposition. He points to the U.S. missile strike in the village of Damadola in the Bajaur tribal agency earlier this month as an indicator of American displeasure over Pakistan’s policy of making deals with militants. 

Eighteen people were killed in that strike aimed at a senior al Qaeda leader, but among the dead were women and children, drawing condemnation from Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza  Gilani.
And within days, the militants struck back, carrying out a suicide bombing at an army base in Mardan in which 13 people were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it was to avenge Damadola.Missile strike in Bajaur

It showed how quickly things could go wrong if the Pakistanis pulled in one direction and the Americans and NATO just over the porous border in Afghanistan pulled in  another.

Pakistan’s peace deal with the militants in the Federally Administered Territorial Areas is actually meaningless if Islamabad cannot ensure the security of FATA against U.S. aerial attacks, Zeenia Satti, a Washington-based consultant and energy geopolitics analyst writes in The News.

Removing its forces from the area, as Pakistan has promised to do in the case of Swat, means nothing if a much larger force (U.S.) is going to strike with far more lethal weapons, she says.

Indeed, Zeenia argues that the peace deal may actually unleash the war on the Pakistan-Afghan border that America, in an election year, is  increasingly under pressure to fight.

“There is an approaching danger on Pakistan’s western front in the form of extensive U.S. bombardment which could unleash social-politico upheaval,” she writes, citing a series of statements from U.S. leaders including President George W. Bush and CIA director Michael Hayden on the threat to America from the tribal belt straddling the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Capturing Al Qaeda through an attack on Pakistan could be viewed by the neocons as a good strategy to gain public applause during an election campaign,” Zeenia writes.

The remote frontier area is doubtless well on the U.S. radar now. Foreign Policy magazine  has a photo-essay entitled Spring Time for the Taliban to show just how brazen the militants have become in the area, and are virtually the governing authority in many parts, enforcing their own brand of frontier justice.


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To the great chagrin of occupying criminals and their cohorts elsewhere, the policy of making peace with the militants is going to take its natural course. The aim is to free the militant men and resources to prepare for a final lethal kick in the ass of the thugs currently in occupation of Afghanistan. And if, the foreign bastards try to use force, they will be taught a lesson they and their coming generations will not forget.

Posted by Mike Patterson | Report as abusive

All of this “let’s make a deal” stuff leads one to wonder whatever happened to Osama bin Laden, who reportedly is hanging out in western Pakistan somewhere near the border with Afghanistan.

The U.S. needs to find and neutralize Osama bin Laden…one way or the other.

It is baffling that after all of these years (almost 7) OBL hasn’t been found. The guy is either dead or he’s alive. So, there is a 50% chance that he’s already been neutralized.

If not, then how difficult can it be to find the most infamous guy in the world? I doubt that OBL is hiding in a hole like Saddam Hussein was when the latter was neutralized. He had a penchant for villas when residing in Afghanistan.

The longer OBL evades neutralization, the more impotent the U.S. looks.

Impotency is not conducive to respect.

I certainly hope that U.S. intelligence operatives have not actually found the guy and avoided neutralizing him on the orders of politicians in Washington, who want to keep the so called “global war on terror” alive in the minds of U.S. voters “just one more time”. If that was to turn out to be the case, it would be an insult to the survivors of all those wiped out on September 11, 2001, and an insult to the intelligence of the U.S. voting electorate.

The preceding would also not be conducive to respect.


Posted by Jack | Report as abusive

Pakistan’s illiterate have chosen two ex-con cheats to try to implement the failed policy of negotiating with criminals. These illiterate Pakistanis should now prepare to live under the Sharia law, and in the dark (literally). Country’s infra structure is already in shambles. And why won’t it be?
A stark illustration of why democracy is not meant for illiterate and intolerant societies like Pakistan.
While we talk about this, the pipelines from the Pakistani treasury to the ex-con’s bank accounts in Dubai are flowing in full swing. After all, in Pakistan getting elected to anything is a 4 year license to fill up your foreign bank accounts.
Pakistanis will finally get whay they deserve to get…

Posted by Ahmed | Report as abusive

It is true that Pakistan does not have the military might to defend its people from NATO bombers, but that does not mean that the Pakistani government should start killing its own people in the name of neocon’s so-called war on terror. This kind of appeasement will never work in the long run. Should Pakistani forces continue to kill its own people for the sake of pleasing war-mongers in the Bush Administration? Wouldn’t it lead to an open revolt and complete chaos? Those who claim that the two men hiding in the mountain caves somewhere pose a danger to a 300 Million strong nation which has all sorts of weaponry and a GDP of several trillion dollars are either fools or fear-mongers. The two so-called top alQaida leaders can do no more than issue a tape every few months which in turn are used by warmongers to perpetuate the myth of the bogeyman to help in the effort of their own war of terror. Wake up people, bring the troop home. And let Pakistanis, Afghanis, and Iraqis sort things out among themselves. If they want to make peace deals that would be great. If not, there is not much we can do about it.

Posted by masmanz | Report as abusive

Dear Sir/Madam,
Patriotic way, to prevail “Democracy in Pakistan”…?

Democracy as a system of governance and interest representation demands respect for dissent and opposition. It recognizes the principle of majority rule and guarantees protection of minorities. Democracy also builds faith in electoral contestation to gain public office and gives legitimacy to political parties as primary instruments for acquisition and transfer of power from one set of individuals to another. Democracy teaches us equality, tolerance and justice without any discrimination to establish welfare society based on peace, progress and prosperity.

Therefore, it is essential to denounce the killing of innocent people in Pakistan, since it look excellent and compassionate but are we really feel sorry for that killing of innocent people ? if it is so, then we must eliminate the route cause of suicide killing and other hatred, being a democratic Islamic country and people, we must think in the light of teaching of our prophet (PBH) because killing for killing and bloodshed of innocent people, due to one pretext or other can never gives flowers in return, peace cannot prevail in this circumstances we must adopt democratic ways and means to settle the differences with who so ever they may be.

In reality, factual reason behind this hate is not born by us, but borrowed by us for the sake of US pleasure “Aa bel muje mar”. Because, those who were supported, financed, equip and trained by the USA and its allies, and who fight in the name of freedom of Afghanistan from occupied forces, were not aware about the truth behind their fighting, their fighting, was to protect the interest of USA, they were fighting a war of USA against USSR, for the political gain of USA (petrol resources around the Afghanistan and get easy excess for ,Iran, china) and when they realise their national interest was going to be robed, they dare to refuse, what kind of robbery was that is mentioned in the recently release book by the France authors.

“ French authors Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie recently published a book entitled Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth which tells of the negotiations for oil pipeline rights in Afghanistan that collapsed in August 2001 after the U.S. told the Taliban: Accept our offer of a carpet of gold or you’ll get a carpet of bombs.”

Despite the fact that, “Bush administration was expecting from Taliban, to cooperate with their plans for exploiting the oil resources of Central Asia. US were sure until August, that the Taliban, as a source of stability in Central Asia, would enable the construction of an oil pipeline across Central Asia.” But, all of a sudden a trusted partner of USA, turn in to so-called terrorist?

But fortunately, the Taliban realize that their national interest was going to be robed by USA; they dare to refuse, to accept US conditions for their support in exploitation of oil resources from central Asia.

As a last hope in the talks between the Bush, administration and the Taliban which began in February 2001, shortly after Bush’s inauguration. A Taliban emissary arrived in Washington in March with presents for the new chief executive, (an expensive Afghan carpet). But the talks themselves were less than cordial. Brisard said; “At one moment during the negotiations, the US representatives told the Taliban, ‘either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs’.”

USA and its allies attack the Afghanistan under the immediate aftermath of September 11, there were press reports—against, largely overseas protest and hiding the factual reality behind the attack on Afghanistan, they almost destroyed remaining infrastructure and killed thousands of innocent people, such as they attack the Iraq under wrong pretext of having the WMD and against the will of the world to capture the oil resources and acquire a place for their continuous presence in the middle east for their political gain.

The United National has lost its credibility as neutral authority to intervene and protect the small and week nation against foreign aggression but instead ,UNO, proved as failed organization playing in the hands of the brutal power intimidating and capturing the countries, in order to grab their, resources such as OIL and to attain political influence, while killing their innocent people under one pretext or other in the name to “demoralized” them and to accept the terms and condition suitable for the occupier.

At present they (US/NATO) are fighting their war of military/political interest in the region, involving the dependent country like Pakistan, under intimidation of sever consequences to bear, if refuse to support them; The current demand draft of 11 points, submitted by the so-called democratic imperialistic state of USA is a clear sign to a sovereign government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to accept and obey as matter of master’s voice. This act is a kind of intimidation and direct involvement in the internal matter of a sovereign state. This act create a question as if we are really a sovereign state or part and partial of USA, Because, they want Pakistan to fight and kill his own people under one ploy or another, want to drag them in to the chaos and uncertainty, so that they can further impose more condition on the Pakistani Government to follow them, dip and dip until armed forces of Pakistan loose the trust of the Pakistani people and come openly to fight against his own people like they did in east -Pakistan, this is the movement they (USA) are waiting for, so that their, in time financial help to the traitor can play the role to disintegrate the strength of the nuclear country.

This is a moment invite us all for serious consideration weather to keep our independence in tact or bow down before this mighty evil, democratically bullying to accept the terms and condition of his interest, or in other words be ready to loose our independence for ever.

How? a patriotic person can repeat, the past mistake for supporting the fight, for external political and regional gain instead, we have already paid to much price in the form of social unrest, ethnic conflicts, drug- addicting and arms problems through Pakistan, If, we have to survive as a Sovereign Islamic Nation, in this world with dignity and respect as a free nation, then we must adopt and adhere the following essential change immediately;

• Decentralize the power on the basis of division to empower the people at grass route level without any delay.
• Allow free, complete education with technical knowledge to every able citizen.
• Establish research institute at divisional level to encourage the youth with god gifted skill to develop and those who are interested in research work in all field, it is necessary step towards self sufficiency in technology.
• Provide guarantee for job opportunity to all man and women after education/technical training.
• Rapid industrialization of small, medium and cottage industries be allowed at the divisional level with total protection to capitals and facilities to flourish.
• A cooperative farming should be introduced at divisional level for large scale agriculture product and development of agro-industries.
• Supply of controlled price utilities could only be possible if we follow the mass industrial and agriculture production
• Provide separate working facilities for production and services to women, so that majority women force of 52% can join the force of national production/services.
• Insurance coverage should be provided all working man/women along with complete medical treatment coverage.
• Better residential facilities be provided to all
• Export oriented foreign policy should be adopted and find markets for our excess products in the regional country surrounding us, and provide them market place for their excess products.

The right way to reverence to Martyr is to eliminate the causes after the incidents. If we can redress the route cause after the suicide killing, we can save many lives in future. The only way out is the change of system, the route cause of all kind of grievances, the time is to empower the Pakistani at grass route level to eliminate the socio-political injustice and strengthen the unity within the society at large, and closing the door for outsiders or intruder to penetrate in our society because of social unrest.

Pakistani people are left at distant from the corridor of power. As this policy is denial of right of Pakistani igniting the unrest within the society, let the people of Pakistan, to rule their country according to their aspiration and desire to build, which can provide equal opportunity to all without any discrimination for the establishment of welfare society. Only the society base on tolerance, equality and justice can be the real guarantee for the prosperous and strong Pakistan

Ilyas khan Baloch
Organizer Islamic democratic party

Posted by Ilyas khan Baloch | Report as abusive

There is no doubt that Baitullah’s group TTP has emerged as the single most serious threat to
internal security. His associates in Swat are also creating troubles for the government with
clashes, arson and sabotage being a routine matter. Sooner or later, an all out offensive
against Baitullah will be required to eliminate this threat but with a weak and unstable
government in Islamabad, the political and moral will remains lacking and the military will
finally have to resort the covert tactics to eliminate the threat.
It is now also well known and confirmed that Afghan government is involved in supplying
weapons, explosives and money to Baitullah and his gang. Baitullah is paying around Rs:
10,000/= per fighter, plus weapons and food, a small fortune for jobless tribals, criminals and
terrorists. The involvement of Tajiks from northern alliance government in Kabul in terrorism
in Pakistan is now also well documented. The BLA is also funded and supported by the
Afghan government as acknowledged by their chief Brahmdagh Bugti in the first segment of
this report.

Posted by dr raheel | Report as abusive