A few days back, I received the mail of a seven years old girl Fatima. Her father was a trainee police officer at the Manawan Police Training School near Lahore. The school was sacked by the terrorists last week taking lives of more than a dozen junior police officers; Fatima’s father was also one of them. The mail literally made my eyes tearful. “Dear Uncle! My father was a very religious man. He never missed his five times prayers and the fasting of Ramzan. He was so God fearing that he would never be harsh even on the professional beggars. My mother used to mock at him by calling him Molvi Jee. Could you please tell me what his fault was? Why was he shot dead? Why am I made orphan and who is going to take care of me, my two months brother and my mother? Could you imagine the pain and agony of the time when hundreds of miles away from Lahore, my mother was watching the killing of my father on television screen? The sounds of bullets and blasts were piercing not only our present but also our future. Who is responsible for all that; respected President Obama or honourable Baitullah Mahsood.The former claims to be a warrior against terrorism; the later calls him a true Muslim. For God sake, please request them on my behalf to stop this slaughtering in the name of Islam and under the cover of the war against terror or ask them to kill me and my mother and my two months brother. If they don’t do so, I shall complain to the Holy Prophet and the Holy Christ on the day of judgment.”
The stronger ones react, the weaker ones protest. Be it the drone attacks in the tribal lands of Pakistan or the brutal inhuman whipping of a young girl in Swat, the history turning incident of 9/11 or the cruel slaughtering of innocent Palestinians in Gaza , we find the protesters and the reactors go side by side. When the protest seems failing, it changes into aggression. Extremism, fundamentalism and terrorism, all are different shapes of aggression born out of protest. But it is quite clear that no protest or reaction can be successful unless it is supported by the public opinion. The US war on terror and the Taliban movement both have lost their support from the common public, nationally and internationally. It all seems a war based on individual and personal interests; an attempt to gain superiority and authority. Now people desire and pray for a defeat, both for the USA and the Taliban. The fault lies with the philosophy of these two opponents. They are misguided by their perception that exertion of force is the only possible solution to every problem. In their frenzy and wildness they have forgotten that their lust for authority is pushing the world towards an inferno whose blazing flames are eager to burn everything around. In the beginning it was a common feeling that the war against terror is a war between Islamic and the anti-Islamic forces but now the feelings have altogether changed. This war is now being taken as a war against humanity because it is causing no harm or loss to the terrorists but only to the innocent human beings.
The extremists in the northern tribal areas of Pakistan are painting a new picture of Islam. The recently released video of a young girl being flogged publicly and the suicidal attacks on innocent human beings in Pakistan have compelled everyone to ponder; what is the origin of such a brutal interpretation of Islam. Since the days of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) till the period of the Four Caliphs, we can find not even a single example of such brutality. The massage of Islam is based on the love for human beings, kindness and care for the women and children and the weaker ones. Islam is nothing but compassion and benevolence. The picture of Islam presented by the so-called Islamic militants portrays the time before the advent of Islam. No one in the Islamic world is going to accept this altered and adulterated edition of Islam.
On the other hand the US authorities are also depicting them as extremists. In their rage and fury they have ignored the reality that their war on terror has become a war of horror even for those who have nothing to do with terrorism. The suicidal attacks on public and the security personals in Pakistan are nothing but a reaction of the extremists against the US policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. America is gaining nothing out of this havoc but the innocent people of Pakistan are losing whatever they have. As a result of it America is unknowingly sowing the seeds of hatred and disliking in the hearts of the Pakistanis. Changing of love into hatred must be something very painful for a country like America who truly claims to be the world’s biggest benefactor and peace maker.
It would be an injustice to negate the comforting and positive role played by America through out the world. Whenever there is a disaster or calamity anywhere in the world, America has never remained aloof and indifferent. Even in case of Pakistan, the American favours and supports can never be denied but the present scenario is spilling water on all that heaven-like past. The people of Pakistan have always been a friend of America and there is no fault of these common people for whom the most grievous issue of life is only earning simple bread. The whole of the Pakistani nation is being punished for the misdeeds of a very small group of miscreants which is trying to dismantle the entire fabric of a peaceful society.
Considering itself an important ally in the war against terror and to avoid killing of innocent people in swat and the neighbouring states, the NWFP government signed a peace accord with Tehrek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi (TNSM).This accord consisted of seventeen points including measures to establish Islamic courts, a ban on music, expulsion of prostitutes and pimps from the area, closure of businesses during prayer times, and a campaign against obscenity. After this accord the life in Swat was coming back to normal .Different Taliban groups were planning to disarm them. The leader of the TNSM Maulana Sufi Mohammad has a very strong hold on the Taliban because of his son-in-law Maulvi Fazlullah who is a renowned Taliban leader. It was expected that Maulana Sufi Muhammad would get hold of the worsening situation very soon but at once the things started taking a new turn. It all happened just after the announcement of the new American policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan. President Obama declared that he has planned to deal with this problem in a new way. He said that Pakistan is surely a very strong supporter of the US war on terror but now with the passage of time it has become a part of the problem itself. The declaration of this new American policy has added more oil to fire and more salt to injuries.
It has been a very common feeling in the western media that the so-called fight against terrorism by Pakistan army is nothing but an exercise to make Taliban stronger and more aggressive. Pakistan army has planned to use the Taliban and other terrorists against India, Afghanistan and the NATO forces in Afghanistan because Pakistani military in its war plans has always factored the use of these forces. The Western media is continuously promoting the idea that the ISI is always behind the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, providing them full assistance and support. It is being propagated that the plan to introduce Sharia in Swat and other tribal areas is an attempt to please the Taliban. In short the western authorities are not happy over this peace accord. This type of baseless propaganda is giving birth to misunderstandings and confusions between America and Pakistan.
In fact the swat peace accord is a very sincere effort of Pakistan against the menace of terrorism. Swat peace accord has been appreciated by all patriotic elements of Pakistan. The accord has provided a sigh of relief to the general masses and a sense of security to the people of Swat. The peace accord between the government of NWFP and Maulana Sufi Muhammad the chief of Tehrek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariah Muhammadi (TNSM) has good chance of success. The government of NWFP has tried to settle the dispute through negotiations by bringing Nizam-e-Adl in the area. Maulana Sufi Muhammad and his son in law Fazalullah are in consonance with each other regarding the peace accord in Swat. Similarly another important exponent of the Swat militancy Muslim Khan is also supportive of Maulana Sufi Muhammad to make the peace accord a success story. The people of Swat are also desirous to see the accord meet all the successes. In fact it is the duty of every individual or political group to support the peace accord in Swat. Government of Pakistan is also very sincere to see the accord succeeding in all efforts to bring peace in the country and establish the writ of the government.
Unfortunately there are Indian-influenced anti Pakistan elements that are interested in seeing Pakistan in bad light and hence tend to instigate the innocent segments of the society to become violent and challenge the writ of the government. The hardliners like Shah Durran, Abni Amin and others are playing in the hands of Indian conspirators who have plans to sabotage the peace accord in Swat. Indian spy agency RAW in collaboration with Mosaad, CIA and others is deeply involved in attempts to disrupt the peace accord in Swat. The only aim is to make the detractors of Maulana Sufi Muhammad strong, get them back the overall control of Swat by eliminating Sufi Muhammad, Maulana Fazalullah and Muslim Khan and ultimately facilitate the spread of violence in Swat. Recently announced US policy regarding Pakistan and Afghanistan shall do nothing but strengthen those who want a constant disturbance in the area. The recently released video film of a young girl being flogged in Swat also seems an attempt to disrupt the Swat peace accord. This video has no doubt promoted a very strong feeling of hatred against the Islamic extremists in Swat through out Pakistan.
If America wants to see its war on terror successful, it should try to strengthen Pakistan army and the government of Pakistan. At this critical juncture Pakistan needs a lot of help and support from the international society. Pakistan is facing the worst consequences of supporting the US war on terror. It would be a grievous blunder if Pakistan is ranked as a part of the problem. Such an attitude will generate a feeling of protest in the people of Pakistan. The anti-American forces would try their best to change this protest in reaction which is surely going to generate an aggression. This aggression might become a challenge for the US authority in the region. Is the loss of US authority in the region, the desired end-state of the War against Terror?