Our American friends have always been warning us in a complaining tone, “We are doing more and more, you are doing less and less; if you don’t do more, we shall start doing less”. But very strange is the fact that their words have never been harsh and ruthless. It seems they never intend to be really hard on us but they desire us to come up to their expectations. They know that a strong and stable Pakistan is in favour of the USA. In the past few years the increasing extremism has given birth to militancy in some of the tribal areas of Pakistan .this unpleasant situation has naturally generated some very serious type of fears in the hearts of the US policy makers. We are lucky enough that these fears could not mar the very close relationship between the two countries based on the hope of good days. However we should try to analyze the factors which are behind these fears and apprehensions.
The USA is certainly at the top of the list of the countries which claim to be the friends of Pakistan. Pakistan has been enjoying so many financial supports and so many political favours, a lot of assistance and boundless caring from the USA since long. That is why Pakistan did not miss even a single moment when the USA expressed its desire for a strong support from Pakistan in the war against terror. In the beginning it all went very smooth. The US authorities were very much satisfied with the role played by Pakistan in the war against terror. But now there is a clear cut disgruntlement and discontent one can feel on the part of the USA. The US media and the think tanks are calling in question the struggle and efforts sincerely done by the government of Pakistan in crushing the menace of extremism leading towards terrorism. The role of the Pakistan army, the intelligence agencies and even the role of the newly elected democratic government of Pakistan is being criticized for not supporting the US efforts against extremism. The people of Pakistan are in a state of dilemma not knowing what else the Americans want them to do; what are the expectations Pakistan has yet not come up to?
The tribal areas of Pakistan were once renowned for their lush green valleys, friendly mountains, lively rivers and forests full of precious wild life but now they are just a barren land of blood and fear. The marvelous valley of swat which used to be a dream of every tourist has now turned into a horrible nightmare. Demolished homes, burning schools, smoking orchards, all are rewards and awards of taking part in the US’ war against terror. But our American friends are still harping on the same string; do more, do more.
A few days back The Washington Post said, “The United States is fighting Pakistan-based extremists by proxy, through an army over which it has little control, in alliance with a government in which it has little confidence. Anti-American feeling in Pakistan is high, and a US combat presence is prohibited.” If we make a little change in the above statement and look at it from Pakistan’s point of view, the statement would be like this; “Pakistan is fighting an Afghanistan-based and American generated war against the terrorists who are in the garb of extremists, strongly supported and financed by the countries like India and Afghanistan. As a result of this so called war the lives of so many innocent Pakistani citizens are at stake.”
The Pakistan army is no doubt one of the best armies of the world having matchless abilities of facing all types of circumstances and tackling with even the worst situations successfully, but in the tribal areas the scenario is somewhat different. While targeting the terrorists the soldiers of Pakistan army always have a hidden fear in their subconscious; their bullets might hurt those who have nothing to do with terrorism. Unluckily their bullets could never be as callous as US drones. The difference is very obvious. The brains behind the drones have no affiliation with the targets whereas the fingers on the triggers are always worried about those who are not only Pakistanis but also innocents. The armed forces of Pakistan are determined to crush each and every terrorist but they are never willing to slaughter those innocent people who are looking towards them for their safety and security. The US authorities can never understand this situation because they never had an experience of targeting their own people.
Pakistan is facing the worst consequences of taking part in the US war against terror. Its economy, its social set up and even the new born political system, in short every thing is in a state of turmoil. The people of Pakistan think that behind all this destruction, there is nothing but a very cruel face of the US war on terror. They have a very clear cut notion that the Muslims all over the world are continuously a victim to a deliberately wagged war by the Christians. Be it Lebanon or Palestine, Iraq or Iran, Afghanistan or Pakistan, there is a blood-shed in all Muslim countries. America in collaboration with Israel and India is blindly destroying the calm and peace of the Muslim world. If America were not supporting the mischief monger countries like Israel and India the Muslim world could have been less in trouble. Unless until, this type of feeling is haunting the hearts and minds of the Pakistani nation, anything done in particular context of the war against terror shall prove ineffective and useless.
Neither the government of Pakistan nor the armed forces have any soft corner for the terrorists. Some of the US think- tanks have been blaming that the extremist religious elements in the armed forces and the intelligence agencies of Pakistan are supporting the Taliban. The blame game started by these think-tanks cannot be taken as a simple assessment or an analytical dissection; it is more than that. Most of the American TV channels and newspapers are owned by the Jews. They promote and propagate the ideas which are dear to their masters and unfortunately the US authorities rank their analysis more sacred than the verses of the holy Bible. The hue and cry raised by the American media regarding Pakistan’s role in the war against terror is nothing less than the guided missiles. They can be called the ideological drones targeting the US policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The situation in the tribal areas of Pakistan was not as much complicated in the beginning as it seems now. There are so many factors trying to enmesh the realities and the concoctions. If the USA is really serious in crushing the menace of terrorism, the first and the foremost thing is that it should refresh its confidence in Pakistan. The blame game against the democratic government, the armed forces and the intelligence agencies must be discouraged. Pakistan is very well aware of the worst consequences of terrorism, so there could be no one else who could fight this war in a better war, joining hands with America. The government of Pakistan and the armed forces are doing their best against the terrorists. They know very well that the exertion of force is not the only solution to every problem. Dialogue is always more effective than a bullet. The peace accord with the Islamic hard liners in swat is also one of the important steps in this regard. It would help out the government of Pakistan in drawing a line of demarcation between those who are the terrorists and those who are the religious extremists.
Extremism is neither a crime nor a terrorist activity. Even in Christians and the Jews and the Hindus, there are so many groups which are very much staunch in their beliefs. The problem in the tribal areas of Pakistan is not the religious extremism; the problem is the invasion of the foreign terrorist element in the religious hard liners. These foreign invaders have nothing to do with religion. Their only concern is to create disturbance in Pakistan. They have their own agenda supported by those who are not well-wishers of Pakistan. The US authorities should give a helping and supporting hand to Pakistan so that it might perform better in this war against terror. The seed of misunderstanding that Pakistan is not serious in crushing the evil of terrorism, should not be allowed to grow and flourish. But one thing should be kept in mind; we are against terrorism not against extremism. We can fight against terrorism but not against extremism because extremism is not a sin. It is simply an angle of looking at the realities around us.