Another day, another blunder

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Ch Nisar has perhaps missed his true calling

 

 

People were crossing their fingers, holding their collective breath, hoping against hope that this government of weak, puny leaders will not succumb to the latest Taliban/Jihadi ploy of a month-long ‘ceasefire’.

But this offer was hungrily lapped up by our interior minister as a ‘positive development’ and a ‘positive step’ by the ‘positive’ Taliban. You see our chief of national security loves things positive, with no hint of negativity present in his bones.

With all his talk of ‘peace’ it seems that Chaudhary ‘Peacenik’ Nisar in his Beatles hairdo missed his true calling, that of a Buddhist monk, rather than being the security chief of the world’s most dangerous country. In all fairness, he was appointed by a friendly, rotund boss who himself is hardly capable of sending shivers down the spines of blood-seeking, natural born killers or striking terror in their blackened hearts.

Firstly, this temporary ‘ceasefire’, other than giving critical time for the Taliban to regroup, would achieve nothing of significance in terms of improving our economy and security. The dark clouds of fear and uncertainty hovering over our national horizon would not likely to disappear. Chances are that bombings and killings of our people would continue unabated, though the Taliban deceptively would not be taking credit for these terror crimes.

This government of the elite ensconced in the lap of luxury obtained by dubious means and protected by multiple layers of security has no moral authority to embrace these craven murderers as honourable citizens and wash the blood on their hands.

Now that this ‘ceasefire’ has been agreed to by our government, would foreign investors from New York to Dubai be lining up to invest in our country? Can we come out of hiding, demolish the security barriers, dismiss security guards and breathe free again? Would the image of our country be now transformed from the fortress of terrorism to the citadel of peace?

Secondly, by prematurely agreeing to a short ‘ceasefire’, Ch Nisar and PM Nawaz seem to have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. For the first time in FATA our Army and the Air Force launched a serious and effective military campaign to eliminate and defeat this long-festering enemy that was making dramatic, successful strikes. And for the very first time, the nation could genuinely hope and finally visualise subjugation of this elusive enemy.

However, the supine PML-N Government abruptly pulled the rug from under this potentially victorious offensive by hastily and thoughtlessly agreeing to halt this productive assault without even insisting on some essential preconditions. If the Taliban had agreed to lay down their weapons and explosives and to turn in those criminals who supervised the suicide attacks and who pulled the trigger hundreds of time, this ceasefire might have made some sense.

As things now stand, it appears that our government’s acquiescence to Taliban’s ‘ceasefire’ will harm the country in two ways: It would prevent our armed forces from decisively defeating the enemy and would perpetuate the continuation of the aura of uncertainty, insecurity, fear and intimidation all over the country.

Thirdly, the question, as to why this effective policy of retaliation against the Taliban sanctuaries for each and every terror attack by them in Pakistan’s mainland was not adopted and implemented especially by the present government since it assumed power during the many months of bloodletting by the people and state of Pakistan? Why were their terror attacks allowed to go unchallenged by the state and why was their myth of an invincible monster allowed to be fortified?

The supine PML-N Government abruptly pulled the rug from under this potentially victorious offensive by hastily and thoughtlessly agreeing to halt this productive assault without even insisting on some essential preconditions.

Fourthly, many people reasonably suspect that the answer to the government’s conciliatory and sympathetic attitude towards the Taliban and Jihadis and its tendency to protect the latter from elimination by the armed forces lies in the Islamist fundamentalist nature of this government and its priority for the safety of the Punjab province.

Finally, the issue of accepting and forgiving the criminal terrorists rests with the victims and the kith and kin of those murdered by the Taliban. This government of the elite ensconced in the lap of luxury obtained by dubious means and protected by multiple layers of security has no moral authority to embrace these craven murderers as honourable citizens and wash the blood on their hands. Under our constitution these criminals and traitors must be brought to justice and the government has the duty to abide by and not violate Pakistan’s Constitution and laws.

Nawaz Sharif and company would do well to remember the age-old fundamental principle of warfare: a party cannot achieve by talking what it failed to achieve on the battlefield. It might come to haunt the Nawaz Sharif government someday.

Unfortunately for the country, this gutless, weak government will continue to live in denial and to pursue the illusion of peace and security through destructive ‘talks’. Meanwhile, the blood of our people will continue to be shed unless and until the armed forces do what it takes to defend the nation and save the lives of the people.