Consequences of irresponsible politics


Imran Khan and his party is at it, again

If air attacks are taking toll of civilian life also in North Waziristan Agency, as claimed by Imran Khan, his own crusade against drones had left no option for the government but to allow the military to deal with the situation with whatever weapons it possessed. No responsible state can take terrorist attacks lying down. This would demoralise the army and spread panic among the population. The air force had to be brought into action when the terrorists beheaded 23 FC personnel and launched brazen attacks in Bannu and Rawalpindi. As someone put it the army too has the right of self defence. While the terrorists working from the shadows employ their weapons of choice, like suicide attacks and the IEDs, the military has to rely on the inventory of weapons at its disposal.

It did not require knowing rocket science to discover that air attacks cause more collateral damage than drone attacks. One fails to understand why it took Rustam Shah Mohmand so long to see what should be obvious to any intelligent newspaper reader. Mohmand was PTI’s nominee for talks with the Taliban. This indicates a prior understanding and proximity of views with Imran Khan. Why did Mohmand not point out the truth to the PTI chief when the latter directed his party to block NATO traffic to get the attacks stopped?

The US was not willing to give drones to Pakistan. It is too late now to call on the government, as Mohmand does in his interview, to launch drone attacks through collaboration with the US and after collecting authentic information about ground targets. Whatever chances of US-Pak collaboration in the field ever existed, they ended after the irresponsible sloganeering by Imran Khan.

Imran Khan has expressed the desire to meet the COAS to tell him that a conspiracy is afoot to cause NWA to break away from Pakistan and that military activity in the agency would create a kind of a situation that led to the separation of East Pakistan.

This amounts to stretching a point beyond credibility. There is simply no comparison between East Pakistan and North Waziristan. In East Pakistan a popular party which had swept the elections had not only been deprived of its rightful share in power but a military operation was let loose in the province. In NWA a group of terrorists that include foreigners and defies constitution is trying to impose its will on the rest of the country through violent means like suicide bombings and murderous attacks that have killed over 50 thousand civilians and army men. To compare the two situations to gain political mileage amounts to irresponsible politicking.