PAK-US STRATEGIC DIALOGUE- A PASHTUN PERSPECTIVE

The hollow claims of Pakistan commitment to peace in Afghanistan have been exposed by the statement of the former UN special representative to Afghanistan Mr. Kai Eide that the resent arrest of high profile Talibans leadership by Pakistani authorities, have jeopardized the process of secret peace talks with moderate Talibans. Mr. Karzai was also infuriated by these arrests though not expressing it publically. This mis-adventure of Pakistan indicate the real villainous intentions of Pakistan Military Establishment for elusive peace in Afghanistan.

International community should be well aware of the fact that Pakistan support only those Talibans who do not want the peaceful settlement of Afghan imbroglio. Pakistani Military Establishment was protecting those hardline Talibans who were killing US and Allied forces in Afghanistan. These arrests have made it clear that the root cause of the Afghan problem lie in Pakistan. Ironically, the billions of dollars that US is pouring into the pockets of Pakistani Generals are used to finance, train and equip those Talibans who are involved in killing the same Americans. It seems illogical and bizarre that the American tax payer money is spent on killing the American soldiers.

Pakistani Military establishment who is historically obsessed with the word STRATEGIC is currently involved in Strategic dialogue with US. A high level delegation of military-cum-civilian leadership is in Washington to find ways and means how to sell their fellow countrymen to US on prices higher than General Musharraf did. Pakistani have not forgotten the legends like Strategic depth of Afghanistan, the Strategic Retreat of Kargil, the Strategic defeat of 1971 and the Strategic wholesale bazar of General Musharaf. I do not know out-come of this strategic dialogue. But, one thing is clear that Pakistanis will face further humiliation, further terrorism, further selling of their daughters and sons, further burden of debt , further anarchy and further filling of pockets of Army Generals. People will forget General Musharafs retail-sale, when they will hear the stories of General Kayanis wholesale offers to US .

This time around, Pakistan has a new product to offer. Huge amounts are at stake as a very large number of pro-Pakistan Talibans are on Public Auction in Washington. Time will tell as to which group among Haqani Network, Quetta Shura or Gulbadin Hikmatyar will get the highest bid price. Musharraf used to sell individual, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani is going a step further by selling larger groups. But, even at this stage Pakistani Military Establishment is clever enough to sell some expired products which are of no use to Pakistan. At this stage Americans should show their wisdom by demanding the real Talibans. Clean-shaved Punjabi uniformed Generals are the real Talibans, who are the root cause of all the troubles in the region. Besides these Generals, the Punjabi turbaned and bearded Talibans are also a threat to the regional peace. Durable peace in the region cannot be achieved until or unliess the Punjabi Talibans are eliminated. And these Punjabi Talibans are not located in North-West of Pakistan or Afganistan, rather they are hiding in cities like Faisalabad, Muridke, Lahore, , Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, and Karachi. I would advise the Military Establishment to include in the offer the Punjabi Talibans also. Surely they will get the highest price from Americans.

Pakistan can achieve nothing from this strategic dialogue. This is just a ploy to deceive the public through good stories, kind words and smiles from US politicians. Both countries have a long history of mistrust. Strategic dialogue takes place and can be successful when the two negotiating countries share the same priorities and same vision of the world. Both these important elements do not exist when it comes to Pakistan and USA. Pakistan has achieved nothing except a promise of Up gradation of 3 power plants. Pakistani pro-military media has blown it out of proportion as if something really important is taking palce.. For how long Pak Military Establishment will hypocritically hide the facts and deceive the public. Why the public is not taken into confidence on the demands by the US to attack those Talibans which were considered friends by military. Americans should know well that they can never succeed in eliminating the menace of terrorism in the region until or unless Pakistani Military openly condemn terrorism and start a hot pursuit of Terrorists. Another important factor which makes this strategic dialogue a doomed to fail exercise is the exclusion of Pashtuns from this dialogue. How can this dialogue succeed when the main party to the problem of terrorism has been excluded? Pashtuns, who are directly affected by Terrorism, facing and fighting this threat on daily basis is not considered by Pakistan to be represented in these talks. This shows the hypocrisy and the mal- intentions of Military Establishment towards Pashtuns who have been victims of genocide and terrorism. The success of strategic dialogue will remain an illusion until or unless the main stakeholder Pashtuns are not heard.

My personal opinion is that Pashtuns have realized that their real enemy is Pakistani Military. Mullah Abdul Gahni Birader who was negotiating secretly with UN is a testimony to the fact that Pashtuns do not trust Pak Military Establishment anymore. They want to talk directly with US and Afghan government to resolve the issue. Talibans have realized that they have been used as fodder in this war by Pakistan to protect the Punjabi and Wahabi interests. That is why some Talibans elements in Pakistan have turned against Pakistan and are involved in killing Pakistani military, secret agencies and police. Talibans must realize that they are fightin neither Jihad nor a holy war. Instead of fighting the war of Wahabism for Saudis and their Pakistani mercenaries, they should stop violence and start dialogue with the US and Afghan government directly. No body will stop them from practicing their religion. Rather than fighting a proxy war for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, they should try to learn what their real roots are. They should return to their roots, culture and tradition. If Saudis and Pakistanis have so much love for Islam and Jihad, then they should fight it from their land. If they are really interested in Jihad then thousands of American forces are present in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan is also hosting US and NATO forces in its territory, providing them military basis,ports, human intelligence and all logistical support. These two countries which are a part of every problem in global terrorism, are fighting that war in other countries of the world including Afghanistan and Pashtun part of Pakistan, spelling the blood of other nations particularly Pashtuns. All the Nationalists, secular and educated Pashtuns headed by Awami National Party (ANP) have expressed the same views in a recently held Grand Jirga in Peshawar in which it was clearly identified that the two key causes of terrorism are: strategic depth policy of the military establishment of Pakistan; and the Arab expansionism embodied by al Qaeda under the garb of global Islam.

On the other hand Pakistan is not interested in rooting out terrorism, as terrorism can be eliminated by weakening the Motivation Power of the Terrorist Organizations. This can be done by providing real education rather than Wahhabis education of hatred. Education systems (curriculum & literature) of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are just spreading hatred against other nations and religions like Hindus, Jews, Shias, Ahamadis and Christians. Through economic development, creation of Jobs, rule of law and supremacy of the constitution and good governance we can direct the energies of our youth for peace, stability, tolerance and love. Pakistan has failed in all these areas. Rather the money received from International Community is used piling up of more weapons. The bellies of some Generals are getting bigger and fatter then ever. While watching the distruction of recent Mingora blast, I was shocked to see a picture of a small boy dead on a garbage dump. A small boy who was supposed to be at school, was at the garbage dump , earning livelihood for his family. This poor boy was not spared even at a garbage dump to earn his livelihood. Talibans are offering handsome amounts to such young and poor Pakistanis to become bombers rather than good educated citizens of the country. This real example shows the failure of the Pakistani government which is creating an environment where only terrorists can flourish. Talibans are just a link otherwise the real motivational force for terrorism is Pakistani Military Establishment, which is not interested in the economic and financial betterment of its people.

The recent hue and cry by pro-military media on Kerry-Lugar Bill was not due to the fact that Pakistani Nation was insulted. Military felt insulted when the US made a deal with civilian government according to which the money was to be used for social and economic development rather than going into the pockets of Generals. As the Military Establishment could not double-time the US this time, they made it a matter of honor. Another irritant was the US commitment to civilian rule and democracy, directly in conflict with Military Establishment, the real ruler of Pakistan right from its creation. Military is selling the citizens of Pakistan to US with the sole purpose of earning money, that is not considered dishonorable and humiliating but when the civilians institutions are supported by US, it becomes a matter of honor.

To expose the double-timing of the Pakistani Military Establishment I would like to present one example of Military operations conducted by Pak Military to which I am a personal witness. Recently, Pakistan Military started a military operation against Talibans in F.R Kohat and F.R Peshawar. All the entry and exit were cordoned of by the military to these areas. Tthe people of Jawaki F.R Kohat area are witness to the fact that Talibans fighters were given a safe-exit by the military. These Talibans entered and dispersed in settled areas of Kohat city through adjoining Bazid Khel Area without any trouble and even stayed for one night or two in Bazid Khel.

I have personally seen military helicopters supplying logistics to these Taliban terrorizing, abducting and killing local civilians in F.R Kohat and Peshawar. It is impossible to live, train and attack without the help of military in these inaccessible hilly areas. Similar, things were repeated in South Waziristan, Swat and Bajour. The main victims of the aerial bombardment and artillery shelling were innocent civilians rather than Taliban who are considered to be a STRATEGIC ASSET.

Another story which shows the real motivational force in flourishing terrorism for which military is responsible. In a small village of Jawaki Babu Khel F.R. Kohat only one person named as Murad Khan was working as informer to Talibans. Before the military operation, he took hostage all the male members of that ill-fated village. Even male children were taken hostage by this Taliban informer. He told his fellow villagers that Military will kill them all on the First published on March 2010

charges of helping Talibans. Military has done it already in other such cases, so due to fear of being killed by military they all left the village, despite the fact that these poor villagers did not help Talibans. So, now all the women in that village of Babu Khel are all alone and not a single male member of a village is there to provide them food and protection. I am sure that the military would have killed those innocent villagers if they would have stayed, as we have been witness to many such abductions, tortures and killings by military. Ironically the same military gave a safe- passage to real Talibans. It means that government is involved in motivating civilians to join hands with terrorists or be prepared to be killed either by Talibans or military. There are hundred of examples of past military operations in which military killed innocent civilians. Taliban also killed innocent civilians on the charges of helping military. In both the cases innocent civilians are the victims.

At the end I would like to comment on the explanations given by my Pashtun brother and Journalist, Salim Safis to his Punjabi counterparts, where he seems to be apologetic about his language and culture. I would like to make it absolutely clear that as Pashtuns we are proud of our language and culture. If some Punjabis are afraid of our language and culture, they should consult a psychiatric. We are not against any language and culture, but we are proud of our heritage be it our language, culture or traditions.

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