Will Taliban Drone Strikes Bring Peace?‏

Had eliminating Taliban leaders through drone strikes been successful in restoring peace and security, terrorism would have faded. But that is not the case.

drone-taliban-peace-mehsudTehreek -i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud, wanted by the FBI with a 5 million bounty, was recently killed along with three others in a drone strike North Waziristan.

Like every other incident, the reaction was mixed. Mehsud was a mass murderer, leader of a terrorist group responsible for killing thousands of innocent people, therefore his death is rightly hailed.

On the other hand, soon after the Pakistani government’s peace talk initiative, Mehsud showed his consent for a ceasefire and distanced himself from the deadly blast in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani region and double church attacks, which raises serious questions about the timing and motives behind his killing.

This journey of confusion does not seem to end any soon. However, it is evident that people are more worried about the aftermath of this incident. The most important question that tickles our mind is whether it will help restore peace or worsen the circumstances.

In order to answer this question, let us first throw a fleeting glimpse on the list of Taliban leadership killed in drone strikes. Besides Mehsud, other prominent names include Wali ur Rehman Mehsud,Qari Hussain, Ilyas Kashmiri, Qari Zafar, Baitullah Mehsud and Naik Mohammad.

Had eliminating Taliban leaders through drones been successful in reinstating peace and stability, the wave of terrorism would have faded to a great extent. But that is not the case.

The terrorist network became widespread and stronger with the passage of time irrespective of leadership. Let’s take the example of Hakimullah Mehsud. He owned a small shop in South Waziristan and did not have extra ordinary credentials before joining the Taliban.

Thus, it’s not the individual among them but the network that needs to be dismantled. Luckily or unluckily, there are not enough drones to eliminate the entire web of terrorists.

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Now that the chapter of Mehsud is closed, it has left us with many questions about the fate of peace talks. There were already uncertainties about the negotiations and this incident will aggravate the situation even more. The Taliban will not sit quietly.

They will do whatever it takes to avenge the death of their chief. Since they cannot respond by directly attacking Washington, their rage will fall upon the innocent people of Pakistan and it is feared that this reaction will be immense.

The irony is unmistakable but under the current circumstances, it seems as if a dead Mehsud is way more dangerous than alive. The incident has also sparked a never-ending debate about the motives and usefulness of drone strikes.

In short, it can be said that the latest drone attack has eliminated a deadly terrorist but also sabotaged Pakistan’s peace talks with the Taliban. On a positive note, let’s hope that peace prevails and we manage to come out of this quagmire of never-ending war.

Ahmad Zubair is an Afghan national, living in Peshawar, Pakistan. He is a freelance writer and poet, and Editor of The Faultlines. His interests revolve around politics, social issues, religion and extremism. Follow Ahmad on Twitter @AhmaddZubair and contact him at ahmaddzubair@hotmail.com.

  • hamza

    NO doubt extremism cannot be ended with drones and sometimes it causes an increase in that and the tehreek will never vanish by killing their leaders…however it may weaken them temporarily…….Baitullah mehsuds death caused a lot of damage to the TTP…he was the one who made the tehreek and expanded the tehreek so much and the tehreek was strongest under him …and he was very wise leader compared to hakeemullah who was more aggressive …..so his death caused alot of damage to the ttp but it never ended the tehreek…NOW will HAKEEMULLAHs death weaken ttp….that is a question which time will answer…but the ttp will never vanish and it will recover from their loss……DRONes and military operations can never end the tehreek…it will take decades for this tehreek to end….HOWever they CAN WEAKEN THEm…as wat we saw in swat..before 2009 swat ttp was very powerful..but after that it became weak…the same thing goes with bajaur…muhmand and kuram and orakzai……the tehreek became weak as before these operations the ARMY COULD NOT EVEn go 1m out of their camps in these areas…now the rit of government is better than that was before in these areas..but the tehreek has not vanished…they are still present……this is more of an ideoligical war.and they are fighting to implement their ideology on pakistan and afghanistan..and cannot be won untill it is fought on ideological front also……….

  • hamza

    meanwhile government should fulfill its responsibilities….protection of its citizens…keeping peace and maintaining law and order is any governments ist responsibility and the reason y this problem reached this far is because of government failing to fulfill these basic responsibilities…let me give a few examples…in 2004 war broke out between MUFTI MUNIR SHAKIR AND PIR-SAIF-ur-REhman in khyber agency..and no body cared at that time and the government didnt do anything to stop it…BOTH MUFTi and PIR were using ILLEGAL FM RADIOS against each other and were fighting against each other but the government was sleeping as a result in 2006-07 when MANGAL BAGH [who was before the commander of mufti munir shakir] became very powerful and started terrorizing peshawar..than the government woke up…the same thing happend in swat in 2005 when MULLAH FAZLULAH was using again FM RADIO and started his tehreek at that time the pronvicial government[MMA] didnt do anything[when it was very easy to do something] and as a result everybody saw wat happend later on…similar things happend in every tribal area even in waziristan…………..

  • Kakar

    Great work..keeop it up!!!

  • YasminTheJewish .