Limited Taliban Strikes Won’t Bring Peace

Limited strikes against Taliban hideouts will not bring long-term peace and security. The correct solution is to eliminate the very ideology that terrorists pursue.

taliban-strike-peacePakistan’s appeasement policy with the Taliban in an attempt to strike a compromising peace failed miserably with the slaughter of 23 Frontier Corps paramilitary soldiers at the hands of Taliban. The carnage infuriated the Pakistani army, convincing the government to sabotage the negotiations.

Pakistan’s failure to achieve fruitful dialogue with the Taliban means resorting to alternate sources. In no easy mood to coffin the sporadic peace process, the government succumbed to pressure from the army allowing the latter to play the front role against terrorism.

Realizing the gravity of the situation and wide public support of the military, the Pakistani government found itself alienated from the public and affirmed the army operations as a political bargain; doing so otherwise could lose its popularity.

The matter of the fact is to perceive if the operation was launched on the right time

Delaying tactics and appeasement at the cost of national solidarity and rising death toll has cost the country too much. It was a strategic failure back in 2005-06 when the offensive operation was not launched in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to have let Taliban grow their network countrywide. Retreating from Swat and South Waziristan, the militants scattered in other parts of FATA. New recruits were held and new strongholds were made.

Many outlawed militant groups reorganized under new names. With no serious concerns to compensate the dislocated civilian victims, neither the government nor law enforcement agencies could prevent general recruitment of the victims into militant organizations. Reaping quick, but short-term advantages, the operations failed in the long run to confine terrorist tendencies into the tribal regions. Consequently, the militants successfully spread their network throughout the country.

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In the absence of genuine peace, terrorism could engulf major Pakistani cities

So far, the developed cities including the capital remained immune, but a prolonged military operation can change the course of terrorism paralyzing the already dwindling economy. Besides financial loss, bringing the war out of FATA may prove a last nail in the coffin of national solidarity.

Limited strikes against Taliban hideouts will not bring long-term peace and security. The correct solution is to eliminate the very ideology that terrorists pursue.

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Jameel-ur-Rehman Zaib has a masters in International Relations from National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. Read other articles by Jameel.