The whole world seemed to believe for the last year or so that the Pakistani government was about to fall down in face of the incoming hordes.Â By hordes I refer to the militantsÂ which are battling our army these days in south waziristan and as reports filter in are proving to be a tough cookie to chew for the khakis right now. The Pak army has up to last weeks count around 31000 troops as well as 500 sgs commandos and gunships & fighter jets while the Taliban have 15000 men and more than 3000 foreign warriors in the form of uzbek, chechen and tajik jihadis battling it out with one another.
OurÂ mainstream media is still half apologetic, half mumbling its familiar drone of foreign hands and Indian/Israeli nexuses. Even now many of our religious leaders do not dare openly condemn the Taliban as it goes against their very ideology to do so.Â Even now many talk show hosts are rambling on about how this is not “our war” and how we are being led by the scruff of our necks by amreekis to do as they please. They support this with various cockeyed theories about black water and so called secret bases as well as the main anti christ “The Kerry Luger Bill” Obviously a bill for non military economic aid to help the people of pakistan has to be the main culprit in the whole equation. Nothing exposed our own insecurities as much in this regard as that now famous panel discussion with the visiting secretary of state Ms Clinton and many of our media super stars. Where she was calm and engaging they chose to act like she had intruded upon a vipers nest and in the end were pretty much humiliated by her proposal for us to “not take the aid, if it upset us so much”
Nothing is new about any of this to a Pakistani. We have never had honesty from our media, where lifafa journalism rules rather than investigation based reporting. Rumors are circulated daily and when there is no news, channels make up news and report it as breaking toÂ set off chain reactions among the other channels waiting to dig up more angles, more breaking news and rehash the whole sodding thing down our throats in an information overload. Supposed to be the voice of Pakistan, when it counts playing to the galleries and acting like medieval gladiators is more important. Ratings matter more than lives. When questioned they often retort with “we have to live also”
However amongst all of this something important has changed.Â This is the public opinion of Pakistan.Â From a mixed up bag of “do we or do we not support the Taliban” to a “will they bring an Islamic system which could be good” to “oh my god they are monsters” after the recent long string of deadly suicide attacks all over Pakistan. We have all come to realize that sadly those painted as our possible saviors are the most deadliest threat we have faced in our 62 year existence.Â More so than the not so friendly neighbors or the economic ills that continuously plague us as a nation. This perception shift in my opinion is where the Taliban have really and totally lost their war for Pakistan. Mind my words this is a war for the control of this country, whether anyone chooses to admit it or not, the militants will not stop at anything less than total annexation.Â However at least I am certain now that this cannot happen!
To come to this conclusion one needs to first realize the basic premise that even though the khakis are having a tough time, 15000 men and a ragtag bunch of ex secret service from the Russian states are not going to lay siege and destroy a 700,000 man strong army in the long run. So the only way they can really cause damage to the state of Pakistan is through what they have been doing which is guerrilla warfare. Basically hit and run tactics which can let them use their strength in pin point suicide attacks and ambushes all over the nation. However to win a gurrilla war the militants must have the support of the local indigenous population which they had up till now. In fact I would venture so far as to say that they really lost the fight when the bomb attack happened in Peshawar’s meena bazaar last month.
When that blast happened and scores of women and children died the national effect was quite obvious, people suddenly had their eyes torn open from the quasi religious, shariat enforced dreams they were living in. They now realize that in order for Pakistan to remain and for all of us to survive we have to exterminate these militants once and for all. Upon this realization we suddenly woke up to shut down our schools and put barbed wire around them. “Not even our children are safe now” stays at the back of our minds these days as the noise against the drone attacks has now lulled to a distant murmur where at first there was a torrent of outrage.
The fact is that an average Pakistani will now do anything, to keep his or her family safe and if that meansÂ collateral damage endured to get rid of this menace we are even ready for that. In fact I have come across many an educated individual talking about napalm strikes and smart nuclear bombs as a solution, which is I daresay pure lunacy to say the least. About 600,000 Pakistanis live in the area where the war is going on and even though rural, their destruction is not an option for our security.
That being said the national perception having turned the corner should ensure that the militants grand plan will never succeed now.Â For even if somehow they manage to hold up against the armyÂ they still have to face opposition by locals in the very areas they are based in and there is no way that they can run a quasi government while carrying on a war with our army. Consider Sri lanka or any place in the world where militancy has waged war for a long time. Once the locals united with the forces battling it, the militancy had to run for the hills.
Now if only our political leadership can cross the differences they have and unite to understand that we are all behind them, if they want to take us out of this mess once and for all. The corner has been turned and now we need leadership to guide us on the road to survival.
War will stop in time, right now Pakistan needs a champion.
I agree with you on the rumor part! Like the local papers claims about the entry of suicide bombers, trucks and cars in the city. This fear is crippling our daily lives but the fact is that somewhere these rumors become true especially talking of Peshawar.
Blackwater? I’ve yet to see them 🙂
Politicians! I’ve no faith in them whatsoever. Pessimist I’m but that’s what I feel.
As for military, if you look at the broader picture they are battling out their own created Frankenstein. I support them in annihilating them (Taliban).
As always, you sum up the situation in the most concise and reasonable way! ‘Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.’
Thank you for putting it together so well…. and now lets get going on finding that champ who will lead us to salvation…to neverland then, shall we? :p
I agree the fanatics are losing their grounds on all fronts except certain sections of our media. The important issue confronting us and this I also expressed my blog piece is to own this war, this is our war not someone else battle. The people killed by the militants in Charsadda, Peshawar, Lahore, and elsewhere are our own flesh and blood. Itâ€™s time we wake and set aside the trivial issues to take on this menace in full strength. The political parties and their czars disappointed the whole nations and I salute the courage of the people to live under such circumstances.
Guys thanks a lot for all your comments yes this is our war and all of us if own up to it can help change things a little, i encourage u all to write about this and to write about the real perspective we must act as MSMedia’s check and balance.
We must defend Pakistan.
my God, i thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insght at the end there, not leave it with ‘we leave it to you to decide’.
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