What Position Should Imran Khan Take on War On Terror Now

By Akhtar Malik
27 June 2013
US-Drone-attacks-on-PakistanThe factor of ‘coming out of war of America’ is vital and very basic condition, but it is not the only factor contributing to terrorism in our country. There are factors like religious extremism, foreign funding to our banned outfits, harboring of out terrorists by international players, politicization of police/investigative institutions and a very poor/outdated/time consuming judicial system which are seriously hampering our efforts to eliminate terrorism. PTI will have to address all these factors in order to achieve success in this field.
Should we abandon the ‘rhetoric’ of coming out of war of America? Partially yes and partially no. It may be noted that Obama had declared last year on the eve of his election as President that ‘the decade of war on terror has come to an end’. Pakistan should have been shrewd enough to declare an end to this war also, but we didn’t. Now the situation is; America is preparing to pull out from Afghanistan and is all set to negotiate with Taliban, who were so far being considered as arch enemies. Pakistan has not yet been able to decide whether to have dialogue or not and if yes, then with whom? Is TTP ready for dialogue? Is TTP the only outfit to have dialogue with, and what about other organizations like Lashkar e Jhangvi, who are equally responsible to play havoc with our lives? How and where the dialogue will take place? What will be agenda? And most important factor- what will be course of action left for Pakistan in case the dialogue fails? The question of stopping the NATO supply is also meaningless at this stage.
Another aspect which most of the analysts tend to overlook is the possibility of continuation of drone attacks even beyond 2014! The US will be leaving a skeleton force in Afghanistan on the plea of training etc and the same is true for the presence / operation of CIA agent like Black-water, in Pakistan. So if the Pakistan govt doesn’t formally announce a farewell to ‘American war’ within next one year, I am afraid that drone attacks will continue as usual even after the exit of US / NATO forces.
The composition of future govt in Afghanistan is very important for us because all our efforts to control terrorism will hinge on that govt. The new, future Afghan govt must cooperate with us in terms of cutting off all kind of support to terrorist groups, failing which we will not see any peace and prosperity in Pakistan. We should also reciprocate in similar manner by disarming all sorts of militant groups, whatsoever their missions and names may be, as violence always begets violence and we have already paid heavily for this mistake. The only institutions to carry arms should be the armed forces and law enforcing agencies.
Imran Khan may be advised / briefed on above lines who should demand, as an opposition leader, similar actions from PML-N govt.
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