Pakistan Army again caught in 1971 like situation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 12, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 12, 2009

News Analysis

Pakistan Army again caught in 1971 like situation

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The Taliban have become a threat for Pakistan Army like Mukti Bahini fighters were during the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh.
Furious Taliban leadership has decided to send their fighters to Islamabad as a reaction of Army operation from Darra Adamkhel to Swat valley. Taliban have already started chalking on the walls of Islamabad and the capital administration is quickly white washing this chalking in the different sectors of Islamabad.
Many religious scholars in Islamabad have received messages from Taliban that they have only two options. They must support Taliban or leave the capital otherwise they will be considered as the collaborators of "Pro-American Zardari government" which is not different from previous Musharraf regime.
It is also astonishing that Taliban of Swat and Bajour have included the names of some religious and Jehadi leaders in their hit lists who are not ready to fight inside Pakistan against their own countrymen.
Taliban have accused that some militant leaders of tribal areas and some leaders of banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Harkatul Mujahideen and Hizbul Mujahideen are trying to stop youngsters to fight against Pakistani forces. Taliban have declared all these "Pro-Pakistan" Jehadis as their enemies.
It is learnt that the names of Maulvi Nazir from South Wazirastan, Hafiz Gul Buhadar from North Wazirastan, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Maulana Farooq Kashmiri and Syed Salahudin have been included in the hit list of Taliban. Taliban have threatened some Hizbul Mujahideen leaders in Swat and Dir to leave the areas as soon as possible.
Another Taliban leader in Mehmand agency Maulvi Omar Khalid have threatened boys belonging to banned Lashkar-e-Tayyaba to leave the tribal agency otherwise they will be killed. Omar Khalid have accused that these boys are only interested in fighting against foreign troops in Afghanistan or against India which means that they don't want Islamic government in Pakistan.
This complicated situation has forced government to take some extreme steps against Taliban in Darra Adamkhel and Swat. Taliban killed a Polish engineer as a reaction of big operation in the area. Some diplomatic sources have revealed that initially Pakistan was ready to release some arrested Taliban fighters in exchange for Polish Engineer and Chinese engineer but US authorities raised some objections and that was why a deal between Taliban and Pakistani authorities was not finalized.
Pakistani authorities successfully negotiated the release of a kidnapped Pakistani diplomat Tariq Azizudin in 2008 and release of kidnapped Army personal in 2007 by releasing some Taliban fighters. This time US pressure complicated the situation.
Pakistan Army is facing another East Pakistan like situation after 38 years from Darra Ademkhel to the mountains of Swat but this time Army is not ready to surrender despite the fact that India is once again trying to exploit the situation by using threatening language against Pakistan.
Foreign office in Islamabad is under lot of diplomatic pressure after the brutal killing of kidnapped Polish engineer Piotr Stannczak to "do more" for the release of another kidnapped Chinese enginner, one Afghan diplomat, one Iranian diplomat and one kidnapped UN diplomat in Quetta but civilian and Army leadership have decided not to bow down .
Reliable sources have revealed that kidnapped Chinese engineer Mr. Long Xiao is badly sick in the custody of Taliban in Swat. He was kidnapped in August 2008 with another colleague Zhang Guo.Both of them tried to escape but Xiao was injured during the escape attempt and he was again arrested by Taliban but Zhnag Guo successfully escaped.
Taliban have made it clear that they will only exchange the injured and sick Chinese engineer after the release of their two dozen arrested fighters but Pakistani authorities are not ready to accept this demand.
Afghan Ambassador in Pakistan Abdul Khaliq Farahi was kidnapped last year but still not recovered. Some sources claimed that he was kidnapped from the house of his girl friend and his in laws are involved in his kidnapping but even then Pakistani authorities are conducting a big search operation not only for Afghan Ambassador but also for an Iranian diplomat Heshmatollah Attarzadeh who was also kidnapped from Peshawar last year.
The Army has intensified its operation in Swat and half a million people out of the estimated population of 1.5 million have left Swat in last one month.
A top Army official linked with operation in Swat described that "situation in Swat is much more complicated than East Bengal in 1971 where we were fighting against Indian sponsored secular insurgents."
"The ground reality of Swat is very different from East Bengal. We are no more fighting with secular insurgents, we are fighting with Taliban and they are demanding the enforcement of Islamic law in Swat and all the local secular political leaders are supporting this demand under public pressure, " he said.
ANP Chief Minister of NWFPAmeer Haider Hoti, Governor Awais Ghani and Army high command have strongly recommended to enforce long pending Sharaia regulatuion which will be called "Nafaz-e-Adal regulation". District Police Officer of Swat Dilawar Khan Bangash said that Taliban will have no justification to fight against the state after the enforcement of Islamic law in Swat.
Swat was a princely state till July 28th 1969.Islamic State of Swat was established in 1849 by Sayyed Akbar Shah.State of Swat was in abeyance from 1863 to 1926 but Sharia law was working through Qazi courts during this period. State of Swat was restored by the British government in 1926 and Qazi courts were operating till 1969 when the State of Swat was finally became part of Pakistan.
Residents of Swat think that it was easy to get justice before 1969 through Qazi courts but after the imposition of English law poor people of Swat are not getting justice.
Taliban have exploited the delay in justice and also instigated poor people of Swat to rise against the big land lords.Awami National Party swept the valley of Swat in 2008 election with the slogan of peace and justice and now this party is ruling NWFP in collaboration with PPP.Reliable sources have claimed that ANP leadership have convinced President Asif Ali Zardari to promulgate the Sharia regulation in Swat and President will announce the promulgation in coming few days.
It is learnt that Maulana Sufi Muhammad of Tehrik-e-Nafaze Shariat Muhammadi have assured ANP leadership that he will start a long march from Dir to Swat valley after the imposition of Sharia law and he will appeal his son in law Maulana Fazalullah and other Taliban leaders to surrender arms.
He assured that he will try his best to open all girls schools in Swat because education is must for every male and female Muslim. He told ANP leaders that if Taliban will not surrender the arms after the imposition of Sharia regulation then he will also support Army operation against them.

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