Afghanistan
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What is the solution to troubles caused by suspected Taliban in tribal regions of Pakistan?

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10/19/2007

This is a difficult situation for Pakistan and there are no ready answers since basically it is schizophrenic in address.

The large majority of the Islamic world assumes that the War on Terror (WoT) is actually a War on Islam. To be fair, some actions do smack of such an indication. To wit, the doing down, in all ways, the elected Hamas government in Palestine (reprehensible that it be), when it conformed to the much touted bringing "Freedom and Democracy" to the Arab world. To the uncomplicated mind that is beyond the real politik realm, it is gross injustice. There are many other examples that too smack of double standards and hardly compatible to the high ideals of the slogan of bringing "Freedom and Democracy". Thus, the doubt in the Islamic mind, is understandable. Hence, the Islamic mind remains alienated to the WoT.

On the other hand, governments, Islamic or otherwise, cannot function in an anarchist environment. The same is true for Pakistan.

Therefore, the schizophrenic approach where the population desires Islamic solidarity and the government wants law and order.

That not being enough, Pakistan was about to be declared a 'rogue state' because it allowed the exporting of terrorism from its Madrassas and at the same time, the economy had reached rock bottom and was about to become a 'failed state'.

Therefore, the Pakistani government had no option but to join hands with the only superpower of the world, to obtain acceptance into the world community as also be salvaged by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This has paid result wherein Pakistan's economy has been turned around as also its military revamped.

However, since the economic boom has not affected the common man in the rural areas, the importance is not fathomed by those in the villages where the majority reside and who are still in the grip of the Mullahs and steeped in antediluvian ideas. It must not be forgotten that they are the real Pakistan and are the willing recruits for terrorist activities, given respectability by the warped interpretations of the Mullahs of Islam. Indeed, little to the general public realise that the Mullah has no sanctity in Islam, since it is an equation between the individual and Allah and not through agents! But the sad commentary is that the illiterate mind requires guidance and the Mullahs misguide in the name of guidance!

There lies the dichotomy and schizophrenia!

And yet the terrorists are not all illiterate yokels. There are many who are highly educated and skilled. These are those who feel, rightly or wrongly, a sense of injustice to Islam and hence willingly join casting all the worldly materialism. These are the ones who are the more dangerous elements.

The solution is not easy and it will be a long haul.

Instead of targeting the common foot soldier of Islamic terrorism, the intellectuals within their rank have to be eliminated. The sooner, the better. Headless, the organisation will collapse!

The foot soldiers of Islam should also be targeted, but without the ruthlessly that alienate and it should be without the international media fanfare or rushing to the media to tout the success of turning around the people. Premature ecstasy over trivial gains only hardens the mind and souls of the adversaries.

Without moralising and demeaning the Islamic customs and thus giving credence to the Islamic notion that it is a War on Islam, the attempt to modernise Islamic society should be left to the Islamic country's government by encouraging such governments to realise the benefits. It must be remembered that one is ready to listen to his own and not be hectored by foreign elements.

Foolish acts like the evangelists from South Korea in Afghanistan should be curbed forthwith. It only scares the people that there is some conspiracy afoot to subvert the people and the country. Bible thumping can wait and it is better that it be applied on the errant Christians first! Results would be better there.

Militarily, the thrust should be against the Taliban in the NWFP and adjoining areas jointly from the North West (ISAF) and Pakistan Army from the South East. Disjointed and individual action only allows the Taliban to move around like a video game.