Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jawab-e-Shikwa - Terrorism: Imran Khan is not confused, apologetic or complacent

I have always wondered why Imran Khan is such a soft target for bashing?
What makes journos & intellect-chawals single out IK for bashing?
Why they rid themselves of all sense & logic (even plain facts at times) when bashing IK?
Is it because of the shot-at-cheap-fame mentality? What goes inside the mind of an IK-basher at THAT moment?
Why objectivity loses to point-scoring when it comes to maligning IK?
Why 90% articles, op-eds & blogs directed at Imran Khan (35 MNAs + coalition govt in one province) and only 5-10% directed at Nawaz Sharif (200+ MNAs + federal govt + 2 provincial govts)?
Why the disproportionate bashing reserved for Imran Khan?
Well the answer to these questions is that "IK-bashing sells".
Yes, IK-bashing sells & let me tell you folks, it sells more than Veena Malik’s sizzling ISI-tattooed figure; much more than Bilawal’s cow-girlish speech+shake moves; even more than the best-of-best ‘imported’ bashing product in store – Pakistan-bashing.
I wrote ‘Shikwa’ yesterday, with the mind of an IK-basher. It was an executive summary of IK-bashing op-eds, blogs, editorials, twitter exchanges & TV shows. The bashing has an almost universally distinct (??) pattern:
-    The pre-bashing part (generally praising IK for his cricket & philanthropy and condemning PTI ‘trolls’)
-    The meaty bashing part (in tip-top English using outlandish jargon) to prove IK is everything from naïve to coward or even complacent when it comes to terrorism.
-    The post-bashing part i.e. the almost universal conclusion (that though IK is a good man, he will be more dangerous for Pakistan than Zardari/Nawaz/Altaf/Asfandyar simply because youth follows him blindly in his naivete).
So that was all about ‘Shikwa’ (can be read on this link). Here goes ‘Jawab-e-Shikwa’ to the Shikwa directed at Imran Khan (point by point):
1)      Taliban Khan:
Shikwa: He thinks Taliban militants are engaged in a Jehad in Pakistan and Afghanistan. How?
Jawab-e-Shikwa: Imran Khan does not think the Taliban are engaged in a Jehad in Pakistan. All he says is that the war started at the behest of USA in tribal areas has caused so much collateral damage that many tribesmen have taken up arms against the state. As for Afghanistan, what IK thinks & says openly is that Afghanistan is an occupied country since 2001 (what else is occupation if not 100,000+ foreign troops on Afghan soil since a decade, causing deaths of a 100,000 Afghans?). So if someone is fighting the occupation forces, it is for the Afghans to decide (not USA/NATO/Pakistan) whether it should be deemed as Jehad or otherwise.
2)       Terror Apologist:
Shikwa: He justifies the killings by militants by linking them to drone attacks. How can attacks on mosques, churches or civilians & security forces be linked to drones?
Jawab-e-Shikwa: To suggest that Imran Khan justifies attacks on mosques, churches, civilians & security forces is plain absurd. He does not ‘justify’ the killings by militants at all. What he does actually is to condemn the whole violence cycle in its entirety (not in bits of choice). Not only that, he also suggests a solution to the violence – negotiations. He logically ‘explains' the situation on ground in full perspective (explaining something is not the same as justifying it; is it?)
3)       Coward:
Shikwa: He never condemns terrorism & terrorist attacks. Also he never sympathizes with victims of such attacks e.g. Malala Yousafzai, Shia Hazaras & Christians etc. Why?
Jawab-e-Shikwa: Imran Khan unequivocally condemns terrorism & terrorist attacks. It is simply malicious to say he never sympathizes with victims of such attacks. Imran Khan was the 1st national leader to visit Malala Yousafzai at CMH Peshawar on 10th Oct 2012 (next day after attack on her). Also Imran Khan was the only national leader to visit Quetta Hazara Town as well as Gilgit Baltistan to express solidarity with Shia victims of sectarian terrorism. Similarly Imran Khan reached Peshawar church blast site (from Islamabad) within hours to sympathize with the Christian victims & went there again the next day, for same purpose.
As for the cowardice part, IK is the only national leader who ventured into Waziristan for peace march & held jalsas in almost every nook & corner of the country; even in places which other BRAVE leaders can’t imagine visiting even on GOOGLE EARTH J.
4)       Confused:
Shikwa: While militants kill our soldiers (like General Sanaullah Shaheed), flout our state’s writ and denounce our constitution, Imran Khan still calls for talks with them. Why?
Jawab-e-Shikwa: It is not confusion but absolute clarity on part of Imran Khan (it is the IK-bashers who are confused on this count). How? Because talks are not the ultimate goal; the goal is peace, for which talks is the way. If talks are not held, attacks are going to continue as such (no peace or hope thereof). However, once talks start (not started yet), one can demand halt to attacks (hope for peace). Until then this is a war & both sides will use all possible avenues to attack each other. This is no rocket science, is it? Plainly put, IK calls for talks with militants despite attacks because he wants to stop the perpetual cycle of violence; so Pakistan doesn't lose any more sons like General Sanaullah Shaheed and to ensure that the ultimate goal i.e. peace is achieved. Writ of the state will be a logical by product.
5)       Naïve:
Shikwa: Militants are savages – they slit throats of our soldiers and kill innocent civilians. However, Imran Khan thinks they are ‘own people’ anguished by drones & operations; that they can somehow be tamed. How naïve?
Jawab-e-Shikwa: It is easy to say militants are savages, without getting into details or background of the problem. A pertinent question often ignored (maliciously) in this argument is how the peaceful FATA turned into hell after 2001 and who turned the common tribesmen into blood-seeking savages? Without addressing the root cause, throwing the ‘savage’ argument is just a point-scoring move at best. Imran Khan rightly thinks most of the militants are ‘own people’ anguished by collateral damage in drones & operation (many misguided by Mullahs too). Question is: can they be tamed somehow? Well we have seen examples of hundreds of militants tamed & made normal citizens through sincere & rigorous re-integration programs in Swat, Bajaur and other areas. If the method can be successfully applied in some places, why not elsewhere too?
As for the hardcore terrorist or criminal element within the militant ranks (may be 10-20%), Imran Khan has never ruled out the use of force to strike out such incurable ones. All he says is to isolate them from the mainstream via talks and pacify elements that are more open to conflict resolution. The remaining can be dealt with rather easily through the use of tribal lashkars in combo with a strengthened Levies force and FC.
6)       Taliban spokesman:
Shikwa: While militants attempt to take over our state, Imran Khan wants to legalize their position & give them official recognition by asking for opening of Taliban office.
Jawab-e-Shikwa: It is a highly malicious notion that Imran Khan’s suggestion for a TTP negotiations office amounts to legalizing them. No way. All it means is that the now faceless TTP will have a face which can be negotiated with & held accountable for any mishaps or violations during the course of negotiations. Being in the open will keep TTP on toes & they will have to defend their actions threatening peace (just like they disowned some recent Peshawar bombings). It will also help expose any elements that are averse to negotiations & the whole nation will be able to identify those who don’t want peace – be it foreign powers, establishment, politicians or the militants. The biggest benefit will be that if (God forbid) talks fail due to militants’ stubbornness, the whole nation will be on same page for a decisive muscular move against them. It is no use running after faceless shadows; bring them into the limelight & let all moves be threadbare – war or peace – whatever the result.
7)       Nonsensical:
Shikwa: Imran Khan wants peace talks with militants while ignoring the fact that militants are not made for peace deals & all such previous attempts failed due to them.
Jawab-e-Shikwa: Frankly on peace deals, both sides have a history of violations & none of the sides can be absolved of the blame.
For instance, in Bajaur a peace deal was to be signed on 30 October 2006, in presence of Governor Aurakzai. All preparations had been made for the All-Bajaur-Jirga of hundreds of elders when US drone struck Cheenagai madressa at dawn the same day. 80+ kids were killed in the attack that plunged Bajaur Agency into a fire which has yet to be extinguished.
It was not the militants who caused the deal to collapse; it was our own $$$-hungry puppet govt that owned the devastating drone strike back then. Also the notion that all peace deals have failed is not true either. One peace deal struck in Ahmadzai Wazir belt of South Waziristan (with Mullah Nazir group) is effective since many years. Though there have been sporadic incidents of violence, the region is largely peaceful since the deal. Point to make is that neither all peace deals are ineffective, nor all deals are broken due to militants solely. Such deals have worked in the past (even if not everywhere) and may work again.
8)       Ignorant or Hypocrite:
Shikwa: Imran Khan tells us military operations are not a solution to the militancy problem and that operations will never succeed. He forgets that Swat was cleared & peace restored through an operation. Similarly Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Tirah, Orakzai, Kurram & South Waziristan have all been cleared through military operations.
Imran Khan also conveniently forgets that Sri Lanka ended terrorism on its soil through war, not peace talks.
Jawab-e-Shikwa: Those who quote Swat as an example of success of the military option forget that Swat has no border with Afghanistan (unlike 1000-km long FATA-Afghanistan border). So Pak army encircled Swat from all sides; SSGs were para-dropped at Peochar while military columns moved in from all sides – Malakand, Buner, Shangla. Even then hundreds of TTP-Swat militants & almost entire leadership including Fazlullah sneaked out through the narrow uncovered corridor on Dir side and fled safely to Afghanistan. They have, since then, become a nuisance for army in the whole Kunar-Nooristan border belt adjoining Bajaur, Dir & Chitral. It is these renegades who attacked army’s countless border posts, shot Malala Yousafzai & martyred General Sanaullah Niazi Shaheed.
As for operations in Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Tirah, Kurram and South Waziristan and the myth of ‘clearing’ these regions, there is more to it than meets the eye. If these areas are indeed ‘clear’, why many of their inhabitants are living as IDPs in camps in Peshawar, Nowshehra, Kohat, Hangu, Tank & D.I Khan? Why many have permanently shifted to Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Karachi or elsewhere in Pakistan? Just ask a Mehsud IDP in Tank / DIK why he won’t return to his homeland when it is ‘clear’? J His smile & casual non-revealing comment will tell you the reality. As for the worth of these operations, most militants simply fled to Afghanistan from where they launch attacks inside Pakistan.
Finally, those who compare situation of FATA to Sri Lanka actually love comparing apples to oranges perhaps. LTTE fighters had no sanctuaries in a neighboring country like TTP finds comfortably in Afghanistan (the lone neighbor India also restricted its involvement after Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a Tamil bomber). Even then it took the Sri Lankan army almost 30 years to eliminate the LTTE leadership – only because they were physically cornered at the edge of the Lankan peninsula (with nowhere to escape to). Pakistan has no such cornering space available, with a 1000 km long FATA-Affghanistan border (which Afghanistan/NATO/USA would never allow us to fence or permanently restrict, due to the Durand issue).
9)       Brutal & Inhumane:
Shikwa: Imran Khan doesn’t feel the pain of Pakistanis who die at the hands of terrorists.
Jawab-e-Shikwa: It is simply moronic to say Imran Khan doesn’t feel the pain of Pakistanis killed in this war. This is the worst sort of propaganda against the man who built a one-of-its-kind hospital to reduce the suffering of humans who don’t want to lose to death but can’t afford to buy new lives either. This man – Imran Khan – gives life to these people and some moron haters tell us he doesn’t know the value of human life? Shame on you if you think so.
10)     Political disaster:
Shikwa: Imran Khan wants Pakistan to shoot down drones & thus go into war against the Americans, all this while forgetting that USA can send us to stone age, militarily as well as economically.
Jawab-e-Shikwa: Imran Khan doesn’t ask for shooting down drones. All he asks for is to withdraw the tacit approval / permission given by Pakistani govt / establishment for drone strikes. There is no question of going to war with Americans over this issue as most countries (& even the UN) have endorsed Pakistan’s position on drones. As far as economic stranglehold is concerned (in case Pakistan leaves the US war), we have to assess the direct & indirect effects of terrorism on our economy first. If the cost of being part of the US war is more (which is the case indeed), there is no point ruining ourselves for some aid $$$ that mostly land in the pockets of corrupt rulers anyway.
So dear friends (& IK-bashers), Imran Khan is not confused at all, let alone apologetic. He says what he believes & has stuck to his stance ever since this insane war was imposed on us by $$$-hungry rulers a decade back. Yes a large section of youth follow Imran Khan – not blindly – but because they see with open eyes who sincerely wishes to see Pakistan prosper & who all are just in politics for capital gains. Imran Khan is not confusing the future of Pakistan rather he is making the youth actual stakeholders to Pakistan’s future. He wants to take Pakistan into a modern world with respect, dignity & peace. He is a beacon of hope for the educated but disgruntled youth, the patriotic but cornered tribesmen and the downtrodden oppressed classes. The question he asks is a question every Pakistani asks (whether IK-bashers like it or not):
If this is ‘our war’, why USA is paying for it (with CSF)?
And if the war is not ours, why we are paying for it (with our lives)?
Tail piece: As I was writing these lines, the international human rights watchdog ‘Amnesty International’ has released its eye-opening report on the frightening facts of US drone strikes in FATA. Read it IK-haters – may also touch your hearts (if not dead already).
Note: To understand the terrorism mess in Pakistan, do read this 4-part article narrating a step by step analysis of the issue - from origin to players to militant strengths and possible solution.
The writer is a tribesman from Bajaur Agency (FATA) and tweets at @PTI_FATA .
(No official association with PTI)

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official PTI webpage and is run by a group of volunteers having no official position in PTI. All posts are personal opinions of the bloggers and should, in no way, be taken as official PTI word.
With Regards,
"Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf FATA Volunteers" Team.


  1. Exactly the writer has expressed the true feelings of pti followers.An excellent piece of writing ...great job..A comprehensive reply to all IK bashers.

  2. Very well written. I applaud you for this effort

  3. I wish this article puts at peace the hearts of the mothers whose sons lost their lives while fighting the paid mercenaries called taliban...

    GOOD ONE..*claps*

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. marvellous work author plz find some time to write on good work done by PTI govt in its so little tenure.