ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Tackling the Taliban

A sole dependence on military solutions cannot defeat the Taliban.

The recent round of military action by Pakistan against the Taliban insurgents in its North West Frontier Province could not have started on a worse day. As Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari was about to leave for Washington DC to r eport to the new commander-in-chief of the “war on terror”, Barack Obama, the Pakistani military launched its, as yet, mightiest offensive against the Taliban inside the territory of Pakistan. Nothing could have highlighted in starker terms the manner in which this military operation is aligned to United States’ strategic interests. And therefore, nothing could have undermined more the credibility of this military action. The Taliban have long claimed that the Pakistani State acts at the behest of the United States against its own people and that the “war on terror” is a USsponsored war against the Pakistani and Afghan people. Therefore, such timing is sure to provide ballast to the Taliban claim and undermine further the credibility of the present action.

The influence and hold of the Taliban have only increased in the past few years within Pakistan. Not only militarily, but also in terms of social acceptance there seems to have been a growth of the Taliban. The foundations of this pernicious movement were laid by the cynical policy of the Pakistani state and the US administrations in furtherance of their geostrategic and commercial aims. Though this policy was ostensibly changed in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks in the United States, there is ample evidence to suggest that powerful sections of the Pakistani State have continued to sustain and support the Taliban till very recently. This relation has been so strong that even now there is a fair amount of scepticism among observers about the genuineness of the present action by the Pakistan military against the Taliban. All this has surely contributed to strengthening the Taliban and its military might. More importantly, it has created a certain acceptability for fundamentalist militancy within domestic politics in Pakistan.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top