Attack on GHQ should lead to immediate policy shift

Bilal Qureshi

Why is there so much commotion about the attack on the GHQ in Pakistan? Come on, please; did we not know that the Taliban are a threat to everything Pakistan?
Regretfully, there is still support for the Taliban in the country. I was watching Ijaz-Ul-Haq, son of Zia, one of the worst dictators in Pakistan’s history argue on TV that the government should not launch any offensive against the Taliban. Instead, he argued, shamelessly, that Pakistan should not fight America’s war.  Before I get to Ijaz’s despicable argument, I must say a word about the role of media in Pakistan.
I don’t understand why is (electronic) media in Pakistan determined to support the Taliban? I mean, if the producers, or the anchors working for TV Channels in Pakistan don’t like the United States, fine, they are entitled to their opinion. But to deliberately destroy, or support those who are attacking Pakistan from within, just because America is engaged in battle with the Taliban or the followers of Osama is something that the country must not accept.
Make no mistake about it – this is not America’s war.
Specifically, the army must take notice of the hate that is being spewed on TV Channels in Pakistan instead of supporting Pak Army’s effort to defeat the Taliban and to save the country from falling into the hands of the Taliban.
It is Pakistan that is under attack and the country must not allow the Taliban or their supporters and apologists, especially in the media (electronic and Urdu press) to misguide Pakistanis by confusing the barbaric attacks on Pakistan as America’s war, please.
Imagine if India had attacked the GHQ. Would the country still argue that this is America’s war? What if India had launched a war against Pakistan Army in Swat and Waziristan? Would the country still demand that America leave Afghanistan instead of taking on the Indians? No of course not, the country would come together to fight and save itself from annihilation and that is exactly what is needed today. Pakistanis need to fight against the Taliban, just like they would fight against any other aggression against Pakistan.

Now, let me say a word about Ijaz, son of Zia, a brutal dictator and Asia’s first Taliban.  Ijaz and other right wingers do have the right to present argue whatever they want. Even though, during Zia’s time, people were locked up for years just because they were reading (not saying anything, just reading, believe me, not making it up) a poster, or a book that advocated freedom of expression, democracy or religious tolerance.
Therefore, I understand Ijaz’s pain when he and the supporters of the Taliban see people unite against the Taliban or other hate mongers. I don’t take Ijaz, Imran Khan, and countless other nuts in Pakistan seriously and neither does the country. That is precisely why these people are not elected and they don’t represent anyone in Pakistan, or I should anyone significant. They do, however, have an audience that supports the Taliban and these people idealize the Taliban rule in Afghanistan as a role model. And the country must remain vigilant and not allow these misguided Pakistanis into believing that Pakistan would be just fine if only stops working with the United States.
Pakistan has been under attack for years now and like majority of the country, I too was not surprised by the attack on GHQ. What shocked me was the support for the Taliban that got free air time and a 24/7 available platform in the shape of electronic media in Pakistan. But, the time has really come for forces of tolerance to defeat the forces of evil. And I would argue that before crushing the Taliban, Pakistan Army and rest of the country must determine if it is acceptable for them to tolerate the hate and poisonous propaganda that is aired in Pakistan.
I am not suggesting any censorship, no. But, I am asking for a way to neutralize the hate mongers and the Taliban supporters before the country launches a decisive battle against the nihilists currently targeting civilians and armed forced in Pakistan.
Otherwise, the world would continue to see the United Nations, the Marriott, the GHQ and anything and everything bombed and attacked day after day. It is time for a decision – is Pakistan ready to give in and accept the Taliban, or the Pakistanis want to live freely. It is their choice. If Pakistan gave up the fight and tried to appease the Taliban by negotiating or signing a peace treaty, the country will still have a war. It just a matter of time
It think it is wise to remember that when Chamberlain came back to the United Kingdom after signing Munich pact with Hitler, Churchill predicated, accurately, that “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

6 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Terrorism, USA, violence, war

6 responses to “Attack on GHQ should lead to immediate policy shift

  1. Bloody Civilian

    ‘policy’ shift or shift of opinion? if some expressing their pro-taliban opinion are overstepping the mark and aiding the enemy by sabotaging the war effort… how is it the Army’s responisibility to do anything about it!?? (“Specifically, the army must take notice of the hate that is being spewed on TV”…) what about the govt? …ostensibly of mr gillani but actually of mr zardari? govt makes policy, neither the public nor the Army. do you really think that the men fighting and dying at the front can, try as they may, ignore the ingratitude and worse??

    if the ‘policy shift’ demanded is to counter and deal more strictly, on a war footing (afterall we’re at war), with the fifth columnists and the enemy within… then it is the govt’s job to do that. are the ‘protectors of civilian rule’ jayalas passing the buck now?? is it not the govt’s job to re-arrest shah abdul aziz of karak, the other abdul aziz – the cross-dresser, fazlurrehman, JI leaders, half if not all the officials of wifaaq al madaaris, and, of course, hafez saeed etc.? don’t we have a civilian govt in power?

  2. Mustafa Shaban

    Bilal I agree that we should support the army against the militants. We need to take them out, this is our war now. You are wrong about Imran Khan, he did not say dont attak the Taliban, he said that you sould use light firepower and not heavy firepower, do the operation in the way that does not displace millions of civilians and use police and intellegence as well. This will reduce collateral damage. He also said that while fighting Taliban take the tribal leaders on your side first then attack so that you do not have to take long and risk putting countless civilians outside thier homes. Also not risk making any of the pashtuns your enemies becuase bombs are not always accurate……the operations years ago were a little rushed….the operations now are necessary. He doesnt criticize the military as much as the government because it fails to measure the fallout and fails to provide for the IDP”s. The political and diplomatic action against the Taliban is just as important but unfortunately our government does not do this and just orders the military to go in without engaging the Afghan Taliban to help Pakistan get rid of these terrorists. Also they should take a strong stance and allow Pakistani military to corss over to Afghanistan and take out the indian consulates that are used as supply lines and training units for terrorists in Pakistan.

  3. Anwar

    It is a catch 22 situation. On some of the blogs I was surprised to read the hate directed towards army instigated by intellectuals claiming to be torch bearers of human rights in the country. Some do not want to encourage army partly due to fear of making it more popular to a point of cultivating new dictators. This coupled with the political failures has only confused the situation that is further fueled by our desi Fox channels fraught with opinions of table top experts.

    Clearly, a more decisive measure has to be taken by the military and the political elite – However, there are physical limitations of resources such as shortage of ammo, spares for the helicopters, attrition rate, logistics and spreading of troops etc. that need to be factored in the equation. Not all can be spent on the western border while probability mischief is high on the eastern border.

    Finally, I must add that NWFP and Baluchistan have been suffering from terrorism for nearly three decades – But the action against Talibs was taken as policy matter only when Punjab got the nose bloodied. Were it not for the international media worrying about Talibans advancing towards the capital, we perhaps would be signing peace deals with the rascals…

    The bottom line is that the situation is a multi-dimensional chaos that will take a long time to fix.

  4. Junaid

    I started reading the article and then came upon the following …

    Specifically, the army must take notice of the hate that is being spewed on TV Channels in Pakistan instead of supporting Pak Army’s effort to defeat the Taliban and to save the country from
    falling into the hands of the Taliban.

    The army should simply put up with the shit they created in the first place.

    Its also time the army move out of their posh and choicest cantonments and stop building defense housing colonies.

  5. awaam

    When someone declares an open war, how must a nation react? How should they defend themselves? Have we forgotten the lessons from war with India? Why should we feel different now when we are being attacked from inside rather than from outside.
    By attacking various institutions of Pakistani state (in attacks of more symbolic value than otherwise), Taliban has thrown an open challenge to our nation. But is it really so? Don’t mistake it because it seems more a sign of desperation on their behalf because they clearly are surrounded and trapped.
    http://awaam.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=734&message=1

  6. Puzzled

    Before calling others ‘right wingers’, please re-read your article, you are one yourself (If you didn’t realize this yet).

    One can kill enemies, not an ideology. This war cannot be won with spilled blood, it requires both a national dialogue and long term extraordinary measures such as education & povert alleviation. A slow process that both the stakeholders in Pakistan and people like you, much dread.

    Life is not a video game; we are dealing with human beings with human needs here.