An awakening, but is it enough? By Cyril Almeida
Friday, 24 Apr, 2009
THANK you, Sufi Mohammad. With one speech Sufi has done more to galvanise public opinion against militancy than a hundred suicide bombings and beheadings.
Suddenly, people have woken up to the fact that the great soldier of Islam is a dangerous kook. ‘He thinks we’re what?’ ‘He wants to do what?’ Yep, he thinks the rest of us are sick and what we really need is a dose of Sufi’s medicine. Y’know, to straighten us out about our romance with infidel democracy and yearning for quaint things like basic rights, a functional economy, education, etc.
Sufi’s utopia, it turns out, is everyone else’s dystopia. The fact that people are surprised though has everything to do with the catastrophic, collective failure of our politicians and army.
How did Sufi become the state’s go-to man in Swat? Ask the politicians and they’ll tell you it’s the army’s fault. The army promised they would crush the militants but didn’t, the politicians say. Ask the soldiers, and they blame the politicians. Every time we were close to securing a victory the politicians forced us to stand down so that they could talk to the militants, the army says.
The truth, as ever, lies in between. Militarily, the army let us down. The story of Operation Rah-i-Haq has yet to be told but when it is, ugly secrets will spill out. Were the local commanders and GHQ on the same page at all times? If there was a united will, was there a coherent strategy? Why were people defying Maulana Fazlullah abandoned? What happened last December when Pir Samiullah and his band of Barelvi fighters pleaded for help but didn’t get any and were duly slaughtered by the TTP? There is a stench that surrounds the army operation in Swat and it doesn’t just come from the piles of dead bodies.
For complete article, click here
The Fruits of Appeasement - Zahid Hussain
Do We Need More Religion - By Babar Sattar
Sufi Takes Back Taliban to Swat - The News
Related:Petraeus Calls On Pakistan To Redirect Military Focus - Washington Post
Kerry: Administration lacks 'real strategy' for handling Pakistan - USA Today