Tuesday, 23 December 2014

TTP and Afghanistan, Editorial Daily Times of Pakistan

TTP and Afghanistan, Editorial Daily Times of Pakistan

The Afghan army’s offensive against the Taliban hiding in Kunar started some 10 days ago. It intensified after the killing of 132 children in the Peshawar based Army Public School on December 16. The Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had rushed to Afghanistan to seek Afghan government’s corporation in getting the mastermind of the Peshawar massacre, Mullah Fazlullah, living in Kunar, Afghanistan. Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is hiding in Kunar and according to the latest reports is abetted in terrorism by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

If LeT is actually helping the TTP in Kunar then Pakistan is still not out of harm’s way. LeT, now operating in Pakistan under the name of Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) has complete protection of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. The organization has been allowed to promote anti-India sentiments with no interference. JuD’s recent show at the Minar-e-Pakistan, where Hafiz Saeed was openly inviting people to conduct Jihad in Kashmir, continued for three days unhindered. If LeT is involved in fomenting terrorism in Afghanistan and by extension in Pakistan, then head should roll and thinking must come over the nature of anti-terrorism operation that the country has involved itself into. Scepticism about the nature of the military operation in North Waziristan has not yet left many both at home and abroad. Unless we distance ourselves from all sorts of Jihads, whether in Afghanistan or Kashmir, and clamp down on the 10 percent miscreants, as identified by Chaudhry Nisar, to restore the order in the country, all promises about breaking away with the theory of good and bad Taliban will remain hollow.

From the Afghan spectacle, General Raheel Sharif’s visit to Afghanistan was an attempt to paint Afghanistan the culprit behind Pakistan’s internal mess. It is one thing that President Ashraf Ghani gives concession to Pakistan government and extends cooperation to fight what he has been calling the common enemy i.e. terrorism. But it is quite another for him or for other Afghans to forget that it has been Pakistan that kept the fire of Jihad burning long after the Soviets and the US had left the region. Neither can they ignore the fact that Pakistan closed its eye on the takeover of its tribal area by the Al-Qaeda and other foreign terrorists. The magnanimity shown by the Afghan government to eliminate TTP form Kunar is worth appreciating and should be reciprocated in the same coin.

Can we influence Mullah Omer to return to Afghanistan and rein in the Taliban? The infamous Quetta Shura cannot have survived without Pakistan’s patronage, therefore we need to stop playing ostrich, and prove that we are serious by finding solution to the Afghan conflict, wherein lie our own salvage. *

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