This post is going to make a lot of my left wing liberal friends unhappy, but does that mean its going to make the right wing conservative Muslims happy ? Probably not. So, who is this post going to make happy ? Very few in my opinion who have the patience to look at the bigger picture and focus on longer term solutions.
For years, I kept hearing various theories on Taliban. Some said they are CIA agents, some called them a conspiracy against Pakistan and some (in fact vast majority) denied their existence. After recent attacks on Karachi airport, the latest trend is to link Taliban with India. Every single gathering with Pakistani friends will give you new insights into what Taliban really could be.
But something that no one will be willing to recognise is the fact that it was none other than our own agencies who were behind the creation of Taliban ideology. I know that some of you will immediately think that it was actually US who used these Mujahideen against Soviet Union but again thats just one side of it. Every single war is fought by using allies in your favour and crushing those who appear to be on the other side of fence.
Truth is, Pakistan needed Taliban to maintain its strategical appearance in Afghanistan but with the change in geo-political situation after 9/11 and an Afghan Government that is not as friendly tonPakistan as it is to India the frustration of not only Pakistan grew too far but also of Taliban. For years, we made Taliban Taliban think that one day they will be able to implement Shariah style Islamic Government in not only Afghanistan but also Pakistan. And now suddenly, when you tell them that their version of Islam is not the correct version, I believe they have a right to ask that then which version of Islam is the right one and why ?
Problem isn’t with Taliban, they believe in what they believe in, the actual problem lies around the fact that the majority of Pakistani population lives with a confused ideology where they do like to assert that Islam is the religion of Peace and Islam is the perfect way of life but that same Islam when they are asked to implement in their own life they just wouldn’t like that idea. No moderate Muslim has ever been able to decide which version of Islam is really the perfect one for them and how come a perfect way of life comes in so many flavours that it literally makes it impossible to agree on one particular interpretation.
Look around and you will find that the most vocal opposition of Taliban ideology comes from none other than our Shia minority of Pakistan which is yet another hypocrisy. While there is no denying that Shia (along with other minorities) have suffered a lot at the hands of Taliban, the truth is that these same Shia will support the Shariah Implementation in Iran and will have no problem with Mullah ruling there but the similar Mullah ruling in Pakistan will not be acceptable to them.
So, let go back to the actual topic of what is the solution to this problem really ? More and more Liberals are now leaning towards a full blown Army operation in Taliban areas. But the question, we don’t want to ask ourselves is that if that is the longer term solution ? Will killing one generation of Taliban ideology make sure we wouldn’t see next generation of Taliban with even more aggression and the desire to fulfil the ultimate dream of implementing an ideal Islamic State.
Does that mean that Imran Khan’s solution of negotiating with Taliban has any worth consideration ? By bringing them to the negotiating table, you’re actually admitting that they are a significant political force in not only in Pakistan but also on the regional level ? Isn’t negotiation all about Win/Win scenario ? Do you expect the Taliban to come to the negotiating table without getting any favours in return ? So why is it that PTI’s die-hard supporters feel so offended when Pervez Rasheed calls Imran a strategical partner of Taliban ?
Personally, I don’t believe any of these two solutions are going to work on longer term basis. I agree with the premise that Imran wants Taliban to appear as a major political force and negotiations is just an Entry point to the larger political setup in which Taliban are part of the picture. But I also dont agree that by wiping out certain sections of these people will make the problem go away. The Taliban ideology thrives on the back of hypocrisy of moderate Islam, nothing is going to act as a longer term solution until you address the double standards …