A requiem for Swat agreement

The Swat agreement will not hold. Those who thought that signing the Nizam-i-Adl agreement with the militants would bring peace to the region are going to find they were sadly mistaken. The TTP did not fight the security forces for months only to hand over the control of the valley to the government in return for Shariah courts. Unlike many Pakistani politicians the militants are clear in their minds. They would now like to extend their authority to the rest of Pakistan at gunpoint. Suicide bombing, rocket attacks, bomb blasts are the methods of their choice. They are going to employ them till they occupy Islamabad as envisioned by militant commander from South Waziristan Mullah Nazir. It is futile to lecture to the TTP or TNSM to seek public approval for their programme and employ peaceful means for its realisation. They simply do not subscribe to parliamentary means of struggle. Instead of taking part in 2008 elections they opted for the gun. They have said in plain words that they care too hoots for the constitution. They reject the entire system based over the 1973 constitution including Parliament, executive and higher judiciary as being a negation of the Shariah. What is more, the Shariah that they seek to enforce is that of a minority school of thought which dubs other sects as mushrikeen. This has made those subscribing to other schools of thought uneasy. The Sunni Tehrik has taken out protest marches against the Taliban in Sindh. A group of Sunni ulema and mashaikh has met in Lahore to voice concern. The Talibans logic is simple. The enforcement of the word of God does not require public consent. It has to be enforced irrespective of the peoples wishes. The Taliban have a low opinion of the people otherwise also. They believe in the dictum al-awam kal anaam i.e. the masses are like animals. Does anybody consult animals before taking decisions? The matter does not end even after Shariah has been enforced in Pakistan. The TTP has a global agenda. Nation-states are a violation of Shariah according to the TTP. The organisation stands for Khilafat i.e. a single Islamic state created after liquidating all territorial entities comprising Muslim majority countries. Pakistan has to be turned into a staging post for a world Islamic revolution in the way Afghanistan was under the Taliban. Those who thought that once the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation was implemented the TTP would lay down arms, agree to the opening of the girls schools and let the writ of the state be established in Swat were living in a 'paradise of their own. The appeasement has in fact emboldened the militants. Swat TTP spokesman Muslim Khan told a TV channel on Monday: Shariah is not only for Malakand division. It is for all humanity, for all Muslims. So we will go for the implementation of the Holy Quran, Shariah Muhammadi, not only in Malakand division but other parts of Pakistan as well. He further said: For Muslims it is necessary to come and establish a caliphate, one army, one Shariah-i-Mohammadi, one currency. How far has the imposition of Nizam-i-Adl Regulation helped establish the writ of the state? On Monday the Taliban kidnapped nine persons in Swat including six security men. Muslim Khan confirmed later that they were in Taliban custody and were under investigation. According to him they had violated the peace agreement by roaming in the area. While he says Osama bin Laden is welcome in Swat, security personnel trying to establish the writ of the state are obviously not. As it keeps the government engaged, the TTP has extended its sphere to the strategically crucial Buner which borders Swabi and puts the militants within a striking distance of Tarbela Dam. The Taliban who entered the area from Swat have occupied private residences to establish their own administration. They have forcibly acquired vehicles, computers and equipment from government and NGO establishments. They patrol the roads and check vehicles. The writ of the state has been replaced by the writ of the Taliban. Will the militants lay down arms in case the American troops leave Afghanistan? No, no chance at all. American troops were nowhere in sight when Sufi Muhammad initiated armed struggle in 1994 in Malakand in the name of enforcing Shariah. It was during this uprising that a PPP MPA was kidnapped and executed. A military operation had to be launched to quell the movement. Islamabad has two choices. It has either to surrender to the extremists allowing them to turn Pakistan into a theocracy, or to stem the rising tide of extremism with courage and wisdom. For this mainstream parties have to join hands to defend Pakistans identity as a moderate pluralistic democratic state.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt