‘Wana’ War: Where we are heading

Pakistan is once again in the limelight and facing new kind of inter-territorial war due to its distinct foreign policy towards equal partnership in “War Against Terrorism” or in simple philosophy “War Against Al-Qaeda,” or Osama’s network. It seems that there’s no other network engaged in terrorist activities or bullying America the way Al-Qaeda is executing its open hatred towards America.

Firstly, it was Afghanistan where hunting Osama or his right hand- Al-Zawahri was the prime concern of America to assure peace and prosperity without any stumbling block for American posterity. At that US was in dire need of Pakistan’s diplomatic or political support in connection with the Afghanistan border. From evacuating the so-called Taliban to setting up the interim government Mohammad Karzai in Afghanistan, American enjoyed extreme support of Pakistan in general or Military in particular. Fortunately or unfortunately that was the boom period in which Pak-American ties took a new turn to go every length for capturing suspect’s involved with terrorist mafia. From financial gain to security surveillance, a quid pro quo criterion was adopted by both the nations.

Wana imbroglio in South Waziristan started on March 18, 2004 in Pakistani territory mainly dominated by strong and influential Tribal community is nothing but the concluding episodes or the revised and latest version to recall Pakistani support to America. Once Pakistani government was damn sure about the presence of Al-Qaeda and Taliban guerillas in Waziristan, the negotiation pattern was adopted to take in to confidence the tribal community before launching any major military engagement in Waziristan. However it was quite surprising to know, that Osama or of his close ally will be there (Wana) when they possess an excellent and supportive hill locks available in Afghanistan.

Up till now civilian casualties, house to house hunt to militant arrests and murder are reported with heavy artillery and helicopter gunship strike usage in fierce fighting between military personnel’s and the so-called foreign fighters. However, rounds of diplomatic negotiation were made by government to give every opportunity to the Tribal forces to handover suspects. While going any further measure not to be involved in any major battle in Wana, officials were unaware that it could take a new turn where innocent civilians would be killings or all balls may go in to the suspect’s court. This is the reason that even after days of battle government announces temporary ceasefire.

While giving an interview to CNN, President Musharaff however denied presence of Al-Zawahri in Waziristan but confess that there’s a “High value target” foreign militia is protecting. On questioning whether US forces are involved in Wana operation. He denied any US involvement in this regard. The sensitive nature of this massive military involvement in Waziristan declares that there’s a civil war going on in Wana, an eye to eye resistance given by the terrorists portray their mentality of not to withdraw.

Therefore, cease fire option given by the government during pinnacle of war portray either governments failure to handle the uncertain behavior of militants or in other words government accepts the powerful resistance. This is a kind of a mini war ready to change any time in to major war, realized by the Pakistani government to seek peace at any cost.
Stating on the current situation, NWFP law minister Malik Zafar Azam expressed his concern that “The on going operation to clamp down on foreign elements should be stopped at once and if the operation will continue for a longer period the war could spread to other cities of the country.”

Critics believed that Wana operation is used as a political trick to get maximum support from American lobby in terms of finances, military’s political certain future specially when America is heading for presidential election. Also as Pakistan is good in showing warm hospitality its diplomatic envoy’s, therefore it was necessary on the present government to give evidence for his support to WAT to US Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived on march 17, 2004. As analyst believed that the presence of military cum puppet democratic set-up in Pakistan enjoys a great deal of concern directly from US.

There’s no denial that Terrorism definitely needs a timely attention for its grass root eradication, in this regard to support America on War Against Terrorism is the legal and moral responsibility of each nation. After all those killed in terrorist attacks in New York & pentagon were innocent civilians including Pakistani and number of other international working class. But to detract terrorist mafia if internal situation turn out of hand, particularly for an under-developed nation like Pakistan where problems of religious zealots, illiterate conventional customs, and problematic tactics of the neighboring countries persist, then its the responsibility of the government to thoroughly consider the supportive provision of WAT in such a way that could lead less resistance but much support internally.

American relations particularly with Pakistan were never been so smooth in bygone era, specially when Pakistan was in need of military or financial support while having differences with India over the fragile issues of Kashmir, cross border terrorism, nuclear proliferation and Kashmir militias. US always maintained somehow an independent character throughout Pakistan’s clutches with any outer forces plotting against the strategic interest of Pakistan. It would be rather justifiably say that Pakistan was never been so reliable for American support the way US is in need of Pakistan’s strategic, political, territorial & military support to combat with terrorism in general and teaching Osama and his allied forces a memorable lesson in particular.

Pakistani military establishment has been experiencing US strategic tactics since its military alliances of CENTO & SEATO, wars with India, presence & withdrew of Soviets from Afghanistan, emergence of Taliban & mushroom growth of religious zealots in northern areas as well as the nuclear advancement of Pakistan.

The present scenario of Pak-US military relationship in an unwelcoming environment has put strong implications that had changed the whole socio-political and economic infrastructure with in Pakistan. Measures taken by the (Military) government to prove its efficiency and ability of becoming equal partner of War Against Terrorism including abandonment of Madaresah’s (Religious schools), ban on religious groups activities having any gesture against the US and government, keeping democratic prominent figures away from the political scenario, providing bases and other political cum military support while attacking the neighboring country of Afghanistan enjoy suspected eye by the majority of Pakistanis.

From Pakistan’s political perspective, for detaching the label of prime supporters of Taliban and religious militia it was sagacious move taken by the Pakistani government to support American philosophy. However keeping Pakistan’s previous relations with America it’s not fair to assume that the relationship will be on quid pro quo basis. For instance take a look at Kashmir factor that possess a crystal clear UN mandate of independence and denied repeatedly by the Indian authority under each political presidencies. Was America unable to put military pressure besides having diplomatic means of negotiations over India, like the way US carried out, executed and implemented on the provisions of War Against Terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq? The reply is of any body’s guess; US do not want any kind of interference with in the sphere of US-Indian democratic relationship. In lieu of that would it be justify showing immense anger in Wana putting civilian’s life in danger.

Was that not possible for Pakistani government to go every extreme of diplomatic negotiation like the way they are seeking ceasefire agreements now in Wana after facing human and artillery losses? Or was it a pre-conceived notion to show military strength at first to seek peaceful agreement at last?

In my personal opinion, Osama do possess better hiding channels with maximum support of his loyalists in Afghanistan or else where than to choose Waziristan, where there’s availability of every possible access of Pak & US forces. And If I am on the wrong side of assumption, then why the US military support was not involved in most US-desired major hunt enjoyed complete absentia to capture on top of the most wanted hit list terrorist, particularly when American forces were so nearly deployed in Afghanistan? What political Analysts believed for Wana imbroglio is either this whole dramatic situation was based on false information or there’s really a High Value Target with much resistance power to protect its leaders or the reason of showing Tribal strength to the government to warn for any further interference in tribal areas cannot be ignored.

What presently Pakistan is enjoying its geo-political and geographical location in Asia. Due to that reason American relied over Pakistani support to engage its financial and military support in Afghanistan. Being an ardent supporter of WAT there’s no denial that Pakistan gets maximum and significant advantages from political and economic front. Because of the massive support of America, Pakistan now possess an opportunity to have fair share of its relationship with India as Indian government had accepted not to drag Pakistan in to any ill-will policies and go in to the extremism of war as Pakistan enjoyed American favorable strategic perception.

The US decision of giving the title of “Non-Nato Ally” status, however do engage Pakistan in to long term partnership but give an opportunity to access military as well as financial gains in the future that Pakistan is in need to come out from the debt trap and to bring its economy on the track.

Wana operation may bring any further human, military and political destruction on Pakistani soil as both the sides (Govt. & militant mafia) is not in mood to with draw. But the lesson government should remember from this bloody incident involved in its poor policy planning performance to combat terrorists within the premises of tribal territory are of great consent. Firstly, it is the nation’s protection and sanctity that matters a lot and on that, compromise of any kind will not be feasible, peaceful or secure for the entire nation and region as well. Secondly, the repercussion from the terrorists sides can involved major human, financial, political and military losses besides promoting uncertainty of neighboring countries diplomatic attitude.

Besides promoting WAT, It’s not necessary for any nation particularly for Pakistan to lead, initiate or indulge in new kind of internal war that would pave the way for revolutionary measures not needed in already economically dilapidated nation. Security concerns should remain the major concern of Pakistan.

However, to eradicate terrorism one can make their own deliberate policies considering security, society and solidarity in the light of their own capable & efficient resources. How can Pakistan follows or execute other’s path of political measures, as America has its own reason to address the terrorism. It’s the American foreign policy, biased leniency towards its allies also its aristocratic attitude turning peoples and nations against his will.

What US are in need of “Give & Take” or quid pro quo criteria? To seek peace & prosperity not just for America but for the entire mankind existing on earth, having a vigilant eye with realistic thought to analyze the reasons, nature & recourses is highly desired to eliminate or at least to reduce the wide scope of terrorism.

To act as a mediator or diplomatic ally, Pakistan can openly continue its support for American led War Against Terrorism. I am not against the WAT but the modus operandi adopted to hamper or capture terrorist’s perception. Until and unless the reasons & repercussions behind theses (terrorized) inhuman activism are not addressed, eliminating any aspect of terrorism may not be utilized.