Many unsure of Swat battle being Pakistan’s own war: Expert

November 14th, 2007 - 8:22 am ICT by admin  
In an article titled: A Deepening Crisis, Rashid says, “Security personnel as much as political forces are being equally targeted, and clearly there is no regard for ‘collateral damage’ in the form of scores of innocent victims. Amidst all this, there is also a lack of clarity on whether this is even our war.”

Pointing to the recent incidents of a large number of Pakistani military surrendering to the tribals, Rashid says, “Then as now the question arises as to why soldiers in relatively large numbers would surrender without a fight.”

“Motivation and morale would seem to be an issue here,” he adds.

He says that Islamabad would have made better choices al least in term of external allies.

Rebuffing the contention in some sections of Pakistani society that the present situation warrants the military continuing its governance in the country, Rashid argues, “It was the military government of Zia-ul Haq that got us started on this perilous path of extremism that today challenges not just the writ of the state, but its very integrity.”

“And with another military dominated government over the last eight years, we have only seen the problem grow to such formidable proportions,” he adds.

He says that challenge posed by the present crisis in the tribal belt of the country needs to be met politically too.

“There is no doubt that addressing the issue involves a military component but force in such situations needs to be carefully calibrated lest it turn into an enemy force multiplier,” he says, adding, “As important is the need to meet the challenge politically and to let the mainstream parties play their role in endorsing and operationalising a vision of society and religion that is democratic and pluralist and in harmony with the temper of the Indus Valley Civilisation, reflected in the rich legacy of our widely revered Sufis.”

Hypothesizing that President Pervez Musharraf could adopt the emergency option, if the Supreme Court rules against him on the contentious October 6 Presidential polls; Rashid favours the return of both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif back to the country.

He says that that both political parties and the military must improve on their past record of governance and delivery. (ANI)

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