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Where every soul returned to the normal status after celebrating Eid, it seems that the dreadful Taliban have also followed the same path. Back to back bombings today at Bannu and Peshawar have left every one shocked as well as in a state of confusion. The shock is definitely aimed toward the valuable loss of lives that we have witnessed in this bombing spree, but the confusion is definitely regarding the future of this operation, its success and its limitation.

            TTP has bounced back after giving an impression that they are in disarray with the killing of their chief Baitullah, the war of sucession that followed and the capturing of high valuable targets from Swat like Muslim Khan. This impression became more firm with the fact that there was a significant reduction in the wave of terror around the country(although with a few odd examples during Ramadan). All along the way we have heard the think tanks saying that it will be a long and painful war and it will not be over until the last terrorist or there supporter has been eliminated but it seems that this fact is falling on deaf ears.

            With the overwhelming victory of Pakistan Army in Swat and Mingora and successful removal of top guns like Baitullah and Ilyas Kashmiri, its about time that we move to the second phase of this war. That war will not be fought upon the peaks of  Peuchar or Kabal but at the table of talks, in international forums and meetings like we are witnessing in New York currently. As far as the theory we have stood upon and that we firmly believe holds Taliban culprit, but at the same time the real king maker are the outside forces operating from neighboring countries. So it doesn’t matter how many hired Taliban you kill or capture, simply they will keep on emerging from a new Swat every day. Its time to take the war where we can point out the culprit or the culprits, bring them to justice and rid our self from the “shooting gallery arena” that we have found ourselves in.

            At the start of the operation in Swat, all the odds were against our forces. The enemy had every initiative but it was the cooperation among the masses and the forces, prayers of all that guided them through. Now for the new phase that we must move in, the cooperation is of a different level. The masses should be somehow replaced by “MASS MEDIA”. From the word go they have been heard saying to the establishment that provide us with all those proofs of foreign involvement that you have kept so close to your self until now.  It is the right time to come out with a combined strategy, we are not saying they should go on a propaganda spree, all that is required are facts and figures in order to undo the great game that we have found ourselves in.

            Aid or trade, whatever we term it is of no use unless you have the safeguards in place. In past we have witnessed many events where acts of bravery have gone in vain as they were not followed up in a proper manner. For 1965 we grew up listening “All won in the battle field lost at the table of Talk”. The Americans fought Vietnamese with outstanding bravery from 1956 till 75 but forgot to follow up, which was to break the supply line. Why to go further when you have the best example in the neighborhood. The Soviets in Afghanistan also tasted the dust as they could never prove a link between CIA’s weapon, Saudi Funding and Afghan Mujahideen. So if we continue like this, Baitullah was replaced by Hakimullah, he by Qari Hussain and this legacy will continue as long as we wish.

            With no disregard to our Eastern neighbours, it has been emphasized time and time again that our claims must be based on facts and proofs instead of myths. We have the smoke but its important to find who was behind the fire. The Americans, with no face saving excuse will keep on pushing the war into our state. Like us, Afghanis will never taste peace as they will be occupied by foreign interferences and operations from their soil and every now and then a bill like Kerry-Lugar will show us  a ray of hope, which is infact a beam toward the ultimate doom. It’s the classic “carrot and stick” where one day you are hailed for your victories in Swat and the next day you are termed as the destination for the new 9/11. We are not Sri Lanka that can bear a loss of generations from the LTTE. For us its very important to end this episode as soon as possible and for this the next phase of this war has been delayed without any reason.


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