Musharraf’s confirmation of Army support for Taliban is particularly important in the context of facts revealed by Wikileaks documents a few years ago. One leaked document discusses the involvement of another former General, Hamid Gul, in supporting Taliban. According to one document, “It was not known whether Hamid Gul was acting with the knowledge or consent of ISI, or whether any portions of ISI were aware of his activities.” While the knowledge or consent of secret agencies will always be difficult to prove beyond any doubt, it would be fairly naive to believe that Hamid Gul’s pro-Jihad activities were done without at least tacit approval of the Army leadership. Hamid Gul has described himself as “an ideologue of jihad“. It is increasingly apparent that he is not the only General who subscribes to this ideology.
At a press conference held by Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia opposing madari reforms, Chairman All Pakistan Ulema Council Maulana Tahir Ashrafi asked a very excellent question about Jihad and the state:
He said as promoting Afghan jihad was the policy of the government, why the jihadis were now being called terrorists.
This is a question that should be taken up by every talk show host and addressed in every newspaper in the country. Is promoting Afghan jihad official state policy? If so, why are we also supporting NATO? Whose side are we on? Is Jihad official policy of the state? Does the state still consider Afghan Taliban as ‘good Taliban’? Or are they terrorists?
Tahir Ashrafi is confused about whose side we are on. Are we supporting Taliban? Or are we against Taliban? It is not clear to Tahir Ashrafi, and it is not clear to anyone else. It’s time the state answer the question.
With the annual observation of Kashmir Solidarity Day, calls were once again raised from the streets to the heights of government to demand implementation of UN Resolution 47 that calls for the withdrawal of Indian forces and the holding of a plebiscite “on the question of the accession of the state to India or Pakistan”. What was forgotten in these impassioned cries was Section A (1)(a) of the resolution:
A. RESTORATION OF PEACE AND ORDER
1. The Government of Pakistan should undertake to use its best endeavours:
(a) To secure the withdrawal from the State of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesman and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the state for the purpose of fighting, and to prevent any intrusion into the State of such elements and any furnishing of material aid to those fighting in the State;
The very first requirement of UN Resolution 47, of which everyone from Jamaati-e-Islami to the Foreign Office insists must be implemented in full force, is the complete termination of jihad in Kashmir.
The UN has mandated certain requirements of India that conclude by letting the Kashmiri people determine their own fate. Adherence to these requirements should be mandatory before any consideration is given to India’s wish of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. However, we must realise that before this can ever happen, we must live up to our own responsibilities under the resolution that we proclaim to passionately support.
Shahid Javed Burki is a world renowned Pakistani economist. He has served as Vice President of the World Bank and Finance Minister, and his economic insights have been both appreciated and promoted by this blog. However, in his latest piece, the respected economist steps out of his area of expertise, and the political analysis that he offers is not only misguided, it poses a danger to national security.
The Foreign Office has issued a strong statement against Indian firing along the Line of Control terming it as “an attempt to distract our armed forces from its valiant mission against all terrorists”. There can be little doubt about the FO’s claim that increased tensions with India drain vital attention and resources from the fight against terrorists. In order to successfully carry out operations against terrorists, security forces must be able to devote maximum attention to the fight. This is why it is inexplicable why certain militant groups continue to be allowed to operate along the Line of Control.