For armed insurgency or rebellion the two most important factors are funding and brain washing fighters on basis of ideology, religion, sect, ethnicity or nationalism. It is an established practice by rebels, to exert fear through terror, with sole aim of destroying state from within, or capturing it, depending upon objectives of those who fund them. Whenever confronted with state power, they always resort to negotiations, buying time to regroup, while deploying ‘splinter groups’ to continue terrorizing citizens, and denying that they are a part of them.

Pakistan is facing a TTP led insurgency which is comparable to the Tamil rebellion in Sri Lanka, funded by a neighboring country, where nationalists motivated rebels resorted to suicide bombings, spreading terror and gained control over vast territory. We ourselves are responsible for allowing foreign mercenaries and extremists to take sanctuary in Pakistan, because of the greed of a few individuals and as always happen, our external enemies have exploited this weakness to harm Pakistan.

A much smaller Sri Lankan army, as compared to Pakistan, waged battle with full fire power to wipe out the Tamil insurgency and regained control of the territory with not an inch surrendered. In case of IRA, UK Government held talks only with Sinn Fein, the political organ which renounced use of weapons and held negotiations with the gun totting rebels. We must also remember the fact, that this concerned part of Ireland, which was under British control and not their territory. NATO occupying forces are willing to talk to Taliban, because having achieved limited objectives, they now want to withdraw their troops.

Any delay on our part in sorting out the TTP menace will only strengthen them and increase collateral damage, which is always a price that a nation has to pay for defending freedom and state sovereignty. Had Musharraf or AZ led government and military under them decided to tackle the crisis, cost in terms of human lives could have been contained. However we must remember that freedom cannot be retained, if institutions or individuals fail to perform their obligatory duty to protect state and its constitution, whatever the price.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, March 9.