Under the leadership of Mullah Omer, the Afghanistan’s former Taliban government is often criticized for its Osama Bin Laden policy and retailing a soft corner for the Al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan. On the pretext of dismantling the Al-Qaeda network, the ISAF troops not only toppled the Taliban’s regime but also tore down Afghanistan in 2001. Pakistan has a lot to learn from this incident as some relevant developments are also taking place in the country.

At present, Pakistan is rapidly losing its writ over certain parts of its territory. Resultantly, there are many violet non state actors in the forms of certain organizations like the TTP and others who are engaged in violent disruptive activities against the state. Apparently, the government of Pakistan’s current policy is to tackle this issue through peace negotiation with these militant groups. So far, no concrete objective has been achieved.

Instead of laying down their arms, the militants are making demands for getting their jailed comrades free and the establishment of a so-called peace-zone within which they could move freely. These demands necessarily show that they are in no mood of stepping down in favour of the state. On the other hand, if Pakistan somehow succeeds in concluding any peace deal with these groups then the outside world will not distinguish between the state of Pakistan and these non-state actors. If we come across another 9/11, or any other terrorist incident in any part of the world, then the world community can easily point a finger at Pakistan as a state which was friendly and helpful to terrorists.

This phenomenon has also been partially witnessed when, in the event of missing Malaysian flight MH 370, the international media started airing speculative news about the presence of this plane in the Pak-Afghan border area. This unrealistic and irresponsible propaganda has caused much anxiety for Pakistan. The incident should be an eye-opener for us all. Earlier, five Iranian border guards were kidnapped and allegedly taken away by the militants in the Baluchistan province.

Reacting to this, Iran threatened to send its forces into Pakistan. In fact, now the non-state actors are not only an internal threat but they may also be instrumental in posing some external threats to Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan has to evolve and adopt a comprehensive internal security policy to tackle these militants effectively and to establish state’s complete writ over its entire territory.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, March 19.