where to fight

It’s an interesting situation unraveling before us these days. For once, the judiciary isn’t at the centre of it and is just trolling at the fringes. The way I see it there are 4 interests at work here.

1. The US. It wants the Army to go into North Waziristan and get rid of the Haqqanis and other other “good taliban”. This is important to the US to provide an end to the Afghan war.

2. The Army. It doesn’t want to go into North Waziristan and fight its good Taliban because that’ll mean a wasted 10 years of protecting them under difficult circumstances. It also wants to make sure that neither of the two main political parties ever get too popular. The army would prefer for there to be a military operation in Punjab which would a) shift the focus of the crisis away from Waziristan b) allow it to target certain expendable out of control militants c) it wouldn’t mind weakening PML-N. Finally the army needs to provide a really good excuse to resist US pressure to go into North Waziristan.

3. The PPP. PPP wants to stay in power. To do this it’s recently “concluded” the investigation into the BB murder case and essentially arrived at the same conclusions as the Musharraf government. This is a major concession to the army in exchange for which it’s expecting establishment support during its upcoming confrontation with the judiciary. It’s also hoping to see some of the focus shifted to the PML-N. PPP wouldn’t mind screwing the army over in the course of the Times Square investigation but their ability to do that depends on the pissed offedness of the US about the Army not going into North Waziristan.

4. PML-N – wants to stay in power in Punjab and come to power in the centre. But right now PML-N is sort of on the defensive because its patronization of militancy in South Punjab is in the spotlight.

Interesting, isn’t it?


5 responses to “where to fight

  1. sparklingway

    The “good Taliban” will never, never, ever be targeted. Take my, and everybody else’s words. They aren’t just the military’s ideological children, they are bait for funds as well. If the going gets tough, the “leaders” will be evacuated from NWA (if they aren’t staying at Cherat already).

    As for the whole scenario, I’m super curious about the whole Laljee thing. The News was as usual idiotic and gossipy, but Dawn and ET explicitly mentioned that it is genuinely confirmed that he was picked up by “sensitive agencies”.

    Nobody would dare kidnap Laljee without the need to send a genuine message. Just read and listen to RM’s statements. He’s all praise for “ISI and IB”. He said that thrice in like thirty seconds. Press statements are all praise for them. Because Dawn says that Laljee was kidnapped by them, I take their word and even though IB has a large number of army officers on secondment (courtesy the military junta of PM), it will never indulge in kidnapping Laljee to try to send some sort of a message to AAZ. It therefore has to be the ISI. They kidnap Laljee, keep him and later “release” him after AAZ returns hurriedly to Karachi.

    What message were they trying to send to AAZ? We won’t hesitate taking action against your govt. if you don’t follow our orders? Seriously confused. There must be some serious stuff going on there and they must have some leverage on AAZ as well.

    Kinda feel bad for RM as well. Starting in the day, Rehman Malik’s plane survives a near super-bad landing at Lahore. His brother is then nearly kidnapped and he rushed to Karachi in the evening to oversee the whole Laljee thing while Zardari arrives to take matters into his own hands.

    I’m really not looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

  2. Zainab Ali

    This is a grave situation and the nation wants truth from their elected leaders; I seriously don’t understand this notion of so called good Taliban and bad Taliban. A person having extremist views against the whole country is bad, doesn’t matter what criteria is used to categorize him.

  3. Rabia

    completely agree sparklingway.

    that’s really interesting – i wasn’t following the laljee story that carefully. btw have you noticed how the big US papers have completely dropped the major adnan story? I mean they haven’t even really reported that he was released and sent home.

  4. sparklingway

    The military’s PR machine is by far the best in Pakistan. Had the Pakistan Army been responsible for the oil spill in the GoM, it would never have gotten highlights beyond a single report in the middle pages, and that too only for the first day.

  5. Rabia

    haha! brilliant comment. actually not only that, a few months later we’d have had some ‘hardhitting’ investigative reports by Rauf Klasra about why Fauji Foundation didn’t get the contract to clean it up.

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