The recent waves of suicide bombings targeting mostly the army installations in the most sensitive areas like Lahore Cantonment and Model Town, striking first at an office of FIA involved in Anti-terrorism intelligence and investigation killing 50 people and injuring dozens and in second 2 suicide bombers striking the heart of military in Lahore on March 12, 2010, killing at least 57 persons, most of them army personnel, and injuring 136 others. In between these two attacks, Mingora the capital of Swat was again struck by terrorist killing 15 people and injuring a couple of dozens. Seven small intensity explosions have been reported from different parts of Lahore resulting in minor injuries since. I do not know why the Army cannot read the writing on the wall.
By carrying out such suicide attacks against military installations in Punjab and other parts of Pakistan. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan TTP and its Punjabi affiliates like banned Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami have succeeded in creating a divide between the Punjabi officer class and their Punjabi and Pashtun soldiers, weakening their loyalty to the officers. Regarding Frontier Corps (FC), the Pashtuns soldiers have deserted in big numbers in protest against the Punjabi officers actions against civilian Pashtuns. It represent East-Pakistan like situation before the break-up of Pakistan in 1971. As the low-ranking soldiers have been indoctrinated into jihadist ideology by Pakistan Army , now it is very difficult for them to come to terms with the fast changing loyalties of Pakistan military Establishment for the sake earning money from USA.
In my previous articles I have been pointing time and again to the fact that antagonizing Pashtuns by indiscriminately bombing and shelling them will result in dire consequences for the other dominant ethnic groups in the country or even a rebellion against the state of Pakistan will start. This is what is happening now. I have been crying time and again to inform our haughty military elite that America is 11000 miles away from Pashtuns but Punjab is just at our doorstep. If the present trend of genocide of Pashtun continue, the war theatre will soon be shifted from Pashtun areas to Punjab and Karachi. Exactly the same is happening.
Now, time has come when the defenders of Pakistan (Pakistan Army), who claim every now and then that they have conquered South Waziristan, Bajor, Khyber and Kohat (by hoisting Pakistani flag on these territories for the first time in the history of Pakistan), cannot protect themselves in the urban centers of Pakistan like Punjab. Rather than blaming themselves for what they have sown in the tribal areas , they will have to reap, they are blaming the civilian leadership for shortcomings and lapses of security. If Pakistan Army is not capable of defending itself against the terrorists or rather neo-nationalists Pashtuns then how can our poor police protect them.
The military Establishment should think a bit for a while as if the present targeting of the Army convoys and military installations is not the revenge attacks of dignified Pashtuns nationalists whose honor has been trampled by Pakistan Military rather than Talibans. In Pakistani war theatre, the addition of this new neo-nationalist Pashtuns insurgency cannot be ignored, which is solely based on a well know Pashtun tradition, BADAL (revenge).
Qazi Hussain Ahmad in his recent article published in the Jhang newspaper, has rightly described the Pashtun traditions of Pashtunwali and Badal (REVENVGE), by giving two famous examples from Pashtun history. But ironically , we learn from history that we never learn from history.
Gahzi Nadir Khan, the father of famous and longest serving King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, was killed by an ordinary young students of Hubaibiya College in Kabul in front of heavy security. The reason was that the security forces of the king dis-honored his mother and he was determined to take revenge for that.
Pashtuns go to any length in defense of their women folk and their history is replete with many daring examples. Ajab Khan Afridi, was made a legend, when he lifted Miss Ellis the daughter of British Deputy Commissioner to revenge the dis-honoring of his family. In March 1923, the Frontier Constabulary, with the help of regular British troops, raided Ajab Khan's village in Dara Adam Khel. The troops searched his house and according to certain reports women were subjected to search and insult. He succeeded in lifting Miss Ellis from her house despite heavy security and the dangerous Alsatians dogs guarding the fortress like house. But as a real Afridi Pashtun and a MAN OF HONOR, he did not dis-respected her. Rather he treated her with such respect and honor that still she remember him for his courage, bravely and respect for women.
I personally encountered a young student studying in a college in Rawalpindi, who was abandoning his studies and leaving for his village in Waziristan to take revenge of his killed brother who was killed in a military operation. When asked how he will recognize who killed his brother, does he know his enemy, he flatly replied that army killed his brother and he is going to take revenge from Pakistan Army.
I really doubt that Pakistani army knows about the traditions of Pashtuns and they know about the future consequences. It is clear like a day light that in all the recently conducted suicide attacks or targeted killing Army is the main target. What ever explanation presented, the reality is that some Pashtuns are taking the revenge for dis-honoring the Pashtun mothers sisters and wives.
I totally agree with Nazir Naji that Pashtun nationalist sentiments are on rise and in near future the Pashtuns are expected to raise arms against Pakistani state. I would like to add that neo-nationalist Pashtuns have already started a fight for their independence.
Second, nothing has been done to rehabilitate the refugees in Swat. Not a single house, hospital, school and other infra-structure has been re-built to provide relief to the people of Swat. nothing is done to provide shelter and food to the more than one million FATA refugees that are stranded in different parts of Pakistan. Even other international organization like International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and UN have been barred from helping the FATA refugees. The results will be very dangerous for this negligence of Pakistani state particularly Pakistan Army, which is specialist in destruction, which can abduct, torture and kill the people which can only destroy the properties but cannot rehabilitate the civilians.
Tallat Hussain asserts in his 12 March live discussion on AJJ news that the bombs that exploded in Lahore on the night of 12 March were fire crackers. While reporting from an area where Pakistani military is involved in the so-called war on terror, it is naïve to here from him that it is not possible for army to conduct operations against Terrorists in Urban centers like Lahore, Faisalabad and Karachi. I would like to ask him a simple question, on what logic the military operation in Swat was started? If Swat is not a settled urban area? Why, long range artillery, helicopter gunships and bomber jets were used against innocent civilians in Swat?
For him it is normal to violate all international norms and conventions at one area because that is inhabited by another race like Pashtuns but when it comes to the urban centers where Punjabis live it becomes the responsibility of the civilian institutions like police to conduct operations. Why these double standards are adopted for Pashtuns?
At the end, the suggestion of Mr. Salim Safi for ANP leadership to make a deal with PML (N) on the issue of the change of the name of PAKHTUNKHWA with the construction of Kalabagh Dam is really stupid, damaging for Pashtun interests and unacceptable. Times have come for independence of Pashtun nation rather than bargaining for pity thing like the change of the name of their land. Only a Pashtun out of mind, can present such suggestion to inundate its whole populations for the interests of Punjab, who is bent upon torturing and killing innocent Pashtuns and supporting Talibans. Bye the way, will he explain as to what benefits Pashtun will receive by the construction of Kalabagh Dam?? Does he know the extent of damage that its construction will bring on the families living for centuries, the whole infra-structure and ancient cites which are an ancient heritage of Pashtuns?