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Anybody who is aware of the current situation of the country will be well aware of what has been going in Waziristan nowadays. The Pakistan army is busy in a military operation against extremist groups in South Waziristan. Five years have passed but still we see that one of the most sophisticated and well equipped armies in the world is struggling against the resistance of a few tribal warriors. It seems like the army is clueless about any progress made yet.. It is has always been obvious that the tribal people despise this invasion and the usage of force on them. It seems the army has forgotten the history of these people and other important demographic factors of the region before delving in to this important affair. Peaceful dialogue is highly praised in Pukhtoon society and they should be persuaded by the process of sit down talks and negotiations alone..”
War and use of force is not a solution to any problem. History is loaded with examples where use of force has further worsened the problem. “Kashmir issue” is still a big question mark on the face of justice although Kashmiri’s have been persecuted for nearly sixty years by the Indian Army. Russian brutal use of power over Afghanistan and the United States self declared war on Afghanistan, Vietnam and Iraq has further proved that War is not a solution to any problem. Tamil Tigers were finally perished after 30 years of long warfare which resulted in the loss of millions of human lives with enormous collateral damage and displacement of thousands of homeless people. We lost our right wing Bengal because of using might and it may happen to the Tribal belt if the operation is carried on.
Modern warfare includes use of indiscriminate and destructive weapons which results in the inevitable killing of thousands of innocent people. A drone missile may kill two extremists but it also kill eight innocent people turning their relatives to take the revenge. In fact the war that is fought to end terrorism in turn results in spreading it more. Any action that kills innocent people is never justified by a human society. If the number of innocent people dying inevitably is much more than all the deliberately caused deaths by the extremist’s one must reject war as a solution for the terrorism.
The Taliban’s in the Waziristan are not like the Taliban in Afghanistan. They are not fighting for Islam neither for their freedom but most of them are local tribesmen driven by the motive of revenge. Their houses have been bombed by the Pakistan army and drone attacks. They were betrayed after signing a peace agreement under American pressure. One of the main ingredients of Pashtun Wali the Pashtun honor code is ‘Badal’ revenge and these tribesmen are in fact taking revenge. Any military operation carried out will increase their rage and hence resulting in a more serious rebellion and resurgence.
No war fought on the land of Waziristan has come to an end. These tribal’s are one of the most skilled fighters in the world. They have been never occupied by any foreign army. The British Army has the worse experience of fighting with them as more than 10000 soldiers were killed in 1935-1939 expedition. The relative great armies of Sikhs and Moghul’s were brought to grief by these humble tribal’s. Although they do not get any proper training in Guerilla warfare from any military institution yet they are fully equipped with the skills of Modern Guerrilla warfare. Their skills are more modern than Mao’s, and Tamil’s. The operation will cause the loss of thousands of soldiers as well the unyielding Pashtun Tribes that helped Pakistan in every crisis. A British general Andrew Skeen in his guide wrote that the first thing one must consider before launching an operation here is your retreat as sooner or later every operation of these tribal Mehsud’s and Waziris people ends in retreat. (Javed 34)
Besides the loss of lives in Waziristan operation, it has an operating cost of approximately sixty billion rupees. In a time when Pakistan is suffering from extreme financial crisis the ongoing operation will add further to the downfall of Pakistan economy. If the same amount of money is used in social sector in Waziristan the results will be thousand times more fruitful. With almost negligible education facilities the innocent tribal’s can be easily deceived on the notion of Islam. The government must invest in this huge talented human resource so that they can be productive for the nation rather than bombing them which may be a short time success but never a long run.
The Waziristan operation was started on the strategy of hammer and anvil as Pakistani Army will drag Taliban’s to the Afghan Border and then American forces will take the action of ending them. But according to the recent surveys the American army has left their check posts near afghan border leaving the burden on the Pak Army shoulder.(Javed 34) This shows that the main plan was to engage the Pak army in an operation to weaken its power. Pakistani officials responsible for the operation have been fooled by the American administration. So it’s in the best of the Government interest to withdraw it forces as soon as possible.
The effects of Waziristan operation are not limited only to the terrains and whole of the country has come under fire. Suicide Bombing has increase drastically and whole of the country is under anarchy like situation. According to an unofficial source more than 81 suicides attacks has been done in Pakistan only in 2009 resulting in death of about twenty three thousand civilians.(SATP) Common man in Pakistan is frightened because of this ongoing war of a Pakistani with a Pakistani.
Pakistan Army had some very good relations with the Islamic Fundamentalist and Jihadist organization like Lashkar e Taiba, Jaish Muhammad, Mullah Omar Majlis Shura.They were working in the best interests of Pakistan Army. (Yasir 39) The ongoing operation will have a drastic effect on the long term relationships between them and the Army. It will be a huge blow to Pakistan if these groups turned their back on the Army.
Some of the supporters of operation says that the operation will be a success as the earlier operation of Swat. The case here is different from Swat as  the militants of swat were common men moved by the motive of Islam while those in Waziristan are trained fighters who are fighting for centuries. The army will have to face hard core Taliban’s, Al Qaeda members, Uzbek fighters and the elements of Punjabi militant’s organization. The ratio of Army to Taliban’s is also lesser as it was in the case of Swat. The army has to fight about 11000 hard core Taliban’s while the number of infantry man deployed is also 11000 of the 50000, a one to one ration. Moreover the Taliban’s in Waziristan are also more equipped, skillful and knows the art of hit and run very well. The Afghanistan Taliban’s are also crossing the border for their help.
Dialogue is a more effective solution of the problem. are less than three thousand foreign militants. The government should persuade the tribal elders to expel those foreign militants from their territory. The same task can be done with the help of Lashkar, the tribal army  which is more familiar with the area. With a a little support from the government the expelling foreign troops will not be a difficult task. But once the war is imposed on them, the helpful tribal’s may go the wrong way. As Rehman Baba, a famous Pukhtoon poet says that “you cannot force a Pukhtoon to Heaven but you can persuade him to hell.
These Tribal warriors are the son of the soil. They have sound knowledge of each inch of these dry mountains and barren plains. They have accustomed themselves to the simple life and hard weather of this area. From geographical point of view these tribal warriors have gained sufficient edge over the foreign invaders. Perhaps ignorance of the invaders about the complexities of these mountains is one of the prime reasons of their defeat. Their ambush is always unpredictable and destructive and these warriors have developed a defense mechanism by hiding themselves in these mountains after the ambush
The fact that after losing thousands of Pak army soldiers one thing is evident that this nine years of  war on terrorism has brought nothing but further chaos and misunderstandings. Pak army has failed to claim success in tribal areas. Keeping in view all these facts one thing is crystal clear that alternative approach must be adopted to solve this problem. This alternative approach lies in dialogues and understanding the honour code of tribal’s.. Jirga system which is eventually a peaceful dialogue system can be considered as an option. War is never a solution and if continued it will further widen the gap of mistrust between the Army and the Tribal’s.

Written By: Waqas Sikandari

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