This is about Swat, a city of breathtaking natural beauty turned into a nightmare by those who use the name of Islam but all their actions are against Islam.
An excellent analysis by Rabia at Grand Trunk Road
Has anyone seen this hour-long edition of Geo Investigates on the topic of Swat? There were an enormous number of issues with this show. First of all, he interviewed a bunch of people, who wanted Shariah. Then they spent a really long time talking about the speedy justice offered by the Taliban in the most propagandistic of ways — they showed the 3 day trial process that occurs, then the Taliban lightly lashing someone, and then patting him on the back as he got up. There was a long discussion about why the people of Swat have not had access to speedy justice since the 70s. Of course there is truth in this, but it is also standard Taliban propaganda that this journalist was basically doing for free. Not only that but he also got local bureaucrats to basically agree with him.
Considering the fact that journalists are not allowed in Swat, he must have received special permission and protection from the army. He extensively interviewed Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas and the interesting (and disgusting) thing was that when he would do a little section on say, speedy justice of the Taliban, our proud army spokesman, Athar Abbas, would sadly nod his head and say something like “We are all to blame” (i.e. this insurgency was a natural consequence of the existing social conditions in Swat).
It was also really comical watching Athar Abbas talking about how the army is still acquiring the technology to jam Fazlullah’s radio station. The weak explanation he gave was that the latest technology enables the Taliban to move their broadcasting equipment, even on motorcycles and the army didn’t have the technology to counter this.
Then, this journalist actually got to meet and interview Muslim Khan, Fazlullah’s second-in-command. This makes absolutely NO SENSE to me. I guess journalists can do whatever they want, but I do get the feeling that this guy was there under the protection of the army. (this might not be true). In which case, why couldn’t the army take out Muslim Khan?
It should be pretty obvious to anyone watching this program that this journalist and Athar Abbas were both pushing the idea that this situation is not recoverable and also, is what the people want. It’s very convenient for this guy to put up all these interviews of people asking for Shariah, etc, since people of Swat are not allowed to speak out against the Taliban on pains of death (not that this journalist mentioned that little problem). This entire show was essentially army propaganda to negotiate and settle.
Geo Investigation Part 1
Geo Part 2
Geo Part 3
Geo Part 4
Geo Part 5
Why Swat was let down
The Prime Minister’s Interior Adviser, Mr Rehman Malik, has told the Senate that a new strategy had been worked out to combat militancy in Swat but he was prepared to discuss it only in camera. He appeared confident that the terrorists would be flushed out of Swat “in a few weeks”. As he spoke, the army renewed its operation in the valley targeting the Taliban hideouts with artillery and helicopter gunships. It appears that a new vigour has come into the military effort to liberate the people of Swat from the tyranny of the warlord, Fazlullah.
The Senate also heard some of the surveys carried out in the Tribal Areas by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), making clear what the people really thought of the Taliban. To questions whether they approve of the Taliban governance, their policy of destroying schools, blowing up CD shops and enforcing their brand of sharia, all responses up to 90 percent were in the negative. This explodes the “theorisings” of the many TV critics of military operation — “this is not Pakistan’s war” — in the region. What was shown repeatedly and recklessly on private TV channels in the past as the local population’s support to the Taliban and their opposition to Pakistani troops fighting “America’s war” has now been revealed as pure fabrication and mere opposition politics.
Mr Malik also stripped the veil from those elements who have been active in the commission of terrorism in Swat. He named “Al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban as led by Maulana Fazlullah, Tanzeem-e-Islami, the Tora Bora group, and the Qari Mushtaq group”. He could have named a few more but that may have revealed flaws in the policy of the state towards “non-state actors” that it employed as “freedom fighters” in the past. More precisely, giving more details would have revealed the folly of not getting rid of the terrorist outfits instead of allowing them to change their names under flimsy legal justifications and letting them function as charity organisations. In short, one can say that the state’s policy of allowing multiple centres of power to emerge in the country under the guise of jihad has facilitated the possible emergence of many “statelets” within Pakistan from where the world could be threatened.
The “supply” connection of South Waziristan with Swat was also brought out by Mr Malik when he said that warriors and suicide-bombers were supplied by a Taliban commander named Qari Hussain Ahmed, through Maulana Namdar. Since eyewitnesses of the Swat mayhem have seen groups of non-Pakhtun foreigners beheading Swatis at will, it cannot be ruled out that Al Qaeda is strongly represented here. Mr Malik says that Swat got less attention from the army because of the distraction of Bajaur and Mohmand in the neighbourhood. Thus one won’t be surprised in some future time to learn that Al Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al Zawahiri and Baitullah Mehsud took their R&R in Swat because of its exemption from the attention of the state.
The people of Swat have paid with their lives and their way of life because of the past flip-flop of policy and strategy in Islamabad. Additionally, the ANP government has suffered immeasurably because of this dereliction of duty and responsibility. The people of Swat had opted for the secular-nationalist ANP after rejecting the clerics who had a soft corner of the sharia of Fazlullah. The elected ANP leadership in Swat was cruelly treated and made to flee the area while Islamabad was distracted by the internecine activities of the politicians. The “unanimous” resolution of the parliament actually tells the army to “get out of the Trial Areas” while it now transpires that the people of Swat were actually praying for the Pakistan Army to come and relieve them of their torture. (Daily Times)