Friday, May 08, 2009

Swatting Taliban

Zardari has returned from his meeting with Obama determined to crush the Taliban, we are told. One of the key points is:
No compromise on national sovereignty, no surrender to Taliban
I fear the concept of national sovereignty is not well understood by Zardari and other Pakistanis, perhaps intentionally.

When your actions are dictated by a foreign power you haven't got national sovereignty, you are a client state. Zardari, Kiyani and Gilani are acting in their own interests and that of the US. Their actions in Swat and the surrounding regions will weaken the state, as well as cause much death and misery for their own people.

The peace deal in Swat was a surrender to powers inside the country, this war is a surrender to powers outside the country. Which is worse? Or maybe they're the same.

Insurgents can't function without substantial support from the people. Why would many people in Swat support the Taliban rather than the state? Could it be that they see the state as having no interest in their wellbeing? How can indiscriminate bombing and open warfare convince them that the state cares for their wellbeing, and isn't just acting in the interest of the US?

When military operations end, the Taliban will be stronger than ever in Swat.


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