The Obama admn's Pak Afghan strategy backfires

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The Obama admn's Pak Afghan strategy backfires

Postby Junaid Raza » Thu May 14, 2009 8:47 am

Reproduced from Good Governance Forum - Pakistan

Dear Network Members:

The prevailing situation in Pakistan must have scared America and the West. The fast-track military operation launched to flush out Taliban from the various parts of the NWFP has been marred by massive influx of migrants from the troubled areas. The figure is mounting every day going up to 1.3 million so far excluding 0.5 million of Bajaur and Fata under the earlier military operation. The political governments in the NWFP and the Centre have been caught unprepared to handle the history's largest migration in so short time. It appears as if the federal government did not plan for the rehabilitation of the migrants before ordering military operation. Logically, the military operation and the migrants resettlement should have been planned and implemented simultaneously.

The aid inflow is too meagre and too slow. The government machinery is not geared to even distribute the incoming aid. The prime minister is desperately appealing for public support in terms of money and material. The public has risen to the occasion not because of the prime minister's appeal but because of the humanitarian considerations. The prime minister has NO RIGHT to appeal to the public to come to government's rescue. Did the prime minister consult the public, parliamentarians and political parties before ordering the military operation? Will the PM tell the public why the military operation was ordered in haste without making preparations for the influx of affectees? Should'nt he be impeached by parliament?

The Obama administration has played a gamble of immeasurable consequences for Pakistan and the region as a whole. Its Pak Afghan strategy has met with blatant disaster. President Zardari's government cannot mobilize public in support of the military operation in the face of the widely publicized damning conditions of the migrating people from the affected areas. Mian Nawaz Sharif cannot take the perilious route of supporting the PPP's government and earning the wrath of the people. Who will then come to the help of the Obama admn and the PPP's government?

The prolonged military operation and its unbearable consequences for the general public in the affected areas will soon be condemned by the same people who might have applauded it in the first place. What then?

The religious institutions from the mosques to the madressahs are undoubtedly against the Talibanization and Sufi Mohammad's mode of Sharia but at the same time these are against the foreign intervention, military killing innocent people, migration and helplessness of the people of the affected territories and the government's dismal performance in handling the Taliban and TNSM.

What is the way-out NOW?

Regards.

Mumtaz A. Piracha
Founder & Moderator
Good Governance Forum
Pakistan
Junaid Raza
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Postby jaykay » Fri May 15, 2009 9:46 am

Displacement of population is a given in counter insurgency operations. COIN strategy has to weigh the advantage of surprise against the consequences of sudden military operations. However this problem only exists at the onset of military operations---it lessens as the operation progresses.
I do agree that we could have been better prepared and should have expected a large influx of IDP's considering our experience of the Kashmir earthquake. There is excellent response but this has to be monitored and organized. Above all the women and children have to be protected rom predators masquerading as charities. Adoptions must be very strictly regulated.
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Postby Junaid Raza » Wed May 27, 2009 9:04 am

I agree that IDPs have to be looked after and monitored. But an important thing to consider here is that people (humans) have a tendency of becoming dependent on help and aid. This is what Pakistan has already started experiencing.

Many IDPs which could move back to their homes are refusing to do so. This trend might increase over passage of time if government does not intervene and encourage the IDPs to return to their homes.

Army should try and move their helping facilities to the evacuated areas and help those IDPs who are returning to their homes. Right now it is summer, soon monsoons will reach these area and that will bring not only landslides, blocked roads and water related diseases. This will create problems in sending back the IDPs. After that winters will completely block and cut-off areas in the north... which may push IDPs return to next summers.

I have full sympathy for the IDPs but I think it is in their own interest and in the interest of the country that they move back, restart their lives (with government's and international aid agencies support) and bring normalcy to their areas.
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Postby jaykay » Thu May 28, 2009 4:26 pm

Junaid has a good point on IDP's. No one is likely to say what he has said because of the sympathy wave. Conflict, when forced on a part of the country inevitably creates collateral damage and suffering. This is what the Taliban have done to the people of Swat. Getting the IDP's back to their homes must take priority and in the meantime they must be controlled and given what they need. Dependence on handouts can lead to long term problems
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