BY :TANVEER JAFRI : Taliban, which spread a reign of terror, brutality and cruelty in Afghanistan till some time back, was seemed inactive after the attacks by the US led NATO forces. But within a short span of time, the Taliban has not only re-emerged as a bigger challenge for the NATO forces, it has also extended its span of influence over the whole Pakistan. Tehrik-e-Taliban; it is clear from this name that it is not just an organization, in fact a movement. This is not necessary that every Taliban should have possession of arms & there should be rocket launchers on their shoulders or Kalashnikovs in their hands. Indeed the people of Taliban ideology are not only fighters; they are too present in the white collared jobs in Pakistan. To prove this, it is necessary to mention one of the important reasons laid down by former President General Parvez Musharraf for the suspension of the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Iftikhar Choudhary. General Musharraf clearly stated that the Supreme Court is creating hurdles in the implementation of our decisions. Even though many of his decisions might have been against his political opponents, but there were too many decisions which were necessary to contain terrorism in Pakistan. It was Musharraf who carried on ‘Operation Sunrise’ in Lal Masjid (Red Mosque), which used to spread the Taliban ideology. During that operation the entire world witnessed how the people in religious costumes armed with modern weapons were in confrontation the security forces of Pakistan. On papers, the Lal Masjid used to function as a Madrassa & a charitable organization, but in fact it had become a shelter for the terrorists. In the same operation, people also saw that how the chief of the Mosque, Abdul Aziz was trying to escape the security forces by veiling himself along with the group of veiled women. But the security forces held him, while his brother was killed during the same operation.
Now Pakistan has a civilian government. Last days the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tried to hit many shots with an arrow by organizing the Long March. He demonstrated his political might to the President Asif Ali Zardari, built his image in the judiciary of Pakistan and got reinstated Justice Iftikhar Choudhary along with other judges who were suspended during the Musharraf regime. And after this reinstatement, the judicial verdicts which are coming out now, while among them is the quashing the order of disqualification of Sharif brothers for contesting elections, the other important decision is the bail of the chief of the Lal Masjid, Abdul Aziz. What would a common & secular person have a view of the judiciary after this decision?
Pakistan army, undoubtedly is fighting the Taliban on Afpak border, but how the protests in many cities of Pakistan against this operation, be seen. After three decades, the leaderships of both Pakistan & the United States have admitted that the CIA & the ISI had the role in creation & strengthening of Taliban. This is the evidence in itself that Taliban is not specific to a particular set of people or area or occupation, but it has its presence in religious places, government offices, courts, political organizations, as well as among the security forces.
Last days there were suicide bombings in Lahore and Peshawar in retaliation of army operation against the Taliban in Swat valley. Prior to this, Pakistan has faced uncounted terror attacks. While Benazir Bhutto died in such an attack, there were also assassination attempts on Musharraf & Nawaz Sharif. President Zardari & the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani have also get life threats. Is it possible that these inhuman powers confined to just Afghanistan & Swat valley, conspire such assassination attempts? Perhaps not. Without local support & patronization such big incidents are not possible. Tehrik-e-Taliban wants to control the whole Pakistan. For this, it is taking support of the fundamentalist religious forces. Its long term goal is to get enforced the Shariah law, which was some time back enforced in Swat in a pact with the Pakistan government, which later on broke down.
Presently, Pakistan is passing through a critical juncture. Pak leadership is facing many challenges ranging from the activities of the Taliban in Afghanistan to Tehrik-e-Taliban, other terrorist organizations active in Pakistan, their training camps, the ‘love’ for the Taliban among the fundamentalists and extremists in Pakistan, and besides this, the pressure from the US to give a befitting reply to these inhuman powers. Hopefully, the war initiated between the Pak army and the Taliban would break the back of the Taliban & they would be backtracked. But until the Taliban ideology exists in different parts & different people of Pakistan, the complete end of Taliban is impossible. Thus, both the Pakistan government & the Pakistan army need to be watchful of those white collared people who seem to be common but whose objective is just to promote the interests of the Taliban.