Friday, April 3, 2009

SWAT IS NOW PAKISTAN'S FLOG VALLEY

A couple of months back Pakistan had willingly handed over/surrendered the picturesque Swat Valley to the "good" Taliban in a peace deal that was supported by the likes of former playboy cricketer Imran Khan. President Asif Ali Zardari, who had been telling the whole world that Pakistan was in danger of being overrun by the Taliban, backed the deal on the ground that the use of force alone would not lead to any solution. Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria also supported the move of the government as an effort to divide the camps of Islamists between "those who are violent and those who are merely extreme".

The victory was celebrated by the the Talban by beheading GEO TV journalist Mosa Khankhel. Moving in swiftly to take complete control, they repeatedly violated the truce including an attack on a military convoy on the ground that security forces were moving in the area "without prior information", killing two soldiers and wounding another. They have now taken control of the emerald mines that produce emeralds of international quality. These mines were controlled by the Pakistani government. As per the United Nations, months of attacks on educational institutions have created a "shocking situation" with over 100 girls' schools destroyed completely by the Taliban who have banned girls from attending schools.

The "good" Taliban openly say that the Swat Valley region is the first to fall to them. They intend to take over the whole of a nuclear Pakistan. Fareed Zakaria wants the US to make a distinction between this type of Taliban and the Al Qaida. He believes that all Islamists do not advocate global jihad and most Taliban want Islamic rule only locally, not over the whole world; the US should, therefore, talk to and cut a deal with the "good", locally oriented Taliban and quit Afghanistan.

Well, Zakaria may be of the view that the US should not oppose the takeover of the whole of Pakistan by the Taliban that do not want to wage war against the US like the Al Qaida. Baitullah Mehsud's latest warning that the Taliban under his command will attack the US, and the call of Mullah Omar to all the Taliban to unite to fight and defeat the additional troops that Barack Obama is sending to Afghanistan are ominous. It should leave no one in any illusion that the so-called "good" Taliban can turn "bad", even "ugly", faster than you can say the word.

A glimpse of what Pakistan is in for after the Taliban take over the whole country can be seen in this shocking video. A young girl of 17 is mercilessly flogged by the Talban for moving out without her husband. One of the men holding her down is her own brother. Crying and bleeding, she manages to walk away after being punished.

The beautiful Swat Valley of Pakistan is now its battered Flog Valley. Those who have any illusion that the "good" Taliban will be content with turning Pakistan into hell and not turn against the US and the rest of the world, including India, are clearly missing something very "fundamental".



UPDATE
This video may have been removed from You Tube. It can be viewed here.
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Readers may also read:
1. Lahore under attack, Pakistan under siege
2. Pakistan's Long March to chaos continues
3. Zakaria's Afghanistan strategy: salvage or surrender?