Can a professional soldier of the like of Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani afford telling lies to his young cadets while the country is in an active state of war? The answer should be no but with due respect to all chauvinist nationalist Pakistanis the general was misleading his young soldiers at Kakul during the passing-out parade by telling them that army has broken the back of militants in Pakistan.
A bloody civilian thinks it the other way round--militants have rather broken the state’s structure during the last 10 years. Today, observers see two Pakistans—one under the direct or indirect control of the Taliban and the other is shared by pro-Taliban military, right-wingers and those who are termed as ‘secular’ forces.
In Pakistan-I, FATA, parts of Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan have been left to the Taliban and their ideological allies. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is the name of the game in villages and towns in FATA ranging from South Waziristan in the south to Bajaur in the north. The TTP has successfully closed down hundreds of schools in FATA, depriving thousands of youth from education where dropout rate at primary level has been recorded at 69 per cent during the last six years. The militancy has dropped the literacy level from 29 percent to 17.42 percent in FATA, rendering tribal youth vulnerable to terrorist activities.
The Taliban have their own police/patrol system in Pakistan-I. They behead the dissidents on charges of spying, run suicide bomber training schools, target peaceful civilians and satiate their Jehadist hunger by launching attacks against US-led forces in Afghanistan in a bid to restore the former Taliban regime and thereby install a government friendly to Islamabad.
The continuous anti-US activities in Pakistan-I is making it a dollar charmer for Pakistan-II. The latter received over US $15 billion so far from Washington only for carrying out inconclusive, non-delivering and unmonitored military operations against militants in Pakistan-I. The Taliban forced the industrial, educational, cultural, political and economic exit from Pakistan-I via attacking all forms of civilization--markets, hospitals, schools, mosques, women, political activists, teachers, artists, cultural centers, Pashtunwali, hujras, banks, police stations, and transport system.
In Baluchistan too, Jamiat-e-Ulama-i-Islam (F), the leading pro-Taliban religious party, has full control of the crucial regions bordering Afghanistan. The Quetta Shura, medical assistance facilities for the wounded Taliban, resting camps for fighting Taliban in Afghanistan and increasing support for the Taliban are the trademarks of Quetta, Chaman, Zhob, Qilla Saifullah and Toba Kakari. Its remoteness from the international watchdogs makes the region the most suitable ground for extremism.
The other hemisphere, Pakistan-II, includes the Rawalpindi GHQ, central and urban centers of Punjab, Sindh province, and the not so far Taliban-affected areas elsewhere. The literacy rate here stands at around 79 percent as per Unecif and other organizations’ surveys. The extremist ideology in Pakistan-II is not out of the question but its ugly face is not visible to an ordinary patriotic Pakistani and international terror watchdogs. The scenes of children going to schools in the morning, liberals’ gatherings in the evenings, throngs in front of theatres and cinemas, women movement, economic activities, the revolving industrial wheel, political and rights’ groups activism, however, give a shining layer to the hidden Talib and extremism in Pakistan-II.
The military, civilian establishment and media of Pakistan-II are the ones who believe a strong Pakistan is possible with a strategic depth in Afghanistan. They are the ones who believe drones against the hiding terrorists on Pakistani soil is a violation of sovereignty but abandoning its writ to non-state actors is defined as national interests.
The people of Pakistan-I are, therefore, not convinced when they hear the COAS general Kayani of Pakistan-II that army has broken militants’ back. They laugh in their sleeves when a Lahore-based politician a la Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif of PML (N) and Imran Khan of PTI oppose drone attacks against terrorists in FATA. Their silence on beheading of the peace loving tribal elders, suicide attacks, destruction of schools and other civic amenities question the sincerity of Pakistan-II.