Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

SWAT: Pakistan's Paradise Lost!

"Most people see what is, and never see what can be" --- Albert Einstein.

Swat the most beautiful land in the South Asian Region other than Kashmir, where the peaks overlooking the valley were covered in snow, as what was the countryside as you drive along the partly frozen Swat River. People happily recalling their various trips to this magical valley in which one would enjoy its lush green land, the scenic beauty of the vegetated woodlands, the dry fruits trees with all its fruits dangling from the branches, the aroma of blooming flowers, the herbal medicinal aura and the hospitable people who live there. Today one would be sadly sorry for all those who can no longer venture out there! But apart from the many tourists who would forever be denied the beauty of this place, I pity the people of Swat who have been so badly let down by the Pakistani state and its people. Tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes, as Swat descends deeper and deeper into chaos and despair everyday.

'Mullah Radio' was the name given to Maulana Fazlullah for his daily FM broadcasts in which he calls, among the other things; for people to stop their children from getting anti-polio shots. According to him, the government teams going around immunizing children against this dreaded disease are actually making them sterile. The Muslim Ummah is being subjugated to the evils of the Yahoudhi (Jew) lobbies??? Terrified, the paramedics halted their efforts in Swat. As they are scathed, beaten and even kidnapped for ransom from the International Donors to finance their Jihads for Islam.

Many intellectuals had written to the Pakistani Government, that they should immediately put a stop to the maulana's illegal broadcasts. But this was before 9/11, at a time when President Musharraf was wooing the mullahs and the jihadis for his and his government's own benefits. So Mullah Radio and his band of merry men kind, gathered strength and gained supporters, confident that the authorities would not lay a finger on them. And now that push has finally come to shove, the Pak Army has discovered that it does not have the muscle to displace these militants who have taken over Swat completely.

In a sobering article last week in a local newspaper, Zubeida Mustafa underlined the plight of the people of Swat, and asked "why there were no large protests against the killers who were terrorizing the valley". Why not indeed? It is a sad fact that while we Pakistanis are (rightly) incensed over the recent assault on Gaza by the Israelis, and other attacks on Muslims by non-Muslims in the Kashmir region, we choose to turn a blind eye by even worse Muslim-on-Muslim atrocities.

Thus, most editorial writers, columnists and TV commentators reserve their fury and invectiveness for western targets, while glossing over what Muslims are actually doing to their fellow Muslim countrymen.

In Swat, there have been grisly beheadings and public executions. Every evening, Shah Doran broadcasts names on the militant hit-list, presumably on Mullah Radio's old FM frequency. When some journalist asked at a news briefing by the Pak Army's version of the story was that 'we cannot jam the signal of Mullah Radio's FM frequency, as we do not have the required latest jamming instruments". The American Government has been financing Pakistan on "War on Terror" since 9/11 with logistics, intelligence and even the latest technology support. This is all bullshit! Imagine the Pak Army does not the required instruments???? Whom are they fooling?
"Nearly 260 girls' schools have been blown up or torched. Scores of video rental shops and hair-cutting establishments have been attacked and forced to shut down. Women dare not leave their homes, and more than 80,000 girls have been deprived of an education!!!

Currently, some 4,000 militants are battling 12,000 troops for control of the valley, and thus far, the terrorists are winning. According to reporters who have been covering the conflict, the Pak Army has been reluctant to engage the enemy, preferring to lob artillery shells in the general direction of militant redoubts in the mountains. As soon as night falls, our soldiers retreat into their camps while the jihadis rule the valley. In their ranks are a large number of fighters with Central Asian features.

If this situation has been allowed to develop in Swat, an integral part of the North Western Frontier Province, and not a tribal area, imagine what things must be like in Waziristan and Mohmand agencies. Clearly, things are rapidly spinning out of control, and the government cannot establish its writ over large parts of the country. Many efforts have been made to engage the terrorists in dialogues. Each one has failed as the jihadis, sensing the weakness of the Pakistani state, and thriving on the support they get from so many TV talk-show hosts and their guests, go for the jugular.

IT is only natural for the PM's adviser on interior affairs to keep his cards close to his chest. Divulging the details of the government's 'new strategy' for combating militancy in Swat might make us wiser in terms of what lies ahead but would also give the Taliban advance knowledge of future operations. But such secrecy comes at a price. Not knowing the details, the public can ask whether Thursday's assurance that militancy in Swat will be quelled in the next few weeks can really be taken as read. Is Rehman Malik's statement, a reflection of a paradigm shifts in counter-insurgency tactics or is he simply buying time? How will the security apparatus succeed now when so many attempts have failed in the past? Will a renewed push by the military deliver the goods in a situation that is dire and in which the state is often seen as cowering in the face of the militants' brazen disregard of its writ? Has it finally sunk in that deals have been struck from a position of weakness, such as the Swat peace talks of May 2008, can never be successful? Such pacts signed by nerveless hands simply allow the Taliban to regroup and inflict further misery on the long-suffering people of Swat, and by extension the nation of Pakistan. With the exception of Maulana Fazlullah and his band of militants, most of them are outsiders. The entrepreneurial people of Swat who depend on tourism for a living desire deliverance from the scourge of Talibanization. Will we come to their aid when they need the most?
Nobody knows what lies ahead. The battle can be won or lost in Swat but defeat is simply not an option. The details of the 'new strategy' may be hazy but one thing is certain: the Pakistani government, its people and the military must be on the same page if the common enemy is to be overcome! The Talibans in Swat, a settled district, take cover behind human shields, behind innocent men, women and children. The Pak Army has understandably come in for flak for the 'collateral damage' caused in the pursuit of militants, most notably from politicians based in the NWFP. Instead of shelling residential areas, the militants need to be flushed out and taken on one-to-one. This will require more boots on the ground.

The Taliban do not outnumber the soldiers of the Pakistan Army. The extremists, our enemies, constitute so small a minority of the population that their impact should be negligible. But that is clearly not the case. They have the upper hand as we speak and need to be dealt a telling blow. This has to be done, for negotiating peace with the obscurantists is possible only from a position of strength. Without wanting to cast doubts on the courage of the soldiers engaged in a difficult battle, I must question the tactics being deployed. Counter-insurgency operations are now a central part of the training many armies impart. But we have stuck to conventional warfare training, based on the assumption that our enemy is India. This one-dimensional approach has failed to equip our officers and soldiers with the tactics to beat the irregular but well-equipped forces they now face across the NWFP.

But more than the inadequate military preparations that have handicapped Pakistan in the fight-back against the jihadis; it is the lack of a political consensus. With the country's two biggest political parties, the PPP and the PML-N, locked in a bitter power struggle, those in power have little time to focus on the real danger facing Pakistan.

For its part, the media seems to be united on only one thing: hostility towards the West, and specifically, on criticism of the American drone attacks against militant targets in FATA ???Federally Administered Tribal Agency. The truth few Pakistanis are willing to face is that almost every such missile attack has killed and wounded militants, both foreign and home-grown. And while there have been a number of civilians killed and hurt, this is the unfortunate price for providing shelter to terrorists. If this sounds callous, ponder over the alternatives: who else would go after these killers? As our army has demonstrated time and again, it has neither the capability, nor the intelligence, to rid us of these killers.

The Pakistani government must change its strategy to deal with the issue as the present one has completely failed. The army as well as political leadership must act in unison to recapture the territory and the authority lost to these militants. The underscored need for armed forces and the intelligence agencies need to respond to the allegations that the Taliban outfits still enjoy support within the establishment. The government does not have any strategy to deal with the problem. When the government has never taken the nation into confidence on these issues, how can it develop a consensus on it?" The parliament should frame a comprehensive National Security Policy, and that the army should be given a clear cut mission. But sadly this will never happen. The Muslims are perfectly aware that these Taliban's are their own people and what they are doing is decreed by the Holy Quran and by Prophet Mohammed. The current turmoil is a war on the state of Pakistan. It is not the struggle for Shariah but a war perpetrated by these elements on humanity!

The 'war on terror' is still surrounded by confusion as to whose war was it? All those unwilling to submit to the state and refused to become part of dialogue must be taken on with an iron hand. They must be eliminated. The correctness at the strategic level is a prerequisite for success in the war on terror.

Our leaders, both in and out of uniform, have repeatedly said such attacks are 'counter-productive'. So how about launching some 'productive' attacks that would convince the Americans (and us Pakistanis) that we are capable of fighting these jihadis on our own? Again, without wishing to belittle the courage or the sacrifices of our soldiers, we must recognise that so far, the war is going very badly for us.

At this stage of the battle, it is too late to pin the blame on the individuals and institutions responsible for having allowed this situation to develop. If we wish to turn the tide, different tactics are needed. One thing that might focus minds is for the army to organize trips to the battlefield for politicians and journalists. Let them share what the people of Swat are going through, even if for a couple of days. Perhaps then they might see where the real danger lies.

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Name: Obama, make good your election promise
Date: Tuesday February 03, 2009
Time: 23:13:47 -0500


Time to bomb to pieces the Islamists set up. There must be a will to stop the Islamists nonsense and senseless killing.

Name: ibrahim
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 00:35:42 -0500


what is happening in swat today will repeat all over pakistan. the paki politicians are playing into the hands of these loonies. they will regret their choice but the time will not favour them. this will also have a negative impact on india. as we will then have to deal with mullahs like mullah radio.

Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 07:18:29 -0500



Name: ab
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 08:54:48 -0500


What are the educated Pakistanis doing? I cannot believe these people. They are imagining that India is their enemy. If only Israel had been Pakistan's neighbor instead of India, they would have nuked Pakistan after 26/11. Look at India's reaction after this event. I think the Taliban will one day take over Pakistan and then wage war against India. It will be a good thing as India can finish the Taliban once for all. And I don't think the Indian Muslims who are probably more intelligent than the Pakistanis would side with the Taliban because if they do they will know they will have to go back to the Stone Age. So if the Pakis don't wake up, they will find that one day they will become stateless beggars.

Name: to : ab taliban will rule india thanks to secular media
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 09:54:11 -0500


to : ab - taliban will rule india also thanks to secular media.they hate all thigs non msulims and love islam,and hate hindus.

Name: to : ab reg educated pakistanis,they r muslims so no chance there
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 09:56:38 -0500


to : ab - educated pakis r muslims so no chance to improve.for these educated pakis the lure of false paradise and 72 virgins and wine is too much to see the obvuious there is no god/allah and they will rot in hell forever.the hell is ofcourse pakistan.

Name: To Editor
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 11:59:26 -0500


Deleting off-topics or irrelevant comments is commendable. In this way the objective of exposing evil Islam is unhindered.

Name: let taliban take over pakistan
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 12:07:03 -0500


this will give nice chance for india to take back its land donated to paki muslims. india will wipe pakistan off from the map.

Name: Muslim Responses
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 13:02:53 -0500


Name: ZingPao
Date: Wednesday February 04, 2009
Time: 18:26:03 -0500


I love this site. Feel free to visit:

Name: Vbv
Date: Thursday February 05, 2009
Time: 02:06:20 -0500


Hey run away before i call you paki

Name: balam
Date: Thursday February 05, 2009
Time: 04:31:57 -0500


My late uncle used to tell us when we were young that where ever the Arabs/Muslims go, They turn the oaisis into desert and where the Jews go,they turn the desert into oisis. How true!!

Name: Problem With Pakistan Is Their Thought Process
Date: Friday February 06, 2009
Time: 07:35:45 -0500


guys read this...i mean i understand A Q Khan gave them nuclear bomb but ...

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