What do people in Buner(Pakistan) think about terrorism in their area?
What do people in Buner think about ongoing war?
By Zar Ali Khan Musazai
About 3 million people from restive Swat, Buner and Dir migrated to comparatively safer areas of Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Charsadda, Peshawar and some others in down Pakistan , a small number where these IDPs were restricted to settle or encamp. In other three provinces of Pakistan some political parties and individuals opposed the entry of IDPs from Pashtun areas. This approach has certainly hit the minds of Pashtun whom have been continuously told that their migration would mean Survival of Pakistan but unfortunately those who were used to save the Pakistan for elite were denied entry into the same Pakistan which compelled Pashtun to think over their future strategy. These and many other like these are the questions which arise in the minds of Pashtun IDPs. Few days ago when I was in Buner to ask about the condition of those who were struck there and could not come out due to continued curfew and mischief of the religious terrorists. During my discussion with people they often asked questions like as to why the leadership of the militants was still intact? Where are the dead bodies of militants? Why did the provincial government of ANP and Peoples Party sign a peace deal with sufi Muhammad an erstwhile leader of the apparently banned Tehreek Nifazi Shariat Muhammadi who had taken more than 10000 people from the areas in question at a time when the then emirate of the Taliban was debacled after they refused to hand over the Osama to Americans in 2001 who was tipped as the one to target the America. After the treaty was signed the militants started coming to Buner and fought against the local people of Buner. People also launched war in their own defense but the administration did not come to their rescue. In the first time people of the area killed more than 45 militants but later on the then militant commissioner Syed Javed came to rescue of the terrorists and frightened the local people of the repercussions. Local people complained that the said commissioner had used his official car to take an ailing militant to hospital. Commissioner himself was a pro militant man who promoted the terrorism in the region at a time when he was the deputy commissioner of Swat and used to offer prayers after militant Fazlullah .Local people also suspected that local leadership of the Taliban militants was air- lifted to some safer place from Peuchar, Swat as the military and militants are same, they opined. When people were interviewed some of them said that peace could not return to Malakand division until leadership of militants are wiped up and said that the same old method is being repeated again. Some of the people said that Fazlullah and his cronies would not be seen like Osama and Mulla Umar who disappered and are not seen till today. Most of the people did not believe what the military spokesman of Pakistan says to media time and again and were 100% sure that the militants would come again as the dummy operation once comes to an end. Militants are hiding in the mountains and forests. It was also observed that local support was not seen for the militants and terrorists but still people are confirmed in their thinking and practical that the terrorists are the snakes and are reared up by the ISI for ulterior motives to sabotage the development in Afghanistan and foil the Pashtun national movement for the unification. People also said that when operation started the helicopters came, hit some places in the mountains where no terrorist was hiding. They wondered innocently and put the question as to why the terrorists are not targeted and rather they were informed quite some time before the operation started. Almost all people including the children were of the view that the state itself was involved in the destruction of their houses (They were unable to differentiate between Democratic government and military including ISI). Some of the local people who had no area with politics opined that such dramas with Pashtun nation would be continued as the Pakistani establishment was averse to the presence of the American forces in Afghanistan and want Afghanistan to be under its command though this establishment did not understand that Afghanistan is a sovereign country and a proud and capable nation. Afghanistan is going to be a modern democratic state in Asia but the establishment of Pakistan could not tolerate it and does not like to see a strong and a prosperous Afghanistan. Pakistani establishments think that strong Afghanistan means weak Pakistan and this could not be a digestible item for it. Pashtun Afghan living both sides of the Durand line want unification as this is one nation and one people and this should also be clear that only Afghanistan is the historic country of all Afghans. Pashtun are being used in this drama of destruction while the game is prepared in Islamabad and Punjab and this is a fact that today many Punjabis Taliban are fighting in Tribal area and Swat who have come from the southern Punjab of Pakistan. The epicenter is Punjab but the product is sent to Pashtun areas. International community should think over it before the milk is split and then crying over it would be useless and if Americans and foreign forces lose in Afghanistan then the terrorists would not stop in Kabul. Americans are not hated in Pashtun areas because people understand that they would acquire science and technology and militants have no developmental and social program for Pashtun. Militancy leads to destruction and annihilation which Pashtun hate. Pashtun also understand it that the culture, language, history and geography of the Pashtun Afghans were at stake had the international community not come to Afghanistan. Now Pashtun are tired of war in region and want business and good life for them as well as for the coming generation. They want to see their children getting modern day education. Fighting against each and every one is not the contract of Pashtun. Pashtun want to go side by side with the international community and civilized world but international community will have to bring Pashtun closer as friends for the perennial peace and prosperity in Pashtun region including Afghanistan.
(The Writer is the executive Director society for Rights and Development and can be reached on his email firstname.lastname@example.org)