Cricketer-turned politician, Imran Khan has come up with a clear stand to end Pakistan’s role in the so-called US-led war on terror and to pull out the armed forces of the restive Waziristan tribal region.
Khan spoke to two big rallies in Karak and Dera Ismail Khan on Sunday and also said he will steer Pakistan of the slavery of the US. Majority in Pakistan never endorsed decision of former military president, Pervez Musharraf, to join the US war and to offer Pakistani air bases for the American troops to dislodge the Taliban government in late 2001.
Pakistanis suffered more even than Afghanistan due to Musharraf’s policies with nearly 50,000 people lost lives and 70 billion dollars losses to the country’s fragile economy.
Islamic parties in Pakistan had been traditionally critical at the U.S., but now Imran Khan is taking the lead and openly making pledges to pull Pakistan out of this useless war.
He is also vocal to say to withdraw troops from South Waziristan, where the forces conducted major air and ground operations in late 2009. However, the army is still in the region and majority of displaced persons have not yet been repatriated.
Pakistan army had declared victory few months after the operation started in October. Most of the areas, which had been under Taliban control, are now clear of the militants. The civil administration is still out of the region and no one knows when the system will be back on track.
Imarn’s quest for political solution will be welcomed in Pakistan as military operations are not a permanent solution to issues. Americans, who have invaded Afghanistan, have talked to the Taliban then why Pakistan is reluctant to talk to own people.
Few people who favour military operations want more killings and destruction as no political solution means more bloodshed and instability.
The US has always opposed any peace talks in Pakistan despite its own policy of talking to the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Chief of the Awami National Party Asfandyar Wali Khan disclosed this month that Americans had opposed the 2008 Swat peace deal with the Taliban. However he rejected the pressure and struck the agreement, which unfortunately could not work.
It is also strongly believed that the U.S. had opposed peace deal of Musharraf govt and the leaders of Lal Masjid in 2007, that had led to the killing of 90 students and 10 security personnel.
Imran’s declaration will remain a ray of hope as Pakistanis will rid of the years of killings and economic losses. Pakistanis are fed up and tired and want to live in peace. All other parties, particularly religious parties, should also come up with clear stand as unity will work as political expediencies will never bring a change.