Pak Army plans to fool Pakistanis, especially the Pashtuns, by declaring the resettlement of TTP fighters in the tribal areas as a step taken in national interest.
Undisclosed location: In the last two decades, Pakistan’s state policy in the war on terror has always been based on hypocrisy, lies and deception.
During this period, Pakistan, as a state, declared itself as a front-line ally of the United States and NATO in the war on terror but on the other hand, with the tax money of the Pakistani people, they raised government jihadi organisations and used them as their proxies in Kashmir and Afghanistan.
Pakistan, with sophisticated and subtle deception and fraud, on the one hand collected dollars in the name of war on terror and on the other, promoted the same terrorism.
The ploys of the Pakistani state were not limited to this. If we look at the history of two decades, we find many examples of the duplicity of the state of Pakistan. The recent press conference of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister and DG ISPR is just another example of the state of hypocrisy practised by Pakistan.
In this press conference, they did their best to convince the world that their armed opponents (TTP and allied terror groups) had the support of enemy countries (India), but they conveniently forgot to mention that Sirajuddin Haqqani, the head of the Haqqani Network, was meeting and negotiating with TTP head Muftti Noor Wali Mehsud at the request of General Qamar Javed Bajwa (Pakistan Army chief) and General Faiz Hameed (chief of ISI).
I am not at all surprised by their actions as to why they are negotiating with the same people (TTP) whom they are calling agents of enemy countries.
If we compare their words with the ground realities, then the facts become clear.
One of the driving forces behind these talks is the possibility of the emergence of a strong alliance of anti-Pakistan armed groups.
Pakistan is terrified of the fact that if these armed groups regroup and reorganise, there could be large-scale unrest again in Pakistan and in the event of such a situation, the Army may have to carry out operations that are likely to affect the local population. The loss of lives and properties of the local population would lead to a public backlash that would increase hatred for the Army because this fire of hatred for the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies has already spread to the tribal areas. The Pakistanis no longer see the military as its protectors, but as an organ which has usurped their rights and as a bunch of real estate contractors.
Therefore, in view of these circumstances, the military leadership wants to re-divide these armed groups and divide their power so that they do not have enough power to pose a great threat to Pakistan.
The military leadership believes that it will be at an advantage in both situations, of the talks failing or succeeding.
In case of a failure of the talks, the Pakistani military believes that those who are more anti-Pakistan will break away from the TTP. Another advantage is that an atmosphere of mistrust will be created between the leadership and the fighters once the talks fail.
On the other hand, if the negotiations are successful, then they can capture many of their opponents without working hard as they have done this in the past.
I remember in 2009 when the Taliban were in control of the Swat region, the Pakistani Army invited the Taliban for talks through Kamal Khan, a resident of Swat in the United States. The Taliban leadership accepted the invitation to negotiate with them and sent a five-member delegation, whose security was guaranteed by Kamal Khan. The delegation included Swat Taliban spokesman Haji Muslim Khan, Mufti Bashir, Commander Mahmood, Abdul Rehman and Sartaj. But the delegation, which went to negotiate with the Army was arrested by the Army, which later called it a major successful operation.
If the talks succeed and even if the TTP leadership is not arrested, on their return to Pakistan, their lives will depend on the will of the Army, which will continue to use them for their own interests and never allow them to lead a normal life.
Their fate will be similar to all the Taliban commanders, who have surrendered to the Army, and are now being used by the Pakistan Army to suppress their opponents.
Prior to my agreement with the government of Pakistan, some other commanders had also signed an agreement, including the former emir of the Taliban Shura and the most important commander of the Swat Taliban and cleric, Sheikh Muhammad Rahim. But despite the agreement, he was imprisoned from day one. Sheikh Muhammad Rahim has now become a mental patient. He has been locked up in a small house and does not have the minimum rights that an ordinary prisoner usually has. He has been imprisoned without trial for the past five years.
When I was in Pakistan, I expressed my desire to meet him. A Pakistani Army officer told me that his condition was not too good and that I would not be happy to meet him. When I asked the officer what happened to him, he remained silent for a while and then said that he was ill. He declined to give further details. It is very disturbing that such a great injustice is being done to someone who has surrendered to the Army.
On another occasion, I asked the officer again why this was happening with Sheikh Mohammad Rahim. He said that the officer, who had done the surrender deal with him, had been transferred. The officer further stated that since the credit for Rahim’s surrender was taken by the officer who is no longer here so why would anyone else take care of him? They consider the surrendered prisoners as a pet for themselves. This vile thinking of Pakistani officers also played a big role in my escape.
The Pakistani military leadership also hopes that if their talks with TTP succeed, they would be able to use the TTP to counter the “Pashtun Tahafuz Moment” movement, which is taking place against military atrocities in Pashtun areas.
The Pakistan Army plans to fool the nation, especially the Pashtuns, by declaring the resettlement of TTP fighters in the tribal areas as a step taken in national interest and it will be spreading this propaganda through the media. The army wants the two major anti-government forces to fight each other in the Pashtun areas.
The implementation of this project has already begun. Ejaz Mehsud, brother of former Taliban Amir Hakimullah Mehsud, has been deployed in Waziristan to kill Pashtun Tahafuz Moment workers. Ejaz Mehsud’s group’s first operation was to assassinate Arif Wazir, a leader of Pashtun Tahafuz Moment.
I can say with full confidence that the Pakistan Army’s talks with the TTP will begin a new war in the Pashtun areas
This time the players of this war will be TTP and Pashtun Tahafuz Moment. The Army will watch this war for a while and then become a part of it to restore its declining reputation. In this way they can eliminate their armed and unarmed opponents.
It is also important to note the facts that the talks that are taking place between TTP and the Army are being covered up by the media, and the TTP has also been asked not to tell the media about the talks in order to avoid international pressure and reaction.
This is actually the beginning of the game of deception that the Pakistani Army wants to carry out. Even when the talks were being held with me, I was convinced that we would not tell the media anything about it.
But I will continue to show their deceptive face to the world by bringing their deception in front of the world.
Ehsanullah Ehsan is a former Taliban commander.