The hysteria of the Pakistani public, the media and all concerned quarters in anticipation of the New Tehreek e Taliban leader has been as analogical to the comparison of Obama and Bush and their expected policy change towards Pakistan. From the TV room comparisons of Hakimullah Mehsood s lifestyle to his strategies to the “time” he wasn’t given to shape the Policies to the possible contenders of the newly vacated Throne. What has been forgotten is that the change in the faces at the helm of affairs of United States did not alter its Foreign Policy in fact the foreign Policy document NSA -54 from 1954 till NSA-2013 today has been remained more or less same for the United States. Great Powers very rarely change their basic foreign policy outlook that is why the change of face did not change the policy of war on terror and did not bring any potential Benefits for Pakistan.
Same is the case today, Death of a TTP leader and replacement by the yet another notorious leader, now announced as the infamous Mullah Fazllullah aka Mullah Radio will not affect an iota of the policies of TTP. The heated debates over the conduct and the possible course of action are not much but a stint for rating enhancement for most of the Media analysts. One thing needs understanding that Talibans are not going to change their strategy of terrorizing the hapless Pakistan. They are successful because they are better organized among themselves. They do not consider the army as divided into the good or the bad Pakistan. They are clear about their enemy and their goal. The king is dead , Long live the king though.
This is not to say that the issue with Talibans need not be resolved through talks. The point is that the negotiations to be successful needs to occurs between either equals and for bringing one party to comply to the conditions of other, the compelling party needs to be at a stronger position and offer a “carrot” that could not be resisted by the other. Here, Pakistan does not have a carrot to offer as Talibans have successfully established themselves as a state within the state. The breakup of their writ deems a combination of both the war and peace strategy.
In this regard Sri Lanka s war with the Tamil Rebels can be taken as an inspiration to follow. Tamil Tigers had the support of the external elements notably India, very sophisticated weapons, planes and boats. Sri Lanka had to wage a war that lasted for more than a decade and was able to use a policy of “force and friendship” at the same time to fight with the menace. They were finally able to militarily subdue the enemy and bring the rather peaceful segments to the table for talks and eventual peace by assimilating the Tamils in the main stream Sri Lanka. Sri lanka being a friendly country can offer valuable advice and assistance to Pakistan in its war against Terrorism. The most important would be that , no one will fight your war for yourself , and you will have to fight and eradicate the evil yourself.
The displacement of one leader with another does not change the facts of the game. Sydney Sheldon in his famous Novel, asserts that “In order to win the game you have to be the master of the game”; In the same manner , in order to deal with an extra state actor in our territory we need to grow out of cliches and false expectations. Mullah Fazallullah may die in another Drone attack, but the same drone attack may produce a dozen more Fazallullah. Media must play its role in educating the public rather than confusing them. Sri Lanka had an edge in its war, it’s a 90 percent literacy rate nation which made it easy for it to accept that it was indeed its own war. Where do we stand?