Fighting the Pakistan Dushman (Enemy) Taliban by Atta Rasul Malik
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Few months back I have said good bye to uniform. But my men, my Regiment is still there in Makeen, home town of Baitullah Mehsood, a village in South Waziristan. Baitullah Mehsood, who was accidentally killed by American in drone attack on 5 August 2009, was beyond doubt a “man” of our adversaries. However, as far as I remember by and large he was a good enemy. He was brave, man of words and excellent in negotiations. Quite often he was hung in between lust of money and power on one side and love of Pakistan the opposite. However, his grading as chieftain of Mehsood tribe is low. He motivated young boys even from his own tribe to explode (suicide bombing) to deter his enemies. To me such a crime committed by Chieftain of a tribe is unforgivable because Clan leader, like President of the country is fatherly figure. This was one aspect where Baitullah did not have argument once confronted in private.
I am soldier and appreciate soldierly qualities. Taliban are brave and excellent fighters. I always told my fellow officers and soldiers to fight them like warriors, an old tradition of fighting and same taught by our Prophet. Kill those who fight you, no “collateral damage” even if the cost is high. Kill them but don’t humiliate them.
Taliban may not deserve life but deserve respect. No collective punishment, this is wrong in 21st century .Let the bunch of great warriors, Mahsood tribe know, their chieftains don’t represent them well and Pak army is not carried by sheer revenge. In fact these were the instructions/teaching of my veteran unit officer who happens to be the Corps Commander of western front, Lt Gen Masood Aslam.
Taliban, Pakistani Taliban or in fact Pakistan Dushman Taliban, have caused great loss to international peace in general and people and state of Pakistan in particular. They have inflicted huge losses to Pak Army both in men and material even they attacked GHQ .But attack on GHQ, to my mind was not a big issue .Our enemies selected important target and performed well, though their performance could not be compared with Pakistan Army extraordinary act of bravery while attacking at Taliban HQ at Peochar, Swat.
At few occasions, I was extremely sad i.e. during burial of Shaheed General Javed Sultan while seeing the face of his old father, 7 Feb 2008, Peshawar suicide bombing 29, Oct 2009 and now at Lucki Murawat bombing 1 Jan 2010 where hundreds of poor innocent people lost their lives. But one incident has really moved me and forced me to think differently, killing of young boys in mosque at parade lane on 4 Dec, 2009. That day, I remember, I told my mother; Mom General Masood, my unit officer‘s only son has been killed while offering Friday prayer in mosque. My mother wept and wept bitterly. She knew this was a terrible loss for any father at this age.
However, my grief, my line of thought was different. The way young ones were killed in mosque was more tragic than the killing itself. Clung to mosque floor with their eyes wide open unable to even cry for help were sprayed with bullets. Oh custodian of Islam what have you done?????? Among them was Hashim Masood , the only son of General Masood. I believe if Baitullah Masood was alive even he would have not tolerated this limitless brutality of his men.
Many fathers have lost their only son during this war of terror. So many families totally ruined. Each tale worthy of mourning but General Masood case is different. He has been fighting Taliban like a gentleman, giving them a clean fight, continuously warning to troops no collateral damage, no collective punishment.
So my grief and question is why Taliban have foul played and continue to play foul even today? What should Pakistan Army do? Who is guilty of abetment to Taliban will be analyzed and responded later. Issue at the moment is how to deal with front man i.e. Taliban?
Can some one help teach Taliban, ethics of war or suggest ways how to build patience of Pak Army not to respond in same coin?
Author is Pak Army soldier.