Combating the Taliban
In your August Cover Story, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, you have drawn attention to the Taliban question that dogs the heels of the Pakistani nation as well as the region and impacts all round progress. This especially means that Pakistan, for one, does not fall in line with other nations of the region on the anvil of development. It is a pity that this nuclear armed country with a major global population and one of the world’s largest standing armies known for its professionalism, has become hostage to a few thousand Taliban operatives. While it is true that Pakistan needs its army as a deterrent to enemies on both its eastern and western borders, it must start assigning a different kind of combat role to a portion of its forces to fight the Taliban. It is certain that Pakistan army commanders have already realized this and are raising such a force accordingly.
It must also be taken into account that it was in the first place the Pakistan army which had taken the initiative to raise the Taliban forces at the behest of the Americans in order to fight the Soviets. Now that times have changed and the Taliban have neither the Soviets to fight against nor are they called upon to act as infiltrators on the Kashmir front, they have turned their guns against Pakistan itself. The Pakistan armed forces must keep many steps ahead and start looking for ways to combat the Taliban by using the same techniques that these fighters use. Rather than sticking to methods of conventional warfare, Pakistani combatants now need to pick up the Taliban techniques and teach the perpetrators of terror a few lessons of their own.
Muhammad Amir Islamabad, Pakistan