Monday, June 1, 2009


Speakers fear protracted war in conflict zone

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Islamabad- Speakers at a seminar cautioned of disastrous consequences of ongoing armed conflict and Talibanisation for the whole country and nation.Senior journalist Aqeel Yousufzai, columnist Saleem Saafi, Muhammad Amir Rana, Aimal Khan were addressing the launching ceremony of the book ‘Talibanisation: from Afghanistan, FATA, Swat to Pakistan’ followed by a panel discussion on “ Talibanization: from Afghanistan to Pakistan.”

The seminar was jointly organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.They urged the government to abandon its policy of using ‘Taliban’ as strategic assets and declare them as a menace to country and nation. They also recommended the government to systematically deal with the challenge of increasing militancy and Talibanization, involving multiple sources of funding and support from countries like United States, Iran, Russia, China, Arab countries and Afghanistan due to their conflicting interests in the region.Aqeel Yousufzai, author of the book, believed that the ongoing conflict in Malakand division was the beginning of an indefinite war in the region involving multiple complexities including strengthening collaboration between al-Qaeda and Taliban. He said that Taliban would not be completely eliminated because they were pursuing al-Qaeda-like or pan-Islamist ideology, which they wanted to reinforce globally.He said that his book also unearthed the invisible harmonious relationship between Jihadis and intelligence agencies of Pakistan to pursue their hidden agenda in the region while making a differentiation between Afghani and Pakistani Taliban. He claimed that the Pakistani Taliban were more dangerous and disastrous and would spread all over the country if not dealt wisely.Salim Saafi said that the country would never be able to overcome the worsening challenge, which would eventually spread all over the country if the government did not succeed in finally ending this confusion whether Taliban were Pakistan's strategic assets or a menace.
The confusion also pertained to whether American's and Russian were our friends or foes, he further said. Giving several examples of dual role of the US, Russia, Iran, NATO, Arabs and others, he said that the region had become a 'safe haven' for a number of external and internal forces and everyone was involved in achieving its specific interests against the others. Taliban were strengthened at the cost people and future of this region, he said.

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