Pakistan and Peacebuilding

By: Co-founder Citizen Awareness Program

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Apparently government has wallowed into a dark hole of confusion over the matter of dealing with the problem of terrorism.

Fact of the matter is that situation faced by Pakistan is itself a complex one, and to decipher a simple resolution for such intricate problem is not a cup of tea.

In order to pave a way for a more calculated, categorized process of dialogue between the government and the non-state actors, I have carved a hierarchical division of the steps taken during a peacebuilding process. While by doing so, equation between the talks and the steps for peacebuilding process mentioned below could to be assessed.

According to my research and analysis, few points mentioned below could be named as the foremost categories or division to the steps taken for peace-building process.

  • Identify and plan for the resolution of high-priority issues
  • Find the cause of challenging problems using a fact-driven approach
  • Make complex/unpopular decisions aligned with strategic and operational priorities
  • Understand and manage risks proactively while executing strategic initiatives effectively
  • Promote and maximize the benefits of a successful outcome

Does Pakistan’s peace talks with Taliban fitting the criteria mentioned above?

  • Pakistan’s Taliban problem is the issue of highest priority among various other problems.
  • Cause of Pakistan’s challenging problem, the Taliban problem is debatable, while few of the known causes are self-serving interpretation of religious scriptures, alongside  extremist Pakistan-centric terror mongers supported and protected by the neighboring countries of Pakistan.
  • Complex or unpopular decisions are likely to be made by the government, and to avoid public or political resentment government has held an APC [All parties conference] which has to decide either to clamp down on terrorists using military force or to negotiate a peace deal with those who are willing.
  • Risks are to be managed keeping in view both situations, in situation of a successful peace deal or a military action [which is likely to produce collateral damage, IDPs and other problems]
  • Progressive educational facilities, social development, and other post-final decision actions should be taken with careful and thoughtful steps, which will ensure further and long term success of the decision taken.

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While the government of Pakistan has already taken the path to reach a peace deal with the Taliban TTP, it seems relevant to chalk out few important agents and mediators for conflict resolution or peace-building process.

The moment a person or a group makes a decision to resolve a conflict a initiate a peace-building process, the next step it has to take is decide which agents and mediators for conflict resolution it seeks to endorse. Few important agents of conflict resolution or peace-building process would be:

  • Civil Society
  • Community-led development or reconciliation
  • Religious actors
  • Diaspora
  • When it comes to mediators like Civil society in Pakistan, it is sorrowful to observe that significant members of civil society with duty to protect sanctity of the state and its interest are vehemently indulged into self-serving agendas. Journalists, mainstream print & electronic media, opinion making intellectuals, and power brokers in the parliament and outside are least interested in taking up the task of serving the motives for the well being of the country. Most such member if civil society are active participating in activities to sabotage the peace-building process, while they have personal or foreign-backed anti-military venom to spew at most times, which is directly responsible for adding fuel to the fire.
  • Community-led development or reconciliation has failed for the same reasons as that of civil society, take for example the situation of Balochistan, where Baloch people have been demanding power to the resources and functioning of their province in their own hands. On the other hand, Baloch people have been betrayed by their own Baloch sardars, who are simply insensitive and completely indifferent to the suffering of their people. Fact of the matter is that Pakistan’s military is the sole community to have served the people in its real meaning in that province.
  • Religious actors are the most notorious in this case, while most of them proclaim allegiance to the state of Pakistan, when it comes to serve the well being of the state in its actual meaning, they do not have an audacity to call the terrorists & so called shariah imposing terrorists wrong. Thus, it comes to light, the religious actors and the terrorists are actually two sides of the same coin, who are only loyal to the agenda of their own and have nothing to do with safety and prosperity of the country that has given them all the fan following and respect for years.
  • Pakistani diaspora abroad has not been able to represent Pakistani culture to the extent as it was expected. The true picture of Pakistan which is clean of any streak of extremism, it was the duty of Pakistani diaspora to bring it to the world.

In the case of Pakistan’s peace-building process, it has apparently executed all the possible agents of reconciliation process, thus terror factions who continue on the path of treason and  terror must face the aggression, the only last way to end the crippling disease of terrorism in Pakistan.

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