Foreign Policy Blogs

Taliban and America

It is just awful to see how rapidly everything in Pakistan is degenerating.  There is hardly any sector or segment in the society that is either stable or making any progress. The overall situation looks even bleaker when one hears the masses talk about their daily lives.


Therefore, it is not unusual to see people in Pakistan complain about lack of government control when they talk about inflation, crimes, or the deficit in electricity and water. At times, one does wonder that who is in control as everything seems to be on fire. 


Take for example the traffic system in Pakistan. It is a complete mess. Just look at the way people shop, complete madness. Pay attention to the way people communicate with each other, very unpleasant and rude. Visiting a hospital, airport or the railway station is sheer torture. Even worse, try getting anything done, i.e. transfer a land lease or a vehicle, obtain a driver’s license or a passport, or for that matter, try getting anything done in any government office and you would want to kill yourself. In fact, there is nothing that goes smooth or works pleasantly in Pakistan if one looks at the overall situation across the country.


Add to this miserable situation the coming rule of the Taliban. Yes, the government is trying to fight back, but sadly, there is wide spread support for religious nuts in Pakistan. If you look at the talk shows on T.V. in the country, it becomes absolutely clear that almost all the so called analysts, anchors, experts and scholars do have tremendous sympathies for ruthless killers, commonly known as the Taliban. Furthermore, the primary force to defeat the militancy should be police and the police force in Pakistan is a text book example of an organization that is demoralized, grossly underpaid, utterly ill prepared and untrained. Police in Pakistan is also supremely corrupt. These people are the fist one to run for cover and abandon their posts whenever they are challenged by the Taliban. Because of police’s inability to fight back, the task was handed over to the army, but they have their own issues. First, the Taliban were actually created by Pakistan Army and naturally, there is very strong cooperation between the Taliban and the army in Pakistan, or so is the perception. So, despite the operation, no one can be 100% sure if everyone in uniform is onboard vis-à-vis the fight to defeat the Taliban. Next, there is still a lot of support for the Taliban and the main cheerleader for this pro-Taliban gang is none other then Imran Khan, a Western educated aristocrat, turned a right wing nut.


For this offensive to become successful, everyone, or at last majority of the country has to join hands, but the real problem for lack of this consensus is the ability to pro-Taliban folks to come over every  T.V. channel and cast doubts about the operation. Somehow, the defeat of the Taliban is not a victory for civility, humanity or even Pakistan. This, believe it or not, is being framed as America’s war.


Therefore, here is the bottom line. If the people of Pakistan want to live in peace and relative freedom, the Taliban must go. And for this, the country has to unite, and reject the calls of right wingers, once and for all.




Bilal Qureshi

Bilal Qureshi is a resident of Washington, DC, so it is only natural that he is tremendously interested in politics. He is also fascinated by the relationship between Pakistan, the country of his birth, and the United States of America, his adopted homeland. Therefore, he makes every effort to read major newspapers in Pakistan and what is being said about Washington, while staying fully alert to the analysis and the news being reported in the American press about Pakistan. After finishing graduate school, he started using his free time to write to various papers in Pakistan in an effort to clarify whatever misconceptions he noticed in the press, especially about the United States. This pastime became a passion after his letters were published in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker and his writing became more frequent and longer. Now, he is here, writing a blog about Pakistan managed by Foreign Policy Association.

Areas of Focus:
Taliban; US-Pakistan Relations; Culture and Society