By Amaar Ahmad:
Imran Khan and similar-minded people are clamoring to stop NATO supply over the drone issue. Their battle cry is: ‘sovereignty’, ‘national honour’ and ‘honour not dollars’. PTI, JI and JUI are okay with the difficulties that arise for Pakistan by this blockade and claim that once the drone attacks stop, the Taliban savages would agree to peace. This mindset is beyond belief. The reality is that Pakistan has as much territorial control of North Waziristan as it has perhaps over Indian Kashmir. Protests against drones thus make no sense.
National sovereignty over a geographical area exists if and only if a government can establish its exclusive writ in the land. In Northern Waziristan, Taliban and other outlawed groups have practically declared their own little Emirate and use it to sponsor terrorism against citizens of our country. Even Pakistan army cannot enter this area unless it conducts a massive military operation. This goes to show how dangerous the FATA region has become. Unless every square inch of the land is taken back from Taliban, their terrorism will continue perpetually.
For all practical purposes, Pakistan does not have enforceable sovereignty, and it is at war with a shadowy Taliban Emirate operating in FATA region. Therefore, Imran Khan does not have any right in claiming that national sovereignty is being violated. His inability to understand this reality shows either he is hopelessly naive or complicit with enemies of Pakistan. What a waste of a good man!
On the other hand, the others – Munawar Hassan or Fazlur Rehman – were never good to start with. Just as Jamaat-i-Islamic and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam tried to sabotage Pakistan Movement and Jinnah’s effort seventy years ago, their children today are doing acts that bring serious harm to the country.
Our true leverage against powerful countries are not stupid protests and blockades. Our standing, diplomatic capital and true leverage will rise the moment that we as a state begin to take head-on the monster of religious extremism and bigotry.
The author can be reached on Twitter via @amaarahmad.