Malakand is a region in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Named after Malakand Agency, a part of this region, it covers one third of the total area of the province.The area of Malakand Region is 29,872 sq. Km and its population is 5.52 million. The region is further divided into Chitral, Dir upper,Dir Lower, Swat, Buner, Shangla Districts and Malakand Agency. Although the bill of Islamic Law (Sharia) for Malakand division in Pakistan was passed almost unanimously by the parlimant, there were few voices against it: “This agreement was signed under the shadow of guns and most importantly the guns of Taliban had turned out to be more powerful than the guns of our Pakistan Army.” See link
In addition to issue of imposing the law at gunpoint, there are concerns about the very nature of laws itself blamed for brutality and violations of basic human rights. But there is an alternate view as well ( See link.) Further for West, it means providing help to militants in the region which would not be inline with war against terror. See link. Implementing law in one region of the country can escalate the demand for implementing it in other regions which can result in complete takeover of Islamists in the country with dozens of nuclear weapons. West recently started blaming Pakistan Army and ISI for purposefully remaining silent against Islamic extremists. In fact they blame army to support these factions. “The risk of an Islamist takeover in Pakistan is a myth invented by the Pakistani military to consolidate its hold on power. In fact, religious political parties and militant organizations are manipulated by the Pakistani Army to achieve its own objectives, domestically and abroad. The army, not the Islamists, is the real source of insecurity on the subcontinent. Sustainable security and stability in the region will be achieved only through the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. The West should actively promote the demilitarization of Pakistan’s political life through a mix of political pressure and capacity building. Enlarging the pool of elites and creating alternative centers of power will be essential for developing a working democracy in Pakistan.” See link .
Being a Muslim and Pakistani, I seek answers to the following questions.
1. Is Islamic law really horrific? What makes it unacceptable to the West? Are they afraid of potential of an alternate system?
2. Is Talibnization of Pakistan possible? Does majority of people of Pakistan support Islamic Law in its current form? Does majority of people of Pakistan support Talibnization of Pakistan?
3. What is wrong with accepting the will of people of a region?
4. Does not Pakistan has right to safeguard its own interests i.e. neutralizing the insurgency in a region by accepting demands of its majority?
5. What is war against terrorism?
6. What is the importance of Pakistan’s nuclear assets and Pakistan Army in the whole scenario?
7. What is the role of India, Iran and Russia as common stakeholders in the region along with USA?
8. What is the policy of China?
9. What should be the policy of Pakistan in current circumstances?
10. What is the future of Pakistan? Are we able to survive internal and external issues we are facing?
I seek your participation to answers these questions. Maybe we can compile it and float it on the Web.