“Is Gen. Stanley McChrystal a Taliban without a beard?”

February 3, 2010 - 0:0

U.S. Gen Stanley McChrystal told the UK's Financial Times newspaper (Jan. 25. 2010) that there had been “enough fighting”. He said a political solution in all conflicts was “inevitable”. His remarks came as the head of United Nations in Kabul is calling to remove the names of senior Taliban leaders from a UN blacklist as a gesture aimed at encouraging peace negotiations. Richard Holbrooke also said that the Taliban can be part of any future government in Afghanistan.

Imran Khan, Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (“PTI”) has been consistent in his stand that military action is not a solution in Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan has had devastating repercussions for Pakistan resulting in over 500 suicide blasts last year. Mr. Khan has repeatedly said that NATO forces should leave Afghanistan as the war is immoral and unwinnable.
In 2004, under the pressure from America, ex-President Musharraf sent troops to Waziristan. The target was the tribal people accused of protecting the Taliban fighting the Americans in Afghanistan. Mr. Khan was the only politician to speak out against the military operation and was branded a “Taliban without a beard”. Imran Khan, being the only politician who has traveled across the tribal areas of Pakistan understands the people & their culture and foresaw the results of a failed strategy being executed by the American & Pakistani governments. Today a large part of Afghanistan is under the Taliban control.
Mr. Khan continues to emphasize that the ‘war on terror' is the 'war of terror' where the Pakistani government is being paid to fight someone else's war which in turn is fueling insurgency & radicalization within Pakistan. His solution has always been a political dialogue with the Taliban to isolate the Pashtun nationalists who are fighting a war to 'free' Afghanistan from the criminals who call themselves 'Taliban'. Time has proven Mr. Khan to be the only leader who understands the reasons behind the exacerbation of war in Afghanistan and across the tribal belt of Pakistan. His view is now being reinforced by the NATO commanding General.
As next steps, Mr. Khan continues to state that the only viable solution is for the Americans to implement an exit strategy from Afghanistan at the earliest opportunity and allow the Afghans to form a government of consensus. As for the war in the tribal areas of Pakistan, Mr. Khan offered the Pakistani Government to broker a peace deal with the Taliban however the Government was not interested.
Photo: U.S. Gen Stanley McChrystal