Pakistan Must Discard its ‘Good Taliban, Bad Taliban’ Narrative

Beena Sarwar in the Huffington Post:

ScreenHunter_915 Dec. 18 15.19Although Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has termed the Peshawar attack a national tragedy, announced three days of national mourning and promised to eradicate the terrorists, real change won't occur unless Pakistan discards the “good Taliban, bad Taliban” narrative and moves to decisively uphold the rule of law.

The innocent lives lost in Peshawar are among a staggering 50,000 civilians killed by the Taliban and their aligned groups in Pakistan since 9/11. Such civilian attacks have intensified in the last five years.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said it carried out the Peshawar school attack in retaliation for the Pakistani army's ongoing military offensive against the Taliban. “This is a reaction to the killing of our children and dumping of bodies of our mujahideen [jihadis],” said a spokesman.

The attack on the Peshawar school is actually a measure of the success of the operation that was belatedly launched in June this year as it indicates the desperation of the Taliban, who had already been badly affected by America's drone strikes.

Many Pakistanis and allies in other countries like the U.S. have been demanding a decisive move against the Taliban and their aligned groups for years, but the army and government kept putting it off due to “lack of political consensus.” Leaders like former cricket hero Imran Khan have added to the confusion. Khan will condemn the Taliban but then also justify their actions by saying that they are acting in response to drone strikes or American imperialism.

More here.