Jobless Mercenaries - AfPak Region
Global development and improvement in lifestyle has made a major difference in how people think. Religious, cultural and sectarian motives rarely become the driving force for modern insurgencies and the most important and sole WEAPON/ MOTIVE/ DRIVING FORCE is none other than MONEY.
The breed of terrorists which the world is confronted with and spending huge amounts on fighting out, is mostly composed of mercenaries. One might argue that what about the mercy less suicide bombers - my answer would be that it might not be him, but, his handler who indoctrinated him for choosing and believing in such a senseless option is definitely motivated by monetary motives.
WHERE LIES THE PROBLEM -- THE WORLD IS INVESTING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION E.G. PUBLICIZING A TERRORIST ACT SERVES THE VERY AIM OF THE PERPETRATORS OR USING BRUTAL FORCE AGAINST INVESTED SOCIETIES WOULD HELP TERRORISTS CULTIVATE MORE AND MORE RECRUITS, IF THE PROCESS LACKS A POVERTY ALLEVIATION COMPONENT.
Now lets support the argument :-
- NWFP/ FATA. The backward province of Pakistan is home to ferocious Pashtun fighters known to be supporting and getting recruited in different versions of Taliban movement. The Taliban pay them salaries ranging from Pak Rupees 2000 to 25 thousand apart from compensation for grieved families of martyrs. This salary is much more than what a common tribal earns in these areas. Solution : Development i.e. Factories, Agricultural tools and micro financing for cottage industry.
- Balochistan. Balochistan is also home to several insurgencies and is believed to be the next center stage for terrorism in the region. Balochistan is 43% of Pakistan's landmass and has a population of less than 10 Million, home to world's largest natural gas, oil and copper/ gold reserves. The stake holders are investing in landlords and the landlords inturn hire mercenaries ( average pay ranging from Pak Rs 2000 to 25000). Balochistan lacks both agriculture and industry, what do you think the people are supposed to earn their living from. Solution: Industry, mega agricultural projects and micro financing for cottage industry/ small business.
- Afghanistan. The Afghan based Taliban groups also thrive on similar rules i.e. manipulating the economic weaknesses of masses. Same rules apply as Afghan agriculture and Industry have been destroyed with decades of war. Give people something to live on.
We need to think that if the International community and the local governments find it financially impossible to generate jobs and feed the people who are being hired by the militants, THEN HOW COME THE MILITANTS AFFORD IT AND WHO IS FUNDING THEM.
We also need to think that basic human needs remain the strongest and most lucrative motive, make people dependant on facilities and they will find it difficult to form part of any revolution/ radicalism. A newly born child in every corner of the world is equally innocent and harmless, we must thus invest in protecting him from being manipulated by the terrorists we all hate and fear.
The average yearly expenditure on War on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan is close to 100 Billion US $. These are poor countries and if the world decides that lets spend 70% of the said budget for social uplift and development in the same region, it would tame them and convert them into useful members of the global community.
Few Thrust Lines for consideration could be:-
- Present focus on weapons trade/ security industry can be shifted to other less harmful sectors which would convert said region in to a more lucrative and sustainable market.
- As an immediate measure about $ 180 Billion may be invested over next 3 years in developing/ erecting industry and agriculture.
- Sustainable development in Education and energy sectors.
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Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan