Will Hakimullah Mehsud be the ‘man who wasn’t given a chance’?

Published: November 2, 2013
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In the current socio-political situation of Pakistan, whether we like it or not, Hakimullah Mehsud will emerge as a hero. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hakimullah Mehsud is dead. Pakistan should be celebrating because we are rid of the man who has caused so much pain to us over the years. However, I cannot shake off the sinking feeling that whether we like it or not, Hakimullah Mehsud will emerge as the man who was wronged.

This man will not be remembered for the blood he has shed, but will be the ‘man who wanted to talk but wasn’t given the chance’. That is the importance of timing. Mark this statement because we are all going to hear it for years to come from our beloved right wing ‘extremists’, much as it pains me to say this.

America is not here to stay. In 2014, they intend to pull out and they don’t have much to lose with regards to how Hakimullah Mehsud was killed; for Pakistan, however, it’s a different story. Now, and for years to come, many children in FATA and KPK will be told stories of the “great warrior” who fought against the American “devils” and in the end he ‘died a holy death’.

Any other narrative will not be accepted by most.

The timing of Hakimullah Mehsud’s death was poor to say in the least. Many Pakistanis, including Imran Khan, have maintained that drone strikes are counterproductive. Haven’t we heard about Naik Mohammad and Waliur Rehman enough already from Imran Khan? Did we need another ‘martyr’ added to that list?

Don’t get me wrong; just like other families who were caused grief by this man, I too wanted revenge – I wanted justice for thousands of innocent Pakistanis who lost their lives at the hands of Hakimullah Mehsud. Today I rejoice, but  I believe that this drone strike has done Pakistan a disservice because the right-wing bandwagon will, no doubt, see this as a step to ‘derail the peace process in Pakistan’.

In fact, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar stated that these drone strikes were aimed at sabotaging efforts to establish peace in the country.

You and I did not make this decision, but the sad truth is that we are the ones who will have to live through the consequences; I am certain that the Taliban will have their vengeance and the innocent like us will suffer. I believe that we should have given peace a chance when the opportunity arose, but when America made the decision, it did not take into account that the cancer, that is the Taliban, is still rampant within the organs of Pakistan. To tackle the entire growth of terrorism, talks were being initiated and by interrupting this process, America has, no doubt, unveiled itself as the ‘evil’ that does not want peace to prevail.

Imran Khan, as expected, came out bashing the Americans and urged the government to block NATO supplies going through the country. He has every right, now, to hold is head up high and maybe even say ‘I told you so’; Pakistan will, thus, continue on its path of division.

Perhaps after this death, our civil-military leadership will get together and figure something out, just like they did at the recent All Parties Conference. Another offer of peace talks might be extended to the TTP; another Lt General might be attacked; another drone strike may take place and we will go run the mulberry bush again.

All the while, TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud will be remembered as the one who could have made peace talks a relaity but wasn’t given a chance.

Welcome to Pakistan!

Waqas Habib Rana

Waqas Habib Rana

A freelance writer and Editor in Chief at Paknewsbeat.com , who has been associated with video production, theater, event management and business. He tweets @waqas464 (twitter.com/waqas464)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shahbaz

    Dear he will be remembered for the killing of thousands of Pakistanis. Do you want to declare him hero?????. Please do not try to make confusion among the masses. Govt is on the wrong track, we must crush them, they are terrorists and there should be no place for terrorism in our country.Recommend

  • rasgullah

    Another fifth columnist who makes it look as if he is talking sense.Recommend

  • Shahzad

    Look this man was anti state and also preached and practised a deviant Islam just follow chaudry Nisar speech in senate regarding utility of drones. This is with active cooperation of GOP that this man has been droned.Recommend

  • knightridrr

    Talks with TTP are going to be a joke. Just kill them all.Recommend

  • Qasim

    Last night a burgler entered my home; I caught him and gave him good thrashing. When he saw that he was cornered and I am about to break his head, he shouted ‘Let’s sit on the Table and TALK’. :)Recommend

  • hassan khan

    Ohh yeah baby they deserve bitter death ..Talibans have killed more innocent pakistani people than anyone this else on this planet so HE is not our hero …He used the name of ISLAM to kill innocent Pakistani people via suicide bombing or IDEs or kidnapping and thousand of Pakistani from tribal area become IDPs’ …. So yes he deserve it …Well Pakistan Army did operation ZILZILA with 14th infantry to kill him and TTP militants in 2008 and have a peace deal which they blow up on several occasion ..Yes we give chance to taliban on many occasion and they refuse and they will refuse …. I am happy that TTP leader who challenged the sovereignty of Pakistan long ago is gone and Thanks to America :) PeaceRecommend

  • Indian

    When will Hafiz saeed visit North western province of pakistan??We Indians r waiting for the dayRecommend

  • Ajmal Rasool

    If killing of Hakimullah mehsud by drone has sabotaged peace talks, was killing of Gen niaz by ttp an act to pave the way for dialogue?Recommend

  • Sohail

    Violence never brings peace.Recommend

  • Sohail

    Have you ever thought what made TTP killing other Pakistanis?Recommend

  • Zaman

    Just another confused Taliban apologist, trying to make a hero out of a devil. Go get a life. He will be just remembered as a butcher who slaughtered and fed on their blood and flesh. nothing else.Recommend

  • Shab

    ohhhhh…..do you want to declare this terrorists a hero…..He was on pay roll of america and he did his best services as per CIA’s agenda. He killed thousands of innocent people of Pakistan. Now american dont need the used person again so CIA killed him and throw is dustbin like tissue paper. Now CIA will start feed to another TTP head so that for the next 10 years , another puppet will kill more Pakistanis……..Khuda k lathi beyawaz hoti, Zalimun ko zalimun k zariyey se hi khatam kr daiti he,,,Recommend

  • Gratgy

    Hakimullah Mehsud was a man who WAS given a chanceRecommend

  • Dawood

    Personally I hate ttp but your article is very logical and give us the indication of practical and pragmatic approach . He was the killer of 100s innocent ppls but at the same time he was pashtoon grown andused by punjab and therefor he was the strategic asset of pak army. Recommend

  • raj

    Although I truly think Taliban should be crushed, i would only like to say one thing Terror produces terror. I hope Pakistani do not have to bear the fruits of this strike.Recommend

  • raj

    Lal Masjid maulana was also showing anti-state sentiments and was crushed by mushraff but people are all against him. The issue is not that simpleRecommend

  • Richard Wisecarver

    He insisted that nhis forces would continue to attack US forces even as they leave. We believed him andnow he is dead. He continue to slaughter one and all in Pakistan. Now he is dead alog with his friends.Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    A dead terrorist is not a national tragedy.

    Can you imagine how we appear to the outside world? A nation that weeps, moans and throws furniture around in rage each and every time a most-wanted terrorist dies?

    The right-wing complains when drones kill civilians.
    The right-wing complains when drones kill terrorists.

    These are perpetually unhappy people, who cannot stand the fact that US is picking up their slack, while they lazily debate the pros and cons of fighting back against the terrorists’ onslaught.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad

    Two points why writer is wrong. Upto the last moment Hakimullah was not ready, nor was approached for talks. Its Imran, some government officials and media who had created such circumstances. Its on record that Hakimullah was never approached for talks. Secondly, every murderer is a hero for some people. Gengis Khan is a greatest hero of Mongols, should we accept him a hero too. Hakimullah is murderer of 50 thousand Pakistanis, you can write thousands of lines in his favour, but he will never become our hero.Recommend

  • Saint Sanity

    You are clueless. He is talking about a harsh reality. I am certain that like many others, you did not bother to read the article.
    As far as the article is concerned, the theory is far fetched. Do not forget that general public suffered the most at the hands of Hakim Mehsud. ALL of us, whether silently or clearly visibly, are happy on his extermination. Even Imran Khan had said that if TTP fails to hold talks, then operation is the only option. Unfortunately, liberal fascists have mocked those who propose talks before a final decisive operation. I am sure this breed would have opposed Mecca peace pact in prophet’s (peace be upon him) time.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Only the naive and the mischief mongers will think that he was not given a chance……….he had all the chances in the world to do something positive and he spurned them all.
    Lets be clear there was only talk of having talks and this was admitted by the TTP. They were dictating terms even before talks started so they were positioning themselves in an unassailable position of strength……….now the tables have turned.
    The killing of this murdering criminal has sent a signal that the other side is not completely helpless and that is the correct signal to go out.
    Both Imran Khan and the politicians reaction was knee-jerk and immature at best.Recommend

  • Keep writing

    Interesting article. Keep writing.Recommend

  • x

    And what is your solution? The burglar is not cornered, WE are. Fighting has brought no solution, u kill one Mehsudullah, thousands other come to take his place. on and on, bombing the entire Afghanistan and KPK into oblivion is the only other solution.Recommend

  • x

    HOW?? Annihiliate Afghanistan and entire KPK, but oh wait they have infiltrated Punjab and Karachi as well. Demolish Pakistan? There IS no rule of law, we are powerless, America was powerless too, remains even after killing Mehsudullah. They have nothing to lose, their lives mean nothing to them. WE have everything to lose. We need to start talk process so maybe some way can be found. I dont know what else is the solution.Recommend

  • naeem

    Nothing justifies killing of innocent civillians.Recommend

  • Zeb Khan

    I really find it difficult to understand the mindset of the people supporting fighting with the Taliban. Either they are unaware of the power of religion to motivate people for fighting or they or overestimating the power of our security forces. In fact, the greater the number of Taliban Killed, the more would they get sympathy from madrassa and the religious people. To win this war we need to eliminate the reasons and factors that justifies this sympathy. It is quite evident that these Taliban have fought three including two strongest armies of the world i.e. NATO (not only USA), Pakistani Army and small but still effective Afghan security forces. War always brought destruction and get innocent people killed from both sides.

    Also, people in favour of fighting with the taliban fail to understand handling a war like situation in a country. War requires extra constitutional thinking. In fact, you need to set aside the constitutional rules and regulations to fight and then resolve the war. The TTP militia cannot be treated like a comman man of the state.Recommend

  • knightridrr

    Please shed some light.Recommend

  • whitesky

    you truly represent the Pakistani mindset alien to logic, reason and rationale.carry on multiplying.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    See, this is the problem with Imran Khan. He is making you people come up with excuses for the TTP. There is no excuse to killing thousands. They were evil even before the drone attacks. Don’t let the drones be their crutch.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Actually we are not cornered because we don’t have the strength. No, it is because we don’t have the will. Give our army full reign and they will wipe out the TTP in a few months.Recommend

  • redwood

    this is a naive and pessimistic way of thinking. the ttp is out of control because the politicos/governemnt allow it to be. also even if the peace talks were to happen, what do you think was the end-game for that? the end-game was to allow them to become a part of Pakistan, to be recognized as a political force. THAT would( and will ) destroy the country or what ever is left of it. we are not india, we can’t have a shiv senna walking around in our streets openly.Recommend

  • Victim

    Saint Sanity:
    Your comment suggests that unlike your pen name neither u are a saint nor have a trace of sanity.
    Let me enlighten u that ‘Zaliman’ have already broken two peace treaties with the Govt between 2004 and 2007.
    During the short lived peace span the only thing they did was just addition to their ammunition stocks and recruit more foot soldiers for the war to come.
    Like IK u also know that they are fighting for a cause, to implement the 7th century ‘Shariah’, they won’t stop for ur peace talks fool!Recommend

  • bigsaf

    The narrative must be taken back from the delusional hypocritical/munafiq religious nationalist right-wingers.

    This criminal terrorist was given lots of chances, yet kept on dragging any confirmation of talks and continued what he did best, that is killing innocent Pakistani citizens. As long as these religo-political groups, Al Qaeda, Afghan Taliban, TTP, JeM, LeT, LeJ, Jundullah, etc, continue to attack everyone in the region, this is our war. No insane double games. No state patronizing and deceptions. If we don’t confront our twisted religious nationalist biases and put our priorities in order, Pak is only going to continue to get worse.

    We are crying about ‘peace and justice’ tying it with Mehsud, as if he was going to bring us hope and salvation, not once ever thinking about ‘peace and justice’ for the thousands of Pakistanis killed. Sick and twisted. Feel betrayed at so many levels.Recommend

  • bigsaf

    TTP operatives have existed in previous groups, that ranged from the Afghan Taliban, JeM and LeJ. So they were killing other Pakistanis and non-Pakistanis, such as Afghans, way before being formed under the TTP branch for various religo-political and extremist ideological reasons.

    They became prominent, when they decided to take it upon themselves to ‘avenge’ the Laal Masjid criminals’ illegal occupation and imposition of their rule in the heart of Islamabad against Musharraf, who was already giving them a rough time elsewhere (regardless of the double games), by killing innocent women and children, and of course never missing a chance to particularly target Pakistani minorities on top of other moderates that spoke out against them or randomly at public spheres, besides security installations.

    Have you ever thought how lame the drone excuses were, with such a rich history of violence, including state sponsored radicalization and terrorism, and none of this is justified and makes them an imminent dangerous threat that needs to be seriously put down but instead most Pakistanis seem to sound more religiously sympathetic to their own brainwashed killers? Unfortunate.Recommend

  • bigsaf

    I hope I’m noting a slight shift from your previous views, where you used to defend IK but now acknowledge those Taliban apologist tendencies.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/14580/my-name-is-khan-and-im-not-a-terrorist/Recommend

  • Alba

    **There is no “Bad Timing” for the death of Ruthless Killer.** Period!Recommend

  • ZeePakistaniFromUSA

    My fellow Pakistanis – I don’t get it. Maybe I have lived in the USA too long where the slightest of lawlessness is never tolerated. We all saw when a religious group in Waco Texas refused to give up weapons and surrender to authorities, even though they had never even hurt anyone, but were just holding weapons illegally. When they refused to surrender the gov’t forces moved in and the whole compound burned down and all including women, children, and old died. Not a single American blamed the gov’t. So I am astonished that when this Hakimullah Mesud, the most wanted terrorist and killer of thousands, is killed and the nation acts like it is in mourning. The politicians and the media are condemning this act? We should be thankful that someone did the job the Pakistani gov’t was supposed to do. These terrorists did not stop killing innocent Pakistanis when the talk of discussions started so why should the gov’t? What a shame!Recommend

  • Rizwan Nasar

    What peace
    process are we talking about? I guess no one followed Hakimullah interview to
    the BBC a few weeks ago. He had mention two things -Pakistan’s relationship
    with the USA and the Sharia Law for Pakistan. Unless these two things are
    executed no change in the TTP stance. So Pakistan will not work with the US,
    the biggest donor and business partner of Pakistan and then enforce the Taliban
    “Sharia” in Pakistan. Where will the elected PTI, PMLN, PPP & all
    other stand? Just think. The negotiators will end up losing their heads at the
    hands of these barbaric butchers. This killer deserved what he got!Recommend

  • Fahd

    PTI fanboys will believe everything their outspoken leader will make them believe. Such a shame that express-tribune is glorifying this savage and praising him like a martyr. Make no mistake he was responsible for taking several innocent lives.Recommend

  • Syed Owais Mukhtar

    No person must be killed without giving a chance to clarify himself and be prosecuted in front of court and when this is done by drone I strongly condemn this (just like I condemn suicide bombs!)Recommend

  • Syed Owais Mukhtar

    Govt. proved they are same as the Taliban. you kill we kill. So whats the point to blame talibs.Recommend

  • Xara

    Imran never justified TTP’s acts. All he wants is to have peace and for that Peace talks is the only way in his opinion. The other way is proper operation and for that our govt n army will take years.Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    Timing was poor. He was eliminated by the US because he was going into a Peace Negotiation which is not in the interest of the US. The US is fighting a Proxy with TTP in the Front Line causing havoc in Pakistan. They are all paid mercenaries.Recommend

  • Samra

    Imran Khan has nothing to do with Hakimullah Masud’s death. but his point is that we have already lost so many Pakistanis in this war against terror and if this keeps going then what’s the future of Pakistan? or drone attacks are good enough for preventing the Taliban from killing more Pakistanis. No, never they become more violent..Recommend

  • TheAverageMoe

    You didn’t understand the article, the author isn’t saying that he is a hero, but that America derailed the peace process by killing him.Recommend

  • Farhan

    Another excuse article to sympathise with the mass murdrer. Good job.

    I also like the choice of the picture. A happy smiling innocent youth.

    Disgusting propaganda.Recommend

  • Proletarian

    Google up WW2. See how Hitler was stopped. Google up the Vietnam war, see how the Americas were driven out.Recommend

  • Proletarian

    Russia beat the Chechens. That is all the info we need. Fanaticism and idiocy can only take you so far. You Taliban apologists need to realize that the Taliban have never been seriously fought. Total war has never been waged against them. If their homes are carpet bombed, their crops burned, their madressas stromed and their sympathizers rounded up and KILLED they will be destroyed. Unfortunately their opponents do not seen to thave the stomach or rutlessness to do to the Taliban what the Taliban seek to do to them. We need to revive Caesar tactics against these modern barbarians. Relgion may be a powerful force but rational materialism is a far greater force.Recommend

  • Tanzeel Ur-Rehman

    Now, and for years to come, many children in FATA and KPK will be told
    stories of the “great warrior” who fought against the American “devils”
    and in the end he ‘died a holy death’

    This statement shows the author’s poor understanding of the ground realities. Nowhere is the guy more hated than he is in KPK. The only people who’ll push the ‘great anti american hero’ narrative are right wing extremists from the southern 1/5th of KPK(the deobandi ‘problem districts’ dominated by JUI and JI, DI Khan, Tank, Karak and Bannu), journalists of Orya and Ansar Abbasi’s ilk and our middle class jihadis in their drawing rooms in Lahore and Islamabad. KPK is far more accepting of the realities and given that it, along with northern Balochistan, has borne the brunt of militant violence since 2009, they won’t give the likes of Hakimullah the time of day. Imran is already public enemy number one in the most moderate/educated part of KPK(central – Peshawar, Mardan, Swabi belt) for his cowardly stance on the TTP and this reflects in voting patterns.Recommend

  • Guest

    He was not willing to present himself in a Pakistani court of law, so he has been sent to greatest court, the hereafter to present his case before the Almighty. May he be judged thoroughly.Recommend