More than 2000 years ago, a great Chinese general Sun Tzu outlined 5 factors a general must know thoroughly in order to win the battle. Tzu’s celebrated work can guide us today in Swat, where everybody is clueless as how to eliminate the militancy and how to win the battle against the terrorists.Tzu’s war policy consists of following factors:
1. The moral law
5. Method and discipline
The moral law means that the general should enjoy the popular support by the people of the area and people should be convinced that army is on their side, fighting for them and will win. The sky implies the weather conditions like sun, rain, snow, heat and also the length of days and nights. Earth means distances in the fighting terrain. The Commander is the general himself, who should be an embodiment of leadership characteristics of honesty, wisdom, vision, courage and compassion. The last but not least is the method and discipline, which is all about administrative issues of the war from expenditures, through meals and transportation to supply chain.
Does our generals and army posses above factors? Right now ‘The Moral Law’ is not really on the side of our army in Swat. People in Swat are fleeing the area or becoming hostage of terrorists. First and foremost, even important than the operation, is to first convince the people to stay on and help army to quash the enemy. Yes we know about the ‘Sky’ and we know very well about the ‘Earth’. Well the next one is bit tricky, ‘Commander’. Does General Ashfaq has the qualities of honesty, wisdom, courage, vision and compassion? He hasn’t attempted any coup yet rather helped in having democracy for the country which shows his honesty. He is showing courage and compassion by visiting regularly (now on daily basis) the restive areas of Swat and FATA. One hopes that he is the man for us according to Tzu. Method and discipline is also no problem in this war.
So the only point which is lacking, according to Tzu’s factor, for our army in the Swat war is ‘The Moral Law’. The key to solve the Swat’s problem lies in winning the support of the residents of the area.