Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cleansing the Epicentre of Anti-Pakistan Terrorism

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Enough is enough: Pakistan has been facing a number of challenges; some are home grown while some are imported - most of which are identifiable only with circumstantial evidence. However, there are many clear cut proofs of foreign meddling as per the rulers’ claims.
Better late than never: Karachi Airport incidence has finally been considered as a wake-up call which actually ignited a large military offensive in the history of Pakistan. “Operation-Zarb-e-Azb” is a reality now. Launching offensive of that magnitude is not a joke, especially, when Pakistan already faces severe economic downturn.
Seemingly, this will be a long ‘deadly war’ full of suffering and sacrifices. Yet, it’s worth fighting to achieve permanent peace and prosperity for 185 million Pakistanis.
Obviously, launching offensive on such a large scale involves allocating huge funds for the purpose. If the operation lingers on for an indefinite period, a severe financial strain is imminent. Yet, for sake of Pakistan’s survival, the operation has to be successful. Success would eventually arrive when safe havens of the TTP militants are eliminated by the Pak Air Force, while the Pak Army keeps advancing to recapture the lost ground.
Good news: The terrorists’ hideouts and huge cache of arms and ammunition have already been destroyed. Pakistani jets are busy bombing the militants in a lawless tribal district and have successfully achieved targets. The operation seems to be gaining momentum.
It’s worth mentioning that the Prime Minister’s pronouncements and the adoption of the “Protection of Pakistan Bill” by the National Assembly show a serious intent at the government level to free the country of the terrorist menace at all cost.

On the contrary, the experts claim that the vital element of SURPRISE has been missed in this very operation. A prolonged period of time for the negotiated settlement actually gave undue advantage to the militants who disappeared from the scene. Other problem is many militants are believed to have become clean shaven (with no more turbans) to merge with the IDPs (internally displaced persons). So, the IDP camp has to be under military monitoring/surveillance 24/7 to stop the terrorists from sneaking in or sneaking out.

Maybe, the menace of terrorism is inherently far from over as an excessive amount of precious time was given to the peace negotiators but no deal ever materialized - because the TTP was only buying time to get re-inforced.
The reality is Pak Army is in a state of the bloodiest war that it has ever fought. The expert opinion is Pak military is fighting a deadly 4G war within. However, it would defend the country in case there occurs a “3G threat” from India. Now the military needs more of esprit de corps, sense of unity, and the confidence of 185 million Pakistanis.

The latest campaign is much more complex than any other undertaken by the security forces so far in its decade-long war in this treacherous region comprising of mountainous territory. Despite the fact that the military is now much more experienced in fighting insurgency, this asymmetric war is not going to be easy. In other words, the current military campaign is far more complex than any other undertaken by the security forces so far and it’s going to be a long haul.
The Pakistani state is having a difficult time. There is the constant pressure of the War on Terror, created by the US occupation of Afghanistan. Due to US presence in the region, operations as Zarb-e-Azb become vitally important.
There has been a huge effort to convince Pakistanis that this was their war, and there you go, it has absolutely become one.
Though, there is a natural distinction made between Pakistani troops and the militants, yet the fact remains that casualties on both sides are Muslims, thus it becomes Pakistanis’ war.
Other development: A control room has been set up at the office of the commissioner Bannu to facilitate the internally displaced persons of North Waziristan Agency in getting help of the relief organisations and volunteers. The control room has been set up at the special directives of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. The basic purpose of the control room is to share with the concerned quarters the updated information about the affected people of North Waziristan Agency, monitor the registration of IDPs and relief activities, and addressing complaints against any federal or provincial government departments. (Pak News Papers)

Nevertheless, the issue of militants fleeing into Afghanistan, or disguising themselves to infiltrate IDP camps is the prolonged gap between the lingered on hopes for negotiations and the operation zarb-e-azb. Consequently, there is widespread paranoia and panic. It’s suggested that IDPs be kept in camps and be disallowed a free mobility in Pakistan.
Caution: Pakistan’s war on terrorism can be won if the rulers show good governance, address and resolve the root causes of extremism and terrorism in the country including the extreme poverty, unemployment, injustice, inequality, illiteracy etc.

The most strategic need is the cutting of supply line to the militants including their financial resources from within and from the hostile foreign sources.
Smoking out the TTP terrorists from their hideouts in Karachi must be the top priority, otherwise, further terrorist activity could restrain all chances of investment and economic revival in Pakistan. PIA is unable to even lease more airplanes because of the messy terrorism on the airports is scary. Hopefully, the Operation Zarb-e-Azb restores the writ of State and the things are back to normal.

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