Production of militants and terrorists closes down in Pakistan?
By Agha Iqrar Haroon
Strategic changes in Middle East look productive and there are signs indicating Pakistan is no more a visa free land for foreign Muslims Brothers. Karachi Airport attack jolted the entire nation and raised serious doubts that Pakistan can survive as a State and it has an Army that can protect this state.
Middle East situation particularly abrupt rise of Mujahideens of Takfiri Wahhabis sect and massacre of Iraqi soldiers by their hands threatens regular armies of entire region. Iraq situation sent a message to whole world that purist Islamists can divide states, massacre regular armies and can create new states like of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) within days.
Thousands of Salafi Jihadis belonging to tribal areas of Pakistan are allegedly fighting along with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Majority of them belong to a new generation of Arab-Pushtuns, Uzbek-Pushtun and Yamini-Pushtuns youth who is born in tribal areas of Pakistan and their fathers came to Pakistan for waging Jihad against Russia. This youth has never been in school except religious madaris and this youth has no skill except using weapons and killing infidel.
This is clear that this youth will come back to tribal areas soon after finishing their Jihad in Middle East. Just imagine of only 15 militants can initiate exceptional successful attack on Karachi Airport and can engage 2,500 security persons for 7 hours—what would be the scene if thousands of such militants decide to establish a new state in Pakistan-Afghanistan areas? Situation is serious and now entire nation understand this threat.
The decision of Pakistan government to launch operation in tribal areas against hideout of militants under the code name of Zarb-e-Azb is an exceptional positive step and the Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif has said that operation will continue till the elimination of terrorism and terrorists in tribal areas. He also said the menace of terrorism will be wiped out from the society by destroying terrorists’ hideouts. While expressing his satisfaction over preparation and progress of the operation so far, COAS emphasized that all terrorists along with their sanctuaries must be eliminated without any discrimination.
The operation is not targeted against valiant tribes of North Waziristan but against those terrorists who are holed up in the Agency and have picked up arms against the state of Pakistan.
First time during the last 35 years, Pakistan as a nation has accepted that extremism and terrorism cannot bring prosperity to any nation and the country. Civil and military establishment in Pakistan always believe Jihad is not a strategic philosophy rather a weapon against enemies. Jihadis have been strategic assets for our forces and intelligence agencies.
This lethal weapon of Jihad was not dump in any military warehouse rather it was laying in open in our society and “social radiation factor of Jihad weapon” deformed and defaced Pakistani society during all these 35 years. There is no need to go into details how strongly Pakistani culture and military leadership has been effected by the radiation factor of lethal weapon laying open in our society.
Remember thousands of retired and in-service officers and soldiers have been targeted and killed by terrorists during the last 10 years. This corps of Martyrs includes one former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was killed by TTP. Hundreds of political workers and political leaders became victim of non-stop terrorism but even losing around 55,000 civilians and around 5,000 armed services staffers, the narrative against terrorism was not clear for Pakistan. Many Good Taliban were strategic partners of many religious parties and there were some Bad Taliban who were not with religious parties or with our intelligence agencies.
The leadership of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been very honest to accept responsibility of killing and slaughtering soldiers and people but Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema Islam (Samiul Haq) consider TTP leadership as “sons of soil” and strongly object any action against TTP. JI, JUI and PTI are not ready to accept that war against TTP is the war to protect Pakistan. Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) call war against TTP as a US dictated war against “sons of soil of Pakistan”. Whole world was crying that Pakistan is heaven for international terrorist organisations that have their establishments in tribal areas but religious parties always resist any operation in North Waziristan.
Now it looks that nation has stand up against all terrorists including Good Taliban and Bad Taliban because Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif has said that operation in tribal is against all terrorists and National Assembly has adopted a resolution expressing fullest support with the decision of the Government to launch a military operation by valiant armed forces against militants in the tribal areas which are using the sacred soil for nefarious activities. The resolution was signed and supported by PML(N), PPP, PTI, MQM and ANP.
The resolution noted that militants were engaged in attacks on security forces and law enforcing agencies as well as public and private property resulting in tragic death and injuries to military personnel and innocent citizens and colossal damage to the economy.
The resolution expressed the resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with armed forces till final victory. It hoped that the operation would not only help restore peace but also socio-economic prosperity of the people.
Pakistan can stand against terrorists and can defeat terrorists because Pakistani society is a moderate, loving and creative society and there is a strong that Pakistani establishment will not go for any new experiment in near future and will refrain from supporting extremist and purist Islam because extremism brings only disasters and death of a society.
Moreover it is yet to be cleared that will government take action against terrorist production units run by sectarian outfits like of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Punjab and Sindh? Will assembly line of extremist production units will be halted for time being or units will be scraped for ever?
If operation is without discrimination then will Army take action against Haqqani Network operating from tribal areas?
Another important question is: Will Pakistan take action against thousands of madrassas spreading over all over the country openly training youngsters to be mujahids?
“In the long term, Pakistan’s only salvation will be in redefining it. And yes, that will take a couple of generations if we actually work earnestly at it. Zarb-e-Azb could be the first tiny step and the huge leap, depending on whether we sincerely want to become a peaceful people at peace with ourselves and with the rest of the world”, one Pakistani columnist Gul Bukhari commented in one of her latest piece.