‘Zarb-e-Azb’ ‘Afghan War on Terror and Regional Scenario

‘Zarb-e-Azb’ ‘Afghan War on Terror and Regional Scenario

Hamza Rahman Malik


The strategic transitional phase in Afghanistan has started. The three pronged-transition envelops political, economic and security issues prevailing for the new dawn in Afghanistan.

Recent presidential elections, poor political reconciliatory efforts among all groups, pitiable governance etc is the depiction of incapable political will to deal with the situation. On economic front, 100 percent national economy depends upon foreign investment, which is likely to say good buy, once troops draw down from Afghanistan. ‘Afghan National Security’ the biggest question for all regional and global players remains un-answered. According to US Congressional Research Service (CRS), nearing 95% of security funds were invested on training of Afghan Security Forces. Futile, as they are unable to establish writ at their own. The areas evacuated by allied forces and handed over to Afghan forces are threatened to be recaptured by militants. What the fruits fetched from a decade long war in Afghanistan? Why allied forces want to quit Afghanistan? Is there another military campaign waiting in world? Yes may be.

Contrary to US/ NATO operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan Army did with considerable difference in its own territory. Kinetic attacking endeavors like operations ‘Rah-e-Rast’ ‘Rah-e-Nijat’ ‘Black Thunderstorm’ in Swat, Malakand and their surrounding areas, and counters like ‘Operation Jaanbaz’ during terrorists assault on Army’s general headquarters in 2009 were among versatile exhibition of Pakistan Army’s brilliance. Total duration of all such operations is between 12-15 months, ranging from three days to three months of the striking timeline. This is what Pakistan Army did which has not been done by forces from 48 countries in Afghanistan with better equipment, logistics and counterinsurgency fields.

Now ‘Zarb-e-Azb’ (Strike of Prophet’s Sword) is being carried out in North Waziristan at a bit extended scale including air strikes. Pakistan has requested Afghanistan for necessary border steps to prevent militants fleeing to their soil. Precision, targeted strikes and cordoned area are the main features of the operation, along with additional responsibility of safe accommodation for IDPs.

Matters of concern for the regional players are, what will be the scenario when troops withdrawal from Afghanistan? Who will take care of dangerous and alarming situation developing in Afghanistan? What Russia wants? Why India can be an alternate of Pakistan? How to tackle with militant groups growing rapidly in Central Asian States, joining Taliban? Pakistan wants to be with Afghanistan in assistance. Its foreign policy gives a clear full-stop to the statement that “Peace in Afghanistan is in interest of Pakistan and it will continue playing its facilitating role in peaceful political reconciliation”.

Nutshell of recent regional scenarios seems to be continuity of war in Afghanistan. This war may be ends for the US, but will be continued for Afghanistan and Pakistan. United States has to realize that not only Afghan, but Pakistan’s security forces also needed to be further equipped with required surveillance, striking and counterinsurgency ammunition to be used in the days to be come. Best option for this is, to provide NATO’s equipments used in Afghan war to Pakistan, including drones. This would further enhance Pak Army’s capabilities to deal with terrorism.

“China in Afghanistan” is good news for Pakistan in terms of economic development and infrastructural initiatives. This can further enhance bilateral and trilateral cooperation if Russia is added, for long-term and short-term projects in Afghanistan. Next two months will be very critical in the region. Pakistan must hope for the best scenario and should be prepared for the worst one.

Hamza Rahman Malik

Defence and Diplomatic Affairs

Associated Press of Pakistan

Twitter: @hamzarahman0