Armed Forces Broke the Backbone of the Terrorists
Although a full scale military operation Zarb-e-Azb which started in North Waziristan Agency on June 15, this year against the ferocious terrorists led by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) proceeds with appreciable triumph, successfully achieving its planned objectives, yet the terrorists have started to show upsurge in their anti-state activities. Hence, target killing of renowned political leaders, religious scholars and prominent figures have started in major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar. Similarly, bomb blasts have also been unleashed by the terrorists.
Taking cognizance of the recent terror-attacks, some media anchors and commentators misperceive that TTP militants have still capacity to continue subversive activities. However, this phenomenon needs analysis.
In fact, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone and organized capability of terrorists to launch well thought-out attacks against the government assets. They have met serious setbacks in operation Zarb-e-Azb, and shall finally be totally eliminated from their safe havens in FATA and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan.
It appears, as if the militants of TTP have lost major grounds, and in severe frustration, they are trying to create some kind of so-called pressure on the government and the Armed Forces.
Division in TTP and fighting among the terrorists indicate that they have lost the ability to put up strong resistance. Therefore, it is expected that very soon, the menace of terrorism will be totally eliminated from FATA and other parts of Pakistan.
It is notable that the Afghan government’s propaganda against Pakistan for supporting terrorists groups and militias in Afghanistan is totally unfounded and baseless. This simply indicates the malicious mind-set of Afghan leadership which has become habitually ungrateful and ungracious.
It is mentionable that Afghanistan is responsible for terrorists’ penetration into Pakistan. Since April, 2011, some 200 to 400 heavily-armed militants from Afghanistan’s side entered Pakistan’s region, from time to time, and targeted the security check posts, civil and military infrastructure of the tribal areas. So far, these terrorists have killed several personnel of Pakistan’s security forces and innocent civilians.
Nevertheless, the way the Afghan militants are challenging a highly professional Pak Army is enough to prove that with the tactical assistance of American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have well-established their collective network in Afghanistan are fully backing these cross-border incursions with a view to destabilizing Pakistan which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World.
While, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where these external secret agencies are also sending logistic support to Baloch separatist elements to dismember Pakistan in order to obtain the secret strategic designs of the US, India and Israel. Besides martyring several personnel of security agencies in Balochistan, these foreign-backed entities kidnapped and massacred many innocent people including teachers, lawyers, Hazara-Shias etc., and Chinese nationals.
Besides, with the cooperation of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS), and with the tactical assistance of CIA and Mossad, RAW has well-organized anti-Pakistan espionage network in Afghanistan. For this sinister move, a religious Madrassa of Wakhan, located in Afghanistan is functioning under the patronage of Indian officials. It is being used for brainwashing of very young boys who are Afghans and so-called Indian Muslims. Posing themselves as Pakistani Taliban, they have joined the ranks and files of the TTP, Pakistan and other banned extremist outfits. In the recent years, especially TTP’s insurgents and its affiliated banned groups conducted many terror-activities like suicide attacks, ruthless beheadings of tribesmen, assaults on security personnel and prominent figures including Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis, Christians and Sikhs. Besides, terror-attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Karachi are part of the scheme to create chaotic situation in the country.
In this context, Pakistan’s civil and military leadership has repeatedly lodged a strong protest with their counterparts in Afghanistan and NATO, saying that their forces were doing nothing to check insurgents’ activities, based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Afghan government also refused to hand over Maulvi Fazlullah, leader of TTP and other militants who have been conducting acts of sabotage in Pakistan.
Nonetheless, Afghan government is supporting TTP and Baloch sub-nationalist elements on its soil; it has allowed the country to become centre of terrorism by providing space not only to terrorists, but also to hostile intelligence agencies including RAW to implement their nefarious agendas by abetting instability and terrorism in Pakistan.
Particularly, Afghan blame game could be judged from the fact that with the start of Pakistan’s military Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the militants in North Waziristan Agency, while playing in hands of external powers, Afghan authorities have intensified their propaganda against Pak Army and ISI for supporting insurgency, selective operations and cross-border attacks in Afghanistan. The narrative not only scapegoats Pakistan for all Afghan failures, but also portrays Pakistan’s security forces and intelligence agencies in bad light.
In this connection, Afghan accusations are unsubstantiated and are bound to distract the concentration of Afghan key contributors, ranging from general public to mainstream political, key economic and security related issues. Afghan authorities are trying to blow up matters at international scene for covering up own follies and failures, encompassing the above mentioned spheres.
So, Afghan rulers and media are not independent in their decisions and opinions, and are virtually stand hostage to Indian advisors.
While, poppy cultivation has risen to all time high, and Afghanistan has become one of the biggest contributors of drug proliferation in the region and beyond. And, Afghan government has failed in controlling corruption and implementing rule of law, while international community especially major donors are averse to such malpractices.
Undoubtedly, operation Zarb-e-Azb is aimed at eliminating terrorists from North Waziristan Agency. Therefore, government of Afghanistan must undertake its obligatory role against terrorists who are crossing Pak-Afghan border. Both the neighbouring countries are required to fight the menace of militancy by adopting policies of convergence, not the divergence.
Media must highlight Pakistan’s resolve to develop brotherly relations with Afghanistan, based on non-interference and mutual respect. Islamabad has already supported and appreciated Afghan power sharing accord between the presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullal Abdullah.
Meanwhile, it is a good sign that in wake of the changing strategy of the militants to target extremely sensitive places including airports, naval dockyards and airbases, positive steps have been undertaken to counter the threat posed by terrorists. In addition, insurgents are resorting to target killing of prominent figures including intellectuals, professors, politico-religious leaders and heads of institutions. The aim is to glorify the stance of terrorists through attention-seeking efforts and becoming media item of discussion and analysts. In this respect, no doubt Pakistan valiant Armed Forces have broken the backbone of the terrorists led by the TTP, but there is a need to prepare a comprehensive strategy to denounce the terrorists under which all segments of society including media must condemn the terrorists, and they should not be provided any space in the media.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations