Enough is enough: PAF Targeted Taliban Hideouts

 By Zaheerul Hassan

Government suspended negotiations with Taliban when public pressures built up after repeated attacks of militants on security forces and the innocent people. According to the credible reports 308 civilians, jahanzeeb114 military soldiers including officers, 38 police persons  have been martyrdom and 1,264 (684 civilians, 531 military, 49 police) suffered with severe injuries due to terrorists act throughout the country since the September APC. Moreover, 148 innocent people were killed in 17 blasts since first week of January 2014. Just in February two young majors (Major Danish and Major .

TTP again claimed the responsibility of abducting 23 FC soldiers from Pakistan and later on beheading them in Afghanistan tan.  In this regard Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with the Afghanistan government over the brutal murder of FC personnel inside the Afghan territory.  This protest was conveyed by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs to the Afghan Foreign Minister Mr. Zarar Maqbool Osmani in Male, Maldives where both were attending the SAARC Ministerial meeting on 20 February 2014.

The nation felt further concern over negotiations with TTP after the tragic incident of terrorist attack against a Police Bus carrying members of Special Security Unit at Police Training Centre Razzaqabad, Karachi, killing 13 and injuring 57 commandos, has been condemned by all and sundry. TTP has claimed responsibility for such a catastrophic and filthy act of terrorism, earning deep public contempt and foul national abuses / curse. No doubt such violent acts inflict never-ending injuries leaving awful mental distress and painful recollections. No doubt loss of 13 precious lives and 57 fatal injuries is mind-blowing and atrocious. Obviously the incident has been termed as a setback to the ongoing dialogue between Govt of Pakistan and Taliban militants.

Anyhow, opafn 20 February, PAF Jets and Kobra Helicopters have launched a joint operation in Mir Ali and Khyber Agency since military leadership probably has decided to evict this terrorism while using forces rather than keep on wasting time on the plea of negations with the beasts. According to the confirmed local media reports, large stockpiles of arms and ammunitions were also destroyed and dozens of other militants may also have been injured in the strikes. During these attacks 35 militants including foreigners were killed .

Terrorist hideouts in Dattakhel, Shawan and Mir Ali districts were hit in the surgical strikes executed by Pakistani Air Force. Notably, on January 20, in two separate strikes in North Waziristan, Pakistani jets had hit several hideouts in Mir Ali and Mirali districts killing over 40 militants and many injured. The attacks were launched on receipt of confirm information that terrorists posing a threat to the country were taking refuge in the area.   The nation has well received the surgical strikes against militants and demeaned that security forces should go for military offensive against TTP. Thus, probably, the military is well aware of the pulse of the massed and has planned steps to take on the terrorists once for all.  However, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has correctly asserted that peace talks and violent acts of terrorism cannot go side by side. In this context Govt Committee has also written a letter to TTP to stop terrorism. Unfortunately MQM has been out rightly accusing Police for extra judicial killing and targeting MQM activists in Karachi. They also gave an ultimatum to Police / Govt to release alleged MQM criminals.  A few days before transfer in Sindh Police forced DG Rangers to make exasperating media assertions to get the postings cancelled otherwise the operation was likely to suffer. People whisper around that terrorist attack against Police in Karachi coincided with surpassing of ultimatum time. Some people are also offering speculations that TTP claimed responsibility on behalf of MQM’s militant wing who might have managed a secret deal with TTP to claim responsibility.

But unfortunately, conspiracy theories are stretching speculations and spreading rumors. Political leaders like Imran Khan instead supporting military operation now are also playing politics stating that success of military action against TTP will have 40% chance of success as stated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who referred the statement to ex COAS / DG ISI. There are others who totally blame the third force and thus do not accept any responsibility. They should understand that such type attitude of political leaders is perturbing the soldiers and innocent people mind. Thus they show least seriousness to end the violence and eliminate terrorism.   Moreover, domestic media should support operation rather than giving time to the supports of militants to project there nonsense point of view in favour of terrorists. In this regard the media should condemn TTP for its hypocrisy and double face. The supports of peace believe that TTP, on the one hand they contest enforcement of SHARIHA and on the other hand they launch violent attacks against innocent people including those who are deputed on sacred duties of security and maintaining law and order.

TTP strongholds must be targeted on every violent attack they launch and tit-for-tat retaliatory operations be conducted to make them feel the pain of their terrorist acts.

It is also important that time has come that the nation must be united against TTP and all other petty issues including party lines and power grabbing motives be relegated till the menace of terrorism is successfully eliminated.

Similarly, terrorism in other parts of the country must be dealt with iron hands and officials performing their duties honestly in elimination of terrorism should be protected. In this regard, i would suggest to Sindh and federal govts that postings in Sindh Police during Karachi operation must not be done and prior consent of DG Rangers Sindh be sought on any such eventuality.

 Political parties must allow Police to conduct across the board operation and let the criminals be brought to law / justice. Issuing ultimatums and accusations leveled against Police give wind to speculations that Police is being targeted by militant wings of a particular political party (MQM). The ruling elite and others leaders must not advance their political agenda on valuable assessments given by top military leadership on the possibility of success of military operation against TTP. Out of context references not only ridicule the Armed Forces but also help glorify the Taliban. 40% success of Army operation stated by ex COAS pointed at creating an impact of Army operation in overall objective of resolution of problem of peace. Hence, political leaders must exercise prudence in making statements to gain political prominence. Senior politicians like Raja Zafarul-Haq must not evade responsibility on terrorism by putting the entire blame on the third force and feel guiltless. They have to accept responsibility to take the country out of terrorism.

The writer can be approached through zameer36@gmail.com

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