Pak Armed Forces & War on Terror
By Zaheeul Hassan
On August 14, 2012 Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as Chief guest addressed a large number of people from all segments of society , senior serving and retired civil and military officials in parade ground of Pakistan Military Academy at the occasion of sixty fifth Independence Day.
While paying tribute, he stated that 14th day of August always reminded him that how Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam took on tremendous odds to win their right to a separate national and religious identity. Perhaps, no other nation in modern history has paid a higher price for its independence.
General Kayani very rightly declared that the terrorism and extremism is against the spirit of Islam. The terrorist are playing in the foreign hands to create political instability, disillusionment, desperation, religious bigotry, political disharmony and discord seem to permeate our lives. Naturally, the forces hostile to our motherland are benefitting from internal weaknesses and resulting uncertainty in the country.
Notably, since entering into FATA, security forces have conducted more than three hundred major and seven hundred sixty minor operations in militant hit areas in the last few years, most of them in the year 2009 -10. As result peace has been restored in entire north of Pakistan and road accesses to majority of FATA areas have been established. It is also mentionable that from the year 2008 to 2012, writ of government has been established in 91% of FATA. It is the Pakistan Armed Forces who are working on the sustainable development plan in order to improve the livelihood of ordinary people of FATA .
The forces have eliminated over 4000 terrorists and almost 4000 apprehended. Over 1500 officers and men of Pakistan Army and Frontier Corps have embraced shahadat in this war on terror which itself speaks the commitment of Pakistan and its security/intelligence agencies in global war against terrorism. Military Operations have created an environment conducive for the political process.
Moreover, 120,000 security forces (Army and FC) are guarding the 1100 check posts on the western border. Army was requisitioned by Provincial government on 23 October 2007 in Swat and operation in Swat was launched on 24 November 2007. Security Forces cleared the area and writ of the government was restored by end December 2008. Over 700 militants were killed and 200 security forces personnel embraced shahadat during six months of intense fighting in the valley. At the end of July 2012, under the direction of General Officer Commanding of Swat and Malakand Division, Major General Ghulam Qamar, Pakistan Army has took initiative, daring and positive steps while arranging a sports gala . The General Officer Commanding appreciated the government’s cooperation in the pleasant environment of Swat. At this occasion, he appreciated the army engineers and said that Mahodand Lake is accessible for all sorts of vehicles for the first time in history. He also added that tourists resort would be developed to promote at the site to promote tourism in the area.
COAS Kayani while presenting realistic and objective assessment of the threat posed by terrorism and religious extremism stressed the need for the nation to get united against militancy. It is the known facts that terrorists on the direction of their masters are carrying out nefarious activities against innocent people, as well as targeting security forces. They attacked GHQ, recruitment and Training Regimental Centre Mardan, Police Training Centre Lahore, POF Wah, Naval Staff College, Mehran Naval Base, Kamra Air Base, killed innocent people of Hazra Tribe of Balochistan and recently also shoot down 22 individual near Chilas . Militants have also attacked many other sensitive installations and religious places. Thus, they do not deserve any sympathy while disowning the war on terror and need to be eliminated through decisive action. Off course the decision of taking actions against militant has to be given by the government at the appropriate time. In this connection, Pakistani forces and government have already given the messages that no action against peace loving people would be taken. The necessity of the action against foreign sponsored terrorists is the national demand.
Anyhow, we can say that General Kayani’s claim regarding ownership of war on terror is absolutely genuine since he knows that any misgivings about the war can divide the nation internally and lead to unending war. It is therefore, vital that our minds must be clear of cobwebs on this crucial issue.
Unfortunately, a journalist Khaleed Ahmed made a biased opinion, while critizing General Kayani in his articles “Analysis of Counter Terrorism” (Friday Times of 24-30August 2012 and “General Kayani’s War” (Express Tribune dated 26 August 2012). He alleged that General Kayani used his military powers to dominate the democratic dispensation and for muddling in the political / foreign affairs/ policy matters. In fact, journalists like Khaleed do carry out propaganda against Army and ISI as fashion or as part of their assigned tasks. General Kayani took over the Army’s command when Pakistan was passing through under political turmoil, war of terror was on, India started prickling through covert actions on eastern and western fronts, Americans lunched unilateral action to kill Osama bin Laden, Indo-US interference in Balochistan, and is violating Pakistan’s sovereignty by carrying out drone attacks. Credit goes to General that under the revealed conditions, he had never tried to roll down the political setup. The general forced America to seek excuse on Salala Check post incident.
Khaleed Ahmed criticized Gen Kayani for making strategically wrong decisions and then backing out in the end• In fact Kahleed has failed to suggest any solution to the state of Pakistan facing dreadful attacks of extremist elements / terrorists. He appears to have formulated an agenda which serves the purpose of his foreign masters; otherwise every Pakistani is desirous of eliminating religious extremism and terrorism from Pakistan.
In short, I will just say that article written by so called intellectual could be a deliberate attempt of implementing foreign agenda with a view to degrade COAS, Pak army and ISI image in the country. He failed to understand that our nation is quite sensible enough do understands that such type of nonsense could be the module of anti nuclear and security forces propaganda. Therefore, there is a need to condemn such type of anti Pakistan campaign. The nation should come out to support the brave soldiers who for ever ready to scarify their “today or ours tomorrow”.
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