Pakistan’s Determination to Win War against Terrorism
By Sajjad Shaukat
Terrorism has caused massive damage to the prosperity of Pakistan. In this context, the Parliamentary Secretary for Interior, Maryam Aurangzeb, while informing the National Assembly on December 19, 2014 said, “Pakistan which has been major victim of terrorism has suffered a loss of almost 80 billion dollars including loss of 50,000 precious lives of civilians and security agencies…huge collateral damage during the decade long war against terrorism.” Afterwards, these losses increased.
Undoubtedly, in our country, the victims of terror attacks and suicide bombings have been innocent men, women and children. Regrettably, those militant entities like TTP, which try to justify terrorism and suicide bombings in the name of Islam, are misguiding the people, while these brutal acts are clearly against the teachings of Islam.
Although currently, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria and other Muslim countries are in shambles due to AI-Qaeda and ISIL terrorism, yet all types of violent tactics, employed by the militant organizations could not break Pakistan’s resolve to defeat them.
Valiant security personnel are facing the brunt of terrorist attacks, as they have stood up as the saviors of the Pakistani nation. Pakistan Army consists of six million professional troops who are highly motivated to root out terrorism from the country.
In this regard, the capability of Pakistan’s Armed Forces could be judged from the one year progress of the ongoing military operation Zarb-e-Azb which started on Jun 15, 2014 against the militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA).
On June 10, this year, while showing the progress of the Zarb-e-Azb, Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif said, “Terrorists have been cleared from their strongholds in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency and fight now is moving into last few pockets close to Afghan border.” He laid emphasis on “continuation of the operations till elimination of the last expected and probable terrorists groups and sanctuaries.”
However, since June 15, 2014, the jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed militants’ hideouts in North Waziristan, and killed thousands of insurgents including foreign militants, while Pak Army has also killed several terrorists through ground offensive and many of them surrendered before the Army. Thus, these forces destroyed their strongholds, demolishing tunnels and factories producing IED (Explosives), while drying the sources of their funds and sinking their public support.
In fact, the different war between Pakistan’s Armed Forces and the insurgents is simply a ‘clash of wills’ between two entities. Military thinkers agree that although the physical force will determine the type and scale of war, yet it is the ‘will to fight’ or ‘moral force’ that determines the outcome of war. Clausewitz puts it this way, “One might say that the physical force seems little more than the wooden hilt, while moral factors are the precious metal, the real weapon.”
In his book, “Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945”, Creveld identifies the elements of ‘moral force’, whom he calls “fighting power, the willingness to fight and the readiness, if necessary, to die.” The greater these elements, the less vulnerable an armed force will be to demoralization. ‘Moral force’, then, is the crucial factor in determining the combat power of any belligerent.
During the successful military operation, Zarb-e-Azb” retreat of the Taliban from North Waziristan has proved that such elements like ‘will to fight’ and ‘moral force’ have been more found in Pakistan’s Armed Forces then the Taliban militants. It is owing to this factor coupled with the spirit of sacrificing their own lives that the Armed Forces demoralized the militants of the TTP and their affiliated militant outfits.
However, Pakistan’s security forces are also waging this different war against terrorists in other parts of the country. In this respect, every settled district has operational policing system. Punjab and Sindh Rangers are available to backup Army and Police. Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary and Levies personnel are providing additional enforcement against the militant organizations. Intelligence agencies of the country are working round the clock to foil nefarious designs of terrorists and their masters in hostile agencies.
It is notable that as terrorists had accelerated anti-social, undemocratic and un-Islamic practices, while challenging the writ of the state, and had frightened the entire nation by their terror-acts. Hence, leaders of various political and religious parties including all segments of society and media anchors—particularly commentators of TV channels, who wanted that a handful of terrorist elements must not be allowed to dictate their agenda and to impose their self-perceived ideology on the majority of Pakistanis are admiring the successes of the security forces against these insurgents. Now, the whole nation is united against terrorism and is backing the military operations against these brutal militants.
Nevertheless, the success of the military operations and defeat of the terrorists will become assured, if the ruling and the opposition parties including all the segments of society display practical unity not only with one another, but also with the Armed Forces including other security agencies, which is also necessary to maintain order at this sensitive moment and to win this war against the militants.
So, the right hour has come that Pakistan’s media, politicians, leaders of religious parties and the general masses must not only show solidarity with the security forces and other law-enforcing and intelligence agencies, but must also cooperate with them against these zealots, and to take this war to its logical end.
Therefore, collective wisdom demands that the victory of people of Pakistan is inevitable in this different war, as few thousand militants occupying a part of FATA can neither capture whole Pakistan nor subjugate its 200 million people. While the state of Pakistan has the capacity to sustain counterterrorism operations, the militant organizations are already in disaster. Our salvation lay in final victory, each and every citizen must own this war against terrorism and we must put our full trust in Government and Army. Everyone should play his part and remain united against terrorists by showing Pakistan’s strong determination to win this war against terrorism.
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