Entire Nation at War
Unlike the past wars, the arena of war has changed. In the ongoing era, lethal weapons and subversive tactics used by the terrorists including foreign support to internal entities and propaganda can be more harmful in damaging the interest of a target country. The new warfare has made it difficult for the military to serve alone as the automatic dominant sphere in every war, covering all domains. This sort of war requires the cooperation of the entire nation.
In these terms, Pakistan has become the target of the different war, while country’s armed forces and other intelligence and law-enforcing agencies have intermittently been coping with the enemy which employs subversive activities of various kinds such as suicide attacks, targeted killings, assaults on the Army and security agencies, kidnappings, sectarian and ethnic violence. In this regard, having connection with each other, militant outfits, especially Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and Balochistan Republican Army (BRA) including other banned organizations have claimed responsibility for a number of terror-attacks. Karachi, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Balochistan have become vulnerable to their acts of sabotage. On June 8, 2014, the most tragic attack on Zaireen at Taftan Balochistan is quite alarming where two suicide bombers armed with SMGs attacked and exploded themselves, after conducting indiscriminate firing on Shias. Resultantly, 24 individuals were killed and 14 injured. Spokesman of the extremist group Jash-e-ul-Islam accepted responsibility. The brutal attack seeks immediate attention of Provincial Government and law-enforcing agencies.
Foreign backed subversive activities by the Baloch Sub-Nationalities (BSNs) go on, as miscreants carried out rocket attacks, target-killings, exploding gas pipelines and firing on security forces particularly in Awaran, Kech, Dera Bugti, Khuzdar and Pangur areas.
In fact, India has set up secret training centers in Afghanistan where its military personnel in connivance with Israeli RAW and CIA have been imparting training of guerilla warfare to the youngsters, having links with TTP, BLA, BRA and other similar insurgent outfits. These anti-Pakistan agencies send heavily-armed militants who not only target the outposts of Pak Army, but also commit various sorts of terror-activities in order to destabilize Pakistan. These insurgents are fighting proxy war with Pakistan. In this context, question arises that the terrorist Fazalullah is hiding in Kunar, Afghanistan, as to why US did not kill him through CIA-drone attack, as it did to Hakimullah in North Waziristan.
It is notable that when idea of initiating ‘Aman-Ki-Asha’ (Desire for peace) was presented, the exponents of this initiative argued that it will provide a platform to Pakistan to make peace with India and to facilitate resolution of core issues like Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, and Water through a dialogue process with New Delhi. But, Aman-Ki-Asha, promoted by the Geo and Jang Media Group in lines of Indian shrewd diplomacy provided India with pretext not only to keep all the issues with Islamabad unsettled, but also to distort the image of Pakistan, its ideology, Two Nation Theory, its Army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
The collaboration between Geo network and India has been exposed, as leaders of various political and religious parties including all the segments of society have been condemning the Geo and Jang Group by showing solidarity with Pakistan’s armed forces and ISI, in the aftermath of Hamid Mir episode which was manipulated by this media group. In this respect, , on April 28, 2014, voicing his support for the Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha called upon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif through a letter to stop ISI from suspending Geo TV license.
GEO network is trying to garner international support for pressurizing Pakistani government in its favour. Recently, a meeting between the owner of the Geo Media Group, Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman and US Congressmen of Indian lobby was arranged in USA by Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani who escaped to America to avoid judicial inquiry, as he proved disloyal to Pakistan due to his assistance to external enemies. However, such confluence indicates converging interests of anti-Pakistan forces at national and international level, manifested through GEO network.
Question is that who are supporting GEO? It is the Indian hawkish leadership alongside global establishment which are self-proclaimed proponents of free media like Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, EU Trade Commission and International and Federation of Journalists including various so-called human rights organizations and NGOs. They do not have any interest to see a strong and stable Pakistan.
No doubt, GEO is acting as a compliant tool of foreign forces, working to weaken the government and state institutions of Pakistan. In a shameless attempt to gain public sympathies, GEO network is orchestrating plans to attack its own employees, while projecting that it was done by ISI and Pak Army. Pakistani nation cannot be befooled by such a dramatization of self- infliction. We know who you really are…then why are you inflicting sufferings onto your poor employees? GEO has lost its popularity in the whole Pakistan. Patriotic Pakistanis have rejected foreign sponsored ‘JEW TV,’ if it is not true, then why has GEO removed its logo from its vans?
It is mentionable that Hindu politics and culture, dominated by the fundamentalist parties such as BJP, RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and other similar groups which have been propagating Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) are feeling pleasure because BJP hardliner Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks of Hindu deep seated animosity against Pakistan. Instead of resolving the issues with Islamabad, especially Kashmir dispute, Modi Govt in India, wants to revoke the article 370 of the Indian constitution which grants special status to the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Thus, Modi has ignored the Kashmiri liberation movement, and UNO resolutions about the independence of Kashmir. Without any progress on core issues like Indian-held Kashmir, Water, Siachen, Sir Creek and Indian proxies in Balochistan and FATA, there can be no peace with New Delhi. So, measures like granting the status of Most Favourite Nation to India will prove fruitless.
Meanwhile, since June 15, this year, Pakistan’s armed forces started a full scale operation “Zarb-e-Azb” against terrorists in North Wazirastan Agency. In this regard, DG, ISPR, Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa said: “On the directions of the Government, Armed forces of Pakistan have launched a comprehensive operation against foreign and local terrorists…these terrorists had been waging a war against the state of Pakistan by disrupting our national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property…with the support of the entire nation, these enemies will be denied space across the country.” Chief of Army Staff, General Raheel Sharif also expressed similar views on June 16, saying that military operation was aimed to eliminate all terrorists to get rid of the menace of terrorism.
Since then, jets of Pakistan Air Force have bombed militants’ hideouts in North Waziristan, and killed more than 300 insurgents including foreign militants, while Pak Army has also started ground offensive which has successfully been achieving its goals. Recently, several militants of the TTP have been killed and more than 10 surrendered before the Army.
It is a good sign that taking it as a war of the entire nation against the external and internal enemies, Pakistan’s media, politicians, leaders of religious parties and general masses are showing solidarity with the armed forces. It could be judged from the countrywide protests and rallies in support of the North Waziristan operation, assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and against the Geo Media Group—its foreign funding, particularly from India.
Nevertheless, TTP militants have been using suicide bombing as their main weapon against their own country by calling suicide bombers-the followers of Islam. In this context, Imam-e-Kaaba, Sheikh Abdul Rahman during his visit to Pakistan and during his Khateeb-e-Hajj had clearly stated that suicide attacks are illegal (Haram). He explained, “Such acts fall under the category of crime and suicide bombers or attackers are destined to go to Hell…they represent enemy of Muslims and they commit crimes against humanity, while misguiding other Muslims.” Denouncing terrorism as un-Islamic, he pointed out that terrorists’ activities are part of a conspiracy to defame Islam and destroy Muslims.
Still, there is a need to highlight TTP’s “TAKFIRI” (Unbelievers) ideology and declaring them as “KHAWARJI” (Out of Islam) by prominent religious scholars and intelligentsia. TTP terrorists must not be addressed as “Maulana or “Maulvi.” While indicating their names, our print and electronic media must mention them as “terrorists” or “rebels of the state.”
Combating terrorism is a case in point. For the purpose, PTV and other electronic TV channels must be forbidden to air even a single minute interview or statements of terrorists. No nation allows anti-state elements to present their distorted ideology as effectively as it happened in Pakistan. This must be ended immediately.
Unfortunately, Budget 2014-15 shows that hardly any resources are earmarked for improving capability of own law-enforcing and intelligence agencies. Instead, billions of rupees are allocated for mega projects like METRO bus.
Nonetheless, today our nation stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing multiple challenges to the country. So, it is not the war of the armed forces and security agencies alone, because the entire nation is at war which demands cooperation of every citizen and politician with the latter. It is the right hour to stand united against all the foreign funded and foreign sponsored anti-Pakistan forces like terrorism, Geo network, propaganda campaign of Aman Ki Asha, Hindutva and Modi’s fundamentalist approach against Pakistan.
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