More Zarbe Azb needed!
The talks between the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) central government and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) continued for over six months since September last year. The TTP got released its hundreds inmates from the government custoday in name of peace talks. The TTP terror strikes also ran during the so called peace talks, but it disowned these attacks to get its more prisoners freed. The PMLN and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) wanted solution of terrorism via talks. The both parties had even opposed Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) last government’s all operations against the terrorists and repeated their firm belief in talks.
The recent attack of the TTP and its allies on Jinnah International Airport Karachi has raised huge pressure on the PMLN Federal government to agree to an operation against the terrorists. Finally, the PMLN central government has given its go ahead to the army to launch an offensive against the hideouts of terrorists in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) All the political parties, bar Jamat-I- Islami (JI) and Jamat-e-Ulmae Islam Fazal-u- Rehman (JUIF), have signed the Zarbe Azb operation resolution in the National Assembly. Now Zarbe Azb is in full swing against the NWA terrorists.
There was a long and old demand of the United States of America (USA) for an operation in NWA, but Pakistan always displayed its reluctance. The USA repeatedly blamed Pakistan for its no willingness to take on the terrorists of NWA. There was also a perception in the West that Pakistan was divided into good and bad Taliban versions so it was not ready to go against their hideouts in NWA. It is heartening that ultimately almost all the political parties have united against the terrorists and now the badly needed operation is underway. The Pakistani government and the army have finally realized that there are no good and bad Taliban, but they all are terrorists with their only agenda to sabotage peace of Pakistan. In the wake of Jinnah Airport attack, it has been quite clear that the terrorists strikes are no more confined to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and they have acquired the capability to strike in any city of the country. The striking capability of terrorists has pushed the federal government and the army to the same page to launch an operation against the terrorists. All the large scale operations certainly cause the huge scale human population displacement and the collateral damage. There are reports of a large scale of human displacement from NWA owing to Zarbe Azb operation there. The terrorists always exploit such conditions and enlarge their circles by recruiting those people affected by the state acts. There is need of making the operation targeted and precise to have less displacement of area people so that these internally displaced people (IDPs) may not be the fertile recruiting grounds for the terrorists. The Federal government must make arrangements for shelter, food, health and education of the IDPs to have less effects of operation on them.
If we look into the ground realities, this becomes crystal clear that the terrorists’ networks are now no more restricted only to NWA. The terrorists have networks within four provinces of the country. Punjab tops the list of the presence of banned outfits networks. For instance, some months back, the terrorists struck Islamabad High Court by killing its a judge, a lawyer and many others. The murders of Shias are also norm of the day there. Shockingly, on Wednesday, a Muhattahida Quomi Movement (MQM) lawmaker Tahira Asif was thrice shot in Lahore and finally she lost battle to life on Friday. The murder of a lawmaker in Lahore signifies the terror groups’ strength and presence in Punjab and their targetting of the liberal voices. Similarily, the frequent attacks on Shia pilgrims in Quetta highlight the extremists networks there. The Dera Ismail Khan Jailbreak and Peshawar blast are an ample proof of the TTP strength in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa.
Moreover, some foreign journals published that 1/3 of Karachi has terror networks. The murders of political workers and the liberal voices are the routine incidents in Karachi. Recently, some TTP commanders have been killed in rangers and police encounters there.
The operation Zarbe Azb will surely play a pivotal role in destroying the TTP sanctuaries in NWA. But this single operation there can not completey break terror networks within the country. The Zarbe Azb like operations are needed across those cities of Pakistan where there are ample proof of terror activities and their networks. All terrorists are interconnected and have the same agenda to challenge the writ of the state and derail democracy. The Zarbe Azb operation in NWA will have transient effects, if no such operations are launched against the banned outfits in major cities of the country.
Pakistan requires to be a terrorists’ and its sympathizers free country to surive and progress in the globe. This is high time for all the political parties of the country to unite against the terror groups wherever these are suspected in the country. The ISIS take overs of oil fields in Iraq should be an eye opening to the political forces of Pakistan that the extremist forces prevalence in the country can one day pose a threat like ISIS group.
The success of Zarbe Azb is very necessary to defeat the extremist forces there and launch such operations in other cities of the country. The extremists’ ideology is virulent because it twists Islamic facts and poisons young and innocent minds of the youths of the country against the armed forces of the country. A terror free Pakistan is in the interest of the political forces of the country and the world community.