Going after the militant?

Published: August 14, 2012

Kayani has correctly pointed out, no country can afford to allow a parallel force to exist within its borders even if it is hard for the army to take on its own people. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The words from General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani in his Independence Day message are encouraging. He has indicated Pakistan is determined to go after militants with all the force it can muster and to end insurgency in the country. Till now there has, of course, been much debate over how fully the Pakistan military is committed to dealing with the Taliban and other forces based primarily in the tribal areas. The nexus with them for strategic purposes has existed for a long time. It would be a huge positive change if this relationship was ended.

General Kayani’s strong words indicate this will indeed happen. Following improved relations with Washington, there have been consistent rumours that a huge operation is to be conducted in North Waziristan and other areas.

The US has, of course, long demanded that militant strongholds in these areas be squashed. Till now, Pakistan has been somewhat reluctant, but as Kayani has correctly pointed out, no country can afford to allow a parallel force to exist within its borders even if it is hard for the army to take on its own people.

What we need to do now is to also change mindsets. The ambiguity about the militants, tied in to anti-US feeling needs to be ended. There is no reason why a choice needs to be made between extremists and the West. Both can be criticised for their faults, and a course which favours all the people of Pakistan chalked out.

This is something we need to work on ahead of any military operation. Such a drive can succeed only if people are behind it and confident that this time the Pakistan army means business. There have been too many doubts about this in the past.

If militancy can truly be wiped out, this would genuinely brighten the future of our country. The generations to come deserve this. We have suffered greatly as a result of the Taliban threat. It is time to eliminate it and we must hope that we can succeed in achieving this as swiftly as possible even though it will mean more fighting in certain areas of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2012. 

Correction: An earlier version of the editorial missed out the word ‘brighten’ in the last paragraph. 

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Reader Comments (29)

  • 3rdRockfromtheSun
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:02PM

    So finally – it dawns on the Pakistanis as the country is perilously close to the point of no return! If true, it could mean a fresh start, if not, then this is just lip service. Hopefully it is the former. Also as the author points out – a change in mindset is also needed.
    So here’s wishing you all the luck in exorcising your demons.


  • entropy
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:12PM

    So it’s ok to unleash a tidal wave of terrorism on Pakistani civilians as long as the Americans are safe and happy, eh Express Tribune?


  • Iqbal
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:26PM

    Militancy in Pakistan is its cancer. Pakistan is going downhill and I dont see any light at the end of the tunnel.
    To progress it will have to cut defence spending and instead divert the resources into education. Its ideology that India is the aggressor does not wash with any independent thinkers but its own people.
    It must abolish all madrassas and start birth control. The present birth rate cannot be sustained and if it is not addressed then Pakistan will remain in the medieval times.
    A debate of religion whether Islam in its present stance can continue should now come out in open.


  • Zalmai
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:32PM

    “If militancy can truly be wiped out, this would genuinely the future of our country. The generations to come deserve this. We have suffered greatly as a result of the Taliban threat. It is time to eliminate it and we must hope that we can succeed in achieving this as swiftly as possible even though it will mean more fighting in certain areas of the country”.

    Proofreaders and editors totally missed the omission of a verb. The sentence should have said: “If militancy can truly be wiped out, this would genuinely improve the future of our country”. At any rate, it is high time Pakistan tackled these militants and rein in their assets.


  • Faraz
    Aug 14, 2012 - 11:45PM

    Yes indeed it is.
    Or you could always have others come in and do it for you.
    Pakistani amazes me. Bleating about violated sovereignty while harboring dangerous loons of the malevolent kind who are a threat to all of its neighbors.
    Pakistan needs to reclaim its territory and eliminate these bearded devils Recommend

  • entropy
    Aug 15, 2012 - 12:07AM

    Since when did fighting a foreign invader make you a ‘devil’? The Haqqanis are heros and freedom fighters not terrorists. The threat to ‘do it for you’ is an empty one. America cannot defeat the Taliban. If they can America and NATO use Pakistan as a scapegoat for their own failures.

  • Nand
    Aug 15, 2012 - 1:09AM

    So it’s ok to unleash a tidal wave of terrorism on the world as long as the Pakistan dances on the streets and distribute sweets and are safe and happy, eh Entropy?


  • SitaW
    Aug 15, 2012 - 2:07AM

    General Pasha was busy playing domestic politics…
    Until he was exposed by Ch Nisar and was thankfully not given further extention.

    It’s time for this NRO architect to also go … Kiyani we have had enough of you…


  • a&a
    Aug 15, 2012 - 4:31AM

    an uphill task, I think!! He is asking for more money . . . .???


  • a&a
    Aug 15, 2012 - 4:48AM

    I fully agreed with you @Iqbal the only solution of this mess is Education not The Force


  • Prius
    Aug 15, 2012 - 6:36AM


    Pashtunistan is not your land.



  • Cautious
    Aug 15, 2012 - 6:59AM

    Does anyone really believe that the Military is suddenly going to get serious about going after militants. Seems to me that it would have to spend considerable time lobbying the Pakistani public and far right political groups before that becomes a realistic option. One speech doesn’t make a policy.


  • karma
    Aug 15, 2012 - 9:52AM

    I thought Pakistan’s solution for militancy/insurgency by a section of local population is to de-militarize & give them self-determination?! Atleast that’s what it has been advising India!

    Militancy is not tolerated by any country. Irrespective of the issue involved. Armed struggle can’t be a solution to any problem. It only begets further violence.

    Hope Pakistan gets control of the situation within its geography and also stops supporting terrorists/militants/non-state actors waging war in other territories.


  • Caramelized_Onion
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:23AM

    E.T. is still learning that anything the Americans say is not the ‘gold standard’. Local problems like the Haqqanis demand local solutions, and the Pak Army is aware of that. Who will handle the fallout of NWA operation on Pakistani cities? Will the Americans help? No, they might send over a few more Raymond. Davis’s though.


  • observer
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:39AM

    OK, Let us begin at the beginning.

    Where did these beauties come from? Who armed and trained them? For what purpose?Recommend

  • The Reality
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:44AM

    As you sown so shall you reap. Remember since long history Pakistan with or without foreign support had been destroyed the future and lives of thousand and thousand of youngs, three consecutive generations; first training and equipped them, have been using them as buffer forces and non state actors for long at various fronts. Then after the fulfillment of own agenda these traditional forces have been started blaming and eliminating through various propaganda wars and conflicts. Blaming those innocents who lives, future and families have already been destroyed and used. It’s total hypocrisy instead of peaceful and timely transition.While the number of sacrifices and struggles of yesterday Heros and todays terrorists are invaluable and were for the today world peace.


  • Adnan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 11:32AM

    Way to go General K! Let the militants know that an operation is imminent, so the leadership can escape to South Waziristan!

    I hope there is more seriousness of purpose this time round, and the militant networks are not allowed to recuperate and re-emerge. They need to be completely dismantled. The rehabilitation of former militants is the next step, but the first step is the explicit use of state power to dismantle these networks and establish the government’s writ in these areas.


  • Raza Khan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 1:52PM

    Fully support army chief statement! High time to get rid of these terrorists once & for all.


  • Kamran
    Aug 15, 2012 - 2:11PM

    If Gen Kyani is sincere then the militants have blood of martared Pakistani soldiers on their hands but he hasnt done any thing , giving statements is easy.


  • salman
    Aug 15, 2012 - 3:15PM

    I wonder why kayani is backtracking his words…..earlier operation within Pakistan was impossible …. now it seems Pakistan army would be involved in some operation every 3-4 yrs….

    its a wild goose chase….. since targets are marked in usa and executed on ground in Pakistan ….. Kayani did not mention other threats on independence day ….. I remember things were worse 2 years back when every city of punjab was bombed…..

    Things are peaceful now so why an operation now ?????


  • javed ali sangi
    Aug 15, 2012 - 6:32PM

    pakisatan army is great army and i am supporting because this is army of my nation


  • Organ of Big Profit
    Aug 15, 2012 - 6:39PM

    Oh No, Lahore is gonna be under attack! Recommend

  • Organ of Big Profit
    Aug 15, 2012 - 6:41PM

    there’s going to be tons of backlash in urban centers of pakistan, i don’t feel safe anymoreRecommend

  • GRU
    Aug 15, 2012 - 8:05PM

    “What we need to do now is to also change mindsets. The ambiguity about the militants, tied in to anti-US feeling needs to be ended.”

    What insensibility, the so-called liberals of this country are so given to passing naive moralistic judgements without any understanding of the actual realities of this conflict they either have nothing informative to offer in their analyses or they are deliberately running one-sided propaganda against their own country. When the author of this article says militancy can be wiped out and that will brighten the future of this country, he’s simply refusing to take the matter seriously. A military solution is not possible without 1) full cooperation from the Americans, which is remarkably unforthcoming despite their pressure on Pakistan and 2) a larger political settlement in Afghanistan, which the Americans are doing their best to obstruct.Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:12PM

    All of those against this opertion, please remember the taliban slitting the throats of our Pak soldier jawans! To support taliban is to be a traitor to Pakistan and our army… we need both force and education to solve this issue… it is better for our country’s long term future… i hope Kiyana Sahib and Zardari Sahib are both agreed on this and also realise that our country’s potential cannot be fulfilled until we eliminate this scourge and the mindset that creates it… Jive Pakistan!


  • Enlightened
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:13PM

    It is extremely important that decisive action be taken by the military to eliminate this deadly outfit and subsequently others as well to make Pakistan a safe and secured place for its own citizens and which would also result in an economic recovery.Recommend

  • anonymous
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:19PM

    Der Aaye Durust Aaye. / Better late than never.


  • Rana M. Afzal Khan
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:19PM

    This decision seems to be taken under intense US pressure and hopefully with full consideration of the cost of its fall out on Pakistan. Basically this is the cost of supporting Karzai Government not acceptable to an average Afghan. Problems of this region (Afghan & Pak border areas) will only get in control once Afghanistan’s Governance issues are settled for the majority of Afghans in a free and non coercive environment where they themselves decide how to run their country with guarantees for acceptance of UN charter.
    Pakistan will continue to pay a heavy cost for its American friendship perceived as US agents by anti Karzai Afghans.
    Rather than postpone this war initiative in North Waziristan till settlement in Afghanistan this decision may have positive results in prolonging the Karzai Government and US stay in this region ie prolonging the problems of this region. This will be continuity of bad news for Pakistan’s economy. US Government is bulldozing Pakistan’s National Security for its ego – winning an unwinnable war in Afghanistan


  • Asher Rafiq
    Aug 15, 2012 - 10:39PM

    Good News!! We desparetly need this military operation/ action against these millitants. Army should eliminate them from the surface of this earth. Give peace and harmony to the people of Pakistan. Also take action in Karachi and Balouchistan.Sick and tired of these extremists, terrorists and so called bhatta Badmash.


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