ISLAMABAD: The war on terror is not a war of Pakistan but is a matter of concern for the entire globe. General Raheel Sharif took the initiative and visited numerous world capitals and succeeded in convincing their leaderships as to why and how their cooperation and joining hands together against the menace of terrorism were important enough. He made them understand the situation and circumstances Pakistan had been going through, and that there was an urgent need of collective approach and joint efforts in order to break the networks of terrorism, their sources of funding, together with their collaborators and facilitators.
Raheel played a pivotal role in further strengthening the relationship with China, America, Britain, Germany, Australia, Sri Lanka and other countries. These countries not only eulogised Pakistan’s efforts but also recognised his doctrine. In recognition of his efforts for peace and steps taken against terrorism, the governments of USA, Brazil and Saudi Arabia conferred on him their most prestigious national awards.
While addressing the world’s renowned think-tanks, RUSI and IISS, Raheel reiterated that the menace of terrorism was not only an issue of Pakistan, but it is of international concern; therefore its solution lies with the world community.
The fruits of successful Zarb-e-Azb are not only for Pakistan, but the operation has helped improve the overall situation of regional peace and stability, which is precisely visible inside Afghanistan.
At the same time he refused to accept the policy of coercion and aggressiveness on part of India and wasted no time in giving a tit-for-tat response, thus sending a strong signal across, that the Pakistan Army is ready to meet the challenges on its borders, and that no coercive tactic of any kind will be tolerated. His timely actions upheld Pakistan’s sovereignty and relations with India on basis of equality and integrity. On Kashmir, his point of view remained clear; he called it an unfinished agenda of the partition of the subcontinent.
He played an important role towards further taking the civil-military relations to a positive direction. The National Action Plan, apex committees, people’s cooperation and the fine-tuning, training and performance of the law-enforcement agencies is a step in the right direction.
The government established 11 military courts across the country under the National Action Plan, which have so far been referred 142 cases out of which 55 have been decided while 87 are under trial. So far, 31 terrorists have met their fate. The successful holding of local bodies’ elections is the result of an improved law and order situation. The army’s impartial role in the entire election process has therefore been seen as commendable.
Karachi is not only the biggest city of the country but also a centre of trade uplift. The Rangers started a coordinated operation in order to break the network of terrorists, which resulted in an amazing 75% decline in crime in the city. Raheel vowed of not sparing the facilitators and financiers of terrorists.
In Balochistan, terrorism saw a 50% decline, as compared to the past years, which is also a result of successful operations in the province. Balochistan is the biggest province but has population on only 5% of the land. On one side are the natural riches and on the other is Gwadar’s 870-kilometre-long coastal area, which the Frontier Works Organization has the responsibility of linking with the rest of the country through a state-of-the-art roads network. It is also part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The credit goes to Raheel that the army has in a very short time completed 520 kilometres of the 870-kilometre project. A separate division of the army has been deployed in order to monitor work on CPEC.
On the directions of Raheel, the process of dialogue with the Baloch extremist elements was initiated with an aim to bring them to the mainstream, which resulted in laying down of arms by the Baloch insurgents and busting of the notorious Ferrari camps. Now the security situation has visibly improved in Turbat, Panjgor, Awaran and Makran which were the most terror-affected areas of the province.
Raheel is the most popular and revered Commander of the armed forces, who is fully committed in making the defence of Pakistan impregnable. He aspires to make each and every step result-oriented so that Pakistan can move forward in a direction to achieve its status of a developed and prosperous nation; 2016 is therefore the year of this continued journey towards the same direction.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2016.
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