No ‘joint action’ with police: Gen Raheel

Published: March 29, 2016
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: 

As Army chief General Raheel Sharif ordered intelligence-based operations against terrorists in Punjab, he made it clear that these operations will not be “joint actions” as conducted in the past along with the police and provincial intelligence agencies.

The overnight operations, which the army chief is personally monitoring, were conducted by army units, paramilitary Rangers, the Inter Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence personnel.

Army chief orders counter-terror operations in Punjab

Hours after the blast in Lahore which had left 72 people dead and 370 injured, Gen Raheel had chaired a high-level meeting in Rawalpindi with chiefs of ISI and MI in attendance. During the meeting the army chief had ordered crackdowns against militants with the focus on finding linkages and perpetrators of the attack.

Subsequently the military conducted several raids in Lahore, Faisalabad, Muzaffargarh and other cities. One of the operations reportedly lasted for over five hours and yielded several arrests.

The crackdown followed weak reaction from the federal government on the arrest of former Indian navy commander and Raw agent Kulbhoshan Yadav and has rung alarm bells for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership. The operation has also supported rumours that the relations between establishment and the government were getting tense.

The military leadership had already presented proof of the presence of terrorists and their supporters in Punjab when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had visited ISI headquarters in May last year. During the visit, the military leadership had presented evidence against many important people.

However, Punjab law minister and a close associate of Sharif brethren, Rana Sanaullah, had on January 30 dismissed the need for any military or Rangers operation in Punjab.

But Sunday’s blast proves that the operation which certain elements and the military leadership have been calling for was a need of the country and the nation.

The first meeting, an emergency meeting held at the GHQ and presided over by army chief just hours after the suicide attack in the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park Lahore, was attended by chiefs of the Inter Services Intelligence, Military Intelligence, Military Operations and other military authorities.

During the meeting, the commanders reviewed the emerging situation. The Corps Commander Lahore and DG Rangers Punjab were also consulted via telephone during the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the army chief ordered a military operation to commence immediately.

It was during this meeting that Gen Raheel further instructed that there will not be any kind of collaboration with the police or any other provincial security agency nor will they cede to any pressure.

Before the Karachi airport tragedy, the government had been undecided about the operation in North Waziristan. However, the army chief consulted his corps commanders and quickly decided to launch Operation Zarb-e-Azb. It also took practical steps towards this end which ensured that the government took “ownership” of the operation within hours of its start.

After the operation was launched in Karachi, there was a strong demand for joint operations by Rangers and the provincial agencies in southern Punjab to tackle ‘nurseries’ of terrorists and their facilitators and their financial support network in the province.

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The military leadership asked Nawaz and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to start a joint operation but the civilian leadership delayed the decision for “unavoidable” reasons while its ministers also opposed any operation in Punjab in their public statements. Some argued that the demand for an operation in Punjab was being made just to “balance” the operation in Karachi.

The federal and the provincial government also offered “unusual opposition” when National Accountability Bureau wanted to take action against corruption, terrorists and their financial supporters in Punjab.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (26)

  • PakSal
    Mar 29, 2016 - 5:54AM

    Politicians know one thing … stay in power no matter who they need to support and please despite at the expense of loss of lives … and why stay in power? Because they need to accumulate wealth … mountains of wealth. Can’t have businessmen running the country … but the public can’t see and hear the realities … so unfortunate.Recommend

  • Abu Jaafar
    Mar 29, 2016 - 7:43AM

    Thank You #GenRaheel but when the political leaders are all corrupt then believe me nothing is possible Recommend

  • Saima
    Mar 29, 2016 - 9:24AM

    Happy to know that general is taking lead in all security matters either it is provincial level of federal level. Civilian leadership have no courage to launch operation Recommend

  • Feedback
    Mar 29, 2016 - 9:34AM

    And its not the decision of RS to decide who will take part in the operation and who will not, the IG punjab should also have a meeting and launch and operation and declare it through. SP ISPR. Pak Police is also Pak police. One can not take away their scope or what they are paid for by the people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Amir
    Mar 29, 2016 - 10:18AM

    Why can we not name and shame the people and politicians who are supporting and facilitating these terrorists and their network?Recommend

  • Mohammed
    Mar 29, 2016 - 10:34AM

    Where are the Nooras who gave NS credit for the crack down on the thugs. As we knew all along, it had nothing to do with them. Recommend

  • Toti calling
    Mar 29, 2016 - 10:44AM

    Reading the comments, feel people do not know that the job of the army is fight enemies outside Pakistan and not do the job of police and other civilians. Recommend

  • Osama
    Mar 29, 2016 - 12:30PM

    @Toti calling:

    Actually the military took an “oath” to defend Pakistan against external and internal threats.

    Go and read the constitution and the powers of the military and then come back with a better argument.Recommend

  • Toti callling
    Mar 29, 2016 - 1:12PM

    @Osama: The constitution makes it clear that the elected PM makes the final decisions and not the army boss. That is how it works in all democratic societies. I am not a fan of NS or his party, but a democrat. Your suggestion ‘go read the constitution’ shows your disrespect for different opinions. Carry on following the Führer. Good luck. Recommend

  • Zeeshan
    Mar 29, 2016 - 2:29PM

    When Civilian Govt does nothing we are quite on that, but when Army does it because no one else is doing it and Army is not being allowed to do. we come up with the Argument that its not the Army’s job,

    Ask this from the families who lost their loved ones in Lahore or Peshawar or anywhere else in Pakistan. We need to get rid of the terrorists, does not matter who does it. Recommend

  • Seig Heil
    Mar 29, 2016 - 2:35PM

    @Toti callling:

    Better Fuhrer…than a….GIT :DRecommend

  • observer
    Mar 29, 2016 - 2:36PM

    **The military leadership had already presented proof of the presence of terrorists and their supporters in Punjab when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had visited ISI headquarters in May last year.**

    Did the ‘Military Leadership’ also,

    A. Discuss as to who was behind the Creation and Training of LeT? And how did Hafiz Saeed become responsible for ‘Difa-e-Pakistan”

    B. Explain how did a convicted terrorist called Maulana Masood Azhar find sanctuary in Bahawalpur? How did he Fund, Recruit and Train the Jaish-e-Muhammed? And who took him around the country on a fund raising mission?

    C. How did Lashkar-e-Jhangvi come into being? How did Malik Ishaq end up getting a Wajifa from the Govt of Pakistani Punjab? And how were witnesses against him eliminated?

    D. More Importantly, did the ‘Military Leadershio’ explain how they are going to deal with these beauties?Recommend

  • Mar 29, 2016 - 2:43PM

    Great work sir totally appreciate it what you have done for Pakistan !! RESPECT always because you have done totally tremendous job to make Pakistan in Peace. Thank you. Good Luck Sir !!Recommend

  • kfaisal
    Mar 29, 2016 - 2:48PM

    @Toticalling, u r right in that the army being a government department should only act on orders of civil government whether defending an internal or external threat. However, in this case with the situation so dire and civil govt both weak and indecisive, the people are ok if the army exceeds its authority or acts unilaterally as long as the job gets done. People are fed up.Recommend

  • Dr Majid
    Mar 29, 2016 - 3:50PM

    NS has created a tremendous political space because of inaction, lack of vision and vested political and corporate interest. Army has rendered great sacrifices and cannot remain silent spectator and get exploited on the name of sham democracy. Corrupt politicians are needed to be hammered from behind the scenes manoeuvres.Recommend

  • Mohammad Faizan Farooq
    Mar 29, 2016 - 3:51PM

    Too little too late…. Still something is better than nothing.Recommend

  • Muhammad Irshad
    Mar 29, 2016 - 4:57PM

    General Raheel Sharif, I salute you and pray to Almighty Allah to shower His blessings upon you for doing a tremends action to defend the country and save the people from terrists and their supporters. Recommend

  • Azeez
    Mar 29, 2016 - 5:06PM

    Army above the civilian government…..what type of democracy is this.Recommend

  • SHah
    Mar 29, 2016 - 6:02PM

    @observer:

    Just shows tht u dont want a solution but roam around in circle of blame game. You are not a observe you are a ignorantRecommend

  • pakistani
    Mar 29, 2016 - 6:35PM

    Nawaz … U keep growing your business with india and we and army will keep fighting with Indian terrorist RAW.
    Hopes are High…Recommend

  • SHAH
    Mar 29, 2016 - 7:19PM

    @Toti calling:
    This shows you have no knowledge whats written in your country’s Constitution and what reads the Oaths of various agencies including judges & police. Once you do your homework, your comments will make a lot of sense then. For the moment they are just based on ‘listen and react’ mode, not ‘read, analyse and learn’ mode. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Mar 30, 2016 - 2:54AM

    @Osama:
    Actually the military took an “oath” to defend Pakistan against external and internal threats.

    And who sir took this oath in the military? The soldier or the General who ordered surrender against the Indian force? You read too many fairy tales. In a democracy it is the people who rule and defend through their representatives..

    Rex Minor.Recommend

  • freed
    Mar 30, 2016 - 3:52AM

    all gullu butts reside in police uniform, Its well known fact. So Great decision. Its refrshing to have to some one in leadership willing to work for pakistan and not for personal bank account. Recommend

  • Haramullah
    Mar 30, 2016 - 7:38AM

    I feel more you trust Police, more they will become responsible. With these kind of behavior Army is doing what it is not suppose to do.Recommend

  • Waseem Bahadur
    Mar 30, 2016 - 3:31PM

    So what should we interpret from this situation? Yes, the politicians have failed to provide security, peace of mind, basic necessities to the society. Personal wealth is increased, balance of power disturbed, anger in society has increased, trust is lost, lack of leadership is clear and still we want these culprits again and again. Recommend

  • Cbtahir
    Mar 30, 2016 - 4:29PM

    If the job of army is only to protect pakistan at its borders, why do u call army when it comes to earthquack a, floods and other such stuff. In pakistan even the roads are maintained by army, the whole commerce with china is made possible by army and specially when it comes to the security of red zone or blue area of Islamabad even these politician run for army. If the army can assure the security of Nawaz shareef why can’t they take step to ensure the security of 180million Pakistanis Recommend

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