Pakistan – already playing its role in war on terror

Asad Munir June 07, 2010

“We have made it very clear that if such an attack were to happen again, and if we could traced it back to Pakistan, there would be very severe consequences.” This recent statement by Hillary Clinton is not likely to help because threatening a country which is an ally of the war on terror may not be a very wise diplomatic move.

Faisal Shahzad may have been inspired by extremists, but the people at the helm of affairs in the US know that the Pakistani state has no role in the affair. Drones are already violating Pakistani air space, so the severe consequences hinted at might be the use of missile strikes against suspected targets inside Fata and the crossing of the border by Nato ground forces. Instead of considering this option, the US needs to evaluate the performance of its armed forces. After eight years of fighting, they have now realised that forces available in Afghanistan are not adequate to win a war against the Taliban.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s armed forces have achieved much more — they have also suffered more. Total coalition deaths in Afghanistan are over 1,700 while Pakistani casualties, both dead and wounded are more than 30,000 — over 21,600 civilians and more than 8,700 military personnel. They have lost their stronghold of South Waziristan and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as an organisation, has been crippled. For now it is unlikely it will be able to plan and execute global terrorist activities.

Mamoond Tehsil of Bajaur Agency is now in control of the local administration. Terrorists are still operating in North Waziristan, Orakzai, central Kurram, Mohmand and the Tirah area of Khyber Agency. Swat is returning to normalcy and as Orakzai is the only agency not bordering Afghanistan, local Taliban raised a force there, way back in 1998. Most of the terrorists, including Central Asians, who fled from South Waziristan, have taken refuge in this agency and in Tirah. They want an area under their control, where they can reorganise, regroup, train, establish and streamline system of provision of supplies and logistics. Orakzai provides just that and it is also a place where these people can move easily to from Tirah, Darra Adam khel; Kurram and North Waziristan. They are launching organised attacks on armed forces posts to regain ground control of some areas. However, operations in Orakzai and Kurram were in progress with hundreds of terrorists killed, by air and ground action, and the military recently claiming victory.

Military operations are the first phase in the fight against terrorism. The more important one is the strategic development of the areas, which are breeding grounds for militant extremists. In case such plan is not implemented, in a quick and transparent manner, the terrorists are likely to regain their lost ground and they may be more dangerous this time. The US and other western countries should help Pakistan in this task of reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 7th, 2010.


Khan | 11 years ago | Reply Asfandyar - I fail to understand what you mean by the sarcasm in 'Defending the country for real'? in 1948 it was the quaid's own wishes to go into kashmire and along with the pathan tribals the Pakistan army went and has indeed defended that Line of Control against an Indian army ingress. In 1987 the Indian Army started advancing towards Skardu and Baltistan, perhaps to cut off the KKH.. Pakistan army stalwarts went to the heights of Siachen to once again 'Defend' the nation against an ingres from India. Like, defend for real. 65 we tried to get Kashmir back and it escalated into a war. Though the initial daring operation (gibraleter) failed and lots of SSG troops got martyred, the resulting Indian efforts to move into mainland Pakistan were thwarted, through real defence or through reposte in different secotors. So we defended for real. 71 - a political, rather democratic conflict between the people of west and east resulted in a hatred in the east pakistanis. As east pakistan collapsed so did its armies.. and till today the army has to carry the scar of defeat which was actually the result of a corrupt democracy. 2001.. India was poised on the Pakistani border and was it not for timely mobilization of the pakistan army, they would have most definitly attacked. The army really defended the nation then. And today as well it spills blood .. to hear your sarcasm. What a pity! for our whole lives have been “sold” the concept of one of the best armies in the world We are one of the best armies in the world and we've proven it in every field. Read this article again and that's what Asad Munir says. What the whole of NATO couldn't achieve in 9 years we've done in one year. Why I say in one year is because since the first deployment in the tribal areas after 9/11, the armies hands have been tied down by the media's claim that they are killing their own muslim brothers and the resultant reluctance of the state to let the army do what its good at. The leaders had indeed kept the army in a tight reign. As soon as they were given orders to deal with the situation, they cleaned swat and waziristan. Have no doubt in the army my friend - its no myth that they are the best in the world.
Asfandyar Munir | 11 years ago | Reply While i am strongly against what Hilary Clinton has said against our Sovereignty, supporting the world-wide view of US Imperialism, somewhere deep down inside i agree with her view point. For years and years our "establishment" has supported taliban. Whereas i appreciate what our army has been doing lately ( defending the country for real), i do not agree with the fact in point, achieved "more" and suffered "more". In this war, specially since Swat, who are we comparing ourselves too? While i say we have suffered, there is no more. We are fighting a war, and casualties occur. We suffer and we achieve. There is no "more". Having said this before, we for our whole lives have been "sold" the concept of one of the best armies in the world. I hope, for my country's sake that we can actually tackle this parasite within our country. I give the author full points for being one of the few sane people in this country who acknowledge the fact that military operation is just the first part. It's all about long-term planning and strategic development, which i hope the "democratic government" can take care of. Let the armed forces fight the battles, and let the democratic forces take care of planning and running the country. Overall, an amazing article with lot's of scope for informative discussion. LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!!!
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