The militant attack on the Pakistan Air Force Base in Kamra gave the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan yet another pretext to employ his much-favoured “disengage-from-the-US” rhetoric.
“I fear that today’s attack on the army is a reaction to Pakistan’s decision to carry out a military operation in North Waziristan,” he said. If we plan the operation, it will have implications for Pakistan. It will affect the national security, increase suicide bombings and terrorism and fan extremism, the PTI chief added.
“The war on terror has caused a lot of damage to our army,” he said.
He criticised the government for failing to address the pernicious effects of the war on the army, and said that the matter should be debated in parliament.
Sketching out a strategy for the government, Imran said that Islamabad must first disengage from the US war on terror, and then solicit the military for an operation in terror-prone areas. He added that no disengagement leads to the impression that we are renting out our military to fight the US’ war.
Reiterating the PTI’s stance, Imran said the party has consistently opposed a military operation in North Waziristan. He also said that the eight-year war has not reaped any benefits to the country, and hence the decision to continue the operation must be comprehensively reconsidered.
Furthermore, he added that it was absurd that Pakistan was bent upon military action, when American institutions always pressed for political dialogue.
In an effort to administer an ‘internal’ solution, he said that the PTI is carrying out a rally in Waziristan to appeal to the tribal people for peace.
“We should look for a home-grown solution, instead of taking orders from the US,” Imran added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.