Tuesday, 29 July 2014


By Kashmala Chaudhry   JULY 29, 2014 
Pakistan has finally launched a military offensive against militants using its land for terrorism. The operation Zarb-e-Azb has been going on since mid-June with its full pace in the North Waziristan Agency of Pakistan, from where local and foreign militants were not only operating against Pakistan but were aiming at international targets as well.
So far the operation is going on successfully in Mirali after clearing Miranshah, Boya and Degan areas of North Waziristan Agency from terrorists. More than 500 terrorists  have been killed, and dozens of hideouts wiped out. Tons of armor, numerous improvised explosive device (IED) making factories have been recovered along with notebooks with clear English handwriting and formulae for explosive materials. All of this depicts how once considered strategic assets are now playing in hands of foreign forces.
The operation, however, is aimed at eliminating terrorism from Pakistan and according to the premier it could bring peace to the motherland. In this wake, Pakistan army has pledged not to spare any militant be it local or be it a foreign militant.
Although security institutes are determined at driving all the terrorists out of the country yet the question that remains integral to address is will this operation alone be enough to eliminate terrorism from Pakistani soil. Especially when internationally declared terrorists organizations like Jammat ud Dawa are still operating freely in the rest of Pakistan and are even alleged to have the support of the state. The question is when we are going to learn from our mistakes.
We nurtured the Taliban, though it is considered as a requirement of the time by some to secure our western borders because there were no other options to stop the proceedings of the then USSR. Today, these Taliban have become tools in the hands of foreign forces and are used against Pakistani soil. They have done irreparable damage to the country economically, socially, and in terms of precious lives that cannot come back ever. They have damaged the country’s image too. Yet we haven’t learnt from this mistake and are giving protection to groups like Jamat-ud-Dawa.
On the one hand the state is carrying out an operation against Taliban and like-minded organizations in one part of the country, and on the other hand it is allowing these groups to move freely in the main centers of Pakistan and to recruit our youth to fulfill their agenda.
Hafiz Saeed the head of JuD with a 10 million bounty on his head by the US has huge fan base in Pakistan and his gatherings attract massive crowds. Though at the moment Saeed might not seem as a threat to Pakistan — like the Taliban were once considered friends of Pakistan –  however, history shows that such groups with extremist mind-sets cannot be trusted.
As Hussain Nadim maintained in 2013, Saeed, a reformed militant acting on the behalf of the state, is considered a key figure by the security establishment who would either assemble militants and mollify their enmity against Pakistan or would evolve them into political actors.
History, however, shows that these extremist groups cannot be trusted. Appeasing them and molding them in favor of Pakistan is not going to work. Because time and again it has been experienced that no agreement can bind them to remain faithful towards the state. And if these militants converted into political actors they again could not be considered safe because their mindset and ideology would remain the same. To eliminate terrorism, this mindset needs to be defeated.
Reforms and rehabilitation policy is required at massive scale and at national level. In this regard not only curricula revision and madrassa transformation is required, but all those Dars centers which are operating as established institutions or from homes should be closed. These Dars centers are preaching extreme interpretations of religion and are attended by hundreds of women. These women are responsible for running the institution of their families. If the mindset of these women is inclined towards extremism, then growing up their children as balanced individuals who can turn down the fancy calls by such radical jammats would become difficult. And most important of all the state should abandon all such organizations which could again become a threat to Pakistan in the future.
Kashmala Chaudhry
M.Phil. Scholar; Government and Public Policy
National Defense University


1 comment:

adam zarwan said...

"The question is when we are going to learn from our mistakes." The related question is, when have we ever?