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Caught in Perpetual Fighting

Caught in Perpetual Fighting 2

There are many reasons to believe that the people of Pakistan are undergoing their most wonderful age. They are convinced and they are confused, both at the same time. They can think of their country as heading toward ‘secure’ state – sort of – where peace prevails, where the monstrous scale of terrorism ultimately goes down and where we all are safe. But there are reasons to fear: we have an adversary on our borders with massive conventional military buildup and with nuclear weapons at her disposal. But the irony is that the enemy on the border is not the most threatening one: it lives among us and is faceless, borderless and appears not an enemy as (in the words of Marcus Cicero) ‘he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments’.

Envisioning perpetual peace, on February 22 , Pakistan Army launched ‘Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad’ across the country to effectively combat the threat of terrorism and consolidate the gains of Operation Zarb-e-Azb. But, why an operation to be always followed by another operation? Here is the logic we got:

The recent wave of terrorist incidents and consequent human toll shows that latent strains of terrorism pose the gravest challenge. Though troops and intelligence agencies were already undertaking efforts to eliminate terrorists’ sleeping cells, yet complete knocking on the head remained missing as such random efforts cannot be deemed as an antidote to the surmounting monster. What needs to be seen is a well-directed, coordinated and sustained effort to consolidate, enforce and augment security and build upon the successes of Zarb-e-Azb.

The rationale holds ground. Shadowy elements are no more sleeping: they are resurfacing and reinvigorating. Surely, they will rebuild their networks and seek new recruitments and forge new alliances. The rallying cry for their warfare is still there. Given a moment of indifference and complacency, splinter cells of terrorists will reunite to emerge as a formidable force and will compel us to face mounting costs. The centripetal nature of their narratives and the powerful appeal that they wield faithfully confirm this.

Deaths are again visible and losses surmounting. The recent spate of violence in Lahore, Quetta, Sehwan and other parts of the country shows that the terrorists possess capability to exploit our ‘vulnerabilities’ and attack on targets that we value most. Lacking themselves obvious vulnerabilities and things of value, terrorists seem determined to continue this long, drawn-out fight.

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About M. Mudassir Saeed

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