ZARB-E-AZB AND THE FUTURE OF NORTH WAZIRISTAN

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Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.(John F. Kennedy) 

By Nuzhat Nazar 

Pakistan has turned out to be a very fragile state, probably is ranked at 10th number of annual Failed States Index which is quite alarming. Sectarian violence, group grievances, refugees and internally displaced persons due to different calamities i.e. Earth quakes, floods and terrorism etc, attacks on minority groups especially in Baluchistan, political rifts/disputes and ill conceived/planned/failed peace talks between Government and Taliban all considered to be the reasons of this brittleness.

It all started off with the conspiracies, sustaining erroneous narrative, dirty politics and immoral intentions that caused the rise of Taliban. Not one day planning, not a single individual’s work, not a solo component to support and carry on such activities which, at any cost, smash up the Nation. Kidnapping for the ransom, extortion, damage to the public amenities, killing and bombing was getting very normal, giving no mini heart attacks, no goose bumps or fear of unknown.  Augmented by our prevailing judicial system which not only provided safe havens to culprits but also encouraged them to exhibit terror without fear; thus our Judiciary became “Ummul Khabaes”. Thus, A complete lose-lose situation it was.

After many feint and false starts by all beneficiaries of such like situation even at the cost of country, the operation Zarb-e-Azb became very vital leaving no other option to save Country. The long awaited operation against all the terrorizing groups was launched on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The hot pursuit is necessary to annihilate all the factors contributing to terrorism. This is going to prove a final blow to eradicate the terrorism, wipe out the terrorists and for that we might have to face repercussions even from within.

The Zarb-e-Azb is a good move, necessitated due to failure of peace talks and void of justice. This has brought naturally the worse circumstances for the locals who were first suffering and then sacrificing. Area has to be evacuated in emergency, residents became internally displaced people, possessions were left behind, but the only asset they had is “the hope”, to come back to their places one day.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Army cordoned off the potential terror bases, established IDP camps, requested Afghan Security Forces to seal the border on their side, allowed locals to move out to safer locations under the supervision and protection and established surrender points for those terrorists who choose to give up.

It was October 24, 2007, when Pakistan Army troops were sent to Swat to confront Taliban led forces that were moving violently to take control of Swat District of Pakistan to impose their version of Shariah. Pakistan Armed Forces continued to surround, capture and kill the militants throughout the operation Rah-e-Haq. During the operation, many endured damage and forfeit but for the betterment of the Pakistan.  It was the time when thousands of families need support after their houses, basic health and infrastructure were damaged during the conflict. Then, it was only Pakistan Army who took a lead to reconstruct and rehabilitate the valley, organized number of activities and facilities to improve quality of life.

The glorious Swat has undergone various development projects after the successful operation including infrastructure, education, tourism, health and sports. Construction of over 400 KMs roads, dams, canals and hydroelectric works, schools, Cadet College etc are quite affective.

Pakistan Army is fighting on different fronts as it is in war with the terrorist elements in North Waziristan and at the same time looking after Internally Displaced People of the respective areas. Pakistan Army would never leave the people of North Waziristan in the lurch, as they rendered valuable sacrifices against militancy.

Since, Terrorism cannot be rooted out until and unless the ideology of terrorist alike minded can be changed. Indeed, Zarb-e-Azb is a good move for short term but for long term we need to impose educational emergency to overcome militancy and extremism.  This is only possible if Government and mature, competent and honest politicians come forward.

As a society we need to work to root out terrorism as it isn’t only the job of army alone. Calling spade a spade is important. Meaning hereby is that politicians must move in their constituencies and educate their voters about menace of terrorism without any fear. They should also raise awareness among masses and ask them to help IDPs and to back our forces.

Army will clear the area for us after sacrificing their men but what next. Obviously holding ground by political forces through reforms in those areas to achieve long term peace, stability and prosperity will be required.

The experience and strategies of past; i.e. measures of Government during earth quake of 2005, flood of 2010 and other emergencies and calamities have been nothing but photo sessions and corruption with no check and balance.  This is the time that high ups, always volunteering to serve people must show their worth and come forward to fulfill their promise. Such measures will also restore confidence of public on politicians who are considered dominant figures of all ills including terrorism.