Rise in terrorism despite umpteen ceremonial measures
The National Action Plan introduced in 2015, Pakistan’s permanent membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) & The Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG), appear to be ceremonial measures which have shown no signs
of combatting terrorism.
Also, in the recent years, the Pakistan Army has launched two major operations, namely Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad
which have been strategic failures. The powerful military has used the pretext of combating terrorism to set up its own courts that now run parallel to the South Asian country’s civilian judicial system. The military courts have hanged hundreds of terrorists
over the past year and a half, claiming that as a “huge blow” to the militant outfits.
The army has also made sure that Zarb-e-Azb
& and Radd-ul-Fasaad receive massive media promotion. Consequently, from the ISPR tweets to the military-funded patriotic songs and heaps of praise for the operation from many security analysts, the Pakistani people have been told that peace has been restored
all across the country.
However, major flaws in the military’s anti-terror strategy have been exposed.
Zarb-e-Azb & Radd-ul-Fasaad a failure
government has officially acknowledged that IS is trying to make inroads into Pakistan as well. With no details revealed it claimed to avert attacks on Ministry of Foreign Affairs, foreign embassies, consulates and their staff, Islamabad airport, prominent
public figures, media persons and law enforcement personnel. In this situation, many people ask: Is Zarb-e-Azb & Radd-ul-Fasaad really working?
Aqil Shah, a Pakistani expert and the Wick Cary Assistant Professor of International Affairs at the University of Oklahoma, says that there is a fundamental contradiction in the Pakistani military’s counter-terrorism approach, pointing out that
while the army goes after the terrorists who carry out attacks in Pakistan, it patronizes those who attack its enemies.
The army has fought
hostile factions of the TTP, but it continues to use other militant groups as proxies against archrival India. Like the Haqqani network and the Afghan Taliban, which help maintain Pakistan’s influence over Afghanistan, as well as Lashkar-e-Taiba,
which fights Indian security forces in Kashmir.
Arif Jamal, a US-based expert on political Islam, says that the Zarb-e-Azb military operation
was never launched to target home-grown jihadists. “Actually, it was aimed at weakening political parties and not eliminating terrorists. Some of the top global terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen’s Yusuf Shah are openly leading
public rallies, recruiting jihadists, and fundraising.