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Security at a glance

Very often destabilizing factors surreptitiously come into play and silently start spoiling the security situation. Governments react when the situation snow-balls into something alarmingly ugly. Pakistan has to its credit the achievement of annihilating the most ferocious insurgents and terrorists in tribal areas and urban centers across the country during the last five years. But it seems that the security situation is once again turning sour. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Karachi recently expressed apprehension that al-Qaida was regrouping in the city to carry out terrorist attacks. These activists had returned to Karachi from Afghanistan.
Apart from this it has been observed that during the last few weeks some unpleasant incidents have taken place, which do not augur well for the security situation in the country. Four weeks ago three Pakistani soldiers embraced martyrdom and one other was injured in Bin Dara area of Dir where they were busy in border fencing. TTP claimed the responsibility. In another incident one sepoy was killed due to firing on the patrolling party by the terrorists near Abba Khel area of Spinwam Tehsil in North Wiziristan tribal district of KP. Later a Major and a sepoy were martyred in Baizai Tehsil of Mohmand tribal district, near the Afghanistan border, when an IED went off. On the other side, in Balochistan, three people including a leader of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI-F) died and seventeen others were injured in a motor-cycle borne improvised explosive devise at Chaman, a border town on Pak-Afghan border. Prior to that, on the eastern border India played its role as per the plan; at least eight persons including seven civilians were injured in Azad Kashmir near Line of Control by unprovoked firing by the Indian forces from across the border.
These incidents indicate that a calculated asymmetrical war, waged by the hostile states, through their proxies, aims to exert pressure on Pakistan to make it give up its stance over Kashmir and to pull it back from playing its role in peace process in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is using TTP militants ,based in Kunar and Nouristan provinces, to do the dirty work on the western border. Ashraf Ghani led Afghan government doesn’t want the US forces to leave Afghanistan. Ever since the US backed peace process has been aborted, TTP has started carrying out attacks on Pakistani forces. Meanwhile the Afghan government is trying to flog the dead horse of Durand line. Even if Pakistan resists taking the Afghan bait, it would in any case react and respond befittingly. It would be wiser for Pakistan to let the Afghan Taliban handle the situation so that Pakistan armed forces could concentrate on the volatile eastern border. Axiomatically Pakistan would be left with no choice but to support the Afghan Taliban.
On the Eastern border India has created a war like situation. India is hand in glove with the Afghan government. Turmoil on the western border helps India keep Pakistan’s attention and forces divided so that it could not focus on Kashmir border. India is not very secretive about its plans to harm Pakistan. Only two weeks ago, the known blowhard Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who had earlier announced to renege on its self-proclaimed No First Use nuclear doctrine, once again threatened Pakistan of nuclear attack through sea. While addressing at the commissioning ceremony of sub-marine INS Khanderi, equipped with nuclear weapons, threatened Pakistan loud and clear that India was capable of giving much harder blow to Pakistan than in 1971. He was referring to dismemberment of East Pakistan in which India had played a major role.
On the other hand, the US President Trump seems to have fallen prey to Indo-Afghan machinations as he called off meeting with Afghan Taliban leaders at Camp David in a knee jerk reaction and ruined the peace agreement finalised after nine rounds of taxing talks with Taliban in Qatar.
It is not comprehensible that the death of one US soldier compelled President Trump to change his mind. All along the talks, Taliban had been fighting and the killings from both sides had continued. So it was not the death of one US soldier that compelled him to abort the peace process, rather the pro-war group somehow convinced him to withdraw from his stance, at least temporarily. The motive of this move could be to build pressure on Pakistan as well as Taliban to extract a better deal. Ironically this stepping back boomeranged. Afghan Taliban immediately resorted to other options. Taliban sent a delegation to Russia to explore other avenues. They are also in contact with China as well. The US immediately realized that the gaping vacuum created by Trump’s stepping back from Afghan peace process will not be left unfilled. The regional powers would swiftly move forward to plug it. Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran, the neighbours of Afghanistan, can join hands to take up the Afghan issue. Turkey can also join hands with these countries. They can play active role for peace and development in Afghanistan. The US moved fast to send its representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, to Pakistan to resume talks with Afghan Taliban.
India is striving hard to keep Pakistan in the grey list or to propel it into blacklist of Financial Action Task Force (FATF). IMF and FATF are the twin blights on Pakistan’s endeavours to attain economic stability and peace.
The conspirators are well aware of the acute political polarization and serious economic meltdown Pakistan is facing. Axiomatically they intend to take advantage of the internal debilities and dissensions by perpetrating violence, terrorism and limited war. Pakistan must realize that effective response cannot be given in vacuum. It has to take the home-grown variables into consideration and set the house in order to have undivided focus on handling internal and external security threats. The National Action Plan (NAP), which was introduced with great hopes, and gave some direction to concerted efforts to tackle terrorism and extremism in the country, seems to have been shelved. It is high time to dust it down and implement it in an unrelenting and deliberate manner.



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AJK President calls on KP Governor

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