Recent spate of militancy


In recent months, a wave of deadly militant attacks has gripped the country, provoking public outcry and prompting the security apparatus to decidedly move against the militants to stem the spate of violence, which is mostly blamed on the fallout of hasty withdrawal of US-led Nato forces from Afghanistan after a 20-year military intervention last year.
In the latest attacks on the police and the security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Lakki Marwat and Bajaur districts on Wednesday, eight security personnel laid down their lives in the line of duty to defend the motherland. The two attacks, one of which has been owned by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, have been apparently carried out to shatter the resolve the security forces engaged in a fierce operation to root out militancy. However, on the contrary, the attacks have worked to refurbish the determination of the security forces to restore lasting peace to the country.
The cowardly attacks have left little room for confusion about the militants’ presence in the hinterland of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. In the face of a deteriorating law and order, the people in various districts came out on roads to demand a decisive action in different pockets of the province where the militants have resurfaced and threatened peace. This also exposes a shocking lack of coordination among the state institutions in different regions to eliminate the threat.
However, in the face of a stark reality that the militants have been challenging the state writ and vitiating the peaceful environment, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has locked horns with the central government over political issues, risking the spillover of militancy to hitherto peaceful districts.
The emerging threat to peace, which has been obtained after unmatched sacrifices rendered by the people and law enforcement agencies over the past two decades, requires the provincial administration and the federal government to leave their political differences aside and join forces for a common national cause to fathom the gravity of the situation.
Despite tall claims of the police chief and incumbent government about the restoration of peace in the province, it is evident from the current spate of violence that militant groups are again active to throw their weight around.
The provincial police chief in a recent visit to Dera Ismail Khan and Malakand divisions assured proactive measures to nip the evil of militancy in the bud. However, police and masses are still overwhelmed by a fresh wave of violence.
Massive protest demonstrations in parts of the province, especially in the Malakand division, should work to move the security apparatus to contain the fluid peace situation, which cannot be justified with meek reactions by the authorities responsible for providing security to people.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s approval to strengthen the police force and establish Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) offices in all districts of the province is a commendable initiative.
The provision of weapons, gadgets and other necessary equipment to the police force must be ensured to avert incidents, in which six policemen and two soldiers laid down their lives.
Any step taken with a view to check militancy would be considered incomplete without empowering the police force and breaking the nexus of militants in all regions of the province. It is high time that the authorities in the centre and in the KP province should urgently formulate a unified strategy to deal with the renewed security threat.