Swat bleeds again


Swat Valley saw first major terrorist attack ever since the military operation that ended the brutal control of the region by Fazlullah and his men, claiming the lives of 11 soldiers.
The country’s leadership has condemned the attack but that is not enough, especially when the region we reclaimed from the Taliban has been attacked by the same forces. There must be some reflection on the fact that the region remained the centre of attention of the security apparatus ever since the military operation. It saw an extensive de-radicalisation programme and the presence of military units increased over the years.
How did the TTP terrorists manage to reach all the way to the army camp in Kabal? Surely, there must be some check posts along the way. If there were no check posts, then those responsible for strategic planning need to held accountable for negligence. And if there were check posts, then those manning it must be investigated. Either way, condemnations alone won’t do.
Now is the time for stocktaking. Another in-camera briefing should be considered, though not just to the Senate but also to the lower house of the Parliament by the military high command. The steps taken by the armed forces since the military operation must be conveyed to the legislators so that a viable strategy can be evolved for de-militarisation alongside capacity building of civilian law enforcement apparatus. Like the rest of the country, Swat also needs a viable civilian law enforcement apparatus, equipped with skills and equipment to counter religious militants.
Finally, the Saturday attack and those before it suggest that TTP retains its operational rigor to carry out attacks across the country. That must be a cause for concern for the military leadership. We have undertaken several operations and cleared large tracts of land in tribal regions. If terrorists still manage to hideout somewhere in our territory and plan attacks against our soldiers and citizens, the military high commands’ job remains undone.