Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Pakistan blame-game continues

By Manzoor Ahmed

After blaming Afghanistan for allowing militants to take shelter and launch attack on it – without pausing to wonder how and why in the first place the militants crossed the Af-Pak border -- Pakistan has now begun to attack India.

Of course, India has never really been out of its sight, but the renewed attack comes from the Army Chief, Gen. Bajwa. He has given “shoot at sight” orders “at the borders”. The reference to Afghanistan avoided. And reference to India comes in the form of “provocative border violations.”

Gen. Bajwa has moved a step ahead of his predecessor, Gen. Sharif (rtd.) who, besides blaming India for acts for terrorism on Pakistani soil, had adopted the line that India was working to ‘sabotage’ the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Gen. Bajwa is compelled since he has been compared unfavourably against the immensely powerful Raheel, with social media calling for the latter’s ‘return’.

Taking a deep and serious dig at this tendency, Dawn newspaper has in its editorial (February 25, 2017) said: “The tendency is to blame it all on ‘aliens’ who are forever at odds with civilisation as we know it. They are the ones who bring evil to our peace-loving, tolerant nation, the thinking goes. On top of that, there is denial that ‘we’ have anything to do with the violence that has been erupting all
around us for several years now.

“There is nothing new about this formula. It is frequently applied the world over, even if it has often exacted a heavy price paid by those whom society has condemned.”

What the Pakistan Government is loath to admit and sections of media are pointing to is the lack of political will to touch proxies and strategic assets against India and Afghanistan.

Renowned journalist Najam Sethi in his editorial (February 24, 2017) quotes the government’s announcement of the “Radd-ul-Fasaad” military operation launched : “to “indiscriminately eliminate residual threat of terrorism, consolidate gains of operations made thus far and further ensure security of our borders”. The ISPR statement claims that the Army, Navy, Air Force, Civil Armed Forces (Rangers) and other LEAs (police, etc) will participate in this “Broad Spectrum Security/Counter Terrorism operation”.

Sethi then goes on to dissect the announcement. “The key words are, first, “indiscriminately”. This suggests that in earlier operations some terrorist groups and elements were spared for one reason or another but they will be targeted this time round. The second key word is “residual”. This suggests that much of the core work in eliminating terrorism has already been done in the past and only some “cleaning” or “mopping up” remains.

“The third key word is “Broad Spectrum”. This suggests that operations will be conducted across the country and not just in Fata and Karachi as in the past and that both small and big targets will be fair game. In other words, the operation aims to rid us of all internal and external elements which are creating terrorist anarchy in the country.”

He then gingerly states: “If this operation succeeds in even half its stated objectives it would be a great boon for Pakistan.”

On failure to touch the militants in Punjab, he surmises that “one reason may have had to do with the political affiliations of such elements with mainstream parties that stayed the hand of the local administrations.”

It is well-known that not just the Islamist parties, even Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) cut deals with the militant outfits and benefitted from them during the 2013 elections. The militants attacked workers of the relatively ‘secular’ parties, the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP), killing a hundred of them.

Another reason, Sethi points out “may be lack of will in local and provincial governments to face any violent or militant backlash.” He asks: “Are we to understand that now concerted action will be taken against these elements as well ?”

There has been widespread concern at the failure of the federal and provincial authorities to ensure conviction of the militants arrested and tried.

For lack of adequate investigation and prosecution, the civilian courts release those arrested, sooner than later. A blanket of silence engulfs --media is not told and does not ask questions about such releases. It does not ask why the state does not appeal against adverse judgments that lead to the release of the alleged militants.

Each time terror attacks take place, the likes of Imran Khan go into silent mode. All that Imran does is to blame the federal government, even when the incident has happened in KPK. And now, responding to media criticism, he says that media is biased and that Pashtuns are the most sinned.

He has said, after militants from Punjab were found to have been involved in the attack on Lal Shahbz Qalandar’s shrine at Sehwan in Sindh, that the Pakhtun are “wrongly and cruelly” targeted in the wake of terrorist acts in the country. In doing so, and in displaying misplaced sympathy for his fellow Pashtuns, he has unwittingly damaged in Punjab constituency.

But then, Imran, blinded by his ambition to somehow remove Nawaz Sharif and capture power is famous for suffering from foot-in-mouth disease.

(The writer is a Freelance journalist based in Kashmir)

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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