Zarb-e-Azb: What’s Really Going On?

Zarb-e-Azb

Before the standoff in Islamabad, there was the standoff in North Waziristan. While ‘Azadi’ and ‘Inquilab’ operations have replaced ‘Zarb-i-Azb’ in the media headlines, those operations continue. Like the political operations, the military operations may not be going as well as some of the rhetoric would have us believe.

Last month, DG ISPR declared that terrorists were ‘on the run‘. A month later, COAS Gen Raheel again declared that terrorists are ‘on the run‘. If terrorists have been ‘on the run’ for a month, they haven’t gotten very far.

As Army brass were declaring the terrorists all but defeated, they were attacking Samungli and Khalid airbases in Quetta. These attacks were foiled by security services, but the fact that militants are still able to carry out such brazen attacks against national institutions does not suggest that they are running ‘from’ anything.

While PTI is camped out in Islamabad trying to discredit the national government, Taliban militants are carrying out operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Militants attacked another tanker on the Pakistan-Afghan highway, killing an innocent driver and cleaner, and have openly distributed pamphlets warning the people to avoid contact with MNA Haji Shahji Gul or be killed.

While TTP continues its operations, a new threat is rising from ISIS infiltration into Pakistan. This has been going on for months, and it appears to be continuing uninterrupted.

Debates about the quality of democracy are important, but if we can’t secure the nation from terrorism and extremism, those debates are purely academic in nature.

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