In the past several decades, many countries raised alarm for Pakistan with regard to the terrorism within the country. However, the country never bothered to pay heed, rather gave further boost to the terrorism.
Nonetheless, the country has reached the stage where it is bearing the brunt of its own deeds as the armed group within the country is virtually in confrontation with the government. A number of attacks have been carried out by the group so far, leaving hundreds of innocent people dead so far and several others wounded.
This confrontation has been going on since years even as the twin massive operations launched against the militant groups called, Operation Zarb-e-Azb, (Great Strike) in 2014, under the then Pakistan Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif and Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad (Elimination of discord) by General Qamar Bajwa in 2017 failed to bring the fruits for the country.
The back to back anti-militancy operations in the three years was aimed to give a message that there has been an excellent outcome of the first operation, launched in the year 2014, but the ground reality is known to all as innocent people lost their lives while many got injured as well.
It is because of the Operation Zarb-e-Azab that the confrontation between Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a Pashtun Islamist armed student group, which is a conglomerate of various student militant groups based along the Afghan–Pakistani border and government is going on since years.
The TTP has emerged as the most powerful militant group within Pakistan as it continued to take revenge of what happened due to operation Zarb-e-Azab, which was aimed to rid the tribal areas of foreign and native terrorists.
As all the operations and methods failed to bring fruits, the incumbent Prime Minister Imran Khan was used as a trump card to pave a way for an end to the confrontation keeping in view of the previous times when he used to be a poster boy of the militant warlords.
However, there has been no end to the confrontation as the incumbent regime has not only failed to achieve the goal, but worsened the situation to a large extent.
The situation has reached the phase where the conditions of the armed group are being accepted, but the ceasefire pact being announced frequently, doesn’t sustain for a longer period.
The fragile situation within the country is such that all the demands put forth by the armed group including the release of TTP militants and its commanders.
The actions of TTP in Khyber Pakthtunkhwa and Waziristan have kept the government of the country on toes as the suicide attacks and bombings have led to the devastation at two places.
The government, many a time, tried to enter into bonhomie with the armed group by sitting on a table to discuss the things. The TTP was quite desperate to ensure the implementation of Sharia law on the ground, which was turned down by the government, thus leading to further devastation as more and more incidents of suicide attacks and bombings occurred.
The data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) reveals that at least 69 people have been killed in 37 attacks across South and North Waziristan districts in 2021. The reports suggest that the year 2021 has seen a marked uptick in violence in the South Waziristan and adjoining North Waziristan districts.
Similar is the situation in KPK where the insurgency also known as the War in North-West Pakistan, is going on since 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistan Army’s search for al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan’s mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas) escalated into armed resistance.
On 8 November 2021, Pakistan’s minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhary had said the government had reached an agreement on a complete ceasefire with the TTP, adding that authorities in neighboring Taliban-controlled Afghanistan had facilitated the talks and the ceasefire will keep on extending with the progress in the negotiations. But, it ended again due to the failures of the government and the non-fulfillment of the demands put forth by the armed group.
Moreover, the factionalism in TTP between Musa Shaheed Karwan group, Mehsud factions and others has further made the situation very difficult for Pakistan to control. The country has been caught in a fix to streamline the situation as the decisions being taken are not suiting the groups unanimously, thus keeping the government on toes.
As a result, the country continues to bear the brunt and thus more devastation on the ground is expected until and unless the guns stop roaring.
(The writer is executive editor Lake City Times and can be reached at email@example.com)
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