Tirah falls | Pakistan Today

Tirah falls

Where are we going wrong?
Clear, hold, build. That’s what the Americans and other coalition partners were going for, with varying measures of success, in both Afghanistan and Iraq. And both foreign countries, these.
With Pakistan, there are no areas we are building in earnest. There are a number of areas that we cannot hold and let the militants retake control of the areas that have been cleared in the past. And then there are the areas like North Waziristan, where we will not – or cannot – clear in the first place.
Whereas the last of the aforementioned has two sides advocating the wisdom of their own points of view, the sheer futility of letting the theatres of successful operations slide back into the miscreants’ control really does beggar belief.
The strategic advantages of the military operations in the Bajaur and Mohmand agencies, supposedly successful ones, keep slipping back to the militants. So are several areas in South Waziristan.
In this regards, things are worst in the Khyber Agency. Operation after operation in the agency still haven’t yielded the required results. In the latest development, the Pakistani Taliban have taken control of the Kukikhel area. According to reports, this means that apart from the Bazaar Zakakhel area, the entire Tirah valley is firmly under the control of three militant groups: the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), the Ansar-ul-Islam and the agency’s most notorious militant group, the Lashkar-e-Islami.
If there is some smoke-and-mirrors play going on here by the military (and that wouldn’t exactly be beyond the realm of possibilities), there needs to be an improvement in the policy being adopted. By now, it should be clear to everyone that no successes can be sustainable without not just the inclusion but clear supervision of civilians. These could be career public service operatives but should ideally be elected representatives.
No operation in the tribal areas can be deemed completely successful by all those involved. There must be something going wrong here. The military should be open to new ideas.

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