Caught in the crossfire | Pakistan Today

Caught in the crossfire

Courtesy our establishment’s split personality

Pakistani civilians and military personnel have rendered more sacrifices in the fight against militants than any other country. The army has wrested control of Swat from the TTP after a bloody fight and is now deployed in a number of Fata agencies against the militants. This is one aspect of the situation. Equally significant is the other aspect. Banned militant outfits under new names continue to hold public meetings and address rallies. An English daily reported on Monday that the leaders of some of these outfits addressed a gathering and collected donations in the name of jihad in Kashmir and Afghanistan in the outskirts of Rawalpindi i.e., under the very nose of the civil and military establishment. The establishment, thus, acts in a way which is indicative of a split personality.

Pakistan is consequently caught in the crossfire. It is trusted neither by its allies nor by the militants. In November, Nato forces attacked a Salala checkpost killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. The drone attacks continue with little hope of an end even after the departure of the main body of the Nato troops in 2014. On their part, the militants treat Pakistan no better. In June alone, two major attacks in Khyber agency and Peshawar killed 33 and 19 civilians respectively. In May, Taliban militants beheaded 13 soldiers in North Waziristan. A month later they meted out a similar treatment to seven other soldiers in Upper Dir. On Monday, hours after the Difa-e-Pakistan Council marchers crossed the Chenab, militants attacked an army camp on the riverside killing seven.

The establishment’s policy of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds has also been disastrous from the diplomatic point of view. The country stands isolated in the region while it is under intense pressure from the US and its allies. Nato’s “State of the Taliban Report” released early this year accused Pakistani security services of secretly helping the Taliban in Afghanistan. Speaking to Khar on the sidelines of the Tokyo conference, Clinton again reminded her of the need to take “tangible steps.” The most important one according to her was fighting the militant groups who’ve used Pakistan as a rear base to attack American troops and jeopardise the future of Afghanistan. Khar’s talks with her Indian counterpart S M Krishna were overshadowed by the revelations made by LeT operative Abu Jundal and protests against continued anti-India propaganda by Hafiz Saeed.

It is time the establishment takes a clear cut direction. It has to realise that the world has developed zero tolerance for militancy under any name and in support of any cause. Pakistan must not be made to suffer the fate of a castaway.

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