A peaceful Eid

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In the shadow of terror
Except for a terrorist attack in Quetta, the two days of Eid remained peaceful all over the country. In Balochistan, Jaffar Express escaped an accident on account of vigilance displayed by the driver who brought the train to a timely halt on seeing a suspicious object ahead. Security agencies and the political and executive authorities looking after law enforcement deserve to be congratulated on the success. Unless the level of vigilance is downgraded, one can expect a third terror free day associated with the Eid festivities.
The threats being extended by the terrorists on the eve of the Eid festival had caused widespread concern. People gathering in large numbers in mosques, public parks, zoos and other places of recreation provide the terrorists with easy targets. Terrorists have in the past used these occasions to play havoc. Early this month, Hakimullah Mehsud warned of taking the guerilla war to Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. Last week, TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan threatened to target the military through “squads” of suicide bombers. As it turned out, the statements were a part of psychological warfare. A section of the media and politicians who sympathize with the militants were painting sensational scenarios after there were indications about an operation in North Waziristan. What one can safely conclude now is that with better coordination between the center and the provinces and with the security agencies putting their act together, the threat of militancy can be can be adequately contained.
The terrorist networks have lost a number of prominent leaders during the last two years that include Ilyas Kashmiri, Qari Hussain, Badar Mansoor and Abu Laith al-Libi. Most of those that remain lack the organizational skills and planning capabilities. What is more, there are sharp divisions among the militant groups. Efforts made to paper over the cracks by forming the Shura-i-Muraqba have met with little success, as the latest statement by Hakimullah Mehsud indicates. There are also reports of divisions between Mullah Omar and the Haqqanis also. This is the time to strike a decisive blow. With most of the militant groups having set up headquarters in North Waziristan, the lair has to be cleared of them.