Moments after Pakistan announced the launch of a comprehensive operation in North Waziristan, political parties and analysts weighed in on the repercussions of the move with a majority favouring the military operation.
However, it is feared that with the advent of a military operation, Taliban will seek refuge in the cities, putting the metropolitans at risk.
ALTAF WELCOMES NORTH WAZIRISTAN OFFENSIVE:
Commenting on the operation, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) head Altaf Hussain on Sunday welcomed the launch of a fresh military offensive Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan tribal region against Taliban terrorists.
“I welcome this operation and I am glad that government is supporting the armed force,” Hussain said while speaking to a private TV channel.
“Those who have not backed the operation must realise that it is a matter of national security. I appeal to them to come on same page by setting aside their political compulsions,” he said.
“I fear that Taliban will sneak into Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta after the operation. They can carry out small attacks in cities in retaliation and to divert army’s attention from the operation,” he opined.
“I also call upon all civic agencies be vigilant and act timely against suspected people. I want to tell the people of Pakistan that our enemies can take advantage of the situation. We need to set up vigilance committees to protect our cities and town,” he said.
The MQM chief urged all media channels to play national anthems to unite the nation.
In the meanwhile, MQM Senator Babar Ghauri speaking to a news channel said, “This is a commendable decision by the government. We have been repeatedly telling the current government that instead of engaging the terrorists in dialogue, government should act against these elements. Karachi has a number of terrorists and it might suffer from a blow back; this should be tackled so Karachi does not have to suffer on account of this.”
In the meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Dr Arif Alvi said, “PTI was not aware of this. We were not informed that a wide scale operation will be launched in North Waziristan,” adding that this was a ‘money for operation’ exchange.
He added that his party has always maintained that an operation of this scale will result in a large influx of refugees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where his party forms government. “The government should have told us so we could have prepared for this.”
He criticised the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) for what he said was a move to appease the US government which has linked aid to an operation of this nature.
“The PML-N government did not tell the public and the opposition why the talks failed. We do not know about the dimension of this operation.”
He also said that groups such as the Haqqani network have no war with Pakistan and are being isolated without reason.
“Does the government want to burn all cards for the incoming government in Afghanistan?”
He suggested that there should be a surgical and precise operation as a large scale strike would result in the death of innocents.
PTI spokesman Shireen Mazari said that the PTI leadership will meet under its chairman Imran Khan on Monday to review the government’s decision to launch to launch a full scale military operation in North Waziristan.
In today’s meeting, she said, the PTI leadership will shape up its future course of action in connection with the operation in NWA by holding consultations.
ANALYST LAUD DECISION:
Retired Maj Gen Jamshed Ayaz lauded the move as a “very good decision”.
“It came slightly late. But better late than never. Pakistan has suffered a big loss – and Pakistan comes first. They have made a correct decision to launch this. The time for talks is over.”
Also, defence analyst Rasul Baksh Rais asked what the KP government has done to stop terrorists from entering their province.
“These terrorists kill civilians in cities. What should be done with terrorists then?” he said in response to Dr Arif Alvi.
‘BETTER KILL THAN TALK’:
Awami National Party member Zahid Khan commented on the issue saying, ”We also held a dialogue previously during our government but that did not produce effective results. We wanted peace and we were okay if that came through dialogue but unfortunately that could not happen. This time, knowing from our experience, we had cautioned the government that dialogue approach would not work. The government should have taken the parliament into confidence before launching the operation but it didn’t.”