Much more needed
Finally, the government has confirmed the ban on Jamaatud Dawa, as well as the Haqqani Network, which means rumours doing the rounds these past few days were true. It didn’t help, of course, that Ch Nisar remained non-committal and federal minister Rana Tanveer Hussain believed, till very recently, that there was no reason to move against JuD. Still, the move must be welcomed. The government must now ensure that these banned organisations are not able to operate under new disguises, as has been known to happen. Any room given to them now will be interpreted as duplicitous, both at home and abroad, and could well jeopardise the understanding reached with Washington and Kabul. This step took its time coming, but it must be followed through with full force.
The army has no doubt the capacity to defeat the TTP in the tribal agencies though at significant human and material expense. The momentous task of the rehabilitation of the IDPs, however, requires maximum support from allies and friends. A sum of Rs100 billion is needed, we are told, for the repatriation of the two million displaced persons belonging to North Waziristan alone. More funds would be needed for the resettlement of IDPs from other agencies who are presently living in makeshift camps in KP. With scant hope of outside aid from allies who are not fully convinced of the government’s sincerity, Safron minister has desperately called upon Pakistani philanthropists to help.
Therefore, there is a need to be crystal clear both in words and action. So far, as regards the National Action Plan, the government has been slow off the mark. Already there are widespread doubts about its willingness to take measures against extremism, the fountainhead of all terrorism. Lack of action against the chief Lal Masjid cleric is just one example of the phenomenon. The double-mindedness about taking action against delinquent seminaries is another. As if this was not enough, there is no end to the persistent lack of coordination among the security agencies. This is what one gathers from Ch Nisar’s observations regarding the need for inter-agency cooperation, made during the high level meeting presided by the prime minister. The HN and JuD ban should now serve as the springboard for Zarb-e-Azb’s expansion. At stake is not just the political future of the government, but the survival of the country itself.