Pakistan’s call for action against JuA alone ‘ambiguous’

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Pakistan’s response to the deadly bombing at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sehwan has brought to surface an important albeit ambiguous aspect of the government policy when Afghanistan was asked to take action only against the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, according to a report by BBC Urdu.

Putting a question mark on the effectiveness of the military operation Zarb-e-Azb, the report claims that the government was surprised by the recent wave of terror attacks, as it had assumed that terrorists were now only capable of conducting odd terror attacks instead of a full-scale onslaught they have launched in recent days. This assumption seems to have stemmed from their false belief that the Zarb-e-Azb operation had decimated terror outfits operating in Pakistan.

The report questions why the government had only demanded operations against Jamaat-ul-Ahrar from the neighbouring Afghan government, when the deadliest of attacks in the past week had been the one in Sehwan which was claimed by the self-styled Islamic State also known as Daesh even though the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar had claimed responsibility for a number of attacks including the ones in Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta.

On Friday (yesterday), PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz talked to the Afghan national security advisor in relation to the attack and asked him to take immediate action against the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. There was no mention of either the Taliban or Islamic State, however.

The report claims that this could mean one of two things, either that the government does not accept the claims made by the Islamic State or that Sartaj Aziz had prepared for this phone call before the Sehwan attack. This would make it seem that the government believes that ridding itself of one terrorist organisation will solve the terror problem.

Heavily critical of the government, the report goes on to describe how the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar had offered to make an alliance with other terror outfits and that numerous experts have said there is room for such an alliance. The government’ silence in regards to the IS is thus all the more neglectful.

Concluding its claims, the report admits that the size of terrorist attacks has often varied and the real question that needs to be answered is why there has been an evident acceleration in the frequency of attacks.