And more attacks

  • No end in sight?

A new pattern seems to have emerged in terrorist attacks since the election. They enemy may have had its command and control structure decimated, etc, but it clearly retains the ability to stage well planned and coordinated attacks. And, more often than not, these small attacks inflict high casualties and make headlines, worldwide, again and again. After the violence that once again marked the election campaign, the enemy seems to have set its sight on the Gilgit-Baltistan region, besides retaining its obsession for Balochistan.

This is classic guerilla insurgency warfare. Denied of the capability of boasting a large outfit, the enemy first simply melted away across the border then exploited loopholes in the security machinery to slip personnel as well as weapons into Pakistan to carry out sporadic attacks which keep it alive and the government on the defensive. And, for all the successes of Zarb-e-Azb and Rudd-ul-Fasaad, and the combing- and intel-based-operations that followed, this is where a revision of the present strategy, at least, is urgently called for. It is also clear that cutting off the head simply does not kill this snake; as happened with Baitullah, Hakeemullah, and Fazlullah.

Unfortunately the finer points of NAP (National Action Plan) were never implemented and as a result the security operation has been affected. It called for greater cooperation and communication between the dozens of agencies that litter the security landscape. Going by text-book counter-terrorism doctrine, often intelligence ‘chatter’ is picked up by one agency and shared with another, which might be in possession of information about a different stage of a particular operation. That, put simply, is how the security setup sabotages enemy planning and preempts attacks, mostly when components of suicide bombs, etc, are being smuggled into the target city. While a lot of ground has been covered in this long, existential war, neither the military nor the civilian government can be satisfied till this last wave of periodic attacks is also crushed.