FATA merger into KP biggest takeaway of year 2018


ISLAMABAD: The year 2018 saw a significant success of Pakistan’s Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) over criminals and terrorists as it proved to be a period of economic and political stabilisation.

Major achievements include the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) while completion of the first phase of fencing of Pak-Afghan border in KP was also one of the achievements.

An army officer told Pakistan Today that FATA merger into KP was the biggest achievement of the year.

“Actually, the Army created an enabling environment for the merger. Following clearing operations, the socio-economic development was made which won hearts and minds,” the officer said requesting not being identified.

The officer added that in a bid to reverse the military success, hostile intelligence agencies tried to create chaos by using local population for the demand of ‘Pakhtunistan’.

“Youth wanted merger but elders didn’t due to fear of losing perks and privileges. However, the army played role to bring them on one platform. Army provided a platform and engaged both youth and elders to bring them on one platform,” the officer said.

The officer said the timely merger of FATA averted a major fault line which was exploited by the hostile agencies. He said that the fencing of Pak-Afghan border also brought an end to blame game on Pakistan regarding infiltration.

Due to the operations, an overall trend shows a reduction in target killings up to 97 per cent – down from 1,762 in 2003 to only 5 in 2018; terrorism reduced up to 99 per cent – down from 330 in 2003 to only 2 in 2018; extortion cases reduced up to 96 per cent – down from 2,113 in 2003 to 7 in 2018; and kidnapping cases decreased up to 93 per cent – down from 303 in 2003 to 27 in 2018.

The first critical phase of fencing spanning over 539 kilometers was to be completed by end of year 2018 out of which fencing of around 462 kilometers has been achieved while remaining will be completed in a few days’ time. Pak-Afghan border is a reality and it has changed the paradigm of illegal border crossing.

Overall planned fencing along Pak Afghan border was 2611 kilometers to be completed by the end of the year 2020. Till now, 643 kilometers fencing on border including 462 kilometers in KP and 181 kilometers in Balochistan is completed, the updated statistics revealed. A total of 843 border posts were planned out of which 233 have been completed while construction of 140 posts is underway.

Owing to effective physical and technical surveillance of border, the illegal border crossing has become impossible despite non-cooperation from the Afghan authorities.

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was launched on February 22, 2017 with the aim to conduct broad-spectrum counter-terrorism operations by Rangers in Punjab, continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management, countrywide de-weaponisation and explosive control were additional cardinals of the effort. Pursuance of the National Action Plan will be the hallmark of this operation.

Since February 22, 2017 some 75894 Intelligence Based Operations and Combing Operations have been conducted. In 2018 as many as 45764 operations were conducted. Major achievements of RuF also include Fata merger while Fata Youth Jirga elders also met COAS. The COAS also visited South Waziristan on August 29, 2018.

Spokesman of Tehreek-e-Taliban Ehsanullah Ehsan surrendered and Sufi Muhammad called actions of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan un-Islamic and unlawful. During 2018 a total of 2933 ceasefire violations were reported whereas a total of 355 casualties were reported including 55 martyred and 300 injured.

A massive surge in ceasefire violation was observed from 2014 to 2018 that is 315 to 2933. Similarly, number of causalities also swelled from 2014 to 2018 that is 107 (20 martyred and 87 injured) to 355 (55 martyred and 300 injured). Number of terrorist incidents per month reduced from 8 (average) in 2013 to 1-2 in 2017 and 2018.

Reduction in Violence Trend of civilian casualties varied from 2003 to 2018 with most civilian casualties in March 2011 (432) and January 2013 (414). The overall number reduced from 140 in 2003 to 80 casualties in 2018. Fencing and Posts: Overall planned fencing was 2611 kms out of which 643 kms fencing has been done. In KP and erstwhile FATA, planned fencing was 1343 kms out of which 462 kms fencing has been done. In Balochistan, planned fencing was 1268 kms out of which 182 kms has been done.

A total of 843 border posts were planned out of which 235 completed and construction of 140 posts is in progress. Speedy socio-eco development activity also took place to transcend benefits across Balochistan. As such major projects include Gwadar Desalination Plant, Road Turbat – Bule, Cadet College Awaran, NUST Campus Quetta, and Cadet College Gwadar announced by COAS.

There has been an increase in the trade activities while due to the improved security situation, number of checkposts in KP reduced in 2018 (331) as compared to 2013 (469). 29.5 % reduction (138 check posts) in check posts has been done during 2016-2018. Meanwhile, prior to initiation of Karachi operation in 2014, Karachi ranked 6th in world’s mega cities and capitals with Higher Crime Index. In first half of 2018, it ranked 60th after the launch of Karachi operation.

As far as the communication network is concerned, more than 800 kms have been constructed to reduce the travelling time up to one third. These roads were made in Peshawar – Landi Kotal – Torkham, and Khyber Jandola Tunnel. In Miranshah, a total of 493 projects were initiated benefitting three million people including: Pine Nut Processing Plant, Wana Agri Park, Wana Apropos Education Sector 231 projects and three functional cadet colleges. Major contributions also include APS Parachinar Cadet College Wana, Govt College of Technology, Khar (Bajaur), Vocational Training Institute, Booni, Chitral while a total 42 health projects were launched including five major hospitals creating 5,384 Jobs, benefiting 1.3 million people.