Pakistan needs a Reinhard Heydrich

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Muhammad Ali Baig

GENERAL Reinhardt Heydrich was a high-ranking official in Hitler’s Germany. He held commands of Gestapo, Criminal Police and Reich Main Security Office. Hitler called him as “Iron Heart” for his relentless and enthusiastic determination to eliminate terrorists from the occupied territories. He was under the direct guidance of Reich Fuhrer Heinrich Himmler who was the Chief of German Police and Schutzstaffel SS.
The operations conducted by Heydrich were purely based upon intelligence reports provided by Gestapo, Kripo and SD. He was very much feared by the enemies of Germany due to his effective brutal tactics in countering terrorism and resistance fighters. Nobel Laureate Thomas Mann famously referred to him as “Hitler’s Hangman”. Heydrich considerably rooted-out terrorist activities by the use of violence and fear, and was becoming a great threat to the sabotage operations conducted by British secret intelligence agency named as MI-6. Since Brits were financing and supporting the terrorists against Hitler and their disruptions were making it difficult for the German Military to concentrate their efforts on the war.
British trained rebels conducted Operation Anthropoid and eliminated Heydrich on June 4, 1942 in Prague, Czech Republic. Pakistan is suffering from internal as well as external enemies and has been a prime sufferer of terrorism. Many terrorist organizations fundamentally financed and supported by foreign elements especially India and Afghanistan are operating inside Pakistan. They have not only done a serious blow to the fragile economy but have considerably disturbed the entire society. Pakistan’s war against terrorism is not just against some individuals or organizations but it is projected towards an ideology.
In the opinion of the author, the use of Clausewitzian “Remarkable Trinity”, a ruthless and brutal general like General Heydrich is what Pakistan need, who is dominated by atrocious and vicious tactics coupled with intellect and patriotism. Since conventional deterrence is not enough to deter terrorists and their actions and Draconian measures are not to be avoided to obliterate terrorism. Some liberal elements in the society may criticize “Military Courts” and the death penalty, but Pakistan actually needs the execution of terrorists on the spot without any trial. However, the collateral damage is supposed to be evaded. In the pursuit of this cleansing operation, the govt must not hesitate to suspend certain civil and political liberties.
The terrorist attacks are conducted in a merciless manner and the retaliatory actions need the same level of cruelty. It may sound a Realist or a Machiavellian approach, but one must not forget that the United States did put all Japanese nationals living in America, in concentration camps just after the attack on Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941.
With Pakistan Army’s “Security Paradigm Shift”, it is evident that the real threat comes from within. It needs serious and concentrated efforts to root-out every terrorist sleeper cell and hideout. National Action Plan and its objectives are pretty much difficult to achieve in this scenario. It may sound a bit radical or perhaps an unfeasible idea but as long as “Police Culture” prevails under the umbrella of some corrupt politicians and feudal lords, terrorism of any sort just cannot be eradicated completely.
The police force and intelligence mechanism need to be merged in some Federal-level organization like the Nazi Germany’s Reich Main Security Office, which must be given control of all provincial-level police and law-enforcement agencies. Thus a highly centralized and well-communicated centre will be able to monitor all the activities to achieve a single goal.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.