Alarming strikes at Pak stability


Sikandar Noorani

DESPITE significant reduction in terrorist attacks, Pak struggle against the menace is still on. Though, national resolve against terrorism is gaining strength with every passing day, transformation of challenge seems more complicated in nature and scope. Recent terrorist attacks on Pak soil have rung many alarm bells about ill intentions of well-known enemies. Coffins of martyrs came from LoC on eastern border, erstwhile FATA on western border and Mach coal mines in Balochistan. These gruesome attacks must not be ignored in the context of recent developments emerging from surroundings of Pakistan. Terrorists, who often attack Pak troops in erstwhile FATA, are operating freely on Afghan soil. Liberty of action and resources available to the miscreants in their safe havens are mysteriously meaningful. Pak genuine concerns on unchecked infiltration of hardcore terrorists eventually transformed in border fencing.
Political chaos and alarming surge in violence have totally compromised Kabul government’s potential to objectively act against the miscreants playing havoc on both sides of Pak-Afghan border. India vigorously exploiting gaps and shortcomings of Afghanistan to stab the western flank of Pakistan through proxies. Undoubtedly, restoration of peace is a joint necessity of Afghanistan and Pakistan which warrant a trust based cogent mechanism against the terrorists and their handlers. Two alarming attacks in Balochistan on FC troops and Hazara coal miners have delivered a clear threat to the state of Pakistan. No major efforts required to unearth that which players desire to keep Balochistan constantly bleed? Foreign funded ethnic pressure groups mostly operating in the dark pits of cyber world are behind the terrorist attacks on security forces in Balochistan.
Cold blooded murder of Hazara Shia miners was acclaimed by the Daesh which has strong roots and active network in Afghanistan with obvious anti-Shia approach. Reportedly, seven out of eleven Shia victim miners were Afghan nationals. Saner minds can easily decipher that peace spoilers intend to destabilize Balochistan by fanning ethnic and sectarian violence. Efforts are underway to portray Balochistan as terror affected region suffering in the grip of separatist insurgents and sectarian extremists. It is hard to deny the Indian hand behind massive destabilization campaign. Propaganda outlets linked with Indian Establishment came up with twisted version of stories immediately after each dubious development in Pakistan. Hazara miners’ killing was used by Indian media to malign state institutions with sectarian outfits but no single word was uttered about existence of Daesh on Afghan soil. In an unprecedented statement, Pak PM openly blamed India for backing Daesh in destabilizing the entire region.
Unfortunately, in the past a meaningful reluctance prevailed in ruling quarters of Islamabad on pointing Indian obvious hand behind terrorism. Modi-led BJP regime has further deepened the anti-Pak policy lines drawn long time back by Indian decision-makers. Nationalist populism of BJP revolves around anti-Pak and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Chinese factor is also being used by BJP hawks to fan the public sentiments amid months long Ladakh stand-off but its sustenance remains questionable due to multiple Indian handicaps against Beijing. Concerns against BRI specially CPEC have provided a common ground to Washington and New Delhi against Beijing. India is trying hard to lay the focus of containment efforts on Pakistan for obvious reasons to settle the old scores. Terrorism in Balochistan is primarily aimed at sabotaging CPEC.
Few weeks back entire Indian media was seen busy in exaggerating the death of self-exiled female activist in Canada with a history of affiliation with a faction of BSO. No stone was left unturned in igniting the sentiments of Balochs against the State institutions. While shouting at the top of their voices against Pakistan, no one from Indian media and self-styled libtards pointed out that name of dead activist surfaced in the list of those propagandists who were actively operating on the behest of fake Indian media networks exposed by EU Disinfo Lab. Most obviously, Indian Establishment preferred to mute the exposed activist to divert the attention from their blunders towards Pakistan. Similarly, attack on Hazara miners was staged through Afghan based outfit to create multiple negative radiations against Pakistan. While pressurizing Pakistan through sectarian extremist and ethnic separatist outfits in erstwhile FATA and Balochistan, New Delhi is increasing tactical pressure on eastern borders through frequent cease-fire violations against civilian and military targets.
Terrorism challenge is rapidly worsening in entire region with its worst outcomes expected in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A joint strategy and rapid confidence building between Kabul and Islamabad must be pursued in first place. Besides this, important regional players like China, Pakistan, Russia, Iran, Sri Lanka and Nepal should come under umbrella of a broader alliance to counter the ill-effects of Indo-US violent activism in the region. It is not that only terrorism is posing serious challenges, many developments shaping up at regional canvas have also enhanced Pakistan’s stakes in surroundings. Internal front must be calmed through political consensus, objective dialogue and improvement in governance standards. Looming bitterness and polarization on important national issues can multiply the damages of foreign-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan.
—The Islamabad-based writer is a retired army officer and occasionally contributes to the national press.