Inching towards success

PAKISTAN Army, on Sunday, announced the launch of Operation Khyber-4 under Radd-ul-Fasaad to “wipe out terrorists” in the Rajgal Valley area of Khyber Agency. Khyber 4 seeks to target terrorist hideouts in what the Director-General ISPR called “the most critical area in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA)”.
In his press conference, the DG, ISPR, touched several dimensions of the issue of extremism and terrorism and confirmed reports that IS (Daesh) was establishing its foothold on Afghan side of the Durand Line. This is strange and runs contrary to claims of the American Administration that addressing the challenge of IS would be their number one priority. That the concentration of IS close to border areas of Pakistan is a genuine source of concern for Pakistan, which is already frequently attacked by Afghan-based Taliban groups. Launching of operation Khyber-4 is yet another manifestation of Pakistan’s commitment to fight out terrorists of all sorts without any discrimination. The very fact that one full division has been deployed to conduct the latest operation speaks volumes about seriousness of the country in wiping out terrorists. We have been emphasising in these columns that the war against terror can reach to its logical conclusion at the soonest if the other side – Afghanistan and the United States – sincerely cooperate in eliminating the menace. In the face of intensified operations by Pakistan, many terrorists have moved across the Durand Line where they have been provided safe havens under the patronage of Afghan and Indian intelligence. Pakistan has been urging Afghanistan to take action against these groups and in the face of non-cooperation it has to resort to the costly option of fencing the border and establishment of check posts. The DG, ISPR also reiterated commitment of Pakistan Army to reinforce and protect the fence by aerial surveillance. Turning to the Karachi situation, one might not agree to the version that 97% success has been achieved as much remains to be done to restore true and sustainable peace in the mega city. Operation must continue in Karachi and there should be no let up on any consideration as the country cannot afford to hand over its economic and industrial hub to hard core criminals and mafias.

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