Operation Raddul Fasad

THE armed forces, on Wednesday, launched a country-wide crackdown code named ‘Raddul Fasad’ (Elimination of Mischief) against terrorists and extremists. The operation, initiated in the backdrop of latest wave of terrorism, envisages involvement of all wings of armed forces, paramilitary organisations, civilian law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies. It has four main elements — operation in Punjab by Rangers; continuation of operations in other parts of the country; border management and de-weaponisation and explosive control.
As the operation is being led by armed forces, which have track record of delivering, there are reasons to believe that it would prove to be a remarkable success and lead to complete elimination of terrorists and hard-core criminals. There should be no mercy against those associated, in any way, with terrorism and serious crimes as both our religion and laws of the land envisage no leniency for such elements. Islam ordains strict punishment for those indulging in ‘Fasad fil Ardh’ (spreading mischief in the land). The people of Pakistan have no sympathies for such elements and unanimously demand that mischief-mongers whether they are within the country or abroad should be dealt with an iron hand. But it must be borne in mind that this is, perhaps, going to be the last chance and opportunity to wipe out terrorism with full force and simultaneously take necessary measures to sustain the gains on long term basis; otherwise people would lose faith in the ability of their leadership to deliver on this account. It is good that the latest phase of operation includes use of land, air and naval forces to take care of threats from all directions. Pak-Afghan border is already closed and an intense operation is going on, while Navy would, hopefully, ensure that there are no escapes or intrusion from coastal belts of the country. Similarly, involvement of Rangers in Punjab and Pakistan Army and other agencies in the length and breadth of the country could mean terrorists and criminals would have no place to hide or seek refuge. However, we would recommend that the operation should be swift and those apprehended on charges of terrorism and heinous crimes should meet their nemesis without loss of time. We must also bear in mind that prolonged involvement of the three services in an internal operation would not be in our national interest. It should also be ensured that deployment of armed forces personnel for operation doesn’t affect their availability for the vital exercise of Population Census.

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