Uncalled-for advisory


THE United States is continuing with its flip-flop approach towards Pakistan and the latest is its advisory regarding possible targeting of its aircraft in the country. The US Federal Aviation Administration has re-issued its advisory regarding territory and airspace of Pakistan for aircraft on the ground and operating at low altitudes, including during the arrival and departure phases of flights, fearing attacks from militant or extremist groups.
The advisory seems to be politically motivated as it has nothing to do with the ground realities in Pakistan. There is universal acknowledgement of the fact that Pakistan Armed Forces carried out an all-encompassing, comprehensive and effective counter-terrorism operation achieving a remarkable success. There was no worthwhile incident of terrorism during 2019 and in fact improvement in the situation led to merger of formerly Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with KP. As for possibility of militant attack on US aircraft, this did not happen even during the height of terrorism and there was no question of such thing happening right now when armed forces and security agencies are in full control of the situation. Normal activities of life are taking place all over Pakistan including pockets of concentration of terrorism in the past. There are, therefore, reasons to believe that such advisories are part of the strategy to continue pressure on Pakistan on the issue of extremism and terrorism, which is unfortunate. The wording of the advisory is laughable as it claims “there is continued risk to US civil aviation from small-arms fire, complex attacks against airports, indirect weapons fire and anti-aircraft fire, nay of which could occur with little or no warning”. This amounts to conveying a picture of Pakistan where warlords are controlling different areas of the country, which is quite contrary to the facts. Similar approach is some time adopted as far as Pakistan’s nuclear assets are concerned and the objectives are quite understandable.