WEB DESK: We may differ with President Obama’s assertion that Pakistan ‘can and must’ take more effective action against terrorist groups – as we recently did when he predicted lingering instability in the region. But realities on ground, particularly as they unfold in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Bacha Khan University last week and the statement of the KP chief minister, tend to support his assertion.
There is no escape from conceding the truth in what he says, though it may be at the risk of being branded, falsely, unpatriotic. The fact is that when we thought the battle against terrorists has been won they appeared right in front of our door and knocked it violently. Accepted, the terrorists, who wrecked carnage at the university came from across the border and remained in touch with their handlers on the Afghan soil. But on arrival in Pakistan they were hosted by the local people, ferried to the site and provided with the layout of the sprawling campus. That firmly assured local support was there in place to help the grisly agenda of the four terrorists is a fact based on evidence. What else is required to prove existence of an active terrorist network on ground in the area around the Bacha Khan University and not very far from the provincial capital Peshawar? Rightly then, Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak wants imposition of curfew on his province followed by a house-to-house search. Operations against terrorists who are of myriad hues, religious fanatics and hired guns must be launched on an emergency basis, says the chief minister.
The fact is that something is missing from a fuller implementation of the 20-point National Action Plan, and that has now been conceded by no less than the prime minister himself. Answering a reporter’s question during his brief sojourn in London on Sunday Nawaz Sharif accepted that as for its implementation ‘the pace in some areas of NAP was slow which needed to be looked at for effective and across the board implementation’.
This ‘across the board’ implementation is what President Obama too advocated when he wanted a tougher action for “delegitimizing, disrupting and dismantling” the terror networks. Take the case of Jaesh-e-Mohammad, which is being accused by attacking the Pathankot airbase by India. Isn’t it scandalous that this outfit, which stands banned for a long time now, has its seminaries functioning at a number of places? It is also necessary that further stay of Afghan refugees in Pakistan is revisited, for their principal host, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is fed up with them and wants their repatriation to their country. Therefore, not is much wrong with the call for an effective action against the terror networks.
But as we say this, we also find some work cut out for President Obama. The attack on the Bacha Khan University was planned and executed by anti-Pakistan Fazlullah group believed to be residing in the border area of Afghanistan. If he is beyond the control of government in Kabul we don’t know. But Pakistan has not blamed this attack on the Afghan government; though it has provided it with credible information about the attack. Kabul poses indifferent to this for whatever reasons.
Maybe it finds itself helpless in this case or comfortable with the much-wanted thorn in Pakistan’s side. But one would be absolutely naïve to think that Fazlullah’s criminal profile fits the American agenda in Afghanistan. Why is then his safe haven in Afghanistan not a target of American drones? By eliminating this curse from the face of earth the Americans would be greatly helping the cause of peace in this region.
Source: Business Recorder