This past Wednesday, an officer and three soldiers laid down their lives in defence of their motherland. They had raided a hideout where three suicide-bombers were hiding. These foot-soldiers of Maulana Fazlullah, who took refuge in Afghanistan since he fled the military operation in Swat, had entered Pakistan via Chitral or Lower Dir. The local people had passed on this information to the intelligence agency, which conducted the operation led by Major Ali Salman. As soon as this team entered their hideout, one of the suicide-bombers exploded himself, martyring the officer and three jawans and injuring another four. In the ensuing fight, another suicide-bomber was killed and their accomplice was taken into custody. This hasn’t happened for the first time, nor will it be last. But this incident does send a very strong message to the enemy on three fronts. One, the fight against terrorism would continue to cleanse the sacred soil of Pakistan of these terrorist demons, both original and hired. Two, having rid their area of terrorists the people’s ‘lashkars’ in Upper Dir were on the watch and as soon they got information about the entry of would-be suicide-bombers from Afghanistan they conveyed that information to the intelligence agency – an act which indicates the general masses’ growing concern about foreign-funded terrorism. Three, the reaction to the incident by the father of the martyred Major Ali Salman was profoundly profound: “Although he [Salman] was my only son, I am proud of the Pakistan Army… I am proud of this nation which produces such sons. My son has done what I could not during my service.”
The sacrifices men in uniform are rendering for the motherland are not in short supply. They will keep fighting the demons of terrorism as long as it takes to cleanse the sacred soil of this curse. This is essentially a national cause, and has to be fought for and won irrespective of what others beyond our borders can do to join this fight on the side of terrorists. The Upper Dir is more less free of terrorists presence courtesy local population and a higher level of vigilance maintained by security forces. So as soon as the would-be suicide-bombers crossed over from Afghanistan people passed on the information to relevant quarters. But the question is how come Maulana Fazlullah is comfortably ensconced in the adjoining Afghan districts and remains beyond the Kabul’s long arm of law. Isn’t it “paradoxical” on their part that they look the other way when Pakistan asks for action against terrorists’ sanctuaries in Afghanistan. Of course Pakistan armed forces are fighting in defence of motherland, but should they, God forbid, lose this war the peace of the entire region would be at the mercy of bloodthirsty Daesh and its genre. That Trump administration is mulling fighting the Afghan civil war with the help of mercenaries. Little does, however, President Trump know that this would harvest nothing but more human blood. Afghanistan is not an isolated Indian Ocean island-state where mercenaries could bring about a change of government. If a 150,000-strong highly trained and suitably equipped force could not defeat Afghan Taliban, there is hardly a possibility of a clutch of contracted mercenaries scoring a victory over them. The kind of fight the national security forces of Pakistan have given to terrorists is unique in so many ways, and a lesson to be learnt by others who are confronted with the curse of terrorism. Major Ali Salman’s father is rightly proud of being a member of the Pak Army.