JOINING HANDS ON CONFRONTING TERROR
Hurt deep on the destruction of Twin Towers September 2001, the United States let loose hell on Afghanistan first by flattening Tora Bora mountain ranges and then by its physical invasion to nab or kill Al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin Laden. Before invading the country the US authorities requested Mullah Omar the then head of Taliban regime in Kabul to hand over the alleged master mind of Twin Towers attack but were declined. On refusal, it entered Afghanistan and removed Taliban regime from Kabul. The influx of US military personnel and allied armed forces under NATO flag generated an indigenous Afghan insurgency that grew overtime and stiffly resisted the foreign invasion.
Taliban call for Jihad drew many foreign volunteers who fought the US/NATO forces side by side. The sequential increase in US/NATO military boots on the ground, it managed to push the part of insurgency over into Pakistan and forced it to fight a war which it never opted for. Pakistan was left with no option but to confront these insurgents as they started fanning out their ideology in the tribal areas and further deep into Pakistan challenging the government writ.
The battle hardened insurgents accustomed to gun culture were exploited by Pakistanís enemies who lured them in for terror attacks on the countryís defense and economic infrastructure. To re-establish the writ of the government the army moved in to confront the growing menace. The Taliban dispersed deeper in to the south of the country and were courted by religious extremists who along with their new found power started influencing the state affairs. This added with intolerance and terror tactics has emerged as the greatest threat to the security and integrity of Pakistan. This is exactly what Pakistanís Chief of Army Staff said while addressing participants of 14 August Military Parade at Pakistanís Military Academy, Kakul. Taliban have tarnished the religion of Islam with their terror acts taking the lives away. What makes them think they have the license to kill Muslims for not following the junctions of Islam? They just killed 17 innocent people who partied at the Kajaki district. Letting them stretch their terrorist and extremist activities elsewhere in the country from their stronghold of North Waziristan tantamount taking the country back to medieval days. The Pakistani nation overtime has realized what Taliban are up to as they remain nostalgic about their newly discovered power of getting their ideology enforced on segments of society through a combination of blackmails, sermons and terror acts.
We are a strange nation. Understood that a very large percentage of our population realizes the menace of terrorism and extremism but they do not work to stem the tide. Some have dared to but failed to garner requisite support based on which a sustained campaign could be launched. Many of those think that it is a state responsibility but state without people support cannot be successful in stemming the Taliban ideology. Now that Pakistanís army chief has spoken the reality and sounded warning signals, many of our pseudo intellectuals having a long reach in the media have launched a smearing campaign against the person and office of the army chief . Instead of supporting the intents to confront the reality today they have engaged in a slanderous and defamatory campaign against the army chief. Havenít we gone through a series of aspersions drafted in cozy environments of their drawing rooms earlier? We learnt how writing power gifted by Allah to some can be exploited to degrade or defame people of His universe when we read in the press about Ďso say the whisperersí and crafty twists provided to the well intended massages of the army chief on the occasion of 14 August Military Parade. On whose sides certain people who have a voice in the media are playing? It is confusing. Instead of being a strong part of stateís efforts to take this country out of the predicament, these Nay Sayers only spread gloom and dismay through a well thought out strategy in tandem with Pakistanís enemies.
It was indeed strange that whereas whole nation appreciated army chiefís disposition to face facts emanating out of terror and extremist networks, some still exist amongst us who like this country degraded in all spheres of its statehood and negate whatever positive vibes that this country needs most. The need to firmly tackle the terror and extremism up front could not be overemphasized considering the current security environment in the country. While the army chief made a firm resolve to fight the terror he alone cannot succeed unless the nation is behind the armed forces. The War on Terror is not a personnel war driven by the dictates of military leadership. Its efforts remain confined with the national policy on national issues. Looking back into the decade the present army chief has without doubt been a bulwark against the elements that posed consistent existential threats to the integrity of the country. Pakistan army under the able leadership of General Kayani has rendered exceptional services to this nation by leading the army in confronting internal and external threats that evolved over the last eleven-twelve years while the nation continued with its daily core of lives. It is the duty of every saner element of this country to fall behind the armed forces to tackle terrorism and extremism if we want to let our children grow in an environment that brings out the best of their talent amid safe milieu. That can only happen if we fight the terror together as a nation for if we donít we risk our independence, integrity and most of all our growing children.