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Azm I Istehkam: govt needs to explain further

Azm I Istehkam: govt needs to explain further

Shamim Shahid

PESHAWAR — Unlike of past, this time people from different socio-political circles from all over Khyber Pakhtunkhwa irrespective of their political identities and ideologies are opposing proposed military operation Azm-i-Istehkam against militants, mostly associated with banned TTP.

Besides PTI considered biggest opposition in Upper and Lower Houses and in govern at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, other political parties like Jamiat Ul Ulema Islam f, Awami National Party and Jamaat Islami are on forefront of opposition to Azm-i-Istehkam. Similarly tribesmen from almost tribal districts badly affected by terror in last two decades are also opposing military operation.

Since 9/11, when Pakistan joined and agreed for becoming front line in War on Terror, armed forces carried out over three dozens of military operations against local, Afghan and foreign militants slipped into Pakistan from Afghanistan. On completion of each and every operation, government especially high ups of armed forces made tall claims of eradicating terrorists dens, flushing away militants from Pakistan and destablising terrorist net work. But the ground reality remain different. Strength and influence of militants further enhanced on completion and winding off of each and every military operation.

Similarly, people especially tribesmen have made valuable contribution in connection with these military operation by abandoning homes and rendering precious human lives by extending support to security forces in pointing out hideouts and sanctuaries of militants. But in return they got nothing. Sill thousands of families from almost tribal and troubled districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are waiting for repatriation to native villages and towns.

Though the issues of forced disappearance, missing persons and others was commenced in the country with invasion of former USSR troops in Afghanistan in end of 1979 but it was further aggravated with erupting of civil conflicts in Afghanistan after evacuation of Soviet troops in end of 90’s. But now it touching its peak as the prolonged conflicts taking shift after shifts due to one and another reason. 

Analyst Dr. Syed Akhtar Ali Shah believes, “government failure in honoring commitments with affected people regarding their rehabilitation and compensation is the major cause of opposition.” Mushtaq Yousafzai recalled, “tribesmen of North Waziristan were badly affected in Zarb I Azab, considered most expensive military operation against militants, therefore, they are reluctant to abandon homes for another period.”  Still over 15 thousand families of North Waziristan, over one thousand of Tirrah Khyber and hundreds of others from Bajaur are waiting for repatriation to their homes and hamlets.

Akhtar Ali Shah said government needs to take socio-politico circles into confidence regarding proposed Azm I Estehkam. JULI F chief has put forward a number of questions regarding purposes of Azm I Estehkam. Advisor to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister SAif said, “Prime Minister needs to further explain procedure, time frame and other matters pertained to Azm I Estehkam.” The nationalist ANP Aimal Wali Khan said, “we are opposing another military action and government must take all stake holders into confidence.” So far traditional Jirgas held in Upper and Lower Dir out rightly opposed Azm I Estehkam whereas JUI(F) and PTI also convened Jirga’s to discuss and adopt future line of action regarding proposed military operation Azm I Estehkam.

Ironic to mention that Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Ali Amin Khan Gandhapur who was present in the high-level meeting which decided launching of another military operation Azme I Estehkam Pakistan against militants is now “denying”, saying “nothing was discussed, debated or come up in the hours long meeting regarding another military operation, to be mostly focused on the soil of Pushtoons, along with Pak Afghan border.

No doubt to mention that in the light of government organs especially security forces “indifferent” attitude, common people is no more willing to trust the security forces actions and reactions against alleged militants. Maulana Fazal Ur Rahman has made it clear that security forces operations are nothing else an eyewash whereas the ANP President Aimal Wali Khan believes that new military action is aimed at getting occupation of mineral resources in different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Aimal Wali Khan suggested government to first focus on center of militants which is Punjab. According to him all militant groups and organs headquarters are situated in Punjab. Similar are views and opinions of others including Pushtoon Tahafuz Movement leader Manzoor Pashteen and National Democratic Movement chief Mohsin Dawar.

One having the right to disagree but it is the fact that earlier the successive governments of Hamid Karzai and Dr Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan extended support to Pakistan in each and every military operation against militants. But now Taliban are in govern at Kabul and there is no any expectation of support from them in military operation against militants associated with banned TTP and its other affiliated groups and factions. Taliban whether they are from Pakistan or Afghanistan are from one school of thought and all of them considering Mullah Mohammad Umar and Mullah Haibat Ullah as their unanimous and consensus supreme leaders. 

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