The on-going strikes from the Armed forces, is the retaliation of the brutal murders of its 23 FC men by Taliban extremists. It was surely the same brutality that altogether changed the mood of both Pakistan Army as well as the Federal government. But despite seeing the beheaded bodies of our soldiers, the Taliban supporting parties are still demanding the government to stop the action in the name of restoring “peace talks”.
Ever since the statement as well as the video officially released by Taliban`s sub-group (later on also owned by TTP) came up, government officials, politicians, media and analysts have been condemning it. However, a very important thing that has been totally ignored by them is the fact that our 23 FC soldiers had been missing for about four years, i.e., since 2010. This is extremely astonishing aspect of the tragic incident which has definitely raised some important questions.
It is an open secret that it was the TTP`s massive terrorism all over the country that forced the state of Pakistan to sit on the table not to have contemporary negotiations, but practically to accommodate the Taliban`s demands in order to avoid further disaster. And of course, one of the directly or indirectly conveyed demands from TTP to the government is to release their arrested fellowmen. For sure, it is a very common tactic of war to pressurize rivals so that he can get compelled to accept your demands. Taliban did the same. But, the question is, why did the government and its armed forces not adopt the same approach against TTP so that they could get released the kidnapped FC`s personnel?
Furthermore, Taliban did not reply on only this, they also took a very bold step and formulated a strategy to get their arrested people released by themselves. Following the same, they attacked the Bannu jail and very successfully took their high profile terrorists along with them. The question arises here is, when terrorists can dare to take so bold steps against the state, why couldn`t our armed forces do so? Was it difficult for them to launch similar, rather better, operation in the TTP- held areas and get their abducted soldiers released?
More importantly, Iran has just warned the government of Pakistan to get its abducted border security soldiers released at the earliest. In the other case, it could send its forces in Pakistan for this purpose. It should be kept in mind that the Iranian border personnel were kidnapped in the current month of February. Now, the question is, when a neighboring country is ready to send its forces in the other country (Pakistan) for the release of its people without any delay, was North or South Waziristan beyond the reach of our government and its armed forces? Did Pakistan need to seek any prior permission to enter its borer areas before it could launch any targeted or surgical operation to recover its people? When truly no, then why did the politically elected governments as well as the military establishment wait so long till they received the video of their beheaded soldiers? Now, who would come up to take the responsibility of losing our 23 FC personnel?
Very frankly speaking, no one has any doubt about that the Pakistani armed forces have the capability to very soon eradicate the TTP monsters from the entire country. But, what is emerging is that a part of our military establishment, as some retired officers of the Army, IB, ISI, MI have already expressed their views this way, is still of the opinion that Taliban and its sub-groups are “Strategic Assets” of Pakistan which can be used against our neighboring enemies in case of war. However, can Taliban, who neither hesitate to shred our innocent people through suicide attacks, nor do they ever repent after beheading our solders, be considered our Assets anyhow? Of course not!
We have just witnessed a massive pubic rally in Karachi to express solidarity not with only Armed forces, but also with the FC, Rangers, Levies and the Police who are fighting against the anti-Pakistan elements. This rally was highly important because of two aspects. Firstly, it was organized by the party (MQM) which became victim of the Army operation not only in the past, but is also once again facing similar situation form the Rangers and Police. Yet, it has given a very loud and clear message to the soldiers that it is standing with them in the on-going war.
Secondly, these are the common people who have already faced the TTP`s terrorism directly or indirectly, yet they came up for the sake of paying a tribute to their own forces against the inhuman elements. In fact, it was their loyalty and the deep respect that they were extending to their armed forces. Can Taliban who neither give dam care to the state of Pakistan nor do they have mercy for its citizens, ever be compared to the patriot Pakistanis? No Never! The Taliban`s butchery has no match with the patriotism and profound love of the Pakistanis for the country and its armed forces.
Therefore, whoever, whether in the government or military establishment, still considers Taliban as Pakistan`s strategic assets, must revisit his view and the resulted policies accordingly. Otherwise, it will be a great disappointment for the people which will not benefit Pakistan at all.