Turmoil and Operations

Militancy has established its hold in four centers precisely for now: Waziristan with Batiullah Mehsud and his private militia, Khyber agency especially Bara is controlled by Mangal Bagh, Maulana Fazlullah in Swat valley and Kurram agency that is engulfed with sectarian conflicts i.e. Shia-Sunni. The way militancy has germinated in previous few months it can be expected that many other regions would be targeted too for that reason.

The upheaval in Swat valley with approximately 40 girl schools destroyed over the previous few month’s manifests that government’s exertion of strategies to tackle militancy have for now proved to be defective. With such statistics the drop out of girls has reached 80 percent in some areas. The defragmented law and order situation has adversely effected and destroyed dozen of institutions, agriculture, houses, and worse of all tourism in Swat. Loss of tourism in this area means loss of jobs further executing a pressure on the income and living. Officials say it may be years before tourism here can be revived. Violence did not emerge suddenly but many factors contributed to the local’s dis-satisfaction: ineffective court system, lack of access to basic niceties of livelihood, lack of access to education, inappropriate health facilities.

Swat a princely state till 1969 when merged into Pakistan and with the introduction of present administrative system especially the courts that locals found not just lengthy but also adding financial burden on the people seeking justice. Thus the people remained yearning about the old system that provided instant justice to them without any exploitation. It forced them to assemble around the group that supported enforcement of Shriah in the area.

The peace accord that had deferment the conflict has been broken down in Swat again. Residents say that the tenure of ceasefire was used to replenish more individuals and to expand propaganda for yet another strike. Similarly in Hangu the military operation has been halted after it was reported that militants have been ‘flushed out’. The timing of finishing the operation in Hangu concurred with the demise of five days ultimatum given to ANP government by militants of Tehrik-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP) asking them to resign or face consequences. The end to the operation was announced by Army Spokesmen Major General Athar Abbas claming that the set objectives are achieved. It was more than a coincidence that ceasing operation in Hangu was meant to send a signal to TTP that the option of negotiation was still open. With the arrest of 7 militants including a Batiullah commander Raffiudin, angered the Taliban. It provoked them to siege a police station abducting 29 policemen and government employees. Later the security forces launched operations to reinstate governments’ writ in Hangu district.

The consecutive use of these interlinked operations and dialogue process has strengthened militancy at present. The officialdoms seem unable to comprehend that such tactics only are advantageous for militants who never care about peace deals and have been incarnating them for there need again and again. With such large number of casualties and collateral damage, the authorities must value the time as the task is getting harder to tackle and vague to respond at.

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