Terrorism and National Consensus

Source: Friday Times:

The recent attack on Peshawar airport by TTP terrorists has raised several important questions regarding national security, civil-military relations and media perceptions. Unfortunately, the fact is that on a core concern of national security – the army chief has admitted that the existential threat to Pakistan is internal and not external – the key players are not on the same page for one reason or other. Consider.

The TTP is relentlessly targeting the military that has lost over 3000 soldiers in the war to date. Some terrorist attacks, as on the GHQ in Pindi and Mehran Naval Base in Karachi, etc, have been downright audacious. Yet, apart from the Swat operation 2007-08, there has been no focused attempt to uproot the TTP from its hideouts in Waziristan. The military is constrained by four factors.

First, it doesn’t want to create the public impression that it is “going into Waziristan” only because the Americans have said it must “do more”. Earlier this year, it determined the time was right, but Leon Panetta, the US Defense Secretary, announced that a “joint operation” in Waziristan was on the cards, prompting the Pakistanis to issue a swift denial and call off the operation.

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Categories: Asia, Pakistan

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