Trouble brews for Pakistan as it launches elaborate anti-terror military operation

at 6:52 pm
Representative Picture of Pashtuns in Pakistan

Peshawar: It seems Pakistan government’s decision to launch a comprehensive military operation against terrorism is leading to an uprising in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in the north of the country.

Public resistance is growing fast in the Province which is dominated by the Pashtuns or Pathans, which is a martial race.

The government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif took the decision to launch the military operation code-named ‘Azm-e-Ishtekam’ 4 days back against the backdrop of a spurt in attacks on the security forces by groups like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and ISIS.

More concerning for the Pakistan government has been the insecurity caused to the Chinese nationals working on projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by the deadly attacks in the recent months.

The Pashtuns, who constitute over 95 percent of the population of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, are up in arms and have hit the streets in several parts of the Province to oppose the military operation.

Rallies are being held across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and military convoys have been stopped at some places.

The locals say the operation would lead to militarisation of the Pashtun-dominated Province and related bloodshed, which they do not want.

The common refrain of the locals is that the Pakistani military is undertaking the farcical operation only to please the US and extract Dollars from that country.

The locals say that the Pakistan Army is actually a “terrorist” organisation which carries out fake encounters of innocent people under the pretext of ‘anti-terrorism operations.

The protestors are vowing not to allow the Pakistani military to take control of the region.

Certain key political parties and leaders, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and, have also expressed strong opposition to the military operation.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the Federal government did not consult or inform Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ali Amin Gandapar, who belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf headed by Imran Khan.

According to the Pakistan government, the Operation Azm-e-Istehkam is aimed at eradicating extremism and terrorism decisively and comprehensively.

The operation will involve bolstering the armed forces’ renewed and vigorous efforts with full support from all law enforcement agencies.

Effective legislation will be enacted to close legal loopholes that hinder the prosecution of terrorism-related cases, ensuring exemplary punishments for offenders.