Gone are the days when Pakistan Army used to brush aside any advice or request whether from within the country or from its Af-Pak coalition partners, to launch a long overdue operation in North Waziristan; same is the case with most of the religious right-wing parties and their sectarian outfits which used to undergo mental fits at the mere mention of an operation. The Pak Army is now fully engaged in North Waziristan to flush out terrorist hideouts, bomb factories, training camps and brain washing centers for suicide bombers. In a recent communiqué, the army claimed to have killed 900 terrorists.

Sadly none of the areas cleared can be declared safe for civil administration to take over after the army has ended the fight an in any area in the past. The Army remains the in-charge of these so-called cleared areas. Same will happen in North Waziristan as none of the Taliban leaders have been caught and most have disputed the army claims of success in Waziristan. They claimed to have safely moved to North Waziristan and have started regrouping with more hardliners taking up the leadership. Emergence of Islamic State (IS) is a fresh breath for Pakistani terrorists in such depressing times.

Pak authorities need to understand war against terrorism is not over; in fact it has just started as this monster is now taking up far more dangerous shapes and inspirations; successes of IS made in the Levant is already making waves among Af-Pak Taliban but unless we reach to the ideological links of the crisis and attempt to address them, any calm in the country will be a short lived. Someone should question why the religious figures and parties have failed to condemn IS; if one knows the answer to this, they then hold the key to solve the crisis.


Saudi Arab, September 6.