It seems that the armed forces have reinforced their wrath on militant hideouts in Khyber Agency where they conducted counter-terrorism operations, killing five militants and destroying 15 hideouts in the process. The targeted operation follows the recent dissatisfaction that Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif expressed in a security meeting at General Headquarters, at the lack of implementation on the National Action Plan and its hindering effects on Zarb-e-Azb’s progress. The Army says Zarb-e-Azb military offensive is in its final phase. If that is the case, then why must go back into Khyber Agency, an area deemed clear once before?

The offensive launched in the Rajgal area that shared a border with Nazyan district of Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, could also be an indication of an understanding between security forces on either side of the border. Many an unpleasant remark has been exchanged between the neighbouring countries in the recent past, but both Kabul and Islamabad understand the importance of cutting off the tentacles of militancy that poses a tangible threat to the neighbouring countries.

A few days ago a high level IS commander in Afghanistan was killed in a US drone strike, along with more than two dozen of his associates. Since the Afghans and foreign security forces can only rely on drone strikes with little presence on the ground, they will not be able to follow the bombs with fortified ground action. Relying a bit more on the ‘porous’ border than they should, the Afghans hope to be rid of their problem by chasing it on our side of the border. Perhaps the current arrangement works well for both countries and this thin cord of cooperation could build into something more tangible in the future, but the armed forces must also be careful, in not taking on too much burden than is necessary, before the country has to deal with any potential blowback that might come with it.