In one of the most open criticisms of Operation Zarbe Azb since its commencement in June, Afghanistan has accused Pakistan’s military and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of aiding Haqqani militants to flee the border into Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Afghans unfalteringly believe that the Pakistani military has made no successful attempt to significantly go after any international terrorist organization in North Waziristan. The claims mirror some of the criticisms springing up in the Pakistani media against the operation; due to the lack of independent sources on the ground, very little is known about the day to day problematics of the war, and we are left only with ISPR announcements declaring the number of dead, usually with allusions that are vague at best, to their identity. Who exactly these militants are, and which organizations they are affiliated with, we cannot say with any real degree of certainty.

Referring to Operation Zarbe Azb, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security’s spokesman Hadib Sediqi said “the Haqqani network has been immune from these operations." Of course, with the absence of precise information, the only rebuttal to the accusations, is the military’s profuse denial. Side by side however, there is complete agreement from the Pakistani side that there was a mass exodus of militants crossing the unmanned border into Afghanistan, and that Haqqani militants were amongst them. The Kabul and Paktika attacks, strongly thought to have been carried out by the Haqqani network, have further inflamed these accusations and soured relations between the two countries..

Terrorism has no affiliations more important, or ideologies more sacred than the state of Pakistan. As the United States prepares to finally make its exit from Afghanistan, the stability of the region becomes more crucial than ever for the success of the operation in Pakistan. The Haqqanis cannot be standing by as a replacement power, biding their time to strike at the heart of Afghani control. The question is; does Pakistan recognize the importance of this regional stability now? Is there real will to go in after all “hues” of terrorists? And if the majority of the Haqqani and other militants have fled Pakistani borders, who will ensure they will be tended to on the other side, and never allowed back in? Which intelligence agency will play the greatest part? The ISI, the NDS, or the CIA? Pakistan needs to be very clear in its actions and motives on this matter, or the war will come back full circle to haunt us.