EDITORIAL: Talks with the TTP terrorists having reached logical conclusion –- failure — the fight against violent extremism seems to have entered a decisive phase. While intelligence-based operations against terrorists are going on with a renewed vigour, they have been targeting security forces as well as civilians “wherever” and “whenever”.

In the latest incident on Tuesday, two officers of an intelligence agency based in Multan were shot dead by an unidentified assailant. According to reports, both officers, working on different terrorism-related cases, came under fire as they made their way to the parking lot after taking tea at a roadside eatery in Khanewal.

The assailant managed to escape on a motorcycle. Initial reports suggest he is a member of al-Qaeda. This means he is known to some in the area and will be nabbed before too long. Whether al-Qaeda, TTP or the IS-K, they are all birds of a feather flock together.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has finally decided to firmly deal with these ruthless killers. After two days of deliberations concluded on Monday, the National Security Committee, the highest civil-military forum for making decisions on national security matters, issued a statement saying, “Pakistan’s security is uncompromisable and the full writ of the state will be maintained on every inch of Pakistan’s territory”.

More to the point, asserted the NSC, “no country will be allowed to provide sanctuaries and facilitation to terrorists, and Pakistan reserves all rights in that respect to safeguard her people.” The Afghan Taliban, who have been hosting the TTP terrorists and brokered the ill-fated ‘peace talks’ between the latter and Pakistan, took the hint and in a curious reaction tried to distance themselves from the TTP.

Apparently, realising that the presence of TTP and other terrorist groups on Afghan soil could invite trouble from Pakistan and also the wider world, Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said his government is trying its best to ensure that Afghanistan’s territory is not used against Pakistan or any other country. Furthermore, in an interview with BBC Pashto, he denied giving shelter to TTP leaders, claiming instead that they were residing in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. That, of course, is a blatant untruth.

Nevertheless, the denial is indicative of a willingness to rein in the TTP terrorists. On its part, Pakistan has learnt a lesson from allowing a large number of TTP militants return from Afghanistan, which has turned out to be a self-inflicted wound.

Those men have been committing all sorts of crimes in Swat and the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They have also regrouped in their previous base of operation, and started launching attacks on the security forces and spreading their tentacles in other areas, as evidenced in Khanewal.

While the State has resolved to use its full force against the TTP, it must not brook any complacency towards other militant groups as well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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TimeToMovveOn Jan 10, 2023 07:34pm
"it must not brook any complacency towards other militant groups as well" will that also include LeT, and JeM, and Hafiz Sayeed -- coz these are UN-recognized militant groups. They harm India and not Pakistan. What is Pakistan's stand on these terrorists? Until Pakistan shows the resolve and an unequivocal stance to stand up against ALL terrorists, including those that hurt India, the country will be seen as weak to exploit.
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