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Why The Military Operation Against The TTP Is The Need Of The Hour


             In 2022, out of 1025 terrorist incidents in Pakistan, KPK had a maximum of 624 incidents. 344 of those incidents (national avg 33.6%) took place in the NMDs alone. The trajectory of violence and impending campaign season dictated a preemption action to nip the evil in the bud. Few relevant questions making rounds are?

– Why Resurgence after a Long Military Operation? Pakistan’s comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism is based on the Three D’s: Dialogue, Deterrence & Development. Dialogue failed for obvious reasons. In the Deterrence of terrorism, kinetic action bore fruition in line with the Operational part of the strategy i.e Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer. The kinetic prong or first two components of Deterrence (clear& hold) were successfully completed. However, for the built and transfer phase, the last provincial government’s misplaced priorities and lack of political will led to gaps that failed to build capacity for a wholesome transfer of responsibility to non-military components of the State. Out of Accelerated Implementation Programme (AIP) from NFC share from other provinces which is about Rs. 415 Billion, only Rs 162 Billion were spent on NMDs. Rest were siphoned, corrupted, and diverted towards other politically convenient schemes.

             How will it differ this time in the outcome? As evident from the formulation of all elements of National Power present in the NSC, the kinetic prong is likely only to be the enabler for providing a conducive environment and proactively neutralising pockets of resistance. It is misleading to say that the hard earnt development will be reversed through the mass displacement of personnel or destruction of properties. Instead, systematic and synergistic build and transfer phases will ensue. Capacity enhancement will be the area of special focus for this operation. All government departments like treasury, executive, judiciary, water & power, HRD, etc build on the security provided. This “whole of nation” approach has better chances of success.

             The Political and Militant Prophets of Chaos.        PTM has resorted to venomous propaganda against this much-needed whole of a national operation. Just like, every hero needs a villain, PTM needs TTP, and vice versa. Both thrive on and are the biggest beneficiaries of unrest and instability in NMDs. Both should be handled in the same manner, albeit in their own domains. Peace is a threat to them and hence the hue and cry.

             The Afghan Angle. Post withdrawal, a vacuum was always expected in Afghanistan. Pakistan has shown enormous restraint and engaged to let the Afghan govt to take action against the sanctuaries of TTP and ISKP in eastern Afghanistan in line with the Doha Agreement and commitments made to the international community. IEA is expected to match their words with deeds. TTP is a serpent in their backyard with foreign masters’ tools but with limited shelf life, which is fast approaching.

             Why the urgency?            A comprehensive operation is needed NOW since TTP are armed with weaponry and high-end gadgetry left deliberately by US forces. With political space available in Afghanistan and the fast-approaching campaigning season, time is vital for TTP to make roads now before the window of opportunity shrinks. Therefore, we must take preemptive measures and strike them beforehand. Cancer has to be dealt with before it spreads …. time to act as a nation, for sustainable and permanent peace…

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