A Herculean task

Mar 21, 2017
IN our fight against terrorism, the Pakistan Army has been the most proactive institution. But now, to compensate for a dithering civil government and match expectations built by the last army chief, it may be biting off more than it can chew.
Since 2002, when Musharraf first ventured into Fata, the army has launched at least 11 operations in Fata and Swat. While earlier operations were for a specific area — Al-Mizan in Waziristan in 2002, Rah-i-Haq for Swat and Shangla in 2007, Sherdil for Bajaur in 2008, etc — Raddul Fasaad, the 12th operation, is different in that its scope extends across the whole country.
Raddul Fasaad is an effort to address the rise of terrorism across the country — a situation that has, rather than being contained, escalated. But the army’s effort seems like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it, the hole being the civil governments that have shied away from confrontations with the extremists.
Raddul Fasaad is the army’s polite way of saying ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to the reluctance of the Punjab government to act firmly in southern Punjab, and the PPP government to do so in interior Sindh. In both provinces, the Rangers (the implementation arm of the military) have been denied a free hand.
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Dawn, March 21, 2017

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