Pakistan: Political parties concerned over new military operation

International

PESHAWAR: Political parties on both sides of the aisle have voiced their opposition to a possible military operation to root out militancy.

On Friday, the top civil and military leadership reaffirmed their commitment to thwart terrorism threats and vowed to relaunch the National Action Plan (NAP) within 15 days to crush militants reportedly coming in from Afghanistan.

The decisions were made at the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, which the government said was in continuation of a previous meeting convened after a militant attack inside Peshawar’s police headquarters in January, in which 86 people, mostly police officials, were martyred.

Political parties, including allies of the federal government, however, have expressed their concerns over the possible military offensive against militants, with most saying that those who brought back the militants should be brought to justice before launching an offensive against militants.

Mohsin Dawar says govt, security forces
have lost public trust

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An ally of the federal government, the National Democratic Movement (NDM), said the government had lost public trust.

“They [government and security forces] have lost public trust. People don’t believe them any more even if they launch 100 military operations against militants,” MNA Mohsin Dawar, the NDM’s chairman, told Dawn.

He said that “only cropping won’t work”, and the militants’ leadership should also be eliminated.

Mr Dawar questioned that there was no space for talks with the militants in the initially agreed NAP. Still, talks were initiated by the previous government and they got matured during this incumbent government’s tenure, he said.

He said that a complete shift in the government’s Afghan policy was required. “The government supports the Afghan Taliban, who support the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),” he claimed.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the NDM said the news emerging from the NSC meeting had created “serious concern among Pashtuns”.

The NSC meeting, the party said, had talked about starting a military operation “without going after the root cause of terrorism, Afghan policy and Project Taliban”, which meant “going back to the sham operations from 2007 to 2014 and the policy of good Taliban and bad Taliban”.

It said Pakhtuns had already suff­ered death, destruction and dis­p­lace­ment on a large scale and “they are not going to put up with it now”.

“The NSC meeting has mentioned in a passing way the mistake of the previous government in allowing TTP to enter [Khyber] Pakhtunkhwa. This is a mistake which has led to the deaths of hundreds of people, both civilians and security personnel,” it said.

“The question is that in a country where elected prime ministers can be put on trial for far minor allegations, why can’t the security tsars be arraigned before a tribunal for such a huge security breach? Why not proper accountability of players responsible for the security lapses?” it asked.

Aimal Wali Khan, provincial president of the Awami National Party (ANP), said that any operation against militants would face resistance until and unless those who brought the militants back were brought to justice.

Mr Khan stated that the “facilitators” including President Dr Arif Alvi, the former prime minister Imran Khan, former KP chief minister Mahmood Khan, former spymaster Faiz Hameed and former KP cabinet member Barrister Muha­mmad Ali Saif should be immediately arrested and asked to locate the areas where the militants were rehabilitated.

“The facilitators [those who brought back the Taliban to Pakistan] should be brought to justice before any decision on a fresh military offensive against militants,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday.

Jamaat-i-Islami also staged a demonstration in the South Waziristan district on Sunday against a possible military operation.__Dawn.com