You ViewsVOLUME 19 ISSUE # 5

Proactive strategy needed to root out terror

As we know, the recent spate of terrorism from across the Afghanistan border has increased exponentially since the Taliban government came to power following troop withdrawal by the United States.

The government of the time, along with security agencies, had decided to hold negotiations with Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) under the auspices of the Afghan Taliban. As a result of such ill-advised negotiations, the government allowed thousands of TTP members to return to their homes in Pakistan, mostly located in the newly-merged tribal districts. The government’s decision did not have any sanction of parliament. The local people were also not happy with the return of these terrorists.

Since then, attacks from across the border have intensified, and there is an impression that the Pakistani security establishment is tackling the menace in a reactive manner. There seems to be no coherent and proactive strategy in place, like the Operation Zarb-i-Azb, to defeat these terrorists. A well-coordinated strategy is required to eliminate this new batch of terrorists. It is quite possible that many of these TTP terrorists would cross the border into a ‘friendly’ Afghanistan where they can easily melt into safe sanctuaries.

I believe that through a proactive approach, rather than a reactive approach that we are apparently following nowadays, our security establishment should target TTP terrorists even in their sanctuaries located inside Afghanistan. Such actions should even be taken repeatedly, if required.

We must also try to keep the door of negotiations open with the Afghan Taliban, and make them realise that the cost of helping TTP in continuing with their terrorist attacks inside Pakistan would be unbearable for all parties concerned.

Akbar Jan Marwat