News Analysis |
The Chief of the Army Staff General, Qamar Javed Bajwa, has categorically stated that nobody is allowed to start or to be a part of ‘engineered protests’. No one will be allowed to reverse everything gained through counter terrorism operations in Pakistan. The army chief was in Peshawar to speak with notables and at an investiture ceremony at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
General Bajwa did not name the Pakhtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) explicitly but he was making his remarks in response to the demands made by the PTM. He was stern to talk about the clearance of mines and removal of check-posts, as demanded by the PTM, from Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). “Measures to facilitate general public at check-posts without compromising security and clearance of unexploded ordnance were already in process on completion of kinetic operations,” said the army chief. This was a response to what the leadership of the PTM was repeatedly asking for. Pashtun young leadership is reluctant to believe if the army chief was right. In implicit manners, the PTM leadership has made references to genocide of Pashtun nation because of these land mines and military presence in the area.
The army chief has also cautioned the nation not to forget the sacrifices of their ‘real heroes’. Pakistan army is fighting against terrorism in different part of the country. Many officers, young soldiers and their families have been brutally murdered by the militants across Pakistan.
The army chief has also cautioned that any haste in the process of clearance might lead to a bigger threat again. “No one is more interested than security forces to have such peace and a stable environment which allow their complete de-induction. However, threat is still residing across the border and some disorganized residual potential including the ones morphed into Afghan refugees. Therefore we still need to move with caution,” stated General Bajwa.
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Demands and Stance of the PTM: A Threat to Pakistan’s Integrity?
The Pakistan army along with the civilian Government has agreed to address the initial demands of the PTM. The movement was launched to pressurize the Government to arrest the murderer of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a young Pashtun killed by former SSP Rao Anwar in Karachi, in an alleged staged encounter. PTM has demanded justice for his family.
It is being alleged that after the PTM received moral encouragement and “political help” from Kabul and other western states it hasbecame critical of Pakistan army’s presence in FATA. PTM has demanded“international guarantees” for addressing their grievances and are intending to take their issues “to the United Nations” and for appealing “to the global society”.
The PTM leadership claims that Pakistan’s authorities are not reliable.They claim that an agreement was signed between the Pashtun leadership and authorities in Islamabad yet no demands have been fulfilled so far. Therefore, they (PTM) want “international guarantees.”
Pashtun young leadership is reluctant to believe if the army chief was right. In implicit manners, the PTM leadership has made references to genocide of Pashtun nation because of these land mines and military presence in the area.
But political commentators in Pakistan view the PTM’s demand for international guarantees as a tactic to pursue their vested political interests. It is important to mention here that Pakistan army has also started removing land mines, Rao Anwar has already been arrested and infrastructure is being developed in FATA as a result of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
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Pakistan and India are already in a troubled state in the international stage, which is intended to isolate Pakistan diplomatically, and to silence Pakistan over the atrocities being committed by Indian armed forces in the valley of Kashmir. The United States of America, since the dayCPEC was initiated, and since the day President Donald Trump assumed his office, has been pressuring Pakistan to follow the policy of do more.
The USA is also scapegoating Pakistan for its own failure in war against terror in Afghanistan. Pakistan, on the other hand, has rejected all the demands and allegations made by the current US administration in this connection. But such movements against Pakistani army, at home, are helping out the Indian and the Western media to push Pakistan in hot waters. When the army chief stated that Pakistan’s enemies will get benefit out of this chaos and instability in Pakistan, he was, essentially, referring to the aforementioned scenario.
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Don’t Forget the Sacrifices of Real Heroes
The army chief has also cautioned the nation not to forget the sacrifices of their ‘real heroes’. Pakistan army is fighting against terrorism in different part of the country. Many officers, young soldiers and their families have been brutally murdered by the militants across Pakistan. The army had to launch various operations to eliminate the hideouts of terrorist in Swat and Waziristan, and during these operations several soldiers were martyred.
The army has, however, achieved control over the area and has eliminated terrorists’ hideouts successfully. It is the time to be patient and be a part of this campaign of rehabilitation, reform and peace building process. It is not the time to target Pakistan’s armed forces, which may result in internal instability for the country. The grievances can be conveyed without attacking the armed forces of the country.