News Analysis |
At a rally at Albany, New York during his campaign for presidency, Donald Trump promised that the American people were going to win so much that they may even get tired of winning. On another occasion, he said that he would bomb the sh*t out of ISIS. It has been more than a year that Trump got elected as president but the United States is not any close to winning any wars.
Several other countries were dragged into the war on terror after 9/11 by the United States, most notably NATO members who provided support to the US led missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pakistan became the frontline state in the war on terror and at one point, was touted as the ‘most allied ally’ of the US. While no other country has managed to secure anything close to a victory in the war on terror, Pakistan seems to be the only country that can credibly claim to be successful in this endeavor.
Separate para-military operations were launched in Karachi and a sense of normalcy has returned to Pakistan’s largest city which used to be one the most violent cities in the world. Pakistan’s economy is growing at healthy rate of 5.7%.
Editorials in the Spectator and Foreign Policy magazine also argue that Pakistan is winning its war on terror. According to the Annual Security report released by the Islamabad based Centre for Research and Security Studies on Wednesday, deaths and injuries caused by terrorism and militancy have fallen in Pakistan for the third straight year. According to the report, ‘Balochistan recorded the highest number of fatalities from violence, though it was down 40% from last year.
The overall reduction in violence was 21% from 2016, and it is the third year in a row that violence-related fatalities in the country are declining’. Some 2,057 people were killed and 2,074 wounded for a total of 4,131 casualties over the year. That continued the trend from 2016, in which 2,613 people lost their lives due to violence and 1,714 were injured. In 2015, 4,647 people were killed and 1,927 injured, figures in the report show.
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Back in 2011, some Pakistan observers were questioning whether Pakistan is a failed state or not. A devastating earth quake in 2005 and devastating floods meant that Pakistan’s GDP growth rate would actually slow down to a paltry 1.6% in 2010. Chronic load-shedding had also become the norm, further damaging the industrial base of Pakistan. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto created further instability. At the same time, deadly terrorist attacks rocked the country on almost a weekly basis.
Pakistan’s economy is growing at healthy rate of 5.7%. Although there are still challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we are now in much better shape than we were a decade ago. After a long time, there are good reasons to hope that the future of the country can be better than the past.
The separatist insurgency in Balochistan also showed no signs of declining a decade ago. At one point, Pakistan was considered to be at ‘extreme risk’ of terrorist attacks, second only to Somalia. There had been high profile attacks on Pakistani military installations as well, including the Mehran naval base in Karachi and at Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi, culminating in the horrific attack on APS Peshawar in 2014 where a hundred and thirty children were massacred. Pakistan was one of the countries most impacted by terrorism. Arguably it was the most difficult time in Pakistan’s history. Yet the nation endured and survived.
A series of military operations was launched by the Pakistan Army as part of an overarching counter-terrorism strategy. The first phase of the military operations was sporadic and was punctuated by peace deals that didn’t hold for long. Operation Al-Mizan was launched in 2002, the objective of which was to clear the area of militants, extremists and the jihadists especially of those international militants in FATA and PATA regions who had threatened Pakistan’s security.
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Operation Kalosha March was launched in 2004 in Wana, Operation Rah-e-Haq in 2007, Operation Sher dil in 2008, Operation Rah-e-Nijaat in 2009 and more recently, Khyber 1, Khyber 2, Operation Zarb-e-Azab and the ongoing Operation Rad-ul-Fasaad. At heavy cost to Pakistan in the form of estimated economic losses of up to a $118.3 billion dollars and 80,000 lives lost as a whole during the war on terror, these operations cleared all agencies of FATA.
Separate para-military operations were launched in Karachi and a sense of normalcy has returned to Pakistan’s largest city which used to be one the most violent cities in the world. Pakistan’s economy is growing at healthy rate of 5.7%. Although there are still challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we are now in much better shape than we were a decade ago. After a long time, there are good reasons to hope that the future of the country can be better than the past.