Need to review security paradigm | Editorial

The biological control of pests by letting loose their predators is a fine way to avoid the use of harmful chemicals on crops. Under Gen Ziaul Haq, the idea was however misused to tackle perceived security threats like the PPP by creating the MQM in urban Sindh and Anjuman-e-Sipah-e-Sahaba, later called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, in Punjab. After killing hundreds of peaceful citizens, both finally started biting the hand that had fed them. More recently the TLP was said to have been mainstreamed to defeat PML-N, categorised the latest security threat, in selected constituencies. In Balochistan, the task of taking out militant nationalists was allegedly assigned among others to LeJ till the latter joined hands with al-Qaeda. The creation of the Taliban was a similar exercise to safeguard external security. The network gave birth to several splinter groups which turned against their masters when they were told to halt the jihad. Before they took out their trainers like Col (rtd) Imam and Khalid Khawaja, the TTP terrorists had killed thousands of innocent citizens in the country.
No action was taken to silence Mullah Fazlullah’s FM radio station that spread extremism all over Swat. A military operation was delayed till the TTP established control over the area, repudiated Pakistan’s constitution, set up is own courts and decided to march on Islamabad. The Musharraf government continued to be in denial when it was pointed out to it that North Waziristan had become a safe haven for terrorists. While those trained in North Waziristan launched attacks on GHQ and military installations and killed thousands in various cities, the then COAS Gen Ashfaq Kayani ruled out any military operation. Even after an operation had been conducted in North Waziristan, the search for good Taliban continued for use against the bad Taliban and perceived security threats
After sustaining unbearable losses in human and material terms, the world is no more willing to allow militant networks to operate from any country in the world. Those who are deadly opposed to them, include international bodies like the World Bank and the FATF, Pakistan’s traditional friends and donors like the USA, Britain and Japan and its closest allies like China and Saudi Arabia. That China finally agreed not to block the resolution declaring Masood Azhar a global terrorist should provide a much needed reality check.
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