Operation Against Extremist Militants Launched in the Punjab? Do it Effectively. Do it with Care. Do it for Pakistan.

Posted on June 17, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice
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Adil Najam

For a number of days reports have been trickling in that suggest that a major operation against extremist militants in the Punjab is in the offing. Meetings, statements, movements all suggest that there may actually be something to all of this.

Now there is news, although still not officially confirmed, that the operation has begun, or at least been authorized by the Punjab government.

Militancy needs to be rooted out. An operation against the continued working of outfits that are already legally banned has been long overdue and one hopes that it will now be taken with haste but also with care and without ‘collateral’ (what a horrible word that is!) damage. The impunity with which many extremist organizations have been spreading their work of hate has not only led to a terrorization of the population but has emboldened existing and emergent organizations.

A crackdown is clearly needed. But it also needs to be undertaken without inflicting even more fear and misfortune on local populations and innocent civilians that are already in the grind. We need to do this, but we need to do this for our own reasons. For Pakistan and for the safety and security of Pakistanis. Unless the police and other agencies involved are fully committed on the action – and that is why the issue of ‘why’ it is being undertaken is so important – the operation will be doomed to failure. Most importantly, in order to be effective it is equally important to make sure that those responsible for the horrendous acts that have now become routine in Pakistan are not only caught but also punished for their crimes. That means gathering evidence to justify a strong case for the courts.

Only when the pace at which culprits are being brought to justice becomes higher than the rate of bombings and attacks could one claim any headway in truly dealing with this menace which is already out of hand.

21 Comments on “Operation Against Extremist Militants Launched in the Punjab? Do it Effectively. Do it with Care. Do it for Pakistan.”

  1. Haroon says:
    June 17th, 2010 12:39 pm

    I hope the news is true. It is high time. Already too late.

  2. Akif Nizam says:
    June 17th, 2010 12:50 pm

    It’s a no-win situation with no possible good outcomes. We are going to be killing our own people; monsters that were created due to our own shortcomings. They in turn will kill innocents before they go down. One can just hope and pray.

  3. ASAD says:
    June 17th, 2010 12:54 pm

    @Akif Nizam.
    So, what would you suggest we do instead?

    Whatever the history, and one can debate that, the fact is that they are now Pakistan’s enemies. I say we should just focus on that and root this evil out. It will not be easy and certainly there will be costs, but it is worth it.

  4. Kamal says:
    June 17th, 2010 1:56 pm

    Is this for real. I hope so. We really need to weed out these groups in specially South Punjab, otherwise we will never be able to.

  5. Maria says:
    June 17th, 2010 1:58 pm

    This was a long time coming. As for the trials, I will probably be bombarded for this, but given the magnitude and the situation under which these terrorists are being captured across the country, in FATA and Swat etc, what ‘trials’ are we awaiting. The situation is that of a war, terrorists captured are ‘prisoners of war’. While a trial and whatever “fair” constitutes is required (as well as rehabilitation), surely it cannot be identical to civil trials.

  6. Faheem says:
    June 17th, 2010 4:01 pm

    I hope this turns out to be true. You are right that this needs to be done carefully and effectively so that at the end of this the extremists are left weaker and not stronger than before.

  7. June 17th, 2010 4:49 pm

    Hi,

    Makes sense. I’ve been wondering how long it would take for Pakistan’s elite to look at the Iranian revolution, notice that the Iranian revolution was a very bad thing for people like them, and decide to fight.

    As an American, I can appreciate that there are a lot of reasons to hate the US. But it is a good idea not to let opposition to the US lead you into ignoring your own self interest.

    Ray,

  8. Roshan says:
    June 17th, 2010 4:49 pm

    Very good article by Ayesha Siddiqa about Punjab operation:
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/20965/is-an-operation-in-punjab-a-good-idea/

  9. Ahmed says:
    June 17th, 2010 4:54 pm

    How about rooting out terrorism peacefully using the ancient sub-continental tradition of ahimsa?

    In a situation like this, we want a change of heart in a large cross-section of the society (not just the fringes who commit physical terrorism). Guns never change hearts.

    We want to make the people more tolerant, and less radical. We need to make life a bit easier for them. After all, poverty is also a root cause for extremism.

    I don’t believe military action is the solution. As Gandhi said, an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. It will just cause another afghanistan.

    If people can be educated and be given a reason to live, why will they blow themselves up? They just won’t.

    Ahmed

  10. Ghazanfar Ali says:
    June 17th, 2010 5:08 pm

    The most important thing in your headline is: DO IT FOR PAKISTAN. Lets make sure that outsiders are not interfering in the design of this, because their interests are their own and they do not care about saving Pakistani lives.

  11. Humaira says:
    June 17th, 2010 10:06 pm

    It is important that this should be done and should be done right. You cannot have people whose goal is to destroy Pakistan going scott free even as they kill Pakistanis.

  12. banjara286 says:
    June 18th, 2010 2:36 am

    the agencies and the army have created these monsters. it is now their responsibility to get rid of them. and the sooner the better.

  13. Nadeem Ahsan says:
    June 18th, 2010 8:12 am

    This operation is long overdue. However, it needs to be handled with care. The militancy and the militants who perpetrate the horror we see everyday need to be handled with care as too much of force can cause unnecessary bloodshed as if much blood has not been spilled. This is not to say no blood will be spilled in an operation. It will. But, it should be minimal. The force should not be too excessive at the same time it should be adequate. Just calibrated enough to cause minimal damage, inflicting minimal casualties yet causing permanent impact. This operation must be done so the Punjabi Taliban do not spread their cancerous venom to the rest. It must be done not because our neighbors are asking us but because we need to do it for our own good. As much as the operation could turn out to be a success, we should not gloat over it. Also, the Government should ensure that this does not become a revolving door. Moreover, they should move against all groups, not selective number of groups who may have capabilities beyond their means. Also, is the army on board?

  14. Umar Shah says:
    June 19th, 2010 1:26 am

    Terminate them with extreme prejudice – It’s a matter of our survival. One negotiates with someone who understands the language of negotiation on the other hand these terrorists should be dealt with the deadliest of force; the only language they understand.

  15. AHsn says:
    June 19th, 2010 9:32 am

    A MILITANT is a soldier (fighter) who defends or imposes to others, his own ideas and convictions or that of a school of thought.

    The base or foundation (raison d’être) of Pakistan is the religion of Islam. No body has ever challenged this identity of the State.

    There are two groups of people when it comes to the running (governing) of the State. One group (Islamic) considers that there should be strictly Islamic laws as in the époque of the Prophet and four Caliphs. The other group (Secular) which is composed of enlightened Pakistanis, considers that Islamic origin be clearly mentioned in the constitution and the laws passed by the national assembly should remain in the boundary of the teachings of Islam.

    The Islamic group is using Islam to force the people to go back almost to the period of jahAliyat. Whereas the Secular, instead of keeping the religion out of the State, they are using it to govern the people as the representatives of the DIVINE.

    The militancy in Pakistan is on both sides. Both of them are fighting for their own interests and both of them are power hungry. They may call each other enemies but none of them is the enemy of Pakistan. Any enemy of Pakistan will fight for the destruction of Pakistan or against vital interests of the State of Pakistan.

    As long as the Pak Army (militants of the Secular) is involved in bombarding the terrorists (Taliban) and killing the innocent people as collateral damages, the matter will go bad to worse and worse to worst.

    The people of Pakistan and the police force .with proper training and arms should be able to eradicate the Islamic Militancy. The Army may help by supplying arms and training but not any command or any direct action.

    But, after that the people of Pakistan will have to get rid of the other Militant Group, if they want to establish a Democracy??

  16. June 19th, 2010 2:16 pm

    Ahsn: Quite balanced comment but when you say:


    The other group (Secular) which is composed of enlightened Pakistanis, considers that Islamic origin be clearly mentioned in the constitution and the laws passed by the national assembly should remain in the boundary of the teachings of Islam.

    then I would have to disagree with you because things are not like that. If rights in Pakistan are willing to “impose” Islam in every governing law then left(aka seculars) want to eliminate the religion from every where. This is why you also witness dramas like that Pakistan’s name should not be Islamic Republic or blasphemy laws should be repealed or “we should think above Quran and Sunnah” or at times you witness drama initiated against “Islamic” Pakistan by advertising the massacre of Qadyanis and using it to promote the agenda.

    While knowing US u-turn to praise Jihad and Mujahideen(Ref: tinyurl.com/39pu9ue) I am more amused about the position of so called enlightened Pakistanis who have been banking Washington for long time. They have no substance to put forward their case other than getting involved in childish circular rants.

  17. AHsn says:
    June 20th, 2010 5:04 am

    « Quite balanced comment but… »

    Dear Adnan, I am glad that you have butted in. Otherwise, I would have been disappointed.

    Of course you have every right to disagree with me You write:

    “If rights in Pakistan are willing to “impose” Islam in every governing law then left(aka seculars) want to eliminate the religion from every where.”

    By “rights”, you mean the religious group (R) and by “left” you mean the seculars (S).

    Basically, the group R wants to keep the religion in the system of the government of the State whereas S wants to keep it (religion) out.

    It will be interesting to see the origin of the “Islamic Republic” and the present level of Islamic trend in Pakistan.

    (1) The Founder of Pakistan started his reign as a Governor General with Liaqat Ali Khan as his Prime Minister and asked for a constitution where the Muslim origin of Pakistan be clearly indicated.
    (2) The wish of the Founder was fulfilled by “Objectives Resolution” (OR). This was the work of Liaqat Ali Khan.
    (3) This OR is the founding stone of the present constitution. It is the brain child of a popular and democratically elected secular leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

    Is any of the three can be put in group R?.

    As far as I remember the majority of Islamic scholars of the pre-partition of India were against the idea of Pakistan as a separate Islamic State.

    The existence of Pakistan, based on Islam and its present “Islamic Republic” status, is all the work of S. The poor R is given the credit of it simply to discredit it.

    So, what is Right and what Left? It appears that in Pakistan the right is Left and the left is Right.!!

    As an individual person I am for a system of government which gives equal rights to each citizen without any distinction of any religion.

    Any criminal, killer or terrorist (irrespective of religion) be punished without any distinction of Right or Left .

    ahsan@noof.fr

  18. June 20th, 2010 6:07 am

    They should be dealt in the strongest possible manner. They must all be eradicated. They have already gave enough bad name to our peaceful religion and our country, now the time has arrived to shut them once for all. Enough hate is being spread and enough blood is shed. There must be only one rule for these barbaric people “Kill” no more no less. Do not show any mercy to these killers.

  19. June 20th, 2010 12:17 pm

    Ahsn,how could I stay away while you had been missing me so much that you decided to write something on this topic? *smirk*


    By “rights”, you mean the religious group (R) and by “left” you mean the seculars (S).

    From classic definition,yes.


    Basically, the group R wants to keep the religion in the system of the government of the State whereas S wants to keep it (religion) out.

    That’s what I also said! Weird we are agreed upon something,isn’t it?

    Regarding your statement about Jinnah,you have been an old timer here and several times I quoted Jinnah’s actual words that How Jinnah was wickedly put in secular leagues by liberals by polluting his 11th August speech. Read the archives of Pakistaniat and you will find my comments in which Jinnah was quoted how he wanted a “Shariah complaint” Pakistan. Ironically Jinnah was quoted out of context just like Quran is usually quoted out of context by others to mock the religion.


    As far as I remember the majority of Islamic scholars of the pre-partition of India were against the idea of Pakistan as a separate Islamic State.

    As far as the reality says, if Mullahs of that time labeled Jinnah as Kafir by assuming his lack of knowledge about Islam then similarly seculars also misunderstood Jinnah by doubting his Islamic knowledge and promoted him as a person who had no religious knowledge and ran away from the religion. So in reality both cults quoted Jinnah as “Kafir”.


    So, what is Right and what Left? It appears that in Pakistan the right is Left and the left is Right.!!

    No, In Pakistan everyone who dares to practice a religion is labeled as a member of right wing group hence if I say that I am interested to lead my life according to Quran and SUnnah then I am automatically pushed in right wing group. In short I am turned to a Mullah.

    Interestingly Pakistani lefts are no different then Pakistani right,both are willing to put their words in others mouth and continue to exhibit their extreme point of view to prove other party wrong. Long time before I had planned to make a post with title “L.HS=R.H.S”(usually we use while solving equations) to discuss how both parties are clones of each other.

  20. Watan Aziz says:
    June 20th, 2010 8:05 pm

    The real distinguishing factor is that there is no distinction between those who claim to be “secular” and those who claim to be “religious”.

    Absent in both is the correct understanding of what they claim to be. The alleged “religious” do not follow Qur’an or equally understand the role of Sunnah. Likewise, the alleged “secular” do not know the principles of morality, law and justice in absence of religious guidance.

    Present in both, is the denial of equity and justice for the Pakistanis.

    Nothing is more glaring, then the commonality of the usurpers evil and enlightened. Both undermined the constitution. Both destroyed justice and judiciary. Both denied justice and equity to common man. Neither true to the principles they claim they adhere. Neither even demonstrated a sense of comprehension of the correct principles of their claims (read fake claims).

    Both same, no different for Pakistanis.

    (PS. This is the right post. Pardon the error for the other.)

  21. Obaid1 says:
    June 21st, 2010 6:34 am

    Pakistan’s Medieval Constitution – Wall Street Journal
    http://tinyurl.com/3xqlt4y

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