Pak National Assembly divided over launching ‘another operation’ to eliminate terrorism

3 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

pak World

Pakistan's National Assembly was plainly divided over the prospect of beginning a fresh military operation against terrorists, according to Dawn.

Following the fatal attack on the Peshawar mosque, which killed at least 101 people, the majority of them were police officers, Pakistan’s National Assembly was plainly divided over the prospect of beginning a fresh military operation against terrorists, according to Dawn. On Wednesday, the National Assembly heard some fiery remarks in which legislators emphasised national unity in the fight against terrorism, but provided differing opinions while holding to their party principles.

According to Dawn, a majority of MPs opposed initiating another anti-terrorism operation and questioned the success of previous operations. Notably, in 2014, the Pakistan Army conducted Operation Zarb-e-Azb, an attack targeting several militant groups in North Waziristan, a region in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the Afghan border.

According to Dawn, JUI-F Minister for Religious Affairs Moulvi Abdul Shakoor strongly opposed the idea of beginning a fresh military operation against terrorists since it would bring greater devastation in tribal areas. He claimed that ministers in the previous PTI government in KP gave extortion money to militants.

Furthermore, the MPs chastised the previous Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government, led by Imran Khan at the centre and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, for its appeasement attitude toward militants, according to Dawn. Mohsin Dawar, an independent MNA from Waziristan, delivered a stinging speech in which he proposed establishing a truth and reconciliation commission to hold individuals and institutions accountable.

“If your force starts protests, then one can easily assess (the gravity of the) situation.” he added, referring to the protest demonstration conducted by police troops outside the Peshawar Press Club.
He regretted that even the “police do not have trust in the state”.

As expressing concern over the trend of blaming just Afghans for terrorism, the MNA stated that the Taliban were promoted as heroes by previous rulers who pushed the country into the Afghan conflict while US dollars rained down on them, according to Dawn.

“Now who is supporting them (TTP) when we have our own favourite government there [in Afghanistan],” he wondered, adding that it had become evident that there would be no peace until the Taliban administration was in place. The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Pakistani Taliban has wreaked havoc after the TTP and the Pakistan government broke off a peace accord.

The TTP was created in 2007 by the joining of multiple armed factions protesting Pakistan’s cooperation with the US in its war on terrorism. The TTP backed the Afghan Taliban in their struggle against the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Referring to the in-house briefings given to parliament by the military leadership during the PTI government, Dawar stated, “Everyone knows under whose protection they (Taliban) have returned and from where they are getting the support.”

He urged a change in Afghan policy before it was too late, saying that otherwise “there will be an action replay of Afghanistan in Pakistan,” reported Dawn.