Operation Zarb e Azb: A Decisive Strike.

Byline: Urwa Elahi and Umbreen Javaid


Operation Zarb e Azb is a combined armed aggression against multiple terrorists outfits ranging from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan to Haqqani networks including local as well as foreign terrorists of IMU i.e. Uzbek movement and ETIM of Turkestan and banned organizations such as Lashkar-e-jhangwi along with Al Qaida. The offensive took place on 15th of June, 2014 in the area of North Waziristan which is the tribal agency of FATA. The area is proximal to Pakistan-Afghan border where the operation was executed after the deadly attacks in Karachi,Jinnah international airport (Khan A., 2018) as the ultimate decision to curb terrorism after the Tehrik-e-Taliban and Islamic movement of Uzbakistan accepted the charges. The offensive caused the movement of a large number of people from one place to another i.e. around one lac families comprising over 1 million members.

The number of troops as high as 30,000 took part in this extensive operation with the firm resolve of clearing out all the elements of extremism, belonging to every caste and creed, who had taken refuge in North Waziristan. The operation stood distinguished from the previous operations as the entire nation came on the same page and supported the single narrative. Since 2008 the security conditions had only seen an increase in deterioration and a dearth of improvement however the narrative for operation Zarb-e-Azb and inclusivity led it to an amelioration counted as six years highest. This operation was followed by operationRadul Fasad launched on 1stFebruary, 2017 with the revival of terrorists.

NACTA National Counter Terrorism Authority:

On the legal and administrative front the government of Pakistan took critical decisions such as establishment of executive wing under the ministry of interior in the year 2009.While in 2013 the said administrative body was further endowed with financial, executive and legal autonomy governed by a "Board of Governors" under the leadership of Prime Minister (NACTA Evolution, 2019). The membership of the governing board as per NACTA Act 2013 is to comprise over Ministers of Interior, Defense, law and Finance together with Provincial Chief Ministers (CMs) and of Gilgit Baltistan. The prime minister of AJK with the provincial Chief Secretaries and Inspector Generals(IGs)including AJK and GB are also on panel. The formation of NACTA was so comprehensive that it ensured the representation of houses through one MNA and senator over the recommendation of their respective house leaders.

The Minister of Interior is to serve as the leader of administrative body and the National coordinator as secretary to BOG to assist the board.For the sake of enhancing security and ensuring intelligence sharing NACTA included the director Generals of intelligence agencies i.e. ISI,IB,MI and FIA.The JID Joint intelligence Directorate was established as a wing to coordinate the gathered and analyzed information, from the Intelligence Agencies for the purpose of tackling and defeating terrorism (Nacta's mandate, 2017).

National Internal Security Policy 2014-18

Pakistan has been in war,at home, since her decision of being the front line ally against the US led war on terror. The war in neighborhood swiftly expand its roots to the adjacent northern territories of Pakistan expedited with cultural and linguistic linkages with the natives. By the start of 2014 the losses were already touching the skies in terms of lives as well as economy i.e. around 50 thousand of casualties and $US78 billion cost in the recent decade (Interior, National Internal security Policy 2014-2018, 2014). For the first time in the history of Pakistan a policy manuscript was generated by the Ministry of Interior focusing the internal safety and stability of the state. Perceived and outlined by the Interior and approved by the Government.

It emphasized upon the inclusion and the mainstreaming of the Nation's efforts and revolved around three main steps i.e. to negotiate or talk with the concerned parties, to deter the enemy through strengthening the law enforcement agencies and lastly to isolate the terror networks and effectively dealing with the refugee crisis (Nisp 2014, 2019).The NISP was divided into soft and hard components i.e. CRP and CDP respectively. The Comprehensive response plan (CRP) comprised over 4Rs i.e. re-construction,re-conciliation,re-habilitation and re-integration stressing upon the need of re-vising the old strategy. The NISP also suggested de-radicalization projects and building of a national narrative to counter the extremist mindsets.

Mainstreaming of the religious seminaries into the national one and physically countering the terrorism through breaking bad over terror networks by cutting the supplies of armaments and finances to terrorists under CACR and CFT. The former refers to the comprehensive arms control regime while the latter is an abbreviation of countering the financing of terrorism. Bringing the necessary legal reforms and the strengthening of law enforcement institutions are the key to meet these objectives. The first NISP replaced by the new security policy formulated for the years 2018-2023. The new policy is broader in vision asISIS(Islamic state of Iraq and Syria) is also included to be the potential future threat due to its presence in Afghanistan (Nabeel, 2018) (Interior, NISP 2018-2023, 2018).

However the basic agenda of tackling the isms i.e. extremism, sectarianism, terrorism continue to occupy the central stage (Gul, 2018) along with 6Rs of reorient, reconstruct, reintegrate,redistribute, recognize and regional while facilitating the rehabilitation (Yusuf, 2018).

National Action Plan:

After the deadly terror attacks on Army public school in Peshawar, which the COAS defined as "the attack on the heart of Pakistan" a revival of policy and its firmer implementation was required. The coldest massacre of school kids left every heart crying and demanding for justice. The need for an immediate and furious crack down over the militants stressed upon. A national narrative generated in favour of indiscriminate action against extremists. Though a national internal security policy was already carved out by the government but the scope of the policy was broader with long-term objectives however the incident demanded a focused, measurable and time restricted response on national level (Khan, 2019). For that purpose a 20 points agenda was formulated...

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