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A CRUCIAL PHASE

Better late than never, the much awaited assault on North Waziristan has begun, 75 days later than it should have. To quote my article, “Non-stop” of Mar 6, 2014, “The precision strikes of the PAF disrupted the TTP’s administrative and operational deployment. More importantly, ‘actionable intelligence’ was available for these to be carried out, that knowledge is bound to have made the TTP nervous. No collateral damage was reported, confirming these targets were pure militant bases. TTP badly needs time and space to regroup after suffering the PAF’s precision strikes and re-locate its hideouts to safer havens. The “snowline” at 8000 ft is preventing the militants from leaving the valleys and dispersing into the mountains before May. With aircraft/drones overhead this is not easy”, unquote.

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Countering the Terror Threat

Consider the theatrics of the absurd by some political clerics at the killing of the terrorist responsible for slaughtering thousands of innocent Pakistanis. Indeed pathetic that the fundamentally moderate Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) should label Tehrik-e-Taliban-i-Pakistan (TTP) Chief Hakimullah Mehsud a “Shaheed”! To safeguard their fiefdoms, politicians and clerics often turn to appeasement of militants. The Army did well by immediately reacting to what potentially can erode the morale of the rank and file. And so did PM Mian Nawaz Sharif, burying 15 years of self-created bad blood with the Army by a maiden visit to GHQ soon after the JI leader’s outrageous remarks, he rightly called the Army’s martyrs as “our benefactors”.

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