“Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.”
—William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
The encompassing fog of ‘war’ and ‘terror’ has initiated a new debate that whether or not Pakistan has been put on a ‘grey list’ by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Interestingly, a public statement by the international watchdog failed to build a consensus announcing the outcomes of its plenary session held in Paris against Pakistan. However, amalgamation of fiction and fabrication occurred where reports in Indian media had grey listed Pakistan in one of their own created listing of FATF.
Pakistan believes that the move was politically motivated. International community has not looked upon the sacrifices Pakistan has made for fighting this war with a positive attitude. Unites States (U.S.) is blind to the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan for the U.S. war during the cold war and after the Sept 11 attacks. Now, let’s discuss what Pakistan has done to fight this menace of fight against terrorism.
Following the extraordinary efforts, Pakistan has been fighting a war against terrorism for more than a decade. In turn, the nation has rendered a huge cost in human and economic terms, which is more than any other country in the world. It is beyond comprehension that since 2003, Pakistan has lost over 50,000 civilians in this war.
There have been numerous terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan. Over the last 14 years, Pakistan has lost more than 74,000 people and $123 billion in economic losses. The following list includes the incidents with the largest number of casualties:
- In March, a suicide bomber killed at least 74 people at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore. JuA claimed responsibility for the attack.
- In August, a bomb killed at least 70 people at a hospital in Quetta where lawyers had gathered to mourn the assassination of a prominent lawyer. JuA and ISIS separately claimed responsibility for the attack.
- In September, a suicide bomber killed at least 36 people at a mosque during Friday prayers in the Mohmand Tribal District. JuA claimed responsibility for the attack.
- In October, three militants stormed a police training center in Quetta and killed at least 60 people with gunfire and suicide vests. A LeJaffiliateand ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack.
- In November, a suicide bomber killed more than 50 people at the shrine of Sufi saint Shah Bilal Noorani in Balochistan. A LeJ affiliate and ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack.
Had there been any double game, why would there have been so many losses?
For a long time, since 9/11, Pakistan has been the epicentre, and has remained a victim of international criticism and propaganda for harboring, training, and facilitating terrorist activities. Most of the time, this was an effort of international powers to use Pakistan as a scapegoat in order to cover their failures. However, it would be correct to say that Pakistan has played an effective role against forces of terrorism, and has been able to control this danger to a great extent.
Later on, with the full support of political Government, Pakistan Army initiated a full scale military offence Zarb-e-Azb in 2014. The operation was carried with the staunch determination to wipe out hotbeds of militants in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). NWA is a strategically important agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghanistan. Militant wings had a stronghold in NWA and terrorist wings were active in using Pakistan’s own soil for their evil plans.
Pakistan Army launched operations like Zarb-e-Azab and Radd-ul-Fasad with full commitment and faith to eradicate the scourge of terrorism. The Military continued their operations extensively to eliminate terrorists and their infrastructure without any discrimination of “good” and “bad” Taliban.
Operations like Zarb-e-azb and Radd-ul-Fasad have accentuated positive effect on Pakistan’s security, stability and progress. Occasionally, Pakistan Military, paramilitary, and civilian security forces conducted counterterrorism operations throughout the country. It was an outstanding level of success and consistency during the operation made by the armed forces that mega project of $42 billion CPEC was initiated after satisfactory security situation in Pakistan.
Pakistan contributed its major part in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation meetings on counterterrorism and in other multilateral groups where counterterrorism cooperation was discussed. This all also includes participation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (as an observer), the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process, and the Global Counterterrorism Forum. Likewise, Pakistan participated in UN Security Council meetings on sanctions and counterterrorism.
Hence, Pakistan deserves the international community’s support and recognition universally. As this is not only for the betterment of this region but it is an effort to bring peace around the world.