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Embattled Pakistan can not afford the luxury of partisan media and courts

Pksecurity

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Sep 21, 2011
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Pakistan is in the grip of terrorism of unprecedentedly escalated proportion. The fundamental objective of escalated activities of the terrorists is to arm-twist the political leadership to bring them to negotiating table and enforce the conditions of their choice. The political leadership is so confused that it has not even outlined the draft of a Counter-terrorism Strategy. Two of the three political parties ruling Pakistan are known for their sympathies for the terrorists being oblivious of the fact that TTP, LeJ and BLA are operating against the state of Pakistan from their bases in Afghanistan and funded and aided by India and anti-Pakistan international establishment.
Terrorism in Pakistan is not new of its kind; we have seen terrorism in South Asian region and the way it was fought and eliminated. The most brilliant example is that of Sri Lanka which fought Tamil terrorists, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or Tamil Tigers (LTTE) for a decade. Originally belonging to India’s Tamil Nadu state, Tamils were brought to Sri Lanka by the British as expatriate workers and were a minority against the Sinhala majority. While Sinhala professed Buddhism, Tamils were predominantly Hindus. The Tamil insurgency was originally sponsored by Indian establishment but when it withdrew support, Tamils killed Rajiv Gandhi in a suicide attack.
By all standards, LTTE insurgency was massive keeping in view the size of security forces of Sri Lanka. But the way Sri Lanka countered it with matching response; we have yet to see in Pakistan. Sri Lankan armed forces are no match to those of Pakistan both in professional excellence, equipment, commitment and size. Yet, Pakistan has not been able to control terrorism because political governments lacked the courage to and are constantly busy in undermining the security establishment rather than strengthening them.
The military and political analyses of success of Sri Lanka in eliminating the menace of terrorism, carried out by various think tanks, converge on focusing the attention of fighting it heads-on. Pakistan can learn a lesson or two when it has started thinking about formulating a National Security Strategy.
The first lesson is that military action against the enemies of the state should be focused and all criticism of clergy, HR activists and the populist courts playing to the galleries should be ignored, if not out rightly rejected. Sri Lanka adopted the strategy of telling domestic and international critics to go to hell and concentrated on the job of completely eradicating the terrorism.
No respectable government will ever enter into peace negotiations with criminals and those fighting against the state. The befitting response is negotiations through the barrel of the gun the nation buys through hard-earned income of tax payers. This is the easiest way of dealing with the insurgents and terrorists but it also amounts to ceding the space to the criminals. Negotiations and cease-fire in fact provide terrorists a golden opportunity to regroup and strengthen themselves. One of the success factors of Sri Lankan counter-terrorism was, and a lesson for Pakistan is, the policy of no-negotiations and no cease-fire.
Mass media is an effective weapon used by enemies and, particularly the terrorists, to defeat the armies. This is fourth generation warfare (4GW) and if media of the country starts building negative perception about own army and positively project the terrorists’ viewpoint, no country can win war against terrorists. This is exactly what’s happening in Pakistan. Everyone knows that BLA terrorists are operating under the sponsorship of a neighboring country but a section of Pakistani media projects them as disgruntled youth against “atrocities” of Pakistan army. The terrorists get public approval through media and Sri Lankan government was mindful of this fact. They muzzled the media in the best national interest and properly regulated it so that misdeeds of the terrorists do not get glorified. In order to fight against militancy, state institutions need to keep a check on the media to see their source of funding and their connections. Proper regulation of media is the third best lesson Pakistan can learn from Sri Lanka.
Fighting enemies of the state is the domain of armies in every country. When a country is at war, its armed forces should have total operational freedom and their conduct of war should not be allowed to be hampered by courts and politicians. This is a golden lesson that Pakistan should learn from Sri Lanka.

Courts and media should be made to understand that Pakistan is at war | Pakistan Express
 

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