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ہفتہ، 18 جون، 2011

Incompetence or complicity?

In yet another incursion from the other side of the Durand Line, over 300 militants armed with sophisticated weapon, attacked villages in Bajaur Agency on Thursday, killing five people, three women and two children, while eight others sustained injuries. In the pre-dawn attack, the group of militants crossed over the Pak-Afghan border along the Kunar province of Afghanistan and attacked Pakistani villages Manu Jangal and tukha, adjacent to the border at tehsil Mamoond.

Infiltrators from Afghanistan have struck again in strength in a military-like attack on our territory. This time in a populated forested expanse of Bajaur Agency’s Mohmand tehsil, killing at least five people, including three women, and injuring eight others in a fierce battle in which they used automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. Just a few days ago, heavily-armed gunmen from across the border had likewise seized a string of bordering villages in the Upper Dir region and vacated them after inflicting heavy toll of death and injury on the residents in nearly two days of bloody fighting. Then too they had taken captive several residents who they had taken away with them. The two incursions occurring in such a short span of time involving hundreds of lethally-armed invaders should definitely ring the bells in Islamabad. All the more so, as the bordering Kunar-Nuristan regions of Afghanistan from where these assaults originated are not only under the supreme security control of the US-led NATO forces but not included either for the upcoming transfer to the Afghan security forces following the drawdown on occupying militaries beginning next month. Given this, the raids do make for an intriguing phenomenon that should jolt the high minds in Islamabad. That the raiders in hundreds could cross over the border with heavy weapons without being intercepted unambiguously means either the incompetence or complicity of the US-led NATO forces in the bordering Afghan regions, or both. After all, the incompetence of occupying militaries in Afghanistan stands out as resoundingly as do their utter spinelessness and lack of fighting spirit, notwithstanding the tall braggadocio of their commanders and the effusive kudos of their political bosses.

  • It is duty of our armed forces and agencies to exercise greater vigilance and retaliate with full forces to protect life of our citizens but so far their response is totally lacking. What over one hundred thousand troops are doing on the Western border if they are unable to detect such incursion and act to thwart attemp's by the enemy to terrorize our people?
They have been there now for almost ten years. Yet, according to a UN survey itself, over 70 percent of their occupied Afghanistan is still out of their control and under the sway of Taliban and other insurgent groups that are veritably expanding to the rest of the country as well. Even the troop surge has failed to stem this surging tide of insurgency. It is only on the NATO commanders’ papers that it has done marvels; on the ground it has not.Indeed, so incompetent and gutless the occupying militaries have been that the most of these ten years they have spent not in fighting but in cunningly whiling away by making a punching bag of Pakistan to paper over their own infirmities, foibles and collapses or quarrelling among themselves over assuming fighting responsibilities in the war theatres of their occupied land. Given their demonstrated timidity and cowardice, it is possible that the occupation militaries in the bordering regions may have preferred the safety of letting the raiders sneak into the Pakistani territory for their attacks than running the risk of incurring casualties among their own ranks by challenging the trespassers. But their complicity in this trespassing cannot be ruled out, either. In fact, this could be quite a possibility. Recall the operation that the Pakistani military launched sometimes ago to pacify the Bajaur Agency, then being rocked by a vicious insurgency. The operation when in the works was all known to the occupation forces. Yet the moment the Pakistani military mounted the operation, quite intriguingly they rolled up instantly all their border posts, leaving the border wide open to Afghan infiltrators to move in strength comfortably into the agency to fight on the side of local insurgents, for whom supplies of deadly weapons too kept flowing in from across the border in mounds uninterruptedly. So the element of complicity of the NATO forces cannot be brushed aside dismissively. It would thus be fatally foolish on the part of the Islamabad hierarchy if it doesn’t look into this aspect penetratingly.Relevantly, when questioned on the Upper Dir episode in the press meet during his recent Islamabad visit, Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his ignorance of it and promised to investigate it. Was his ignorance calculatedly feigned or otherwise is irrelevant. What matters is the investigation. For, even if these increasing attacks on Pakistan’s border populated areas by infiltrators from across the Afghanistan borders reflects the occupation armies’ incompetence, it doesn’t bode well. It is too bad. And if it is complicity, that spells disaster for Pakistan in days ahead. Hence in no event should the Islamabad hierarchy sleep over these incursions originating from Afghanistan. It must demand answers both from Kabul and the occupiers and go into them probingly to know what exactly is what and then prepare itself accordingly for any eventuality in the coming times.
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