News / Asia

Pakistan's Sharif Vows All-out Anti-Terrorist Effort

FILE - In this June 1, 2011, file photo, Pakistani troops fire heavy artillery toward alleged militants hideouts in mountain ranges along the Afghan border.
FILE - In this June 1, 2011, file photo, Pakistani troops fire heavy artillery toward alleged militants hideouts in mountain ranges along the Afghan border.
Ayaz Gul
Pakistani fighter planes have bombed suspected militant sanctuaries in the troubled North Waziristan border region for a second day as part of a long-demanded military offensive.  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says the operation, which started Sunday, will continue until all “terrorists” are eliminated.   
 
The military says the counter-terrorism air strikes are targeting locations in North Waziristan where militants have established bases and there is no civilian population nearby.  

Most of the militants killed are being described as members of the fugitive Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which is operating in the area under the umbrella of the Pakistani Taliban.  Army officials say several ethnic Uighur fighters linked to the insurgency in China’s Xinjiang province are also among those killed.  
 
Sharif defended the military action before Pakistan's parliament, saying Monday the Pakistani Taliban did not reciprocate to his peace initiatives to restore normalcy to the Waziristan territory and bring an end to years of deadly militancy in the country.  Instead, he says, terrorists continued bloodshed and violence across the nation without sparing women and children.
 
He said a decisive operation has been launched to rid Pakistan of terrorism and that God willing it will continue until all its objectives are realized.  Sharif vowed “not to allow Pakistan become a safe haven for terrorists again at any cost”.
 
With the approval of all the political parties, the parliament passed a resolution backing the army action, but lawmakers of the two main Islamic parties refused to put their signatures on the document.
 
“This house resolves to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the armed forces 'till final victory,” a ruling party member said.
 
A military statement issued Monday quoted Pakistani army chief General Raheel Sharif as emphasizing that “all terrorists along with their sanctuaries must be eliminated without discrimination."
     
But Pakistani newspaper editorials and independent analysts remain skeptical about whether the military establishment has abandoned its alleged “dualist policy of good Taliban and bad Taliban."  

Islamabad has long been under fire for battling anti-state Islamist militants and their associates, but tolerating the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network of insurgents who are using North Waziristan for staging cross-border attacks on NATO and Afghan forces.
 
Pakistan’s reluctance to deny sanctuaries to these extremists has remained a major irritant in its ties with the United States.

The director of the Washington-based Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, Shuja Nawaz, says it is too early to comment on how the Obama administration views the Pakistani counter-terrorism offensive, because Washington is heavily distracted by a number of crises in other parts of the world.  

“North Waziristan was seen as the point of contention with Pakistan largely because of the Haqqani group, but I do not see any mention of the Haqqani group in any of the official statements coming out of Rawalpindi or Islamabad," he said. "So, if there has been some kind of arrangement made with the Haqqani group to allow them to exit the territory before the cordon and search operations began then that is something that has yet to be shared with the public.”
 
Critics, including Nawaz, are skeptical about whether the Waziristan military offensive alone can help end the militancy in Pakistan.  They say  there is a large number of Islamic seminaries around the country where religious and sectarian hatred is taught, while some mainstream Islamic parties are also fueling extremism.
 
“This is a war that Pakistan is involved in and North Waziristan is probably only the first battle, and we have to wait to see how that goes and whether there will be a will to fight the militancy and terrorism through the country as a whole,” he said.
 
Sharif’s controversial peace process remained under fire since it was launched nearly five months ago and demands continued to grow for a military offensive against militant bases in the tribal region in the wake of rising terrorist attacks in the country.

The pressure on his administration intensified after a militant raid killed about 40 people last week at the Karachi airport.  The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying Uzbek fighters carried out the raid.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
June 17, 2014 9:26 AM
I am certainly one of the sceptics about the possibility of this offensive ending militancy in Pakistan. I'm sure that terrorism in Pakistan, and support for raids into Afghanistan, will continue for the foreseeable future. This is one of the reasons why I believe the US should withdraw entirely from Afghanistan and leave no residual force. Another, of course, is the danger of leaving small, isolated, unsupported forces scattered throughout a country. This was clearly demonstrated in Lebanon in Reagan's time.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid