A rash of attacks indicates that terrorism, which had been pushed back, may well be making a resurgence. That the south of the country is restive is shown by the fact that on Wednesday, a vehicle of the Sind Sewage Waste Management Board, leaving a Chinese passenger injured from the vehicle’s shattered glass. This should be seen together with last Saturday’s attack on a Pakistan Navy vehicle in Gwadar district, as a result of which three Navy personnel were killed. Meanwhile, there have been an increasing number of attacks in North Waziristan, which may indicate a resurgence of militant activity, who had been declared crushed as a result of the Army’s Operation Raddul Fasad. While the Army has been losing a steady trickle of personnel, fatalities have included NGO workers.
The usual explanation given is that the militants have help from Indian intelligence, which has been greatly facilitated by the Indian consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad. Even if this were true, surely the presence of these consulates, where they are not needed, represents a major failure of Pakistani diplomacy. Worse is to come, for if the USA does withdraw its forces as is expected, India is expected to fill the gap for the Ghani government, to Pakistan’s obvious discomfiture. However, that discomfort is indirect; more apposite are the questions that arise about what Pakistani counter-intelligence is doing. The example of Kulbhushan Jhadav is quoted, but that success came in 2016, and since then, there have been numerous attacks in both Balochistan and Karachi, targeted at the Chinese presence there. It is no secret that India is resentful of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The record of failure gives rise to the suspicion that counter-intelligence is not paying sufficient attention to its primary task of tracing the activities of the enemies of the state. The country would be better served if the agencies, which are not denied a perhaps disproportionate share of resources, performed their actual task, of ensuring that the country was kept safe.