Bannu siege

Matters are getting worse in KP

Things were already bad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. After the much vaunted victories of the military in the war against terror, the menace has reared its head all over again. The storming of a CTD center in Bannu by TTP terrorists and the hostage situation of over 36 hours that ensued is a major escalation in the resurgence of terrorism in the country.

In some parts – as we were being constantly informed by Waziristan MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir right before their microphones used to be cut off on the floor of the National Assembly, and before Wazir was arrested for a speech – the menace never went away in the first place.

Back then, the members of the then ruling party, specially some of those belonging to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, used to get more than incensed at even the suggestion that the militants were reorganising. Now, with large anti-militancy rallies being staged by the people of not just the Waziristans but also Swat, those representatives have no option but to chime in.

The government needs to get on top of the situation before it spirals completely out of hand. And by government, we don’t just mean the incumbent dispensation in Islamabad, but also the one in Peshawar. Law and order is a provincial subject and the PTI has been ruling the province, in a single stretch longer than any individual party’s entire stretches put together. They have a lot to answer for.

But perhaps it would be wrong to blame either the PTI or the PDM completely, or even ascribe the largest share of the problem to them. The real problem comes from the opacity with which the security establishment designs policies and executes them. The political governments seem to have resigned themselves to this fate. Even in their most spirited democratic, anti-establishment phases, all the parties ask for is that the military establishment refrains from political engineering; their monopoly in matters security is hardly ever contested even by otherwise idealistic civil supremacists.

The spectre of terrorism haunts us yet again. There is absolutely no way we can nip it in the bud without external scrutiny by the elected civil governments, both federal and provincial.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].

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