Sir: Many people draw a comparison between the successful campaigns of the Sri Lankan army against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with Pakistan’s counterinsurgency drive in FATA, but drawing such a parallel has fundamental flaws. First of all, there is a difference between the geopolitical settings of the two countries. The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) was able to tighten the noose around the LTTE nerve centre. Being an island, thereby not giving them the chance to flee, additionally, the LTTE’s ideological cause was localized and not international. Mostly, Pakistani insurgent groups’ ideologies are based on anarchism, because they want to seize and nullify a constituted government instead of replacing it.
Another relevant example of a successful Counter Insurgency (CI) campaign is of the Malayan insurgency. However, the essence of that CI was the displacement of population. The problem of clearing communist insurgency from Malaysia was similar to that of eradicating malaria from a country. In Pakistan’s case, the relocation of the population in order to deny physical and social space to the insurgents is a plausible CI initiative; however, more cohesion and coordination with other stakeholders is required. In NWA’s case, the massive influx of IDPs would become a strategic burden if not protected. Pakistan Army has always believed in the doctrine of minimum force in order to achieve the CI objectives. They have gone all out in this last bout and have shown amazing results. Every Pakistani hopes that this will put an end to terrorism in the country.
SHAHID AHMED AFRIDI
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