Sir: The Pakistan army has finally begun a military operation in North Waziristan after months of speculation. This is a watershed moment for the country, both in terms of our strategic alignment and in terms of our immediate existential priorities. Al Qaeda’s influence has grown in Pakistan over the years and it has in fact become a regional entity that spawns fighting movements from Afghanistan to Syria, whereas before it was a small network. The ‘War on Terror’ turned al Qaeda into a household name and gave it an appeal it never had before 9/11. It now poses a threat to the world. We are in the frontline of the fight against this enemy and operation Zarb-e-Azb is the first step in pushing back against his global terrorist movement. Winning will be a difficult task that requires regional cooperation and this makes our relationship with our neighbours important too. The whole of Pakistan is behind this operation, and so is much of the world. We now have to prepare our minds and settle in to eradicate extremism and militancy from the country. We should start by looking at ourselves, our friends, our neighbours, and fighting against extremist, hateful, religious thought wherever we find it. That is the home front of this operation.
BABAR ABDUL RAHMAN