The most feared terrorist outfit in Pakistan, the Tehreek-e-Taliban, sent fourteen people to an early grave in a suicide bombing in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, and this seems to have incurred the ire of the Pakistani military.
Its jets pounded militant hideouts in North Waziristan, leaving at least 15 dead. However, the Pakistani public may need to brace itself for another Taliban onslaught considering reports emerged that TTP commander Adnan Rashid was killed in the strikes.
After all, the Rawalpindi blast was orchestrated to seek vengeance for the deaths of Waliur Rehman and Hakeemullah Mehsud.
“This hadn't been planned before, and Pakistan Air Force jets were called to hit hideouts of the militants involved in attacks on security forces,” said a military official.
There are conflicting reports over the number of casualties. A Tribesmen from the region said that 15 people were killed, whereas a Taliban source put the death toll at 27. He claimed that civilians were also among the dead, but military sources said the scrambled jets were only targeting terrorist hideouts.
As authorities and the Taliban continue to trade deadly blows amid talks of gathering at the negotiating table, innocent civilians are the ones suffering the most.
North Waziristan is a restive tribal region in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,a province ruled by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party. Its leader Imran Khan feels that negotiations are the only way forward.
Perhaps the ‘Great Khan’, as he is known in some circles, needs to ask his voters in the province if they are in any mood to talk to these savages, who have widowed and orphaned thousands in their wake.
If the latest reports coming out of Afghanistan are to be believed, the Taliban across the border are gearing up to expand into Pakistan and beyond, with no plans of stopping till a global Islamic caliphate is established.
These are worrying signs indeed and the Pak/Afghan region could see itself isolated from the rest of the world if the Taliban succeed in their designs.
Taking the Taliban head-on may result in severe consequences for civilians and the military in Pakistan. The militants are at their most dangerous when they have their backs to the wall and have terrorized the masses and the authorities alike with suicide attacks and guerilla warfare at key installations across the country. With the latest air strike in Waziristan, people throughout Pakistan must brace themselves for a tremendous backlash.
While some Pakistani politicians feel that their problems will leave with departure of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban warns it is preparing for “the long war ahead”.
With the majority of the Pakistan’s budget being spent on defense, one would expect the country to have rid itself from these extremists long ago, but the Taliban are like those indestructible villains from a sci-fi movie. You know the sort that tend to get back on their feet no matter how much ammunition is used on them?