The ultimate national interest of any state is that of its survival and to keep its sovereignty and territorial integrity intact. Operation Zarb-e-Azb, presently going on against terrorist groups in North Waziristan, is a clear embodiment of a well deserved defensive measure against the aggressors. Using North Waziristan as base, these terrorists waged war against the state of Pakistan and had been disrupting the national life in all its dimensions, stunting our economic growth and causing enormous loss of life and property. It has been described as a “comprehensive operation” that aims to flush out foreign and local militants hiding in North Waziristan. Eloquent in many ways, it has surely depicted a very powerful message to the state’s enemy stating that every inch of the territory matters to Pakistan and it will be defended when the call for security is summoned. Since the nascence of Pakistan, terrorists have used violence as a tool for commencing indiscriminate killings and when such atrocities occur, the use of force becomes crucial. Use of coercion by the armed forces of the state is justified as it is based on goal for preserving the national security.  The operation is vital for bringing retribution to such elements which have brought disgrace to the fair name of the state and religion. It will also draw international attention to the fact that Pakistani people and forces are always there to offer sacrifices for their beloved homeland and that the armed forces and masses are ready to put a joint front against those who have been making use of sheer brutality under the disguise of Islam. It is a test of endurance for the whole nation but the menace of terrorism needs to be eliminated for the peace and security of Pakistan and without a doubt the forces have both the will and capability required to do so. Similarly, acts of valour by the IDPs and armed forces reflect undaunted spirit of the Pakistani people and portray that the terrorists can never win this war because our strength lies in the intact trust present between the people and armed forces of Pakistan.

It is sad to see that not many parties are taking out rallies for the nation and Pakistan Army but only for the fulfilment of their political motives. It is inconsolable to witness that most of the politicians who tried to be ambassador of slogan “it isn’t our war” distracted the nation for all these years which resulted in increased terrorist attacks and their deep penetration in our cities. For years, politics has been played over this issue and the civilian population has suffered the most. In the current scenario, terrorism is one way or another root cause of all the problems that we are facing; be it economy or the political unrest.

Less debating and more unity is the requirement of the time now. Pakistan has already faced enough losses because of the long driven terrorism and after attack on Karachi airport and ASF soldiers; it was quite evident that dialogue process is going to rest in the bin. It is about time now that the government steps in and takes effective measures in facilitating the military operation and to maintain it as positive peace.

The civil society also needs to practice solidarity, and the political elite needs to put up a more unified front while taking interest in this operation to make it a successful one.

The government also needs to provide full support to the army and provide ample funds to the provincial governments in adjusting and rehabilitation of the IDPs with critical monitoring and scanning. Facts and figures show that these terrorists have been planning out attacks while dwelling with the local masses for which the government should take effective steps and hire trained and well equipped provincial law enforcers and take several other measures to protect areas under federal jurisdiction.

As for the civilian population, people should keep a keen check on local mosques and keep profiling the outsiders that seek shelters in the mosques. Parents should keep check and balance on their children to what kind of education they are being fed at the seminaries. In a nutshell, everyone should participate and play one’s part because the enemy needs to know that the sentiments of the people of this state are sky-high and on the other hand we need to realise that this is a war that our forces cannot fight alone.

Sometimes the enemy does not lie across the border but live amongst us. Therefore functional participation should be carried out by each and every person of this state. We should not and cannot let this opportunity go, we shouldn’t lose momentum.

      –Maria Fakhar, the writer, is a student of BS(Hons) last year at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.