If not now, then when?

After President Asif Ali Zardari’s speech on Sunday, it is clear that there is no consensus yet between opposing parties when it comes to launching a military operation in North Waziristan.

Where the political parties agree that action does need to be taken against militants, they can’t seem to decide on what the next step is.

The president also pointed out the possibility of a blowback once action was taken against militants. Do you agree with him here? Should more time be given to pondering over military action in North Waziristan with every risk and reactionary outcome analyzed, or should the military launch one anyway, considering the deteriorating security situation in Pakistan?

Why can’t the political parties come to a consensus when it comes to the war against terror – ensuring peace and security should be on each of their agendas, then why do we still see them stalling?

The president said both the people and governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan should join hands to eliminate the terrorists and their hideouts. Realistically though, can we see that happening? Should Pakistan keep waiting for Afghanistan to take some action, or pursue its operation anyway?


Comments Guide:
Dawn.com encourages its readers to share their views on our forums. We try to accommodate all users' comments but this is not always possible due to space and other constraints. Please our read our comments guidelines below for more information:

1. Please be aware that the views of our bloggers and commenters do not necessarily reflect Dawn.com's policies.

2. Though comments appear to have been published immediately after posting, they are actually forwarded to a moderation queue before publication.

3. Dawn reserves the right to remove or edit comments that are posted on this blog.

4. Language that is offensive to any race, religion, ethnicity, gender or nationality is not permitted.

5. Avoid posting comments in ALL CAPS. Commenters are also encouraged to avoid text contractions like 'u r.'

6. Do not cross-post comments across multiple blog entries.

7. Any comments posted to a blog entry should be relevant to the topic or discussion.

8. Do not spam the comment section.

34 Responses to “If not now, then when?”

  1. Zahid says:

    nothing will be achieved unless their open and silent supporters ( from pakistan and outside pakistan) are not disqualified. we must stop those hands who support them then everything will be fine.these peoples get money from many resources and it’s game of money and nothing else.

  2. Tahir says:

    That’s why we have a professional army, paid for and kept by the citizens of Pakistan. Now’s the time for it to acquit itself in protecting the life and liberty of the citizens of this country. And ordinary citizens can join this worthwhile cause by keeping their own neighborhoods clear of Taliban/Mullah types.

  3. Bharat says:


    Are Islaimic countries capable of good Governance anywhere in the world?
    That is where this argument is headed.

  4. Razzaq says:

    Some politicians beside having soft corner for the terrorists, also worried about damaging their vote bank except one party which have come out openly in favour of action and that one is also not desirable for the rest of the crowd sitting in parliament. So where do we stand? no where, sorry.

  5. MB says:

    All, who are spreading their bravery just over talking, those should contemplate about the present situation of war-ravaged country. since, there is no economic development. Socio-economic plight of people is down to surface. We do not need any war, to cure all the ills emphasis should be focused on Foreign Policy and Law & Order situations on domestic ground, rather to engage our army with the others war. Much anticipated need of the present is take off the mask of hypocrisy, make contribution to develop our society with the norms, such it requires to take up…


  6. Imran A. says:

    I think the government and opposition are trying to drag this one too before the next big event happens. They are hoping that we will forget this incident. Let me say this to the ruling parties and opposing mullahs. Every new bomb blast will only further aggravate our anger against you guys for your cowardice. If the average Pakistani starts feeling that we too jihad in our hands, then you too will be afraid of us.

  7. Feroz says:

    The real supporters and backers of the taliban are not in N.Waziristan but in the Army, Parliament and the Judiciary. If you closely look at the policies made and actions of the Government, all doubts will evaporate. FATA only has foot soldiers who follow the orders of their masters living in posh houses in cities of Pakistan and the Middle East.

    • pk surendran says:

      I agree with Feroz. no bank scam is possible without the help of insiders. Similarly no terrorism can live without active support of insiders. look deep in to Army, police, judiciary and parliament you will see to your horror how deeply these hallowed set up are infiltrated. Clean them of the killers and the killer philosophy which believe they are right and others wrong. Which god has ever given licence to kill those disagree? How foolish to think these heartless killers brought by thoughtless madrassa brainwashing have the backing of god? can there be a bigger insult to the concept of god? clean the house first and blame neighbours if you want to save your young generation. Alternative is doom

  8. wellwisher says:

    It needs simple straight thinking. Since FATA is Pak territory, any attack on another country, originating from this territory, even if by TTP, is tantamount to Pakistan attacking that country. In response, that country has full rights to attack Pakistan, not only FATA but anywhere in Pakistan, under the international laws of self-defence. Pakistan is duty-bound to prevent attacks on another country from its teritory. Therefore, Pakistan has just 3 options:
    1- Ensure that TTP, or any other militant group of FATA does not attack another country.
    2- If Pak can not control the militants there, then declare FATA to be not Pak territory.
    3- Failing the above, be prepared for all kinds of military actions by the countries that are attacked from FATA territory.

    • Ahmad Mir says:

      Should Pakistan also attack Afghanistan, which has failed to stop some of the TTP leaders based in Kunar and Nuristan ??.. NATO and US have openly admitted that they can not control that area…Should Pakistan attack NATO forces also ?..

    • Salim says:

      You are 100% right.

      BUT the Reality is:
      FATA area is not much different from Afghanistan. Two super powers with nearly infinite resources and technology and weaponry eventually decided to leave based on loss of life and more importantly to limit their monetary loss. On the other hand the success is limited to where their forces are (were) present at a particular time… as the convoy moves, things return to how they were before.

      Pakistan Army action would require mechanized and air-borne deployment. Pakistan economy would not be able to sustain this for more than 15days. While defunct Soviet Union and USofA can decide to walk away (after reaching what ever threshold), where would Pakistan Army go?

      The real solution is to build the infra structure and provide jobs (and education). Dangle all the amenities of the modern world and get them steeped in debt and busy paying off the loans. Right now the people in FATA have nothing to loose except their lives, unfortunately they are not afraid to die.

      Sorry there are no easy answers.

  9. ali erfani says:

    if these talibans come to city of president,PM,CJ then they will never ask for a consensus.what is consensus,Chaudhry nisar know nothing what we tribals are suffering,Fazl Rehman and the others like him never want to give a green signal…..the only “consensus” we need is the intelligence agencies “yes” for this.i m sure they will but not now…..they will firsr give a chance to good taliban to go baluchistan or other tribal area,away from the operation areas…i m astonished y are the tribals being sacrified in “strategic depth” like policies…if this game is so important then FATA should be a good place for all families of intelligence officers to live…we will go to their homes in cities because we do not want these games more.in fact we have a large number of army personels who r from the same school of thoughts as talibans are.I feel no differece in haqqani and hameed gul….CJ should give orders to individuals to stop the game as it is against humanity..

  10. NASAH (USA) says:

    While the iron of the Taliiban’s CRIME against a 14 years old girl child is RED HOT — the army and the government can subjugate the Taliban’s will to Pakistan’s public specifications — delaying or dallying will only lead to a deadlier tomorrow.

  11. Aftab Kenneth Wilson says:

    We can not achieve any desirable goal unless their open and silent supporters are not disqualified from our legislative assemblies. Those who consider them as their strategic assets must pull their hands back and stop giving them ideological support Their seminaries should be closed for good. They are simply pure rogue elements, a cancer in our society. I agree with the speech delivered by our President. Only continuation of democratic process can solve this problem. Last but not least, all those areas which are part of Pakistan should come under the prevailing laws now practiced in other provinces. Bring them into main stream no matter by hook or crook.

  12. Babar Khan says:

    The war on terror needs to start closer to home. If there is hatred and prejudice being taught at your neighbourhood mosque, stop it. Anyone can lead a congregation. Mullahs are not necessary. If there is violence against minorities, against education, against thinking, take a stand.

  13. farooq ali says:

    Like many other national issues terrorism does not need consensus , it has to be defeated at all costs . for example police cannot wait for arrest of a killer till a consensus is developed. It has to be repelled with force regardless of cost. This is also not proper that we all the time label it as taliban oriented in PAKISTAN their are a number of groups involved in this crime perhaps due to our geographical location and free availability of weapons and crippled leadership so instead of consensus what we need is a strong and determined leadership to deal the menace.

  14. Bharat says:

    It is the responsibility of the state to look after it’s people. This includes making sure that all the laws are obeyed, that the land is under the control of it’s government, that there is peace throughout the land.

    The alternative is to let the Taliban take over and they will bring in their own laws, ensure that there is peace, and make sure that no girls are educated.

    That would compare well with India – would it?

  15. Abbas says:

    We have the law but even the law is not enforced. Army including all major political infleuntials break it all the time. Attacking our own country is not the solution but enforcing the law is. It starts with higher ups in Army and politics including media who promoted Talibanism. Unfortunately we always enourage American Agenda as Taliban were part of American Polciy to fight Russia and we are paying price for it. In 80s and 90s newspaper after newspaper were filled with articles in the love of Taliban just now we have for Malala.

  16. Syed says:

    Mujahidins created by Zia-ul-Haq in 1980s to fight against Russians, gradually turned into Talibans in 2000. It was a foolish attempt by the Americans to take over Afghanistan, considering Afghans or the Talibans softened by the Russians, creating “Dram of Osama”. Now it is quite late for them to extricate from this trap and they see their humiliation as that of Vietnam. For this they are forcing Pakistan Army to engage the notorious group i.e. Haqqani Group, so as to save their withdrawal turning into a rout. Pakistan Army has to be very careful while handling this situation. Political set up is absolutely unreliable and untrustworthy. Thus any wrong action taken will turn this battle into Pakistan verses Afghanistan, while the Americans slip out safely.

  17. imtiaz says:

    Not now and never should pakistan be involved in any war for next 50 years in order to become the finest country in the world. Only way to curb extrmisim is Civilism. Build 10 schools if they demolish one. spread love unstead hate. Give people jobs not wars. Terror can never be erdicated with terror. Pakistan already made huge mistake by saysing to Yes to its Masters. Its time to focus on root causes not at the disease. Extremisim is a cancer and it can be only destroyed by addressing the syptoms ( corroupt leaders from left and right parties)

  18. Cyrus Howell says:

    The government fears a civil war if the Army divides over religious practices.
    The Army does not come from the elite class any longer.

  19. khanm says:

    We created this Monster and unfortunately this monster is not in any one’s control…. it is a policy matter. we don’t have a clear vision in domestic or foreign policies… how we are going to deal with this current situation is any one guess but should not be on an ad hoc basis…twenty five years of Talablanizing/ brain washing with extremism will take its tool…
    Let us start a new chapter and stick to our policies for national interest. Not the personnel /international interest

    • Akil Akhtar says:

      No monster can survive without huge amount of funding. Whoever is funding them controls them. Find the money trail and you will find the real terrorist behind them be it another country or an intelligence agency.

  20. irfan says:

    well, its easy to say we should start operation but the reality is war cost. it cost money and most important lives. so i want to ask all these supporting war is ‘who is ready to send their sons, husbands and fathers etc, to fight and invisible enemy in a hostile land? would Zardari, Nawaz, or Altaf send thier son’s? wars also cost us in money therefore the nation should be ready for price hikes, less development and more economic downfall.

    i dont see any success until US, Nato & their allies leaves the region becuase well all know they and regional countries (pakistan, iran & even afghanistan) have conflicting interest. so each side will carry on supporting thier groups.

    the only sucessful example is srilanka, where the tamil tiger where isolated. however, its a most impossible to isolate and round up the TTP due to nature of Pak-Afghan border & thier continuous sopport from across the border, after all mulla fazlullah is in afghanistan.

    so, operation is a huge reponsility, he jawans & officers of our army a professional. they are trained to obey orders, but before asking them to go & die for us, we should make sure 1, is it a just war? and 2, what are chances of sucess? becuase should be able to answer their kids, parents and wife.

  21. Agha Ata says:

    The army must agree to any solution or decision made by the civil government in such an important matter. Remmeber the army still rules directly or indirectly.

  22. MMS says:

    Is there no man with courage and action left in Pakistan? or, all that are left are merchants who believe in enriching themselves in complete disregard. Shame on Pakistan.

  23. Karachi Wala says:

    Before any talk about operation in N Waziristan, Pakistan Govt. and Military must round up extremists supporters in Pakistan. Round up all Pakistan major poitical and religous party Mullahs before anything else. I think it is already too late but, if there is still any hope it has to be done now or else………

  24. Ali Hassan says:

    Its high time action is taken. Suicide bombings, destruction of schools, kidnappings, attacks on activists, polio campaigners and reporters are already there. It has already gone from bad to worse.

    Action, which would be a belated reaction, seems to be the only viable option possible to eliminate or atleast minimize this message.

  25. Haroon says:

    I know many will oppose my proposals but the fact is that until and unless Durand line is removed and all the Pushtoons areas are ruled by one central authority, stamping its authority on all areas in Pushtoon lands would be able to squeeze the extremism in the area because this authority would not be contrain by Durand line. Now the situation is if the extermist are squeezed from side, they move over to the other side to continue their activities. It like a baloon which when pressed from side bulge another end.

Dawn.com on Facebook

dawn.com on Facebook