The South Asia Channel

No more peace deals

The key lesson from the Faisal Shahzad case so far is that Pakistan severely needs to address the fact that the country has become a convenient go-to place for anyone who has the slightest desire to turn toward militancy. Whether it’s the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad, or any of the other groups operating in south Punjab ...

The key lesson from the Faisal Shahzad case so far is that Pakistan severely needs to address the fact that the country has become a convenient go-to place for anyone who has the slightest desire to turn toward militancy. Whether it's the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad, or any of the other groups operating in south Punjab and Waziristan, Pakistan needs to address these problems now. (However, we should still be cautious before jumping to conclusions about whether these groups were actually involved.) Pakistan is lucky that the United States after 9/11 and India after Mumbai did not bomb the country into oblivion. But at some point, some country that is the target of an attack by a terrorist group that was trained in or received support from Pakistan will react.

Jumping into another immediate military offensive might not be the best idea, however, given that there are still problems in the areas that were supposedly cleared, and the ramifications of the refugee crises created by operations in Swat and South Waziristan still linger, but Pakistan needs to move toward serious military action. Creating more truces and "peace deals" with militants in North Waziristan will only plug the hole in the dam for so long.

Saba Imtiaz works for the Express Tribune, an English-language newspaper in Pakistan.

The key lesson from the Faisal Shahzad case so far is that Pakistan severely needs to address the fact that the country has become a convenient go-to place for anyone who has the slightest desire to turn toward militancy. Whether it’s the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad, or any of the other groups operating in south Punjab and Waziristan, Pakistan needs to address these problems now. (However, we should still be cautious before jumping to conclusions about whether these groups were actually involved.) Pakistan is lucky that the United States after 9/11 and India after Mumbai did not bomb the country into oblivion. But at some point, some country that is the target of an attack by a terrorist group that was trained in or received support from Pakistan will react.

Jumping into another immediate military offensive might not be the best idea, however, given that there are still problems in the areas that were supposedly cleared, and the ramifications of the refugee crises created by operations in Swat and South Waziristan still linger, but Pakistan needs to move toward serious military action. Creating more truces and "peace deals" with militants in North Waziristan will only plug the hole in the dam for so long.

Saba Imtiaz works for the Express Tribune, an English-language newspaper in Pakistan.

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