What was the couple doing in Afghanistan? And why did it take so many years for the US to get them released? Why couldn’t their release been negotiated earlier, when there were other individuals who got to walk free? Given the fact, the couple have children, shouldn’t they been the priority for the Afghan, American and Canadian governments? Finally, was there a military operation in the Pakistani soil, or they were released after a settlement between Pakistani agencies and the Huqqanis?
While the Sunni militants have been gunning for control in Parachinar, unfortunately, the State – both the military and political establishments pursued an Ostrich approach. Both explained the problem in Parachinar as that of “terrorism” and blamed others. The political establishment, even today lives in a state of ignorance; it is unfortunate, that even today, none from the political leadership has visited Parachinar.
Islamic State in the region may be a smaller group when compared to the Taliban. But should the size matter, when fighting a militant group? Does the strength of matter while confronting a virulent ideology that is targeting the fundamental fabric of our society?
Three issues/questions are pertinent in this context: is the Daesh, with its base in Syria and Iraq is looking for new recruits and regions, or are the individuals and groups in South Asia see the IS as an opportunity and using its banner as an IS franchisee? Second, what circumstances in South Asia enable our youths to get influenced by the IS? Third, is the region helpless in addressing the IS threat, or, are there certain inherent strengths in our society to fight radical groups and ideologies?
Now having initiated an action against the individuals and organisations associated with Hafiz Saeed, will Pakistan follow it through? Or, will this witness what happened previously – house arrest, court case, dreadful investigation and insufficient proof leading to Hafeez getting a clean legal chit?
Though the sectarian divide was inherent in Kurram, it was managed by the Shia and Sunni tribesmen until 2007. The entry of Huqqani network from Afghanistan and the sectarian militants from Punjab has transformed the faultline and increased the nature, intensity and intervals of sectarian violence within Kurram...Sectarian violence will continue in Kurram, unless the political and military leadership move and take charge.