The ongoing military operation ‘Raddul-Fasaad’, launched in February 2017 year, has not only led to peace and stability but also greatly helped Pakistan in mainstreaming erstwhile FATA on western border by merging it with Khyber Pakhtunkhewa.
Apart from these milestones of Raddul Fassad, it also paved way for opening of Kartarpur corridor on eastern border which country’s leading defence analysts believed is a remarkable tactical move with strategic implications.
These dividends have been achieved in a short span of one year making Pakistan an ideal destination for investment with the aim to accelerate process of socio-economic development in the country, the ultimate objective of the ongoing military operation.
Background discussions with security officials and defence analysts suggest that the merger of erstwhile FATA with Khyber Pakhtunkhewa was a most critical phase of the operation because the hostile intelligence agencies were hell bent to sabotage the process.
These hostile intelligence agencies were trying to create chaos by using the local population for their nefarious designs. The entire population was divided with youth wanting merger while elders were opposing them.
Realising gravity of the situation, the Pakistan Army launched efforts to engage local population and eventually succeeded in foiling the design of the hostile intelligence agencies.
As regards the ongoing fencing of 2611 kilometres of along Pak-Afghan border which is scheduled to be completed in 2020, the first critical phase of fencing of over 539 kilometers was to be completed by the end of year 2018 out of which 462 kilometers have been done while the remaining will be completed in few days.
“Pak-Afghan border is a reality and it has changed paradigm of illegal border crossing,” a senior security official said.
The data available with The Nation revealed that so far 643 kilometers fencing on border including 462 kilometers in KP and 181 kilometers in Balochistan has been completed.
Moreover, a total of 843 border posts were planned out of which 233 have been completed while construction of 140 posts is underway.
Despite non-cooperation from Afghan authorities in effective border management, Pakistan has placed effective physical and technical surveillance of border making the illegal border crossing impossible.
As regards socio-economic development, in Fata 816 projects were executed in the overall ambit of Rs 78 billion (US $709 million) since 2009, while major development projects including Gwadar Desalination Plant, Road Turbat – Bule, Cadet College Awaran, NUST Campus Quetta and Cadet College Gwadar in Balochistan province are underway.
According to the operational details of Ruddul Fassad, some 75894 Intelligence Based Operations and Combing Operations have been conducted since February 22, 2017. In 2018 as many as 45764 operations were conducted.
The impact of the operation Ruddul Fassad has been phenomenal in terms of decrease in incidents of terrorism, almost 99 percent reduction from 330 incidents in 2013 to only 2 in 2018.
While the overall trend shows reduction in target killings up to 97 per cent (from 1762 in 2003 to 5 in 2018), extortion cases reduced up to 96 per cent (from 2113 in 2003 to 7 in 2018) and kidnapping cases decreased up to 93 per cent (from 303 in 2003 to 27 in 2018).
Also, there has been massive reduction in violence trend of civilian casualties from 140 in 2003 to 80 casualties in 2018.
On the other hand, there has been a massive surge in ceasefire violation was observed from 2014 to 2018 that is 315 to 2933. Similarly, number of casualties also swelled from 2014 to 2018 that is 107 (20 martyred and 87 injured) to 355 (55 martyred and 300 injured). Number of terrorist incidents per month reduced from 8 (average) in 2013 to 1-2 in 2017 and 2018.
“Timely merger of FATA has helped in averting major fault line the hostile intelligence agencies wished to create to destabilise Pakistan”, remarked one of the leading defence analysts of the country Lt. Gen (retd) Talat Masood.
He was of the view that the fencing on Pak-Afghan border has put an end to the blame game on Pakistan and the mantra of some powers asking Pakistan ‘to do more’.
Gen. Masood was, however, critical to the political dispensation for slow paced follow-up efforts to expedite the political and development processes in the merged districts.
Credit goes to the Pakistan Army for undertaking remarkable development work it had carried out in the region from its meagre resources, and local population is benefitting from the socio-economic development done by Pakistan Army.
Commenting on the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, Gen Masood also said that it was a remarkable tactical move with strategic implications.
Published in Daily Nation (December 31st, 2018)