Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad: A Journey towards Sustainable Peace

The sacrifices and tireless efforts of Pakistan’s security forces and law enforcement agencies and the resilience of the Pakistani nation have established peace and stability across Pakistan

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Pakistan and its Pakistan Armed Forces have achieved what the other nation-states could not accomplish against the non-traditional security threats particularly the menace of terrorism in the contemporary world. Despite the fact that terrorism inflicted countless wounds on all the segments of society in a way that over 80,000 people lost their lives and the economic losses are more than 125 billion USD, but the resilient nation and the brave sons of the soil have fought fearlessly and succeeded in their struggle against terrorism and extremism. Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad is not only the final nail in the coffin for terrorism and extremism but also a journey of Pakistan towards sustainable peace.

Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was launched on 22nd February in 2017 under the leadership and supervision of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa. Pakistan Armed Forces have carried out several operations in the last two decades to fight against the terrorists but Rad-ul-Fasaad is different from all the other operations as this operation is not area-specific and also is not restricted to counter-terrorism only. Counter-terrorism and violent extremism are the two agendas of this operation with the aim to achieve peace, normalcy, and stability across Pakistan.

Recently, the operation has completed its four years and in these four years, Pakistan’s armed forces and law enforcement agencies along with the nation have achieved great success in the pursuit of a two-pronged strategy, counter-terrorism, and violent extremism. To counter terrorism, thousands of intelligence-based operations have been launched which resulted in killings of terrorists, fencing on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and Pakistan-Iran Border is being done at a good pace, the capacity of security forces is being enhanced and better border management systems are being installed. Paigham-e-Pakistan has also contributed significantly to counter-terrorism and extremist ideologies.

As far as the specific details of this operation are concerned, the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Police, Military Intelligence (MI), Frontier Corps (FC), and Rangers have played a central role to eliminate terrorism. Under this operation, more than 375,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs) have been carried out so far which neutralized the threats. Major IBOs included clearance operations at Gwadar PC hotel, the Chinese consulate in Karachi, Agriculture University Peshawar, and Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi.

Moreover, over 5000 threat alerts were issued and most of them were neutralized before their materialization. During Radd-ul-Fasaad, Operation Khyber-IV was launched to clear Rajgal Valley and the secure border area with Afghanistan, and Operation at Dwa Toi was also carried out to clear the most inhospitable and difficult terrain in North Waziristan. In these operations, the writ of the state was re-established in an area of over 750 square kilometers. With regard to de-weaponization and explosive control, under Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, more than 72,000 illegal weapons and over 5.0 M ammo have been recovered, so far. In the operations, which have been carried out under Radd-ul-Fasaad, 353 terrorists have been sent to hell in these four years and hundreds of terrorists have been arrested by Security Forces.

Capacity Enhancement has also been an important part of this operation. In the four years, 58 new wings of the FC have been established. Security Forces have trained 37428 policemen in four years and presently, 4000 policemen are being trained who will be sent to Tribal Areas in the next six months. Adding more to it, Pakistan Army has trained 3865 personnel from Balochistan Levies and 3500 personnel are also being trained in this year.

Border Management Issue has been and still a core issue in the way to end terrorism and establish sustainable peace. To resolve this issue, Pakistan Army-led fencing of the Pak-Afghan border and Pak-Iran border is underway. Pakistan has completed 84% of fencing at the Afghan border and 43% at the Iran border, so far. 497 posts/terminals have also been constructed alongside the western border. Furthermore, at Chaman and Torkham, Integrated Transit Trade Management Systems are being installed which would be active in the next two years.

The terrorists have been either expelled or killed by the security forces but the improvised explosives devices (IEDs) and landmines left by them continued to endanger the lives of the people and security forces. The efforts of demining accelerated in 2017 and 58% of the total area has been cleared and more than 48,000 mines have been recovered so far. Around 450 check posts were established in the area to support operations, now as 96% of the Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) have been returned back to their homes, these posts have also reduced to 250. The purpose of these remaining posts is to provide security to the people.

Terrorists can be eliminated with the powerful force but the ideology is countered with a superior ideology. To counter the violent extremism and terrorism, Paigham-e-Pakistan was launched. Paigham-i-Pakistan is a document and fatwa signed by 1,829 religious scholars — belonging to nearly all mainstream sects in the country — that declares several actions un-Islamic such as suicide attacks against the state, spreading sectarianism and anarchy in the name of religion, and issuing a call to jihad without the consent of the state. These are the results of this two-pronged strategy of counter-extremism and violent extremism that more than 1200 sub-nationalists surrendered and joined the path of peace in these four years. Moreover, more than 5000 people, who were once following extremist ideologies, have also been reintegrated into society.

The sacrifices and tireless efforts of Pakistan’s security forces and law enforcement agencies and the resilience of the Pakistani nation have established peace and stability across Pakistan. Karachi was at 6th on International Crime Index and now it is at 106th position, this significant positive change being witnessed across the country. The Tribal Areas of Pakistan were facing the worst kind of terrorism, now 831 development programs of worth 31 billion are underway. Apart from CPEC, several mega projects are going-on in Balochistan under the government’s “Vision Balochistan”.

Pakistan has succeeded to defeat terrorism and now has become an epicenter of tourism in the world. Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad has significantly and decisively contributed to achieving sustainable peace and stability across the country. The transformation of Pakistan from terrorism to tourism has been acknowledged by the international community. The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during his visit to Pakistan, stated that Pakistan’s transformation from terrorism to tourism is absolutely remarkable. The journey from terrorism to tourism is another glaring example to prove the claim that Pakistan has always achieved what is impossible.

 

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