After three days of unprecedented attacks on the two camps of Pakistani security forces in restive Balochistan, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa finally reached the spot to boost the morale of their forces.
“All those soldiers who sacrificed their lives have a special place in heaven. It is an honour for the Muslims when they lay down their lives for their country,” Express Tribune reported Khan as saying while addressing the troops at Naushki army base camp on Tuesday. Khan said that the martyrs have the second-highest place after the Prophets.
“Our troops are waging a jihad against the terrorists,” Khan said.
A Peshawar-based Pakistani journalist said, “There’s nothing to hail. Both civilian and military leadership are at fault here. Had Imran Khan sat down to talk with Baloch leaders instead of Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) the situation would not have spun out of control. But now he is talking like a terrorist leader who promises 72 hoors and jannat to suicide bombers.”
Interestingly army chief General Bajwa who was with Khan did not make any statement.
According to Pakistani experts, the on-going rift between Bajwa and Khan was quite evident during this visit. Apart from interfering into his “domain”, Khan’s hobnobbing with extremist and terrorist organisations have irked Bajwa who wants to keep his army away from religious fanaticism.
“Bajwa is down and shaken at the moment because of these attacks on his forces. He is worried about the security of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects in Balochistan,” says a Pakistani watcher.
While details of the simultaneous attacks in Panjgur and Naushki remain hazy, the Pakistani security establishment is taken aback by the growing capacity of the Baloch militants to launch high-profile attacks.
For Bajwa, the major challenge is how to deal with the two different kinds of attacks from Baloch and TTP militants in strategically located areas.
Last week, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid had told the media that there has been a 35 per cent increase in terrorist attacks over the last few months. He underlined an Afghan Taliban connection in intensifying attacks.
Meanwhile, in the latest bid to oust the Imran Khan government, two major political parties Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim Legue (PML-N) have decided to come together and join hands with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (MDM) which has given Imran Khan to resign by March 23. They are in touch with the allies of the Khan’s government as well as his disgruntled members of parliament.
It is being said that General Bajwa is in touch with Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif ali Zardari.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)