Since gaining independence in 1947, Pakistan has faced many challenges. It’s faced not only the trauma of colonial occupier but the mass killings of people migrating to the new state. At the same time, economic instability and lack of resources hampered the growth of Pakistan. In recent years, due to political instability, the country has been challenged with the menace of terrorism.
The Soviet-Afghan war, which started in 1979, provided roots to the terrorism in the country. It forced the region into violence and weaponization, plaguing it with so-called ‘Talibanisation’ and terrorism. Pakistan has been fighting the war on terrorism ever since.
In the wake of the war on terror, Pakistan became the major frontier in combating terrorism. It costs the state a loss of almost 70,000 people in the terrorist attacks and economic loss of around $126 billion, till 2018. It costs, perhaps, more than the overall price of all the country’s wars with India combined. No other country, including the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, can claim such a huge loss in both human and economic terms.
In 2009, when Fazlullah made the Swat region into a state inside the state, operation Rah-e-Rast was launched. In the same year, a terrorist attack on GHQ on Oct. 10, led to operation Rah-e-Nijat in Waziristan. Operation Zarb-e-Azb, launched June 15 in North Waziristan, was not only the biggest operation to combat terrorism but also provided a strong base of operation in Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The joint efforts of the government and the military to combat terrorism have resulted in peace in the region. Counterterrorism operations, indeed, have improved the overall sustainability and security of the country. However, the dangerous agendas of enemies, against this nuclear state still impose a serious threat to the country’s political and economic stability. In such a situation, it is vital for the government to hold fair elections and for military forces to ensure smooth functioning of law and order.