By Khalid Muhammad

Pakistan‬ must focus on their internal matters and countering terrorism/extremism. We have done that with great success since the start of the Zarb-e-Azb‬ operation.

We will have many proxies trying to pull our attention away from Baluchistan‬, ‪‎FATA‬, Karachi‬ and southern ‪‎Punjab‬. But we will not lose focus.

I would initiate bombing runs into Afghanistan‬, since the Afghan Army‬ and the ISAF forces seem to be unable to counter the ‪‎terrorist‬ networks growth. The ‪‎PAF‬ would be targeting the ‪‎TTP‬ hideouts in Nuristan and the Daesh‬ safe havens in northern Afghanistan. Additional targets would be identified and neutralized to assure that there is no chance of a terrorist threat from our neighboring country.

I would also send the ‪‎Pakistan Army‬ to the Afghan‬ border to keep any wayward fighters from crossing back into Pakistan when the bombing starts.

You will recall that immediately after the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar‬, a military contingent of General Raheel Sharif and Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar made a trip to Kabul‬ to notify the Afghan government that if they didn’t sort out the terrorist safe havens on their side of the border, Pakistan would do it themselves. It’s time to put that statement into practice.

Does that mean we are declaring war on Afghanistan? No. It means that we are doing what is best for the national security of Pakistan. Additionally, it will prove to the world that Afghanistan itself isn’t serious about ending it’s long-term association with terrorist groups. Remember ‪Al-Qaeda‬ was in Afghanistan, not Pakistan. Now, Daesh is in Afghanistan, not Pakistan.

The secondary advantage is that it will silence everyone in Kabul. It’s very difficult to face the international community and blame Pakistan when we take out the terrorist safe havens that they are unable to touch in their own country.

What will the international community think? Who cares. Our primary focus, as is the primary focus of any nation, is the protection and security of our borders and people. When we take action against them, we will be continuing the dynamic that started with Zarb-e-Azb.

Will this set a precedent for India to come across the Pakistan border? No. India would be foolish to attempt any action inside Pakistan. Tensions are already very high between both countries on the Line of Control‬ and any move from ‪‎New Delhi‬ to attack Pakistan would be seen as an aggressive move and counter-productive to their attempts at censoring Pakistan, which ‪‎China‬ and ‪‎Russia‬ have regularly blocked in the United Nations. The world won’t allow another potential nuclear conflict between ‪‎India‬ and Pakistan, much like the one that was created during the Kargil operation.

Internally, I would take the chain off the Pakistan Army and let them move with full force against anyone who supports terrorists or extremists. We are already seeing the ramp up of military operations around the country from the Shawal Valley to Karachi, from Baluchistan to southern Punjab. I would ramp up the operations and give the green light to take anyone into custody that is a financier, supporter, apologist or spokesman for the terrorists, including members of political parties.

If the world would like to sanction Pakistan for its acts in defending our homeland, they are welcome to do so. It may mean that we will only be able to buy Pakistani products, but it will also mean that our forex will not be wasted on paying for imports that don’t improve the lives of Pakistanis as a whole and our own products will improve in quality.

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