This article was also published at Command Eleven.
For years Pakistan has been told by the governments in Washington DC to “do more” against terrorism. But the fact is Pakistan HAS done more, and sacrificed the most, than any other US ally in the fight against terrorism. While there have been constant attempts by New Delhi and Kabul to undermine these successes by continuing to wage terrorism in Pakistan from Afghan soil while employing their assets in media for systematic disinformation, anyone who wants to witness these successes with their own eyes can visit Pakistan and do so. More recently, Sir General John Nicholson, a delegation of US politicians including Lindsay Graham and John McCain, and a Russian Army delegation separately visited Pakistan and acknowledged Pakistan’s successes against terrorism. Beijing, being Pakistan’s closest ally as well as a neighbor, is already aware of Pakistan’s successes and has acknowledged them publicly, repeatedly.
Pakistan recently launched its new anti-ISIS terrorist Operation Khyber-4 as part of the bigger Operation Rudd-ul-Fasaad. Operation Khyber-4 focuses on eliminating ISIS presence from near Pak-Afghan border. The Rajgal Valley, to be more precise. This area is one of main terrorist routes that has been posing a threat to Pakistan’s security for some time now. The takeover of Tora Bora, which is just across the area that is the focus of Operation Khyber-4, by ISIS-Khorasan fighters proved to be the final nail in the coffin. Pak Army decided to act and launched this operation to tackle this threat before it escalates. Two of the best combat units of Pak Army as well as SSG commandos were deployed to take part in this operation. In days, Pakistan was able to announce major strategic victories, including the capture of the strategic top of Brekh.
Twitter thread on Operation Khyber-4:
Now latest reports suggest ISIS-K fighters are on the run towards Afghanistan, which indicates they see Afghanistan as a safe haven. Indeed, several recent reports have suggested that ISIS-K is being quietly supported by elements within Afghan establishment. Besides statements by Russian Foreign Ministry and Afghan MPs indicating US may be helping ISIS-K, there has also been a US surveillance aircraft flying over the area believed to be infested by ISIS-K. Perhaps someone should check if that aircraft is still there.
Regardless of who exactly is supporting ISIS-K in Afghanistan, it is important for Pakistan to take matters into its own hands. While Pakistan has conveyed it to Resolute Support (RS) mission as well as Afghan Army about the anti-ISIS Operation Khyber-4 and requested that they act on the other side of the border, there’s no evidence to suggest that it is happening. DG ISPR said in his last press conference that RS mission and Afghans had not sent forces across the border to make sure ISIS-K fighters don’t flee into Afghanistan. My own assessment says RS and Kabul are not going to help Pakistan a lot in Pakistan’s fight against ISIS-K. Among the major reasons for that is the fact that US doesn’t officially consider ISIS-K as a bigger threat than Afghan Taliban whereas Kabul regime secretly sees ISIS-K as a necessary evil required to keep Afghan Taliban busy. In short, Pakistan shouldn’t expect much from either RS mission or Kabul in the fight against ISIS.
As Pakistan goes after terrorists and as terrorists once again flee into the global safe haven of terrorists known as Afghanistan, there’s only one question left:
Who is doing more and who is doing less?
Pakistan is kicking terrorist ass, and winning.
When will US start doing more?