Pakistan winning war against terrorism: British magazine

DEC 29 – Pakistan is making impressive strides in its war against terrorism leading to a significant drop in violence during the last three years, a British magazine said on Thursday.

The report published by The Spectator noted that operation Zarb-e-Azb and the operation in Karachi had led to Pakistan being safer today than ever since the US-led 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

“Violence has not just dropped a bit. It is down by three quarters in the last two years. The country is safer than at any point since George W. Bush launched his war on terror 15 years ago,” it said.

The report attributed the significant change to a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in September 2013, in which the premier made the historic move of calling an end terrorism and militant havens in the country’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

The country’s main economic hub, Karachi was plagued by incidents of violence and remained a war zone for years, the report said. All the major political parties had militant wings and had links with terrorist groups including Al Qaeda, it stated.

The report contended that the change of ground situation took place when PM Nawaz handed over the responsibility of curbing violence in Karachi to the Rangers paramilitary force.

“In 2013 there were 2,789 killings in Karachi. In the first 11 months of 2016 there were 592. In 2013 there were 51 terrorist bomb blasts. Up to late November this year, there were two,” it said.

The report said that there were 78 cases of kidnappings reported in Karachi in 2013. In 2014, there was a temporary rise of 110, although two years later, the number of kidnappings dropped to only 19 abductions in the port city.

Karachi was the world’s sixth most dangerous city three years ago, according to the Numbeo international crime index. Now the city ranks at 31 spot and is likely to go lower on the list, said the report by The Spectator.