Pakistani Army Seeks to Eliminate Terrorism with Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad

The Pakistani Army launched Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad on February 22, which “aim[s] at indiscriminately eliminating the ‘residual/latent threat of terrorism,’ consolidating the gains made in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan's borders.” The name of the operation translates roughly to “elimination of discord” and seeks to once and for all end the dangers of terrorism and extremism in Pakistan.

The government plans to continue already existing counter-terrorism operations, as well as increase measures against illegal weapons. The Pakistani Army will also focus on controlling the presence of explosive devices throughout the country. On a more local scale, Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad also deploys the 2,000 rangers to the Punjab region, per the request of the Punjabi state government, to conduct counterintelligence missions against militant groups operating in the state. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told the press that his office made the decision to launch this operation.

In addition, the operation aims to increase border security, with a particular focus on the border with Afghanistan instead of the Line of Control in Kashmir. Sharif stated on February 23 that “we do not want Afghan soil to be used against Pakistan but unfortunately it is being used,” adding that the Pakistani government presented their grievances to the Afghan government. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also informed the Senate that Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad empowers the army to cross the border into Afghanistan if there is “concrete evidence that Afghan soil had been used to launch recent attacks in the country.”

News sources already accredited the prevention of a terrorist plot to the operation. Near Loralai, Balochistan, intelligence officers and the Frontier Corps foiled a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan operation, confiscating 23 explosive devices. Reports claim that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan intended to use these bombs on local law enforcement and university students.

In the past, the Pakistani government has struggled with insurgency, but it recently gained the upper hand over these extremist groups. Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad stands as a viable path for Pakistan to end its struggle against terrorism and focus on other issues facing the South Asian state.