Pakistan's Army Facing Biggest Crisis Since 2014

A raid on the Pakistan Air Force's Mianwali training air base, and an attack on an army convoy in Gwadar has put Pakistan's Army in a difficult predicament
Pakistan Air Force cadets
Pakistan Air Force cadetsSabir Mazhar/Getty Images

Following a string of high-profile raids and attacks on military installations, the Pakistani Army is currently experiencing its biggest crisis since Operation Zarb-e-Azb, which marked the beginning of its heaviest campaign on terrorist organizations in 2014, according to a report by ET.

The two strikes last week—a raid on the Pakistan Air Force's Mianwali training air base that destroyed some equipment and an attack on an army convoy in Gwadar that claimed the lives of fourteen soldiers—are indicative of the year that has been extremely trying.

The fact that the Pakistani Army conducted a significant crackdown on a network of militant groups in 2014, notably Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), is what makes the casualties this year particularly noticeable. But there hasn't been any of that this year.

The Pakistani Army has also had to deal with the fury of political demonstrators who, following the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, damaged a number of sites and even set fire to the Lahore Corps Commander's home.

The Taliban's presence in Afghanistan and its covert assistance for militant organizations operating along the border is thought to be a contributing factor in some of the bloodshed.

"TTP has been empowered by support from a resurgent Afghan Taliban. It is receiving support, possibly even arms, from the Kandahar faction of the Taliban that is perhaps looking to create a long-term military buffer against the Haqqani faction. The current cycle of violence against security forces in Pakistan is a reflection of this play," Kabir Taneja of the Observer Research Foundation told ET.

"This escalation can be attributed to the resurgence of Noor Wali Mehsud, leading more than 30 local factions from Swat and Waziristan to pledge allegiance to him. This has seen TTP slowly regain the strength it once enjoyed during the pre-Zarb-e-Azb era," Lt Gen Abhay Krishna (retd), who has commanded the South Western, Eastern and Central Commands of the Indian Army told ET.

He stated that the Taliban in Afghanistan is in a difficult situation because taking action against the TTP could lead to the group joining forces with ISIS and other factions. On the other hand, if they do not take any action, Pakistan may carry out a military operation to target the border regions.

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