Less than twenty four hours after the official statement of the Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, that the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s (PTI) government in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has decided in principle to request the army to withdraw from the Malakand Division, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Swat, Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi is martyred.
Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi was on the official tour of a forward post along the porous and volatile Pak-Afghan border when his vehicle was blown to countless pieces by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) triggered by a remote control.
Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi was killed on the spot along with his two companions, Lt. Colonel Tauseef and sepoy Irfan Sattar.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) through its spokesman has claimed responsibility for the bomb explosion killing the Major General Sanaullah Khan. Posted in March 2008, as GOC Swat, he was the man responsible to weed out the TTP menace from the Malakand Division.
In the last couple of months in order to give boost to the almost dead tourism and related hotel industry, he planned and successfully held a number of cultural activities, including the Ski Festival, a golf tournament, the Summer Festival for the families and the Summer Gala for student sportsmen from all over the country among many others.
He also directed the civic authorities to repair the ramshackled road to Kalam, a premier tourist destination, before the start of the summer season.
All these developmental activities were aimed basically at generating employment which he believed to be the main cause of poverty which in turn supplemented militancy as the TTP recruited these angry unemployed young men to their anti-social cause.
This bombing clearly demonstrates that the situation though not as bad as in the years 2007 – 2009, still in not entirely satisfactory or in the control of the police, frontier constabulary (FC) and the army; to hand over control back to the civilians at this juncture would jeopardize the fragile peace of the Malakand Division and in fact mean nothing short of handing the reins of power back into the hands of the militants.
This martyrdom also proves that Imran Khan and his party PTI’s approach (read the post “PTI versus TTP”) is completely ill founded, ill -advised and immature. He is living in a fools paradise, if he still thinks that the the only way forward is to bring the TTP to table and to reason with them to stop.
In fact it is high time that he and his party rethink their strategy of engaging the Taliban, because the only language they seem to understand is that of blood, gore and violence.
Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi, remained a true and brave soldier till his last breath and Allah granted him the singular honor in martyrdom. It is the firm belief of the Muslims that a martyr (shaheed) never dies but is granted everlasting life in Paradise or to use the proper Arabic word Jannat.
On our part the entire nation should firmly stand behind the bereaved family in order to give them hope and the strength to withstand the loss of a loved one, and pray that may Allah rest the brave soul of the Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi in peace. Amen.
by: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada