“It’s déjà vu all over again!” — Yogi Berra
A couple of days ago I saw this headline and had a sense of déjà vu and I laughed out loud:
Sept 01, 2011: Army claims 80 per cent of Mohmand cleared
Then today, early in the morning, I saw this headline staring at me:
Sept 03, 2011: 85pc of Mohmand Agency cleared: corps commander
PESHAWAR: Corps Commander Peshawar Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik has said that most of Mohmand Agency had been cleared of militants and terrorists after the successful military operation restored the writ of the government there.
Talking to journalists at Mamadgat in Mohmand Agency, he said, the army had reclaimed 80 to 85 percent area of Mohmand Agency after the successful military operation Brekhna (lightning) in which 72 soldiers, including three officers, embraced martyrdom and around 150 other soldiers were injured.
The corps commander said that the major action in Mohmand Agency had been completed and now only search and cordon operation was being carried out in a few pockets….
And I went “Wow! Kiyani’s ‘men’ have managed to clear 5% of Mohmand in only TWO DAYS so we should be 100% clear in another six! Man these ‘guys’ are good!!!“
Of course I was being cynical.
Let me not say another thing and let the headlines/timeline do the talking:
- Sept 16, 2009: 80pc of Mohmand Agency cleared
- Jan 5, 2010: 80 per cent of Mohmand Agency cleared, say Army sources
- In early 2010, the Pakistani military claimed they had cleared Mohmand Agency in FATA. These claims were undermined by Taliban-led attacks in the agency as early as July 2010, which killed over 100 civilians. The Taliban once again controlled the Mohmand agency in 2011, which forced the Pakistan military to again conduct major operations there in February 2011. These operations displaced 25,000 people.
- Aug 2010: Army claims 80 per cent of Mohmand cleared
- Feb 2011: Pakistani Military Steps It Up In Mohmand Agency – 22,000 Civilians Clear the Hell Out
- Feb 16, 2011: 90pc area of Mohmand Agency cleared of militants: Pakistan Army
- April 22, 2011: Phase II for Operation Brekhna Launched in Mohmand Agency
- May 2011: Peace returns to Mohmand Agency
- July 16, 2011: Over 1,500 militants surrender in Mohmand Agency
You know what is even funnier? Here are two pics released by ISPR on the Mohmand Agency operations:
Yes, it’s déjà vu all over again!, eh Yogi!
(P.S. Looking at this last picture, ask yourself “Are these ladies wearing ‘burqas’ because the bad old Taliban forced them to?”)