KARACHI (TIP): Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, arguably the most powerful man in Pakistan, tweeted on Wednesday, “Asked PM Nawaz Sharif to hang all terrorists. More than 3,000 terrorists should be hanged in next 48 hours.” A day later, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s commander Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi was out on bail.
Gen Sharif, who has frontally taken on the Taliban, is credited to have changed the army’s approach towards extremist groups, from one of using them as allies — as “strategic assets” against “enemies” like India — to launching an uncompromising offensive against them.
Gen Sharif’s Twitter profile makes for interesting reading. Overcome by the sheer horror of the Peshawar attack, he announced, “Enough is enough, now strict action should be taken against those who speak in favour of terrorists.” Even as his soldiers were battling the terrorists in the school, Gen Sharif announced on Twitter that the army “has launched massive air strikes in Khyber on the intelligence reports. More than 10 air strikes have been carried out in last 1 hour.”
Threatening strong retribution against Taliban, Sharief tweeted,
“#PakArmy will come at you #Taliban & will destroy you. And they will not target women & children. They are not coward like you.” Promising to go after terrorists, Sharief asked for popular support. “Dear people of #Pakistan stand & support #PakArmy in ops #ZarbeAzb & #Khyber1 & We will surly eliminate #TTP from our homeland InshaAllah!”
Both these military campaigns in North Waziristan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were launched without political approval.
In another tweet, Gen Sharif threatened Tehrik-i-Taliban, saying,
“Message to TTP. You kill our child. Now you will see the deadly consequences and (be) ready to pay the price. Pak Army will revenge (sic) each & every single drop of blood of little departed angels. It’s my promise.”