OP SHAKARDARRA ( TEH MATTA) – SHORTCOMINGS
AND REMIDIAL MEASURES
Terrorism has haunted human kind for centuries on infinite occasions but recently the menace of terrorism has engulfed the entire world. Pakistan, being no exception, suffered the hardest blows at the hands of mscts in the recent past. Pakistan Army, in order to curtail and end this evil, embarked upon various ops in tribal belt in the early part of yr 2003. The next couple of yrs saw Pakistan Armed forces entering Valley of Swat to restore the writ of the Govt and to improve upon the sit of law and order. This wide rg of mil campaigns under unconventional envmts was termed as OP AL- MIZAN. Difficulty in undergoing unconventional ops, without any regular trg of tps, amounted to the slow progression of OP AL- MIZAN. Op conducted in Swat was later termed as OP RAH-I-HAQ as a part of OP Al Mizan.
The hold and con of mscts in Swat Valley can be well imagined by the very event in which they overrun a police sta in Matta, a town of pol imp, and renamed it “Taliban Sta Matta”. This particular event augmented by many other acts of terrorism by mscts in Swat led to not only the degradation of image of Govt but also the Armed forces. First to enter the area was 17 Inf Div. Major ops conducted by this Div incl OP MTN WIPPER, recapture of Police Sta Matta and capture of Najia top which overlooks the river Swat. During the month of Dec 2008 this Div was replaced by 37 inf Div. Initially the pace of ops and progress made by Army was slow and the pt reached when Provincial Govt cut a PEACE DEAL with mscts. On being proved unfruitful due to violation of the treaty by mscts, a new op was launched in Swat termed as OP RAH-I-RAAST which aimed at resuming offn against mscts but with new sprit. This op achieved great success and within a 2 months of fierce fighting Valley of Swat was cleared.
Before op Rah-i- Raast, main prob was the clearance of MSR till 313 Bde which was present in area Shalpalam with one Bn (29 AK) at Shalpalam along with Bde HQ, one (16 BR) at Sarbanda and Wannai and the third (16 PR) in Durushkhela. To achieve linkup between 313 Bde and 107 Bde loc in south at Kanju, OP Shakardara was planned as a first step. The main aim of the op was the sanitation of vill Shakardarra which was a strong hold of mscts and threatened the the rd Mingora-Matta. I reported to 313 Bde HQ as OC 277 Bde Sig Coy on 12 Dec 08 and was a part of planning and a witness to OP Shakardarra which was conducted on 22 Dec 08.
To identify and analyze the highlights of OP Shakardarra and draw pertinent lesson out of it with the view to recommend viable solutions.
Op Shakardarra was the first maj op conducted by 313 Bde and it was the first effort to clear the MSR. Salients of the op are as fol.
Back Gr. Op Shakkardarra was planned to clear a strong pocket of resistance which threatened MSR between 107 Bde and 313 bde. This Op was preceded by the infil of 29 AK from Saidu Airport to Shalpalam by adopting a ridge line apch i-e Najia-Usmani Sar- Bauro Sar – Shalpalam on 16 Dec 08 as shown in Anx p. Within few days of its arrival, unit was tasked participate in the op as a maj unit. Op plans were finalized and coords at all level were done. A great deal of deliberation was required to identify the degree of threat and to estimate correct no of Mscts present in the area. To achieve that aerial recce were done and detailed reports were sought from int resources. Main msct comd of the area were Abu Turab and Iqbal. Units who participated in the op are as under.
29 AK Regt.
Coy ex 16 Punjab Regt.
Coy ex 63 FF Regt.
Coy ex 14 NLI (107 Bde).
Bty ex 78 Fd Regt Arty.
Gunship Heli .
Msn. Clear area Shakardarra of Mscts in order to secure MSR by last lt 22 Dec 08
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