Mauna Gauhar

Ten weeks have passed since the children of the nation gave their lives to wake up the rulers to do something about the biggest threat to the survival of the ordinary man.

To Pakistan, 16th December is like what 9/11 was to USA. Will Pakistan respond to the terrorist attacks the way US responded to 9/11? The rage experienced by the nation earlier is slowly being replaced by the despondency as the public pressure built in this regard has been tackled by the apparent interest of the prime minister. Although the nation wants nothing short of elimination of this menace, planning and tackling the issue by the authorities is a huge challenge. Mere army operation and allocation of some funds in this regard are not going to solve the problem. Neither slogan such as “we won’t rest until we eliminate terrorism” will create a miraculous cure unless details regarding the ‘HOW’ factor are deliberated upon in depth.

The issue of terrorism has many layers and has no agreed upon set definition worldwide. It is a complex phenomenon which is an amalgamation of philosophies and acts that are specific to certain types of thinking. Terrorist acts are means of communication adopted to achieve certain political aims through the use of aggression, violence, force, fear, threat, and target killing in shortest possible time.

The nature of the aims could be a religious, political, or ideological. The reasons for no agreement on any precise definition is that the acts of terrorism had been used in may guise by both nationalistic groups, ruling government, right-wing left-wing political parties, religious groups, and revolutionaries, who exploit human fear to help achieve their goals. However there is no ambiguity in interpreting the term when inhuman acts of extreme violence and aggression are directed towards innocent civilians in market places schools mosques, processions imam bargah, and public, and private institutions. Anyone involved in using violence and targeting innocent humans should be called a terrorist rather then an insurgent, revolutionary, fundamentalist or religious extremist. An agreement on the definition of the term is important because the acts of terrorism are committed in the guise of scarifies for religious ideological and political causes and there is confusion amongst the people regarding the agenda of these anti state actors. They are supported economically logistically and ideological by many from within the nation.

Pakistan became greatly vulnerable after the fall of Dhakka due to the way it dealt with the loosing of half of the country. Instead of learning from past mistakes and rectifying them, nepotism and corruption increased and eroded rule and justice. The message that went out to the world was that Islamaic republic of Pakistan is a soft target for destabilization. The apathy shown by successive governments regarding the development of human resource have massively contributed to the current safety and security crises which is now taken advantage by anyone with a political agenda; be it political parties, jehady outfits, talibans clergy or the inter sect haters. Then there are the angry under privileged independents that too speak through causing environmental destruction.

The vulnerabilities created by ignoring deceiving and depriving the people of their right to education, earning opportunities, justice and protection have created dynamics which can easily be exploited to weaken the state.

Therefore addressing the safety and security issues would require a multi- pronged long term and short term strategic planning which would necessitate the carrying of succeeding political governments as well as active support of the civil society to address and check further escalation of this problem.

PM Nawaz Sharif should be informed that his twenty points to address the issue of terrorism does not address dealing with the terrorist ideology and depolarization of the radicals. Neither is there any thinking regarding how to prevent the religion from being used for personal hate and prejudice.