Paris, popularly known world over as a city of sweet fragrance, turned into a blood-stained city shrouded with repulsive smell of gun powder on November 13, 2015. It was reported that a total of six locations were attacked in and just outside the capital. The deadliest attack was at the Bataclan theatre, where attackers took hostages and engaged in a standoff with police which ended 00:58 on November 14. Ruthless terrorists went berserk and brutally killed 129 innocent people, 89 of them at the Bataclan theatre. In addition to the victims, seven attackers died. It is said, the attacks were the deadliest in France since the Second World War, and the deadliest in the European Union since the Madrid train bombings in 2004.

The attacks were undoubtedly unpredicted, and it sent a wave of shock and awe among not only the residents of Paris that was terror-struck but the whole of France and the entire civilized world. It was reported by the national and international media that terrorists- -some with AK-47s, some with bombs strapped to them—attacked cites throughout the French capital-Paris and at the stadium where the soccer match was underway. Reportedly, ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks.

How very true it was when the US President Barrack Obama, immediately after news of the Paris massacre spread like wildfire across the world said “This is an attack not just on Paris, not just on people of France, but an attack on all humanity and the universal values we share.” He called the attacks an “outrageous attempt to terrorize innocent civilians.” Eventually, it appears that the Paris massacre has made the US in particularly and the world at large realize that terrorism is not country-specific; it knows no bounds and has become a threat for entire humanity today.

Time has come for the US and its European allies to revisit its policies vis-à-vis global hegemony. History stands testimony to the fact that the US in particular has been responsible for dragging its allies into wars waged against nations on totally unconvincing grounds. The hegemonic designs of the west are one of the several reasons that have given birth to the menace of terrorism across the world. One glaring example is Iraq. The basis on which the war was waged against Iraq by the US and its western allies was not strong enough to justify military action of inestimable magnitude.

In an interview with CNN on October 25, 2015 talking about the Iraq invasion former British PM said “I apologise for the fact that the intelligence we received was wrong. He further said “I also apologise for some of the mistakes in planning and, certainly, our mistake in our understanding of what would happen once you removed the regime.” He also admitted ‘mistakes’ and conflict’s role in rise of the Islamic State. Former British PM’s qualified apology for Iraq war is sufficient enough to indicate that the invasion of Iraq was not fully justified. In view of the foregoing fact should one expect that good sense would eventually dawn upon the mighty nations of the world, they would make genuine endeavours to end their hegemonic designs, and live and let-live the world in peace. Terrorism in all forms must be condemned in strongest terms by the civilized world. The cause/s of terrorism must also be found and sincerely addressed, and the terrorists must be dealt with an iron hand.

The massacre that took place in Paris on Friday, November 13, 2015 is condemnable in the strongest terms. Pakistan has been and continues to be a sad victim of the worst form of terrorism since the past almost two decades. Its Armed forces continue to fight the war on terror unilaterally, without much moral or tangible world support. Pakistan has already lost thousands of innocent men, women, children and soldiers to the ruthless menace of terrorism. Pakistan joins ranks with the civilized world in condemning, in strongest terms, the brutalities committed by the perpetrators of the Paris terror attack. While doing so, it urges the world community to come forward and strengthen its hands in its long-drawn war against terror.

M. FAZAL ELAHI,

Islamabad, November 19.