In wake of recent political and diplomatic developments at international level, it has been realised that we need to put our house in order to stand up to international pressure and arm-twisting, and tell the World that ours is the state most affected by ‘Global War on Terrorism’. Well, better late than never. However, it would have been much better if this realisation had come due to the plight of ordinary citizens of Pakistan-who have been worst hit by terrorist activities, instead of international developments. Participation in ‘Global War on Terrorism’ not only damaged and crippled our economy, but its blowback also resulted in terrorist activities all over the country- which now have been subdued by the heroic acts and sacrifices of our armed forces.

International powers are claiming to have given billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism. However, the ordinary people of Pakistan never wanted these dollars which would result in a country filled with maimed and crippled people due to terrorist activities happening every other day. Also, these terrorist activities have resulted in a generation of orphans and widows with no one to look after them. With their bread-winners killed in acts of terrorism, orphans and widows have literally ended up begging in streets to eke out an existence. To these terrorism affectees, it is not clear how billions of dollars in aid have helped them in improving their lot. Further, the proxy wars into which Pakistan has repeatedly been dragged into over time, have also awashed the country with illegal weapons and narcotics; and the resource constrained State does not know how to control these spillover effects of proxy wars. The state of Pakistan has a record of acquiescing to the interests of international powers instead of consulting its ordinary people over joining international fracas, with the people ultimately left to face the travails of these forced upon decisions.

However, it is high time that State devises a policy which rehabilitates victims of terrorism and proxy wars. Along with making efforts to make international community reaslise the sacrifices given by Pakistan and efforts made to fight terrorism, State should publicly accept the misfortunes which have befallen on the people of Pakistan in general and on people of KPK and tribal agencies in particular as result of past and present wars happening in and around Pakistan, and make amends accordingly.

Accordingly, a campaign should be launched to gather statistics on orphans and widows, and persons maimed and traumatised by acts of terrorism at provincial, city and union level. The State should put in a policy to help these people live a normal life through monetary and medical benefits. Furthermore, special job quotas may be fixed in government and private sectors for victims of terrorism. Also, the State should engage in a dialogue with people who have been most affected by terrorism in Pakistan. The outcome of the dialogue should be then be used as an input to the policy meant to safeguard the interests and dignity of affectees of ‘War on Terrorism’, and make them useful members of the society.