Apparently, the recently-devised National Action Plan has somehow failed to effectively abate the rising wave of terrorism in Pakistan. Within two weeks, more than 80 people were killed in two separate but identical, colossal terrorist attacks on Shiite mosques at Shikarpur and Peshawar. Had we evolved any effectual counter-terror narrative in the country, we wouldn’t have experienced unfortunate incidents like these and that of APS Peshawar. In view of its sensitivity and gravity, the distressing 16/12 incident in Pakistan is, by no means, less significant than America’s 9/11 and India’s 26/11. Therefore it was being hoped that this ‘game changer’ incident would help Pakistan evolve a comprehensive counter-terror narrative. Although Pakistan has somehow become successful in overcoming some of its internal confusions and conflicts at a domestic level after this incident, it has miserably failed in effectively articulating and propagating its case internationally. Instead of formulating any proactive policy, Pakistan has chosen to stick to its usual defensive and apologetic position on this issue in the world.

Within 26 days after the September 11 attacks in New York City, not only did the US substantially evolve its national counter-terror narrative but had also managed to mobilize its military troops to topple the Kabul regime by dismantling the whole of Afghanistan in the name of War on Terror. After this, it successfully invaded the Iraq to topple the Baghdad regime. Similarly, by resorting to the tactics of media manipulation and diplomatic propaganda internationally, India successfully pushed its arch enemy Pakistan to the wall after 2008 Mumbai attacks. Pakistan was left with no other choice except yielding to the Indian pressure. Since then, India has constantly been asking Pakistan to take strict action against certain anti-India elements in Pakistan without sharing any credible piece of evidence.

As a matter of fact, Pakistan has become an active theatre of a proxy fourth generation war where certain violent non state actors have taken up arms against the state. The Peshawar carnage has significantly exposed the faces of these beasts who have long been terming their obnoxious activates a jihad by pretending to be the jihadists or Mujahidin. Logically, such a massive and large-scale proxy war, by hundreds of thousands of armed militants, cannot be conceived, initiated and maintained without the extensive logistic support and heavy funding by an affluent source. We have seen that many western nations, mainly the US, had been materially supporting the so-called Afghan Jihad in 1980’s. At times, people at the helm have been pointing their fingers at the foreign perpetrators of this war in Pakistan. However, after the recent ‘confessional statement’ made by the Indian National Security advisor Ajit Doval regarding Indian deliberate involvement in various disruptive and terrorist activities in Pakistan, this matter is now all crystal clear.

All the prominent militant commanders of TTP, including its chief Maulvi Fazlullah, have somehow managed to escape to Afghanistan after the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, as they did during the 2009 Swat military operation. Ever since, these terrorists are enjoying some sorts of safe heavens there. Presently, Maulvi Fazlullah is the most-wanted terrorist of Pakistan. It is quite ironic that Pakistan was seen extending clarifications and explanations to the world over the release of the alleged perpetrator of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi, by a court in Pakistan soon after the Peshawar school attack. It was the right time for Pakistan to exert maximum pressure on US and its allies in Afghanistan to destroy all sanctuaries of TTP in Afghanistan, and either to kill or hand-over Maulvi Fazlullah to Pakistan. But regrettably, the political leadership of Pakistan has missed an opportunity owing to its usual apathy and lack of moral courage.

Presently, by actively pursuing and safeguarding India’s national as well as strategic interests, the US has readily become a mouth-piece of India in this region. Recently, the US has forced Pakistan to ban the outfits like Jamaat ud Dawah (JUD) and Haqqani network in the country. India has long been accusing JUD, and its militant wing LeT, for supporting certain insurgent elements in Indian-held Kashmir. Likewise, the so-called Haqqani netwotk is also known for its pro-Pakistan character. Recently, President Obama has reiterated his pledge to hunt down terrorists all over the world. The US is constantly conducting Drone attacks in Pakistan but it has not yet taken any action against Maulvi Fazlullah beyond merely declaring him an international terrorists. It may be quite incomprehensible to many that if US can identify a terrorist like Osama Bin Laden across the border in Pakistan then why can’t it trace and kill a terrorist like Maulvi Fazlullah inside the Afghan territory.

As Pakistan has eventually destroyed the last sanctuaries and hideouts of militants by launching the long-overdue military operation in North Waziristan, therefore it should no longer be asked to do more by the world community. Now, it is not only Pakistan which has to set its house in order but there are also some other countries in this region which should seriously think about it. How can one clear and keep his backyard cleans if people in the neighborhood constantly keep throwing garbage your backyard? Now If Pakistan can be asked to ban certain terrorist outfits in Pakistan on Indian demand, then India should also be forced to close down its all terrorists-manufacturing facilities in Afghanistan on Pakistan’s demand.

Despite knowing actual ground realities, the mysterious silence kept by our political leadership regarding certain aspects of the issue of terrorism is quite regrettable. Silence is golden but sometimes it turns criminal. Therefore, Pakistan should loudly speak against all outside interference with relation to terrorism in the country. It should first share all available pieces of evidence with all potential bilateral as well as international forums. It must also employ effective tools of media and diplomatic propaganda to articulate and propagate its viewpoint in the world. We can’t afford to ignore this important dimension of the issue of terrorism in Pakistan any longer. Without evolving a multi-prong strategy to offset and neutralize all anti-Pakistan elements in Afghanistan, I am afraid all counter-terror domestic action plans would result in a frustrating fiasco at the end of the day.