In an unfortunate event in the town of Turbat in Balochistan, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast resulted in the death of at least one person and injured seven. The authorities have yet to trace those responsible for the explosion, however, this does nothing to change the fact that Pakistan has made significant progress in defeating the menace of terrorism. The sheer will of everyone in Pakistan and the sacrifices of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) were instrumental in making this possible. Our collective memory still remembers the days when a bomb blast nearly every week was a common occurrence in our most populous cities.

Today, the terrorists have been pushed to the peripheries. And their activities, like the blast in Turbat bazaar, show the progress Pakistan has made on the security front all these years. While the explosion must alarm the concerned authorities, however, it cannot be considered a security lapse. IEDs will always remain the most accessible option in the hands of miscreants. Still, the provincial government must devise stricter counter-terror policies. The state must not allow these terror outfits to cause panic through such ineffective actions, even in the remotest parts of the country.

The authorities also need to understand that just military operations and actions against terror outfits are not the solution. The root cause of any terrorism is the phenomena of alienation, marginalisation and deprivation. Even if a small number of people think of themselves as deliberately deprived or marginalised, they will seek an answer for their plight in militancy. The concentration of terror activities in these remote parts, which are also the most deprived areas of the country, confirms the assertion made above. While LEAs played their role, it is now the state’s responsibility to deter youth from joining these groups. And by providing economic and financial opportunities to the people of these regions, terror outfits will die natural deaths.