Terrorism has jolted the very foundations of the state like a massive earthquake, instead of focusing and analyzing on whose fault it is we should be trying to locate the epicenter of this whole seismic flow. Without it, we cannot perceive the exact nature and magnitude of this phenomenon.

The reason for terrorism flourishing our country is quite incomprehensible, coupled with many contradictions and inconsistencies. At the moment the primary targets seems to be our security forces and the Shia minority group in the country. Our security forces are being attacked because we are an ally of USA against the ‘war on terror’.

Afghanistan was invaded by the Nato-led ISAF forces in 2001. ISAF comprised of troops from 28 different countries. Pakistan doesn’t have any active participation in ISAF. In the begging of the ‘War on Terror’ Pakistan was only a passive and rather reluctant facilitator, facilitating the Nato supplies through its territory as did the other Central Asian States and Russia.

Turkey is the only Islamic country that has actively participated in the war in Afghanistan by sending its troops under the ISAF arrangements. Besides it, other important Islamic countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia did not openly oppose the operation in Afghanistan. India offered intelligence and other forms of support to the coalition forces and actively participated in the post takeover reconstruction of the country. It is quite inexplicable why, ignoring all the countries of ISAF, Central Asian States, Russia, Iran, Turkey, India and Saudi Arabia, only an ally like Pakistan has been targeted by these so-called militant and terrorist groups. Why are militants punishing an ‘accomplice’ in the ‘crime’ of facilitating while ignoring the ‘principal accused’ present in Afghanistan?

On the other hand, sectarian hatred and sectarian violence continuing in various parts of the country is also unexplainable. Shia-Sunni divide is not novel and exists since centuries throughout the Muslim world. If we analyse the pattern of sectarian violence in the country, we can come to the conclusion that it is localized, mainly in strategic areas like Baluchistan and Northern Areas. Anti-Shia organizations like SSP and Lashker-e-Jhangvi were initially Punjab based religious cum terrorist outfits. The responsibility of the recent twin attacks on the Hazara community in Quetta has been claimed by two different groups. The first attack was claimed by a Baloch separatist organization and the other one by another sectarian outfit named Lashker-e-Jhangvi.

Interior minister Rehman Malik points at foreign perpetrators. Likewise, the in-camera briefings given to the parliamentarian last year also maintained the involvement of foreign hand in disturbing peace in the country.

During the military operation in Swat in 2009, concrete evidences of the Indian interference in the valley were found. Likewise, Baloch separatist and nationalists in other provinces are also often blamed for their foreign affiliations. Of course, there is no smoke without fire. We all know that India has played a key role in the fall of Dhaka in 1971. No doubt, the network of the terrorists is being operated locally by some indigenous elements but, at the same time, is also being planned and controlled by someone from outside. So, while devising and adopting any counter-terrorism strategy, Pakistan should not ignore this important dimension.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, January 14.