Terror again

Back to the drawing board

 

The remaining terrorists are active in Pakistan. Their activities are not completely exhausted. It looks that terrorism is not going away any sooner. Terrorists are still active and they are hiding. Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, and the Mohmand Agency have been targeted. In Lahore, a suicide bomber killed fourteen and injured over hundred outside the Punjab Assembly on 13 January. The blast included two Police officers, DIG Ahmed Mobeen and Additional DIG Zahid Gondal.

Two bomb disposal personnel were killed in Quetta when defusing the devise. Another six were injured in the incident. Two days later, four judicial magistrates were hurt in a van, killing the driver and another one in Hayatabad, Peshawar and injuring another fourteen people. Two suicide bombers attacked the Office of the Political Agent in FATA Mohmand Agency, killing six people and injuring another seven. The Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, an off-shoot of terrorists working under the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed the responsibility of attacks.

When attacks were launched in Lahore, some political parity carried out petty politics blaming the Punjab Government. Is it something against the PML (N) Government as many opposition politicians criticised the Punjab and the Federal Government? Is it their failure alone or the whole system is responsible? If it is not, then why the PML (N) is being criticised for its failure in anti-terrorism measures such as the National Action Plan (NAP). The terrorist acts are not the result of the lapse of the NAP. Often there are security laps in such unfortunate incidents.

It is not good to put the blame on the Punjab Government. The anti-terrorism struggle of the Punjab Government just cannot be put aside. Over 350 terrorists were apprehended in the Punjab since April last. Army is closely working with the Punjab Government to eliminate terrorism.

Army should also be given credit for largely eliminating the hideouts of terrorists in the FATA. Army is fully assisting the civilian authorities in their struggle against terrorists. Terrorists are now hiding in Afghanistan and they have the support of other countries and from where there they are operating in Pakistan. The Government and the army are vigilant of this situation.

The same political elements remained silent and did not say a single word to blame the Government in the KP for its failure in tacking the menace of terrorism. They should keep away from double-standard in fight against terrorism.

Terrorists are still operative. All of them were not killed in the Operation Zarb-e-Azab. Many escaped to Afghanistan and taking refugee there. Now they are using the Afghan soil to launch terrorist’s attacks inside Pakistan and target people and places.

Their agenda is not yet fulfilled after killing 70, 000 innocent Pakistanis since 2001. Their target is the military personnel, security workers, police, and common people. The main purpose is to create havoc and panic in the country. But it is sure that terrorists will not takeover Pakistan because majority of the Pakistanis believe in democracy and the rule of law no matter how much law and order was deteriorated. The resolve of the people is intact against terrorism.

Punjab and Balochistan are making good progress under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Many projects have been completed and many are under construction. The Neelum-Jhelum hydro project is about to inaugurate this month. The work on the Lahore Orange Line is going well. The Karachi-Hyderabad motorway has been inaugurated days ago. Progress has been made on the Sahiwal coal project. A number of projects have been under construction in Balochistan and Sindh. Disruptive forces want to sabotage these projects.

The image of Pakistan against war on terror is hailed widely in the world. The economy is turning around. Some of Pakistan’s neighbours want to see Pakistan in perpetual crisis to present a bleak picture of its law and order situation and discourage international businessmen to launch new projects.

It is realised that terrorism is not yet fully wiped out. The media should refrain from making irresponsible comments. The Punjab Government has not been nurturing terrorism or providing hideouts to outfit organisations.

Democratic and law-abiding people in Pakistan do not support terrorism, extremism, and sectarianism. They understand these were ”gifts” for the Afghan war. They like to see the supremacy of the Constitution and peace.  Development is their dream.  There are inside forces and their outside collaborators and financers who would like to have the type of the situation created after the Afghan war in Pakistan.

They are upset how the country returned to democracy through polls consecutively in 2008 and 2013 and how the military action turned against their sanctuaries, and how mega development projects were hailed in the country. As long as the people are committed to democracy, anti-terrorism, and development, terrorists would not be able to implement their agenda.

 

Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik

The writer is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He is an expert on Japan, China, and East Asian affairs.



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