A review of the last few weeks would indicate that the number of terrorist attacks in Pakistan is steadily on the increase.
In January, 11 coal miners in Machh were kidnapped and slaughtered. Early this month terrorists tried to infiltrate into Lower Dir but the attempt was foiled by the security forces. The Saturday clash between security forces and TTP militants left a security official and two militants dead. On Sunday night, the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) killed one person and abducted at least eight in Swabi district. On Monday, gunmen killed four women aid workers in North Waziristan
A report presented to UN Security Council early this month took note of the reunification of five TTP splinter groups inside Afghanistan last year. This had brought an estimated 2,500 to 6,000 motivated terrorists under a single command. The result: the TTP launched 100 cross-border attacks inside Pakistan within three months last year. Ehsanulah Ehsan’s chilling tweet to Malala Yousafzai, “This time there will be no mistake,” leads one to believe that terrorists are on the rampage again.
The country paid a heavy price to restore peace in Pakistan: Over 52,000 dead including civilians, personnel of law enforcement agencies and the Army between 2002 and 2013 alone. The war against the terrorist entities exacted a high cost on the economy, both in terms of the direct cost of the fight and the knock-on effect on investment inflows and market sentiment.
The fight against terrorism lacked the essential component of the eradication of extremist thinking from society. Extremist institutions and networks continue to provide a steady supply of recruits to the terrorist networks. The extremists want to impose their views regarding religion, sect, gender and domestic and international politics on others. They preach use of coercion and militancy when realising that they cannot achieve their aims through the ballot. Pursuit of short-term goals by the establishment and parties in power has led them to make use of politico-religious parties, seminaries and even militant networks. Unless this ends, Pakistan is likely to be in for another bloodbath.
Educational institutions and media houses are first in the line of defence against extremism. For this, the universities and colleges have to be provided academic freedom and a climate that promotes free debate and discussion. Similarly attempts to regulate the media have to abandoned so that it can help the readers form balanced views.
Terrorism is devastating for country’s social and economic sector. It adversely impact the image of the state worldwide. Read in detail the causes, impacts, and ways to deal with this menace.
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