Terror in Lakki-Marwat

Death of DSP and three others in `terrorist attack portrays police under siege

That terrorists have been emboldened enough to attack a DSP and his guards, killing them, in an attack in Lakki Marwat, KP, shows that the TTP thinks itself able to take on the state itself. The IED attack took place as the DSP and his guard rushed to the Saddar police station, which was itself under attack. That attack ended at the cost of six policemen injured. A head constable and five constables. This fits in with a pattern of terrorist attacks on the KP police. There was the blast at the Peshawar Police Lines Mosque, which led to 100 policemen being killed, and more recently was the attack on a check-post in Dera Ismail Khan district. These attacks have not yet proliferated in the Punjab, but are beginning to spill over, with an attack in February on a police station in Makarwal, Mianwali district. The same month saw another attack in that district, when the Counter-Terrorism Department in Kalabagh was attacked. The attack on the Karachi police’s office was of the same pattern. There was great jubilation in 20220 when the Taliban took over in Kabul, and it was predicted confidently that the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan would now be easy to control. Instead, they seem to have increased their attacks.

Another problem, which merely worsens the situation, is that both KP and Punjab presently have caretaker governments, and a firm hand at the tiller is lacking. This is one purpose of a caretaker government, handling the law and order situation and strikes directly at its primary function, creating the appropriately peaceable atmosphere for free and fair elections. Both provincial governments have claimed that the terrorist threat is such that it does not allow the holding of elections. Such attacks merely strengthen their case, even though it seems that they can do little more than wring their hands futile.

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Parliament still has a little while to run, and there is still time for the government to take it into confidence, and build a national consensus to tackle this menace. That a DSP was killed is no small thing, and should act as a wake-up call for the government. If this attack is taken with the oxlike stoicism that has been shown so far, the terrorists will be emboldened to make even more daring attacks, and hit higher-value targets. Does any government, federal or provincial, caretaker or permanent, want that to happen?

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].


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