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TERRORISM MENACE - A REAL THREAT TO PAKISTAN’S SECURITY

Introduction

1. The 9/11 catastrophe was a watershed event with far- reaching global

implications. The demise of twin-towers and a portion of the pentagon buildings,

the two symbols of the US power, did change the strategic discourse of the world

politics. International terrorism, in all its forms and manifestations, was promptly

declared as the enemy of the world peace. To eradicate this menace became the

top priority of the US and its allies in the post 9/11 era. Pakistan was asked to

play the role of the frontline state against Taliban, sheltering and protecting

Osama-led Al Qaeda allegedly behind the Black Tuesday tragedy.

2. The role of a frontline state, the religious groups of Pakistan termed the

decision as supporting the Non – Muslims and opposed it with violence. The

dilemma was pervasive and had far reaching implications for Pakistan.

3. Today, Pakistan is confronted with Internal Security dilemma in the form of

Terrorism. The divisions of society on sectarian, religious and ethnic lines pose a

threat to our security and are breeding ground for terrorism acts. Especially, for

the last two decades and aftermath of 9/11 tragedy, the major challenges are in

the form of deteriorating law and order, ethnicity, religious extremism,

weaponisation and economic degeneration. There is a dire need to identify the

root causes of this menace and find a way fwd to deal with threat.

AIM

4. To analyze the spectrum of terrorism in Pakistan in the aftermath of 9/11

and recommending measures to deal with the threat.

Sequence. As fol:-

a. What is terrorism/ its definitions.

b. Pakistan and the post 9/11 challenges.


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c. External/internal threats and causes of terrorism in the country.

d. Recommendations.

Terrorism and its Definition

5. Scholars, politicians, security experts and journalists, all use a variety of

definitions of terrorism. The word “terror” is derived from the Latin expression

“terrere”, which means, “to frighten”. Its dictionary meaning is” Violence

committed by groups in order to intimidate population or government into granting

their demands.

Pakistan and the post 9/11 challenges

6. Pakistan took a u-turn policy towards Taliban due to its domestic

compulsions like many other Muslim countries despite the strong opposition from

the religious parties. Pakistan was faced with a dilemma/situation where her

internal and external security was at stake. The central theme of ”West and the

Rest” and “Either you are with us or with them” was a challenge faced by

Pakistan at this critical juncture of history. Pakistan status of front line state in war

against terrorism alienated many across the country and around the globe

especially al-qaida. Pakistan was faced with the new wave of terrorism which has

spread in almost all parts of the country. Pakistan social, eco and edn structure

has faced the severe burn of this menace. Regional dynamics, poor governance,

religious extremism and media all have contributed to the terrorism.

External/Internal Threats/ Causes of Terrorism in Pakistan

External Threats

8. Regional Dynamics and War on Terror. The vested interests of the

neighbouring and regional players such as India, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia

and UAE seriously influence the spread of terrorism in Pakistan. In the back drop

of US anti Islam policies in the ME, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, Pakistan’s sp to
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USA’s war on terror is viewed with hostility by a large segment of Pakistanis,

especially in the NWFP and Balochistan.

9. International Terrorist Organization. Pakistan support for international

coalition has further exposed us to international terrorists organizations. They are

not only targeting the foreign nationals in Pakistan but also trying to destabilize

the government.

Internal Threats/ Causes of Terrorism in Pakistan

10. Personal Greed and Narrow Political Interests. Every government

in Pakistan has its own policies having no regard to national aims, objectives, and

interests. Only one thing is common- narrow personal and group interests-, which

undermine the national unity and often emerge as threats to national integration.

11. Religious Intolerance. Interference in religious and personal freedom

results into emotional out-bursts capable of leading to terrorist violence and

innocent killings.

12. Economic Disparity amongst Provinces. The exploitative and

coercive economic system is taking heavy toll of the major cross section of the

society. The problems and sufferings of the people have constantly multiplied due

to denial of legitimate economic and civic rights.

13. Unequal Educational Development. There are Urdu language-medium

schools, madaris and elite English language-medium schools working in

pakistan. These schools are divided by the medium of instruction and curriculum,

as well as on the basis of socio-economic class. The most acute polarization is

between the madrassah students and those at elite English-medium schools.

―The former are deprived, but they express their anger—the rage of the

dispossessed— via the idiom of religion.

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14. Regional Disparities/ Ethnic Polarization. A sense of deprivation

among the provinces, feeling of social injustice and discrimination among a

certain class of society are manifestation of this threat.

15. Role of Mass Media. Radio and TV are the most vital and effective

media in our country. But unfortunately their credibility has always been open to

question for obvious reasons. People are thus forced to rely on foreign media and

in the process, encounter manipulated news and ideas, which often cause

sensation, fan ethnic, regional and sectarian differences.

16. Corruption. Corruption has risen so fast in Pakistani society that justice is

nearly impossible to come by through non-coercive means. Pakistan has been

rated as the second most corrupt nation in the world. Validity of this rating may be

subject to discussion but there is ample proof in all spheres of our life that

corruption is rampant in our society.

17. Social Injustice. The functioning and performance of judiciary has

been a major source of dissatisfaction for the masses. Poor dispensation of

social justice has lead to adoption of violent means by the aggrieved parties.

18. Ineffective Police Forces. The first instrument of the state, which comes

into contact with the terrorists, is the local police. Initially, it is ill equipped and

poorly trained to face well-armed terrorists. There is a general reluctance to arm

the police.

Recommendations

19. Combat Philosophy. An analysis of our socio-political environment

concludes that solution for combating terrorism does not lie in use of the force

alone. To have lasting solution, we need to have a combination of political and

punitive actions.

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20. Evolving a National Policy. We must evolve a national policy to

combat terrorism. This menace is not only internal one but has spread over to

whole world. It will be very difficult to deal with this problem in the absence of a

National Policy.

21. Law Enforcement. The first instrument of the state, which comes into

contact with the terrorists, is the local police. Reorganization of whole force as

per new challenges and threats is the requirement of time incl provn of latest wpn

and eqpt. Law enforcement must incl apprehending the suspected terrorists,

trying them and enacting laws to repress any such like possibility. Effective clamp

down on the terrorist will greatly help to prevent the recurrence of such acts. For

counter terrorism within an overall integrated and graduated Government

response, employment of Army may be considered as a last resort.

22. Religious Harmony. Scholars of all sects should be encouraged to

propagate common pts of view and denounce sectarian violence on media to

promote religious harmony and national solidarity.

23. Economic Parity between Provinces

a. Implementation of NFC awards.

b. Proportionate economic development in all provinces.

24. Equal Edn Dev

a. Constructing primary, middle and high schools in FATA.

b. Madaris must be monitored continually as they may contribute both

to the demand for terrorism and to the limited supply of militants.

c. Greater attention should be given to public schools and possibly to

encouraging greater access to private schools. Studies have shown

that private school students and teachers were more likely to

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support equal rights for Pakistan‘s minorities and women; as well as

peaceful means of conflict resolution.

25. Development with Good Governance.

a. Provincial Autonomy.

b. Integration of the FATA into the mainstream Pakistan political

landscape.

c. Elimination of Frontier Crime Regulation.

26. Responsible Media. Since the modern mass media operate on the

national and international scene, the effectiveness of this network implies that it

can play a meaningful role in the suppression of terrorism. Voluntary self

censorship and proportionality in the amount and quality of information

propagated and application of civic and ethnic responsibility by the journalists in

reporting beyond pure economic considerations can greatly assist the

government in combating terrorism. If voluntary cooperation of media in

combating terrorism is not forthcoming, the ultimate method of using the media

should be state intervention by way of censorship and engaging the media for

regulated propaganda.

27. Elimination of Corruption. Stringent measures be taken to wipe out this

menace from our society. It requires drastic changes and reforms at political,

social, economic and administrative levels.

28. Social Justice and Economic Parity. Increasing but highly justified

feeling of deprivation, grave social injustice and economic disparity prevailing in

the society be overcome by strict measures.

Conclusion

24. Terrorism has become a global phenomenon after 9/11 and hardly any

country of the world has escaped from the clutches of terrorism. It is a “low tech”,
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low cost and high result route to the worldwide audience. The education imparted

should be above the region, religion or caste bias. The age-old social

phenomenon of sacrifice, tolerance and understanding are missing in the present

societies which had the vital role to play in uniting the social fiber.

26. Needless to say that any measures, how much effective, would prove

counter productive if their implementation seriously impinges upon the people’s

liberties, basic comforts, essential services and vocational functions. The battle of

terrorism should be fought within the confines of law. The role of media has a

special relevance to combat terrorism. Though terrorism has come to stay, given

the political will, institution of certain remedial measures, education and support

of the population, the magnitude of damage by acts of terrorism can be curtailed.

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