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Sunday, April 14, 2024

How to address the menace of terrorism in Pakistan

Recently the incidents of terrorism have risen sharply in Pakistan and the situation has turned into an alarming stage. Terrorism has caused a slowdown in economic activities and a panic-like situation in society.

Although the menace of Terrorism is a global phenomenon and many countries are facing it with various intensities. No single country is capable to eliminate it absolutely. It requires collective efforts from the international community and strong legislation and coordinated efforts are required by all countries. Recently the incidents of terrorism have risen sharply in Pakistan and the situation has turned into an alarming stage. Terrorism has caused a slowdown in economic activities and a panic-like situation in society.

The National Security Committee met under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and decided that talks with militants would remain the first option, while all other options would be used as last resort.

Read more: Islamabad suicide blast raises alarm over resurging terrorism in Pakistan

Understanding the matter better

During the meeting, the national security policy draft was presented by the Interior Secretary which includes a strategy to tackle terrorism, talks with militants, and measures for law and order in the country. The Interior Secretary also briefed the meeting on the targeted operation in Karachi and participants expressed satisfaction with the results.

DG Military Operations provided a briefing on the situation on the borders, while DG ISI provided details of information sharing. It was decided during the meeting that security would be increased along the western border to prevent illegal movement.

The committee also decided to formulate a mechanism for bilateral talks aimed at normalizing relations with India. The meeting was attended by the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and the heads of the three armed forces, and federal ministers for defense, finance, and information. Advisor to the prime minister on foreign affairs and national security, Sartaj Aziz, and high officials of the ministries of interior and foreign affairs were also present.

The meeting of NSC held last week, expressed an unequivocal opinion that Pakistan’s national interests would not be compromised and no one would be allowed to harm national security. It was stressed that the interests of Pakistan’s survival, security, and development would be protected with great courage, consistency, and steadfastness.

The meeting paid tribute to the great sacrifices of the martyrs who lost their lives in terrorist incidents and expressed sympathy. The meeting termed the terrorists as enemies of Pakistan and expressed resolve to eliminate them. It was emphasized that the entire nation was united on the common narrative against terrorism and terrorists.

The meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be held again today (Monday) during which important decisions about national security and the economy are expected.

Again, the NSC meeting will be held during this week, at the Prime Minister’s House, and it is expected that significant decisions will be made regarding the proposals that were discussed during the previous NSC meeting on Friday. The meeting will be attended by top civil and military officials.

Read more: UN chiefs urges Taliban to prevent terrorism against Pakistan

According to sources, the National Security Committee will approve clear guidelines on the country s economy and security and will chalk out a stern policy amid terror resurgence.Sources further said that the meeting will endorse forceful actions against terrorists. The meeting will also present a new operation plan for the elimination of terrorists.

The way forward

It is to be emphasized that the growing cases of terrorism are worrisome and the whole nation is concerned. The root cause of terrorism is economic instability and political chaos. The Enemies of Pakistan identifies the disgruntled individual and cultivate them to be used for terrorism. In Pakistan, due to political chaos, there are many individuals who are disgruntled, and trapped by adversaries. Nepotism, lack of merit in jobs, and social injustice have created disgruntled individuals. Another category of individuals is destitute Pakistanis, who cannot meet the basic necessities of life through lawful means, and are often exploited by enemies of Pakistan for acts of terrorism.

Yet another category of people used in terrorism is even more dangerous, they might be filthy rich, but greedy and corrupt. They might be enjoying senior positions in the Government, but due to unlimited greed, they compromised national interests over individual gains. They are really dangerous as they are in a position to harm the country on a much bigger magnitude.

Read more: The Afghan cross-border terrorism against Pakistan

It is urged that the ruling elite must keep houses in order and address domestic issues first. At least, merit and justice must be practiced on priority. Jobs must be provided on merit, eliminating nepotism absolutely. Incompetent, greedy, and corrupt officials must be removed from service. Accountability of all individuals must be maintained. Economic activities must be promoted immediately. Enabling environments and conducive policies must be formulated for youth to engage in nation-building and development. Political and economic stability is key to addressing the menace of terrorism. Through general elections, consensus must be built on the unity, development, and prosperity of the entire nation, not limited to the ruling elite or blue-eyed individuals.

Deep reforms are required and policy measures are required to address the key issues and challenges faced by the country. After keeping the house in order, we may address regional issues and cross-border terrorism, etc. Dialogue and negotiations are the way forward. Political solutions are sustainable and long-lasting. Excessive use of force is sometimes counterproductive. The typical examples of Israel and Indian atrocities in Kashmir are not successful stories and are rather counterproductive.

Scholars, intellectuals, and visionary individuals can contribute a lot. The country is not lacking the right persons, but, needs to identify them and utilize them. Media is a vital pillar in this regard to build a narrative and project the right perspective. The public is ready, and capable if the ruling elite provides space.



Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).