Terrorism is not a new tactic. During the last decade several thousand Pakistani civilians as well as security forces have been martyred or injured in terrorist attacks. Terrorism continues to pose a horrible threat to the country. Prevention of terrorist attacks against innocent people requires energetic use of all the available instruments, after utmost attempting to identify the root causes of such attacks. Every terrorist requires a specific cause to justify his terrorist actions both to his own psyche and to convince the people he hopes to reach. From their view point terror tactics are logical and valid activities to achieve their particular goals. If we hang one terrorist we remove a very tiny part of terrorism but if remove the root causes there can be a huge success in eliminating this menace. We need to look into and identify the root causes of terrorism. Dealing with root causes of terrorism should also be the stated policy of the Government of Pakistan.

Terrorism has multiple causes. People tend towards terrorism due to various reasons; many terrorists involve in this heinous act from religious, ideological or even political and so called nationalistic convictions. Some may have criminal nature. Some others enter into terrorist networks because of perceived state oppression, lack of justice, wrong guidance or economic deprivation. Corruption also plays pivotal role in creating economic deprivation amongst poor ultimately leading to terrorism. Drone strikes to surgically eliminate the terrorists in Fata area are also proving to be counterproductive because in any attack very few as low as 2% key targets are killed but resulting in high civilian casualties like 98% including innocent children and women and they remain under threat twenty four hours a day. The Government needs to negotiate with Obama administration in this regard. An astute and sound counterterrorism policy needs to be devised which must take notice of the reasons people turn to terror and, where feasible, address them.

Combating terrorism and its connected crimes should in no case be used discriminating against any segment of society as a pretext. When any incident takes place we should investigate scientifically to know it was a single crazy or local or foreign issue, to reach the real culprits and punish them. Today religion is said to be a part of terrorism mainly linked to Islamic fundamentalism. Though mainly it is not the case, yet it is need of the day to curb the sectarianism, wherever existing, to end the hatred and divide amongst the society. The Madrassas need to be registered and regulated properly.

Terrorists attack Pakistan targets more often than any other country and threats of terrorist attacks creating huge casualties are growing. Recently the terrorists slaughtered 138 innocent children at Army Public School in Peshawar. Rightfully, there is rage, anger and bewilderment in Pakistan since that incident. Pakistani children have now more to fear from terrorists than starvation. Ongoing bombing across the country has terrorized their minds. No doubt violence by terrorists traumatizes everyone, but it is far worse for children. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif rightly said that terrorist attack on innocent students showed that the terrorists were not only enemies of Pakistan but enemies of the humanity too. Obviously the Army Chief has taken a bold step and accepted the huge challenge to curb this menace. If we are to survive as a nation, we must also accelerate the economic development to alleviate poverty and to provide employment opportunities to the ever growing youth to check the availability of the unemployed youth for terrorist activities.

Terrorist attacks like we experienced in recent Peshawar attacks have left all the segments of the society concerned about the possibility of such like future terrorist attacks in Pakistan.  Neither our religion nor norms of any civilized conduct allows such barbarism as is being done by the terrorists called TTP. Further heinous act on the part of Taliban was to ridicule and harm the Islam as before attacking the innocent students they shouted ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ and slaughtered the helpless children hidden under the benches.

Terrorist activities are highly criminal acts. Yes, it is definitely the time; time for the people of Pakistan to be together, recognize their enemies, and help make them accountable for their actions. We should identify the people completely at war with the innocent people, at war with the Pakistani society, at war with the religion, at war with our military forces and other law enforcement agencies, and even at war with our children; our approach must be where these terrorists come from, what social conditions cause them to develop, who is funding for their expensive activities, who are their supporters, and who are using them for personal interests. The government should support the military courts for prosecution of those responsible for terrorist activities. Pakistani society needs to be built on rule of law as a cornerstone of peace, stability, order and good governance. Prevention and intervention are vital to deal with terrorism; ultimately our law enforcement agencies, our security and our military forces will degrade and destroy the terrorism threats in the country, Insha’Allah.

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