Topics: Terrorism, Taliban, Pakistan Pages: 23 (7175 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Terrorism in Pakistan: Causes & Remedies
Muhammad Irshad∗

As is known, for centuries, various acts of terrorism have been carried out in different parts of the world by different groups for a variety of purposes. Sometimes a communist organization, sometimes a fascist group, and sometimes radical and separatist factions assume responsibility for these acts. The nature of terrorism changes with changing world conditions and increases its impact and power with the new means made possible by developing technology. Terrorism is the cruelest of crimes. The universal revulsion at the events of September 2001, the "War on Terror" has magnified many folds the global threat of terrorism.

Keywords: Terrorism, War on Terror, Pakistan

Retrospective View This early history of terrorism throws some light on the present crisis and the “war” against terrorism. The growing of “non-state” terror is an old phenomenon lately discovered. International terrorism became a prominent tool of political agenda in the late 1960s.1 It was applied by Palestinians for the attainment of their legitimate political rights. It was adopted as a “weapon of the poor”. The largest act of international terrorism occurred on September 11, 2001 in a set of coordinated attacks on the United States. The United States has made the "War on Terrorism" the centerpiece of its global strategy since the attacks on Pentagon and World Trade Center on 11 September, 2001.2 It has proclaimed its leadership of a world-wide alliance to exterminate this scourge of terrorism. But the bombing of Afghanistan is not a revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world. Each innocent person that is killed must be added to the toll of civilians who died in New York and Washington. The United States is pursuing its War on Terror without addressing its root causes which are social, economic and political in nature and not military.

Muhammad Irshad, MS Research Scholar, Dept. of Management Sciences, Qurtuba University, Peshawar

Terrorism in Pakistan: Causes & Remedies

Muhammad Irshad

In the immediate aftermath of American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban sought refuge in Pakistani tribal belt due to the porous nature of the international border and started organizing their resistance to US forces in Afghanistan from safe sanctuaries. Socio-economic and politico-religious complexion of the tribal region also favored these militants. At the same time, many criminal groups also started operating in these areas, which remained at large after looting, robbing, kidnapping and even killing people. These structural flaws created space for Taliban who were offering parallel security and judicial systems to the people by establishing parallel “courts” in almost all parts of FATA and some areas of settled districts in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa. Tribal people in FATA remained deprived of their political rights. The sense of political deprivation and lack of participation has also created the feeling among the tribal people that they do not have a stake in the state and has resulted in a weak statesociety relationship. The militant threat to Pakistan has a well-defined ideological inspiration and logistic support from international terrorist groups to achieve their target which include: • To destabilize state’s security apparatus so that people should look towards the militants for protection. • To force the government not to interfere in militantcontrolled areas so that they can continue their activities unhindered. • To force the government to bring a new system according to the militants’ agenda. Religiously motivated terrorism is considered the most alarming terrorist threat today.3 Groups that justify their violence on Islamic grounds – Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah – come to mind first. But Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and other religions have also given rise to their own forms of...

References: Fred Halliday, “Terrorism in Historical Perspective,” Transnational Institute, (2004). Available: http://www.tni.org/detail_page.phtml?page=archives_halliday_terrorism. 2 An article, “Terrorism before and after 9/11 by Mark Selden, 2002. 3 Fred Halliday, “Terrorism in Historical Perspective,” op.cit. 4 Farzana Shah, “Cost of war on terror for Pakistan,” Asian Tribune, (2009). Available: http://asiantribune.com/07/31/cost-of-war-on-terror-for-pakistan 5 “Economic Survey”, The News International, (Islamabad: June 11, 2008) 6 Brigadier Muhammad Khurshid Khan, “Domestic Terrorism as a Threat to Pakistan’s Security,” TIPRI Journal, IX, No.2 (2009). 7 BBC, “Pakistan’s ‘extremist leader’ held”. Available at: http://news.bbc.co,uk. 8 “The heart of the issue”. Available at: http://heartoftheissue.blog.com/2011/04/17/cia-killing-pakistan-civillians-bythe-thousands/ 9 OPF Blog, “Scio-Economic Cost of Terrorism with Special Reference to Pakistan,” http://www.opfblog.com/7055/socio-economic-costs-of-terrorismwith-special-reference-to-pakistan/. 10 Ibid. 11 Saleem Safi, “Current situation in FATA and Swat”. Available at: http://sanpips. com/index.php?action=events&id=46 (accessed on 15 Aug, 2009). 12 Syed Rifaat Hussain, “Responding to Terrorist Threat: Perspectives from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan,” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. XXX, No. 3, Spring 2007. 13 Ibid 14 Hillary Clinton, “A new Gender Agenda’ interview by Mark Landler”, New York Times, (August 23, 2009). 15 S. Raza Hassan, “Over 14,000 UTPs sent back without hearing in July,” Dawn News, (Islamabad: August 23. 2009) 13. 16 Pervez Musharraf, In the Line of Fire, (UK: Simon & Schuster Ltd, 2006). 17 Kunwar Idris, “Accountability in government,” Dawn News, (Islamabad: August 23, 2009).
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Volume VI Number 3
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