It is only after an attack that the government’s steps towards the security of its people can be re-evaluated.
The recent Charsadda attack was unique in certain aspects, the terrorists apparently weren’t on a suicide mission rather on a spree to inculcate the fear which was slowly evaporating.
“Terrorists always seek symbolic significance in their activities”, said Wajahat Masood, a prominent columnist and political analyst, while talking exclusively to DNA.
To strike on Bacha Khan University (BKU) on Bacha Khan Day, whose philosophy was non-violence, is a message loud and clear.
“Terrorists have embedded the philosophy that they want to hit each and every aspect that federation of Pakistan stands for”, Wajahat Masood continued
In a video released after the attack, they specifically mentioned parliament, army, democracy and politicians and the educated class.
The attack again gave Pakistan heroes to praise, the likes of Lecturer Syed Hamid Hussain and the people of the Palosa village, who fought with the militants and saved many lives.
One very easily concludes that it has become the duty of individuals to protect themselves from these attacks may keep happening until the problem is eradicated from its root.
The recent Charsadda attack was unique in certain aspects, the terrorists apparently weren’t on a suicide mission rather on a spree to inculcate the fear which was slowly evaporating
Political analyst Imtiaz Gul is the view that even the best of plans may not necessarily prevent such organised attacks. “Such attacks are directly related to Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours”, he said.
While there is no denying the effects of Zarb-e-Azb, the implementation of another fruitful plan has been missing from the scenario, the National Action Plan (NAP).
The history of terrorism is older than Pakistan but the history of extremism in Pakistan can be traced back to 30-35 years when the thought of proxy wars and radicalism were implanted through radio messages and seminaries.
To this day the government and state institution are infiltrated by extremists. Wajahat Masood gave examples. “People of the official institution were found to be involved in the Chaklala Air Base and Naran base attacks”.
Out of the 20 points of NAP 13, deal with terrorism and extremism:
- Implementation of death sentence of those convicted in cases of terrorism.
- Militant outfits and armed gangs will not be allowed to operate in the country.
- NACTA, the anti-terrorism institution will be strengthened.
- Strict action against the literature, newspapers and magazines promoting hatred, decapitation, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance.
- All funding sources of terrorists and terrorist outfits will be frozen.
- Establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force.
- End to religious extremism and protection of minorities will be ensured.
- Registration and regulation of religious seminaries.
- Ban on the glorification of terrorists and terrorist organisations through print and electronic media.
- The communication network of terrorists will be dismantled completely.
- Concrete measures against the promotion of terrorism through the internet and social media.
- No room will be left for the extremism in any part of the country.
- Reforms in criminal courts system to strengthen the anti-terrorism institutions including provincial CIDs.
On January 2, Sayeed Salahudeen, the chairman of the United Jihad Council (UJC), claimed responsibility for the assault in Pathankot, India.
Maulana Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid also claims support of suicide bombers openly. As recently on January 22 Chaudhry Nisar was pressured at the National Assembly to take action
Sayeed Salahudeen is said to be in an alliance with the pro-Pakistan militant groups based in the Pakistani-administered part of the divided Kashmir region, Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Imtiaz thinks is it crucial for Pakistan to keep its neighbours happy to avoid such attacks.
“As long as the neighbours (Iran, Afghanistan, and India) have complaints about alleged operations of outfits, Pakistan will keep suffering. A tit-for-tat policy will continue and their perception that Pakistan is supporting these banned outfits and is working against them will grow.”
Recently, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammed was arrested along with several other leaders of the group and offices and seminaries linked to the outfit were shut down.
Maulana Abdul Aziz of the Lal Masjid also claims support of suicide bombers openly. As recently on January 22, Chaudhry Nisar was pressured at the National Assembly to take action against the Lal Masjid cleric after key legal documents, asserting that the cleric was an absconder, were presented before the Upper House by Senator Farhatullah Babar.
Wajahat Masood thinks that the people need to stand up and take hold of extremism first
“When people do not give tax rather give aid to mosques minds won’t change”, he said.
However, though these attacks are unnerving, the future of Pakistan seems to be improving, at least according to Wajahat. “Let’s say that the civilians and the military are on the right track but let’s not hope for overnight results.”