Terrorism in Pakistan; Causes, Effects, Solutions
Once a convicted "terrorist", Nelson Mandela, wrote in his autobiography: "the hard facts were that 50 years of non-violence had brought (my) people nothing but more repressive legislation, and fewer rights".
If the world leaders do not believe that global fairness, peace and human dignity is in the best interest of the global community, then our fate may indeed be akin to the vision of Shelley's
And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken....
Terrorism- either by the state or by the non state actors, is the cruelest of crimes which kills less criminals but more innocent citizens. Terrorism has no absolute and globally accepted definition. If simply stated, terror is extreme or intense fear. It is a psychological state, which combines the physical and mental efforts to create dread and insecurity.
Globally Accepted Definition:
Acts committed with the aim of seriously intimidating a population, forcing a government or international organization to abstain from performing any act, or seriously destabilizing or destroying the fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of country or an international organization.
State Terrorism to counter terrorism:
When the whole world is in the cruel jaws of it, this reality cannot be curtailed through the more terrorism by the state; as many countries of the present world are trying to do it in this way. The obvious example of Kashmir and Palestine speak horrors of inhuman acts. Interior Motives of US Was on Terrorism:
If we take a look political disputes like Iraq, Afghanistan, the Interior motives of was on terrorism are:
· To get hold of natural resources of Muslim countries, either by the policy of friendship or confrontation.
· To malign Muslim freedom struggles like movements going on such as in Kashmir, Chechnya, Palestine.
· To damage the ideology of Islam specially Jihad to project Islam as a religion of intolerance. The fear factor is that Islam still is spreading in the West at a faster pace, 4500 embraced Islam after 9/11.
· To stop the rise of orthodox Muslim governments. They are doing it in the name of democracy.
They are changing the elected governments. E.g. Iran’s government is being isolated by imposing sanctions. They are there to protect monarchies in Gulf States.
· To ensure a greater Israel on Arab Land for the satisfaction of American Jewfish lobby.
· To spread its own culture. If a nation dies it’s a national death but if a nation dies of cultural death, It’s all over. The United State is permeated its culture in the countries on the name of terrorism. As in Iraq, they made dance clubs in the Green Zone. The uniform of new force of Iraq i.e. identical as it matched with USA.
· To check the unclear technology of the Muslim countries like Iran and Pakistan.
Causes of terrorism in Pakistan:
The sectarian anti-Shiite militant groups like the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan were preaching hatred against the Shiite Muslims and employing some terrorist activities. The extremist sectarian intolerance came to Pakistan only after 1979 revolution in Iran. The Iranian revolution emboldened the Shiite Muslims of Pakistan against their suffering at the hands of anti-Shiite groups. This was further aggravated when a Sunni-dominated Iraq with the backing of the USA and Saudi Arabia waged a war upon Shiite dominated Iran.
The soviet Afghanistan War was the most critical event responsible for spreading militancy and intolerance in Pakistan. In order to fight proxy war against the Soviets, the US and the Arab countries provided the funds for serving The Mujahedeen who were motivated for battle through religious propaganda urging them to expel the infidels from Afghanistan. The aftermath of the Soviet withdrawal exposed the damage, transformation of violence, and weaponisation into Pakistan society.
The armed freedom struggle surfaced in Kashmir during the eighties gave the resistors a continued reason to be present in the region, which was exploited by Pakistan. Therefore after 9/11, when a ban was put on these fighters, they turned their guns towards their adopted country.
The Internal Factors:
Pakistan is fighting against the menace of terrorism on both the fronts; external as well as internal. The derailing of democracy has had a preformed impact on Pakistani society. One cause is political deprivation, political alienation, leading to hopelessness, and sense of powerlessness, which then leads on to these terrorist acts.
In reality, the economy of Pakistan, replete with corruption, has disturbed the distribution of wealth. Dishonesty, bribery, the drug trade and other malpractices are common to make easy money. Black money has created new moneyed class in the society distributing the balance of social structure.
This factor alone is ideal for the infiltration of terrorists in various segments of society. The sense of deprivation among the small provinces, their feelings of social injustice and discrimination are serious indicators of imbalance. Polarization based on various castes, classes, religious affinities liable to be manipulated by the anti-state forces.
The prevalent system of education is a colonial legacy and has not been completely customized to meet the ideological, modern, scientific and progressive needs of the country. It also does not address the ideals of Islam to rise above the narrow divisions, at times the media communicates manipulated news and ideas, which causes sensationalism,
Madressas centers of hate-preaching to young minds is the critical part of the problem. The economic factors has been a major cause of religious exploitation of a sizeable segment of middle/lower middle class of the society.
The Zamindars and Jagirdars own 32 percent pf the privately cultivated land. Due to the increase in general awareness, a suppressed community often rises violently against this injustice leading to extremism in the society.
A weak judicial system and judiciary are also responsible for these unwanted tendencies. The judiciary is digital registration of the national data base is a major security. (NADRA) has been established, it is still found wanting. Incomplete facility is a contributory factor in harboring terrorists/miscreants responsible for the rise of militancy.
Causes at international Level :
Unresolved political disputes:
In the hot disputes of the world, Muslims are being isolated and discrimanatly treaeted in the conflicts. Ineffectiveness of UNO. To avert any other international war. The dispute if resolved in UNO, the terrorism was not prevailed as it is. Universal law of cause and effect:
State terrorism will produce obviously terrorism. Double standards of the West
On one hand, previously when Afghan Jihad was going on they were projected as heroes and then became terrorists. Distrust between Muslims and the westerns. Extremist activities by some terrorist groups, lik Al Qaeda. The pride of US as being unipolar. The Muslim world is victim of illiteracy, ignorance, poverty, intolerance and sectarianism.
Stance of Al-Qaida:
Its ideology is shaped by the belief that Islam is being degraded and humiliated by "western" values, with particular disgust reserved for those Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which are close allies of the US. The plight of the Palestinians is a rallying call for al-Qaeda whose central goal is to expel Americans from Muslim lands and dismantle pro-US Middle Eastern governments. To this end all US citizens and their sympathisers are to be killed, regardless of whether or not they are Muslim.
This fanaticism adopted by Bin Laden and his closest associates is often described as jihadism and is believed to have been inspired by an Egyptian radical, Sayyid Qutb, who opposed the Nasser regime. Fighting alongside the conservative Taliban in Afghanistan may have been a further influence on bin Laden.
The manic ideology of al-Qaeda has no roots in mainstream Islam which shares core values of peace and tolerance with the world's major religions. The holy Koran teaches that the killing of innocent humans is a crime and that suicide is unacceptable.
Attention is focused on the influence of institutions of Islamic education which in a small minority of cases advocate extreme views which "radicalise" students into beliefs which are inconsistent with mainstream Islam.
This is believed to flourish especially in Pakistan where inadequate funding of state education has allowed unregulated madrasa religious education to take hold.
The sense of political impotence created by inadequate democracy and corrupt governance.
Addressing the huge crowd gathered to celebrate his inauguration, President Obama said this:
"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."
In Europe, there are suggestions that young Muslims from immigrant families suffer identity problems in reconciling differences between western lifestyles and their upbringing.
The Bush administration packaged counter-terrorism as "the war on terror" with references to a crusade. In choosing language which conjured the spectre of a clash between Christian and Muslim civilisations, the Americans reinforced rather than undermined al-Qaeda ideology
The disaster of the Iraq war has presented unimaginable gifts to the terrorist cause. The decision to invade the country reinforced al-Qaeda accusations of western interference in Muslim territories whilst the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib undermined US claims to moral superiority.
HOW DID TALIBAN RE-EMERGED ?
Many Taliban escaped the hund at the time and went underground mixing up in the local Pashtuns. They later re-emerged in the past two years and have inflicted heavy losses on coalition forces as well as Pakistani forces. The focus of the US forces after the fall of the Taliban government remained on Al-Qaeda rather than both.
Whereas the US and NATO moved into Kabul and Northern Afghanistan, which was comparatively peaceful, no serious efforts were made to extend toward South, where the Taliban got an opportunity to regroup in their stronghold.
Pakistan was forced to move its armed forces to the eastern border to protect its integrity. Taking advantage of the situation on both sides of the border, the Taliban were able to regroup in south and east Afghanistan as well as in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
The last UNSG report on Afghanistan highlights that the corruption, opium production, lawlessness, and human rights violations are all on the increase. There are numerous internal and external factors, which make the war complex particularly for Pakistan.
The regional dynamics, culture, customs, treacherous and inaccessible terrain with porous border are main features of the area and the people.
American Failure in Afganistan:
Despite the military endeavour by the United States (US) and its allies, under Operation Enduring Freedom for the last eight years, violence increased by 543 percent till 2009. The Taliban-led insurgency has spread and according to an estimate almost 70 per cent of the country have become “no-go areas for security forces, government officials and aid workers.”
The inability of the international community to stabilise Afghanistan is clearly an outcome of the inadequate and short sighted policies of George W. Bush, who embarked on the military campaign in Afghanistan. Karzai was a choice of the Bush administration, but because of his inability to rein in rampant corruption, the flourishing drug trade, and the inability of his government to deliver basic services.
NATO’s presence in Afghanistan is in body and not in soul.
The resurgence of the Taliban in Southern and Eastern Afghanistan increases the military burden of US-led NATO forces in defeating the Taliban. Yet divisions within the transatlantic alliance are growing because of the divergence in perception about the stakes in Afghanistan between NATO’s European members and Washington. While Washington demands greater burden sharing, the Europeans are hesitant. This is a dilemma confronting the West.
President Bush ordered the creation of this CIA operation (which fires drone missiles guided by remote control at individuals it believes to be leaders of Al Qaeda or the Taliban).
The Pakistani government responded by calling on Obama to review this missile strike policy "and adopt a more holistic and integrated approach.”
Pakistan, with its fragile domestic situation, cannot afford such abuses of its national sovereignty to continue. Anger against the US has been inflamed in Pakistan as more civilians have died.
Dozens of missile strikes, instead of simply eliminating people thought to be an enemy inevitably create new enemies.
The dark complexity of suicide attacks has exposed inadequacies of security forces, moral philosophers, psychologists and theologians alike. Although suicide attacks are particularly associated with al-Qaeda ideology, they have been adopted by the Tamil Tigers, by militant groups in Iraq and also recently by the Taliban.
New Afgan Policy
In his speech, President Obama promised to extend an "open hand" to the world and to pursue diplomacy to improve international relations. Obama has taken important steps: he has ordered the closure of Guantanamo, appointed a special envoy to oversee the administration's interest in a permanent settlement in the Middle East, ordered the first steps for withdrawal from Iraq, and overturned the Bush philosophy of "either you're with us or against us."
Obama said his country does not want to keep its troops in Afghanistan. “Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no military bases there,” he said.
Sending US 30,000 troops, total 98,000. leaving Afnasitan till july, 2011.
Obama admits US does not want to occupy but want to capteure Al-Qaeda, US cannot afford such a along war.
US forces can attack areas (also Balochistan) of Pakistan to hunt down Al-Qaeda. Later, Bill Gates made it clear, “ US can not violate the soverignity of Pakistan.”
President Barack Obama said that US success in Afghanistan, where he plans to deploy 30,000 more troops, was ‘inextricably linked’ to Washington’s partnership with Pakistan.
‘We will act with the full recognition that our success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan,’
We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan.’ he said.
‘But in recent years, as innocents have been killed from Karachi to Islamabad, it has become clear that it is the Pakistani people who are the most endangered by extremism. Public opinion has turned.’
The Pakistani army has waged an offensive in Swat and South Waziristan. And there is no doubt that the United States and Pakistan share a common enemy,’ he said.
Positive: time frame to exit. Clearing that US doen not want to occupy
Obama has maintained that the future US efforts “must refocus” on “Afghanistan and Pakistan -- the central front in our war against Al Qaeda”. Sanctuaries on the Pakistan side of the Afghan-Pakistan border supply and train the assault on Afghanistan and the allied forces there.
In particular, U.S. officials would like Pakistan to crackdown on the leadership of the Afghan Taliban believed to be based in Quetta and two major factions of the Afghan insurgency led by veteran Afghan warlords, Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
These, U.S. officials believe, are actively engaged in supplying fighters in Afghanistan. They further accuse, Pakistan's strategy is to support groups against India and to project influence in Afghanistan. Pakistan denies these charges.
Interests of External Players in Afghanistan
The main US interest is to stop the spead of religious fundamentism and terrorism coming from Afghanistan. It is also in US interest to check the flow of narcotics emanating from poppy fields of Afghanistan. The presence of US forces in Afghanistan is aimed at long desired policy to contain China. The economic issue that drives Washington’s interests is the potential oil resources of the Caspian Basin region. Russia wants to protect the vulnerability of bordering the CARs against the threat of Islamic extremism emanating from Afghanistan. India wishes to exploit the prevailing international anti-terrorism sentiments to here advantage. However, India would like to benefit from proposed oi-gas pipline project running through Afghanistan and Pakistan to meet here fast growing energy needs. Iran has a major concern in protecting the interests of Shiite minority in Afghanistan: therefore, predominately non-Pashtun government in Kabul is in Iran’s strategic interest. It is in Iran’s interest that Afghanistan should remain relatively unstable, so as to strengthen the case for running the pipelines through Iran. The CARS particularly Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan would like to see a stable Afghanistan to enable them to pass their oil and gas pipelines to warm water ports of the Arabian Sea.
This problem is further compounded by the weapon friendly culture of the area, easement rights that allow free cross border movement of the Tribal without any documents add to the complexities. The local religious leaders are also a source of irritation for the operations by the army. The army is generally accused of not doing enough to stop the cross border movement of the Taliban.
The other external factor is the growing Indian Influence in Afghanistan’s cities bordering Pakistan, which is playing a negative role in the war against terror. To check cross border movement of militants is another important factor. The effective sealing of such porous is only possible if strong measures are adopted on the border by both sides.
WHAT TERRORISM HAS DONE (International Perspective)?
Bush administration claimed “to make world safer”. But it did in opposite manner. Obama has accepted that they can not afford a long war in Afganistan. New Afgsn policy has given exit straregy.
Worldwide Fear- Murder of Benazir, Mumbai attacks, Pak-India tension, and London bomb blasts.
Economic Losses to the world. Increased defense budget
The United Nations was sidelined. The prestige attached to UNO was ended.
The Muslim country’s nuclear ambitions were strictly checked as in Iran.
Huntington’s Clash of the Civilizations. This theory came to be true. “The battle line would be drawn on tenets lines of civilization”. As Jews v/s Muslims, Hindus v/s Muslims, Islam and the West etc.
EFFECTS ON PAKISTAN:
Afghan refugees US military strikes the NWFP influences. Taliban are increasing. Taliban elements and their mentors Al—Qaeda, moved into the major cities.
It has forced the state to station many divisions of army for law and order at the cost of earning the opprobrium of “use of force” against terroists in SWAT and FATA. The loss of foreign direct investment and tourism. Visa and job opportunities for Pakistan is from these areas to the Middle East are being increasingly curtailed.
The rugged border terrain of nearly 1,500 Km at the height of 10,000 to 15,000 feet, with no communication infrastructure, has enabled the foreign elements to fully exploit the situation. Pakistan has dispatched almost 70-80,000 of troops to the tribal regions.
This preparation has to be dispelled that fight against terrorism is a now form of warfare where the attackers are insidious, elusive and yet create sense of create sense of intimidation and terror.
On the political side, Pakistan’s international political isolation ceased immediately and it assumed the role of frontline state yet again. Despite the AQ Khan nuclear proliferation crisis, the US gave Pakistan the status of ‘Major Non-Nato Ally’, offered Kerry-Lugar Bill.
Debate in Pakistan either war against terror is ours or of US.
Acute economic crisis. Pakistan has adversely affected by terrorism than any other country of the world. Although, Pakistan is a victim of terrorism is being labeled as a state sponsoring terrorism.
Lot of time and energy of Pakistan is being consumed to make world understand that Pakistan is not the sponsor of terrorism but it is a victim, and while doing so it is being forced to make compromises on vital interests. Even the friendly countries like China, Iran, and Indonesia started looking towards Pakistan with suspicion.
As far as NATO operations in Afghanistan are concerned, they are limited by inadequate number of troops, and with difficulties of terrain primitive tribal culture, weapon stocks and drug money. The Taliban are resurgent. In fact it is a cumulative effect of many factors: due to divisions of resources to Iraq war, NATO’s insufficient level of troops, rise in opium trade, limited control of Karzai government around Kabul, poor governance, high level of corruption and unemployment, lack of reconstruction, rise in violence and rampant warlordism. A nagging perception in some quarters in the West, especially the US, that Pakistan is not “doing enough”.
In fact, no military solution from the air or ground will ever be found to solve the deplorable conditions – grinding poverty and benign neglect – that breed violence, hatred and rebellion.
Obama should avoid Bush’s Policies of use of force to avoid further military and financial losses.
Involving UNSC & OIC would be in the interest of US to minimize anti US sentiments in the Muslim world.
Interfaith dialogue can clear the misconceptions against each other.
Solution of issues like Kashmir and Palestine The Muslims should discourage extremist groups in their social life. Madressa reforms Positive role of world media
“There is no silver bullet that can address global terrorism in all its complexity,” writs
Maleeha Lodhi in “The Threats of all Threats”.
Every continent has seen acts of terrorism. Perpetrators belong to diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths.
She proposed a broad-gauge counter-terrorism strategy based on nine ‘Cs’.
1) Comprehensiveness: A comprehensive, multifaceted strategy is needed that encompasses law enforcement, political, social, cultural, financial and diplomatic measures.
2) Consensus at the global level is required on a strategy incorporating both short-and long-terms
3) Causes and conditions that breed, encourage and contribute to terrorism must be objectively identified and addressed.
4) Confusion about the definition of terrorism and mixing every Muslim with terror is discouraging.
5) Capabilities must be improved and national capacities strengthened across he spectrum to pursue terrorists and prevent terrorist activities.
6) Cooperative rather than coercive national and international strategies should be pursued so that the reaction to counter-terrorism measures does not compound the problem.
7) Civil liberties and principles of good governance must be upheld in the fight against terror, because real security can only be achieved through respect for human rights.
8) Civilization and cultural: dialogue and understanding including engaging at the battle for the hearts and minds, must become an integral part of global consensus-building to evolve a joint strategy. Such a dialogue must be premised on the understanding that the root cause of friction between civilization are not primarily religious differences, but mainly issues of power, competing political and economic interests, policies and misunderstandings.
9) Conference at the summit level must be called to craft and coordinate an approach based on these elements.
10) There are two dimensions to the problem in Afghanistan- strategic depth and nation building.
11) Militarism was dominant in George Bush’s policy and it was not a comprehensive approach.
12) President Obama’s policy talks about a regional approach and China is important part of this regional concept.
13) The primary reason for the unpopularity of the government in Afghanistan is lack of social development activities.
14) Afghanistan needs to have a force which is sustainable in its own budget.
15) Afghanistan problem cannot be solved in isolation and there is need for comprehensive engagement with getting confidence of Pakistan by stopping Indian interfernce in Afghanistan.
16) The role of SCO in the context of Afghanistan should also be considered while studying this problem.
Today terrorism is complex in scope, even across the continents non-state actors. Countering this multi-headed phenomenon require multi-pronged and sustained policy by the governments across the globe.
Deprivation and an unjust political and socioeconomic dispensation rapidly give rise to frustration.
The remedy lies in a tolerant and democratic society. However to enable the United Nations to evolve an effective strategy for this purpose it I imperative to define terrorism that may be acceptable globally. Also make a distinction between terrorism and legitimate struggle for freedom and right of self-determination, the denial of which can breed terrorism and a threat to “peaceful co-existence”.
But Dr. Martin Luther King logically said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”