Flourishing terrorism, a great defiance for Pakistan

A bomb blast killed at least 44 people and injured more than 150 when a suicide bomber set off explosives at the political rally of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in the Bajaur district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP). According to the Inspector General of K-P Police, the bomber was among the attendees seated in the front rows of the convention, who blew himself up as soon as JUI-F District Amir Maulana Abdul Rasheed reached the stage. As said, Senior JUI-F leader Hafiz Hamdullah was scheduled to participate in the convention, but he changed his travel plans at the last moment due to personal reasons. According to sources, the blast targeted the JUI-F, a government ally at the centre as hundreds of supporters had gathered in the convention. The investigations are currently under way and geo-fencing has been started from the scene to collect evidence, while no terror outfit has claimed the attack so far.

There has been a sharp upsurge in terrorist activities across Pakistan, particularly Erstwhile FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) had been the prime target of anti-state activities by the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after the banned outfit called off ceasefire in November last year. The defunct group is currently camped inside Afghanistan and wages a blatant war against Pakistani public and state institutions, as Law Enforcement Agencies, Mosques and temples, Public rallies and recreational places are not secure from terrorists’ attacks of brutal arsonists.

The recent attack at JUI-F workers’ convention in Bujur is one of the most severe terrorist attacks after the Peshawar Police Line massacre that cost over hundred lives of Policemen and innocent civilians in early 2023. Realistically, the frequency and the intensity in the terror attacks has gradually ramped up by the terror outfit in recent months after the Pakistani LEAs intensified their Intelligence based Counter Terrorism Operations against TTP sleepers cells in Erstwhile FATA and settled areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Recently, United Nations Secuirty Council has released a report that revealed the nexus between the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which became more robust and strong in the modern era after the ideological mentors of Pakistani splinter group took control over the neighboring Afghanistan. The reports suggest that the linkages and cooperation of these trio-Cosa Nostras had increased their maneuverability and operation capabilities many fold. The fourth report of the Analytical Support and Sanction Monitoring Team of the UN Security Council further revealed that strong nexus between the Afghan Taliban and the TTP has posed significant challenges and negative implications to regional and global peace, particularly it has grave repercussions for Pakistan, which has been the prime focus of TTP terrorist activities during this time.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State has also stretched its claws in former Tribal areas and is currently carrying out terror attacks against selected targets in Pakistan. Unfortunately, a particular faction still exists in the Pakistani society that owes the idea of so-called Islamic Khalifat/ Islamic Emirate in the country. This sect has a soft corner for the TTP and Taliban, it provides them shelter, facilitates their movement and operation and accommodates their recruitment from the society. However, Pakistani LEAs and Security Agencies have not yet recognized the actual breeding ground and root cause of the flourishing terrorism in this nation that has endangered the national security and Country’s sovereignty for their mihopic ideology and narrow sightedness.

Amid heightened internal and external security risks, the ongoing tussle between the civic groups and political uncertainty further augmented the current situation more gruesome and complex. The political leadership in the country is totally unaware of the grave challenges and engaged in playing ping pong with each other which put the country into an unceasing turmoil and provided the terror outfit an ideal opportunity to regroup and realign themselves in certain areas. In fact, Pakistan faces the risks of a four-front war in the near future, if those terror groups or Indian agencies manage any terrorist activity against India from Pakistani soil that would not only endanger Pakistan’s security but likely to cause grave embarrassment for Islamabad at the global level.

In the current scenario, Pakistani policymakers need to be very careful as prudent. Whereas, security forces and counter terrorism operations are not sufficient to eliminate this grave threat effectively which has taken deep ingress in Pakistani society. A nationwide awareness and indoctrination campaign should be launched to sensitize the masses about nature and extent of the threat which is crucial to achieve cooperation from the masses to defeat the menace of terrorism. Meanwhile, the LEAs, Police and Intelligence Agencies have to modify their operational methodology while sparing more time for operational activities than administrative jobs and service of their departmental high ups.

For that end, Political leaders and religious scholars can play a vital role in indoctrinating and mobilizing the public to initiate a wholehearted nationwide drive to eradicate this menace from our society once and for all.