National effort against menace of terrorism

The National Security Committee (NSC) on Friday approved a multi-pronged comprehensive operation to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the country.

The recent meeting of the forum was a follow-up of its most crucial huddle that was held immediately after the terrorist attack on the Peshawar Police Lines on January 2, 2023. The forum held an in-depth discussion on the current security situation in the country and vowed to deal with the threat of terrorism with iron hands with high national resilience, wholehearted resolve, and determination.

The forum also approved the constitution of a high-level committee, that will draw parameters and formulate policy to achieve the objective of the proposed nationwide counter-terrorism operation. The apex committee expressed its resolve to fail the heinous designs of the nation’s enemies through timely kinetic and hard-hitting measures along with the preservation of peace and stability in the country.

The menace of terrorism regained momentum because of frequent incidents of terrorism and attacks agaisnt the LEAs and civilian targets in terror-hit regions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which caused great concerns in the government as well as the public. The well-planned attacks against the Security Forces and high-level targets including Peshawar Police Lines, police Stations, government officials, and other installations clearly illustrate the volume and severity of the risk of terrorism confronting the country at this point in time. Meanwhile, the current regional geostrategic environment and the absence of security cooperation between Kabul and Islamabad were other reasons for the recent spike in armed violence across Pakistan.

In fact, the recent upsurge in terrorism was only the result of the mild and unthoughtful policies of the previous government that freed not only dangerous terrorists from prison in the name of confidence-building measures but also gave free space to banned outfits to resume their unlawful activities and spread their nefarious agenda in the country. There had been recurrent calls from the public, civil society, and some political factions regarding the deteriorating law and order situation and unlawful activities of the returning terrorists in Swat, Dir, and Erstwhile FATA but neither the local administration nor provincial or federal governments paid any heed to those alerts in the past year until and unless the armed terrorists knocked at the provincial capital at the beginning of the current year.

Awfully, the deadly massacre of Peshawar Police Lines also failed to sensitize our political leadership, and the long-awaited and essentially needed All Parties Conference (APC) could not be convened so far because of the selfish politics of the politicians. Realistically, Pakistani society had been widely influenced/polarized by violent religious behavior, and intolerance, while radical ideas and passive support for terrorism seriously undermined the national interest and unity in the society that merits a pre-emptive comprehensive national counter-terrorism and counter-extremism/ deradicalization strategies against the deepening risks of communal violence and largescale terrorism in the country.

Presently, the top National Security forum is vigorously pursuing the national campaign against terrorism and actively working to maintain peace and stability in the country. The initiation of a fresh multi-pronged and comprehensive operation is a delayed decision in the right direction. While, these security endeavors must be combined with diplomatic, economic, and social measures to generate economic activities, eradicate support for extremism, and complete elimination of the menace of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations from our society. Although, this is a gigantic task and difficult agenda, however, it is extremely essential for the survival of our country and well-being of our nation. Thus, the entire public, government institutions, and political stakeholders must come on the same page to play a positive contribution in realizing the national manifesto so the menaces of extremism and terrorism could be wiped out from the country once and for all.