The Pros and Cons of National Terrorism Policy

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has called the need for an in-camera review to reform the Country’s counter-terrorism approach in a bid to prevent the factors that gave rise to militancy in the past. According to him, the nation’s whole-hearted support helped end terrorism from the tribal areas including North Waziristan and there is nothing wrong with reexamining the approach to counter-terrorism viz-a-viz developments in the region.

The menace of terrorism spread its bloody claws in Pakistan’s tribal areas and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the post-9/11 War on Terror (WoT), while a particular faction of the society in other parts of the country including Southern Punjab and Karachi also radicalized.

Besides various administrative and legal reasons, the partial implementation of the 2015’s National Action Plan (NAP), bureaucratic negligence, and leaders’ failure to assess the gravity of the problem have been the real reasons behind the re-emergence of terrorism in some parts of the country. At the institutional level, the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) was solely responsible to monitor and assess the terrorism threat in the country and mobilize SIAs (Security and Intelligence Agencies) and LEAs (law Enforcement Agencies) to address the issue, however, all state institutions including the NACTA failed to respond the situation mechanically and played a regrettable role in the making the upheaval.

Presently, terrorism has taken a rebirth in the country and it has become a real challenge for the nation. Today’s situation resembles the pre-2007 conditions and merits an immediate and stern response from the government. There is a dire need for a national debate on the revision of the National Terrorism Policy because militancy also has religious, social, and economic aspects that need to be addressed with a complete consensus among all segments of society. The government must adopt a rational and uniform policy to address this issue once and for all because poison might have different colours or tastes but all are equally deadliest without any exception.