Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism’


Terrorism has become Pakistan’s domestic problem and concern after owing the war on terrorism triggered by America and its allies to curb the momentum of Islamic militant organizations, al-Qaeda and Taliban, bolstered and funded by America in the cold war era to fight against the Soviet army invading Afghanistan. Thousands of citizens have lost their lives in last eight years in terrorist attacks conducted in different parts of the country by asinine and roughshod militants targeting mosques, shrines, markets and political and religious processions mostly. Suicide bomber has become the greatest threat to the people’s lives than any weapon invented by cynic minds. People in Pakistan are under the threat of suicide bombing all the time and it has installed perpetual fear factor in their minds. This fear factor is rooting deep in Pakistan’s social setup and is anticipated to be characteristics of the nation if check on terrorism is not made sure and stringent.

Terrorism has deformed the whole face of the country and is pushing the country towards the point of no return. The year 2011 started with sad news of the assassination of the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, by his own security guard in the capital of the country. The assassination itself was condemnable and excruciating but people’s response on it worried liberals and intellectuals of the country as this event will be the turning moment in upcoming history of the region. Assassin of Salman Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, got people’s applause and was showered with rose petals as he reached the central court for judicial trial. People of Pakistan regard Qadri, murderer of the Governor, their hero as he took ‘courageous’ and ‘audacious’ step to ‘teach lessons’ to people seeking reforms in the Blasphemy Law. Salman Taseer started a dialogue on reforming controversial and mis-used Blasphemy law and supported a Christian poor woman, Asia Bibi, accused of committing blasphemous activities and got death sentence as penalty from Lahore High Court. The public reaction was not new in its spirit as throughout the history of Pakistan people of Pakistan have gathered on streets for the sake of honor of the religion. Riots of 1952 against Ahmadi community in the length and breadth of the country and public ire against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, former prime minister, which turned into mob protests in every nook and cranny of the country in 1978, two major events in the history, are epitomes of religious fundamentalism integrated in Pakistani society. Religious fundamentalism is less fatal than religious fanaticism. People’s jubilation over assassination of Taseer and appreciation of Qadri over taking law in his hands is fanaticism and lunacy. It removed mask from the hidden face of the society condoning fundamentalism and fanaticism.

Pakistani people, divided into different sects and factions, are not religiously zealots but they have always gathered as religiously fundamentalists for honor of their religion. It is characteristic of Pakistani Muslims irrespective of their sect and ethnic identity. This characteristic fundamentalism was misused by America against soviet forces in Afghanistan when Mujahedin factory was established and flourished in the northern mountainous areas of Pakistan by then government of tyrant General Zia ul Haq with the support of military intelligence agencies most notably ISI – Inter Services Intelligence. Fundamentalism and adherence to religious values were geared and lubricated by Jihad mantra and people of Pakistan fought proxy war in the name of religion. It will be unfair to say that Pakistani people were manipulated by anti-Soviet forces. India has always been considered as the biggest enemy of Pakistan and before war in Afghanistan Pakistan has fought three wars with India and many people were fighting voluntarily as Mujahedin in disputed Jammu and Kashmir to ‘help their Muslim fellows’. So taste for jihad or ‘holy war’ was in their blood and religious fundamentalism has always been the characteristic of Pakistani people. This fundamentalism proved vital and effective for the proxy war which Pakistani guerrilla fighters (mujahedin) fought against soviet army.

After 911 the world’s history started getting changed and so the Muslim world’s also. Pakistan, being the epicenter and factory of global terrorism, appeared on the global radars as a key player to curb the terrorism. Pakistan had choice no other than joining war on terrorism to maintain its role in global politics. Joining the war divided Pakistani people into two fringes – one who were against terrorism and thus in favor of the war and second faction who were opponent of fighting America’s war in Pakistan’s land. From 2004 momentum of domestic terrorism increased every year and people further divided into factions. Few people keep the opinion that the current spate of terrorism is the retaliatory activism against drone strikes in the Northern areas by American spy agencies and thus they in silent words condone or legitimize terrorism. Another group has the similar opinion about the cause of terrorism but they condemn overtly it. But brighter part of this picture is that many people from all circles of life strictly condemn this activism and demand from Pakistan government and military to curb this menace as early as possible to bring normality and stability in the country back. Stance on terrorism is clear by a large population of the Pakistan so the world must not be skeptic on the aim of Pakistan to end this scourge.

Stance on terrorism is by liberal, enlightened and intellectuals of the country. Majority of the country is mostly illiterate, gullible and manipulated by the local clerics. So, fundamentalism is still present in every part of the country but in different shapes and forms. Anti-Americanism is one shade of it. Heroism of Mumtaz Qadri is another and newest one. Every incident opens a veil from the society and denudes the actual facade of the society. Religious fundamentalism is not taught only in madrassas and mosques rather it is implanted in the textbooks of school going children in which animosity against India is bred.

Pakistan is facing new challenges among which countering religious fanaticism needs a large portion of the national attention. If intellectuals and clerics do not realize the gravity of this threat, Pakistan will become the most intolerant nation on the earth and it will be less dangerous to the outer world than its own nationals as Pakistan is the hub of different religious and ethnic factions. Religious tolerance and ethnic pluralism is the only way following which will lead the country to come out of the quagmire of the conundrums. Intolerance, fundamentalism and fanaticism will only worsen the situation and push the country to dystopia. Countering terrorism is not possible without checking growing fundamentalism in the society and discouraging people’s response as seen after the assassination of Salman Taseer. No nation in the history has murderer their hero. Only Pakistan will have if people of Pakistan do not give place to tolerance and freedom to open dialogue in their society.

So the greatest threat to Pakistan is by its own nationals.