Terrorism is, undoubtedly, the gravest threat to world peace at present and many countries are putting in herculean efforts to root out this cancer from within their territorial boundaries. In order to help the world community in these efforts, Pakistan drew up a pragmatic operational strategy and launched operations thereupon. These operations resulted not only in nabbing of numerous hardcore terrorists, who were later handed over to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for investigation and further legal action, but also in obliteration of many terrorist organizations which were involved in inflicting gruesome acts of terrorism to Pakistan and many other countries of the world. The state of Pakistan and its citizens have given unprecedented sacrifices in this war; in fact, the country is still reeling under its torment, the evidence of which can be found in incidents of bomb blasts and suicide attacks which are devouring innocent Pakistanis.
Countless reasons like poverty, illiteracy, injustice, intolerance, extremism, religious and ethnic disparities are cited to answer the question: “Why innocent people join terrorist organization?” But, what has been completely lacking in the popular discourse in this context is the new thinking and plans of action the world powers have adopted and under which they have made their military instrument an integral part of their foreign policies. Using their military prowess, they are out to gain an overwhelming influence and an unassailable control over the world resources and for this, they deem it absolutely right to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs and through this meddling they extirpate their centuries-old political and social fabric.
There is no denying the fact that excessive use of force begets terrorism and also creates a sense of alienation and privation among people at large which, in turn, gives rise to the feelings of vengeance — an integral part of human nature. If we cursorily look at the events in the recent past, we find that when Soviet Union, in a flagrant show of force, attacked Afghanistan, a number of resistance movements sprouted on the Afghan soil and they were later patronized by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The CIA recruited people from across the world decoying them in the name of jihad while some elements, overwhelmed by their religious beliefs, came to Pakistan to play their part in the Afghan resistance movement. These jihadists were trained by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and were sent to fight against the Soviet forces. When the war finally ended, the US pulled out but all these jihadists, whose home countries refused to take them back, settled in border regions and tribal agencies where Pakistan’s law-enforcement agencies didn’t have any significant presence. The environment of these regions proved so conducive for these mujahideen-turned-extremists that they created and organized terrorist outfits like Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkestan Liberation Organization (ETLM) and Ansar al-Islam and also developed their mutual relations. Fuelling the Sunni-Shia animosity was on the top of their agenda; though efforts to aggravate the situation have been on from other fronts as well.
Then struck the apocalyptic event of 9/11 and all these jihadists, who were active in Afghanistan, moved to areas near the Durand Line. Hence, they came under the patronage of such terrorist groups who caused a sharp spike in ginormous acts of terrorism in Pakistan.
Aligning with the United States in the war on terror also fuelled the fire of this scourge. Operations of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan and the policy of raiding innocent people’s houses in far-flung areas of the country — and that too in the dead of night — further provoked the resentment and not only gave birth to colossal resistance but also provided the Taliban with an alibi to launch their propaganda campaigns and it is perhaps because of this policy that Afghanistan is still crying for peace.
At a time when the war in Afghanistan was in full swing, the United States launched a full-scale war in Iraq with an aim to seize Iraq’s oil wealth. However, in order to make ground for Iraq invasion, there must have been a reason that the US may sell to the United Nations in order to compel the world body to acknowledge the need for this war. And, such a reason was given in form of the unfounded presumption that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Evidence suggests that the task of finding this ‘sellable reason’ to invade Iraq was assigned to the CIA. According to an op-ed by World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), the claims about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s links with terrorists were outright lies carved by the American government. Tony Blair, a former British prime minister and an important player of the Iraq war, himself admitted these facts and confessed that to cooperate with the United States in this war, he had lied to the British people and the world at large. The revelations by a former British diplomat, Craig Murray, have also exposed all these conspiracies as he has said that the whole Iraq war was fought on the basis of baseless, fallacious statements.
In 2003, a coalition of the armed forces of many countries invaded Iraq and this invasion resulted in the complete disintegration of Iraqi security forces, police and other security network. More than 200 leaders and security personnel were either mercilessly killed or were arrested. Some elements, which somehow survived, launched a guerilla war against the invading forces and the world saw the emergence of the tactics like suicide attacks and blasts of bombs and other improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to name some. The ambit of these activities kept on widening and ultimately a civil war broke out that is still ravaging the country. Iraq plunged into Sunni-Shia wars and people like Abu Musa broadened the scope of their terrorist activities. The flames of this war were fanned also by Nuri Al-Maliki, the then-Prime Minister of Iraq. The absence of the writ of the state provided the terrorist outfits with opportunities to spread their tentacles and they exploited the political instability and military weaknesses to their own advantage and, resultantly, the organizations like Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Hezbollah, Mehdi Army, etc., started gaining ground. All these events have brought Iraq today at the verge of collapse.
After doing to such a position that it is away with Iraq, these so-called flag-bearers of democracy started efforts to ‘impose’ democracy in Libya whose ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi had become a thorn in their sides. During Gaddafi regime, Libya’s per capita income had reached 14,000 US dollars, literacy rate had exceeded 88% and higher education ratio had soared to 45%. Women workers were paid equal to their male counterparts and almost every citizen owned a house. Libya was being run through General People’s Committee which served as the intermediary between the masses and government. This system was much akin to a local-government system. As a whole, Libya was a secular society wherein vices like religious extremism, hostilities and religious or ethnic disparities did not exist.
However, on 19th March 2011, a Nato-led military coalition, spearheaded by the United State and the United Kingdom, by colluding with the rebels, who were fighting against Gaddafi regime, assumed the operational control of ground and air operations. Thus Libya entered into an era where only destruction and devastation became its fate. Today, Libya is divided along two major centres of power: parliament and the extremist religious groups who want to occupy country’s resources. This political instability, disintegration of Libyan Army, absence of an effective governance system and undue foreign meddling in Libya’s internal affairs provided an environment conducive to the growth of terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, Daesh and Ansar al-Sharia. Consequently, Libya is also faced with a looming threat of disintegration; and perhaps this was the plan of the superpowers in accordance with the Zionist agenda.
Amidst all these developments, President Obama’s statement on Libya actually depicts the debauched and expansionist thinking of the superpowers that is resulting in the devastation and destruction of independent, sovereign states.
In March 2011 country-wide protests to demand the resignation of Bashar al-Assad broke out in Syria. Like a wild fire, these protests spread across the country within no time. The situation took a new turn when the United States, Russia, Iran and Turkey also jumped into foray. Due to manoeuvring of intelligence agencies and these powers, the agitations prolonged and thus paralyzed the government’s functioning. Resultantly, Syria got tangled in a war the prospects for coming out of which seem extremely dim.
At present terrorist organization including Hezbollah, Daesh, Al-Nasra Front, al-Qaeda, Turkistan Islamic Party, Free Syrian Army (FSA) etc., with active support of various intelligence agencies in men and money are wreaking havoc on the country. As per the findings of the United Nations and human rights organizations, by August 2015, more than 250,000 people had been disappeared and more than 4 million had left their homes to move to greener pastures.
The unprecedented use of force spurred by world powers’ unsatiable avarice to control world resources coupled with Zionist intrigues have unleashed the monster of terrorism on Islamic countries and it has shaken the very foundations of the states which have a cherished legacy of centuries-old traditions.
The reasons behind a rapid spread of terrorism across the world are attributable to the grave violations of human rights, through state-sponsored terrorism, in Kashmir and Palestine. Palestinians are subjected to brutal violence and appalling atrocities but the world keeps mum. Israel is the only country that has such Palestine-specific laws under which even minors and adolescents can be arrested and put behind the bars on the basis of a mere suspicion. As per a report published by Qatar-based Al-Jazeera on 25th April, there are 438 Palestinian adolescents languishing in Israeli jails and torture cells. Israel, as a state policy, inflicted such barbarities to the Palestinians because of which the rising of a resistance movement was all natural. Such an excessive, illegitimate use of force has begotten terrorism and the situation will keep on aggravating in the foreseeable future.
Likewise, Kashmir is also reeling under state terrorism of India. Indian and Israeli militaries are two terrorist war machines and their methods of torture are very much alike. The historic resistance Kashmiris have been bravely putting up against India’s illegitimate, tyrannical occupation of Kashmir is still on and even today Pakistani flag is hoisted in the valley which shows that the Kashmiris are still resolute to face Indian enormities and monstrosities. Indian army is deeply involved in inhuman, barbaric acts like carnages and sexual violence but hides itself behind nearly 10 draconian, oppressive laws that are in force in the valley at present. According to human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), thousands of innocent Kashmiris have been killed and then buried in mass graves. In 2011, the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission found 2,730 bodies dumped in unmarked graves in four different districts of the state. A noted Kashmiri lawyer Parvez Imroz had, in 2008, uncovered a network of 6,000 unmarked graves.
State terrorism essentially gives rise to resistance movements and common people get increasingly inclined to adopt their ideology. In order to bring peace back to this world, it is more than necessary that the United Nations refuses to follow the dictations and orders of the world powers and achieves a decision-making capability on its own. The UN should also stop superpowers from meddling into internal affairs of other sovereign states.
Electing the government and the system of government is the own choice of the citizens of a state and no one has the right to infringe that liberty. If we deeply analyze the prevailing state of affairs, we will find that the sovereignty of Muslim states is being jeopardized and the contours of the conspiracies behind are akin to those of the Zionism — an agenda that calls for the creation of a Greater Israel. Muslim states also need to rise above the parochial differences and religious prejudices and to modernize their respective governance systems because in the contemporary world, monarchies and oligarchies are being despised and movements against them are emerging in almost all parts of the world. In order to fight against the terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and Daesh not only the Western but the Muslim states also need to draw up a common and effective approach. Perhaps the most pressing need of the hour is the creation of a common army that would fight terrorism and terrorist organizations rather than any single Islamic country. Moreover, a common platform for timely intelligence-sharing must also be developed. Pakistan will also have to learn from the countries where foreign powers meddled into country’s internal affairs and thus fostered regional sectarianism. Pakistan will have to develop, and implement with full vigour, such laws under which no religious, ethnic or religious group could get any foreign funding.
Pakistan has, since long, been fighting the terrorism ignited by our own duplicitous policies which the foreign powers have successfully manoeuvred to achieve their own agendas. And, this will be the real test of our country’s political leadership that whether it successfully stops such elements from rejuvenating. The government must keep taking the strictest of actions against their facilitators as well. If the contours of our internal security policy and foreign policy are drawn by giving due consideration to all these factors, then there is every hope that the people of Pakistan will finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief in the near future and Pakistan will be put on the path to progress and development; a long-cherished dream of every patriotic Pakistani.