THE horrible reality of terrorism has become an almost unbeatable challenge for the global world, particularly to South Asians nations. The forms of terrorism have changed but essence is the same. Bloodshed, uncertainty, to weak the will of state by victimising the innocent citizens. Terrorist organizations had been affecting local, regional and international peace from their inception. On one hand acting as silent killer either in Islamic countries or western countries turning to devastation of human capital as well as material capital. The lethal impact of terrorism evident are in the whole world.
Though, terrorism posses great security challenge to the modern state system. This modern warfare has been labelled as the 4th generation of wars. This is the war of winning mind and souls of the citizens. During this war false dreams are used as psychological tool to spiritually and socially pollute the mindset of citizens. So, can this war be won by applying traditional tools of warfare against an invisible enemy? Is the piling of heaps of lethal weapons and directing against the state actors mitigate the threat posed by the monster of terrorism.
The long journey of organized terrorism unleashed ethnic, lingual, regional and political or religious confrontation. The concept of “Maxilien Robespierre” usher the terrorism and can we deny the “Sicarri”, (Jewish Group) “Hashhashin” assassination of Abbasid, Seljuk. “Subdue by terror the enemies of Liberty and you will be right as founder of the Republic”. So, the foundation of modern terrorism which believes the violence will build a better system. The main motive was to affect the politics but opened a new world of violence. The six phases of French revolution 1789 to 1799 and “Russian Revolution” 1917 to 9/11 incident engulfed the South Asian’s countries peace and changed the world scenario. Now we are countering Bioterrorism, Nuclear, terrorism, cyber terrorism, eco-terrorism, Norco-terrorism and state terrorism at local, national and international level. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it had to join US-led war against terrorism in the era of President Musharraf to counter terrorism. Pakistan had waged war against terrorism and paid a heavy price: 70,000 civilians and military persons were martyred and economy suffered loss to tune of US$100b
The question is that why world had spent or lost US$2t in war against terrorism and destroying Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Libya, Syria to targeting terrorist groups at any cost. The answer is simple. The desperate attacks and evil attempts by terrorist groups had invoked. Security threats for western countries as well as South Asian countries it is a bitter reality that a defense policy of one country proved offensive policy for another country. As for as the South Asian region is concerned, it has two main players and game changers: Pakistan and India. Both countries are Nuclear powers and have long history of cultural, religious, lingual, regional differences. Pakistan has bitter experiences of 1965, 1971, 1998 from the very first day. Pakistan has been a target of Indian state aggression. So, both countries adopted aggressive defence and foreign policies.
Pakistan has disparity of 1 to 5 in the conventional warfare terms. The launching of Ballistic Missile Nasar is in fact a defensive response to mitigate the threat posed by Indian Cold Start doctrine in the South Asian region. But it is a painful strategic development. It would certainly lead to acceleration of threat perception on either side of the Indo Pak border. Can this defuse the prevailing tension between the two countries? Can this policy paradigm of both states serve as a tool of salvation by piling of lethal weapons? The present scenario deserves to be changed. The wise step would be to reduce the race of piling up weapons. The hovering threats always erupt from socio-economic backwardness instead of possessing nuclear weapons. So being a nation and a state our salvation lie in humanism, progressivism and enlightenment instead of free production of lethal weapon. The major cause of concern of South Asian people lies in sustainable regional cooperation and democratic countries promotes fundamental rights at all level. Both countries should be advocate humanism and take urgent steps for collective good of the region by promoting peace and tranquillity.
Though, weapons are essential to thwart the threat of war. Yet it must not be forgotten that terrorism is largely designed and executed by the non-state actors. So, the new policy tool must be collective and sustainable against the heinous, lethal philosophies and ideologies.
— The writer is freelance columnist based in Multan.