Impact of terrorism

The social impact of prolonged terror war on Pakistan has been horrendous. Hundreds of suicide bombings that occurred country wide inflicted colossal damage to the physical infrastructure and expenditure incurred on law and order squeezed the economy more than ever resulting in the diversion of public expenditure to security. The present socio-economic situation is likely to have adversely affected the efforts for poverty reduction. Counter terrorism campaigns against militants in KP and FATA also brought social and psychological sufferings to them. Approximately five million people were displaced which is considered as one of largest displacements in history of Pakistan.
Education is the key to progress for any nation of the world. It too became a victim of the war on terror. Most of the girls’ schools were destroyed and vandalized by the extremists for dispensing modern or western-style education generally to children but particularly to girls. Schools were also abandoned because of fear of being persecuted by the extremists in KP. The Taliban had banned girls’ education altogether and at the same time the incidents of torching and bombing schools intensified. Parents were asked not to send their daughters to un-Islamic schools for western education. Schools were particularly targeted in Swat and FATA but a lot of schools were closed down and the security forces used them as camps in the operation against militants and KP as a strategy to instil the youth of the area with militant values.
Terrorism, political instability and violence are among the most important factors controlling tourist flows to any country. Until a few years ago, tourism used to be a major source of revenue for the Pakistani government. The war on terror served as a major setback as the number of foreign tourists declined drastically after certain western countries started issuing negative travel advisories. Terrorism is surely the biggest menace and curse that Pakistan faces today. The sooner we realize the gravity of this problem and develop a national and public consensus on defeating terrorism and identifying the enemies in this regard, the better. Otherwise the snowball of terrorism will destroy us. Government should ban all such organizations and should award strict punishment to those who are involved in terrorism activities.
MARYAM AMIR
Karachi

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