close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
 
February 24, 2021

The terror challenge

Editorial

 
February 24, 2021

Words leave you speechless when you think about the brazen murders of four women vocational trainers in North Waziristan on February 22. It was a daylight attack and the attackers managed to escape with ease despite the presence of security personnel across this tribal district that has been merged with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. According to reports, five women in a vehicle were driving through Eppi village near Mirali, when they came under fire which killed four of the women on the spot. Reportedly, they had come from the nearby district of Bannu. The driver of the vehicle also suffered bullet injuries and is under treatment. The police have confirmed that these women were working for a technical institute based in Bannu and giving vocational training to local women in that area. On the same day, in another incident vehicles had been stopped and eight people removed from them and taken away. One was killed. It is not known who is behind these attacks. But they are being linked with militancy in the area and a revival of the groups who have been active in the region before.

What is perhaps most sad is that no NGO has come forward to accept the four women who died. No group has said it had employed them or that it was in any way responsible for their safety or even that it mourned their deaths. This suggests just how terrified people are of militants and the threat they still hold over the people of the region. The authorities have been claiming time and again that the merged districts of the tribal areas have been cleared of terrorists. Each operation has claimed victories against terrorists and now even a thousands of kilometres long fence on the Afghan border is in place. Despite all this, the local people and especially women appear to be at the mercy of terrorists who strike at will. The ISPR has said that, while the military can and will take on terrorists, extremism also has to be tackled by the people of the area themselves by raising their voice against it and telling people around them how dangerous it is for them and for the entire area. Greater work on this needs to be begun by the government so that people can be educated about the risks of terrorism. The people of North Waziristan have seen the horrors it can bring and certainly most of them do not want to see these horrors again.

The incident is also being linked to developments in Afghanistan and new activity by the Afghan Taliban. It is thought the new attacks may be a part of their campaign to show that they still have strength and capability. Talks with the Kabul government are going on in Doha but there is no sign that these are heading in any particular direction or proving to be very effective. Pakistan needs to keep examining its strategy against terrorism and determining how best to handle it so that more deaths can be avoided and people persuaded to work together with the military to end this menace, which has over the years claimed thousands of lives of innocent people in the country.