Saturday April 20, 2024

Terror attacks

By Editorial Board
January 20, 2022

Terror appears to have staged a comeback. On the night of January 17, a police party came under attack in Islamabad, signaling that terrorism is not done and dusted with. Head constable Munawar Hassan lost his life, and another is in critical condition after the attack in the federal capital. This calls for a raising of the guard by all law-enforcement agencies. This was a blatant act of terrorism by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for which it has claimed responsibility. The TTP spokesperson has even disclosed the names of the two TTP attackers. According to the federal interior minister, there are ‘sleeper cells’ working in the country. In the first week of this month, two policemen were shot dead in the Shams Colony area of the federal capital.

These incidents raise a couple of pertinent questions. Though terrorist attacks never completely stopped in other parts of the country, there was a considerable decline in their number compared with what we witnessed a decade earlier. We have heard multiple times that Pakistan has gained victory against terrorism and thousands of terrorists have been eliminated. The nation is not unfamiliar with these claims, and with the hope that soon the fight against terror would be over and the people of Pakistan would live happily ever after. There was also the belief that once the hostilities from across the border in Afghanistan came to an end, there would be peace in the country too. The government even negotiated ‘deals’ with various outfits that were once proscribed, or at least we thought so. Now there is an Afghan Taliban government in Kabul which is supposedly friendly with Pakistan and apparently there is no terrorism support from there.

And yet here we are. These recent terror attacks in Islamabad and in the rest of the country show that extremist and militant outfits of various brands are not to be taken lightly in the hope of a ‘reconciliation’. Extremism in all its forms is bad for society and no appeasement policy can change that. In the past 20 years, we have seen numerous ‘agreements’ with and assurances from such groups that wish to impose their will in the country. Police across the country have been a soft target for such terrorist attacks. In addition, we have lost thousands of civilians and other security personnel in the past two decades. If there are ‘sleeping cells’ they need proper intelligence work to unearth their hideouts. Terrorism is a menace that can turn up its ugly head anytime and anywhere in the country. We need a once and for all elimination of these terrorist groups, without attempts at appeasement.