Get serious! – 02 Feb 2023

The terror backlash is evident all over, and disgruntled elements are out to bleed the nation

It’s a moment of astute introspection. Something serious and out of the box needs to be done. The terror backlash is evident all over, and disgruntled elements are out to bleed the nation. The mayhem in Peshawar is a testimony that the war on terror is yet to be won, and the faceless enemy is very much in our rank and file. The military top-brass, 255th Corps Commanders’ Conference, that met on Tuesday to take stock of the situation was on the spot as it reiterated plans to dismantle the terror nexus. That resolve has been there for long, and the armed forces have made great sacrifices. Thus, what is needed is a strategy with an implementation arm to crush not only the hardcore criminals who have taken up arms against the nation and the state, but also to exterminate their abettors in the body politic. It is tantamount to a purge in the edifice of the state, and only then can terrorism be checked in all forms and manifestations.

The mosque bombing in Peshawar, which led to the killing of around 100 people, has come close on the heels of a Bannu police station takeover by non-state actors. Likewise, there are rampant reports of shootouts and encounters with law-enforcement personnel and disgruntled elements operating at impunity in the settled and tribal areas of Pakistan. Moreover, the audacity of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, and their likes, to claim responsibility for attacks and vow to go ahead with many more is unacceptable. It must be reacted to with full force. This devastation is owing to our own shortcomings, and the so-called policy of appeasement in the form of talking to the terrorists has emboldened unscrupulous elements.

As decided by the civil and military hierarchy, let there be a consensus now that there would be no talks with any terror outfits, and those advocating it should be singled out. Pakistan is passing through a critical phase that impacts its very stability and security. Thus, it is a question of its survival and there cannot be any lopsided approach in it.

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