What is miss­ing in our anti-ter­ror pol­icy?

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

IN­TE­RIOR Min­is­ter Ch Nisar Ali Khan, in a wide-rang­ing press con fer­ence on Mon­day, dealt with the is­sue of ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism in a com­pre­hen­sive man­ner and vowed to de­feat ter­ror­ism with the strong com­mit­ment of the na­tion. He pointed out that our security agen­cies have squeezed space from ter­ror­ists and that is why they are hit­ting soft tar­gets.

Only pes­simists would dis­agree with the Min­is­ter that the on-go­ing op­er­a­tion against ter­ror­ists has made head­ways in different parts of the coun­try and a marked im­prove­ment in security en­vi­ron­ment is vis­i­ble. There is no deny­ing the fact that the in­ci­dents of bomb blasts and suicide at­tacks have come down, which show the security and law-en­forc­ing agen­cies have, be­sides elim­i­nat­ing ter­ror­ist net­works, pre­vented such in­ci­dents. How­ever, the na­ture of the prob­lem is such that it would con­tinue to haunt us for years to come and sus­tained ef­forts will have to be made both by the gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple for the pur­pose. There is con­sen­sus that the use of power alone would not re­solve the prob­lem that has many di­men­sions and that is why a Na­tional Ac­tion Plan (NAP) was carved out through the col­lec­tive will of the na­tion. Ch. Nisar Ali Khan would ap­pre­ci­ate that there are gen­uine con­cerns about progress on all as­pects of the NAP, so much needs to be done on different fronts es­pe­cially the psy­cho­log­i­cal as­pect. The Min­is­ter him­self has ac­knowl­edged that suc­cess would de­pend on win­ning the war on psy­cho­log­i­cal front as well but progress in this re­gard seems to be very slow. Minds of peo­ple es­pe­cially those of youth have been in­flu­enced by those be­hind the cam­paign of in­doc­tri­na­tion and it is un­der­stood this phe­nom­e­non can­not be ad­dressed just through mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions. Fed­eral and Pro­vin­cial Gov­ern­ments will have to join hands and sup­port of all seg­ments of the so­ci­ety es­pe­cially re­li­gious schol­ars, me­dia and opin­ion-mak­ers will have to be enlisted for coun­ter­ing those prop­a­gat­ing ex­trem­ism, be­sides con­cen­trat­ing on the psy­cho­log­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of af­fected ones, on pri­or­ity ba­sis.

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