Ef­fec­tively fight­ing ter­ror­ism

Arab News - - OPINION -

It is heart­en­ing to note that Saudi Ara­bia is tak­ing ef­fec­tive mea­sures to curb the men­ace of ter­ror­ism that has en­gulfed many coun­tries in the re­gion and out­side. As a mat­ter of fact, the King­dom has set an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple for other coun­tries to fol­low. Saudi Ara­bia is us­ing a multi-pronged strat­egy to fight ter­ror — rang­ing from strict laws to ed­u­ca­tion re­forms. One is left with no choice but to praise King­dom’s ef­forts in the fight against ter­ror­ism.

The rea­son for this suc­cess is per­haps the au­thor­i­ties’ bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the root cause of the prob­lem. Coun­tries like Pak­istan, Afghanistan and Ye­men should fol­low the Saudi strat­egy to fight ter­ror. In the case of Pak­istan, the ter­ror­ist out­fits ex­ploit re­li­gion to fur­ther their vested in­ter­ests. Most of their recruits are un­e­d­u­cated young­sters hail­ing from un­der­priv­i­leged class of the so­ci­ety. So it would be safe to as­sume that poverty and lack of ed­u­ca­tion are the two fac­tors that help these mil­i­tants gain strength. Keep­ing in view the so­cioe­co­nomic con­di­tions of Pak­istan, it would be naïve to as­sume that the govern­ment would im­me­di­ately dole out eco­nomic pack­ages to the masses to elim­i­nate poverty. The govern­ment of Pak­istan must de­vise a com­pre­hen­sive strat­egy to im­prove the so­cioe­co­nomic con­di­tions and to up­lift the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion.

A huge re­spon­si­bil­ity also lies on the shoul­ders of re­li­gious schol­ars. They should join hands with the govern­ment and try to ed­u­cate the masses and spread the true mes­sage of Is­lam. Coun­tries like Ye­men and Afghanistan are also be­ing faced with sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions. The United States and its western al­lies are mak­ing ef­forts to curb ter­ror­ism with­out a proper un­der­stand­ing of the na­ture of the prob­lem. Car­ry­ing out drone at­tacks and other ground op­er­a­tions to kill Al-Qaeda or Tal­iban op­er­a­tives will not help much. These pow­ers must un­der­stand the unique con­di­tions of ev­ery coun­try and then help that coun­try de­vise a strat­egy to ef­fec­tively fight the men­ace. The Saudi model should also be kept in mind while chalk­ing out a plan.

Naser Al-Turki

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