The security forces of Pakistan, after tireless efforts and unprecedented sacrifices, ended the wave of terrorism from the dear motherland and restored peace and order in the country, after which not only political, social, commercial, and tourism activities were boosted, but the restoration of international sports on the mainland was also possible. However, for the past few years, the defeated terrorists hiding in different corners of the country are sometimes targeting the police and security forces and sometimes innocent people in their cowardly actions.
There is a dire need for an effective counter-terrorism strategy. To destroy the hideouts of terrorists and maintain peace in the country, the policies should be reviewed and made more viable to counter the cowardly acts of terrorists.
For the establishment of peace in Pakistan, the gap was identified for the first time in preventing and countering terrorism after the success of comprehensive military operations. After the immediate threats subsided, the state established more institutions aimed at dealing with the complex root causes of terrorism that were wreaking havoc in the country. Now that a new wave of terrorism is emerging, policymakers must fully align counterterrorism regulations with a comprehensive counterterrorism framework to address the root causes.
Differentiating between terrorists and other criminals is an aspect that has been consistently neglected in formulating the implementation of counter-terrorism policies. Suspects involved in heinous crimes and riots are different from criminals involved in terrorist activities, but the provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act, which deals with punishing terrorists, are often used for these criminals as well. This also increases the burden on the courts and the law enforcement agencies become overburdened. Successful counterinsurgency operations after 9/11 provided opportunities for large-scale operations, but also opportunities for terrorists to carry out more destructive actions than expected, making counterterrorism and counterterrorism approaches more complex. After the APS Peshawar incident, priority was given to counter-terrorism response mechanisms over counter-terrorism strategies, in which a comprehensive counter-terrorism policy was developed with multi-pronged military and intelligence operations. Meanwhile, less attention was paid to counter-terrorism efforts. Over time, as counter-terrorism moves towards a counter-terrorism regime, various issues are emerging that will be resolved, such as the separate legal and regulatory framework established in response to the APS. Investigative systems undermined the practice.
Military operations, intelligence operations, and combing and sweeping operations against terrorists in troubled areas; A comprehensive policy is a few of the many measures. A comprehensive law enforcement strategy is needed to identify the trends and characteristics of internal displacement and displacement due to counter-terrorism operations.
Pakistan is fighting a tough war against terrorism. Political instability and lack of reform in local law enforcement agencies add to the problem, reducing the success of counter-terrorism operations. The police force in Pakistan has been the subject of severe criticism for maintaining security, but the reality is that the police play a bridging role in counter-terrorism operations and this is an attribute that Pakistan’s National Action Plan missing. Terrorism, linguistics, and sectarianism, as well as different terrorist groups, need to be looked at separately and a separate strategy for each needs to be devised.
Recently, there was an explosion in the workers’ convention of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) in Khar, the capital of Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The death toll has reached 54 so far. More than 90 are injured. According to Additional Inspector General CTD, the identity of the attacking group has been identified, the accused have been reached in the initial inquiry, a lot of evidence has been found from the crime scene, and 10 to 12 kg of explosives have been used in the suicide blast. The District Health Officer says that the people injured in the Bajaur blast are undergoing treatment in different hospitals. 38 dead bodies have been handed over to the heirs while eight bodies have been kept in the hospital due to non-identification.
An FIR of the blast has been registered against the unknown assailant at Police Station CTD Bajaur. FIRSHO Khar has been charged with terrorism, murder, attempted murder, and other provisions. SPCTD Bajaur has said that the investigation team visited the blast site and collected evidence. He said that the investigation team also recorded the statements of the injured and completed the process of geo-fencing. According to the DC of Bajaur district, Daesh Khorasan has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the investigation is still ongoing. Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman while expressing regret over the Bajaur blast demanded an inquiry from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It should be noted that there have been suicide attacks on gatherings and caravans before this, inquiry committees were formed before, investigations were conducted, and the accused were arrested, but the acts of terrorism continue even today.
A few weeks ago, there was a suicide attack on Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Siraj-ul-Haq’s convoy. There is a need to develop a counter-terrorism strategy along with ground realities to prevent terrorists from playing with the lives of innocent citizens from such cowardly acts.
Writer is a MPHIL. Scholar from Ripha University.