Newspaper Article 16/02/2015
Historically, terrorism required a radicalizing phenomenon of individuals snowballing into societies. Fortunately, reasons that could have caused this boomerang effect amongst non-Muslims have been correctly identified, pursued against and thwarted under the umbrella of UN, NATO led by the US and the West. Whether, it was Indonesia, Sudan, Yugoslavia and recently the Scotland referendum is in sharp contrast to issues involving Muslim sufferings; in particular to Kashmir and Palestine which unfortunately have been allowed to simmer for vested interests of India and Israel. Despite repeated UN resolutions, the issues are conveniently ignored or sidelined, thus, causing chaos in Pakistan, Palestine and the Islamic world as a whole. The brutal acts of suppression committed by the Indian Army in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) finds no parallel in modern history since the times of Nazi Germany. Kashmir, one of the loveliest places on earth is being tortured by ruthless terrorism of Indian Security Forces. The Indian atrocities in IHK, violation across the Line of Control (LoC) and Indian support to armed separatists in Balochistan are being deliberately ignored by the world at large. President Obama in his recent visit to New Delhi assured the latter of US support for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) membership. Kashmiris expressed resentment over this and a complete shutdown in the valley was observed on the Indian Republic Day. In view of the unjust policies, when it comes to Kashmir and Palestine or any other Muslim cause, it appears that a well-coordinated campaign has been launched against the Islamic world. Think tanks ganging up against their so called new enemy – the Islamic world, after successfully defeating the communist world. The radicals have been used as tools for motivating public opinion; using propaganda and money to cover up their state sponsored terrorist activities both overtly as well as covertly. There is no simple solution to this mega problem inflicting horror into the Islamic world. To counter this malicious campaign, Muslims need to give up their shortsightedness and see the world with a broader perspective. Muslims by following the sectarian ideologues are, in actual, hurting themselves to the joy of the Hindu-India, Jewish-Israel and the West. To counter this wicked global agenda, the Islamic ideology needs to be understood with wisdom and balance. We already have a rather weak platform of OIC which needs revival. All this has to be done in tandem with patience and steadfastness.
The prevailing regional environment has been plagued with the virus of terrorism. India under the garb of War on Terror (WoT) has tactfully reinforced its ingress in Afghanistan. The Afghan soil is being employed by hostile elements to further their nefarious agenda. This has been a cause of instability in Pakistan. It has also nourished the insinuations of mistrust among the regional countries. In an interview with the BBC, former Afghan President Karzai said “the war on terror being waged by the US led NATO forces for more than a decade in Afghanistan should have been fought outside his country’s borders and not in Afghan villages and homes”. Since the launch of the WoT, militant activity has intensified. The terrorist attack on a school in Peshawar, in which over 145 people, including 133 school children were martyred has heightened the sense of insecurity. The attack was carried by Tehreek-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP), which happens to be the by-product of the WoT. TTP is a major irritant for Pakistan, the outfit has been carrying out terrorist attacks throughout the country. Pakistan has been the biggest victim of terrorism, including that sponsored and supported from abroad. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an estimated 2,428 to 3,929 people have died as a result of US led drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, while well over 1,000 others have been injured. During the US Secretary of State’s visit to Pakistan, the Secretary announced US $ 250 million assistance for the IDPs of North Waziristan. But he also called for action against Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), perhaps at the request of India from where he had come to Islamabad. The “Indo-US strategic partnership” and the emerging “India-Afghanistan-Iran trio” is likely to have long term bearing on the political and security landscape of the region. The materialization of regional pipelines – TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) and IPI (India-Pakistan-Iran), will also largely depend on the political orientation of these alliances.
Amna Ejaz Rafi
Researcher, Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI)