ISLAMABAD: By now it should be clear to everyone that the war against terror is something that we need to own.
The fact of the matter is that any debate on whether the war is our own or has been imposed on us is quite pointless. How can we win this war if we do not own this effort?
Here is a five-point integrated roadmap to defeat the terrorists and it is in descending order of importance:
1) A national awareness campaign should be undertaken to educate Pakistanis on the horrors of extremism and its offspring terrorism and militancy. Right now, there is no such campaign in Pakistan, which makes it difficult to garner support against extremists.
2) The government needs to provide good governance because if this was in place, ordinary Pakistanis would have less reason or cause to be angry at the government and sympathise with the militants.
3) We should have good relations with our neighbours.
4) A ‘truth and reconciliation commission’ should be constituted and should include members of both the government and the opposition. This will help lower the current tensions prevailing in the country’s politics.
5) We need to improve our intelligence network and security systems.
The reason that intelligence and security have been placed at the lowest end is because I don’t see terrorism as an administrative problem.
If we have to win the war against terrorists, all the five steps mentioned above have to be taken.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.
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