The streak of a relatively peaceful Pakistan has come to an end as of a few weeks ago and Pakistan is returning to its old state of panic, terror alerts, and precarious perpetual security conditions. February, celebrated as a month of love by some, has been ominous for the country. The most recent suicide attack took place in Peshawar on February 15 using 15 kilogrammes of explosives, this time targeting a court van killing at least one person and injuring four civil judges. This adds to the new wave of terrorism that is gripping the country. Reports of IED explosions had become more prominent as of the past couple of months, but attacks targeting mass gatherings were not. Terror is creeping back into our cities despite the touted National Action Plan (NAP), replete with military and Rangers’ operations in the north and south of the country. Never mind, that, however, because evidently, the terrorists never left and it appears they are organising again to cause mayhem.
Some say this is a cyclical pattern with the country running amok whenever we approach elections. Others believe the spate of bombings is a message from the negative forces for us to act as they want. Regardless of which theories are true, the military and government have only touched the tip of the iceberg. Some major terrorist attacks may have been thwarted in the past couple of years, but outlawed organisations have been allowed to operate. Some groups have the influence to brainwash men and women and engender more hatred for the country and its citizens. A reasonable extension of NAP would have been to ban the operation of religio-political groups that propagate questionable and extremist ideologies. Any pride the leadership had over gaining control of the terrorism situation in Pakistan can be quashed as evil resurfaces in the country. The stock market has already been affected and investor confidence will soon be, too. Perhaps, this last note will encourage the prime minister to take a more proactive role.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2017.
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