The spate of deadly terrorist attacks which has shattered the precarious peace in Pakistan has resulted in a muted response from the international community. Governments and international media which are apt to issue deeply sympathetic statements and pledges of solidarity when the targets are in Western countries have adopted a more circumspect approach in Pakistan’s case. This may be attributed to the remoteness of these attacks from Western lives or it may be because Pakistan is often held responsible for most of its current woes. However, there is no denying that these attacks represent an atrocious ideology which has taken far too many lives in our country and which needs to be rooted out to establish long lasting peace. Whether these attacks occur because of security failures or because the terrorist groups have tacit support within our country, the damage done is undeniable and tragic. Too many of our international allies do not recognize the gravity of Pakistan’s current security situation and the likely impact its further deterioration could have. But there is one country which as always has stepped up to the plate.
China, while condemning the attacks, has reiterated its resolve to help Pakistan in curbing the once again rising threat of terrorism. This may be a case of pragmatic diplomacy by China since it has ever expanding economic interests in Pakistan which do not benefit from instability. Whatever the reason, whether goodwill or foresight, China’s support at this desperately difficult time must be appreciated. Our army and government has issued several hardline statements about what they intend to do to ‘avenge’ these attacks yet we cannot work in isolation to end the miasma of terrorism. It is also equally important that Pakistan must not be viewed as a failing state which may be left to implode while the international community focuses on other issues. China’s diplomatic support also paints a sympathetic picture of Pakistan as a country suffering due to terrorism rather than as a hub for criminal and terrorist organisations. This offer for help displays China’s commitment to its interests in Pakistan and may indeed prove fruitful for our country.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2017.
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