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Terror Attacks In Europe: Time For Governments To Introspect – OpEd


The terror attack in Manchester that killed and injured so many innocent persons has followed similar other terror attacks in recent months in different places in Europe. Earlier, many Europeans, particularly in Western Europe, thought that they would be immune to such terror attacks while it took place at regular intervals in several other parts of the world. Now, they have to realize that Europe cannot remain isolated from the dastardly attacks of the terrorists.

The time has come for the European countries to introspect as to why they have also become victims of bombings and murderous attacks by terror groups.

One fact that the leadership in Europe, particularly Western Europe, should not ignore is that several European countries have readily given refuge to many terror groups in the past operating in different countries, in spite of the fact that the governments of the affected countries appealed not to entertain such terror outfits. Unfortunately, many European governments turned down such requests, stating that they have to protect the liberty of individuals and their fight for whatever cause.

The immediate example is the recent ethnic war in Sri Lanka, when so many separatist groups operating in Sri Lanka were entertained in European countries, allowed to operate bank accounts, hold meetings and plan their strategies and operations. Sri Lanka suffered heavily due to such terrorist attacks and if the European countries have acceded to appeal of Sri Lankan government not to entertain the separatists, perhaps, the bitter war in Sri Lanka and consequent loss of thousands of innocent lives could have been largely avoided. A former British Prime Minister visited Sri Lanka and blamed Sri Lankan government for human rights violation and several European governments and USA, brought the issue to the United Nations to censure the Sri Lankan government, while the Sri Lankan government was fighting against the separatists to save the country from disintegration.

It remains to be seen how the European governments would tackle the terrorists now, who are disturbing the peace and causing loss of innocent lives in Europe at will. Will they handle these terrorists in any way different from how Sri Lankan government handled the similar issue?

Indian government is battling against separatists and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The Western governments remain unconcerned about the terrorist attacks in Jammu & Kashmir, as it does not concern them. Some so called human rights groups in Europe have blamed the government of India for using force to defeat the terrorists. Will Europe now deal with the terrorists in a different way?

In the name of protecting freedom and liberty, Western governments encouraged several terrorist and separatist groups in other parts of the world and readily supplied arms to them. Syria is one immediate example and there are so many other examples that can be readily pointed out.

In the name of protecting freedom and liberty, West European countries like Germany readily entertained the refugees in recent months without even checking their background. Now, thousands of refugees have mixed with the population in countries like Germany, Belgium and France and they cris cross between the European countries. Possibly, some terrorist groups have entered into Europe in the guise of refugees, which has facilitated the regular terror attacks. Europe has brought the problem on itself and European governments remain confused and uncertain as to how to retrieve the situation. Even a sense of helplessness and panic is evident.

The Manchester attack is sad and horrible occurrence like so many terror attacks earlier in different parts of the world. It appears that Europe is yet to learn lessons about the need to put down the terrorists wherever they are, instead of thinking that terror attacks in other parts of the world in the name of liberation movements can be justified.

Obviously, European countries should set up a unified anti terrorist force to identify the terrorists amongst the people, isolate them and deal with them in the manner that they deserve to be dealt with.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the terrorists have no border and terrorist groups from anywhere can cause havoc in Europe. Therefore, European governments should stop thinking that terrorism in some other parts of the world like Jammu & Kashmir would be of no concern to it.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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