Terrorism In Pakistan: The Root Causes – OpEd


By Amanullah Khan*

Every terrorist incident in Pakistan strengthens my belief that root cause of terrorism in the country is external. The father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, truly said that no power on earth can undo Pakistan, however, he did not say that no power can hurt Pakistan. It is equally true that mere existence of Pakistan is not acceptable to many countries in the world. These ‘rogue states’ worked together in the disintegration of Pakistan (East Pakistan) and the same forces are active since ‘9/11’ to destroy Pakistan from within.

Internally, hostile forces have worked hard to deprive the nation from the spiritual power of dignity. These forces have applied multiple subversive methods to achieve this goal. The important among such strategies is the political and economic systems that are mainly responsible for all of the evils. When a nation loses the way to live with dignity, loses everything at last. This is a universal principle and in line with the teachings of Islam also. Allah in Quran says, “Allah will never change the condition of the people until they change it themselves.” Surah Ar Raad, part of Ayaat 11.

The Pakistani nation has lost its cause to live like a nation. Two times Roti (meal) is the prime goal of life for majority (poor class) in the country, and add two more to it, kapra and makan (cloth and a house), is the mindset and life style of the middle class. Making money is the practice of the rich, and ruling the country is the right of the 1% elites. In such a scenario, everyone is busy to grab an opportunity. State machinery is out of work, institutions are serving privileged class in the power corridors, and thus performance of the institutions is next to nil. National assets are being sold/privatized, money is borrowed in trillions of dollars, and a new wave of unregulated capitalism has emerged that is exploding the nation like a bomb.

Other than that, enemies have deployed their assets across the country at different stations, in different forms and at different levels. These include people in politics, media, academia, judiciary, religious circles and in the civil society organizations at large. These people are more dangerous than the bullets fired from an enemy’s guns. We may call them mouthpieces who are on the mission relating to subversion—changing the national narrative and mindset that suits their masters.

The only national institution working efficiently to defend the nation and the state is Pakistan armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force). The nation acknowledges their sacrifices at both peace and war times. However, the emerging security challenges are grave and complex in nature, and in different spheres and domains of the society that seem beyond the capacity of army alone to cope with them effectively. In the strategic terminologies, these security challenges are collectively termed as fourth and fifth generation warfare.

There is dire need for a fundamental change in the political system of the country. Structures of political, economic, judicial, education, and social systems have got corrupted that should be revised. The political system requires a major surgery at first place because leadership, whether honest or corrupt, emerge through a political system. Surgery of system will bring about change in the mindset of political leaders which will automatically lead to rigorous revision of Pakistan’s internal and external policies.

Here are some policy recommendations that would certainly serve the purpose if implemented in letter and spirit: first, there is an urgent need for Turkey like purge all over the country. Turkey realized this reality after the coup and started a purge campaign to brought traitors into justice. Secondly, Pakistan must learn to deal effectively with ‘rogue states’—India and a few more—by applying tit-for-tat policy. Thirdly, Pakistan should learn to engage Afghanistan and the US the way Iran is doing. Fourthly, time has come to fight enemies assets beyond our own borders, same as Iran, Turkey, US, India and Russia are fighting. And finally, death penalties to all hard terrorists be given at public places which is in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

Unfortunately, the National Action Plan (NAP) does not maintain any of the above noted points. It also does not address the real—external—source of terrorism. Like 3D policy (Deterrence, Development and Dialogue) of the previous Peoples Party government, NAP is also not a promising policy which does not touch upon the root causes of terrorism in the country. It mostly addresses internal sources of terrorism with implementation on the part of Army only which resulted into temporary peace in the country.

Time has come that we say enough is enough to all enemies inside and outside the country. Condemning every terrorist incident is not going to be productive. Similarly, providing evidences to the stooge Afghan government, disinterested America, compromised UN, and biased international community is not a result-oriented policy option. International system is so chaotic and anarchic that one cannot rely on these so-called international entities. Self-reliance is the best approach. Offence beyond borders would work definitely. Internally, terrorists, facilitators, and traitors should be hanged in open space along with the arrested Indian spy, Kulbhushan Yadav.

In sum up, Pakistan needs a competent, honest, courageous and visionary leadership who could restore national cause, and perform well to all challenges and threats, at home and from abroad. A kind of controlled revolution can bring about such fundamental changes. The core question yet remains; who will dare doing all this. I personally do not see any chances in the foreseeable future, although people have strong desire for a revolution—survey reports confirm. However, there could be some scenarios that may alter whole course of history and relieve Pakistan from the menace of terrorism forever: First, a controlled revolution with military support in order to establish a technocratic government; second, a miracle in the shape of a war between big powers in which India suffers (this happened during World War-II in which an arrogant Japan was defeated and Chinese were relieved from its atrocities), and finally, Almighty Allah can bring up an honest, competent, and a brave leader within the existing system of democracy who could introduce revolutionary policies and practices in the best interest of the country and the nation. There are many such examples in the political history of countries (Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey).

The bottom line is that we should give up the unworkable policy of, jeo aur jeene do (live and let us live), situation demands we must send a clear message to these ‘rogue states’ especially India that, jeena hai to jeene do (let us live if you have to live).

*Amanullah Khan is a Research Associate at Strategic Vision Institute, a think tank based in Islamabad. He can be reached at: [email protected]

2 thoughts on “Terrorism In Pakistan: The Root Causes – OpEd

  • October 28, 2016 at 10:18 am

    How can you publish such articles. The author has prejudices and that seems to cloud his thinking. A country that promotes terrorism as a state policy now crying wolf over being victim of terrorism is a cruel joke. As long as such writers are blinded by their thoughts, Pakistan will remain embedded as epicenter of terrorism.

  • October 28, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I think the author was strategically positioning his head on the desk and dreaming rather than thinking while writing this excuse of an article. Unless my reading is entirely wrong, he seems to actively promote ‘jihad’ as a legitimate tool of foreign policy. Such vitriolic ideas might be ‘acceptable’ in the original Islamic State called Pakistan, but dangerous and completely at odds with the rest of the world. I hope the editors of this magazine scrutinise article submissions more rigorously before publishing them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *