Terrorism In Pakistan Essay In Easy Language Programming

Silent majority or threatened minority? Pakistan’s progressives are angry. Finally, it shows, and they are being arrested for it.

Civil society protests demanding meaningful government action against the Taliban and its supporters were sparked by the gruesome Dec. 16 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. While British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Gayle Tzemach Lemmon misconstrued the massacre as “children … being killed simply for going to school,” the attack was not about education. Pakistanis named the culprit: the state’s acquiescence of ‘good’ terrorist outfits that target India and Afghanistan — groups that also deploy violence against Pakistani civilians, especially Shiites and minorities, in the name of making Pakistan more Sunni and more sharia-compliant.

On the night of the Peshawar attack, Islamabad’s radical cleric Abdul Aziz, leader of the Red Mosque, or Lal Masjid, refused to condemn the Peshawar school attack on national television and said the children were not martyrs, justifying the attack as a response to children killed in Pakistani army operations. The next day, outraged Pakistanis gathered on the street outside the mosque calling for an apology. The protest resulted in a confrontation between mullahs from the mosque and the protesters. The police registered a case against over one hundred protesters, led by Mohammad Jibran Nasir, on grounds of blasphemy and civil disobedience. The case was filed by Sunni militant group Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) — a banned political offshoot of the Sipah-e-Sihaba militant group.

Aziz condemned the incident the next day but also prayed in his Friday sermon that the Pakistani military, the Pakistani Taliban, and the Afghan Taliban would unite. Outside the mosque, ASWJ held a demonstration in solidarity with Aziz to condemn the massacre, but were agnostic on condemning the Taliban and questioned who the “real” perpetrators of the massacre were. Civil society protesters who returned to protest the police case against them were arrested, including women who men with ASWJ tried to attack.

Hundreds of peaceful protesters and journalists returned to the Red Mosque for a third day to find the mosque cordoned off and protected by police. When Aziz threatened to attack the protesters, Jibran led the protesters to nearby Aabpara police station to register a case against Aziz. After hours of demonstration and threatening to sleep outside the station, a case was successfully registered. At the heart of the campaign is now a demand that Aziz be arrested.

Currently, the case against Aziz stands as a First Information Report (FIR), meaning that police must investigate the complaint before producing a charge sheet against the individual. In Pakistan, FIRs are not a serious threat for those with political protection, like Aziz; the police have admitted to being under political pressure not to even register it. Aziz has since bragged about having a series of much more serious cases against him relating to kidnapping, murder, treason, and terrorism dropped. On the morning after the protesters successfully lodged the FIR, he warned that there would be suicide attacks across the country if he were arrested, and Jibran received a telephone threat from TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan.

The Red Mosque is an icon of religious militancy that the state either tolerates or is not strong enough to act against. In 2007, elite commandos under the direction of then-President Pervez Musharraf stormed the mosque after students there burned a government building, kidnapped police officers, and carried out a vigilante campaign to enforce sharia law in Islamabad. Stockpiles of weapons were found inside the mosque. Aziz himself escaped the raid in a burka while his brother and scores of his followers were killed.

Aziz and his followers have deepened their ties to radicalism since the 2007 raid. Recently, Aziz renamed the library at the women’s madrasa within the Red Mosque complex after Osama bin Laden. The 4,000-student madrasa, often referred to as a brigade for carrying out Aziz’s militant campaigns, has published an Arabic-language video message declaring allegiance to their ISIS brothers and imploring God to spread the Islamic caliphate to Pakistan. The video is suggestive of jihad al-nikah, or sexual jihad, which ISIS has called for. Aziz also justifies the killing of Shiites, rejects the Pakistani constitution, and believes that Pakistan should be ruled by Islamic law. It is rumored that several politicians pay Aziz protection money for safety against the militant groups he is linked to.

Protesters have vowed to demonstrate on the 16th of every month — the anniversary of the Peshawar school attack — until Aziz is arrested. On Jan. 16, Pakistanis demonstrated in 27 cities across the world. The current complaint is admittedly minor but the campaign is also trying to lodge much more serious charges under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Pakistan (ATA). Charges filed under the ATA do not permit bail. Even if the legal battle against Aziz fails, the lawyers on the campaign hope that it will provide the government with the political space to act against Aziz on other grounds. Since the protests began, stories have leaked of intelligence agencies circulating a report detailing Aziz as a threat and rumors of his house arrest have spread after he has failed to appear for two Friday sermons.

With resolve to put an end to apathy and fear in the face of terrorism, the campaign has recharged after the Jan. 30 attack on a Shiite shrine in Shikarpur, Sindh. The attack killed at least 58, making it the bloodiest sectarian attack since a March 2013 bombing in Abbas Town, Karachi. After a 31-hour sit-in on Feb. 1, with a water cannon and riot police posted nearby the remaining 20 protesters, the Sindh government, represented by politician Sharmila Farooqi, agreed to the protesters’ demands including shutting down the open activities of ASWJ.

On Feb. 5, mere days after Farooqi’s promise was made, ASWJ held a rally in Karachi with police protection. Jibran tweeted: “In this democracy if elected govt cant stop a banned outfit from taking out a rally then who should the citizens seek help from? ‪#PPP‪#PMLN.” When the civil society protest was revived that day, Jibran and 28 others were arrested. ASWJ has called for another rally — this time province-wide and directly against Jibran.

Jibran is Pakistan’s David facing the Taliban’s Goliath. He is a 28-year-old firebrand activist, independent politician (he ran for a seat in Parliament in Karachi in 2013, without party affiliation), and lawyer. His co-leader, Shaan Taseer, is the son of slain former governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer. Jibran’s movement started after the September 2013 twin blasts on a church in Peshawar — the bloodiest attack on a church to date. The following two Sundays, he organized Pakistanis to form human chains around churches in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore to protect church-goers. He called the movement ‘Pakistan for All.’

With only a few hundred demonstrators, the protests seem small. But since the advent of television media and now social media, it seems that physical numbers are not as important to movements as the hope and outrage they inspire among the viewers and internet clickers at home. Imran Khan’s protest march in Islamabad consistently surprised journalists for being small — estimated at 20,000 to 60,000 people — relative to the panned images shown on TV. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic Selma to Montgomery marches that ultimately secured voting rights for blacks in Alabama started with only 600 marchers. When they faced police brutality on live television, their cause shook America into action.

The protests have also been amplified on social media, which shows 5,300 people ‘joining’ the protest ‘event.’ One video, in which Jibran asks the state to prosecute Aziz and calls for building a memorial for the Peshawar attack next to the Red Mosque, has over 122,000 views and 5,600 shares. Another protest video called “A Message to the Taliban” has almost 200,000 views and 20,000 shares.

The current campaign goes by many names, all hashtags. The most prominent have been #ArrestAbdulAziz, #PeshawarAttack, #ReclaimYourMosques, #NeverForget, #PakistanForAll, and now #ShikarpurBlastSitIn. Their Charter of Demands has been expanded beyond arresting Aziz to stopping airtime for terrorists and their sympathizers; monitoring and ending hate speech by mosques, especially against polio workers; and protecting citizens from clerics that misuse the blasphemy law. With the Shikarpur blast, the demands included the arrest of ASWJ party leader Aurangzeb Farooqi and erasing graffiti promoting ASWJ in Karachi.

Between Urdu videos and motley demands, the campaign is not easy for outsiders to follow. But the diversity of the demands reflect the breadth of frustration inspired by a complex, layered threat: the military’s discrimination between ‘good’ terrorists that target India and Afghanistan and ‘bad’ terrorists that target Pakistan; the government’s vote-seeking alliance with ASWJ in Punjab; the lax or negligent attitude of security and intelligence agencies that led to the failure to prevent the Peshawar attack despite warning and a painfully delayed response once it started; governance failures resulting in most victims of the Shikarpur blast being sent to hospitals at least an hour away; mosques, media, and madrasa that amplify intolerant and hateful messages; and a society paralyzed by fear of blasphemy, takfirism (declaring of certain groups as non-Muslim), and terrorism. Westerners sum it up as violent extremism.

On Feb. 16, the Islamabad police filed a FIR against the ASWJ for spreading religious hatred, misusing a loud speaker, and interfering with government functions. The incident happened on the way to Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Feb. 15, after ASWJ’s Rawalpindi spokesman was shot six times by “unknown gunmen” that morning. When ASWJ protesters were stopped by police from carrying the slain body to a sit-in in front of the court, they snatched police batons and broke into scuffles, chanting “Shia kafir” (Shia non-Muslim). They defied police and held the sit-in. The protesters dispersed when a close aide to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with the chief of the ASWJ, Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi, and promised to form a committee to investigate the killing.

The night before the Rawalpindi leader was shot, there was an assassination attempt on party leader Aurangzeb Farooqi in Karachi by “unknown gunmen.” Farooqi said that his state security had been withdrawn just days earlier. A Karachi ASWJ sit-in protested the withdrawal and only dispersed when the police agreed to file a FIR against Jibran for the murder attempt.

Pakistan has dark days ahead. ISIS is allegedly setting up a branch in Pakistan, with hundreds of disappointed TPP fighters diverting to it. Attacks against civilians, especially minorities, are becoming more frequent and bloodier, including another attack on Feb. 18 on a Shiite mosque in Rawalpindi. The only hopeful news is that Pakistan’s silent minority — youth, activists, writers, religious minorities, survivors, party workers, and polio vaccinators — have found their voice. At the moment, 1,200 people, led by the survivors of Shikarpur who marched for two days to Karachi, are holding a peaceful sit-in, demanding serious action against sectarian groups. The government has declared participation in the protest a criminal offense and is considering police action as the protesters try to reach the chief minister’s home.

Jibran’s campaign is giving incidents of terror in Pakistan the attention they deserve and reminding Pakistanis of the government’s responsibilities. The international community can help by taking note and pressing the Pakistani government to ensure Pakistanis the right to peaceful congregation and protest and providing police protection for Jibran and the protesters, as they have for militant organizations like ASWJ that they tell the world are shut down.

Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Nadia is a former Pakistan Desk Officer at USAID and a national security aide in the U.S. Senate. She served as USIP’s Country Representative in Pakistan. She runs The Local Lead.

Tags: ASWJ, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, Pakistan, South Asia, Taliban

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola

Essay No. 01

Terrorism

Recent serial bomb blasts in Mumbai brought the issue of terrorism on centre stage again. Terrorism has not become a worldwide phenomenon. Terrorism means an armed violent movement directed against government as well as non government targets, involving pre-meditated attacks with arms, ammunition and explosives against civilians, and resorting to intimidation tactics such as hostage taking and hijacking.

Terrorism can also be defined as an organized way of intimidation and violence especially for political purpose. Political frustration, political necessities, religious and racial fanaticism and personal political interests are some of the main causes of terrorism.

Since independence. India has been facing the problem of terrorism in different parts of the country. India has faced exclusively terrorist movements in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, bordering Pakistan, terrorist movements in the northeast, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh; in Bihar, bordering Nepal; and in certain interior states like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh ad Orissa that do not have international borders.

Indian terrorist groups have external links with like-minded terrorist groups in other countries. The link between the Marxist groups of Indian with Maoist groups of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh; the link between the indigenous Kashmir organizations with the religious, fundamentalist and jihadi organizations of Pakistan; the link between organizations such as the Students Islamic Movement of India with jihadi elements in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; and the link between the Pakistani pen Islamic jihadi organizations operating in India with AI-Qaeda and the Taliban are well known.

India has to fight its own with the terrorism being funded and encouraged by the neighboring countries. How can we expect that USA or Britain will feel the pinch of Terrorists attack in India? To look for support from either of them would be a folly. Just like any other country, we have to empower ourselves, we have to tackle our problems in our own always. Terrorism has to be dealt firmly with determined efforts and indomitable political will with the full and all out support of all political parties and every citizen.

Essay No. 2

Terrorism

Terrorism is a system of frightening people, to make them do what the terrorists want. Senator Denton has called it ‘’the most widely practiced form of modern warfare”. These activities of terrorism are both fashionable and criminal actions. The motives behind terrorism may be personal or political. Whatever the motives of the terrorists may be, they affect National Integration.

Terrorism is derived from the word “Terror” which means “extreme fear”. The persons who make atmosphere of extreme fear among masses are called terrorists. Such type of activities is called terrorism. The aim of a terrorist is to spread terror among people. They kill those persons or officials who oppose their evil deeds. Thus they create an atmosphere of terror to suit their designs.

Today, terrorism is a world-wide problem ranging from aircraft hijacking, planting of bombs in air craft’s, brutal killing of opponents and innocent people by the terrorists are heard every day from far and near. It is often seen that terrorist groups whether in India or Sri Lanka or elsewhere in the world, receive money, weapons and training from other foreign countries. These terrorists have unlimited access to sophisticated weapons. They believe that the highest form of revolutionary terrorism should utilize the most advanced science and technology.

In India, terrorism struck in the recent past in one form or another, especially in Punjab, Assam, Darjeeling and other States. Now recently it began showing teeth in Kashmir also. These people are directly being sponsored by a neighbouring country. It has put the people in extreme difficulties wherever the menace has erupted. The newspapers are filled with reports of violence, murder, explosion, shooting. In these terrorist activities hundreds of innocent men and women are killed. Many official building are either destroyed or burn to ashes, for no reason. Today it looks uncertain how long this lust for blood will continue. But it is rather obvious that these people have no other reason for the terrorist activities than creating menace among the people.

Terrorism is the main problem of our country this time. Steps should be taken to tackle the situation peacefully. The people involved in it are mostly our own people, our own blood. They have some misconceptions and misunderstandings. These can be solved by getting them on the negotiation table.

Several steps are now taken all over the world to control these activities like establishment of anti-terrorist forces to battle terrorism. The countries like Britain, Russia, and Germany have their own anti-terrorist forces. India has also established such forces to fight to terrorism. The police and sundry Para military forces have been present in certain areas of the country where violence is at worst. India has not taken steps to check the terrorism in her own country but also helped her neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka to fight them.

 

Essay No. 03

 

Terrorism

Terrorism is perhaps the most hated word in the modern age. It is particularly an anathema to those who have had personal experience of its diabolical dimensions.

Of late, terrorism has become a world-wide phenomenon. India had been telling the world of the large-scale destruction being caused to life and property in Kashmir by the Pakistan sponsored terrorists. 011 But most of the western world had turned a blind eye to India’s pleadings. The west, particularly the USA, realized its taste when the (WTC) towers 0 in America were leveled down through explosions caused by the sudden attacks by striking aeroplanes on them on 9th September, 2001 (9/11). Thus, the 9/11 event opened the eyes of the world.

As a result of this 9/11 incident, America took up the task of defending the world and getting it rid of the scourge of terrorism. Accordingly the American President in collaboration with the U.K Prime Minister Tony Blair drew up a road map of controlling and eliminating terrorism. A number of terrorist organisations, Al Qaeda ill-being the most conspicuous among them, were banned. A number of countries were declared as the Axis of Evil. Afghanistan was attacked and the regime of the Taliban was brought to an end. But the most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden could not be killed or captured.

Later, America attacked Iraq declaring that the country possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), although it’s dictatorial President Saddam Hussein denied it all along. The war was won. Later, two sons of Saddam Hussein were killed, though the President himself went underground. But, later in a December 2003, he was captured i dramatic manner in a hole under the earth.

In Kashmir, the terrorists have been playing have for about two decades. Thousands of terrorists themselves, members of security forces and innocent citizens, including men and women have been killed Indian Parliament had to face a terrorist attack on 13th December 2001. Fortunately, the Parliament which was in session was saved but a number of security guards lost their lives.

Terrorism had its heyday in Punjab in the 1980s and in early 1990s. In Andhra Pradesh we have Marxist terrorists (People’s War Group PWG). In Assam and some other eastern State we have ULFA, Bodo and other terrorists. In December 2003 there was a crack-down on ULFA terrorists in Bhutan who operated against India from that land In order to overcome the menace of terrorism, all the States in India and all the countries in the world should join hands to form a concerted coordinated policy.  

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