More terrorist attacks?

Pascal Cuttat, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has claimed that there has been an increase in violence following Osama bin Laden’s (OBL’s) death. Granted that there have been terrorist attacks post-Abbottabad raid but to claim that they have increased because of OBL’s death is stretching matters to some extent. Before May 2, there were more casualties in terrorist attacks this year before al Qaeda’s leader was killed than post-OBL. The deadliest attack after May 2 was the suicide attack at the Frontier Constabulary (FC) Training Centre in Shabqadar area of Charsadda district. The attack on PNS Mehran was the most audacious but such an attack, even though it took place after Osama’s death, must have taken months of planning. Before PNS Mehran, the Navy had come under attack thrice. On April 26, two Navy buses were bombed and on April 28, another Navy bus was attacked. Of course there is an anticipation that terrorist attacks will increase now that al Qaeda’s leader has been taken out but so far the pattern of terrorist attacks and their frequency post-OBL is much the same; the only difference is that now the terrorists claim that each attack is to avenge bin Laden’s death. When Mr Cuttat said that “violence is increasingly reaching the big towns…Peshawar and Karachi both have seen a sharp increase of violence in the aftermath of this event”, he confused Karachi’s ethnic violence with terrorist attacks in reaction to OBL’s death.

There is no denying that the situation in Pakistan is getting worse with each passing day. The real problem lies with Pakistan’s contradictory policy vis-à-vis the Taliban. It is because of this that the US has suspended $ 800 million in military aid. On the other hand, DG ISPR said, “The army in the past as well as at present has conducted successful military operations using its own resources without any external support whatsoever.” If the army is so capable of conducting military operations on its own, why did it rely on US aid in the first place? Instead of picking and choosing between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban, we need to take out all terrorists operating from our soil for our own survival.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

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