In light of the recent terrorist attack on a military school in Peshawar, Pakistan and the rest of the world was shocked by the dastardly act of Tehreek- e-Taliban who killed around 140 people and injured several others including school children in its attack. Taliban is gloating on their attack and taking pride in showing pictures of the attackers. The world and India included mourn for the parents of the victims. On many forums including on Twitter, people are showing support for Pakistan and condemning the attack with hashtags like “#PeshawarAttack, #IndiaWithPakistan and #PrayForPeshawar.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had condemned the incident and promised to give a fitting reply to the terrorists. But is Pakistan really committed to counter terrorism activities? Or will it continue harbouring such terrorists in a bid to continue its proxy war with India?
Pakistan has conducted a series of counterterrorism activities in its countries in past which includes the Swat Valley Wars with Taliban. In recent times, Pakistani military and police have killed terrorists and raided its hideouts to show its commitment towards eradicating terrorism.
On 6th December 2014, Pakistani military had confirmed the killing that Al Qaeda’s most wanted leader Adnan Shukrijumah was killed in a raid in South Waziristan. On 7th December 2014, A key Al Qaeda leader Umer Farooq alias Umer Ustad had been killed along with five other militants in a US drone strike with the help of Pakistan government.
On 13th December 2014, four terror suspects were killed during a clash with a police team. On 18th December 2014, at least 57 terrorists were killed in airstrikes carried out by the Pakistani military in Khyber Agency’s Tirah Valley, just a day after Taliban’s attack in Peshawar.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given assurance that the horrific incident in Peshawar would not stop his government from carrying out military operations against Taliban on 16th December 2014. And on 17th December 2014, PM Sharif also announced that the death penalty shall be given to terrorists, a policy he himself had objected earlier.
But the fact is that Hafiz Saeed, the chief of the banned terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and former Pakistan army chief Pervez Musharraf both blamed India for the attack in Peshawar. This shows that Pakistan is taking actions in the opposite direction. None of the political leaders including PM Sharif condemned their statements also proves that Pakistan is not serious for countering terrorists acts even after the Peshawar incident.
Hafiz Saeed, who is also accused as a mastermind of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, has been roaming freely in Pakistan giving hate speeches on India and news TV programmes even after compelling evidence has been provided in the past to Pakistan by the Indian Government. According to intelligence agencies, Saeed also plans to attack Delhi and Agra as a revenge for the terror attack in Peshawar.
On 18th December 2014, bail has been given to LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, one of the masterminds of the 2008 terror attack by a Pakistani High Court. It is detrimental to both India and Pakistan to form peaceful relations if 26/11 terror accused are still roaming free and plan to attack Indian cities again.
While the Pakistani government has taken steps to ensure that no terror outfit brings harm to its people like Taliban did on 15th December 2014, it has to still ensure that terror outfits are not harbored and conduct violent acts.
Post attack, the government has passed the law favoring capital punishment for such heinous acts. Although it might soothe the people of Pakistan but it is not the only solution to end terrorism in its country as well as neighbouring nations.
Pakistan needs to view all terrorist in the same light without any bias and ensure that people who have been affected by the acts of terror gets rightful justice. Furthermore, when it asks for arms support from countries like USA, Russia and China to counter terrorism in the country, at the same time Pakistan has to take strong actions against terror suspects who have been accused in attacks on other countries.
The Pakistani government is not only answerable to the people of its country for terror attacks. It has to answer to the victims of such terror attacks in other countries too!