The term terrorism is not new. It is in practice since the known recorded history of the world in one way or the other. The terrorists hale this nomenclature for themselves because they justify their actions and strategy to fight against oppression and injustice. The phrase “one man’s terrorist is an other man’s freedom fighter” is what the terrorists boast to accept. They normally act upon their motto of violence, fear and intimidation towards govt. or civil societies in pursuit of their goals that are political, religious or ideological.
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The term terrorism was first coined by the French Revolutionary governments by applying systematic state terror against the population of France in 1790s, killing thousands of peoples.
The heart of every compatriot and Islam loving person weeps when he is labeled as terrorist by the so called civilized nations of the Europe. Whatever claim and Quranic quotations we proffer that we being Muslims are a peace loving nation and our religion strongly teaches us to be peaceful people not only to our brotherhoods but towards the people of the other religions as well. And as the past history proves we have been following these injunctions of the Quran in letter and spirit.
Unfortunately the freedom struggle by the frustrated elements of some of the countries including Palestinian Arabs after the Arab Israel war in 1967, the war in Vietnam which created a sense of reaction against the govt. of the USA, prevalent war fare in Afghanistan as well as biased American policy and illegal control in Iraq are some of the major factors which have been termed as terrorism by the western lobby with well planned propaganda.
As a mailer of fact the term of international terrorism came up as a serious issue in 1960s and unfortunately our previous rulers did nothing practical to combat the specter of the terrorism-rather it was beefed up either by their vested interest or due to their novice grip on good governance.
Now the main problem facing the whole world is that will terrorism continue unabated looking at the back history? The answer must be In positive, as grass roots are various forms of political violence in different countries for centuries. After effects of both the world wars of 1920 and 1940 (first and second world wars). as well as post war decolonization which prolonged through 1960s are considered to be the beginning of terrorism. Besides, the biased American policies and political behavior also created displeasure, resentment and reaction by the aggrieved freedom fighters irrespective of religion and nationhood, the latest offshoot of which was the 9/11 tragedy.
The terrorism in its earlier stages i.e 1920s and 1940s was not that powerful and fast. With the advancement of science and technology like easy availability of weapons and explosives both via open market or through the underworld, television and communication devices as well as increasing trend of air traveling are some of the major causes of mushrooming of terrorist activities. In this way the global terrorism has now become institutionalized. But regrettably the prominent European scholars are putting us on target. Recently two Americas leading theorists on terrorism and how to fight it are having controversial views in the very nature of the threat.
Mr. Bruce Hoffman 53, George Town University historian and author of his famous book “Insight Terrorism (1998)” argues that the ‘Alquaeda’ is alive and more dangerous than several years before. He has boldly warned in his book that the ‘alquaeda’ has reconstituted in Pakistan.
On the other side Mr. Marc Sageman – a Polish born, psychiatrist, sociologist, former CIA officer and scholar with the New York police department in his latest book ” The jihad” argues that the main threat no longer comes from the organization called the Alquaeda. but from the bottom up – from radicalized individuals and groups who are plotting it all in there neighbor hood and on the internet.
The views of both the above scholars have further created an alarming feeling among the European people and such views will certainly have fatal feelings among the immigrants As a matter of fact the term of international terrorism came up as a soaring issue in 1960s.
After review these factors one can easily conclude that there are very bleak chances of stoppage of terrorism in the world because the activities of the terrorists is not confined to a few countable groups. It has spread beyond one’s imaginations and statistical assessment.
In spite of most modern scientific devices it is not possible to monitor with exactness the presence and non-presence of terrorist groups of the world who own the claim of terrorist attack. There are certain groups who try to encash the events unnecessarily without having involvement therein.
What is the main objective of the terrorist?
The dominating policy given to the terrorists by the hidden elements has been to create harassment, uproar and sense of insecurity among the people. Simply killing, or massacre a large number of human beings has never been their main objective. They resort to this tactics as a last step to achieve their aim, when they feel that the concerned rulers show resistance to their demands. The state sponsorship by some of the rulers-particular!} the rulers of the Middle East to counter their conflicts inter se has provided sufficient helipad to the terrorists when they are provided with the latest technical means to operate lethal devices.
The terrorists observes and operate in a limited scope of activity. Their main tools upon which they frequently operate or bombings manual or suicidal, armed attacks, killings, kidnappings, highjacking and seize hostages incidents etc.
A few years before attacking, bombing or seizing embassies was a common practice of the terrorists. It declined due to strict security measures. Now the terrorists use varied son of tactics for their targets which are obviously unlimited and after each event they change their method of attack for the next one. They can attack anything, anytime and anywhere for which they are dictated. Normally their chosen targets are railways, airlines, embassies, rail roads, sub ways, buses, power lines, sui gas lines, journalists, diplomats, mosques, hotels, restaurants, schools, missionaries, women and children.
After the tragic event of 9/11, the Europe in general and the USA in particular have become terrified and frightened as they now feel that the terrorists in the garb of Taliban and Alquaeda etc are a clear danger to the nuclear power. This apprehension has made the lives of the immigrants including Pakistanis working or living there quite miserable. This however is a satisfying note that they have not been able to attack nuclear reactors maybe because of their limited knowledge of this device so far.
Anticipated future target of terrorism
With the increasing hostile attitude of the USA towards our frontier areas, the targets of the terrorists are likely to double up their activities to target high technology like nuclear reactors, refineries as well as guerilla warfare. However, their common targets will include the political leaders and top govt. representatives and diplomats of the European countries.
There is no denying the fact that the terrorism has grown into an international terrorist den. It is now the responsibility of all the countries to root it out with some collective efforts for which the following steps are recommended:
1. The root cause of the trouble and crises is in Middle East as well as the Arab word as a whole. These countries should revamp their agencies with collaboration mutually putting aside the political differences. The UNO and OIC (organization of Islamic conferences) should also play their role with more zeal and propagation.
2. As for Pakistan, it is quite necessary that the religious extremist be bridled more
tightly to eradicate this menace.
3. As we all now the disclosure of nuclear underworld has put every one an alarming
situation with reference to terrorism. The nations of the nuclear club should have
to be more cautious to ward off the nuclear proliferation with strict safety of the
In the end we can only hope that the increasing menace of the terrorism be stopped by all the nations in general and the countries of the third world in particulars. But it is not as simple as it looks because unfortunately the rulers of some countries are not much sincere to root out this menace-rather some countries are behind their back.
181-faisal colony no. 2 Okara.
Author: M.S Aarpan