terrorism
Editorial

Politics of terrorism

The terrorist threat ebbs and flows, but never seems to be completely eradicated. Yet another terrorist attack has taken place in Lahore. At least 26 people, including nine policemen, have been killed while 58 others were injured in a bombing attack near the Arfa Karim IT Tower on Lahore’s Ferozepur Road on Monday afternoon – and the number of causalities may increase. On the same day, a suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in the western part of Kabul on Monday, killing up to 35 people and wounding more than 40.
The similarity of the attacks and the fact that they were carried out by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Afghan Taliban respectively, should be enough to demonstrate how closely linked the militancy is in both countries – and that the response from both countries must be a coordinated one.
However, it has been difficult to coordinate a response within Pakistan, let alone find common ground with an increasingly hostile neighbor. While the Punjab government and the local emergency and law enforcement services have responded quickly to the attack, a united political response to this event is sorely lacking.
Political parties were quick to condemn the attack and offer condolences to the victim, but not all politicians and journalists have demonstrated the maturity and sensitivity that was required from them at this stage. While people like the Interior Minister publicly, and commendably, set aside political machinations to focus on an incident that demands the complete attention of the government, others wasted no time in twisting these tragic events to their own petty political advantage.
Suggestions coming from some quarters that this attack was conducted to distract attention from the Panama papers case and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) incident are both false and deplorably shameless. So flippantly using the death of innocents to push a horrendous narrative – that the government somehow wilfully orchestrated the death of its own citizens to ease political pressure – must be questioned and the propagators of this stance must face the consequences of their wild assertions and conspiracy theories.
At a time when the nation needs to unite under a strong political will to root out the terrorist scourge, sowing divisions and fear into the public to make minute political gain is not only reprehensible, but also furthers the agenda of the attackers – to divide and demoralise the people of Pakistan.
It must become clear to all Pakistani politicians, getting rid of this deadly threat is the country’s number one priority – everything else is secondary.

About the author

Mian Bilal

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