Extremism in Pakistan

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Understanding the Phenomenon of Religious Terrorism in Pakistan

Pakistan has ended up as a target for the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces through a strange spiral of events which were triggered after 9/11. Terrorism has reached new and disturbingly dangerous heights. Not a week seems to goes by anymore without an attack resulting in the death of countless innocent victims. The economy of the country has been severely affected. Hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes to avoid cross fire between the militants and the security forces. The worst effect of all this has been a general feeling of hopelessness among the masses and increasing doubt about the future of the country. The survival of Pakistan now depends on eliminating extremists and crucial steps need to be taken by a united Pakistan and the international community. The Pakistani nation must understand the consequences of failing to defeat terrorism, a possible take over of Pakistani government by people sympathizing with Taliban and Al Qaeda leading it to international isolation continued economic miseries.

In order for society to understand the extremism and persisting terrorism in Pakistan, one must look at its past and origins, at what brought us here in the first place. After 9/11, the US’s immediate and automatic priority had become to punish Osama Bin Laden and destroy Al Qaeda; those allegedly responsible for the attack. But after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the US, assisted by NATO and anti-Taliban elements in Afghanistan, attacked the fundamentalist regime. Facing a shocked and angry super power, Pakistan was left with no option but to give logistic and intelligence support to the NATO forces. Even if we concede that perhaps it was not whole-hearted support, Pakistan’s assistance annoyed the Taliban and most importantly Al Qaeda, who, perhaps unlike the Taliban, do not understand Pakistan’s dilemma when it comes to meeting international obligations....
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