Terrorism in Pakistan

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 695
  • Published : December 26, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, often violent, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no legally binding, criminal law definition.[1][2] Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians). Some definitions now include acts of unlawful violence and war. The use of similar tactics by criminal organizations for protection rackets or to enforce a code of silence is usually not labeled terrorism though these same actions may be labeled terrorism when done by a politically motivated group. Perhaps,[3] it is less oppressive in itself than through the effects of the precautions taken to protect its likely victims.[4] Terrorism has been practiced by a broad array of political organizations for furthering their objectives. It has been practiced by both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments.[10] An abiding characteristic is the indiscriminate use of violence against noncombatants for the purpose of gaining publicity for a group, cause, or individual. The symbolism of terrorism can leverage human fear to help achieve these goals. [11] Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years. The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed as of 2010. According to the government of Pakistan, the direct and indirect economic costs of terrorism from 2000-2010 total $68 billion.[1] President Asif Ali Zardari, along with former President ex-Pakistan Army head Pervez Musharraf, have admitted that terrorist outfits were "deliberately created and nurtured" by past governments "as a policy to achieve some short-term tactical objectives".[2][3] The trend began with Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's controversial "Islamization" policies of the 1980s, under which conflicts were started against non-Muslim countries. Zia's tenure as president saw Pakistan's involvement in the Soviet-Afghan War, which led to a greater influx of ideologically driven Afghan Arabs to the tribal areas and increased availability of guns such as the AK-47 and drugs from the Golden Crescent. The state and its Inter-Services Intelligence, in alliance with the CIA, encouraged the "mujahideen" to fight a proxy war against the Soviet Union. Most of the mujahideen were never disarmed after the war and some of these groups were later activated at the behest of the state in the form of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and others like the Taliban who were all encouraged to achieve Pakistan's agenda in the Kashmir conflict[4] and Afghanistan[5] respectively. The same groups are now taking on the state itself, making the biggest threat to it and the citizens of Pakistan through the politically motivated killing of civilians and police officials, by what Pakistan calls misguided holy warriors (mujahideen) and the rest of the world calls terrorists.[citation needed] From the summer of 2007 until late 2009, more than 1,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians[6] for reasons attributed to a number of causes – sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims; easy availability of guns and explosives; the existence of a "Kalishnikov culture"; an influx of ideologically driven Afghan Arabs based in or near Pakistan, who originate from any country with a Muslim population and the subsequent war against the Afghan communists in the 1980s which blew back into Pakistan; the presence of Islamist insurgent groups and forces such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba; Pakistan's thousands of fundamentalist madrassas (Islamic schools) which are thought by some to provide training for little other than jihad.[who?] and...
tracking img