Pakistan

The Cost of Terrorism in Pakistan and the Way Forward

Terrorism

Due to political and strategic motives some countries use proxies against one another and use terrorism as a tool to give rise to political unrest and chaos. Religion is the best tool that is used by agents of chaos to divide people on the basis of sects, and religion. The manifestation of which had been evident in Pakistan in the last decade.

Pakistan had been the sufferer of the worst form of terrorism and right from the war on terror at least 60,000 people have been killed in Pakistan due to thousands of terror attacks. In economic terms terrorism has adversely affected Pakistan’s international trade and the country has lost its significant market share. The country is still unable to achieve its targeted growth rates even after massively reducing the terror threat. The total economic losses have been measured to be $120 billion due to terrorism. On the other hand, the country has also hosted millions of Afghan refugees for decades who fled Afghanistan first after the Soviet invasion and then after the US invaded Afghanistan.

1979 was the year when some important religious political parties of Pakistan raised the flag of jihad against the USSR. USSR had invaded Afghanistan and their goal was to ascend further and invade Pakistan. Hesitantly and under pressure, Pakistan joined hands with the US and recruited mujahideen to wage a holy war against the USSR in Afghanistan.

That singlehandedly introduced the Kalashnikov culture in Pakistan and gave rise to fanatism; the country still suffers from extremism. The country’s socio-political-economic suffered a massive jolt and Pakistani society badly suffered from extremism and growing intolerance. Madrasas were used to indoctrinate the youth and were later trained to take part in jihad in Afghanistan. National political activities were almost stopped due to the growing threat and economic development completely halted.

After defiant resistance by the Afghan Mujahideen, trained by Pakistani spy agency and heavily funded by CIA, the USSR retreated and was badly humiliated. But Pakistan was left with Afghan refugees, mujahideen, and a highly indoctrinated society. Pakistani society was a boiling pot and after the 9/11 US invasion of Afghanistan, the pot exploded. The country saw the worst kind of extremism and those indoctrinated factions Pakistan created to defeat the USSR waged war against Pakistan.

Pakistan saw the worst years due to the massive bloodshed of Pakistanis in the form of bomb blasts and terrorist activities. This gory drama continued and Pakistan’s relation with neighboring countries also aggravated. At that time, it seemed that the USA is the only friend of Pakistan in the world. The foreign policy of the country of that time was in no way good. On the other hand, India tried its best to keep Pakistan bleeding by sponsoring terrorism in the Baluchistan province.

The watershed moment came when Tehreek-e-Taliban attacked Army Public School in Peshawar and killed 149 people including 132 schoolchildren. It shook the country to the core and Pakistan responded to the attacks by lifting its moratorium on the death penalty, intensifying the War in Tribal Areas to crush the terrorists.

Pakistan has learned its lessons and to end the menace of Terrorism the country made a massive change in its foreign and internal policies. Extremist religious factors have been controlled. Efforts are on the way to start friendships with the neighboring countries along with Russia too. Relations with European countries also increasing. One of the remarkable steps the country took was sending the majority of Afghan refugees back to their land.

Due to the hard actions of the government of Pakistan, the country got rid of the clutches of terrorism, and Pakistanis are now looking forward to a peaceful and prosperous future.

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