Deracination of Terrorism with Iron Hand
Bahram Khan Shad
Justification is over. Philosophy, for the time being is needed to keep in your pocket. Political analyses and religious discourses now got their final fadedness. The recent heartrending havoc of terrorism in Peshawar shook up the very roots of human society in the world. According to the most recent reporting, one hundred and forty innocent students of Army Public School Peshawar have lost their lives in the barbarous terrorist action. Irrespective of religion, region and race, any sensible human being, he who keeps minor part of human morals, strongly condemn this heinous act of terrorism. Is this enough to condemn and to mourn on our helplessness? Why this has been happening? Is there any policy option to cope up with this menace of terrorism? What is the prime responsibility of any sovereign state and what are the rights of citizens within this sovereign state? In Pakistan now, every citizen is confused with these questions which can be answered rigorously through the lens of realist school of thought.
In the political world, what we are seeing today like the concept of nation-states, state’s sovereignty, rights of citizens etc, is the long process of historical construction. In this connection, here is needed to quote the work of some famous realist political philosophers. The well known French Renaissance philosopher Jean Bodin one of the first thinkers of state absolutism. In Six Books of Republic 1606, he claimed that state must have absolute authority over the citizens unrestrained by laws. The well known Italian philosopher of political realism Niccolo Machiavelli published his famous book The Prince in 1532. In which he described the qualities of prince that the prince must assure his absolute power at every cost so that no any individual or any group could intimidate his absolutism in order to rule over his subjects more orderly. Although, it is very narrow perspective but, any theory cannot be confined in the accurate words of what the writer has constructed rather to view the core idea with different angles. The famous English philosopher of seventeenth century Thomas Hobbes was one of the modern theorists emphasized to argue for the absolute power of state. At that time, there was political turmoil in England between the king and members of parliament over the legitimacy to hold power over the subjects. He theorized his political arguments in the book The Leviathan (1651); Hobbes justified his conclusions by describing “state of nature” in which people always live in a state of war. He further argues that human nature is solitary, poor, nasty, selfish and short. In this situation, every man tries to gain freedom at the cost of another and this further developed competition between or among the people which leads to constant war and so, neither freedom nor peace can be ensured in the society. To counter this situation, he brought forth the theory of state absolutism. There must be an absolute state system where subjects within this state must submit their personal freedom to state in a social-contract that in return, stare will protect the freedom and basic rights of every individual in the holistic way. This subsequently will ensure the real peace and freedom in the society.
In the light of above mentioned political theories, the current chaos and civil war situation in Pakistan could easily be answered. Pakistan from the very beginning, is suffering from the insecurity of eastern and western borders with different nature of threat. Unfortunately, due to excessive fear on the eastern border, Pakistan adopted the self-deceptive policy of appeasement on western border with the justification of strategic depth against India. This was the time of Cold War era between capitalism and communism led by US and USSR respectively. The leading blocs couldn’t dare to wage war directly rather fought many proxy wars indirectly through their allied countries in order to gain hegemonic power in the word at the cost of one another. This is what happened with Pakistan in the Cold War era. When Soviet Union invade Afghanistan in 1979, as a result, more than 3 lac refugees entered in Pakistan from Afghanistan and settled in FATA. The then US leadership became obsessive that communism may pervade in Subcontinent and for US, it had to curtail it at every cost. At that time, Pakistan was already in the capitalist block so, the behemoth of crisis sat on the fate of Pakistan. US offered Pakistan the substantial amount of military and economic aid in the pursuance of seeing Pakistan as conduit to flatten USSR in Afghanistan. To this end, both ISI and CIA jointly gave war training to mujahedeen in the camps to counter USSR in Afghanistan. Moreover, Zia ul Haq gave his extremist policy of Islamization inflamed the radical so-called Jihadi elements in Pakistan, embedded the roots of terrorism. Following the defeat of USSR in Afghanistan in the hand of Pak-US trained mujahedeen, Pakistan badly stuck in Afghan affairs. In the aftermath, when Taliban came into power in Afghanistan in 1996, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia firstly recognized the Taliban government gave way to across the border movement of terrorists. This short-sightedness in the policy making and oblivious character of state invited the international terrorists to harbor themselves in the western belt of Pakistan as safe heavens. The event of 9/11 shifted the political paradigm of the world. As a result, US adopted the policy of “war on terror” so, the short period of Taliban government ended in Afghanistan. Pakistan with all compulsions, turned against the Taliban while becoming the front line ally of US. For that, what we are paying heavy cost today by annihilating our infrastructure, decadence of national economy and death of innocent citizens and fighting forces in the hand of these barbarous human creatures. This brief sketch is enough to claim that we ourselves have provided fertile grounds to bring up terrorism on our soil. First, Pakistan supported militants against USSR; second, Pakistan gave recognition to Taliban government in Afghanistan and third, became part of “war on terror” against Taliban. All this shows the characteristics of weak state where its stooping foreign policy always crouches down at the external pressure. From here, state faces the challenges of revolt against its legitimacy from the rebellious groups. As a result, chaos, political turmoil and social trauma become common in a country. This is what Pakistan suffering last over many decades. So, the recent big national tragedy in Peshawar gave alarm to Pakistan to ensure state’s absolutism in the right way so that the illegitimate elements of revolt must be smashed with an iron hand without any concessions. Pakistan is a secular country and there is no space for radicalism.