Home / Tag Archives: sectarian violence

Tag Archives: sectarian violence

Counter extremism: Terrorism shall follow the suit

[Featured Image: Courtesy CNN] On the eve of Haj, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz said the terrorists have gone astray and are destroying the image of Islam. He cautioned the Muslims about the menace of terrorists using the religion’s name while sabotaging peace. He urged Muslims to strive for spreading the real message of Islam— peace, love and brotherhood. And while addressing the UNGA on September 25, Pope Francis said; “Our world demands of all government leaders a will which is effective…and thus putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion...including prostitution, the drug and weapons trade, terrorism and international organized crime….We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges”. This convergence of thought amongst the leadership of two major faiths is a healthy sign. Grand Mufti and Pope have done their bit in this direction, now the global political leadership should pick up the cues and devise a global plan of action for countering terrorism while addressing the core issues of radicalism and extremism. Though terrorism is a global phenomenon, during recent years it has converged more onto Muslim countries, including Pakistan. Menace of terrorism stems out of extremism which in turn draws its origin from radicalism. Therefore, beside terrorism, any meaningful counter terrorism effort should also focus on radicalism and extremism. While the government of Pakistan is striving to counter terrorism, countering extremism and radicalism are the weaker links in the National Action Plan (NAP). NAP evolved from the urgency of countering terrorism and thus has significant relevance in overall security matrix to address the immediate need of connecting different responses and incorporating these in a functional policy framework. However, in the process, actions focused at de-radicalization and counter extremism did not attract requisite focus. It is expected that in due course, government will come up with a comprehensive de-radicalization and counter-extremism strategies as well to complement existing provisions of the NAP.

Read More »

Need to build on Pak-Afghan goodwill

Afghan government and people see Pakistan’s role as critical and most of them strongly believe that their neighbour could do more to mitigate their hardship. With the foreign troops almost gone, the country is extremely anxious about its future. There is a strong perception in Afghanistan that Pakistan is not fully exerting itself to help Afghans overcome violence in Afghanistan. If the level of violence worsens during the ongoing fighting season, the bilateral relations could revert back to Karzai era. Handling of Afghan refugees by Pakistan and differences on Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) are other contentious points. A number of Afghan analysts are of the view that cooperation between the two countries could make them an effective anchorage for a regional hub with significant politico-economic clout.At bilateral level, there is need for a joint institutional arrangement for efficient monitoring and management of on-going issues. For this a joint commission may be set, staffed by both sides. Such commission should have a secretariat to keep the developing situation under constant review. Such an approach would create a sense of confidence in the two countries about each other’s intentions, and prevent a slide down in bilateral relations.

Read More »

Pakistan enters Yemen crisis

[Featured Image: Courtesy Reuters] Seriously bruised from the spillover effects of Afghan conflict, with no signs of early and safe extrication in sight, Pakistan has jumped into another fray, the Yemen conflict. Participation in Afghan conflict brought terrorism to Pakistan's territory and the new found (mis) adventure is likely to accentuate the sectarian violence. In all probability decision has already been taken to commit Pakistan's military in Yemen on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Only regularization through Parliament and or APC is pending. Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Yemen conflict, and the subsequent Saudi announcement of a coalition against Houthi rebels, involving Pakistan, has drawn a mixed reaction at home. However the point of concern is that: Is the threat perception correct? It is a different thing to rush to the aid of a valued ally who is in danger than facilitating an ally in playing its regional game in another country. Are Houthis really posing a territorial threat to Saudi Arabia? It will be an uphill task for the government for the government of Pakistan to accrue national consensus on this divisive issue. However, consensus or no consensus, executive appears poised to go ahead with its decision.

Read More »