A fresh wave of terror attacks has been witnessed in the country in recent days raising fears that terrorists are regrouping. Yesterday a press release issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) met Afghan Deputy Head of Mission Syed Abdul Nasir Yousafi in Islamabad to address militant attacks in Pakistan by factions operating in Afghanistan.
United Nations and European Commission (UN&EC) Additional Secretary Tasnim Aslam raised the ‘grave concern [Pakistan has] about the continuing terrorist attacks on Pakistani soil by the terrorist outfit Jumaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) [operating] from its sanctuaries inside Afghanistan,’ the release read. It is widely agreed that terror attacks carried inside Pakistan are orchestrated from across the border in Afghanistan, the militants after a successful operation in the Pakistani territory have found safe haven in Afghan territory and are carrying out attacks from there.
Last year, Intelligence Bureau (IB) Director General Aftab Sultan, while speaking in the Senate standing committee meeting, had told that a large number of terrorists arrested during the last three years had connections with and were working for the Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies. Last month, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has stressed the need of a robust border management mechanism and intelligence cooperation with Afghanistan to put an end to terrorists’ movement across the border.
The recent wave of terror attacks in Pakistan began with the attack on employees of Samaa news in Karachi. The attack on Samaa TV DSNG resulted in the death of an assistant cameraman, Taimur. The attack was followed by a much bigger attack that targeted the city of Lahore, the attack in Lahore claimed lives of at least 13 people. The attack targeted police officers performing their duties as a large group of chemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers were gathered in front of the provincial assembly. On the same day, an attack also stuck the provincial capital of Balochistan, in which two security men lost their lives. The commander of the Bomb Disposal Squad of the Special Branch was defusing the bomb placed by suspected militants near an overhead bridge in the Sariab Road area of Quetta when the device went off; the BDS commander and a constable were killed in the blast. Yesterday, at least three personnel of the Khasadar force and two civilians were killed in a suicide attack in Mohmand Agency’s Ghalanai tehsil followed by an attack in Peshawar. One person was killed in the suicide blast in Peshawar’s Hayatabad area; the bomber targeted a vehicle carrying civil judges.
The wave of terror attacks hints that the attacks were well coordinated and the terrorists still have the ability to hit urban centers. The deadly attack in Lahore has also once again made it obvious that the province has a militancy problem that the provincial government fails to acknowledge. Various times in the past year, the need for a Rangers lead operation in Punjab was proposed by various political parties to root out terrorist sympathizers and facilitators. However, the Punjab government seems reluctant in this regard and the responsibility to counter threat of urban terrorism relies heavily on police. The problem with police being in charge of these operations is that police in the province remains heavily politicized, over stretched, under staffed and lacks proper facilities and training. Unless police reforms are carried out and community policing is put in place, urban centers will remain at risk.
Having said this, this is also for the nation to display more unity than ever and fully support law enforcement agencies and the government. Cooperation with law enforcement agencies and being vigilant to the threat of terror can prove vital in this war.
This is time to display unity & thwart those harboring nefarious designs against Pakistan.
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