Terrorism In Pakistan Needs To Be Controlled Through Revolutionary Measures

November 21, 2009 at 12:30 am (Pakistan, Politics)


By Mohammad Mansoor Ali Ansari

The month of October 2009 has become a very devastating month for Pakistan as we saw repeated terrorist attacks in various cities. Kohat, Peshawar, Lahore and Islamabad have become main targets of these attacks. Most painful was the attack on Islamic University clearly showing that this time target can be any body now from Government agencies to defenseless citizens.

The attack on GHQ was another unbelievable attempt from terrorists who sent a strong message to the world that they can even reach the head quarters of Pakistan Army with ease and the safety of nuclear arsenal can also be questioned in these circumstances.

Our valor Army is achieving their goals very brilliantly. The attacks initiated against Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were very effective in Swat Area. But the impact of their sacrifices will only be seen if the Waziristan operation meets any success. This operation is extremely important to bring some peace to the country and eliminate the power base of terrorists.

It is true that controlling terrorism is a serious issue but in present obsolete arrangements and resources of security and intelligence we see failures visible every day. Nation is also asking questions that why the claims of the Interior Minister seem hollow and without any strength when Government is seen extremely helpless and without any string in their hands to find a positive solution of this crisis.

Today it is quite difficult to control terrorism through human resources alone. Technological advancement has given an edge to western nations who have achieved a great success in controlling terrorism after 9/11, We need to be realistic in thinking about it. It is true that the prime responsibility of the miseries of Pakistani nation comes on the shoulder of USA which dragged Pakistan into an unwanted war against Osama Bin Ladin’s Al Qaeda and Taliban, but being a developed nation and super power too America made all necessary arrangements to prevent US homeland from seeing any sort of terrorist attack after 9/11. But Pakistan, due to lack of technology and due the absence of any coordinated and coordinated intelligence system paid heavy price and bearing the loss every day and night with no hope of curbing this assault of terrorists in the near future.

Today a stiff plan is needed and crash program should be initiated to revamp the whole internal security system in Pakistan. A combination of human resources and modern technology supported by effective legislation can together put a serious impact and bring peace to the nation. In presence of a truly nonporous and fool proof security system can ensure that no further terrorist attacks would be seen on our soil. We must understand that it is the responsibility of our own Government to take this matter seriously otherwise the world is finding too easy to blame Pakistan and call it a hub of global terrorism. The effects of our failures are enormous when we lost all foreign investment, sporting events and lot more.

I have some effective suggestions for the improvement of Law and Order situation in Pakistan.which I need to share with the readers and would want Government officials to consider seriously.

  • Pakistan has a very huge population living below the poverty level. They lack basic amenities of life with no access to pure water, electricity and proper home for      living. Though in rural areas such kind of population is scattered in different pockets, but in urban areas there is a great problem of slums which we also call Kachi Abadis. These slums have very small homes built randomly and without any sort of planning. When we talk about Karachi alone, we see huge population living in these Kachi Abadis with no possible access to Police and any law enforcing agencies inside the extremely narrow and puzzling streets. Most amazingly Government never took action against terrorists hiding in these areas and thus allowing them safe havens inside the cities with no head ache of being apprehended easily. In Karachi the most powerful hub of terrorism is believed to be Al Asif Square in Sohrab Goth area and surrounding Afghan Basti, Sikandar Goth and other adjoining areas. Ironically Sikandar Goth was attempted to be vacated in May 2006 by the authorities of the local Government as this Goth (Village) was created by Land Mafia on the land of a cooperative society which won its case from Sindh High Court and had valid orders for the Government to vacate that piece of land. Most amazingly it was PPP, who was in opposition at that time at that time, opposed seriously and supported the armed assault from the terrorists living inside that Goth which took many lives and the Government had eventually stepped back from vacating the same. Now these Goths are believed to have huge piles of arms and ammunition which is easily accessible to terrorists to carry out activities inside the city. PPP Government should be asked now why they had supported this illegal Goth and why they supported the terrorists hiding inside that Goth. It is needed that these illegal slum areas in the country would be shifted outside the city with newly built houses small and well planned with wide and accessible streets with all basic amenities made available to them. We can take the example from Venezuela where Mr. Hogu Chavez the President has ordered thousands of ‘Plastic homes” for poor people built in many cities of that country. Presently in Pakistan the regularized slum colonies must be properly surveyed and database of residents living there would be properly collected, maintained and updated on periodic basis.
  • There is no record of intercity movement in Pakistan. In present circumstances inter city movement record is to be maintained seriously without it no tracing of individual is possible. Further, random audit of National Identity Cards is necessary to ensure the validity of the data available. SIM placed ID cards may be issued to every individual who is not residing in the city of his residence. People without carrying those ID cards and if they are found away from their city of residence must be interrogated. Proper arrangements may be made in the exit and entry points of every city with Biometric security devices plus swapping machines connected to NADRA’s (National Database Registration Authority) database. A special computer program should be developed to track the movement of individuals from one city to another.
  • The passports and immigration system is to be strengthened and an Independent body should be created which should randomly check the validity and authenticity of passports issued to various individuals in Pakistan. It is believed that there is a huge chance of issuance of passports to fake identities. Further, those individuals who have been issued passports must also submit the copies of their passport to this neutral authority which would issue verification certificate every year. This authority can at any time call the individual personally for verification of his/her passport if they find something unusual about their data during checking. The issuance of visa to the foreigners should also be properly monitored. Especially those individuals who are given visa immunity should be given special SIM placed ID cards during the time period of their stay in Pakistan. Those individuals must confirm in writing about their period of stay in Pakistan and that would be posted in their SIM Card. This system has so much potential and can be improved enormously. Similarly every individual who is entering the country on valid Visa would also be issued similar ID Cards. Those with family would also be given such cards but to the elders or the leader of that family. The visa expiry date would be fed in the SIM and it will become easy for the Government to obtain detail of every individual whose visa is expired and through that SIM it becomes possible to trace that person to be apprehended on Visa violation charges.
  • The proper protection of borders is extremely necessary now. We can take the help our trusted friend China to completely seal our borders from both Eastern and Western side. Where necessary strong concrete wall can be built and where possible, barbed wire protection should be ensured. The border if once completely sealed then we would not bear any more allegations of cross border support to terrorism. This is extremely necessary and the action must be taken seriously with electric speed.  The border would be guarded with security cameras and detectors through computerized system which can report any attempt to damage the wall or barbed wire protection immediately to the nearest check post of watch tower.
  • No Foreign Security Agency or Private mercenary organization would be allowed to operate inside Pakistan. Every security agency which has connection to any international mercenary group should submit proper information with complete detail about the connection and must also submit to the Government, true copy of any agreement made in this regard. Further, it is necessary that all security agencies must be made mandatory to submit data of their staff and personnel hired to a new regulatory body of the Security agencies to the National Security Agency which should be a regulatory body that may issue license to these security agencies and conduct surprise security audit to check the data of employed security personnel and investigate if found any unsuitable or any one with criminal background.
  • Government should create a new private security force which would provide security to various organizations and companies running under government’s control. These individuals should be given employment after proper scrutiny and this force must be operated by ex-Army officials and retired Police officers. The need of this sort of security agency is necessary to relieve regular police from extra duties to guard politicians, parliamentarians and other Government officials. This force must operate in full coordination with Police Department where felt necessary.
  • Surveillance and monitoring system may be enhanced by using modern technology. We can take the example of Command and Control system being most effectively used by the City Government of Karachi. Not only security cameras would be installed but strong voice catchers and extractors would be used to track vocal conversations of suspected terrorists and criminals. We can take help of China to obtain on lease any satellite to track and locate terrorists and their movement. The High mega pixel cameras are very effective today as they are able to locate one person out of a huge group of people even from an enormous distance. We can use modern technology in combination with human force to eliminate terrorism from root in our country.
  • Online FIR and secret information reporting system should be introduced with the link to National Security Agency ( A new body which should look after the internal security matters) and every person can report any incidence online and can get the complain number and copy of his complaint at once. The copy of this FIR should reach the District Court, The Police Head Office, Citizen Police Liaison Committee, Press Club and any Parliamentary committee related to National Security. Further a tracking code would also be given to this FIR by which the progress of this FIR can be monitored. It must be understood that without hassle free police reporting system we cannot build the trust of our nation on our law enforcing agencies. National Security Agency should track each and every FIR and ask about the progress of every case from respective investigating officer if they feel that the case is lingering on and not reaching any conclusion.
  • Our police and security agencies under present circumstance should be allowed to search any place they suspect specially in the Capital City. The houses hired by American Embassy also create suspicion about possible involvement in terrorist activities. Search operation should also be conducted in these houses to find the reality as no body should be spared now because it is the matter lives of innocent people. The Government right now is unable to stop terrorism despite all its efforts.
  • NGOs should be allowed to operate unless and until they get their agenda and objectives approved by the National Security Agency. Mot importantly there must be strict policy of adoption of children. We are unlucky that there is no database of local children taken away by these NGOs and adopted by many people outside the country. Those children were adopted after 9/11 from Afghan refugee camps and after 2005 earthquake in Northern areas of Pakistan from the relief camps.  It is quite possible that those adopted children are being used by our enemies for suicide bombing and actions against our national security.

The above suggestions though are not discussed in complete detail but these can be considered to formulate a coordinated and enhanced action plan to combat the present danger of terrorism eating lives of innocent people every day. We can see that Americans have saved their homeland with strict immigration system. We usually condemn that they do not spare even the famous movie star of our region when it comes to strong checking procedures at their airports and at all points of entry and exit in the country.

The long term policy to eliminate terrorism would be based on following points

  • Complete database of every individual living in Pakistan to be maintained and tracking of individuals may be made possible with the help of latest technology. Periodic checking and surprise checks may be made possible.
  • Strong database of birth and death must be most effectively maintained and kept available to the intelligence and security agencies.
  • Effective immigration, Visa issuance and visitors’ tracking system to be developed with the help of latest information technology.
  • Strong Police under the control of Judiciary should be ensured.
  • The education, training and physical fitness of Police force to be achieved on priority basis. The salaries and benefits of Police department should be increased and educated people may be offered jobs in this department. The matter of proper residence, education and pensioning of the families of the people employed in this department must be resolved. Without elevating the standard of living of our Policemen and their families, we cannot control the threat of terrorism.
  • Parliament should pass legislation to immediately curb the involvement or pressurizing from politicians in the matters of Police especially when they force the release of their workers and individuals without registration of FIR if they are really caught on committing any crime.
  • Judiciary shall be completely free of any political involvement
  • Educational Institutions should become free from all kind of politics.
  • Plastic homes may be introduced for poor people and new colonies of these plastic homes may be settled with basic amenities like water, electricity and gas. Proper transport system like railways or low fare buses may also be arranged for these colonies.
  • Free schools, health centers and public parks may be built with enormous speed. For this purpose corporate giants may be approached and may be asked to join hands to build and run these free educational institutions with strong management.
  • Strong rescue force must be developed to help common people to save them from any kind of incidence or from any dangerous situation causing loss of lives.
  • Cruel tribal and Jirga laws should be abolished and practices like honor killings may be completely stopped. Crimes against women may be stopped because they are presenting bad picture of our society and unduly penalizing our religion which has nothing to do with these ill practices.
  • The inclusion of common people in Army is made compulsory like practiced in many countries. Mandatory Army services for 3 to 5 years may be ensured so that common people would feel the responsibility of defending the nation and learn to fight the fear which they have built inside their hearts.
  • Research and development in various fields be initiated and Pakistanis living abroad would be asked to visit and help enhancing technological knowledge in the country.
  • Intelligence agencies should be automated and made conversant with latest technology. New Institutes may be set to encourage brave people to join the intelligence force and latest technology in forensic investigation be introduced.

The above are very basic requirements to be fulfilled to ensure that no further terror threat can hit our nation again. We should together formulate a clear cut policy because compromising on our national security would throw our generations into ultimate catastrophe.

We should also come up with more suggestions and more contribution of thoughts which would help us to fight together with the monster of terrorism. Today it is needed that from strong military action to subsequent rehabilitation and development of the effected parts of the country, the nation should stand shoulder to shoulder and be ready for any sacrifice which our motherland asks from us. We have a great responsibility towards our nation and people of Pakistan are united in curbing terrorism completely.

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