Elections 2013: How to end terrorism

By Zaheerul Hassanelections pakistan

According to South Asia Terrorism Portal, from January IST 2013 to April 21, 1536 individuals have been killed and 1263 sustained injuries as result of terrorism in Pakistan. However, in last eight days, 55 individuals killed and over 120 injured. Elections are being held just after few days on 11 May 2013.  But the visible elections campaign can only be seen in Punjab, whereas dreadfulness environment is prevailing due to militant activities in others 3 provinces.

 PTI, PML (N) and parties having Islamic stamped are fearlessly running their campaign. The other major parties like PPP, ANP and MQM and their leadership have are on terrorists hit lists. In this regard, TTP openly claimed the responsibilities of blasts in the meetings of ANP, PPP and MQM. TTP Spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan declared un-Islamic and mentioned it as the agenda of secular forces in Pakistan. In this connection recently, TTP insurgents issued similar warning to the people to stay away from polls which were only serving the interests of enemies of Islam.

This organization also started propagating that democracy is western system of government which is against Islam. The question comes up that if PTI and PML (N) come into power, whether these political parties will able to control TTP. Will these parties reject agenda of enforcing Islamic system of TTP choice? I think another regime of anarchy will be started just after the departure of U.S. forces since TTP favourites’ political parties will not be able to stop militants from spreading terrorism in the country. TTP and the organization advocating for Islam should know that the Constitution of 1973 which was unanimously adopted, clearly states that Pakistan is basically a democracy guided by the Islamic principles and values—no law would be made contrary to Quran and Sunnah.   Earlier, the leaflet was distributed by the TTP-led Pasban-e-Shariat Organisation in North Waziristan Agency to reject the democratic system in FATA, while propagating negative notions. Their leader Maulvi Fazlullah had also expressed his disdain for democracy, parliament and the Constitution of Pakistan. Afghanistan is also not making serious efforts of stopping terrorists those cross Durand line and carries out militancy deep in Pakistani territory.

Moreover, on 29 ten individuals killed in a bus explosion on University Road Peshawar. On 28 April election office of an independent candidate Nasir Khan was targeted on Charsadda road in Peshawar’s Maqsoodabad area killing at five persons and injuring 15 others. In another blast a bomb exploded near the election office of NA-39′s independent candidate Syed Noor Akbar Alam on Hangu road in Kacha Pakka village of Kohat region killing at least five people and injuring 15 others.

The blast was heard across Kohat city and caused damage to nearby shops, buildings and parked cars.

Moreover, twin bomb blasts in Karachi near the office of MQM killed four persons on April 27, while a third blast occurred near public gathering of PPP’s candidate. On April 26, terrorist targeted a meeting of ANP through explosives and killed eleven people in Karachi. On April 25, seven people were killed in a bombing on the office of the MQM. On April 24, there were series of blasts in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Sindh in which 23 people were injured.

Meanwhile, The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has simply failed to prevent 55 candidates from the Punjab of 10 different sectarian groups, from contesting the elections despite the fact that intelligence agencies had warned the ECP that they were on terrorist lists and had provided all the names. These names are also listed on the 4th Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 for their alleged involvement in terrorist activities. According to the media reports and reliable sources, the intelligence agencies had provided to the ECP a complete list of 55 candidates who had filed their nomination papers to contest the national and provincial assemblies’ polls from 20 districts of the Punjab.

In fact, all these blasts are part of the agenda of weakening democracy and depriving real representatives come into power. Foreign intelligence agencies and some of Islamic countries are directly or indirectly funding the banned organizations and political figures of their own choice. Not condemning responsible of terrorism, linking the militancy with former President Pervez Musharraf or support to U.S. and none suggesting of military operation against anti Pakistan Taliban, indeed amounting to strengthen the militants and their masters’ causes of derailing democracy and weakening the country foundation.  For countering of terrorists move, segments of whole society should come up to condemn the Talibanization and their militant activities. Moreover, PTI, PML (N), JI, JUI (F) and other political parties should openly criticize the terrorists, instead remaining deliberately silent over the militancy just to cash the votes of people of peculiar mindset.   Thus, without doubt one can presuppose that the parties or collation of PML (N) and PTI will not be able to resist the militants, if they are afraid of condemning the ongoing militancy. The major parties should instead leg pulling each other and   showing sympathies with Taliban in the name of GWOT, get united to fight and defeat the terrorism. Political and establishment should know that none participation of PPP, ANP and MQM actively in the election 2013 will put the stigma on the fairness of the election commissions and definitely drag the country towards further instability.

One more fact can be noticed that political parties are not deliberately touching national issues like: terrorism water, Kashmir, and Afghanistan. None of the party is has said anything about the security situation of the country on post departure of U.S. and NATO in 2014.

In Islamabad, an advisory issued by the Intelligence agencies claims that the Tahrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has reportedly made a comprehensive plan to kidnap former President Pervez Musharraf for which it has constituted different teams. This is not the first time that the intelligence agencies through its mouth-piece the interior ministry have made revelations, predicting more bomb blasts and suicide attacks in various parts of the country.

Predictions regarding bleeding of country by the theorists during the campaign of upcoming elections in the period of the previous regime even came true, giving the former interior minister Rehman Malik a chance to brag. The terrorists have also targeted railway line and trains in Sindh and innocent citizens of Karachi and Peshawar in the six attacks on 28 April 2013.

Anyhow, the repeated failure of the government agencies in performing their duties has rendered the entire country vulnerable to the terrorists.  The foreign sponsored terrorists are on proxy war and easily carrying out their nefarious activities on both sides of Durand Line.  They are being supported, funded and trained by RAW and Afghan National Intelligence Agency. Thus, their actions against Pakistan military, political leadership and innocent populations have become more significant due to their tactical planning, conviction and courage to execute. But our forces despite looking after interiors and exterior boundaries are putting up a brave fight against the militants.

Nevertheless, on 29 April  2013, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has chaired Corp commanders Conference. The participants of the conference   have discussed issues related to security during the upcoming elections. The meeting has decided to take all possible steps for the conduct of fair the general elections.  Security during election campaign and on the day of elections can be endured with the help of combine efforts of political leadership, security agencies and ECP. The agencies responsible for law and order should be more watchful against any attempt of sabotaging the election process.

Moreover, The Supreme Court should direct ECP not to allow 55 alleges candidates to contest the elections because they had been involved in terrorist activities  and their names  were placed on the 4th Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The government should carry out audit of all banned organizations those have reappeared after changing their names, Madrassas and NGOs. No foreign funding without the knowledge of the government should be allowed directly to any private outfits and NGOs. The efforts should be made to curb the militancy while taking strict steps against the terrorists and condemning the attempt of sabotaging elections 2013 by TTP and foreign forces. Lastly, Government and ECP should ask security agencies to provide protection to all political parties in general and ANP and PPP  in particular for organizing and running their elections campaign since these parties have stood shoulder to shoulder with the  armed forces in elimination of terrorism, from Swat, North Waziristan and rest of the country.

  The writer can be approach through zameer36@gmail.com

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