Taliban Militancy Compelled Nation to Unite
By Zaheerul Hassan
The cowardly act of Taliban against innocent students of Army Public School and College of Peshawar is completely intolerable. Taliban carnage of 149 people, including 134 children, lady principal and teacher are totally condemnable and proved an example of barbarism. Meanwhile, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif rushed to Kabul and warned Afghan authorities to take decisive action against sanctuaries of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or else Pakistan would go for ‘hot pursuit.’ It is worth mentioning here that Mulvi Faqeer, Mullana Fazzullah and many other terrorists are operating against Pakistan from the hide out located inside Afghanistan. Despite repeated demands, they have not yet been handover to Pakistan.
The army chief was accompanied by DG ISI and met his Afghan counterpart and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as well as the ISAF commander to present evidence of the Peshawar massacre’s linkage with TTP sanctuaries in Kunar and Nuristan province.
On 24 December 2014, Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif has chaired an All Parties’ Conference (APC). Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar , have also attended the conference.
At this occasion COAS has briefed the participants and disclosed that 2100 terrorists have been killed in ongoing Operation Zarb e Azab. General Raheel has very rightly emphasized that leadership has to take bold decision to exterminate the evil of terrorism.
We must remember that it is not the first time the terrorists have hit a school. According to a carefully conducted survey in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Swat and other areas of the country from 2009-2014, the militants had blown up more than 525 schools and had targeted many female educationist.
In most of the cases Pakistani Taliban groups sometimes claimed responsibility for the attacks. Most of the schools were either of government sector or being run by socio-economic groups. The Taliban used bombs, mines rocket launchers, mortars and guns in their ruthless attacks. In these attacks hundreds of thousands of children were deprived of education as a result.
As per Human rights and media reports including 16 December 2014 attack, at least 164 children were killed in militancy against schools and school transport from 2009 to 2014 and more than 297 were injured. At least 138 school students and staff including Vice Chancellor of Peshawar University Mr. Ajmal Khan were kidnapped for ransom and also to fund their operations and buy weapons. Earlier in October 2010 Taliban have also assassinated Dr. Mohammad Farooq Khan, in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (North West Province of Pakistan). Khan was the vice-chancellor of a new liberal university in Swat, due to be inaugurated a few days later, and had also devoted his time to teaching 150 boys liberated from the Taliban by the Pakistan Army at a school set up by the military in Swat with support from international donors. According to the New York Times, he was one of six university professors and Muslim intellectuals to have been murdered in the previous 12 months.
Again on 9 October 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot, along with two other students, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, on their school bus by a gunman who escaped from the scene.
The journalists, polio lady workers and other observers have faced horrible resistance and suffered with death and injuries in performing of their duties. Due to TTP insurgency, anti-polio workers are also facing serious threat. In this regard, in November 2014, their death toll touched to 65 since the first targeted attack in December 2012. The female anti-polio workers afraid of running the anti-polio campaign Therefore, the number of new polio cases this year hit 260. Most of the polio cases are being observed in the militant affected area of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.
The recent Taliban attack on the children of Army Public School in Peshawar confirmed their intentions of hitting Pakistan’s future. In fact they want to enforce their hard-line interpretation of Sharia law and conducting a violent campaign against female and education too.
In short, now the nation has rejected the Pakistani Taliban’s ideology and asking the rulers to take stern action against Taliban and their supporters. In APC of 24 December 2014, anti–terror strategy was chalked out. Late night Prime Minister announced 25 new counter-terrorism policies. The major points of the said policy were; establishment of special courts headed by military person for speedy trial of terror suspects, crackdown against terrorists and their sponsors, steps against unregistered madrassas. action against banned organizations, sharing of intelligence with provinces, training of anti-terrorists forces and enrolments of retired armed forces personals. The “plan of action” included a wide range of measures including constitutional amendments, banning space for “terrorists” in electronic and print media, destroying their communication systems, and the repatriation of Afghan refugees. The prime minister also announced the formation of a special anti-terrorism force and reforms of religious seminaries known as madrassas.
The government should deliver the result to exterminate the militancy since the nation is not ready to let the terrorists to play with the country. The innocent blood of children of APS provided us a chance to forget the difference, rise as a strong nation and defeat Taliban, Lets stand up against this evil of terrorism since, “Enough is enough now”.
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