Editorial —
AFTER wreaking havoc in KP, the banned TTP have struck the federal capital, highlighting the uncomfortable truth that unless the militant group is stopped in its tracks, the new wave of terrorism may well spread to other parts of the country. At least one policeman was martyred when a suicide bomber blew himself up in Islamabad on Friday, after police stopped his vehicle for verification. Terrorism is clearly moving from the peripheries to the centre of the nation. While acts of terrorism anywhere in the country are a matter of grave concern, the message the terrorists seem to be sending is that if the capital is not safe, no other place in the country is.

The time for prevarication and mudslinging is over. Leadership is required from the ruling elite, and a firm stand must be taken against terrorism. Sadly, both the government and opposition are too busy trading blame for the growing wave of violence, or are far more concerned with capturing the thrones of Lahore and Islamabad, than securing the country. For example, the interior minister used a recent National Security Committee report pointing out the “capacity gaps” in KP’s CTD to slam the PTI-led administration in Peshawar. On the other hand, the KP chief minister told the media that fighting militancy was the centre’s job. It is truly depressing to witness such combative and destructive politics while terrorists attempt to burst through the door. Instead of arguing over jurisdiction and who is to blame for allowing terrorists to regroup, both the federal government and the KP administration, and the PTI in general, must put aside their rivalry and focus their energies on neutralising the resurgent threat. The fact is that defeating militancy is not the domain of any single law-enforcement body; it will take the combined might of the provincial police forces, the intelligence apparatus, as well as the military to quell the terrorist tide. The centre and the provinces, along with the security establishment, must all be on the same page where counterterrorism is concerned, and Nacta or any other body the state feels has the required infrastructure should be the focal point of the fight against militancy. If the politicians and generals act now, Pakistan can still beat this new wave of terrorism. But if the dissonance and toxicity continue, the hapless people of Pakistan will be left to fend for themselves as a brutal enemy draws blood.

December 24, 2022

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1728002/islamabad-bombing

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