Can Terrorism be Eradicated?
By Rafiq Ebrahim
Can terrorism in Pakistan be eradicated? The answer is yes! It may look like a mammoth task, but effective strategies can definitely counter this highly destructive menace which takes life of many innocent people and causes extensive damage.
First of all we must recognize that we have to beat terrorism, not the terrorists, nullify this fanatic ideology and establish true Islamic values. Terrorists are the product of brain-washed minds, zealous but misguided angry people, believing in misinterpreted teachings of their faith. They are trained from their childhood to raise guns against everyone who does not subscribe to their beliefs, not only people belonging to other faiths but also Muslims who belong to any one of a different sect. There are about 73 sects.
They are made to believe that if they kill them, their ascent to Paradise is certain. There are a number of so-called religious scholars and clerics who are constantly imparting this ideology on the naive minds of these militants. Since they are also trained not to be afraid of dying in the cause of the religion, they are always ready to be suicide-bombers or jihadis.
Such being the case, they need a good amount of finance to carry out their missions. Out of plunders, extortions and a constant supply from the rich terrorist organizations, they thrive. We have seen that in spite of all possible efforts – drone attacks, army actions, intelligence and spy networks and even negotiations – terrorism is simply flourishing.
What can we do about it? Thomas H. Kean and Lee H.Hamilton in their article, How to Halt Next Terror Generation, in USA TODAY of 26 th January, 2015 pointed out, “Although US can promote moderation, it cannot ensure its ascendancy. Only Muslims can do that. Fortunately, this is beginning to happen. The US should support governments, organizations and peoples that are taking active measures to defeat violent Islamic ideology, such as catalyzing partnerships with leading media channels in the Muslim world to produce programming that fosters moderation.”
If we carefully look at the basis of terrorism and not terrorists, we can outline a few strategies. First and foremost is imparting the true message of Islam on the minds of these extremists and fanatics, and for this we need the right thinking religious scholars and clerics to come to the fore. Their messages should be sent to the militants in the form of wide network broadcasts – TV, Radio, internet and leaflets dropped through air on the sensitive areas - to recondition the minds of the fanatics. It should be pointed out that Islam is a religion of peace, and that if you kill an innocent person it is as if you have killed the whole humanity. Militants should also be reminded about the messages in the following Qur’anic Surahs:
Surah 2, verse 62 of Qu’ran states: Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does righteous deeds shall have their reward with the Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
Surah 4, verse 93 states: If a man kills a believer intentionally his recompense is hell to abide therein and the wrath and curse of Allah are upon him and a dreadful chastisement is prepared for him.
Secondly, the responsibility of protection of the nation and its people against terrorism be given to the armed forces that can make their presence felt everywhere in the areas where terrorists are believed to live and where terrorism breeds.
All madressahs inciting young yooung students to resort to violence in the name of Islam should be immediately closed, or the fanatic teachers be replaced by right thinking teachers, who can impart true Islamic teachings to the students.
It is also the responsibility of the people to help eradicate this menace. If they see any suspicious activity or any character lurking about or living in their area they should report him immediately to the authorities so that appropriate action can be timely taken.
We all desire to make Pakistan terrorism-free and our desires could only be fulfilled if an all-out effort is made. Make Pakistan a peaceful abode as it was before the wave of terrorism invaded it, and let the generations to come be free of violence in the name of religion.