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HOLDING ‘hidden hands’ and external forces responsible for our security woes is an old excuse that officialdom trots out to deflect criticism. And in keeping with this practice, the head of the interior ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell has told this newspaper that “terrorists who have infiltrated from Afghanistan are to blame for much of Pakistan’s poll-related violence. While it is believed that some fugitive Pakistani militants such as Fazlullah are based in Afghanistan, and Islamabad has asked Kabul to take action against them, the fact is that the major security threat to this country is internal, ie militants based in Pakistan are responsible for the recent poll-related havoc. The TTP has proudly claimed responsibility for bombings and has also distributed pamphlets warning citizens not to take part in polls. It has also threatened liberal parties such as the ANP, MQM and PPP. The leaders of the extremists’ campaign against democracy and their spokesmen are all located within our borders. Even the army chief, while blasting “external enemies” for rampant terrorism in Pakistan the other day, conceded that internal elements also need to be dealt with.

Hence what further argument is required to convince the state that the problem is very much internal? What is more, playing the blame game does little to tackle militancy in practical terms.

It is true that in a geopolitically complex world elements based outside our borders could well be trying to destabilise our security. But proof is needed of this and more importantly, what is the state doing to prevent such activities? However, in the context of our predicament vis-à-vis religious militancy, the problem is a product of our own follies — we have allowed the internal militant threat to grow into a monster. Instead of passing the buck the state needs to come to terms with the issue. Admitting the problem, and that it is our problem, will help us deal with it effectively; maintaining a state of denial will only have adverse consequences.

Comments (14) Closed

Kesar May 03, 2013 09:26am
There needs to be more killing and blood shed in Pakistan until the people (not the pliticians) finally dig their heads out of the sand and confront the real enemy. Of course, the religious parties and likes of Imran Khans are certainly playing their role in delaying the inevitable conclusion.
Bubba May 03, 2013 10:52am
Pakistan complaining that Pakistani terrorist are hiding and using Afghanistan as a sanctuary - bet that resonates with Afghans.
ali ahmed May 03, 2013 08:28am
it is well know TTP is punjab based organization...supported ex ruler of election activities has been tergeted in punjab
Tahir May 03, 2013 09:04am
"Foreign Hand" is an easy card that is used by politicians, all religious party leaders , renowned TV anchors and have brainwashed the public into a helpless state of mind. Not able to do anything about it.
pathanoo May 03, 2013 04:35pm
An obvious truth the author tells here. But, is any one listening? It is up to the people of Pakistan to take matters in their own hands and act to eliminate the terrorists. How they can do that; you may ask? By soundly defeating the terrorist supporting parties like PML-N, TI (Imran Khan's party), JI, JUI -F. Totally decimating these parties at the poles will be the only message which will register with them. They are nothing but power hungry. Deny them power and see how their behavior changes.
XYZ May 03, 2013 06:24am
yeah we must change our mindset of blaming others and should cut off the roots of terrorism by fencing the Durand line. this is the only way for Islamabad and Rawal Pindi if they want to be treated with dignity.
Ishaq May 03, 2013 08:05am
How many times you will remind them. They don't want to understand it.
AHA May 04, 2013 12:32pm
I agree - No hope. Religion impedes the ability to understand.
Ejaz ali May 04, 2013 06:02am
Repeated claims may have lost the due attention, but facts will remain facts. Indians are the main culprits in destabilising the Baluchistan and supporting terrorism in Pakistan.
Ajaya K Dutt May 03, 2013 11:04pm
World needs another "Gateway to Central Asia"; even if it is more "expensive".
malole May 03, 2013 05:11am
The reason being they are unable to deal with terrorism or dont want to do anything on purpose.
Immad May 03, 2013 04:47am
PML N, JUI and JI who share the ideology of terrorists create distraction by always blaming foreign elements.
Baighairat Kafir May 03, 2013 03:25pm
If the people of Bakistan were ever to realize this they would have realized by now. Instead Pakistanis are increasingly getting Bakistanized (radicalized). No hope for this place.
John May 03, 2013 03:10pm
How many fences will you put around Pakistan? I thought Pakistan was marketed to the world as the "Gateway to central Asia".