CRISIS MANAGEMENT CELL IN CONTROLLING TERRORISM

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CRISIS MANAGEMENT CELL IN CONTROLLING TERRORISM

Introduction

Background:

Geographical location of Pakistan is such that it cannot remain aloof to the developments taking place in international politics. During 1960s Pakistan had to be a part of many multilateral defense pacts like SEATO and CENTO and then in 1979 Russian-Afghan war, Pakistan for its own security and protection had to be part of international community to contain Russian War in Afghan. Pakistan had to fight wars with neighboring India in 1965 and 1971 and the dispute is still there. Afghan war and its after-effects like drug-trafficking, human-trafficking and klashnikov culture and rise of jehadis- turned –terrorists in shape of Al-Qaeda and Taliban and teaming up of criminal elements coupled with sectarianism and regionalism has created a situation where terrorism thrives. Terrorism has become a potent threat to Pakistan. Today Law enforcement Agencies, common people and infrastructure like schools, hospitals and mosques are being targeted and huge losses of lives and property are being inflicted by these terror groups.

“Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of creating fear among the masses. At present there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal.  The word “terrorism” is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition. Studies have found over 100 definitions of “terrorism”. The concept of terrorism is itself controversial because it is often used by states to delegitimize political or foreign opponents, and potentially legitimize the state’s own use of terror against them”. (Wikipedia 2010).

Terrorism in Pakistan:

Terrorism is a big issue in Pakistan these days. It has done a lot of damage to the country. It has destroyed the economy of the country. Number of deaths has steadily and significantly increased from 54 in 2001 to 1956 in 2010. A total of 5000 armed forces casualties and 30,000 civilian casualties have been recorded till now. The cost of war on terror in monetary terms has been estimated at $68 billion. Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, involvement of United States and the proxy war resulted in emergence of many militant groups who were Mujahideen groups then. This war theatre also attracted militants from other countries, especially from Arab countries. CIA and Pakistan intelligence agencies encouraged them and helped them to operate from agency areas of Pakistan.

“From the summer of 2007 until late 2009, more than 1,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians for reasons attributed to a number of causes – sectarian violence between Sunni and Shia Muslims; easy availability of guns and explosives; the existence of a Kalishnikov culture; an influx of ideologically driven Afghan Arabs based in or near Pakistan, who originate from any country with a Muslim population and the subsequent war against the Afghan communists in the 1980s which blew back into Pakistan; the presence of Islamist insurgent groups and forces such as the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba; and secessionists movements – the most significant being the Balochistan liberation movement – blamed on regionalism, which is problematic in a country with Pakistan’s diverse cultures, languages, traditions and customs”. (Wikipedia 2010)

In the wake of this situation Government of Pakistan decided in September 2000 to create an organization to serve as the nerve Centre to the Ministry of Interior where real-time information from all intelligence-gathering Agencies, provincial crisis management cells and other security agencies is received and processed. For this purpose in year 2000, Federal Control Room of Ministry of Interior was converted into National Crisis Management Cell.

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