Militancy and Islamophobia

A very alarming rise in terrorist activities in Pakistan is being observed in the last three years.

4 mins read
Aya Elmallah, 24, holds up a sign during a rally to commemorate the Muslim family that was killed in London, Ontario, last month in what authorities called an attack motivated by hate [File: Carlos Osorio/Reuters]

Happiness is a very subjective term when we talk of it at individual level but when it is about some country or some nation, it doesn’t remain subjective. Practically an uprising graph of success and achievements is the basic indicator of happiness and successful are only those who face the worst with undefeatable determination and a never-dying hope of good days.Recently the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network has published The World Happiness Report 2022. Finland has been ranked as the happiest country,Denmark has retained its second position followed by Iceland, Switzerland and Netherlands. India is at 136th number whereas Pakistan is at 121 on the happiness index. Unfortunately Afghanistan has been named as the unhappiest country.

As far as, we the people of Pakistan are concerned, no doubt we are among those successful ones who never bend down in front of hardships and trials. A bright ray of hope always circles around us and keeps us alive. We are always hopeful that someday in near future, things would be alright. No doubt, at present Pakistan is passing through the most drastic phase of its life.  The hardships, this nation is facing have not been so severe in nature if they were not accompanied by insurgent terrorist’s activities. Though our security agencies are doing all their bestto curb the menace of terrorismbut the stormy ocean still seems adamant on giving us more tough time. In spite of all those hurdles and obstacles, hardships and hurdles, the most pleasant reality is that we have not lost hope of a sunny day after this troublesome weather. We have our own happiness and our own joys; the hope of happy days to come is no doubt the most beautiful of all these joys.

The month of March always adds a lot to the beauty of natural scenery in Pakistan as this is the month associated with the spring season. This is the month when everyone could feel the presence of a comparatively mild blowing breeze, eager to shower clouds, ice crystal hail stones, lush green trees and colorful flower beds; certainly, it all makes the whole atmosphere enchanting and mesmerizing. Another salient feature of this month is 23rd March, the day when in 1940 the foundation stone of Pakistan was laid in Lahore by passing the Lahore Resolution.The Pakistan Armed Forces usually hold an elegant military parade in the Capital Islamabad to celebrate this great day but it is something very pinching that the anti-Pakistan elements always try to add some pain and some agony to the colorful and fragrant happiness associated with the month of March through their lily-livered activities.The killing of Brigadier Mustafa Kamal Barkion 21st March, 2023 is also one of such ‘chicken- hearted’ activities by the terrorists.

Brigadier Mustafa Kamal Barki was a high-ranking officer of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and was leading an encounter with the hard-core foreign-supported terroristsin South Waziristan’s Angoor Adda. This place is in Pakistan’s northwest region bordering Afghanistan. The martyred Brigadier Mustafa Kamal Barki’s vehicle was targeted by the terrorists in the dark of night. His driver also sacrificed his life during that incident.After the incident, Pakistan military media wing,the Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) said in an official statement that an intense exchange of fire took place between the two sides. Brigadier Barki and his team “put up a valiant resistance against the terrorists during the encounter and the officer sacrificed his life for the peace of the motherland”. The ISPR further said that the “Defence forces of Pakistan and intelligence agencies pledge to reaffirm and demonstrate firm resolve to eliminate the menace of terrorism from every inch of the country.”

A very alarming rise in terrorist activities in Pakistan is being observed in the last three years. In 2022 compared to 2021, there was a 27% spike in terrorist attacks and now in 2023 this rise seems reaching above that range of 27%.  A very shocking beginning of the new wave of terrorism in 2023 was noticed on 30th January when a mosque in Peshawar was targeted by a suicide bomber at around 1:30 p.m. The mosque was located inside a high-security compound that included the headquarters of the provincial police force and a counterterrorism department. At the time of the bombing, between 300 and 400 police officers were offering their prayers in the mosque. This terrorist activity killed more than 100 people and left more than 200 seriously injured.On 17th February, a group of armed men attacked the central police station in Karachi. Two policemen lost their lives and nine others were seriously injuredin that attack. On 25th February, at least two policemen were killed in a remote-controlled blast in Baluchistan’s Khuzdar district. On 26th February, a blast at a crowded market in Baluchistan province killed at least four people and wounded 14.On 6th March, a suicide bomber in Baluchistan killed nine policemen.On 13th March, two more people were killed in another Khuzdar bombing; and now the recent incident which took the precious life of another son of Pakistan Brigadier Barki.

It is something very astonishing that after every terrorist activity, the responsibility is allegedly claimed by some Islamist militant organization; all those who lose their lives in all such incidents are the Muslims and the majority of the targeted ones belong to the law-enforcement agencies. It is very ironical rather ridiculous that the so-called Muslim militants are killing the Muslims. This situation is giving birth to a feeling of fear and horror; the world around us calls this feeling ‘Islamophobia’. It is a day-light fact that we could never be a friend to whom we are frightened of. In this rapidly changing world, we need friends not foes. Internationally, intelligent and wise nations are trying their utmost to settle down their conflicts with their once rival nations in a cordial way. How can we develop friendly relationship with the world around us, in presence of ‘Islamophobia’ type of feeling? It means those behind the terrorist activities in Pakistan do not want Pakistan’s cordial friendly relationship with the world around. We would have to think whether the organizations involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan are really of the Muslim origin.

Ali Sukhanver

The writer is an Associate Professor of English at Govt College of Science, Multan

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