Explaining Away Terror

Great piece in The Daily Times today by Hasan-Askari Rizvi on the failure of many Pakistani leaders to recognise the domestic nature of terror attacks. Instead they continue to reach for narratives that suggest a global conspiracy against Islam rather than accept the threat posed by Muslim extremists. At the same time, leaders in Punjab refuse to accept that their region is home to terror groups. As a result, recent terror attacks have been blamed on anyone but the real culprits…

  • A Muslim cannot engage in terrorism targeting ordinary people, places of worship and shrines. One implication of this statement is that such acts must have been conducted by non-Muslims
  • The paid agents of Pakistan’s foreign adversaries, rather than militant Islamic organisations, engage in such activities to destabilise Pakistan
  • Various US agencies working in Pakistan and Afghanistan resort to terrorism or buy off people for terrorism to destabilise Pakistan and thus create a justification for the US and other western countries to take control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
  • Attacks or bombings are a reaction to Pakistan’s involvement in US-led efforts to eliminate trans-national terrorism, which does not serve Pakistan’s interests
  • These incidents are a reaction to Pakistan’s military action in the tribal areas and US drone attacks. If US troops withdraw from Afghanistan and there is no US military activity in Pakistan, terrorism will stop. The Taliban and other militants are not anti-Pakistan; they are fighting against foreign presence in the region

Tackling the problem will mean jettisoning such conspiracy theories or rationalisations.

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