Counter Terrorism: Complications & Policy Narratives


Contrary to the statement related to the non-enforcement of ceasefire, the military establishment exercised full restraint in dealing with Tehreek-e-Taliban miscreants. For the next seven days, i.e., until the 15th of September, the security forces refrained from killing any of the militants. During this time span, the terrorists in the FATA killed seven civilians belonging to local peace lashkars (committees) and six soldiers.


This statement clearly foretells that Omar Khalid is not serious about negotiations with the Government, by adopting a rigid stance which will prove detrimental in the furtherance of peace through negotiations. The ailing Hakimullah proves incapable of uniting the disparate factions, and is fully aware that the edifice of Tehreek-e-Taliban will crumble if the Mohmand faction is isolated at this stage. Being fully aware of Hakimullah’s inability to counter him, Khalid has also impressed upon the TTP commanders that they will be abandoned if they accept Pakistan’s Constitution. Interestingly, unlike all the previous notices that used to depict Mullah Omar as the de facto head of Pakistani Taliban, herein Omar Khalid deviated from the untrue stance which Pakistani Taliban used to maintain. It clarifies that the leadership and agenda of Tehreek-e-Taliban differs from Afghan Taliban.

Overall, the current situation depicts what the analysts had been preaching since long – Tehreek-e-Taliban considers itself strong enough to impose its agenda on the State of Pakistan. The activities of Tehreek-e-Taliban indicate that they are currently focused on maximizing damage on soft targets. Bomb attack on the Peshawar Church, followed by bombing of Government officials bus, gunning down dam workers in Mohmand, and mounting suicide attack on Mullah Nabi, a pro government tribal elder leader headquarter in Orakzai Agency are some of the attacks in the last 10 days, that have been owned up by Tehreek-e-Taliban.  In the tenure of previous government, these militants were showing their readiness to talk with PML-N and Jamat-e-Islami leadership, but now they are meting out illogical reasons to show their disapproval of the peace talks. It is high time that the government realizes it.


Pakistan’s political bigwigs need to understand the FATA militancy phenomenon from the Islamic perspective. The breed of militants festering under the banner of TTP is the derivative of Khawarij’s teachings that were shunned by Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) himself.  Armed with the ideological understanding of the nature of this Islamist militancy, the parliamentarians must devise a counter narrative as opposed to the misrepresented one, used in the promotion of terrorism by Tehreek-e-Taliban and Al-Qaeda. This soft approach should be made a fundamental part of our Counter-terrorism strategy.  A recent trend of curbing the menace, through proper legislation by counter terrorism laws is also a good start, and it should be followed up strongly by all segments of nation.

It is a bad corollary that the militants can be subdued only through the power of rhetoric; an effective counter terrorism strategy should also include the option of immediate security forces offensive when and whenever it may be needed.  Until these simple measures cannot be made a part of counter terrorism stratagem, peace would remain a distant dream.

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Talha Ibrahim - is a certified conflict analyst of United States Institute of Peace.

Discussion6 Comments

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    “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” you said but reality is we acted worst than disbelievers in the wake of 9/11. Didn’t we provide shoulder to American to commit war crimes against afghan and tribes of Pakistan. Pork, wine, pampers and ammunition were provided by this “Islamic Republic” to carry out massacres. The only sin these tribes are blamed for that they provided safe haven to “terrorist”. Why the Americans are dictating to us what is terrorism and what is not. Providing shelter to oppressed from oppressor is not a sin because the whole afghan war is based on lies that was first in the series of Iraq, Libya and now Syria ( probably Pakistan too, had it not been nuclear power).
    I have nothing against you when you support armed forces, but when country was created for the sole purpose of defending Islam, today the same country is boasting and bragging being frontline ally of those whose waged war against Islam. And if you take out Islam form this country then it is just an extents on of India, there was no need of separation.

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      Why is this event being looked at with such a generalized form? Sure better decision could have been made, but let us consider this, Musharraf consulted the friendly countries before taking this decision including China, all of which at the time were leaning toward going with the US, so whether good or bad, the understanding was that if Pakistan said “NO” tot he US, it would not have the support of its closest allies, it may have been literally alone.
      As for waging awar, you are missing the decades worth of historical facts about Taliban, TTP and this whole war from the soviets till now.

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      Your blind support for all Muslims including terrorist murders is the real problem…the TTP are takferi quarjites who do not deserve any support for their misguided interpretation of sharia…they are murderers and thugs and yes they are also Muslims…if the USA is ridding Pakistan of these terrorist with drones then Pakistan should be thanking the USA….it is blind support of Muslim terrorist that is making Pakistan the epicenter of world terrorism and it needs to stop…

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    Ahsan what you are hollering about, stems from the ‘zero knowledge’ of Pakistan’s geo politics and current affairs.
    The author highlighted this boldly that Al-Qaeda infiltration in FATA was the reason of Pakistan armed forces aggrandizement against tribals.
    Truth be told, the theory of ‘frontline ally’ is shit. The truth is that Pakistan has been befooling US since the last whole decade.

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