Critical Thinking

Introduction term; it is very challenging to define

Introduction Terrorism has become universal threat. It is big menace to the national security of all the states. With the passage of time it is becoming more perplexing. It is categorized as fourth-generation war and as a violent crime.   Terrorism is a tricky term; it is very challenging to define terrorism in a definite way. Typically terrorism is asymmetric warfare. In a broader context terrorism is the use of intentional force by non-state groups/networks in order to create terror, fear and grievance to achieve political, religious or ideological goals.    Methods of terrorist activities employed are shocking, disruptive and unconventional. Symbol of terrorism is being used to exploit human fear in order to achieve certain goals. Terrorism has been used both by right wing and left wing parties to attain their objectives.  According to data from the Global Terrorism Database, more than 61,000 incidents of non-state terrorism claiming over 140,000 lives have been recorded from 2000 to 2014.As terrorism is the problem of all the countries whether developed or underdeveloped.  Terrorism has its roots in 18th century during French revolution.   After that some incidents also happened but the gruesome event of 9/11 has made this matter important and the foremost challenge to deal with. On international level powerful states started to enforce strategies and techniques to curb the curse of terrorism. The root cause of this violent event and terrorism was found to be” Islamist extremism.” Jihadi movements are methods of terrorism and insurgency. Since then 9/11 states are dealing with terrorism. Terrorism is being dealt as a universal problem, not specified to certain states. Although the superpower United States could not protect itself from the destruction of terrorist activities but the main targets of these terrorist activities are third world states.Number of methodologies and strategies has been devised and employed to counter extremism and violence. Counterterrorism (CT) and Counterinsurgency (COIN) are solutions to mitigate the threat of terrorism and extremism. Although these also have some loopholes, that need some attention. Legality of these strategies’ and protection of human rights is the main thing to be defined while carrying out these counter operations in targeted areas. South Asia has experienced excessive and sustained violence over the past decade. India, Pakistan and Afghanistan continue to face major internal insurgencies, while Sri Lanka and Nepal face political turbulence and lingering tensions despite having declared a formal end to their intra-state conflicts.  Since 9/11 Pakistan has been considered as” the epicentre of international terrorism” from western perspective.   Moreover Pakistan has been the safe haven for organizations that promote terrorism and also destabilize political position of Pakistan that directly intimidate the Western security interests. From safe havens in Pakistan, Al-Qaeda, along with Mullah Omar’s Quetta Shura Taliban and other Afghan insurgent groups, has planned and carried out attacks against American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces in Afghanistan. Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has faced numerous challenges from violent non-state actors. The number and intensity of internal conflicts began to escalate following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, particularly in the northwest regions of the country. The United States began to take an active interest in Pakistan’s approach to counterinsurgency at that time and especially after the Taliban resurgence beginning in approximately 2006. In a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, U.S. officials expressed concern over Pakistan’s counterinsurgency campaign against the Taliban and their foreign and Al-Qaeda affiliates operating in the northwest and tribal areas. According to the estimate, increased activity by these groups threatened to erode gains made in Afghanistan and, more importantly, to destabilize a nuclear-armed Pakistan.   As a result, the United States adopted a more activist approach to influencing the Pakistan government’s counterinsurgency operations through military and economic assistance. The main focus of this paper is to examine the counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts of Pakistani government and military to mitigate the threat of terrorism. Following questions are being addressed to evaluate the counterterrorism methodologies and techniques in Pakistan;1. Why Pakistan adopted counterterrorism pathway to combat terrorism?2. How Pakistan has achieved the important goals in COIN?3. Which aspects of CT (civilian and military) have worked well and what were the shortcomings?4. What should be the stance of Pakistan in future to strengthen its position in countering terrorism?

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