I F K- The Catalyst
TERRORISM- The Global Menace
We have been living with terrorism for a very long time, although it has assumed epidemic and global phenomenon only in recent years. The west had recently recognized, tasted the Frankenstein monster and wake up after 9/11 attack. The threat of terrorism cut across all the borders and the enemy is faceless. It is a menace to the mankind endangering and destroying the life of innocent people and posing a threat to internal peace and security.
There is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Most common definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal, and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. U.N Secretariat refers terrorism to violent act or ac6ts attempts of such acts perpetuated by states or individual or group of individuals against innocent civilians, national or state not involved in the ongoing conflict calculated to cause fear and panic in general public.
Terrorism is a deadly act committed by highly trained and motivated people who are devoid of humanity and have no value for human life. Terrorism doesn’t have any religion.
There are or have been terrorist belonging to almost all religions of the world; so to associate terrorism with any particular religion is unjustified and unfair. The Terrorist groups are not ordinary civilians or some misguided youth but the paramilitary organ of militant extremism and who believe in the culture of violence and whose objectives is destruction of established social system & structure i.e. the whole way of life of free societies.
WHAT IS TERRORIST MENTALITY?
There is nothing so called terrorist mind. It has been found that a terrorist will look, dress and behave like a normal person, such as college student, until he or she executes the assign mission. The physical and behavioral description is almost similar to any normal person. A common feature of most terrorist is the tendency to externalize – i.e. to seek outside sources to blame for personal adequacies. They have defensive grandiosity & exaggerated self with little regard to the feeling of others. They display following common traits ---
-Low self esteem.
-Incomplete psycho-social identity.
-High need for belongingness.
-Trouble family background.
-Had a history of education & job failures.
-They are isolated & socially rejected.
For these lonely alienated individuals only the terrorist groups provide a kind of experience of family which they always wanted but they never had.
The Leaders through their ideological rhetoric plays important role in providing justification for contemplated anti-social acts. Through the use of persuasive communication, the youths are inducted within their terror network. They claim present situation & society is responsible for their frustration. They provide rationale for striking terror as - “Will of God”, “Most fundamental religious duty” , “ As a ticket to heaven” , “A golden chance of becoming a martyr” and moreover big incentive for unleashing terror.
MOTIVATION BEHIND TERRORISM
There are various factors which motivates the terror groups.
To obtain political goals which may be the liberation from the foreign
rule or gaining autonomy or separate states.
Terrorist also attack national symbols to show their power and to shake
the foundation of the country or society. This may negatively affects
the governments legitimacy, while increasing the legitimacy of the
given terrorist organization and/or ideology behind a terrorist act.
To spread terror and fear psychoses in the public for seeking public
support and blind following. It make the democratic institution to
react and over react which will make the establishment unpopular in
masses. To seek media attention and publicity as it helps to promote
their ideology and enable to show their strength. It is used as a tool to
liberate their imprisoned colleagues and to generate financial support
for their movement .Finally motivated by religious ideology that
glorifies suicide as martyrdom.
CAUSES OF TERRORISM.
Terrorist attacks are well planned, meticulously calculated, and
designed to target the country’s political, economic and social fabric,
thus threatening internal security of the country. Terrorism has multiple
causes. Some of these might be specific to the given nation but many
other causes are universal. Sociological, Psychological, Religious,
political and economic factors combines together to cause the problem
-Deeply rooted ethnic ideological and religious division.
-Unresponsive , Insensitive government & apathy of the administration
to the need of the people.
-Lack of political will to fight terrorism.
-Inefficient and corrupt security forces.
-Perceived injustice, inequality, discrimination & persecutions.
-Poor grievance redressal system e.g.- delay in justice.
-Existence of ideology that condone violence e.g.-Taliban.
-Poverty to some extent , as it relative not absolute, finally
“poverty of dignity” helps fuel terrorism.
-Unemployment, alienation, moral degradation & poor conscious
-Availability of support, training & encouragement by overt and covert
sources. E.g.-financial support by rich non- residents.
-Worldwide improvement in communication technology, therefore
better communication gives good co-ordination among terrorists.
-Wide media coverage & popularity given to massacre and other acts
motivate the terrorist to repeatedly make the headline by spreading
-Easy availability of arms and ammunition& growing sophistication in
-Social, political and economic tension & widespread injustice in
-State sponsored terrorism and general lawlessness.
CONSEQUENCES OF TERRORISM.
Terrorism has got various ramifications. The utmost being, it demoralizes the helpless citizen & breakdown of the social order. It weakens the social & political fabric of the affected country diverting the scarce economic resources from other vital areas. Political assassination disrupts the conduct of the government offices and international relations are strained when diplomats are killed or kidnapped. By coercing democratic govt. into submission the terrorist put a great stress on the country’s institutionalized legal mechanism & wholly circumvent the democratic process.
Terrorist produces anxiety & uncertainty both in the minds of citizen and establishment. In this climate of uncertainty- mistrust & distrust grows & the self confidence of the people goes down. Sustain terrorism can result in low grade depression in the entire population.
Further when the state machinery takes up the counter measures, it can cause the alienation of the population from the government. Thus the quality of life gets largely affected by terrorism.
DIFFICULTIES IN COMBATING TERRORISM.
Terrorism is a hydra headed global phenomenon and require unanimity among the nations to combat this menace but this co-operation is not easy to obtain because –
-Every country has different interpretation of terrorism i.e. absence of clear cut definition of terrorism. E.g. – “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
-Govt. of all nations is not matured & responsible enough to realize that by aiding terrorism they are also damaging themselves.
-Most nations do not want to abandon the principle of asylum.
-Terrorists are extremely motivated & therefore threat of capital punishment is not enough to deter them.
-Govt. cannot take strong counter measures because of fear of public alienation & violation of human rights.
-Corrupt law & administrative agencies of many Third World Countries are bottleneck in implementation of counter terrorism plans.
-Modern communication facilities have benefited terrorists more than the police.
STRATEGIES TO COMBAT TERRORISM.
It is difficult for democratic govt. to take strict steps because on one hand, if left unchecked it creates an image of soft state in the eyes of citizen which is likely to lower its credibility. On the other hand if govt. takes strong measures, it is likely that some violation of human rights will occur, so they find themselves handicapped. Therefore a mixed approach is to isolate the hardliners from the moderates. Negotiate with the moderates & at the same time crush hardliners with iron hand.
Building the confidence of the citizens so that they will not co-operate with the terrorists. Persuasive communication backed by citizen friendly administration will help to fight enemy’s propaganda. Prompt & strong punishment to the captured terrorist must be given wide media coverage. Publicity should be given to all those individuals who have battled successfully against terrorism.
Terrorism cannot survive if the induction of fresh blood into terrorist group is somehow blocked and the govt. should –
-Identify the potential group.
-Provide these misguided youth with employment so that they can earn a descent living.
-Generate patriotic feeling.
-Make national identity as most respectable identity and urging the people to merge their individual identity with national identity.
-Use propaganda involving local credible sources highlighting the evils of terrorism and the risk associated with unlawful activities.
Creation of a strong Anti- terrorist force, modernization of police and paramilitary forces. So that unified civilian and military command can handle the stress and challenges posed by terrorists. Improving the intelligence network is the need of the hour. Strengthening intelligence and coordinating various agencies through regular & timely sharing of credible information.
Govt. must prevent the illegal flow of arms into the country by greater surveillance at ports, stations, airports and also sealing porous borders. Immediate action against concern country who are providing safe sanctuary to the terrorist groups. Stringent laws such as U.S PATRIOT ACT.200I, U.K TERRORISM ACT.2000., P.O.TA, INDIA ( NOW ABOLISHED) can serve as an effective anti-terrorism laws.
Media must not be allowed to play in the terrorist hand by sensationalizing terrorist act to gain its T.R.P ratings & thereby creating panic & fear among public.
In Conclusion, the time is ripe for the policy makers, civil society, and international community to act in tandem to attack the virus of terrorism and find a comprehensive solution through Good Governance , Reducing inequalities, Bringing people to the mainstream & finally Inclusive growth. Since terrorism is a symptom of a sick society, it is better to cure the disease rather than treat the symptom.
It is time for the action without involving in the blame game. For this comprehensive development & global solidarity is the best antidote.
MD. IFTAK HAR ALI