The Global Terror Contagion

Collision, Collusion and Convergence A Comparative Cross-Border Multi-Level Analysis of Extremism

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By Özer Khalid*†

Abstract

(Terrorism, radicalism or fascism, whether from the far-left or the far-right, is now a global contagion, a form of deep psychological warfare, both inside the soul and without, requiring a psychologically and historically nuanced and sophisticated inquiry and response based on an understanding of how extremists think, feel and operate.

This discussion shall attempt to probe deeper into the roots and ramifications of radicalization, both in Pakistan and abroad, converging terrorism with current affairs as well as legal, political, social and cultural realities. Ideas to root out militancy will be explored in the hope that this paper can commence a deeper and wider dialogue on how to better help cultures and civilisations converge at the dawn of what appears to be an increasingly divided age. – Author)

An Easter Sunday from Hell – Lahore’s Unforgivable Loss of Life

A human dies when you attack a person. Humanity dies when you attack a child. In Lahore, the Taliban, on an ill-fated Easter Sunday, the 27th of March, 2016, by attacking innocent mothers and children attacked both humans and humanity. At the rate things are going, we will only see humans, but no humanity.

Özer Khalid
27 March, 2016

Pakistan`s Ides of March

In Lahore, celebrating the rising of Jesus Christ1, many innocent children and mothers were prematurely forced into their graves on March 27, 2016. Pakistan2 has suffered multiple Ankara3, Paris4, Boston5, Beirut6, Bamako, Bardo and Brussels style attacks over the past years. Humans of all faiths frequent the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park where Taliban affiliated7 suicide bombers blew themselves up to smithereens massacring 72 innocent lives. This is a dark day of mourning for Pakistan. A darker day for humanity. Never before has radicalism been so raw and rife in Pakistan and around the world.

Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a diabolical Taliban splinter group, claimed criminal responsibility for the Lahore Easter massacre. Ehsanullah Ehsan8, their ignoble spokesman, sought to send a message that it has “entered Lahore.” Most worryingly, he has threatened further future atrocities. Let this disturbing reality sink in: Lahore`s atrocious blasts make this the third time this month alone that Pakistan has been attacked by extremists. All this just in Pakistan, and just in March. These are Pakistan`s Ides of March.

Just as the Roman Ides of March were marked by religious practices and became notorious for the assassination of Julius Ceasar 9, Pakistan`s Ides of March in 2016 are also a soul-shattering reality tinged with religion, rituals and sinister massacre of seculars like Salman Taseer, where blood and the butchery of Brutus`10 bearded incarnates loom large in Lahore and beyond. Gulshan-e-Iqbal metastasized into the Theatre of Pompey. Pakistan`s Ides of March need to be framed in the perspective of Multi -National Terrorist Corporations (MTC™)11 and the global extremist insurgency12 that bedevils us: unprecedented in its scope, incestuously inter-connected in its leadership13 , splintered in its strategy, yet demonically inspiring in its clarion call and central message, popular enough in its appeal to move masses to mind-numbing murder, mayhem and massacres unprecedented since World War II.

This post-modern MTC™ is a non-linear global guerilla warfare waged against the world order, with an international community woefully unprepared to weaken it, despite its best efforts. These MTC™ terror outfits are not operating under a single leadership but are the illegitimate offspring of resource competing fundamentalists. They all sip from the same dogmatic wellspring of widespread Wahhabism14. They all thirst for a theocratically tyrannical narrow-minded version of Shariah as law super-imposed by the sword over society. Non-violent Wahhabis and Salafites exist in their millions globally, and are increasingly disenfranchised with the West`s foreign policy and military misadventures which dauntingly augments the terrorist recruitment and resource base.

The Easter Sunday Lahore blast was targeted against Christians15, and represents an unnerving déjà vu of the Peshawar and Bacha Khan massacres the country went through which inhumanely targeted children. This atrocity is yet another Beslan16 for Pakistan. The Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park of Lahore has long been a magnet for Pakistan`s Christian community, especially during Christmas and Easter.

Since General Zia`s rampant radicalization of Pakistan, the country sears with simmering sectarian divisions as barbaric bigotry has been brewed by Pakistan’s blood-thirsty bearded brigade. The Gulshan-i-Iqbal blasts came amidst a background of a March 27 deadline imposed by 32 rag-tag religious imposters requiring that Lahore`s provincial government, withdraw a new momentous Protection of Women Against Violence Bill (2015).17 This Bill came into law as Governor Malik Rafiq Rajwana signed the dotted line and is a Bill which Mullah misogynists vehemently oppose as they are on a warpath with any form of social renewal. Mullahs (self-appointed clerics) demonise the entire template of modernity yet they use that very template and its technology when it selectively serves their agenda.

Nowhere is safe anymore for our cherished children18. Neither for women, nor for minorities who make up 5% of Pakistan`s total population with at least 3 million Christians. Such is Pakistan`s 9/11 on a 24/7 basis.

Pakistan`s minorities perilously dangle on the precipice. Dastardly carnage especially anti-Shia, anti-minority and anti-Christian violence has become the `new normal`19 in Pakistan20. Christians are especially on a knife`s edge. The deadly rampage with mobsters baying for blood at Gojra21, mindless massacres at the All Saints Church in Peshawar, or in Joseph Colony22, the Gujranwala riots, twin suicide attacks on churches in Youhanabad23 or the attacks on Ahmadiyya minority mosques in May 201024, and now Gulshan-e-Iqbal, are a soul-shattering reminder25. At all these massacres security czars accomplished their typical Houdini acts. Conceded, every center of education and worship cannot be totally defended when a determined suicide bomber – death strapped to his waist, drugged mindlessly to the hilt – dangles diabolically with illusory dreams of being graced and greeted by 72 virgins in his hypothetical hereafter.

The seeds have ripened for us all to collectively conjure up the moral courage to accept the criminal negligence of Christian places of worship, of Christian women and children, of Christian businesses and communities, in addition to the violence and venom spewn against the Shias, Ismailis, Ahmadis, Qadianis, Parsis, many of whom sacrificed life and limb, kith and kin for the formation of Pakistan.

This war against terror, for now, is a never-ending nightmare. Smokescreening and scapecoating such massacres to `external enemies` and `proxies` and denying minorities their lawful rights, is not just an ethical travesty of conscience but also a spiritual crime. Minorities are not the Children of a Lesser God.

In our pristine land of the “pure”, a land of the love intoxicated iconoclast Baba Bulleh Shah26, the land of legends like Rehman Baba27, Bahauddin Zakariya28, of Sufi saints such as Hazrat Daata Ganj Baksh29, the land of scholars such as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan30 and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, such crimes will never go unpunished. If Pakistan is in pain and agony today, she is so owing to our collective amnesia, our criminal delusion, impotence, ignorance and negligence for not protecting – at all costs, against all odds, under all circumstances – Pakistani Christians and other minorities.

Why Christians? Because they are the pure white of our star, crescent and stripe. Because the brand of patriotism in Pakistan that emanates from the churches in this country is unique, and unparalleled. No one quite flew a fighter plane for the “Islamic Republic” like Cecil Chaudhry did31. No one served justice in the “Islamic Republic” quite like Alvin Robert Cornelius32 did. No one sang milli naghmas (national songs of praise) quite the way the Benjamin sisters did. No one stood for the oppressed, and the voiceless, quite like Shaheed Clement Shahbaz Bhatti33 did.

When wealthy and aspiring to be wealthy Pakistanis ponder the best schools for their offspring, they think of Saint Joseph’s, the Convent of Jesus and Mary, or Saint Patrick’s. When Pakistani hospitals seek the best nurses for their doctors and patients, they seek Christian nurses. When we need the stains cleaned off of things, so often, so readily, we turn to Christians. What about the blood stains on the white on our flag? It will be Christians that will wipe it off34.

In the sore sadness that inevitably follows such attacks, we clutch at straws. Some of us crave for the world to mourn alongside us. Some of us want to show, desperately, that Pakistan is united, against all odds. This isn’t because we are a chauvinistic people. A lot of it is attributable to the reality that we stand united. It is good Pakistanis, who are tolerant and patriotic, who travel any length to explain that attacks in which one or another group is targeted is “not an attack just on [insert group], but on all Pakistanis”. Such are the sentiments of socially responsible citizens.

Pakistan is a startling country for manifold reasons, and one of them is the incredible expanse of how democratised discontent has become here. There is no group – religious, ethnic, economic, or social – that does not have legitimate grievances35.

The TTP Jamaat-ul-Ahrar group are backed by terrorists who seek to debilitate and destroy Pakistan. This country’s greatest strength, no matter what you rote memorized in Pakistan Studies, is its diversity. It is no accident that Pakistan’s enemies seek to extinguish and eradicate the colour and vibrancy from within us. It is no accident that Pakistani Christians are haunted by terror. It is no accident that there are blood stains on the white of our flag36.

The Easter Sunday blasts targeting Christians eerily reminded me of a soul-stirring plea by Shylock from Shakespeare`s The Merchant of Venice:

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions;fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that37.

Act 3, Scene 1

Just like the Jews of Venice, the Christians of Pakistan38, often penniless and persecuted, suffer, bleed, and are killed just as Muslims are. Half-bred self-appointed clerics assume that they’re a nobler species than our Christians, but just as Shylock reminds us, in a rare and fleeting moment of his own humanity, that Muslims are no more humane or nobler than the Christians or Jews. In Shakespeare`s passionate literary exhortations, the Muslims of Pakistan have a lot of lessons to learn, such as challenging prejudiced preconceptions and harnessing humaneness and humility. Whenever and wherever it matters most.

As the suicide bombers of the Taliban blew themselves up to smithereens in Lahore`s Iqbal town park on March 27, in Islamabad, the writ of the state further eroded in the name of a convicted murderer who was masquerading as a martyr. The outpour of misguided sympathy for Mumtaz Qadri in Pakistan – a stone cold killer, a poster boy for the arbitrary use of blasphemy laws, who brutally pumped nine bullets into the body of Salman Taseer39, a man whom he was hired to protect, a man whom he ruthlessly betrayed – is a prime example of our proclivity to violence.

All societies have minorities40. Mr. Taseer cherished and protected those rights and paid for it most dearly with his life41. His “crime” was to defend a defenseless Christian42 minority43, Aasia bibi44, her “crime,” as a non-Muslim, was of drinking water from the same cup as Muslims did. Her drops of water became irredeemable drops of blood. To salt the wounds deeper, the stone cold killer was adorned with rose petals and hugged by learned lawyers during his trial. Qadri took the law into his own hands, subverting due process. Tens of thousands of Pakistanis joined Qadri`s funeral procession, where the assassin is horrifically hailed a martyr. The selective arbitrary political application of certain laws in Pakistan is intensely disheartening.

Killing anyone over the `hearsay hypothesis` predicated on flimsy evidence is legally and morally reprehensible. The Qadri effect spill-over has predictably gone cross-border. Europe’s largest mosques, Birmingham`s Barelwi45 Ghamkol Sharif hailed “Ghazi (Warrior) Mumtaz Qadri as a timeless martyr.” Qadri`s eulogies constitute cause for concern.

Such lofty eulogies for killer Qadri stem from moderate Barelwi strands of Sufism not from hard core puritanical Wahabism46. The silent majority of moderate Muslims in Pakistan feel that their sense of self is being hijacked by a vocal minority, the brain-dead bearded brigade, the Mullah Mafia, by their tribalism, otherizing and ruthless identity politics. There is nothing “liberal” about upholding the law and nothing “religious” about those who feel they can flout it with indiscriminate impunity.

Missing here is the compassion, mercy and tolerance of the Prophet (Pbuh) that Barelwis are known for espousing to. Scripturally, there is no wordly punishment sanctioned in the Holy Qu`ran for blasphemy. The Prophet (Pbuh) forgave even those who pelted him with stones outside the Taif and showered mercy upon countless who threw waste in his path in Mecca. No blasphemy law was ever instituted by the Prophet 1434 years ago. Blasphemy was introduced, and was applicable to all faiths equally by a fossilized British colonial Raj in 1860 to keep occupied communities separate and docile47. It was an imperialist legal instrument of divide, rule and conquer. The most bitter irony of all: Qadri died defending a law instituted by his colonial masters.

Despite all this, blasphemy inquisitors sabotaged a high-security D chowk zone, Islamabad`s Place de la Bastille48, where a few thousand enraged clerics armed with bigotry got violent against journalists, and among other preposterous things, demanded all seculars and Ahmadis to be thrown out of government at once and an immediate implementation of their narrow definition of Sharia as law. A bemused yet bothered nation has now grown fatigued of watching the spectacle of self-appointed clichéd clerics holding the capital as hostage49.

As has now become the norm, soldiers in khakhi eventually had to step in, reign in Qadri`s acolytes, dispel and disperse them. For several days these Qadri sycophants sabotaged Islamabad to a standstill. Schools were closed, telephone signals were jammed and roads were blocked.

Things would not take this long to respond to. In 1988 when a throng of clerics conjured up a rally to protest Fatwa-attracting Salman Rushdie’s50Satanic Verses’, the police of Benazir Bhutto`s tenure effectively quelled them, and even opened fire which culminated in the deaths of five protesters. By evening calm had been restored51. And no one thought of calling in the soldiers in khakhi.

Self-professed clerics crowning Mumtaz Qadri as ‘Ghazi’ (warrior) have now deliriously anointed him as ‘Shaheed’ (martyr). Qadri was egged on by the hateful sermons of Hanif Qureshi, a self-proclaimed religious expert, who encouraged his sycophants to riddle Mr. Taseer`s body with bullets.

How can we deter another commoner from being crowned ‘Ghazi’ if we do not circumvent their Pavlovian52 ideological conditioning?53 Evoking a reflexive religious bias by a bigot brigade ready to jump onto the blasphemy bandwagon without even benchmarking it against the most rudimentary laws of evidence54.

Imposters like Hanif Qureshi cowardly never step forward to be tried alongside the likes of Mumtaz Qadri. They gleefully make Mumtaz Qadri poster boys to evade blame and keep spouting hate scot free. The ramifications of Hanif Qureshi’s sphere of influence are glaring us in the face. It takes a special kind of impudence to keep preaching hate coupled with an utter disregard for the laws.

Qadri was a foot soldier, Hanif Qureshi the mastermind. Shall we remain gratified by hanging foot soldiers and letting masterminds roam scot free? Foot soldiers who, perhaps, in another life, would have leaned toward a law abiding life, formed a family, brought up children and played their part in advancing the country.

The South Asia Terrorism Portal, reports that such concerns are all the more alarming given the exponential rise, year by year, of suicide bombers in Pakistan as featured in the diagram hereunder.

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Source: Fidayeen, Suicide Attacks in Pakistan, South Asia Terrorism Portal (2002-2016)

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Source: State of the Religious Minorities in Pakistan, Jinnah Institute (2012-2014)55

Although Pakistan promulgated rules to protect the rights and interest of non-Muslims56 and religious minorities, however, the vague terminology of the current legislation has actually sown the seeds for the misuse of sections 295-29857 of Pakistan`s Penal Code, which are collectively known as the blasphemy laws of Pakistan. Legal eagles opine that blasphemy laws have time and again backfired and resulted in the wrongful persecution of minorities58. The law which is supposed to protect the citizens has become a tool for promoting intolerance.

The time is ripe for Pakistan`s Parliament to make an amendment to Article 36 titled `Protection of Minorities,`59 a part of Fundamental Rights thereby bringing it under the operational aegis of the Constitution. A Pakistani Constitution, which for way too long has wantonly been defiled and defaced60 and sabotaged by purveyors of prejudice and the Mullah mafia.

It is precisely because our minorities, both Christians and others, are not complaining that we, the Muslim majority, must raise our voices the loudest. More so than ever before. The fight for a normal, peaceful Pakistan is still in its infancy. In this long war, we must do our best to suffocate extremism, in any shape, colour or form.

Just when our faith in humanity shatters it is restored anew by the magnanimity of well-meaning souls. Right after the Lahore Easter massacre, thousands of concerned Lahori citizens thronged over-crowded hospitals ready to donate their blood. Right now, as Criterion Quarterly goes to print, the blood of thousands of Lahori Muslims courses through Christian veins just as the blood of Christians flows through Muslims. Often by hurting us the terrorists unite us.

Muslims and Christians of Pakistan do not pre-screen the religion, race, caste or creed of those they are determined to help. This is what restores the vision of Quaid-e-Azam. This is what unites us. This is what makes us Pakistanis.

Effective Counter-Terrorism Strategies for Pakistan – From Form to Substance

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is the most fortunate politician in Pakistan`s history since he has General Raheel Sharif as his Commander-in-Chief, Pakistan`s best thus far. With a game-changing gambit, the General and the military have taken the fight to the Taliban and turned things around in Karachi. The civilian government has reaped the rewards of good press coverage as a result. If the army had not started Operation Zarb-e-Azb,61 Pakistan would have been at the mercy of the TTP, North Waziristan would have continued to function as an independent emirate, and Pakistan would have been a candidate to become the next Iraq or Syria62.

In the never-ending nightmare of the war against terror, which has cost Pakistan no less than a hefty $107 billion in economic damages and over 66,000 human lives lost in fifteen years, the terrorists keep gaining traction. As the statistics below indicate, in the cumulative years spanning from 2001-2014 alone, Pakistan was ranked the third highest country in terms of terrorism related casualty rate, suffering an unacceptable death toll of at least 13,524 people lost in the war against terror.

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Source: Global Terrorism Database63 (2014) Victims of Terrorist Attacks Outside Western Europe (2001-2014)

In 2014, Pakistan was one of the five countries, along with Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Syria accounting for 80% of global terrorist deaths. Pakistan accounted for a disproportionately high 5.4% of global deaths caused by terrorism. This figure has risen even more since then, as these infographics do not take into account the spate of terror attacks from APS onwards.

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Source: Global Terrorism Index64 (2014) Countries with the highest number of deaths by terrorism, 2014.

In 2015, many harboured the fake consolation that we prevented an APS-like butchery, yet the terrorists pulled off another one at Bacha Khan University in 2016. The National Action Plan65, Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber-166, though very welcoming initiatives, are insufficient remedies in and of themselves. There are limitations of a purely ‘militarised counter-terrorism policy’, if not backed by civil-society led interventions. In addition to Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan requires a ‘Zarb-e-Fikar’ to be able to contain extremism.

Zarb-e-Azb`s operational successes allowed for the return of many internally displaced Pakistanis. Post-Rangers operation, Karachi bore a semblance of atypical peaceful normality. Economic analysts and country reports dished out bullish forecasts for Pakistan in the aftermath of CPEC as thugs like the TTP and LeJ67 were realizing that the Pakistani state was fast-tracking their meeting with The Maker.

However, the first twelve weeks of this year have rapidly altered that perception to ‘not yet’. This has been the dilemma of Pakistan’s counter-terrorism struggle; a lull in violence is followed by a sudden swell in terrorist attacks68.

In plot twists befitting Shakesperean tragedies and a deadly Game of Thrones69, the APS and Bacha Khan attacks forever scarred our nation’s psyche; and now targeting children in Lahore on Easter Sunday the terrorists have reopened half -healed wounds. Terrorists of the 21st century are predatory wolves; cunning, crafty and swift, they patiently waited and struck when our defences were down, where premature victory was announced with claims couched in elegant statistical data – exhibiting a decrease in terrorist violence. The wolves purposely unleashed an unbridled wave of deadly carnage after the army prematurely announced 2016 to be the year terrorism would be eliminated. Terrorism cannot be eliminated, it can, however, be realistically contained. Most crucially: terrorists have hit us where it hurts most: Pakistan’s future generation.

The Lahore Easter Sunday massacre has smashed the short-lived deception of peace in Pakistan. The preceeding two suicide attacks against a polio70 vaccination team in Quetta and a security check-post in Jamrud underscore the terrorists’ ability to strike at both soft-and-hard targets using multiple methods. Hard targets have often been successfully attacked by terrorists even on the most secure and strategically important GHQ, Mehran Naval Base and Kamra Air Base71.

The assets and logistical capabilities of radicals remain intact, and are swiftly mobile, trickling across the porous border to Afghanistan. Militants are evolving and adapting, therefore, a more intensified penetration is needed into their terrorist cells and networks, alongwith better pre-emptive neutralization, more frequent and accurate reporting on their wherewithal, increased intelligence sharing with and between neighbouring countries. In counter-terrorism operations, law-enforcement agencies are blind as bats without timely reporting and actionable on-the-ground follow-through.

Given the hybrid, asymetrical and non-linear nature of terrorist threats provoking Pakistan, overreliance on the military (no matter how effective in the short-run), as a solution to everything – military courts, paramilitary troops for urban policing – is myopic and naïve. The state must utilise multiple methods and alternate apparatuses at its disposal to counter the hydra-headed monster72 of terrorism; of these tools the military should be one, but not the only one.

The terrorist threat confronting Pakistan is imaginative, resolute and long-term. It transcends borders and does not differentiate between combatants and non-combatants. It regenerates and mutates, with almost Darwinian73 precision, into newer forms, shapes and species. It is cunning, confusing and clever in its fourth and fifth generation asymmetric74 execution.

For example, the over-lapping and contradictory claims of responsibility for the Charsadda attack is a classically deceptive good cop-bad cop75 strategy used by the Taliban. Khalifa Mansoor is Mullah Fazlullah’s76 right-hand man. He claimed the attack and Fazlullah’s spokesperson, Muhammad Khurasani, categorically denied it. This has been done deliberately to create confusion in our midst.

A similar strategy was adopted when the current government was negotiating with the radicals in 2014; on the one hand, Taliban representatives were harbouring an illusion of peace with the government committee, whilst simultaneously targeting a Christian church in Peshawar and the F-8 Islamabad katcheris (district courts) under a different guise.

To cope with this ever-evolving menace Pakistan will have to develop a fluid and flexible yet systematic and structured counter-terrorism approach. Reforming under-performing civilian law-enforcement agencies, revamping outdated and outmoded intelligence apparatus, accelerating an achingly slow criminal justice system and boosting NACTA, are some tactical measures for a broader strategy.

Witnessing the smouldering remains of terror attack sites in Mardan, Jamrud, Quetta and Charsadda, we ask ourselves just how effective have counter-terrorism measures really been. After Bacha Khan77, APS Peshawar, Parachinar, and now Lahore Gulshan-e-Iqbal we must overcome gaps in the country’s counter-terrorism scheme, in our internal security apparatus, porous border management at the Durand Line78 and the non-implementation of recommended security protocols in education and other civil institutions.

In the aftermath of the APS attack, state-centric counterterrorism policies have pushed militants to the Afghan border areas where they have re-established their sanctuaries and safe-houses. It is time to annihilate such terror sanctuaries without selectively cherry-picking between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Taliban.

Talibanisation keeps rearing its ugly head in new forms among different social stratum. The state’s policy of appeasing the clergy has blatantly backfired with a permeation of extremism into those segments of Pakistani society which have hitherto remained immune from the militant menace. The manner in which different Barelvi groups are politicising and exploiting the issue of Mumtaz Qadri’s capital punishment is a case in point79.

Since the Pakistani Taliban have splintered into different factions, straddling across the Pakistan and Afghanistan border – with ever-evolving insurgency terror tactics – local law enforcement must intensify further actionable on-the-ground intelligence, including a deeper nation-wide implementation of the, so far, successful military incursions against the Taliban.

The reasons why governments appease radicalized clergy, and often look the other way at their atrocities, to put it euphemistically, is to wreak havoc in neighbouring states to prop up their own power play and spheres of influence in geo-politics. Robert Pape in “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,”80 cautions us that people turn to terrorism – especially suicide terrorism – because of its effectiveness in softening up governments into making major political concessions. Though governments can ill-afford to cede to such tactics of intimidation any longer.

Pakistan is faced with a critical choice at the crossroads of history: to take extremism head on or buy short-term respite by appeasing selectively-chosen ever-expanding extremist networks. The state must decisively counter radical groups, of all shades and stripes, from its soil by striking sledgehammers on hard-liners81 engaged in cross-border militancy, especially with the TTP82Jamaat -ul-Ahrar, LeJ, and Lashkar-e-Islam 83 and trans -national groups like Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State’s84 Afghanistan affiliate, IS-Khorasan85 which operate on both sides of the Af-Pak border, a land now diabolically labelled Talibanistan86. Without sanitizing such filth from our soil, the fight against terrorism cannot be taken to its logical corollary.

Cracking down on the rat`s nest that is Lal Masjid and Abdul Aziz, who continues to taunt the Pakistani state with one provocative statement after another and whose entourage was linked with the San Bernardino87 killings, is imperative.

A dispassionate cost-benefit-analysis reveals that regional proxy wars have resulted in extraneous factors, and laws of unintended consequences. These proxy wars have undermined our image internationally, devastated our pluralistic social tapestry and impaired our open-minded and forebearing religious tenets.

The Mujahideen gave birth to Taliban which gave birth to Al-Qaeda whose latest offspring ISIS is elbowing to export their bloodlust to South Asian shores. With the rise of ISIS, a new breed of militancy is gaining ground in Pakistan in which militants from the existing array of terror outfits are joining IS. The busted pro-IS cell in Daska, Sialkot is but a glaring example.

Provincial governments are acting in silos, independently of each other, and the federal government is not helping one bit to cohere and compare their responses to the terror malaise. Viewing the federal government critique the provincial governments on a post-Bacha Khan terrorist video that promised further attacks on colleges and schools was akin to witnessing outtakes from a David Lynch movie. Part absurd, part repulsive. As Pakistanis sense palpable panic in the face of TTP’s threats, instead of offering significant security and appeasement, our state – at both the institutional and individual level88 – only dishes up a morbid drama of ego clashes, petty political point-scoring, provocation, provincialism and paralysis.

All the panic and helplessness being felt is also linked to the fundamental inadequacies of the National Action Plan. If anything proves the growing incapacity of the state in Pakistan to analyse, benchmark, plan and act effectually – in response to anything – it is the National Action Plan (NAP)89.

The NAP was cobbled together by a breathtakingly skimpy roster of participants for a document of its magnitude. The NAP is not an action plan. Action plans detail deliverables, timelines, resource requirements, work break-down structures, risk levels, contingency plans, mitigating factors, strategy, tactics and operations. They take into account history, research and institutional dynamics and drivers.

What does Pakistan`s NAP do? It is a grocery list of 20 items that a TV host with a single digit IQ could conjure up, given enough time to Google it up. In short, it is a disgraceful excuse for a policy document. Proof? The following constitutes one-fifth of the entire NAP:

4.“Nacta90, the anti-terrorism institution will be strengthened”.

6. “All funding sources of terrorists and terrorist outfits will be frozen”.

15. “No room will be left for the extremism in any part of the country”.

18. “Action against elements spreading sectarianism”91.

For a country with a stockpile of nuclear weapons, and over 200 million people, the National Action Plan is a woefully weak document.

Let us commence by addressing some of the aforementioned inadequacies. Whilst this author is sure that NACTA` head, Mr. Hamid Ali Khan, can and will step up momentum, NACTA has been achingly slow to take off. It truly needs to be revived and made effective so as to live up to the potential and goals it was set out for in the first place.

As for terrorist `funding sources`92, despite measures by the State Bank of Pakistan in anti-money laundering, terror funding, the hundi and havala system are as pervasive as ever. When it comes to the clause on `sectarianism’,93 the recent brutalities in Parachinar, to the blood shamessly dripping from bus doors94 in the Safoora Goth shooting95, to the Imam Bargah attacks and the Easter Sunday massacre leave much to be desired.

The problem isn’t that Pakistan isn’t implementing NAP. The epic dilemma is that there is nothing in NAP to enforce. The longer we rely on a few beloved brain-dead bureaucrats to shape the destiny of Pakistan, the feebler and more susceptible this country will become. The TTP and its affiliates may dwell in caves, but their messaging and tactics reflect more sophistication than what the “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan has written down as its plan to root them out.

Worst of all, in perhaps the most toxically potent strategic communications offensive since the GHQ attack of 2009, the TTP and its associates have been able to shut down schools across the country, as a result of the threat they issued immediately after the Bacha Khan University attack96 and now Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

As the crescendo of condemnation augments and the anxiety-laden ticks of closed schools amass, it is time to cease hoping that the bad news will go away. It won’t. Without prompt action grounded in deep, decisive, level-headed thinking, post-Lahore Easter Sunday type massacres are likelier to grow. Terrorists have not only re-captured the national narrative but have also wreaked havoc upon our national psyche with video threats and taunts of further attacks. Taking terrorist momentum lightly is what got Pakistan into quicksand in the first place. Repeating the complacency of 2008 onwards would be a mistake of epic and existential proportions.

On a tactical level, Pakistan has been partially successful in regaining control of physical space from militant groups; however, on a broader strategic level, the extremist narrative dominates the ideological space97– unrelenting and unabated. Contextually re-adapting the ideas of Antonio Gramsci98, the Italian political philosopher, maybe needed to counter the appeal of the extremist narrative. This author argues for long-term social revolution of ideas and beliefs, shaped as a counter-hegemonic struggle for moderation, where the media, universities and religious institutions must also play their part to ‘manufacture moderate consent’ and route-out the dominant hegemony of theological dogma.

A Gramscianwar of attack’ can only be succeeded with a prior ‘war of position’ in the form of struggle over ideas and beliefs, to create a new hegemony (Gramsci 1971). ‘Knowledge’, after all, is a social construct that serves to legitimate social structures.

The extremist agenda achieves traction in public opinion because it is couched in religious rhetoric and feeds on popular notions like pan-Islamism and anti-Americanism, partly on the rise due to Rupert Murdoch, Ann Coulter, Pamela Geller, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump`s spouting hatred at every given soundbyte. Anything presented in simplistic binaries, us against them, in-group versus out-group, and religious sentiments generates immediate public sympathy as it is easy for the human mind to digest and process99.

While the onus to defeat hard-liners and deny them space to operate within its boundaries resides with the state in Weberian100 terms, defeating extremism requires a joint state-society approach. As Gramsci usefully reminds us, we cannot root out evil with brute force alone but also require consent. Anything less will fail. State and local communities have to team up to deny different support structures and avenues which the extremist groups exploit via propaganda in society. Ideally, the state provides the overall vision, policy direction and financial assistance while societies assist to uproot false consciousness101 by rejecting attempts of the extremist groups to sow their influence amongst their midst.

Amid a highly securitised narrative and militarised counter-terrorism policy, some analysts have called for a weaponisation of our educational institutes. No normal person in their right frame of mind will ever condone this. If border guards and police officers at check posts cannot stop terrorists then expecting teachers, or even worse, students to fight them, amounts to perilous wishful thinking102. Principals, vice principals, rectors and teachers do not sign up to their jobs to act as front-line defenders against diabolical terrorist ogres that find glory in the gruesome murders of children at places of learning.

Society plays an instrumental role in shaping counter-extremist discourse. A state, no matter how well equipped, cannot achieve it on its own. A cursory look at APS, Bacha Khan, Quetta, Qadri`s funeral after-math and Gulshan-e-Iqbal reveal that the citizenry`s patience is wearing thin amidst perceived state incompetence. Externalising the threat to cover internal security lapses adds salt to wounds. Sentiments that seek a stop to the glorification of misery as sacrifice and the cold-blooded murder of their community members as martyrdom because of the incompetence of a few should serve as an eye-opener to the many.

Let there not be a sliver or shadow of doubt. Pakistanis and Pakistaniat is being assaulted by the fringes of fanaticism who are swelling in ranks. We, as socially responsible citizens must be on the right side of history. We need to defend, at all costs, the secular liberal democratic values that our Quaid, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Allama Iqbal, Basha Khan, Justice Cornelius, Asma Jahangir and so many other luminaries who fought tooth and nail and made it a matter of life and death to preserve and protect. We can no longer take for granted the very basic freedoms our leaders strove so hard to realize on August 14th, 1947. Muslims and non-Muslims must co-operate in unison in this civilizational struggle, which is a battle for at least some generations to come.

We, all and sundry, must mount a multi-faceted campaign, both online and offline, to discredit extremism in all its stripes and in all its fifty shades of death. The burden of challenging hard-liners cannot be shouldered by a single Taseer103 family alone, no matter how valiant or lofty those shoulders might be.

Just like Hydra`s serpentine head104, many more Mumtaz Qadri`s will creep out of the wood works, just as the death of Osama has bred an entire generation of genocidal maniacs all too eager to replace and even surpass him. All of us together are responsible for confronting blinkered and biased exclusionary theocratic thinking before it contaminates more of our youth.

Civilisation, as a whole, is tasked with ensuring that faith alone cannot be the primary bond that divides us from “the other.” As the case of Pakistan shows us, this is a difficult and lifelong struggle that few are yet prepared to face. But face it we must.

Pakistan’s moderate silent majority must speak up and reclaim the peaceful narrative of Islam; for this is a battle for the very heart and soul of Islam, it is about reclaiming the Quaid`s vision, his life-long legacy which prides itself on peace, acceptance and tolerance.

Over the last two decades, a violent minority has hijacked the definition of Islam, which is never a monolith but a mosaic. This violent minority is a fringe element but occupies centre stage because of society’s deafening silence. Ultimately it is societies that defeat extremism, states alone cannot do it.

Today, more than ever, Pakistan needs a new narrative – one which reclaims the Quaid`s lost legacy, a narrative that is pluralistic, purposeful and progressive. This narrative may take different shapes and forms for different sub-national units and ethnicities. The visionary Pakhtun leader Bacha Khan’s universal message of non-violence could be used as an insightful starting point.

It is high-time to intellectually arm our teachers and children whilst militarily disarming the radicals. Lastly, let us train and educate our children, in our curriculum and in our classrooms, to think as open-minded critical-thinkers rather than shallow-minded insular fundamentalist hyper-nationalists. Also we need community resilience to build bridges with our neighbours rather than erecting walls at our borders and in our hearts.

Apocalypse Now – Radicalism goes Radioactive.

Just as in Pakistan, only in the month of March there has also been a Global Ides of March, with terror attacks in six other countries, namely Turkey, the Ivory Coast, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria105 and Belgium, whose security structures revealed glaring inconsistencies, tumbling like a house of cards, and whose societies have irreversibly been torn asunder as their sense of peace has been jilted to the core.

Belgium is descending from the frying pan into the flames. First came the March 22nd carnage where the Bakraoui brothers blew themselves into smithereens in ghastly suicide-bomb attacks on a Brussels airport and metro station slaughtering 31 souls and gravely injuring at least 300.

To salt the wounds, on March the 25, 2016, military presence stepped up security at the über sensitive and strategic Tihange (a stone`s throw away from the Netherlands) and Doel106 nuclear plants as a security officer was found dead with his work pass stolen107. The alarming spectre of nuclear passes being in the hands of ISIL, the Godless death merchants of destruction, is Apocalypse Now and imperils civilization as we know it. ISIL has made it patently obvious that they want to attack, infiltrate and sabotage nuclear108 installations. Radicalism in the 21st century has now become Radioactive.

Just like Pakistan, Belgium too has been in the eye of the storm due to her nuclear capabilities. The prospect that terrorists clasp their nasty fangs on highly enriched uranium and then convert it into a nuclear fission bomb seems far-fetched, though manufacturing dirty bombs and other explosives from radioactive waste and byproducts bears a higher likelihood. There are a myriad of other threats that might beset Belgium’s creaking and antiquated nuclear plants109.

ISIL operatives may shut down privately operated plants, which furnish roughly half of Belgium’s power. Having the bearded brigade`s itchy fingers on red buttons that could one day launch warheads sends jitters down the spines of even normally conservative and cautious analysts. It catches the ears and raises the eyebrow of intelligence officers world-wide.

Such a specter is especially worrisome in Belgium, a country rife and replete with a record of security flaws at its nuclear installations110, a feeble and fragile intelligence infrastructure and deep terrorist tentacles. Authorities purged security clearance from all non-essential employees at the nuclear plants who were then sent packing. At least eleven employees at Tihange111 had their security access badges removed.

Belgium`s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) remains on very high alert. A terrorist once inside the Belgian nuclear plant can detonate a dirty bomb within the premises causing irreparable damage.

Another credible danger is that ISIS operatives may fly something into the station itself which could grindingly halt the entire cooling process inside the nuclear station stopping the whole plant`s operations.

Belgium`s nuclear agency`s computer systems were hacked112 only this year, accentuating the need for in-depth penetration testing, increased cyber-safety, robust Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunneling, encryption processes and algorhythms. The urgency for such measures become all the more pressing as EU counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, warned that Belgium`s network of nuclear power stations, as well as energy and transport infrastructure could become the targets of cyberattacks by terrorists. He underscored that one attack to modern technologies like SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems could be devastating. SCADA113 is the nerve centre of a nuclear power plant, a dam, air traffic control centre and railroad switching station.

In 2013 two individuals climbed the fence of Belgium`s nuclear research reactor in Mol, trespassed into the laboratory and stole sensitive equipment.

Belgium, following in the footsteps of Germany, announced that it would gradually phase out nuclear energy by 2025, but that gives terror groups like ISIL ample scope, time and opportunity to penetrate and sabotage sensitive nuclear plants and radioactive material to wreak havoc in Europe114 and beyond. No amount of iodine, cooling, or measures could ever counter an Apocalyptic meltdown of that nature.

Germany began mothballing its whole nuclear fleet after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Belgium`s verdict to bring back to life two fourty year old nuclear reactors levied pressure on Northern Europe`s fault-lines, with the Germans scurrying to send experts to re-examine the plants. Concerns have been stoked by countless defects in the reactors` pressure vessels, a fire and an unresolved sabotage event, nestling between the borders of Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Maastricht and Aachen are contemplating legal prosecution to enforce Belgian nuclear plant safety115.

UK defence secretary Michael Fallon, who is already beefing up the UK`s defence capability with a £ 642m spend on Trident, has already labelled the Belgian ISIS nuclear station attack incident as “a new and emerging threat.”

Belgium has revamped security measures at nuclear stations including hiring 141 soldiers to guard nuclear sites, system controls, screening who has access to the site, and strengthening the security in and around the site. It is, however, still believed that all European nation-states which are home to nuclear plants, mapped in the diagram below, must radically beef up their command and control structures, improve security, surveillance and safeguards at all nuclear sites and stations given the growing and looming menace of ISIL militancy and extremism.

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Source: International Nuclear Safety Centre & World Nuclear Association (2009)

Concerns were further stoked as clandestine video footage of a top-ranking Belgian nuclear officer was found in November at the residence of a Belgian citizen, Mohamed Bakkali, allegedly a member of the logistics network for November’s Paris attacks that mercilessly massacred 130 people. The 10-hour video, filmed by a concealed camera, exhibited the nuclear official entering and exiting his residence. An exposé of the video footage was the first evidence that the Islamic State has a focused interest in nuclear material. Belgian law enforcement have not declared if the footage implies any exact threat to a nuclear plant. The investigation is on-going.

Bakkali has been incarcerated since November and law enforcement is probing if he had links to the Bakraoui brothers who blew themselves up on March the 22nd`s ghastly suicide-bomb attacks.

After attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris, authorities augmented security measures which have been in place around nuclear sites in Belgium and France. In France, where nuclear protection had been stepped up after the 9/11 attacks in the US, more than 80% of electricity is generated by the country’s 58 nuclear reactors – the world’s highest ratio. An estimated 640,000 people in France live in and around six-miles of a nuclear site.

Our failure to recognize radicalization as a civilizational struggle— one centered around values—as an ever growing anti-Western world-view, has permitted radicalism to now go radioactive, quite literally. Terrorism has now irreversibly taken on nuclear potential and proportions.

If we do not immediately launch drastic socio-cultural counter-narratives to challenge, isolate and de-popularize fanaticism as a belief system, it will only fester and metastasize. This struggle is an ideological one before it is a military or legal one. Tip-toeing around vague platitudes and political correctness is not only unhelpful it is now detrimental to our planet and common public good. It is time to intellectually and militarily defeat radicalism in all its shades and stripes. It is now or never.

Fear and Loathing in Europe`s Capital: Brussels: Blood, Butchery and Beyond

On March 22, 2016, Brussels, with a population of about one million, brusquely came to a blood-drenched halt. The Belgian capital witnessed blood and butchery the likes that Europe had not seen since the 13 November 2015 Paris attacks. Two explosions ripped through the departure halls at Brussels Airport followed by an explosion at Maelbeek subway station. Flights were suspended, subway lines were closed, Eurostar trains which connect the veins of Belgium to the arteries of Europe all shut down.

As ISIS is hell-bent on enforcing religion at gun point, our globe is increasingly a terrorist tinderbox set ablaze by power-thirsty pyromaniacs. March 22, 2016, intelligence reveals an expansive European ISIS network erected over the past three years. There are an estimated eighteen people being questioned, spread over six countries, who aided both the Paris and Brussels attackers116, of which the identified culprits, Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui and Najim Laachraoui117 are merely the tip of the iceberg. Laachraoui, for instance, was also involved in the Paris attacks, which demonstrates how inter-linked, vast, complex and cross-border the IS network is.

Belgium118 has supposedly been attacked as it`s government is France`s ally in the aerial raids vis-à-vis Syria. Brussels119 is a high-value target city, being the capital of the European Union, home to the NATO headquarters, and a magnet for countless international agencies and companies. Hundreds of Brussels` citizens have been enticed to join IS in Syria and Iraq. Certain pockets of Brussels, especially the south-western Molenbeek suburb, home to a high ethnic Moroccan populace, has long been a breeding ground for radicalism120. Many from Molenbeek were responsible for the Paris attacks, where 130 souls were mercilessly slaughtered.

IS intensifies its European attacks to remain relevant, as they experience crushing defeats on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, where they have lost 42% of the land once captured. They face increasing land attacks by the Kurds, such as the Peshmerga, and aerial assaults from the USA, France and Russia. Nobody wants to join losers so, as a rallying cry for popularity, ISIL deploy such shock and awe tactics to remain a recruitment lodestone for aspiring radicals121.

The  ISIS  propaganda  model,  further  finesses  that  of  Noam Chomsky`s 122 and now IS deploys systemic biases in social media to manipulate minds, coax adherents to their Caliphate, cajole manufactured consent for their economic, social and political policies. IS structures images and frames news and narratives, creating an inherent conflict of interest which acts as propaganda for undemocratic forces.

And though a lot of the captured suspects have prior criminal records they have never previously been linked to terrorism, and can therefore easily go unnoticed under intelligence radars, as was the case with Khalid el-Bakraoui123, the Brussels metro bomber who was never previously linked to terrorism.

The logistical readiness of IS networks in Europe is alarming. The Brussels suicide bombers 124, much like their Parisian partners-in-crime, detonated explosive devices using triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HTMD), antecedents of which can be found in cosmetics like nail polish remover and hair lighteners125. Detonating numerous TATP and HMTD explosives efficiently requires dexterity. The expert use of such explosives demonstrates that explosive specialists from Iraq and Syria have snaked their way back into Europe.

Despite warnings by Belgium`s Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, Belgian126 law enforcement did not have any compelling evidence of the dénouement imprévu. This implies that the Belgian IS cell exercised cautious self-restraint whilst communicating with one another. SIM cards taken from “burners” (pre-paid mobile phones utilized initially prior to being disposed off) exhibit no previous proof of text messaging, e-mails or social media127 interaction. This implies that IS cells are deploying encryption as all their electronic communication are leaving no communication crumbs in their trail.

In Brussels128, three bombs detonated in over an hour scattered all over the capital. After multiple IS attacks we now discern trends. One is that IS is prone to execute numerous simultaneous soft target attacks designed to augment chaos and casualty rates, stretching the resources and response capabilities of emergency services.

Europe now has to reckon with a daunting reality that such attacks have become commonplace129. Europe thus far does not have the operational agility, logistical nimbleness and cross-departmental security cohesion that the USA did post 9/11 where it became patently obvious that different intelligence agencies were not sharing the resources and intelligence which detrimentally allowed the Twin Towers to collapse. The USA`s success at circumventing any internationally inspired terror attack at home after 9/11 testifies to their capability. The UK, with decades of dealing with IRA130 terrorists have also been efficient at tackling terrorism, though several terror attempts in London, post 7/7, were foiled.

To reproduce US style intelligence resilience across an ever-porous EU especially in the Schengen passport-free area, is arduous. Belgium131 remains socially fragmented between the Flemish and Walloons, wherein inter-agency information sharing is lackluster. Europol is a credible information broker in EU law enforcement, though it is a toothless watchdog lacking the autonomy to carry out independent investigations and remains hamstrung by a shoe-string budget.

Europe requires securing an agreement on the PNR (Passenger Name Record)132 directive, more fluid information sharing between Europol and the Schengen Information System (SIS), and heightened intelligence co-operation as they must revamp their reconnaissance, surveillance and ICT systems.

However one hurdle remains. Whereas in the US data collection is expedited, (and there too privacy remains a thorny issue – witness the recent reluctance of `privacy invasion` by Apple in the aftermath of San Bernardino) Europeans are much more sensitive to personal data privacy laws. Having lived under Nazi regimes, Europeans are intensely against and sensitive to an overbearing Orwellian133 surveillance state where `big brother watches over you`.

Lastly blaming refugees134  for Brussels and Paris is senseless. The majority of people fleeing Syria and Iraq are escaping a world where blowing up humans is a run of the mill spectator sport. To use terror attacks in Europe, perpetrated by born and bred135 Europeans, for political point scoring is counter-intuitive. Especially when, upon deeper integration, these Muslims and refugees are the very people who have the language skills, cultural know-how and social sensitization to become the `eyes and ears` for European communities, law enforcement and intelligence agencies and can foil future attacks.

The Global Terror Contagion – Collision, Collusion and Convergence

`Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible; it is then an emanation of virtue…’ Maximilien François de Robespierre, On the Principles of Political Morality (1794)136

Even a staunch revolutionary such as Robespierre himself could not have envisaged the perverse glorification of terror our world would be witnessing 222 years after his initial sentiments. We now live in a world where terror is not only glorified but whereby it is sanctified and legitimized as `virtuous`.

Much like Robespierre`s Jacobin zeal of yore, our world today hazardously teeters on the razor`s edge of violent extremes. From Brussels to Bamako, from Bacha Khan to Beirut, from Bombay to Bardo, the colour of our planet is being stained in an unimaginable unnerving deep blood red. Where a vociferous minority sabotage all that is decent in civilization. Violent extremes flourish both by the Fascist Far Right on the one hand, and terrorist outfits perverting the name of Islam on the other, namely ISIS, but also al Qaeda, Taliban, LeJ, Boko Haram and their many off-shoots.

When Britain and France carved up the Middle East to their liking in 1916 – purposely hatching ethnic, tribal and religious instability – did they really think there would never be a day of reckoning? There are monsters in the Middle East and South Asia, but we have helped create them. The question is, can we stop them? All world-altering revolutions are born in danger and death, in depression and despair, in comradeship and a higher calling. The question is can the IS revolution be stopped?

For bridges to build, for hurt to heal, for cultures to coalesce, western powers need to reverse their white-supremacist mindset, military misadventures and imperialist illusions of grandeur for these are the very `games of empire` that have fed and nurtured militancy and given pregnant birth to half of the world`s problems. Our response cannot be divided as has consistently been in the past (and remains today).

With each terror attack, it becomes more and more difficult to be a Muslim in any part of the world. It becomes more and more difficult to be non-White. Here is where the social divide dangerously evanesces. Here is where humans go from being moderates to feeling dejected to becoming reluctant fundamentalists. And the journey therafter deteriorates down a dangerous path.

There are circa 2 billion Muslims the world over. Of these, those that are involved in terrorist attacks are less than 0.01 percent. Those harbouring radical ideologies represent a larger percentage of course. Had Islam per se not been a religion of peace in its message and spirit, the world would have witnessed World War III decades ago.

The reality remains that all mainstream media gives disproportionate coverage and attention to attacks in Paris and Brussels, whereas the coverage given to Bamako, Beirut137, Peshawar138, Parachinar, Suruc, Sousse, Sanaa, Istanbul139, Ankara and Lahore fade away by comparison. Missing are the display profile pictures on social media. Missing are the`JeSuis` incantations of solidarity and sympathy. The anger grows. The alienation widens. The cultural divide deepens. The perception heightens that the sweat of a European citizen is worth much more than the blood of a Muslim. A Muslim is then likened to a troublesome inconvenient statistic. When a Caucasian dies he or she is a casualty. When a Muslim dies he or she is collateral damage.

The West, has successfully and socially constructed the reality that the lives of white Caucasians are more worthy of salvation and protection than the lives of non-white, non-Caucasians. And the bitter paradox in this entire equation is that those who highlight such hypocrisy and double standards140 are disparaged and made to appear ‘divisive’ – rather than those who have created the prejudiced pecking order in the first place. Until and unless such hypocrisy is not redressed, civilizational struggles will perniciously persist. Driving deeper wedges between peoples.

Let us be unequivocally clear. The roots of terrorism were planted as much by our colonial masters who not only came, saw and conquered141 but equally divided and ruled, funded dictators, propped up unsavoury régimes, prompted wars, ignited tensions, divided communities, provoked mutinies142 by forcing Muslims to bite off pork and Hindus to bite off beef from gun cartridges, and the list is not long but never-ending. The same colonial masters who glorified slavery, brought us the ill-fated blasphemy laws, and carved neat looking lines on a map they had never even treaded on.

The decolonisation project was carried out with such haste and hustle that the colonial powers failed to remedy crucial socio-political cleavages, in Africa, the Middle East and also in the Subcontinent. Therefore no one should be frothing at the mouth with anger, nor surprised that there is so much strife in an already unstable deeply divided world. Given our messy colonial past, dislocated histories, and uneven resource distribution, a more pertinent question might be, how come such radicalism did not rear its ugly head sooner? Time to wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

The aforementioned was neither a rant, nor a tirade, just an attempt to bring to light the fact that the roots of radicalism were sown long ago, and go deeper than alienation in European ghettos143, or revenge for airstrikes in the Middle East.

Since Janauary 2015 ISIS has been on a global rampage, arbitrarily slaughtering innocent souls in mosques, peace rallies, health congregations, journalism offices to name but a few. The blood-tinged time-line below exposes just some of the atrocities perpetrated by the Godless death merchants.

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Source: New York Times (2016) Attacks targeting civilians inspired by ISIS, 22nd March, 2016.

The precipitous rise of global terror mounted against soft targets, especially in the West, is exhibited in the diagram hereunder.

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Source: Global Terrorism Database (2016) University of Maryland, 22nd March.

In act after act of savagery, Muslims, Kurds, Yazidis and all others are being targeted by both extremes, far-right Neo-Nazi fascists and theologically motivated violent extremists. None are immune. No one is safe. On March 18, 2016, Muhammad Majloom Ansari, 35, and Azad Khan Imtiaz Ibrahim 15, two Muslim male cattle traders144, were butchered and hanged from a tree after being mercilessly beaten black and blue by a criminal cattle-protection vigilante mob in Jhabbar village in Jharkand`s Latehar district, India. The Balumath forests in Jharkand turned an unnerving deep blood red as their bodies were devastatingly strung up with their hands tied behind their backs and their mouths stuffed with cloth.

This vile act against humanity, just like the Dadri case, is proof of anti-Muslim hate spearheaded by Hindutva practicing RSS savages, the extremist low-life cousins of the BJP. This is happening in the world`s so-called largest `secular` democracy where the fair treatment of Muslims leaves much to be desired as Muslims are being lynched on a daily basis and communal violence is turning its darkest corner.

Far-right fascist Hindu radicalism rears its ugly head again and again, after Bihar and Gujrat now in Jharkand. The treatment of the Rohingya in Myanmar proves that even the `peaceful monks of Buddhism` are far from angelic and fault-free when it comes to violent persecutions and inhumane treatment of Muslims.

The débâcle of violent extremism is therefore certainly not exclusive to Islam, as terror has No Religion. No caste. No creed. No race. No colour. No Boundaries. It is snaking its venomous veins into vulnerable South Asian arteries145, a region already deeply clogged and congested with the tyranny of terror. South Asia is a nerve-center for trans-regional connectivity hence its strategic positioning a pivot in the war against terror.

Far-right radical fascism is now a global contagion. Proofs lie in the political puddings. A refugee welcoming Angela Merkel`s crushing defeat in Germany in March 2016, anti Mexican anti Muslim anti humanity Donald Trump`s unceremonious victory on Super Tuesday, PEGIDA146, HoGeSa147, AfD148 and Kögida`s anti-Islam rallies setting Europe ablaze with incendiary rhetoric, the TAK`s149 blowing up of 37 human souls in Kızılay, Ankara150 as blood pithily invades the pristine capital of Turkey for a third time in only two months. These are all stains on our collective conscience.

This is exactly why Trump’s, Pegida`s and Hogesa`s exclusionary fascist rhetoric is so counter-productive. The root-causes of radicalization are manifold: disaffection, désintéressement, apathy, alienation, loners at the fringes of society who crave social acceptance by peer groups be it online or otherwise, the human need to feel part of something greater than oneself, the hormonal aggression of adolescence, corruption of rentier client-patron states, and, yes, the mishandling and military misadventures of many Middle Eastern situations.

What inspires the deadliest aggressors in our world today is not the Qu`ran or pious doctrine but rather a life-altering electrifying exhilarating call-to-arms action that assures adrenalin and acceptance in the eyes of their esteemed peers.

Foreign volunteers enlisting with ISIS are typically youth undergoing transitional life stages – be they immigrants, asylum seekers, undergraduates, young professionals between jobs or unmarried unsettled bachelors and bachelorettes151. Having left their hearth and homes, they are in search for new families, friends and fellow travellers to find connection, chemistry and common purpose with. Caliphate and terrorism happen to be by-products.

Many of the young terror recruits feel marginalized and excluded by both their host and home countries alike. They straddle perilously in the middle, fence-sitting, self-victimizing, feeling sorry for themselves, up-rooted, unwanted, and orphaned by their states and societies, with no sense of permanent purpose or belonging.

It is important to state that not all ISIL volunteers are marginal or alienated. Many such as Muhammad Emwazi (Jihadi John)152 who savagely butchered and beheaded James Foley are well-educated, highly qualified, well-funded by their parents and belong to the upper middle class. Smart straight-A grade students also join ISIS. Yet all the academic grades and temporary gratification in the world does not give them the sense of identity, purpose and solidarity which joining an aspirational movement like a Caliphate does. This is the paradox of the times within which we live.

Once the indoctrination process is complete through charismatic recruiters, powerful symbols,153, maps, stars and crescents154, slogans and brands,155 many, thereafter, put their education expertise to specialist use for ISIL and other terror outfits, moving hastily up the greasy ranks.

The Caliphate is a magnet for all of these young people, talented or otherwise, offering emancipation and freedom from what they perceive to be a meaningless, material world.

Followers of such a Caliphate have been taught to vehemently reject the notion of original Jihad which denotes an inner spiritual struggle. They preposterously and politically downplay and reject this original Jihad and label it as counterfeit. They state that a peaceful Jihad is the heart of Sufi heresy initiated during the Abbasid156 Caliphate, which corrupted the pure Arab-led form of the Caliphate culminating in its decay and downfall.

There is a growing schism between hard-core Salafists who are undermining the more pacifist peaceful Sufi movement and the Abbasid Caliphate model. The hard-liners failed to acknowledge that Islam is a mosaic not a monolith. It always was. It always will be.

Due to terrorism, our world has descended to a Hobbesian157 state of nature where life has become nasty, short and brutish.158 Our planet has been eerily metastasized into a surreal heart-wrenching killing camp, where terrorists are killing our youth159, the torch-bearers of our tomorrow.

Embroiled in endless bloodshed, are we as humans becoming comfortably numb? Lulled into a faux complacency, with remote controls and selfie ready smartphones in hand?

Mardan`s NADRA attack, Charsadda`s Bacha Khan brutality, Bardo, Brussels, Sousse, Syria, San Bernardino, Palestine, Paris and Peshawar and now Lahore`s Easter Sunday attack all play out like a horror show, each atrocity bidding against the other for our appalled yet divided attention.

Our attention remains deeply divided for it is as if we are now sickeningly immune and numb to blood-soaked souls in blood-stained clothes viewing them as `distant` surreal images on our over-inundated social media160 timelines. All the blood becomes a blur.

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Source: Terrorist arrests in the EU, 2006-2013, Europol (2014)

Blood becoming a blur to us is perhaps a final nail hammered into the collective coffin of humanity`s conscience, which dangles on the precipice.

To dissuade, deter, and destroy terrorist groups, from the bottom-up and top-down, going beyond military muscle and might alone, we need to make violent extremism as unpopular a thought as racism, fascism and totalitarianism have become.

In the interest of moderate Muslims and non Muslims alike, the re-kindling of a more authentic passive Sufi leaning brand of Islam rather than the hard-line polarizing Salafi Wahhabist version is essential.

Projects of deeper social integration, community mobilization, cultural and gender mainstreaming, religious inclusion and inter-faith harmony must commence now before it is too late. In tandem with better structured Diversity and Inclusion (D & I) programs, corporate social responsibility, alongside neighbourhood and community outreach efforts, we must foster people-to-people interaction, in both the public and private sectors.

And in our global context, defeating religious extremism requires a rich mélange of top-down and bottom-up approaches as well as reactive (counter-radicalisation) and pro-active (promotion of moderation) initiatives161. The structural factors that have empowered extremist groups have to be addressed through constitutional amendments, policy reformulations, geo-strategic re-orientations, advocacy campaigns, youth debates and peace activism.

It also is time the West realizes that selective condemnation and outrage have long been their forte, which in turn allows Islamophobia to flourish at an unprecedented pace which fuels radicalization.

It is high time many Western states withdraw support, both blatant and back-handed, from all kinds of dubious dictators, armed insurgents for detrimental geographical divide rule and conquer games. The West must, once and for all, renege on their proclivity for régime change, no matter how unsavoury the dictator. Outsourcing such régime change to mercenaries and insurgents is equally detrimental as the birth of ISIS has shown.

Radicalization, Anti-Immigration and the Demonisation of Muslims and Refugees

Were certain European and Gulf States so blinded by bigotry and xenophobia that they turned away refugees from their borders not cognizant and conscious that these refugees are courageous humans who, if given a second chance at life, may more readily accept and defend fundamental freedoms as compared to born and bred Europeans who are increasingly renouncing citizenship, joining the battlefields of Syria andIraq, turning to radicalization in their lives of lost opportunities.

Amidst such growing discontentment, Muslim populations are mushrooming in Europe, which is not only due to the Syrian exodus. Muslims have a demographic dividend of 50 million and growing in Europe. According to the German statistical office 9.1% of all newborns in Germany had Muslim162 parents in 2005. In France, 8 % of the total population are Muslims, the largest percentage of the total population of any European nation-state; whilst 70 % of the prison population is Muslim, alarmingly contributing largely to an underclass ripe and ready for religious indoctrination, especially within prison cells.

Blaming refugees for Brussels and Paris is utterly senseless. The majority of people fleeing Syria and Iraq, and even Afghanistan, are escaping a world in which they see people blown up in front of them on a regular basis and where grotesque violence is a run of the mill spectator blood sport. To use terror attacks in Europe, especially when perpetrated by born and bred Belgians or Europeans, for political point scoring to condemn Muslims and refugees is counter-intuitive.

Especially when, upon deeper integration, these Muslims and refugees are the very people who have the language skills, cultural know-how and social sensitization to become the `eyes and ears` for European communities, law enforcement and intelligence agencies and may even deter potential would-be terrorists. Also condemning these very refugees is tantamount to implying that they are not worthy of fleeing daily terror attacks on their own lives, and that they are the Children of a Lesser God.

When the anti-Muslim hate brigade warn of excluding Muslims from their milieu, saner heads express understandable concern about the claustrophobic and confining consequence this will create for the majority of law-abiding Muslim citizens who are the principal victims of terror in the first place. Our globalized digital age has irreversibly rendered borders porous, minimized the time, distance and space continuum and left us interdependent. Can our planet truly be re-divided into hermetically sealed silos on the basis of religion or nationality? Fossilized are the notions of Westphalian sovereignty.

We recoil upon hearing leaders of a so-called ‘free world’ spew out alarmist soundbytes of `building walls`163 to keep out `undesirables`. The antagonism vis-à-vis such soundbytes is both ethical and logical. From an ethical standpoint, racial and religious profiling is wrong. Condemning 21 percent of our planet`s population as adversaries and antognists in light of a miniscule minority`s murderous impulses is naïveté. Though the logical reasoning is more compelling. Do you help or hinder the combat against terror by branding all Muslims as malicious? The answer is self-eivdent.

Curbing refugee infiltration is counter-intuitive and does not circumscribe one bit a more sinister malaise: the revolutionary character of radical fundamentalist revivalism. This revival, a poignant counter-cultural counter-civilisational movement of world-historic proportions, is spearheaded by ISIS and its off-shoots, whose arteries are venomously snaking themselves in an ever-porous world. In under two years, ISIS bears dominion over hundreds of thousands of square kilometres and hundreds of thousands of adherents.

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Source: Institute for the Study of War (2016) ISIS controlled territories164

ISIS possesses the largest leading and most diverse volunteer fighting force since World War II. A report published in December 2015 by the New York-based security consultancy, Soufan Group, estimated that 27,000 foreign fundamentalists made ill-fated trips from more than 86 countries, more than half of them from the Middle East and North Africa.

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Source: Nationalities of Foreign Fighters, Soufan Group, New York, December (2015)165

 

The number of foreign fighters from Western Europe has more than doubled since June 2014, including nearly 2000 from the UK. Almost 3,700 of all European ISIS joined foreign fighters come from France, UK, Belgium and Germany.

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Source: Foreign Fighters by Region & Nationalities, Soufan Group, New York, December (2015)

Especially after the Chatanooga and San Bernardino attacks, the FBI has its eyes on the wheels and is conducting active ISIS-related investigations in all 50 states, charging 80 Americans166 with ISIS related activities, arresting 61 individuals, 88% male 12 % female, the most terrorism related arrests in a single year since September 2011.

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Source: ISIS Recruits in the U.S. Legal System, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, January 25 (2016).

 

Many immigrants, Muslims or otherwise, who do not become street thugs or join criminal gangs, are likely to journey on the road to radicalization, which is all the more reason why youth empowerment, anti-poverty and employment campaigns and a fairer re-distribution of resources is required much in keeping and consonance with Jeremy Corbyn167, Justin Trudeau168 and Bernie Sander`s169 inclusive vision of true leadership.

Terrorism, Humanitarian and Human Rights Law: A Bitter-Sweet Irony

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher, orator, lawyer, and politician extraordinaire, engagingly ruminates “the soul, mind, and meaning of a State lie in its Laws”. That is, laws are a mirror of the state’s and society`s mentality and conviction to combat ills such as terrorism, which is today`s multi-layered Chimera.

The regular criminal justice system was considered non-capable in yielding swift justice when facing terrorism. But, at times, the speediest of trials with missed evidence can be a dangerous undertaking. Haste makes waste. Horace170 warns us that those who hurry across the sea change the sky upon them, not their souls or state of mind. Seneca in a fitting repartee, revealingly reminds us to `change our disposition not our skies`171.

During Rome`s darkest hour of despair amidst mob violence and armed gangs, Cicero, in his infinite wisdom, declared `in times of war laws fall silent`172. Can people waging war just switch their humanism on and off as they please? At one moment you’re endeavouring to kill people (suspected terrorists) you consider to be purely wicked, and they are reciprocating the same. Here our humanism conveniently switches off. The next second when you detain the terror suspects can you be expected to acknowledge their human rights as unassailable and that these `culprits` are considered innocent173 until and unless proven guilty174, as enshrined under Article 11 of the UN`s Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Or are you rubber-stamped terrorist until proven otherwise?

One would assume that, considering the wave of terrorist attacks around the world, there would be a clear, collective recognition of the need to unite to fight against this existential threat. Despite this, there is no single, unanimously accepted international legal definition of terrorism.

In our age of division, derision and differences, the law should build bridges of unity rather than erect borders of disunity. The law, globally, as an instrument of cohesion and diversity should reflect and promote religious, cultural, ethnic and racial diversity. Especially in a continent such as Europe, which unlike the USA, was not built for immigration and integration. It is baffling therefore, to time and again, witness an affirmation of white-centric superior mindset laws and precedence.

Take for instance the case of SAS v. France175, where the European Court of Human Rights176 (ECHR)177 upheld the burqa ban. The ECHR deemed that the French ban on face covering did not violate multiple HR provisions.

The French ban against face covering178 is a blanket ban, a draconian dress code decree and morality policing which alienates and provokes peaceful Muslims within France`s borders and without. Allowing nuns to wear headscarves, Jews the Kipa, Sikhs the turban yet disallowing peace-loving Muslim women from doning a harmless headscarf reeks of disingenuous discriminatory double standards.

The ECHR verdict, in this consultant`s opinion, violates multiple Aticles of the ECHR charter itself, namely Article(s) 3 (against inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment), 8 (on the right to privacy), 9 (on the freedom of religion), 10 (on the right to freedom of expression), 11 (on the right to freedom of assembly) and Article 14 which prohibits discrimination.

Courts, as living breathing extensions of human society, especially European Human Rights ones, are often found sorely lacking when it comes to cultural sensitization, “respect for human dignity” and “respect for the minimum requirements of life in society” necessary for “living together” harmoniously in the 21st century.

Such cases unnecessarily stab deep wounds into the personal faith and self-concept of Muslims feeding into the extremist grievance mindset. Such legal verdicts179 create a déluge of political pandemonium due to a one-sided, orientalist, white-centric, un-nuanced view of Islamic lifestyle, culture and sartorial practices. To imperialists the headscarf is merely a piece of cloth one places over one`s head. To many devout Muslims the Hijab is a cornerstone of modesty. A modesty of honour and protection in public places. A modesty of the head. A modesty of the hair. But most importantly a modesty of the heart.

Laws need to scratch below, beyond and in-between superficial sensationalist surfaces to unearth social self-concepts. Note that for practicing Muslims, Hijab is interestingly and categorically incumbent on men, an often conveniently overlooked reality by the patriarchy. Chapter 24 verse 31 of the Holy Quran specifically mentions Hijab (modesty) for men as “lowering their gazes, guarding their private parts” so on and so forth. If a woman arrives at a decision of wearing a headscarf through her own rational and critical understanding of her faith i.e. Islam, then she should be free to wear the headscarf without impediment. Whatever a woman choses to wear is her choice for “there is no compulsion in religion” (Qu`ran Chapter 2, Verse 256).

A secular court has no business to tell a women what to wear and what not to wear. Such draconian intrusion into people`s personal lives sows the seeds of extremism.

Whilst nay-sayers will easily dismiss such legal logic as trivial, upon deeper reflection, they would concede it is not trivial one bit. It is not a secular court`s business, so long as she is not harming anyone. Many Muslim women, who by themselves arrive at a decision that best suits them and their lifestyle, find the Hijab to be a liberating experience. Liberty from make-up. Liberty from skin-deep superficial appearances et al.,

If anything, it is a woman`s fear of not being accepted in Western society, because of who she is, what she wears, what she eats, that will alienate her more and might eventually lure her toward violent extremism as a consequence of social exclusion. Laws therefore must be accommodating and inclusively woven into the fabric of society, not floating above it.

All wars bear the casualties of war crimes. But the predicament becomes particularly poignant when friends and foes180 are indistinguishable, as is under nonconventional asymmetrical combat.

The law of armed conflict is a perplex piece of bitter sweet irony. It is self-defeating to even assume that armies will inflict the minutest of harm whilst attempting to kill foes. Then surfaces the struggle between humanitarian law and human rights legislation. How can one ever assume that militaries will deal honorably with those whom they capture? Such struggles persist but are bearable during wars between states. The challenge becomes thorny when one adopts the war paradigm to hunt down citizens. Hence the urgent requirement to strike the finest balance between humanity, armies and laws, and between the maxims “justice rushed is justice crushed” and “justice delayed is justice denied181.

There is, without the shadow of a doubt, a need to expedite speedy and affordable justice to the poor masses. Whilst KPK institutes mobile Jirgas for a speedy and swift access to Insaaf (justice) there persists a prevailing notion of ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’, where patience wears thin and people feel ostracized from society. This explains the meteoric rise of Taliban-type speedy justice system which lures public support, especially in FATA and the tribal belts. Therefore, the justice system merits a sound review to ensure that people get speedy and affordable justice. Moreover, the prosecution needs to be made effective in order to curtail the large acquittal ratio of terrorists.

Human rights advocates reason that to wiggle our way out of dealing with prisoners of war (PoW`s) humanely, we started bending the definition of PoWs to eliminate terror suspects. Since 9/11 the world witnessed a retrenchment in the rule of law and human rights. As Niccolo Machiavelli chillingly reminded us in The Prince, “fear is maintained by a never failing dread of punishment182.

Pakistan espoused the US paradigm by emulating the war model to combat terror. Pakistan is more justified in a sense given that the country is replete with terror outfits crawling out of the woodworks. By the end of 2002, the government rightfully outlawed six militant organizations, namely Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Tehrik-e-Jafria Pakistan (TJP), Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi, Tehreek-e-Islami (Ex TJP)183, and placed one organization, Sunni Tehrik, on the Watch List. Still Abdul Aziz and the Lal Masjid network need to be quashed.

Banning the aforementioned outfits ensured the government partly succeeded in stemming the tide of terrorism in Pakistan. Though the public fundraising, recruitment, and propaganda of the banned outfits have been curtailed to some extent, organizations have found innovative ways to survive and flourish. For instance, Jamaat-ud-dawwa (JD), placed on the Watch List on Nov. 15, 2003, has invested largely in legitimate business interests such as health, education, and real estate.

Additionally, foreign donations through Hawala channel and Forex Exchange also help them survive. Apart from these, the number of students in its model schools has reached ten thousand approximately and in madrasas it has touched six thousand. It is also establishing health centers and dispensaries184.

A post-9/11 Islamabad became obliged to fulfill the obligation of being a United Nations member and ensure the implementation of the UN Resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), and submit periodic reports to the U.N. UN Resolution 1373 (2001) was approved by the

Security Council at its 4385th meeting on September 28, 2001. It called on States to “work together to prevent and suppress terrorism through all lawful means and obliges all states to criminalize assistance to terrorist activities, deny financial support and safe haven to terrorists and share information about groups planning terrorist attacks”185. UN Resolution 1624 (2005) called on States to ensure “prohibition of incitement to commit terrorist acts”186.

In other words, anti-terrorism efforts are not just a domestic undertaking but need to be elevated and successfully monitored to fall in line with procedures framed by the U.N.187 Therefore, with the objective of carrying Pakistan into full compliance with legislative necessities to implement U.N. Resolutions 1373 and 1624, the Anti-Money Laundering Bill (2005)188 was approved.

Pakistan stated in its 2005 report to the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) that the law aims “to make the financing of terrorism a predicate offense for money laundering; extend the banking and financial laws and alternative money transfer systems; and, regulate charitable, religious, and other non-governmental organizations.”

Multiple safeguards have been adopted. Buoyed by bilateral assistance from the U.K. and U.S., a Terrorist Financing189 Investigations (TFI) Unit is set up at the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). A Computer Forensic Laboratory is now operational at FIA headquarters in Islamabad with the assistance of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). To monitor the entry and exit from land ports, sea ports, and air ports in Pakistan, a Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System (PISCES) has been installed at sixteen locations with U.S. cooperation. Data and records of more than 26 million travelers have been stored with about 3445 hits in different categories of the watch list.

Pakistan adopted the Suppression of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts190) Act, 1975 (PLD 1975 Central Statutes 89.) which ushered in a new dawn in Pakistan’s legislative history wherein “special ” laws and courts dealing with “terrorism” or “terrorist acts” became the norm. The definition of “terrorist acts” became much broader and the list of offenses that could be tried by “special” courts exponentially expanded. To quote a seasoned historical analyst, Saeed Shafqat191, “Wali Khan’s NAP (National Awami Party formed under Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan) was banned and its top leadership was arrested. Police raided Peshawar university campuses to recover “foreign arms”…. Wali Khan was charged with conspiring against the state and a special tribunal was set up to try him.”

The Suppression of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act, 1975 journeyed away from the universal principle of presuming the accused innocent until proven guilty192. That law presumed the accused guilty when found in possession of any article which could be used in the commission of the offence he was accused of committing, or when apprehended “in circumstances which tend to raise a reasonable suspicion that he has committed such [an] offence.193 It was then that the accused had to convince the court of his or her innocence. This shift in the onus of proof is regarded as a serious issue in evaluating the human rights record under the past and present anti-terror regime. The situation is well captured by the comments of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) Consultant Mr. Najam U Din, “Against such a shift in the onus of proof, all that the most innocent of accused can do is present proof of past good behavior or blanket pleas of innocence194.

The 1975 law remained in force until being repealed and replaced by the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997. During these two laws, the GoP introduced a plethora of laws to deal with “special” needs, for an expeditious resolution of acts of terrorism. These laws included, inter alia, the Special Courts for Speedy Trial Ordinance (1987), the Terrorist-Affected Areas (Special Courts) Ordinance (1990), and the Terrorist-Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act (1992)195. Subsequently came the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) in 1997 (Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (20 August 1997), PLD 1997 Central Statutes, 537.), a brain child of PM Nawaz Sharif seeking to impart timely and inexpensive justice by establishing a parallel legal system.

ATA was heralded to counter multiple years of sectarian strife and terrorist activities. The (ATA) of 1997 incorporated “special” measures to expedite trials. The law aspired to act as a preventive measure for potential terrorists by integrating the broader definition of terrorism and unyielding deadlines to safeguard speedy justice. Under Schedule 547-48 crimes within the purview of the ATA of 1997 included murder, the malicious insult of the religious beliefs of any class, the use of derogatory remarks in respect of the holy personage, kidnapping, and various statutes relating to “robbery and dacoity.” Such a wide-ranging definition of terrorist activity was deemed a blanket cover for a ruling elite to define nearly any kind of violence as terrorism.

Concurrently in 1997, ATA created special “anti-terrorist courts.” This again was a departure from the existing judicial system and an attempt to create a parallel system directly staffed and monitored by the executive rather than the judiciary. A judge in an anti-terrorist court could be a session judge, an additional session judge, district magistrate, deputy district magistrate, or an advocate appointed by the government. Such judges would have no specific tenure of office, serving at the behest of the government, and the decision of the Appellate Tribunal would be final, and no further appeal could be entertained. According to Justice A N Chohan196, the law was prepared and passed in haste, and it was the Supreme Court’s timely intervention that led the government to amend various sections of the law, making it more practical and people-friendly.

Pakistan adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 in the face of growing sectarian violence in the 1990s, and then the Armed Forces (Aid to Civil Power Ordinance) (PAFO), 1998 ushered in an era of military courts. The Ordinance was promulgated by the Nawaz Sharif government following a splurge of ethnic murders197 that engulfed Karachi in October 1998. The targeted murder of Hakim Said198 led to the imposition of Governor Rule (Emergency) in Sindh province, under article 245 of the Constitution. The military was called in to restore law and order in the province and PAFO’s broad judicial powers were conferred on it. All pending cases before the anti-terrorism courts could be transferred to the newly established military courts. The executive relied solely on military means to administer law and order and ensure justice across the board.

The Military Courts were created and staffed by the military officers at the rank of Brigadier and above. Such Courts, via Section 6199, were given jurisdiction to award sentences, including death penalty for specific crimes.

These laws accepted the rationale of military necessity at the expense of human rights. The Supreme Court in the Mehram Ali case, where Ali a member of the Tehrik Nifaz Fiqah-i-Jafaria (TNFJ), detonated a remote-controlled bomb where the two leaders of the Sepah-Sehaba Pakistan (SSP) – a radicalized anti-Shia group of Sunnis – were brought for a hearing before the additional session judge, declared portions of the ATA ultra vires of the constitution and in the Liaquat Ali case rejected the concept of military tribunals trying civilians.

We thus continued to drudge along under the criminal justice model. With all these laws we have shown a penchant for blanket definitions of terror and conviction-friendly courts, instead of defining terror narrowly to address ideologically-driven terror and fixing our investigation and prosecution systems to improve conviction rates200.

Post-Swat there emerged the requirement for a legal framework to detain and try those captured during the military operation. That led to adoption of the Actions (In Aid of Civil Power) Regulations, 2011, for Fata and Pata. This framework was designed to incorporate military necessity, and treated fundamental rights as partly alienable. Under General Kayani the military kept asserting a more effective legal regime to deal with terror, but one that stayed within the four corners of the criminal justice paradigm. We witnessed the enactment of the Fair Trial Act, 2013, the Anti-Terrorism Amendment Act, 2014 and the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) 2014.

As an ensemble, these instruments provided for use of military and intelligence agencies as pivotal instruments of internal security. They provided for wide-ranging detention powers, secret surveillance of citizens and transformation of intelligence into evidence etc.

As this new criminal justice framework emerged, there was an implicit recognition of the fact that employment of extraordinary coercive powers by the state was a limited time knee jerk desperate measure to fight terror and was not otherwise in consonance with the rights guaranteed by the constitution201.

The dastardly carnage on the Army Public School in Peshawar on 16 December 2014 jolted the country. Along with the crushing pain and anguish, the people and the government stood steadfast to confront the terrorists with all the might at their disposal and eliminate the social scourge that has so far cost north of 70,000 lives since 9/11. Naturally after the APS massacre202, Bacha Khan and now Gulshan-e-Iqbal in Lahore where children were indiscriminately targeted, whose only parallels in modern history are those of the militant separatists on a Beslan school in North Ossetia, the national sentiment altered.

The military has realised that, momentarily, the debate about balancing military necessity with humanism had no resonance with a citizenry thirsting for vengeance against the tyranny of terror. Thus even without trying to use the amended criminal justice framework, it opted for the war model. Wounded beyond words, the nation had a stirring yet fleeting debate about military courts, laced with patriotism which equated love for our children203 with support for military justice, and with the 21st Amendment and an amended Army Act we moved on from criminal justice to the war model204.

The clock is ticking. The pendulum will have to swing back205 away from the war paradigm toward a resilient criminal justice regime. Will it smack us in our faces because we are burying our heads deep in the sand. The case of Pakistan proves, that public support, political will, and state capacity are all vital in reducing the gap between anti-terrorism goals (as envisaged in the laws) and their real-life practice or implementation.

Locally and globally, with the Shariah and otherwise, appreciating the humane spirit of justice in Islam rather than reading too literally into the legal black letter can strategically assist in democratizing, de-radicalizing and humanizing society. From our Imams (priests) to our youth, we need a spiritual renewal now more than ever before. Yet the existential crisis of our times remains that:

We draft more laws but have less justice. More adl with less insaaf. We have more statutes but less satisfaction. We decree more fatwas but empathize less. We have more rules but less acceptance. More terror and less tolerance. We write thicker constitutions but have narrower perspectives. We memorize more scripture but learn less. Condemn more yet concede less. With our religion, and in our lives, we have more rituals but less faith.

We consume more but appreciate less. We are more concerned about doing things right than doing the right thing. We have more information but less wisdom. We have enlarged our properties but reduced our peace of mind. As radicalization grows, we have more surveillance but we feel less secure.

We have voyaged into outer space but spiritually struggle to balance our inner space. We have more materials but less values. We have sanitized our rooms but not our souls. We broke the atom but not our bias.

Only by addressing the above can we swing the civilizational pendulum toward a more compassionate and accepting society. Only then will the ideology of fundamentalism be isolated, intellectually discredited, made culturally antiquated, and become as unappealing as totalitarianism through scholastic re-interpretation, massive education campaigns, and targeting the youth with regional/global capacity building measures. For the youth are our torch-bearers of tomorrow.

The existing counter-extremism measures, the world over, are dispersed, disjointed and ad-hoc. Denial of sanctuaries, loss of infrastructure and leadership are redeemable for violent extremists, given their regenerative capacity. However, ideological de-legitimisation actually deprives them of their support base. Ideological de-legitimisation can only come through intellectual renewal, policy reform, constitutional ammendments, social advocacy and academic renaissance.

That is why reforming , dissenting and diverse voices must be incubated and given birth to. Both Muslims and non-Muslims, must engage in debate, and discussion, promoting pluralism, defending democracy, harnessing human rights, enhancing education whilst becoming empowered with the laws, the lexicon, the language to deploy against those who are attempting to silence our unique promise and potential. Let us collectively strive, especially after the Lahore Easter bombings, that this generational struggle for the very heart and soul of Islam will not be surrendered or scapegoated to the loudest extremists, who wrongly monopolize Islam, and discuss it with total impunity and disregard for diversity.

What has haunted humanity since time immemorial is that history is always made by a determined voiceferous minority. Regrettably with Islam, it is clear that that minority is comprised of the radicals who now dominate the discourse. Moderate Muslim-majority voices need to reclaim their religion, delegitimize the radical voice of a vocal minority, and desensitize a bulging youth demographic lured into their deadly dogma. We, as a collective humanity, must mount a multi-faceted campaign, both online and offline, individually and institutionally, to discredit extremism in all its stripes and in all its fifty shades of death. The burden of challenging hard-liners cannot be shouldered by a single Taseer family alone, no matter how valiant or lofty those shoulders might be. Just like Hydra`s serpentine head, many more Mumtaz Qadri`s will creep out of the wood works, just as the death of Osama has bred an entire generation of genocidal maniacs all too eager to replace him.

Currently it is the conservatives, the clerics, the maulvis, the madrassas and worst of all the tyrant terrorists who dominate Islamic discourse. The Muslim atheist, Muslim secularist, Muslim democrat, Muslim reformers are sadly social oxymorons, outcasts, a dying breed, who have no viable moral support bases or spiritual centres of gravity. These centers of gravity now merit an epic paradigm shift of Newtonian proportions from the Militant to the Moderate, from the Extremist to the Enlightened and from the Dictatorial to the Democratic.

We cannot let a minority of radicals dictate our destiny. A majority of Muslims who just want to get on with life must step up. Time is running out. Extremism is not a contagion which we can legislate, shoot, aerial raid or bomb our way out of. Over the long haul, those hell-bent on imposing religion at gun-point will only be weeded out with community outreach, inter-faith dialogue, education and advocacy. It is the responsibility, life-long challenge and opportunity of every Muslim and non-Muslim, to protect minorities, whenever or wherever they might be.

For no idea is above scrutiny and no people are below dignity.

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Reference

  1. Christians celebrate Easter Sunday as the day of Jesus Christ›s resurrection, as chronicled in the Gospel of John in the New Testament, where Mary Magdalene came to the tomb where Jesus was buried and found it empty. An angel told her that Jesus had ascended in the ultimate act of sacrifice and salvation.
  2. A historical account of conflict and terror in Pakistan is outlined in Rana, Muhammad Amir (2010): Litterateurs’ Response to Extremism in Pakistan. Con ict and Peace Studies, 3(2). April, 2010.
  3. Hall, John (2015) “Suruc Ankara atacks and ISIS”, Daily Mail, July 21, 2015.
  4. Gray, Melissa (2015) “Paris attacks and ISIS” CNN, December 7, 2015.
  5. Ryan, Andrew; Wesley Lowery (2013) “Sources: Boston Marathon bombingsuspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is buried in Doswell, Va”. New York Times, May 10,2013.
  6. Akbar, Jay (2015) “Beirut attacks and ISIS”, Daily Mail, November 12, 2015.
  7. Burke, Jason (2016) “Lahore bombing is faction’s boldest bid to stake claim asPakistan’s most violent terrorists”. The Guardian. 28 March, 2016.
  8. Ehsan, along with other top brass of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, such as Omar Khorasani, lead the splinter group (Jamaat-ul-Ahrar) of theproscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
  9. For a riveting literary rendition on the Ides of March: Shakespeare, William(2010) Julius Ceasar, The Literature Network. Jalic, Inc. Shakespeare exploresthe Ides of March in Act I Scene II and Act III Scene I.
  10. Let readers readily be reminded that the assassination of Julius Caesar was the result of a conjured up conspiracy by Roman senators, spearheaded by Gaius Cassius Longinus and Marcus Junius Brutus, who stabbed Julius Caesar to death. The terrorists in Pakistan have done much worse, by stabbing our collective conscience and attacking our children: the very torch-bearers of our tomorrow. by suicide stabbed in a location adjacent to the Theatre of Pompey on the Ides of March (March 15), 44 BC.
  11. The term Multi-National Terrorist Corporation (MTC) TM was rst coined by this author in Criterion Quarterly`s previous edition which can be referenced as: Khalid, Özer (2016) “The Spectre of Multinational Terrorism in the 21st century” in Criterion Quarterly, January-March 2016, Volume II, Number 1, pp. 3-78.
  12. Toft, Ivan Arreguín (2007) “How to Lose a War on Terror: A Comparative Analysis of a Counterinsurgency Success and Failure,” in Jan Ångström and Isabelle Duyvesteyn, Eds., Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War, London: Frank Cass, 2007.
  13. On the leadership structures of terror out ts: Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) (2014) Islamic State`s Leadership Structure, Reuters, 5 December, 2014.

 

  1. Very strict literalist Sala st doctrinaires.
  2. Christians have had a long history of persecutions, notably also in Japan duringthe middle of the 17th century. Hagemann, Edward (1942) “The Persecution of the Christians in Japan in the Middle of the Seventeenth Century”. The Paci c Historical Review 11 (2). June, 1942.
  3. The Beslan North Ossetia school massacre of September 2004, culminated with the death of at least 385 people where 186 children died. Chechen Ingush terrorists group and the the Riyadus-Salikhin Battalion, sent by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded recognition of the independence of Chechnya and UN and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. Milashina, Yelena (2014) “Беслан. 10 лет после теракта”. Novaya Gazeta. September 1, 2015.
  4. This author believes that the Woman`s Protection bill (2015) should have a nation-wide mandate and not merely in Punjab. The bill encouragingly features redress for female victims of violence, criminalises all forms of violence against women and provides them with special centres which remove the bureaucratic hurdles that complicate a woman’s access to justice. A toll-free universal access number (UAN) will be launched to receive complaints while district protection committees will be established to investigate complaints led by women. Dar-ul-Amans, protection centres and shelter homes will be built for the protection of aggrieved women. Defendants can be cuffed with GPS tracking bracelets and those attempting to tamper with the tracking bracelets will be jailed for up to one year and ned between Rs 50,000 to Rs 200,000. Hanif, Intikhab (2016) “PA approves bill for protection of women against violence”. Dawn newspaper, 25 February, 2015 and Farooq, Daniyal Hassan | Omar (2016) “Women’s Protection Bill — A case of men’s insecurities”. Dawn newspaper. 14 March, 2016.
  5. Taylor, Adam (2016) “An Easter Sunday suicide bombing shows plight of Pakistan’s Christians”. The Washington Post, 28 March, 2016.
  6. Malik, I.H. (2002) ‘Religious Minorities in Pakistan’ Minority Rights Group International, p. 6.
  7. Responsibility for most of these atrocities have been claimed by Jamaat-ul- Ahrar a splinter group of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. For more consult: Katharine Houreld, Katharine and Saud Mehsud (2015) “Pakistani splinter group rejoins Taliban amid fears of isolation”, Reuters, 12 March, 2015.
  8. Members of a banned Muslim organization began burning the homes of Christians in the Punjabi city of Gorja after accusing them of desecrating pages of a Qu`ran, said the late Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal minister for minorities. He said there was no truth in the allegation that the Qu`ran had been de led. Ahmed, Issam (2009) “Pakistan’s Christians protest lack of protection after deadly rampage” The Christian Science Monitor, 3 August, 2009
  9. Rehman, Sonya (2013) Joseph Colony: Attacked and Unprotected, The Diplomat , April 5, 2013. Also go through: Khan, Ismail and Salman Masood (2013) “Suicide Attack at Christian Church in Pakistan Kills Dozens” New York Times, September 22, 2013.
  10. 2 blasts took place at the Roman Catholic Church and Christ Church during Sunday service at Youhanabad, Lahore. For more on Christian persecution: Rana Tanveer and Tahir Khan (2015) “14 dead, 75 injured in attack on Lahore’s Christian community”. The Express Tribune, 15 March, 2015.
  1. The Ahmadiyya movement saw its genesis in 1889 and follows the teachings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who they believe was sent as the Promised Messiah. There are 4 million Ahmadis in Pakistan. The May 2010 Lahore attacks occurred during Friday prayers. 94 people were killed. After the initial attack, a hostage situation lasted for hours. TTP Punjab wing, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
  2. Perlez, Jane (2010) “Pakistani Taliban Carried Out Attack on Lahore Mosques, Police Say”. The New York Times. May 29, 2010. Waraich, Omar (2010) “Worshippers slaughtered in deadly ‘ nal warning’”. The Independent, May 29, 2010. View also Walsh, Declan (2013) “Lahore mosque attacks leave 70 dead”. The Guardian. 7 October 2013.
  3. J. R. Puri, Tilaka Raj Shangri (1986) “Bulleh Shah: the love-intoxicated iconoclast” Radha Soami Satsang Beas.
  4. A Pushtun poet from Peshawar during the Mughal epoch. Sampson, Robert (2003) “Abdu’l Rahmān Bābā: The Legacy of His Poetry in Expressing Divergent Islamic Theology in Pushtūn Society.” M.A. Thesis, University of Nottingham.
  5. He was a Su of Suhrawardiyya order (tariqa) and his shrine is located in Multan.
  6. His actual name was Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery, the accolade Daata Ganj Baksh bestowed upon him implies “the master (Daata) who bestows treasures gifted (Ganj Baksh) by Allah Almighty”. Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh was the pioneering author of tomes such as Kashaful majoob, Dewan shair and Kashul israr. For illuminating knowledge on the topic: Nichloson, Reynold (2000) Kashf al- Mahjub of al-Hajvari. E. J. W. Gibb Memorial. Rashid, Abdur (1967) The Life and Teachings of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh. Ishfaq Ahmed and Werbner, Pnina (2003) Pilgrims of Love: The Anthropology of a Global Su Cult; C. Hurst & Co.
  7. Just like Allama Iqbal, Sir Syed was a Muslim modernist, a social activist and a pragmatist. Both wished to liberate Islam from Mullahs and Pirs. Mondal, Puja (2015) “Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and the Aligarh Movement”. 30 July, 2015. Wilder, W. John (2006), Selected essays by Sir Sayed Ahmad Khan, especiallypp. 1-35.
  8. Zaidi, Mosharraf (2016) “Bleeding the White in our flag”, The News International,Jang Group, 29 March, 2016.
  9. Cornelius was a pivotal participant and Christian figure in the Pakistan Movement,resolutely assisted Jinnah in drafting the Pakistan Resolution, adding the legal clauses and articles justifying the rights of Muslims majority, non-Muslim communities and the ill-treatment of under-class both Non-Muslims and Muslims by the Congress Party in 1941. His activism only grew strong and deeper with time. The law rm Cornelius Lane Mufti bears his name. The cornerstones of his legal axioms were that law bears an ethical function in society and cannot be divorced from morality and that the law should be culture-sensitive. To peer into the genius legal savvy of Cornelius go through: Cornelius, Alvin Robert (1981) Law and judiciary in Pakistan; Lahore Law Times Publications and Cornelius, Alvin Robert (1971) The ethical basis for democracy in Pakistan; Hamdard National Foundation, Pakistan. A succinct read can be had with Shafique, Khurram Ali (2011) “Cornelius and Sharia law”. Dawn Newspaper, 14 January 2011.
  1. Clement Shahbaz Bhatti was the rst Christian Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs from November 2008 until his dastardly assassination on 2 March 2011 in Islamabad. Bhatti, a Roman Catholic, was an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and the only Christian in the Cabinet. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for his killing. Rodriguez, Alex (2011) “Pakistan’s only Christian Cabinet member assassinated”. Los Angeles Times, 3 March, 2011.
  2. Zaidi, Mosharraf (2016) “Bleeding the White in our ag”, The News International, Jang Group, 29 March, 2016.
  3. Verkaaik, Oskar (2013) Notes on the Sublime: Aspects of Political Violence in Urban Pakistan. South Asian Popular Culture, 11(2), pp. 109-120.
  4. Zaidi, Mosharraf (2016) “Bleeding the White in our ag”, The News International, Jang Group, 29 March, 2016.
  5. Ziaul Haque, Md. & Das, Snigdha (2014) “The Evil Bond in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice: The Source of Irrationality”, International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature, vol. 2, no. 9; 2014, p. 88.
  6. Gabriel, Theodore P. C. (2007). Christian citizens in the Islamic state: Pakistan experience. England, United Kingdom: Ashgate Limited. pp. 1-121.
  7. Mr. Taseer was a successful entrepreneur and a former Governor of Punjab. Sana Saleem (2011) “Salmaan Taseer: murder in an extremist climate”, The Guardian, 5 January 2011.
  8. Ferrie, J Pakistan (2009) “Minorities at Risk in the North-West”, Minority Rights Group International Brie ng, Minority Rights Group International.
  9. Kumar, Ashish Kumar (2013). “Pakistan tops worst list for religious freedom”. The Washington Times. 30 April, 2013.
  10. Gabriel, Theodore P. C. (2007). Christian citizens in the Islamic state: Pakistan experience. England, United Kingdom: Ashgate Limited. pp. 1-121.
  11. Gheddo, Piero (2013). “Pakistan Young Christian arrested for blasphemy”, Asia News, 14 February, 2013.
  12. On November 8, 2010 Aasia Bibi, a Christian farmhand became the rst woman in Pakistan to be sentenced to death for blasphemy. The conviction horri ed even the then President Asif Ali Zardari who ordered a ministerial review, which concluded that the verdict was legally unsound and sought a presidential pardon for her. But on November 26, in a dramatic reversal, Pakistan’s law minister ruled out any change to the blasphemy law under his watch. The same day, the government gave in to a long-standing demand of its coalition partner, the Jamiat- e-Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl-ur-Rehman) (JUI-F), and appointed a hard-line cleric from the JUI-F to head the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a powerful body that determines whether the country’s laws are in conformity with Islam. Then, on November 29, in a clear case of judicial overreach, the Lahore High Court barred the president from issuing a pardon despite this privilege being granted to him by the Constitution. Hardliner groups and religious political parties used the issue to rally popular support in preparation for the next elections.
  1. Barwelwism is a school of thought and belief to which Dr Tahir ul Qadri belongs to, known as Minhaj ul Quran.
  2. Bobrovnikov, Vladimir (2011) “Ordinary Wahhabism” versus “Ordinary Su sm”? Filming Islam for Postsoviet Muslim Young People. Religion, State and Society, 39(2-3), pp. 281-301.
  3. J.B. Erasmus (2016) “Pakistan and blasphemy: Worryingly, a liberal’s killer is honoured in Pakistan”. The Economist. 2 March, 2016.
  4. During the society-altering French Revolution of 1789, the Bastille was the epicenter where the Jacobins pounced to lynch monarchic rulers. The Bastille became the ultimate symbol of oppression. Doyle, William (2002). The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press.
  5. This was the second time in three years that Islamabad was being assailed and the Red Zone breached. The rst instance was when Imran Khan declared his famous sit-ins (dharnas) along with the cleric of many faces, Allama Tahir-ul- Qadri. In repeated encounters Qadri`s adherents brought the intrepid ghters of the Islamabad Police to their knees – footage from television that would add sizzle to any Hollywood thriller.
  6. In 2016 fourty Iranian state-run media outlets pooled together to raise £420,000 to add to the fatwa (a decree to assasinate) vis-à-vis Salman Rushdie, 27 years after Iran’s rst `supreme` leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, decreed Rushdie’s assassination following the publication of the thorny Satanic Verses. People involved in the book’s publication have not gone unscathed. The Japanese translator Hitoshi Igarashi was stabbed to death in 1991, and the Italian translator Ettore Capriolo was stabbed at his apartment in Milan in 1991. The Norwegian publisher William Nygaard survived being shot three times in Oslo in 1993, while the Turkish translator Aziz Nesin escaped an arson attack on a hotel in 1993. Flood, Alison (2012) “Salman Rushdie reveals details of fatwa memoir”. The Guardian (London), 12 April 2012.
  7. The then interior minister was Aitzaz Ahsan.
  8. Pavlov, Ivan P. (1927) Conditioned Re exes. Trans. G. V. Anrep. London:Oxford University Press.
  9. Donahoe, John W., and Rocio Vegas (2004) Pavlovian Conditioning: The CS-URRelation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 30: pp. 17–33.
  10. As sanctioned in Pakistan`s 1984 Qanun-e-Shahadat.
  11. For more research from the Jinnah Institute and religious minorities consultMariam Faruqi and Zara Zafar (2011) “A Question of Faith: A report on the status of religious minorities in Pakistan”, A Jinnah Institute Research Report.
  12. ‘Non-Muslim’ is de ned here as `a person who is not a Muslim and includes persons belonging to the Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Parsi community, a person of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmedis’ or by any other name) or a Bahai and a person belonging to any of the scheduled castes`.
  1. Pakistan Penal Code Section 295-C “Whoever by words, either spoken or written,or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, de les the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall be also liable to ne.”
  2. Rehman, J (2000) “The Weaknesses in the International Protection of Minority Rights: A study with particular reference to the State of Pakistan“, Kluwer Law International and Ringelheim, J. (2010) “Minority Rights in a time of Multiculturalism – The Evolving Scope of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities“ in Human Rights Law Review, 21 Jan 2010.
  3. For more on the protection of minorities in Pakistan consult: Shaikh, Hina (2009) Status of Minorities in Pakistan in the 2009 Annual Report of South Asian for Human Rights. Rizvi, S.S.R (2002) Constitutional Law of Pakistan. Text, Case Law and Analytical Commentary. Volume Three, Vanguard and Salim, A. (2006) Role of Minorities in Nation Building with focus on Karachi, Church World Service Afghanistan/Pakistan.
  4. Hasan, A (1995) “The Constitution of Pakistan: De led-Defaced”, Asia Law House.
  5. Saleem, Farukh (2014) “India disappointed by Zarb-e-Azb’s success”. The News International, Jang Group. 14 October, 2014.
  6. Amir, Ayaz (2016) “Government`s vanishing act on Easter Sunday“, Islamabad diary, The News International, Jang Group, March 29, 2016.
  7. The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) chronicles terrorism from 1970 onward maintained by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. It benchmarks other terrorism-related measures, such as the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) (view the next page of Ozer Khalid`s essay) and is published by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
  8. The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is an attempt to systematically rank nations of the world according to terrorist activity over a 10-year period, with interactive maps, exhibiting trends, and offering a data series for analysis by policymakers. It is the product of Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.
  9. That too a partial implementation at best.
  10. Also known as Operation Sirat-e-Mustaqeem or Righteous Path which commenced in 2008.
  11. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi also known as LeJ or یوگنھج رکشل‎ the “Armyof Jhangvi”, are a virulent Sunni supremacist militant organisation and a by- product of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP). The LeJ was led by Malik Ishaq killed in an encounter in Muzaffargarh in 2015. LeJ was founded by former SSP undesirables such as Riaz Basra, Malik Ishaq, Akram Lahori, and Ghulam Rasool Shah. The LeJ has claimed responsibility for the gruesome bombings that killed over 200 Hazara Shias in Quetta in 2013. LeJ is believed to have attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team at Qadda stadium in 2009 and abducted Daniel Pearl in 2002, an incident which was subsequently made into a lm titled A Mighty Heart in 2007 starring Angelina Jolie, directed by Michael Winterbottom which is an adaptation of his wife Mariane Pearl’s memoir.
  1. Basit, Abdul (2016) “What next after Charsadda? “, The News International, Jang Group, 8 February, 2016.
  2. Game of Thrones is an intrigue of deadly dynastic struggles between noble and not-so-noble families amidst castles and kingdoms with rivals hungering for control of the Iron Throne. The series is inspired by a multitude of historic events, namely the English Wars of the Roses (1455–85) between the houses of Lancaster and York, re ected in Martin’s houses of Lannister and Stark, Isabella, the “she-wolf of France” (1295–1358), Hadrian’s Wall (Martin’s great Wall), the legend of Atlantis (ancient Valyria), Byzantine “Greek re”, Icelandic sagas of the Viking Age (the Ironborn), the Mongol hordes (the Dothraki), and elements from the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) and the Italian Renaissance (c. 1400–1500).
  3. Polio vaccines have been a thorny issue from day one, with fanciful conspiracy theorists hatching up delusional non-sense that such vaccines are purposely administered to render Muslims impotent and infertile. The Quetta polio center blast was a travesty of conscience. Shah, Syed Ali Shah (2016) “Blast near Quetta polio centre kills 14; TTP claims responsibility, Dawn News, January 13, 2016.
  4. The economic magnitude of losses can be gleaned from the fact that only one Saab-2000 aircraft tted with an Airborne Early Warning & Control System (AWACS) destroyed at Kamra was worth $250 million.
  5. Hydra of Lerna is a serpentine water monster reputed to be an entrance into the underworld, in Greek mythology. Its lair was the lake of Lerna in the Argolid. In canonical Hydra myth, the monster is killed by Heracles, using sword and re. Hydra possessed many heads, and there was a regenerative feature in that for every head chopped off, the Hydra would regrow one or multiple heads. For a riveting read on Hydra the sea monsters: Ogden, Daniel (2013). Drakon: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Oxford University Press and Piccardi, Luigi (2005) The head of the Hydra of Lerna (Greece). Archaeopress, British Archaeological Reports, International Series N° 1337/2005, pp. 179-186.
  6. Darwin, Charles R. (1871) The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. Volume 1. First edition.
  7. Stepanova, E. (2008) Terrorism in asymmetrical con ict: SIPRI Report 23, Oxford University Press.
  8. The “Good cop/bad cop” routine, is a psychological stratagem deployed during negotiations and interrogations. The purpose is to disorient, confuse and `break` the subject. The CIA uses it to train operatives in its Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual (1983), pp. 26-27.
  1. Khan, Tahir (2014) “Anti-terrorism cooperation: Islamabad asks Kabul to extradite Fazlullah”. The Express Tribune, 30 June 2014.
  2. The grisly attack on the Bacha Khan University in Charsadda, one month after the rst anniversary of the APS Peshawar attack, was both symbolic and strategic in timing. The mastermind of the APS massacre, the dreaded Taliban commander, Khalifa Mansoor was reportedly the architect of this attack also. The visionary Pakhtun leader Bacha Khan, after whom the university was named, and his message of non-violence reasonates resoundingly amongst moderates.
  3. The Durand Line is a 2,250-kilometre long line that acts as a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Established in 1893 between Sir Mortimer Durand and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir. For a mapped illustration of the Durand line: Smith, Cynthia (2004) “A Selection of Historical Maps of Afghanistan – The Durand Line”. United States: Library of Congress. August, .2004
  4. Basit, Abdul (2016) “Battle for our heart and soul”, The News International, Jang Group, March 30, 2016.
  5. As evidence, Pape hailed the Palestinians as the most illustrative case where terrorism reaped political dividends. Pape, Robert (2005) “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” New York: Random House. Also: Pape, Robert (1998) Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War. Cornell University Press, 1996, especially pp. 92-230.
  6. Imtiaz, Huma; Charlotte Buchen (2011) “The Islam That Hard-Liners Hate”(blog). The New York Times. 6 January, 2012.
  7. The Punjabi Taliban evolved out of mainstream Kashmiri insurgency groups.
  8. Lashkar-e-Islam (مالسا ِركشل‎), is a militant organization active in Khyber Agency, FATA, led by Mangal Bagh which on March 12, 2015 announced that it was joining Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. Zahir Shah Sherazi (2015) “Three keyLI commanders lay down arms”. 6 February, 2015.
  9. A pro-ISIS booklet titled Fatah was distributed in Peshawar and North Waziristan.
  10. Jones, Seth (2015) “Seth G. Jones – ISIS’ South Asia Strategy”. Foreign Affairs.6 October, 2015.
  11. Bergen, Peter; Tiedemann, Katherine (2012) Talibanistan: Negotiating theBorders between Terror, Politics, and Religion. Oxford UnivOxford University Press. pp. 1-308.
  12. Jones, Ashby; Frosch, Dan ( 2015) “Ri es Used in San Bernardino ShootingIllegal Under State Law: Weapons were legally purchased with magazine locking devices but altered to make them more powerful, ATF nds”. The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2015.
  13. Zaidi, Mosharraf (2016) “Why terrorists have the advantage”, The News International, Jang Group, 2nd February, 2016.
  14. Haider, Mateen (26 December 2014). “Nawaz constitutes special committee to implement National Action Plan”. Special report by Mateen Haider, Dawn News. 26 December, 2014.
  15. NACTA stands for the National Counter-Terrorism Authority. NACTA (2015) “National Counterterrorism Authority”. NACTA, Govt of Pakistan. 3 January 2015.
  1. Regarding sectarianism: Douai, Aziz; Lauricella, Sharon (March) The“Terrorism” Frame in “Neo-Orientalism”: Western News and the Sunni–Shia Muslim Sectarian Relations after 9/11. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 10(1), March 2014, pp. 6-25.
  2. Gishkori, Zaheed (2015). “National Action Plan: Pakistan in fresh push to choke terror funding”. Express Tribune. 10 January, 2015.
  3. Vali Nasr and Joanne Myers, with foresight, caution that sectarianism in Pakistan will precipitously keep mounting. For more: Vali Nasr, Joanne J. Myers: (2006) “The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future”. Nasr and Myers rightly noted that Pakistan has the second largest population of Shias after Iran.
  4. Syed Raza Hassan (2015) “Blood drips from bus doors after gunmen kill 43 in Pakistan’s Karachi”. Reuters. 13 May, 2015.
  5. Abbas, Munira (2015) “Safora massacre death toll rises to 45 as Ismaili community say their last goodbyes”. The Express Tribune. 14 May 2015.
  6. Zaidi, Mosharraf (2016) “Why terrorists have the advantage”, The News International, Jang Group, 2nd February, 2016.
  7. Haq, Amanul (2015) “War of ideas how to ideologically challenge ISIS Daesh” Business Insider, Nov. 17, 2015.
  8. Antonio Gramsci imprisoned for much of his life by Mussolini, ushered in such ideas in his Prison Notebooks with widely in uential notions of ‘hegemony’ and the ‘manufacture of consent’ (Gramsci 1971).
  9. Basit, Abdul (2016) “Battle for our heart and soul”, The News International, Jang Group, March 30, 2016.

100. As the state possesses the ultimate monopoly over the use of force. Weber, Max (1994) “Political Writings” (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought). Ed. Peter Lassman. Trans. Ronald Speirs. Cambridge UP, Xvi and Weber, Max (1978) “Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology” University of California Press, lix.

101. A term conceptually borrowed from Antonio Gramsci.
102. Basit, Abdul (2016) “What next after Charsadda? “, The News International,

Jang Group, 8 February, 2016
103. Sadly from the bearded brigade only one small Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat expressed grief over the Taseer family tragedy. Sackur, Stephen (2011) “Sackur Interviews Shehrbano Taseer”. As broadcast on BBC. 30 April. 2011. Aleem Maqbool and Orla Guerin (2011) “Salman Taseer: Thousands mourn Pakistan governor”: BBC News South Asia, 5 January 2011.

104. Ogden, Daniel (2013). Drakon: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Worlds. Oxford University Press and Piccardi, Luigi (2005) The head of the Hydra of Lerna (Greece). Archaeopress, British Archaeological Reports, International Series N° 1337/2005, pp. 179-186.

105. Agbedo, Chris Uchenna; Buluan, Doofan; Krisagbedo, Ebere C. (2013): Socio-Psychological Deconstruction of Fear of Boko Haram in Nigeria: The Nigerian Media Perspective. New Media and Mass Communication, 16, pp. 58-72.

106. The Doel nuclear power station – includes a total of four reactors, includes Belgium`s oldest one – the power station straddles the border between Belgium and the Netherlands’ western Zeeland province. The three reactors that comprise the Tihange nuclear power station are located roughy an hour’s drive from the borders of Germany and Luxembourg.
107. Shammas John (2016) “Security guard at Belgian nuclear site ‘targeted by terrorists is killed and has access badge stolen’”, Mirror, 26 March, 2016.

108. A detailed account of the dangers surrounding nuclear terrorism are found in: Rubin, G. James; Chowdhury, Alexander K.; Amlôt, Richard (2012) How to Communicate with the Public about Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear Terrorism: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 10(4), pp. 383-395.

  1. One such example is in 2014, when Ilyas Boughalab, 26, who was tried in absentia for his af liation in a “jihadi” recruitment network in Antwerp, had worked for a few years as a technician for a sub-contractor with access to sensitive sites within the Doel nuclear plant. He died in Syria after leaving in 2012.
  2. For instance in December 2015, the Doel 3 reactor on the Dutch border had to be turned off just a week after it was switched back on owing to repairs that lasted 22 months because of water leaking on a non-nuclear generator. The sequel of a Japan style nuclear Fukushima Daichi was too much of a risk. Doel, in eastern Flanders, is situated in the most densely populated area of any power station inEurope.

111. RTBF Info (2016) “Centrale nucléaire de Tihange: onze personnes ont été privées de leur autorisation d’accès”, 24 March, 2016.
112. On cyber threats consult: Rudner, Martin (2013) Cyber-Threats to Critical National Infrastructure: An Intelligence Challenge. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 26(3), pp. 452-482.

113. SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) is an industrial automation control system for remote monitoring of machines, electricity grids, nuclear installations, valves, pumps, motors, and more, which are connected through HMI (human-machine interface) software. In SCADA information from sensors are sent to PLCs (programmable logic controllers) or RTUs (remote terminal units), which then transfer that information to software. SCADA software analyzes and displays the data in order to help operators to reduce waste and improve manufacturing efficiency. Boyer, Stuart A. (2010). SCADA Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition. USA: ISA – International Society of Automation. p. 179 and Boyes, Walt (2011) Instrumentation Reference Book, 4th Edition. USA: Butterworth-Heinemann. p. 27. For a compelling take on SCADA and terrorism: D. Maynor and R. Graham (2006) “SCADA Security and Terrorism: We’re Not Crying Wolf”.

114. Reinke de Buitrago, Sybille (2014) Jihadist Terrorism in Europe: What Role for Media? In: Daniela Pisoiu (Ed.): Arguing Counterterrorism: New Perspectives. (Critical Terrorism Studies). Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 160-180.

115. Germany`s environment minister Barbara Hendricks waded into the row, but Jan Jambon`s (the Belgian interior minister) refusal to conduct a joint nuclear environment risk assessment re-ignited cause for concern. This author af rms that a transboundary assessment of the environmental impact, core cooling, sonic, stress and thermal-testing must be mandatory when it comes to new nuclear plant constructions but also when the lifetime of ageing nuclear power plants are being extended.

  1. Brussels and Paris attackers were in several ways inter-connected operationallyand logistically, the nexus also stretches to Italy, for the Italian connection: Knapp Emily; Meghan Keneally; Julia Jacobo (2016) “6 Arrested in Brussels Police Operation after French Raids Foil Planned Terror Attack”. Yahoo! News. 24 March 2016 and Blaise, Lilia (2016) “Italy Arrests Algerian Tied to Forgery in Paris and Brussels Attacks”. The New York Times. 27 March 2016.
  2. Lachraoui`s DNA was involved in both Paris and Brussels. Henry Austin; Lisa McNally (2016) “Najim Laachraoui: What We Know About Suspected Bomb- Maker”. NBC News. 23 March, 2016.

118. Riaño, Sergio Castaño (2014) “The Political In uence of Islam in Belgium.” Partecipazione e con itto 7 no. 1: pp. 133-151.

119. Van Vlierden, Guy (2015) “How Belgium Became a Top Exporter of Jihad.” Terrorism Monitor 13 no. 11.

120. Koutroubas, Theodoros, Ward Vloeberghs and Zeynep Yanasmayan (2015) Political, Religious and Ethnic Radicalisation among Muslims in Belgium. MICROCON Policy Working Paper 5, Brighton: MICROCON.

121. Khalid, Ozer (2016) “Bloodshed and butchery in Brussels: The Ravages of Radicalism“ in The Journal of Turkish Weekly, 26 March, 2016. Also re- published in the Eurasia Review.

122. Chomsky, Noam (2004) Letters from Lexington: Re ections on Propaganda, Paradigm Publishers and Chomsky, Noam (1997) Media Control, the Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, Seven Stories Press, pp. 1-58.

  1. The FBI had tipped off Dutch police concerning the Bakraoui brothers a week prior to the Brussels attack. More co-ordination between the Dutch and Belgians might have helped. Rankin, Jennifer (2016) “FBI tipped off Dutch police about Bakraoui brothers”. The Guardian. 30 March 2016.
  2. Kern, Soeren (2014) “The Islamization of Belgium and the Netherlands in 2013.” Gatestone Institute. January 13, 2014.

125. Stenersen, Anne (February): “Bomb-Making for Beginners”: Inside an Al-Qaeda E-Learning Course. Perspectives on Terrorism, 7(1), February, 2013, 25-37. 126Martinez, Michael, Ed Payne, Catherine E. Shoichet and Margot Haddad (2015) “Belgium 54 warns of ‘serious and imminent threat’ to Brussels.” CNN. November 21, 2015.
127. Boydstun, Amber E.; Glazier, Rebecca A. (2013): A Two-Tiered Method for Identifying Trends in Media Framing of Policy Issues: The Case of the War on Terror. Policy Studies Journal, November, 41(4), pp. 705-736.

128. Dassetto, Felice (2011) L’Iris et le Croissant: Bruxelles et L’Islam au Dé de la Co-inclusion. Louvain: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.

129. Goerzig, Carolin and Khaled Al-Hashimi (2015) Radicalization in Western Europe: Integration, Public Discourse and Loss of Identity among Muslim Communities. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

130. Richardson, Norman (2013) Media and Religious Con ict: Experiences from Northern Ireland. In: Manfred L. Pirner; Johannes Lähnemann (Eds.): Media Power and Religions: The Challenge Facing Intercultural Dialogue and Learning. Franfurt: Peter Lang, pp. 73-86.

  1. Cesari, Jocelyne, Nadia Fadil, Farid El Asri, and Sarah Bracke (2014) “Belgium.” The Oxford Handbook of European Islam. Oxford University Press.
  2. In the airline and travel industries, a passenger name record (PNR) is a record in the database of a computer reservation system (CRS) that contains the itinerary for a passenger, or a group of passengers travelling together. The provisional deal reached by Parliament and Council negotiators on 2 December 2015 on an EU directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime is a step in the right direction. The EU Passenger Name Record Directive (or ‘PNR Directive’) would require the storage of travel data for airline passengers, ostensibly for law enforcement.

133. Ingle, Stephen (1993) George Orwell: a political life. Manchester University Press. p. 90.

134. Petrovic, Milica (2012) “Belgium: A Country of Permanent Immigration.” Migration Policy Institute. November 15, 2012.

135. Waltman, Michael S. (2014) Teaching Hate: The Role of Internet Visual Imagery in the Radicalization of White Ethno-Terrorists in the United States. In: Carol K. Winkler; Cori E. Dauber (Eds.): Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment.. Carlisle: Strategic Studies Institute (SSI); U.S. Army War College Press, pp. 83-103.

136. Robespierre is an immortal gure not because he reigned supreme over the Revolution for a few months, but because he was the mouthpiece of its purest and most tragic discourse. Understandably Robespierre has continued to fascinate biographers. Robespierre has been likened to a terrorist, notably in Albert Mathiez (1988), « Robespierre terroriste », dans Études sur Robespierre, p. 63 et 70, and Jean-Clément Martin (2006) Violence et Révolution. Essai sur la naissance d’un mythe national, p. 224. Doyle excellently chronicles Robespierre in Doyle, William (2002). The Oxford History of the French Revolution. Oxford University Press.

137. Beirut, often referred to as the pristine Paris of the Middle East, has been ravaged by war on and off since the 1980s. On 12 November 2015, two ISIS suicide bombers detonated explosives in Bourj el-Barajneh, a southern suburb, killing 43 innocent Shias.

138. Popham, Peter (2014) “Peshawar school attack: ‘I will never forget the black boots…It was like death approaching me’”. The Independent. 16 December 2014. Also Yusufzai, Ashfaq (2014) “Mastermind of Peshawar school attack killed”. Telegraph, Pakistan Bureau, 26 December, 2014.

139. In January 2016, ISIS militants killed 23 citizens injuring hundreds, in Istanbul`s Sultanahmet district, an area jam-packed with tourists and a stone’s throw away from the Hagia Sophia and the historic Blue Mosque.
140. Visionaries, inter alia, like Ché Guevara, Frantz Fanon, Simón Bolívar, Albert Camus and Naomi Klein.
141. “Veni, vidi, vici” in classical Latin.
142. None other than that of 1857.
143. Reinke de Buitrago, Sybille (2013): Media Discourse on Jihadist Terrorism in Europe. Journal of Terrorism Research, 4(2), Autumn 2013, pp. 3-13.

144. Hebbar, Prajakta (2016). “Muslim Cattle Traders Beaten To Death In Ranchi, Bodies Found Hanging From A Tree”. The Huf ngton Post.
145. Encouragingly South Asia has regionally co-operated on many occasions to combat terrorism, for instance the 3rd South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Kathmandu (1987) adopted a resolution to suppress terrorism, which was further reinforced in the Summit of 2001. SAARC has adopted several conventions, these are: SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism (signed by all member states and came into force in 1988); Additional Protocol to the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism (2002); and Bilateral Counter Terrorism Agreements.
146. A racist portmanteau for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the Occident”.
147. The far-right street protest group Hogesa, or Hooligans Against Sala sm, continues to cause consternation on the streets of Germany, while the populist-right Pegida have mounted demonstrations across Europe.
148. Another European right-wing out t, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. Predictably they have requested Chancellor Merkel to resign after the Cologne New Years Eve sex scandal.
149. TAK is a Kurdish terrorist offshoot of the PKK and claimed responsibility for Ankara`s devastating blast on 13 March, 2016. For more: Samuel Osborne (2016) “Ankara explosion: Several feared dead after ‘large explosion’ in park in Turkey capital”. The Independent. 13 March.

150. Ceylan; Arango, Tim (2015) “Explosions During Peace Rally in Ankara, Turkey’s Capital, Kill Scores”. The New York Times. 10 October, 2015.

151. There are exceptions ofcourse such as the San Bernardino couple who went on a killing spree.

152. Hamilton, Fiona (2015) “Pious teenager who turned into a zealot and heartless murderer”. The Times. 27 February, 2015, p. 2. Chan, Sewell; De Freytas- Tamura, Kimiko (2015) “Pentagon Says ‘Jihadi John’ Was Probably Killed in Airstrike”. The New York Times. 13 November 2015.

153. Smith, Megan; Walsh, James Igoe (2013) Do Drone Strikes Degrade Al Qaeda? Evidence from Propaganda Output. Terrorism and Political Violence, 25(2), pp. 310-328.

154. Riopelle, Cameron; Muniandy, Parthiban (2013) Drones, Maps and Crescents: CBS News’ Visual Construction of the Middle East. Media, War & Con ict, 6(2), August, 2013, pp. 154-173.

155. Beifuss, Artur; Trivini Bellini, Francesco (2013): Branding Terror: The Logotypes and Iconography of Insurgent Groups and Terrorist Organizations. New York: Merrell and Dauber, Cori E. (2014) The Branding of Violent Jihadism. In: Carol K. Winkler; Cori E. Dauber (Eds.): Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment. Carlisle: Strategic Studies Institute (SSI); U.S. Army War College Press, pp. 136-164.

156. The Abbasid dynasty descended from Muhammad’s (Pbuh) youngest uncle,Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib (566–653 CE). Thier capital was Kufa followed by Baghdad a center of excellence during the Golden Age Of Islam, north of the Sasanian capital city of Ctesiphon and they assumed authority over the Umayyads in 750 CE (132 AH). The choice of a capital so close to Persia proper re ected a growing reliance on Persian bureaucrats, most notably of the Barmakid family, to govern the territories conquered by Arab Muslims, as well as an increasing inclusion of non-Arab Muslims in the Ummah. Eventually they were forced to cede authority over Al-Andalus and Maghreb to the Umayyads, Morocco to the Idrisid dynasty, Ifriqiya to the Aghlabids, and Egypt to the Shi’ite Caliphate of the Fatimids. The political power of the caliphs largely ended with the rise of the Buyids and the Seljuq Turks. Kennedy, Hugh N. (2004) The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the 6th to the 11th Century (2nd ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Ltd. Warren, John (2005). “War and the Cultural Heritage of Iraq: A Sadly Mismanaged Affair”.Third World Quarterly 26 (4-5): pp. 815–30. Sourdel, D. (1970). “The ʿAbbasid Caliphate”. In Holt, P. M.; Lambton, Ann K. S.; Lewis, Bernard. The Cambridge History of Islam. 1A: The Central Islamic Lands from Pre-Islamic Times to the First World War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 104–139.

157. Hobbes, Thomas (2001) “Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan”, Vol. XXXIV, Part 5. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, Bartleby 1909–14.

  1. A quote from Chapter 8 of Hobbes` Leviathan.
  2. Srinivasan, Amrit (2013) New Media, Terror and the Representational Politics ofYouth Violence. South Asian Popular Culture, 11(2), pp. 192-203.
  3. El Gazzar, Nagwa (2013) The Role of Social Media in the Formation of Public Opinion towards Islamists: A Content Analysis. Journal of Arab & MuslimMedia Research, 6(1), March 2013, 35-49.

161. Basit, Abdul (2016) “Battle for our heart and soul”, The News International, Jang

Group, March 30, 2016.
162. Frank Gesemann (2006) “Die Integration junger Muslime in Deutschland. Interkultureller Dialog – Islam und Gesellschaft Nr. 5. Friedrich

Ebert Stiftung (Foundation), on p. 8 – the document is written in German.
163. It does not require too vivid an imagination nor too deep an intellect to discern which politician this author is referring to.

164. Institute for the Study of War (2016), ISIS Sanctuary Map, 3 March.
165. The Soufan Group (2015) Foreign Fighters An updated assesment of the ow of foreign ghters into Syria and Iraq, December.
166. Zellen, Barry Scott (2014): Technology to the Rescue. In: State of Recovery: The Quest to Restore American Security after 9/11. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 9-46.
167Jeremy Corbyn, at one point, backed sanctions against Israel and also

accused Prime Minister David Cameron of deploying “incendiary language” when he accused a “swarm” of people (mostly Muslims) as the cause of the Calais migrant crisis and also stated that the Home Office’s reply to the Syrian refugee debacle was “heartless and powerless”. Gander, Kashmira and Sally Guyoncourt (2015) “Labour leadership debate: PM accused of being ‘heartless and powerless’ in approach to refugee crisis”. The Independent. 3 September, 2015.

168. Trudeau, the PM and Liberal Party leader of Canada, thankfully took a u-turn away from the anti-Muslim hate harboured by former PM Harper. Trudeau encouragingly went to the airport to welcome hundreds of Syrian refugees in person, he sits in mosques and luncheons with the Muslim community of Canada. Trudeau retains prescient 60`s ideals such as Lauds Katimavik’s promotion of social causes.

169. Bernie Sanders rightly frames the spectre of extremism by stating that reclaiming the moderate narrative is a must for Muslims, as this is a “battle for the heart and soul of Islam“in his own words. He also advocates for a moderate `Open Border` policy welcoming Muslims and deserving humans of all faiths. Cory Massimino (2016) “Bernie Sanders is wrong on open borders; they’d help boost the economy”. The Guardian.

170. The great Roman poet of the Augustan Age, Horace, in Satirae or Sermones relishes us with a collection of satirical poems, which explore the secrets of human happiness and literary perfection. Horace combines Epicurean, originally Greek philosophy by convincing his readers of the futility and silliness of their ambitions and desires. As an alternative, he proposes a life that is based on the Greek philosophical ideals of autarkeia (Greek for “inner self-suf ciency”) and metriotes (Greek for “moderation” or sticking to the Just Mean) In S. 1.6.110– 131. Horace led a simple, but contented life. Niall Rudd (1982) The Satires of Horace. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2nd. ed.,

171. In Latin Seneca the sage states Animum debes mutare, non caelum (You must change [your] disposition, not [your] sky) in his Letter to Lucilium XXVIII, 1. Read the full Seneca (1925) Moral Letters to Lucilius, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium. A Loeb Classical Library edition; volume 1.

172. The Latin reads as Silent enim leges inter arma. Another version is `Inter arma enim silent leges` which translated as “For among [times of] arms, the laws fall mute”. This maxim was etched by Cicero in his published oration Pro Milone. When Cicero used this phrase armed gangs led by partisan leaders controlled the streets of Rome, yet such leaders were nevertheless elected to high of ces. Consult further: Clark, M.E. & Ruebel, J.S. (1985) Philosophy & Rhetoric in Cicero’s Pro Milone, RhM 128, article: pp. 57–72 and Stone, A.M. (1980) Pro Milone: Cicero’s second thoughts, Antichthon 14, 1980 pp. 88–111.

173. In France as per the Article 304 of the Code de procédure pénale “any person suspected or prosecuted is presumed innocent for as long as their guilt has not been established” and the jurors’ oath repeats this assertion
174. Under Shariah Law Caliph Ali ibn Abi Thalib has also been cited to say ‘Avert the prescribed punishment by rejecting doubtful evidence. In the USA preumption of innocence was established in ‘Cof n v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895) “the presumption of innocence is evidence in favor of the accused, introduced by the

law in [their] behalf.
175. “CASE OF S.A.S. v. FRANCE”. hudoc.echr.coe.int. Retrieved on 25 March 2016.

176. Saïla Ouald Chaib and Lourdes Peroni (2014) S.A.S. v. France: Missed

Opportunity to Do Full Justice to Women Wearing a Face Veil Strasbourger

Observer, 3 July, 2014
177. Willsher, Kim (2014) France’s burqa ban upheld by human rights court The

Guardian, 1 July, 2014.
178. Loi n° 2010-1192 du 11 octobre 2010 interdisant la dissimulation du visage dans

l›espace public

179. Stenersen, Anne (2014) Gathering Data through Court Cases: Implications for Understanding Visual Messaging. In: Carol K. Winkler; Cori E. Dauber (Eds.): Visual Propaganda and Extremism in the Online Environment. Carlisle: Strategic Studies Institute (SSI); U.S. Army War College Press, pp. 32-55.

180. As the Greek philosopher Aristotle once ruminated “The antidote for fty enemies is one friend.”

181. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his in nite wisdom proclaimed that “justice too long delayed is justice denied” in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, cunningly smuggled out of jail in 1963, and erroneously ascribed to a “distinguished jurist of yesteryear”. Bass, S. Jonathan (2001) Blessed are the peacemakers: Martin Luther King, Jr., eight white religious leaders, and the “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. See especially pp. 139- 141.

182. Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince (2001) translated by N.H. Thomson. Vol. XXXVI, Part 1. The Harvard Classics. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, pp. 1909– 14.

183. Abbas, Hassan (2005) Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army, America’s War on Terror. New York: M.E Sharpe.

184. Rana, Mohammad Amir (2005) The Seeds of Terrorism, London: New Millennium, 2005, p. 66.

185. Stefan Talmond (2005) ‘The Security Council as World Legislator’ 99 American Journal of International Law p.175.

186. Rupérez, Javier (2006) “The UN’s ght against terrorism” UN Action to Counter Terrorism.

187. Cram, Ian (2009). Terror and the war on dissent: freedom of expression in the age of Al-Qaeda. Springer. p. 40.

188. United Nations (2009) Report of the Security Council: 64th Session Supp, Issue 2. United Nations Publications. p. 227.

189. Brantly, Aaron (2014) Financing Terror Bit by Bit. CTC Sentinel, 7(10), October, pp. 1-6.

190. The creation of “special courts” implied a departure from the regular judicial system in order to address the violence and ensure swift justice.

191. Shafqat, Saeed (1997) Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan, USA: Westview Press, pp. 1-38.

  1. Sec.5 (4), Suppression of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act 1975. For the discussion of the 1975 act also see: Bajwa, Shaukat Ra que (1997) Suppresion of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act, 1975, Lahore: Punjab Law House.
  2. Sec, 8, Suppresion of Terrorist Activities (Special Courts) Act (XV), 1975.
  3. Najam U Din (2007) Terrorist unless proven otherwise: Human rights implicationsof anti-terror laws and practice in Pakistan, Lahore: HRCP publication, p. 10.

195. Hussain, Mian Ghulam (2006) Manual of Anti-Terrorism Laws in Pakistan, Lahore: Afsari Printers
196. This opinion was discussed by this author at the Islamabad club in an interview with Justice Chohan, a Member of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.
197. Ahmed, Samina (1997) “Centralization, Authoritarianism, and the Mismanagement of Ethnic Relations in Pakistan.” In Government Policies and Ethnic Relations in Asia and the Paci c, ed. Michael E. Brown and Summit Ganguly. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

198. Hakim was a noteworthy philanthropist who established the Hamdard Foundation, a University by the same name and was and a former Governor of Sindh. He was murdered on October 17, 1998. Amongst many therapeutic tomes, Hakim authored Fikr-o-Nazar and Aina-e-Tib. Hasan, Saad (2011) “13th death anniversary: Hakim Saeed, the man of morals and medicine”. The Express Tribune. 17 October, 2011.

199. Pakistan Armed Forces Ordinance 1998, Sec. 6, 158.
200. Sattar, Babar (2016) War versus Criminal Justice, The News International, 26 March, 2016.

201. Ibid.,

202. Spencer, Richard (2014) “The world’s ve worst terror attacks involving children”. Telegraph (London). 17 December 2014

203. Kumar, Dilip (2014) “On the Peshawar School Attack: I’m Wounded beyond Words”. Daily Times. 16 December, 2014

204. Sattar, Babar (2016) War versus Criminal Justice, The News International, 26 March, 2016

205. Ibid.,

* †

Özer Khalid is a Senior Consultant, Geo-Strategist and Freelance Writer. He can be reached on ozerkhalid@yahoo.com or Twitter followed on @ozerkhalid

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this essay are analytical and expert views offered by specialists who have been duly cited and referenced at length, and do not necessarily always overlap with this author`s nor with Criterion Journal`s official stance.