Peshawar attack: It is time Pakistan mends its 'policy' on terrorism

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Pakistan on Tuesday witnessed one of the bloodiest days in its history as a group of heavily-armed terrorists targeted an Army Public school which claimed more than a hundred innocent lives in Peshawar, the capital city of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

A hospital security guard helps a student injured in the shootout at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for the cowardly attack, saying the gunmen had been ordered to shoot older students but not children. Their aim was to create havoc in the minds of rulers of Pakistan, who have launched similar attacks via Army on their kin. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is a restive province of Pakistan which is troubled with the presence of such terror outfits.

Terrorists target Army Public school in Peshawar

Six heavily armed terrorists in the guise of Army men stormed inside the school and held atleast 1500 students, between 16-18 years age group, and 70 teachers as hostages. Terrorists first set ablaze some vehicles parked outside the school and then they barged into the school where the students were giving exams.

124 students are among 126 killed as a terrorist blew himself while others shot indiscriminately at students. Some even made students as human shields to avoid security forces' bullets.

What is Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan?

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), incidentally, were also behind the attack on Malala Yousafzai. TTP is an alliance of militant groups formed in 2007 to unify groups fighting against the Pakistani military in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

According to the United States, National Counter Terrorism Centre, TTP leaders also hope to impose a strict interpretation of Quranic instruction throughout Pakistan and to expel Coalition troops from Afghanistan. TTP maintains close ties to senior al Qaeda leaders.

Baitullah Mahsud, the first TTP leader, was killed in an explosion on 5 August 2009 and was succeeded by Hakimullah Mehsud. In June, 2014 the Pakistani military launched a major offensive in North Waziristan and claims to have killed more than 1,100 militants so far.

The feet of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school are tied together at a local hospital in Peshawar.

Who's responsible for this tragedy?

Pak Army might be doing its job of eliminating the terrorists still holed inside the school premises, but a pertinent question arises who is responsible for the loss of these innocent lives. Of course the dreaded terror outfit Pakistan Taliban is the one which perpetrated this attack but its the Pakistan administration's policy of nurturing terror, over the years, which encourage such forces to do such things. [Pak school siege: TTP makes a cowardly attempt to assert itself]

Not to forget, the TTP is an offshoot of theh Afgahnistan Taliban, which came into existence in the early 1980s. Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, with the help of US, radicalised the youth of Afghanistan and adjoining border areas of Pakistan to fight against Soviet troops. Thus, Taliban came into existence.

Pakistan trained Taliban and even provided them sophisticated arms and ammunition against Soviet forces.

After withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in late 80s the radicalised youths joined a bandwagon of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda, posing a serious threat to the peace and harmony of the region as well as the world.

Since then Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been a troubled region and a major hideout for bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda leaders. Ultimately the onus lies on Pakistan's state-owned agencies like ISI for making the country a dysfunctional nation.

Thus, Pakistan's policy of patronising terror to disturb the peace of bordering nations has become a cancer for the country itself. This manifestation is corroding the very existence of the country as it has become a threat to its federal set up.

Pakistan paying for its dual strategy against terror

Pakistan often claims to be a major part of anti-terror coalition but its own duplicity over fighting terrorists has turned out to be a threat for its own people. Pakistan still counters the dreaded TTP from inside, but, Islamabad is till date funding, patronising and training anti-India terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Al-Qaeda and the Jaish-e-Mohammad.

 A Pakistani student, who was injured in a Taliban attack in a school, is brought to a hospital in Peshawar.

Afghan and Indian-focused militants continue to operate from Pakistan territory to the detriment of Afghan and regional stability. The sole objective behind raising these terror outfits is to disturb the peace in Kashmir so that Pakistan can raise the issue of Kashmir in the international community.

It is significant to note that Pakistan government had made elaborate arrangements for a public rally of dreaded terrorist Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attacks. If this has to be a government's policy on handling terrorism then Peshawar like incidences will continue to occur even in future.

Hence, it is high time Pakistan stops differentiating between 'good' and 'bad' terrorism for terrorism of any kind is always against the ethos of humanity and no country can prosper on such ideologies.

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