Killings in Mohmand

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While terrorist attacks in large urban centres are not taking place with the deadly regularity witnessed last year, the frequency of these attacks in tribal areas remains unchecked. The two suicide attacks on the premises of the Political Agent in Mohmand Agency leading to the death of over 50 persons indicates that there is no respite to the severity of these attacks either. Besides concentrating on soft targets like schools, dispensaries and government installations, the terrorist networks are sure to turn their wrath against any force in the area that is seen to be cooperating with the administration. It is a consistent policy on their part to hit tribal jirgas, summoned to establish peace, with full force and kill tribal elders organising resistance and thus intimidate and harass those who support law and order. The bigger the bang, the louder the terrorists message. Since ruthlessness is a part of psychological warfare, it matters little to those organising terrorist strikes that how many innocent people fall victim to their indiscriminate attacks. The casualties in Mohmand Agency included law enforcement personnel, volunteers of the Safi Aman Committee, two leading anti-Taliban tribal elders and numerous unsuspecting bystanders and common tribesmen going about their business. To leave no ambiguity about the source of the attack, the chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Mohmand Agency immediately claimed responsibility for the dastardly act.

The government has to realise that it is of utmost importance to provide foolproof security to those who are willing to stake their lives for the maintenance of an orderly society. There should be more effective safety arrangements when meetings of the peace committees and tribal jirgas are summoned. Electronic detection devices should have been brought to the venue from Peshawar to provide security to the participants. Any successful terrorist mission is bound to demoralise those who would otherwise like to stand up and be counted.

While dealing with the terrorists there must not be any wilting of the will. To achieve victory over the barbarians there has to be no pick and choose. Any group preaching recourse to violence for the achievement of its agenda has to be neutralised. Any perception that a group is being spared would create doubts regarding the seriousness of the law enforcement agencies in the local population.