The purpose of International Terrorism is not to resolve the many semantic and evaluative issues confronting its analysis, or to propose solution to them. Instead, its educational mission is to illuminate these disagreements and the implications that result from alternate conceptualisation. International terrorism is a multidimensional concept; it refers to a diverse set of observable phenomena. Observers often bring very different assumptions to discussions of international terrorism, and their conclusions customarily spring from radically different perceptions, beliefs, and preferences. As a result, the considerable disagreement that exists is unlikely to be resolved because terrorism seems destined to remain a highly subjective, sensational, and emotional phenomenon. In order to understand terrorist threat scenarios developing for Pakistan, there is a need to assess the socio-cultural, political, and socio-economic make up of her society and the geo-political environments she is placed in to identify nature and extent of her vulnerability vis-à-vis terrorist threats. Internally, Pakistan’s complex socio – cultural makeup present a potentially teeming environment for ethnic and religious/sectarian polarisation greatly eroding cohesion, where each group cherishes trans-national affiliations to flex their muscle at home.
Governance in Pakistan constrained by both immature political leadership and inefficient administration. Mass corruption, Injustice and deprivations impair the very fabric of society. Externally, Pakistan finds itself geographically placed in a volatile environment. In the East, she shares long border with a regional power known for using terrorism as an adjunct to her foreign policy to intimidate neighbouring states. Her hostility toward Pakistan is known to the world. On the west are Iran and Afghanistan. Indo- Russian axis needs no extra elucidation. The threats, which merit consideration, are thus primarily foreign sponsored, mainly from India followed by Afghanistan and the refugees.
The menace of internal ethnic and sectarian threats fomenting inter-communal hatred and conflict, vacillate in intensity. Reign of terror created by infighting of ultra- religious Sipah-e- Sahaba, alleged to have Saudi backing and Sipah-e- Muhammad with covert Iranian support had been a major internal policy dilemma for Pakistan. Contribution of extra regional player –USA, in this context, is a lesson in its self. Driven by its global policy compulsions it created Jihad as a war cry. But on attainment of strategic objectives in West Asia it not only distanced its self from this sacred cause but also became a forerunner in crusade against War on Fundamentalism, a contorted allusion to adherence to religious values. Equally impending is the threat of being branded as a ‘Fundamentalist’ terrorist state with its peculiar implications, which are even more detrimental. Intolerance has acquired serious dimension in our society due to successive governments policies of visible and invisible immunity to the vicious elements who put the country’s polity, and integrity, in grave danger.
The threat of terrorism in Pakistan is entering a new phase, and may mature into synchronised hostilities with greater sophistication to undermine perseverance of the state. The newly formed political structure in Afghanistan with clear inclinations toward India, archrival along eastern border, may add to Pakistan’s security predicaments. State sponsored Indian media is unleashing a barrage of unprecedented propaganda with greater ever appeal to Western world, an already scared audience, for branding Pakistan a terrorist state. The flourishing arms traders and drug cartel, foreign sponsored extremist and separatist elements, deteriorating law and order, and bloating crime rate combined with poor governance contribute towards building an environment most ideal for breeding terrorism and ripe to be contracted by adversaries.
All along the civilian and military governments have expressed their denial of supporting the Kashmiri militants. But India has successfully propagated and convinced other countries as well that groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat-ut-dawa are actually stringed to the Pakistani intelligence agencies, and are fighting the army’s proxy war in Kashmir. Besides this is the issue of Maddariss or religious schools. An American expert maintains that only 4,354 such religious schools out of a total of 40,000 have been registered with the government and that those unregistered are the ones that are most extreme and most opposed to government interference. It is alleged that these schools impart military skills to young men for waging Jihad. Thus the image created by Western media, fully supported and instigated by Indian lobby, projects Pakistan as an insecure country that abets the jihadi monsters, and where terrorist forces stalk the roads and street.
Factors like fragile socio-politico-economic conditions, lawlessness, injustice, unemployment, inflationary market trends, weak foreign policy and religious fanaticism bolstered by weak governments; make Pakistan both, vulnerable to agents of terrorism and, at the same time, plenteous for breeding exportable terrorist threats.