Counterterror and Counterinsurgency:

Pakistan is wracked by terror. The very foundations of the state are being undermined by various anti state actors and organizations. They set off bomb blastsin the midst of innocent children and civilians. They murder political opponents and members of the state’s security organizations through cowardly targeted shootings on the streets. They blow up key infrastructure such as rail lines and power pylons. They attack military facilities and air bases. They are working hard to destabilize, even break up, the country by sponsoring terrorist and anti state groups in KPK and Baluchistan

Pakistan’s armed forces are making a gallant effort to combat these forces of terror and evil. But in the end it is important to appreciate that the Army cannot do this alone. .

There is a need for a comprehensive integrated and multi-faceted anti-terror policy.Such a policy must run the gamut of options. All state institutions and resources have to be deployed. Terrorist ideology – their particular brand of misguided Islamicthought – has to be challenged and discredited; their funding and arms supply interdicted. Their bases and control centers have to be destroyed. Special anti-terror laws that allow for swift trials must be enacted. Curricula at all madrassas have to be brought in line with normal schools. Economic development in their backward recruiting grounds must be accelerated. Social and electronic media have to be deployed to maximum effect

Both views have problems. It is difficult to ‘talk’ to people who have slaughtered thousands of innocent people. What do you say to them? Stop killing more and all will be forgiven? On the other hand force is not always an effective option. It often creates more enemies than it destroys

Countering terror is akin to a high wire act. Those who walk it have to balance an olive branch in one hand with a sword in the other. Finding this balance is not easy. And this is one reason why the quality of leadership is important.

The other reason why leadership is important has to do with the way our present leadership is perceived by the terrorists. This may seem like an odd thing to say. Why should it matter what terrorists think of our leaders? To understand why, it is important to realize that the men who fight the state today do so out of a sense of fierce conviction. They are people who are ready to lay down their lives for their beliefs – misguided as they may be. When these men look at our leaders – incompetent, insincere, corrupt and debauched – they must feel nothing but disdain. It would seem to them that they can take on the Pakistani state and win. On the other hand, If our leaders were people of honour, dignity, competence and conviction, the terrorists would recognize instinctively that they were up against a formidable ‘enemy’. An enemy whose threat would be a promise and whose promisewould be honoured.

Mustaqbil Pakistan believes it will be able to provide the sort of leadership so criticalto final victory over the terrorists. A leadership that will work closely with the armedforces to device a pincer movement that will apply force from one direction and the administrative, moral and legislative authority of the government on the other to crush those who now threaten our very foundations. Let it be clear: Nations gear up for great challenges because their leaders inspire and unite them. Some prime minster of Pakistan has to get up on national TV and state in clear language that, "Terror has nothing to do with Islam, that we will no longer tolerate even an iota of terror and that we will not rest until every single terrorist has been uprooted from this land." ..