The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) center in Bannu was taken over by the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. Those working at the centre were taken hostage. On December 20, the Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) conducted an operation in which all terrorists present at the sight were killed while 33 others were arrested. Two SSG commandos were martyred, while almost 15 were injured in the operation. Terrorism has been a major problem in Pakistan for a number of years. Militants in the country have conducted numerous deadly attacks on civilians, government officials, and military officials that have resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries. The violence has caused immense suffering and has seriously disrupted the country’s economy and development. Although the threat of violence from terrorist groups was never eradicated, it was reduced significantly over the last couple of years. However, with the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the security situation in Pakistan has been worsening since the previous year. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have witnessed terror attacks in the past few months and now the attack on the CTD centre in Bannu shows how strong the militancy has become once again.
The Taliban, al-Qaeda, Daesh and other militant groups have been the main perpetrators of terrorism in Pakistan. The TTP is most active in the tribal areas in the northwest, where they have been fighting against the Pakistani military for years. The group has also been linked to a number of high-profile attacks in major cities, such as Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore. Out of all the terrorist organizations, the TTP has been more active in recent years. They have caused immense damage to society as a whole. Not only have there been economic costs due to terrorism, but also psychological ones. There is a whole generation that has grown up with the threat of terrorism looming above their heads. Many have also lost their loved ones in terror attacks. The trauma is now returning with the return of the Taliban in Pakistan.
While in the political arena, politicians and so-called leaders have been busy in point-scoring, there are people who live without bullet-proof and bomb-proof cars becoming more and more vulnerable to this threat. This recent attack is the failure of the system as a whole and not just one government or one particular institution. At this time of distress, people should set aside their differences and work towards securing the country, as such attacks are blatant attacks on the sovereignty of this country. When terrorists can easily take over departments that have been established to counter them, how safe is the rest of the country for anyone?
Over the years, political and military institutions have taken numerous steps to counter terrorism in the country. The government has increased security operations against militants in the tribal areas and has also conducted targeted airstrikes against militant hideouts. Pakistan has also put in place anti-terrorism laws and established military courts to try terrorism cases. However, political instability and a flawed foreign policy have left Pakistan vulnerable once again.
Where credit is due, it must be given. The Pakistani government has been working with the international community to combat terrorism, and the military has performed numerous operations to take down the threat of terrorism. Moreover, Pakistan has signed agreements with the United States and other countries to increase intelligence sharing and cooperation in counter-terrorism efforts. Despite these efforts, terrorism continues to be a major problem in the country. The government needs to focus on strengthening its security forces and improving its intelligence capabilities to better detect and prevent terrorist attacks. It also needs to address the underlying causes of terrorism, such as poverty and a lack of education and development.
Terrorism is a serious threat to Pakistan’s stability and development, and the government must take decisive action to address it. The government must continue to work with the international community to find long-term solutions to the problem of terrorism. Moreover, it should rethink its policies towards Afghanistan as it can be clearly seen that the parent group of the TTP who is the so-called ally of Pakistan is doing absolutely nothing to prevent attacks in Pakistan.